The Regression: A new reality
by Dan Ehrlich

For the first time in recorded history the developed world is almost an economic hostage to former subject nations in a symbiotic relationship straight out of science fiction. It’s a reality that holds out the prospect of an unpleasant future or possibly a new beginning for an avaricious and wasteful nation such as America.

The world is now divided into two zones composed of producer nations and consumer nations. The problem for we as consumers is our countries have to create jobs so we can buy goods that fuel the furnaces of the Asian producers. Yes, we are all in bed together and it looks like our political leaders are resigned for a long lie-in.

But, as much money as President Obama has been throwing into the economy, it won’t get to the root of the problem. We don't make too many things for America and the world any more.

Obama and all US presidents since Ronald Reagan have one main thing in common, they’re supply-side monetarists. They cringe at talk of restrictive trade barriers and extol the one-world market, the very thing that has pinned us to the Chinese economy.

And that’s because America has maxed out its credit card. President Bush, largely through his own personal war, had mortgaged the country to a greater extreme than Ronald Reagan did. And Obama has continued this with his massive bailouts. Today, with much of our debt being taken over by foreign countries to keep us afloat, we as a people no longer control our destiny.

A main reason the US economy hasn’t nose-dived even faster than it has is due to the United Arab Emirates and China buying up the US debt. Why? Do they want to own a superpower? Yes, but more important, they want to keep the Gulf oil flowing to China so it can make more junk that can be sold to is in the consumer West.

America is not going into a recession or even a depression. Those are things we had when the horn of plenty was still overflowing and this nation had a bright future. With that gone we have in fact entered a REGRESSION. It can be argued we are gradually going back to our roots as a nation. But in those days Britain was our mortgage lender.

This might seem like good news to some Republicans who have long bemoaned our loss of traditional family values during the so-called “good old days.” But, what they won’t be happy about are the billions that will be lost to Wall Street during the coming decades.

We started with nothing in America except the land and a growing population. We developed a wealthy society that emerged pre-eminent at the end of WW2 as the only major industrial power not largely destroyed. In fact we became so rich, our own industry couldn’t provide us with the amount of quality goods we wanted such as multiple TVs in the house and multiple cars in the garage.

So, to feed our materialistic hunger and enrich the capitalists, we dropped trade barriers and welcomed in foreign goods. Then we began exporting work abroad, first to Japan and now to China and India.

Well, gradually, our happy days are ending. Other nations have also become wealthy or in China’s case, an industrial giant, largely through our patronage and we’re fighting them for trade and natural resources.

The sad fact of life is, we can’t compete against slave wage cultures and yet maintain our economy and obscene consumption rate. We have two choices both resulting in a new austerity for us. We can raise trade barriers and rebuild our industrial base, which will mean higher costs for consumers or we can lower our wage structure so we can compete with dollar-a-day wage nations.

But, the cheapening of America has been going on for years at the same time we have been sold on the super size idea and that artificial foods are often better than real food. Just look at many of the prepared meats and meals in any supermarket and see the crap that’s now being passed off as a healthier alternative to genuine meat we used to get. A basic drink such as orange juice is mainly made from concentrate, meaning we don’t know how much water is actually added. Of course, if you’re not so well off you can buy gallons of orange drink, not juice, but at the same price real juice used to cost.

At major supermarket chains in the US and now in the UK, cheap plain wrap food is becoming more prevalent. As time marches on, more and more of our basic commodities will be adulterated to feed us on the cheap. And you can bet, somewhere in time when the last drop of oil is pumped from the earth, someone will patent air or water as our new power source.

No matter, Americans will have to learn to live on less as our backward slide continues. We may even get to know our families again as we all huddle around our home theater systems and vie to use the family car.

Oh yes, you can bet on the forbidden S-word to become spoken more openly in America. As people downsize and downgrade, socialist programmes will be needed to care for the newly dispossessed who will be battling with Mexican workers for jobs at fast food joints.

This is where nations such as the UK have a big advantage. Any regression there won’t be nearly as severe and will be cushioned by the much maligned, but long established welfare state. On the other hand, Europe's social democracies, in the same bed with the USA, will have to figure out how to pay for these programs.

Eventually when a slimmed down America hits bottom, it will have to decide how it climbs up again, by redeveloping its industries, with taxes on foreign good, as in the post WW2 years or depending on Chinese firms, who in any case may have taken over the country by then, for our resurrection.

No comments:

Post a Comment

comments here: