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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/23/09

Where Do We Go When All Hope Is Gone?

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Message David Cox
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Where are the answers to be found when our leaders refuse to seek them? I do not see in Washington either hope nor change. I do not see the answers; I don’t even see any questioning for the answers. The Democrats in Congress whined for two years about all that they would do if only they were in the majority. So, now there they are, and what do we get?

We get lame excuses, futile half measures, and right-wing rhetoric balled up as centrist humanitarianism. Under the Republicans, banks and big business got all their needs promptly attended to. What is different now? What has changed? The wars go on and are expanded as the President calls for government agencies to tighten their belts during the worst economic times in a century. The Pentagon is, of course, exempted. But even worse is the total abdication of care for the American people.

George W. Bush was publicly pilloried over his failure to provide humanitarian relief after Hurricane Katrina. One million people were displaced by the storm and were in need of immediate government assistance. Today, in the worst economic times in over a century, two million more families are expected to lose their homes; three million families lost their homes last year, and the total is rapidly approaching ten million families! Forty million people out in the street and we don’t even get a flyover from Air Force One. We’d paint “help” on our rooftops but we no longer have rooftops. We no longer have jobs; the President's stimulus package was expected to, and this was revised, “to create 'or save' three million jobs in next two years.”

Hello! Earth to Obama, we are losing six hundred thousand jobs a month; your stimulus program was out of date in January. Instead it is marked completed and put in the done basket. The administration forced the chairman of GM to resign and questioned their plans to return to profitability, but just this week GM announced plans to begin importing Chinese-made automobiles and the administration nodded their heads in approval! States with automotive suppliers have been hit especially hard by the movement of more jobs to China and Mexico. This is beneath contempt; this is rubbing salt in our wounds, borrowing money from us so you can buy a gun to kill us.

What was the point of bailing out GM if there is no benefit to we, the people, but only to we, the stockholders? If we are just going to continue to hemorrhage jobs why should we, as a nation, subsidize it? There is a major global disconnect out there. I have heard all the arguments about free trade and the global economy. But the economy is not global. It is the US being screwed globally so that the capitalists can profit from cheap labor. In Germany the docks are full of BMW’s, Mercedes, Volkswagons and Porsches ready for export; Germany is not importing cheap cars from Korea or China. Of course they could be made less expensively in Asia, but the German government is looking out for the German people. Germany exports $1.53 trillion and imports $1.2 trillion in products, but of all that trade her eight largest trading partners all have like economies and wage scales.

Only 6% of Germany’s imports come from China. Japan and Korea didn’t even make the list. In the United States 17% of all imports come from China, followed by Canada 15.7%, Mexico 10.6%, Japan 7.4%, leaving two of our biggest trading partners with third-world wage scales. It’s a good, old-fashioned barnyard screwing for the American worker. With millions unemployed and millions losing their homes the government cares not a whit for their survival or their livelihood. It is as if we don’t exist to them. The elections are over, back to the business of maintaining the rich at the expense of the poor.

The President is expected to make his first Supreme Court nominee, and after eight years of Republican choices it should be refreshing. It should be, but instead the President has hinted that it will be a moderate woman with the emphasis on woman. Gee, how about a good, old-fashioned, liberal woman? The Republicans placed Scalia and Roberts, and Obama is looking for a moderate? What is this, an episode of Hannity and Combs?

The President announced plans to close Guantanamo, well, mainly close it, kind of close it. Yesterday the Democratic majority refused to give the administration the funding needed to close it out of political fear. Spineless jellyfish, afraid of how it might appear in Peoria, they are more concerned with the appearance of good works than in doing good works.

My son bought a car from a woman yesterday; she was twenty-four and a college graduate. She was selling the car because she was going into the military. It was the only job she could find. She had lost her job and moved back in with her parents. So, sadly, her last recourse was to join America's last growth industry, its war machine.

Where do we go when all hope is gone? Do we keep sending in proof of purchase box tops to the government? Hoping against hope that they will look up and take notice of the millions of stray dogs and cats that used to be the American middle class? What is the true purpose of a government? What constitutes a failed state? Would the largest trade deficit in the world qualify? How about a nation with the world’s largest trade deficit that advocates for even more free trade? Would the abdication of concern for its people apply? It would seem to me a government with no concern for its citizens would qualify only as a tyranny.

I had a long talk with my brother-in-law about free trade and he explained that it could not be stopped because it was the way the world operates now. He wasn’t interested that the rest of the world isn’t operating that way, that Germany doesn’t operate that way. Japan doesn’t operate that way; Korea doesn’t operate that way. Only America opens her borders to goods manufactured in the third world in factories owned by American companies to exploit cheap labor and subvert American wage scales.

“Well,” he said, “I don’t know what you can do to stop it. It’s the law.”

I answered, “It's only the law that keeps you safe in your bed at night. You can call the cops if you hear a prowler, but who you gonna call when you hear a million prowlers?”
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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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