Dear Mr. Broder,Your article ” A Mob Rule Moment” drives home one of the fundamental debates that is as old as democracy itself. What the average person may not understand is that the concept of Democracy, is for lack of a better term, ‘Rule of the Mob” or rule of the majority. The United States of America is not a Democracy, it is a Republic. The founders of our Republic recognized that the simple rule of the majority of people has serious shortcomings and is subject to the general education, awareness, and participation of the populace, something that cannot always be insured. Thus the Republic provides for elected representatives to serve in the middle, listening to the peoples’ will, while also acting their conscience for the greater good.
Unfortunately, the 21st century America faces serious challenges to the concept of a Republic. Corporate money now controls our elected officials, and any flexibility in their choices beyond that is given over to the random winds of public opinion. So while Mr. Broder’s suggests this “rule of the mob” may harm the economic welfare of the country, the real question that must be considered is what really constitutes economic welfare for our nation? Is it the wanton outsourcing of all non-technical jobs to India and China, with the virtual elimination of domestic non-technical manufacturing from the US, and an increasing reliance on Asia for virtually all US consumer goods? Is it the continued economic stratification of the population with the investor class receiving all the benefits of this internationalization while the supposed benefit, lower prices to the consumer, fails to match the drop in purchasing power and income? Anyone who is looking for an answer only has to look at the fact that a single-worker family of 4 could easily live on 20K/ year in 1950, and could afford to buy quality American made appliances and goods that lasted for many years. Where as today both parents typically have to work–often more than one job– to just survive and afford the latest Wall-mart special.
Today, we are forced to buy low-cost, low-quality Asian goods with the belief that we are being helped by these lower prices. The opposite, however, is true. The only people who actually benefit from this system are the investor class or those who do no work, but instead live off their investments in these global corporations, or those who own companies that participate. And yes, a small portion of workers also benefit with jobs, but this comes no where close to offsetting the damage.. They win, all others pay. Their stocks climb due to reduced operating costs of American companies, while the purchasing power of average Americans continues to slide. That is a fact, not an opinion.
As Bobby Kennedy Jr. said recently in an essay on the debate of Capitalism vs. the environment, Capitalism works, but it only works when ALL the costs associated with manufacturing a product are included in the price of the product, and this concept is the foundation of sustainable industry. The ONLY way this is achieved is through GOVERNMENT regulation. Corporations have proven they will not police themselves, and instead will simply find every loophole available to offload some of the cost of doing business in the form of environmental pollution, laid off workers, etc. and force the government and the tax payer to cover these costs. Why? Because they are slaves to the performance of their stock price. The ONLY leverage we as consumers have to protect the environmental and social destruction by foreign companies in the throws of rampant unregulated growth is through our Consumerism. We must stop purchasing goods with significant portions of the costs offloaded to American taxpayers or the future generations in foreign lands to clean up. And again, it is the investor class who benefits and pays, while the working class taxpayer only pays.
The story we are told, that this free-trade system is absolutely necessary to keep Americas economy healthy and competitive is a farce, a smoke screen for the true result, namely reducing the working class of America to economic slaves by enabling competition from slaves overseas. The Chinese do not follow open trade policies. They have the most closed and protected market in the world, yet they flourish. Through rampant deficit spending, we have allowed ourselves to become so indebted to the Chinese to fuel our foolish wars, that we couldn’t enact trade protections if we wanted to, without serious repercussions. But unfortunately, that is precisely what these globalists and free trade proponents want.
Has anyone ever noticed the remarkable similarity between many 60’s and 70’s Japanese cars and earlier German (even British) ones, right down to the engine designs? Or why their cameras and electronics became so competitive so fast. Work ethic? Maybe a little, but there is evidence that the real source for many of these early Japanese designs were actually earlier German designs. Everything from cars to the Zeiss lens formulas, were given to the Japanese after WW2 along with billions of American dollars invested. Decades of the best engineering in the world was implemented in brand new state-of-the-art factories, much of it paid for by American based international banks. Why? One can only guess, but the answer seems obvious.
American production had enjoyed a boom after the war but profits began to languish in the 60’s as unions became very strong and costs went up. So for the globalists, the only way to break the back of these “socialist’ movements was to create dominant competition. And they had the perfect culture for it in Japan. Willing to work long hours for pennies, and ruthless in their nationalism, they were the perfect union buster. And what happened? Japanese products, (often strangely identical to German counterparts) flooded the US market, less expensive and better. They had the benefit of new factories with Robot assemblies, and non-union workers. And they almost managed to break the back of the US auto unions. What stopped them? The anger of the mob. The American PEOPLE jumped enthusiastically into a campaign called Buy American, started by the US auto companies. And it worked. In less than a decade, the Japanese were forced to assemble all US cars in the US or face loosing a huge segment of their market. A similar effort is being made to stop the socialist movements in the Scandinavian countries through the creation of the Euro and the EU, but that’s another story…
So while the US government has conveniently made it very difficult to impart trade protections against China and the Asian production machine through our recent huge debt to these nations, the PEOPLE possess what may be the last real power we have left, that of our consumerism. We CAN refuse to buy Asian goods not produced sustainably. We can support American production, even if it is more expensive, or drive the few miles to find gasoline at a gas station that does not use oil from the middle-east. The globalists have made this difficult also, given the fact that it is almost impossible to find actual American made goods any more, but the opportunity is there, if we want it. The more driven companies are by the bottom line, the more sensitive they are to changes. The power of your purchase CAN make a difference.So in conclusion, given the demonstrated power money has in American elections, what protection has the average man left except the anger of the Mob? Who exactly is protecting the working class, i.e. the engine of the American economy these days? While it is easy to argue in theory the value of the Republic form of government, 21st century reality has changed the nature of the Republic to be subservient only to the investor class and their corporate teat. And so more and more, the only power left to the common man, the working-class man is the anger of the mob.
And until the corporate media ceases to shirk their responsibilities to INVESTIGATE and report reality, and instead continues to simply pass along the propaganda of their globalist corporate parents as fact, this Mob will have no real access to truth, only an endless stream of opposing partisan opinions on EVERYTHING, specifically tailored to keep our minds off our diminishing welfare, and we will continue to see the ineffective and wild swings of uninformed public opinion drive a great portion of American policy. But only the superficial part. The real stuff, the important things like NAFTA will continue on behind the scenes, quietly eroding the welfare of the working class, and destroying the planet.
For the last 50 years, politicians have been almost exclusively controlled by only one opinion, that of big business and their lobbyists. It’s about time they started listening to the Mob, and looking out for the greater good through sustainable industry and social conscience, instead of the chimera of economic growth. Until corporate money and influence is removed from politics, the voice of the mob may be our only hope.