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China and the United States. A Look-see Post 1945

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posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 09:00 AM
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At the close of World War Two, the US had the most powerful navy ever. It alone dominated all the oceans. This is the one single component of US grand strategy since 1945 that has not changed. Because of its vastly superior navy the US can invade any place it needs to, or wants to, and at the same time, no other nation can invade the US. The world and the United States are now one full decade plus into the second half century of US policy that uses superior naval power as the one strong leg of its worldwide hegemony.

China OTOH, was a shambles in 1945. Never a strong power in the measures of Western industrialized nations, China had been helpless to prevent humiliating armed intrusions on its soil by any number of European powers from the late 18th century through the end of 1945. In 1821, Great Britain introduced opium to coastal Chinese cities to further its control over and to profit from China. In 1839, The Chinese government tried to stop it in what came to be Known as the Opium Wars.

In 1940 demographers - on little evidence - estimated China’s population at 400 million. India was estimated to have 350 million people. Both numbers were “guesstimates.” More reliable numbers coming from today’s demographers who assign China a population of 1.3 billion and India 1.1 billion. By 2030 or 2040, India will pass China at 1.5 billion. Of the earth’s population, 35%, or one person in 3, live in China or India.

Since 1977, China has engaged in the most remarkable period of economic growth since England’s Thomas Newcomen developed the first functional steam powered engine in 1712. This new power source applied to English cotton spinning mills, ushered in the world’s first industrial economy. By the late 1980s, India - more related to the rapidly expanding electronic world wide web - was fast moving deeper into the ever growing shift of production and services from the industrialized world to the developing world.

So how did we get to 2006 from here? Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland in 1979, and encouraged Poles to stand up and they did that in spades. Poland’s Catholics never accepted Soviet Communist ant-God theology. In 1980, in the Gdansk Shipyards, a young Lech Walesa founded Solidarity. One thing led to another as we often say, and by 1989, looking now to East Berlin, but all over Eastern Europe, the popular resistance to Soviet style life, was growing exponentially. It all climaxed on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. “The moving finger writes; and having writ, moves on; nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it.” Omar Kayyam

A second event turned out to be crucial for the world happened in 1985. Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary the Communist Party. He oversaw what came to be known in the West first as “glasnost,” loosely for openness or transparency and then for “perestroika,” loosely, to rebuild or reform the system. It was Secretary Gorbachev who ordered the Red Army to “stand down” again and again as peaceful revolt after peaceful revolt - so-called velvet glove revolution - liberated one Eastern European country after another. Our own Pres. Regan helped mightily after his meeting with Gorbachev at Reykjavik when he became persuaded Gorbachev was for real. He gave Gorbachev the “cover” he so badly needed when it was still open to debate how it would play out and the Politburo was divided on the response to make.

Russia is now number 9 of large countries in GDP per person, at 12% of the United States. China’s GDP per person is barely 4% of the US, and India is only 1.5% of the US. OTOH, China is now number 2 in world economies, because of the number of people. Link en.wikipedia.org... So what’s it all mean, this “New World Order” as Pres. Bush 41 labeled it, on September 11, 1990, in a speech to Congress? Link www.sweetliberty.org...

The most important Sino-American issue left over from War Two is Taiwan. It is the one issue with the greatest potential for harm. In 1949, Mao Zedong’s Communist 8th Route Army, defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Party which fled to Taiwan. Except for an interlude between 1897 and 1945, when Japan occupied the island the Portugese had named Formosa - beautiful island - China has exercised suzerainty over it for thousands of years. As we say in the West, “Till the memory of man runneth not to the contrary.”

(1) Taiwan is not a survival issue with the United States. Oh so few Americans would be willing to trade Los Angeles and San Francisco for Taiwan in a nuclear slugfest with China. Not to speak of the annual loss of $200 billion worth of quality manufactured Chinese goods sold at Wal-Mart and etc. Nor even imagine the probable impact a saber rattling show-down with China over Taiwan would have on the worldwide price of petroleum products. $10 a gallon gasoline is not too hard to envision. Which would devastate the American economy. .

