I immigrated to the United States more than 50 years ago. I served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. I pay taxes, and I love this country. It saddens me that there are so many people without a job; although I am not an economist, I would like to say something about the economy as an ordinary citizen.
Corporate America is making record profits; they have transferred their business to China, India, Brazil and other developing countries where profits are higher since workers in those places have lower salaries than our workers here. It is said that making money, as much as possible, is the only reason for business to exist, never mind that workers employed in those manufacturing companies are now without jobs, and young people who expected to replace older workers cannot find jobs either. Business has no morals and no compassion.
It is a fact that due to technical advances, industries employ less and less workers; products made overseas cost less when they are brought back to our shores by Wal-Mart and others, but we can state with certainty that the old jobs will never come back. In the present circumstances, more people are unemployed, there is less money to buy products made here or elsewhere, less taxes are collected to pay for services, bridges and roads, Social Security and Medicare, and the deficit is becoming exorbitant.
Many people still believe that the "free market" is wise. I believe that the following are indeed wise: the advertising and marketing industries encouraging folks to buy more and more stuff that they don't need, as well as the lobbyists in Washington that favor corporate America while they buy our politicians. There is a structural problem within our economy when 1 or 2 percent of the population control more than 50 percent of the wealth of the country. With that type of organization, we clearly resemble feudal times, when the "noblemen" in the Congress and the Supreme Court favor the banks, when the financial system exist with few regulations, and the king-president of whichever political party cannot make any changes to the system to make it more just, no matter how much hope and change he had previously promised.
How close are we to our own "American Spring" when ordinary people come to realize that the system has to be changed and that nobody lately has been able or willing to do so? A path has to be found before a "people's revolution" takes place in a violent way. It will be found because I profoundly believe in the honesty, goodness and pragmatism of the American people.
Jaime Lievano, Baltimore