Monday, January 25, 2010

CAUTION Congress & Corporations: A People's REVOLUTION is NOW Officially Underway

Author: The Firecracker Report
  • Bernanke Goes From HERO to ZERO
  • Why China Will NOT be the Next Superpower
  • The EASIEST way to CREATE Jobs is to Get THEM BACK from China
The Massachusetts people's revolution is echoing loudly across the world, and the trend has now surfaced in Japan. Similar to Massachusetts, more and more voters in Japan are categorizing themselves as independents, choosing to take a stance on real issues, rather than blindly aligning themselves with any one political party simply on ideological grounds (more on Japan below). This trend while lost on the U.S. media which remains foolishly divided along political lines (Fox vs. MSNBC), has nevertheless shaken up the leadership of both the Democrats and the Republicans. They have suddenly woken up to the unfortunate reality that neither party has an ideologically motivated voter base, they can rely on come election time. In an unprecedented change voters are choosing "idealism" over ideology.
Democrat and Republicans: Sitting "Stuffed Turkeys"
Over the last 3 decades both political parties in the U.S. became accustomed to acting like overstuffed turkeys, differentiating themselves not on real economic issues but on bloated jargon. And who could blame them - up until 2007 America was the land of plenty (compared to the rest of the world) and the world's unchallenged superpower. The vast majority of Americans, sufficiently dumbed down and unaccustomed to facing economic hardships, choose to vote either along ideological lines such as: gay rights, christian values, abortion and taxes, or on entirely frivolous issues such as: American "culture" (championed by Bill O'Reilly), pseudo-family values (which candidate cheated on his wife i.e. Bill Clinton vs. George Bush), should gays serve in the military, gender (a man's vs. a woman's ability to lead), race (white vs. everyone else), a candidate's good looks, or simply whether the President is "someone one can have a drink with". Remember George W. Bush's election slogan "Compassionate Conservatism"? Those two words never did conveyed ANY real meaning, they simply amounted to mindless verbose jargon. But they got Bush elected.
A Tectonic Shift in Voter Priorities - CAUTION Congress and Corporations: A People's REVOLUTION is NOW Officially Underway
The economic crisis has set off a massive "earthquake" in the voters mind and has led to a tectonic shift in voter priorities. A visit to a less fortunate country will reveal, that voters there, are scarcely concerned with the gender, race or religion of their leadership (e.g. India the world's most populous democracy is de facto ruled by Sonia Gandhi, a woman of Italian birth, who happens to be a Christian in charge of a largely Hindu nation), sexual orientation of their military, pseudo family values/culture. They have far deeper and greater issues to worry about: such as putting food on their family's table, having a decent paying job, being able to afford an education for their children, saving enough for retirement, access to affordable healthcare and a fair legal system.
Faced with unprecedented economic decline, the American voter is no different and is now in the process of reorganizing his/her priorities. No amount of "green shoots happy talk" will suffice to hide the harsh reality facing Americans - no savings, no jobs, outsourcing, plunging home values, foreclosures, rising food and gas prices and unaffordable healthcare. An apathetic and out-of-touch Congress willing to tax the electorate and then promptly turning around and transferring the proceeds to the military industrial complex to pay for fighting purposeless wars, or impudently giving taxpayer money to bankers who pay themselves fat cat bonuses, is now in SERIOUS danger of being voted out of office, regardless of party affiliation. (On this vein we would like to point out that because the U.S. military has outsourced most of its functions to corporations, much of the ~$1 trillion in annual defense spending by America goes directly to enrich the pockets of CEOs and management of these corporations. A better WASTE of taxpayer dollars is hard to find, except perhaps in the banker bailout).
Bernanke Goes from Hero to "Zero"
To top this, the reckless tribe of "voodoo" economics following Fed officials, who until now were happily putting the U.S. dollar through the shredder, have been shaken out of their smug utopia. Ben Bernanke's world has been turned upside down by Massachusetts. In a span of less than a month he was reduced from "HERO" (TIME magazine named him Person of the Year) to "ZERO" (already facing deep derision of the American people and now opposition from a Congress which has finally heard the American voters cry). Even so we believe that Bernanke will ultimately be sworn into a second term, because his fingers are too deep in the money printing mess to extricate easily. Nevertheless he has been put on notice.
It is then perhaps most opportune for the fat cat corporate overlords of America, that the Supreme Court filled with "anti-Constitutional and anti-Democracy junkies", decided to end the last vestige of American democracy by sending it to the guillotine. In affording a "Corporation" the SAME rights as a "Person" the Supreme Court has given the likes of Goldman Sachs and Big Oil the power to effectively VETO a democratically elected Congress, and make them do their bidding.
