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Collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 will in 40-50 years lead to the collapse of USA-led global neoliberal empire

Analogy exists between collapse of neoliberalism and dissolution of the USSR. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. Neoliberalism which entered zombie state in 2008 now is more cruel and bloodthirsty then before

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Introduction

As the most recent transformation of capitalism, neoliberalism is a broad economic and political project of restoring class power of financial oligarchy it enjoyed in 20th of XX century (financial revanchism). It involved  consolidation, globalization and rapid concentration of financial capital (Giroux 2008; 2014).

As an ideology, neoliberalism consider profit-making to be the final arbiter and essence of democracy ("market fundamentalism"). Like Fascism and Bolshevism neoliberalism relies on the power of the state for pushing neoliberal "reforms".  Despite smoke screen of "free market" rhetoric neoliberal are statists  par excellence.

From the late 1980s to 2016, neoliberal ideas held hegemonic sway among both the Democratic elite and the Republican elite in the USA. Election of Trump is the first sign of the crack in the neoliberal facade. And it was caused by the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008, but by Russian interference in the USA election like deceptively Clinton's wing of the Democratic Party with the help of intelligence agencies is trying to present it 

Unlike fascism and bolshevism which both relied on population mobilization, neoliberalism tried to emasculate citizens suppressing political activity by treating them as just a consumers. In other words it promote political passivity and replacement of real political struggle by colorful spectacle like wrestling in WWE. Consumption is the only legitimate form of activity of citizens under neoliberalism and exercising of their choice during this consumption is the only desirable political activity.  With the related religious belief that the market can both solve all problems and serve as a model for structuring all social relations (the  idea of "self-regulating market," to use Karl Polanyi's phrase.) Grinding mass unemployment — with only tiny remnants of New Deal protection mechanisms to soften the blow — created political instability that destroyed any chances of Clinton Wing of Dems for reelection in 2016.

As the mode of governance, neoliberalism produces the ways of life driven by a survival-of-the fittest ethic, grounded in the idea of the free, predatory individual in economic jungles. And it declared the morality of the right of ruling groups and institutions to exercise power ignoring issues of ethics and social costs (variant of "might is right" mentality).  This set of economic policies  tend to produce an economy with highly unequal incomes, prevalence of monopolies and high business concentration, unstable booms, and long, painful busts.

As the political project, it involves the privatization of public services, the dismantling of the connection of private issues and public problems, the selling off of state functions, liberalization of trade in goods and capital investment, the eradication of government regulation of financial institutions and corporations, the destruction of the welfare state and unions, and the complete "marketization" and "commodification" of social relations.

Neoliberalism has put an enormous effort into creating a commanding cultural apparatus and public pedagogy in which individuals can only view themselves as consumers, embrace freedom as the right to participate in the market, and supplant issues of social responsibility for an unchecked embrace of individualism and the belief that all social relation be judged according to how they further one’s individual needs and self-interests.

Matters of mutual caring, respect, and compassion for the other have given way to the limiting orbits of privatization and unrestrained self-interest, just as it has become increasingly difficult to translate private troubles into larger social, economic, and political considerations. As the democratic public spheres of civil society have atrophied under the onslaught of neoliberal regimes of austerity, the social contract has been either greatly weakened or replaced by savage forms of casino capitalism, a culture of fear, and the increasing use of state violence.

One consequence is that it has become more difficult for people to debate and question neoliberal hegemony and the widespread misery it produces for young people, the poor, middle class, workers, and other segments of society — now considered disposable under neoliberal regimes which are governed by a survival-of-the fittest ethos, largely imposed by the ruling economic and political elite.

That they are unable to make their voices heard and lack any viable representation in the process makes clear the degree to which young people and others are suffering under a democratic deficit, producing what Chantal Mouffe calls “a profound dissatisfaction with a number of existing societies” under the reign of neoliberal capitalism (Mouffe 2013:119). This is one reason why so many youth, along with workers, the unemployed, and students, have been taking to the streets in Greece, Mexico, Egypt, the United States, and England.

Neoliberalism is the second after Marxism social system that was "invented" by a group of intellectuals (although there was not a single dominant individual among them) and implemented via coup d'état. ( Installed from above by a "quite coup") Although is  formally only around 40 years old (if we could the edge of neoliberalism from the election of Reagan, which means from 1981) neoliberalism as ideology was born much earlier, around in 1947.  And the first neoliberal US president was not Reagan, but  Jimmy Carter.

In any case in 2008 it already reached the stage of discreditation of its ideology. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. That happened with Bolshevism after its victory on the WWII when it became evident that the working class does not represent the new dominant class and communist party is unable to secure neither higher productivity of economics, nor higher standard of living for people then the advanced capitalist societies. Soviet soldiers in 1944-1945 saw the standard of living in Poland (which was Russian province before the revolution, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria and started to suspect the dream of building communist society was just another "opium for the people", the secular religion which hides the rule of "nomenklatura". 

Later the Soviet intelligencia realized that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  in applicable to the USSR no less that to any Western country. We probably can  assume that Soviet ideology entered zombies state in 1945, or may be later in 1963 (with  Khrushchev Thaw) when it became clear that the USSR will never match the standard of living of the USA population and most of Western European countries.  Illusions of the possibility of global Communist hegemony had evaporated with the collapse of Sino-Soviet relations (also the 1960s.) Around 1975, the Soviet Union entered a period of economic stagnation from which it  never emerged.  Due to this the USSR looked to Europe, primarily West Germany, to provide hard currency financing through massive loans, while the US became a major supplier of grain.

All in all the story of the USSR collapse suggests that after the ideology was discredited the society, which was based on it,  can last  several decades, or even half a century (The USSR lasted another 28-46 years (depending on the point at which you assume the ideology was completely discredited). But the sad story of the USSR after 1963 does suggests that if the ideology is "man made" like is both the case with Marxism and neoliberalism, the collapse of ideology is the prolog to the subsequent collapse of the society (even if with a substantial lag).

Neoliberal society probably has at least the same staying power as Bolshevism. Probably more. So we can expect that  after 2008 -- when the ideology was discredited and neoliberalism entered zombie stage it will last around 50 years. If not more. The key fact that might speed up the collapse of neoliberalism is the end of cheap oil. As soon as the price of one barrel of oil exceeds some magic number (different researchers cite figures from $70 to $120; let's assume $100 per barrel) the USA like the USSR will enter the period of stagnation from which it might never emerge without dismantling neoliberalism first.

So the crisis of neoliberalism as ideology doers not signify the death of neoliberal as a social system. It will continue to exist in zombie state for some time. A development that some will indeed see as a curse, others as a blessing. Many people after 2008 declared that neoliberalism is dead or seen to be in its death throes. Many obituaries of finance capitalism and global free trade were written in 2008-2012. Nevertheless, neoliberalism has shown itself to be resilient and remains the dominant social system around the world( this resilience was called by Colin Crouch "the strange non-death of neoliberalism".)

The USSR managed to survive in a very hostile international environment more then 40 years (1945-1991) after Bolshevism was dead as an ideology. Absence of hostile environmt, as well as the lack of alternative social system might prolong the life of neoliberalism. Also one advantage neoliberalism enjoys is that collapse of the USSR was prompted by the ascendance of neoliberalism and betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura (which correctly decided that they will be better off under neoliberalism, then under Brezhnev socialism) is that socialism was discredited.   Also unlike KGB brass, which was instrumental in transition of the xUSSR space from Brezhnev socialism to neoliberalism (with the first stage of gangster capitalism) the USA and GB intelligence agencies (actually all five eyes intelligence agencies) still is ready to defend neoliberalism, as color revolution against Trump had shown.  

However, Brexit (and the election of Jeremy Corbyn as head of Labour) and the movements surrounding Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the United States are each in their own way symptomatic of a turning of the political tide against neoliberalims, especially such features as hyper-globalization and deregulation of financial markets. The benefits of free trade – of goods, services and capital – and outsourcing of labor to low-cost destinations are now being challenged across the political spectrum.

That means that the crisis of neoliberalism iturned from purely intellectual (collapse and discreditation of the ideology) to political challenges. Even "leading economists" like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and Thomas Piketty started voicing concerns.  Rising inequality lessen the cohesion of neoliberal societies and  and created social tentions within them as we see in Marcon France. Even top economist from the IMF have recently acknowledged that neoliberalism has been “oversold”.

But we still do not see social system that will replace neoliberalism yet.  And that might prolog the life neoliberalism to the upper limit of the suggested range Meantime the crisis of neoliberalism created preconditions for the rise of far right movements and switch to "national neoliberalism" (or neoliberalism without globalization). Much like Stalinism was socialism within one given country with Trotsky idea of permanent world revolution till final victory of socialism sent to the dustbin). It is an interesting theoretical question if "national neoliberalism" promoted by Trump can be viewed as a flavor of neoliberalism or a flavor of neofascism. If the latter then neoliberalism already died around 2016 and existed in its classic form just 30 years or so.   I doubt  that we can do such equivalence.

At the current stage collapse of neoliberalism, if we can use this word, is still very slow and almost invisible.  Brexit and election of Trump in the USA are probably the first two most notable events after 2008 that can be interpreted as such. Both undermined "neoliberal globalization" -- one of the key components of neoliberalism, because like Communism before it is about building a global neoliberal empire (led by the USA financial oligarchy in close cooperation of other western oligarchies), without state borders.

Still "Great recession" which  started in 2008 is the fact of life. Nations took various roads out of the Great Depression and that's probably will be true for the Great Recession.  Some used deficit spending and the abandonment of the gold standard, which had to overcome resistance from business. In Germany, fascism removed "capitalist objections to full employment," wrote economist Michal Kalecki, by routing all deficit spending into rearmament and by keeping labor quiescent with political repression and permanent dictatorship.

We can envision  the same process of  the growing level of repression in the USA due to the growing gap between ideology postulates and the real life conditions, especially falling standard of living for most of the people (let's say, lower 80% in the USA. Top 20% including large part of "professional" class are doing just fine, much like nomenklarura in the USSR).

In the United States, the replacement ideology for unregulated capitalism on the early 20th was the New Deal. After some initial failed experimentation with planning, New Dealers settled on a framework of stimulus, regulation, unionization, progressive taxation, and anti-trust, heavily influenced by Louis Brandeis. To get people back to work and prime the economic pump, vast new public works were built, and millions were directly employed by the state. Business — especially finance — was regulated, above all to prevent concentration. Unions were protected under a new legal regime created by the National Labor Relations Act. Taxes on the rich were sharply increased, both to raise revenue and to deliberately prevent the accumulation of vast fortunes. Finally, world trade was managed under the Bretton-Woods system. New Deal ideology did not win at once and in 1937, FDR reversed the course and went back to austerity, instantly throwing millions out of work, and forcing him to return to deficit spending. It took the WWII war spending in 1941-1945 to entrench the New Deal and to eliminate mass unemployment. War also created the political space for Roosevelt to raise the top tax bracket to 94%. Think about it. Less then a century ago the top tax bracket in the USA was 94%. The erosion of the New Deal started almost immediately. For example, in 1847 trade union power was undercut by Taft–Hartley Act.

The New Deal framework held for about three decades after the end of the war — during which time the country also had the greatest economic boom in American history. Critically, this time the fruits of growth were also broadly shared. For all the many faults in the New Deal, in this period America was reformed from a country which functioned mostly on behalf of a tiny elite into one which functioned on behalf of a sizable chunk of population.

In this sense ascendance of neoliberalism was a counter-revolution against New Deal staged by financial elite:  fundamental economic bedrock is quite similar: deregulation, tax and spending cuts, union busting, and free trade. Its adherents resurrected the idea of the self-regulating market, creating an elaborate mathematic model in which depressions were always the result of structural problems, the economy is always at full employment, and nothing could be changed without making someone else worse off. Once again, the political message was that regulations and taxation should be kept as low as possible.

A generation of economists centered around the Chicago School, including Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, provided the intellectual backbone, gaining strength in the 1950s and '60s. They argued that New Deal structures were a drag on economic growth, and that taxes, regulation, and social insurance needed to be cut. America simply couldn't afford the strangling red tape and high taxes of the New Deal. And this time, they assured everyone, things would be different — no 1929-style crash would be in the cards.

Neoliberals' opportunity came in the 1970s, when the world economy ran into difficulties and at the center of those difficulties was the rising price of oil. War spending, the baby boom coming of age, and the oil shocks created serious inflation and pushed the U.S. into a trade deficit, which broke the Bretton-Woods system. Profits declined and big business mobilized against labor. The first wave of de-industrialization in the USA and offshoring of factories to Asia hit manufacturing.

I wonder if oil can serve as the grave digger of neoliberalism this time.

The limits of analogy between the collapse of neoliberalism and the collapse of the USSR

Like all analogies it far from being perfect.  Here are major objections:

  1. When the USSR collapsed neoliberal ideology was a clear alternative and the collapse of the USSR coincided with "triumphal march" of neoliberalism around the globe.  In a sense the USSR simply fall on the rails of the neoliberal train.
  2. Right now we do not see such a prominent alternative to the dominant neoliberal ideology, although it is clear that it is wrong and that neoliberal promise that high inequality speeds up economic development and "rising tide lifts all bots" proved to a fake. But right now  neoliberalism  is still social system that is dominant globally (BTW this is true not only for the USA and Western Europe, but also for Russia and China).
  3. Neoliberalism exists without  major geopolitical threat, unlike Soviet Union which existed in the hostile surrounding of major Western powers with their three letter agencies directly targeting this society, with huge money resources of Western financial system and the burning desire (especially by the US neoliberal elite, which came to power in 1980 ) to get rid of competition by any means possible. 
  4. While Trump administration reminds in its incompetence Brezhnev administration, the gap is still tremendous. While Trump is definitely a third  rate politician, Gorbachov as a politician was simply a naive (and probably bought) idiot. In comparison with him Trump looks like a shrewd statesman (or, at least, a staunch nationalist.) Unless we assume that "Gorby" (cultivated by his handler Margaret Thatcher) was a traitor (the version that became increasingly popular in post Soviet space after 1991). But the complete absence of political talent (Gorbachov came to power as a protégé of Andropov)  is still the primary suspect, because you should not assume sinister motives when incompetence is enough for the explanation of the events (  The Soviet collapse Contradictions and neo-modernization ):

    The main charge that may be laid against Gorbachev as leader is that he lacked an effective strategy of statecraft: the mobilization of resources to make a country more self-confident, more powerful, more respected and more prosperous. Instead, Gorbachev frittered away the governmental capital accumulated by the Soviet regime, and in the end was unable to save the country which he had attempted to reform.

  5. Despite all difficulties the USA remains the owner of world reserve currency and the center of technological innovation (although in the later role it somewhat slipped). It military spending (which stimulate fundamental research) remains the largest in the world. The country still remains the magnet for immigration from other countries.

Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich

There one, especially deep analogy between any neoliberal society and the USSR. Neoliberalism borrowed large part of its strategy and tactic of acquiring and maintaining power directly from  Marxism, specifically from the  flavor of Marxism, which partially originated (and remained popular until late 1940th) in the USA, and called Trotskyism (which Trotsky was a Russia émigré, he spend  his formative years in the USA).  Actually analogies with Marxism are to numerous to list.

The first notable analogy is the slogan "Dictatorship of "free markets"" instead of "dictatorship of proletariat."  With the same idea that the driving force of this social transformation is the intellectual "vanguard" recruited mainly from "Intelligentsia" (mainly right wing economists and philosophers of the  Mont Pelerin Society  created in `947 with the explicit goal to oppose socialism and Bolshevism) will drive steeple to the "bright future of all mankind" -- global neoliberal empire led by the USA. And that the end justifies the means.

In short, neoliberalism is a kind of "Trotskyism for rich." And it uses the same subversive tactics to get and stay in power, which were invented by Bolsheviks/Trotskyites. Including full scale use of intelligence agencies (during WWII Soviet intelligence agency -- NKDV -- rivaled the primary intelligence agencies of Nazi Germany -- Abwehr; CIA was by-and-large modeled on Abwehr  with Abwerh specialists directly participating in its creation ).  It also process the ideal of World Revolution -- with the goal of creating the global neoliberal empire. The neoliberal USA elite is hell-bent on this vision.

Like Trotskyism neoliberalism generally needs a scapegoat. Currently this role is served by Islamic fundamentalist movements. But recently Russia emerged like more convenient scapegoat, at least for "CIA democrats" like Obama and  Hillary Clinton.

Also like Bolshevism before, neoliberalism created its own "nomenklatura" -- the privileged class which exists outside the domain of capital owners. Which along with high level management and professionals include neoclassical academic economists. Who guarantee the level of brainwashing at the universities necessary for maintaining the neoliberal system.  This "creator class" fight for its self-preservation and against any challenges. Often quite effectively.

 Deification of markets (free market fundamentalism) like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold"

Yet another strong analogy is that the deification of markets much like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold". This fact was clearly established after the Great Recession, and one of the most succinct explanation of the stupidity of the idea of self-regulating market remains Karl Polanyi's famous book The Great Transformation.  Polanyi argued that the development of the modern state went hand in hand with the development of modern market economies and that these two changes were inextricably linked in history. And all talk about small state, state as "night watchman" are pure hypocrisy.  Like Marxism, neoliberalism really provides "the great transformation" because it both changes the human institutions and human morality. The latter in a very destructive way.  The book postulated that and "free market society" (where the function of social regulation is outsourced to the market forces)  is unsustainable because it is fatally destructive to human nature and the natural social contexts humans need to survive and prosper. 

Polanyi attempted to turn the tables on the orthodox liberal account of the rise of capitalism by arguing that “laissez-faire was planned”, whereas social protectionism was a spontaneous reaction to the social dislocation imposed by an unrestrained free market. He argues that the construction of a "self-regulating" market necessitates the separation of society into economic and political realms. Polanyi does not deny that the self-regulating market has brought "unheard of material wealth", but he suggests that this is too narrow a focus. The market, once it considers land, labor and money as "fictitious commodities" (fictitious because each possesses qualities that are not expressed in the formal rationality of the market), and including them "means to subordinate the substance of society itself to the laws of the market. This, he argues, results in massive social dislocation, and spontaneous moves by society to protect itself. In effect, Polanyi argues that once the free market attempts to separate itself from the fabric of society, social protectionism is society's natural response, which he calls the "double movement." Polanyi did not see economics as a subject closed off from other fields of enquiry, indeed he saw economic and social problems as inherently linked. He ended his work with a prediction of a socialist society, noting, "after a century of blind 'improvement', man is restoring his 'habitation.

But when 50 years passed and generation changed they manage to shove it down throat. Because the generation which experienced horrors of the Great Depression at this point was gone (and that include cadre of higher level management which still have some level of solidarity with workers against capital owners).

They were replaced with HBS and WBS graduates -- ready made neoliberals. Quit coup (in Simon Johnson terms) naturally  followed ( https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/ ) and we have hat we have.  In a sense neoliberalism and Managerialism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managerialism ) are closely related.  Here is how  he "reinvents" the concept  of "Minsky moment" in the new conditions of neoliberal globalization"

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

Neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack

Unlike Bolshevism after 1945, neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack -- the US sponsored efforts of replacement of left regimes in LA with right wing neoliberal regimes were by-and-large successful. I two key LA countries neoliberalism successfully counterattacked and won political power deposing more left regimes (Brazil and Argentina ). That happened despite that this phase of neoliberal era has been marked by slower growth, greater trade imbalances, and deteriorating social conditions. In Latin America the average growth rate was lower by 3 percent per annum in the 1990s than in the 1970s, while trade deficits as a proportion of GDP are much the same. Contrary to neoliberal propaganda the past 25 years (1980–2005) have also characterized by slower progress on social indicators for the vast majority of low- and middle-income countries [compared with the prior two decades ( https://monthlyreview.org/2006/04/01/neoliberalism-myths-and-reality/ ) :

In an effort to keep growing trade and current account deficits manageable, third world states, often pressured by the IMF and World Bank, used austerity measures (especially draconian cuts in social programs) to slow economic growth (and imports). They also deregulated capital markets, privatized economic activity, and relaxed foreign investment regulatory regimes in an effort to attract the financing needed to offset the existing deficits. While devastating to working people and national development possibilities, these policies were, as intended, responsive to the interests of transnational capital in general and a small but influential sector of third world capital. This is the reality of neoliberalism.

The danger of the end of "cheap oil" for neoliberalism

The Soviet Union collapsed partially due to the fact that collapse of oil prices (which might be engineered event) deprived it of the ability to buy the necessary goods from the West (which at this point included grain, due to inefficiency of Soviet model of  large centralized state owned agricultural complexes).

In case of the USA an opposite situation might also serve as a trigger: as soon as oil cross, say, $80 dollar per barrel mark most Western economies slide in "secular stagnation" and that means growing discontent of lower 80% of population. Also as  globalization is inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons and disappearance of cheap oil will male the current international patterns of flow of goods across countries with China as world manufacture  open to review.  

This is the situation when the irresistible force of globalization hits the brick wall of high oil prices. Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth" (aka permanent stagnation), and neoliberalism financial schemes based on cheap credit automatically implode in the environment of slow of zero growth. So expect that the next financial crisis will shake neoliberalism stronger then the crisis of 2008.

A lot of debt becomes unplayable, if growth stagnates. That makes manipulation of GDP numbers the issue of political and economic survival because this is the method of "inspiring confidence".  And the temptation to inspire confidence is too great to resists. Exactly like it was in the USSR. 

It might well be that the consistent price of oil, say, over $120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  tend to enter the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is a large consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and virtually doubles the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion.

Election of Trump is just testament that some part of the US elite is ready for "Hail Mary" pass just to survive.  The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require a lot of cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

 More on "zombie stage" of neoliberalism: the consequences of the situation when neoliberal ideology is already discredited

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades. It signified the end of Washington Consensus.

At this point ideology of neoliberalism was completely discredited in a sense that promise prosperity for all via "free market" mechanisms. The whole concept of "free markets" is from now on is viewed as fake. Much like happened with bolshevism in the USSR.

It actually was viewed as fake after the Great Depression too, but the generation that remembered that died out and neoliberalism managed to perform its major coup d'état  in the USA in 1981. After trail balls in Chile and GB. 

Also its fake nature became evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is even more dangerous, a large part of upper middle class in many developing countries, the social strata from which "fifth column of neoliberal globalization" is typically recruited. 

Global neoliberal empire still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its Western (and some Asian, such as Japan) allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So right now mainly ideological postulates of neoliberalism, especially as its "free market absolutism", started to be questioned.  And partially revised (the trend which is visible in increase financial regulation in most Western countries). So "self-regulation free market model proved to be neither self-regulating, not really free -- it just transferred the cost of its blunders on the society at large.  This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but with modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism or zombie neoliberalism. 

Rule of financial oligarchy like the rule of "nomenklatura" in the USSR is under increasing scrutiny

While indoctrination now reached almost all adult population,  there are some instances of resistance, especially among young people, who are insisting that casino capitalism is an act of violence against them and destruction of their future. And if it does not come to an end, what we might experience a mass destruction of human life if not  the planet itself. 

Both Obama and Trump proved to be masters of the "bait and switch" maneuver, but the anger of population did not dissipated and at some point still can explode.

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. the problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact. It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

Rise of nationalism as the reaction on neoliberal globalization
much like it was a reaction on Brezhnev's stagnation in the USSR

While no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, and G7 block with the USA as the head is still the dominant world power, the crash are now visible in the global neoliberalism façade.  Like in 20th failure the globalization and unrestrained financial markets (which produced the Great Depression)  the financial crisis of 2008 led to the dramatic rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing  far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franco regime in Spain.  The global neoliberal dominance as a social system still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating market that was completely discredited by the crisis (it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation the remembered the lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

This rise of nationalism was also a feature of the USSR political space in 80th. Formally it was nationalist sentiments that buried the USSR.

Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

Neoliberal propaganda gradually lost effectiveness,
 and now  invokes internal protest and rejection much like Marxist propaganda in the USSR

Neoliberalism failed to fulfill its promises for the bottom 80% of population. They became more poorer, job security deteriorated, good jobs disappear, and even McJobs are scare judging from the fact that Wall Mart and McDonalds are able to fully staff their outlets.  McJobs are jobs that does not provide a living wages.  Opiod epidemics reminds me epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR during Brezhnev period.  Cannabis legalization belong to the same trend.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is able to enforce Washington consensus rules. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

The slide to "Neoliberalism in name only" under Trump

When ideology collapses the elite often reports to corporatism (and in extreme case to neo-fascism) That happened briefly in the USSR under Andropov, but he did not last long enough to establish a trend.

Trumps "bastard neoliberalism (neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) mixed with economic nationalism can be called "neoliberalism in name only". Trump foreign economic policies look more and more like an economic aggression, economic racket, then a an economic platform. Nonetheless, that "neoliberalism in name only" is still a powerful global "brand" which the U.S. seeks to maintain at all costs for macro geopolitical reasons (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

The USSR war in Afghanistan and the rampant militarism of the US neoliberal empire:
you can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them

The USSR occupation of Afghanistan was actually a trap created by Carter administration in order to weaken and possibly destroy  the USSR. They wanted that the USSR experienced its own Vietnam-style defeat.  As a side effect they created political Islam and Islam fundamentalist movement (exemplified by former CIA asset Osama bin Laden) that later bite them in the back.

The US elite got into this trap voluntarily after 9/11: first via occupations of  Afghanistan (the war continues to this day), then occupation of Iraq, Libya and initiating "color revolution" (and train and supply Sunni Islam fundamentalists, along with KSA and Turkey) to depose Assad government in Syria.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still can dictate it will military for small countries in a classic sense --  in a sense that "might makes right". It still can afford to behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring the UN and other International organization, unless it is convenient to them.

But there are costs attacked and in case of Iraq war they are already substantial (to the tune of several trillion dollars). While effects on the USA economy of those set of wars of managing and expanding its neoliberal empire (and repartitioning ME, securing oil access and repartitioning the region in favor of Israel regional interests)  are still in the future, military adventurism was a gravestone on many previous empires, which tend to overstretch themselves and this fasten their final day. 

As Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". having first class military weakens is not everything when you face guerilla resistance in occupied country. Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda and false flag operations is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas.

Ukraine is one recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country. Syria is another case of unanticipated effects, as Russia did not want to repeat experience of Libya and intervened, interfering with the USA goal of establishing Sunni-based Islamist regime, subservant to KSA and Turkey, and/or dismembering the country and creating   several weak Sunny dominated statelets with jihadists in power, the situation which greatly  benefit Turkey and Israel.  Israel correctly consider secular Assad régime as a greater threat and major obstacle in annexation of Golan Heights and eliminating Hezbollah in Lebanon.  It would prefer weak islamist regimes, hopefully engaged in protracted civil war to Assad regime any time.

Unfortunately, the recent troika of "neoliberalized" countries -- Libya, Syria  and Ukraine --  were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka "white revolution") failed, events in Libya and, especially,  Ukraine prove the neoliberalism still can launch and win offensives at relatively low, acceptable cost (via color revolutions mechanism ). The main cost carry the population of the target country which is plunged  into economic and political chaos, in most cases including the civil war.  

But in the USA those wars also somewhat backfire with broken domestic infrastructure, decaying bridges and angered, restless, and partially drugged by opioids  population.  As well as thousands of crippled young men healthcare for whom till end of their lives will cost large amount of money.

In such circumstances chances of raising to power of an openly nationalistic leader substantially increase. Which was already demonstrated quite convincingly by the election of Trump.

Conclusions

Analogy of current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and the USSR collapse is demonstrably far from perfect. The USSR was always in far less favorable conditions   then USA, operating is a hostile environment encircled by Western powers interested in its demise; also the collapse of the USSR happened during "triumphal march of neoliberalism" which provided ready-made alternative to Brezhnev's socialism and stimulated the betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura of their old ideology and "switching ideological camps").  But the key to collapse of the USSR was   the collapse of Bolshevik's ideology, which has happened some time from 1945 to 1963.

Still it allows to point out some  alarming similarities. Which does not bode well for the USA future, if the hypothesis that the same fundamental forces are in play in both cases. In this sense the collapse of neoliberal ideology ("free market fundamentalism"), which happened in  2008 is a bad sign indeed. .

There is still a chance that the US elite proves to be flexible and manage to escape this "ideological mousetrap" by switching to some new ideology, but they are pretty weak, if we look at the quality of Trump administration and the personalities in the USA Congress. Some of them too closely correspond to the depiction of sociopaths to stay comfortable.  The same was true about certain parts of Soviet "nomenklatura", especially leaders of Komsomol (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League ), from which such questionable post-communist figures such a Khodorkovsky, in Russia (of "pipes and corpses" film fame), and Turchinov in Ukraine  later emerged.

The recent humiliation of the US representative in the UN Nikki Haley by Bolivian representative also suggest that neoliberal propaganda lost large part of its effectiveness and unilateral military actions by the USA are now questioned more effectively: Bolivian UN Rep Sacha Llorenti Blasts U.S. for Attacking Syria, Educates Nikki Haley on Iraq, UN & U.S. History

Llorenti’s fourteen minute address to the UNSC was a tour de force – a critique of unilateral military action by the U.S. (it violates the UN charter), an analysis of previous emotional appeals for urgent action (think Colin Powell in 2003), as well as a reminder of the United States’ long history of interventionism in Latin America. Llorenti also called the UNSC to task for its internal structure, which grants considerably more power upon its five permanent members than it does its ten non-permanent members.

It was a remarkable anti-imperialist display. Read a partial transcript and/or watch the full video below.

That closely corresponds to what had happened with Bolshevism ideology around 1980 -- when it became the source of jokes both inside the USSR and abroad.  Or a little bit later, if we remember "Tear down this wall!" -- a line from a speech made by US President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. When  Paul Craig Roberts  claims that It Has Become Embarrassing To Be An American  that is a symptom of a problem, yet another symptom of the demise of neoliberal propaganda,  despite obvious exaggeration.

It would be  too much stretch to state that neoliberal and especially globalist propaganda is now rejected both by population within the USA (which resulted in defeat of Hillary Clinton -- an establishment candidates and election of the  "wild card" candidate  -- Donald Trump -- with clearly nationalistic impulses) and outside the USA. 

