Regression...What's That?
Turkey Pastrami? Better Get Used to It
In the America Politicians Won't Mention
by Dan Ehrlich

The other day at my local market I asked for a half pound of lean pastrami. But, I could see the attendant grabbing a piece of turkey pastrami and was ready to slice it when I said “Wait a second, I want real beef pastrami" which was the only pastrami you could buy for more years than I can recall.” And for a few cents more in cost, that’s what I eventually bought.

What my experience seeking beef  pastrami and the current anti Wall Street protesters have in common is both having to deal with the decline of America which I call our Regression. It’s something as a nation we have never experienced. That may because nations in decline experience it only once.

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 this time on the cheap.

America, with the biggest rich-poor gap in the developed world, has a colossal challenge of keeping the population well fed. And, no matter how our economy does, our workforce probably won’t realize the high wages of better days. For example new figures show a living standard drop twice as much today as it was during the last recession, which allegedly began in 2008 and ended last year…but don’t hold me to that.

The current anti Wall Street protests are nothing compared to the anarchy that could result if hunger in America reaches a tipping point…something that won’t happen as long as we can make cheap food for the masses. Cheap food that will be promoted as a healthier alternative. Currently turkey burgers are being promoted on televison as a healthier and cheaper alternative to beef.

This and the economic downturn has forced US cattle ranchers to sell beef on the hoof in foreign countries, such as China and Japan. where beef prices are very high.
Cheapening of America Underway for Years
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. The all American pork hot dog is history at many markets, replaced by chicken and turkey dogs…Of course, if you have money to spend you can buy the more expensive all beef dogs.

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 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.

As our rich poor gap increases, the dietary gap will follow suit, with the masses dining on Soylent Green while the elite eat fillet steak and Hebrew National all beef hot dogs.
World Divided into Producer and Consumer Zones
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.

President 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 our own slow impoverishment.

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 is We Can't Compete with Slave Wage Nations
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.

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 programs 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.

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