Is a Depression and Collapse…
Is a Depression and Collapse of
America in our Offing?
You can bet Barbie’s Butt it is.
The “China Syndrome” Revisited on 9/11/07
By Dusty Schoch, DW Foreign Policy Editor.
God knows, I hope I’m wrong.
My roommate at Lawrenceville (my New Jersey Prep School) is working now for the U.S. Treasury. Before that he was senior partner in the world’s largest law firm, practicing in the area of international currency and tax. He confirms (mostly by failing to deny it) what I already concluded (and wrote in a series of articles under the cap “The China Syndrome”). America’s corporate fat cats have sold America, pocketed the cash and deposited it “off shore”. This world is run by really fat cats: Less than one percent of Americans own over 99 percent of its assets. These fat f-ers are secretly and sometimes not so secretly (e.g. Cheney’s and Halliburton’s open Daddy-war-bucking) pulling all the strings. But the strings have now been pulled so long and so hard the puppets at the end of the string (tax paying American workers) are soon going to be extinct. Their jobs have been exported to China. America as an industrial nation is melting down right before our eyes, and like the un-rodded core of a nuclear reactor, is headed to China.
When the “margin men” took over corporate America in the early 70’s they progressively devised ways to widen profit margins and because of their success, these margin men won positions at the top. They valued profit…above all things—including labor, product quality, the environment and their country.
To understand what happened, you don’t have anything more complex to do than follow Barbie’s butt. In the 60’s when she was born, “Japan” was tattooed on her impossibly high-perched and bulbous butt. The margin men were then closing down nearly all toy manufacturing because it was dollar efficient to export labor to the Far East– to those trying to catch up to the industrialists who had won the war—and had won it through amazingly innovative and energetic EFFORT AND WORK.
Those who didn’t export labor to Japan couldn’t compete…at least it was difficult. I personally refused. I built and ran a manufacturing plant on Cross St. in HP for a decade when ours was the only company in the U.S. making Snoopy toys locally. (My design, BTW, out-sold, dollar-wise any competing motorized Snoopy toy on the market for that entire decade, and all my labor was American—except for the blinking lights that were made only in Taiwan). Back to Barbie- in the 80’s “Indonesia” or “Indo-China” was on her butt; in the 90’s “Taiwan”, and now it’s ubiquitous “China”.
These pre-Enron fat cats were at the same time (60’s) already exporting all the electronic fabrication of TV’s and other electronics we pioneered to the far east; the since varying venues of cheap labor are really irrelevant. The relevant thing is that the fat cats have gradually evolved us from an industrial nation to a nation of indolent greedy consumers, spoiled fast-food and TV addicts. The work ethic is dead in this country. The profit ethic and consumption addiction are pandemic.
Every other ad on tv is an infomercial showing our Donald Trump wannabees how they can make millions without getting up from their home-based PC’s. Some of the schemes (e.g., flipping “no down payment” houses) work for a while until over-doing it inflates the economic bubble and it pops.
The original “margin men” are now the retiring generation and their successors are even more narcissistic and nihilistic than their predecessors. The original margin men competed with each other in predatory fashion but maintained some semblance of ethicality…e.g. some marginal caring for the quality of the product, and some mild concern for the health (viability) of the planet. These new, X-Gen margin men are completely soulless. Few exceptions.
They’ve learned how to siphon dollars out of ever imaginable twist in the stream of marketing goods and services. They have eliminated completely humanity in the service divisions of industry. When your refrigerator fails to work in the first 30 days, you’ll call your local retailer and a phone robot will satellite relay your call to a guy in New Delhi who gets paid 30 dollars a month to misinform you about what’s wrong with your refrigerator until you’re forced to call a repairman and forget the factory warranty.
