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Skepticism and Pseudoscience > Who Rules America > Neoliberal Brainwashing
|News||An introduction to Neoliberalism||Recommended books||Recommended Links||Neoliberalism war on labor||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich||Globalization of Financial Flows|
|Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization||Neoliberal rationality||Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura||Neoliberalism and Christianity||Key Myths of Neoliberalism||Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult||Anti-globalization movement|
|Zombie state of neoliberalism and coming collapse of neoliberalism||Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism||Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure||Definitions of neoliberalism||Neoliberal Brainwashing||Neoclassical Pseudo Theories||US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization|
|Neocon stooge formerly known as Anti-Globalist and Trump betrayal of his voters||Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?||The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies||Casino Capitalism||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||War is Racket||Inverted Totalitarism|
|Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism and shift to neo-fascism||Neoliberal corruption||Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy||Corruption of Regulators||"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries||Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom'||Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization|
|Alternatives to Neo-liberalism||Elite Theory||Compradors||Fifth column||Color revolutions||Key Myths of Neoliberalism||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"|
|If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths||IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement||Gangster Capitalism||Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA||Neoliberalism and inequality||Blaming poor and neoliberalism laziness dogma||Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime|
|Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump||The Deep State||Predator state||Disaster capitalism||Harvard Mafia||Small government smoke screen||Super Capitalism as Imperialism|
|The Great Transformation||Monetarism fiasco||Neoliberalism and Christianity||Republican Economic Policy||In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers||Ronald Reagan: modern prophet of profligacy||Milton Friedman -- the hired gun for Deification of Market|
|Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Neocons||New American Militarism||Media domination strategy||Libertarian Philosophy||Frederick Von Hayek||Neoliberal Deregulation|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||YouTube on neoliberalism||History of neoliberalism||PseudoScience Related Humor||Politically Incorrect Humor||Humor||Etc|
Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare. “There’s class warfare, all right, "Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."
Make no mistake, the neo-Liberal fuckers are just as bad as the Stalinists
Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law.
The terms Neoliberalism and Casino Capitalism are used interchangeably. They define the same phenomenon. The term "Casino Capitalism" stresses that neoliberalism glorifies stock market, promotes "financialization" of the economy and creates powerful incentives for financial speculation and excessive risk-taking on the part of the public ("Greed is good"). By a masterstroke of introducing 401K large part of the US population became stock owners are mercilessly fleeced by bog and small financial intermediaries. Mass ownership of stock 401K plans created stable rent rest for financial intermediaries, which increase in size and importance in the economy approximately 100 times. Add to this introduction of "gambling style" financial instruments such as derivatives, "naked" commodity futures (settled in dollars, not in product), currency speculations, intentional blowing of bubbles and even talking public "no-profit" Main Street entrepreneurs (dot-com crisis on 2000). That's why neoliberalism is also "casino capitalism" as markets, especially stock market play in it outsize role.
Like feudalism neoliberalism stipulate existence of three main classes (under feudalism they were aristocracy, merchants and serfs). simplifying we can defined them as billionaires, millionaires and the rest:
"Inner party" members (aka the "New Class" -- neoliberal Nomenklatura similar to Busheviks
nomenklatura. Inner party consists of mostly consists of billionaires and bought by them politicians. To the New Class
the law "protects but does not apply." They are above the law like aristocracy was under feudalism.
Catholic church and Clintons family is a good example here (Clinton
cash, Bill Clinton sexapades, Hillary
email scandal, etc). Other notable examples include McCain (member of Keating
Five), Lloyd Blankfein (financial crash of 2018), and convicted pedophile
Jeffrey Epstein (of
fame) are another examples here. Amorality and criminality
of the US neoliberal elite became a political issue in 2016 campaign (Podesta personality and so called
Pizzagate conspiracy theory - Wikipedia; an alternative coverage
is at PizzaGate Explained - YouTube; also pedophile scandal in Catholic
church, in Great Britain and Scandinavian countries )
Te "Inner Party" is dominated by financial oligarchs but several new groups are added to the elite as well. Among them are intelligence agencies brass (with intelligence agencies becoming the real political force, the core of the Deep State) and Silicon Valley moguls who are still short of becoming billionaires, but who run important companies (with top firms became interconnected with surveillance apparatus of the state and Wall Street) and top managers of multinationals and MIC.
The upper 10% who represent the class of people who benefit form neoliberal globalization and on whom neoliberalism rely for its support and defense. Along with top 1% they are the group which income increased since 1980th, although in much lesser scale then for financial oligarchy. They consist of top level professionals (so called "creative class" in neoliberal New Speak): lawyers, sportsmen, programmers, doctors, engineers, actors, successful entrepreneurs, "lesser" politicians, MSM personalities, top journalists, scientists, university professors, upper military brass, etc.
They can be tentatively called the class of millionaires as their net worth often exceeds one million dollars (in 2019 dollars). They also can be considered the upper middle class. The them law apply but with exceptions and sentences are usually very lenient. Here are the data for 2016 How Many Millionaires Are There in America Decamillionaires -DQYDJ
We estimate that there are 14,814,453 millionaires in the United States. Our estimate puts the millionaire net worth goal at the 88.24% wealth bracket in the US in 2016, or 11.76% of all households.
The key social goal of neoliberalism is redistribution of wealth up at the expense of the working class and lower middle class (the bottom 90% of population). It is political project designed to curb the power of labor (see Neoliberalism war on labor). So stagnation of wages and deterioration of the standard of living is not an aberration, but a key feature of neoliberalism. Suppression of wages is done under the false flag of austerity. Important for neoliberals sectors such as MIC (especially intelligence community), law enforcement, financial firm brass bonuses, and tax cuts for rich are not affected by austerity, only worker wages and social programs are.
|The key social goal of neoliberalism is redistribution of wealth up. So stagnation of wages and deterioration of the standard of living is not an aberration, but a key feature of neoliberalism.|
Neoliberalism positions itself as a secular religion (which in its core is hostile to Christianity, much like Bolshevism) with the compliance enforced by the state. Somewhat similar God-Building trend in Marxism. For example, the prominent member of Bolsheviks Party Lunacharsky "saw Marxism as having religious components, including its faith in the inevitable victory of socialism."; according to Trotsky(1923) in some of the southern republics around 15% percent of party members were believers in Islam. Developing this insight Erich Voegelin’s on his controversial Political Religions (1938, see discussion at Stalinist Ritual and Belief System- Reflections on ‘Political Religion’) suggested that ideologies can function as secular religions.
For example, both national socialism and Bolshevism were deficient in terms of empirical evidence and had to be accepted on faith. The same is true for neoliberalism. The difference is that most of those movements generated a sense of devotion and mass mobilization with the emphasis of personal sacrifice, reminiscent of religious zeal. This is not the case for neoliberalism which adopted "inverted totalitarism" model
Like Stalinists which protected their narrow interpretation of Marxism from any challenges by power of the repressive apparatus of the state, neoliberals are people who believe that “the market does not and cannot take care of itself,” and indeed neoliberalism is a form of statism — one in which power of the state insulates the unregulated markets (and financial oligarchy which those markets enrich) from democratic attempts to regulate them, as well as from economic nationalism, which threatens neoliberal globalization..
|Neoliberals are people who believe that “the market does not and cannot take care of itself,” and indeed neoliberalism is a form of statism — one in which power of the state insulates the unregulated markets (and financial oligarchy which those markets enrich) from democratic attempts to regulate them, as well as from economic nationalism which threatens neoliberal globalization.|
At the center of this civic religion is the redefinition of the word "freedom" as freedom from any kind of coercion (compare with FDR four freedoms). That sophistry resonated very well within Americans and British people and became a "universal opener" using which neoliberal elite opens the door for any harmful for population actions/legislation, including but not limited to the restoration of the power of financial oligarchy. All in the name of freedom ;-). Dirty, but a very effective trick.
Those guys are real masters of deception and elevated it into the art form. In a way neoliberalism can be called the "religion of freedom," a coercive cult enforced by corrupt, deceitful elite with the explicit goal of milking the adherents. Neoliberal ideology is offering a closed, coherent belief system explaining the whole world via unverifiable and unsubstantiated by scientific testing system of dogmas, beliefs and rituals. Deification of markets is just slightly less fantastic then the idea of Paradise. Obviously, neoclassical economics is far removed from what is ordinarily regarded as valid scientific procedure. It is, essentially, a pseudo theory, a flavor of Lysenkoism, if you wish.
As core dogmas of neoliberalism are indefensible from scientific point of view if stated openly, neoliberalism has always been surrounded by an aura of secrecy and "esoteric teaching" (for elite only) which reminds Scientology. Even the name is suppressed in neoliberal MSM (US neoliberal MSMs rarely, if at all, mention this term "neoliberalism"; In UK the only exception is probably Guardian). To protect deplorables from discovering the ugly truth, elaborate pseudo theoretical smoke screen including mathiness was created. Exactly like in Marx famous quote "Religion is the opium of the people." This is actually the first instance when ideology conceived as a secular religion uses perverted mathematics (mathiness, Number racket) to justifies itself (I think Ancient Egypt priests might be the only analogy). As such this is a blatantly dishonest ideology. Like Bolshevism in the past, it also plays dirty tricks with the language in best 1994 style, creating neoliberal NewSpeak: compare for example how "economic freedom" is defined by neoliberals ("freedom of entrepreneurs and financial speculators from coercion and regulation") and how it was defined by FDR ("freedom [of working people and lower middle class] from want"). Indoctrination into "neoliberal newspeak" is done at the Universities using for brainwashing neoclassical economy and "business courses." Much like Soviet students were brainwashed with Marxism-Leninism and Marxist political economy. In both cases you can't graduate without passing mark for those courses. Again like Marxism neoliberalism is hostile to Christianity; some postulates of neoliberalism are closer to Judaism (entrepreneurs and financiers as a higher caste of the society, the inner party), some to Satanism.
Like Bolshevism neoliberalism is striving to rewrite history in the favorable light, or, even better, create conditions that people do not know the history at all. Neoliberalism even more then Bolshevism in the past is profoundly hostile to history. Which is actually a feature of all new cults. But the method neoliberalism uses is suppressing of education and coverage in MSM -- which is methods that characterize it as "inverted totalitarism". How many Us citizens know who Sheldon Wolin was? probably one in hundred or less. But most know who this corrupt stooge of financial oligarchy, "Chicago boy" Milton Friedman was because he is a saint of the church of neoliberalism. Or who was this plagiarist of Nietzschean philosophy, a Russia emigrant Ann Rand was?
Neoliberalism redistributes wealth up, justifying it with another key neoliberal myth -- the so called "trickle down economics" voodoo: the idea is that if the State directly helps the rich by redistributing wealth up, enforcing "market discipline", opening markets were they never existed (healthcare, education), as well as privatizing state assets, the poor will be better off as a by-product. Or as John Kenneth Galbraith quipped: “Trickle-down theory - the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” In other words, neoliberalism is welfare for the top 1% or 0.1% of entrepreneurs and parasitic financial oligarchy (which state protects), and, at the same time, the "free market" jungle for the rest ("socialism for rich").
It is both an ideological assault, but also an economic assault on the power of labor (and especially organized labor) a political project to squash labor wages. On intuitive level neoliberalism emerged as the result of thinking like “We gotta crush labor, how do we do it?” And they found that neoliberalism can be a legitimizing theory for such a squash. Which again makes it similar to Bolshevism, which despite noble slogans kept working class wages at a very low level (which was noted by Orwell in his Animal Farm parable, and famous John Kenneth Galbraith quote "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite")
And, again, like Bolshevism, this is a self-reassuring, self-gratifying and self-explanatory high demand cult -- a pretty sophisticated and very deceptive ideological rosy glasses, which creates (and then enforces on lemmings) a distorted image of reality. Important part of "reproduction" mechanism if this ideology is that it is deliberately propagated by neoliberal MSM and in neoliberal universities And neoliberal MSM (which are the only game in town in many countries now) as neoliberalism eliminated other forms of press via monopolization mechanism. In the USA lion share of MSM is owned by just six corporations. Along with domination in MSM, neoliberalism creates sophisticated and effective system of indoctrination of population which rivals the same under Bolsheviks in the USSR.
At the same time the cult of greed and denial of tenets of Christian morality like in case of Bolshevism tend to produce monsters. In the absence of a moral filter, as Martha Stout observed in her book The Sociopath Next Door (2006) "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one." Recent information about child abuse among the neoliberal elite suggests that the proportion of sociopaths among neoliberal politicians is much higher that it was under the New Deal Capitalism. Such neoliberal politicians as Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton (sexcapades , connection to Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express, "Clinton Cash" Scandal), Hillary Clinton ("We came, we saw, he died"), Dick "Vice" Cheney, Donald Trump might well be malignant narcissists. Discovery of pedophilia rings that involve politicians in several Western countries (such as Britain, Vatican, Norway ) is just another manifestation of the same trend: Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite. And this is not a bug, this is a feature of neoliberalism, connected with neoliberalism core value "personal gratification above everything else". There is no cure for the infiltration of malignant narcissists and outright sociopaths into high echelons of government until moral character is valued by the society and is once again assessed before key promotion decisions are made. Typical for narcissists megalomania, the idea that after the collapse of the USSR the USA can and should rule the globe was a decisive force in the USA foreign policy (which was at the core a neocon foreign policy) since 1990th and precipitates the current decline of the USA as the world power due to overextension typical for all empires.
The neoliberal state justifies its decisions, policies, and rules by deification of the markets and by perversion of the meaning of the term the "freedom". In this Hayek inspired sophistry the negative definition is used as in "freedom from coercion" and interpreted mainly in economic space ( as the freedom of unlimited enrichment of talented and/or ruthless entrepreneurs.) Compare with "Four Freedoms" definition used Roosevelt administration during the New Deal: "freedom from want" and "freedom from fear" are not included in neoliberal definition. Those freedoms are simply denied under neoliberalism for everybody, but the top 10% of population.
Neoliberalism might therefore be defined as the elevation of market-based principles to the level of state religion. Or more correctly the techniques of elevation of market principles to the level of state-endorsed norms and state-sponsored secular religion which displaces Christianity (aka neoliberal rationality). This theological dimension of neoliberalism is very important (some researchers called neoliberalism "perverted Buddhism" in institualized suffering of lower classes ) and like in Marxism, the economics (in the form of neoclassical economics) is used for indoctrination on university students into this ideology. Neoliberals (in a form of adherents to neoclassical economics) dominate economics departments of major universities and not by some chance -- this is result of deliberate policy (borrowed from Trotskyism) of acquiring and maintaining the political power ("Quite coup").
This secular religion in which "market" and "competition" are new deities ("market fundamentalism") is especially visible in university education, were alternative approaches were mercilessly crushed. It is not an exaggeration to say that the main goal of teaching of economics in universities is the indoctrination, and it has very little in common with teaching economic as a complex and contradictory science. Mathematics serves as powerful smoke screen for hiding the neoliberal ideological core (mathiness)
Like neofascism, neoliberalism radically transforms the "welfare state" which was created by the New Deal, prioritizing big corporations over common people. The idea of welfare that was the core of New Deal Capitalism is not completely abolished. But under neoliberalism only corporations are desirable welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up. But at the same time neoliberalism and neofascism are mortal enemies: neofascism is at its core a flavor of far right nationalism (cultural or ethnic), while neoliberalism is based on globalism. Only in imperial nations like the USA they can partially merge and intervene (Trump's national neoliberalism is one example).
In labor relations neoliberal pursue a staunch anti-union stance. Labor is atomized, unions suppressed and individuals put on the market "naked" on conditions dictated by employees. Which means squeezing goo paying job in favor of terms and contractors, outsourcing and other anti--labor measure designed to preserve falling profitability in the market condition characterized by falling consumer demand (due to lower standard of living for the majority of population). And this is done at any cost. Even at the cost of human life. That situation gave rise to the term "naked capitalism".
|The idea of welfare is not abolished. But under neoliberalism only corporations are desirable welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up.|
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. That gave a rise of various (often stupid) "performance metrics" and cult of "performance reviews". It redefines citizens as consumers, who exercise they political power mainly buying and selling, the process which supposedly rewards merit (producing market winners) and punishes inefficiency. It postulates a primitive (and wrong) dogma that “the market” always delivers benefits that are superior and could never be achieved by planning. Which is definitely untrue for military contractors. In a way the "market" under neoliberalism is a kind of "all powerful deity". Which makes neoliberalism a variation of a secular religion (compare with "God building" faction of Bolsheviks Party which included such prominent figures as Lynacharsky). As such neoliberalism, like Marxism before, is hostile to Christianity. And while Marxism absolutize the power of human compassion and redefines paradise as a social system that supposedly can be built on Earth (communism), neoliberalism denigrates the power of human compassion and enforces "greed is good" and "homo homini lupus est" morale. Which turns into law of jungle for lower and middle class. In this sense it is more like a branch of Satanism, with greed as a virtue ("Greed is good"), speculation as a noble activity (while according to Chris Hedges "Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged." ) and the slogan "Homo homini lupus est" as one of the key Commandments. See Neoliberalism and Christianity
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations, and greed as a virtue
This social system can be viewed as dialectical denial of socialism and represents the other extreme in classic triad "Thesis, antithesis, synthesis". We do not know yet what the synthesis will be like, but neoliberalism as a social system after 2008 shows definite cracks. Much like the USSR after the WWII when people serving in Red Army discovered what the standard of living in Central and Eastern Europe for workers was far superior that existed in the USSR and start to understand that "state socialism" as practiced in the USSR can't deliver promised higher standard of living for ordinary citizens and that Soviet "nomenklatura" is not that different from the capitalist class in appropriation in Marx terms of "surplus value of labor".
Recent spy scandals demonstrated that neoliberal elite (like financial oligarchy in general) is aware of the loss of power of neoliberal ideology and is afraid of losing power. They no longer fully believe in the power brainwashing of population (at least after 2008). Neoliberal ideology started losing its grip on the population, much like Marxism in the USSR in1960th.
So they switched to coercion innovating in this area too: by introducing so called "inverted totalitarism" template of social coercion. This term was instoruced by Professor Shedon Wolin in his famous book ( see kettering.org which provides an introduction tot he book for free).
This template updates Bolsheviks-style repressive mechanisms by relying more the power of intelligence agencies as an enforcement squad of neoliberal agenda and the power of MSM for brainwashing of the population. Dissidents are no longer jailed or killed; they allow them to linger in obscurity carefully "cutting the oxygen" -- and access to media for popularization of their ideas and money for a decent standard of living. You can be a dissident under neoliberalism but prepare to end your life in poverty. So the explicit censorship by the state used under Bolshevism isrepaced by a more several private censorship of MSM controlled by neoliberal oligarchs, who provided to be as good in this area if not better as Bolsheviks (six corporations in the USA control all major MSM).
This development reveals another (and pretty alarming) commonality with Bolshevism -- historically Cheka (OGPU/NKVD/KGB) played prominent, if not decisive, role in defending and ensuring the survival of Bolsheviks' regime. It was betrayal of KCB brass that doomed the USSR in late 1991 -- starting from Andropov they switched sides and started to propagate the conversion of the country to neoliberalism. This negative trend is amplified by appointment, "not so bright", deeply conformist "ladder climbers" as the heads of intelligence agencies. For example, Brennan and Clapper represent the same category of people as a typical Soviet bureaucrat -- a ruthless (and most often corrupt and amoral) careerist with limited intellectual capacities, but devoted to the defense of the ruling oligarchy. Such people understand very well from which side his bread is buttered. Neoliberalism operates differently and does not require, or support mobilization of population. That's why it is viewed by some political scientists as a new mutation of corporatism called "inverted totalitarism" (the term introduced by Sheldon Wolin in his magnificent book and further developed by Wendy Brown in her essay Neoliberalism and the end of liberal democracy and the book Undoing the Demos- Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (2017). Internet as a distributed and democratic system supports mobilization of population. It also makes more difficult to control information flow and free flow of information and existence of critical to neoliberalism websites which summarize and presents in readable form the available information is a threat to neoliberalism. Which, being a secular religion, flourished on ignorance and brainwashing. That's why there is systematic propaganda campaign to associate critics of neoliberalism with Russians (which were chosen as a very convenient scapegoat due to Cold War past). That's why neo-McCarthyism witch hunt was launched after Trump elections with such fierce force.
Like Bolsheviks neoliberals are statists par excellence, using state to enforce and support the neoliberal dogma. In other words, neoliberals believe that "the market does not and cannot take care of itself" In this sense we can view neoliberalism is a form of state enforced regulation -- one that insulates the markets from challenges of democratic forces (with the ideological smoke screen of neoclassical economy, which is pure sophistry) as well as from economic nationalism. The recent Deep State attack on Trump is typical, classic neoliberal reaction on such a challenge from economic nationalism.
