We really are living in an era intent on testing whether the laws of economics and “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” actually exist. We’d do well to heed Kevin Williamson, here. The essay’s too cohesive to pluck out a satisfactory quotation, but this gives the sense:
That Chinese industrial contraction is a short-term problem and a long-term problem. The short-term problem is obvious. But the long-term problem is more difficult to see: Sure, if you’re sitting on a bunch of warehouses full of plate glass and the price is at rock-bottom, you’re in trouble. But if your country’s glass factories are organized (labor, machines, transportation, logistics, storage, etc.) to produce x amount of glass each month when the market wants a good deal less than x, what do you do? You can’t just wave a magic wand and turn those glass factories into BMW factories. (And no, Mr. President, you can’t just break the windows.) And, don’t forget, you’ve built roads to connect those superfluous factories to customers who no longer exist, and you’ve built water-lines and electricity connections for them. The malinvestment goes all the way through the economy, distorting public and private sector alike.
Although we can delude ourselves in proportion to our society’s wealth and the government’s willingness to oppress, we can’t pretend economics and common sense don’t exist. Every attempt to do so adds weight on top of the shaky foundation of the prior delusion, and we’re all clinging to the structure at one level or another.