 


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Old News ;-)

[Mar 25, 2019] The Mass Psychology of Trumpism by Eli Zaretsky

Highly recommended!
But sophistication of intelligence agencies now reached very high level. Russiage was pretty dirty but pretty slick operation. British thre letter againces were even more devious, if we view Skripals poisoning as MI5/Mi6 "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier. So let's keep wanting the evnet. The election 2020 might be event more interesting the Elections of 2016. Who would suggest in 2015 that he/she elects man candidate from Israel lobby instead of a woman candidate from the same lobby?
Notable quotes:
"... The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. ..."
"... Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. ..."
"... the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority. ..."
"... The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds. ..."
"... Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. ..."
"... Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged. ..."
"... Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
One might object that Trump, a billionaire TV star, does not resemble his followers. But this misses the powerful intimacy that he establishes with them, at rallies, on TV and on Twitter. Part of his malicious genius lies in his ability to forge a bond with people who are otherwise excluded from the world to which he belongs. Even as he cast Hillary Clinton as the tool of international finance, he said:

I do deals – big deals – all the time. I know and work with all the toughest operators in the world of high-stakes global finance. These are hard-driving, vicious cut-throat financial killers, the kind of people who leave blood all over the boardroom table and fight to the bitter end to gain maximum advantage.

With these words he brought his followers into the boardroom with him and encouraged them to take part in a shared, cynical exposure of the soiled motives and practices that lie behind wealth. His role in the Birther movement, the prelude to his successful presidential campaign, was not only racist, but also showed that he was at home with the most ignorant, benighted, prejudiced people in America. Who else but a complete loser would engage in Birtherism, so far from the Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Harvard aura that elevated Obama, but also distanced him from the masses?

The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. 'The fascist leader's startling symptoms of inferiority', Adorno wrote, 'his resemblance to ham actors and asocial psychopaths', facilitates the identification, which is the basis of the ideal. On the Access Hollywood tape, which was widely assumed would finish him, Trump was giving voice to a common enough daydream, but with 'greater force' and greater 'freedom of libido' than his followers allow themselves. And he was bolstering the narcissism of the women who support him, too, by describing himself as helpless in the grip of his desires for them.

Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. According to Adorno,

the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority.

To meet the unconscious wishes of his audience, the leader

simply turns his own unconscious outward Experience has taught him consciously to exploit this faculty, to make rational use of his irrationality, similarly to the actor, or a certain type of journalist who knows how to sell their sensitivity.

All he has to do in order to make the sale, to get his TV audience to click, or to arouse a campaign rally, is exploit his own psychology.

Using old-fashioned but still illuminating language, Adorno continued:

The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds.

Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. As with the Birther movement or Access Hollywood, Trump's self-debasement – pretending to sell steaks on the campaign trail – forges a bond that secures his idealised status.

Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged.

Yet no one who lived through the civil rights and feminist rebellions of recent decades can believe that an economic programme per se is a sufficient basis for a Democratic-led politics.

This holds as well when it comes to trying to reach out to Trump's supporters. Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. But if we understand the personal level at which pro-Trump strivings operate, we may better appeal to the other half, and in that way forestall the coming emergency.

[Mar 23, 2019] MoveOn on Twitter the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to #SkipAIPAC continues to grow

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

MoveOn ‏ 1:32 PM - 21 Mar 2019

& the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to # SkipAIPAC continues to grow. Thank you for your leadership here @ PeteButtigieg , @ ewarren , @ BernieSanders , @ KamalaHarris , @ JulianCastro , @ BetoORourke , @ JayInslee ... who is next?

[Mar 21, 2019] Look who's ready to fight Trump's trade war now

Mar 09, 2019 | socialistworker.org

Is Donald Trump starting to look like a softie on the trade conflict with China compared to sections of the U.S. business and political elite? Dorian Bon explains the background.

WHEN DONALD Trump launched his trade war on China last spring, he had to drag the U.S. political and business establishment along with him.

Most elected officials in both parties and a large majority of corporate execs cringed at the thought of a protracted trade war that would disturb the ordinary flow of profits and investments between the world's two largest economies.

Now, as Trump and his team seek a negotiated settlement with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump finds himself in the opposite position -- facing bipartisan pressures not to back down or compromise in any U.S.-China trade deal.

Even Trump's own trade negotiator Bob Lighthizer -- who helped bend Japanese auto companies to the will of the Reagan administration in the mid-1980s -- has grown frustrated with the president , wanting him to take a harder line on Chinese telecom giant Huawei and keep the threat of further tariff increases on the table.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet during the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet during the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires

The context for this strange turnabout is the new common sense across the political spectrum: the idea that China poses a threat to U.S. jobs, security and technological dominance.

Trump's advisers fully expect the eventual Democratic nominee in 2020 to try to outflank him to the right on China and the defense of U.S. manufacturing. And the political competition over anti-Chinese toughness could very well throw a wrench into the continuing bilateral negotiations with China.

Even big American capital -- which, outside of the steel industry, has been almost universally opposed to Trump's tariffs -- is warming to the administration's more aggressive stance toward China.

Most U.S. CEOs are still hostile to the use of tariffs as an economic weapon, especially against their North American and European trading partners. But they also have serious concerns about the rapid development of Chinese high-tech manufacturing, the transfer -- by contract and by coercion -- of U.S. technologies to Chinese firms, and investment restrictions for U.S. companies in China.

Somewhat to their surprise, Corporate America sees Trump forcing Xi's hand on these issues more effectively than Barack Obama or George W. Bush before him.

Josh Bolten, president of the Business Roundtable -- an association of the U.S.'s largest companies, collectively worth $8 trillion and employing 15 million workers -- put it this way during a recent interview with Washington trade experts Scott Miller and Bill Reinsch on their podcast The Trade Guys :

The CEOs of the Business Roundtable have found themselves in agreement...with the Trump administration on most of the objectives of the very aggressive posture that the administration has taken with respect to China.

As both of you also know, that is an evolution...of the business community's position. The Roundtable doesn't speak for the whole business community, but I think there has been an evolution throughout the business community on this. And that is that the posture of waiting for democratic, market-oriented capitalism gravity to have its effect on the Chinese has proven not to be a viable approach.

Bolten went on to lament the defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a major Obama-era economic agreement that Trump opposed on the campaign trail and terminated once he took office -- as a missed opportunity to contain China's rise and secure crucial markets where U.S. and Chinese companies are in direct competition.

Bolten and most of the U.S. ruling class see -- somewhat in contrast to Trump -- the strengthening of a multilateral alliance of Western and pro-Western countries as the best strategy to counter the threat of a growing Chinese rival.

But Bolten is unambiguous and Trump-sounding about the goal of the strategy. "All of our interests are actually consistent with each other in confronting the threat that an economically hegemonic China poses for the entire world," he explained.


HEARING A leading representative of the American corporate elite talk about the threat of Chinese economic hegemony on "the entire world" is alarming to say the least -- and demonstrates that Trump doesn't have a monopoly on anti-China discourse by any stretch of the imagination.

That isn't to underplay the serious disagreements over strategy between the Trump administration and most of the U.S. business world.

Many corporate leaders are concerned about the fact that Trump is simultaneously in tense trade negotiations with the European Union and brandishing the threat of tariffs on car imports (primarily impacting Germany and Japan), a move which virtually every single American auto-company angrily opposes.

And they appear to be signing on only half-heartedly to Trump's renegotiated NAFTA, now dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement -- which contains some attractive updates on digital trade (mostly lifted from the TPP, ironically enough), but is broadly seen as a step backwards for corporate profits and preferable only to a collapse of NAFTA altogether.

These raise question for U.S. corporate rulers: If Trump is so concerned with the Chinese threat, why doesn't he focus his fire in that direction, instead of toward allies?

This will be the line of attack against Trump from much of the political and corporate establishment, including those who are Democrats or support them, moving forward into the new election cycle.

To Trump and his team, however, trade disputes and negotiations with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and China are all so many elements of a larger plan to keep as much of global industry as possible within the continental U.S.

For the largest American companies -- which have positioned themselves at the technological peak of a globalized network of supply chains, markets and investments -- Trump's economic nationalism poses an opportunity to challenge China, but new problems in relation to the rest of the world.

The biggest CEOs and industry lobbies are still figuring out a response.


THE REVERBERATIONS of the U.S.-China trade war have been felt across the corporate world, perhaps nowhere more starkly than in telecommunications.

As geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China have deepened, telecom companies and state governments have been preparing for the highly anticipated rollout of 5G cellular networks. 5G, or fifth generation, technology is expected to speed up data flows (and increase data volumes) across cell phone and other digital communication systems.

Many analysts predict the degree of change brought on by 5G will be similar to that of the 3G and 4G evolutions, which underpinned the smartphone boom. This time around, however, most eyes are trained on what the new networks will mean for digitized and computerized manufacturing, commerce and transportation more broadly.

For the leadership of both main U.S. political parties, the excitement around 5G has been muted by hostility toward the world's largest telecom equipment supplier (and second largest cell phone seller), the Chinese corporation Huawei.

With $7.55 billion in profits in 2017 and the most cost-competitive telecom equipment in the world, Huawei has been widely predicted to be one of the main beneficiaries of the 5G expansion.

But Congress has been on an offensive against the company since 2012 , and the Trump administration has escalated the attacks.

Trump has gone on a global campaign with broad bipartisan support to persuade allied states to ban Huawei entirely from their domestic markets. He has also planned to issue an executive order to bar the company from the U.S. economy as well, though he seems to have now turned this threat into a bargaining chip in his dealmaking with Xi and China.

The justification for bans is that Huawei could use its access to the cellular networks it builds overseas to spy on foreign governments. The extraordinary hypocrisy of this claim coming from the main surveillance power in world history has not been lost on most people following the debate.

Meanwhile, Trump instructed the Canadian government to arrest and extradite Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder and President Ren Zhengfei, during a routine visit to Vancouver. The charges against Wanzhou stemmed from alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Wanzhou's extradition hearing began this week and could drag on for months.

Wanzhou's arrest could also be used as a bargaining chip by Trump, though most of Trump's staff is reticent to bring a separate legal proceeding into a trade agreement for fear of discrediting the courts.


PART OF what is so striking about the case of Huawei and 5G is how it flatly contradicts the whole logic of the current neoliberal world order of free markets and free trade.

According to the propaganda, under neoliberalism, any buyer should be allowed to make their purchases from any company that offers the best products for the lowest prices. For many buyers, including national governments, that company is clearly Huawei.

Now, however, the U.S. state is attempting to restrict the field and eliminate the Chinese option from the market. In other words, what we're witnessing in this crucial sector of the global economy is an open attempt by the world's most powerful state to create trade blocs in telecommunications that shut out one of China's most prominent companies.

While both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are rallying behind the attacks on Huawei, the response from the U.S. and European information technology industries has been much more conflicted.

The main lobby for telecom and technology companies in the U.S., the Information Technology Industry Council, has been clamoring for Trump to strike a deal with Xi and drop the tariffs. Chuck Robbins, CEO of the largest American telecom equipment maker, Cisco Systems, insists Trump's tariffs and sanctions are unnecessary.

"We don't need anything else to beat these guys or to beat any of our competition in the marketplace," Robbins said in February . Huawei competitors Ericsson and Nokia -- multinational companies based in Sweden and Finland, respectively -- have claimed that they're ready to supply Europe's 5G infrastructures in the event of a Huawei ban, indicating they may have some sympathy with Trump's efforts.


AS OF now, the Trump administration's campaign to block Huawei from the world's markets has had mixed results. Both British and German intelligence agencies are leaning toward accepting Huawei as a legitimate business partner, as is the French Senate .

In the Czech Republic, a conflict has emerged pitting President Miloš Zeman, who wants to strengthen ties with China, and the Czech cybersecurity agency, which has labeled Huawei a threat to national security. Debates on the same topic are also underway in Italy and Canada .

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne, staking out the most extreme anti-Huawei position, has fully embraced Trump's ban and vowed to maintain it, even if Trump himself backs away from his current position. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, on other the hand, rejected the idea of a blanket ban .

Crucially, Narendra Modi's right-wing government in India has so far opposed the idea of banning Huawei .

Despite ongoing China-India tensions, the offer of cheap telecommunications equipment to expand India's cellular infrastructure seems too attractive for Modi and his business allies to decline. The fact that the Trump administration is simultaneously weighing raising tariffs and restrictions on Indian products is certainly not helping to convince Modi to further antagonize Beijing.

However unsuccessful the Trump White House has been in forcing the hand of other states, the president and congressional leaders are well aware of the economic leverage they have against key Chinese companies.

Last year, the Trump administration brought China's second telecom corporation, ZTE, to the brink of collapse when he issued a temporary ban on trade between the company and American suppliers. ZTE is totally dependent on U.S. imports of advanced communications equipment and might have been destroyed if Trump had not chosen to lift the ban before entering negotiations with Xi.

Similar bans by the Trump administration have nearly brought down the Chinese state-owned chipmaking company Fujian Jinhua, which has announced it will have to cease production altogether in March if it cannot buy more imports of crucial American equipment.


WITH ALL of these variables at play, the next year in the U.S.-China economic relationship is impossible to predict.

The financial costs of unraveling one of the largest state-to-state commercial relationships in modern history may prove too high for either side to escalate the 2018-19 trade conflict any further, especially as the global economy passes the high point of the business cycle and heads toward another likely recession .

The two heads of state plan to meet at the end of March, possibly at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, to sign a trade agreement.

For Trump to sell the deal to an increasingly hawkish Congress, he will have to demonstrate "progress" on the goals he articulated at the outset of the trade war: more Chinese purchases of American products, stronger intellectual property safeguards for U.S. corporations and less state subsidies for Chinese companies. It remains to be seen whether Trump will decide to incorporate a compromise on Huawei into the deal.

Whatever the outcome of this round of negotiations -- and it is still possible that they could fall apart -- what is unfolding today is undoubtedly just the first act in a long and tempestuous drama.

China is clearly a growing geopolitical rival to the U.S., and Chinese corporations are quickly developing the capacity to compete with their U.S. counterparts on a global scale in the most advanced areas of high-tech manufacturing.

This means that many more economic confrontations between the two states are inevitable. And as politicians on both sides of the aisle have made abundantly clear, Trump will not be the last president to stoke tensions with China.

Then there is the question of how the perspectives of the largest American businesses will change as this conflict develops.

Josh Bolten, the Business Roundtable president, claims that the CEOs he represents have been through an "evolution" in their views that brings them closer to Trump's "aggressive posture" toward China. Yet at the same time, there continues to be near-universal opposition to tariffs and trade wars within these elite strata.

So what kind of "aggressive posture" do these leading American capitalists hope to adopt? With more money and power concentrated in their hands than any other ruling class in the world, the stance that these elites take toward U.S.-China relations will be very important.

If the American 1 Percent drifts any further toward the rising economic nationalism articulated by their political representatives in Washington, future flare-ups between the two countries may be a great deal worse.

[Mar 20, 2019] Warren, Clinton and the sexist 'likability' narrative

Mar 20, 2019 | www.aol.com

In 2016, Cannon wrote that Warren would indeed bring more warmth than Clinton, pointing to an anecdote she shared on Facebook about how she would bake her mother a "heart shaped cake" as a child. He contrasted that with Clinton's sarcastic "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies" comment from 1992 , which was a response to ongoing questions about why she chose to continue her law practice when her husband was governor of Arkansas.

For some Bernie Sanders supporters, meanwhile, praising Warren was a way to deflect accusations of sexism. In a 2016 Huffington Post opinion piece titled, "I Despise Hillary Clinton And It Has Nothing to Do With Her Gender," Isaac Saul wrote that he "and many Sanders supporters would vote for Elizabeth Warren if she were in the race over Hillary or Bernie." ( Saul apologized to Clinton for being a "smug young journalist" and "Bernie Bro" in a follow up article months later, writing that his views of her changed after he endeavored to learn more about her history).

So what's going on here? Has Warren become incredibly unlikable over the past two years? Or is this change more an indication of her growing power. High-achieving women, sociologist Marianne Cooper wrote in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article , are judged differently than men because "their very success -- and specifically the behaviors that created that success -- violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave." When women act competitively or assertively rather than warm and nurturing, Cooper writes, they "elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine." As a society, she says, "we are deeply uncomfortable with powerful women. In fact, we don't often really like them."

[Mar 20, 2019] Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who comes from the Sanders wing of the party, just told CNN in response to Brazile's op-ed that the she believes the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged by Aaron Blake

Nov 02, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

The former interim head of the Democratic Party just accused Hillary Clinton's campaign of "unethical" conduct that "compromised the party's integrity." The Clinton campaign's alleged sin: A hostile takeover of the Democratic National Committee before her primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders had concluded.

Donna Brazile's op-ed in Politico is the equivalent of taking the smoldering embers of the 2016 primary and throwing some gasoline on them. Just about everything she says in the piece will inflame Sanders's passionate supporters who were already suspicious of the Democratic establishment and already had reason to believe -- based on leaked DNC emails -- that the committee wasn't as neutral in the primary as it was supposed to be.

But the op-ed doesn't break too much new provable, factual ground, relying more upon Brazile's own perception of the situation and hearsay. In the op-ed, Brazile says:

Brazile sums it up near the end: "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity."

None of this is truly shocking. In fact, Brazile is largely writing about things we already knew about. The joint fundraising agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC was already known about and the subject of derision among Sanders's supporters. But it's worth noting that Sanders was given a similar opportunity and passed on using it, as Brazile notes.

There were also those emails from the DNC hack released by WikiLeaks that showed some at the DNC were hardly studiously neutral . One email chain discussed bringing Sanders's Jewish religion into the campaign, others spoke of him derisively, and in one a lawyer who worked for both Clinton and the DNC advised the committee on how to respond to questions about the Clinton joint fundraising committee. The emails even cast plenty of doubt on Brazile's neutrality, given she shared with the Clinton campaign details of questions to be asked at a pair of CNN forums for the Democratic candidates in March 2016, before she was interim chair but when she was still a DNC official. Brazile, who was a CNN pundit at the time, lost her CNN job over that.

The timeline here is also important. Many of those emails described above came after it was abundantly clear that Clinton would be the nominee, barring a massive and almost impossible shift in primary votes. It may have been in poor taste and contrary to protocol, but the outcome was largely decided long before Sanders ended his campaign. Brazile doesn't dwell too much on the timeline, so it's not clear exactly how in-the-bag Clinton had the nomination when the alleged takeover began. It's also not clear exactly what Clinton got for her alleged control.

This is also somewhat self-serving for Brazile, given the DNC continued to struggle during and after her tenure, especially financially . The op-ed is excerpted from her forthcoming book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House." Losses like the one in 2016 will certainly lead to plenty of finger-pointing, and Brazile's book title and description allude to it containing plenty of that.

But taking on the Clintons is definitely something that most in the party wouldn't take lightly. And Brazile's allegation that Clinton was effectively controlling the DNC is the kind of thing that could lead to some further soul-searching and even bloodletting in the Democratic Party. It's largely been able to paper over its internal divisions since the primary season in 2016, given the great unifier for Democrats that is President Trump.

Sanders himself has somewhat toned down his criticism of the DNC during that span, but what he says -- especially given he seems to want to run again in 2020 -- will go a long way in determining how the party moves forward.

[Mar 20, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism by David Leonhardt

Looks like Warren is acceptable candidate for NYT and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.
Mar 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

Warren is trying to treat not just the symptoms but the underlying disease. She has proposed a universal child-care and pre-K program that echoes the universal high school movement of the early 20th century. She favors not only a tougher approach to future mergers, as many Democrats do, but also a breakup of Facebook and other tech companies that have come to resemble monopolies. She wants to require corporations to include worker representatives on their boards -- to end the era of "shareholder-value maximization," in which companies care almost exclusively about the interests of their shareholders, often at the expense of their workers, their communities and their country.

Warren was also the first high-profile politician to call for an annual wealth tax , on fortunes greater than $50 million. This tax is the logical extension of research by the economist Thomas Piketty and others, which has shown how extreme wealth perpetuates itself. Historically, such concentration has often led to the decline of powerful societies. Warren, unlike some Democrats, comfortably explains that she is not socialist. She is a capitalist and, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, is trying to save American capitalism from its own excesses.

"Sometimes, bigger ideas are more possible to accomplish," Warren told me during a recent conversation about the economy at her Washington apartment. "Because you can inspire people."

... ... ...

Warren's agenda is a series of such bold ideas. She isn't pushing for a byzantine system of tax credits for child care. She wants a universal program of pre-K and child care, administered locally, with higher pay for teachers and affordable tuition for families.

And to anyone who asks, "But how will you pay for that?" Warren has an answer. Her wealth tax would raise more than $250 billion a year, about four times the estimated cost of universal child care. She is, in her populist way, the fiscal conservative in the campaign.

... ... ...

David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. @DLeonhardt • Facebook [Sign up for David Leonhardt's daily newsletter with commentary on the news and reading suggestions from around the web.]

[Mar 20, 2019] Elizabeth Warren, Champion of Consumer Financial Protection by Drake Bennett

Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run ..."
"... At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them." ..."
"... Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks." ..."
"... While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't. ..."
Jul 07, 2011 | bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run

Elizabeth Warren's admirers often refer to her as a grandmother from Oklahoma. This is technically true. It's also what you might call posturing. Warren, 62, is a Harvard professor and perhaps the country's top expert on bankruptcy law. Over the past four years she has managed to stoke a fervent debate over the government's role in protecting American consumers from what she sees as the predatory practices of financial institutions, and she has positioned herself as the person to oversee a new federal agency to rewrite the rules of lending. Warren is a grandma from Oklahoma in roughly the same way Ralph Nader is a pensioner with a thing about cars.

If the grandmother perception is plausible, it's largely because Warren has a gift for parables and for placing herself in the middle of them as the embodiment of moral force. Thus, her account of the precise moment she realized that changing the way banks lend was going to require a new federal bureaucracy -- and that it was up to her to create it.

Warren begins her tale in the spring of 2007, before the housing crash and the financial crisis. She was on a plane back to Boston after a series of discouraging meetings with credit-card company executives. She had tried to sell them on an idea called the "clean card" that grew out of her academic work and her side gig as a guest on such shows as Dr. Phil , where she dispensed empathy and advice to audience members who were one bad check away from losing everything. The concept was simple: Offer the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to any credit-card company that disclosed all of its costs and fees up front, no fine print.

After a few meetings in which she was politely rebuffed, one executive walked Warren to the door and, with his arm around her, let her in on a trade secret: If he admitted that his card's actual rate was 17 percent, while his competitors were still claiming theirs was only 2.9 percent, his customers would desert him for the seemingly cheaper option, seal of approval or not. No credit-card company would ever go along with a clean card unless all of them did. And the only way to get all of them to do it was to require it by law.

At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them."

Here she pauses for effect, and to take a sip of herbal tea. Warren is slight and kinetic, with wide, pale blue eyes behind rimless glasses. She punctuates her sentences with exclamations like "Holy guacamole!" It's difficult to tell whether these are spontaneous or deliberately deployed to soften her imposing professorial mien. Warren, who grew up poor and went to college on a debate scholarship, understands the power of expression. When she wants to underline a point, she leans in to conspire with her listener; then her voice goes quiet, as it does when she says she knew instantly the condescending executive was right. Her clean card was a flop.

And so, on the flight home, Warren turned to the problem of how to push those credit-card companies into doing the right thing. By landing time, she says, she had her answer: a powerful new federal agency whose sole mission would be to protect consumers, not only from confusing credit cards but from what she calls the "tricks and traps" of all dangerous financial products. The same way the Consumer Product Safety Commission guards against dangerous household products or the Food and Drug Administration watches out for contaminated produce and quack medications. The way Warren tells it, she pulled a piece of paper out of her backpack and got to work right there on the plane. "I started sketching out the problem and what the agency should look like."

It's a good story, even if the timeline is a little off. Warren's aides say she first pitched the idea of a consumer financial protection agency to then-Senator Barack Obama's office months before her fateful meeting with the executive. Whatever the idea's provenance, there's no doubting its influence. In a summer 2007 article in the journal Democracy , Warren outlined what her guardian agency would look like. "It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house," she wrote. "But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street -- and the mortgage won't even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner." One was effectively regulated. The other was not.

The annals of academia are stuffed with provocative proposals. Most die in the library. A little over four years after she first dreamed it up, Warren's has become a reality. Last summer, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a package of financial reforms meant to prevent another economic meltdown. One of the bill's pillars is Warren's watchdog agency, now called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On July 21, exactly a year after Dodd-Frank became law, the CFPB is scheduled to open for business with a broad mandate to root out "unfair, deceptive, or abusive" lending practices. Consolidating functions previously scattered across seven different agencies, the bureau will have the power to dictate the terms of every consumer lending product on the market, from mortgages and credit cards to student, overdraft, and car loans. It will supervise not only banks and credit unions but credit-card companies, mortgage servicers, credit bureaus, debt collectors, payday lenders, and check-cashing shops. Dozens of researchers will track trends in the lending market and keep an eye on new products. Teams of examiners will prowl the halls of financial institutions to ensure compliance. The bureau is already at work on its first major initiative: simplifying the bewildering bank forms you sign when you buy a house.

Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks."

One other person she has not yet won over: Barack Obama. The President has not nominated her to head the bureau. Instead, last fall he gave her the title of special assistant to the President and special adviser to the Treasury and tasked her with getting the place up and running. For now, she is the non-head of a non-agency. The White House refuses to say whether Obama will eventually put her up for the job, allowing only that he is considering several candidates. In the coded language of appointment politics, it is a signal that they are seriously considering passing Warren over for someone else. A White House official says the Administration would like to have a nominee in place before Congress leaves for its August recess.

There's a reason for their wariness. The White House is reluctant to antagonize congressional Republicans in the middle of contentious negotiations over the federal debt ceiling. Warren's position requires Senate approval, and Republicans, many of whom regard the CFPB as more clumsy government meddling in the free market, are vehemently opposed to allowing its creator to be installed at its helm. Republicans have used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the Senate from officially adjourning for its traditional summer break, thus depriving Obama of the opportunity to sidestep their objections and make Warren a recess appointment.

"She's probably a nice person, as far as I know," says Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Banking Committee, which will hold hearings on the eventual nominee for the post. Shelby has said Warren is too ideological to lead the agency, a judgment shared by many of his Republican colleagues. "She's a professor and all this," he says in a tone that makes it clear he is not paying her a compliment. "To think up something, to create something of this magnitude, and then look to be the head of it, I wouldn't do that," Shelby says. "It looks like you created yourself a good job, a good power thing."

Warren is not waiting for permission to do the job she may never get. She and her small team have hired hundreds of people, at a recent clip of more than 80 per month. The agency has already outgrown its office space and is divided between two buildings in downtown Washington -- with branches to be opened across the country. A fledgling staff of researchers is cranking out the CFPB's first reports, and its first bank examiners are being trained. Meanwhile, the office softball team has compiled a 2-3 record.

Above all, an institutional culture is emerging, and it is largely loyal to Warren and her idea of what the agency should be. She has attracted several top hires from outside the federal government. The bureau's chief operating officer, Catherine West, was previously president of Capital One; its head of research, Sendhil Mullainathan, is a behavioral economist and star Harvard professor; the chief of enforcement, Richard Cordray, is the former attorney general of Ohio; Raj Date, her deputy and head of the bureau's Research, Markets and Regulation Div., is a former banker at Capital One and Deutsche Bank. Warren, whose reputation as a scholar rests on her pioneering use of bankruptcy data, has imbued the place with her faith in quantitative analysis. Researchers she recruited and hired have begun to build the bureau's database of financial information, with a broad mandate to keep track of lending markets and find ways to make financial information more easily digestible.

While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't.

The CFPB's main offices are on two floors of a russet-colored office building a few blocks northwest of the White House. The government-gray cubicles and hallways spill over with new hires -- many of them young -- working 12- and 14-hour days elbow to elbow, pale and exuding a dogged cheerfulness that suggests that, no, they do not miss the sun. By the elevator bank is a calendar counting down the days until July 21.

Ten years ago, before she became a liberal icon, Warren was a popular Harvard professor known for taking a maternal interest in the students she chose as research assistants. She was famous, but only in the small corner of academia that cared about bankruptcy. "In my opinion she is the best bankruptcy scholar in the country," says Samuel Bufford, a law professor at Penn State who got to know Warren decades ago as a bankruptcy judge in California's Central District.

Work Warren did with Jay Westbrook, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Teresa Sullivan, a sociologist who is now president of the University of Virginia, reshaped the scholarly understanding of bankruptcy. Analyzing thousands of filings and interviewing many of the debtors themselves, they found that those who go bankrupt weren't, as commonly assumed, primarily poor or financially reckless. A great many of them were solidly middle class and had been driven to bankruptcy by circumstances they did not choose or could not control: the loss of a job, a medical disaster, or a divorce. The explosion in consumer credit in recent decades had only exacerbated the situation -- almost without realizing it, households could now slide faster and further into debt than ever before.

Warren, Westbrook, and Sullivan all saw their bankruptcy findings as a window into the broader travails of the financially fragile middle class. More than her co-authors, though, Warren sought a larger audience for the message. In 2003, along with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, she wrote The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke , a book that combined arguments about the political and economic forces eroding middle-class financial stability with practical advice about how households could fight them. The language was sharper than in her academic work: "Subprime lending, payday loans, and the host of predatory, high-interest loan products that target minority neighborhoods should be called by their true names: legally sanctioned corporate plans to steal from minorities," Warren and Tyagi wrote.

The book got attention and Warren became a frequent TV guest. She was invited to give speeches and sit on panels on bankruptcy and debt. She was a regular on comedian Al Franken's radio show on the now defunct Air America network. "She's quite brilliant. She was always just an excellent guest," recalls Franken, now a Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota. "She has a very good sense of humor."

In 2003, Warren attended a fundraiser in Cambridge for Barack Obama, then running for U.S. Senate. When she walked up to shake his hand, he greeted her with two words: "predatory lending." As a senator, Obama would occasionally call Warren for her thoughts, though the two never became close.

It was the financial crisis that made Warren a star. In November 2008, in a nod to her growing reputation as a consumer advocate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chose Warren to chair the congressional panel overseeing the TARP financial rescue program. The reports she helped produce over the next two and a half years and the hearings she helped lead gave the panel a higher profile than even its creators had predicted, as she articulated concerns that many Americans had about the wisdom of a massive Wall Street bailout. In perhaps her most famous moment, Warren grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on AIG's share of the aid money and how it was that so much of it had ended up simply reimbursing the investment banks the insurer owed money.

