One of the major reasons that American jobs are in shorter supply is that more and more Americans are buying from our discount stores — large chains such as Target, Kmart, Cosgo, Walmart and the smaller 99¢ ones. These in turn are buying their products from the cheapest possible sources — which turn out to be overseas nations such as China, India, and others that pay their workers minimum wages and do not provide benefits — health, retirement — such as do many of our own producers and sales outlets.

We are in effect caught between the devil and the deep blue seas. Most of us with ever lower earnings or losses of jobs seek out the cheapest sources of supply. But the effect of our bargain hunting is to sabotage our national economy!

There are presumably ways to fix things — but even some of these are risky. China is one of the major offenders, but imposing import taxes on their products could induce retaliation — they also hold much of our national debt.

Obviously careful moves are essential in reducing the effects of the price wars afflicting us. I trust Obama as the smartest president perhaps that we have ever had to work towards resolving our job problems. Will our chaotic legislators work with him? I hope so. So far the Republicans have been the party of “NO!” — attacking Obama rather than working in our interests.

This coming year may be most interesting — such, ironically, is purported to be an old Chinese curse:

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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