Wednesday, December 8, 2010

America should choose between Wars or Economy

December 4, 2010

By Saeed Qureshi

Overseas wars are the bane of American Economy. America’s plummeting economy can be revived or put on an even keel if the overseas wars are wound up. The bulk of funds thus saved can be utilized domestically on creating jobs, modernizing the decaying highway infrastructure, sprucing up the education, expanding health care benefits, giving sufficient student loans and on similar productive projects.

These aimless wars should not have been started at first. Nor can these be won, no matter how long waged. The beneficiaries of these costly wars are multinational companies, the corporate magnates, and special interest groups that are backed and supported by the public representatives in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Even if someone one like president Obama wants to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the vested interests and war lobbyists would make every efforts and pull every string to oppose and keep these in perpetuation. President Obama whose firm commitment and loud public pledge was to terminate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is now having second thoughts and there is every possibility that he would renege upon his earlier stance.

The Republicans are laughing in their sleeves to see a Democrat and a black president cornered and debilitated to such an extent that now he has become oblivious of his agenda for change and seems to be kow-towing the Republicans. The Republicans who have scored an upper hand in the senate exude a definitive confidence to browbeat any move by the democratic dispensation that does not serve their ulterior motives of securing the interests of the corporate classes and wealthiest segments of the American society.

The latest bipartisan approach heralded and trumpeted by both president Obama and the top Republican leadership to retain the Bush tax cuts, is nothing but a docile compromise by the sitting administration to keep the things going as these are. The bipartisanship would be floated and sustained at the Republicans’ terms and not of the Democrats. With ham-handed, flexible, and wavering approach towards the grave and daunting national issues, there is a remote possibility that Democrats can retain their majority also in the house. There seems to be faint hope or slim chance for Obama to win the second term, unless he can throw up a revolutionary strategy for energizing the innervating economy and create jobs.

For reviving the sluggish economy, the most pressing issue for the incumbent American administration is to create abundant job opportunities and progressively bring down the soaring graph of unemployment. The greatest frustration and disillusionment and people’s disaffection for any government emanate when people have no or meager income. President Obama despite his charisma and popularity is caught up in the web of multiplicity of problems that he knows not how to tackle. He wasted his pretty two years on the passage of the healthcare reform while giving scant attention to other yawning challenges.

Nevertheless, he can salvage the American nation from this morass, if he picks up a new resolve and goes ahead defiantly, with the implementation of his pristine election agenda premised upon refurbishing the deteriorating economy and winding up the meaningless yet economically burdensome distant wars. While he can go whole- hog to straighten the faltering economy, he should make it succinctly clear to the Americans that it was a legacy from the previous administration and he was in no way responsible for its making.

The tax cuts policy that was initiated by President George Bush is counterproductive as it favors the rich and affluent classes and the top corporate sectors. It does not benefit the lower and the middle classes in a resounding manner. The bailouts and stimuli are cosmetic measures and cannot cure the deeply ailing economy. So a gubernatorial strategy has to be mounted that goes a long way until the sick economy starts breathing and convalescing again.

There is no question of vanity or prestige involved if America retracts from both Iraq and Afghanistan without winning those wars. These wars were neither moral nor provoked. Eversince, thrown into this quagmire, America has achieved nothing save losing American precious soldiers and dollars. These wars can be ended, the way these were started.

By doing so America would be saving huge funds that are now being shoved and burnt in the furnace of wars. The American economy would at once start showing signs of recovery as the liability of foreign war spending turns into saving. With this money, America can set- up and create more industries that would automatically need work force. As such, the high graph of joblessness would start plummeting. That is the viable and genuine strategy by which America can start overcoming its lengthening economic nightmare.

The outsourcing of jobs is another stunning impediment that is devouring the domestic jobs and widening the sphere of unemployment. The American entrepreneurs are investing aboard at the cost of home industry and employment. It is clearly a paradigm that provided jobs to the foreign countries at the cost of the home population. The cheaper goods so produced are pushed in the American markets lending two-fold disadvantage to the Americans.

One that the local products cannot compete with the cheap imports in prices. Secondly, the domestic industrial sectors have gone sluggish and not being expanded to create jobs. If America is keen on importing foreign merchandise such as cars, then it would be in order to raise the import tariff for them so that there is little price variations between the local and foreign imported finished products. The competition should be on the basis of quality.

If outsourcing is, necessary then it should be confined to high technology only and not of producing ordinary consumer items that cater for our one-dollar and consumer super stores. The stark factor about the American economy is that it is like a candle being burnt on both the ends and still futile and mindless efforts and plans are contemplated to keep it intact. It means that while the money is being spent like showers of rains abroad for cheap imports, no meaningful strategy is being hammered out to put life into the dwindling domestic economy.

President Obama has to come out of his complexes if he has any and apply himself aggressively to translate into reality, his promised agenda for change. If he succeeds, he would win the laurels of the American nation. If he cannot deliver befittingly, he will not be held responsible, as the onus would fall on the recalcitrant Republicans and right wing lobbyists who would not like to see a democratic president all the more a black to emerge as a redeemer and bail out the American nation from an abyss, it is plunged into at the moment.

This is a defining juncture for President Obama to make history or else go down as an ordinary head of state who in the beginning spewed out lot of sound and fury but at the end signified nothing. He has two years to prove equal to the mammoth task.

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