In the midst of America’s great economic crisis, factions from every point in the political spectrum have raised issues as causes for America’s demise. Yet most of America’s problems, when examined in the light of day, are simply symptoms of our greater issues or even just political noise, offering no real hope in deducing the core of our dilemma. America will ultimately begin a path toward our thriving future. Yet, to do so, we must first clarify the true essence of our core problems before we can agree on viable solutions.
To that end, let’s peel back the political onion to examine what some say are our core issues, and then continue to peel until we briefly reach and peer into the collective complexity of our true core. Fret not however. An onion can make one cry because of its many stinky layers, but America’s solution knives, even those identified within these bindings, can cut through all of them.
Over the past three decades, we Americans spent our way to a debt mountain and a housing bubble that will take years to correct. Factions such as the Tea Party have risen up to chastise our government and to slow its ballooning debt even as record Federal deficits are predicted to continue for at least the next decade. Theirs is a worthy cause for what seems a politically irresolvable dilemma. But even if America comes together to solve our debt issues, reducing our debt will only remove a symptom of our nation’s core problem.
If we are to reduce America’s debt without defaulting on our worldwide financial obligations, we must once again employ all able Americans in productive, well paying jobs. Yet in the midst of our bursting housing bubble, we discovered that for three decades America had also created a false employment bubble, which burst as our economy faltered. As a result of our jobs deficit, America is now in danger of lingering in a severely dampened economy for many years to come, certainly another critical symptom.
America has fallen into a monetary contraction resulting from a combination of our housing debt overhang, our poor credit and a lack of jobs. A viable turnaround solution to this monetary implosion should be immediately implemented to begin America’s journey toward our thriving path, and Congress and the President must support it. Yet, while our slowly eroding jobs base, diminished credit and housing debt overhang must be simultaneously corrected if we are to have any hope of more than a token recovery, our monetary implosion, however frightening, is still at the edge of America’s core problem.
Faced with such dismal prospects for debt reduction and job creation, America is now forced to choose between two competing constituencies. Our very concept of freedom almost demands that we support free enterprise, for it has helped America’s multinational corporations compete in the world’s rapidly transforming marketplace. Yet, the immense worldwide scale of free enterprise is now tearing apart our middle class, assaulting the American worker, and we seem powerless to even slow its destructive path. This choice between competing alternatives of either 1) supporting American businesses in their quest to rise above world competition or of 2) supporting the American worker, who is being diminished by those same corporations’ conquests, begins to converge toward the core of America’s problems. Over the past thirty years, emerging nations have conducted mercantilist attacks on America’s gross national product. Yet, our government has resisted creating the economic weapons required to defend our nation against modern hybrids of global competition.
America is already thirty years behind the curve of economic revolution. We are seemingly only observers to a world in which free enterprise is a both a bulwark of defense used by nations against those that would employ mercantilist offenses against them, and also an offensive siege weapon used by emerging corporate-states to destroy the classical defenses of nations that would attempt to resist their growing invasive economic powers.
During these thirty “standstill” years of observing the world’s economic revolution, America’s baby boomer generation rose to positions of power in business and government. In the comfort of our former world prestige, our baby boomers enjoyed the luxury of basking in decades of societal actualization. We focused our attention on America’s internal problems at the expense of creating a competitive manufacturing base. Our political struggles over competing societal goals of social justice and military superiority blinded us to our emerging jobs crisis. Yet, the hungry world fiercely competed for and took from us our very own consumers and employers.
America’s consumers naively embraced the world’s competition for our dollar. We enjoyed the low priced fruits of a desperate world’s labor, not understanding the impact that our purchases would have in the destruction of American jobs, the explosion of our debt, and the diminishment of future opportunities for America’s growth. For awhile, the savings we enjoyed from globalization offset our slowly diminishing purchasing power. Yet, over three decades, our purchases raised the world’s productivity, brought an onslaught of global competition to our shores, and ultimately replaced the American worker with an army of overseas laborers.
Eastern nations adopted hybrid economies of neo-mercantilism to rise above the fray of neo-colonialism and to position Asia for a century of prosperity. Unchecked by any natural defenses against them, neo-mercantilist nations joined forces with international banks and emerging corporate giants to concentrate the world’s economic power for China’s 21st century rise toward hegemony. In the process of this world economic shift, America’s future competitors, the corporate-states, were born.
Fierce, global competition required American businesses to employ all manners of competitive measures including intercontinental scale efficiencies. As the world would soon come to realize, the international skills multinational corporations learned to survive included those necessary to pit nations against each other and to overcome the regulatory frameworks nations imposed in vain attempts to restrict corporations’ intrusions into domestic markets.
In the process, these commercial behemoths of corporatism trampled on America’s two hundred year foundation of classical free enterprise. Within the context of our government’s regulatory framework for fair competition, America’s version of free enterprise envisioned all nations playing by our rules of engagement. In the past thirty years of economic revolution, America instead became Redcoats in the global economic war. Our structured business legal system was a bright red target easily slaughtered by guerrilla warfare of nations and corporate-states intent on pillaging America’s capital and intellectual property.
As defined by our anti-trust laws, America’s isolationist views of perfect competition required that our industries limit any one competitor’s size to well under what could be called a monopoly within our borders. Our legislated size limits were smaller than the mega-factory direct foreign investments required to compete globally. As a result, even if not the root cause of business flight, America nonetheless needlessly influenced American businesses offshore in their bid for massive customer markets such as India’s and China’s.
Some of American corporations’ resulting worldwide operations have grown into virtual states. In their unquenched quest for profit, they have created international offensive siege weapons to easily circumvent the purposes of such antiquated American concepts contained within the Sherman Antitrust Act. Many of our historically American-centric enterprises have since blurred their connections with America. Consequently, the Sherman Act has become increasingly challenged by free market advocates as an albatross of regulation. Alternately, it has been condemned by those charged with protecting the rights of consumers and domestic small businesses in America as a weak, antiquated tool of defense.
Globalization has brought competing American interests to the brink yet we dare not allow political dysfunction to keep America on the sideline of global competition any longer. We somehow must now collaborate to support America’s multinational industries’ quests while simultaneously protecting our own competitive domestic market. We must provide a pro-business environment that places America’s businesses on par with those of other countries while stopping international corporations from employing siege weapons of free enterprise against our citizens. We must provide competitive yields for capital in America to ensure America’s posterity by reversing the tide of capital outflows from our country. And we must ensure that our loose federation of American businesses can compete globally against neo-mercantilist countries. America must define the post neo-mercantilist era.
We will soon be living in a land full of global corporate giants that employ modern offensive economic weapons to consume nations. Yet unlike the neo-mercantilist countries that have attempted to create hybrid, state run industries immersed in private capitalism to compete with these futuristic monstrosities, America has not yet even begun to create its weaponry against neo-mercantilists such as China, and certainly has no viable plans against emerging corporate-states.
As America faces the prospects of diminished power in this 21st century economic revolution, we must adapt to the corporate power realities that all nations will face. Our future thriving path strategies will inevitably merge the goals of our giant, American born, corporate-states with those of our nation and its citizens. Yet our government must go beyond such surface strategies to create America’s post neo-mercantilist framework to harness the power of corporate-states for the betterment of our citizens and for all nations.
If we are to create a thriving outcome from the 21st century economic revolution for all on our finite planet, America must seek out the core of our problems and create a model for other nations to follow. Our thriving path forward begins here.