(2) China OTOH, has a vital national interest in keeping the Pacific shipping lanes open. China imports indispensable iron ore from Australia for example. China imports much needed copper from Chile. China imports rubber from Indonesia. And China is a large consumer of fish. For reasons of national pride and many other reasons including the basic trade issue, China has a strong interest in the Pacific Ocean, at least on the far western edge of it.

Yet, the United States, in the form of the Seventh Fleet, exerts military hegemony over this very same region. Homeported in Japan, and major facilities in South Korea, it is made up of 50 to 60 ships including 350 aircraft and 60,000 men and women. The Navy says it is our largest “forward deployed” force. The 23 knot 20,000 ton USS Blue Ridge is the flagship of the Seventh Fleet and serves as its command and control center. The ship’s crew numbers 800 and the CCC adds another 400 to the ship’s compliment.

The interests of the US are not necessarily the same as the interests of China. Or vice versa. Therein lies the real potential for problems, if not to say trouble. China’s military has been in a purely defensive mode since 1949. The single war with the United States fought in Korea, was technically not a war with China as the Cheese soldiers were “volunteers” to help their Communist brothers in North Korea repel the foreign devils. The Chinese stopped when the US and UN forces were pushed back to the 38th parallel. The DMZ line drawn then is where we are today. Demilitarized Zone.

China OTOH, is buying from Russia and making its own, anti-ship and anti-plane missiles. These are to be installed along China’s east coast, proximate to the Taiwan Straits. This strategy offers China two distinct gains. First, it does enhance their ability to make a long range plan for the take-back of Taiwan. But more importantly, it will push the US into spending $10 for every 1 Yuan China spends because it is so much more expensive to protect than it is to attack. We who have the blinders off have seen the fallacy of America’s unlimited Homeland Security budgets and how little bang for the buck we are getting. We know we must change our course before we do go bankrupt. Leverage is working hard against us, at home, and in the Western Pacific.

Or, we could try John Lennon’s advice, “Give Peace A Chance.”

[edit on 6/2/2006 by donwhite]




posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 02:22 AM
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I'm looking in to this very thing for a future novel, so let me try and take a whack at the answer to your well developed question.

As a political scientist and historian, I have to admit that all nations rise and fall. There is no reason to expect that the United States will be any different. Somenations, but not all, have recovered after their fall to be re-invented. China seems to be doing just that. Re-inventing itself. We can certainly debate the nature of their "fall," but you can't argue with their economic ascent to date.

What will the Americans do? The short answer is, adapt or be succeeded. The Chinese leadership is "hungry" by Western political standards, and they aren't afraid to take the steps that America once did in order to achieve their wealth and assert their potency.

Today's American career politician has no memory of shortage, subsistance, or "deprivation" as the working classes they represent are known to think of those terms. Virtually all members of the PRC's ruling body have first-hand knowledge of the cultural revolution, and its many difficulties. In historical terms, U.S. politicians have forgotten what it was like to fight for the supremacy that they still think they have in the modern world. Like the Romans before them, they are fooled in to thinking that their past is somehow their future.

The American political elite has spent so much time and effort to divide the voting public that the national "interest" has become fractured. The political will that allows any nation to prosper is derived from the fact that the leaders preach one message which touts one point of view. U.S. leaders have been hard at work since the 1950's to promote the concept of the hyphenated American. Nobody is "American" anymore. They are "Afro-American," or "Hispanic-American," or any other derivation you can think of.

China and American will not be able to reconcile as long as one of those two parties can't speak act with a unified perspective. If America cannot rediscover it's unity, it will eventually fracture tothe point of failure. Even if it does recover, it will never again rise to the lever of other more unified powers...unless...it can learn from the mistakes they've already made.

Unified countries have more happy citizens, and fewer governmental debts. Because their leaders speak with a unity of purpose, it becomes easier to relate to their neighbors. For now, the fate of America lies with its voting public. As long as they still have the power to turn out corrupt leaders, they still have a chance to learn from their mistakes before the fires of revolution threaten everything.

