By Shaheerah Farrakhan CHARLENEM
(FinalCall.com) – Protests in the streets, jobs on the line, people hungry with no food to eat, homes being foreclosed on making the homeless teem over in the streets, the line of unemployment gets stronger and longer every day.
From this description it may not shock you that I am describing conditions in the United States of America.
Once the biggest political and economic super power in the world, it is no surprise to the struggling middle class just how bad the situation undeniably is. Occupy Wall Street was a beacon of protest that showed unknowing citizens exactly what this government thinks of our so-called rights. People are angry with bank bailouts that saved big corporations but bled workers who have begun to lose everything. People utilized their rights to assemble peacefully and practice freedom of speech, but were met with opposition, mistreatment and sometimes violence.
To those that have paid attention, this is no coincidence. But how did this happen? How did the new age Roman Empire come to the precipice of disaster, bankruptcy, and the inevitability of impending doom?
The reality is no industry, no jobs! There is little actually produced here in the United States of America. This country is the import king, suffering from a lack of exported goods.
People can continue to point fingers and try to blame parties or presidents, but as we keep debating what to do economically to bring America back to the forefront of power, the big businesses that keep the economy afloat continue to outsource and bankroll projects to foreign countries.
Countries that as many as 30-years-ago were among the poorest in the industrialized world now sit in the seat of power despite America’s rhetoric claiming she is sharing the throne. There can only be one king, and at the moment China is wearing the crown.
Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, America has sent 46,000 factories to her shores resulting in the loss of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since that year. More jobs and money are being redirected from American pockets right into the banks of Chinese manufacturers.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the most up-to-date analysis of 196 countries and their current account balances, China dominates the monetary frontier with a whopping $305 billion nesting soundly in their banks. Where does America fall in comparison? If you drop down 195 positions you will find America dead last with a $470 billion owed to other people and countries.
While the CIA only claims $400 billion worth of U.S. debt, the number is actually in the trillions.
So who owns America’s debt? The Business Insider claims that America owns most of its own debt. And while that may be true of America’s $10 trillion, 409 billion, 740 million debt, foreign powers own $2 trillion, 886 billion and 940 million. Of that $2.8 trillion, China owns $1.28 trillion making it the largest foreign investor in America.
China is indispensable in the eyes of most industrialized countries, especially the United States. It’s very rare to purchase anything nowadays that wasn’t either created in China or manufactured by Chinese companies. America’s sport is baseball but, more than likely if you looked under your baseball cap you would see a tag that reads “Made in China,” a country that only as recently as 2002 created the Chinese Baseball League.
We see what happens when jobs are outsourced thousands of miles away to China, but what will happen if one day we happen to look up and see China in our backyard?
According to the Idaho Statesman, in a story that ran in December 2010 and resurfaced the summer of 2011, there was a rumor that a Chinese company by the name of Sinomach was looking at land in Boise, Idaho that was called “The Core” for potential purchase. The Core is described as “a local health care, technology and industry related growth corridor.” While this may not seem threatening in the least, other reports have surfaced that this Core will be deemed a “special economic zone.”
A special economic zone is a designated area in countries that includes special economic regulations different from other areas of the same country. Conducting business in a SEZ usually means that a company will receive tax incentives and the opportunity to pay lower tariffs.
With the possibility of an SEZ near Boise Airport, the benefits are limitless to whoever sets up and owns this land. Boise Airport is a hub that flies internationally and is positioned in an area that can connect to any part of the U.S. The citizens of Boise are enraged at the idea. State officials are in favor of this idea to help boost the economy.
The reality is America is for sale, and this doesn’t just mean property or political power, this also means citizenship.
According to a post by the Altadena group, “Chinese business men who can invest up to 1 million dollars for 5 years in American ventures are eligible to obtain visas granting them permanent status in the United States, under rules established by the United States Customs and Immigration Service.”
According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, to qualify you must invest or be in the process of investing at least $1 million, unless your investment is in a designated Targeted Employment Area–which is a rural area or an area of high employment–then you have to invest a minimum of $500,000. The entire state of Idaho has been designated as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA zone).
Black America has something to learn from the Chinese. Black people say there are no jobs and instead of creating jobs, we consistently have our hands out. People come to this country everyday setting up shop and making a life for themselves and their families. It may be hard, and it may not be ideal, but they understand the benefit of doing for self. We mistakenly measure our success by what we can get instead of what we can create.
As “Americans” we feel we are above hard work and we have an elitist perspective on life. Being in the service industry, agricultural industry, textile industry, doesn’t make you a lowly worker. It makes you a valuable person with a trade or skill that most people here feel they are above. A lot can be said for the Chinese; in just 30 years they turned their entire world around and now are one checkmate away from the seat of power. What are we capable of?
(Shaheerah Farrakhan is a Final Call intern.)