While hypocritically shouting "free market", "free market"... neoliberals like Bolsheviks in the past conspire to achieve power via iether by deceiving electorate with "carrots" in regular election mechanism (which after they came to power is neutered ) or by stealth coup d'état (or regime change via color revolution in weaker countries, especially LA(Chile, Brasil, Argentina) and post Soviet republics (Baltic republics, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) as well as infiltrating and subverting key institutions of the state via IMF and World Bank ("debt slavery") and, especially, intelligence agencies. CIA considered neoliberalism as a useful tool for thier "fight against communism" and was onboard with neoliberalism starting with Pinochet coup in Chile in 1973 done using fifth column of USA educated (read indoctrinated) "Chicago boys".
After coming to power neoliberals behave like Bolsheviks and openly and blatantly use government as an enforcer of their ideology. That includes bailing out financial oligarchy to prevent of meltdown of financial system during Minsky moments. Which are inevitable under neoliberalism as decimation of regulation (especially for financial sector) eliminated the negative feedback loop introduced by the New Deal, while financial institutions create a strong positive feedback loop in economics gradually sliding to more and more reckless behaviour as more time from the previous crisis elapses until the new financial crash hits them (and the socitry as whole) in the head ("stability is destabilizing" as quipped Minsky). At this point neoliberal state bails then our at the expense of ordinary taxpayers and traditional manufactures ("socialism for the financial oligarchy") who bare the main blunt of the crisis.
Exaggerating threats to the USA sovereignty to cement the cracks in the neoliberal regime is also a page borrowed from the Stalinist period of the USSR. In the USSR people were accused being British spies. Now in the USA dissidents from neoliberal ideology (even such highly placed as Trump ;-) are, by definition, Russian intelligence service collaborators, or assets. This very useful for defenders of the neoliberal regime paranoia now extends even to contacts with the Ambassador of Russia by any US official which bring us to the set of behaviors at the peak of the USSR Great Terror. In a sense Mueller looks exactly like one of Stalin henchmen -- he tried to justify the view that is almost totally misguided, for the sake of defense of declining neoliberal ideology. Performing functions that are not that different from functions performed by the head of Gestapo or Stasi -- suppression of the political dissent to neoliberalism.
Like in the USSR for intelligence officials it is safer to flow with the neo-McCarthyism trend: the current atmosphere of paranoia makes it difficult for intelligence agencies to present the evidence that contradicts Russian spymania vision. The essence of which is identical to the vision of Stalinist Russia: that the USA is surrounded by two hostile powers (Russia and China) hell-bent on creating political crisis in the country and/or "regime change" and salivating to steal or dismantle the US global neoliberal empire. Which are engaged in stealing technological and military secrets.
Like Soviets, neoliberal policymakers are deeply troubled by the specter of the enemy at the gate, not realizing that the current social crisis in the USA is ultimately connected with the crisis of neoliberalism both as an ideology and the system of governance. Add to this faulty, ideologically distorted system of intelligence gathering and ruthless but intellectually second-rate careerists at the agencies (just look at Strzok, Brennan and Clapper). Like with the discovery of British spies in the USSR, the most obvious motive for Russiagate witch hunt is to cement cracks in neoliberal faced which appeared after 2008 by using for this purpose the external threat.
While many think about neoliberalism as "Ubercapitalism" or return to "Robber Barons" era on a new level, ideologically Neoliberalism is closer to Trotskyism ( and thus can be called Neo-Trotskyism ). It stresses the role of state as the enforcement power, the solidarity of neoliberal elite across the countries, with the dominant role of Anglo-Saxon elite. As well as the role of subversive methods and intelligence agencies in instituting the "regime change" (Trotskyite idea of permanent revolution mutated under neoliberalism into the idea of "permanent color revolution") . In the famous slogan "Proletarians of all countries, Unite!" neoliberalism substituted the word "proletarians" with the word "elites" (as in "Transnational elites, Unite!" ).
The slogan "All Power to [Workers] Councils" is replaced with "All power to financial oligarchy councils", and such clubs as Bilderberg Group, US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and similar organization are playing the role of hidden centers of power of the neoliberal regime.
Like Trotskyism neoliberalism in the ideology of "permanent expansion", ideology of neo-colonialism. The idea of "Permanent Revolution" was substituted with the idea of permanent "Color revolutions." Methods used remain a variation and enhancement of methods used by Trotskyites for destabilizing the government, with a special emphasis on use of the students, acquiring the control of mass media, implanting NGO (especially in the area various polls and "control over the legitimacy of elections". ) The latter is pretty nasty trick as people tend to believe the rumors that elections were hijacked. Stalin dictum: it does not matter how they vote, what matters is who is counting the votes is used here in a pretty innovative way. The neoliberal version sounds like: It does not matter how that vote, if elections are close all that matter is who is performing exit polls and cries louder about "irregularities" in the elections in the MSM.
Add to this various financial injection to "dissidents" via network of NGO and you get the picture. Caste of "professional revolutionaries" now consists of well-paid functionaries sitting in comfortable chairs in various, lavishly financed think tanks and NGO. In the USA they constitute the core of both parties which cares very little about the interest of rank-and-file members with "bait and switch" maneuver as the major tool for election success (Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump). Marx is probably rolling in his grave.
Despite being a flavor of Trotskyism, Neoliberalism is still a very interesting, unique social system which by-and-large defeated and replaced both New Deal capitalism and various flavors of socialism (as well as facilitated the dissolution of the USSR by buying out Soviet nomenklatura, including KGB brass). It is the only social system in which the name of the system is somehow prohibited by MSM to mention. In this system, like under Stalin's version of socialism, the state play the leading role in enforcing the social system upon the people, brainwashing them with wall-to-wall 24 x 7 USSR-style propaganda an, if necessary, by state violence (As Sheldon Wolin mentioned neoliberalism tries to use violence selectively, as overuse of state violence undermines the social system, see Inverted Totalitarism).
Neoliberalism is the only social system in which the name of the system is prohibited (or at least suppressed) in MSM.
Like Bolshevism and national socialism neoliberalism lifted intelligence services into full fledged political player (which means that later stage of neoliberal state always evolves into the national security state). They also almost completely control the MSM , major commerce (Amazon), search (Google). and social sites (Facebook). For example, Google was created with the help of intelligence agencies at the initial state. Which means that the regime of total electronic surveillance, reminiscent of STASI is the "new normal" (see, Privacy is dead, get over it).
As we can see in color revolution launched by them against Trump (Trump is the proponent of a newer version of neoliberalism, which can be called "national neoliberalism" or "neocolonization instead of globalization") intelligence agencies now position themselves as "king makers" or Praetorian Guard that de-facto controls the election of the President of the USA. And the color revolution against Trump is not the isolated case when the USA intelligence agencies have gone rogue. It is just a step in natural evolution of neoliberalism and along with total surveillance is a "new normal".
Like Bolshevism and national socialism neoliberalism lifted intelligence services into full fledged political
Instead of regulating predatory tendencies of capitalism like under New Deal, state under neoliberalism became just a corrupt policeman that serve interests of the large corporations and financial institutions (especially the latter) and, in most cases, at the expense of the standard of living of the common people. Standard of living of working class and lower middle class typically slides under neoliberalism (this fact is never accepted by neoliberals and hotly disputed).
|Standard of living of working class and lower middle class typically slides under neoliberalism. In the USA this is the case since 1980th (this face is not accepted by neoliberals and hotly disputed). But this is a direct result of redistribution of wealth up, which is sine qua non of neoliberalism. Like Feudalism before neoliberalism promotes the notion of aristocracy masqueraded by the smoke screen on "creative class", but in essence consisting mainly of financial oligarchy, with substantial role of inheritance.|
In this sense any neoliberal country is to a certain extent is an "occupied country", and the neoliberal regime is the occupying regime, much like Bolsheviks (with their theocratic state) were in USSR space. Or like the return on the new level to the Robber Barons era, when the state helped to squash West Virginia miner upraising in 1912-21 by military force.
Foreign policy under neoliberalism is marked by rampant militarism and constant wars for expanding of the global, USA-led neoliberal empire. Neocons dominate the USA foreign policy since early 70th (Chilean putsch and then Carter administration support of mujahedeen against Soviets).
Systems with a strong positive feedback loop are known to be unstable. So bailing out private institutions using public money (like happened in the US and Europe in 2008-2010) is not an aberration. but a quintessential feature of neoliberalism. And the crisis of 2008 which caused the regime of "secular stagnation" in Western societies will probably be repeated on a new level in 2020th (we can only guess about possible triggers; might the price of oil, or the size of derivatives market). Simplifying, we can call neoliberalism "Banks uber alles" regime.
The economic inefficiency of the USSR "state capitalism" model (one state -- one giant corporation) helped to undermine the validity and effectiveness of communist propaganda. And once the ideology is undermined, the elite can't restore the trust of population, which start viewing it with suspicion and contempt. The process of irreversible deterioration started and proceed rather slowly. After WWII Bolshevism survived for another 40 years or so, but eventually failed as the elite (aka Soviet nomenklatura) changed sides and joined neoliberal camp.
Like Bolshevism before it, neoliberalism proved to be unstable social system and the collapse of neoliberalism is not question of "if", but "when". A utopian system which is unable to deliver promised benefits to the common people, and which destabilizes capitalism in comparison with New Deal capitalism, producing periodic financial crisis with increasing severity. The first of such crisis was "savings and loans" crisis, followed by dot com bubble burst, and the financial crisis in 2008. The latter led to the Great Recession from which the USA never fully recovered.
In 2008 the large banks, which are the core of neoliberal economics, were saved from facing consequences of their "transgressions" only by massive state intervention. All powerful market was unable to save those sick puppies. The consequences of 2008 crisis did buried neoliberal ideology which from this point looks like cruel and primitive hypocrisy designed to restore the power of financial oligarchy to the level the latter enjoyed in 1930th. That did not mean that neoliberalism became completely toothless. It managed to stage comeback in several Latin American countries (the USA backyard). But in 2016 it led to the election of Trump who managed to defeat establishment candidate, neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton despite all the efforts of the neoliberal/neocon establishment to derail him. Trump pursues the version of neoliberalism which can be called "national neoliberalism" -- neoliberalism limited to the USA with implicit rejection of globalization (or at least large part of it). Which makes Trumpism somewhat similar to Stalinism. Unlike Trotsky, Stalin did not believe in the "World Revolution" mantra.
In the absence of alternatives neoliberalism managed somewhat recover after 2008 debacle, and even successfully counterattacked in some Latin American and European countries (Argentina, Brazil, Greece), but the Great Recession still left of huge and ugly scar on the neoliberal face. In any case glory days of triumphal march of neoliberalism all over globe are over. Crisis of neoliberalism also logically led to increase of share of "guard labor" in economics. On state level this resulted in hypertrophied growth of repressive apparatus including intelligence agencies. So when in 2016 neoliberalism in the USA experienced its first political crisis (when electorate rejected Hillary Clinton and elected Trump, creating the legitimacy crisis of the USA ruling neoliberal elite) the Deep State (the core of which consists of intelligence agencies and "Wall Street" ) launched a "color revolution" to depose him. Fake changes of falling under Russian control concocted by intelligence agencies in order to depose Trump which collectively are called "Russiagate" (which properly should be called Intelligence-gate) is the defining feature of this "color revolution".
With lower standard of living of the middle class is no longer possible to hide that "it 's not enough cookies for everybody" under neoliberal and the myth that rising tide lifts all boats"(Trickle-down economics ) is not applicable.
The economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that "trickle-down economics" had been tried before in the United States in the 1890s under the name "horse and sparrow theory", writing:
Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: 'If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.'
Resentment of working class and lower middle class reached in 2016 unprecedented level, creating a real political crisis in the USA. Which was not unexpected. As Pope Francis aptly noted:
... Such an [neoliberal] economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
Outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing in the USA -- the citadel of neoliberalism led to epidemic of opiod abuse similar to epidemic of alcoholism among workers in the late USSR. Among the more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths ( Overdose Death Rates National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (
Impoverishment of lower 20% of the society (those who have so called McJobs) reached the level when we can talk about a third world country within the USA.
All those factors created pre-conditions for a sharp rise of far right nationalism. In a way neoliberalism naturally generated far right nationalism splash much like Gilded Age and the market crash of Sept 4, 1929 capitalism created precondition for the rise of national socialism. Reading NDSAP 25 points program (adopted in 1920) we can instantly feel that many problem that existed then are now replayed on the new level. After approximately 40 years of global dominance neoliberalism facade shows cracks. Backlash against neoliberal globalization became strong enough to provide upsets, albeit temporary, which demonstrated itself in Brexit, and election of Trump. Who, despite his election-time claims to be a fighter against neoliberal globalization, for restoration of local jobs, and against the wars for expanding neoliberal empire, he essentially folded in two-or three months after the inauguration.
Like Soviet version of Communism before it, Neoliberalism failed to meet its promises of rising standard of living (and the key idea of justifying of raising of inequality and redistribution of wealth up under neoliberalism was "rising water lifts all boats" mantra, or as Kenneth Galbraith famously defined it “Trickle-down theory - the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” ). We can stress again, that the current opiod epidemics in the USA is not that different from epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR under Brezhnev's "well developed socialism" and has the same social roots.
It is important to understand that under neoliberalism the key priority is the maintenance of global neoliberal empire for the benefits of multinationals (with the associated idea of Global Neoliberal Revolution which, as we mentioned before, makes is similar to Trotskyism). Opening new markets is vital for the interests of transnational corporations and that means that the USA government supports the war for the expansion of the USA-led global neoliberal empire at the expense of interests of regular US citizens. Outsourcing and atomization of the US workforce (squeezing unions) means that neoliberal government has an adversarial attitude towards its common citizenry. They are, by definition, the second class citizens (Undermensch, or as Hillary Clinton elegantly coined it "basket of deplorables" ) . While neoliberal themselves ("creative class") are new Ubermench and like old aristocracy are above the law. So the idea of the "nomenklatura" as a ruling class in the USSR is now replayed on a new level. The fact the Ann Rand was a Soviet émigré tells you something ;-)
Like all other social systems neoliberalism evolved with time ( much like Bolshevism evolved from Leninism to Stalinism, then to Brezhnev's socialism and at last to Gorbachov "perestroika" ). Recently in the USA it morphed into "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism that stresses the colonial model and direct economic and military pressure of vassals, instead of treaties based globalization model used in "classic" neoliberalism) which has uncanny similarities with "national socialism". This flavor was not well accepted by the current US neoliberal elite and attempts to stage the color revolution against Trump followed (Russiagate).
In various countries it can morph into quite different "regimes", despite the common "market fundamentalism" core. The simplest and pretty precise way to define is to view it as "socialism for the rich, feudalism for the poor" or, more correctly "Trotskyism for the rich" ("Elites of all countries unite !" instead of “Proletarians of all countries, Unite! ...). It is "socialism for the upper strata of population and corporations, especially transnationals". It favors professionals (programmers, lawyers, doctors, university professors, etc), upper level managers and capital owners, so this social system acts inn the interests of top 10% of population, with the special emphasis on interests of top 1% or even 01%. For the rest of population it serves austerity as the only available dish.
In this sense neoliberals are as "internationalists" as communists were at their time, and may be even more (the term "globalism" is commonly used instead of "internationalism".) And like "Communist International", the "Neoliberal International" accepts the elite from any country, but only a very narrow strata of the elite and only on a certain conditions, with the leading role reserved for the USA elite and a part of G7 elite. Much like in Comintern the role of Moscow as a leader was something that can't be even discussed. Only taken for granted. Although spying capabilities of "Neoliberal International" via "five eyes" are tremendously more powerful then the rudimentary capabilities of Comintern. And the technology of staging "color revolutions" is more polished then Trotskyite approach to staging proletarian revolutions.
As a proverb say "One is a bad student, if he can't exceed the level of his teacher". Or "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires" (William Arthur Ward). Neoliberals proved to be a very good students of Trotskyite method of subversion of elected governments, as many of them were actually former Trotskyites.
Neoliberals also have more money and that matters. This fact alone allows them to create a powerful "fifth column" in countries other then G7 who are on the receiving end of neoliberal expropriation of wealth to the top countries of Neoliberal International. Like in Comintern, "all pigs are created equal, but some pigs are more equal then others."
The key idea of obtaining power by training the cadre of "professional revolutionaries" introduced by social-democratic parties and, especially, Bolsheviks are replaced with no less effective the network of neoliberal think tanks. In other words neoliberalism borrowed and perverted almost all major ideas of social-democratic parties. Including the existence of a paid "party core" typical for Bolsheviks, and instrumental to the success of their coup d'état in October 1917 against Provisional government by Kerensky. Under neoliberalism this idea transformed into the network of think tanks that Koch and other billionaires have sponsored.
Monte Perelin society (the initial neoliberal think tank) explicitly tried to adapt successful idea of western social democratic parties and Bolsheviks to neoliberal doctrine. One such "appropriations" is the level of secrecy and existence of "underground" part of the party along with "legal" parliamentary faction, a set of figureheads who are controlled by "invisible hand" (honorable politician is the one who after he was bought stays bought). Some important theoretical work in this direction was done USA renegade Trotskyites (aka neoconservatives, especially by James Burnham as well as staunch neoliberals like James Buchanan (The Guardian)
The papers Nancy MacLean discovered show that Buchanan saw stealth as crucial. He told his collaborators that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential”.
Instead of revealing their ultimate destination, they would proceed by incremental steps. For example, in seeking to destroy the social security system, they would claim to be saving it, arguing that it would fail without a series of radical “reforms”...
Gradually they would build a [well-paid] “counter-intelligentsia”, allied to a “vast network of political power” that would become the new establishment.
The control of MSM is another idea borrowed from Bolsheviks. Like Bolshevism, neoliberalism created it's own Neoliberal newspeak and a set of myths ("greed is good", "invisible hand", "the efficient markets hypothesis", "rational expectations scam", Shareholder value scam, supply side voodoo aka "rising tide lifts all boats", etc).
In "neoliberal newspeak" the term "freedom" is used as the excuse for ripping down public protections on behalf of the very rich. For example, "free market" means the market free from any coercion by the state (read "free from regulations") which makes it the corporate jungle where the most powerful corporation dictate the rules of the game and eat alive small fish with complete impunity. In no way neoliberal "free market" is fair. Actually neoliberals try to avoid to discuss the issue of farness of the market. This is anathema for them. As such neoliberalism has distinct Social Darwinism flavor and enforces scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed
|In no way neoliberal "free market" is fair. Actually neoliberals try to avoid to discuss the issue of farness of the market. This is anathema for them. As such neoliberalism has distinct Social Darwinism flavor and enforces scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed|
As neoliberalism inherited consumerism of the New Deal Capitalism, it adapted it for it own purposes. One distinct feature is trying to get into dent the majority of the population of the country as well as "lesser" countries (neo-colonialism)/
On the individual workers levels neoliberalism has sophisticated mechanisms of enforcing excessive debt on unsuspecting population with such mechanisms as credit card companies, mortgages, student debt, etc. And a worker with a large debt is, essentially, a debt-slave. Atomization (neoliberalism is openly and forcefully anti-union) and enslavement of the workforce is exactly what neoliberalism is about: recreation of the plantation economy on a new technological and social levels. Not that unions are without problems in their own right, but crushing the union is the goal of every neoliberal government starting with Thatcher and Reagan. The same model that is depicted in famous song Sixteen Tons. With replacement of the company store debt and private corporate currencies with credit card debt.
On "lesser" countries level IMF and World banks does the heavy lifting of converting countries into debt-slaves. Sometimes with the help of Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs.
Like Trotskyism, neoliberalism is a militaristic creed, the only different is that dream of global Communist empire led from Moscow was replaced by the dream of global neoliberal empire led by Washington. Neocons in this sense is just a specific flavor of neoliberals --" neoliberals with the gun" as in Al Capone maxim "You Can Get Much Further with a Kind Word and a Gun than with a Kind Word Alone" ;-). This "institualized gangsterism" of the US neocons represents probably the greatest threat to the survival of modern civilization.
Neoliberalism elevates of market-based principles and techniques of evaluation to the level of state-endorsed norms. The authority of the neoliberal state is heavily dependent on the authority of neoliberal economics (and economists). When this authority collapses the eventual collapse of neoliberalism is imminent. This is a classic "the castle built of sand story. "
This is the end of the introduction. Due to the size the main article was moved to a separate page -- Neoliberalism in depth
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
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Aug 22, 2019 | www.unz.com
However, as the people cannot spontaneously make and express their opinion on a mass scale, the media comes to play a critical role in shaping public opinion: "The decisive question is: Who enlightens the people? Who educates the people?" The answer is, of course, the media. In this, Hitler's assessment is an exaggerated version of what Alexis de Tocqueville had observed a century earlier in his classic work, Democracy in America :
When a large number of press organs manage to march along the same path, their influence in the long run becomes almost irresistible, and public opinion, always struck upon the same side, ends up giving way under their blows.
