It is all just one big thing, you know. The tentacles extend far and wide, but if you follow them long enough and far enough, they will lead you back to that same one big thing. Whether it is the economic crisis in Europe or the unemployment crisis in America, it is all really, just a part of that one big thing.
It is funny, in an ironic sort of way, that whenever mankind fumbles the ball in some unmitigated way that we can always look back over our shoulder and see the looming disaster as obvious. Why any dang fool could see what would happen, if you filled a gas bag up with millions of cubic feet of hydrogen and then attempted to park this behemoth with its skin electrically charged in a thunderstorm by tying it off to a grounded steel pole. A child knows what would happen if you rub your stocking feet on carpet in winter and then touch someone else.
That is our folly and that is a major defining component of our madness, this belief that we know better, and that even though we know better, that we can somehow control fate and that we can do that because… we have a system! Such logic as that keeps the casinos open and prosperous. We call those casino dwellers “suckers” for believing that they can cheat the odds and yet, the same logic is at work all around us.
Take for example the builders of the largest ocean liner ever built. The builders believed that they could cheat fate with watertight doors. The vessel handled poorly in trials and had no navigational aids save for human eyes and yet it plowed full speed through an ice field in the dark of a moonless night. The steel plates on the hull were riveted together, basically, bolted together so that one plate damaged would put pressure on an entire line of plates. So many of us today, now live in cities that we have little conception of what pitch black dark really is. Imagine, a night so dark that you could not see your hand at the end of your arm, then imagine running in that dark night through a forest of hardwood trees at full speed.
There is a grand celebration going on, were you aware of it? Were you invited to it? The People’s Republic of China is celebrating their ten year anniversary of her entrance into the World Trade Organization. Celebrating a fifteen year struggle to overcome the rules of the Free Trade organization, rules which all other nations must follow. They couldn’t have done it by themselves; the big money Capitalist’s saw the Chinese labor market in much the same way a pedophile sees a child.
In ten short years, China has become the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer. Remember now, that China imports only to fuel her exports, importing raw materials to export finished goods. Much in the same way the British Empire once did it and the Americans once did it in that former American Century. In 2001, China exported $510 billion in goods and this year she will export Three Trillion Dollars in products. A six fold increase in only ten years.
You say that we have an unemployment problem in this country? That’s not the problem in China where Industrial workers earn twenty dollars per week and a factory manager earns $20,000 per year. The factory manager answers directly to his boss, the stock holders or a Red Army General. You see, they are all interchangeable, one and the same. In this China, with its two economic systems, the owners of the factories are Red Army Generals or Communist Party officials or both.
Foreign investors wanting to manufacture in China must take on Chinese partner first. They must share their innovations and their manufacturing secrets with their Chinese partner. They are joined at the hip to their Chinese partner but their Chinese Partner is under no such joint obligation. Why would foreign manufactures agree to such insane and blatantly illegal trade rules? It is the lure of a 90 percent cut in manufacturing costs. No different than luring a pedophile with a room full of children, the metaphor is not any different.
The Chinese government faced the problem of a swelling population and a stagnant economy. The problem was two-fold: how to provide for these swelling numbers while keeping the ruling elite in power. On the opposite side of the globe sat the paranoid Richard Nixon with the scheming war criminal Henry Kissinger at his side.
Nixon ruled over the world’s largest manufacturing society, bar none. American manufacturing had supplied the world with every major product innovation. Her middle class citizens lived in splendor, as her labor unions had used the good times to obtain good wages and benefits for her people. Nixon was looking for a way to boost his popularity while trying to undercut the Soviet Union
China’s textile exports now equal 31 percent of the world’s total. Her finished garments and clothing exports equal 37 percent of the world’s total. Chinese auto production will exceed 18 million units versus 13 million for the United States. When officials of General Motors came to Capital Hill with hat in hand asking for a handout and for help in castrating her unions and retirees, Congress first excoriated the executives for flying to Washington in a private corporate jet.
That was for you, that one was for public consumption. What was not discussed was that General Motors is the second largest auto company in China and earns billions of dollars in profits. Not one Congressperson asked, “Why don’t you use your own money?”
Now, if you are General Motors or any American manufacturer, you off-shore your production, but you do it in stages. First, you offshore the least profitable items, then move on to more profitable items. In a recession or a depression like the current one, which we are in now, GM can show their domestic books and the picture looks horrible. American workers must take pay cuts and share a greater burden of health care costs.
As Barrack Obama toured a Chrysler plant in Ohio he took credit for keeping the plant open. Of course, he knew well in advance that the big three automakers had already planned to double automobile production in Mexico by the end of the decade. So as Obama toured the plant he smiled and shook hands with the workers and made a speech congratulating himself for saving these great American jobs, ten days later Chrysler management announced that the plant was scheduled to be closed.
Poor Mexico, for all of her troubles which she suffers as a nation, none is worse than her neighbor to the North. Mexico has been plagued by generations of corrupt government and high unemployment, so the US government was helping her out when it established, along with its Mexican co-conspirators, the Maquiladora program. A program by which products can be brought across the border to Mexico and finished or manufactured and then brought back to the United States duty free. The program was begun in the 1960’s during the Johnson administration when jobs were still plentiful in the United States.
