Osama bin Laden

Although there is satisfaction at the recent assassination of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. military, it has been ten years since the 9-11 event and even longer for other terrorist acts generally credited to his masterminding. No question that this man got what was coming to him, and no one in the West or even some in the East will bemoan his passing. 

But with the passage of a decade and our engagement in two major wars, including a significant number of minor conflicts (most recently Arab Spring etc.) and the consequent loss of life, the spending of a good deal of our national treasury, a recession that is now dragging into its fourth year, and still no peace or hope for peace in the Middle East; it is certainly an appropriate time to ask our selves whether the killing of Bin Laden actually brings us any closer to unifying the world’s nations, or was he just another manifestation of other more serious issues that we simply refuse to confront?

Before OBL became more than just an annoying Arab who occasionally held sway on the world stage, he was oftentimes sounding clarion calls for nationalistic and fundamentalist Islamic beliefs. While helped in no small part by his substantial family wealth and connections, he gradually came to understand the power of massive numbers of young Middle Eastern men, hopelessly unemployed, controlled by dictatorial regimes, powerless to control their own destiny, unable to provide for their families, faced with a bleak future of poverty and despair, shamed by their inability to acquire the barest of essentials for themselves, being forced to watch on television, computers and other media the never ending message of materialism and consumerism that was totally beyond any hope for their participation. Adding more fuel to an already overcharged environment, they are humiliated at every turn by an expansionist, militaristic Western supported Israel that to this day continues to deny rights and statehood for the indigenous Palestinian people. And finally, they are trapped in the ongoing duel between those countries with huge oil reserves and those dependent on the oil.

With all that in perspective does it seem so unrealistic that someone such as OBL came to power? The only real question to be asked is whether it was going to be him or someone else? In the end any leader of such a frustrated group of people is only the figurehead for a movement that would have, did, and will continue to seek some kind of justice and satisfaction for their obviously perilous circumstances.

The fact is that without solving the core issues that precipitated Bin Laden’s rise to power, killing him is a symbol of revenge rather than diminishing in any real way the terrorist threat he represents. The massive numbers of unemployed men (and women) have not gone away because of the death of this man, they only continue to increase. Our assassination efforts are meaningless unless we are determined to institute policies that bring reason and influence to nations that are completely unwilling to control and reduce their burgeoning unsustainable populations.

We should do this, not only because it is simply the right thing to do for people living as precariously as a good part of the world does, but because if we don’t do it we will continue to reap the ramifications of homeless, unemployed, migrating refugees which eventually someone will have to pay for – most likely this country – in some way or fashion. Those refugees, certainly hundreds of millions and potentially a billion or more, will certainly be manipulated and controlled by men similar to Bin Laden with their messages of hate, religious zealotry and violent tactics, which in the near future could make 9-11 look like child’s play.

And even more importantly for this country is that we have our own potential for chronic unemployment.  Our ongoing recession seems to have all the potential for developing a permanent unemployed class, acting in unison with disappearing job opportunities and consequent decreasing consumer demand. That is not an encouraging synergy. A crisis of too many people chasing too few jobs. Technology will certainly continue  to automate and replace not only blue collar manufacturing workers out on the production line, but more and more white collar workers and executives are finding their job descriptions and positions being displaced by either computer technology or outsourced to cheap foreign labor working somewhere in some third world country.

So before we get too smug and complacent about our own place in the world, it would be best to be re-examine what the future holds for the American economy, with a workforce that looks to being downsized at a tremendous rate.

Not only are we downsizing, but because of our own ignorance, laziness and corporate greed we are also facing the onslaught of basically refugees from Mexico, Latin American and South American countries. Those governments are encouraging the migration because they no longer have the economic resources or systems to create jobs for their own citizens. And corporate America is subsidizing all this by marketing the mantra – “there are jobs Americans refuse to do” – when in fact there are only wages that Americans cannot survive on. By the way illegal imported labor can’t survive on those wages in this country either. 

Then we throw in the impact of our one trillion dollar Underground Economy – that alone would add dramatically to any realistic unemployment figures. For the uncounted unemployed in this country, this is the economy that fulfills all the needs and desires that our private sector and government sector is either unable or unwilling to provide. It is a cash and barter economy that mostly avoids paying any taxes, but still makes tremendous demands on infrastructures, law enforcement and social services, all of which have to be paid for.

So, we combine the forces of ongoing worldwide unemployment, migrating refugees seeking jobs and a semblance of stability, continually developing technology and automation that are constantly reducing the need for traditional labor, not only around the world but in the most sophisticated Western countries, including this country. Compounding the problems is a destructive multi-national corporate mentality that looks at cheap imported or outsourced labor as the key to increasing production and decreasing production costs, more demand for unneccessary goods, and of course in the end much greater profits. And if that wasn’t enough, huge underground economies here and around the world supply both legal and illegal goods and services tax free.

  • Does that summary look like an economic, social, and political disaster in the making
  • Now add between two or three billion people by 2050
  • Do you think there may be a few more Osama bin Ladens lurking out there
  • Do you think reducing populations here and abroad should be our number one priority

Remember: A Billion people = 1000 Million people

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Jobs and Excess Labor

 One Job Away From Being Unemployed

To begin with, let all the employed not forget the disturbing images of the homeless and destitute here and abroad roaming the urban backwaters searching for a place to eat, sleep and survive.

With that in mind, one can only wonder at the absurdity of an ever-growing labor pool competing for a finite or diminishing amount of employment opportunities. 

Declining Wages and Excess Labor

  • The current recession, and even the current decade  has shown that wages for both skilled and unskilled labor has and will continue to spiral downward because of an over abundance of labor 
  • Legal and illegal immigration in this country and high birthrates combined with great migrations from the agrarian countryside to industrial urban centers around the world have led to destabilized economies
  • If that is not bad enough, consider the quandary of this government and others in generating and creating opportunities for its excess labor resources, especially in states and countries least able to afford and implement such expenditures
  • The Underground or Shadow Economies will surely flourish without employment planning

A Common Goal For Market Economies

  • A prerequisite for any market economy should be a cohesive relationship between employers, employees and their communities
  • That will not  happen without determined prior planning and substantial injections of both private and public financial resources
  • That planning must insure overall populations that remain small, stable and educated
  • With wages and salaries that reflect the inherent and equal value of every individual, whether owner, management or labor
  • All would share to some extent in both profits or losses  

Communities and governments must be willing and able to use public monies and regulation to create education and training facilities.   

Together education and training can nurture and reinforce limiting populations, stabilizing the supply of labor and therefore maintaining higher wages and salaries, so every potential employee can fairly compete for a living-wage position.

Labor To Be Considered a Public Good

By changing attitudes towards labor and viewing jobs as a public good, to be protected and esteemed rather than just another tool in the chain of production, businesses, companies and corporations will begin to see dramatically increased output and profits. 

That is a great benefit not only for employees, but also employers, communities and society as a whole.    


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