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06 January 2008

Short Novel: 4 American Hostages, Introduction

After The Flight to Tokyo, I am presenting an interesting and shocking story to you, Americans.

The story is fiction but based on what is really happening in America now.

The facts came from two books written by 2 Japanese women. One is Ms. Yumi Kobayashi's and the other is Ms. Mika Tsutsumi's. Please read the related posts.

The story took place in Baghdad, Iraq. 4 Americans were captive by Iraqi insurgents somewhere in Baghdad. Each of them represents American society.

One of them was Loretta, 24. She was from the very rich family, Boltons. Going back for 4 generations from Loretta, George Bolton established the family's wealth by finding an oil mine in Texas, late 19th century. Starting with the oil business, they ran resort hotels, military equipment company, and broadcasting corporations. She lived in Beverly Hills with her parents. She became a celebrity woman after she made a debut in her family's TV show. She had been criticized that she was too much spotlighted using her family's name and power. So she wanted to prove herself how she was brave and independent. Then she went to Baghdad to be in a show to entertain the soldiers.

Next was Kevin, 27. He was born in the rich family, too but not as rich as Loretta's. His father was a lawyer and mother was a physician. He, himself made a fortune by computer software business. He studied business in Harvard. He, himself prided himself as self-made millionaire. He manages his own computer software company in Silicon Valley. He came to Baghdad to distribute and inspect his company's brand new software for the military in Baghdad. His company and Loretta's family company were doing business together for the military.  

Third was John, 19. He was born in Michigan from a father who had worked for the auto-maker and a mother who worked as a secretary in a small company. But when Kevin was 17 and in high school. His father was laid-off. His parents cannot provide tuition for the college. So he decided to join the army to go to the college.

Last guy was Fernando, 17. His family were actually illegal immigrants. Fernado and his parents and a sister crossed the border from Mexico to California when he was 11. His father worked in farms at lower wages than minimum wage set by law. But his father later died by the accident. His mother, sister and Fernando had no place to work and live. They became penniless and homeless. They lived in a homeless facility. Fernando decided to join the army in exchange for the U.S. citizenship.

John and Fernando were in the squad to guard Loretta and Kevin heading towards the military base. But the squad was attacked. Some of the military personnels were killed but they were luckily saved and captured by the Iraqi insurgents.

They were taken to the house and sit on the floor face to face.

The insurgents demanded them to speak on the videotape they shoot. Speak to their government to beg them to withdraw the troops from Iraq immediately. If not, they would be killed.

Go on to Chapter 1.

The stoy is copyrighted by this blog's manager, me, Masagata.  

10 June 2007

Paris Hilton and other Americans

I just know the news Paris Hilton was ordered to return to the jail.

She was once released after her 3 days of imprisonment because of her medical condition. There was enormous criticism that she could have been released because of her fame and family's wealth.

This incident and Paris Hilton herself represent what is going on in America.

In Japan, a book "Cho-kakusa-shakai America no shinjitsu (Super Class society, The truth of America)" was published. It was written by Japanese economist, Yumi Kobayashi. She contends there are 4 distinctive classes in America.

The first is High-Society that Paris Hilton belongs to. In this class you have nothing to worry about. They are ruling class and their assets are secured. They control economy, politics and media. Even their offsprings do not have to worry. It is like middle-age European aristocracy.

The second is professional rich like IT tycoons such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They are smart and succeeded what they want by their talents. They seem to represent "American Dream."

But there are two other classes that are left behind and growing.

One is poor class and the other is dropped-out. The middle-class is shrinking.

They are so poor that they cannot even get an opportunity to succeed. They grow up in families that cannot afford to send them to proper schools. Higher education costs so much money. Yes, US schools usually provide scholarships. But in order to be awarded scholarships, students have to have certain level of education. The schools they come to simply cannot provide that.

America used to be called "land of opportunity" where no matter how poor you are born, you all have opportunity to go to higher class. But the things have changed now.

But why that happened is easily explained. First America's system of wealth distribution had not been changed drastically since the Civil War. For example, our country, Japan's wealth distribution system was drastically changed by the war that ended in 1945. Japan was forced to redistribute the wealth by new authorities which was controlled by US occupied force. Ruling class of pre-war era lost so much fortune. Such things never happened unless the country experience the war or revolution.

Also, America's middle-class wealthy life-style that was appearent in 1950's and 60's was in fact supported by the fact that the world wealth was concentrated in America until those days. Other countries suffered from the loss of the war. Enormous amount of wealth was poured into Americans so that most of Americans could receive high standard of living.

After recovery of those nations, America was no longer the only key player for the world economy. Naturally in free market society, winner grow and losers shrink. The gap between the two is getting bigger and bigger. The result is now. Only top 5% occupy 60% of the wealth. 45 million people don't have medical insurance. 31 million are in hunger.

Maybe we should rethink about America's economical system and its value.

I do not care Paris Hilton goes to jail or not. But I am dissappointed to know that a girl who just happened to be born in a very rich family is spotlighted so much. She is treated like feudal society's princess.