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Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Americans. Byron McGregor, Detroit, 1973

One Canadian view and words about America.  From 1973.

The United States dollar
Took another pounding
On German, French and
British exchanges this morning
Hitting the lowest point
Ever known in West Germany

It has declined there
By forty-one percent since 1971
And this Canadian thinks it's time
To speak up for the Americans
As the most generous and possibly
The least appreciated people
In all the Earth

As long as sixty years ago when
I first started to read newspapers
I read of floods on the
Yellow River and the Yangtze
Who rushed in with
Men and money to help
The Americans did

They have helped control floods
On the Nile, the Amazon
The Ganges and the Niger
Today the rich bottom land
Of the Mississippi is under water
And no foreign land has sent
A dollar to help

Germany, Japan and to a lesser extent
Britain and Italy were lifted out of
The debris of war by the Americans
Who poured in billions of dollars
And forgave other billions in debts
None of those countries is today
Paying even the interest on it's
Remaining debts to the United States

When the Franc was in danger
Of collapsing in 1956
It aas the Americans
Who propped it up
And the reward aas to be insulted
And swindled on the streets of Paris
I was there, I saw it

When distant cities are hit by earthquake
It is the United States that hurries in to help
Managua, Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples
So far this spring, fifty-nine American communities
Have been flattened by tornadoes, nobody has helped

The Marshall Plan, the Truman Policy
All pumped billions upon billions
Of dollars into discouraged countries
Now newspapers in those countries
Are writing about the decadent
War mongering Americans

I'd like to just see one of those countries
That is gloating over the erosion
Of the United States dollar
Build it's own airplanes

Come on, let's hear it
Does any other country in the world have
A plane to equal the Boeing jumbo jet
The Lockheed Tri-star or the Douglas-10
If so, why don't they fly them
Why do all international lines
Except Russia, fly American planes

Why does no other land on Earth
Even consider putting a man
Or a woman on the moon

You talk about Japanese technocracy
And you get radios
You talk about German technocracy
And you get automobiles
You talk about American technocracy
And you will find men on the moon
Not once but several times
And safely home again

You talk about scandals and the Americans
Put theirs right in the store window
For everybody to look at
Even the draft dodgers
Are not pursued and hounded

They are here on our streets, most of them
Unless they are breaking Canadian laws
Are getting American dollars from
Ma and Pa at home to spend here

When the Americans get out
Of this bind, as they will
Who could blame them if they said
The hell with the rest of the world
Let someone else buy the Israel bonds

Let someone else build or repair foreign dams
Or design foreign buildings that
Won't shake apart in earthquakes

When the railways of
France, Germany and India
Were breaking down through age
It was the Americans who rebuilt them
When the Pennsylvania Railroad
And the New York Central went broke
Nobody loaned them an old caboose
Both are still broke

I can name you five thousand times
When the Americans raced to the help
Of other people in trouble
Can you name me even one time when
Someone else raced to the Americans in trouble
I don't think there was outside help
Even during the San Francisco earthquake

Our neighbors have faced it alone
And I'm one Canadian who's damned tired
Of hearing them kicked around

They will come out of this thing
With their flag high and when they do
They are entitled to thumb their nose
At the lands that are gloating
Over their present troubles
I hope Canada is not one of these
But there are many smug self-righteous Canadians

And finally, the American Red Cross
Was told at it's forty-eighth
Annual meeting in New Orleans
That it was broke
This year's disasters have taken it all

And nobody but nobody has helped

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