Thursday, February 10, 2011

Americans Will Soon Need Egypt's Support

The citizens of Egypt have been asking for something they think we have here in America...

From Gigi Ibrahim and Mahmoud Salem
The January 25 Movement
Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt

"We are demanding things which everyone can agree on: An end to corruption, dictatorship and oppression; the ability to vote in free, fair and democratic elections; freedom, dignity and social justice to all citizens."

All I can say to the people of Egypt is, be careful what you wish for.

In America we supposedly have "fair and democratic elections" - that is, if you don't consider the financial backing of the political machinery at work for both parties; and the corporate campaign contributions that the Supreme Court has allowed to make this all possible.

The citizens of Egypt are demanding that President Mubarak step down. They aren't being anti-government, just as I myself am not anti-government, I'm just anti THIS government (both the Republicans and the Democrats). Both parties have failed this country miserably for the past 35 years, allowing the disparity of wealth between the rich and poor to widen into an infinite chasm.

The millions of lost jobs and the decline of the middle-class has been clear evidence of this, as well as the recent devastating recession and the amassing of wealth by the richest 2% that has only escalated with the "Obama Compromise".

There is no light at the end of the tunnel for the "have-nots" in this country (as in, "have not" a job earning a living wage). Corporate America stubbornly persists with the onslaught of the working-class as our government leaders continue to kowtow to BIG BUSINESS. I would suggest that we impose a 100% excise tax on all imports manufactured in foreign countries for sell in the United States by American corporations.

Do we really need the latest version of a HP computer? Do American teenagers really need the latest version of ANY new cell phone? My eMachine with Windows 98 has lasted me almost 12 years, and my Nokia cell phone is over 5 years old (and still takes great pictures). These companies already have the technology and just market these "new" products to us piece-meal, by deliberately attempting to make older versions antiquated, just to force us to buy their newer products when our older ones had been working just fine.

But I only use the industry of electonics as only but ONE of many, many examples (see: solar panels, cars, etc). But some people see this as good old fashion American corporate greed, as American as apple pie and "Leave it to Beaver".

Capitalism is broken if average Americans can't benefit from the obscene profits that the banks and corporations have been earning, all while mom and dad have been suffering, not even being able to afford to pay the electric and heating bills every month - even with both of them working full-time jobs.

Cheap labor is only needed by big American companies to compete with other big American and Western European companies. I would even ban all imports entirely if need be; there would be no more expensive French champagne for the rich (just like Cuban cigars). Even our U.S. flags are made in China; this is despicable.

But the citizens of Egypt may be just like the citizens in America - casting off one dictator for another - being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. Have no misperceptions about American politicians...they are ALL merely puppets for the financial dictators of our own country (bought and paid for). Truth hurts, reality hurts more. The banks and corporations run this country, and they have for decades. These days they don't even bother hiding that fact; and our own Supreme Court is in bed with them as well. We are no longer a true Republic or a Democracy, America has become some warped version of a "Democratic Dictatorship" - we elect people to "rule", not to govern, for the financially wealthiest in America.

It is most likely well beyond the point of no return in our life-times to correct this injustice, and it won't be until several more unborn generations later from now can it ever be fixed...but only once our future great-great-great-grandchildren stand up and say they've had enough. Those of us today have been carefully managed to just under our own "tipping point".

But long before that time ever comes (when America will ever see another true middle-class again), it will be us, the ordinary citizens of America, who will be begging for Egypt's support.


  1. Quote: "I would force companies such as APPLE to charge us $500 for our iPhones if they want to make a profit here"

    Hate to break this to you, Bud, but Apple already DOES charge $500 for an iPhone (actually it's quite a bit more - iPhone4 w/o contract @ 16Gb is $599; iPhone4 w/o contract @ 32Gb is $699; iPhone 3Gs w/o contract @ 8Gb is $499). And if you're lucky enough to get an upgrade price (with eligibility and being tied to that cell company for 2 years on contract) the low end costs are: $199, $299, $99 (respective to the above line up listed).
    Unfortunately, America has never been the country that made gadgets and never will be. What jobs we've lost are in the manufacturing of steel, plastics, parts, and computer technology. We gave all these industries and more away to other countries to do for us so we can, in essence, become a service oriented country. The lower and once middle classes are now nothing more than slaves to the rich and powerful - and all with the government's blessing.
    As much as I love your articles and agree with much of your thoughts, companies like Apple were never started in the US as far as the actual construction of the gadgets - electronics have almost always been the providence of the Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese and will continue to be so. You rail on Apple almost constantly, yet you don't complain about Microsoft, which ONLY makes software (and many of those CDs and Flash Drives are made out of country!), and Bill Gates has been one of the wealthiest men for numerous decades. Steve Jobs (of Apple) doesn't even come close to Gates' net worth, but I don't see Gates unloading dump trucks full of green stuff at the Treasury to fix our broken economy. But I do see him putting out a ton of "philanthropic" money to 3rd world kids so they can grow up to spend money on his software. Give Apple a rest and find another company to rail against, ok? There's lots of other multi-million dollar companies out there to piss about while they continue to outsource.
    Peach :o)~

  2. It proudly boasts, "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”

  3. Quote: "It proudly boasts, "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." "

    And it's always been that way - Apple has never hidden that fact on their iPhones or other hardware. And Apple employs many tech workers at their stores and plants in the US, but they have NEVER manufactured or assembled their iPhones/iPads in the US and never claimed to have. And it's mainly the advent of the iPhone (in 2007, long after Apple had been established) that made Apple and Steve Jobs the big money. Without that piece of tech (invented by a PAID US employee team), Apple wasn't anywhere near the super-company in terms of net-worth as it is today. If these other companies that actually MANUFACTURE stuff wouldn't have outsourced their shit to China and other countries LONG BEFORE the advent of the iPhone, all those little gadgets could have been "invented and produced and assembled" right here in the USA. Why not bag on the companies that used to make those parts and now have outsourced their work to China and other countries?
    Peach :o)~

