Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why the U.S. is No Longer a Productive Nation

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The decline of the U.S. as a net exporting nation is the inevitable result of the growing, yawning gulf between rich and poor. A nation cannot be productive if it has failed to invest its wealth in the creation of jobs.

It is, at last, 'labor' which creates wealth to begin with. Since Adam Smith wrote 'The Wealth of Nations', every major economist --right or left --has espoused a 'labor theory of value', i.e, 'value' (wealth) is created by labor and is the result of labor. A nation in which wealth is concentrated in the hands of a ruling elite of just 1 percent cannot be productive or efficient. Today --the U.S. is literally owned by China which occupies the No 1 position on the CIA's World Fact Book with the world's largest POSITIVE Current Acct Balance. The U.S. is on the very bottom of that list with the World's largest NEGATIVE Current Account Balance, formerly called the Balance of Trade Deficit.

To make this clear --China makes its living by manufacturing and selling that product to the United States. The U.S., by contrast, is on bottom because U.S. manufacturing of cars, appliances, electronics et al no longer competes. Entire industries have ceased to exist in America. Detroit is a specimen to be studied.

An aside: the right wing recently tried to blame 'Muslims' for the fall of Detroit. Total BS! Muslims had no more to do with the fall of Detroit than did Christians the fall of Rome. The fall of Detroit is the result of stupid/incompetent policies put into effect by Ronald Reagan and his idiot disciple ---George H.W. Bush. It was under Reagan, that the long and depressing decline of America began.

The vast gulf between rich and poor in America is a fairly recent development, a product of the 'robber baron' era. Even so --FDR reversed those trends and the official stats prove it. The Great Depression had been both the result and the symptom of absurd inequities associated with and caused by the era of Robber Barons. It was preceded by three very conservative, very Republican administrations --Coolidge, Harding and Hoover.

An expanding economy, that is, an economy that creates wealth and jobs requires a more egalitarian distribution of wealth. Otherwise --to whom will manufacturers sell? A prosperous middle class is absolutely essential to 1) GDP growth 2) retail sales. An impoverished population will buy increasingly fewer luxury items; an impoverished population will struggle to maintain the very basics --food and shelter.

A nation in which just 1 percent owns more than the remaining 99 percent is an economy on the very brink of collapse. It has happened many times in the past. The best example is Rome. Like the U.S. today, Rome was a teeming city of the very, very poor. Many were refugees from nations that had been conquered by Rome. Like the U.S. today, the currency of Rome --the sesterces --was essentially worthless, a mere 'token' that would admit you to the Gladiator 'games' in the Coliseum.

By impoverishing the U.S. middle class, the GOP capitulated to China which found --in GOP America --a market for its cheap crap. The PRICE of that 'crap' is not found on the label or the check out counter. It is found in the GOP destruction of the American labor movement, American productivity, the American 'standard of living', and, of course, our very futures.

The GOP is NOT a political party. It is a coven of kooky cultists who sold us ALL out to China and the Military-Industrial Complex which orchestrates our LAST REMAINING EXPORTS ---death and destruction.


Anonymous said...

Hey Len...Happy New Year to you, hope it keeps you well. Have taken a political break...Can't take it much more, following the GOP primary is worse then watching all of the many bad 1970's disaster movies in sequence...what an indictment of our current political culture and it's constituencies. Anyhow, we hope the temps drop enough around here to hang around the old pot-belly out on the back deck to burn some dead wood and spin yarns...Talk at you next year!

Ben Mercadante

Len Hart said...

Ben Merc,

Indeed...one needs to take a break, recharge, re-connect with whatever makes life meaningful. Let me say that I am honored that you have chosen to leave so many great posts on this humble blog. I am enriched. And, as it was put to one 'George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life", no man is a failure who has friends"! Look forward to 'seeing' you next year. Cheers! And all my best wishes.

Mauigirl said...

Len, you have hit the nail on the head. It amazes me how the GOP either doesn't see the writing on the wall that is the result of their policies, or else just doesn't care because they only have their eyes on short-term gains for themselves and their cronies. Maybe it's some of both. At any rate, it's bad news for America. Happy 2012 and let's hope the election doesn't give even more power to the GOP...fingers crossed.

Len Hart said...

Mauigirl said...

It amazes me how the GOP either doesn't see the writing on the wall ... or else just doesn't care because they only have their eyes on short-term gains for themselves and their cronies.

I can't prove it, of course, but the evidence strongly suggests that the reality is your 'second' possibility, i.e, they just don't care. Sadly, I suspect that the ruling elite of 1 percent are not in the least bit alarmed by the very real prospect of an utter collapse of the U.S. economy due to THEIR export of the wealth that WE, the people, have created with WORK. They are not alarmed because they have invested their windfalls, their 'ill-gotten' gains OFFSHORE where is had created NO jobs at home, contributed NOTHING to the nation's GDP. It is what economists call a 'contraction' i.e, a depression. Official stats indicate that this has been the result after every GOP tax cut.

Just this morning, I have been re-reading the father of modern economics --Adam Smith. He states the Labor Theory of Value in the very first paragraph of his seminal book: 'The Wealth of Nations'. The rich have always benefited from the labor of others. But --in America --this absurd, upside-down world has reached the point of absurdity if not imminent collapse.

Indeed ---down with the ruling 1 percent. Down with the 'elite class'. Unless this is done, our nation is done for.

MarkH said...

Another great post! Again, this is something we'll never hear from the mainstream media (t.v.).

Thank goodness Al Gore invented the Internet. :-)

Len Hart said...

Thanks, Mark. Good to see ya...: )