In time, the ruling elites will negate the voters. If they do, they will seal the fate of theri nation. It's worth noting that many elitist cliques prefer to rule impoverished nations. Makes it easier for them to stay in power. With or without meddling from China, the fate of America is certainly in doubt.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 06:29 AM
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The issues between the US and the PRC are going to come to ahead within my lifetime, barring some sort of miracle. Tiawan will merely(?) be the spark. I can't see a shooting war starting over pirated CD's. Taiwan has been a particularly sharp thorn in the PRC's side for decades now, and shows no sign of being otherwise any time soon. The US has gleefully supported it for that very reason.

I don't think the powers that be realized just how much of a potential threat the PRC could become until recently. Yes it had a large military, but it was a decade or more inferior in terms of technology. Economically, well it might as well have been centuries behind, there was no comparison between the two. Both of these "rules" are changing, and changing rapidly.

I'd say a "hot" war is unlikely. Too much to lose on both sides. A "cold" war is an icecube of a whole 'nother color; pardon the mixing of my metaphors, I couldn't resist. Warfare by surrogets, or proxy. Sound familiar?

America must rise to this occaison or run the risk of going where all illadapted political entities end up. In the Dust Bin of History.

That means, IMHO, changes in the way the gov't does business, and I suppose, the way business does government. New blood in all the elective offices would go a long, long ways in helping heal the wounds of decades of devisive two party politics. Unifying the nation is a must.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:25 AM
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posted by Justin Oldham
I'm looking in to this very thing for a novel, so let me take a whack at the answer to your well developed question. As a political scientist and historian, I have to admit that all nations rise and fall.


OK, that is true - if you exclude China - but it is not an imperative. It is a consequence. And it is not always for the same reasons or underlying factors. For example, Gibbons related the decline and fall of the Roman Empire but today, we are looking into the possibility the ruling class of Rome may have suffered from lead poisoning in the water supply system. I say this only to remind that “fall” itself is a value term.


There is no reason to expect that the United States will be any different. Some nations, but not all, have recovered after their fall to be re-invented. China seems to be doing just that. Re-inventing itself. We can certainly debate the nature of their "fall," but you can't argue with their economic ascent to date.


One fellow using the energy used per capita versus the energy produced per capita, concludes that industrialized society is about a 100 years long phenomenon. He is trying to analyze the effect passing the peak of world oil production will have and comes to the conclusion this period is dated, 1930 to 2030. Peak production has been guesstimated varously as in 2005, or ‘06 and as late as 2010 and 2020. No one however, doubts the day will come. It may turn out drinkable water will impose a greater limit on civilization than petroleum.


What will the Americans do? The short answer is, adapt or be succeeded. The Chinese leadership is "hungry" by Western political standards, and they aren't afraid to take the steps that America once did in order to achieve their wealth and assert their potency.


Well, I don’t attach so much value to the implications of your offer “ . adapt or be succeeded . ” because I sense you are thinking in terms of US world hegemony as our “manifest destiny.” Don’t let me put words in your mouth. I’m looking at a new found friend in Linz, Austria. I also have a friend who comes from a town near to Prague but I can’t recall its name. I have friends from New Brunswick who are now working in Korea - the South part - building an ocean going oil platform for Exxon. I have friends from Iran. All of this is to say, there is a life out there even if you are not the Last Standing Super Power. And by golly, it may well be a more rewarding life!


Today's American career politician has no memory of shortage, subsistence, or "deprivation" as the working classes they represent are known to think of those terms. Virtually all members of the PRC's ruling body have first-hand knowledge of the cultural revolution, and its many difficulties. In historical terms, U.S. politicians have forgotten what it was like to fight for the supremacy that they still think they have in the modern world. Like the Romans before them, they are fooled in to thinking that their past is somehow their future.


Well, like it or not, America is divided into at least two classes. Maybe more. It always has been, but it is only now beginning to become obvious. I offer there is one reason the usurpation of power by America’s ruling elite has passed unnoticed. It was the availability of land. From 1776 - figuratively speaking - until 1933, the central government was able to ignore the growing social problems and the ever growing gap between the very rich and the very poor. The government in fact did just the opposite of a democratic government, it was either an enabler or a facilitator. Or both. One example. To get a rail road from coast to coast, the very few railroad builders were given a stip of land 10 miles wide along the right of way. For every mile of track laid, the railroad got 6,400 acres of land. For laying the track 1,500 miles, the builders were given nearly 10 million acres of land. I believe there were ultimately three lines built to connect the east to the west.


