I have mentioned just a few things that really make me wonder just who our government is working for. I haven't seen anyone indicted for the fraud on Wall Street. Why I wonder? Do you ever wonder why these people who played the market by Vegas rules haven't paid the piper? I know that some say we should have a free market economy, but I don't believe that Ponzi schemes were part and parcel of doing business.
The Business of America Was at One Time Business" Now it Appears to be War
During the last few decades major U.S. corporations have found it to be cheaper to manufacture goods outside of the United States. Since the primary goal of a corporation is to provide a profit to their shareholders, it's not surprising. Much of our industrial base has been moved to China, Japan, India and other nations where the cost of labor is well below that of America. This is one of the primary reasons why we have lost our manufacturing base. We hear of the United States becoming a "service economy".
What is a "service economy" anyway? We seem to be a nation of financial institutions and fast food chains and the ever growing number of "big box" retailers that sell us goods made overseas.
As Harold Meyerson documents in a brilliant piece for The American Prospect, our most admired corporations -- GE, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Intel -- are creating ever more jobs overseas and relatively fewer at home. This has the double benefit of taking advantage of cheap labor abroad and disciplining workers to accept low wages at home. Along with the high unemployment rates have come declining earnings. Meyerson writes:
"In 2001, 32 percent of the income of the firms on Standard & Poor's index of the 500 largest publicly traded U.S. companies came from abroad. By 2008, that figure had grown to 48 percent."
Even formerly stalwart American companies like Caterpillar are moving overseas. Caterpillar, maker of the signature yellow bulldozers and tractors, has invested in three new plants in China in just the last two months to design and manufacture equipment. The decision is based on demand: Asia-Pacific sales soared 38 percent in the first nine months of the year, compared with 16 percent in the U.S. Caterpillar stock rose by 64 percent.
Many American companies no longer consider themselves as American companies. They have become trans-national companies with no loyalty to any particular nation. This trend may pay dividends to shareholders and traders on Wall Street, but for the average American family it is a catastrophe. Our steel industry has been outsourced. Some blame the Unions for this but consider the textile industry in the South that had very poor Union representation; factories there also packed up and moved to where there was cheap labor.
It seems that the only industries that haven't left for cheaper labor have been the defense contractors and manufacturing concerns that need to protect their high tech secrets from foreign governments. We have become a nation whose main product is armaments. The United States is the largest consumer of military weapons and also the largest arms dealer on the planet. Between GE and Westinghouse, we also produce the bulk of the planets nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Our country thrives on war, especially when only 1% of the population bears the brunt of military service, leaving the other 99% to reap the rewards of their sacrifices.
I'm going to let you dwell on the facts that I have presented here. There is much to think about. I'll finish with part two of this open letter to my patriotic conservative countrymen.
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