Warren used her role on the panel, and the newfound visibility it gave her, to push for her agency. She worked the idea into a special report the committee released in January 2009, among a list of recommendations to head off fut ure financial crises. She wrote op-ed pieces, was on TV constantly, and met with at least 80 members of Congress. She also brought the idea to the Administration. Over a long lunch at an Indian restaurant in Washington, she pitched the concept to White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers, whom she knew from his tenure as Harvard's president. Inside Treasury, the idea was taken up by Michael Barr, a key architect of Dodd-Frank and a lawyer Warren had known for years. At least within the White House, Barr recalls, it wasn't hard to build support. "I think there was a general consensus that built pretty quickly that this was a good option," he says. "I didn't get any significant pushback on the idea." Barr's inside advocacy, combined with Warren's PR blitz, paid off. In June 2009, Obama released a "white paper" laying out his own financial regulatory proposals, and Warren's agency was in it.

Among the CFPB staff there is a strongly held belief that they have the opportunity not only to reshape an industry but reinvent what a government agency can be, to rescue the idea of bureaucracy from its association with sclerosis and timidity. People there emphasize that they are creating a 21st century agency. Still, there's a throwback Great Society feel to the place, with its faith in the abilities of very smart unelected administrators, armed with data, to iron out the inefficiencies and injustices of the world. "Nobody looks at consumer finance regulation as it existed over the past decade and says, 'Yeah, that seemed to work all right, let's do more of that,' " says Raj Date, a square-jawed 40-year-old who speaks in the confident, numbers-heavy parlance of Wall Street.

Regardless of whether the CFPB has a director by its July 21 "transfer date," there are certain things it will immediately begin to do. One is to send teams of examiners into banks and credit unions to make sure they are complying with existing consumer finance regulations. When the bureau is fully staffed up -- initially, it will have some 500 employees and an annual budget of around $500 million -- a majority of the people who work there will be examiners. The bureau has only supervisory power over banks with assets of more than $10 billion, though the rules it writes will still apply to smaller banks. Banks on the low end of the scale will see a team of examiners for a few weeks every two years, unless there are specific complaints to investigate. Most of the biggest banks, those with assets of $100 billion and up, will have CFPB examiners in residence year-round. The examiners will go to work parsing the terms of mortgages and other loans, searching for evidence of consumer harm. They'll look at how the products are marketed and sold to make sure it's done transparently, that costs and fees are disclosed up front.

What the bureau will not be able to do without a director is send its examiners into nonbank financial institutions. Dodd-Frank gives the CFPB jurisdiction over payday lenders, check cashers, mortgage brokers, student loan companies, and the like. Because this is an expansion of regulatory powers, it will not take effect until a permanent director is in place.

The bureau is less willing to discuss the specifics of what will happen when it finds evidence of wrongdoing. The press office refused to make the head of enforcement, Richard Cordray, available for an interview. Like other enforcement agencies, the CFPB will have a variety of measures at its fingertips: It will be able to give firms a talking-to, or issue so-called "supervisory guidance" papers on problematic financial products. It will be able to send cease-and-desist orders. And if all else fails, the bureau will be able to take offenders to court.

The CFPB will also have broad rule-making powers over everything from credit-card marketing campaigns to car loan terms to the size of bank overdraft fees. For now, it has confined itself to initiatives less likely to arouse wide opposition among financial firms. The major one at the moment is developing a clear, simple, two-page mortgage form that merges the two confusing ones borrowers now confront. Bureau staff met with consumer advocates and mortgage brokers last fall, then put up two versions of a possible new form on the bureau's website, where consumers were invited to leave critiques. About 14,000 people weighed in. The forms are now being shown to focus groups around the country. A new version is due out in August.

This lengthy process is meant to demonstrate the bureau's commitment to a sort of radical openness to counter accusations that it's a body of unaccountable bureaucrats. In another gesture, Warren's calendar is posted on the website so that anyone can see who has a claim on her time. The undeniable sense among bureau staffers that they are political targets tempers that commitment to transparency a bit. The press office is jittery about allowing reporters to talk to staff on the record, and Warren agreed to two interviews on the condition that Bloomberg Businessweek allow her to approve quotes before publication.

If the supervision and enforcement division is the long arm of the bureau, its eyes and brain will be Research, Markets and Regulations, headed by Raj Date. Teams of analysts will follow various markets -- credit cards, mortgages, or student loans -- to spot trends and examine new products. Economists and other social scientists on staff will help write financial disclosure forms that make intuitive sense. The benefits of this sort of work, Date argues, will extend beyond just protecting consumers. It will help spot signs of more systemic risks. If the bureau and its market research teams had been in place five years ago, he says, they would have spotted evidence of the coming mortgage meltdown and could have coordinated with the bureau's enforcement division to head it off. "If it was someone's job to be in touch with the marketplace and monitor what was going on," Date says, "it would have been very difficult not to notice that three different kinds of mortgages had gone from nothing to a very surprising share of the overall marketplace in the span of, honestly, like three years."

Were it not for a head of prematurely gray hair, Patrick McHenry could still pass for the college Republican he once was. Elected to Congress from North Carolina seven years ago at age 29, he speaks through an assiduous smile and arches his eyebrows as he listens -- furrowing them quizzically at arguments he disagrees with. In late May, McHenry assumed the role of Warren's chief antagonist in Congress. At an oversight hearing he was chairing, McHenry accused Warren of misleading Congress about whether she had given advice to Treasury and Justice Dept. officials who were investigating companies for mortgage fraud. McHenry said she had concealed her conversations. Warren insisted she had disclosed them.

The hearing then took a bizarre turn. McHenry called for a recess so members of the committee could go to the House floor for a vote. Warren replied that she had agreed to testify for an hour and could not stay any longer. "Congressman, you are causing problems," she said. "We had an agreement." Offended, McHenry shot back: "You're making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case." Warren's response, an outraged gasp, was played on cable news.

In a conversation a month later in his Capitol Hill office, McHenry is eager to emphasize that his problem is not with Warren, but with the bureau itself. That's not to say he feels he has anything to apologize for. "I've asked questions of a litany of Administration officials from Democrat and Republican Administrations, and I've never seen an action by any witness like I saw that day," he says.

Like most congressional Republicans -- and a broad array of business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions -- McHenry opposed the creation of the CFPB and voted against Dodd-Frank. At the time, the bureau's opponents argued that its seemingly noble goals would not only hurt financial firms -- depriving them of the ability to compensate for risky borrowers by charging higher interest rates -- they would also hurt borrowers. The prospect of limits on the sort of rates and fees they could charge would cause banks and payday lenders alike to lend less and to not lend at all to marginal borrowers at a time when the economy needed as much credit as it could get.

Where it's not actively harmful, McHenry argues, the bureau will be redundant. If there's fraud or deceptive marketing in the consumer lending market, the federal government can prosecute it through the Federal Trade Commission. Clearer mortgage forms are all well and good, but Congress can take care of that, he says, noting that he introduced legislation for a simpler mortgage form three years ago. In response to arguments like these, Warren simply points to the record of those existing regulators: the Fed and the Housing & Urban Development Dept. have haggled over a simpler mortgage form for years. As for fears that the bureau will cap the interest rates companies can charge, she notes that Dodd-Frank explicitly prevents it from doing that.

Warren has been uncharacteristically tightlipped about her own ambitions. She refuses to say whether she even wants the job and has never publicly expressed a desire for it. In a way, the White House may do her a favor by not nominating her. If the President decides to go with a compromise candidate to appease Republicans, she will be spared the indignity of being tossed aside. She can't be said to have lost a job she was never offered.

Yet Warren gives the distinct impression that she will not suffer long if the President passes her over. Harvard has more than its share of celebrity professors who have gone to Washington and returned. The experience could also lead to a different kind of life in politics: Democrats in Massachusetts have been urging her to come home to run for Senate against Republican Scott Brown. There would be books to write, television appearances to make, and, who knows, maybe a show of her own. And whatever happens, she will get to tell the second half of the story of how she started a government agency. Whether the story ends with her confirmation or being driven from town, it's almost certain that the character of Elizabeth Warren will come out looking just fine.

( Corrects the year Elizabeth Warren moved to Washington to work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau )

[Mar 19, 2019] Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting

Mar 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

rc, March 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting. Regulatory policies and a credit based monetary system have resulted in massive real price increases in inelastic areas of demand such as healthcare, education and housing eroding purchasing power.

Further, trade policies have put U.S. manufacturing at a massive disadvantage to the likes of China, which has subsidized state-owned enterprises, has essentially slave labor costs and low to no environmental regulations. Unrestrained immigration policies have resulted in a massive supply wave of semi- and unskilled labor suppressing wages.

Recommended initial steps to reform:

1. Change the monetary system-deleverage economy with the Chicago Plan (100% reserve banking) and fund massive infrastructure lowering total factor costs and increasing productivity. This would eliminate

2. Adopt a healthcare system that drives HC to 10% to 12% of GDP. France's maybe? Medicare model needs serious reform but is great at low admin costs.

3. Raise tariffs across the board or enact labor and environmental tariffs on the likes of China and other Asian export model countries.

4. Take savings from healthcare costs and interest and invest in human capital–educational attainment and apprenticeships programs.

5. Enforce border security restricting future immigration dramatically and let economy absorb labor supply over time.

Video of UC-B lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A&feature=youtu.be

Jerry B, March 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

As I have said in other comments, I like Liz Warren a lot within the limits of what she is good at doing (i.e. not President) such as Secretary of the Treasury etc. And I think she likes the media spotlight and to hear herself talk a little to much, but all quibbling aside, can we clone her??? The above comment and video just reinforce "Stick to what you are really good at Liz!".

I am not a Liz Warren fan boi to the extent Lambert is of AOC, but it seems that most of the time when I hear Warren, Sanders, or AOC say something my first reaction is "Yes, what she/he said!".

[Mar 19, 2019] Angry Bear " Elizabeth Warren, David Leonhardt, Redistribution, and Predistribution by Robert Waldmann

Mar 17, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
Politics Taxes/regulation I just had an unusual experience. I was convinced by an op-ed. One third of the way through "Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism" by David Leonhardt, I was planning to contest one of Leonhard's assertions. Now I am convinced.

The column praises Elizabeth Warren. Leonhardt (like his colleague Paul Krugman) is careful to refrain from declaring his intention to vote for her in the primary. I am planning to vote for her. I mostly agreed with the column to begin with, but was not convinced by Leonard's praise of Warren's emphasis on aiming for more equal pre-fiscal distribution of income rather than just relying on taxes and transfers to redistribute.

In particular, I was not convinced by

This history suggests that the Democratic Party's economic agenda needs to become more ambitious. Modest changes in the top marginal tax rate or in middle-class tax credits aren't enough. The country needs an economic policy that measures up to the scale of our challenges.

Here two issues are combined. One is modest vs major changes. The other is that predistribution is needed in addition to redistribution, as discussed even more clearly here

"Clinton and Obama focused on boosting growth and redistribution," Gabriel Zucman, a University of California, Berkeley, economist who has advised Warren, says. "Warren is focusing on how pretax income can be made more equal."

The option of a large change in the top marginal tax rate and a large middle class tax credit isn't considered in the op-ed. I think this would be excellent policy which has overwhelming popular support as measured by polls (including the support of a large fraction of self declared Republicans). I note from time to time that, since 1976 both the Democrats who have been elected president campaigned on higher taxes on high incomes and lower taxes on the middle class (and IIRC none of the candidates who lost did).

This is also one of my rare disagreements with Paul Krugman , and, finally one of my rare disagreements with Dean Baker ( link to a book which I haven't read).

After the jump, I will make my usual case. But first, I note Leonardt's excellent argument for why "soak the rich and spread it out thin" isn't a sufficient complete market oriented egalitarian program. It is phrased as a question.

"How can the next president make changes that will endure, rather than be undone by a future president, as both Obama's and Clinton's top-end tax increases were?"

Ahh yes. High taxes on high income and high wealth would solve a lot of problems. But they will be reversed. New programs such as Obamacare or Warren's proposed universal pre-K and subsidized day care will not. Nor will regulatory reforms such as mandatory paid sick leave and mandatory paid family leave. I am convinced that relatively complicated proposals are more politically feasible, not because it is easier to implement them, but because it is very hard to eliminate programs used by large numbers of middle class voters.

I'd note that I had already conceded the advantage of a regulatory approach which relies on the illusion that the costs must be born by the regulated firms. Here I note that fleet fuel economy standards are much more popular than increased gasoline taxes. One is a market oriented approach. The other is one that hides behind the market as consumers don't know that part of the price of a gas guzzler pays the shadow price of reducing fleet average milage.

OK my usual argument after the jump

It is unusual for me to disagree with Baker, Leonhardt, and (especially) Krugman. I am quite sure that the Democratic candidate for president should campaign on higher taxes on the rich and lower taxes for the non-rich.

To be sure, I can see that that isn't the only possible policy improvement. Above, I note the advantages of hiding spending by mandating spending by firms and of creating entitlements which are very hard for the GOP to eliminate. I'd add that we have to do a lot to deal with global warming. Competition policy is needed for market efficiency. I think unions and restrictions on firing without cause have an effect on power relations which is good in addition to the effect on income distribution.

But I don't understand the (mildly) skeptical tone. I will set up and knock down some straw men

1) Total straw -- US voters are ideological conservatives and operational liberals. They reject soaking the rich, class war, and redistribution. To convince them to help the non rich, one has to disguise what one is doing.

This is especially silly, and no one in the discussion argues this (anymore -- people used to argue this). The polls and elections are clear. US voters want higher taxes on high incomes and on the wealthy. Also Congress has gone along -- the effective tax rate on the top 1% was about the same after Obama as before Reagan

2) Extremely high marginal tax rates are bad for the economy. Here this is often conceded, in particular by people arguing for modest increases in the top marginal tax rate. The claim is not supported by actual evidence. In particular the top rate was 70% during the 60s boom.

3) High tax rates cause tax avoidance. This reduces efficiency and also means that they don't generate the naively expected revenue. There is very little evidence that this is a huge issue . In particular there was a huge increase in tax sheltering after the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cuts and reforms. It is possible to design a tax code which makes avoidance difficult (as shown by the 1986 Kemp-Bradley tax reform). It is very hard to implement such a code without campaigning on soaking the rich and promoting class uh struggle.

4) More generally, redistribution does not work -- the post tax income distribution is not equalized because the rich find a way. This is super straw again. All the international and time series evidence points the other way.

I don't see a political or policy argument against a large increase in taxes on high incomes (70% bracket starting at $400,000 a year) used to finance a large expansion of the EITC (so most households receive it).

I think a problem is that a simple solution does not please nerds. I think another is that a large fraction of the elite would pay the high taxes and it is easier to trick them into trying to make corporations pay the costs.

But I really don't understand.


Denis Drew , March 17, 2019 3:51 pm

First, whenever anybody (that I hear or read) talks about what to do with the revenue from higher taxes on the rich, they always suggest this or that government program (education, medical, housing). I always think of putting more money back in the pockets of my middle 59% incomes to make up for the higher consumer prices they will have to pay when the bottom 40% get unionized.

Of course the 59% can use that money to pay taxes for said government programs -- money is fungible. But, that re-inserts an important element or dimension or facet which seems perpetually forgotten (would not be in continental Europe or maybe French Canada).

Don't forget: predistribution goal = a reunionized labor market. Don't just look to Europe for redistribution goals -- look at their predistribution too.

Bert Schlitz , March 17, 2019 10:14 pm

Nobody in the 60's that was taxed at a marginal 70% rate paid 70%. The top effective rate was about 32-38%, which was far higher than today, but you get the point. The income tax code was as much control of where investment would take place as much as anything ..Ronald Reagan whined about this for years. Shove it grease ball. There was a reason why.

Redistribution won't work because the system is a debt based ponzi scheme. The US really hasn't grown much since 1980, instead you have had the growth in debt.

You need to get rid of the federal reserve system's banks control of the financial system, which they have had since the 1830's in terms of national control(from Hamilton's Philly, which was the financial epicenter before that) and de Rothschild free since the 1930's(when the bank of de Rothschild ala the Bank of England's reserve currency collapsed). Once we have a debt free currency that is usury free, then you can develop and handle intense changes like ecological problems ala Climate Change, which the modern plutocrats cannot and will not solve.

They have been ramming debt in peoples face since 1950 and since 1980 it has gotten vulgar. They know they are full of shit and can't win a fair game.

run75441 , March 18, 2019 6:09 am

Robert:

Would you agree a secure healthcare system without work requirements for those who can not afford healthcare is a form of pre-distribution of income? Today's ACA was only a step in the right direction and is being tampered with by ideologs to limit its reach. It can be improved upon and have a socio-economic impact on people. Over at Medpage where I comment on healthcare, the author makes this comment:

"Investing in improvements in patients' social determinants of health -- non-medical areas such as housing, transportation, and food insecurity -- is another potentially big area, he said. "It's a major opportunity for plans to position around this and make it real. The more plans can address social determinants of health, [the more] plans can become truly organizations dedicated to health as opposed to organizations dedicated to incurring medical costs, and that to me is a bright future and a bright way to position the industry."

Many of the "social determinants of health" are not consciously decided by the patient and are predetermined by income, social status or politics, and education. What is being said in this paragraph makes for nice rhetoric and is mostly unachievable due to the three factors I suggested. And yes, you can make some progress. People can make healthy choices once the pre-determinants to doing so are resolved.

Another factor which was left dangling when Liebermann decided to be an ass is Long Term Healthcare for the elderly and those who are no longer capable. Medicare is only temporary and Medicaid forces one to be destitute. There is a large number of people who are approaching the time when they will need such healthcare till death. We have no plans for this tsunami of people.

The tax break was passed using Reconciliation. In 7-8 years out, there is a planned shift in taxes to be levied on the middle income brackets to insure the continuamce of Trump's tax break for the 100 or so thousand households it was skewed towards. If not rescinding the tax break then it should be fixed so it sunsets as did Bush's tax break due to its budget creating deficit. Someone running for the Pres position should be discussing this and pointing out how Republicans have deliberately undermined the middle income brackets.

We should not limit solutions to just income when there are so many areas we are lacking in today.

Mu $.02.

Robert Waldmann , March 18, 2019 4:47 pm

I guess I consider food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security old age pensions and disability pensions to be redistribution. My distinction is whether it is tax financed. Providing goods or services as in Medicare and food stamps seems to me basically the same as providing cash as in TANF and old age pensions.

There is also a difference between means tested and age dependent eligiability, but I don't consider it fundamental.

I assert that Medicare (especially plan B) is a kind of welfare basically like TANF and food stamps.

(and look forward to a calm and tranquil discussion of that opinion).

run75441 , March 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Robert:

Medicare is 41% funded by general revenues. The rest comes from payroll taxes and beneficiary premiums. Advantage plans cost more than traditional Medicare for providing the same benefits and also extract a premium fee. I do not believe I have been mean to you. I usually question to learn more. I am happy to have your input.

I am writing for Consumer Safety Org on Woman's healthcare this time and also an article on the Swiss struggling to pay for cancer fighting drugs.

I am always looking for input.

[Mar 19, 2019] Richard Wolff Reveals How Empires End

YouTube
Empire disintegrated because of natural tendency to over-expand. This tendency is almost impossible for elite to resist, especially neoliberal elite as among them there is a growing and more and influential strata of "imperial servants".
The collapse of the US empire is intrinsically linked to the collapse of neoliberalism.
The USA has now increasingly dysfunctional political system incapable of wise foreign policy. The current generation of US political leaders are all poisoned by the dream of ruling the globe which was a real possibility after the collapse of the USSR and which they were unable to resist. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Venezuela in different way way demonstrated the the US empire tend to commit costly blunders. First of all engaging the empire in unwinnable wars with unexpected blowbacks.
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Richard Wolff reveals the unexpected truth about imperialism on the Thom Hartmann program! ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

What is Imperialism? How do empires end and what is the economics behind the fall of empires and what does this say about the future of America?

Professor Richard Wolff reveals the unexpected truth about imperialism on the Thom Hartmann program!

Please Subscribe to Our Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhart...

[Mar 19, 2019] Richard Wolff on the money behind Brexit

YouTube
The is a method in British Brexit madness -- money.
Mar 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

RT correspondent Eisa Ali reports on the latest Brexit drama in the UK Parliament. Then, economist and founder of Democracy at Work Richard Wolff joins Rick Sanchez to discuss, arguing that the Brexit debate constitutes "an endless struggle about what doesn't matter" and that whether the British are "in" or "out" of Europe is an irrelevant distraction from the problems really faced by the UK.

[Mar 18, 2019] Time for both clintons is over: Neoliberals Passing the Baton by Robert Waldmann

Mar 11, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
Healthcare Hot Topics Politics US/Global Economics Brad DeLong got a huge amount of attention by saying it was time for neoliberals such as Brad DeLong to pass the baton to those to their left. Alarmingly, he seems to have written this first on twitter.

Zach Beuchamp rescued it from tawdry twitter to now very respectable blogosphere with an interview.

One interesting aspect is that Brad has very little criticism of 90s era Brad's policy proposals. Basically, the argument is that Democrats must stick together, because Republicans are purely partisan and no compromise with them is possible. I absolutely agree with Brad on this.

But I also want to look at criticisms of Clinton/Obama center left policy as policy.

Brad tries to come up with 2 examples

I could be confident in 2005 that [recession] stabilization should be the responsibility of the Federal Reserve. That you look at something like laser-eye surgery or rapid technological progress in hearing aids, you can kind of think that keeping a market in the most innovative parts of health care would be a good thing. So something like an insurance-plus-exchange system would be a good thing to have in America as a whole.

It's much harder to believe in those things now. That's one part of it. The world appears to be more like what lefties thought it was than what I thought it was for the last 10 or 15 years.

Now monetary vs fiscal policy is only considered right vs left because of the prominence and fanaticism of Milton Friedman. Is see no connection between laser eye surgery, hearing aids, and private health insurance. Medicare for all is not a National Health Service (note I am not conceding that a national health service would be bad for medical innovation). Brad did not advocate insurance/plus/exchange system in 1993. He (and Bentson, Summers and Rubin) advocated a payroll tax financed system not the Clinton-Clinton and Magaziner mess. I think he is stretching to get a second example.

I think the first isn't really left vs right and the second is and always was a bad political calculation. IIRC Obama certainly said that he thought single payer was better policy but politically impossible. That was the general line on the center left wonkosphere. I think the case for insurance-plus-exchange was at most a bad political argument disguised as a bad policy argument.

In another twitter thread (no not the one where he says twitter is a horrible medium for serious discussion) Paul Krugman comments

I want to focus on two of his tweets

Last point: wages. Here's where research has convinced me and others that wages are much less determined by supply and demand, much more determined by market power, than we used to believe. This implies a much bigger role for "predistribution" policies like minimum wage hikes 10/

Pro-union policies, and more than we used to think. "Let the market do its thing, but spend more on education/training and a bigger EITC" no longer sounds like wisdom 11/

I listed this as the one economist's mea culpa based on empirical evidence which came to my mind. A lot of center left economists used to oppose minimum wage increases and were convinced by empirical evidence (mostly by Card and Krueger) that this is actually good policy. But I don't see any problem with the EITC. Rather, economics 101 based arguments against the minimum wage and unions have been undermined by evidence*.

I think Krugman's problem with "a bigger EITC" is political. It appears on the Federal budget so deficit hawks won't allow a really huge increase. In contrast, people can think firms pay the minimum wage, so increasing it sounds like a cheap way to help the working poor.

More generally, I don't see any reason to abandone redistribution (like the EITC). In fact, I think that is both excellent policy and political dynamite. I note that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama campaigned promising to raise taxes on the rich and cut taxes on everyone else. Also they won. Other Democrats didn't promise that and they lost. A more progressive income tax is a relatively market respecting policy long supported by left of center economists. Oh and also Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. I don't think there is any evidence against the Clinton 1993 tax increase combined with EITC increase.

The fact that it is totally obvious that it is good politics (rejected absolutely by the Republican party and supported by most self identified Republicans) doesn't mean that it is too obvious to stress. It means debating redistribution vs predistribution is a distraction (which one here is not like the others) ?

I personally have criticisms of Bill Clinton type neoliberalism after the jump

OK so what can I add ?

I could bring up a really bad Clinton administration policy proposal based on neoliberalism: financial deregulation, and, in particular, Clinton's last act signing the commodity futures modernization act. This was absolutely policy based on pro free market beliefs of people who cared about fighting poverty (Rubin himself was a relative skeptic compared to other people and the Clinton Treasury whom I will not name and criticize).

I won't discuss welfare reform or the Clinton crime bill. Both were opposed by the center left wonks. That was politics not policy.

But there was strong support among neoliberal wonks for reinventing government, that is for outsourcing and replacing public provision of services with vouchers. There clearly was a strong view that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector. There was I think sincere support for reducing the number of Federal employees.

I think there is now strong evidence that the public sector is often more efficient than the private sector. Part of the case was politics disguised as policy. Voters hate the bloated Federal Bureacuracy (based on total fantasy about its size and cost). There is a theoretical argument that civil servants don't work because it is very hard to fire them. In fact, they do work. This is a failure of vulgar economics 101 in which people are assumed to care only about consumption and leisure.

In contrast there are huge problems with contracting out to private firms. The incentives civil servants face is enough to overcome the laziness of people less lazy than me (almost everyone) but it is nothing compared to the incentives private contractors have to take advantage of the government. What I always say is that a large state is costly, but the cost depends on the surface area -- it is very costly for the state for modestly paid civil servants negotiate with businessmen and highly paid private managers (before going out the revolving door). Reinventing government makes it more costly. The key example is not a Clinton reform (although Clinton reluctantly signed the bill) Medicare Advantage was supposed to cause Medicare to wither on the vine because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) couldn't compete with private insurance. By 2010 defenders of private insurance (crucially including Joe Lieberman) were absolutely determined to prevent the CMS from competing with private insurance, because they knew private insurance companies couldn't survive the competition.

Also school vouchers have been shown to have large negative effects on achievement.

I'd say considerable evidence of positive long term effects of welfare programs has accumulated. The assumption based on economimics 101 that welfare reduces pre-transfer income by distorting incentives has not fared so well. The evidence tends to suggest direct benefits. I promised not to discuss this one, because I am sure that welfare reform was based on political calculations not bad policy analysis (it was not a policy of the Rubin wing of the party -- Rubin advised Clinton to veto the bill).

Now on another topic. How about winning elections. Isn't that important too ?

In the interview, Brad discusses policy and parliamentary (in the USA Congressional) politics. He could also argue about electoral politics and say Democrats have to move left to win elections. In any case I will argue that.

Brad's argument is distantly related to the mobilize the base vs capture the center political strategies. He doesn't stress this in the twitter thread or the interview, but he could discuss voters and how few genuinely indpendent voters there are. Like me, he can vividly recall the 80s when lots of smart Democrats (and also Robert Waldmann) argued that the party had to move rightward to recapture the center. I recall reading something by Robert Kuttner about what the party needed was left populism and this was blocked by the power of money in the Democratic party (think Bernie Sanders back when Sanders was mayor of Burlington). When I first read that, I thought it was crazy. Now I think it is totally right. Also note that, by promoting the internet, Al Gore saved the party from centrists like Al Gore. Now candidates and candidate-candidates can raise huge amounts of money with small donations and don't have to get along with and flatter rich people. Obama proved this 8 years before Sanders proved it again.

There are fewer swing voters and much less ticket splitting than their used to be. This means that elections are determined mainly by whether young people vote. Sneering and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is not good political strategy (also unwise unless one is a smart as she is and few people are).

* I have to say what I think of unions there was a liberaltarian argument that unions help insiders and create inequality (and support racial segregation). Also it was argued that unions prevented productivity growth by featherbeading and generally being rigid. These claims were never supported by evidence (empirically oriented labor economists like Richard Friedman always contested them}. In any case, the extreme decline of unions in the USA provides strong evidence that unions weren't the problem. They declined at the same time that there was a huge increase in inequality (there has also been an increase in racial wage differentials). Also their decline correlated with a marked decline in the rate of productivity growth. This is crude evidence, but detailed evidence long contradicted the case against unions. I think part of the shift is new evidence and part of the shift is more respect for evidence vs theory among economists. On the other hand, it's a whole lot easier to raise taxes on the rich and cut taxes on the non rich than to bring unions back.

[Mar 16, 2019] The Party of Davos have ruled for 40-50 years. We've got unprecedented wealth inequality. We've got endless wars with no benefit for the Deplorables.

Mar 16, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , 11 hours ago

Harper,

The media and the establishment are focused on Trump and his personality. They don't want to delve into the zeitgeist that allowed him to defeat two political dynasties. That's what they should be focused on.

It's a similar zeitgeist that caused Brexit. That elected Salvini and 5 Star in Italy. That's behind Gilets Jaunes who are now in their 18th week of protests in France. China going more totalitarian by the day under Chairman Xi.

The Party of Davos have ruled for 40-50 years. We've got unprecedented wealth inequality. We've got endless wars with no benefit for the Deplorables. All they have are opioids. More dying of that than automobile accidents. Health care, tuition, rents all rising. A double standard in tthe application of the law. Hypocrisy oozing from every pore of the ruling elites. Bribing their way to elite colleges while espousing meritocracy.

Is this what Howe & Strauss mean by the Fourth Turning?

mourjou -> David Schuler , 2 hours ago
In Europe it was right-wing governments who were largely responsible for introducing elements of a welfare state as a means of protecting capitalism and preventing the spread of socialism. Most real socialists opposed the welfare state efforts as they regarded them as a smoke screen.
If the 1% in the United States wish to enjoy the fruits of capitalism long term, they should do the same otherwise it'll be 1848 all over again. So yes, ""history repeats itself--the first as tragedy and then as farce", it's just that Marx was referring to larger events over a longer time frame than consecutive presidential elections.
Pat Lang Mod -> mourjou , 2 hours ago
I remember that this was particularly true of Bismark. We already have a mixed economy in th US. Social Security, hospital emergency rooms, a graduated progressive income tax systems, local arrangements for giving low income people a break on property taxes both for real estate taxes and taxes on cars, etc. I suppose you are aware that people with higher incomes pay the great bulk of income taxes in the US? Are you familiar with the EITC https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... what kind of change do you want to make, a guaranteed government provided income? Forgiveness of college load debt? What?