The American political elite has spent so much time and effort to divide the voting public that the national "interest" has become fractured. The political will that allows any nation to prosper is derived from the fact that the leaders preach one message which touts one point of view. U.S. leaders have been hard at work since the 1950's to promote the concept of the hyphenated American. Nobody is "American" anymore. They are "Afro-American," or "Hispanic-American," or any other derivation you can think of.


Yup, who said, “Divide and Conquer?” Or how about the tactic of re-visiting the issues? How many times must we argue over abortions? Or prayer in school? Or gay rights? Or AIDS? And so on. Keep the lemmings arguing over issues the elite gave not one whit about, so they do not argue over issues they care deeply about, as in estate taxes, or the bane of the rich, a progressive income tax. And etc.


China and American will not be able to reconcile as long as one of those two parties can't speak act with a unified perspective. If America cannot rediscover it's unity, it will eventually fracture to the point of failure. Even if it does recover, it will never again rise to the lever of other more unified powers . . unless . . it can learn from the mistakes they've already made.


Well, I’m ready to drop this Super Power stuff. I am tired to the bone over military spending. I hate the concept of war in space. Without the United States, China poses no threat to any country. After 1991, Russia poses no threat. It is a sad fact our leaders are hyping war and looking about for enemies. Why in the heck do we need 12 supercarrier battle groups? Or 30 atomic subs? Why? We - the lemming class - are being whipsawed by the R&Fs - the rich and famous. Oops, I ran out of space. See Part II for more.



[edit on 6/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:26 AM
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Between 1945 and 2006, we - say the Pentagon - spent more than $15 T. and what did it prove? It showed that a group of 19 intelligent and well motivated men could cause havoc inside the Arsenal of Democracy. They spent around $1 million and we have spent more than $40 billion in NYC, more than $200 billion on so-called Homeland Security which ought to be named Homeland Insecurity, and we have spent over $400 billion in Afghan and Iraq and where are we? We're at the old Uncle Remus story of Tar Baby! We're stuck. Thank you, defense industrial complex. you served us well!?



posted by SeaGull
I don't think the powers that be realized just how much of a potential threat the PRC could become until recently. Yes it had a large military, but it was a decade or more inferior in terms of technology. Economically, well it might as well have been centuries behind, there was no comparison between the two. Both of these "rules" are changing, and changing rapidly.
[Edited by Don W]


You see. S/G is already a convert to the Next Cold War dogma. And he is not alone. For whatever it’s worth, I have a picture of me standing on the DMZ from 1953. China has never attacked the US. China has no troop ships to come over here like we had in 1944 in Europe. China has no long range bombers like we have in the B1A and B2 not to mention the B52s on which I worked in 1955 at Loping AFB, ME. China is not building fighters equal to the F4C I worked on at MacDill AFB FL in 1964. So where’s this “potential threat” coming from if not from the Pentagon and Alexandria? For whatever it’s worth, I’m of the opinion about 100,000 people are the movers and shakers of America, and perhaps 1 to 2 million around the earth. The rest of us are no more than potential collateral damage materials. But we can pull a French Revolution if we get mad enough. Sharpen the blade!


[edit on 6/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 09:15 AM
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J/O reminds
In time, the ruling elites will negate the voters. If they do, that will seal the fate of the nation.



That time may already have passed. By gerrymandering safe districts, it now takes 60% of the vote to gain 51% of the seats in the House. By allowing open ended financing of elections, it is now impossible for a poor person to entertain making a serious run for Congress. The Supreme Court is now part and parcel of the Grand Scheme. Say thank you, Bush 43, for John Roberts and Sam Alito. #4 and #5 on the bench. Reagan appointed Kennedy - old California buddy - and filled the Mafia’s seat with Scalia and Bush 41 gave us Cannibal Thomas. It’s over, man. And they did it all on denial of abortion rights, the Ten Commandments and gay bashing! Wow!