In the United States, each newspaper has little power individually; but the periodical press is still, after the people, the first of powers.  Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Démocratie en Amérique (Paris: Gallimard, 1986), volume 1, p. 283-84. Hitler and Tocqueville shared a surprising number of views concerning mordern democracy, see: https://www.counter-currents.com/2016/08/tocqueville...itler/
In Western democracies, Hitler claims: "Capital actually rules in these countries, that is, nothing more than a clique of a few hundred men who possess untold wealth." Furthermore "freedom" refers primarily to "economic freedom," which means the oligarchs' "freedom from national control." In a classic self-reinforcing cycle, the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful through influence over the political process. Today, this has culminated in the existence of the notorious "1%" so demonized by Occupy Wall Street.
The oligarchs, according to Hitler, establish and control the media:
These capitalists create their own press and then speak of "freedom of the press." In reality, every newspaper has a master and in every case this master is the capitalist, the owner. This master, not the editor, is the one who directs the policy of the paper. If the editor tries to write something other than what suits the master, he is outed the next day. This press, which is the absolutely submissive and character slave of its owners, molds public opinions.
Hitler also emphasizes the incestuous relations and purely cosmetic differences between mainstream democratic political parties:
The difference between these parties is small, as it formerly was in Germany. You know them of course, the old parties. They were always one and the same. In Britain matters are usually so arranged so that families are divided up, one member being conservative, another liberal, and a third belonging to the Labour Party. Actually all three sit together as members of the family and decide upon their common attitude.
This cliquishness means that "on all essential matters . . . the parties are always in agreement" and the difference between "Government" and "Opposition" is largely election-time theatrics. This critique will resonate with those who fault the "Republicrats," the "Westminster village," or indeed the various pro-EU parties for being largely indistinguishable. This is often especially the case on foreign policy, Chomsky's area of predilection.
Hitler goes on, with brutally effective sarcasm, to describe how it was in these democracies where the people supposedly rule that there was the most inequality: "You might think that in these countries of freedom and wealth, the people must have an unlimited degree of prosperity. But no!" Britain not only controlled "one-sixth of the world" and the impoverished millions of India, but itself had notoriously deep class divisions and suffering working classes. There was a similar situation in France and the United States: "There is poverty – incredible poverty – on one side and equally incredible wealth on the other." These democracies had furthermore been unable to combat unemployment during the Great Depression, in contrast to Germany's innovative economic policies.
Hitler then goes on to mock the Labour Party, which was participating in the government for the duration of the war, for promising social welfare and holidays for the poor after the war: "It is is remarkable that they should at last hit upon the idea that traveling should not be something for millionaires alone, but for the people too." Hitlerite Germany, along with Fascist Italy, had long pioneered the organization of mass tourism to the benefit of working people. (Something which traditionalists like the Italian aristocrat Julius Evola bitterly criticized them for.)
Ultimately, in the Western democracies "as is shown by their whole economic structure, the selfishness of a relatively small stratum rules under the mask of democracy; the egoism of a very small social class." Hitler concludes: "It is self-evident that where this democracy rules, the people as such are not taken into consideration at all. The only thing that matters is the existence a few hundred gigantic capitalists who own all the factories and their stock and, through them, control the people."
... ... ...
In practice, Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated. Various studies have found that when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite)
... ... ...
In fact, all regimes have different elite factions and bureaucracies competing for power. All regimes have a limited ideological spectrum of authorized opinion, a limited spectrum of what can and cannot be discussed, criticized, or politically represented. This isn't to say that liberal-democratic and openly authoritarian regimes are identical, but the distinction has been exaggerated. I have known plenty of Westerners who, frothing at the mouth at any mention of the "authoritarian" Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen, were quite happy to visit, do business, or work in China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, or Israel (the latter being a perfect Jewish democracy but highly authoritarian towards the Palestinians). Westerners really are sick in the head.
The liberals' claim to uphold freedom of thought and democracy will ring hollow to many: to the Trump supporters and academics (such as Charles Murray) who were physically assaulted for attending public events and to those fired or punished for their scientific beliefs (James Watson, James Damore, Noah Carl).
What the ideal regime is surely depends on time and place. Jean-Baptiste Duchasseint, a politician of the French Third Republic, had a point when he said: "I prefer a parliamentary chamber than the antechamber of a dictator." Liberal-democracies allow for regular changeovers of power, transparent feedback between society and government, and the cultivation of a habit of give-and-take between citizens. But it would be equally dishonest to deny liberal-democracy's leveling tendency, its unconscious (and thereby, dangerous) elitism and authoritarianism (dangerous because unconscious), its difficulty in enforcing values, its promotion of division among the citizenry, or, frequently, its failure to act in times of emergency. The democrats claim they are entitled to undermine and destroy, whether by peaceful or violent methods, every government on this Earth which they consider "undemocratic." This strikes me as, at best, unwise and dangerous.
The question is not whether a society "really has" free speech or democracy. In the absolute, these are impossible. The question is whether the particular spectrum of free discussion and the particular values promoted by the society are, in fact, salutary for that society. In China, unlike the West, you are not allowed to attack the government. Yet, I understand that in China one is freer to discuss issues concerning Jews, race, and eugenics than in the West. These issues, in fact, may be far more important to promoting a healthy future for the human race than the superficial and divisive mudslinging of the West's reality-TV democracies.W
Durruti , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:09 am GMTNice well written & researched thought provoking article by Guillaume Durocher.German_reader , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:12 am GMT
Hitler most likely served the Zionist Bankers, as his "Night of the Longknives" – 1934, rid the Nazi movement of its anti-capitalist element.
Hitler did not effectively criticize Zionism or the ruinous financial system. He blamed the Versailles Treaty for most of Germany's ills.
Noam Chomsky has had more serious political and economic analysis to offer over the decades, than most any other American. He has authored more than 100 books.
Hitler and his movement led the German people into the trap (perhaps a Zionist trap), of ruinous (to Europe), Imperialist Conflict, and in that, and in his racialist approach, resembles Churchill, and the British Royal Family more than he could ever admit.Counterinsurgency , says: August 20, 2019 at 6:57 am GMT
Strikingly, Hitler does not mention Jewish media ownership or influence at all,
At 3:21 in the archive.org video he refers to "das auserwählte Volk" (the chosen people) which supposedly controls and directs all parties for its own interests.
Anyway, do you really think it's a good idea for modern nationalists to link themselves to Hitler and the 3rd Reich (because many of your articles could be interpreted that way, as if Hitler was some profound thinker who has to be read by every nationalist today)?
Yes, the man wasn't as stupid as is often claimed today, and some elements of Nazism are certainly attractive if seen in isolation but the fact remains that Hitler, without any really compelling necessity, initiated one of the most destructive wars in history and then had his followers commit some of the worst mass murders ever.
The "revisionists" posting on UR may be able to ignore that, but most people won't.Parfois1 , says: August 20, 2019 at 8:27 am GMT
In practice, Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated. Various studies have found that when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite).
That's it? "Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated"?
There are differences in _every_ society between different groups, which include different income levels. In the Western liberal regimes of the 1950s and 1960s, daily life was more or less left alone, and it was quite possible to over-rule the rich. There was a 90% tax on income over a fairly modest amount of income! As for the "American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority" it wasn't the rich who do that back then, nor is it the rich who do it now. It's the Left, acquiesced to by the rich. The difference is that the rich now rich with political sufferance, or perhaps because of politics, which was much less the case back then.
In other words, the article as a deception from start to end. Minerva's owl flies at dusk (you understand things when they're ending), and the deception becomes more obvious as our current system fails.
CounterinsurgencyAnother one whitewashing Fascism to make it an acceptable ideology to save the white race. The first edition killed 12 million Germans, twice as many Russians and many more millions of other Europeans. What for? To make America great, perhapsHans Vogel , says: August 20, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
The author is unfurling his full colours; maybe grateful for Hitler's mercy on France?Agree that the article is a very good one. Clever idea to compare Hitler with Chomsky, "bien étonnés de se trouver ensemble." However, Hitler was certainly not alone in his lucid criticism of "western democracy," nor is Chomsky the only lucid post-Hitlerian critic of what is called democracy. Who does not recall Michael Parenti's wonderful Democracy for the Few, from 1974?Saggy , says: Website August 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
As for Hitler being genuine, or intellectually honest in his criticism, better not even ask. Like all major politicians, including FDR, the repulsive Churchill, Stalin e tutti quanti, Hitler was a psychopath and a murderer. Anyone still nurturing romantic thoughts on Hitler better read Guido Giacomo Preparata, Conjuring Hitler. How Britain and America Made the Third Reich (2005). Best proof that Preparata was absolutely right with his richly documented book is the fact that his academic career was abruptly ended: no tenure for dissidents, especially when they write books containing uncomfortable truths.
The only people allowed to tell "uncomfortable truths" are used-car salesmen and swindlers such as Al Gore.From an even more pointed speech,Arnieus , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm GMT
Adolf Hitler Speech: Löwenbräukeller Munich November 8 1940
When I came to power, I took over from a nation that was a democracy. Indeed, it is now sometimes shown to the world as if one would be automatically ready to give everything to the German nation if it were only a democracy. Yes, the German people was at that time a democracy before us, and it has been plundered and squeezed dry. No. what does democracy or authoritarian state mean for these international hyenas! That they are not at all interested in. They are only interested in one thing: Is anyone willing to let themselves be plundered? Yes or no? Is anyone stupid enough to keep quiet in the process? Yes or no? And when a democracy is stupid enough to keep quiet, then it is good. And when an authoritarian government declares: "You do not plunder our people any longer, neither from inside nor from outside," then that is bad. If we, as a so-called authoritarian state, which differs from the democracies by having the masses of the people behind it; if we as an authoritarian state had also complied with all the sacrifices that the international plutocrats encumbered us with; if I had said in 1933, "Esteemed Sirs in Geneva" or "Esteemed Sirs," as far as I am concerned, somewhere else, "what would you have do? Aha, we will immediately write it on the slate: 6 billion for 1933, 1934, 1935, all right we will deliver. Is there anything else you would like? Yes, Sir we will also deliver that" Then they would have said: "At last a sensible regime in Germany."Western media is not "cooperative", they are owned.Sollipsist , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm GMT
JP Morgan famously bought up controlling interest in major newspapers in 1917 to prevent significant media opposition to the US entering WWI. The Counsel on Foreign Relations was created in the early 1920s to maintain control over the national dialog and they have ever since. The CIA Project Mockingbird tightened control. Every presidential cabinet since is saturated with CFR members. As a result most Americans are disastrously misinformed about just about everything. 1984 happened decades before 1984.@Hans Vogel Parenti's book is one of the few assigned college textbooks I still have on my shelf. A classic that I rarely hear spoken of; I guess my liberal arts education wasn't entirely wasted.Irish Savant , says: Website August 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMTExtolling Hitler and/or the Nazis is, apart from anything else, totally counter-productive. We can argue about the rewriting of history but the simple fact is that any association with him/them is poisonous to the public mind.BCB232 , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm GMTWhat I took from the piece was that Hitler, despite being an evil bastard, was right about some things. This shouldn't be surprising and isn't a defense of Nazism (which as a Christian I have to regard as evil.) The fact that Hitler and Chomsky agree shows this isn't a defense of Nazism.Bardon Kaldian , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT@German_reader So called revisionists are bunch of morons. Hitler was, without lapsing into moralizing, a very specific product of a very specific time, a charismatic leader of a great humiliated nation during a deep crisis in all Western civilization (this includes Russia, too).Emslander , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm GMT
Now, Europe & Europe-derived peoples face a completely different crisis (or various crises), so that what Hitler was or wasn't is utterly irrelevant to our contemporary condition & its challenges.It does no good to try to defend Hitler, regardless of the many correct observations he made over the years of his public life. He was as important a commentator as, say, Paul Krugman, but his opinions will never overcome his actions. Comparing him to Krugman or Chomsky makes an interesting debating point, but ultimately fails for lack of context.annamaria , says: August 20, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
If you are trying to argue that capitalist democracy, Anglo-American style, has grievous flaws, you're going to have to show what they are and why they will lead to calamity. I'd say we need a real discussion on federal budgeting insanity, for one, which threatens the economic downfall of the West and, probably, of the universe, except maybe for Russia, which has already suffered through its great downfall. How that connects to Anglo-American democracy is simple: the British borrowed and made war around the world to its virtual collapse and then had the great insight to be able, via FDR, to tie the prosperity of the United States to its failures, until the great engine of prosperity that we once were comes clanking to pieces.
The fascists weren't wrong on policy during peacetime, but were too optimistic about being able to take over the world by war.@Biff https://thesaker.is/the-russiagate-hoax-is-now-fully-exposed/Republic , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:40 pm GMT
Both the liberal (Democratic) and conservative (Republican) wings of the U.S. aristocracy hate and want to conquer Russia's Government. The real question now is whether that fact will cause the book on this matter to be closed as being unprofitable for both sides of the U.S. aristocracy; or, alternatively, which of those two sides will succeed in skewering the other over this matter.
At the present stage, the Republican billionaires seem likelier to win if this internal battle between the two teams of billionaires' political agents continues on. If they do, and Trump wins re-election by having exposed the scandal of the Obama Administration's having manufactured the fake Russiagate-Trump scandal, then Obama himself could end up being convicted. However, if Trump loses -- as is widely expected -- then Obama is safe, and Trump will likely be prosecuted on unassociated criminal charges.
To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician's selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other -- and not merely against some foreign ('enemy') aristocracy. At this stage of American 'democracy', the public are irrelevant. But the political battle might be even hotter than ever, without the gloves, than when the public were the gloves.G , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."
Yes that quotation by Chomsky is exactly correct, and Chomsky is an expert in that area.
He is a loyal servant of the oligarchs, the MIT intellectual who has devoted his life
to keeping the lid on acceptable debate but is silent on the most important event of the 21st Century in order to serve his Zionist masters.
Any person who goes beyond that accepted level of debate is either ostracized, imprisoned or assassinated.niceland , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
Liberal-democracies allow for regular changeovers of power, transparent feedback between society and government, and the cultivation of a habit of give-and-take between citizens.
Except that is not true at all. All major Western countries today, UK, France, USA and Germany, are ruled by an effective one-party state, stabilized and its agenda multiplied by its media companies, often state owned, the agenda enforced by apparatschiks, secured by the police force and internationalized physically with the military and with great propaganda by the media-entertainment complex – today even effectively monopolized by US companies like Google/YouTube and Facebook.
Whether you look at BREXIT, votes on an EU constitution, or the Donald Trump presidency: what the majority of the people want is not important to the permanent ruling and owning class.
The politicians and sanctioned talking-heads are there to deceive us. Obama und Trump are two sides of the same coin: carefully crafted advertisement campaigns to secure the interests and goals of the elite in the long run.
Progressiv interests first with Obama and now reactionary interests have been encorporated as messages and propaganda to neuter both. Now the left talks about gender neutral toilets, trans kids and pronouns, instead of stagnant wages for decades and a predatory elite. Just like the right talks about Trump's tweets, Q and is lost in the media skinner-box and his personality cult, while Trump himself broke every single point he campaigned on (Except those that serve the 1% and Israel.) and is owned by the same lobby which produces the artificial reality Trump cultists bought into.
Political-media theater was and is orchestrated, so the true core of power stays untouched and stable: the very small capitalist class who owns 90% of the net wealth in the USA (it's getting increasingly similar in Europe as it is being Americanized in the process of globalization); the superordinate megacompanies; the military-industrial complex; Wall Street and (Central) Banking; special interests and lobbies of which the Israeli-Jewish Lobby is the strongest.
And the cultural totalitarianism of today and its artifical reality is superior to that of the old physical dictatorships, because in mass-media democracy not only does the subject believe himself to be free, because the tools of his own enslavement are not visible; only in it the subject gives his own concession to his own subjugation by his vote. While all paths to real change, revolution or revolt are as cut off from him as under Stalin or Mao.Well, if the idea is to spread the message, any mention or reference to Hitler will be totally devastating in the public arena. It's like participating in a marathon run and start off by cutting off your legs.The Nine Tailed Fox , says: August 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
Just recently I saw some posts on facebook from someone local to me preaching about Nordic brotherhood. He posted few pictures and all of them had Hitlers face somewhere in the background. FB shut it down within hours
What's interesting is the same message could have been presented differently without much effort. Sliding past FB filters for days or even weeks and possibly influenced some people in the meantime. So I wonder who was actually behind it – my guess is either a complete idiot or someone eager to vilify nationalism and people concerned with racial issues.@G As always, the best slaves are those who don't know they're wearing chains.JackOH , says: August 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT@Exile " . . . [I]f sources as divergent as Hitler and Chomsky agree on the flaws of capitalism/neo=liberal democracy, it lends credibility to those criticisms . . .".Counterinsurgency , says: August 20, 2019 at 10:18 pm GMT
Exile, that's exactly how I read it.
Our political problems aren't that difficult to understand:
Democrats – Sell-out to crony capitalism and global capitalism. Offers an Identity Politics Plantation for rent-seekers and legitimacy-seekers as political camouflage.
Republicans – Sell-out to crony capitalism and global capitalism. Offers a Freedom and Opportunity Plantation as political camouflage.
As far as I can tell, we really don't have an American or Americanist politics that tells me I ought to give a meaninful damn about my fellow citizens in the 'hood, the gated 'burbs, and everywhere else because, fuckin' 'ey, they're my fellow Americans.@ExileMiggle , says: August 21, 2019 at 1:05 am GMT
Durocher's not romanticizing or white-washing here, he's making a serious point: if sources as divergent as Hitler and Chomsky agree on the flaws of capitalism/neo=liberal democracy, it lends credibility to those criticisms and makes it harder to refute them by ad hominem or accusations of bias on the part of the critics.
Lordy. _That_ is your argument? The big loser in WW II and an academic agree that US society should be reorganized? Add in Pol Pot, Stalin, Marx, Trotsky, Putin, Mussolini, and BLM, not to mention the Wobblies, if you like. The argument remains unconvincing. Peterson's "first, demonstrate your competence by cleaning and organizing your room and then your home and your affairs, _then_ try to re-make the world. None of the above, except perhaps Putin, could have passed that test.
Q: Is Marxism a science or a philosophy?
A: Philosophy. If it were a science they'd have tried it out on dogs first.
Counterinsurgency@Miggle And how can there be "checks" when everything is "classified", and when Julian Assange has to be murdered in a US prison but it will be made to look like suicide?Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 2:52 am GMTBuzz Mohawk , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:34 am GMT
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. – Noam Chomsky"
COMMENT: Chomsky is talking about the Overton window: the range of ideas that "The Powers That Be" (TPTB) will allow in public discussion.
(1) Tucker Carson recently went outside the Overton window, when he said "white supremacy is a hoax", then TPTB immediately "vacationed" him for political reeducation, and now he is safely back within the window, rattling his cage on issues harmless to TPTB.
(2) The Controlled Protest Press (CPP) will often blame economic problems on the Federal-Reserve making wrong moves, and suggest the right moves the Fed should make instead, as the correct solution. But the CPP will never suggest that the correct solution is to end the Fed and the private currency they issue, and to return the currency-issuing power to the government, as required by the constitution (Article I Section 8). Because that's outside the Overton window.
(3) The CPP will often complain about the government ignoring warning signs before the 9/11 attack, and botching their response after it happened. But the CPP will never suggest the whole thing was an inside job to garner public support for bankers oil wars in the middle east. Because that's outside the Overton window.Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:40 am GMT
when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite).
True. True. True.@Professional Stranger CHOMSKY himself always stays within the Overton window, and makes a show of it:Pater , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:46 am GMT
Chomsky goes beyond maintaining a strategic silence on 9/11, to inciting smear-campaigns against skeptics of the official narrative of 9/11. He demeans "truthers": "Their lives are no good Their lives are collapsing They are people at a loss Nothing makes any sense They don't understand what an explanation is They think they are experts in physics and civil engineering on the basis of one hour on the Internet."I think you should ask the Slavic untermenschen; Poles, Czechs, Serbs, Byelorussians & Ukranians what their experience of occupation by the Wehrmacht was like. Poland alone lost 5 million civilians with Ukraine losing a similar number.Biff , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT@annamariaParfois1 , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician's selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other -- and not merely against some foreign ('enemy') aristocracy.
Interesting concept. When the elites go after each other; that is when you know empire is in rapid decline.
