Child-like — No one understands,
Jack knife — In your sweaty hands,
Some kind of innocence is measured out in years
You don’t know what it’s like to listen to your fears
This relatively obscure track “Hey Bulldog” from the Beatles album “Yellow Submarine” is a cult classic. Perhaps this bulldog will become a cult classic too. In his own somewhat contradictory profile, the Bulldog is “slower than your average mutt” and just wants “[…] a peaceful home, something good to eat, an occasional hump (any leg will do!), and somebody to pay attention to us”. I think he wants a bit more than that, like a liberal and free America. The American Dream is moving further from liberty and economic freedom (land of the free indeed) with every cent added to the price of petrol (gas) at the pump. Judging by this recent post on the “great divide”, the division of wealth is getting worse in America. Well worth a read.
Like the quoted song verse suggests, being childlike and innocent is not easy as you grow up. Some people clearly don’t understand, and are hiding in their safe place. You know, that place where politicians are honest, work for the common man and towards a better world. Unfortunately they are much more likely to be pushing for increasing foreign exports and better sales for the businesses they ultimately are working for. The common man works for these businesses, but he’s getting less and less of a share of the profits. Shareholders benefit from your work, not you. Less Americans have health insurance. You’re more likely to be living with less buying power and more credit than ever before : US consumer credit is at $17,490 per household at present, with over 2 trillion US$ total consumer credit for the population as a whole.
Rising US consumer debt, July 2001 – July 2005
Maybe you should listen to your fears. Avoiding your fears doesn’t mean that people who are courageous enough to confront theirs are wrong. The statistics are plotted in my graph above – my sources are the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Census Bureau. The economy is firmly based on consumer credit. At least you can be thankful unemployment is stable at around 5%. However if it starts to rise again, what happens to all that credit left to pay off?
I’m a British guy living in France, a casual observer of world politics. Unemployment here is at 9.9% – original source (French). The social system is far from perfect. People cannot get jobs out of university mostly because the employee is over-protected by the state, and the unions are too strong to bring in much needed reform. Strikes are a big issue. But at least most people seem to be better addressing their fears and have a more natural tendency to criticise their leaders. Don’t be afraid to question the US administration.