It's worth noting that many elitist cliques prefer to rule impoverished nations. Makes it easier for them to stay in power. With or without meddling from China, the fate of America is in doubt. That means, IMHO, changes in the way the govt. does business, and I suppose, the way business does government. New blood in all the elective offices would go a long way in helping heal the wounds of decades of divisive two party politics. Unifying the nation is a must. [Edited by Don W]



Be realistic J/O. Politicians are only able to exploit differences that already exist. Seventy percent of born agains really do believe the end of the world is near. But 30 percent of all Christians believe likewise. This is a failure of religion. And or of religionists. Religion like patriotism needs no basis in fact. From the earliest writings of ancient Egypt, the oldest of the civilizations, religion was present and perhaps dominant.

There is no reason to think religion was invented in Egypt. I do not doubt religion evolved along with humans. Religion offered a way to grapple with both the wonderful but also mysterious world humans found themselves in. Inexplicably. Don’t forget the ancient Greeks, to whom we attribute a lot they don’t deserve - IMO - believed there were four elements. Earth, air, fire and water. Atom is a Greek word too, but it did not denote atomic energy when it was invented.

I’m hoping today’s hyper-religiosity is the last convulse of religion. We know more now than ever before. Very probably the assurances of religion were cast into grave doubts when Europe was stuck by the Black Death in the 14th century. I’m personally sure all the survivors believed they were living in those notorious and apocryphal “last days.” But today, unlike then, such a calamity would not be blamed on Jewish persons. Well, not by rational, educated people.




SeaGull says
The issues between the US and the PRC are going to come to a head within my lifetime. I can't see a shooting war starting over pirated CD's. I'd say a "hot" war is unlikely. A "cold" war. War by proxy. Sound familiar?

Taiwan has been a sharp thorn in the PRC's side for decades. It shows no sign of being otherwise any time soon. The US has gleefully supported Taiwan for that very reason. America must rise to this occasion or run the risk of going where all ill adapted political entities end up. In the Dust Bin of History. [Edited by Don W]



By “ . . rise to this occasion . . ” I hope you mean for America to quietly pack our tent and walk away. Chiang Kai-chek lost the Revolution in 1949. The Cold War ended in 1991. We have too much false pride. We’re slow learners. Let’s not make Taiwan a survival issue. For either side. Let’s follow the UN charter and let the residents of Taiwan vote on it.

Uh oh, now I did it. America don't like elections that don't go our way, do we? Demoracy only works up to a point.


[edit on 6/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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Don W:

Your interpretation of my remarks is on-target. We are fortunate in that what we need, and hat we ask for, are not impossible things to be "delivered."

For now.

The Cold War with the Chinese should be noticeably under way by the end of this decade. United, we stand. Divided, we fall.

A lot of Americans already know this, or they feel it in their gut. It's no accident that authors like me are starting to gain market share.

I really liked that encapsulation of the Chinese situation, and I've since referred a number of my friends to it. Very well written. If our leaders continue t osacrifice the majority so that they can fill their own pockets, will surely be repeating much of our past bad history.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:41 PM
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posted by Justin Oldham
Your interpretation of my remarks is on-target. . The Cold War with the Chinese should be noticeably under way by the end of this decade. United, we stand. Divided, we fall . . [Edited by Don W]


Hey, J/O, I was born in Ky. That’s the state’s motto.


A lot of Americans already know this, or feel it in their gut. It's no accident that authors like me are starting to gain market share . . I really liked that encapsulation of the Chinese situation . . If our leaders continue to sacrifice the majority so that they can fill their own pockets, we’ll surely be repeating much of our past bad history.


Although I believe you are right, I still do not believe in conspiracy theories. Mainly because it is so hard to keep a secret when there are so many people involved.

I am not into illegal drugs - alcohol is my drug of choice - I can’t help but believe half the drug sellers are informants and half the drug buyers are undercover narcs. Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1969. 37 years ago. Does anyone honestly think we - I mean the DEA etc - have made any progress? That is if you don’t count putting the US #1 in prisoners behind bars, at 2.1 million. At $20,000 per year, per man - they say it costs more - that is $42 billion a year. Wasted. Not to count the courts, judges, clerks, bailiffs and so on. Endlessly.

