Like a Judo fighter, China used our own consumerism against us, building an entire economy based around the lowest bidder principle. American companies began by exporting their manufacturing to China, and are now discovering that they've become little more than the distribution outlets for Chinese products. Since the products are already manufactured in China, the only thing that Western companies have to offer are distribution outlets, which in the age of the internet can easily be managed out of China, and brand names, which Chinese companies can buy or create. Essentially the only thing American business still has to offer its Chinese competitors are logo design services.
By moving our manufacturing base to China we undermined our own industry and technology. And those companies which began by cutting costs, will eventually realize that they cut their own throats. Because without manufacturing, all that's left is advertising. Made in the USA is more than a patriotic slogan, it's the difference between an ownership society and an owned society. Once you lose the manufacturing base, the rest goes with it. And what's left are call centers, logo designers and a handful of businesses protected by their government connections. So the logic of unrestrained capitalism turns the United States into a third world country.
Meanwhile China has demonstrated that it is possible to be Communist and Capitalist at the same time, so long as you push one or the other to an extreme. Because at the extreme, a state oligarchy and a trust don't look all that different. Both squash free enterprise and create a de facto planned economy, which is a natural outcome of the uncontrolled growth and converge of institutions.
There's a reason why the Democratic party attracts so many corporate donors, or why the two richest men in America are dyed in the wool liberals. Big business and big government don't have to be enemies, rent seeking behavior can make them close allies. The growth of government regulation naturally favors big business over small businesses, because large corporations are better able to favorably navigate the web of regulations and more easily employ lobbyists to convince politicians to carve them their own custom made loopholes.
Would a corporation rather have a million customers with a dollar a sale, or a single client with a billion dollar sale? Big governments offers companies a chance to get taxpayer money through a single client who isn't even spending his money. That's how thousand dollar screwdrivers and million dollar grants regularly fly through the air. Why money is appropriated for items that no one actually needs and earmarks to nowhere can be found everywhere. Big government gives companies the chance to make easy and profitable sales, at the expense of donating to the reelection war chests of a few politicians.
There are fewer and fewer companies nowadays that still take pride in being American companies or English companies or Israeli companies or Australian companies-- except when it comes to advertising their products during football matches. Instead they strive to be multinational and globalized, to embrace global institutions and global regulations. And while that may seem perverse, it parallels the decline of the family business, and its replacement by the faceless corporation, by replaceable CEO's brought in to boost stock prices for a quarter, and then parachuting away on a cloud of golden silk.
That is because healthy social institutions are based around the family. Institutions that are not based around the family are not socially healthy in the long run, though they may be rewarding in the short run. The logic of capitalism took American businesses away from product quality, employee loyalty, brand name worth, patriotism and turned them into distribution outlets for China's lowest bid economy. And that is why capitalism is not enough.
As the United States became detached from regional participatory democracy and American business became detached,from the family, the roots that hold the values of people and their institutions fast to the earth were torn away. And institutions that are detached from the individual and the family have no other purpose except to reproduce themselves in an aggressively Darwinian way. That is exactly what we are now experiencing, as corporations line up for the chance to destroy themselves through outsourcing and socialism, and governments become unwieldy institutions whose own operating costs threaten to consume their entire economies. That is what a runaway steam engine looks like, barreling on down the track toward oblivion, without giving a thought for what lies ahead.
And so corporations put their own interests ahead of the country. The Chamber of Commerce demands more immigration to meet their need for cheap labor. It doesn't matter what that cheap labor will do to the country, or that in the long run they themselves will have to pay the price for the crime and social services by way of higher taxes. American banks sell out to Sharia finance and American companies sell out to China, without considering the long term implications of doing business with the enemy. Because when you're not invested in anything besides your own short term success, nothing else matters but you. And that is where values come in to the equation.
An individual or an institution without values is doomed to self-destruction. Because values define life in terms other than pure short term success. To maintain a civilization, one cannot look only to the short term victory, but to the future. But without the family, without values, there is no future. Little wonder then that the liberal rich are also depressed, that they plow their often ill gotten gains into liberal do gooder ventures, rather than leaving them to their children. Because the secular religion of socialism, the idea of large organizations creating a kingdom of heaven on earth, is their only form of temporal moral assurance.
The modern devaluation of the family and the nation has left the First World spiritually and politically bankrupt. Its free enterprise has become a farce in which governments and corporations fuse together in a web of regulations that upends the traditional model, putting the individual and the family last. To reverse that requires championing free labor, the dignity of work and free enterprise as the handmaiden of social mobility. For without these capitalism is only a blind giant wandering aimlessly in the socialist night.