Thursday, December 2, 2010

We’ve all gone to look for America

One of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs is one that you can listen to by clicking on the link below:

We've all gone to look for America

It took Simon and Garfunkel four days to hitchhike from Saginaw.

In recent years, it’s definitely a good place to be FROM, but not a good place to go to. Throughout most of the 20th century, the economy was dominated by manufacturing related to the automobile industry. As the domestic auto industry declined, the unemployment rate in Saginaw skyrocketed, and crime has been a major problem in the city in recent years.At 20.9 %, the unemployment rate is twice as high as the national average.

According to the FBI, Saginaw has been the most violent city in America since 2003.

Fortunately, the city’s fortunes will start to improve in the near future due to help from an unlikely source: the Chinese.

On November 29, General Motors announced the sale of Nexteer Automotive (a manufacturer of power steering components) to Pacific Century Motors, an affiliate of the Beijing municipal government. The $450 million purchase represents China’s biggest single investment in the global auto parts industry. It will also make Beijing into the largest private employer in the City of Saginaw.

At a celebratory luncheon earlier this week, chairs were lined with Chinese flags, and guests were served egg rolls.

Although $450 million is a lot of money, it pales in comparison to what the Chinese are doing in California.

In June of 2010, the Chinese government signed a contract with the State of California to build high speed rail lines in the state. The Chinese bullet trains are capable of speeds up to 215 miles per hour, and are touted as being environmentally friendly. Most of the funding for the $43 billion project will come from China. After its completion, the line will run from San Francisco all the way to Aneheim, which should be good news for Mickey Mouse. Since Anaheim is located in Orange Country, the best name that I can think of for the new railroad is “The Orange Blossom Special”

By the way, the Chinese will also become a big help to us in getting out of Afghanistan due to the fact that Chinese companies are currently mining for rare minerals in that country. Even though the current government in Afghanistan continues to struggle with problems of corruption, it doesn’t take much of a genius to figure out that the current troubles in the country will diminish if public and private companies have a vested financial interest in making sure that the violence goes away.

From 1970 to today,Spanish has been the most popular foreign language studied in American schools. However, the languages that have grown the fastest since 1970 are Chinese and Arabic. Due to the fact that the Chinese government is paying the salaries of the Chinese nationals who are teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture in our schools, it’s likely that the study of Mandarin will continue to grow dramatically.

The thought of the Chinese people running our country is not going to set well with a lot of folks in this country. To put our current situation in perspective, if Hop Sing bought the ranch, Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe would be working for HIM, and that would DEFINITELY be a culture shock for the rest of us.

As they continue their search, Simon and Garfunkel will eventually find America, and it’s going to be stronger and better than ever, However, it’s going to SOUND a lot different than it used to, so I’d recommend improving your Mandarin skills as rapidly as you can.

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