By Deems Tsutakawa
For The North American Post
In America, we have a very high standard of living especially when compared to large parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. Granted, there some economically poor counties and neighborhoods in the USA but we for the most part have clean drinking water, food, and shelter. It should be noted that the plight of the homeless people is a worldwide problem with no easy solution. I have not been to Africa or South America but my friends tell me that in some regions the average person is living in conditions that are two full levels below the worst US poverty. Here, on the west coast one could have a modest job but if you live within your means you should be able to cover your rent, eat well, and even play a round of golf from time to time.
During the 70’s and 80’s as the US auto industry declined, many Americans blamed the Japanese car companies for the loss of manufacturing revenue and jobs. People were against imports and complained that the foreign companies like Toyota and Honda were to blame.
When I mentioned this notion to my former next door neighbor who was of Greek ancestry, he gave me a very thoughtful insight on the subject of imports and exports. My neighbor said to me “who allows all these Japanese cars to get into the USA in the first place”? He stated that if GM, Ford, and Chrysler didn’t want imports to come here there would be legislation against it. He wisely said that ‘Ford and Toyota behind closed doors are in bed together’. In other words, the American car companies are getting some profit from the sale of the Japanese cars or it would never happen.
I personally cannot fathom the amount of money that is generated in the manufacturing of cars, jets, weapons, software, or the oil industry. The other thing my neighbor said to me is that ‘if the large corporations just leave a few crumbs around for the rest of us normal people then we’ll be okay’. Millions of us Americans are actually living a pretty good life off of these crumbs.
Deems Tsutakawa is a local Sansei musician. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.