[Mar 16, 2019] May and Merkel Fiddle While Their Unions Burn

Mar 16, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

A couple of points he makes in passing surprised me:

1) "It's why they are using the non-issue of the Irish border ..." Is it really a non-issue, and why? Surely it is a big issue, and intrinsically explosive? Maybe I am missing something there.

2) "The Labour party is squealing out of both sides of its mouth trying to get themselves out of the corner they've painted themselves into. Because they can read the polls. And what was a solid Labour lead in the winter has become a solid Tory lead in the Spring." Is it really so that that huge Labour lead has been turned into - of all things - a Tory lead? Horror of horrors. If true, the present day Brits are unfathomable. And what about the first part of that citation - what about turning it around and expressing it in terms of the reality, which is that the Labour Party consists of two wholly different, wholly contradictory, and wholly ireconcilable parts, namely the socialist majority standing behind Corbyn and the lying fascist corporatist right-wing 5th columnists whose sole objective is to sabotage the previous group in every manner possible. Would perhaps a better statement be that the difference between these two groups is being made more explicit than ever (which, I would have thought, would only increase Corbyn's support not decrease it)? Or is that just my wishful thinking and the UK masses are being successfully hoodwinked by the propaganda of the 2nd group as spouted by the MSM?

Comments on those two issues anyone, from those closer to the action? (Comments from Bevin would be especially gratefully read!)

Posted by: BM | Mar 16, 2019 9:58:53 AM | 172 ... ... ...

The other most ridiculous thing, probably moreso when you think about this Monty Pythonesque British escapade into hillarity is the fact such grand sweeping measures are allowed on a simple majority vote of the populace, thus ensuring approximately half the population will detest the result no matter what.

Say what you will about the US of A-holes, and I admit nearly all of what you say is true (except of course for the oft repeated mis-trope that Trump = US in all his venal stupidity. No, he only represents roughly 35%...and true that is egregious enough...) at least in the US such grand sweeping measures able to be put to a vote to the nation as a whole (iow, amending the Constitution) either require super majority of state legislatures or a super majourity of Congress criminals to pass.

The fact an entire nation of blooming idiots in England are where they are today is insanely larfably and udderly absurd. Also, infotaining.

And to think Theresa May is the headliner fronting this comedy act for the ages.

All this inspired of course by the equally ridiculous US president and his chief strategist the completely nutz Bannon.

... ... ...

Posted by: donkeytale | Mar 16, 2019 10:49:56 AM | 173 @ bevin | Mar 15, 2019 3:45:05 PM; Jen | Mar 15, 2019 3:49:59 PM; mourning dove | Mar 15, 2019 3:59:32 PM
Posted by: ex-SA | Mar 16, 2019 9:18:03 AM | 171

A few half-baked thoughts on this: it seems to me both sides of this argument have some merits. On the one side I am inclined to agree with ex-SA that the working classes in the colonising countries have had by and large a pretty cushy life since after the 2nd World War when compared to the disenfranchised of the colonised countries, both before and after (ostensible but not really real) decolonisation.

The brutality of neoliberalism and austerity on working people in the rich nations (but arguably even more so on those in poor nations!) does not in my view very seriously detract from that argument.

One thing that does arguably somewhat detract from the above argument is that when viewed in non-materialistic terms, those living in the so-called rich countries often have markedly meaningless and miserable lives compared to many poor people living in materially poor countries (extreme destitution obviously aside) - in other words they are miserably unhappy.

Many people in Germany, for example, earn relatively high wages, most of which they spend on very high housing costs (and energy costs etc) - often alone, and spend the rest of their income on highly processed food from supermarkets that costs a multiple of what the simple basic local foodstuffs that were eaten in former times would cost (and still could if you know how to live more meaningfully); and meanwhile their life is spiritually frozen and devoid of worthwhile meaning.

In contrast, often people living materially poor lives in undeveloped and in materialist terms extremely poor countries, but living much closer to nature and with much warmer intra- and inter-familial relations in extended families, and have a philosophy of life that is less exclusively materialist and much more conducive to spiritual well-being. I would argue however that this aspect is largely tangental to the issue of winners and losers of colonialism.

I agree with Bevin @ 131's point about the destitution of the British working classes prior to the first world war, but what about post-1960's? I don't really see that the lifestyles of the worst victims of austerity today are comparable to the lifestyles of the poor in the 18th or 19th century? I think the lives of even the poorest of the poor (excluding probably the homeless) in the West are massively subsidised by the spoils of the (ongoing) rape of the colonised countries.

The entire expectations of people in the West - including the poor - are based on assumptions of entitlement to things which are critically dependent on the rape and theft of the resources of the colonised countries. Look at the extraordinarily privileged living standards of ordinary working people in Belgium today, as an extreme example!

It is always interesting to reflect that in former times the West was always viewed as the poor part of the world, and the East as wealthy - and historically it is true that throughout most of recorded history the East was extremely wealthy compared to the pauper West - the current-day material wealth of the West relative to the East should be viewed as an extraordinary anomaly! The first Westerners to visit the East marvelled at its phenomenal wealth and envied it. That indeed was the primary cause of the Crusades - the paupers of the West envied the riches of the East and drummed up pseudo-religious excuses to rape and pillage whatever they could grab. It is not without reason that most of the economically poorest countries in reacent times are precisely those countries with the most abundant valuable natural resources.

Posted by: BM | Mar 16, 2019 11:08:29 AM | 175

[Mar 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Ads Banned From Facebook

Mar 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," read the ads which began to run on Friday, According to Politico . "We all use them. But in their rise to power, they've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor."

As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation , and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies. -Elizabeth Warren

Facebook confirmed with Politico that the ads had been taken down and said said the company is reviewing the matter. "The person said, according to an initial review, that the removal could be linked to the company's policies about using Facebook's brand in posts ."

Around a dozen other ads placed by Warren were not affected.

[Mar 11, 2019] Bill Black Analyzes Brad DeLong's Stunning Concession Neoliberals Should Pass the Baton and Let the Left Lead naked capitali

Notable quotes:
"... He apparently still sees neoliberalism as way to "control capitalism's worst tendencies," when in fact neoliberalism is capitalism on steroids. In other words, he's completely lost. ..."
"... Black seems to be seeing a change of heart where there is simply a temporary surrender until the coalition of " neoliberal shills" can infiltrate and then overthrow again the "left policies that are bound to lead to destruction". ..."
"... And he seems to be blaming the blue dogs for not drumming into the plebs' heads that the former Presidents' (Clinton/Obama's) policy were great in order that the coalition grew. This was not a mea culpa. It was Delong's realistic strategy outline for neoliberal's continuance. And perhaps, a thinly veiled request for a policy position for himself or his son in any new lefty administration. ..."
"... Wasn't DeLong the economist so threatened to kneecap any academic economist and policy wonk who went against Hillary in the last election? He sounds practically mafiaso in this post . ..."
"... It's hard to take DeLong seriously. Contrary to what he says, the GOP and Dems have worked closely and successfully to implement neo-liberalism in America. ..."
"... My feeling is DeLong and the neo-liberal donor class are already conceding the 2020 election; seeing it as a repeat of the 1984 Mondale debacle. They want the young socialist side of the Democratic Party to take the blame, so in 2024 the donor class can run a candidate pushing new and improved neo-liberalism. Trump seems to be making the same calculation as he moves away from his populist/nationalist policies to become just another in a long line of Koch brother GOP neo-liberal stooges. ..."
"... Brad DeLong is brilliant, yet pushed the magical thinking of neoliberalism for 30 years. Am I missing something here? ..."
"... the university professors, who teach but do not learn. ..."
"... But when it came to Hillary running for President in 2016, DeLong fell in line and endorsed her, despite HRC's bad ("complete flop"?) decisions along the way as Senator and SOS (Honduras, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, Wall Street Speeches and Clinton Foundation grift). Can DeLong be trusted? ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

MARC STEINER: So I mean, there's one quote that kind of sums up for me. When he wrote: "Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney's healthcare policy, with John McCain's climate policy, with Bill Clinton's tax policy, and George H.W. Bush's foreign policy. And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No f'n way he did not," is what he said. Cleaned it up just a little bit. But that kind of sums up, in many ways, exactly what he was saying.

BILL BLACK: Brad DeLong is brilliant. And he writes really well. And he has, in a super short form, captured it exactly. All of Obama's key policies were the product of very conservative views that are, on many economic fronts, literally to the right of these crazies that are the Republicans who constitute the House and the Senate. And even when they're not to the right of the crazies, they're way, way right, and they're inferior. Right? The progressive policies are fundamentally superior. Market regulation is a terrible failure. It is criminogenic.

I'll give you one example. He ends by saying wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if we could use cap and trade to create an incentive for, you know, 20-plus million people to do the right thing? Because again, the neoliberal view is if they do the right thing they will get a profit. See? It'll all be wonderful. They'll all do the right thing. Except that it's vastly easier on something like cap and trade to do the wrong thing. To lie, to commit fraud about whether you're actually reducing the pollution, and collect the fees. And so he doesn't realize, still, I think, that we are incentivizing not 20 million people to do the right thing, but literally 2 billion people to do the wrong thing. And you know, often that will be the result, the wrong thing.

MARC STEINER: So, two final questions here. So in this–what's moving ahead here. Let me just posit this. So how did Democrats and the left respond to this? We're about to see an MSNBC clip from the CPAC meeting that took place in D.C. last weekend. And this is clearly going to be part of their major attack in the coming elections. Think about this vis a vis the long road. Let's watch this.

TED CRUZ: Look, I think there's a technical description of what's going on, which is that Democrats have gone bat crap crazy.

MIKE PENCE: That system is socialism.

SEBASTIAN GORKA: That is why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced the Green New Deal. It's a watermelon. Green on the outside. Deep, deep red communist on the inside. They want to take your pickup truck. They want to rebuild your home. They want to take away your hamburgers. This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved.

MARC STEINER: So clearly this is going to be part of this strategy coming forth. I'm thinking about the long road and how this fits in, because this clearly is going to be the opposition, what they're going to start doing.

BILL BLACK: So literally, the watermelon guy, Gorka, is literally a Croatian fascist.

MARC STEINER: No question. No question.

BILL BLACK: I mean the Ustase, the pro-Hitler Croatian fascists. So progressives should take enormous comfort from Brad DeLong. He is one of the most influential economists. He wasn't just a theorist. He actually was there designing and implementing these policies at the most senior levels of the Clinton administration. And he says they are failures. They're political failures and they're often economic failures. And he says the left is composed–the progressive wing of the Democratic Party–of among the best people in the world. Their policies are typically wonderful. Excellent for the world. We need to get behind them. And the idea that we should continue to listen to the New Democrats, the Wall Street Democrats, and take guidance from them, is preposterous; that they must exit the stage and the baton must pass to the progressives to take the leadership role. And that they're doing an excellent job of that, and should continue and expand that leadership


pretzelattack , March 10, 2019 at 10:27 pm

ok after reading the comments i'm discouraged again. delong isn't a signal of a sea change of heart among neoliberals. but it's more friction for the neoliberals to cope with, and it is useful politically. he did admit that the policies he had espoused were wrong, and that the neoliberal view of the world was inaccurate. this isn't going to be easy for the krugmans to ignore.

delong personally could be another david brock; time will tell, and how he responds to the wave of criticism he will face from former colleagues.

Cripes , March 10, 2019 at 5:52 am

DeLong gives a qualified support to MMT, saying that it's not foolproof but better than the alternatives. As MMT-ers remind us, in political economy the policies are a different matter.

Reminds me of a bit of physics theories, that an old one is retired when a newer theory explains reality better. Except the old theorys were designed to conceal, not explain, reality.

You can read it here

https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/01/what-is-modern-monetary-theory.html

Susan the Other , March 10, 2019 at 11:44 am

Thanks for this link. It was such a short, clear analysis. In econospeak it was like a memo to a colleague. So Brad DeLong is on our list of good guys. How nice. The questions I am left with are about the usefulness of interest rates at all, and I vaguely remember Randy Wray saying stg. like 'interest rates should be kept very low to insure against inflation' which makes sense. Interest rates themselves could be pushing bubbles. And then what exactly are we talking about with the word "inflation"? I like (DeLong's or MMT's?) theory about inflated assets (govt bonds here) – that prices stay within a balance because there are fewer greater fools than we imagine. Maybe. But it might be nice to actually come up with a better remedy if and when the SHTF. A fiscal means of adjusting the balance without harming ordinary people. (MMT does this best.) The only method I know about is devaluing a currency and keeping on as is. Nobody loses any value that way because more dollars balance out the inflated values. But neoliberals are definitely batshit about currency devaluations. As if money had some intrinsic value. Maybe it's just a trade thing – but if so, you'd think it could be separated out from the rest of the uses of money. Maybe firewalls. So maybe I'll read some more Brad. Thanks.

Carla , March 10, 2019 at 6:50 am

I'm not rejoicing about this, and having read the VOX interview, I don't quite understand Steiner's and Black's enthusiasm. DeLong doesn't want to pass the baton at all -- he wants to crapify valid and essential policies: expanded, improved Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, MMT with a Job Guarantee, and a foreign policy not based on forever-wars. And that's exactly what the neoliberals intend to do: crapification on a grand scale.

"Market-friendly neoliberals, rather than pushing their own ideology, should work to improve ideas on the left. This, [DeLong] believes, is the most effective and sustainable basis for Democratic politics and policy for the foreseeable future."

Carla , March 10, 2019 at 9:02 am

Hey, DeLong, listen up: expanded, improved Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, a federal Job Guarantee, and a foreign policy (and defense budget) ending forever-wars are NOT ideas that need improving. They ARE the improvements. Neoliberalism is dead, and we intend to bury it.

notabanker , March 10, 2019 at 9:19 am

I agree with you here. For me the kicker is this:

No. It means argue with them, to the extent that their policies are going to be wrong and destructive, but also accept that there is no political path to a coalition built from the Rubin-center out. Instead, we accommodate ourselves to those on our left. To the extent that they will not respond to our concerns, what they're proposing is a helluva better than the poke-in-the-eye with a sharp stick. That's either Trumpist proposals or the current status.

Basically he's saying we don't have the numbers and building a coalition with the right hasn't worked, so now we should build one with the left. He's not actually saying the progressive policies are better, just that they have a better chance of getting their agenda forward with progressives than with conservatives.

The key to all of this from my perspective is they don't have the numbers. The American empire is in accelerating decline. Every major system is broken and corrupt. Government can't fix the problems. Populism elected Trump, and now voters will swing the other way looking for the magic bullet. The corporatists choices are deliberate sabotage of the electoral system, because good old fashioned corruption will no longer suffice, or capitulate to the left. DeLong sounds like a trial balloon to me.

The Rev Kev , March 10, 2019 at 9:33 am

Read up on his Wikipedia entry and the following bit grabbed my attention-

"In 1990 and 1991 DeLong and Lawrence Summers co-wrote two theoretical papers that were to become critical theoretical underpinnings for the financial deregulation put in place when Summers was Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton."

I would be very wary on any advice that he gives out myself.

Mel , March 10, 2019 at 1:31 pm

He doesn't have to convince me, so it doesn't matter that he won't. But if he can convince a few shaky Democrats on the less-right side that it's futile to try to reform the Republican Party from within

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 5:28 pm

Basically he's saying we don't have the numbers and building a coalition with the right hasn't worked, so now we should build one with the left. He's not actually saying the progressive policies are better, just that they have a better chance of getting their agenda forward with progressives than with conservatives.

Exactly. He hasn't changed his neoliberal stripes. He in no way admits, or feels sorry for, the incredible destruction neoliberal policies have wreaked on the masses here and abroad. He apparently still sees neoliberalism as way to "control capitalism's worst tendencies," when in fact neoliberalism is capitalism on steroids. In other words, he's completely lost.

Although he has a wide audience and any change in his rhetoric can theoretically be positive, there's no way he should be trusted. His change of opinion is not a substantive change of heart. It's out of absolute necessity due to the incredible pressure exerted by the grassroots. That pressure should never cease, or rest on its laurels, because the Brad DeLong's of the world change their tune.

Barry , March 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

The thing to rejoice or be sad about is not whether DeLong abandons centrism and becomes a leftist (or if you believe he has); it's whether the Left has a place at the table, which is what he is acknowledging.

For years, the Centrists have ignored or hippy-punched the Left while bargaining with the Right, which has pulled the Centrists ever-further to the right.

When a Centrist like DeLong says they should argue with the Left about lefty policies; when he says Centrists should pass the baton to the Left, he is acknowledging they have power now that must be reckoned with.

Acquiring enough power that the Establishment must treat with them should be the goal of all people on the left. It's far more important than winning any specific election.

(Let's just skip over distinctions between 'left', 'liberal' and 'progressive' in reading my comment. Those terms are entirely over-loaded and you can tell who I mean)

JEHR , March 10, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Forget "left," "right," and "progressive" and look at the actual policies that a group brings to politics–that's where you will find what is best for the public. Try to list T's policies and you will see what I mean.

Hopelb , March 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

I agree. Black seems to be seeing a change of heart where there is simply a temporary surrender until the coalition of " neoliberal shills" can infiltrate and then overthrow again the "left policies that are bound to lead to destruction".

Delong asserts that once these neoliberal Econ policies work then this great coalition was going to feel less grinchy and the trickling would indeed then have trickled. He blames the politics not the economics.

And he seems to be blaming the blue dogs for not drumming into the plebs' heads that the former Presidents' (Clinton/Obama's) policy were great in order that the coalition grew. This was not a mea culpa. It was Delong's realistic strategy outline for neoliberal's continuance. And perhaps, a thinly veiled request for a policy position for himself or his son in any new lefty administration.

Chris , March 10, 2019 at 7:25 am

I'm not sure I agree with Prof. Black here either. Wasn't DeLong the economist so threatened to kneecap any academic economist and policy wonk who went against Hillary in the last election? He sounds practically mafiaso in this post .

"Mind you: The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for Guevarista fantasies about what their policies are likely to do. The day will come when it will be time to gleefully and comprehensively trash people to be named later for advocating Comintern-scale lying to voters about what our policies are like to do. And it will be important to do so then–because overpromising leads to bad policy decisions, and overpromising is bad long-run politics as well."

That doesn't seem like integrity to me. It appears to be more opportunistic. He'll happily kick you whenever he thinks he can get away with it.

TroyMcClure , March 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

The leaked Clinton emails also revealed him to be repeatedly begging for a job for his adult son in the ersatz Clinton administration.

He's an operator. Nothing more.

Alain de Benoist , March 10, 2019 at 8:06 am

It's hard to take DeLong seriously. Contrary to what he says, the GOP and Dems have worked closely and successfully to implement neo-liberalism in America. He cites ObamaCare? The GOP pretended to be against it in order to win support from the less bright side of the political left bell curve and to wean them away from things like the public option or single-payer. But the GOP never went past Kabuki theatre to dismantle ObamaCare when they had the power to do so.

DeLong gives no policy specifics outside of some boring carbon tax stuff. Will he support protectionism? Single-payer? Nationalisation of Wall Street? Dismantling the US empire? Huge punitive tax increases on the wealthy? These are all things the Democratic donor class (which of course has a strong overlap with the GOP donor class) will never accept.

And what about ideas to deal with AI, deindustrialisation, automation, guaranteed income, etc? And since neo-liberals are 100% committed to mass immigration policies that at the same time increases total GDP but reduce per capita GDP; how will they react if progressive finally wake up and realise that taking in millions of low skilled workers in a future where demand for labour is radically reducing is a total recipe for disaster? Not to mention that the welfare state they are proposing will be impossible without very strict immigration policies, not to mention the terrible impact mass immigration has on the climate.

My feeling is DeLong and the neo-liberal donor class are already conceding the 2020 election; seeing it as a repeat of the 1984 Mondale debacle. They want the young socialist side of the Democratic Party to take the blame, so in 2024 the donor class can run a candidate pushing new and improved neo-liberalism. Trump seems to be making the same calculation as he moves away from his populist/nationalist policies to become just another in a long line of Koch brother GOP neo-liberal stooges.

The problem is that Trump's radical energy and ideas seduced many Americans who are now disappointed with his decidedly low-energy accomplishments. Basically the only campaign promises he kept were those he made to the Israel lobby. Now Trump is conceding the high energy and new idea ground to the Democratic left. He is switching from radical to establishment. This will open the door to say Bernie Sanders to win in 2020. But you can rest assured that the most voracious opponents that Bernie will have to get past will be Brad DeLong and the Democratic donor class when they realise this just might not be 1984 all over again.

Chris , March 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

I think DeLong isn't speaking for many of the neoliberal establishment. See this from Mr. Emmanuel in the Atlantic.

Echoes of "never ever" resounding off the cavernous walls of their empty heads and hearts

urblintz , March 10, 2019 at 8:17 pm

Yes. Jimmy Carter has done much good since his failed presidency and so it's painful to remember that he was the first Democrat neo-liberal POTUS.

SPEDTeacher , March 10, 2019 at 8:56 am

Brad DeLong is brilliant, yet pushed the magical thinking of neoliberalism for 30 years. Am I missing something here? Is Bill Black patting him on the back because he's brilliant at sophistry?

nihil obstet , March 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Back 15 years or so ago, I read DeLong's blog daily, trying to learn more economics than I know. I quit because it didn't make any sense. I remember there being these broad principles, but they had to be applied in a very narrow sense. One I remember vividly was DeLong's objections to consumer boycotts of foreign goods to end abuse of workers. These boycotts are counterproductive, he opined, and therefore you are just hurting the people you're trying to help. You should just shop as normal. So, I presume he regarded it as all right for me to choose products that are the color I want, the size I want, the whatever I want, except for the way it's produced I want. He did not like considerations of right and wrong among the people.

PlutoniumKun , March 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

DeLong has always been among the most thoughtful of centrists. He reminds me of people I know who are instinctively quite left wing but who's instincts are even stronger to stay within their own particular establishment circle and to side with the winners. Back in the 1990's I knew a few formerly left Labour supporters who became cautious Blairites (or at least Brownites). Some were opportunists of course, but some put it simply – 'I'm tired of losing. The reality is that a pure left wing government will not get elected under current conditions, we've proved this over decades. The only way we can protect the poor and vulnerable is to make peace with at least some of the capitalists, and remake ourselves as the party of growth and stability. If we can achieve growth, we can funnel as much as possible as this to the poor'.

What he seems to be saying is that the left wing analysis (economically and politically) is at least as intellectually tenable as those in the Centre and right, even if he has his doubts. He is honest enough to know that the political strategy of making common cause with 'moderate' Republicans hasn't worked and won't work. And he doesn't see 'the Left' as any worse than so called moderates or centre right (which of course distinguishes him from many Dems). So he is seeing the way the wind is blowing and is tacking that way. Essentially, he is recognising that the Overton Window is shifting rapidly to the left, and as a good centrist, he's following wherever the middle might be.

Whatever you think of his motivations (and from my reading over the years of his writings I think he has a lot more integrity than most of his colleagues. and is also very smart), the reality is that a successful left wing movement will need establishment figures like him to be 'on board'. Of course, they'll do their best to grab the steering wheel – the task is to keep them on board without allowing them to do that.

WobblyTelomeres , March 10, 2019 at 1:08 pm

Sees a parade, elbows his way to the front?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell , March 10, 2019 at 10:09 am

What?? Did Brad DeLong finally discover Monetary Sovereignty and the Ten Steps to Prosperity ? Nah, progressivism is still too radical for the university professors, who teach but do not learn.

Watt4Bob , March 10, 2019 at 10:21 am

The 'first step' is to admit you have a problem, and it's obvious that those of us who self-identify as progressives, if not socialists, have taken that step, admitting that as democrats, we have a problem.

The eleven-dimension game that we were sold, and that we so wishfully believed in, turned out to be a massive delusion, and ultimately an empty promise on the part of the democratic leadership.

The ' powder ' was kept dry, but ultimately stolen.

We were left defenseless, and became prey, and third-way democrats are the architects of our collective loss.

I'm taking DeLong at his word.

He may be the exception that proves the rule, and the Clinton wing of the democratic party may yet wrong-foot us, continue to mis-lead, and capitulate in the face of the enemy, but it strikes me as totally to be expected that reality should eventually dawn on at least a few of the folks responsible for the epic failures of democratic leadership.

I'm a big fan of that old saw, 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way' , democrats, fearful after losing to the likes of Reagan, decided to follow, and now find themselves as lost as the rest of us.

It doesn't strike me as totally impossible that a few of them might decide to ' get out of the way ', if only to be able to face themselves in the mirror.

John Wright , March 10, 2019 at 10:26 am

I don't get this exchange:

>MARC STEINER: You–do you think that the Wall Street Democrats, folks who are in the investment world, along with the Chuck Schumers of the world, are going to acquiesce? .. but are actually going to take seriously what DeLong said? -- -- -

>BILL BLACK: No, but that's because Brad DeLong has vastly more integrity than they do. They know, however, that they've been conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game.

For as long as Black has been around, I would not expect him to argue that "Wall Street Democrats" have been "conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game". Democrats such as Schumer, HRC, and Obama are in on the con and are not "absolute fools". They have the money and power to show that they were not working for chump change.

Black is too kind..

Chris Cosmos , March 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

I agree. I see no evidence that people Wall Street/corporate Democrats have collectively been "fooled" by Republicans. Take Obamacare for example, Obama mumbled some "facts" about health-care briefly at the beginning of the process and never mentioned anything like how much the US spends relative to other OECD countries which, with his bully-pulpit, he could have done to create a more reasonable system. All he would have to have done is cite statistics, studies, facts, facts, facts, facts about other health-care systems and the obvious corruption, inefficiency or our own. He could easily have gotten some equivalent of the "public option" or a more managed system like in continental Europe had he hammered away at FACTS.

I don't think Obama ever had any intention of changing health-care from a profit-making industry to a public utility like what the rest of the world enjoys. I don't think Obama ever had any intention of being anything but a center-right (not a centrist) POTUS. I don't buy into this "we were fooled" argument.

Guys like DeLong may have been fooled but I believe, more likely (and I know the Washington milieu), he pulled the wool rather intensively over his own eyes as many brilliant people did in the Clinton/Obama administrations because it was a good career move. I don't, btw, believe this was directly and consciously a deliberate plan–I believe it was something to do with a profound ignorance on the part of many if not most Washingtonians (and indeed most intellectuals in the USA) of the role of the unconscious in the psyche. I've seen it. A big player (a family friend) from the Clinton era went into Big Pharma thinking he could "do good" and he was sincere about it. But I also knew he liked money and the lifestyle that it brings–later he said that he was fooled after six or seven years of lavish salaries.

TimR , March 10, 2019 at 12:12 pm

I noticed that too. Black often strikes me as having a very crude framework that is either naivete or (more likely imo) bad faith and intentional misleading. It's just too much of a cartoon to be believed, even if (like me) you're not an insider who personally knows the players (as Black does DeLong.)

Repubs are "crazies" while Progressives have "wonderful, superior" policies. Ok sure This is not much more sophisticated thinking than team Red or team Blue that you get from your Aunt Irene or somebody.

John Wright , March 10, 2019 at 10:49 am

And remember this from Brad DeLong

from: http://www.unz.com/isteve/ex-clinton-staffer-brad-delongs-post-on-hillarys-management-skills/

" June 07, 2003″

"TIME TO POUND MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL ONCE AGAIN"

" My two cents' worth–and I think it is the two cents' worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn't smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly."

But when it came to Hillary running for President in 2016, DeLong fell in line and endorsed her, despite HRC's bad ("complete flop"?) decisions along the way as Senator and SOS (Honduras, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, Wall Street Speeches and Clinton Foundation grift). Can DeLong be trusted?

urblintz , March 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

Can't say whether DeLong can be trusted but I can imagine him remembering Keynes' famous line about changing his opinion when new information becomes available. That said, I can not imagine what new information may have come about, aside from Trump's unexpected wrecking of main stream Republicans, that had him change his mind about HRC. Her truth has been evident for decades and the more power she amassed over those years only made her truth ever more execrable.

Kurtismayfield , March 10, 2019 at 10:52 am

Re:Wall Street Democrats

They know, however, that they've been conned, played, and they're absolute fools in the game.

Thank you Mr. Black for the laugh this morning. They know exactly what they have been doing. Whether it was deregulating so that Hedge funds and vulture capitalism can thrive, or making sure us peons cannot discharge debts, or making everything about financalization. This was all done on purpose, without care for "winning the political game". Politics is economics, and the Wall Street Democrats have been winning.

notabanker , March 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

For sure. I'm quite concerned at the behavior of the DNC leadership and pundits. They are doubling down on blatant corporatist agendas. They are acting like they have this in the bag when objective evidence says they do not and are in trouble. Assuming they are out of touch is naive to me. I would assume the opposite, they know a whole lot more than what they are letting on.

urblintz , March 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm

I think the notion that the DNC and the Democrat's ruling class would rather lose to a like-minded Republican corporatist than win with someone who stands for genuine progressive values offering "concrete material benefits." I held my nose and read comments at the kos straw polls (where Sanders consistently wins by a large margin) and it's clear to me that the Clintonista's will do everything in their power to derail Bernie.

Hepativore , March 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Daily Kos is like a yoga session compared to all of the Obots and Clintonites on Balloon Juice. One particular article "writer" there by the name of Annie Laurie is a textbook example of said Clinton die-hards and she whips up all of her cohorts into a rabid, anti-Sanders frenzy every time she posts.

Despite all of the complaining about Trump, I am sure that these neoliberals and identitarians would pine for the days of his administration and pal around with ex-president Trump much like they did with W. Bush. If Saint Harris or Saint Biden lose they will fail to shield the take-over of the political leadership of the unwashed masses of ignorant peasants who elected Sanders or Gabbard. Then places like Daily Kos and Balloon Juice will bemoan the fact that we did not listen to those who know what is best for us lowly knaves.

Chris Cosmos , March 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

Though I like Bill Black a lot–seems like a very hip guy and has done marvelous work for many years. However, my father got his second master's degree in economics around 1961–he did it as a career move. Eventually when I got old enough he told me that the field was "bullshit" and based on false assumptions about reality, however, the math worked so everyone believed in the field. Economics, as I looked into it is, indeed, a largely bullshit discipline that should never have been separated from politics or other fields.

We have a kind of fetishistic attitude towards "the economy" which is religious. "It's the economy, stupid" is an example of this fetish. I've talked to economists who really believes that EVERYTHING is a commodity and all motivations, interests, all come down to some kind of market process. This is utterly false and goes directly against what we've learned about social science, human motivation including happiness studies.

