The North Koreans have made it abundantly clear that they would love to talk peace if we would stop threatening them. The US and it’s allies in the region have been running offensive drills off the North Korean coast for several years. If that were attempted by anyone off our coast it would be seen as a provocative act, but we continue to prod the North Koreans. The Kim regime has seen what the neo-cons did with regime change in Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Libya and then the unsuccessful attempt in Syria. The country that wasn’t invaded, despite all the bluster, was Iran, who retained their nukes.
The regime of Kim wants most what we all want, to survive. For that same reason the thought of North Korea sending any of those nukes our way, overlooking for a moment the question of ability, borders on insanity. The leaders know that there would be an immediate and overwhelming response, eliminating them and most of everything else in their world. If their goal was suicide there are easier ways. Let’s start out by saying we will not invade them, and then begin talking. What we’ve done in the past isn’t working. It’s time we tried something different.
The policy of benign neglect that has defined government attitudes towards our home nation is nothing less than criminal. While sending billions abroad in aid and showering largess on the military, government has allowed the infrastructure of the nation, once the envy of the world, to rot away to crumbling ruin. The state of our highways, bridges and public places, all the responsibility of government, is atrocious and puts tens of thousands at risk every day. Poor transportation options add time and cost to products and lives whether it is rail, road or shipping. But the short-changing of the people is a time honored tradition in modern America.
The People, from whom all power derives, have been forced to subsidize the greed of the most fortunate among us. While those who have the least underwrite those who have the most, they are told that their poverty is their own fault; the end result of laziness, poor education and a weak connection to work. The poor are not lazy. They have to work harder to receive less every single day if they want to eat.
These people at the low end of the scale used to be called the working class before the jobs were shipped across the border. The working class was the pillar of America and with their earnings made it into the consumer powerhouse that lifted the whole doggoned world out of poverty and into the prosperity many countries now know. But now the good jobs are gone, there is no more money to power the consumer lifestyle. People are focused on paying the rent and putting food on the table. These days that often takes balancing two (or more) job schedules. For their effort they are told through the popular press that their poverty is due to the weakness of their character. Makes me so mad I could spit. The country needs work, the people need work (not handouts). Seems simple enough, let’s invest in ourselves.
Since the end of World War Two the United States has been the policeman who sustained an uneasy truce around the world. At the end of the war there were good reasons for this. Most of the industrialized world had been bombed to rubble while the factories and mills in America were untouched. We picked up the reins of leadership because we could and we were needed. That was seventy-three years ago.
Without commenting on the arrogance that has characterized US foreign policy for the last several decades it is time to recognize that the kids have grown up. Every parent reaches this point. For too long the parent is the protector, the authority, the final word. Eventually though the youth reaches for maturity. The parent can manage it well and create a new relationship built on the foundation of the last, transitioning from the boss to the trusted advisor. Manage it poorly and the relationship is shattered, with the parent and the youth going off in different directions.
We, as a nation, can manage the new maturity of nations with grace and humility If we do we could retain some semblance of our former glory. Or we can manage it badly and find ourselves thrust aside and crushed by those we have disrespected.
The Wall/ Immigration
The United States is a nation of immigrants. My own grandparents were immigrants who would often speak of their experience coming through New York’s Ellis Island. That was in the late nineteenth century. The west was still mostly open land and a burgeoning industrial revolution needed a constant supply of labor to run the machines and populate the land. Jump ahead a little over a hundred years.
With the flight of industry to low wage locales most of the remaining jobs are tied to the service industry. What manufacturing does still exist is heavily automated, requiring far fewer hands than the factories of yesterday. Those who say we need new workers to support Social Security have overlooked the fact that there are currently over forty million people put out of work by the collapse of American manufacturing. Given jobs, they would surely be happy to support the government with their taxes, but those jobs are not there. So why do we need to continue attracting unskilled labor into an already saturated market? The only option left to survive is to join the welfare roles, straining an already broken system.
Why are we allowing immigrants to be on welfare at all? Fresh ideas and willingness to work hard have always characterized the immigrant experience. My grandfather was proud to become an American, recognizing that what they had left behind was much worse that what they had come to. Today’s immigrants face a multi-cultural America, with no clearly discernible model to assimilate to. As a result they retain their old culture and language, dreaming of the day when they can return “home”. The dollars they earn are returned to their home country rather than being spent in American communities.
Times have changed. It is time to take a fresh look at the immigration question.
Corruption in the major banks and the Federal Reserve
The big five investment banks are out of control. Their business model is corrupt on it’s face and they are sucking the financial lifeblood from the system. Using the power of the Federal Reserve, they print free money to buy everything in sight, pricing it out of the reach of those who only receive their money through labor. Some form of Glass-Steagel should be put in place immediately, separating investment banks from commercial banks. The next step is to nationalize the Federal Reserve, declare a debt holiday and put those guilty of crimes in jail. Simple.
I recently heard an interesting solution to the national poverty issue. First, give all those over 55 years one million dollars. For this money they must do several things. They must retire immediately. This opens up millions of jobs solving the labor issue. They must buy a new car. This consumes millions of new auto, reviving the auto industry. They must buy a new home or pay off their mortgage, thus reviving the banks. Seems simple.