Watching a panel of financial experts on television last night, I had one of those flashes I get occasionally, when the veil is lifted and I see what’s really going on. And, no, I wasn’t stoned.
The names of the panelists don’t matter. They could’ve been any of the bigwigs that run or monitor the global goings-on of Big Business.
What they were saying is that the world economy is working to make poor countries richer, so that by the end of this century there will be a kind of global equality, where people in all countries (or most of them, anyway) enjoy a similar standard of living.
What they didn’t say was that there’s an obverse side to that picture: People in the rich countries are going to get poorer.
That includes America, of course.
With their enormous and ever-expanding resources, the global corporations have been able to buy influence in governments around the world to produce policies that enrich the corporations even more – often at the expense of the people those governments are supposed to represent.
Why would they want to impoverish Americans and improve the lot of people in China, India, Bangladesh or other poor countries? Do you think the corporations have a heart, after all, and want to improve the lives of the people of the poor countries?
Of course you don’t.
Neither do I. What I believe is that the fat cats who run the big corporations envision a worldwide “middle class,” which would provide a hugely profitable market for their goods and services.
Now, don’t think for one minute that the global “middle class” will be anything like the middle class that America is rapidly losing.
I’m afraid that America’s middle class is gone forever.
It was too good to last. The American – and European – middle class has always been among the most pampered in the world.
But that’s changing, the see-saw is swinging the other way now. And as one side goes up, the other is coming down.
Eventually, there will be a new social structure in America – and the rest of the world. There will be the super-rich, with assets around the globe, and a “service” class to keep their books, wait tables at their restaurants, look after their homes and children, police their streets, put out fires at their homes and businesses, and so on.
And there will always be the poor, as the Bible reminds us. And from where I sit, those wretches are in for a rough ride.
When I shared this vision with Sandra, she was skeptical.
She was pleased that the poor people in other countries might have better lives, but she couldn’t believe the American standard of living would have to be eroded to achieve that objective.
“Aren’t our politicians supposed to be looking out for the interests of this country?” she asked. “Why would they go along with a plan like that?”
Good question. The answer might just be that politicians need money to run election campaigns, and they get most of that money from the big corporations.
In other words, they’re selling out their country to keep their jobs.