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.