Over at www.autoblog.com they recently had a story about how a 3rd Korean automaker was trying to enter the market and start exporting cars to the US. It got me thinking about how bad our foreign policy is these days with countries like South Korea. First, the US imports about 400,000 cars a year from South Korea while we send them a whopping 15, 000 annually. Second, the US recently signed a free trade agreement with South Korea and the outcome was predictable. Our trade deficit with South Korea soared to a record $23 billion dollars. Third, South Koreans don’t even like Americans. With the exception of the older generation that can still remember America helping South Korea the rest of South Korea seems to almost hate Americans.
All of this makes me ask why? Why do we sign free trade deals with a country that costs us billions in lost jobs? Why do we then station tens of thousands of troops there to defend the same country at great cost ( I was recently told by someone that South Korea has agreed to foot part of the bill for US troops stationed there, how generous of them)? Finally, why would we do all of this for a country that hates us? The only country capable of such stupidity is America, thanks Uncle Sam!
When I first started writing this article I wrote the title as a question. Upon further reflection I came to the easy decision that there really wasn’t any question about it and that I should write it as a statement instead to better reflect reality. As our fearless leaders in Washington both republican and democrat debate whether or not we should launch military strikes against Syria I think it is time to acknowledge that our days of being a Superpower have passed. Yes, we do still have the world’s most powerful military by far but that fact doesn’t look so powerful when you begin to realize that for us to use this military we have to borrow the money, mostly from China. Can you really claim to be a real Superpower when you are dependent on rival regimes to finance your mighty military? To me the answer is obvious and has been since the Great Recession began. The sad fact of the matter is that we are now dependent on borrowed money from rival foreign powers to do anything militarily. What happens when our interests don’t align with the people that are lending us the money?
Wow, what a loaded question but one that is relevant given how bad things are for young people in America today. A recent story by PBS.org highlighted the tough job market that recent college grads face right now. They reported that “The latest Bureau of Labor statistic numbers indicate that job seekers between 20 and 24 years old face a 13.2 percent unemployment rate, compared to the 10.5 percent youth unemployment rate in 2007. The current national average is 7.6 percent. Akers adds that college degree holders normally should fare better than those without them.” Those are troubling statistics but when coupled with the fact that young people now will also have to carry the new burden of having to fund Obamacare it seems almost that there was malice in the heart of the people of the Obama Administration when they crafted this legislation. Most young people probably never considered the fact that Obamacare means that they will have to pay higher insurance premiums (it is an accepted fact that the plan is made possible by forcing the healthy to enroll in insurance plans to help subsidize the older population). If they would have thought about this and the continuously dismal youth job market it is fair to wonder if they would still vote for Obama?
The group that stands to lose the most with the disaster that is the senate immigration bill are poor Americans. This bill declares open season on poor Americans of all colors. Black, white, brown, yellow it matters not what matters is where you are in terms of your skill sets. If your less educated and less skilled than this bill is an absolute disaster for your future employment prospects. The irony in all of this is that it is this same group of Americans that have been hammered hardest by the Great Recession, with many having still not recovered. This is how your incompetent federal government (both republican and democrat) propose to help those that need help the most. They want to bring in more low skilled workers that are willing to work for less than Americans are so they will compete for jobs with Americans and also drive down their wages. All courtesy of our own government. Meanwhile as that goes on the democrats will then inform the nation that we aren’t spending enough money to help the help the poor in this country that can no longer get a job because a bunch of formerly illegal immigrants took their jobs.
Nothing similar like this has happened since the end of the Roman Empire. In 376 AD the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens under pressure invited Germanic barbarians to settle within Roman borders. They revolted, annihilated the Eastern Roman Empire’s field army and set the stage for the ultimate collapse of the Western Roman Empire in about 100 years time from the original invitation. Our own history shows how this works out as well. The Mexican government invited American settlers to Texas in the early 19th century. Not long after these same settlers revolted against the Mexican authorities and eventually won their independence.
