There is a Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Today, as we look about, there are two revolutions taking place. One domestic, the other, in the Islamic world.
Domestically, it would appear that decades of union rule in the manufacturing sector, has been a, if not the, major factor in the outflow of jobs to the orient and other off-shore countries. It's really a simple conundrum. Labor wants more pay. That is a normal wish. We would all like to experience more income. But, in doing so we as a country have abrogated our economic advantage in the world. We have done so by pricing ourselves out of the world market. It does no good to be able to buy cheap Chinese goods, if you don't have an income to pay for them. Our federal government must also help, by curbing spending and in cases of other countries "dumping" goods onto our markets, enacting protective tariffs.
Today, there isn't a single television set built in this country. Nor are there any other consumer electronics as well. Competing with countries that have rising educational records but salaries that are much less than in this country has led to this serious hemorrhage. Our auto industry is on it's lips, with one manufacturer, sharing it's board of directors with the very union that supports higher wages for the company's employees.
The chickens have come home to roost. The rust belt, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. have realized that they are out of jobs because of these unions pressing for higher wages. Suddenly, the Wisconsin Senate has come to a halt due to the voter rebellion bringing unheard of republican victories in states that haven't been known to vote GOP in a very long time, if ever. In Wisconsin's case, the only way the democrats to still cling to their labor base could put off having public employee unions outlawed, was to become truant, causing the lack of a quorum. At some point, law enforcement can and probably will track down one or two of them, dragging them back which they can do by law. Still, this nationwide rebellion against labor unions, spending, etc. is overturning what many feel has been a long time coming, and necessary for the financial health of the nation. We as a country have a choice. We can either become protectionist, producing and buying only our own goods, while prohibiting imports, or bringing wages back to a manageable level.
On the international side, where we were only a year ago, with Islam in an uproar against the rest of the world, suddenly they are fighting amongst themselves, struggling to topple well entrenched dictators. When you consider that most of these mono-religious nations have never experienced democracy. Until one,little insignificant country, Tunisia, decided they have had enough. Taking to the streets, without weapons other than public opinion, they drove out an absolute ruler. Following that by just days, Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Jordan and other countries are saying, "If they can do it so can we." And they are.
Where all of these upheavals end only time will tell, but it would appear from my viewpoint that these adjustments have been long overdue and will vastly improve how we, as well as the Arab world live in the future. As wall street would put it, "this is an adjustment long overdue."
Parting Shot -- 5.20.13
14 hours ago