How Can Right Wingers Destroy the US Economy? Let Me Count the Ways.
by Rob Kall
The policies, politics, positions and anti-diplomacy of the right wing and its puppet-in-chief are running the US into the ground. Hmm. That's what George W. Bush did with every business he ran. I guess that's why they chose him.
The news just came out; US Trade Gap Explodes to Record in June. In this report, we learn that demand for US goods dropped precipitously, so on an annualized basis, if this rate of imbalance continues, the trade deficit could exceed $600 billion. We have to ask the question why the demand for US goods dropped. It's not like our prices are less competitive, especially since the value of the dollar has dropped over 20% since the right wing took control of the congress, the Whitehouse and the judiciary.
Maybe it's because there are billions of people who hate George W. Bush. Maybe it's because in many nations over 90% of the population hate the US because of the policies instituted by right wingers. Maybe it's because in most of the nations that consider us their friends, like Britain, France, Germany, Canada, more than 50% of the populations detest the leadership of our nation. Maybe all of these people, who are praying that the November elections will eject George W. Bush from office, who are are unable to vote in the elections, are voting in one way that they can-- with the their wallets. They are telling George Bush and his corporate friends to go f*ck themselves.
But destroying our international customer base is just one aspect of the right wing economic destruction team. Their corporatist leanings have sold out the nation's future in a lot of ways. Energy is a good example. It's a fact that in the next 20-50 years, oil is going to become so scarce it will no longer be a viable fuel for automobiles or electricity. The world must, and surely will develop alternative, renewable energy source technologies. The question is, will the US be the developer and owner of those technologies? We see advertisements that BP is working on it. That's British Petroleum.
I was at a wedding recently, talking to someone who'd started a new business, outfitting buildings with solar energy. He said the business was viable because New Jersey had passed legislation supporting this technology. I believe that means making it advantageous for businesses to invest in it. Of course, New Jersey has a democratic governor and house and senate. The right wing led US congress reversed support for solar energy. Then I found out that the solar technology was coming from Spain. That was good news, I told my friend. I have been expecting China, with its huge new need for energy, to be the developer of the next technology. He raised his eyebrows and smiled sardonically. "The Spaniards are getting their technology from China," he added.
But it's not just solar energy. Right wing, corporatist inspired, short-term narrow visioned legislation, taxes, international economic policies and treaties, including our membership in the WTO and NAFTA, are killing our business, our resources and our future. Every day it is looking more and more like China will soon become the world's leading economic power and very likely it's leading scientific and technological power.
When right wingers chant their anti-government slogans, they are opposing education, I mean quality education that produces scientists and strong leaders. If the far right and it's Christian extremists got their way, then public schools would be shut down and all students would receive religious education-- no Darwin, no billions of years old universe since the bible says the universe was created just a bit over 5,000 years ago.
The antigovernment attitude applies to scientific research. Cut the funding of government and you cut funding for research. It is not reasonable or safe to trust corporations. They invest their research in projects that produce short-term results that yield high profits that satisfy their investors. It takes big government investment in long-term, visionary projects to make quantum leaps in science and technology.
Antigovernment attitudes apply to regulations. Corporations actually love regulations that limit or eliminate their liabilities. Look at recent judicial decisions regarding liabilities of pharmaceutical companies, that, because they are "regulated" by the FDA are absolved of responsibility for damage caused by their drugs. But we also need regulations that the corporations don't like. Look at the damage done by hurricane Charley and assume that at least some of it would have been prevented if tougher building and zoning codes had been enacted and enforced.
Antigovernment right wing attitudes apply to tourism. Weakening environmental regulations reduces water quality. You can't eat the fish you catch due to toxic levels of mercury... or soon, it could even be antidepressants. Beaches get shut down because of ecoli blooms, or medical waste-- hypodermic needles, drug containers-- washing up on the shore. Tourists don't visit. Families don't bother going to national parks that become so noisy because a handful of off-roaders successfully lobbied an administrator or legislator.
Antigovernment, pro-megacorporation rules allow corporations to have the same rights as humans. It's called corporate personhood. This is an abominable distortion of the 14th amendment. It allows Walmart to sue for the same rights as you or I. So Walmart can sue a town or city to have the same right as a person applying for a business license. A city that tries to protect a whole downtown full of small businesses may not be able to protect itself from predatory megastores because these stores claim the right of "corporate personhood." Walmart imports an enormous amount of its products from china, ten percent of all the products china exports probably many of those products manufactured in factories that Walmart has partnered with the Chinese. The Chinese use convict labor and pay such low salaries that there is no way US workers can compete. Walmart ends up being anticompetitive. It wipes out the normal healthy competition among businesses that follow rules that keep Americans employed.
The pro-corporate attitude of the right wing is giving megacorporations a free ride, a free pass in so many ways, but two big ones are corporate welfare-- money that doesn't help create new science or technology-- and tax breaks-- so that huge corporations like Walmart, Enron, MCI pay next to no taxes, or even get money back, while they are setting up havens, offices, and operations outside the US to hide their profits and further avoid paying taxes. The US is still the most attractive market in the world. If these companies want to have the privlege of access to the US market, they should be required to pay taxes.
The US is dying for responsible leadership that looks to the future, that looks to the children's future. We don't have that now. We have the most profligate, out of control whorish team of exploiters, with no-one at the helm protecting America. America needs to be rescued. Soon!
Over a year ago, I wrote this article below. It seems to still apply.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is publisher of progressive news and opinion website www.opednews.com and organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached. Over 130 other articles by Rob KallLetters from readers:
I wanted to take issue with two of the points in your op/ed article "How Can Right Wingers Destroy the US Economy? Let Me Count the Ways. ". I should disclose that I am a two year Wal-Mart associate at the home office in the Information Systems Division. My knowledge of this subject is not direct and I am not in the Public Relations department.
You said "probably many of those products manufactured in factories that Walmart has partnered with the Chinese. The Chinese use convict labor and pay such low salaries that there is no way US workers can compete. Walmart ends up being anticompetitive."
You might not be aware that Wal-Mart does routine factory tours and does not accept any of the types of practices that you allege. We do not tolerate any such behavior and when it is detected, we take steps to correct it. If it is not corrected, we terminate our relationship with that company and source our products elsewhere.
You also said that "It wipes out the normal healthy competition among businesses that follow rules that keep Americans employed."
I take issue with this as well. Wal-Mart is nothing more than an agent for the consumer. In the same way that you shop for the gas station for the lowest unleaded, we look for manufacturers that offer products that our shoppers wish to purchase at the lowest possible price.
While it was well written with proper grammar and punctuation, I don't feel that your article represents the topic well. As op/ed pieces typically are, it was one-sided and does not provide references or true facts. I would hope that your future pieces are better researched and better documented.
Bentonville , AR
In the spirit of fairness, I 'll run your comments with this article. But I know that Nike claimed that it had stopped using child labor, and they were caught continuing to use children. I can 't be sure about Walmart and wonder why, if your remarks are true, why Walmart doesn 't use such claims in its marketing.
Regarding the competition issue, you may be correct, but I believe that the bigness which gives Walmart ITS strength is not good for America . I 'm sure that right wingers will disagree with me, since they seem to worship the lowest price over any other non-financial costs, but the money saved at Walmart is paid with far higher costs, in other, more important ways, by America .