I was struck by Republican candidate, Jon Huntsman's statement in the last debate, “So I have to say that our biggest problem is right here at home. And you can see it on every street corner. It's called joblessness. It's called lack of opportunity. It's called debt, that has become a national security problem in this country. And it's also called a trust deficit, a Congress that nobody believes in anymore, an executive branch that has no leadership, institutions of power that we no longer believe in. How can we have any effect on foreign policy abroad when we are so weak at home? We have no choice. We've got to get on our feet here domestically.”
A realization that it's all collapsing around us was a pretty bold admission for a Republican.
So how do we do fix this? First, we stop pining for cheaper greens fees, reasonably priced NFL tickets, and free education. It ain't going to happen. Second, we fall back on our strengths: Creativity and the ability to improvise. We educate our people and prepare them for a place in the global competition. We recalibrate our image of ourselves in relation to the rest of the world.
It seems to me that the Occupy movement is the most socio-politically aware and the least “In denial” group extant today. They are ready to and are pushing for a total recalibration — economically, militarily, politically, socially, spiritually.
To find answers to your questions, read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman.” You'll understand the historical reasons for our present situation:
During the 50s & 60s, we were able to maintain our economic superiority by employing: 1) Teams of economic Hitmen to subvert weaker country's economies and control their resources and infrastructures; 2) Jackals or agents provocateurs to overthrow, undermine, or assassinate opponents of our foreign policy; 3) military might as a last resort when neither of the first two methods succeeded.
So, while we enjoyed life on the golf course and cheap educations, it was at the expense of others. Our global economic domination artificially sustained our inexpensive way of life. As we profited, others endured a way of life in economic penury as artificially expensive for them as ours was inexpensive for us.
John Perkins' books detail this very clearly, and how, over time, other countries, and other historical movements, started to realize what was going on. We, here at home, blithely ignored, or failed to inquire about, the mechanisms behind our economic superiority, assuming, it seems, that we were God's chosen and our way of life was owed to us and would always exist. We still believe this, rejecting all the resentment focused on us as jealousy or lack of appreciation for all we've done for the world. We are in denial.
We don't understand that our foreign policy was really a “domestic” policy, a way of inflating our economy and it has fostered a great deal of resentment in the world at large.
It all came to a head on 9/11. Since then, our economy has been in a tailspin, not because we are less productive, less hard-working or less creative, but because the playing field has leveled. We are competing in every sector of every industry throughout the world, and we have floundered because we are in denial. We still see ourselves as we were in 1945 — one continuous long victory parade down Fifth Avenue.
Sad, because national boundaries are almost irrelevant now. Multinational companies don't respect them. Why should they? They don't fit into their business models, which is to price every aspect of design, manufacture, and assembly, every component, every subcontractor on a worldwide basis. It's the only way they can survive.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
Website powered by Foundation