[lit-ideas] FW: Re: Eric's idea twisted a bit

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 10:48:17 -0400

I don't think I made my point.  My point is that people don't buy much on 
minimum wage.   Economy argument picks up from that premise.

A.A.  This is an example of not only how disconnected Bush is from things like 
working for money, but also from what drives the economic engine of this 
country, i.e., the middle class.  Our largest export (what we sell to bring 
money into the country) is agricultural products (NOT like a third world 
country; our high tech agri business is the world's breadbasket), yet he and 
his Republican friends in Congress don't see fit to make sure our agri export 
ports keep running.   Agri business has to now scramble to ship from less 
convenient ports.  

In the absence of other manufacturing products like TV's, telephones, etc. to 
sell overseas (done now largely by China and other countries), our economic 
clout in the world is from the middle class buying products manfuctured in 
foreign countries.  If those countries don't sell, those countries don't have 
money to pay their workers, etc. so they could buy stuff.  

In the same way, the money we get from exporting agri products (and software 
and other goods, but agriculture is one-half of what we sell) goes into the 
economy.  That money is absorbed by our middle class, who buys China's toasters 
and so on with it.  The middle class is squeezed with high oil prices, leaving 
less money to buy goods.  China's best customer is losing its power.   Worse, 
China is creating its own middle class to buy its products, potentially making 
us irrelevant as the world's best consumer, plus they're competing with us for 
oil.  Our economy is getting zapped left and right.  

That's why I've been harping that N.O. is about far more than race.  It's about 
our economy.  I got around to reading last week's Time last night and they 
quote the Stratfor article that was posted here.  They also use the statistic 
that I had heard that N.O. is our largest port, sixth in the world.  I had not 
read that article until I saw it here.  Where NPR got that information I don't 
know (which a friend told me about).  My comparing it to a nuclear attack was 
also original at the time, corroborated by Stratfor.  The pictures in the Time 
article surprised even me.  Anyone who thinks all those people had to do was 
walk out if they were stuck there might be well advised to look at them.

Getting back to Bush and the economy, Bush can't possibly be keeping wages low 
to keep inflation down, first because none of his actions to date show that he 
has the first inkling about the economy, and also because, among other factors, 
rising energy and increased shipping costs that will be passed on to the 
consumer will most likely spearhead inflation.  It's not just Bush.  The people 
in Congress are just as complicit, maybe even more complicit, in giving away 
Medicare to pharma, not giving our ports priority and so on.  Still, Bush is 
the leader, setting the tone for what goes on.

One ray of light in all this gloom might be that agri business gives Bush and 
his cronies a lot of money (remember "ADM, supermarket to the world"? They all 
but own Congress along with pharma.)   One likes to think they'll thump on him 
if their grain begins to spoil because shipping it is impeded or if increased 
shipping costs make them less competitive in the world.  Actually, Bush is a 
lame duck, it doesn't matter to him what he does.  It's Congress who has to be 
reelected.  But that will have to be seen.  Also, China has to feed its 
population, which it's finding it difficult to do, so it might become our 
biggest customer for our biggest product, food.  Last point, I'm wondering if 
Robert Paul thought Portland is one of our biggest ports because they export 
lumber.  Lumber is one of our bigger export products too.  

Andy Amago

Marlena in Missouri

Rep. George Miller: Bush Proves How Far Removed He Is Fri Sep 9, 8:23 PM ET 
Just when you thought it couldn?t get any worse, President Bush proved once 
again just how far removed he and his Administration are from the life 
experiences of most Americans. The President issued an executive order on 
Thursday that makes it possible for federal contractors to pay extremely low 
wages to workers hired for the Gulf Coast rebuilding. Bush accomplished this by 
suspending the 1931 Davis-Bacon law, which says that federal contractors must 
pay their workers a ?prevailing wage? on construction projects. Contrary to the 
misinformation coming from the right wing ? that prevailing wages are actually 
high ?union wages,? as John Fund wrote on The Huffington Post last week ? the 
truth is that the prevailing wage is just the average wage for a specific job 
function in a local area. In parts of the Gulf Coast, these wages for 
construction workers can be low ? even as low as $7, $8, or $9 an hour.

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  • » [lit-ideas] FW: Re: Eric's idea twisted a bit