Thursday, September 19, 2002

I read this article the other day. It's about how if the United States continues to pursue its own agenda with complete unilaterlist attitude, we could seriously hurt ourselves economically. It's rather disturbing, although by no means a surprise. I have frequently wondered how long the US, or more specifically the more conservative elements of this nation, can think we can have it both ways for as long as we want. Both ways meaning do whatever we want and continue to reap the benefits of an increasingly freer world market.

While I don't like the direction this country is going in (the direction our [not really elected] President is steering us towards), what bothers me isn't the direction itself. It's the total oblivious attitude that so many of Dubya and his politcal cronies take and the consequences they have.

I don't like the US taking a unilateralist attitude. But it wouldn't be so worrisome if our economy were not so hinged on foreign markets, consumers and creditors. You can't say "Well do what we want because we're the US" and still be complete beholden to foreign marketplaces. The United States benefits greatly by the access we grant to foreign comapnies, and the access we have as a nation to the very same foreign markets. Let's not forget to take into consideration the fact that we are completely crippled from making sound foreign policy decisions because of our addiction to foreign oil. The article says that if we continue to take the path we have in the past, foreign creditors will eventually pull the plug to put a submission hold on the country econimically, and there will be dire consequences. The article covers the fact that multinational corporations have nothing to worry about since there manufacturing centers are overseas. But American owned companies have a great deal to worry about if we continue to go down the road we traveling. It's also pretty interesting to see how we did the same for the UK, pulling the plug on them to show our disapproval after the invasion of the Suez Canal back in the 50's.

If you want to run this country like a unilateralist nation you need to pick up all stakes in business interests abroad, complete close markets at home and stop shipping goods outside this country, be completely self sufficient and go it completely alone. But we can't; we have so many multinational corporations with such huge stakes overseas that the reprocutions with be immense at home.

Here are some thoughts I have been pondering to which I have no answer. Hypocrisy is so easy to pick up on, especially on the right side of things;

Conservatives on the whole love to bitch and moan about our sovreignty, local control, states rights, etc. The hate the UN, Non Governmental Organizations, Amnesty International, every friggin Bureacracy no matter what it is. And yet so many of them have (at the very least) nothing critical to say about the most powerful NGO in the world - The World Trade Organization. The People from the WTO hand down decisions, fining nations in the WTO millions of dollars because of trade violations and infractions. The people that levy these fines are not elected, and are beholded to the multinational corporations that have assembled the WTO, not to the governments or the people that financially support and are ultimately held responsible for the fines levied by the WTO. Does this make sense?

Going back to typical conservative idealogy - on the whole conservatives hate and don't trust government The don't trust the EPA to protect the environment, they don't trust government oversight to monitor business activity, they don't trust the Gorvernment to spend your money, the IRS to collect it. It's funny, because Conservatives DO trust the government to do one thing right; to administer the death penalty! Explain that one!

I live in the the great state of Illinois and just last year our embattled Governor put a moratorium on the death penalty because a total of 10 people had been exonerated. A total of twelve had been executed. That means that if all the people were truly guilty, our Attorney Generals have over the years ammassed a 54.5% average for convicting the right people when capital punishment is involved - great for a batting average, absolutely horrendous for administering the death penalty.

Tomorrow - the album of the week finally returns. I've fallen behind on my music listening.....


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