Other powers may just simply wait it out.@JackOH You summed up very well the nature of the duopoly ruling the US for donkey's years. Representative democracy is a licence for political power by a small clique over the people. Obviously, both Fascism (Hitler) and Socialism (Marx) agree on that, but for different reasons. And so does anyone with some basic understanding of how the political process works.lysias , says: August 21, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT
But the article goes further than stating the obvious: the intention – in my mind – is to show that, because Hitler and Chomsky are in agreement about the deception of "democracy", then Fascism is a reputable ideology, so much so that Chomsky, by association, gives his imprimatur to that perception. Durocher (a self-declared racist) is just another purveyor of the Nazis' lies attempting to dress that ideology with respectable robes.
Nothing new there. Afterall Hitler also called his political party "Socialism", the term stolen from the party he infiltrated for its popular appeal. As soon as he grabbed dictatorial power he imprisoned the socialists.@Biff Roman elites started to attack each other in 133 B.C., and the civil wars lasted a century. The Roman Empire survived several centuries after that.Skeptikal , says: August 21, 2019 at 6:25 pm GMT@Mikemikev Why not stick to discussing the ideas in the essay?BCB232 , says: August 21, 2019 at 7:58 pm GMT
It is pathetic to fall back on the ad hominem "Hitler!" excuse for not engaging with the ideas.
Perhaps Durocher is wrong in the ideas he attributes to Hitler.
For myself I have always found it interesting that the basic concept of "national" "socialism" (let's just look at those words separately) seems to bear thinking over: A socialism that is not a international system but is based on a nation. Obviously how you define a nation is pretty important.
Interestingly, now the Jews/Zionists have defined themselves as a nation (whether or not the citizens of this nation actually live in Israel). And the point of this nation certainly appears to be to confer all of the benefits of citizenship in the nation only on that nation's citizens and on no others. Many of the benefits of citizenship seem to be of a socialist nature: quite a few freebies such as education, health care, vacations at the seashore in special hotels, free housing (on land stolen from the natives), etc. etc. So, this Jewish nation certainly seems to espouse a version of socialism that is nation-based. I.e., national socialism.@The_seventh_shape We'll see. Stalin asked "how many divisions does the Pope have?" The Chair is still there, the Soviet Union is gone – God works in mysterious ways.Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMTMolly , says: August 22, 2019 at 1:58 am GMT
TURTLE in COMMENT 169: There is. or at least was, a professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at MIT, where Chomsky is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, who spoke out publicly regarding certain anomalies found in the debris of the twin towers (not Building 7). Prof. Chomsky could have simply walked across campus and, no doubt, gotten an audience with his fellow faculty member, had he chosen to do so.
Ridiculing the public statements of someone with actual expertise in a relevant field by implying that none who have spoken out are qualified to do so is intellectually dishonest in the extreme.
Chomsky is a fraud.
STRANGER: Agreed! There are also the 1500 architects and engineers at "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" https://www.ae911truth.org/ who have spoken out, and who are well qualified to do so. Same goes for Pilots for 9/11 Truth http://pilotsfor911truth.org/ .Fascinating! I'm reminded of Noam Chomsky's Manufactured Consent quite a bit lately due to the reckless deplatforming. As a "recovering anarchist," I sometimes wonder have I moved right? Or has the left moved left? Thank you for writing!Lancelot Link , says: August 22, 2019 at 2:28 am GMTChomsky has valid critiques of US power and its use. He points out the evil done in the name of the people re: capitalism (which benefits those who live off their capital. These people travel the world in search of people to screw over and drop like bad habits. See – wood and coal industries in West Virginia, USA.
That Israel is a ethno state is no coincidence, it is exactly the belonging to the group which makes for a strong nation. All of "us" against all of "them". That Israel doesn't have the mass influx of aliens as white European nations must suffer should be instructive. They learned this from the NDSP as evidenced by the tactics of ghettoization on the Palestinians. They even have the strange belief that walls work.
Civic nationalism makes a lotta sense, but one must feel connection to the land, the people and the overarching nation of which they are a part. What multicultural gubbamint has lasted without friction between its peoples and for how long? Most western nations are the only ones with the multiculti death wish. Why do people migrate to hideous racist white nations? Do they can gripe about whatever they want while living high on the hog, of course!
Why don't people migrate to Israel, Japan, Cape Verde or Burundi? Because they either don't let many "others" in by defacto law or nobody wants to go because of dejure common sense.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
by Nick Cunningham
... ... ...
In a study of 29 fracking-focused oil and gas companies by the Sightline Institute and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), only 11 companies posted positive free cash flow. Even then, the figures were paltry. Collectively, the group only reported $26 million in free cash flow for the second quarter, "far too modest to make a significant dent in the more than $100 billion in long-term debt owed by these companies, let alone reward equity investors who have been waiting for a decade for robust and sustainable results," the report said.
... ... ...
PlutoniumKun , August 21, 2019 at 7:09 am
I think a key point about a future shale bust is that it will leave very little in long term assets. In other busts, someone comes along to cherrypick the assets with potential profitability – its the early investors who get burnt. But if shale operators aren't even breaking even on cashflow excluding early borrowings, then its likely that any attempt to consolidate and shrink the industry to make it profitable would fail in the absence of a significant price rise. Since a typical fracked well for tight oil or gas has about 18 months production, this means that constant capital inputs are essential, an investor can't just get a free ride for a few years on past investments.
What this means in reality is that a year or more after the inevitable bust, there will be a massive drop off in production. Ironically of course this will lead to exactly the sort of price rise the industry is craving – but by then it may be too late. It could of course also be highly disruptive to the world fuel market if the US suddenly finds itself needing a few million barrels a day of SA crude.
Harry , August 21, 2019 at 7:43 am
I tend to think of shale as an out of the money option, that the industry keeps on early exercising to generate the appearance of a going concern, despite it losing money. As absurd as this model of events sounds, it would predict that in a consolidation, these assets would be picked up by oil majors, who would "mothball" till higher prices. Of course the longer these bozos are allowed to pump at capital depleting oil prices, the less there is for the eventual buyer in bankruptcy.
Frank Little , August 21, 2019 at 8:58 am
There's an interesting story in Reuters today about how towns in the Permian are starting to make long-term bets on shale production there, in the form of investing in education and infrastructure. It seems like the entrance of oil majors sent a signal to people there that the bust hasn't come yet and apparently won't come for a little while. After reading the coverage of fracking on NC and Bethany McLean's book Saudi America this seems like a bad idea, as the financial problems of fracking stem from physical limitations of the technology. It doesn't seem like a big oil company would be able to solve this problem, besides maybe having deeper pockets and greater ability to ride out low prices, but that still doesn't make fracking profitable, just less unprofitable. Here's the link:
Texas shale towns grapple with growth as oil-bust fears fade
ewmayer , August 21, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Yes, I fwded that link to Yves & Lambert earlier today – the key thing to me is that the oil majors don't make such long-term investments lightly. From the story:
Some of the smaller producers that pioneered shale drilling in the Permian, such as Concho Resources (CXO.N), Laredo Petroleum (LPI.N) and Whiting Petroleum (WLL.N), are downshifting as West Texas oil prices have lost 16% and natural gas has tumbled 36% over the past year.
But the world's biggest oil majors are increasingly taking control of the Texas shale business, and their drilling plans – sometimes sketched out in decades rather than years – are envisioned to withstand the usual price drops.
The Permian Strategic Partnership, a group of 20 energy companies operating in the area, promises to spend $100 million to promote training, education, health care, housing and roads. The partnership chipped in $16.5 million for the charter school initiative, which will open its first campus in August 2020 and plans to offer public education to 10,000 students over time.
Nat , August 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm
The only thing in all this that is baffling me is that Wall st. just keeps giving loans to and buying bonds for these companies to the tunes of 10s of billions of dollars. Everyone on Wall St can't all be willfully in denial and completely blind to the fact that these were bad investments from the beginning and that continuing to give them money is just throwing good money after bad. Everyone makes a bad investment from time to time, but the solution isn't to just burn money indefinitely to turn it into a zombie corporation when there are no signs it will ever be profitable – indeed from what I have read fracking and shale's best ROI is right after the well is turned on, after that it only gets worse so these bad investments are only gangrening and rotting faster and faster. Yet still, ever more more money from Wall st., the same people who chide any and all public services for being unprofitable and engendering unprofitable subsidized behavior.
So if they can't all be that stupid, the only other explanation is that at least some of them are just plain evil. In this case that would entail them working on "greater fool theory" where they are planing something like the old sub-prime mortgage CDOs. Something like: 1. package all this festering financial garbage they created into illegible little financial products; 2. pay-off the rating's agency to give this repackaged garbage AAA rating; 3. sell to sovereign wealth, retirement, and pension funds; 4. take out credit-default swaps and other bets against the garbage they have sold off because they know it is going to imploade; 5. run like hell; 6. blame poor people for destroying the economy while begging for a government bailout as a result of fallout from destroying the world again.
JPerry , August 21, 2019 at 5:42 pm
The Shale companies believe they can refinance at lower rates and put time on their side. Unfortunately for them there is a divergence between the oil price and oil stocks. Links
Plus with oil stocks being valued lower by the market, and more natural gas & renewables coming online, and likely a worsening climate sooner rather than later, I believe we've seen top of market and it is clarified by the Saudis weak Aramco IPO interest.
Pwelder , August 21, 2019 at 6:44 pm
That "study" is a pretty cheesy piece of work.
I'm somewhat familiar with Noble Energy, one of the 29 companies the authors claim to have examined.
They report Noble as having a cash flow deficit of $499 million, a full 20% of their grand total for all 29 companies. The grand total, of course, purports to demonstrate the weakness of the US shale plays.
The thing is, the cash flow from Noble's shale operations in Texas and Colorado is solidly positive. The company has a cash flow deficit because it is finishing up its share of the Leviathan project offshore Israel, which by this time next year will have that country energy independent while enabling a massive shift from coal to natural gas as their primary energy source. Not a bad thing, IMO.
The anti-hydrocarbon jihadists have some valid points, but they also generate a lot of propaganda that has no relation to reality. This "study" is an example of what happens when you know the answer you want before you do your investigation.
The risks and benefits of hydrocarbon energy is an important question. Unfortunately there's a lot of garbage produced on both sides.
drumlin woodchuckles , August 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm
Why should the Shale Business feel bad about bleeding money? It isn't their money. It is "other peoples' money". It is investors' money. As long as the Shale Business operators are retaining for their personal selves some of the "investor peoples' money" which they are bleeding from investors, why should they feel bad about it? Maybe their whole business model was based on bleeding other peoples' money till other people have no more money left to bleed. . . . and keeping a little bit of the money-bleed for themselves.
It's like with mosquitoes . . . . mosquitoes aren't "bleeding" blood. They are sucking blood. It is the animals they are sucking blood FROM . . . which are bleeding blood. If the animals eventually die from blood loss, the mosquitoes at least got some blood in the meantime.
And so it is with the shale frackers. They aren't bleeding money. They are sucking money. The investors they suck money from are the people who are bleeding money. And if the investors finally die from money loss, the shale frackers at least got some money in the meantime.
Oct 16, 1999 | Amazon.comBritta Sahlgren, October 16, 1999An intriguing story of human relationships in the extreme.
Bold Endeavors by Jack Stuster proved to be a real page-turner! Since childhood reading about adventures and explorers had been my favorite literature. In this book the persons behind these endeavors came to life.
They were of flesh and blood and you as a reader took part of their everyday life, their hardships and personal problems. A thrilling experience. A lesson in the importance of relationships not only among people in isolation
A lesson of use at job interviews, schools and even in families. I am thankful for an added knowledge and understanding of the many problems associated with these Endeavors. This book should be a "must" to all young people.
Aug 22, 2019 | getpocket.com
Stories to fuel your mind. The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It's Usefulness Happiness as an achievable goal is an illusion, but that doesn't mean happiness itself is not attainable. Darius Foroux
For the longest time, I believed that there's only one purpose of life: And that is to be happy.
Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It's to achieve happiness in some way.
And I'm not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.
That's why we collectively buy shit we don't need, go to bed with people we don't love, and try to work hard to get approval of people we don't like.
Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don't care what the exact reason is. I'm not a scientist. All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it. The list is endless.We are who are.
Let's just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don't live fulfilling lives. I don't necessarily care about the why .
I care more about how we can change.
Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.
- You buy something, and you think that makes you happy.
- You hook up with people, and think that makes you happy.
- You get a well-paying job you don't like, and think that makes you happy.
- You go on holiday, and you think that makes you happy.
But at the end of the day, you're lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: "What's next in this endless pursuit of happiness?"
Well, I can tell you what's next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.
It's all a façade. A hoax. A story that's been made up.
Did Aristotle lie to us when he said:
"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."
I think we have to look at that quote from a different angle. Because when you read it, you think that happiness is the main goal. And that's kind of what the quote says as well.But here's the thing: How do you achieve happiness?
Happiness can't be a goal in itself. Therefore, it's not something that's achievable.
I believe that happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness.
When I talk about this concept with friends, family, and colleagues, I always find it difficult to put this into words. But I'll give it a try here.
Most things we do in life are just activities and experiences.
- You go on holiday.
- You go to work.
- You go shopping.
- You have drinks.
- You have dinner.
- You buy a car.
Those things should make you happy, right? But they are not useful. You're not creating anything. You're just consuming or doing something. And that's great.
Don't get me wrong. I love to go on holiday, or go shopping sometimes. But to be honest, it's not what gives meaning to life.
What really makes me happy is when I'm useful. When I create something that others can use. Or even when I create something I can use.
For the longest time I foud it difficult to explain the concept of usefulness and happiness. But when I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots connected.
"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
And I didn't get that before I became more conscious of what I'm doing with my life. And that always sounds heavy and all. But it's actually really simple.It comes down to this: What are you DOING that's making a difference?
Did you do useful things in your lifetime? You don't have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born.
If you don't know how, here are some ideas.
- Help your boss with something that's not your responsibility.
- Take your mother to a spa.
- Create a collage with pictures (not a digital one) for your spouse.
- Write an article about the stuff you learned in life.
- Help the pregnant lady who also has a 2-year old with her stroller.
- Call your friend and ask if you can help with something.
- Build a standing desk.
- Start a business and hire an employee and treat them well.
That's just some stuff I like to do. You can make up your own useful activities.
You see? It's not anything big. But when you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.
The last thing I want is to be on my deathbed and realize there's zero evidence that I ever existed.
Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It's about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer.
It's a very powerful book and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. In the book, he writes about how he lived his life and how he found his calling. He also went to business school, and this is what he thought of his fellow MBA candidates:
"Bottom line: they were extremely bright people who would never really anything, would never add much to society, would leave no legacy behind. I found this terribly sad, in the way that wasted potential is always sad."
You can say that about all of us. And after he realized that in his thirties, he founded a company that turned him into a multi-millionaire.
Another person who always makes himself useful is Casey Neistat . I've been following him for a year and a half now, and every time I watch his YouTube show , he's doing something.
He also talks about how he always wants to do and create something. He even has a tattoo on his forearm that says "Do More."
Most people would say, "why would you work more?" And then they turn on Netflix and watch back to back episodes of Daredevil.A different mindset.
Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.
And that same day I started writing. For you it can be painting, creating a product, helping elderly, or anything you feel like doing.
Don't take it too seriously. Don't overthink it. Just DO something that's useful. Anything.
Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance. His ideas and work have been featured in TIME, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Observer, and many more publications. Join his free weekly newsletter.
More from Darius Foroux
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This article was originally published on October 3, 2016, by Darius Foroux, and is republished here with permission. Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance.
Join his newsletter.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
The White House policy of taking Iranian oil exports to "zero" still has a long way to go, thanks in no small part to China , and also despite Pompeo touting this week that US sanctions have removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets.
US frustration was evident upon the release of the Adrian Darya 1, with Gibraltar resisting Washington pressures to hand over the Iranian vessel, given as its en route to Greece, American officials are now warning that they will sanction anyone who touches the tanker .
Seizing on Washington's frustration as part of its own "counter-pressure" campaign of recent weeks, Iran has again stated if it can't export its own oil, it will make waterways unsafe and "unpredictable" for anyone else to to so .
Aug 10, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne , August 10, 2019 at 06:18 AMhttps://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-trade-and-fiscal-deficits-by-joseph-e-stiglitz-2019-08
August 9, 2019
Trump's Deficit Economy
Economists have repeatedly tried to explain to Donald Trump that trade agreements may affect which countries the US buys from and sells to, but not the magnitude of the overall deficit. But, as usual, Trump believes what he wants to believes, leaving those who can least afford it to pay the price.
By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ
NEW YORK – In the new world wrought by US President Donald Trump, where one shock follows another, there is never time to think through fully the implications of the events with which we are bombarded. In late July, the Federal Reserve Board reversed its policy of returning interest rates to more normal levels, after a decade of ultra-low rates in the wake of the Great Recession. Then, the United States had another two mass gun killings in under 24 hours, bringing the total for the year to 255 – more than one a day. And a trade war with China, which Trump had tweeted would be "good, and easy to win," entered a new, more dangerous phase, rattling markets and posing the threat of a new cold war.
At one level, the Fed move was of little import: a 25-basis-point change will have little consequence. The idea that the Fed could fine-tune the economy by carefully timed changes in interest rates should by now have long been discredited – even if it provides entertainment for Fed watchers and employment for financial journalists. If lowering the interest rate from 5.25% to essentially zero had little impact on the economy in 2008-09, why should we think that lowering rates by 0.25% will have any observable effect? Large corporations are still sitting on hoards of cash: it's not a lack of liquidity that's stopping them from investing.
Long ago, John Maynard Keynes recognized that while a sudden tightening of monetary policy, restricting the availability of credit, could slow the economy, the effects of loosening policy when the economy is weak can be minimal. Even employing new instruments such as quantitative easing can have little effect, as Europe has learned. In fact, the negative interest rates being tried by several countries may, perversely, weaken the economy as a result of unfavorable effects on bank balance sheets and thus lending.
The lower interest rates do lead to a lower exchange rate. Indeed, this may be the principal channel through which Fed policy works today. But isn't that nothing more than "competitive devaluation," for which the Trump administration roundly criticizes China? And that, predictably, has been followed by other countries lowering their exchange rate, implying that any benefit to the US economy through the exchange-rate effect will be short-lived. More ironic is the fact that the recent decline in China's exchange rate came about because of the new round of American protectionism and because China stopped interfering with the exchange rate – that is, stopped supporting it.
But, at another level, the Fed action spoke volumes. The US economy was supposed to be "great." Its 3.7% unemployment rate and first-quarter growth of 3.1% should have been the envy of the advanced countries. But scratch a little bit beneath the surface, and there was plenty to worry about. Second-quarter growth plummeted to 2.1%. Average hours worked in manufacturing in July sank to the lowest level since 2011. Real wages are only slightly above their level a decade ago, before the Great Recession. Real investment as a percentage of GDP is well below levels in the late 1990s, despite a tax cut allegedly intended to spur business spending, but which was used mainly to finance share buybacks instead.
America should be in a boom, with three enormous fiscal-stimulus measures in the past three years. The 2017 tax cut, which mainly benefited billionaires and corporations, added some $1.5-2 trillion to the ten-year deficit. An almost $300 billion increase in expenditures over two years averted a government shutdown in 2018. And at the end of July, a new agreement to avoid another shutdown added another $320 billion of spending. If it takes trillion-dollar annual deficits to keep the US economy going in good times, what will it take when things are not so rosy?
The US economy has not been working for most Americans, whose incomes have been stagnating – or worse – for decades. These adverse trends are reflected in declining life expectancy. The Trump tax bill made matters worse by compounding the problem of decaying infrastructure, weakening the ability of the more progressive states to support education, depriving millions more people of health insurance, and, when fully implemented, leading to an increase in taxes for middle-income Americans, worsening their plight.
Redistribution from the bottom to the top – the hallmark not only of Trump's presidency, but also of preceding Republican administrations – reduces aggregate demand, because those at the top spend a smaller fraction of their income than those below. This weakens the economy in a way that cannot be offset even by a massive giveaway to corporations and billionaires. And the enormous Trump fiscal deficits have led to huge trade deficits, far larger than under Obama, as the US has had to import capital to finance the gap between domestic savings and investment.
Trump promised to get the trade deficit down, but his profound lack of understanding of economics has led to it increasing, just as most economists predicted it would. Despite Trump's bad economic management and his attempt to talk the dollar down, and the Fed's lowering of interest rates, his policies have resulted in the US dollar remaining strong, thereby discouraging exports and encouraging imports. Economists have repeatedly tried to explain to him that trade agreements may affect which countries the US buys from and sells to, but not the magnitude of the overall deficit.
In this as in so many other areas, from exchange rates to gun control, Trump believes what he wants to believe, leaving those who can least afford it to pay the price.
Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is University Professor at Columbia University.
Feb 15, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com
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Losing a job in your 50s is a devastating moment, especially if the job is connected to a long career ripe with upward mobility. As a frequent observer of this phenomenon, it's as scary and troublesome as unchecked credit card debt or an expensive chronic health condition. This is one of the many reasons why I believe our 50s can be the most challenging decade of our lives.