Economics also ignores history–people are motivated more by myth than by facts on the ground. This is why neoliberals are so confused when their models don't work. Thomas Frank described how Kansans favored policies that directly harmed them because of religious and cultural myths–this is, in fact, true everywhere and always has been. We aren't machines as economists seem to believe. All economists, particularly those who rely on "math" to describe our society need to be sent to re-education camps.

polecat , March 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm

"It's the Externalities, stupid economists !" *

*should be the new rallying cry ..

rd , March 10, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Keynes' "animal spirits" and the "tragedy of the commons" (Lloyd, 1833 and Hardin, 1968) both implied that economics was messier than Samuelson and Friedman would have us believe because there are actual people with different short- and long-term interests.

The behavioral folks (Kahnemann, Tversky, Thaler etc.) have all shown that people are even messier than we would have thought. So most macro-economic stuff over the past half-century has been largely BS in justifying trickle-down economics, deregulation etc.

There needs to be some inequality as that provides incentives via capitalism but unfettered it turns into France 1989 or the Great Depression. It is not coincidence that the major experiment in this in the late 90s and early 2000s required massive government intervention to keep the ship from sinking less than a decade after the great uregulated creative forces were unleashed.

MMT is likely to be similar where productive uses of deficits can be beneficial, but if the money is wasted on stupid stuff like unnecessary wars, then the loss of credibility means that the fiat currency won't be quite as fiat anymore. Britain was unbelievably economically powerfully in the late 1800s but in half a century went to being an economic afterthought hamstrung by deficits after two major wars and a depression.

So it is good that people like Brad DeLong are coming to understand that the pretty economic theories have some truths but are utter BS (and dangerous) when extrapolated without accounting for how people and societies actually behave.

Chris Cosmos , March 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm

I never understood the incentive to make more money–that only works if money = true value and that is the implication of living in a capitalist society (not economy)–everything then becomes a commodity and alienation results and all the depression, fear, anxiety that I see around me. Whereas human happiness actually comes from helping others and finding meaning in life not money or dominating others. That's what social science seems to be telling us.

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Actually, Milton Friedman was a machine.

Big River Bandido , March 10, 2019 at 11:19 am

I read DeLong's piece in an airport last Tuesday, so I may have missed something (or I may have read an abridged version). But I think Steiner and Black read a little too much into it.

I interpreted DeLong's statement essentially as saying now neoliberals will have to make policy by collaborating with the left rather than the right. And I certainly didn't get the sense he was looking to the left to lead, but instead how neoliberals could co-opt the left, or simply be "freeloaders".

Michael , March 10, 2019 at 1:20 pm

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/4/18246381/democrats-clinton-sanders-left-brad-delong

Zack Beauchamp

So the position is not that neoliberals should abandon their policy beliefs. It's that you need to reorient your understanding of who your coalition is.

Brad DeLong

Yes, but that's also relevant to policy beliefs, right?
.
.
We need Medicare-for-all, funded by a carbon tax, with a whole bunch of UBI rebates for the poor and public investment in green technologies.
.
How does Bernie fit in here? Ever?

Kurtismayfield , March 10, 2019 at 2:53 pm

We already are paying more for the medical care that is being provided than what single lpayer will cost. I am so tired of the "How are you gonna pay for it" stuff. We already are, it's just a question of what bucket it comes from.

Oregoncharles , March 10, 2019 at 4:07 pm

True, but there still has to be a way of transferring the funds from the "private" bucket to the "government" bucket. MMT is one way of doing that, but still not acknowledged as a possibility by the PTB – except for the military, of course.

I'd rather see it taken out of the military, since that would be a good thing in itself, and the carbon tax (merely one of many measures, of course) rebated and/or used specifically to remediate climate deterioration. Rebating a carbon tax both protects it politically and corrects the harm that would otherwise be done to poor people.

kurtismayfield , March 10, 2019 at 6:14 pm

Take it out if the property taxes that Muni's have to use to insure all of their employees.

Take it out of all the money that business pays to health insurance.

Cut the military budget in half and tell a few if the tributaries "You are on your own". Cut the Navy in half and police only the Pacific.. tell Europe they are on the hook for the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Start there and you will get pretty close to $3 Trillion.

Synoia , March 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Mandatory retirement for Politicians:

Age 65, 3 proven lies, or failure to complete a Marathon in under 6 hours.

Whit hope the the result of the first Marathon would be repeated endlessly in our political circles.

Oregoncharles , March 10, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Quoting DeLong: " He says we are discredited. Our policies have failed. And they've failed because we've been conned by the Republicans."

That's welcome, but it's still making excuses. Neoliberal policies have failed because the economics were wrong, not because "we've been conned by the Republicans." Furthermore, this may be important – if it isn't acknowledged, those policies are quite likely to come sneaking back, especially if Democrats are more in the ascendant., as they will be, given the seesaw built into the 2-Party.

The Rev Kev , March 10, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Might be right there. Groups like the neocons were originally attached the the left side of politics but when the winds changed, detached themselves and went over to the Republican right. The winds are changing again so those who want power may be going over to what is called the left now to keep their grip on power. But what you say is quite true. It is not really the policies that failed but the economics themselves that were wrong and which, in an honest debate, does not make sense either.

marku52 , March 10, 2019 at 3:39 pm

"And they've failed because we've been conned by the Republicans.""

Not at all. What about the "free trade" hokum that Deong and his pal Krugman have been peddling since forever? History and every empirical test in the modern era shows that it fails in developing countries and only exacerbates inequality in richer ones.

That's just a failed policy.

I'm still waiting for an apology for all those years that those two insulted anyone who questioned their dogma as just "too ignorant to understand."

Glen , March 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Thank you!

He created FAILED policies. He pushed policies which have harmed America, harmed Americans, and destroyed the American dream.

Kevin Carhart , March 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

It's intriguing, but two other voices come to mind. One is Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste by Mirowski and the other is Generation Like by Doug Rushkoff. Neoliberalism is partially entrepreneurial self-conceptions which took a long time to promote. Rushkoff's Frontline shows the Youtube culture. There is a girl with a "leaderboard" on the wall of her suburban room, keeping track of her metrics. There's a devastating VPRO Backlight film on the same topic. Internet-platform neoliberalism does not have much to do with the GOP. It's going to be an odd hybrid at best – you could have deep-red communism but enacted for and by people whose self-conception is influenced by decades of Becker and Hayek? One place this question leads is to ask what's the relationship between the set of ideas and material conditions-centric philosophies? If new policies pass that create a different possibility materially, will the vise grip of the entrepreneurial self loosen? Partially yeah, maybe, a Job Guarantee if it passes and actually works, would be an anti-neoliberal approach to jobs, which might partially loosen the regime of neoliberal advice for job candidates delivered with a smug attitude that There Is No Alternative. (Described by Gershon). We take it seriously because of a sense of dread that it might actually be powerful enough to lock us out if we don't, and an uncertainty of whether it is or not.
There has been deep damage which is now a very broad and resilient base. It is one of the prongs of why 2008 did not have the kind of discrediting effect that 1929 did. At least that's what I took away from _Never Let_. Brad DeLong handing the baton might mean something but it is not going to ameliorate the sense-of-life that young people get from managing their channels and metrics.
Take the new 1099 platforms as another focal point. Suppose there were political measures that splice in on the platforms and take the edge off materially, such as underwritten healthcare not tied to your job. The platforms still use star ratings, make star ratings seem normal, and continually push a self-conception as a small business. If you have overt DSA plus covert Becker it is, again, a strange hybrid,

Jeremy Grimm , March 10, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Your comment is very insightful. Neoliberalism embeds its mindset into the very fabric of our culture and self-concepts. It strangely twists many of our core myths and beliefs.

Kevin Carhart , March 10, 2019 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Jeremy! Glad you saw it as you are one of the Major Mirowski Mentioners on NC and I have enjoyed your comments. Hope to chat with you some time.

Harold , March 10, 2019 at 5:50 pm

And this be law, that I'll maintain until my dying day, sir
That whatsoever king may reign, Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir.

The Rev Kev , March 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Nailed it!

Raulb , March 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm

This is nothing but a Trojan horse to 'co-opt' and 'subvert'. Neoliberals sense a risk to their neo feudal project and are simply attempting to infiltrate and hollow out any threats from within.

There are the same folks who have let entire economics departments becomes mouthpieces for corporate propaganda and worked with thousands of think tanks and international organizations to mislead, misinform and cause pain to millions of people.

The have seeded decontextualized words like 'wealth creators' and 'job creators' to create a halo narrative for corporate interests and undermine society, citizenship, the social good, the environment that make 'wealth creation' even possible. So all those take a backseat to 'wealth creator' interests. Since you can't create wealth without society this is some achievement.

Its because of them that we live in a world where the most important economic idea is protecting people like Kochs business and personal interests and making sure government is not 'impinging on their freedom'. And the corollary a fundamental anti-human narrative where ordinary people and workers are held in contempt for even expecting living wages and conditions and their access to basics like education, health care and living conditions is hollowed out out to promote privatization and become 'entitlements'.

Neoliberalism has left us with a decontextualized highly unstable world that exists in a collective but is forcefully detached into a context less individual existence. These are not mistakes of otherwise 'well meaning' individuals, there are the results of hard core ideologues and high priests of power.

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

Two thumbs up. This has been an ongoing agenda for decades and it has succeeded in permeating every aspect of society, which is why the United States is such a vacuous, superficial place. And it's exporting that superficiality to the rest of the world.

VietnamVet , March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

I read Brad DeLong's and Paul Krugman's blogs until their contradictions became too great. If anything, we need more people seeing the truth. The Global War on Terror is into its 18th year. In October the USA will spend approximately $6 trillion and will have accomplish nothing except to create blow back. The Middle Class is disappearing. Those who remain in their homes are head over heels in debt. The average American household carries $137,063 in debt. The wealthy are getting richer. The Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates families together have as much wealth as the lowest half of Americans. Donald Trump's Presidency and Brexit document that neoliberal politicians have lost contact with reality. They are nightmares that there is no escaping. At best, perhaps, Roosevelt Progressives will be reborn to resurrect regulated capitalism and debt forgiveness. But more likely is a middle-class revolt when Americans no longer can pay for water, electricity, food, medicine and are jailed for not paying a $1,500 fine for littering the Beltway.

A civil war inside a nuclear armed nation state is dangerous beyond belief. France is approaching this.

Dan , March 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Debt forgiveness is something we don't hear much about, even from the Bernie Sanders left. Very important policy throughout history, as Michael Hudson has so thoroughly documented.

[Mar 11, 2019] Neoliberal MSM want to bury Tucker

Mar 11, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

From: Fox News' Tucker Carlson Responds To Recordings Where He Calls Women 'Extremely Primitive' By Inviting Critics To Appear On His

By Donica Phifer On 3/10/19 at 11:17 PM

The tapes, released on Sunday by Media Matters for America , a progressive watchdog group, are recordings of Carlson from 2006 to 2011 when the media personality regularly called in to The Bubba the Love Sponge Show . The nationally-syndicated program featured shock jock host Todd "Bubba" Clem, who legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge Clem in 1998, and broadcast from Tampa, Florida.

The three-and-half minutes of audio features a wide variety of subjects including Carlson, Bubba and an unnamed co-host discussing Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of two counts of felony child sexual assault.

"(Jeffs) is in prison because he's weird and unpopular and he has a different lifestyle that other people find creepy," Carlson says in a clip from August 2009 following a discussion about the charges brought against Jeffs.

"No, he is an accessory to the rape of children. That is a felony and a serious one at that," a co-host responds, prompting Carlson to ask what he means by an "accessory."

"He's got some weird, religious cult where he thinks it's okay to, you know, marry underage girls, but he didn't do it," Carlson said. "Why wouldn't the guy who actually did it, who had sex with an underage girl, he should be the one who is doing life."

"Look, just to make it absolutely clear. I am not defending underage marriage at all. I just don't think it's the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child," Carlson added later in the interview.

In a separate interview, dated September 5, 2009, Carlson says that the charges against Jeffs for sexual assault are "bulls--t" because he is not "accused of touching anybody. He is accused of facilitating a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man. That's the accusation. That's what they're calling felony rape."

In another interview, Carlson referred to Martha Stewart's daughter Alexis Stewart as a"'c--nt" and, in yet another one, called Britney Spears and Paris Hilton "biggest white wh--res in America."

Carlson also found himself caught in a discussion about his daughter's boarding school in October 2009, and allegations from Bubba and his co-host that girls attending boarding schools often experiment with same-sex relationships.

... ... ...

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren Takes Her Amazon, Facebook Breakup Proposal to SXSW

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
On Friday she called for legislation that would designate large technology companies as "platform utilities," and for the appointment of regulators who'd unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.

"The idea behind this is for the people in this room," for tech entrepreneurs who want to try out "that new idea," Warren told a packed and enthusiastic crowd. "We want to keep that marketplace competitive and not let a giant who has an incredible competitive advantage snuff that out."

Warren said venture capital "in this area" has dropped by about 20 percent because of a perceived uneven playing field. She didn't provide more detail or say where she obtained her figures.

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren's Plan to Break Up Big Tech Should Focus on Amazon

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up "Big Tech" companies is sure to stoke debate and add to the tension between the Democratic Party and reliably Democratic Silicon Valley. While breaking up Big Tech isn't likely to happen anytime soon, one nuance in her proposal is worth thinking about, and that's whether tech companies that operate large marketplaces should also be able to participate in said marketplaces.

The most obvious impact this would have would be on Amazon. While in the universe of the American retail industry Amazon's market share remains in the single digits, in e-commerce it's got around 50 percent market share . When consumers shop on Amazon, they're presented with items sold by Amazon, and also items that Amazon doesn't own or warehouse but merely hosts the listings. It's also increasingly getting into the advertising business, so that when you're searching you'll be presented with a list of sponsored products in addition to whatever results a search may generate.

A third-party seller on Amazon has a difficult relationship with Amazon, which can act both as partner and competitor. Amazon can use its huge data sets to see how successful third-party sellers and products are, and if they meet a certain profitability threshold Amazon can decide to compete with that third-party seller directly.

Someone might say, isn't that what grocery stores or Costco do with private label goods or Costco's Kirkland brand? But the difference is that in physical retail, there are all sorts of stores where a producer can sell their products -- Walmart, Target, Costco, major grocery chains, and so on. In e-commerce, with half the market share, Amazon has a dominant position. While in the short run Amazon being able to compete with its third-party sellers may be good for consumers, who can end up with lower prices, in the long run it may mean fewer producers even bother to come up with new products, feeling that eventually Amazon will crowd them out of the marketplace.

Would restricting Amazon, which has grown so quickly and is popular with consumers, harm the economy? Government's antitrust fight with Microsoft a generation ago ended up paying dividends for innovation. In the 2000s a common critique of Microsoft was that it "missed" the internet, and smartphones, and social media, but to some extent that may have been because the company feared an expansion in emerging technologies would bring back more scrutiny from the government. As a result, new tech platforms and companies bloomed. The same could happen in the next decade if Amazon's ambitions were reined in a little.

"Break up Big Tech" is an easy emotional hook, but hopefully Warren's proposal will get all Americans to think more about the power of tech companies and their platforms, and whether regulatory changes would best serve both consumers and producers.

[Mar 07, 2019] Tucker Carlson The Populist Paladin of Primetime by Alan Pell Crawford

Interesting personal story of Tucker Carlson. I also like his interview with Max Boot Tucker vs critic who calls him cheerleader for Russia - YouTube
Notable quotes:
"... In his attitudes toward "diversity," Carlson considers Graham not much different from his Northwest Washington neighbors. "My neighbors," he says, "don't understand why it is not a good idea to keep 'welcoming' untold thousands of low-income, poorly educated immigrants whose wage expectations are lower than those of Americans who are already here and are struggling to keep their jobs." Who is hurt most, he asks, by this competition for jobs? His answer: "Americans who are themselves poorly educated -- especially, I might add, African-Americans." Organized labor, a pillar of the Democratic Party for decades, always seemed to understand this. Bill Clinton -- "the last Democrat to recognize this problem and speak to the middle class" -- also understood it. "So why can't my neighbors?" ..."
"... Though Carlson supported the Iraq War when Bush initiated it, he later denounced it as "a total nightmare and a disaster, and I'm ashamed I went against my own instincts in supporting it. I'll never do it again. Never." He has also developed a contempt for much of neocon foreign policy -- and for some of its chief proponents. Back in July, a guest on his show was Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once suggested that the troubled lands of Islam "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets." ..."
"... When Carlson told Boot that it was folly for the United States to have tried to oust Syria's Bashar al-Assad and that neocons (and Democrats) are wildly exaggerating the Russian threat, Boot accused Carlson of being a "cheerleader" for Russia, which Carlson called "grotesque." Boot professed indignation that Carlson was "yukking it up over the fact that Putin is interfering and meddling in our election process," and Carlson called it "odd coming from you, who really has been consistently wrong in the most flagrant and flamboyant way for over a decade." ..."
"... as the self-styled "sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink," Carlson deploys his well-honed tools of debate in a cause that many consider valuable, even indispensable -- especially in calling out the agents of foreign policy adventurism ..."
"... "In his vicious and ad hominem way," wrote Beinart in The Atlantic , "Carlson is doing something extraordinary: He's challenging the Republican Party's hawkish orthodoxy in ways anti-war progressives have been begging cable hosts to do for years [wading into] a debate between the two strands of thinking that have dominated conservative foreign policy for roughly a century." These two strands, presumably, are the long-dominant hawks and the still outnumbered non-interventionists troubled by the expansion of federal power that goes with those who seem to favor one war after another -- often fought simultaneously all over the globe. ..."
"... This raises a question: Can you be a conservative if you don't embrace foreign policy interventionism? "Look,'' Carlson says, "if Bill Kristol is a conservative, I am not." Further, he suggests he actually isn't much of a conservative on some economic issues either. "I do not favor cutting tax rates for corporations, and I do not favor invading Iran," he says. ..."
"... Sometimes, he adds, "the hard left is correct. The biggest problem this country faces is income inequality, and neither the liberals nor the conservatives see it. There is a great social volatility that goes with inequality like we have now. Inequality will work under a dictatorship, maybe, but it does not work in a democracy. It is dangerous in a democracy. In a democracy, when there is inequality like this, the people will rise up and punish their elected representatives." ..."
"... Carlson rarely leaves Democrats out of his sights for long, however. Yes, he will go after neocons, but he still directs plenty of firepower at the opposition party, which has only recently come to fear Russia as our "enemy" and uses this perceived threat to undermine President Trump. "Democrats cannot accept the fact that Trump is the president, so they have to find ways to tell themselves he really didn't win the election," Carlson says. "First, it was James Comey's fault. Now it is the Russians with their 'collusion.' The same crowd that for years made excuses for Stalin, now that the Soviet threat no longer exists, has decided that Russia is our 'great enemy.' The same people who for years were highly distrustful of the FBI and the intelligence agencies now accept on faith whatever comes out of them. It's a good thing Frank Church is no longer alive to see this." ..."
"... Carlson says that the rise of the brutal Islamists of ISIS was a direct result of the Iraq War, a clear example of the law of unintended consequences. "When you think about it," he says, "we are still suffering from the ill effects of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian archduke is assassinated, and the world is still feeling the effects. There are unforeseen consequences of any of these actions." ..."
"... Is Carlson oblivious to the threats confronting America and its allies? He doesn't think so, even if Boot and other neocons might make that claim. "Am I concerned about North Korea?" he asks. "Am I concerned about Iran? Let's put it this way. I am concerned about North Korea. I am concerned about Iran, but I am also concerned about Pakistan as a nuclear power. I'm concerned about a lot of things." When he hears that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, he asks how many Americans have been killed as a result of Iran-sponsored terrorism. Carlson's answer: "In the neighborhood of none, that's how many." ..."
"... If Carlson's skepticism about the Iranian threat is still a minority view in Washington, he is used to having unpopular opinions. He seems comfortable taking on the establishment, as he defines it, whether the subject is Iran, Russia, immigration, or trade -- or Trump. When asked what he thinks of Steve Bannon, the president's erstwhile chief strategist who also deals in controversy, Carlson replies, "I don't think Bannon fully understands the ideas he espouses." But he adds: "I will say this for him: He has been brave enough to say that the people in charge in Washington don't know what they are doing, with respect to Iran and a lot else." The people making the decisions these days are the equivalent of day traders, "making it up as they go," Carlson says. "The private equity model is not good for the economy, and it is not good for the government or the American people. It's too shortsighted." ..."
Feb 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Carlson avoids both O'Reilly's hokeyness and Hannity's pro-Trump histrionics, instead drawing on his own strength as rapid-fire commentator and relentless interrogator -- that rare Grand Inquisitor with a boisterous sense of humor. Besides the obvious entertainment value, what's also worth following is how Carlson's own birthright conservatism (he says he has never gone through a "liberal phase") is a work in progress. He's increasingly willing -- sometimes eager -- to challenge positions sacrosanct to the Republican right, especially to neoconservatives. He drives neocons crazy, for example, with his opposition to the overseas militarism they support and with his skepticism about their fixation on the "Russian threat." That he is perfectly willing to irk the orthodox was on display at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference when he dared suggest that the New York Times , while liberal, is also a paper "that actually cares about accuracy." Boos followed, but he remained unfazed, lecturing his audience about how conservatives should care about getting their facts right, too.

He remains well within the ideological tent on many red meat controversies of the day, however, particularly on immigration, which he considers a factor in the troubling condition of many rural communities. It isn't the only factor, certainly, but it particularly animates Carlson these days. When Trump outraged polite society with his crude characterization of Haiti and African countries, Carlson countered that "almost every single person in America" in fact agrees with the president. "An awful lot of immigrants come to this country from other places that aren't very nice," he said. "Those places are dangerous. They're dirty, they're corrupt, and they're poor, and that's the main reason those immigrants are trying to come here, and you would too if you lived there."

As for the idea that "diversity is our strength," Carlson lit into Sen. Lindsey Graham for saying that America is "an idea, not defined by its people." This claim, Carlson said, might surprise the people who already live here, "with their actual families and towns and traditions and history and customs." It might also come as a surprise that "they're irrelevant to the success or failure of what they imagined was their country." If diversity is our strength, it must follow that "the less we have in common somehow the stronger we are. Is that true? We better hope it's true because we're betting everything on it."

In his attitudes toward "diversity," Carlson considers Graham not much different from his Northwest Washington neighbors. "My neighbors," he says, "don't understand why it is not a good idea to keep 'welcoming' untold thousands of low-income, poorly educated immigrants whose wage expectations are lower than those of Americans who are already here and are struggling to keep their jobs." Who is hurt most, he asks, by this competition for jobs? His answer: "Americans who are themselves poorly educated -- especially, I might add, African-Americans." Organized labor, a pillar of the Democratic Party for decades, always seemed to understand this. Bill Clinton -- "the last Democrat to recognize this problem and speak to the middle class" -- also understood it. "So why can't my neighbors?"

Carlson pauses, tosses another piece of Nicorette gum into his mouth, and laughs. It's not a bitter laugh, but one of seeming disbelief. While he can be abrupt and sometimes even brutal with guests on his nightly program, one-on-one he's good humored and ebullient. He's that way, according to those who know him, even during breaks with on-air guests he is about to behead. He is exceedingly pleasant company for a leisurely lunch at swank Bistro Bis near the Fox headquarters, within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol. (The former smoker orders a plate of cheeses, which seem not to interfere with the gum, which he says both "sharpens the intellect and calms you down at the same time. It's great.") His own office, with the kind of framed political memorabilia de rigueur in Washington, looks out on Union Station. His desk is spacious and well-worn; he likes to tell people "it was Millard Fillmore's," which is the kind of joke also de rigueur in Washington.

"I have a good life," he says. The pay is good, and there was a time he could not have afforded a sizeable house in Northwest Washington. After college, for example, he worked on the editorial staff of the now-defunct Policy Review , then owned by the Heritage Foundation. He also paid his dues as a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and, after that, The Weekly Standard . Back then, of course, he could not have afforded the five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath, 7,400-square-foot house he bought last July (purchase price: $3.895 million).

He likes his new neighbors -- and the nearby dog park. "My neighbors are intelligent and thoughtful people," he says, most of whom still have Obama stickers on their Priuses. "They think Trump is awful on immigration, and they don't see how anyone could possibly view the issue any differently. But that's because there is only one way that the issue touches them in their lives, and that is in terms of their household help. They worry about 'Margarita who has been with our family for years and the kids love her and we just want to know that she will be protected.' They aren't cynical. They really care about the legal status of their household help. I get that. They just don't see the issue in any larger social context."

♦♦♦

There is some irony here, given Carlson's family background. The son of a former president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, director of Voice of America, and ambassador to the African island republic of the Seychelles, this "primetime populist," as The Atlantic 's McKay Coppins calls him, is clearly a child of privilege. While he no longer sports bow-ties, he looks the part, with that well-scrubbedness we associate with boarding schools. (He went to St. George's in Middletown, Rhode Island.) On his mother's side, he is a descendant of St. George Tucker of Bermuda and Williamsburg, who straddled the 18th and 19th centuries, served as one of the first law professors at the College of William and Mary, and was stepfather of the acerbic Virginia Congressman John Randolph of Roanoke. "They thought of naming me St. George Tucker Carlson," he says. His stepmother is a Swanson frozen-food heiress and niece of Senator J. William Fulbright.

Though Carlson sees the irony, he's untroubled by it. "I grew up in the world I'm describing," he acknowledges. "I grew up in Georgetown. I know the way these people think. Look, there are very few poorly educated Honduran talk show hosts who are out to take my job."

Actually, there aren't a lot of well-educated, native-born Ivy Leaguers who pose much of a threat, either, given his current audience ratings. But Carlson knows from personal experience that the world he inhabits can be fickle. He has bounced around on cable news programs since 2000, when he went to work for CNN. In 2005, the channel cancelled his show, "Crossfire," and he was hired by MSNBC, where he hosted "Tucker," also dropped in 2008. Fox picked him up as a news contributor and eventually hired him as co-host of "Fox & Friends." "Tucker Carlson Tonight" debuted in November 2016. ("Sooner or later," he writes in his breezy 2003 memoir of his cable career, Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites , "just about everyone in television gets canned, usually without warning.")

Kelefa Sanneh writes in The New Yorker that Carlson has been doing cable news "for far too long to be considered a rising star," though he still seems like something of a fresh face. Liberals of course can't stand him -- and aren't likely to notice how his views have been changing. "I'm probably more liberal right now than I've ever been," he says. In prep school and at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, he considered the arrival of The American Spectator and Commentary "thrilling." For years he read those magazines "cover to cover," he says. "They were great, especially the Spectator , which had such spirit and published writers like P.J. O'Rourke and Andrew Ferguson. It's depressing to see how far both those once-great magazines have fallen."

Though Carlson supported the Iraq War when Bush initiated it, he later denounced it as "a total nightmare and a disaster, and I'm ashamed I went against my own instincts in supporting it. I'll never do it again. Never." He has also developed a contempt for much of neocon foreign policy -- and for some of its chief proponents. Back in July, a guest on his show was Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once suggested that the troubled lands of Islam "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets."

When Carlson told Boot that it was folly for the United States to have tried to oust Syria's Bashar al-Assad and that neocons (and Democrats) are wildly exaggerating the Russian threat, Boot accused Carlson of being a "cheerleader" for Russia, which Carlson called "grotesque." Boot professed indignation that Carlson was "yukking it up over the fact that Putin is interfering and meddling in our election process," and Carlson called it "odd coming from you, who really has been consistently wrong in the most flagrant and flamboyant way for over a decade."

Boot, who can take care of himself, held his own in the exchange, but some hapless "guests" find themselves in a mismatch. Carlson, who seems only too happy to press his advantage, can come off as a bit of a bully, especially when he bursts into derisive laughter. "To me, it's just cringe-making," Ferguson, now with The Weekly Standard , told The New Yorker . "You get some poor little columnist from the Daily Oregonian who said Trump was Hitler, and you beat the shit out of him for ten minutes."

Maybe so, but as the self-styled "sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink," Carlson deploys his well-honed tools of debate in a cause that many consider valuable, even indispensable -- especially in calling out the agents of foreign policy adventurism. Peter Beinart, late of The New Republic , anticipated something conservatives have yet to address but might need to soon.

"In his vicious and ad hominem way," wrote Beinart in The Atlantic , "Carlson is doing something extraordinary: He's challenging the Republican Party's hawkish orthodoxy in ways anti-war progressives have been begging cable hosts to do for years [wading into] a debate between the two strands of thinking that have dominated conservative foreign policy for roughly a century." These two strands, presumably, are the long-dominant hawks and the still outnumbered non-interventionists troubled by the expansion of federal power that goes with those who seem to favor one war after another -- often fought simultaneously all over the globe.

This raises a question: Can you be a conservative if you don't embrace foreign policy interventionism? "Look,'' Carlson says, "if Bill Kristol is a conservative, I am not." Further, he suggests he actually isn't much of a conservative on some economic issues either. "I do not favor cutting tax rates for corporations, and I do not favor invading Iran," he says.

Sometimes, he adds, "the hard left is correct. The biggest problem this country faces is income inequality, and neither the liberals nor the conservatives see it. There is a great social volatility that goes with inequality like we have now. Inequality will work under a dictatorship, maybe, but it does not work in a democracy. It is dangerous in a democracy. In a democracy, when there is inequality like this, the people will rise up and punish their elected representatives."

In fact, they did rise up, says Carlson, when they elected Trump in 2016. "There was no mystery to why Trump won. He was the only candidate speaking to the collapsing middle class. Conservatives do not understand the social consequences of economic inequality."

Carlson rarely leaves Democrats out of his sights for long, however. Yes, he will go after neocons, but he still directs plenty of firepower at the opposition party, which has only recently come to fear Russia as our "enemy" and uses this perceived threat to undermine President Trump. "Democrats cannot accept the fact that Trump is the president, so they have to find ways to tell themselves he really didn't win the election," Carlson says. "First, it was James Comey's fault. Now it is the Russians with their 'collusion.' The same crowd that for years made excuses for Stalin, now that the Soviet threat no longer exists, has decided that Russia is our 'great enemy.' The same people who for years were highly distrustful of the FBI and the intelligence agencies now accept on faith whatever comes out of them. It's a good thing Frank Church is no longer alive to see this."

