Sunday, May 09, 2010


Consumer confidence is back—in China

by Larry Geller

GM’s government-assisted re-org eliminated their union problem and saved the company—for their executives, stockholders and for Wall Street.

Without jobs, GM workers (and parts suppliers, steel workers, etc.) won’t be able to buy anything. Taken along with the huge real unemployment problem in this country, how will our economy recover if it is dependent on consumer spending? That is, how will consumers spend without income?

Disappeared News offered that not only don’t American companies need American labor, they are finding other markets for American products. In other words, they may not be as dependent on us for very much of anything in the future.

American cars will be built in Mexico and in China.  GM will shortly unveil a Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept car in Beijing, and demonstrate the Chevrolet Volt in a bid for part of the growing demand for electric cars there.  The Volt was actually produced by GM in partnership with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.

Great for the Chinese. In fact, things there are looking up, according to reports:

Consumer confidence in China has risen to pre-financial crisis levels. The latest survey shows that surprisingly, its low-income earners and those living in rural areas feeling increasingly secure about the future.

Consumer confidence is back. According to a survey by China's National Bureau of Statistics, the consumer confidence index climbed to 108. That's up 19 percentage points from a year ago, and 4 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. It's now at the highest level since 2007. Recovery in the domestic economy, is a key reason behind the index surge. People are more feeling positive about their employment opportunities, and future income growth.

I’m glad things are going well for the Chinese. But back home in this country, when are we going to realize that our corporations don’t need us, and don’t care about us?

Jim Hightower was referring to corporate control of our government, but I think his remark on the last Bill Moyers program has more general applicability (paraphrase):

Corporations are now the top dogs, and all of us are their fire hydrants.

We need a way out of that situation, before it is too late. Or is it already too late??



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