Assuming you can clear the mental challenges, the financial and administrative obstacles can leave you feeling like a Rube Goldberg machine.
Income, health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, bills, expenses, short-term savings and retirement savings are all immediately important in the face of a job loss. Never mind your Parent PLUS loans, financially-dependent aging parents, and boomerang children (adult kids who live at home), which might all be lurking as well.When does your income stop?
From the shocking moment a person learns their job is no longer their job, the word "triage" must flash in bright lights like an obnoxiously large sign in Times Square. This is more challenging than you might think. Like a pickpocket bumping into you right before he grabs your wallet, the distraction is the problem that takes your focus away from the real problem.
This is hard to do because of the emotion that arrives with the dirty deed. The mind immediately begins to race to sources of money and relief. And unfortunately that relief is often found in the wrong place.
The first thing you should do is identify the exact day your job income stops arriving . That's how much time you have to defuse the bomb. Your fuse may come in the form of a severance package, or work you've performed but haven't been paid for yet.When do benefits kick in?
Next, and by next I mean five minutes later, explore your eligibility for unemployment benefits, and then file for them if you're able. However, in some states severance pay affects your immediate eligibility for unemployment benefits. In other words, you can't file for unemployment until your severance payments go away.
Assuming you can't just retire at this moment, which you likely can't, you must secure fresh employment income quickly. But quickly is relative to the length of your fuse. I've witnessed way too many people miscalculate the length and importance of their fuse. If you're able to get back to work quickly, the initial job loss plus severance ends up enhancing your financial life. If you take too much time, by your choice or that of the cosmos, boom.
The next move is much more hands-on, and must also be performed the day you find yourself without a job.What nonessentials do I cut?
Grab your bank statement, a marker, and a calculator. As much as you want to pretend its business as usual, you shouldn't. Identify expenses that don't make sense if you don't have a job. Circle them. Add them up. Resolve to eliminate them for the time being, and possibly permanently. While this won't necessarily lengthen your fuse, it could lessen the severity of a potential boom.
The idea of diving into your spending habits on the day you lose your job is no fun. But when else will you have such a powerful reason to do so? You won't. It's better than dipping into your assets to fund your current lifestyle. And that's where we'll pick it up the next time.
We've covered day one. In my next column we will tackle day two and beyond.
Peter Dunn is an author, speaker and radio host, and he has a free podcast: "Million Dollar Plan." Have a question for Pete the Planner? Email him at AskPete@petetheplanner.com. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Jeffrey Epstein used his tangled web of shell companies as a "brazen and powerful organization" to operate a sex-trafficking ring, according to three new civil lawsuits filed against his $578 million estate.
The new litigation was filed against the estate, its executors and the shell companies themselves, asking for unspecified damages for medical and psychological expenses, trauma, humiliation and other injuries suffered as recently as 2017, according to Bloomberg .
Among the companies named in all three suits are one that owned Epstein's Manhattan mansion until 2011 ; his money-management firm, Financial Trust Co.; and HBRK Associates Inc., which allegedly helped arrange travel for Epstein's accusers between New York and Florida . A Richard Kahn was listed as the registered agent for HBRK in New York state corporate filings in 2008.
Two of the complaints name as a defendant the company that once owned Little St. James , the smaller of Epstein's private islands in the Caribbean. Little St. James was one of the locations from which Epstein ran a " complex commercial sex trafficking and abuse ring , " according to the lawsuits.
The defendants include the executors, Darren Indyke and Richard Kahn , lawyers who were directors for a nonprofit Epstein had in the U.S. Virgin Islands called Gratitude America. - Bloomberg
Two of the women, "Katlyn Doe" and "Lisa Doe" claim to have met Epstein when they were seventeen. The third, "Priscilla Doe" says she was 20. The three say Epstein used a " vast enterprise " of associates working "in concert and at his direction, for the purpose of harming teenage girls through sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking. Notably, the new suits claim that all of this happened after his deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2007.
Katlyn and Priscilla claim they were flown to Florida so that Epstein could continue to sexually abuse them while he was on work release from jail . Katlyn claims he promised to pay for medical treatment, while he manipulated Lisa and Priscilla by promising to advance their dance careers - which he did not do, according to the lawsuits.
Epstein's complicit associates include "chefs, butlers, receptionists, schedulers, secretaries, flight attendants, pilots, housekeepers, maids, sex recruiters, drivers and other staff members, " according to the suits.
Katlyn also alleges that in 2013 Epstein paid her $10,000 to marry an associate in order for him to become a legal resident of the United States - stiffing her on another $10,000 she says she was promised upon their divorce. She says she agreed to come to Florida after Epstein promised her a job at his office, and that HRBK coordinated her travel . She added that Epstein forced her to "engage in sexual encounters" with him and another young female at the headquarters of his Florida Science Foundation.
According to University of Oregon law professor Susan Gary, Epstein's death shouldn't serve as an impediment to their civil claims.
" They're still in a good position ," said Gary, adding that the challenge "is proving as required by law that he injured them and they should get benefits for their injury."
After Epstein served 13 months in a Palm Beach jail, he settled over two dozen lawsuits with accusers who say he lured them when they were teenagers to his mansion, where they were coerced into sex and paid to recruit others .
Three of those cases, filed by clients of Brad Edwards, settled for a total of $5.5 million . Edwards is the lawyer for the women who filed the complaints Tuesday in federal court in New York. The plaintiffs aren't named because of the "sensitive sexual nature" of the cases , the suits say.
Late Tuesday, Edwards submitted arguments on behalf of VE, another client who last week sued Epstein's estate and three of the same companies targeted by the latest suits, asking the court to allow her to proceed anonymously.
" Epstein's vast wealth and far reaching connections make it clear that retaliation could be employed against individuals pursuing claims against the estate " and could deter witnesses, according to the filing. VE's anonymity will serve society as well, which " has an interest in eradicating the predatory practices of powerful men against vulnerable, susceptible women. " - Bloomberg
According to Katlyn Doe, Epstein would often remind her of his "extraordinary power to reward and punish."
Meanwhile, plaintiff Lisa Doe says she met Epstein in 2002 when she was 17, when he told her he was "close personal friends with some of the most influential names in dance," and would help her with her career if she taught a dance-based exercise class at the home of a wealthy New York man. Instead, Epstein forced her to engage in sexual encounters and derailed her career aspirations .
Lastly, Priscilla Doe says that an Epstein "recruiter" asked her if she wanted to give the financier a massage in his Manhattan mansion in 2006 when she was 20-years-old.
An associate of his taught her the "exact way" he liked to receive oral sex and Epstein "forced himself on her and took her virginity," according to the complaint. While Epstein was receiving massages, the suit says, he took calls from four people, referred to in the suit as "Important Business Person" 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The plaintiff says she was forced to "engage in commercial sex" on each of more than 20 trips to the Virgin Islands between 2006 and 2012 . - Bloomberg
According to the lawsuits, "Each of the employees and associates were paid through companies believed to have been funded by Jeffrey Epstein and, regardless of such funding, were disciples of Jeffrey Epstein, constantly informing plaintiff and other victims of Jeffrey Epstein's power and ability to improve or destroy a victim's life depending on her level of cooperation
Ms No , 14 minutes ago linkMadelynMarie , 5 minutes ago link
The last good FBI agent was Ted Gunderson. That's why Van Decamp gave the documentary that Bush Administration had buried to him. We almost lost this documentary forever, but some heroic individuals and fate kept it alive, hoping people would give a ****. It all ties to somebody controlling our politicians with honeypots. Remember when NWO was a conspiracy theory people laughed about? Not funny any more.
This is Gunderson after the FBI. He KNEW. This is all honeypot. The Satanism is for leverage and not real. People get detoured into that.
"He also investigated a child molestation trial in Manhattan Beach, California. In a 1995 conference in Dallas , Gunderson warned about the supposed proliferation of secret occultist groups, and He also investigated a child molestation trial in Manhattan Beach, California. In a 1995 conference in Dallas , Gunderson warned about the supposed proliferation of secret occultist groups, and the danger posed by the New World Order , an alleged shadow government that would be controlling the United States government.  He also claimed that a "slave auction" in which children were sold by Saudi agents to men had been held in Las Vegas , that four thousand ritual human sacrifices are performed in New York City every year, and that the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was carried out by the US government.  Gunderson believed that in the United States there is a secret widespread network of groups who kidnap children and infants, and subject them to ritual abuse and subsequent human sacrifice.   ) ,
Conspiracy of Silence , a documentary listed for viewing in TV Guide Magazine was to be aired on the Discovery Channel, on May 3 1994. This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies. Many children suffered the indignity of wearing nothing but their underwear and a number displayed on a piece of cardboard hanging from their necks when being auctioned off to foreigners in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Toronto, Canada.
"At the last minute before airing, unknown congressmen threatened the TV Cable industry with restrictive legislation if this documentary was aired. Almost immediately, the rights to the documentary were purchased by unknown persons who ordered all copies destroyed.
A copy of this videotape was furnished anonymously to former Nebraska state senator and attorney John De Camp who made it available to retired FBI Agent Ted L. Gunderson . While the video quality is not top grade, this tape is a blockbuster in what is revealed by its participants involved."
Can you imagine what these heroic men would think of this exposed Mossad honeypot? Its all exposed now, just needs to be linked together.
Ms No , 3 minutes ago link
Really looks like this is how they control govts--not just in the US but all over the world.
from the above article, I found this comment:
So the Jews have another South America pedophile scandal to their discredit. We haven't forgotten the child prostitution business run by Arie Scher and George Schteinberg in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the 1990s . It was exposed in the early summer of 2000 by an infuriated teenage girl who found a nude photo of herself online, after Schteinberg had PROMISED her that he'd never show it to anyone.
Schteinberg was arrested and given a slap on the wrist (they went easy on him because he was Jewish) while Arie Scher escaped to Israel, one step ahead of the authorities.
The Israeli government took away Scher's diplomat license for five years (because he got caught being naughty, presumably; properly trained Jews don't get caught, of course).
When the five years were past, Israel proposed to send Scher to Australia to replace Amir Laty, who'd made himself unwelcome by committing espionage and by being very rude to certain Australian women.
Somehow or other, the Australian public found out that the spy was being replaced by a pedophile as Israel's official ambassador to their country, and they got up in arms about it. This persuaded Scher to decline the post, perhaps keeping the cushy administrative job the Israeli government gave him during the previous five years
So, looks like there were running another operation like this in Brazil during the 90s (never heard of that one before)ILikeMeat , 14 minutes ago link
Thanks. I really appreciate your comments.June 12 1776 , 15 minutes ago link
Sounds like the set up for a typical Mossad honey pot operation..Give Me Some Truth , 16 minutes ago link
Case 1:19-cv-07772 Document 1 Filed 8/20/2019 Page 1 of 52
PRISCILLA DOE, Plaintiff,
DARREN K. INDYKE AND
RICHARD D. KAHN AS JOINT
PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
ESTATE OF JEFFREY E. EPSTEIN,
NINE EAST 71st STREET, CORPORATION,
FINANCIAL TRUST COMPANY, INC.,
NES, LLC, MAPLE,INC., LSJ,LLC,
HBRK ASSOCIATES, INC., JEGE, INC.,
64. In 2006, Jeffrey Epstein told Plaintiff she was going on a trip with him to his island in the Unites States Virgin Islands.
65. On that trip was Jeffrey Epstein, Jean Luc Bruenel, Ghislaine Maxwell, Associate 2, Associate 8, and two other victims in addition to Plaintiff.
66. It was there that Ghislaine Maxwell taught Plaintiff the "proper way to give a blow job," describing to her the exact way that Jeffrey Epstein liked to be sexually serviced orally.
Case 1:19-cv-07772 Document 1 Filed 8/20/2019 Page 15 of 52thefloridaman , 19 minutes ago link
1) Authorities will NOT pursue, question or charge any of Epstein's clients or associates (the very people the entire trafficking operation catered to).
2) Authorities will NOT "follow the money."
3) Authorities will not arrest and prosecute any government employee who obstructed justice or participated in this scheme.Jumanji1959 , 19 minutes ago link
You can't manage money if you are a felon!!! His licensing would have been revoked. It would have been on his U-4 and U-5.
Meanwhile he does not even show up on brokercheck.
Can anyone explain beyond the babble conspiracy theories. This is factual.Ms No , 9 minutes ago link
The elites will have to get rid of people and evidence. The Clintons know too much and are oftened named. Nail gun sale at Home Depot. Those 2 geriatric fcuks must go.south40_dreams , 25 minutes ago link
They are a huge liability on countless fronts. That will leave Chelsea to answer for any Clinton foundation questions, and she has been involved. She can play stupid and elicit sympathy. The Clintons are a huge problem.Ms No , 7 minutes ago link
The clinton-soros-rothschild-obama cabal to rule the world is falling apart and the smell of arkancide is blowing heavy in the wind today......VWAndy , 39 minutes ago link
George Bush senior ran the CIA and his retarded offspring was in office for Israel's sept 11 false flag. Red team blue team is a joke.
Trump also has Mossad mob written all over him. His mentor was mob honeypotter, pedophile and hotel Titan Cohn.
They are all neck deep.Ms No , 42 minutes ago link
Notice these are civil lawsuits and not criminal cases.
Note the lack of perpwalks of the corrupted office holders.
Talk is cheap. Its in their actions we will know them by.the artist , 46 minutes ago link
JPMorgn and Douche bank need to be investigated for laundering the Epstein and Maxwell Mossad honeypot's money.
First JPMorgan was who they dealt with. Then when it started to get exposed they passed it to Douche.
Dont expect the Orange *** to investigate the Jewish Mob, that he is clearly an agent for.marcel tjoeng , 53 minutes ago link
Wait! Now there are TWO Islands!!!??? And Pedo Island is the SMALLER ONE???
"Two of the complaints name as a defendant the company that once owned Little St. James , the smaller of Epstein's private islands in the Caribbean. "J S Bach , 1 hour ago link
The Boss of Epstein is Wexner.
Wexner is related to Mossad and the very beginnings of the teaming up of Mossad with Dulles' CIA, after WWII, the OSS, the Irgun and the Stern gruppe, who did the King David Hotel bombing.
The Boss of Wexner is Henry Kissinger the 'republican free trader in favor of democracy'.
The Bosses of soldiers raping Kissinger in his Vietnam creation are the Rockefellers.
Kissinger ordered the Phoenix program mass murdering Vietnamese nationalist by the tens of thousands, which is a mere one feat in his massive killing career, like Churchill,
Kissinger who ran the Republican president Richard Nixon like fc*king a goat.
By the way, there are pictures in circulation of Republican president Ronald Reagan being deeply ejaculated into the manhole, enjoying that greatly (vehemently denied by his daughter at his funeral, pffffffff),
the same anecdotes exist of Prince Philip, husband of fake Queen Elisabeth, who requested to be manly penetrated by crew, when he was onboard visiting the British fleet.
USA USA USA
Bunch of parasite lunatics.
Burn it to the ground.MadelynMarie , 46 minutes ago link
" An associate of his taught her the "exact way" he liked to receive oral sex"
Wow... this is really important stuff.
How about a quote like:
"An associate of his taught him the "exact way" he liked to receive the blackmail information and videos in Israel."White Nat , 36 minutes ago link
"An associate of his taught him the "exact way" he liked to receive the blackmail information and videos in Israel."
Yes, interesting that we are NOT hearing about that aspect of the story.
I'm sure that Israel has operations like this all over the world. No doubt this is how they control governments behind the scenes.
Here's another one: https://www.timesofisrael.com/14-israelis-suspected-of-running-child-sex-trafficking-ring-in-colombia/
NAV , 21 minutes ago link
And another ...
Homosexual Jewish Diplomat Runs a Child **** and Prostitution Business in Brazil
https://nationalvanguard.org/2016/08/recent-history-homosexual-jewish-diplomat-runs-a-child-****-and-prostitution-business-in-brazil/bustdriver , 1 hour ago link
And it it was no accident that the Monica Lewinsky/ Clinton sex scandal erupted into public view precisely at the moment Clinton had scheduled meetings with Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to revive the peace process by pressuring Netanyahu.Give Me Some Truth , 15 minutes ago link
Just to be clear on previous post.
"Time to investigate Mark Epstein and Humpty Dumpty."
Mark is Jeffrey's brother. He is a director of believe it or not the Humpty Dumpty Institute.
It is similar to the Clinton Foundation...Ms No , 1 hour ago link
Mark Epstein has also gotten a pass. Add him to the long list.ironmace II , 1 hour ago link
This likely could be tied to Franklin child sex ring scandal and Mossad will be there too. Watch this free documentary before Jootube takes it down. Men died for you to know this. The show was yanked before it could be played mainstream. Extremely disturbing but VERY important. This was the last time they slipped through your fingers and this type of thing will be what destroys this evil.
https://youtu.be/PScfMeXAQwULEEPERMAX , 1 hour ago link
chefs, butlers, receptionists, schedulers, secretaries, flight attendants, pilots, housekeepers, maids, sex recruiters, drivers and other staff members.
All small potatoes. The people really guilty all go free.TheAntiProgressive , 1 hour ago link
With his Death the Case is Closed . . . Mission accomplished.LEEPERMAX , 1 hour ago link
Yeah and since Sir Pedo's death was termed a suicide, then one would think his will dealy in US VI was planned, as was his death and me thinks a good lawyer would negate the will, trust, etc by simply terming this transfer of assets a fraudulent conveyance and yank it back where those abused can take a slice.
To Big to Jail
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
yogibear , 1 hour ago linkEdward Morbius , 1 hour ago link
Every day the opposite is reported.
More than expected one, next day less.
Trump wants cheap oil, so short the crap out of it.akrainer , 2 hours ago link
He wants cheap oil AND a weak dollar! Genius!Sunny2 , 2 hours ago link
Every week we watch these invenstory draws/builds and every week the commentariat is out to explain how they drive the price fluctuations. Except there's -80% correlation between oil price and USD Index. Implying that events that have nothing to do with these blessed draws/builds have much greater pull on price changes... More here: " Failure of price forecasting: the unit of account conundrum "kavabanga , 2 hours ago link
................................................Element , 2 hours ago link
It looks like an accumulation at the time crude oil wti.
After the price will cross any border of the triangle with powerful candle we can open BUY/SELL entry. Potential profit will be in 3...5 times bigger than risk.Sardonicus , 2 hours ago link
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. - Charles Dickens
Nobody is driving campers anymore
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.
As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.
And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.
Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:
1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.
2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.
3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.
4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.
5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.
6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.
7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."
8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.
9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.
10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."
These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.
rahrog , 2 minutes ago linkLibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link
America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.
Stupid people lose.Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link
I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.
#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwampTheFQ , 16 minutes ago link
Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............benb , 12 minutes ago link
Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?
2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."
2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)
2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)
2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)
2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)
2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)
2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"
I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.
ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.
WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:
- ET AL
WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?
FFS...enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link
WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?
Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.
As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.
Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.
Aug 21, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
..."An Anti-Trump Landslide?" [ The American Conservative ]. "Anything could happen between now and November 2020, but this new Fox News poll is not good news for the president. If the vote were held today, Joe Biden would clobber him, which is no surprise. But also, a geriatric New England socialist would beat the stuffing out of Trump. So would a preachy Harvard professor and a militantly progressive black woman from the San Francisco Bay Area.* An anti-Trump landslide at the top of the ticket could wash the GOP Senate majority away. We would then have a Democratic president and Congress -- and they would be in a score-settling mood. One more time: anything could happen between now and Election Day 2020. But a recession, which is growing more likely by the day, would be something extremely hard for Trump to overcome." • "Anti-Trump landslide" is Bitecofer's theory of the case for 2018 and 2020. NOTE * Harris, lol.
Tom Stone , August 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Kamala Harris is militantly progressive
I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.
Chris Smith , August 20, 2019 at 2:27 pm
That definitely needs to be filed under "The 420"
jo6pac , August 20, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Yes, I was going to leave Angela Davis name as the only Black Militantly I know of but the site would let me leave a comment;-)
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm
All the kids want somethin' to do
Cal2 , August 20, 2019 at 2:38 pm
"But also, a geriatric New England socialist would beat the stuffing out of Trump. .So would a militantly "' progressive "' " 'black "' woman "' from the San Francisco Bay Area. *"
Progressive toward oligarchy.
1/4 to 1/8th "black." Mostly East Indian and Irish slave owner descent; her father's own words: https://www.jamaicaglobalonline.com/kamala-harris-jamaican-heritage/
Raised in Canada and Minnesota, lives in West Beverly Hills with her white-privileged corporate attorney husband. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Harris
Her campaign for president is headquartered not in the Bay Area, but in Baltimore.
