The US as Third-World Nation by Bob Wallace : LUSENET : Zonkers : One Thread

The US as Third-World Nation

by Bob Wallace

One of my friends, a Filipina who still lives in the Philippines, told me there are basically two economic classes in her country: the rich rich and the poor poor. There isnít much of a middle-class. How did this sad state of affairs come about? How else Ė the rich rich have gained control of the State and use it to enrich themselves and impoverish everyone else. This is what always happens. Itís human nature.

Itís what happened in the former Soviet Union, and what is happening in Mexico and the Middle East (the members of the House of Saud Ė what a joke, because thereís no such thing as Arab "royalty" Ė are bazillionaires, while the populace is mostly poor and unemployed). It has always happened in the past. The example I generally use is Galilee of Jesusí time, in which two-thirds of the people were poor because the Romans and the upper-class Pharisees used the State to tax everyone into poverty.

As best as I can tell, under a free market two-thirds of the people are middle-class. When there isnít a free market, two-thirds of the people are dirt-poor, and a very small minority (those who have gained control of the State) are Scrooge McDuck-rich. That is what the Third World is: a handful of billionaires and everyone living in shacks.

In the Philippines, there is so much poverty that there has sprung up child prostitution to service wealthy pedophiles from other countries. The prostitutes are both boys and girls. The Philippine government looks the other way. Drug abuse is rampant, because the users are without hope.

My friend lives in a gated community with armed guards at the entrance. Thatís starting to sound familiar even in America, isnít it?

What do these other countries have to do with America? They show that America isnít immune to the diseases of the Third World. Hereís an example: the mean average tax burden in the US is 40 percent of a personís income. The economist Walter Williams said when you factor in everything else Ė such as the fact the citizens pay 100 percent of the Social Security tax, since businesses pass their taxes onto their customers Ė then the tax burden is in reality 50 percent. Someone making $40,000 a year is actually making $20,000.

When you take into account the fact the dollar, because of government-caused inflation, has lost 99 percent of its value in the last 100 years, plus all of the job-destroying regulation of the economy, plus deficits...itís entirely possible the US could turn into a Third-World country. It might take a century, but it could happen.

My paternal grandfather dropped out of school in the 8th-grade. He spent his life installing wooden-strip floors and finishing them. His wife did some sewing part-time in their home. They raised nine kids and lived a middle-class existence.

This is now impossible in the United States.

How did my grandfather do this? Because taxes and regulations were a fraction of what they are now.

My fatherís first brand-new car was a 1967 VW Bug. It costs $1600. He dropped out of high school and opened up his own construction company. He made $10,000 a year, which put him right in the middle of the middle-class. The car costs 16 percent of his yearly income. A cheap car today costs $10,000. The mean average salary is $40,000. The car is now 25 percent of a personís yearly income, not 16 percent.

My parentsí home Ė solidly middle-class Ė costs $12,000 in 1968. A little over one year of my fatherís salary. Today, the average home costs $120,000. Three yearís income. While todayís homes are somewhat larger than the ones in 1968, theyíre not ten times larger (and if you want to see what houses really cost, look at an amortization table and figure the interest).

The price of a house now cost ten times more than it did a little over 30 years ago. If mean average income had kept pace, people would now be making $100,000 a year.

Itís not the free market that is doing these things.

Itís the State. Taxes. Regulations. Inflation. Deficits.

I read an interesting newspaper article a few months ago, in which it was found the overwhelming majority of those arrested for failing to pay parking tickets didnít pay because they couldnít afford to. They were poor people. I see them all the time, driving their hubcap-less, 30-year-old cars with cracked windshields.

The economyís pretty good if you have a degree or two. But if you donít, youíre generally falling further and further behind every year. Not because of the free market, but because the State, every year, raises taxes a little bit more, regulates a little bit more, reduces the value of the money and savings through inflation just a little bit more...

Now we have the Democrats (what I call the Evil Party) trying to rescind Bushís utterly insignificant tax cut (will the Republicans Ė the Stupid, Cowardly Party Ė have the guts to stop them?)

Itís not "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" under the free market. It happens when corrupt, sleazy people Ė like the lawyers who sued tobacco firms solely to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars of smokersí money into their own pockets Ė use the State to make themselves rich and everyone else poor.

If my grandfather and my father were young and working today, they wouldnít be middle-class. Theyíd be poor. Probably permanently. Rush Limbaugh, an ignorant blowhard who has apparently lost his brains along with his hearing, seems to think that nearly everyone can be wildly successful if they just work hard enough. That completely ignores the question: why canít you have a middle-class existence driving a taxi anymore? Whatís wrong with being a trash collector? Someone has to do it. Is life about nothing more than working 55 hours a week just to make ends met, because the State seems to think people are nothing more than sheep to be sheared? Whenís the last time tax-money parasites like Tom Daschle or Richard Gephardt took a cut in pay?

You donít have to leave the US to find the Third World. Itís already here. If you want to see it among white people, go look at your typical trailer court. If you want to see it among blacks and Hispanics, go look at the inner cities. What do most of them have in common? The State has destroyed the high-paying jobs that were available for them in the past, and now sucks up a lot of what money they have. Then many of them go on welfare, which degrades them even further.

There is an old story about boiling a frog. You donít put the water on boil and dump the frog in. Heíll jump out. What you do is put the frog in the water, then start to heat it up. Soon the frog is cooked before he knows it. Unfortunately, this is how human nature works. If things get slowly worse every year, people began to think itís normal.

In several decades, itís entirely possible the US will consist of a small minority of very rich people Ė say, corrupt politicians and their equally corrupt friends Ė and most everyone else will be living in cheap houses, apartments and trailers.

The State expands, and Civilization recedes. Itís an unalterable law of nature.

January 18, 2002

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