So the West thinks we can compete?

Forget about competing with the Chinese – we are not doing such a good job of keeping up with the Taiwanese:
Inside TSMC’s Phoenix, Arizona expansion struggles - Rest of World

To summarize a long article, the Taiwanese worker expects to … work, the Arizona worker expects to …

… After the American trainees asked to contact families and to listen to music at work, TSMC loosened the firewall on T phones to allow all staff access to Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify. …

… A female American colleague, according to an American trainee who witnessed the conversation, asked a Taiwanese engineer to remove his computer wallpaper depicting a bikini model. …

… The Taiwanese workers described their Phoenix colleagues as arrogant, carefree, and more willing to challenge orders. “It’s hard to get them to do things,” a Taiwanese engineer in Phoenix told Rest of World.

“.… On February 24, 2024, TSMC inaugurated its newest factory, located in Kumamoto, Japan, where construction had begun about a year later than in Arizona. …

Needless to say, the Arizona TSMC plant is still not complete.

Houston, we have a problem!


Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company did this film with a very similar story:

It seems to be working:

Manufacturer Fuyao Glass America plans to build a 600,000-square-foot facility immediately north of its current operations at 800 Fuyao Ave. along Springboro Pike, according to Moraine city officials.

with some assistance

Moraine City Council unanimously approved an application by the auto glass producer for a 12-year, 100% tax abatement on Thursday.


This is the reason I dumped Netflix, again. The self-righteousness of the left is so over-the-top, they “feel” entitled to be paid by everyone for their creative genius in the form of streaming content. Naturally, this includes having their cultural “values” jammed down our throats. E.g. I also stopped watching the NFL for its support of BLM/Antifa with logos all over the field and in commentary. And they think I MUST watch them, thereby accounting for their payment via adverts $ proportional to views. No my views. Do you like supporting the normalizing of criminal, anti-social, and perverse behavior? Perhaps you have forgotten how to change the channel or adjust your interests? When Mike Tomlin’s garb is a political advertisement (every game) for views I abhor, I lose interest in the team he represents.

The real irony in all this orchestrated, nihilistic division is the fact that the number of people with obnoxious racial animus said to characterize the entire country - is actuall vey small. And most of the racial/ethnic hatred is ON THE LEFT!. Another hate fact.



This is from a very readable substack article (source) called “The Jones Act: Consequences of a Destructive Industrial Policy”.

Spoiler alert - US shipbuilding volume has been at these depressingly low figures for decades.


Goodness gracious! There was a report a while back that China had 200 times the shipbuilding capacity of the US. But in 2022, it looks like that had climbed to over 350 times! Just what Our Betters need to have in the way of industrial capacity to launch a war on the far side of the Pacific in Taiwan.

There is something really out of kilter when high-wage regulated Europe has 60 times the US shipbuilding capacity, and high-wage little Japan has over 100 times the capacity.

The “Arsenal of Democracy” is no more – and yet this is not even a topic of discussion in the US.


These numbers mean nothing!! America was, is and always will be the best and most powerful country on Earth because, well, because we’re America! Duh! I’ve been told that China is to America in 2024 what the former Soviet Union was to America back in the late 80’s and early 90’s (or if you prefer, what Japan was to America back in the late 70’s early 80’s), so we have nothing to worry about. China will inevitably fail and America will inevitably emerge victorious because America and America alone has found the ultimate formula for everlasting success and prosperity!


Nothing indicates that without the Jones Act the numbers would be any better. China, Korea, Japan and the EU all presumably have protectionist measures.


Hahaha…these poor, dumb countries…if they only knew what “we” knew…you know, “free markets”, capitalism and all that.


Some time ago, I saw a presentation comparing the (highly diminished) US role in shipbuilding with the (still active) US role in building offshore oil drilling platforms.

Part of the story was that the US was competitive in building the “topsides”, the highly complex processing equipment which is usually built onshore, then floated out on a special vessel to be placed as a unit on top of a “platform” of some kind. That platform is a very large amount of relatively simple heavy steel, which is manufactured in someplace with a good steel industry like Finland (!) or South Korea, and then floated half-way around the world to be mated to the topsides.

The bottom line of the presentation was that the US could still be competitive in the world of offshore platforms, but was totally uncompetitive in the world of shipbuilding because of over-regulation and government-domination.

Of course, by this point, the necessary manufacturing skills have been lost all the way along the chain – the skills & facilities to make steel competitively, to fashion steel into useful objects, even the skills to crew the ships. It will take a long time and a huge effort to claw our way back out of the hole that politicians & lawyers have dug. Maybe that’s why they want to have a war instead!


