The core challenge for this country regarding China's increasing economic power is not a tariff war. We will lose that fight for one simple reason: China knows what to do with its money. To compete with China's accelerating economy, the United States desperately needs to rebuild its infrastructure, fix its educational system, spend money on basic scientific research, and solve the political dysfunction that has made the U.S. model so much less appealing around the world.

China is building a railroad that touches 68 nations with 49 different routes to transport merchandise to the Middle East and Europe. It is also pouring money into its immediate infrastructure. It already has a train that travels 300 miles per hour between Beijing and China's coastline as smooth as the flight of an airplane. And their technical achievements and advances in communication are acknowledged internationally.

Our infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. That repair wold create a million jobs. Acknowledging the existence of global warming and climate changes would also involve changes in coastline areas that would create jobs. And recent tests by the Program for International Student Assessment — that measure reading ability, math and science literacy, and other key skills in dozens of developed and developing countries — indicate tat U.S. students rank around the middle of the pack. This situation needs to be changed if we're to compete with countries like China.

A.J. Marshall, Tehachapi