We're on our economic knees
To The Editor:
The rise of China surely ranks among the most important developments of the last 100 years. With America still trapped in its fifth year of economic hardship, the Chinese economy is poised to surpass our own before the end of this decade. During the three decades to 2010, China achieved perhaps the most rapid sustained rate of economic development in the history of the human species, with its real economy growing almost 40-fold between 1978 and 2010. In 1978 the American economy was 15 times larger but according to most international estimates, China is not set to surpass America’s total economic output within just another few years. Over the last decade alone, China quadrupled its industrial output, which is now comparable to that of the U.S.
In the crucial sector of automobiles, China raised its production nine fold, from two million cars in 2000 to 18 million in 2010, a figure now greater than the combined totals for America and Japan.
China is now the world’s largest producer and user of electricity, concrete, steel, and many other basic materials, with its iron ore imports surging by a factor of 10 between 2000 and 2011. China now possesses the world’s largest and most advanced network of high-speed rail with the construction of 6,000 miles of track, a total probably now greater than that of all the world’s other nations combined.
Meanwhile, America has no high-speed rail whatsoever with no plans to build one. As China soars into outer space, here in America our own space program has been ended – no more money.
Against the backdrop of remarkable Chinese progress, America mostly presents a very gloomy picture. Over the last 40 years, a large majority of American workers have seen their real income stagnate or decline. The rapid concentration of American wealth continues apace: the richest one percent of America’s population now holds as much net wealth as the bottom 90-95 percent. During our supposed recovery of the last couple of years, 93 percent of the total increase in national income went to the top one percent, with an astonishing 37 percent being captured by just the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent of the population, 15,000 households in a nation of well over 300 million people. If China opened wide its borders to more American movies or financial services, the multimillionaires of Hollywood and Wall Street might grow even richer, but our workers and ordinary Americans would see little or no benefit.
Our elites boast about the greatness of our Constitutional democracy, the wondrous human rights we enjoy, the freedom and rule of law that have long made America a light unto the nations of the world and a spiritual draw for oppressed peoples everywhere. But are these claims actually true? They often stack up very strangely when they appear in the opinion pages of our major newspapers, whose facts tell a very different story. Ours is now the story of a nation, down on its economic knees, pouring its national wealth and the blood of its young men into fruitless and unwinnable foreign wars.
While our present political system of the forked-tongued one percenters continues to prat on and on about our wonderful “freedom and democracy” to the other 99 percent, while picking their pockets, Chine continues to rise while our nation continues to decline.
In the end, we may need an American Caesar who will arise and come forth to clean out the putrid stench of that Washington, D.C. pig sty and then bring to our nation a glorious new Golden Dawn.