I am not saying all of these immigrants will revolt and destroy America. I am saying that they are going to have a negative impact on our country by taking jobs from poor Americans and by overwhelmingly supporting liberal policies. Another piece of irony is that black Americans were the reason Obama was voted into office twice and it will be the immigration bill that he signs that will destroy what is left of the black middle class. But the biggest laugher out of all of this is that the morons in the republican party actually think that they will get some tangible benefit for their party by doing this while in reality all they will accomplish is creating the conditions for a democratic monopoly on federal power. Hollywood could not write a better script. I am not naive enough to think we don’t need immigrants to help power this economy forward into the 21st century. I am confident though that we should not offer up amnesty to 11 million illegals when this bill doesn’t first address border security. Somebody should also let the incompetents in Washington know that their Free Trade policies destroyed our industrial base and because of that we no longer need millions of unskilled immigrant labor like we did when we had an industrial economy.
GM will shift production of the XTS above to China so they can avoid paying the Chinese tariff of 25% and export back to the US where there is no 25% tariff courtesy of our government.
Over at www.autoblog.com is a story about how GM just won approval from the Chinese government to build a new Cadillac plant there with the capacity to build 150,000 new cars. Along with this comes an announcement that GM is going to move production of its brand new flagship sedan the Cadillac XTS to this new plant in China. Now I don’t really blame GM for this move because I believe that it is governments responsibility to set the conditions for success for both individuals and corporations. Our government in all its wisdom has decided that we ourselves will remove most of our barriers to trade so that countries like China can export all their garbage here and make a fortune while in the process we lose millions of jobs to countries like China. Our government is then stupid enough to actually believe that this policy encourages predator nations like China to open up their market when in reality we just get more chinese junk, less American jobs, and bigger trade deficits.
Some will say that the Chinese do support our budget deficit by financing it with the money our government allowed them to steal from us. My response is that this practice has only encouraged our incompetent government to continually run ever larger budget deficits because the American people are too dumb to care and the extra money the government spends helps get some of these politicians re-elected so in reality it is like a double whammy to the country. To prove my point about our government being responsible the article from autoblog mentioned that the reason they were shifting production of the new XTS to China was to avoid that countries 25% tariff if GM would have shipped it from the US. This tells us that we don’t have a similar tariff on automobiles produced in China and shipped to the US. The real question is why we don’t match the Chinese tariff for tariff? Pretty soon we won’t have to worry about this because we won’t have anymore jobs to send to China nor the ability to buy their junk. All thanks to those morons in Washington.
Are the US auto makers on the come back trail? It is a question worth asking with today’s announcement that all three have gained market share for the first time in over 20 years. Even though I supported the bailout I still would not say that this is proof positive that it was worth it but I would say that this is a big step in the right direction. There is no doubt that the Big 3 automakers are making better product than they have made in a long time. The real question is can they sustain this new-found momentum and build on it or will this be a small blip in the near continuous 30 year plus fall in market share? The one thing that does give hope is that these numbers are not skewed by the Japanese Tsunami that put a terrible dent in the Japanese auto manufacturers numbers. Rather the Japanese manufacturers have already had their expected big recoveries and so we can say that it appears the Detroit 3 actually earned this. Here is to hoping that this represents a new renaissance in American auto manufacturing.
Even though Facebook is a well recognized company it is really not that big or profitable yet Mrs. Sandberg was paid over $26 million last year.
I think it is a legitimate question to ask (I realize most of you don’t care but I’m annoyed that she makes so much for running a small company). Here is a woman that helps run a company (she isn’t even the ceo) that reported a little over billion dollars in pretax profit in 2012. The company isn’t really that big, it only employs about 3,000 people. Yet Sheryl Sandberg was paid over $26 million dollars last year. Well lets compare her to another famous executive for Ford. Alan Mulally is the ceo of Ford. His company reported over $5 billion in profit for 2012 and his company employs well over 200,000 people world-wide yet he was only paid roughly $21 million dollars. I realize she works for a well-recognized company that many of us use on a regular basis but you could say the same thing about Mulally. You could also say that Mulally was instrumental in saving the Ford Motor Vehicle Company from certain destruction. So what has Miss Sandberg done to justify her many millions in compensation? I have no problem paying top talent for delivering results but I just don’t see how she is worth more per year running a smaller company than Mulally while he also is generating more profit at a much bigger and more complex company.