Even Oakland rejects her, "She would be a no-brainer if she were running for Canadian prime minister "
* Trump easily wins again if any Democratic ticket is Kamaleonated.
dearieme , August 20, 2019 at 6:12 pm
Are you arguing that she is as genuine about her race as The Cherokee is?
Aug 21, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Tom Stone , August 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Kamala Harris is militantly progressive
I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.
Aug 21, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Synoia , August 19, 2019 at 5:03 pm
Whatever was invested in China over the last 20 or 30 years would have to be invested in the US.
I don't understand why any investor, or the stock market, would provide that level of investment. Where would be the return?
The US built its industrial base on 150 years of investment before 1970, because it has a continent in which to expand, and a determination not to become a UK vassal state, again.
And then there is climate change ..where China's new industrial areas will become threatened by rising sea levels
Tomonthebeach , August 19, 2019 at 5:18 pm
In a sense, Synoia's remarks vindicate Trump's bogus assertion that trade war is necessary for national security. At least in this sector, he is probably correct about the security risk. Of course, his disastrous solution is something he overheard on FoxNews from his now dimwit economic advisor – the one who would not recognize a recession if it bit him in the nose.
Can we really make guns and bullets and tanks and planes without US manufacturing? We would probably have to depend on allies for that. Alas, we are not so palzy-walzy with China. There is Germany – a stalwart of machining savvy – but Trump would rather mock German leaders on Twitter than do biz with DE.
Synoia , August 19, 2019 at 9:29 pm
Trump's bogus assertions could only be vindicated if he enunciated an industrial policy, including the missing skills, training and money to repatriate manufacturing, which destroys the investment by our beloved multinationals in Mexico, China and elsewhere.
I was gently pointing out that Trump has his head so far up his a.., that one can hear him talking.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 6:20 am
It is true that one must blow apart the pro-globalist consensus, and this Trump has done. (Not passing TPP was a clear win, and we should take that win. So far as I know, TTiP is off the front burner now, too). It is also true that tariffs have to part of any solution. But beyond this, coherence eludes the administration. Clearly, industrial policy is part of the solution. Warren's plan doesn't provide it, either.
Amfortas the hippie , August 20, 2019 at 9:26 am
I understand that such talk is considered old fashioned, these days,lol but does "Industrial Policy" include things like "paying the Workers" or even just "Not Screwing the Workers"?
Or is that a separate hill to climb?
NC and NC Commentariat is excluded from this snark and cynicism.
I think of my grandad's small manufacturing business in Houston we built the brewery, the box plants the can plants and a lot of the refineries, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff that's now rusting away.
but a big part of his Ethos was taking care of his workers.
Talking about that ethos, today, anywhere else but here, seems somehow quaint.
after 50 years of financialised globalisation and Free Capital, I think that Ethos needs to be stated right out front, and as clear as a bell, so the lawyers and pols can't wiggle out of it.
like the mentioned "job training", but larded with MBA's running the show that's what the people who will write the rules Believe "trade is always good!", "maximise transactions!", etc.
the entire Belief System we operate under most often without thought needs to go.
otherwise, any "reindustrialisation" will be as i have feared was the plan all along: to wait until we're desperate enough to arbitrage, and will work for pennies to provide the Chinese Middle Class with cheap plastic pumpkins.
Susan the other` , August 20, 2019 at 2:15 pm
Thanks for this analysis. And the word Hysteresis. Could be the dilution of trauma, but it never goes away. You'd think it would function like a social vaccine, no? But clearly the only thing that can cure it is equity and security. Where's our HAL? We need a computer to maintain social equality. I also agree that Liz's Economic Patriotism is puffery in most places. Increasing exports is an absurd goal when the world is deindustrializing. Becoming nationally self-sufficient is a much better goal. Foundries and forges are the biggest polluters so their use will be modest. I remember only about 2 or 3 years ago we were all very smug about the fact that China had no machine tool industry. The Chinese have really knocked us all back on our heels. But my take on all this is it is time for change and we shouldn't fight the last war. We should adapt using all our science and technology and creativity. We should do Environmental manufacturing. How many engineering, physics, agriculture, aquaculture, chemistry departments (to name a few) couldn't supply us with state of the art technology to turn all our exorbitant recycling into new useful machinery? It might be expensive when we can't externalize the heat, pollution and waste as we used to under old fashioned machine manufacturing, but the payoff for the environment will be earth-changing. And we might even learn to survive.
Oh , August 20, 2019 at 4:21 pm
Our current industrial policy consists of:
* Allowing big corporations to avoid taxes
* Destroying/marginalizing labor unions
* Being in bed with the Chambers of COmmerce
* Hand outs to yuuge corporations (via sweetheart contracts)
*Price supports to large corporate farmers
*Enforcing patents, trademarks for yuuge corporations
*Big finance to large corporations and saving TBTF banks
^Bankruptcy laws that favor big business
*NAFTA and other trade treaties to help multinationals
*H1B and other visas that reduce labor costs for big employers
*Not prosecuting corps that employee undocumented works
*Destroyng economies of developing countries to favor our exports
*fomenting unrest wherever industries are nationalized to help our corps
*Aggresively defending the almighty dollar by every means possible
*Funnelling tax payers funds to universities for research to help big Pharma
*Making sure our Insurance and RE sectors are subsidized through loans and bailouts
I'm sure there are more but I can't think of all of them.
Who says we don't have an industrial policy?
sierra7 , August 20, 2019 at 8:17 pm
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The bottom line!
As an added comment I just can't believe that this is what would not have been expected with any sniff of "globalization" back in it's birthing 30 years ago. What did Americans expect? We dominated the post WW2 years in good manufacturing jobs while most of the world was licking their wounds from that war; the rest of the world has caught up and passed us by assisted by the globalization of flows of funds with the click of a mouse. Labor can't move like that. The "Renaissance" of Jobs" is a farce and an illusion. Unless the US comes up with something so new in manufacturing and can control that process for decades to come it is descending more an more into a 3rd world status; a super wealthy small upper class and the rest in "rickshaw" land. Even trade "wars" will not help.
rd , August 19, 2019 at 6:41 pm
The Chinese government has a pact with its population: the government makes sure the economy is structured to provide jobs and the people promise not to overturn the government through revolution.
When it is existential, then it becomes important. The US has simply stated that "The Market" will determine what makes sense. Nothing existential there.
So people became disposal, fungible assets for the MBAs to run their spreadsheet numbers on. For years they could assume that they could simply rehire skilled labor. However, that skilled labor is retiring or becoming out of date, so the workers are no longer fungible. The bleating begins about the lack of skilled labor because "somebody else" was responsible for providing the skilled labor training. So most US firms have gone the Tim Cook route and out-sourced to other countries that have trained workers and engineers over the past 20 years.
It will require a major paradigm shift from both government and corporations to change the trends.
Godfree Roberts , August 19, 2019 at 10:48 pm
The Chinese government has a pact with its population: the government makes sure the economy is structured to provide jobs and the people promise not to overturn the government through revolution.
The American government has a pact with its population: the government makes sure the economy is moved abroad and promises to kill the people if they attempt to overturn the government through revolution.
Personally, I prefer the first option.
a different chris , August 20, 2019 at 8:53 am
And it's not just "the government" -- it's more the other MIC: The Marketing Importing Complex. Apple is worth nearly a trillion dollars, that's 1/12 of China's GDP!
They could have used not so much of that money at all to train several workforces and build many factories. But that's not what brings in the big executive compensation.
Michael von Plato , August 20, 2019 at 1:17 pm
And related to the loss of a skilled worker base is the loss of patents needed to compete. Although many patents for original inventions still originate in the US, subsequent patents on improvements originate not in a lab, but from the shop floor. For example, the original machinery for producing microchips may well have originated here, but as that industry moved overseas, so did the patents on improvements. I doubt that we could compete in the manufacture of LEDs, flat-screen TVs or monitors etc. even if we could do so economically: the patents for the machines to make these things now reside overseas, in the hands of those manufacturers that have been improving them for decades.
JohnnyGL , August 19, 2019 at 5:10 pm
Good little post. A timely reminder that we've been bleeding those jobs and it's an ongoing process, but we've already bled a lot of them away.
It's now been 20 years since PNTR with China. The direction has become clear. It's going to take a tremendous amount of political will to change that direction. There are early signs of a change, but not enough, yet.
Tariffs will need to be part of the answer. Fiscal policy and federal contracts will need to be part of it. New regulatory bodies with new powers to enforce federal policy, too.
Also, my inner-Matt Stoller would like to remind us all that anti-monopoly is going to need a prominent role, too. The business model of private equity has been to buy up a all competitors in a particular niche, become a single supplier to the government, outsource to cut costs. Then, jack up prices to boost margins.
'skills-based immigration' doesn't have a good track record. Look at H1B visas. They've been turned into a vehicle to import low wage labor, and then enable outsourcing.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:22 am
> 'skills-based immigration' doesn't have a good track record. Look at H1B visas. They've been turned into a vehicle to import low wage labor, and then enable outsourcing.
They work for Canada, so we should copy them.
Roger Boyd , August 20, 2019 at 5:15 pm
The US H1B is an employment based non-immigrant visa, easy for corporations to use for their own purposes – especially when the person's right to reside relies upon their continued employment at their sponsoring employer.
Canada has a points based immigration system for the majority of immigrants (others are family reunification etc.) that is not employment based. Those getting the required points are given permanent residency (with a path to citizenship within 4 years). They can move from job to job at will. Its how I became a Canadian citizen.
Much less exploitable than a US H1B Visa holder.
Summer , August 19, 2019 at 6:23 pm
With all the scam online business listings, it also gives people the impression of a business environment that is active but it's a con.
NJ , August 20, 2019 at 4:11 am
I was thinking about this the other day in response to the Economist's recent article about a new boom in employment.
Does anyone know if scam artists, ransomeware senders, illegal salvagers, and stolen goods fencers would be counted as part of official employment statistics?
There's a whole section of the economy that is growing right now based upon illegally raiding closed down big box stores and selling the goods on eBay. Similarly, just like in any other time when inequality is high, scams and efforts to deceive others for profit are on the rise.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:23 am
That's perceptive. I would bet Manhattan on Google maps has many, many more "firms" than Manhattan at street level, where you see a "For Rent" sign on every block.
Summer , August 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm
An idea for a fun chart: how many types of marketing jobs are there now?
somecallmetim , August 19, 2019 at 6:53 pm
? However, I've highlighted the categories that really concern Collins in blue; they all have to do with, as Cook calls it, tooking. ?
Not a sophisticate, so I assumed – tooking – was a term of art.
Bill H , August 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Pretty sure it was one of many misspellings, and that what was meant was "tooling." Hard to take articles seriously when the writer doesn't even bother to run them through spellcheck.
Big River Bandido , August 19, 2019 at 10:35 pm
Someone piss on your cornflakes this morning?
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:26 am
It's a big Internet. I hope you find the perfection you seek elsewhere.
doug , August 20, 2019 at 9:57 am
Clive , August 20, 2019 at 11:11 am
Somebody up there never read The Grauniad , nor appreciated how it came to earn that particular nickname . Hard to take comments seriously when the writer doesn't even bother to consider the proverb "let he who is without sin cast the first snote".
Ptb , August 19, 2019 at 7:20 pm
The bad news is that what is also lost is a caring-about-getting-details-right culture. Nearly extinct, in fact, at the business level, and I would sadly include engineering-intensive businesses (based on what little I have experienced.)
The good news is that North America has plenty of the human resources (and physical plant) we are talking about, mostly within a short drive of the border, even.
I would actually be more inclined to despair about the former than the latter.
Steve , August 19, 2019 at 7:44 pm
An alternative view that is hard to evaluate from this data we should be looking a domestic manufacturing economic value, not jobs. While loss of jobs is certainly bad, isn't it ameliorated if the manufacturing activity is taking place in the US? Hard to evaluate with given data.
Left in Wisconsin , August 20, 2019 at 12:20 am
Not necessarily. The problem with trying to evaluate "value" in trans-national Apple- or Walmart-style value chains is that the dominant player (Apple, Walmart) recognizes almost all of the value-added. (One could add " regardless of where that value is created" but, as Veblen pointed out a hundred years ago, there is no way to disentangle productive value from "buying and selling," so there is no "correct" way to assign value.)
The fact that Foxconn in China pays really low wages and has relatively tight profit margins leads to the conclusion that the value contribution per capita of Apple employees (because contractors don't create value either) is if I recall correctly several million dollars per employee. If that manufacturing work was done in the U.S., the value-per-employee would be much lower (still very high) but the wages paid, and worker living standards, would be much higher. (This would also be true, though to a lesser extent, if they doubled or tripled the wages of their Foxconn workforce in China.)
On top of this, of course, are the income-recognition and tax games that multinationals play. Economists know about these but somehow seem to think national data provide (a different set of?) "true" representations of value-added anyway.
Bob , August 19, 2019 at 7:47 pm
It is interesting to know that for furniture the timber is felled here in the US, the timber milled into lumber here, kiln dried here, packed into containers here, shipped from here to China, turned into furniture, knocked down, shipped here and reassembled here.
Not sure where the savings are but I suspect that the goal was to maximize profit and minimize taxes.
Of course no one will be left to buy furniture except on credit.
Summer , August 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm
I've been thinking about not only the manufacture of things like that but the craftsmanship that went into it (once upon a time).
I noticed the street lamps in Hollywood. The older ones that still work are black and elegantly designed steel. The part holding the lamp, the steel is bent like an arm flexing biceps.
The newer ones are taller. But just steel, bland, straight, can see them anywhere
cnchal , August 19, 2019 at 8:54 pm
Now you're talking . . . MMT
( M aterial M eets T ool X sales) – expenses = profit or loss
> . . . Apprenticeships and training are good, but why not consider skills-based immigration that brings in the worker we'd otherwise have to wait to train?
Piss off. After the tooling industry was destroyed by cheap Chinese labor, you want to bring them in to further destroy it or take it over?
Bob , August 19, 2019 at 11:04 pm
Cheap Chinese labor in fact offshore labor is at best a canard and generally not far from a deception which repeated often enough becomes fact.
A good approach is to look at the labor quotient that is the cost of labor necessary to create a finished product.
For example in aluminum manufacture using the Hall process to reduce bauxite the majority of the cost is in electricity perhaps as much as 90%+ and labor cost is around 5%. So any manger worth his paycheck moves the operation to a a region of low power cost e.g. Iceland, Bonneville power territory, TVA. Labor cost is minimal perhaps 5%.
At one time the labor cost for textiles was around 17 % with the aim of the mills to drive the labor quotient to 12% through automation.
In addition if labor costs were the driving force in manufacturing it would be reasonable for all of U.S, manufacturing to relocate to low wage states such as Mississippi or the Dakotas.
And one should note that the multinationals are not shy of hiring U.S. labor at their factories here in the US.
The goal of U.S. corporations is to take advantage of tariffs (taxes) and the greater flexibility of accounting in offshore locations.
skippy , August 20, 2019 at 1:23 am
See Bluescope here in Oz shifting more Mfg to the U.S. due to energy costs.
cnchal , August 20, 2019 at 7:23 am
My lived experience tells a different story..
Before my ex customers and I parted ways, they used to get me to quote tooling work and then send the work to China. The reason given, my price was too high and they could get if for a fraction of that in China. No, it wouldn't be the same tool, but they liked to think they were getting an equivalent.
Before I gave up on them and fired my rotten customers, I used to ask "where is my one dollar per day cop", my one dollar per day teacher, my one dollar per day politician" so that my cost are in line with the Chinese? That drew a blank stare every time with no answer.
Tooling work is labor intensive and not comparable to generating electric power.
I view tooling as society's precious metal. It is the "means of production". The lawyers and politicians (one and the same from my viewpoint) running the country for their own benefit (they could not care less about you or me) make their money by charging the victim that darkens their doorway $500 bucks an hour. For them, they produce nothing and take it all, and their view of wealth generation is distorted by their occupation. They are quick to hand money to the biggest corporations to make them richer (see Wal-Mart and Amazon's massive billions in subsidies), but a little guy like me can rot in hell.
Globalization is a disaster, no matter where one cares to look.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:39 am
> I view tooling as society's precious metal. It is the "means of production".
"Constant capital" is what The Bearded one called it, I believe. But yes.
inode_buddha , August 20, 2019 at 11:35 am
AMEN. My lived hell for the last 30 years And then some smug right wing nut job tells me I'm just jealous
Andy Raushner , August 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm
Send the work to China has been dying since 2005. Didn't you notice? US heavy manufacturing has ex-material extraction almost looks now where it was in 2000. That isn't necessarily a good thing. Debt driven illusions can kill.
Oh , August 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm
One operation as an example is not apply to all manufacturing.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:29 am
> After the tooling industry was destroyed by cheap Chinese labor, you want to bring them in to further destroy it or take it over?
No, I don't. If there's a sane industrial policy, then (a) there's more than enough work for everybody and (b) we can pay "prevailing wages" as we ought to do. I think in this case the country is in such a hole we can add on, and the game is not zero sum. Not the same as, say, meatpacking.
cnchal , August 20, 2019 at 8:46 am
Big if, there. The managers and owners that would influence industrial policy will waste no time in bringing over 10,000 or 100,000 or however many they wanted, and swamp the industry with cheap labor.
According to Cook, there are millions upon millions of toolmakers and machinists in China, so even a million wouldn't be missed. Toolmaking becomes the new meatpacking.
My bet is there will be no sane industrial policy.
inode_buddha , August 20, 2019 at 2:32 pm
There isn't going to be an industrial policy. Because markets.
ambrit , August 19, 2019 at 9:56 pm
A possible "Black Swan" in all this national manufacturing quandry is the fragility of the supply chains involved. Today, the costs of shipping materials and goods across an entire ocean are managed through scale, (Embiggening Shipping Incorporated,) computerized scheduling, (Just In Time Ordering,) and cheap energy, (Fearless Fred's Fracking Et Cie.) Any one of those inputs could go asymmetric and make the exercise of Materials Globalization uneconomic. Then people would have to either pay more for something or do without. Either outcome would reduce aggregate economic activity in the nation. The social result would be another example of 'hystereisis,' people remembering what their and family members standards of living once were, and taking that for a 'normal' that has been stolen from them. A process similar to that which preceded the French Revolution will be in play.
RepubAnon , August 19, 2019 at 10:51 pm
It also helps to have clusters of similar industries in the same location. This gives new companies an area with lots of folks with the appropriate skills. We lost these "centers of manufacturing excellence" when so much of it got off-shored. It'll take significant efforts to bring them back.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:30 am
An excellent additional aspect!
Left in Wisconsin , August 20, 2019 at 12:25 am
You are of course correct but good people have been making this argument for the last 40 years with virtually no impact on corporate behavior. I'm no expert in Chinese manufacturing but I would have to think by now the technical capacity in China – not saying everywhere but certainly in large parts of the export sector – is very high. Yet the wages and working conditions are still terrible. So much for productivity = wages.
ambrit , August 20, 2019 at 9:41 am
True. In a stable environment, labour availability 'drives' wages. That was the secret the Unions levered to success. Restrict the supply of labour and squeeze the owners. Find a "fair" balance and the Golden Age ensues. The "fair" part of that equation was redefined, and here we are.
ambrit , August 19, 2019 at 10:07 pm
A risible 'Snark' if you will.
Lambert claims to have been a "model railroader" when young. Such virtue in one so young! I, poor deplorable, primarily associated with louche and gauche railroaders and tabletop gamers. So it is understandable that he grabbed the Iridium Ring while I merely took a circular ride. The "Eternal Return" in all it's refulgent glory. (I should meditate more on my exorcising of 'amor fati.')
deplorado , August 19, 2019 at 11:02 pm
Godfree Roberts , August 19, 2019 at 10:46 pm
To quote a friend who hires workers for factories in the US and China,
"Manufacturing in the US is a nightmare. At our facility our only requirement for assemblers was a high school degree, US citizenship, passing a drug and criminal background check and then passing a simple assembly test: looking at an assembly engineering drawing and then putting the components together. While the vast majority of Americans were unable to complete the assembly test, in China they completed it in half the time and 100% of applicants passed. An assembler position in the US would average 30 interviews a day and get 29 rejections, not to mention all the HR hassles of assemblers walking off shift, excessive lateness, stealing from work, slow work speed and poor attitudes. The position starts at $12 an hour in flyover country which is pretty reasonable compared to other jobs that only require a GED and no prior work experience and offers medical, dental and annual raises with plenty of opportunity to move up in the company and earn the average salary for a Production Assembler, $33,029 in US, if they stay for five years.
Identical positions in China pay the same wages as other positions there with only a high school degree and no work experience. Yet the applicant quality is much higher and this applies to the white collar support professionals: schedulers, quality inspectors, equipment testers and calibrators, engineers, supply chain managers, account managers, sales. Their labor quality is simply higher. At the end of the day, high-end and middling manufacturing is not moving to the US or Mexico because average people in flyover country are dumb as rocks."
