Growing up in the 80's, suburban Massachusetts was a great place for a generation X kid to explore all of the things America could offer. I worked with the same friends I grew up with, doing residential construction and roofing and earning good money while learning valuable skills. I went to Middlesex Community College when the cost was about $350 per semester and when I transferred to the University Of Lowell, the cost was not much more than that. Jobs were plentiful and I never felt that the "American Dream" was out of reach. 8 years enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve as a SeaBee helped pay tuition, and I met the best people in the world through my military service.
The 90's progressed and the economy expanded with massive business spending on technology upgrades to prepare for the Y2K switchover, I was able to explore the world of computers and the internet while making a living using these new technologies. Learning so much, I never felt at any time that the world wasn't destined for the greatest future, with America leading the globe in advancement, freedom and possibility.
I recall so much growth and opportunity that corporate and political heads, from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton pushed for legislation to allow highly-skilled immigrants to come to America to help fill positions at Software and Bio-tech corporations, teaching and researching at Universities. Even to work for Military Defense Contractors under H1B and other programs designed to help American Corporations fill much-needed positions in a growing economy. With the dot-com induced economic cycle contracting rapidly at the beginning of the decade, the Federal Reserve dropped the discount rate to near zero to compensate for the contraction. The result was a continuation of the residential building and real estate boom that started in the 90's, well into the latter part of this decade. Many in both congress and industry alike argued for unfettered migration from south of the border to fill the booming construction, as well as farming and manufacturing jobs that Americans "were not willing to do".
It was great that people from all over the globe could look to Corporate America for opportunity. It is part of what has made America. Everyone needs a job.
The economy came to a screeching halt during the end of 2007. What we must understand as Americans is the following reality: Our economy has fundamentally shifted. The combined trends of outsourcing jobs to super-populated nations such as China, India, Mexico, etc., where labor is limitless and wages are a tiny fraction of what is needed for basic survival here in the USA is decimating the top-end of our middle-class. Allowing anyone willing to cross our southern border to obtain employment in traditional blue-collar manufacturing, construction and trade jobs is decimating the lower end of our middle-class. The net result of the corporate and government sponsored policies contributing to these trends is a pincer attack against the vast majority of us. We are rapidly transforming into a nation of two groups: A lower-class where the reality of every day life is food stamps (40 Million and growing) and chances of gainful employment are slim to none. At the opposite end of this spectrum is the super-wealthy class that own what is left of American industry and finance. And they have no loyalty to the Nation or its' people that made them.
This group is not new (regardless of how they define themselves) but they are growing in power and influence over the political levers of control that have been historically reserved for the body politic in America.
The document that was crafted at the start of our nation was based on the study of many hundreds of years in the governance of people. Our founders understood a few basic truths; too much power in the hands of too few people ends in despotism. Allowing private groups to control the issuance of currency and credit can be disastrous. Freedom has always been the engine of prosperity. Unleashing the well-intentioned human spirit to creatively pursue honest endeavor, unhindered by rule or bureaucracy that favors only a few, is the best way to strengthen a nation and further the development of all human beings.
There has always been a super-wealthy class, and they have always had influence over others. The massive pools of capital that these individuals and corporations have obtained, which was created by the labor and ingenuity of the American people, is being transferred off-shore with the full compliance of our law makers and judiciary. Sounds shocking? They no longer feel answerable to the American people. The American people have lost their ability to fundamentally influence their representatives because the political capital controlling elections has shifted away from the people.
The corporate lobby and the controlled media, now more than ever, are the masters of those who hold public office. Every election, we watch each other get hopelessly sucked into the false choice of only those political representatives that are pre-approved for us. And those provided will inevitably vote for legislation which best serves those that have the most influence over them.
I was even told by a local selectman during the 07 presidential campaign, when stating who I was going to vote for, that it would be a "wasted vote". This is what we have been reduced to? a controlled populace that is steered toward a chosen candidate? One might be thought of as "a lesser of two evils", but who will invariably serve those that erode our only protection; our constitution. Coke vs. Pepsi. Blue vs. Red. One more choice than communist China. But not really, because our bi-partisan system has essentially become a two-headed snake.
While Americans rallied together in defense of their homeland 9 years ago, the creeping dislocation between those that head the largest corporations and industries and the American people that built them expanded. Those who control the highest echelons of power and control in America, and who have so much influence over our government, appear to have an agenda that shows no loyalty to America. You want to see income inequality? Here: http://modeledbehavior.com/2010/07/22/income-inequality-a-deeper-look/
When Halliburton Corporation, one of the most generously rewarded American Defense Contractors moved their corporate headquarters to Dubai, gaining massive tax shields and effectively becoming a foreign corporation, not even the former CEO of Halliburton raised an eyebrow at this transition. And he was our Vice President.
As the devaluation of the USD accelerates downward, there is open talk of a new world reserve currency (http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2010/041310.pdf)
, the ramifications of which require more space than this article will allow, but suffice it to say, Americans lose.
Lose bigger than you could possibly imagine. If the USD was not the world reserve currency, how could the federal government print its way out of debt? It can't. Just like Greece, we would be threatened with bankruptcy and social unrest unless we agreed to "austerity measures". In simple terms, cuts to basic services and "entitlements" (like social security can be called such a thing, after you have worked and put money into it your entire working life). The concern is that we will lose more than just control of our currency to an international body of private financiers when this happens; we will also subjugate the sovereignty and individual protections; the unalienable rights specified in our constitution, to the same foreign, private entity that has worked for so long with this goal.
America, as an experiment in human freedom and individual self-determination is at stake. This is why I will vote for Bill Gunn in November. I would encourage you to do the same. Even with a massive turnover in with our corrupt or compliant representatives, we have a long slog climbing out of this abyss.
Chris from Townsend