How The West Was Lost: Our Children’s America
Many Americans are still wondering, what really happened to the United States, the land of opportunity; land of the free, home of the brave? How did we sink so deep into debt, after being left with a supposed budgetary surplus after Clinton left office? Why are we seeing this great divide between the haves and have-nots continue to widen? I’ve made the same inquiries to myself. This isn’t so much as a black and white thing anymore. Though this element is still very much present in our society, it is more about the separation of classes today – the elimination of a true middle class, leaving only the poor and the rich. I was never been much into Economics, Politics, or History when I was younger, but this issue has effected so many people close to me, including myself and our children’s future, that I was forced to take a closer notice.
I have discovered that the answer to all of these questions is not as complex as it may seem; it is actually very simple – Multinational Corporations. The invention of the Multinational Corporation, giving a nation the latitude to set up shop on foreign soil, and employ resident workers there, while also enjoying the tax benefits given to an American corporation. As it pertains to America, it would give her corporations, literally, the best of both worlds. This design would come as a huge attraction and incentive to financially inferior nations abroad, of course. This all began with the great agricultural and industrial expansions coming out of Western Europe, Japan and the United States, the hotbeds for global expansion in the early 1900s. In the beginning, the idea was that as corporations branched out across these countries and opened up hundreds of manufacturing facilities, thousands of jobs would be created and the lives of millions of hard-working Americans would be elevated as a result of this expansion. It worked, and this was the sweet nectar that people from around the globe ran to taste a drop of; it was unprecedented and revolutionary at the time. This was the New Capitalism. The only problem with Capitalism is that it isn’t self-sufficient over the long-term. Its appetite for expansion is never quenched, and it actually breeds greed. In the world of manufacturing that we had created, material resources are had become key to its survival. So the races began! As technology began to emerge and blend into our manufacturing-laden culture, American-based corporations would be forced to seek out resources on foreign soil for its continuing expansion. This is ONE of the reasons for many of the wars, global conflicts, and foreign government overthrows we have witnessed the United States government instigate over the past two centuries. The shift was happening – American Corporations were now moving into the position of exceeding governmental power; they were now calling the shots for the American government.
Over time, Wall Street and its investors grew more and more greedy for profits, demanding CEO’s to grow, grow, grow their bottom lines at all costs so that their personal fortunes could grow in accordance. Business 101: One way to ensure an increase in corporate and shareholder profits is to find a way to produce the same of similar product or service at a lower cost. Corporations are constantly looking to reduce the Costs of Goods Sold line in the P&L Statements, in order to increase profits – this is a fundamental aspect of business in a Capitalistic system. Labor and Employee Benefits (health, dental, vision, pension plans, etc) are two of the most significant expenses for any corporation. With a reduction in these costs, an increase in profits could be realized. So naturally the thought turned to, how can we cut the costs associated with the production of our products and/or services, and increase profit levels? Basically, how can we pay less money for the same job? This turned their attention to the foreign shores of third world countries who leapt at the opportunity to have a stake in the great Western dream; to have a chance at earning $20 American dollars/month for their families, an amount that an American citizen couldn’t survive on for a single day. But in those struggling countries, this minuscule amount could elevate their lifestyle tremendously. In Bangladesh today, there is an uprising taking place among laborers to increase minimum wage from $36/month to $100/month. In a sense, they are seeking unionization. Can you imagine?? $100/month being paid to employees of a company that earns multi-Billions each year??! So much of the manufacturing work was shipped overseas, simply because it could be done there cheaper. But at what cost to the American people who had built their lives and retirements around this system? One example to note is the now flailing automobile behemoth of Detroit, Michigan, a city whose automobile industry afforded many poor, southern black migrants opportunities to earn a fair wage and support their dreams of freedom in strange land. This blossoming made “MoTown” (aka motor town) the model for automobile manufacturing around the world. American families thrived, and the population would eventually reach over 2 million people. Today, the population of Detroit is around 700,000. The outsourcing of Ford and General Motors to foreign shores alone, has left this city desolate and desperate, and many of its citizens homeless. All because giving fair wages and benefits to its workers meant smaller profits to its shareholders – maybe $20 billion versus $21 billion. -__-
Finally, the problem with Capitalism is that it must be fed by human consumption in order to keep growing. But when the people within the Capitalistic system can no longer afford to consume in order to support the machine that feeds them, mainly because jobs to create the money to do so have been slowly stripped away from them, it has no option except to eventually collapse. In Capitalism, growth is necessary to keep people in work, which in many certain terms means, enslaved. This is where we sit today. Corporations are the entities directly responsible for the economic crises we are faced with today in America, yet they are the ones who received billions in government “Bailout” funding from taxpayers in 2008 as we sat on a bulging $16 Trillion deficit. A deficit created by America’s waging of the senseless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, created from a repetitious message of “terror” that was promulgated by mainstream media. So you can see how twisted this has all become – corporations are now in control of our government. Look at the labels on most of the products we consume today. Who makes most of it? China – so there is no mystery as to why China has moved into the position of Super Power among all nations. Trust me, they won’t make the mistake of shipping all of their jobs back over to the U.S., after being able to witness how we have but dug our own grave by doing the same.
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Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up the world to see one that it could exist in if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, to see themselves as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, and to schedule individual sessions or book him to speak to your youth organization.