Only Mexico and Turkey Have Poverty Rates Higher than the U.S.A.! Email Print

The Seattle Times October 22 reported a 30-country study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

"The percentage of individuals earning less than 50 percent of the population's median-income.  The selected organization for economic cooperation and development scored as follows:

"Sweden 5%, Czech Rep., 6%, France 7%, Germany 11%, Australia 12%, Canada 12%, Japan 15%, S. Korea 15%, U.S. 17%, Mexico 18%, Turkey 18%."

This statistical breakdown may come as a shock as during many recent election campaigns, the contenders for political office mouthed the mantra "the greatest nation in the world and the richest nation in the world."

They still mouth 50% of this popular political mantra, the part that proudly and loudly proclaims "the greatest nation in the world", but they cannot proclaim "the richest nation in the world" anymore if they are inclined to tell the truth.

For the truth is that 8 years ago the U.S. had a budget surplus.  And now we have the biggest national debt since the U.S.A. was founded 232 years ago, a national debt greater than all the national debts combined since the U.S.A. became a nation.

The debt represents, calculated another way, more than half the debt of over half of all the nations in the world combined.

You won't hear either presidential candidate mention this shocking economic fact, that the U.S.A. has become a kept nation -- kept by the U.S. bonds being bought by China, which by the way the U.S. is indebted to, to the tune of approximately $525 billion.  And we are deeply in debt to the Saudis and Japan.

When the U.S. dollar descended in value, likewise our U.S. bonds also descended in value.

What would happen if our dollar stopped being the world benchmark currency due to all this value fluctuation?  

What if your U.S. bond buyers tired of the type of tricks Alan Greenspan played with the value of the dollar, dropping the interest rate to a 40-year low to keep the economy going full blast.  Incidentally, this long run of such low interest generated the sub-prime real estate bubble which burst and is now costing taxpayers billions to bail out our entire financial system.

Between Ronald Reagan's mantra "get the government off our backs" allowing con artists and shady swindlers to propel the entire U.S. economy into an economic meltdown, and Greenspan's de-regulation, this meltdown happened.

We can be grateful Alan Greenspan had the integrity and the courage to admit before a congressional hearing the following October 23:

"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity, myself included, are in a state of shock and disbelief."

Wouldn't it be wonderful if George Bush appeared before Congress and admitted his mistakes, which have cost so many so much?

People the world over, political or economic refugees, have long looked upon the U.S.A. as a beacon of light to brighten the path of their dark and troubled lives.  

The symbol of freedom, the statue of liberty, the gracious, wonderful gift from France, which incidentally was insulted when France refused to go along with the Iraq War hysteria, was insulted by some character wanting to change the name of French fries to freedom fries.

But ironically, he didn't want to allow the French the freedom of their own viewpoint.  Once the launching of the Iraq War on the basis of Iraq's possession weapons of mass destruction was proven to be a lie, why hasn't this stupid insult produced an apology to France?

In the past 40 years, the U.S. population has grown by 100 million.  The U.S. is now the third most populous nation in the world.  The first is China, then India, followed by the U.S.A.  Many who increased the U.S. population claimed to be political refugees, and in reality many were economic refugees fleeing dire poverty.

With the World Trade Agreement having allowed U.S. manufacturers to move their entire manufacturing headquarters to Mexico and assorted places world-wide, where labor is cheaper and union regulations cannot be enforced, the U.S. has lost much of its former manufacturing base.  The unemployment statistics tell the sorry story.

Many of the construction workers in the frantic housing boom triggered by the lowest interest rate in 40 years plus a few million high-risk, rotten credit borrowers are out of work because the phony housing bubble style prosperity is over.

Many of these foreclosures took place because of bank loan officers, over zealous realtors, and dishonest assessors, along with borrowers gambling the housing boom would continue long enough for them to make a killing in the skyrocketing real estate binge.  

They gambled and lost.  Now with the party over, the taxpayer will pay for the $700 billion bailout demanded to keep the cornerstone of the U.S. economic foundation in place -- credit availability.  

We can all be thankful that when George Bush revved up Air Force One to whiz around the U.S.A., trying desperately to sell the idea of transferring the Social Security Trust Fund monies to private accounts, letting Wall Street or banks take care of our Social Security monies, people bucked that Bush brainstorm.

If we had listened to that economic advice, with banks closing without cash and Wall Street losing around $800 billion (so far) senior citizens who had Social Security safe in the Trust Fund but turned it over to banks and Wall Street would be out on the streets, joining the homeless.  All this while big bank moguls and Wall Street titans waltz away with multi-million dollar bonuses conveniently called "golden parachutes".

The fact of the matter is that in 2008 the gap between the rich and the poor is widening every day in the U.S.A.  

A front page story in the Seattle Times October 25 tells the story of an immigrant from Mexico who can't find work in the U.S.A., and is heading south of the border.

Is this going to be a time of immigration turnaround because of thousands being laid off in the construction, auto and air travel industries?

Emma Vandore and Greg Keller of the Associated Press in a Seattle Times October 22 article datelined Paris wrote the following:

"Economic inequality is growing in the world's richest countries, particularly the United States, jeopardizing the American dream of social mobility just as the world tilts toward recession, a 30 nation report said Tuesday.

"The gap between rich and poor has widened over the past 20 years in nearly all countries studied.

"With the job losses and home foreclosures skyrocketing, policymakers must act quickly to prevent a surge in populist and protectionist sentiment as was seen after the Great Depression, the Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said:

"In the United States the richest 10 percent earn an average of $93,000, the highest level in the OECD.  The poorest 10 percent earn an average of $5,800 about 20 percent lower than the OCED average.

"Wealthy households not only are widening the gap with the poor, but are leaving middle income earners further behind in countries such as the United States, Canada and Germany, with potentially ominous consequences if the global financial crisis sparks a long recession."  


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