US, Israel
Business Booming in One, Flat in Other
Yet Both Share Similar Economic Issue
by Dan Ehrlich

Cain's Shallow Views Won't Stop American Decline
You’ve got to admire Herman Cain, whether you do or don’t agree with his often simplistic views. To challenge the GOP establishment and rise higher and higher in the polls is no small feat.

That’s mainly because of his outspoken and brash language centered on domestic policies that resonate with millions of voters.

But Cain seems to be making the same mistake that many self made millionaires from humble beginning make…the “if I can make it, anyone can” belief. This was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s mantra.

She, along with her political soul mate President Ronald Reagan, had little sympathy for the unemployed or low wage workers. They viewed them either welfare spongers or simply weren’t trying hard enough to get ahead.

The fact America has the greatest rich-poor gap among western industrial nations is something many captains of industry on America’s listing industrial ship don’t want to address.

Yet here President Obama’s message isn’t that much different from the pizza man…He recently challenged the nation’s African Americans to stop complaining and start moving.

However, for Cain to brand the Wall Street protests as the acts of losers (Again the “if I can make it anyone can” mantra), is both na├»ve and callous given our economic situation.

In the end his 9-9-9 taxation plan, which experts brand as a windfall for the rich and disastrous for the poor, gives Herman Cain away as just another Wall Street loving fat cat with a Reaganesque view of the less well healed. To use the age-old adage: A former slave can make a worse taskmaster.

A good way to view the American dilemma is through a microcosm…a small nation with a similar problem. That nation is Israel, with a population of 7.5 million, 6 million of which are Jews and 1.5 million Arabs.

Now, given the historic academic excellence and business acumen of Jews one might think Israel would truly have become a land of milk and honey. And, on the plus side it has the second highest living standard of any Middle East nation. And its economy is so strong it has a credit rating now a shade ahead of America’s.

But, on the negative side, as with the USA, it has a rich-poor gap almost as great, with many citizens forced to live sub standard existences. Before the current anti Wall Street protests, a half million people protested all over Israel for decent living standards there.

But how could this be? By Cain’s logic, such people are losers. Yet, many demonstrating Israelis were military vets, college grads and most were employed …many of whom have now found themselves being shortchanged on life in their own idealic country during a time of plenty.

If this is happening to Israel in a relatively short time span, it may be easier to understand why American protests will continue to grow now and in the future.

We rose to new heights of affluence and plenty as the post WW2 superpower with an untouched industrial base that grew and grew rather than being blown to hell by the war. We were the main producer nation.

But, while our industry grew our population in 1950 was less than half what it is today…When Israel was formed in 1948 there were less than a million people in the new state, more than seven times fewer than today. However, unlike America, Israel has a very small landmass, which means that land will become expensive when the demand of a growing population increases.

America doesn’t have a land problem…yet. Its main similarity with Israel is in the concentration of wealth. Israel doesn’t have the unemployment problems of the West. People are working. But the cost of living has outstripped wages, meaning many Israelis can’t afford a decent life, while a few fats cats own most of the nation’s prosperity.

In America, many things are dirt cheap, and the country is large enough to afford varying living standards that means if you go looking for it, you should be able to find some affordable place to live.

But, you have to have some level of income to do this. And, as our unemployment rate climbs, fewer and fewer people will be able to afford a living standard that isn’t reinforced by welfare assistance. A main reason for this isn’t just the rapid death of our industrial base, but also the rapid growth of our population.

Where China put the brakes on its population growth with a one-child policy, America is still a two-kid country with 312 million people.. If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million in 2050, from 296 million in 2005.

And 82 percent of the increase will be due to immigrants arriving from 2005 to 2050 and their U.S.-born descendants, according to new projections developed by the Pew Research Center.

Who will employ all these people? What will their living standard be? If we have 9 to 17 percent unemployment rate now with our current population, what will 2050 be like? And, what will housing cost be when land and housing in key areas becomes scarce?

One thing is certain, there will be other Herman Cains around, extolling the view, “If I can make it, you can, too.”

Business Booming in One, Flat in Other
Yet, Both Share Same Economic Problem
by Dan Ehrlich

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