Monday, July 16, 2012
How the World Really Works
By Alan Caruba
“Americans are ignorant of the lessons of history and that’s why their country is going down the tubes. The lesson of economic history is clear: there is no flat playing field in the world and there never has been. There are rich nations and poor nations. There are winners and losers.”
So much for Thomas Friedman’s beloved myth that “the world is flat” thanks to advances in communication and patently useless technologies such as wind and solar power, biofuels like ethanol, and other costly, wasteful nonsense.
What matters is whether the cost of the electricity to power our televisions, our computers, and everything else is affordable, whether the cost of gasoline doesn’t bankrupt a family’s budget, and whether everyone in that family who can work can find a job. Nations will the greatest amount of energy are the most successful nations.
Martin Sieff is the Chief Global Analyst for The Globalist Research Center, a former United Press International Managing Editor for International Affairs, and widely published where it counts, such as The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the National Review. It is his quote with which I began this commentary and it is his new book, “That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman’s Flat World Myths are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs” from which I took the quote.
With the caveat that Sieff has drunk lightly the global warming/climate change Kool-Aid, this is one of the most extraordinary clear-headed, fact-filled books about the real world you will read in a very long time. In every other respect, its pages hold nothing back while sharing his deep insights to the real world and the way it really works.
One of the pleasures of reading Sieff’s book is that he spares no one, either on the Left or the Right, Republican or Democrat, when it comes to describing the policies that have reduced the United States of America to a debtor nation, in hock to China, and getting poorer at the rate of two million dollars a minute. We are already borrowing forty cents of every dollar we spend, importing two thirds of the oil we use, and have millions of Americans out of work thanks to trade policies that removed most of the trade protections of our manufacturing base that date back to Lincoln through to Kennedy.
Seiff explains why the U.S. Steel, auto and textile industries have been destroyed by the failure to protect them against nations like China and India who have adopted our former policies and use them against us. Instead we have swallowed the myths that high-tech innovations will energize an economy that grew wealthy producing things of real value, emphasizing real quality, and holding onto a skilled workforce.
At the heart of Seiff’s analysis is a fact that few Americans consider when they ponder why America is in economic decline. When I was born over seventy years ago there were an estimated two billion people in the world. Today there are seven billion. They all expect to be fed daily, all yearn for a middle class lifestyle, and want the freedoms that America’s wealth was able to preserve and protect.
By contrast, China’s authoritarian system that permits few freedoms has embarked on providing something else, jobs and the energy to power their creation and maintenance. It is why China is building a new coal-fired plant to generate electricity at a rate of one a month while here in the U.S., we have an administration that is deliberately and openly bankrupting our coal industry and seeking to shut down coal-powered plants. How idiotic is that? The Obama administration will not even allow the Canadian Keystone XL oil pipeline to be built even though it would create 20,000 jobs and not cost the U.S. taxpayer a single cent!
Under successive presidents since Lyndon Johnson, the U.S. has engaged in one failed war after another in the name of exporting our democracy around the world, but ineffective democracies fail and open the door for authoritarian regimes. Maybe we need to stop joining every international organization from the United Nations to the World Trade Organization and then sit by idly as other nations, including our allies, eat our lunch?
In the wake of the disaster of the Obama administration—the epitome of socialism—Americans are beginning to learn what their grandparents and their grandparent’s parents knew all along.
Big Government is the enemy of free enterprise, a free market in which to compete, an educational system overseen by localities and states, and the provision of its most important service, a defense against enemies that might want to attack us and the protection of America’s borders from the hordes pouring across illegally, using all our public services, filling our jails when they aren’t taking jobs that natural born and naturalized citizens need and want.
If you read no other book this year, read “That Should Still be Us”, and then vote for people that will restore the policies that created a great nation that is coming perilously close to collapse.
© Alan Caruba, 2012