Plus, after release, those men won’t be able to get a decent job, and are likely to return to prison. Talk about a downward spiral. Is that shooting yourself in the foot or is it not? Or, do you believe you could find drugs in a half hour, if you felt so impelled? Our leaders give us unending war and endless supplies of drugs.

God Bless America!



[edit on 6/5/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 01:27 AM
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Conspiracy theory is different things to different people. As a political scientist, and a historian, I see at as an acknowledgement that we live in an imperfect world. The "what" and the "how" of corruption is what keeps me busy.

Even in the most modern of countries, you'll find that the veneer of "civilizaiton" isn't at all deep. I was once in the wrong place at the right time, and I got a piece of a deal that you'd like to think that most people wouldn't make. It was far more dangerous to say "no" than it was to just pony up, take my share, and walk.

All we're doing in this discussion is acknowledging what we already know. In my own way, I'm trying to be a part of the solution. I've found a niche in publishing, and I'm using it. I'm also posting in places like this one.

No one man can change the world, but he can certainly give a lot of people something to think about. America is in trouble, and there's not enough voices speaking up to say it. It's still too easy to go to work and come home without being overly aware or even too drastically effected by what's going on. Only when the actions of the polticians truely bite in to the lives of the people will they begin to suspect that something isn't quite right.



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 07:08 AM
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After the Katrina debacle, I got to thinkikng, if this was England or Canada, with a parliamentary form of government we could have ridded our country of Geo W by a vote of NO confidence in the House. Instead, we have our leader for a fixed term, regardless of his performance or lack of it. That’s why I am calling January 20, 2009, American Freedom Day!

Now, I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot, so I want the president to do well in the 31 months remaining under his ‘inspirational’ leadership. Based on his past performances, it is unlikely anything important will change for the better.

It is most likely barring a tragedy, that the Supreme Court drama is over. No other justices are likely to need replacing. (I’m ignoring AJ Kennedy.) The appointees after Reagan - except Mrs. Ginsburg - are going to be around for a long time, I do keep in mind that a super majority in Congress can remove any of the sitting justices, should they so desire. I also know we can enlarge the Court anytime we feel sufficiently impelled to do so. So all is not lost. It is just mislaid.

In this modern age, the first few years of the third millennia, we are still operating under a system of governance that was devised to fit an Age of Enlightenment and pre-industrial revolution time. A document approved by 3 million people is now called upon to serve 300 million. 18th century people were familiar with and accustomed to a reigning monarch who sat on the throne for his lifetime. To shorten the time for a chief executive to “rule” to a mere 4 years must have seemed to the people of the day, super fast!

And don’t forget, until 1933, the US Federal Government was best known for not being there. Theodore Roosevelt aside, and ignoring the Civil War, the Federal government had little to nothing to do with the way America grew or how the shrewd and clever operated. I have no idea how many people worked for the US in say, to pick a year, 1899, but if I was to guess, I’d say, around 30,000. Not counting the Post Office. Sure, you say, the population was maybe 50 million. By the end of War 2, the number of civil servants had grown to more than 1 million but the population was nearing 140 million, too. At some point in time, the civil service grew to more than 2 million but I rarely hear any numbers today. And our country is near to 300 million.

It was the unmitigated rapaciousness of the post civil war era where we saw the acquisition of extreme wealth by the Robber Barons and the vicious cycle of bank panics began to bring great harm to the ordinary man. All trading on the stock markets was insider trading, unless you were gullible enough to buy some of the “blue sky” offerings. Then you were plainly gypped. Bank failures which took away the life’s savings of so many small depositors rarely found the bank’s owners worse off. In other words, the unregulated fury of capitalism and the individual uninhibited greed of capitalists was loosed on the body politic. And for them, nowhere to turn for succor.

Again, I offer the American system did not fall into the revolts of Europe’s famous revolutions of 1848 and later, because there was still lots of land, cheap land, available for both the ambitious and the discontents. And in an agrarian economy, which most of America was, it was possible to survive by planning ahead. Many of my father’s brothers and sisters stayed on the farm until they died.