Carlson's skeptical view of U.S. policy in the Middle East can be traced, at least in part, to 2006, which was a strange year in Carlson's life. That fall, he appeared on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and was the first contestant to be eliminated. (Even Jerry Springer did better.) In Carlson's defense, he was also doing his nightly MSNBC show "Tucker" at the time and had to miss his dancing classes because he was on assignment in Israel and Lebanon during the war between Israel and Hezbollah. While there, he also was the host of an MSNBC Special Report called "Mideast Crisis."

It is not clear what he learned on "Dancing with the Stars," but he learned a great deal, he says, in the Middle East. "First, the closer you get to any situation, at least in terms of these wars, the more confusing and complicated things are," he says. "Second, the consequences of your actions are never predictable." The United States toppled the Afghan government in 2001, "and 16 years and $1 trillion later, what do we have to show for it?" American diplomats, he reports, can't even drive the two miles from the airport in Kabul to our embassy because it's unsafe. "They have to take helicopters."

Carlson says that the rise of the brutal Islamists of ISIS was a direct result of the Iraq War, a clear example of the law of unintended consequences. "When you think about it," he says, "we are still suffering from the ill effects of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian archduke is assassinated, and the world is still feeling the effects. There are unforeseen consequences of any of these actions."

This concern about consequences sounds eminently conservative, even if a lot of conservatives don't want to hear it. Like their liberal counterparts, many neoconservatives have fallen under the spell of what Carlson considers the maddening optimism of the American people -- the view that we can take any situation around the world and improve it. "Something else you learn in the Middle East is that there are some really crummy places in the world," Carlson says, adding that Americans viewed Iraq's Saddam Hussein as such an evil leader that, no matter what followed, his overthrow would have to be an improvement. "Well, that is naïve," he says. "Things can always get worse. But Americans don't want to believe that, because we lack imagination and we want to help. And as for toppling dictatorships, we don't seem to realize that there's something worse than a dictatorship -- and that's anarchy. Because with anarchy, there can be a dictator in any neighborhood: anybody with an AK-47."

♦♦♦

Is Carlson oblivious to the threats confronting America and its allies? He doesn't think so, even if Boot and other neocons might make that claim. "Am I concerned about North Korea?" he asks. "Am I concerned about Iran? Let's put it this way. I am concerned about North Korea. I am concerned about Iran, but I am also concerned about Pakistan as a nuclear power. I'm concerned about a lot of things." When he hears that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, he asks how many Americans have been killed as a result of Iran-sponsored terrorism. Carlson's answer: "In the neighborhood of none, that's how many."

If Carlson's skepticism about the Iranian threat is still a minority view in Washington, he is used to having unpopular opinions. He seems comfortable taking on the establishment, as he defines it, whether the subject is Iran, Russia, immigration, or trade -- or Trump. When asked what he thinks of Steve Bannon, the president's erstwhile chief strategist who also deals in controversy, Carlson replies, "I don't think Bannon fully understands the ideas he espouses." But he adds: "I will say this for him: He has been brave enough to say that the people in charge in Washington don't know what they are doing, with respect to Iran and a lot else." The people making the decisions these days are the equivalent of day traders, "making it up as they go," Carlson says. "The private equity model is not good for the economy, and it is not good for the government or the American people. It's too shortsighted."

Like millions of other Americans, Carlson worries about the current administration, though not necessarily for the same reasons. "My concern is that Trump is actually weaker than most people realize," he says. "I don't worry about the people who go on TV and say Trump is a 'racist' and a 'fascist' and all that. They have no effect on the administration. The worry for me is the people who want to use Trump as a host to do things they want, like a war with Iran." Many of the people who advocated the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government, which posed the one real counterbalance to Iran, are now calling for American ground troops in the Islamic Republic -- "people like Max Boot, who calls anyone who disagrees with this idea a quisling."

Again the law of unintended consequences comes to mind for Carlson, as does the son he drives down U.S. Route 29 to visit in Charlottesville. "I'm against those people who want a war with Iran. Those are the people who might get my 20-year-old son killed in a war in Iran. Why would I favor that?"

Alan Pell Crawford is the author of How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain , among other books.


Cosmin Visan February 26, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Carlson has emerged from a small bubble and moved into a slighter bigger bubble. This has an initial invigorating effect; but it only lasts until he bumps against the bigger bubble. This notion that America is a naive optimist looking to fix things but screwing up is very dear to AC conservatives. But it ain't true. Read that famous quote by Smedley Butler and you will have it in a nutshell.
Westy , says: February 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm
Tucker is good at provoking thought. As a (sorta) conservative reexamining (Reaganite) conservatism as it's been known.
Problem is, he's very short on coherent solutions. The rightist populists generally are. If 'the hard left is right, income inequality is the biggest problem', what is the solution to that other than trust in bigger govt and more collectivism? Protectionism is not going to reverse inequality, the opposite if anything. Nor is immigration restriction likely to, materially. Yes, immigration is a legitimate issue, and no not everyone who wants less is a 'racist'. But the economic as opposed to social impact of immigration is very easy to overstate.
Tucker is ultimately an example of a 'new kind of right' which simply lacks solutions other than those of the left. Why not just embrace the left if it's right about the 'main problem' and you have not other practical solution than those of the left? Maybe a left with less 'elitism' and 'snobbery'? Thought provoking but I'm not sure Tucker is really about anything other than style. It's again a problem of the populist right generally.
Leftophobe , says: February 26, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Tucker is not beholden to anyone. He is a true patriot and has a deep sadness for the loss of accuracy and dignity in American journalism.
somewhere east of falls church , says: February 26, 2018 at 2:20 am
"Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once suggested that the troubled lands of Islam "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.""

Boot is such a big, easy target, isn't he? "Jodhpurs and pith helmets" don't you know, preached by a Russian Jew with American citizenship for God's sake

Can't Boot see how pathetic and incongruous this mush sounds coming from a neocon's mouth? Particularly after the serial disasters they engineered in the Mideast? The best of the old Brit colonials (and there weren't that many) weren't just "self-confident", they were shrewd and surpassingly competent. And they didn't let punk client states call the shots. Nonetheless, to the extent that "jodhpurs and pith helmets" were responsible for turning the Middle East and large swathes elsewhere into despoiled ruin, I suppose Boot has got his wish.

How typical of a neocon to mistake attitude for substance and power for "enlightenment", eh?

I guess it's nice to have Boot for Carlson to kick around, and here's hoping Carlson continues to hark to "the People". More "the People" and less Boot would suit me just fine, and I'm one of precious few people who actually own jodhpurs and a pith helmet!

The sooner that the neocons are kicked out of the public square the better.

cka2nd , says: February 26, 2018 at 8:35 am
" the opposition party, which has only recently come to fear Russia as our 'enemy' 'The same crowd that for years made excuses for Stalin'"

I'm sorry Mr. Crawford, but which Democrats are you talking about who "only recently came to fear Russia as our 'enemy?'" The Democrats who prosecuted the Korean and Vietnam Wars? JFK, who campaigned on the lie of a "missile gap?" The Democrats who, while Nixon and Ford pursued Détente, organized rallies and sanctions to force the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate? Charlie Wilson and the other enthusiastic Democratic supporters of the mujahideen of Afghanistan? Bill Clinton, who happily pushed for NATO to include former members of the Warsaw Pact and former Soviet republics while supporting the economic rape of Russia and the collapse of not only its living standards but the longevity of its people's lives?

And, I'm sorry, but which liberals does Mr. Carlson think made excuses for Stalin? Hubert Humphrey? Adlai Stevenson? JFK? LBJ? Henry "Scoop" Jackson? Jimmy Carter, the man who gave the go-ahead to foment an Afghan civil war specifically to goad the Soviet Union to intervene?

I know Bernie Sanders isn't officially a Democrat, but he did run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and he called the late Hugo Chavez a "dead Communist dictator," which certainly seemed to fit very nicely into the mainstream of Democratic Party thinking about Stalin, Russia and Communism for the last 70 years.

Kawi , says: February 26, 2018 at 9:28 am
Max Boot held his own against Tucker? Boot was red-faced and sputtering. He had nothing to say, because his worldview is vapid. I rarely watch TV, but somehow I caught that exchange live, and it was deeply gratifying. Making it even better was the knowledge that there would be clips of it stored on youtube and elsewhere.

This portrait should have mentioned Carlson's essay from the beginning of 2016 asking what conservatives have gotten from the Republican establishment. It was superb.

We need more voices like Carlon's right now. Many more.

Paulb , says: February 26, 2018 at 10:00 am
Another difference: Bernie always uses the phrase "billionaire class" while Tucker uses the more accurate "ruling class." (See the terrific 2-19-18 episode.) But I hope he's careful. Remember what Schumer said a year ago: the intel agencies have "six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." (It would have been nice if one of our crack reporters asked him what he meant by that.)
Gray Liddell , says: February 26, 2018 at 5:31 pm
Tucker is the best. He does his homework and can confront, rhetorically, the diverse group of guests he has on. He does an excellent job of trying to keep the guests on topic. In our age of parrying questions, the Tuck continually zeros in on the salient discrepancies in the discussion. He does not bloviate like O'Reilly did.
Tucker does not toe the party line, he can wonder, out loud why we are fighting these endless wars?
It must take a lot of work to familiarize yourself with all the varying subjects that go in to one night of 'Tucker Carlson'. Lets hope he is on TV for another ten or twenty years.
Tight lines to Tucker.

[Mar 05, 2019] The Sad Story of Trump University by Michael Warren

Feb 26, 2016 | www.weeklystandard.com

In a recent issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Matt Labash highlighted the sad story of Trump University, one of the Donald's biggest failures. Here's an excerpt:

But most egregious was Trump University, a purported real estate school that attracted the attention of New York's attorney general, who brought a $40 million suit on behalf of 5,000 people. The New York Times described Trump U as "a bait-and-switch scheme," with students lured "by free sessions, then offered packages ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 for sham courses that were supposed to teach them how to become successful real estate investors." Though Trump himself was largely absentee, one advertisement featured him proclaiming, "Just copy exactly what I've done and get rich." While some students were hoping to glean wisdom directly from the success oracle, there was no such luck. At one seminar, attendees were told they'd get to have their picture taken with Trump. Instead, they ended up getting snapped with his cardboard cutout. What must have been a crushing disappointment to aspiring real estate barons is a boon to Republican-primary metaphor hunters.

Read the whole article here , which documents Trump at his Trumpiest, from his penchant for cheating at golf to his sensitivity to being called a "short-fingered vulgarian."

Michael Warren is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

[Mar 05, 2019] David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

Mar 05, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

"A pension is not a 'gratuity.' A pension is wages you could have taken in cash, but prudently and conservatively set aside for your old age. It's your money. If your employer, for every pay period, does not set aside and designate it to go into a pension plan, your employer is stealing from you. The way to get this is to require pay stubs to itemize the amount of money that has been contributed to your pension plan."

David Cay Johnston

"Capitalism is at risk of failing today not because we are running out of innovations, or because markets are failing to inspire private actions, but because we've lost sight of the operational failings of unfettered gluttony. We are neglecting a torrent of market failures in infrastructure, finance, and the environment. We are turning our backs on a grotesque worsening of income inequality and willfully continuing to slash social benefits. We are destroying the Earth as if we are indeed the last generation."

Jeffrey Sachs

"We are coming apart as a society, and inequality is right at the core of that. When the 90 percent are getting worse off and they're trying to figure out what happened, they're not people like me who get to spend four or five hours a day studying these things and then writing about them -- they're people who have to make a living and get through life. And they're going to be swayed by demagogues and filled with fear about the other, rather than bringing us together.

President Theodore Roosevelt said we shall all rise together or we shall all fall together, and we need to have an appreciation of that.

I think it would be easy for someone to arrive in the near future and really create forces that would lead to trouble in this country. And you see people who, they're not the leaders to pull it off, but we have suggestions that the president should be killed, that he's not an American, that Texas can secede, that states can ignore federal law, and these are things that don't lack for antecedents in America history but they're clearly on the rise.

In addition to that, we have this large, very well-funded news organization that is premised on misconstruing facts and telling lies, Faux News that is creating, in a large segment of the population -- somewhere around one-fifth and one-fourth of it -- belief in all sorts of things that are detrimental to our well-being.

So, no, I don't see this happening tomorrow, but I have said for many years that if we don't get a handle on this then one of these days our descendants are going to sit down in high-school history class and open a textbook that begins with the words: The United States of America was and then it will dissect how our experiment in self-governance came apart."

David Cay Johnston, May 2014

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zaKYPn0zJKc

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sZbqr2AzoOo

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[Mar 05, 2019] Democratic senator to introduce tax on trading [Video]

Mar 05, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

CNBC Videos

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is expected to introduce a new tax bill today. The senator says his bill would tax the sale of stocks, bonds and derivatives at a 0.1 rate. It would apply to any transaction in the United States. The senator says his proposal would clamp down on speculation and some high frequency trading that artificially creates more market volatility.

[Mar 04, 2019] Communitarianism or Populism: The Ethic of Compassion and the Ethic of Respect

This is overview of the course...
Notable quotes:
"... Instead of serving as a counter weight to the market, then, the family was invaded and undermined by the market. The sentimental veneration of motherhood, even at the peak of its influence in the late nineteenth century, could never quite obscure the reality that unpaid labour bears the stigma of social inferiority when money becomes the universal measure of value. ..."
"... Commercial television dramatizes in the most explicit terms the cynicism that was always implicit in the ideology of the marketplace. The sentimental convention that the best things in life are free has long since passed into oblivion. Since the best things clearly cost a great deal of money, people seek money, in the world depicted by commercial television, by fair means or foul. ..."
"... Throughout the twentieth century liberalism has been pulled in two directions at once: toward the market and (not withstanding its initial misgivings about government) toward the state. On the one hand, the market appears to be the ideal embodiment of the principle-the cardinal principle of liberalism-that individuals are the best judges of their own interests and that they must therefore be allowed to speak for themselves in matters that concern their happiness and well-being. But individuals cannot learn to speak for themselves at all, much less come to an intelligent understanding of their happiness and well-being, in a world in which there are no values except those of the market. Even liberal individuals require the character-forming discipline of the family, the neighbourhood, the school, and the church, all of which (not just the family) have been weakened by the encroachments of the market. ..."
"... The market notoriously tends to universalize itself. It does not easily coexist with institutions that operate according to principles antithetical to itself: schools and universities, newspapers and magazines, charities, families. Sooner or later the market tends to absorb them all. It puts an almost irresistible pres sure on every activity to justify itself in the only items it recognizes: to become a business proposition, to pay its own way, to show black ink on the bottom line. It turns news into entertainment, scholarship into professional careerism, social work into the scientific management of poverty. Inexorably it remodels every institution in its own image. ..."
"... In the attempt to restrict the scope of the market, liberals have therefore turned to the state. But the remedy often proves to be worse than the disease. The replacement of informal types of association by formal systems of socialization and control weakens social trust, undermines the willingness both assume responsibility for one's self and to hold others accountable for their actions destroys respect for authority and thus turns out to be self-defeating. Neighbourhoods, which can serve as intermediaries between the family and the larger world. Neighbourhoods have been destroyed not only by the market-by crime and drugs or less dramatically by suburban shopping malls-but also by enlightened social engineering. ..."
"... "The myth that playgrounds and grass and hired guards or supervisors are innately wholesome for children and that city streets, filled with ordinary people, are innately evil for children, boils down to a deep contempt for ordinary people." In their contempt planners lose sight of the way in which city streets, if they are working as they should, teach children a lesson that cannot be taught by educators or professional caretakers: that "people must take a modicum of public responsibility for each other even if they have no ties to each other." When the corner grocer or the locksmith scolds a child for running into the street, the child learns something that can't be learned simply by formal instruction. ..."
"... The crisis of public funding is only one indication of the intrinsic weakness of organizations that can no longer count on informal, everyday mechanisms of social trust and control. ..."
Jan 13, 2017 | www.theworkingcentre.org

If terms like "populism" and "community" figure prominently in political discourse today, it is because the ideology of the Enlightenment, having come under attack from a variety of sources, has lost much of its appeal. The claims of universal reason are universally suspect. Hopes for a system of values that would transcend the particularism of class, nationality, religion, and race no longer carry much conviction. The Enlightenment's reason and morality are increasingly seen as a cover for power, and the prospect that the world can he governed by reason seems more remote than at any time since the eighteenth century. The citizen of the world-the prototype of mankind in the future, according to the Enlightenment philosophers-is not much in evidence. We have a universal market, but it does not carry with it the civilizing effects that were so confidently expected by Hume and Voltaire. Instead of generating a new appreciation of common interests and inclinations-if the essential sameness of human beings everywhere-the global market seems to intensify the awareness of ethnic and national differences. The unification of the market goes hand in hand with the fragmentation of culture.

The waning of the Enlightenment manifests itself politically in the waning of liberalism, in many ways the most attractive product of the Enlightenment and the carrier of its best hopes. Through all the permutations and transformations of liberal ideology, two of its central features have persisted over the years: its commitment to progress and its belief that a liberal state could dispense with civic virtue. The two ideas were linked in a chain of reasoning having as its premise that capitalism had made it reason able for everyone to aspire to a level of comfort formerly accessible only to the rich. Henceforth men would devote themselves to their private business, reducing the need for government, which could more or less take care of itself. It was the idea of progress that made it possible to believe that societies blessed with material abundance could dispense with the active participation of ordinary citizens in government.

After the American Revolution liberals began to argue-in opposition to the older view that "public virtue is the only foundation of republics," in the words of John Adams -- that proper constitutional checks and balances would make it advantageous even for bad men to act for the public good," as James Wilson put it. According to John Taylor, "an avaricious society can form a government able to defend itself against the avarice of its members" by enlisting the "interest of vice ...on the side of virtue." Virtue lay in the "principles of government," Taylor argued, not in the "evanescent qualities of individuals." The institutions and "principles of a society may be virtuous, though the individuals composing it are vicious."

Meeting minimal conditions

The paradox of a virtuous society based on vicious individuals, however agree able in theory, was never adhered to very consistently. Liberals took for granted a good deal more in the way of private virtue than they were willing to acknowledge. Even to day liberals who adhere to this minimal view of citizenship smuggle a certain amount of citizenship between the cracks of their free- market ideology. Milton Friedman himself admits that a liberal society requires a "minimum degree of literacy and knowledge" along with a "widespread acceptance of some common set of values." It is not clear that our society can meet even these minimal conditions, as things stand today, but it has always been clear, in any case, that a liberal society needs more virtue than Friedman allows for.

A system that relies so heavily on the concept of rights presupposes individuals who respect the rights of others, if only because they expect others to respect their own rights in return. The market itself, the central institution of a liberal society, presupposes, at the very least, sharp-eyed, calculating, and clearheaded individuals-paragons of rational choice. It presupposes not just self interest but enlightened self-interest. It was for this reason that nineteenth-century liberals attached so much importance to the family. The obligation to support a wife and children, in their view, would discipline possessive individualism and transform the potential gambler, speculator, dandy, or confidence man into a conscientious provider. Having abandoned the old republican ideal of citizenship along with the republican indictment of luxury, liberals lacked any grounds on which to appeal to individuals to subordinate private interest to the public good.

But at least they could appeal to the higher selfishness of marriage and parenthood. They could ask, if not for the suspension of self-interest, for its elevation and refinement. The hope that rising expectations would lead men and women to invest their ambitions in their offspring was destined to be disappointed in the long run. The more closely capitalism came to be identified with immediate gratification and planned obsolescence, the more relentlessly it wore away the moral foundations of family life. The rising divorce rate, already a source of alarm in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, seemed to reflect a growing impatience with the constraints imposed by long responsibilities and commitments.

The passion to get ahead had begun to imply the right to make a fresh start whenever earlier commitments became unduly burden some. Material abundance weakened the economic as well as the moral foundations of the "well-'ordered family state" admired by nineteenth-century liberals. The family business gave way to the corporation, the family farm (more slowly and painfully) to a collectivized agriculture ultimately controlled by the same banking houses that had engineered the consolidation of industry. The agrarian uprising of the 1870s, 1880s, and l890s proved to be the first round in a long, losing struggle to save the family farm, enshrined in American mythology, even today, as the sine qua non of a good society but subjected into practice to a ruinous cycle of mechanization, indebtedness, and overproduction.

The family invaded

Instead of serving as a counter weight to the market, then, the family was invaded and undermined by the market. The sentimental veneration of motherhood, even at the peak of its influence in the late nineteenth century, could never quite obscure the reality that unpaid labour bears the stigma of social inferiority when money becomes the universal measure of value.

In the long run women were forced into the workplace not only because their families needed extra income but because paid labour seemed to represent their only hope of gaining equality with men. In our time it is increasingly clear that children pay the price for this invasion of the family by the market. With both parents in the workplace and grandparents conspicuous by their absence, the family is no longer capable of sheltering children from the market. The television set becomes the principal baby-sitter by default. Its invasive presence deals the final blow to any lingering hope that the family can provide a sheltered space for children to grow up in.

Children are now exposed to the out side world from the time they are old enough to be left unattended in front of the tube. They are exposed to it, moreover, in a brutal yet seductive form that reduces the values of the marketplace to their simplest terms. Commercial television dramatizes in the most explicit terms the cynicism that was always implicit in the ideology of the marketplace. The sentimental convention that the best things in life are free has long since passed into oblivion. Since the best things clearly cost a great deal of money, people seek money, in the world depicted by commercial television, by fair means or foul.

Throughout the twentieth century liberalism has been pulled in two directions at once: toward the market and (not withstanding its initial misgivings about government) toward the state. On the one hand, the market appears to be the ideal embodiment of the principle-the cardinal principle of liberalism-that individuals are the best judges of their own interests and that they must therefore be allowed to speak for themselves in matters that concern their happiness and well-being. But individuals cannot learn to speak for themselves at all, much less come to an intelligent understanding of their happiness and well-being, in a world in which there are no values except those of the market. Even liberal individuals require the character-forming discipline of the family, the neighbourhood, the school, and the church, all of which (not just the family) have been weakened by the encroachments of the market.

The market notoriously tends to universalize itself. It does not easily coexist with institutions that operate according to principles antithetical to itself: schools and universities, newspapers and magazines, charities, families. Sooner or later the market tends to absorb them all. It puts an almost irresistible pres sure on every activity to justify itself in the only items it recognizes: to become a business proposition, to pay its own way, to show black ink on the bottom line. It turns news into entertainment, scholarship into professional careerism, social work into the scientific management of poverty. Inexorably it remodels every institution in its own image.

Weakening social trust

In the attempt to restrict the scope of the market, liberals have therefore turned to the state. But the remedy often proves to be worse than the disease. The replacement of informal types of association by formal systems of socialization and control weakens social trust, undermines the willingness both assume responsibility for one's self and to hold others accountable for their actions destroys respect for authority and thus turns out to be self-defeating. Neighbourhoods, which can serve as intermediaries between the family and the larger world. Neighbourhoods have been destroyed not only by the market-by crime and drugs or less dramatically by suburban shopping malls-but also by enlightened social engineering.

The main thrust of social policy, ever since the first crusades against child labour, has been to transfer the care of children from informal settings to institutions designed specifically for pedagogical and custodial purposes. Today this trend continues in the movement for daycare, often justified on the undeniable grounds that working mothers need it but also on the grounds that daycare centers can take advantage of the latest innovations in pedagogy and child psychology. This policy of segregating children in age-graded institutions under professional supervision has been a massive failure, for reasons suggested some time ago by Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, an attack on city planning that applies to social planning in general.

"The myth that playgrounds and grass and hired guards or supervisors are innately wholesome for children and that city streets, filled with ordinary people, are innately evil for children, boils down to a deep contempt for ordinary people." In their contempt planners lose sight of the way in which city streets, if they are working as they should, teach children a lesson that cannot be taught by educators or professional caretakers: that "people must take a modicum of public responsibility for each other even if they have no ties to each other." When the corner grocer or the locksmith scolds a child for running into the street, the child learns something that can't be learned simply by formal instruction.

What the child learns is that adults unrelated to one another except by the accident of propinquity uphold certain standards and assume responsibility for the neighbourhood. With good reason, Jacobs calls this the "first fundamental of successful city life," one that "people hired to look after children cannot teach because the essence of this responsibility is that you do it without being hired."

Neighbourhoods encourage "casual public trust," according to Jacobs. In its absence the everyday maintenance of life has to be turned over to professional bureaucrats. The atrophy of informal controls leads irresistibly to the expansion of bureaucratic controls. This development threatens to extinguish the very privacy liberals have always set such store by. It also loads the organizational sector with burdens it cannot support. The crisis of public funding is only one indication of the intrinsic weakness of organizations that can no longer count on informal, everyday mechanisms of social trust and control.

The taxpayers' revolt, although itself informed by an ideology of privatism resistant to any kind of civic appeals, at the same time grows out of a well-founded suspicion that tax money merely sustains bureaucratic self-aggrandizement

The lost habit of self-help

As formal organizations break down, people will have to improvise ways of meeting their immediate needs: patrolling their own neighbourhoods, withdrawing their children from public schools in order to educate them at home. The default of the state will thus contribute in its own right to the restoration of informal mechanisms of self-help. But it is hard to see how the foundations of civic life can be restored unless this work becomes an overriding goal of public policy. We have heard a good deal of talk about the repair of our material infrastructure, but our cultural infrastructure needs attention too, and more than just the rhetorical attention of politicians who praise "family values" while pursuing economic policies that undermine them. It is either naive or cynical to lead the public to think that dismantling the welfare state is enough to ensure a revival of informal cooperation-"a thousand points of light." People who have lost the habit of self-help, who live in cities and suburbs where shopping malls have replaced neighbourhoods, and who prefer the company of close friends (or simply the company of television) to the informal sociability of the street, the coffee shop, and the tavern are not likely to reinvent communities just because the state has proved such an unsatisfactory substitute. Market mechanisms will not repair the fabric of public trust. On the contrary the market's effect on the cultural infrastructure is just as corrosive as that of the state.

A third way

We can now begin to appreciate the appeal of populism and communitarianism. They reject both the market and the welfare state in pursuit of a third way. This is why they are so difficult to classify on the conventional spectrum of political opinion. Their opposition to free-market ideologies seems to align them with the left, but 'their criticism of the welfare state (whenever this criticism becomes open and explicit) makes them sound right-wing. In fact, these positions belong to neither the left nor the right, and for that very reason they seem to many people to hold out the best hope of breaking the deadlock of current debate, which has been institutionalized in the two major parties and their divided control of the federal government. At a time when political debate consists of largely of ideological slogans endlessly repeated to audiences composed mainly of the party faithful, fresh thinking is desperately needed. It is not likely to emerge, however, from those with a vested interest in 'the old orthodoxies. We need a "third way of thinking about moral obligation," as Alan Wolfe puts it, one that locates moral obligation neither in the state nor in the market but "in common sense, ordinary emotions, and everyday life."

Wolfe's plea for a political program designed to strengthen civil society, which closely resembles the ideas advanced in The Good Society by Robert Bellah and his collaborators, should be welcomed by the growing numbers of people who find themselves dissatisfied with the alternatives defined by conventional debate. These authors illustrate the strengths of the communitarian position along with some of its characteristic weaknesses. They make it clear that both the market and the state presuppose the strength of "non-economic ties of trust and solidarity" as Wolfe puts it. Yet the expansion of these institutions weakens ties of trust and thus undermines the preconditions for their own success. The market and the "job culture," Bellah writes, are "invading our private lives," eroding our "moral infrastructure" of "social trust." Nor does the welfare state repair the damage. "The example of more successful welfare states ... suggests that money and bureaucratic assistance alone do not halt the decline of the family" or strengthen any of the other "sustaining institutions that make interdependence morally significant." None of this means that a politics that really mattered-a politics rooted in popular common sense instead of the ideologies that appeal to elites-would painlessly resolve all the conflicts that threaten to tear the country apart. Communitarians underestimate the difficulty of finding an approach to family issues, say, that is both profamily and profeminist.

That may be what the public wants in theory. In practice, however, it requires a restructuring of the workplace designed to make work schedules far more flexible, career patterns less rigid and predictable, and criteria for advancement less destructive to family and community obligations. Such reforms imply interference with the market and a redefinition of success, neither of which will be achieved without a great deal of controversy.

Back to Course Content

[Mar 04, 2019] Trump calls for 21st century Glass-Steagall banking law

Notable quotes:
"... As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites. ..."
"... Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
allan November 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Trump calls for '21st century' Glass-Steagall banking law [Reuters, Oct. 26]

Financial Services [Trump Transition Site, Nov. 10]

Oddly, no mention of Glass-Steagall, only dismantling Dodd-Frank. Who could have predicted?

File under Even Victims Can Be Fools.

Chauncey Gardiner November 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Not surprised at all. The election is over, the voters are now moot. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites.

Dr. Roberts November 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Also no mention of NAFTA or renegotiating trade deals in the new transition agenda. Instead there's just a bunch of vague Chamber of Commercesque language about making America attractive to investors. I think our hopes for a disruptive Trump presidency are quickly being dashed.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars.

As to the last point, appointing Bolton or Corker Secretary of State would be a clear indication he was just talking. A clear violation of campaign promises that would make Obama look like a choirboy. Trump may be W on steroids.

pretzelattack November 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm

sure he may be almost as bad as Clinton on foreign policy. so far he hasn't been rattling a saber at Russia.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Newland also is pernicious, but as with many things Trump, not as gaudy as Bolton.

anti-social socialist November 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Yathink?
https://www.ft.com/content/aed37de0-a767-11e6-8898-79a99e2a4de6

Katniss Everdeen November 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

I can't imagine how he's neglected to update his transition plan regarding nafta. After all, he's already been president-elect for, what, 36 hours now? And he only talked about it umpteen times during the campaign. I'm sure he'll renege.

Hell, it took Clinton 8 hours to give her concession speech.

On the bright side, he managed to kill TPP just by getting elected. Was that quick enough for you?

[Mar 04, 2019] Obama corruption: Warren troubled by Obama speaking fees

Apr 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Shot: "Obama's $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character" [ HuffPo ].

Chaser: "Ask all the bankers he jailed for fraud."

JohnnyGL , April 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/330912-warren-troubled-by-obamas-speaking-fee

This just in .Saint Obama is no longer infallible among Dems. Winds of change are blowing. Six months ago, you couldn't get away with saying this kind of thing.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , April 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Clinton is down.

Now Obama.

Pelosi? For how long?

