Globalization has a very clear historical track record at least here in the West. What is human slavery but an economic alternative to having to pay one's fellow citizens a living wage? One can just "requisition" labor from the "dark continent" and use them on your sugar plantations without having to pay benefits or for that matter salary. Just a little room and board. And no unions either! Just imagine how much profits were improved for the shareholders. It was a good system until a bunch of do-gooders got involved and ruined everything, making business pay good hard money to the workers.
Globalization serves a similar purpose: increase profits through lowering costs of labor by sending the work to a part of the world where labor laws do not exist. And if it has a result of impoverishing Americans, well who cares? They are not shareholders and the poor have no impact on the political process, as we all know so well.
Why does our government believe that they can put that many Americans out of work and not do something to help them find new work? If these workers need to be retrained for another job, they are not likely to be able to afford it. The money they would have spent in the local economy, all that money that is being sent overseas, is now not spent in the local, American economy, causing other business to go out and release even more workers. And the improved profits go to the top 1 percent who already had enough money, so the average American sees none of this. The corporations and the rich do not even pay their fair share of taxes, putting even more burden on the middle and lower classes. How can our government think for even one second that this is fair?
Of course the profits that remain do not just go to the 1 percent, some of that is shared with the politicians that enabled these activities with legislation that impoverished so many of their constituents. Payment for services received, as it were.
So now Americans are finally waking up to what has been done to them. It is reasonable to ask when does unintended consequences become merely the 800 pound chicken that comes home to roost? When is it merely the greed and stupidity of our business and political elite at the expense of any responsibility to long term consequences? Long term consequences? What long term consequences, you may ask.
Here is one. Even the most shallow observer of recent history is aware that when the United States won World War 2, it was in large part because they had the manufacturing power to win it. Now that we have destroyed our manufacturing in order to increase the profits of the rich, it makes it unlikely that we will be able to win another World War, should one happen. Do I believe that the United States has a strategic economic plan to see that this does not happen? Thats a joke, right?
Here is another. A generation of young and old Americans who can not achieve financial security or their goals in life because they and their families were impoverished by this economic policy. When will Washington get it through their heads that enriching the 1 percent is not the same as providing economic security to Americans?
Can anything be done about this? Isn't it all just water under the bridge by now? The answer to that is no, not even a little bit. Yes, 20 years of people's lives have been destroyed but there is a lot that our elected officials can do to improve the situation and return some wealth to the other 99 or so percent that they have "inconvenienced".
This will be the topic of part two of this post.