Sunday, October 3, 2010


A friend of mine has been trying to sell his beautiful Lake Huron beach front home for about four years. No takers. Not even a single looker.

He dropped the price. Three times. Still nobody came.

Then one day last week he got a letter from Tokyo. An offer to buy the property. For cash. With a substantial deposit enclosed.

The buyer had seen his ad on the Internet. He didn’t want any of the furniture or furnishings, as he planned to remodel the interior in traditional Japanese fashion. Could his Japanese decorator please come and see the house?

So my friend is finally selling his home, and I’m happy for him.

But I got to thinking. What’s going on in America?

Koreans buy our golf courses. Japanese buy our office buildings. The Chinese are buying our shopping centers. The Saudis are buying our apartment buildings.

Every day Americans own less and less of America.

Factories and farms and forests. It’s all for sale. Most of it at bargain basement prices.

And with a government lacking any plan or will to exclude undocumented aliens from our real estate, one wonders who will be living here when our great grandchildren come of age.

In the last analysis, sovereignty has to do with the occupation of real estate.

I can hear the lyrics:
“This land is your land, this land is my land. From California to the New York Island. This land was made for you and me.”

Gets you all choked up with patriotism, doesn’t it?

Historians divide the passage of time into eras defined by what was happening. The Reformation. Exploration. The Industrial Revolution. The Atomic Age. The Information Age.

I’m thinking the next hundred years or so will be known as the Age of Migration.

With ships and cars and buses and trucks and trains and airplanes, millions of people move tens of millions of miles every day.

Everybody has to live someplace and everybody wants to live where the earth is most hospitable to human existence.

If the Chinese buy every vacant house and lot in Detroit, they could relocate about a million of their sprawling billions of people.

It’s a great place on a beautiful river connecting the largest bodies of fresh water on the planet. Who wouldn’t like to live there?

And have you seen the pictures of Hiroshima? It’s a sparkling, beautiful modern city. All it takes is money, commitment and elbow grease.

Do we have the money? We print a lot of it. Tens of billions of Federal Reserve notes. What’s behind it all? We gave up the gold standard a long time ago. So what IS behind our U.S. dollars?

Our credit? Our word? Our military might? Our government? Our system of laws?

All of that, I suppose. But most of all, our wealth is the land we live on.

When you don’t own the land you live on, you’re either a guest, a tenant, a serf or a slave.

I hope that’s not where we are headed.


  1. Before the meek inherit the earth, it will be owned by the Chinese and the Japanese.


  2. This is what happens when we allow unions to be busted and taxes on the very wealthy cut so that they have an economic incentive to shut the unions down.

    You can't bemoan both the loss of the middle class and support the party of union busting and tax cutting and then wonder how we got into the current pickle.

  3. this is what happens when we allow unions to run amok, raise the cost of American products to non-competitive levels, and develop entitlement policies that support people for being non-productive.

    You cannot bemoan the loss of the middle class when you label them as "rich" and transfer the wealth from their productivity to those who are less or non-productive.

  4. Charles, unions have not been running amok for decades. Indeed, a bit more union activism might have kept more jobs in the U.S.