If It’s Thursday, This Must Be Belgium

In Article 9 we looked at a number of corporate economic disasters. Although our local and national media are continually harping on “signs of recovery” and a “bottoming out”, we called attention to several so-called G-20 countries that are on the ropes with no chances of avoiding knockout punches.

The local media had little, if anything, to say about those critical situations in Dubai, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain, and until today nothing at all was being reported about Belgium. But the cat is out of the bag. This is what General Motors revealed earlier today:

“BRUSSELS (AFP) – General Motors announced on Thursday its intention to close an entire car production plant in Belgium, making 2,600 workers redundant and ramping up an already intense climate of industrial unrest …

“It is the second major factory closure announced by car makers in Europe this month, after Italy’s Fiat acted to shut a plant in Sicily …

“The Belgian factory in northern Antwerp, home to the world’s biggest diamond market and one of the world’s five largest ports, is the only GM plant so far to be locked up …

“‘It’s an absolute catastrophe for Belgian workers and manufacturing … a tsunami for Antwerp’…

“The Antwerp closure comes at a time of sensitive industrial relations in Belgium, as elsewhere.

“The world’s biggest brewer, Anheuser Busch InBev, maker of famous Belgian beer brands such as Stella Artois, Leffe or Hoergaarden, has suffered two weeks of blockade action in protest at job cuts.

“Belgian firefighters also mounted a spectacular protest over career prospects on Thursday, spraying government buildings and main traffic arteries with foam, while prison guards are themselves out on strike over working conditions.”

That’s what a backlash looks like in a tiny country with a hopeless future. Can you just imagine what a backlash in the U.S. will be like when Americans realize they’ve been snookered?

The only way to avert such a catastrophic uprising will be to create jobs, and only by building ships will we be able to create jobs for the 40 or 50 million folks now unemployed.

There’s no mystery about it. If Americans don’t have paychecks, the world’s economy goes south. Like now. It’s the demand on the part of U.S. shoppers that call for supplies from overseas manufacturers, and if there’s no demand, there are no supplies. Like now. And when there are no supplies, hundreds of container ships are put in mothballs … never to sail again. Like now.

Is that so hard to understand?