Friday, August 1, 2008

No, thank you very much.

It is not going very well with the economy in the USA.
The largest economy in the world is wobbling on its foundations.

For example, GM, a company that makes cars, announced yesterday it lost over 15 billion $ in the second quarter of the year.

This is not because there is a lack in demand of cars.
Toyota was outselling GM with 277,532 vehicles during the first six months of this year.

Not only GM, but Ford and Chrysler as well, have been focusing too long on building cars that are big and that are consuming a lot of fuel.
The problem with those companies is that they were having not a vision as enlightened as Japanese carmakers were having.
These large US car manufacturers are simply too slow in adjusting to the market, let alone that they can be innovative like Honda.

We may have serious questions about the quality of the management of big companies.
But we know some of the answers.
One is that managers of big companies make lots of money and get high bonuses.
Even if a company is not doing well.
While those same managers fire their employees and won’t sleep one minute less about how the unemployed will survive.

The jobless rate in the USA is the highest in four years.
This year, until now, 463,000 people lost their jobs.
In total there are 8.8 million people without work in the USA.

And our support and sympathy must be with those non-employed American persons.
For several months they get non-employment benefits and if they have not found a new job and income, they are on their own.
They can’t afford anymore the rent of their house or the mortgage payment.
They have to give up their home.
They fall into poverty.
Depending on food stamps, food handouts and help from friends and family.

It is a shocking reality in the so-called richest country in the world.
People forced to live in their SUV, in a Salvation Army shelter or in the street like in Calcutta, India.

Meanwhile the oil companies are publishing their economic results.
Chevron announced yesterday that its exploration and production arm doubled its profit to 7.25 billion $.

There have been efforts by the Democrats in Washington to have a windfall profit law accepted so that the US Government could stop these oil companies making these indecent profits while a simple American pays $ 4 a gallon for her gasoline.
And guess what, the Republicans torpedoed this law.

The world is watching and is seeing a country, the USA, where some people are making a lot of money and many people slide into poverty and misery.
The free market strategy is propagated worldwide by the USA as the most wonderful way to organise a society.
It tries to impose it on many countries with free trade agreements and financing.

But the rest of the world observing what is currently going on in the USA are less and less convinced.
In fact they say: “No, thank you very much”.


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