- It took generations of hard working, sacrificing
Americans to build our economic system, a system now being dismantled
by small-minded, greedy globalists.
- As Americans witness the flight of their
manufacturing and now white-collar service sector jobs to Asia and
Latin America and other nations with low wages, some are asking, "What
is the real intention of the U.S.-based multinational corporations?"
Perhaps economic globalism represents an attempt to equalize incomes
of the First World and Third World. Yet this policy is impoverishing
American workers and providing highly exploitative, low-paying jobs
elsewhere. This could be discounted as just misguided economic policy
if the policy was not making the highest investment incomes in the
world higher still.
- When the United States shifted from a nation where
most personal wealth came from some form of productive labor to one
derived from the value of stock holdings, short-term thinking and
shallow, self-serving policies took root. At that point the very
nature of the game of capitalism changed for the United States and for
the world. The speculative economy can be reported as doing well,
while the productive economy and its workers' incomes are
marginalized. Hence, we have our current "jobless recovery."
- Today IBM contemplates firing thousands of American
software engineers so that the company can employ thousands of Indian
software engineers. The Indian professionals will work for a fraction
of the salaries currently paid their U.S. counterparts. This is what
commentator Kevin Phillips calls "the race to the bottom." In theory,
minimized wages yield minimized costs which result in maximized
profits. Unfortunately, this also increases unemployment and reduces
the quality of life in the United States.
- Such short-term economic thinking has the potential
to turn the "race to the bottom" into a race to global ruin. Men are
not angels, and appeals to the marketplace or to modernism are only a
thin coating of gloss on the ugly surface of unchallenged greed. When
coal miners went on strike in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt asked
mine workers and mine owners to come to the nation's capital and
negotiate in good faith. Representatives of the mine workers arrived,
while representatives of the mine owners refused, citing a sort of
"divine right of capitalists" as their reason. Roosevelt threatened to
nationalize the mines if the owners continued to refuse to negotiate.
Divine right took a fast turn and the owners sent their men to
Washington and the matter was resolved.
- Even in this age of lightning-fast communication,
there remains such a thing as the national interest. Until globalist
corporate America understands it is the national interest, and not
short-term profits and stock market prices, that represents the
ultimate "bottom line," this erosion of the economic infrastructure of
the United States will continue. More jobs will disappear here and the
gains to our neighbors will be small and temporary. The clock is
ticking off a countdown to the end of the political-economic system
that took so much of America's strength and heart to build. At least
two hundred and fifteen years of innovation and sacrifice is being
downsized to nothing.
- Lawrence McNamee is a History Instructor and writer
in San Antonio, Texas. He is the proud son of a retired American
- Copyright © 2002 Intervention Magazine