  4. I believe the post references most American-based multi-national corporations as guilty of outsourcing, whether just a little or lot. Collectively, whether the jobs left America 30 years ago or just last week (it really doesn't matter "when"), all those jobs add up to very many. It may have started a long time ago with the Opium Wars (then later, in Japan with the electronics industry), but for every single job lost to another country, it's a lose for America. Defending any particular company just because they might outsource less than someone else doesn't make it right. It's more than just the assembly-lines in China (and elsewhere); it's everything from the raw materials to the actual manufacturing and distribution of all the parts that make up any one given final product, all the way up to the guy that sells the food and other services to the workers. It's not just one individual action, it's everything that's relative to that action. You sound like you own stock in Apple, which my 401k fund may be heavily invested in (who knows). But if so, then it becomes even more complicated - then America depends on other countries for its very existence. How much do we owe countries like China now? Should any American company be exempt, just because they offend less than others? Just because they destroy less families and deny less livelihoods for American workers than others, they should be showered with kudos? Mister Jobs (like Bill Gates and the rest of these SOB CEOS), should forfeit their U.S. citizenships and live on their wealth in India and China, since they've already abandoned the country that enabled their wealth in the first place..

  5. Bud - I DID email Steve Jobs and ask him to consider having the iProducts assembled in America. That everyone around the world loves his product and would pay a bit more for it if they had to :) He never answered : / But I figured it was worth mentioning .

  6. I can say that I don't own stock in Apple, in fact, I'm just another unemployed person like almost 21% of this country :( I couldn't even invest in stocks that are less than a dollar a share! I just get tired of seeing the same company constantly get berated because they just happen to be the most well-to-do right now; 5 years ago (before the advent of the iPhone) it would have been Intel or MS that would have gotten the title for biggest net-worth stock, probably. At least Apple is transparent about where it's products (iPhone and iPad and the internals of most of it's computer lines) are made. And the reason they're being made in China (at FoxCon) is because at the time when they needed manufacturing, those jobs were already outsourced and gone from our country. And Apple, at that time, was not in the financial position to build new factories to manufacture those parts from scratch, so they turned to a Chinese company that was already manufacturing stuff like that. I do think, however, that Apple, now has the financial resources that they could build production facilities here in the US and make the iPhone and iPad here, but let's face it - there's way too much money to be made by getting cheaper parts and labor in China and they are in the business of making money. I don't like it, and I don't support it, but at least they don't lie about where their shit comes from like other companies out there (yes, I'm looking at you Harley-Davidson! - and for the record, I do have a Harley and don't live far from one of their plants here in the US that has tons of stock in boxes marked "Made in Japan").
    Peach :o)~

  7. Quote: "I would force companies such as APPLE to charge us $500 for our iPhones if they want to make a profit here"

    Ummmm, eat a peach, where did you get this quote from? I don't see it anywhere in Bud's article at all, only in your comment. (Even when you do a "find on this page" search.)

    Perhaps you need to read the article again.

  8. Ummm, Debbie, he changed the text of the article. Since there are no indications on this blog when an article or entry has been edited, Bud should have made note of the fact that he did make changes to the text of the entry. In the original post there was no mention of Nokia or HP computers. Most likely, since I said something about Apple (as it was the only company mentioned in the original text), it was edited to include these other companies.
    Maybe if you weren't busy trying to find fault with others, you'd be more help to the cause of the unemployed. Why not pick apart some of these asshat politicians' quotes???
    Peach :o)~

  9. Has anyone seen or heard any more about the "man with the golden voice"? I think it's wonderful that he got his 2nd chance, but in reality, he put himself in the situation he was in due to drugs and alcohol use, not because he was unemployed through no fault of his own. His story was a true rags to riches, but he was being used as an example of both what unemployed people should be doing with their ingenuity along with being shown to be a substance abuser and lumped in with those of us that became unemployed due to circumstances beyond our control and the inability to find jobs due to age, length of unemployment, or credit problems (among other things such as homelessness and lack of transportation for many). Most of us are NOT substance abusers, lazy, or unintelligent (no matter what politicians may say!).
    A few people seem to think that I'm attacking Bud (in the comments of his most recent blog post about Egypt), but that is far from the truth. I know exactly the place Bud is coming from as I and my significant other both lost our jobs and remain unemployed. I lost my house to foreclosure, my car to repossession (I managed to hang on to the bike by sheer luck), and had to have my ill mother move in with me just to be able to make the rent. Unlike Bud, I have a child (actually 3 but only 1 lives with me), so I know all too well what Bud speaks about in his articles. My SO is over age 50 and I see the age discrimination along with the wage discrimination that he deals with while trying to find a job. After the loss of my house and car along with a divorce that left me with a ton of debt, I face credit discrimination at every turn when trying to find any type of work in my field.
    My thanks to Bud for recognizing that there is more than one company out there in what used to be "our great country" that has contributed to our economic collapse in conjunction with the Wall Street shenanigans and golden parachute hand-outs by the government at the tax-payers expense. My hope is that we will get jobs back in this country, and NOT just service jobs that don't even pay a living wage. We need industry and we need this current government to realize that they aren't making things better. And until this government stops trying to fix what it broke (if they knew how it worked in the first place they wouldn't have broke it!) and stops governing for big business and starts working FOR THE PEOPLE, I have to agree with Bud that this country is doomed to failure.
    Peach :o)~

  10. Huffington Post: Nokia, Microsoft Form Pact To Rival Apple, Google