Left in Wisconsin , August 20, 2019 at 1:11 am
1. Just curious but does your friend say what the wages are in the Chinese plants? Do they reflect the quality of the applicant pool? Based on the talent levels you describe, they should all be making $100K/yr. At least 50. And not having to live in dormitories. Maybe the fact that your friend has access to such a talented workforce at starvation wages has something to do with workers not really being free? Why do we call it free trade, anyway?
2. I have no reason to doubt the fact set you describe. But it could have turned out differently, and the reason it didn't was that companies that were developed and initially made huge profits in this country decided to take the jobs elsewhere because they could make even huger profits. Everything else flowed from that.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:34 am
> Their labor quality is simply higher
Thanks, as Tim Cook points out, to the quality of Chinese public education, which our own elites have been busily destroying. It's almost like after the neoliberals took over in the mid-70s they "burned the boats" so there was no way back to what the country was; a more vivid way of saying "hysteresis," I suppose.
notabanker , August 20, 2019 at 7:56 am
$33K if you stay five years, how friggin generous. I wonder, how much is "your friend" pulling down shuttling between US and China? I'll bet it's a lot closer to $330K than $33K.
$12 an hour is a joke and you will get what you pay for. "Flyover" country or not, but I suppose the distinction is important to bigots that want to mentally justify exploiting the class.
I know plenty of people that bust their ass in multiple jobs for not much more than your "friends" generous $12 an hour and they are hardly "dumb as rocks". Maybe "your friend" needs to look at his recruiting skills.
Peon , August 20, 2019 at 9:14 am
My rural neighbors and friends in southern Michigan are these $12 hour workers your friend references. Did your friend mention "mandatory overtime"? or "zero hours"?. What this means is when you go to your job at 7am you may be sent home at 9 (they have to pay you for 2hours during which you clean the plant), or at 2pm when your shift ends in an hour they let you know they want you to stay until 5. Forget a weekend, you find out on Friday if you have to work Saturday, on Saturday you find out about Sunday. I have friends that have worked 74 days in a row with no day off, then they are on temporary shutdown for 20 day (unpaid of course!) while the plant re-tools or absorbs unsold inventory. Your work week is driven by the whims and profits of the the corporation.
There is no security in these jobs, not weekly, monthly and certainly not as a career. The factory may close or re-locate abruptly due to the some corporate buy-out, merger, or re-location to a more lucrative tax-free/low labor pay location. Sometimes the physical location in your little town re-opens with a new name, new owner, usually lower pay, but always the same insecure employment story.
These are not jobs you would encourage your children to take on as a career, jobs you build families and buy homes with.
Ptb , August 20, 2019 at 2:38 pm
I've designed and installed measurement/control equipment in exactly the type of US facility this commenter is describing. The reason the applicants are "dumb as rocks" is that the company culture drives all others away. Why go to a sh#tty factory with no windows, weird hours, and an obnoxious tailorist environment, when you could get paid the same or more at a car shop (even just the guy/ gal washing the cars) or a construction (even just a laborer). The bottom level of factory work in the US sucks. Hiring managers know anyone who is worth anything will quit in a month or two so they set up the process to subtly screen for people that will stay (i.e. already had the self esteem wrung out of them by previous experiences). Techs have it a bit better, since they actually have a path up the ladder that isn't a lie. But the environment is deeply depressing, like a bad stereotype of the 1930s. I honestly hate going to US factories.
Inode_buddha , August 20, 2019 at 8:34 pm
If you fish on the bottom, you catch bottom fish. What's the problem? $12/hr maybe OK for college kids looking for a summer job; for me its a slap in the face. 30 yrs millwright/welder/fabrication and machining. 3 trade schools at own expense; own tools. No drugs whatsoever, ever. You want people to be professionals you have to treat them like that, and that begins with the pay package. Maybe your friend needs to be told this, verbatim.
The Rev Kev , August 20, 2019 at 12:05 am
Thinking over Lambert's last paragraph, can the economic system that got us into this mess also be capable of getting us out of it? Well, no. There are too many vested interests and too many salaries (note that I did not say wages) that are depending on the current system continuing – which it can't.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:37 am
What Warren's "Economic Patriotism" does not attack. People have a rough idea what "revolution" means. They have no idea at all what "big structural change" means. I suppose if we swapped in "hope and" for "big structural" we'd have an idea of what she's getting at.
Left in Wisconsin , August 20, 2019 at 12:49 am
Lambert: this is a great post but I fear you are only scratching the surface. In addition to what you cover, I would add, off the top of my head:
1. If the data were to go back to the mid-70s, you would see substantially higher numbers for firms and employees in tooling industries than in 2002. The decline since 2002 is just a fraction of the skill and talent we have lost.
2. US multinationals, real manufacturers or virtual manufacturers like Apple, are simply not interested in re-shoring. There is no convincing cost-benefit argument. You might be able to show a company that they could make boatloads of money by building a new facility in the US but they would (rightly) tell you that, if that were truly the case, they could make MORE boatloads by building it in Mexico or China. Trump can bluster all he wants but the real problem is that US manufacturing is not cost-competitive in a free-trade environment.
3. Which gets to the larger point. The great thing about manufacturing is that anyone, with training and experience, can get good at it with (enough of) the right investment in tooling, training, and experience. Adam Smith could already see 250 years ago, before there ever was big-time manufacturing, that machinery changed everything – substantially more output with substantially less skilled labor. That has been the story for the last 250 years. (John Commons wrote a great piece 100 years ago on shoemaking – search Philadelphia Cordwainers – that showed how in this industry there was a constant dance of expansion of market, new technology, deskilling, and relocation of work in search of lower cost labor. Jefferson Cowie wrote a modern version about RCA more recently but exactly the same story.)
I was at the UAW when work started moving to Mexico in a big way. There was a lot of bluster about the fact that "they" were not going to be able to do the work, and for many years there was a lot of truth to that. But with enough time and investment, of course eventually they could. (Modularization of work comes in here, too, as it is a good way to incrementally shift work to lower wage locations as skill levels grow.) I see no evidence that there aren't many firms in China that can do technical work at the highest level, even if the "average" level of work is much lower, with wages and working conditions much lower than you could get away with in this country.
The conclusion can only be that globalization invariably leads to a race to the bottom. It has to. (Even in Germany, wages haven't grown with productivity, because even in Germany workers have no "hand," as George Costanza would say.) This is why I hate Dean Baker's argument that the solution is to subject doctors and lawyers to the same degree of global competition as manufacturing workers face. It is true that costs would come down but in a further race to the bottom. It's no solution, it's just spreading the misery.
This is why I'm a socialist.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:20 am
> globalization invariably leads to a race to the bottom. It has to.
That's not a bug.
> I hate Dean Baker's argument that the solution is to subject doctors and lawyers to the same degree of global competition as manufacturing workers face.
True, but the professionals might have a "come to Jesus" movement that would obviate the need to pass such a bill.
ambrit , August 20, 2019 at 9:58 am
We have seen a lot of "foreign" medical 'professionals' in our meanderings through the American Medical Complex these last three years. An oncologist from Delhi, India, a plastic surgeon from Karachi, Pakistan, a research oncologist from Cracow, Poland, a Registered Nurse from Brazil, etc. etc. These people are working and living here in America in pursuit of the Gold Ring. (One Ring of Gold to rule them all.)
Until America institutes a National Health Service and caps medical professional salaries, nothing will change.
The main problem is structural. To mangle an infamous statement from the Vietnam War: "We had to destroy the society to save it."
Inode_buddha , August 20, 2019 at 12:42 pm
I think those who make the decisions should face the consequences of those decisions. That would be -- executives. The fact that they can insulate themselves from negative consequences in the larger society is the only reason they get away with it. That, and the fact that its illegal to kill them.
I also believe the workers should control the means of production, preferrable by employee ownership and the use of credit unions.
@pe , August 20, 2019 at 1:06 am
Hysteresis and path dependencies are other ways of saying systems with memory.
Systems with memories are metastable, which means they don't have unique (or maybe even finite) sets of steady-state solutions, given the fundamental noise in the system.
In such systems, the law of large numbers is not valid.
Thus, most of orthodox economics is mathematically invalid, unless liquidity is turned up to the point that it is completely memoryless, responding only to the latest instantaneous event.
Such a system would destroy all memory bearing systems in it's path -- human beings are memory bearing systems.
vlade , August 20, 2019 at 3:29 am
The problem how I see it is that everyone was talking about how we before moved most investment from agri to manufacturing, we'd move it all from manufacturing to services.
The only problem with that is that it ignores a lot of history and worse yet, it would turn blind eye to some clear conclusions.
As in the above seemed to implicitly assume all service jobs would be better jobs than all manufacturing jobs. Which is not true, as you can't really compare tooling engineer (to take example from above) with a hairdresser.
As with any mass change, the majority of the service jobs created woudl be low-skill, low-paid ones. They would have to be, because there just would not be enough of people with the right skills (and aptitudes).
Yes, maybe evenutally shifting to the majority of jobs to service sectors is as unavoidable as shifting majority of jobs out of agri few hundreds of years ago. But still, would not it be better (for the society and the country) to do it gradually, via automation (as part of the capital investment cycle), than just moving manufacturing offshore to the cheapest-possible?
The problem here is not with the companies.Even if they have enlightened shareholders (hahahah. The amorphous mass that are the investment funds?) who are willing to take lower returns short/medium term to do the right thing, they may get destroyed by competition who has no such qualms.
If the government is a servant of the country, and not just the few lobbyist, then this is very clearly the task of the governmnet, making sure that it works out. Well, except the problem is, if you have a few short years election cycle, no-one cares more than slightly less than the cycle, because they want to get re-elected, and you don't get re-elected on the strength of the policies you implemented 20 years ago.
Another thing we need to acknowledge here is that while this all, in an international context, is not an entirely zero-sum game, it's a workable approximation. Because policies that will help Americans (or Europeans or others) will often hurt elsewhere.
There's no chance China would be now where it is w/o the massive offshoring to it. It's pretty night impossible for a lot of low-income countries to bootstrap themselves when facing a much more developed competition, that's just fact of life (the skills won't develop themselves, someone has to invest into them, and that won't happen if all you have is a poor internal market).
There can be a workable equilibrium between say the EU and the US. There cannot be a workable equilibrium between the US and the Africa (I'll use the US and Africa as examples, put in whatever you want) w/o the US giving up some of its wealth (=some of the wealth of its people).
But tbh, this is where the wealth distribution matters (and why it doesn't need to be a zero-sum game). If the internal US wealth distribution was different, leaving even a reasonable chunk on the table for Africa would not matter that much. It would still mean Africa was developing slower than with say Chinese-like policy (and single-midedness), but it would.
Of course then we run into a different problem. The current lifestyle of <1bln people in "first world countries" can't be really replicated across 8-9bln. But I'm getting so far away from the original problem that I'm not going to go there.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:17 am
> If the government is a servant of the country, and not just the few lobbyist, then this is very clearly the task of the governmnet, making sure that it works out. Well, except the problem is, if you have a few short years election cycle, no-one cares more than slightly less than the cycle, because they want to get re-elected, and you don't get re-elected on the strength of the policies you implemented 20 years ago.
Perhaps term-limiting the Presidency with the 22nd Amendment was a bad idea. One wonders, in any case, why the Democrats supported it, after FDR.
vlade , August 20, 2019 at 8:31 am
You do realise it may have given you three terms of Clinton, Obama? (and others)
Oh , August 20, 2019 at 5:35 pm
Bush II had four terms – Bush, Bush, Obama, Obama and now he's on his fifth! /s
eg , August 20, 2019 at 5:01 am
I would add capital controls and credit guidance to the toolbox.
Lambert Strether Post author , August 20, 2019 at 7:13 am
> I would add capital controls and credit guidance to the toolbox.
Phacops , August 20, 2019 at 8:15 am
I enjoyed my career in manufacturing, starting with my discovery of the Western Electric Statistical Quality Control Handbook and then learning to apply statistical analysis to manufacturing processes in pharmaceuticals. Alas, the FDA still favors compliance to regulation over skilled process design, optimization and control.
Anyway, thanks for the article. The US was the primary manufacturer of machine tools at the start of 1980 and now we are ranked seventh. We have lost this basis for manufacturing and along with that, we are at risk of losing entire generations of manufacturing expertise at all levels from product development and design to finished goods output.
While my coursework in college allowed me to work in technical manufacturing you alsu point out the bias that now exists against pursuing a career in manufacturing and wonder if the selling of higher education rather than training in skilled vocations like machining has fundamentally changed how we value manufacturing?
I can remember in the 60s where there were innumerable small machine shops around Detroit servicing the aerospace community during the ramp-up to Apollo. All gone now.
Ignacio , August 20, 2019 at 10:41 am
If Lambert lives in the past I am a buddhist monk. There are very few with such a wide view of present times.
David Carl Grimes , August 20, 2019 at 11:04 am
I'm curious as to what the growth was during the Obama years vs. the Trump years in both establishments and employment by NAICs code. Do you have a link? Your table goes from 2002 to 2018, but what about the years in between?
Based on the bls.gov data, manufacturing jobs only increased by 496K during Trump. That's not much. In fact, the trend line is very similar to Obama's.
Jon Rynn , August 20, 2019 at 11:20 am
Lambert, thanks for the analysis. I will note your last line,
"I'm not sure that's meaningful absent an actual industrial policy, democratically arrived at, and a mobilized population (which is what the Green New Deal ought to do)."
That is exactly what my Green New Deal Plan is designed to do. My mentor was the late Professor Seymour Melman, who was one of the world's top experts on the machine tool industry, and who warned as far back as 1988 in a book called 'the demilitarized society' that the U.S. was at the 'point of no return' exactly because the industrial machinery industries were in such bad shape. In fact, he felt that it was not possible for these industries to regenerate by themselves, thus the point of no return, so they needed help from the government to revive, and there needed to be large scale importing of engineering talent from what I would call more advanced countries to 'train the natives', as he put it (not sure if that is pc at this point). (If anyone is interested, I posted a description of Seymour's work at NakedCapitalism , )
Tim Cook's comments have been chilling because he is pointing out the systemic nature of a manufacturing base, like a forest if it gets too small, the whole thing effectively collapses. At this point, it seems to me, the U.S. can only 'bring back manufacturing' by engaging in huge public works projects, require domestic content, and help companies produce the associated parts and equipment. It would be especially important to require, after a few years, that the machinery be produced in the U.S. This is the sort of thing the Chinese do in their sleep, but most of the elite have been living in Reagan's brain for so long they forgot they can use the Federal government for nation building. I tried to counter some of the myths of manufacturing , as I put it, in my book "Manufacturing Green Prosperity"
Left in Wisconsin , August 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm
What do you do when the finance-types in control of all these firms say, "No thanks"? Tim Cook complains that the skill base isn't here – which by now it might not be – but the real driver is lower labor costs elsewhere. Guaranteed profits like in the MIC?
Jon Rynn , August 20, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Left in Wisconsin, thanks for replying. I think you need a form of national planning. not gosplan type, more like in the one to two trillion per year range, that the Feds directly spend -- I would advocate on a green new deal plan, for instance. That's not exactly guaranteed profits a la MIC, and a friend doesn't want me to use the word 'infrastructure industrial complex', but I think the Chinese did something rather similar, they planned the building of vast public works, and they knew that would provide a huge market for manufacturing firms. i think this sort of dynamic helped before in american history, think of encouraging rail in the 19th century or the public works in the new deal. i wrote about this in American Prospect . If you have 'domestic content' laws for all the parts being used for the public works, then you don't have to worry about lower wages overseas. It's absolutely necessary that the Green New Deal people put that in their language, I don't know if they will
Left in Wisconsin , August 20, 2019 at 3:16 pm
Is "domestic content" still legal under WTO? Just trying to figure out how far from here to there. I have huge respect for Melman.
Jon Rynn , August 20, 2019 at 3:48 pm
My understanding is that GATT allowed for domestic content if it was for 'general infrastructure'. Don't know about WTO, but it may be the same, I remember having a conversation with someone about this in 2008 so maybe it is WTO. Judging by what Trump is getting away with, maybe all you have to do is declare something a matter of 'national security' .but frankly I don't know. What the US, during Obama's administration, did to India, which was trying to use domestic content to build their solar industry, is unconscienable (sp) then India sued back when several US states tried to do the same thing. Clearly if there was support for a green new deal, there would be support enough to tell the WTO to go to hell, or what would probably happen, the WTO rules would change with enough pressure
Andy Raushner , August 20, 2019 at 3:48 pm
Sorry, but manufacturing has been in recession this year Lambert. Be aware the tied of revisions. From a pratical pov, Obama or Trump doesn't matter. But due to massive junk bond allocations and imo exhausted heavy manufacturing companies, they are in trouble going forward.
China itself is overrated right now as well. This board lives in denial on this issue.
Aug 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
If I lived in the past, I might assume that re-industrialization would be as easy as building a new plant and plopping it down in my model town; "build it and they will come." But this America is not that America. Things aren't that frictionless. They are not, because of a concept that comes with the seventy five-cent word hysteresis attached, covered here in 2015. Martin Wolf wrote :
"Hysteresis" -- the impact of past experience on subsequent performance -- is very powerful. Possible causes of hysteresis include: the effect of prolonged joblessness on employability; slowdowns in investment; declines in the capacity of the financial sector to support innovation; and a pervasive loss of animal spirits.
(To "loss of animal spirits" in the entrepreneurial classes we might add "deaths of despair" in the working class.) And if there were a lot of people like me, living in the past -- in a world of illusion -- that too would would cause hysteresis, because we would make good choices, whether for individual careers, at the investment level, or at the policy level, only at random.
Our current discourse on a manufacturing renaissance is marked by a failure to take hysteresis into account. First, I'm select some representative voices from the discourse. Then, I will present a bracing article from Industry Week, " Is US Manufacturing Losing Its Toolbox? " I'll conclude by merely alluding to some remedies. (I'm sure there's a post to be written comparing the policy positions of all the candidate on manufacturing in detail, but this is not that post.)
The first voice: Donald Trump. From " 'We're Finally Rebuilding Our Country': President Trump Addresses National Electrical Contractors Association Convention " (2018):
"We're in the midst of -- something which nobody thought you'd hear," Trump said. "We're finally rebuilding our country, and we are doing it with American aluminum, American steel and with our great electrical contractors," said Trump, adding that the original NAFTA deal "stole our dignity as a country."
The second voice: Elizabeth Warren. From " The Coming Economic Crash -- And How to Stop It " (2019):
Despite Trump's promises of a manufacturing "renaissance," the country is now in a manufacturing recession . The Federal Reserve just reported that the manufacturing sector had a second straight quarter of decline, falling below Wall Street's expectations. And for the first time ever , the average hourly wage for manufacturing workers has dropped below the national average.
(One might quibble that a manufacturing renaissance is not immune from the business cycle .) A fourth voice: Trump campaign surrogate David Urban, " Trump has kept his promise to revive manufacturing " (2019):
Amazingly, under Trump, America has experienced a 2½-year manufacturing jobs boom. More Americans are now employed in well-paying manufacturing positions than before the Great Recession. The miracle hasn't slowed. The latest jobs report continues to show robust manufacturing growth, with manufacturing job creation beating economists' expectations, adding the most jobs since January.
Obviously, the rebound in American manufacturing didn't happen magically; it came from Trump following through on his campaign promises -- paring back job-killing regulations, cutting taxes on businesses and middle-class taxpayers, and implementing trade policies that protect American workers from foreign trade cheaters.
Then again, from the New York Times, " Trump Promised a Manufacturing Renaissance. What Happens in 2020 in Places That Lost Those Jobs ?" (2019):
But nothing has reversed the decline of the county's manufacturing base. From January 2017 to December 2018, it lost nearly 9 percent of its manufacturing jobs, and 17 other counties in Michigan that Mr. Trump carried have experienced similar losses, according to a newly updated analysis of employment data by the Brookings Institution.
Perhaps the best reality check -- beyond looking at our operational capacity, as we are about to do -- is to check what the people who will be called upon to do the work might think. From Industry Week, " Many Parents Undervalue Manufacturing as a Career for Their Children " (2018):
A mere 20% of parents associate desirable pay with a career in manufacturing, while research shows manufacturing workers actually earn 13%more than comparable workers in other industries.
If there were a manufacturing renaissance, then parents' expectations salaries would be more in line with reality (in other words, they exhibit hysteresis).
Another good reality check is what we can actually do (our operational capacity). Here is Tim Cook explaining why Apple ended up not manufacturing in the United States ( from J-LS's post ). From Inc. :
[TIM COOK;] "The products we do require really advanced tooling, and the precision that you have to have, the tooling and working with the materials that we do are state of the art. And the tooling skill is very deep here.
