How do you-or a nation-arrive at a point of financial breakdown? Does arrogant entitlement and over-extension beyond one's means resonate with today's news headlines?
On a national level, we experience the severity of living on international credit-now come home to roost. For the past 20 years, our Congress encouraged massive outsourcing, insourcing and offshoring of American jobs. That caused us to lose our manufacturing base and facilities. Thus, today, we tolerate a $700 billion annual trade deficit. We pay China, India and other third world countries to manufacture our goods at lower prices while our middle class languishes with millions of job losses-and cannot continue buying those goods.
Few Americans realize that when you shop at such stores as Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Kohl's, Home Depot and Target, you slit your neighbor's and your own financial throat.
While Congress dismantled our manufacturing and construction base, and millions of necessary jobs, Congress exacerbated our vulnerability by borrowing (selling), unknown to average citizens, $1.3 trillion in Treasury Bills from (to) China to prop up our moribund economy. On a national level, the average credit card runs a $9,240.00 balance (debt) according to NBC's Brian Williams. Total consumer debt exceeds $2 trillion. National debt tops $10.1 trillion! Ahh, the abundance of unsubstantiated bailouts flow from a Monopoly Board checkbook!
Additionally, another $700 billion vanishes from our nation annually with the cost of imported oil. Since the oil crisis of the 1970s, this nation failed to place any kind of a fuel-conservation policy into effect. Despite President Carter's sage warning concerning reducing oil consumption drastically, we ignored him and continued our full-blast consumption habits surpassing California wild fires! After all, Alaska oil fields opened-seemingly refuting limitations! As if to render our insolence acceptable, we continue our myth that another discovery in Alaska, Antarctica or the Gulf of Mexico will dismantle any 'oil crisis hypotheses'.
The day approaches, likely 2010, supported by the Hubbert Curve analysis-when galloping population expansion collides with declining oil extraction.
Similarly, we falsified home values with escalated appraisals cradled in vacuous, lofty ideals. We allowed millions of poor borrowers without down payments or viable financial histories to purchase homes clearly outside their range.
"No problema amigo," Wells Fargo bankers said. "We can work the numbers to make the American Dream yours!"
Surprise! The real estate bubble burst! Millions of foreclosures strangled American citizens and poor migrants who lost jobs while they watched interest rates rise beyond their means.
Can you guess the next bubble to burst? What can we see exploding in our faces? What crisis long denied by our presidents and Congress zeroes-in on our civilization like a stealth missile?
While, according to President Bush, 573,000 manufacturing jobs vanished in November, the United States imported 200,000 job- seeking immigrants from third world countries. It doesn't end there! Our myopic Congress proposes doubling legal immigration to 2.4 million annually and giving amnesty for 20 million plus illegal migrants! Watch for that political torpedo in 2009.
U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) promoted an H-1B bill to add 550,000 foreign workers.