Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Twenty-five years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, and an entire generation gained a sense of hope that an Age of Fascism and economic stagnation had come to an end.
However, the dreams of bankrupt politicians haven’t exactly come true.
I decided to conduct a study on the post-war impact in one particular third world country. Here’s what I found…
In many parts of this particular third world country, nearly one quarter of the population lives in poverty. Many of these people try to find a job, but can’t due to a high unemployment rate where they live.
The people know there COULD be more jobs, but corrupt politicians have shut down potential opportunities for their own selfish gain, like when they shut down energy exploration.
Education in this country is especially poor. Long run down by politicians, the locals have largely lost faith in the school system. The jobless could go back to school and learn a new job skill, but a general third-world sense of despair makes them feel the cause would be worthless.
In fact, some 20% of the population in some areas doesn’t even have a high school diploma. Some of those didn’t even make it to high school, choosing instead to seek out a living as teenagers on the street.
Unlike those who living in emerging markets like the Philippines, residents of this particular third world country have trouble benefitting from the global economy. That’s possibly because as many as half of them don’t even have access to broadband internet.
Infrastructure where these people live is poor. Roads are often in shambles, and the government does little to fix it despite high taxes on the working poor. For years, government leaders have promised better connectivity, faster internet, and new telephone lines, but their promises were just that.
Corruption is on the rise in this country. In fact, that’s why the school system is so bad and the internet is so slow. While the political elite get rich, the average citizen has less discretionary income than ever.
As a result, citizens here have become so disillusioned with their corrupt leaders that they rarely vote. In fact, barely half of the population EVER votes, citing feelings of disenfranchisement. In some of the country’s sham elections, as few as 1 in 8 make it to the polls.
Crime is also on the rise, with a murder rate in some parts among the highest in the world. The life expectancy, once high, has declined due to the government dictating the terms of health care and poor facilities.
In fact, many of the best doctors have simply packed up and left town.
This third world country isn’t in the Middle East. It’s not in Africa or emerging Asia.
It is the United States. 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Land of the Free has become one of the biggest laggards among so-called developed countries.
As we know, politicians use propaganda to keep voters under their thumb. They recite patriotic refrains that inspire citizens to put their country above their prosperity. And they claim those who speak out against the country are traitors.
However, for all the talk against the “third world” of Cold War fame, the United States and other western countries are looking pretty third world themselves.
A recent article on the ten worst US states to live in explained that much of the United States is so poor that discretionary income levels are at all-time lows.
States like Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have such poor infrastructure that much of the population can barely get online at dial-up speeds, which local roads are in shambles.
Across the United States, roads and bridges are in grave disrepair as the corrupt government hands trillions of dollars to military contractors to invade an ever-growing list of countries while risking another bridge collapse like the one in Minnesota that killed 13 people.
In many parts of the United States, the population has become so disengaged that they barely even vote. One recent poll showed that as few as 1 in 8 people voted in this year’s mid-term election.
Poverty rates in the United States and Europe are going up. In Spain, people are so poor that they can’t pay their mortgage and have resorted to squatting in their homes. Homelessness rates are up, which has also led to an increase in crime.
In fact, parts of the United States now hold the record for the worst violent crime rate in the entire “developed world”. Some areas now rival places run by African warlords as far as crime statistics go.
For the people who live in the growing list of US states that resembled the “third world” countries associated with the Berlin Wall, life is not good.
And in terms of disposable income, the United States has fallen far behind. Thanks to the devaluation of the US dollar, more and more people are living paycheck to paycheck – and going deeper into debt – thanks to the government’s fiscal mismanagement.
Not many Americans or western Europeans have much money in the bank. In the United States, only 6% of people have a paltry $100,000 to their name.
Of course, that is the government’s plan. Like every third world country, politicians use the despondence of a majority of the population to propose radical socialist ideas.
Rather than learn their lesson from the Berlin Wall, western politicians are using the same assault tactics on wealth and success that socialist despots did behind the Iron Curtain.
As wealth flees the United States and western Europe, bankrupt politicians are pointing fingers at those whose wealth is doing the fleeing. The same tactics employed by dictatorial leaders in the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Argentina are being employed by western politicians who claim to represent “the richest people in the world”.
But the world is much different today than it was 25 years ago. The end of the Cold War has created a whole new class of wealthy people in places like Russia, the Balkans, and Asia. Some of this wealthy class earned their money through corrupt government connections; some of it did not.
Either way, go to any nightclub in Berlin, Moscow, Kiev, or Minsk today and I’ll bet you will find locals unimpressed by your western citizenship. Whereas 25 years ago, the eastern world would have embraced western wealth, today they realize there largely is no western wealth.
American and European politicians have convinced their citizens that their country are the wealthiest in the world for one reason: job preservation.
By painting the rest of the world as a dangerous hellhole with pock-marked roads, these politicians can continue to demand their pound of flesh.
But even as taxes in the US and Europe are at record highs and politicians want even more of your money, conditions in the west are getting worse. Western debt levels are now unsustainable and eastern-style inflation isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.
In short, one has to ask “Who won the Cold War?”
Americans are poorer than ever while many in so-called “third world countries” have entered the global middle class or even become wealthy.
When it comes to education, crime, or the ability to find a job, the United States does not rank any higher than many emerging world countries. And it consistently ranks near the bottom of its peers.
US politicians will simultaneously try to deny this fact while telling you that the “evil rich” are responsible and that more taxes and more wealth confiscation will solve the problem.
Yet it’s funny that the allegedly “rich countries” are the ones that want measures like a global wealth tax to reduce income inequality, while the world’s “poor countries” seem to be doing fine on their own.
No matter who or what is responsible, the end of the Cold War has done a lot more for those in the “third world” than those in the west. And momentum in the emerging world is headed in the right direction, which is more than you can say about the United States.