First, the good news: The Caswells won their suit against the local and federal agencies attempting to take their motel through asset forfeiture. May this ruling discourage other greedy government entities salivating over the wealth of private citizens.
A recent column touched on methods that the United States might employ to start paying off our enormous debt, expected to be $20 trillion by the end of the current administration. Well, I missed one: commodity transfers.
Debt-ridden Greece is actively offering many of its assets to the highest bidders. Olympic training and competition facilities, nuclear power plants, islands and more are up for sale. The government is desperate to shed all this in order to get more money to secure loans.
The United States owes more money than Greece, even if measured per capita. Will we have to do something similar?
It appears so. Recently, the U.S. government approved the sale of bankrupt battery company A123 Systems to China. In spite of its ultimate demise, the company had developed cutting-edge lithium technology and held dozens of patents. Critics charge that China can use these innovations for military applications. If nothing else, the U.S. will experience a large setback in “green” developments.
But China, holder of over a trillion dollars of American debt, is looking to get even more returns on investment, by converting its holdings into U.S. businesses on U.S. soil and run by Chinese in “special economic zones.” The People’s Republic already does this in several other countries. Usually the Chinese-controlled areas are heavily-guarded and operate under Chinese Law with little regard for local or national ordinances.
In recent years, China has loudly and publicly expressed concern about America’s ability to service its debt if current spending trends continue. No longer satisfied to sit on paper IOU’s, the Chinese government has been boosting its gold reserves and looking for other ways to secure its financial future.
Just an aside: The United States is the world’s largest holder of gold, much of it confiscated from private American citizens in 1933. The United States Mint lists the amount of gold in Fort Knox to be 147.3 million ounces. That sounds impressive, but but at $1700 an ounce, that works out to about $250 billion. That amount wouldn’t even cover interest on the national debt for a year.
Apparently, the PRC is interested in buying “successful U.S. companies.” What if the shareholders don’t want to sell? Would the federal government force the transfer? Will the PRC pay U.S. corporate taxes? Will American citizens have recourse if they are harmed by the company or its products?
The United States is losing its sovereignty over its debt. Why is our attention so focused on other issues?
Elise Cooke knows that Mandarin for “Goodbye, America” is Zaijian, Meiguo.