Published on Online Journal, by Michael Payne, Oct. 2, 2009.
Over the past three decades, this nation has undergone a transformation that is rapidly eroding the foundation of our economy. U.S. corporations have now taken the outsourcing of jobs overseas to such heights that the purchasing power of American workers is plummeting. Since consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of GDP, the effects of this continued outsourcing have been devastating to our economy.
What a vicious circle this is. CEOs eliminate workers’ jobs by outsourcing them to overseas nations. Workers go on unemployment or take lesser paying jobs. Their income and purchasing power is severely reduced. Reduced labor costs result in more profitability.
But as time goes on, the sales of companies’ imported products suffer since the workers who readily bought these products now have to curtail their purchases. To maintain the level of desired corporate profits, CEOs outsource more jobs, lay off more workers, and close more plants. And around and around this goes in one gigantic vicious circle …
… The filibuster is a U. S. Senate practice whereby a single Senator, or his minority party, can block full Senate consideration of a bill or nomination by extending debate on the proposal indefinitely. The resulting filibuster can ordinarily be stopped only by a “cloture” vote, which requires 60 of the 100 Senators (a supermajority) to vote to end debate, and bring the bill or nomination to a final vote.
Can the rules on the filibuster actually be changed? Not only can it be done but it already has been done. Most recently, in 1975, the Senate with a 61 Democratic majority lowered the number of senators to break a filibuster from 67 votes to 60. At that time Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana said, “We cannot allow a minority of senators to grab the Senate by the throat and hold it there.”
And this current Senate must do the same by wresting control from the minority whose only agenda is block any and all legislation that is not beneficial to corporations. What number of senators would be required to break a filibuster, when the rule is officially changed, will be based on determinations made by the Democratic leadership; but, in any event, it simply must be done.
Some may argue with this conclusion but I contend that this nation and its economic system are so dependent upon a solid manufacturing base that, without rebuilding it, we will not be able to return to economic stability. This president and this Congress must come to that stark realization, reject and overcome the power of the corporations and their lobbyists, and create effective legislation to deal with outsourcing.
There is no good alternative. If action is not taken, and soon, then corporations will continue sucking the lifeblood out of this economy until it collapses. (full text).