After the passage of the North American Free Trade Act the number of maquiladoras swelled from a few hundred to several thousands. Deregulatory polices of the Mexican government had shattered the domestic economy. Mexican workers by the thousands headed for the maquiladoras seeking the high wages offered, some as high as five dollars an hour. What they found in most cases was grinding poverty in overcrowded city slums. In 2001, when China joined the WTO the number of maquiladoras operating in Mexico dropped by 80 percent.
Suddenly, those high Mexican wages couldn’t be sustained in a global market. The problem has incorrectly been labeled illegal immigration but should be more rightly called an illegal exodus. As much as 10 percent of the Mexican population has immigrated for economic reasons. The media now chimes in about the gang wars in the border regions calling them drug wars.
In Chicago, Illinois in the 1920’s, prohibition combined with high unemployment among returning WW1 veterans created an identical situation on the streets of the windy city. It was as much about economics then as it was booze, and as much about economics now as it is with drugs. These Mexicans lured from the countryside to these factory jobs had the rug pulled out from under them. They can’t go home and they can’t stay where they are without becoming involved in the gang/drug wars. A declining economy demands the gang retain more turf to earn the same amount of money. The only way to do that is to hire more soldiers from the legions of unemployed.
American meat packers advertise local jobs in Mexican newspapers fueling the coyote trade in illegal immigration. Tens of thousands of Mexican and Latin Americans desperate for work come here unaware that they are undercutting the wage scale in this country. It is not the immigrant who should be blamed. They are just pawns being manipulated in this system no differently than you or I; we are all pawns in the same game.
As we fight the good, losing the battle against global warming there is a more urgent and pressing issue. Rising populations and industrial water pollution combined with factory fishing have decimated fishing stocks worldwide. The US Navy and Coast Guard are becoming more involved in fighting illegal fishing in US coastal waters. Recently, a five mile long drift net was found washed up in Texas coastal waters. The illegal fishermen in fear of having their boat impounded cut the line which contained hundreds of fish and sharks. In Alaska, the Coast Guard impounded an Asian fishing boat using drift nets which flew no national flag. These were fishing pirates, looking for the big payout in a diminishing field.
China adds approximately one new coal fired power plant per week to handle the increased demand of her industrial manufacturing. Take three guesses where the Chinese are getting all of that coal? The Chinese government has resumed the study of nuclear power plants while the Japanese are making plans to dismantle the ruined Fukushima plant. 180,000 Japanese still cannot, and in all probability, will never be able to return home, but still the wheel turns.
Globalization has made a wasteland of the Chinese environment. Globalization has brought only poverty and hardship to hundreds of millions of people on all continents of the planet. Globalism is the banner under which the world’s ruling elite, its robber barons, financiers, rapists and plunderers of the planet bring us the new and improved form of Feudalism.
Yet, the last great puzzle piece stands identified, even if ignored, European nations one by one fall into the austerity trap of international financiers. Money Nazis in three piece suits, and they always demand the same terms, no more than 3 percent of debt to GDP; but why? What’s the rush? Why destabilize an economy or society or a group of societies to have debt repaid so quickly?
Foreign investment in China has surged to more than $700 billion while Chinese investments overseas are only $60 billion. It means that China is siphoning off the world’s cash reserves and using them domestically and politically as both a tool and a weapon. China has amassed $3.2 trillion in cash reserves while the US continues to run monthly trade deficits in the $40 billion dollar range. Such a trade policy is unsustainable in the long term. But with court decisions such as “Citizens United” the tools to fight back or do anything about it have already been stripped from our hands.
A weak and stumbling economy bled white of cash reserves, with high unemployment and a rapidly falling standard of living, so what does the Federal Reserve do in response? In its program called, “Quantitative Easing,” they simply print more money and bill the taxpayer for the privilege. I want to point out here that they are printing this money and selling it to member banks at a fraction of its actual cost.
For each million dollars sold to the banks at .25% it means the banks will owe only $2,500 in interest, but the Treasury will print one million dollars in treasury notes which will pay the bearer 3.25 %. Or the bank purchases one million dollars for $2,500 and the taxpayer must pay $32,500 for the honor of subsidizing the big banks. Now you do the math, $700 billion times a $30,000 net loss on each million dollars equals how many billions added to the national debt? Did you remember to carry the bum?
Did you remember to carry the cost of falling home prices? The single greatest theft of property swindle in human history. Did you total up the human costs of broken families and broken lives?
There is only so much money in the world and the returns for the international financiers are three times greater in China than in either Europe or the United States. Given a choice, international banking would rather throttle you and finance China. Do you honestly expect a Capitalist to do the right thing out of patriotism or altruism when faced with the chance to make a quick buck?
Yet, you can see it. Hell, you can see it from outer fucking space! The Chinese government is corrupt, the US government is corrupt and financial institutions are corrupt and so, it becomes only a question of time before a spark comes from the mooring mast or an iceberg appears stealthily and unseen, and then… that’s it.
Then the mother of all melt downs will begin from Wall Street to Main Street.
Bloomberg- “Traders who used to profit from price swings are struggling as record stock market volatility shows no signs of abating. Hedge funds are on track to post their second-worst year on record, with managers such as John Paulson seeing bets undermined by Europe’s two-year sovereign-debt crisis and concerns over the U.S. economic recovery. U.S. mutual funds are headed for their second-weakest year of deposits in two decades, and the top Wall Street banks posted their worst quarter in trading and investment banking since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.”
Pick any issue, anywhere, large or small and it is all related to that one big thing.
David Glenn Cox is a senior staff writer for TLR and an award winning author and musician; he is the author of the novel, The Servants of Pilate.