"The vocational expertise is very very deep here, and I give the education system a lot of credit for continuing to push on that even when others were de-emphasizing vocational. Now I think many countries in the world have woke up and said this is a key thing and we've got to correct that. China called that right from the beginning."
With Cook's views in mind, let's turn to the slap of cold water administered by Michael Collins in Industry Week, " Is US Manufacturing Losing Its Toolbox? ":
So are we really in the long-hoped-for manufacturing renaissance? The agency with the most accurate predictions on the future of jobs is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their projection to 2026 shows that US manufacturing sector will lose 736,000 manufacturing jobs. I spoke with BLS economists James Franklin and Kathleen Greene, who made the projections, and they were unwavering in their conclusion for a decline of manufacturing jobs.
This prompted me to look deeper into the renaissance idea, so I investigated the changes in employment and establishments in 38 manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries from 2002 to 2018. I really hoped that the optimists were right about the manufacturing renaissance, but the data I collected in Table 1 (see link) shows some inconvenient truths -- that 37 out of the 38 manufacturing industries are declining in terms of both number of plants and employees.
So, yeah. Mirage.... ... ...
A tooling firm closes, and a complex organism withers. The machinery is sold, sent to the scrapyard, or rusts in place. The manuals are tossed. The managers retire and the workers disperse, taking their skills and knowledge with them. The bowling alley closes. The houses sell at a loss, or won’t see at all. Others, no doubt offshore, get the contracts, the customers, and the knowledge flow that goes with all that. All this causes hysteresis. “The impact of past experience on subsequent performance” cannot be undone simply by helicoptering a new plant in place and offering some tax incentives! To begin with, why would the workers come back?
So, when I see no doubt well-meant plans like Warren’s “Economic Patriotism” — and not to pick on Warren — I’m skeptical. I’m not sure it’s enough. Here are her bullet points:
- More actively managing our currency value to promote exports and domestic manufacturing.
- Leveraging federal R&D to create domestic jobs and sustainable investments in the future.
- Production stemming from federally funded research should take place in the United States
- Taxpayers should be able to capture the upside of their research investments if they result in profitable enterprises.
- R&D investments must be spread across every region of the country, not focused on only a few coastal cities.
- Increasing export promotion to match the efforts of our competitors.
- Deploying the massive purchasing power of the federal government to create markets for American-made products.
- Restructuring worker training programs to deliver real results for American workers and American companies.
- Dramatically scale up apprenticeship programs.
- Institute new sectoral training programs.
There’s a lot to like here, but will these efforts really solve the hysteresis that’s causing our tooling problem? Just spit-balling here, but I’d think about doing more. Start with the perspective that our tooling must be, as much as possible, domestic. (“If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.” Similarly, if your industrial base depends on the tooling of others, it’s not an industrial base.)
As tooling ramps up, our costs will be higher. Therefore, consider tariff walls, as used by other developing nations when they industrialized. Apprenticeships and training are good, but why not consider skills-based immigration that brings in the worker we’d otherwise have to wait to train?
Further, simply “training” workers and then having MBAs run the firms is a recipe for disaster; management needs to be provided, too.
Finally, something needs to be done to bring the best and brightest into manufacturing, as opposed to having them work on Wall Street, or devise software that cheats customers with dark patterns. It’s simply not clear to me that a market-based solution — again, not to pick on her — like Warren’s (“sustainable investments,” “research investments,” “R&D investments,” “export promotion,” and “purchasing power”) meets the case.
It is true that Warren also advocates a Department of Economic Development “that will have a single goal: creating and defending good American jobs.” I’m not sure that’s meaningful absent an actual industrial policy, democratically arrived at, and a mobilized population (which is what the Green New Deal ought to do).
Aug 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Trump Panicked As Stocks Fell, Called Top 3 Bank CEOs
"When it's serious, you have to lie... or call the CEOs of the nation's biggest banks."
Amid the drop in US equity markets on Wednesday - culminating in a 'Markets In Turmoil' special on CNBC - President Trump appears to have hit the panic button and grabbed the big red Plunge Protection Team bat-phone.
As The Dow dropped 800 points, the 4th largest point drop in history, Bloomberg reports that Trump held a conference call with three of Wall Street's top executives - JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon, Bank of America Corp.'s Brian Moynihanand Citigroup Inc.'s Michael Corbat.
The three chief executives were in Washington for a previously scheduled meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on banking secrecy and money laundering, according to people familiar with the matter. On a conference call, they briefed the president, who was at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
So Trump panicked with stocks a mere 5% below all-time-highs? What happens when we enter a bear market?
tobagocat , 3 minutes ago linkXingqiwu , 22 minutes ago link
All you always Trumper's are just as bad as the lunatic left never Trumper's..refusing to see what's directly in front of you....a loud mouth Orange *** puppet who in the big picture has accomplished very little of the promises he had made as a candidate.
No draining of the swamp..has actually added with lunatic Bolton and Pompous. His winning BIGLY on his trade wars have done nothing but destroy American farmer and retail closings in record number.
What he called a big fat bubble in the fraud market when a candidate is now his bubble of hope to a second term. We won't even get into his Israeli foreign policy which are in violation of international law not to mention war crimes.
Face it always Trumper's...the Orange *** is a failed President and his name will be mentioned with the likes the Clinton's and Bushes ..fitting since none of those went to jail...another failed promiseCharlie_Martel , 14 minutes ago link
Trump is making a HUGE mistake! His equating Wall Street profits with Main Street health will sink his chances for 2020.
The American people are not stupid - they see that all the cheap money is flowing directly into the CEOs' pockets of all the major corporations with a stream of never-ending buy-back opportunities.MrNoItAll , 23 minutes ago link
I bet you think the $26 trillion in bailouts went to " Hope & Change."Todosqueremosmas , 19 minutes ago link
Bloomberg wouldn't know that Trump called the three banking CEOs on a conference all unless Trump's handlers wanted Bloomberg to know. This is a propaganda event intended to assure the "investing community" that Trump really does care about the stock market, that he is fixated on it and will do "whatever it takes" to keep the stock market from falling... too far.
In this time of great economic turmoil and with grim reality creeping ever closer through the fog of lies and propaganda that keep people thinking "all is well", the elites who really run things need to keep "investors" reassured, all in, and OUT of precious metals.two hoots , 34 minutes ago link
Why would he want to end the Fed when he is one of its primary beneficiaries???? I don't care for anybody in our current political establishment, Republican or Democrat, so I don't give an iota if Trump is re-elected.
But to believe that he will do anything to benefit the American citizenry at large by doing something such as ending the Fed is the epitome of naïveté. He couldn't care a rat's *** about you or I. The man was born and raised in The Great Swamp, somewhere near Pennsylvania Avenue, if you know what I mean.conraddobler , 34 minutes ago link
So???? Why bankers? Why not tractor supply companies or steel makers? Bankers, markets, Trump, what is the connection, what can bankers do?rwe2late , 42 minutes ago link
Like calling the foxes to fix a missing chicken problem? Or telling the foxes to lay off the chickens?
Hmmm hard to say but time will tell although it's hard to see time as an ally here.
In the fullness of time God is on the job so it's all good, it's all for the edification of souls everywhere some just take to learning quicker than others.T.Gracchus , 43 minutes ago link
"The three chief executives were in Washington for a previously scheduled meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on banking secrecy and money laundering ..."
Back in 2008, the word was that money laundering from drug kingpins was what avoided an even worse monetary collapse. So, are they making sure everything is in place should economic turmoil necessitate a repeat performance? https://www.theguardian.com/global/2009/dec/13/drug-money-banks-saved-un-cfief-claimsThalamus , 44 minutes ago link
Trump is a ******* moron, hanging his presidency on the fragile and fickle world of stock prices. When they fall, he will fall too.
The "plunge protection team" was used by Obama too after the markets got volatile, and last December by Trump. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-07/paul-craig-roberts-exposes-plunge-protection-teams-fraud
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.
By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute
Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.
No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!
So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.
The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."
The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."
Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."
Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.
He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."
In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."
In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.
That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.
That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.
Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.
It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.
That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.
"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.
Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.
Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.
Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.
Promise not kept again.
Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.
In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.
He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.
Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am
Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.
The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am
The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.
I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.
When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.
Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am
One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.
It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.
$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.
Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am
And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?
cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am
Tom, grow up.
Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.
Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.
Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am
Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.
WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am
Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?
Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?
Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am
"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.
What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.
The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."
It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.
With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.
The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.
Jul 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute
The most commonly heard refrain when Donald Trump and the GOP were seeking to pass some version of corporate tax reform went something like this : There are literally trillions of dollars trapped in offshore dollar deposits which, because of America's uncompetitive tax rates, cannot be brought back home. Cut the corporate tax rate and get those dollars repatriated, thereby unleashing a flood of new job-creating investment in the process. Or so the pitch went.
It's not new and has never really stood up to scrutiny. Yet virtually every single figure who lobbied for corporate tax reform has made a version of this argument. In the past, Congress couldn't or wouldn't take up the cause, but, desperate for a political win after the loss on health care, Trump and the GOP leadership ran with a recycled version of this argument, and Congress finally passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017. The headline feature was a cut in the official corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
So did reality correspond to the theoretical case made for the tax reform bill? We now have enough information to make a reasonably informed assessment. Unless you think that tax havens like Ireland, Bermuda or the Cayman Islands, all of which continue to feature as major foreign holders of U.S. Treasuries , have suddenly emerged as economic superpowers, the more realistic interpretation of the data shows the president's much-vaunted claims about the tax reform to be bogus on a number of levels. Even though some dollars have been "brought home," there remain trillions of dollars domiciled in these countries (at least in an accounting sense, which I'll discuss in a moment). If anything, the key provisions of the new legislation have given even greater incentives for U.S. corporations to shift production abroad, engage in yet more tax avoidance activities and thereby exacerbate prevailing economic inequality. Which, knowing Donald Trump, was probably the whole point in the first place.
This tax bill was constructed on a foundation of lies. To cite one obvious example, the real U.S. corporate tax rate has never been near the oft-cited 35 percent level. As recently as 2014, the Congressional Research Service estimated that the effective rate (the net rate paid after deductions and credits) was around 27.1 percent, which was well in line with America's international competitors.
But even the new and supposedly more competitive 21 percent rate has not been as advertised. As Brad Setser (a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations) has illustrated , the new tax bill also included a provision that enabled "companies that shift their profits abroad to pay tax at a rate well below the already-reduced corporate income tax Why would any multinational corporation pay America's 21 percent tax rate when it could pay the new 'global minimum' rate of 10.5 percent on profits shifted to tax havens, particularly when there are few restrictions on how money can be moved around a company and its foreign subsidiaries?" The upshot, as Setser concludes , is that "the global distribution of corporations' offshore profits -- our best measure of their tax avoidance gymnastics -- hasn't budged from the prevailing trend."
Although this new 10.5 percent rate applies to "global intangibles," such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights, the legislation still creates incentives for companies (notably pharmaceuticals and high-tech companies) to shift investment in tangible assets as well (such as factories) in order to maximize the benefits of this global rate on intangibles.
Many anticipated this result at the time the new law was enacted. The legislation incentivizes increased offshore investment in real assets such as factories, because the more companies invest in these "tangibles" in offshore low tax jurisdictions such as Ireland, the easier it becomes to incur a "calculated minimum tax on your offshore intangible income (the patents and the like on a new drug, for example)," according to Setser . The effect is also to exacerbate the trade deficit. A $20 billion jump in the pharmaceutical trade deficit last year provides excellent evidence of this trend. Ironically, this works at variance with Trump's "America First" trade nationalism, and his concomitant efforts to wield the tariff weapon in order to disrupt global supply chains and get corporate America to re-domicile investment at home.
Parenthetically, a further political by-product has been to give the deficit hawks more political ammunition in their goal to cut supposedly "unsustainable" social welfare expenditures, perpetuating even greater economic inequality, on the grounds of insufficient tax revenues to "fund" these programs. That is another lie (see this New York Times op-ed by Stephanie Kelton to understand why).
As for the other bogus arguments used to justify this legislation, it is worth noting that most of dollars allegedly "trapped" overseas are in fact domiciled in the U.S. They have been classified as "offshore" purely for tax accounting purposes. Yves Smith of "Naked Capitalism," for example, has pointed out that Apple stored the dollars "related to its Irish sub in banks in the US and managed it out of an internal hedge fund in Arizona." Similarly, the Brookings Institute notes that American tax accounting rules do not place geographic restrictions on where those U.S. dollars are actually held, even if the Treasury data records them as "offshore" for tax purposes. Quite the contrary: "[T]he financial statements of the companies with large stocks of overseas earnings, like Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Oracle, or Merck show most of it is in U.S. treasuries, U.S. agency securities, U.S. mortgage backed securities, or U.S. dollar-denominated corporate notes and bonds." In other words, the dollars are "home" and invested in the U.S. financial system.
So in what ways are the dollars actually "trapped" (i.e., unavailable for domestic use without severe tax repercussions)? They have never been so in reality. Through financial engineering, the banks that have held the dollars "offshore" on behalf of these American multinationals have extended loans against the stockpile so as to "liberate" the capital to be used as the companies saw fit. It's a form of hypothecated lending . Not only has the resultant " synthetic cash repatriation " provided a nice margin for what are effectively risk-free loans, but it also has enabled the beneficiary companies to deploy the dollars within the U.S. while avoiding tax penalties.
But here's the key point: instead of investing in new plants and equipment, a large proportion of these dollars have instead been used for share buybacks or distributed back to shareholders via dividend payments . Anne Marie Knott of Forbes.com quantifies the totals : "For the first three quarters of 2018, buybacks were $583.4 billion (up 52.6% from 2017). In contrast, aggregate capital investment increased 8.8% over 2017, while R&D investment growth at US public companies increased 12.5% over 2017 growth." So the top tier again wins in all ways: net profits are fattened, shareholders get more cash, and CEO compensation is elevated, as the value of the stock prices goes higher via share buybacks.
The dollars, in other words, have only been "trapped" to the extent that corporate management has chosen not to deploy them to foster real economic activity. "Punitive" corporate tax rates, in other words, have been a fig leaf. But the American worker has derived no real benefit from this repatriation, which was the political premise used to sell the bill in the first place.
Since the passage of the tax bill, the data show no significant evidence of corporate America bringing back jobs or profits from abroad. In fact, there is much to suggest the opposite: namely, that tax avoidance is accelerating in the wake of the legislation's passage, rather than decreasing. Consider that the number of companies paying no taxes has gone from 30 to 60 since the bill's enactment.
But it's worse than that, as Setser highlights :
"Well over half the profits that American companies report earning abroad are still booked in only a few low-tax nations -- places that, of course, are not actually home to the customers, workers and taxpayers facilitating most of their business. A multinational corporation can route its global sales through Ireland, pay royalties to its Dutch subsidiary and then funnel income to its Bermudian subsidiary -- taking advantage of Bermuda's corporate tax rate of zero."
Again, the money itself does not make this circuitous voyage. These are all bookkeeping entries for accounting purposes. In another report, Setser estimates the totals in revenue not accrued by the U.S. Treasury to be equivalent to 1.5 percent of GDP , or some $300 billion that is theoretically unavailable for use on the home front.
Global tax arbitrage, therefore, runs in parallel with global labor arbitrage. That's the real story behind globalization, which its champions never seem to mention, as they paint a story of worldwide prosperity pulling millions out of poverty. However, as I've written before , "a big portion of Trump voters were working-class Americans displaced from their jobs by globalization, automation, and the shifting balance in manufacturing from the importance of the raw materials that go into products to that of the engineering expertise that designs them." During the 2016 election and beyond, Trump has consistently addressed his appeals to these " forgotten men and women ." Yet the president's signature legislative achievement, corporate tax reform, suggests that his base continues to receive nothing but a few crumbs off the table. The tax reform also works at variance with the main thrust of his trade policy or, indeed, his restrictionist immigration policies (and it's questionable whether these forgotten voters are actually deriving much benefit from those policies either). Not for the first time, therefore, the president's left hand is working at cross-purposes with the right. The very base to whom he continues to direct his re-election appeals get nothing. And the country as a whole remains far worse off as a result of his policy incoherence and mendacity.
Larry , July 17, 2019 at 8:11 am
A very nice summary that details how the new boss is the same as the old boss, just more offensive on Twitter. The only place where Trump's campaign promises seem to hold up at all are the sound and furry over trade with China and the border wall with Mexico. Nothing will come of this bluster most likely, but at least it makes it appear that Trump is still working on behalf of his base.
Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 8:34 am
Will these voters realise what is really happening? Which are the alternative narratives they are receiving/accepting?
Monty , July 17, 2019 at 10:15 am
Spoiler alert: NO. As long as the alternative is giving free healthcare to undocumented immigrants, learning to code, reparations and a focus on transgender rights.
marym , July 17, 2019 at 12:13 pm
Is this the actual alternative or, at least in part, a fear mongered version of universal benefits like M4A or a jobs program; civil rights; and righting some of the wrongs of the past? It preserves the status quo or promotes it becoming even more inequitable to convince people to reject any option that also helps someone not like them, or offers relief for a problem they never had or surmounted on their own. I mean, no viable politician is "focusing on transgender rights" or doing more than barely (and opportunistically imo) giving lip service to reparations. Is the rejection of any move toward justice or equity just the result of propaganda, or are we fundamentally unable to do any better without resentment? I'm very pessimistic at the moment.
Monty , July 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm
Did you watch the Democratic debates?
marym , July 17, 2019 at 1:35 pm
No – have I misjudged? I know at least some have said they'd sign on to a "study" of reparations, even Sanders eventually, but he's been clear that he doesn't think "writing a check" is the way to address problems in distressed communities. M4A that included undocumented immigrants wouldn't bother me from a candidate who supported a path to citizenship and humane forms of enforcing future immigration restrictions, and I'm not opposed to transgender rights so maybe some of that wouldn't seem so fearsome to me if I heard it. Why it should be fearsome enough to disqualify a candidate with a platform of universal or widely distributed social benefits, economic justice, and criminal justice reform is inexplicable and sad to me.
Monty , July 17, 2019 at 3:59 pm
It doesn't matter how you understand it. It only matters what contorted misrepresentations of Democrat's actual policies that 'regular folks' aka greedy, selfish, frightened 'suburban republicans' (aka a majority of voters in most states) can be led to believe.
The focus on these kind of divisive topics is the gift that keeps giving for the right wing. What you see as reasonable, they see as a threat to their way of life. So while virtue signalling to one group, they are simultaneously alienating another and galvanizing their own opposition against them.
False Solace , July 17, 2019 at 12:40 pm
This is why Trump screams about immigrants so loudly. It's all he's got. When the facts aren't on your side, pound the table. Remember this is the guy who invented birtherism. He won't lift a finger for his voters but he sure knows how to yell about foreigners. He also promised not to cut Social Security or Medicare then submitted a budget that makes them look like Jack the Ripper victims.
Ignacio , July 17, 2019 at 1:08 pm
Yes, i think it is as simple a that. Progressives should just ignore racist and antimigrant discourse and focus on Health care, infrastructures, GND, jobs etc.
Glen , July 17, 2019 at 10:06 am
Tax cuts for the rich? Screw everyone else?
That's been true since Reagan.
a different chris , July 17, 2019 at 10:16 am
>Again, the money itself does not make this circuitous voyage.
Haha the one way you gold bugs could get me on board is if you were able to force all cross-border money flows to be limited to actual, physical gold. Ideally in wooden sailing ships.
That would change things quite a bit.
The Rev Kev , July 17, 2019 at 10:59 am
Good article this. Trump must know that the whole thing is just financial shenanigans. After all, that has been his specialty for the past few decades. But he and Washington went along with it anyway and now America's financial situation is even worse. Every actor is trying to make out in their game and hopes that the consequences fall after they have exited the market. Maybe they think that at that stage they will be able to swoop in and grab up everything else on the cheap. Having just read some history on France in 1848 and 1871 I think that the may be playing with fire and not the FIRE that they are used to.
Softie , July 17, 2019 at 11:18 am
The idiots take over the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for corporation and the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor. They project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil, and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy. Idiot intelligence operatives orchestrate the overthrow of foreign governments to create lawless enclaves that give rise to enraged fanatics. Idiot professors, "experts", and "specialists" busy themselves with unintelligible jargon and arcane theory that buttresses the policies of rulers. Idiot entertainers and producers create lurid spectacles of sex, gore and fantasy. There is a familiar checklist for extinction. We are ticking off every item on it.
– Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour
JimTan , July 17, 2019 at 12:49 pm
Maybe we should create a 'national intangibles tax', and levy it specifically on the patents, trademarks, and copyrights of all U.S. domiciled companies, and on these 'intangibles' for all companies that have the majority of their common equity securities registered in the U.S.