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THE POVERTY OF NATIONS

THE POVERTY OF NATIONS

By: Mike Shoen

A nation can increase its wealth by 1) theft of another nation’s wealth or 2) creation of its own wealth.

Wealth is created through manufacturing which includes mining and agriculture. The service industry does not create wealth, but rather facilitates (serves) the maintenance of existing wealth. A nation which is creating no new wealth is said to be in a “circular flow”. Mining and agriculture compose only a few percentage points of a developed nation’s wealth production, so the overwhelming source of a nation’s wealth is manufacturing, both hard (traditional) and soft (IT).
 
 

New manufacturing is dependent upon three factors: education, infrastructure and research.

Nations can steal wealth through military conquest (wars), but they can also steal through fraud such as inflating the trading reserve currency by the nation which controls that currency, thereby stealing from the other nations holding that currency.

From 1946 through today, U.S. manufacturing as a percentage of GDP has decreased from 49% to 9%. This has been partially offset by wealth increases due to theft from other nations, including reserve currency inflation and the theft of resources (usually oil) through war.

The largest aggregation of high-paying jobs is always in the manufacturing sector, but these jobs have decreased dramatically over the past 60 years as manufacturing has decreased. What remains is the lower-paying service industry jobs. In an economy with an expanding manufacturing sector, pay for these service jobs increases with the increase in wealth created by new manufacturing, but in an economy of shrinking manufacturing, pay for service jobs also shrinks. Fifty years ago, a college graduate could hope to someday earn as much as a time-adjusted $35 per hour with a strong manufacturer. Today a college graduate can expect to earn half as much in the service industry. This is the difference between working for General Motors and working for the Dollar Store -- manufacturing versus service.

During these same 66 years, our government changed what had been a temporary war allocation (WWII) of tax revenues to a permanent allocation (Cold War, War on Drugs and War on Terror). For the past 66 years our government has allocated about one-third of their expenditures to war, something over a trillion dollars for each year for the past twelve years. This has had two impacts on our nation’s wealth: First, schools were not built, research was not conducted, railways were not built, etc. Second, and more importantly, the public’s consensus of our highest social value has morphed from the entrepreneur/industrialist to soldier/warrior. What a society envisions and values, it will obtain.

The problem with the acquisition of wealth through war and fraud is that these methods are not sustainable. Victims will ultimately organize to expel the invader or to make the invasion too costly. Same with acquisition of wealth through fraud " the rest of the world has begun to replace the U.S. Dollar with Euros and currency reserve equivalents gold and oil.

Our government does not have an articulated policy of retaining existing manufacturing or developing new manufacturing, because we do not have a social consensus to do so. Germany, Switzerland and Holland have this consensus and continually invest in education, infrastructure and research. Germany, with a population of little more than California, exports more manufactured goods than any other country on earth, including China. There is no doubt that the average German worker experiences a better material life than the average American worker.

The problem with the Bush/Obama stimulus was that these expenditures did not stimulate manufacturing jobs in this country " the resultant spending ended up in the hands of foreign manufacturers because most of what we buy is made outside the U.S. These giveaways stimulated manufacturing jobs in other countries!

The major economic powers in these United States don’t care whether or not our country continues to lose wealth. Our major corporations are already internationalized. The powerful military-industrial-governmental complex prospers regardless, by printing money, raising taxes and stealing from other nations. But this is only true for the federal government, not state governments, for only the feds can print money and wage war.

All these trends are not going to be changed any time soon. Our citizens rely on information from a mainstream media which is owned directly or indirectly by these same internationalized corporations and military-industrial-governmental complex. Mainstream media relies on our federal government for its licenses, tax treatment and even for information. The same executives shuttle between mainstream media, the giant corporations and the military-industrial-governmental mélange.

One result is that wars are marketed like movies, actors become politicians and media form alliances with public officials. As the influence of mainstream media increases, our people become more and more ignorant.

The idea that manufacturing creates a nation’s wealth is an accepted academic and industry concept, but is not an idea which mainstream media will present. The idea that our costly wars are artificially incited and unnecessary is presented in hundreds of books available from Amazon.com, but this idea is not presented in mainstream media. Millions of citizens have taken a Newtonian Physics course, yet 99.9% can’t apply  Newton’s Second Law to the destruction of the WTC Towers. More importantly, mainstream media wouldn’t  touch this question with a ten-foot pole, and most citizens have zero interest. They are busy watching the ball game, Fox News, CNN or PBS " diversionary trivia. “Maybe the next President will change things. If only my party was in power.”

The turning point was not November 22, 1963. The turning point was the next day, November 23, when mainstream media accepted and repeated the lies of the CIA and FBI and connected government officials. On this day the military-industrial-governmental complex achieved dominance and chose the path through which our government was to lead our nation in the acquisition of wealth " war and fraud. The flipside of that choice was that the path they chose did not include education, infrastructure and research. Over the following decades, our giant corporations figured this out and made plans to get out of town, and escape the “poverty of nations”.

This subject is thoroughly presented with illustrations, videos, and bibliography in my old website “mikeshoenforcongress.com”.  
 
Mike Shoen is an Arizona resident who has been active in local Libertarian politics, recently running for Congress in 2010 in Arizona's 3rd District (which includes all of Phoenix and parts of Paradise Valley). He has worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney, corporate attorney, private attorney (suing corporations), technical writer, loss-control analyst, risk manager, engineering manager, author/publisher/retailer and investment manager.
 

 
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