Only one big Democrat left – Schumer. Very few target him for challenge, yet.

curlydan , April 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

He probably said to himself, "What did I make in a year as president? Oh yeah, $400,000. Now that's what I want to make in an hour"

jrs , April 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

you gotta pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don't come easy

David Carl Grimes , April 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Obama's not concerned about optics anymore.

fresno dan , April 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm

JohnnyGL
April 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

"The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Obama will receive the sum - equal to his annual pay as president - for a speech at Cantor Fitzgerald LP's healthcare conference, though there has been no public announcement yet."

=======================================
Sheer coincidence that what Obama campaigned on and what Obama governed on appear to be influenced by rich people. Physics prevents single payer health care .dark energy, dark matter, dark, dark, money ..

Until a strong majority of dems are ready to say what is patently obvious to anyone even mildly willing to acknowledge reality, i.e., that policy is decided not by a majority of voters, but by a majority of dollars, than there is simply no hope for reform.

[Mar 04, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is right Corruption is rotting the U.S. from within by Helaine Olen

Aug 22, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

... just as the day was ending, news broke that Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.), an early Trump backer, was indicted for misusing campaign funds for personal expenses big and small, including dental bills and a trip to Italy.

And this sort of behavior isn't even what Warren is targeting.

Warren's bill takes on what is usually termed the legalized corruption, the dirty dealings of Washington. Among other things, the legislation would:

The goal? To make government once again responsive to voters, not the corporations and the wealthy donors responsible for the vast majority of the $3.37 billion spent lobbying Washington in 2017. That money buys results, but only for the people paying the bills. As Warren said:

Corruption has seeped into the fabric of our government, tilting thousands of decisions away from the public good and toward the desires of those at the top. And, over time, bit by bit, like a cancer eating away at our democracy, corruption has eroded Americans' faith in our government.

This is not hyperbole. A 2014 academic study found the U.S. government policy almost always reflected the desires of the donor class over the will of the majority of voters, while a 2016 report by the progressive think tank Demos determined political donors have distinctly different views from most Americans on issues ranging from financial regulation to abortion rights. A tax reform package that showers benefits on corporations and the wealthiest among us? Consider it done. But a crackdown on drug pricing, buttressing of Social Security without cutting benefits, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid, or progress combating global warming, all of which majorities say they want? Not so fast.

Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) said on June 5 that she will introduce "sweeping anti-corruption legislation to clean up corporate money sloshing around Washington." (Georgetown Law)

It's not just what laws get passed, but who is held accountable under those laws. No one in a high position went to jail for the financial crisis. Foreclosure fraud on the part of the banks was punished with a slap on the wrist – if that. All too many corporations treat their customers with complete impunity, as scandals ranging from the Equifax hack to Wells Fargo's many misdeeds demonstrate. It feels as if there is no one minding the store -- if you are rich and connected enough, that is.

This behavior leaves us enraged, feeling like outsiders peering in on our own elected government. A Gallup poll found 3 out of 4 voters surveyed described corruption as " widespread throughout the government " -- in 2010. There's a reason Trump's claim he would "drain the swamp" resonated. No one, after all, thought Trump was clean. His stated argument was, in fact, the opposite. He claimed his success a businessman navigating the corrupt U.S. system gave him just the right set of insight and tools to clean up Washington.

We all know now that was just another audacious Trump con. The tax reform package almost certainly benefited his own bottom line, though we don't know that for sure since he has not released his taxes. Andrew Wheeler , the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is a former lobbyist for the coal industry. Alex Azar , the secretary of Health and Human Services, is a former top executive of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. At the Education Department, the revolving door is alive and well, with former George W. Bush administration officials who went on to work at for-profit institutions of higher education returning to government service to advise Betsy De Vos who is -- surprise! -- cutting the sector multiple breaks.

And all this, under our current laws, is allowed.

To be clear, this is not a matter of Republicans Good, Democrats Bad. As Warren put it on Tuesday, "This problem is far bigger than Trump." An Obama-era attempt to slow the revolving door was riddled with loopholes that allowed the appointment of Wall Street insiders to too many regulatory posts. Subsequently, more than a few Obama appointees have gone on to work for big business as lobbyists.

Corruption, legal or illegal, rots the system from the inside out. In an environment where it seems anything goes, it's not hard to think that, well, anything goes -- like Cohen and Manafort, who almost certainly would have gotten away with their behavior if not for the Mueller investigation, and Hunter, who ignored multiple warnings from his campaign treasurer and instead continued to do such things as pass off the purchase of a pair of shorts as sporting equipment intended for use by "wounded warriors."

There is, of course, no way Warren's bill would clean up this entire festering mess. But healthy democracies need government officials -- elected and unelected -- to behave both ethically and honestly. Warren is putting our governing and business classes on notice. Simply saying the law is on your side isn't good enough. The voters won't stand for that.

[Mar 04, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's anti corruption crusade evaporates when foreign policy is raised by Sam Husseini

Aug 22, 2018 | mondoweiss.net
     

On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed the National Press Club , outlining with great specificity a host of proposals on issues including eliminating financial conflicts, close the revolving door between business and government and, perhaps most notably, reforming corporate structures .

Warren gave a blistering attack on corporate power run amok, giving example after example, like Congressman Billy Tauzin doing the pharmaceutical lobby's bidding by preventing a bill for expanded Medicare coverage from allowing the program to negotiate lower drug prices. Noted Warren: "In December of 2003, the very same month the bill was signed into law, PhRMA -- the drug companies' biggest lobbying group -- dangled the possibility that Billy could be their next CEO.

"In February of 2004, Congressman Tauzin announced that he wouldn't seek re-election. Ten months later, he became CEO of PhRMA -- at an annual salary of $2 million. Big Pharma certainly knows how to say 'thank you for your service.'"

But I found that Warren's tenacity when ripping things like corporate lobbyists' "pre-bribes" suddenly evaporated when dealing with issues like the enormous military budget and Israeli assaults on Palestinian children.

... ... ...

Said Warren of her own financial reform proposals: "Inside Washington, some of these proposals will be very unpopular, even with some of my friends. Outside Washington, I expect that most people will see these ideas as no-brainers and be shocked they're not already the law.

Why doesn't the same principle apply to funding perpetual wars and massive human rights abuses against children?

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist, senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy and founder of VotePact .org. Follow him on twitter: @samhusseini

ckg
August 22, 2018, 10:46 am OpenSecrets shows that Senator Warren has received funds from the pro-Israel PAC Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs for the 2018 election cycle. Among the largest funders of this PAC are billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker and his wife. At the start of Israel's 2014 massacre in Gaza, the PAC issued a statement in support of Israel.
just
August 22, 2018, 12:36 pm No surprise there, ckg. I cannot think of anyone in Congress nor in the US cabinet that is not 99-100% in Israel supporters' pockets. Nor can I think of anyone that is diplomatically focused. Nor can I think of anyone that is seriously objecting to the slaughter in Yemen, the ongoing attempt to topple Assad, and the endless war in Afghanistan, etc.

Then there's this: the US and too many others pay/subsidize Israel for the privilege of dictating foreign policy and for their own selfish, ridiculous claims of being 'surrounded by enemies'. A nuclear- armed state (though never inspected nor properly declared) keeps this trope/cliché alive???

How many billions should Americans and others pay to Israel for nothing in return?

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2018/03/understanding-military-aid-israel-180305092533077.html Log in to Reply

Maghlawatan
August 23, 2018, 7:10 am Standing up to the Israel lobby now is suicidal. Nobody will risk a career to support a dissident until the dam breaks as it always does.

Power doesn't work linearly. It goes in cycles. Zionism is tied up with money which is a function of the economic system. Warren is playing a long game. She knows the people at the Fed are clueless. She knows there is going to be an awful crash. She knows there will be a new economic system based on the people rather than the elites..

Zionism is living on fumes in DC

https://youtu.be/uDT0xSsrVIg

[Mar 04, 2019] Elizabeth Warren criticized Obama unsaturable greed

Notable quotes:
"... By Joshua Weitz, a research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network and an incoming graduate student in the PhD program in political science at Brown University ..."
Jun 02, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. How many ways can you spell "payoff"?

By Joshua Weitz, a research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network and an incoming graduate student in the PhD program in political science at Brown University

Since leaving office President Obama has drawn widespread criticism for accepting a $400,000 speaking fee from the Wall Street investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald, including from Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Only a few months out of office, the move has been viewed as emblematic of the cozy relationship between the financial sector and political elites.

But as the President's critics have voiced outrage over the decision many have been reluctant to criticize the record-setting $65 million book deal that Barack and Michelle Obama landed jointly this February with Penguin Random House (PRH). Writing in the Washington Post, for example, Ruth Marcus argues that while the Wall Street speech "feels like unfortunate icing on an already distasteful cake," the book deal is little more than the outcome of market forces fueled by consumer demand: "If the market bears $60 million to hear from the Obamas, great."

[Mar 04, 2019] Warren by name, saying he was wrong to claim at a commencement address at Rutgers last year that "the system isn't as rigged as you think." "No, President Obama, the system is as rigged as we think"

May 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Obama centrists don't have to worry just about Sanders' popularity. Elizabeth Warren, who is increasingly appearing as a plausible presidential candidate for 2020, has also risen as an economic populist critic of the former president.

She has been perfectly willing to challenge Obama by name, saying he was wrong to claim at a commencement address at Rutgers last year that "the system isn't as rigged as you think." "No, President Obama, the system is as rigged as we think," she writes in her new book This Fight Is Our Fight. "In fact, it's worse than most Americans realize." She even went so far as to say she was "troubled" by Obama's willingness to take his six-figure speaking fee from Wall Street. There is indeed a fight brewing, but it's not Obama v. Trump, but Obama v. Warren-Sanders.

And this is where the real difficulty lies for the Democrats. The trouble with the popular and eminently reasonable Sanders-Warren platform-reasonable for all those, Obama and Clinton included, who express dismay over our country's rampaging levels of Gilded Age-style inequality-is that it alienates the donor class that butters the DNC's bread. With Clinton's downfall, and with the popularity of economic populism rising in left circles, Obama has to step in and reassert his more centrist brand of Democratic politics. And what better way to do so than by conspicuously cashing a check from those who would fund said politics?

[Mar 04, 2019] Oh please, stop quoting Andy Slavitt, the United Healthcare Ingenix algo man. That guy is the biggest crook that made his money early on with RX discounts with his company that he and Senator Warren's daughter, Amelia sold to United Healthcare.

Mar 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

MedicalQuack , , November 15, 2017 at 10:31 am

Oh please, stop quoting Andy Slavitt, the United Healthcare Ingenix algo man. That guy is the biggest crook that made his money early on with RX discounts with his company that he and Senator Warren's daughter, Amelia sold to United Healthcare.

He's out there trying to do his own reputation restore routine. Go back to 2009 and read about the short paying of MDs by Ingenix, which is now Optum Insights, he was the CEO and remember it was just around 3 years ago or so he sat there quarterly with United CEO Hemsley at those quarterly meetings.

Look him up, wants 40k to speak and he puts the perception out there he does this for free, not so.

diptherio , , November 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

I think you're missing the context. Lambert is quoting him by way of showing that the sleazy establishment types are just fine with him. Thanks for the extra background on that particular swamp-dweller, though.

a different chris , , November 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Not just the context, it's a quote in a quote. Does make me think Slavitt must be a real piece of work to send MQ so far off his rails

petal , , November 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Alex Azar is a Dartmouth grad (Gov't & Economics '88) just like Jeff Immelt (Applied Math & Economics '78). So much damage to society from such a small department!

sgt_doom , , November 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Nice one, petal !!!

Really, all I need to know about the Trumpster Administration:

From Rothschild to . . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Ross

Since 2014, Ross has been the vice-chairman of the board of Bank of Cyprus PCL, the largest bank in Cyprus.

He served under U.S. President Bill Clinton on the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund. Later, under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ross served as the Mayor's privatization advisor.

[Mar 04, 2019] US does not have "plan B". Trump just betting on enough pressure will force China to surrender, like Japan did in the 80s.

Notable quotes:
"... Face it. Mass production of consumer electronics in the USA is almost non-existent. An entire important industry has been lost forever based on wage arbitrage. But even if there were not a 10:1 wage disparity, the skill level and work ethic of Americans is pathetic compared to the diligent Asian worker bees. Reality is a cruel mistress ..."
"... Russia just passed up the U.S. in grain exports. Their economy in real terms grows year on year. Russia has more natural wealth available to exploit than USA that includes lands rich in minerals, timber, water, etc. ..."
"... With regards to traitorous fifth column atlantacists and oligarchy, Russia's shock therapy (induced by the Harvard Boys) in the 90's helped Russian's figure out who the real enemy is. Putin has marginalized most of these ((Oligarchs)), and they longer are allowed to influence politics. Many have also been stripped of their ill gotten gains, for example the Rothschild gambit to grab Yukos and to own Russia was thwarted. Dollar debts were paid off, etc. ..."
"... The Western European based US economy is fast draining out (along with people of Western European descent) and the days of US world manufacturing leadership (1950's) are a distant memory. ..."
"... Maybe the takeaway from US/Chinese history is that the US needs its own Maoist style Cultural Revolution. Nothing short of US Maoism is needed to root out every aspect of the current rotten system and get a fresh start from zero. ..."
Mar 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete says: February 18, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMT 100 Words A superb and apparently too little appreciated point,

War, in this model, begins when the first shots are fired.

Well, think again in this new era of growing great-power struggle and competition.

It all war, all the time and another point to remember is that there is always a war between the .001% and the rest of us.

Another thing is that we proles, peasants and peons should give some serious thought to having the "elite" fight their own battles, on their "own" (though mostly stolen) shekels for once. Read More Agree: foolisholdman Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments


Agent76 , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT

Feb 15, 2019 Next Phase, Xi & Trump, Coordinate The Transition

US industrial production plunges, this doesn't mean that manufacturing jobs are not coming back to the US this means the [CB] is deteriorating quickly as Trump brings back manufacturing.

Feb 16, 2019 Pentagon Warns of Chinese Space Lasers | China News Headlines

A new Pentagon report says #China and Russia have developed #laser weapons to target US satellites. Need a Space Force?

SteveK9 , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:09 pm GMT
Michael Klare believes in Russia-gate. Anyone that foolish is not worth reading.
The Scalpel , says: Website February 18, 2019 at 4:13 pm GMT

governing elites have developed other means of warfare -- economic, technological, and covert -- to achieve such strategic objectives. Viewed this way, the United States is already in close to full combat mode with respect to China.

Looked at this way, there are countless wars all the time as well as a huge gray area that is debatable. I think there is merit in defining war as actual kinetic weapons firing in both directions. Even then, there are gray areas, but at least they are minimized

Yee , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm GMT
Erebus,

"The time and investment required to rebuild/replace supply chains in a JIT world means much of what's left of America's real economy would disappear within weeks.

American trade negotiators are apparently oblivious to this. I find that very weird."

Of course they're not oblivious, as you can see everytime the stock market goes down, some US official came out to say a deal/talk is on the way. Both the negotiators and the market know.

They're just betting on enough pressure will force China to surrender, like Japan did in the 80s.

nsa , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm GMT
@Erebus In the distant past there were at least 1000 PC Board manufacturers in the US .now there are only 2 or 3. Most US PCB houses are actually a middleman with an iphone fronting for one of the many Chinese PCB factories. You supply the Gerber Files and the payment, of course, and your finished PC Boards come back by air the next day.

Now here is the kicker: our US PC Board supplier is located in Illinois and owned by you guessed it Hindus. Half the staff are also Hindus. In general, the Chinese PCBs are of higher quality than the Hindu .er US PCBs.

Face it. Mass production of consumer electronics in the USA is almost non-existent. An entire important industry has been lost forever based on wage arbitrage. But even if there were not a 10:1 wage disparity, the skill level and work ethic of Americans is pathetic compared to the diligent Asian worker bees. Reality is a cruel mistress

MEFOBILLS , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:26 pm GMT
@jeff stryker Reality much?

Russia just passed up the U.S. in grain exports. Their economy in real terms grows year on year. Russia has more natural wealth available to exploit than USA that includes lands rich in minerals, timber, water, etc.

With regards to traitorous fifth column atlantacists and oligarchy, Russia's shock therapy (induced by the Harvard Boys) in the 90's helped Russian's figure out who the real enemy is. Putin has marginalized most of these ((Oligarchs)), and they longer are allowed to influence politics. Many have also been stripped of their ill gotten gains, for example the Rothschild gambit to grab Yukos and to own Russia was thwarted. Dollar debts were paid off, etc.

Russia could go further in their symphony of church and state, and copy Justinian (Byzyantine empire) and prevent our (((friends))) from teaching in schools,bein control of money, or in government.

With regards to China, they would be not be anywhere near where they are today if the West had not actively transferred their patrimony in the form of transplanted industry and knowledge.

China is only temporarily dependent on export of goods via their Eastern seaboard, but as soon as belt and road opens up, she will pivot further toward Eurasia. If the U.S. factories withdrew from China tomorrow, China already has our "knowledge" and will find markets in Eurasia and raw materials in Africa, etc.

People need to stop whistling past the graveyard.

The atalantacist strategy has run its course, internal development of U.S. and linking up with belt and road would be in America's best future interests. But, to do that requires first acknowledging that money's true nature is law, and not private bank credit. Further, the U.S. is being used as whore of Babylon, where her money is "Federal Reserve Notes" and are international in character. The U.S is not sovereign. Deep state globalism does not recognize national boundaries, or sovereignty.

The Scalpel , says: Website February 18, 2019 at 4:32 pm GMT
@Alfa158 Alternatively, one could examine a nations ability to rapidly expand their economy to meet wartime needs. In this scenario, other factors such as access to raw materials come into play. In this perspective, the equations would change dramatically.
Digital Samizdat , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:32 pm GMT
@MEFOBILLS To make a long story short, China is run by the Chinese, while the US today is run by (((globalist parasites))).
The Scalpel , says: Website February 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm GMT
@Wally

And to think some take this fraud, Klare, seriously.

He writes for Tomdispatch. Need I say more?

jacques sheete , says: February 18, 2019 at 4:57 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

I think there is merit in defining war as actual kinetic weapons firing

Why limit it to that? I'd say there's plenty of merit in the author's definition especially since it would tend to shed some lights on the origins of major conflicts.

AriusArmenian , says: February 18, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT
That US elites that are split on who to go after first compromised by going after both Russia and China at the same time is a definition of insanity. The US doesn't have a chance in hell of subduing or defeating the Russia/China alliance. The US is already checkmated. The more it goes after some big win the worse will be its defeat.

So the question (for me) is not which side will win, the question is the scenario of the decline of the US Empire. Someone here mentioned the EU turning East. At some point the EU will decide that staying a US vassal is suicide and it will turn East. When that happens then the virus of US insanity will turn inwards into itself.

The US has recently focused on South America by installing several fascist regimes and is now trying to get Venezuela. But the US backed regimes are laying the groundwork for the next wave of revolution soon to come. Wherever I look the US is its own worst enemy. The big question is how much suffering before it ends.

The Scalpel , says: Website February 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm GMT
@jacques sheete The author's definition makes the term a purely rhetorical one tantamount to an angry child saying "this means war!" to another angry child, or "The War on Drugs" or "The Battle of the Sexes" etc.

Admittedly, this is all semantics, so have it your way if you want, as it is not worth the time of further debate. As for me, I prefer to have terms as precise as possible.

DB Cooper , says: February 18, 2019 at 5:52 pm GMT
@nsa I didn't know Indians are into the PCB industry. Do the customers aware that they are just middlemen getting their goods from China?

Anyway here is a behind the scene look at one of the PCB manufacturers in China. Pretty interesting stuff.

Cratylus , says: February 18, 2019 at 5:56 pm GMT
Klare discovers the US crusade against China – 8 years after the Obama/Hillary "pivot" to East Asia sending 2/3 of the US Navy there and putting together the TPP to excluded China. As usual he is right on top of things.

And he begins with this gem: " "The media and many politicians continue to focus on U.S.-Russian relations, in large part because of revelations of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and the ongoing Mueller investigation." Huh? Does he mean the $4700 in Google ads or the $50,000 in Facebook ads traced to some alleged Russian sources? A Russiagater from the start.
I remember some years ago before the shale revolution Klare was warning us about "peak oil." I think we were supposed to have run out of it by now.

Klare is a hack who cycles things that any conscious person reading the newspapers would have known long ago.

P.s. He says that Apple is the number one cell phone. No longer. He should improve his Google search skills or his set of assumptions which have turned him into a Russiagater.

Huawei now sells more cell phones worldwide than Apple ( https://gearburn.com/2018/08/huawei-smartphone-sales-2018/ ). And Huawei does this even though it is effectively excluded from the US market (You cannot find it in stores) whereas Apple has unfettered access to the enormous Chinese market. You find Huawei everywhere – from Italy to Tanzania. How would Apple fare if China stopped purchases of its products? Not so well I am afraid.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm GMT
Usa is at war against everyone , from China to Latinamerica , from Europe to India , from the islamic world to Africa . Usa is even at war against its own citizens , at least against its best citizens .
peterAUS , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Counterinsurgency You are onto something here.

I don't think it's simple "Eastern" vs "Western" Europeans; my take is Protestants vs Catholics vs Orthodox. In that order. The biggest difference is between Protestant and Orthodox. Catholics are, sort of, in the middle. Or, in practical terms, don't see much difference between Austrians and Slovenes. That's for Europe.

As for China, definitely agree.

wayfarer , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:55 pm GMT
China's "Petro-Yuan": The End of the U.S. Dollar Hegemony?
WorkingClass , says: February 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
When we speak of the culture war or the war on drugs or the war between the sexes or a trade war we are misusing the word war.

War with China means exactly shooting and bombing and killing Chinese and American people. Expanding the meaning of the word only makes it meaningless.

We are NOT already at war with China.

jacques sheete , says: February 18, 2019 at 7:57 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

Admittedly, this is all semantics, so have it your way if you want, as it is not worth the time of further debate. As for me, I prefer to have terms as precise as possible.

I agree on all four points.

However, if you didn't want a debate, or at least a response, then why did you bother bringing it up? (That's a rhetorical question, since I neither expect nor really care what the response would be; now I'm asking myself why I bothered !!!)

jacques sheete , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:00 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX

Russia under Putin is an exporter of non GMO grains where as the U.S. exports GMO grains thatt the Chinese do not want as these GMO grains are a destuctive to humans and animals.

I hope that's true. To Hell with that GMO crap!!! Anyone using it for farming ought to be forced to drink glyphosate straight for breakfast.

AnonFromTN , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:02 pm GMT
As far as the war with China goes, we ain't seen nothing yet. It won't be pretty, especially considering that the US is starting it with severe self-inflicted wounds.
Cratylus , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:19 pm GMT
Yes, and the ads were often absurd – one somehow featuring Yosemite Sam and gun rights and another for a dildo, I believe. Great for click bait maybe but not real winners for a campaign.

As the incomparable Jimmy Dore says on his show, which should be required watching for everyone, if the Russians can swing an election with such modest resources against maybe $1-2 billion spent by the Donald and the Hillary together, then every candidate for offices high and low should run not walk with $54,700 in hand to secure a cheap and easy victory from the Russobots.

Commentator Mike , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:41 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Actually China has approved import of some US GMOs

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/08/reuters-america-factbox-china-approves-new-gmo-soybean-corn-and-canola-traits.html

Cyrano , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:41 pm GMT
I don't think China stands the chance. As we all know diversity is strength and China is mono-cultured rather than the obviously superior multi. So China will continue to decline, while US goes from strength to strength thanks to its brilliant, brilliant multicultural philosophy.

China was dumb enough to try real socialism, while obviously the fake one is the way to go. You convince your domestic population of your humanitarian credentials – via the phony socialism, plus you don't have to share a cent with them. How clever is that? Phony socialism is the way to go – it eliminates the need for the real one.

James Wood , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
At some point one must consider that this is all a fraud. In Washington Ocasio-Cortez and the Democrats are proposing to eviscerate the US economy with their Green New Deal. While here we find Washington launching a long term struggle for economic, political, and military superiority over China.

As was once said in another context by an individual remembered in history, "What is truth?" A question which either revealed his own puzzlement or was simply a rhetorical dismissal of the question altogether. Likely both at the same time. One can be simply bemused by the turn of events.

Is all this activity simply a song and dance to entertain, terrify, confuse, and amuse the public while the real ordering of the world takes place behind closed doors? Put Ocasio-Cortez together with the Pentagon and we have apparently a commitment by the US to force the entire world to immolate itself. No state shall be superior to the US and the US shall be a third world hellhole. Cui bono?

AnonFromTN , says: February 18, 2019 at 9:04 pm GMT
@joe webb Russia and China are certainly not natural allies. However, deranged international banditry of the US (called foreign policy in the DC bubble) literally forced them to ally against a common threat: dying demented Empire.

As you call Chinese "Chinks", I suggest you stop using everything made in China, including your clothes, footwear, tools, the light bulbs in your house, etc. Then, using your likely made in China computer and certainly made in China mouse, come back and tell us how great your life has become. Or you can stick to your principles of not using China-made stuff, write a message on a piece of paper (warning: make sure that neither the paper nor the pen is made in China), put it into a bottle, and throw it in the ocean. Be patient, and in a few centuries you might get an answer.

Anonymous [375] Disclaimer , says: February 18, 2019 at 9:34 pm GMT
@joe webb Russia is currently trying to get China to ally against the West:

" Russia to China: Together we can rule the world "

https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/2019/02/russia-china-alliance-rule-the-world/

In the halls of the Kremlin these days, it's all about China -- and whether or not Moscow can convince Beijing to form an alliance against the West.

Russia's obsession with a potential alliance with China was already obvious at the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual gathering of Russia's biggest foreign policy minds, in 2017.

At their next meeting, late last year, the idea seemed to move from the speculative to something Russia wants to realize. And soon

Seen from Moscow, there is no resistance left to a new alliance led by China. And now that Washington has imposed tariffs on Chinese exports, Russia hopes China will finally understand that its problem is Washington, not Moscow.

In the past, the possibility of an alliance between the two countries had been hampered by China's reluctance to jeopardize its relations with the U.S. But now that it has already become a target, perhaps it will grow bolder. Every speaker at Valdai tried to push China in that direction.

Anon [332] Disclaimer , says: February 18, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Sean Pollution in China is good for the environment:

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/05/673821051/carbon-dioxide-emissions-are-up-again-what-now-climate

Another hurdle, reported in the journal Nature this week, is that China is cleaning up its air pollution. That sounds great for pollution-weary Chinese citizens. But climatologists point out that some of that air pollution had actually been cooling the atmosphere, by blocking out solar radiation. Ironically, less air pollution from China could mean more warming for the Earth.

tamo , says: February 19, 2019 at 2:53 am GMT
@AnonFromTN Frankly, I really don't give a damn about what you say. But do not use racial slurs FIRST. I use racial slurs ONLY in RESPONSE to the comments that contain them, in retaliation. If you don't use racial slurs, I wouldn't either.
nsa , says: February 19, 2019 at 3:02 am GMT
@DB Cooper DB,
Thanks for the PCB mfg video. Asian roboticized surface mount assembly plants are even more impressive. At one time supplied specialized instrumentation to the FN factory in South Carolina where the 50 cal machine guns are made, and received a tour. Crude by Asian standards, but efficient in its own way. Base price on a 50 LMG at the time was $5k without any of the extras: tripod, flash suppressor, water cooling, advanced night vision sights, etc. Base price would be $10k by now. The US Guv does not allow this kind of production to go offshore .but apparently cares not a jot about the production of consumer electronics, a massive and growing worldwide market.

Have read the Chinese shops assemble $1000 I-pods for as little as $5 each including parts sourcing, making domestic production here impractical. Surprisingly, the Germans manage to produce high end electronics and their manufacturing labor rates are even higher than North America. Says something about the skill and diligence level of the US workforce ..where just passing a drug test and not having felonies or bad credit is a major achievement.

@Anonymous Yes, it is quite off putting, even though most of the article is quite sound. Possibly Klare was obliged to add this bit of nonsense in order to get it published in TomDispatch but who knows.
Erebus , says: February 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@nsa A good friend supplies hi-end PCBs to EU & RU electronics mfrs, particularly in DE. Judging by the numbers I hear, hi-end electronics is still very much alive in Europe while it's all but dead in NA.

It's a capital intensive business, and raw labour cost is a minor component in the total cost of doing business. NA has put so many socio-political obstructions & regulatory costs in the way that even at min wage it makes no business sense to locate there. I doubt it would make sense even with free labour.

As Steve Jobs told Obama point blank, "Those jobs aren't coming back". NA's manufacturing ecosystem (rather than mere infrastructure), which includes social-cultural aspects as well as physical plant has been disappeared, and only dire necessity will build a new one. I explicitly avoid the word "rebuild", as that train left the station years ago. NA still "assembles" stuff, but it doesn't manufacture except on a small, niche scale.

Manufacturing is a difficult and very demanding business. 21st C manufacturing is not simply an extension of the 20th's. It's a radically different hybrid of logistics, design & production engineering, "smart" plant, and financial mgmt.

Not for the faint of heart. Much easier to flip burgers/houses/stocks/used cars/derivatives/credit swaps/ until there's nothing left to flip.

peter mcloughlin , says: February 19, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
Where a war begins – or ends – can be hard to define. Michael Klare is right, 'War' and 'peace' are not 'polar opposites'. We often look at wars in chronological abstraction: the First World War started on the 28th July 1914. Or did it only become a global war one week later when Great Britain declared war on Germany? The causes can be of long duration. The decline of the Ottoman Empire, for which the other Great Powers were positioning themselves to benefit, might have begun as far back as 1683 when the Turks were defeated at the Battle of Vienna. It ultimately led to the events of 1914.

Great power rivalry has always led to wars; in the last hundred years world wars. Graham Allison wrote that the US can 'avoid catastrophic war with China while protecting and advancing American national interests' if it follows the lessons of the Cold War. History shows that wars are caused by the clash of interests, that's always at some else's expense. When core interests collide there is no alternative to war – however destructive.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Jason Liu , says: February 19, 2019 at 2:45 pm GMT
The trade war is meh.

The real conflict is a cultural/ideological war in which liberal democracy tries to apply its system worldwide under the delusion that egalitarianism, freedom, your definition of rights, is universal.