The issues facing the American electorate are indeed profound but its citizens slowly and surely are now awakening. They are choosing to get informed and educated on real issues and are displaying increasing independence from associating with any one political party. Real issues take priority and anyone who ignores this trend will do so at their own peril. Even corporations such as Fox News, MSNBC or CNBC (which aligns itself with Wall Street) will not be spared. The same goes for TIME magazine, the Financial Times which named Goldman Sachs' CEO as person of the year and the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, Fox News is most likely having serious issues as evidenced by their courting of the Saudi royal investor Al-Waleed bin Talal. Most American corporations traditionally run to him when they can't raise funds from elsewhere (e..g. Citigroup).
A People's REVOLUTION is NOW underway and this trend will not be restricted to America. Because the economic crisis has engulfed the world, citizens around the globe are waking up to WHAT REALLY MATTERS. No country will be spared, including China.
Why China Will NOT Be the Next Superpower
China's export dominated economy is closely integrated with that of the world's including America. While erudite analysts will point out that China is increasingly moving its exports away from America and Europe and towards other nations such as Australia, they fail to understand that it really does not matter who China exports to. The mere fact that their economy is dependent on exports is the real problem. For the next trend to emerge across the world will be local production and consumption. Consider the United States: Corporations here will be forced to relocate factories back to the U.S, either through 1) a people's boycott of foreign produced goods or through 2) the U.S. Congress passing laws or imposing higher taxes on imports. When Governments are faced with increased joblessness, they turn protectionist to stem a people's revolt. The EASIEST way to CREATE jobs is to get them back from China. Moreover what people miss is the simple fact that U.S. corporations based in China produce good sold mostly to Western consumers (Americans and Europeans). The Chinese/Indians simply do not have the purchasing power to buy most of those goods. Their lower wages cause their price point to be much lower. So American corporations will have to to go back to earning lower operating margins/profits and producing goods sold to Americans, in America. Ditto for Europe. Protectionism will engulf the world. Relying on exports is therefore NOT the answer to an economic recovery. Producing goods locally, to create local jobs, and which will be consumed domestically will be the new trend.
If China begins to lose its exports due to industrial relocation back to the home base, then even a small percentage change will cause millions of Chinese youth to lose jobs. Remember than China has 1 billion people, so it needs to create millions of jobs every year to keep its youth employed. Just in 2008 there were massive riots in China as workers protested against factory closure. Moreover if China allows the yuan to float, it will most certainly appreciate against the dollar, compounding China's problems by eroding its currency edge to produce cheap exports.
This above dynamics coupled with China's brutal suppression of its people will prove to be its real Achilles heel. Like much of the world, China is also going to be engulfed in civil unrest. For this reason alone we are bearish on China attaining world supremacy anytime soon. And it is for the good of the world. The world needs to move towards democracy, free access to information, equality and justice for all. The Chinese government right now does not embrace any of these principles. Having said that the U.S. Government should stop interfering in China's affairs, their attempts to do so have NEVER helped and only serve to create more strife in the world. They should instead focus on minding their own business.
Japan Getting Ready to Say "Sayonara U.S. Military Bases"
So coming back to Japan, the BBC news is reporting that the Japanese government under pressure from its people, is considering closing U.S. military bases in Japan. According to the report:
Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has said the result of a weekend mayoral poll could fuel a major rethink about US military bases in Japan. Residents of the Japanese city of Nago, on Okinawa, chose a candidate opposed to the hosting of an American air base.
The new mayor of Nago, Susumu Inamine, had campaigned against any expansion of US military presence in the area. He beat the incumbent, Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, who supported the base, by winning 52.3% of the vote. Mr Inamine, an independent, ran with the support of Mr Hatoyama's ruling Democratic Party.
National daily newspaper Asahi said in a front-page editorial on Monday: "It wasn't just Shimabukuro that was defeated in the election. The biggest loser was Japan's post-war military base strategy."
Correspondents said the prime minister's comments highlighted the difficulties involved in fulfilling an agreement with the US to relocate the base against strong local opposition.
Japan signed a deal with the US four years ago that was part of a broader realignment of American troops.
A key part of the plan was to relocate the Futenma air base, home to about 2,000 Marines, to the smaller city of Nago. Okinawa is home to most of the 47,000 American troops based in Japan.
The "Status quo" is no longer that - the world is undergoing a rapid transformation - a revolution is underway.

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