Sorry folks, but I can't blame the Chinese. The real problem is right here in the USA. The fight against Communism aka Socialism continues and there is no doubt that we have a socialist as a leader. We are dying from within.
This kind of nonsense isn't helpful. The problem in the US is that the top 1% have taken all the gains in productivity and efficiency over the last several decades for themselves while sharing less with the labor that produces those profits. The great thing about America used to be that average working people had a decent standard of living. With myopic greed those at the very top have undermined even that and in addition to pitting union against non-union workers they have also used third-world workers to further divide workers against workers and erode the living wages American workers used to be paid for their labor. Total Net Worth
Top 1% Next 19% Bottom 80%
1983 33.8% 47.5% 18.7%
1989 37.4% 46.2% 16.5%
1992 37.2% 46.6% 16.2%
1995 38.5% 45.4% 16.1%
1998 38.1% 45.3% 16.6%
2001 33.4% 51.0% 15.6%
2004 34.3% 50.3% 15.3%
2007 34.6% 50.5% 15.0%
2010 35.4% 53.5% 11.1%
The top 1% and the big corporations are our modern day tyrants. They employ a small middle class to manage their wealth and keep the lower class at bay. Our military is employed around the globe to protect their assets in the name of 'freedom.' They own the politicians on both sides of the aisle. The similarities between Bush and Obama far outweigh the differences Fox Noise and MSNBC like to trumpet. The illusion of choice keeps everyone divided and there is no end in sight.
They use wedge issues like guns and abortion and whatever else Republicans and Democrats disagree about to keep people off track of the real game at hand which is representing the ECONOMIC interests of the very, very wealthy. Both sides do that together and that is why both parties get obscene amounts of campaign financing from big money and why the Supreme Court pretends that buying our democracy is Constitutionally protected.
If Obama were a socialist he would never have gotten nominated let alone elected as President. Have we gone so far right that our scales are so mis-calibrated that a moderate capitalist who isn't extreme right is called a socialist? One of the reasons so many are on food stamps today is because of the low wages being paid.
Who gets food stamps?
The most recent Department of Agriculture report on the general characteristics of the SNAP program's beneficiaries says that in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010:
••47% of beneficiaries were children under age 18.
••8% were age 60 or older.
••41% lived in a household with earnings from a job -- the so-called "working poor."
••The average household received a monthly benefit of $287.
••36% were white (non-Hispanic), 22% were African American (non-Hispanic) and 10% were Hispanic. [USA Today, 1/18/12, emphasis original]
And at the very same time the politicians and SHOUT Radio hosts cleverly point at the poor as takers, ridiculous tax breaks and corporate welfare programs exist to help banks, oil companies and other fat cats raid the public purse with comparatively little attention.
You can point out it has always been thus across the globe and largely you are right. But this increasing disparity has been getting worse and worse and it is a threat to all of us -- including those at the very top.
No 'ism' -- be it socialism or capitalism -- is the answer. Being aware of the real problem rather than the false ones used to divide us is the first step to coming up with an answer.
The real problem is we focus on and fight over superficial differences instead of figuring our how to ensure advances in productivity and technology raise the quality of life of everyone and not just the few. In other words we let greed, politics and partisan bickering prevent us from having the wisdom to leave a better world for our grandchildren. Albert Einstein's words are as true today as the day he uttered them: “Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries - not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.”
Maybe it is foolhardy to have high expectations for human beings. We are primates after all, and we live more in imagination than anywhere else. Such an incredible ability to imagine what is not actual needs a lot of experience before it naturally selects what has sustainable value. We are still in our infancy as a species, but one hopes we can someday progress past adolescence.