Wednesday, December 10, 2014

America Today and Tomorrow

My barber recently suggested that I should also write about American affairs. My writings have been too focused on Philippine issues. He is correct. There are plenty of things to write about America that are as interesting not just to Americans but also to Filipinos as well.

Despite the negativism that some sectors of American society are portraying, there are really many things that Americans should be positive about.


The latest jobs report, for example, states that businesses created 314,000 new jobs last October. I understand that this was the tenth month in a row where more than 200,000 jobs were added. For 2014, 2.65 million new jobs have been created so far – supposed to be the most in any year since the 1990s. The year is not even finished yet.

Furthermore, businesses have created 10.9 million jobs over the past 57 months. President Obama proclaims it as “the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record”. The unemployment rate is now down to 5.9%.


In another report, “10 million more Americans have gained health insurance because of Obamacare, and the number signing up for Medicaid keeps rising.” According to the same report, those signing up for private insurance in the Obamacare marketplace for 2015 will find 25 percent more insurance companies competing for their business. Preliminary data is also showing that the marketplace premiums for 2015 are averaging 0.8 percent lower than this year.


In 2008, before Obama assumed office, the Dow Jones average was 7,000. Today, as I write this article, it has reached over 17,900 and could reach an unprecedented 18,000 within the next few weeks. Just imagine the impact of the increase on the value of the 401-Ks of middle class Americans.


The average inflation rate over the four years of Obama’s first term is 1.5%. It was the lowest of any presidential term going back a half century to the 1961-64 term of Kennedy/Johnson.


Obama’s promise to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is now a reality. So is his promise to reform mandatory minimum sentences; to strengthen antitrust enforcement; create new financial regulations; create 5 million “green” jobs; and to reduce oil consumption by 35% by 2030.


The export of goods & services was increased by more than 38%. The U.S. crude oil production also increased by more than 70% while petroleum imports decreased by 51%. Additionally, wind and solar power increased by more than 241%.

Of course, there are still a lot of things to be done. People in poverty, for example, increased by 5,489,000; and food stamp recipients increased by 45%.

The election result that gave the Republicans control of both the Senate and the House is not necessarily bad. Historically, it is not unexpected. It happened during the Reagan and the Clinton terms. It would force the Republican-controlled Congress to perform by compromising with President Obama.

The President
wants to build new roads and bridges to create more jobs. He also wants to reform our outdated tax systems and our broken immigration system also to create new jobs. A Congress working with him would really go far.


I am quite optimistic about the not so distant future. I am Ready for Hillary – always was when I campaigned for her previous presidential run. There are now more than 3,000,000 of us betting for Hillary and included are Billionaires Warren Buffet, George Soros, and Walmart heir Alice Walton.


On a longer term, I am as hopeful. I like what Fareed Zakaria of CNN said as he echoed the analysis of Peter Zeihan in his book “The Accidental Superpower”.

Per Zeihan, the United States has inherent advantages. It is the largest consumer market for a reason: its rivers. “Transporting goods by water is 12 times cheaper than by land (which is why civilizations have always flourished around rivers).” Zeihan calculates that “United States has more navigable waterways – 17,600 miles’ worth – than the rest of the world. By comparison, China and Germany each have about 2,000 miles. And all of the Arab world has 120 miles.”

Not only that. Zeihan writes, “The world’s greatest river network . . . directly overlies the world’s largest piece of arable land, the American Midwest. Add to these deep-water ports, which are needed to get goods to and from the rest of the world. Many countries with long coastlines have very few natural harbors.

“The U.S. contrast is, again, striking. Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay and the Chesapeake Bay are the world’s three largest natural harbors. The Chesapeake Bay alone boasts longer stretches of prime port property than the entire continental coast of Asia from Vladivostok to Lahore,”

In conclusion, “All of these factors have created the world’s largest consumer market, which in turn creates surplus private savings and a dynamic, unified economy that is remarkably self-sufficient. Imports made up just 17 percent of the U.S. economy in 2012, according to the World Bank, compared with Germany’s 46 percent and China’s 25 percent — and the U.S. number will fall as the United States imports less foreign oil.”

I wonder what Zeihan and Zacaria would say if they find out and study the rivers, waterways, natural harbors, and the arable lands found in the Philippines.

Wasn’t the Asian destination and embarkation of the Spanish Galleon Trade in San Li (Chinese for merchant) Point, Cavite? Wasn’t the U.S. largest Naval Base outside of mainland USA located in Subic Bay, Philippines?

The Philippines must also have inherent advantages!

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