Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be

Romney Would Accelerate America into the Rearview Mirror

Mitt Romney is a creature of Wall Street.  Mitt Romney is, as I mentioned in my last article, is an Internationalist. Mitt Romney is gasoline on the burning embers of America’s former greatness, not its solution.

According to the April 2012 figures of the World Monetary Fund, from the Reagan years to George W. Bush it was game over: China has already won.

President Obama has been trying to kick start jobs in future technologies and energy, meeting resistance from the old-guard corporates that are no longer American, but world players.  He is playing for Team America with a bunch of free agents considering their options.

If Romney were to sit in the White House, is he going to do what’s right by average Americans? Or will he take care of the 1%, Wall Street and conglomerates who need to succeed in an Asian-dominant new world order?

Willard put the wheels in motion to dismantle America. There is nothing to suggest that he’s had a change of his tiny heart.

First Eagle, a mutual funds company,  sent out this vision of the future authored by Matthew McLennan, their Global Value Team Portfolio Manager, and T. Kimball Brokker, Jr. as part of their annual report to their investors. While its sentiments about the state of the global economy are not unique, it is more clearly written than many such Wall Street reports. It offers a look behind the curtain at what real trends in the economy likely hold in store for average Americans:

“[T]he dark days of 2008 are behind us.

Despite this evidence, however, we believe that we are experiencing what might be described as a collision of macroeconomic tectonic plates. One example of this disequilibrium is the shifting economic relationship between the U.S. and China.

Back in 2000, the United States was the uncontested prime mover in the world economy; it was the dominant source of savings and investment activity in the world, generating approximately $1.8 trillion in gross national savings, or about 25% of global gross savings. At that time China was a distant player generating around $440 billion of gross national savings. [1]

Looking at the same numbers in 2011, the U.S. has essentially spent a lost decade in terms of its competitiveness. Gross national savings in 2011 were $1.9 trillion, virtually identical to where they were in 2000 in dollar terms, but this represents only 12% of global savings. On the other hand, China’s gross national savings in 2011 is estimated at $3.7 trillion, nearly twice that of the United States and up eightfold since 2000.[1]”

So over the last decade, including a good chunk of the Bush years and their aftermath, Republicans and their friends on Wall Street frittered away money. Instead of investing it in companies that make things, and put people to work, they invested in Emperor-Has-No-Clothes “derivatives” and other shell games, not new equipment, new factories, or new jobs.

Meanwhile banks sold mortgages to people losing real employment, dangling pie-in-the-sky property prices as the pathway to prosperity.

China passed us and Europe over that span, and the results will have lasting implications for decades. McLennan & Brokker continue (Emphasis is ours, added to show you key points):

“This reflects what we percieve to be a massive sea change in the competitive structure of the world economy a change which can create enormous social tensions that may drag on for a generation.

From a policy standpoint, there is no silver bullet. The only approach to solving an issue of this nature is realism, reinvention and even, in some cases, relocation of human capital. Governments can experiment with monetary policy to force nominal income growth on the economy, or with fiscal policy aimed at transferring income and sustaining demand, but neither action will address the root cause of a rapidly changing competitive landscape.”

We’ve already seen how the world is changing. Daimler-Benz, then Fiat have owned American auto maker Chrysler.   Much of our auto assembly in this country is for Japanese and Korean car manufacturers.  Our Olympian uniforms are made in China.  Computers and defense equipment, items too sensitive to off-shore, remain here, although much of their component parts are sourced globally. Food production still remains one of our stalwart industries, although more of it is off-shored every year.  An auto part maker in Illinois may do more work for Daewoo than GM.  The whole manufacturing world is evolving as the planet gets increasingly smaller and more inter-connected.

This report and others now see the possibility of a world where, in order to make a decent living, Americans might have to live elsewhere to land a good paying job.

President Obama has been the loudest voice for an America that reinvents itself to prevent that exodus of our best and brightest to other countries to make the kind of income that they used to make here.

A Romney presidency would have the right kind of business expertise, if what you’re looking for is largely the “relocation of human capital.”  The irony is that the same movers of Wall Street who protect their cash gushers at all costs have bamboozled the Fox News-spoon-fed into thinking that it is Obama, not Romney, that is the end of days.

The primary thing that will keep our economy and job opportunities moving forward are what Mr. Obama is trying to encourage: More good ideas. It is hard to get forward thinking to happen, though, when the Congress spends the preponderance of its time engaged like Don Quixote in vain, empty rhetorical legislation against every bogeyman issue of the Far Right, from abortion to “Obamacare” to food stamps rather than in developing the infrastructure and stimulus for the next generation of innovation and something guys named Edison and Ford once called “progress.” We need to get back to business: Making things and developing new good ideas into the next generation of economic prosperity. Here McLennan & Brokker agree:

“Amidst all of the global competitive uncertainty, however, we still see some reasons for optimism. We live in an age where good ideas are being generated in abundance, and can be transmitted around the globe in a fraction of a second. The most important asset in the global economy is intangible human capital. This provides some shield against the severe scenarios of doomsayers…”

The question is whether that human capital does business on our shores, in China, Singapore, Malaysia or South Korea.

To keep it here, we have to get out of the insane death spiral in which the Far Right has us engaged.  We have to bring in students from all over the world again to create it here.  We have to incentivize the rise of the next Google or Apple here and not elsewhere.  We also can’t have growth at no costs.  Large oil companies and agribusiness can’t strip and pollute the land at will. We need sane management of natural resources for which everything-hungry China will gladly pay.

What we don’t need is Willard “Mitt” Romney,  a slash and burn venture vulture who helped put our best days behind us, and who has had no compunction about shipping off  the remaining working parts of America’s future to the highest bidder.

My shiny two.

About Brian Ross

Brian Ross is a writer, screenwriter, political satirist, documentarian, filmmaker and chef. Ad hoc, ad loc, quid pro quo... so little time. So much to know!

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