I can recall not more than 5 years ago, visiting an aunt in southern Kentucky - in her 90s - whose basement was lined with shelves, each filled with the most beautiful canned goods you can imagine. In mason jars. Tomatoes, my favorite, corn on the cob, cucumbers, squash, onions, apples, okra, and green beans by the ton. Wild blackberries were also subjected to the canning process. Strawberries made preserves. Plus, other relatives liked to pickle pork tenderloins and grind homemade sausage. And etc. if you work hard, you can save from the good years to help you through the bad years. As in Joseph and the 7 cows of Egypt and etc.

But, as city populations grew, this same kind of existence and opportunity for self made survival, no longer existed. The city dwellers needed help of every kind. Sewers were needed as the city became so crowded that septic tanks would no longer function. Sewers are a collective enterprise whereas septic tanks are individualistic in nature. Despite being a free country, crowding soon takes on a public aspect. It is just not acceptable that a dozen people should exist in a 15 foot square room. Poverty and health, like oil and water, do not mix well. The risk of contagion becomes a public concern and cannot be left to the market place. More and more areas of our lives cry out for regulation, oversight, and bureaucratic involvement.

So how do we get from 1787 to 2006? Well, to borrow a phrase popularized in another context, we need a road map! I offer the following, not in any particular order of preference.

1) we need an unicameral legislature
2) I recommend changing the president to one 7 years term but subject to removal on 2 successive votes of the unicameral legislature.
3) public elections must be paid for with public funds, and it must be unlawful for anyone to spend any private money on any election.
4) there must be no - say none - of the corrupting influences by private interests to or for those in the public service.
5) the “cooling off” period of government service must be for life
6) the legislature must not micro-manage the government by endless minutia of appropriations a/k/a earmarks.
7) the career civil service or bureaucracy must be insulated from both legislative and executive interference
8) a taxing scheme must be imposed that discourages the accumulation of excess wealth

These are the most important changes I would like to see in the 1787 document to make it more effective today. We cannot continue to let the money mongers whipsaw us around by the many devices that are so obvious and permit them the goals the are likewise easily foreseeable. We are the people. We have the right to undo anything that does not work well for us. Let us begin!


[edit on 6/6/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 12:17 PM
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That should appeal to your keen sense of history and international politics.
See PTS: Two ways to fix the U.S's problems (imo)





[edit on 6/6/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 02:06 PM
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I understand where you're coming from, and I encourage you to keep talking about it. There will always be corruption and it will never matter what political system you're in. My experience suggests that the key to reform is an actively questioning population that votes.

In addition to being an author, I have been a Federal civil servant. I've seen the apathy among the GS grades for myself. The reforms you suggest may work, but for now...it might be wise to tighten up on the hiring requirements and revamp the firing requirements. Thre are currently 5 steps to the hiring process, and 12 steps to the firing process.

That cooling off period that you refer to is a double-edged sword. It is currently two years for GS grades and one year for ES grades. It's not easy to be a government whistleblower...which I know from experience...and that two year window for BS grades does mean that it's harder to shed the light of truth on something bad, while you're waiting for that clock to run down.

Now, to the Presidency. You're not as helpless as you might think. If the Republicans lose theor majorities in the House and the Senate, "W" might as well clear his calendar and go on vacation. With a hostile congress at his back, he will never get anything done. That means for the rest of his term. That's not good for you and me in hte long run, but it's just one way that you have at your disposal to send a message to the President and the GOP.

In your own State, there will soo be primaries for the off-year congressional race. If you and enough of your friends vote for the other guy, you can send a loud and clear mesage to the encumbent. You can still stick with your favorite party if you feel the need. Just vote for the challenger. The last thing any of the K street comandos are expecting right now is a sudden change at the State AND Federal levels. Think of it as your own private little conspiracy.

From time to time, I speak to local groups about this sort of thing. It sounds corny as all heck, but it works. So many people are jaded that they've forgotten the power of their voice and their vote. While its true that I am an idealist, this is just cold card politics. For example, stop and think about what you write on this board. It reaches a lot of people. That's your shot at talking to more people than you can pay to reach. That's your voice in action.

There's more to this, to be sure, but this post is already too long.






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