When your kidneys fail to work, a similar (but decidedly more serious) travesty occurs when you try to navigate the maze of your insurance-company’s cannibalistic healthcare charade in search of medical care. In this case, we—and our survival– are the items being marginalized. Ditto for the government agencies we created to protect ourselves from the ravages of laissez-faire industrial providers of food and consumer goods. They now own and control our FDA and FEMA watch towers, as a result of which we are eating foods our government has labeled GRAS (“generally regarded as safe”) which are clearly toxic (e.g. MSG, Aspartame and transfats) and relying on government-inspected dykes and bridges that are crumbling beneath us. I shudder when I watch the reactions of people when some processed food company boasts of having “reduced” the amount of transfat they’re frying our chips in (in order to afford them bomb-shelter shelf life). Few even get the irony: It’s the same thing as if Nabisco openly announced that they are putting less arsenic in Oreo’s. But the crowning iniquity is the FDA’s allowing those same companies to sell processed foods with fats and flavorings known to sicken and kill human beings. There was a time (e.g. under Truman who coined the phrase) where the buck actually stopped. Now the buck stops literally for no man; it juggernaut rolls over us all…today mainly on the way to China.
As recession becomes undeniable and depression is seen to be inevitable, government-controlled media are parroting neo-con corporate propaganda about our unemployment being the lowest in decades…whereas in point of facts a 7-th grade economics student can read and understand, the subterfuge leaves out the “minor detail” that 30 percent of our national work force are former $17/hr (or better) workers now waiting on tables or flipping burgers at minimum wage (which is poverty).
But these Titanic fat cats will not go down with our sinking ship of state. They were the first ones in fact to jump ship. Yeah, they still have houses in Maine and on the Coasts of Florida and California, but their wealth is off shore and their new safe harbor of business operations is in Dubai. That’s where the fat cats of America and the rest of the industrial world meet and collaborate in ways not to … compete. That’s the place where bedfellows are never considered “strange”…where the Houses of Bush and Saud are…one—where the sheiks of America and Arabie don’t even pretend to be patriots and admit to one another that there is only one god….the almighty dollar. This is the place where the fat cats, for apt example, conceived the plan to place the security of our nation’s harbors in the safe keeping of….Arabs.
This fat-cat “dollar club” is in fact the thing to “blame” for our spiraling down as a nation and culture. This “dollar club” has diligently and successfully managed to preserve and revitalize the institution of slavery which made our country an industrial powerhouse in the first place. But back then (in colonial America) there was an excuse. We were all pioneers and refugees from political and religious oppression. We were less enlightened as a culture and our African slaves and indentured servants were born of an institution which was “kosher” in our then agreed code of ethics (The Bible—Old and New Testaments).
We no longer have any excuse for transplanting our institution of slavery from our own now defunct sweat shops in the north and south to the north and south of China, Indonesia or any other country stamped on Barbie’s bodacious butt. The new so-called “globalization” is a success only in one regard…It successfully allowed the fat cat bullies of the world to remain successful and powerful by the employment of foreign and imported (e.g. Mexican) slave labor. Our former slaves had achieved, through labor unions and responsible governmental wage regulation, a modicum of freedom from the oppression of the rich and powerful. But, with the rise of NAFTA, the new China Syndrome, and our own ignorant reinforcement of those institutions through reckless consumer and cheap-labor addiction, we of the laboring class have become complicit with the fat cats in a morally and economically dysfunctional co-dependency that has gained such momentum at this time that it appears our only salvation will come in the form of a complete meltdown of the present economic structure .
Yes, I’m talking (and predicting) major depression. A cleaning of the slate, where out of necessity things are forced to change.
Things certainly won’t change by a changing of the legislative guard in D.C. in ’08. Fat cats at the top will call the shots with political puppets on both side of the aisles so long as corporate millions are allowed (and required) to achieve elective office.
The principal shame in the matter is that when the structure finally collapses, it will again be the poor pioneers and laborers who pick up the pieces and start over again…hopefully with a more egalitarian formulation for the
accumulation and sharing of the wealth the nation collectively creates. The fat cats will be able to watch the process of America’s economic and cultural demise from their new digs in Dubai. The wealth of today’s mega-wealthy is immune from collapse. Big money is “multinational” money. The House of Bush will never fall because it is wed to the House of Saud. Our X-Gen margin men who have exported their manufacturing divisions to China now have stock in China trade; their assets are “multinational”. Their power is “global”. Their security is global.
It’s you and I—we working class chumps who bought into the American Dream as it was covertly being transmogrified by the margin men into a global oligarchic nightmare—who will remain here on native turf, and who will (I hope and pray) E-Pluribus Unum band together bravely one more time…and hopefully in time…to Phoenix fly this rattletrap remnant of the American Eagle back into shape to soar once again into our ominously-warming sunset.