It has occurred to me many times that the reason they have never acted to harden the electrical grid agains either manmade or solar ejection EMP, is the fact that following such an event they know there will not be enough voters left to matter.


Or that, as in , IDK, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, there’ll be enough shocked outrage that even more repressive measures will be passed in the populace’s blind emotion.


The Milwaukee, Chicago & St Paul railroad company’s expansion from Mobridge, SD to Puget Sound was called the Pacific Expansion. Known as the Milwaukee Road, it connected Chicago to Seattle and Tacoma Washington.

This 1,400 mile expansion with 52 tunnels required to cross five mountain ranges (Belts, Bitterroots, Cascades, Rockies, and Saddles) was surveyed in 1901 and began construction in 1906. It took three years to complete and cost $60 million. Approximately 2 billion in Biden Bucks. It was not built on land provided by the government so the cost included the purchase of right of way.

Unlike the first transcontinental rail which was thrown down in a hurry and then fixed later, this rail included some impressive construction. The attached video is mainly focused on the Washington portion, but illustrates the impressive bridge and tunnel construction.

This is the summary I get on from Brave browser’s AI with regard to the high speed rail project from LA to San Francisco:

The California High-Speed Rail (CHSR) project is a planned high-speed rail system that will connect Los Angeles and San Francisco in the state of California, United States. The project has been under development since 2008, and its estimated cost has increased significantly over the years.

According to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the estimated cost of the project has risen to between $88 billion and $128 billion. This is a significant increase from the initial estimate of $33 billion in 2008.

The CHSR project is currently under construction, with the initial operating segment (IOS) expected to be completed in 2030. The project is expected to be fully operational by 2040.

Every time I read about a 19th or early 20th century engineering project of great magnitude, I always get the same result.

Besides being completed much faster than anything can be completed today, the inflation adjusted cost is remarkable low. Orders of magnitude lower. I asked ChatGPT the total cost of just the steel rails.

According to ChatGPT the current proposed track will be 800 miles long and:

For a large-scale high-speed rail project like California’s, which involves hundreds of miles of track, the total cost of steel rails alone could amount to several billion dollars.

I asked ChatGPT what was the median wage in 1906:

In 1906, the median wage in the United States varied depending on the occupation, industry, and region. However, to provide a rough estimate, historical data suggests that the median annual wage for a typical worker in the United States during that time period was approximately $400 to $500. Keep in mind that this figure is an approximation and may not accurately reflect the wages of all workers, as incomes varied widely across different sectors and geographic areas. Additionally, it’s essential to consider factors such as inflation and purchasing power when comparing historical wage data to contemporary figures.

Using the same Biden Buck inflation adjustment, $500 is around 16,600.

Something went wrong, even China cannot build these types of engineering projects at the inflation adjusted cost.

A large stretch of the Pacific expansion was abandoned circa 1980. This video takes a look at this the Washington portion of the abandoned track. It may not be worth people’s time to watch this full video unless you like railroad tunnels, bridges and scenery, but if you watch you will notice that the bridges and tunnels are impressive and although abandoned for 40 years are still standing. The same bridge design are still used on maintained portions of railway which are a testament to the quality of design and construction.

I couldn’t help but think of John’s description of the US as a railroad era empire and of this abandoned rail system looking like the ruins of the Roman empire.


I wonder how many miles they have completed in 16 years.

With the initial operating segment opening planned for 2030, one has to think that for that to be true, many miles of track would have already been completed 16 years into the project, no?

The Brave AI engine reports

According to the latest updates, the project has achieved the following milestones:

Utility relocation is complete or in progress at 71% in 2022, with a projected completion rate of 83% in 2023. Structures are complete or in progress at 74% for 2022, with a projected completion rate of 86% in 2023. Miles of guideway are complete or in progress at 74% in 2022, with a projected completion rate of 81% in 2023. Overall, the contract is at 66% in 2022, with a projected completion rate of 72% in 2023.

Additionally, the project has seen a record number of workers on site, with 1,612 workers dispatched to job sites daily in November 2023. The project has also completed or opened 10 structures to traffic this year.

However, the progress report (source) summary paints a realistic picture of slow progress.

  • 96% of the right of way needed to complete the 119 miles of construction currently underway has been secured. This indicates significant progress in the preparation and clearance for construction but does not confirm the exact miles built.
  • Environmental clearance has been achieved for 422 miles of the 500-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim Phase 1 segment, which is part of the preparation for construction rather than the actual completion of the built miles.