A rememberance and memorial for those who died.
I hope we are stronger for it.
Today's post has a pre-requisite reading:
The Economics of an Empire.
(The facts and figures in that article are correct as far as I can tell, although the 0.1% of GNP spent on education should actually be 0.11%)
There is no excuse for violence;
not for the United States,
not for those who hate the United States,
not for anyone,
not for any reason.
There was never a war on terror; this is a war on those who violently protest American foreign policy.
What do lobbyists do?
What effect do lobbyists have on the government?
Lobbyists are often paid large sums of money, right?
Who has enough cash flow to fund full businesses whose only purpose is to sway politicians?
(Here's a hint; it's really easy to blame Bush, but his administration isn't the primary cause. Even Clinton once supported the WTO. I don't know if he still does, though.
I feel sorry for Bush and his administration; he may get the rap for a lot of crap that's not his fault. It's true, the administration is making horrible policies, but so is congress.)
Who is behind this? If you can't figure out how the problem of mp3 file-sharing got into the G8 summit on poverty, hunger, and other real world problems, then you'll probably protest when I say it's corporate power.
By the way,
it's corporate power.
We must alter our perceptions; Corporate America is in the business of finding and using cheap labor and the business of promoting the shortest path to short-term success, even at the cost of eating itself alive.
Roughly half of all campaign fundings comes from the richest 5% of americans, which means the rich and powerful are who sway policies.
If a government is not in control of its economy, that sounds like there's a power that can get out of control, don't you think? A power that's not in our government's current system of checks and balances.
The act of making cheap labor in other countries was once known as "structural adjustment," which was a term used to obfuscate the lie of transforming third-world nations into developed nations.
Don't believe me? Regardless, I don't recommend that you EVER shout the phrase, structural adjustment in a large crowd outside of America - it starts a riot damn near everywhere else pretty damn easily. But many of us americans are slow learners.
Think about the term "free trade," for a moment.
You can see how "free" trade would be helpful if all businesses from other countries were on an equal playing field.
Now imagine what happens when all the small businesses that are on an equal playing field come in contact with a multi-billion-dollar corporation - lack of equitable trade laws would allow that corporation to control the market value of its products in that field.
Gee, that sounds like a monopoly.
It just so happens that there are some America-backed organizations that support "free trade," such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the IMF ...
Unless we force changes in our government to reign in business and the richest x% of our nation as a fourth power to be checked in our system of checks and balances, things will get worse. And as terrorists so easily remind us, the people who get blamed and the people who get hurt are not the policy-makers, not the committees and decision makers in businesses, not the bureaucracies, but instead they are the public at large.
The terrorists think they are justified in attacking a powerful nation by attacking its people. And the government thinks its justified in defensive counter-terrorist measures. And Corporate America makes more money.
No, this isn't a powerful nation at all. Our nation's own economy has got a foot on our collective throat while struggling to take the rest of the world hostage - it now has a foothold not only in America, but China as well.
If we change our foreign policy from that of making cheap labor to that of making business partners, then and only then, we will eradicate terrorism. This is what I believe.
We don't want "free" trade.
We want equitable trade.