China will never accept this. Russia is already fighting back. Nor does any developing country look like they will ever truly embrace western values. It's gonna be SWPLs + WEIRDs vs The Rest of Humanity.

The new Cold War will last much longer than any trade issue and conflict over values will always be the underlying motivation, until the west either ends its universalist crusade, or abolishes liberal democracy within its own borders.

raywood , says: February 19, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
I would be more sympathetic with Klare's fear of cold war with China if he could just assure me that Chinese writers are equally able to voice concern with their own government's side of the equation.
peterAUS , says: February 19, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@peter mcloughlin

Great power rivalry has always led to wars ..

History shows that wars are caused by the clash of interests, that's always at some else's expense. When core interests collide there is no alternative to war – however destructive.

Pretty much, BUT, with one little difference re "some else's expense" now. M.A.D. scenario.

Even limited exchange of thermonuclear M.I.R.V.s could affect everyone (even if somebody can define that "limited" in the first place).

My take: we haven't developed, as species, along our capability for destruction.
Cheerful thought, I know.

denk , says: February 19, 2019 at 6:07 pm GMT
Pepe Escobar says: 'US elites remain incapable of understanding China'

That's B.S., Pepe should've known better . They dont 'misunderstand', they'r simply lying thru their teeth.

The following are all bald faced lies, Classic bandits crying robbery.

Lawmaker: Chinese navy seeks to encircle US homeland
[bravo, This one really takes the cake !]

US Accuses China Of Preparing For World War III

US accuses China of trying to militarise and dominates space

USN have to patrol the SCS to protect FON for international shipping..

tip of an iceberg

Those who uttered such nonsense aint insane, stupid or cuz they 'misunderstand' [sic] China.
They know we know they'r telling bald faced lies
but that doesnt stop them lying with straight face .

This is the classic def of psychopaths: people who'r utterly amoral, no sense of right or wrong, there's no such word as embarrassment in their vocab.

Is it sheer coincidence that all the 5lies have been ruled by such breeds ?
Ask Ian Fleming's fundamental law of prob .

but why couldnt they produce one decent leader
in all of three hundred years.
5lies have more than their fair share of psychopaths no doubt, but surely not everybody is like joe web and co., I know this for a fact. ?

Trouble is .

Washington DC is a veritable cesspool that
no decent man would want to dip his foot into it.
They might as well put it in the job requirement,
'Only psychopaths need apply '
Thats why in the DC cesspool, only the society's dregs rise up to the top.

A case of garbage in, garbage out .

A vicious circle that cant be fixed, except to be broken.

Китайский дурак , says: February 20, 2019 at 12:56 am GMT
1) People from China PRC has as a people on the whole become quite disgusting. But please exclude ppl from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibetans, Uyghurs etc. I confirm that PRC China people by and large are now locusts of the world. I am one of them by birth. how did it happen? Deep question for philosophers. It wasn't like this 60 years ago. some poisonous element entered the veins of the collective, infected at least 70 percent. I worry for Russia due to its inflated self confidence when dealing with PRC. Lake Baikal deal was almost sealed before it got shelved. Still, using racial curses don't hurt anyone but yourself. All the big internet advocates for Russia such as Orlov and Saker and Karlin don'tunderstand The Danger of China PRC. If you understand then you have a responsibility to keep yourself décent and respectable.

2) USA aside from its liberals and Zionist Jews etc. Has become a slowly stewing big asylum for psychologically infantile and demented big babies. How did it happen again is a big philosophical myth to me. Western Europe is sinking primarily because they came to resemble the US. especially French and Brits and Spanish.

3) Russia is ruled by a few individuals with brains and maybe a bit of conscience but the elite ruling class behave in such a way that one would conclude that they share the China PRC virus, just not as advanced. Your basic Russian people are in a state of abject degradation dejection, not changed all that much since 1990s. Only slightly ahead of the Ukrainians. If one cares about Russia then shove aside 19th century naive romanticism and face reality.

4) A sustained and massive war by USA against China maybe the only miniscule chance Greek/Christian civilization can be saved. Otherwise descend of history into thousand year dark age. The latter is more likely due to advanced stage of brain dead disease gripping the entire West.

jeff stryker , says: February 20, 2019 at 1:19 am GMT
@tamo TAMO

If you have observed cities like Detroit or Greater Los Angeles than you know that "white flight" as oppose to sycophancy is the end result of black or Hispanic populations reaching a certain level. Whites leave and the US then has another internal third world like Detroit or East LA.

It is a game of musical chairs where the white move into remote hinterlands, which develop into suburbs or exurbs, then of course as these become population centers the blacks and Hispanics enter them and the whites flee again.

What you will see is white flight from the US with the wealthiest whites simply moving to other developed countries. The 1% would move to New Zealand or Tasmania.

jeff stryker , says: February 20, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT
@Joe Wong JOE

The best way for the US to win a war over China is not to outsource their labor there.

There is no way the US could win a conventional war with China. It cannot even win a conventional war in Afghanistan.

China managed to fight off-if not defeat-the US in Korea and Vietnam.

atlantis_dweller , says: February 20, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT
The handicap for the USA in the confrontation is twofold its élite are in conflict (and afraid, and contemptuous of) at least half of their own populace.
Plus, all the resources of all kinds directed to enterprises in the Middle East, subtracted thusly from other enterprises.

Furthermore, there is the occasional bullying of Europe, and the continuous bullying of Russia, yet more resource drains.
The USA spreads itself too thin, perhaps.

Joe Wong , says: February 20, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT
@peterAUS Chinese are neither for money nor for ethnic power, Chinese is for 5 principles of peaceful coexistence, treating all nations large and small as equal with respect.

Chinese believes we are now living in a rapidly changing world Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become the trend of our times. To keep up with the times, we cannot have ourselves physically living in the 21st century, but with a mindset belonging to the past stalled in the oldays of colonialism, and constrained by the zero-sum Cold War mentality.

Chinese is determined to help the world to achieve harmony, peace and prosperity thru the win-win approaches.

atlantis_dweller , says: February 20, 2019 at 2:16 am GMT
@Китайский дурак 2) The riddle reads simply: democracy, multiracialism, economic welfare (no-limit printing of currency made possible by uncontested military "overmatch").
jeff stryker , says: February 20, 2019 at 2:20 am GMT
@Joe Wong JOE

I lived in the Philippines and would chalk that up to fairly typical of a country run by China since it is effectively controlled by a syndicate of Fujian family cartels.

This is on the horizon in Africa. Probably.

In the West, Chinese were held in check by Jews and WASPS and to some degree by Malaysians. I see Africa becoming like the Philippines once Chinese can become citizens there, however.

Joe Wong , says: February 20, 2019 at 2:55 am GMT
@Biff The Romans create a desert and call it peace; British Empire imitated Roman Empire, USA is born out of British Empire; so only the White People particular the Anglo-Saxon is not ready for peace or salvation. But rest of the world has been waiting for peace or salvation for a long long time.
peterAUS , says: February 20, 2019 at 2:56 am GMT
@Joe Wong

Chinese are neither for money nor for ethnic power, Chinese is for 5 principles of peaceful coexistence, treating all nations large and small as equal with respect.

Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become the trend of our times.

Chinese is determined to help the world to achieve harmony, peace and prosperity thru the win-win approaches.

Three options here:
Preferably,you are just pulling our legs. Not bad attempt, actually. Got me for a second.

Most likely, you are simply working. Sloppy and crude but, well, "you get what you pay for". 50 Cent Army. Retired but needing money. Sucks, a?

Crazy and the least probable, you really believe in all that. Ah, well

Joe Wong , says: February 20, 2019 at 3:28 am GMT
@jeff stryker Obviously you are brain washed by the 'god-fearing' morally defunct evil 'Anglo-Saxon', blaming every of your own failure on the Chinese just like what the Americans and their Five-Eyes partners are doing right now.

The Filippino, the Malay and all the SE Asia locals have the guns not the Chinese, if the Chinese do not hand over their hard earned money they will use what their ex-colonial masters taught them since Vasco da Gama discovered the East Indies, masscared the Chinese and took it all. The Dutch, Spanish, English, Japanese and the American all have done it before in order to colonized the East Indies.

Before WWII, the American is just one of the Western imperialists ravaged and wreaked havoc of Asia with barbaric wars, illicit drugs like Opium, slavery, stealing, robbing, looting, plundering, murdering, torturing, exploiting, polluting, culture genocide, 'pious' fanaticism, unmatchable greed and extreme brutality. In fact it is hard to tell the difference between the American and the unrepentant war criminal Japanese who is more lethal and barbaric to Asians until the Pearl Harbour incident.

For over seventy years the US has dominated Asia, ravaging the continent with two major wars in Korea and Indo-China with millions of casualties, and multiple counter-insurgency interventions in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor, Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The strategic goal has been to expand its military and political power, exploit the economies and resources and encircle China.

USA is 10,000 miles away on the other side of the Pacific. USA is not an Asian nation, and American is an alien to Asia. American is a toxin and a plague to Asian, They have done enough damage to Asian already, they are not wanted, not invited and not loved in Asia, go home Yankee.

Joe Wong , says: February 20, 2019 at 3:50 am GMT
@peterAUS You should know the White man has some fallacies built into their culture, such as they believe that the White man's words must be taken as given truth, only the White man can invent and the White man can succeed, and the Whte man's culture is the final form of civilization.

The West (Europeans and their offshoots like the American, Aussie, etc.) is where is now, because of those hundreds of millions of people all over the world who were robbed and murdered, those who become victims of their very madness of colonialism and orientalism, of the crusades and the slave and Opium trades. Cathedrals and palaces, museums and theatres, train stations – all had been constructed on horrid foundations of bones and blood, and amalgamated by tears.

The West squandered all the wealth they obtained thru stealing, looting and murdering hundreds of millions of people all over the world in the scrabbling of a dog-eat-dog play rough over the monopoly to plunder the rest of the world through two World Wars, one on the edge of Armageddon, and on the verge of another Armageddon. It proves the West is incapable of bringing peace and prosperity to the mankind because of their flawed culture, civilization and religion. The chaos and suffering of the world in the last few hundreds of years under the dominance the West proves they are a failure.

Human beings deserve better, we need to depart from the chaotic and harmful world order and path established by the moronic West. China proposed a new way of life, a win-win approach for the well-being of mankind like Belt-Road-Initiative to build and trade the world into peace, harmony and prosperity. The West should not be the obstacle for achieving such refreshing winner for all initiative. The West should embrace the new approach proposed by China because the West will benefit from it. I call upon you, let go the old, obsolete, failed and detrimental believe passed onto you by your colonialist forebears please, welcome the new era.

Miro23 , says: February 20, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
@Erebus

As Steve Jobs told Obama point blank, "Those jobs aren't coming back". NA's manufacturing ecosystem (rather than mere infrastructure), which includes social-cultural aspects as well as physical plant has been disappeared, and only dire necessity will build a new one. I explicitly avoid the word "rebuild", as that train left the station years ago. NA still "assembles" stuff, but it doesn't manufacture except on a small, niche scale.

Manufacturing is a difficult and very demanding business. 21st C manufacturing is not simply an extension of the 20th's. It's a radically different hybrid of logistics, design & production engineering, "smart" plant, and financial mgmt.

Not for the faint of heart. Much easier to flip burgers/houses/stocks/used cars/derivatives/credit swaps/ until there's nothing left to flip.

All true, leaving the question of what happens to North America before it reaches the African street market economy (low tech, low investment, low trust, basic products, vibrant and over each morning).

The Western European based US economy is fast draining out (along with people of Western European descent) and the days of US world manufacturing leadership (1950's) are a distant memory.

Maybe the takeaway from US/Chinese history is that the US needs its own Maoist style Cultural Revolution. Nothing short of US Maoism is needed to root out every aspect of the current rotten system and get a fresh start from zero.

Don't ask what happens to US nuclear weapons.

jeff stryker , says: February 20, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
@Joe Wong JOE

If Chinese took over the world it would look like the Philippines.

Shabu labs everywhere? Corrupt politicians blowing away homeless squatters when some Chinese guy wanted to build a shopping center or Chinese arsonists setting squats on fire? Dictators living off wages Chinese don't want to pay exploited peasants?

No thanks, the whites don't want Chinese family cartels running our economies. We can see the harm you have done in Burma, Philippines etc.

Китайский дурак , says: February 20, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
@jeff stryker This Joe Wong is obviously a WuMao (professional trolls paid by Beijing to parrot their government's pathological propaganda). Any mainland Chinese who can read will confirm this fact. It is not worth your time to deal with folks like him.
jeff stryker , says: February 20, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
@Китайский дурак Maybe, but my posts are intended for those that think a Chinese-run planet would be a better New World Order.

Visit the Philippines.

Australians all wrapped up in America should pay close attention.

Китайский дурак , says: February 20, 2019 at 6:08 am GMT
@jeff stryker Australians, Philippines, Singaporeans, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Russians, Italians, Japanese,Mongolians, Koreans, New Zealanders, a tiny anguished minority of mainland Chinese themselves, everyone has gotten the mail, everyone has seen them on the streets, everyone understood -- what a Beijing lorded world shall be like, coffee beans in the morning. Americans are last in getting the news. Americans can be dim witted. Too many Nobel winning economists and globalist bankers in America. And China is the gift of these white people to the world.
joe webb , says: February 20, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
@peterAUS thanks and if you are a young man, congrats for your rationality. I am old, but probably have ten or 20 years left, if not all those years real fit.

The young guys need to not fuc themselves up with regard to earning a living .keep your mouth shut , sort of, and your name protected.

I hope a new generation of "White Nationalists" come along sans Hitlerism. Stay rational, with just the facts M'am if you don't recall that line it was Dragnet and Detective Jack Webb I think .you are young, Congrats.

Stick to the facts, keep your ego under control, keep a smile on your face .. Buddhist wisdom to spread a little love around and it is essential for snaring a woman.

The Facts are with us. The Future is with us, including hard times, civil war, and so on. The Sentimental Lie (Joseph Conrad) of race equality cannot stand for long.

Joe Webb

NoseytheDuke , says: February 20, 2019 at 6:26 am GMT
@jeff stryker Australian people nowadays are far less wrapped up in America than at any time that I can remember but Australian politicians are just as bought and paid for as are those in the US.

Australians generally are much more well travelled than most Americans and have been to various places both in Asia and Europe, especially the UK. Despite having seen the longer term results of "diversity" with their own eyes they overwhelmingly seem to think that things will somehow work out differently in Australia. To even suggest that mass immigration from the third world is a ticking time-bomb is to be branded a racist of the very worst kind.

Yee , says: February 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm GMT
jeff stryker,

"The best way for the US to win a war over China is not to outsource their labor there."

Too bad you don't get to decide what "the best way for the US" is, no matter how many times you vote America has owners, and the owners aren't the average Americans.

PS. Philippines is just the poor-man version of USA. Does the American capitalist class have many concerns for their working class? The money class are all the same.

Your rant about Chinese of SE Asia is also quite similar with that of American Whites for the Jews, or South African Blacks for the Whites, just only on economic side, not politics.

People aren't much different everywhere

Nzn , says: February 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
Filipinos are nothing but semi retarded 85 IQ trying hard Americans, the vast majority who are too stupid to copy the better parts of US high culture, and so ape and cargo cult the trashiest and lowest of the low parts of US culture, or maybe low IQ Austronesians are just prone to overall trashiness unless they are regulated by a somewhat draconian conservative culture like Muslim Malays are.
Joe Wong , says: February 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm GMT
@Китайский дурак Perhaps some Russians like you are willing to live under the Anglo-Saxon's dominance, submitted to Anglo-Saxon's zero-sum, beggar-thy-neighbour, negative energy infested cult culture, and try to talk like them and walk like them, but not everybody is like those feeble Russians. Other people has their long history, culture and identity to protect. Please do not smear other people's integrity because you are lack of it.
denk , says: February 20, 2019 at 5:48 pm GMT
@denk

Self-Defense, Civilizational Defense ,

Exhibit A

General William R. Looney III

If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs [surface-to- air missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now . It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need.

Comments about the bombing of Iraq in the late 1990s, which he directed. Interview Washington Post (August 30, 1999); quoted in Rogue State, William Blum, Common Courage Press, 2005, p. 159.

William Blum,
RIP
Somebody should do an autopsy on him !

TT , says: February 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm GMT
@denk

In korea, a UN coaliton force , bristling with bombers, jet fighters, complete air superiority.no less. Tanks, artilleries, carbines, couldnt subdue the PLA fighting with ww1 vintage rifles.

There is never any UN coalition force in Korea war. Its a illegal US led aggression, known as Unified/United Command, in violating of UNSC charter. US deceived UN by using 'United Command' in its letterhead when communicating. And then go ahead to lie shamelessly using UN name.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-role-of-the-un-in-the-unending-korean-war-united-nations-command-as-camouflage/5350876

By acting before the Security Council could act, the US was in violation of Article 2(7) of the UN Charter which requires a Security Council action under Chapter VII before there is any armed intervention into the internal affairs of another nation unless the arms are used in self-defense. (See Article 51 of the UN Charter. The US armed intervention in Korea was clearly not an act of self defense for the US.) Also the actions of the UN have come to be referred to as the actions of the "United Nations Command"(UNC), but this designation is not to be found in the June and July 1950 Security Council resolutions authorizing participation in the Korean War. (3) What is the significance of the US using the UN in these ways?

The current US military command in South Korea claims to wear three hats: Command of US troops in South Korea, Combined Forces Command (US and South Korean troops), and "United Nations Command" with responsibilities with respect to the Armistice. The United Nations, however, has no role in the oversight or decision making processes of the "United Nations Command". The US Government is in control of the "United Nations Command". The use by the US of the designation "United Nations Command", however, creates and perpetuates the misconception that the UN is in control of the actions and decisions taken by the US under the "United Nations Command".

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (more commonly referred to as North Korea) has called for disbanding the "United Nations Command"(UN Command). At a press conference held at the United Nations on June 21, 2013, the North Korean Ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Sin Son Ho argued that the actions of the US Government using the designation "United Nations Command" are not under any form of control by the United Nations. (4) Since the UN has no role in the decision making process of what the US does under the title of the "United Nations Command", North Korea contends the US should cease its claim that it is acting as the "United Nations Command".

TT , says: February 26, 2019 at 1:41 pm GMT
@Sean

Anyway, there is hardly a tree left in China and since 2006, China has been the world's largest emitter of CO2 annually and though they pay lip service they accept no binding target for reduction; quite the opposite.

Pls has slight decency to check before spewing nonsense.

According to Nasa, China has planted & expanded forest the size of Amazon, contributing 1/4 of global greenery effort.

Its now working on massive irrigation projects in Tibet & Xinjiang, including dams that will overshadow 3Gorges. These will convert arid Xinjiang into another green agriculture pasture & food basket providing economic to it landlocked natives.

China's effort to roll back desertification is also very impressive, converting thousands of hectares deserts into green forest using proprietary planting method.

It has built world most hydropower stations & dams in China, and help built in Asia, Africa with grants & subsidized loan. Forefront in reusable energy, EV, solar.

And China is the staunchest supporter of CO2 emission control with solid actions, when US write off Kyoto treaty in Paris as hoax.

TT , says: February 26, 2019 at 4:03 pm GMT
@jeff stryker Jeff,

what's about Spore that have 75% majority Chinese mainly come from Fujian too, HK, Taiwan!? Do they fare well & very safe, or a shithole filled with drugs & crimes that you projected to be?

And then compare with Chinese minority countries:
Msia with 25% Chinese contributing 70% economy, Indonesia 3% Chinese contributing 70% economy.
Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, .

It seems that the more Chinese % a country has, the more its prosperous & safe, vice versa. So Chinese is in fact the main economic & safety contributing factor, instead of the other way round you painted.

If Chinese are indeed as evil as you make out to be, then China will be worst than India, dysfunctional like Philippines, completely crimes & drugs infested like Mexico. Yet China today is biggest growing economy in real ppp, and world safest country well surpassing nearly all whites countries. No?

Vietnam tried to purge Chinese ethics under Ho Chih Min anti-China policy, ended paralyzed its entire economy until Chinese were brought back to help. Today its still the Chinese ethics controlling its majority economy & ruling elites.

Indonesia Prez Suharto slaughtered million of Chinese ethics under Yanks CIA instigation to coup pro-China Prez Sukarno, and their economy suffered. Suharto later brought back Chinese to run 70% of economy, while his cronies suck off remaining.

Malaysia Mahatir had forthright admonished his disgruntled Malays complaining about 20% Chinese controlling 70% economy. He famously said Malays race by inheritance is lazy and bad in economic, screwing up every gov granted projects & handouts. So let the skillful Chinese take care of all business, and Malays can tax on them to make Malaysia prosperous. All subsequent leaders follow that policy, and the result is continuous economy growth.

Myanmar purged Chinese after independent, immediately encountered dysfunction economy. Today its still relying on Chinese ethic to support the main economy behind.

Thailand, Cambodia, Laos didn't purge Chinese ethics, and Chinese are similarly their main economy contributors.

There is one common observation in all these countries, where ever Chinese live, they are mostly law obedient, work diligently and eventually established in businesses contributing to most prosperity.

Whereas in majority Catholics Philippines, are literally controlled by Vatican appointed bishops, who forbid contraceptive & divorce, directly causing its explosive population, leading to grave poverty & crimes. These bishops are also colluding with corrupted politicians to dictate election outcome using their churh influence.

When pro-China Prez Duerte declared war on drugs with China help is achieving good result, these West-appointed bishops are leading their followers in full force to oppose, all in syn with West govs 'human rights'. Dont that smell fishy?

So will Philippines be better off without Chinese? Im not sure, just like whites, some Chinese are also ruthless crimals. But your sweeping statements & allegation certainly is fundamentally flawed.

But CIA has been plotting anti-Chinese ethic riots in Asean for a long time as part of China containment plan. Previously Denk posted one article on this.

jeff stryker , says: February 27, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT
@TT Your description of Malaysians as lazy and stupid is why Indonesians kill ethnic Chinese and not some CIA plot. That's the thinking right there that motivates Malays to dislike ethnic Chinese.

China did not help Duterte. China makes the drugs there or in Taiwan. Duterte pleaded with them to stop sending shabu to the Philippines but China does not care and so Filipinos continue to stagger around like zombies in their squats.

Philippines has the additional post-colonial curse of Mestizo half-breed Spanish landowning and political class of "Hacienderos" while Malaysians are unified under Islam. Since these Spanish-blooded elite are part-white, some of the blame for the problems in the Philippines can be attributed to whites.

As for CIA containment plans, you'll probably say that the reason Singapore immigration allowed so many Indians in was because the US government wanted to import a competitive ethnic group to prevent Chinese in Singapore from controlling all of Southeast Asia.

Anon [117] Disclaimer , says: February 27, 2019 at 6:08 am GMT
"An emboldened China could someday match or even exceed U.S. power on a global scale, an outcome American elites are determined to prevent at any cost."

They will fail. The United States, like Carthage, is doomed to lose its struggle for dominance; too many things are running against it. Not only does China have the far larger population, but consider the following factors that run in their favor:

1. Like the US, China has a highly advanced and productive agriculture industry, making them all but immune to nation-killing food blockades.

2. China has an average IQ that may approach Japan's before it levels out; Japan is insanely outsized in terms of competitiveness, mainly due to its intelligent, group-oriented population, so imagine how much stronger China could be.

3. China is geographically situated in the heart of the world's economic engine, Asia. This puts China in prime position to break out from US dominance and, potentially, even surround the Americans by making their trading partners their vassals.

4. The US is located far away and in a fairly unimportant region of the world. It will be difficult for the US to get reinforcements to the Asian theater in the advent of a conflict. American allies know this, so they will be predisposed to making peace with the Chinese as the power balance continues to shift in China's favor.

5. Universalist dogma outsourced to American satellites Australia and New Zealand will eventually make both countries Chinese vassals. Sometime in this century both countries will have majority Asian populations due to immigration. Polls have repeatedly shown that Asian immigrants have positive feelings towards the Chinese, despite the propaganda efforts of the Americans. Take a look at what the Israel Lobby has accomplished and imagine what a future China Lobby in those countries will do. Also, there is virtually no way to stop this from eventually happening as this diversity dogma is spouted by the US at the highest level and is now deeply ingrained in its future Chinese satellites. Before the end of the century, the Chinese will have naval bases in both countries and the US will have none.

6. China is free from the social-trust killing, national ethos-sapping political divisiveness seen in the US – no feminism, no attacks on its majority Han population. America, on the other hand, is beset with hundreds of hate hoaxes targeted at its most important demographic, white males – the group that disproportionately dies in its wars, invents its best technology, and exports the best elements of its culture. If there is a military conflict between China and the United States ten years hence, expect the critical white male demographic to sit it out.

7. The Chinese are deeply patriotic and nationalistic. The US has experienced an unprecedented decline in patriotism according to polls; that trend will continue. Therefore, there is little appetite in the US for confrontation. This as a hungry China chomps at the bit to show everyone who "the real ruler of the world is", a concept I sometimes see floated on their social media.

8. The US is rapidly losing cultural influence due to a diminished Hollywood. The last several American tent poll films, for instance, have crashed in Asia. Meanwhile movies like Alita: Battle Angel (adapted from a Japanese anime) have done well in that market while doing not so well in the US (and coming under immense fire from SJW gatekeepers for portraying a female as something other than a weirdo). This means that tastes are diverging between the two markets, a trend the Chinese can exploit in the future due to shared tastes across the region and American inability to make anything other than low-quality superhero movies.

Hollywood is also now pretty much incapable of making the kinds of movies Asians (and Europeans) used to see – science fiction, fantasy, and action/adventure movies – due to rampant anti-white male hate and an industry focused on other demographics. Gone are the movies like Robocop, Aliens, Jurassic Park, Die Hard, The Terminator, The Lord of The Rings, and the Matrix. Gone because the white guys who made them are aging out of the industry (or changing genders) and now all Hollywood wants to make are infantile superhero movies for the Idiocracy demographic.

And did you see the Oscars this year? What an embarrassment. They actually nominated Black Panther for Best Picture. I can't imagine anyone in Asia cares. They couldn't even get a host.

9. The Chinese are primed to dominate influential cultural industries like video games in a way that the Americans cannot due to checklist diversity requirements and the many anti-male gatekeepers within the industry.

The video game industry is now three times the size of Hollywood and much more influential than Hollywood for the youth. When technology and budgets are not a limiting factor, politically-incorrect nations like Japan dominate over large American corporations like Microsoft. The American video game industry, led by Microsoft, has effectively zero influence in Asian nations due to American corporate greed, developer laziness, checklist diversity, feminism, and a short-sighted strategy of broadly targeting low quality material to low quality people (stupid FPS games).

Microsoft has been crushed so badly by the Japanese that they are now putting their software on the Nintendo Switch; they simply cannot compete on any level. Meanwhile, Chinese cultural influencers grow in power. They await only a maturation in Chinese taste and a forward-thinking export policy but it will come. China's Tencent already owns a significant stake in Epic Games, a streaming platform that will compete with America's Steam for dominance of the huge online market.

One day, China will dominate their inferior American competition just as the Japanese and Koreans have done. This bodes very badly for the US in the future, especially when you stop to consider that all movies may be CGI in the future. The Chinese market is still immature, but when it does mature, it will dominate – games, movies, music everything.

10. Divisive rhetoric promoted by the American elite and aimed at white European-Americans – an effort to suppress white group solidarity – will eventually drive a wedge between Europe and America that the Chinese, through their Russian ally, can exploit. You already see a bit of this in Germany's refusal to cancel their gas pipeline (Nordstream 2, if I recall), and Italy's defiance of the Empire over Venezuela. When racist American politicians like Kamala Harris begin stealing money from European Americans and handing it to blacks through reparations schemes, expect the Europeans to start thinking twice about their relationship with this country.

After Trump loses in 2020, European elites will celebrate but not for long. Over the following decade, both the far left (for economic reasons) and the far right (for ethnic reasons) may unite against the United States. That will be made all the easier once the United States is no longer able to elect a competent European as president. Europe isn't going to want to be ruled over by someone of a different ethnic group that hates their own.

11. China is unified in a way the US never can be again. China is 90% Han Chinese. The US gets more diverse and divided by the day. Therefore, the Chinese public is more resilient to conflict with rivals.

12. China's political model is far superior to their American counterpart. The Americans, for instance, elect incompetent leaders through national popularity contests; said leaders then rule only for favored interests. China, on the other hand, is run by smart people for the benefit of all Chinese – the nation-state.

13. China's economic model is far superior to the corrupt, inefficient American corporate model. Whereas China is a meritocracy not beset with crippling diversity requirements and feminism. Tellingly, whenever the two models have gone head-to-head, such as in Africa, the Chinese have won by a large margin. I see nothing that will change that in the future as that would require a wholesale rethinking in the US of their basic philosophies, both on the left and the right and that is impossible at this point.

The US is a proposition nation, so dogma lies at the heart of civic life. The Chinese, in contrast, are free to pick and chose from the best of each ideology and apply it where warranted because they are a blood and soil nation – group interest comes first, not allegiance to dogma. Everyone in the US is an extremist of some sort – socialist, corporatist, environmentalist, etc. That's no way to run a government.

14. The US will soon lose the moral high ground. As the US devolves into a police state, as it continues kicking dissidents off the internet and silencing whistle blowers (and attacking nations like Iran and Venezuela), nations around the world will cease to see a difference between the US and China. At that point, they my either go independent (perhaps in alliance with India or Russia) or openly start to flirt with a Chinese alliance. After all, what does it matter if both states are authoritarian? At least the Chinese don't have a history of invading their competition.

15. The divided American public may not support more military spending over social service spending; this likelihood will only increase in the future due to demographic changes. They see that China has a competent single-payer medical program and will want the same for themselves, not pay for missiles and guns for other people.

16. The US cannot pursue relationships with vital nations like Russia due its anti-male and anti-European dogma, now infused into society at the highest levels. It will take decades to erase that and by then it will be too late.

Anon [117] Disclaimer , says: February 27, 2019 at 6:11 am GMT
"Someone here mentioned the EU turning East. At some point the EU will decide that staying a US vassal is suicide and it will turn East. When that happens then the virus of US insanity will turn inwards into itself."

True. One day someone like Kamala Harris or Stacey Abrams will be president. Will Europe want to be ruled by non-Europeans who hate Europeans, want to tear down their monuments, and steal their money for reparations payments?

"The USA has lost strategic air superiority, as well as strategic brain power. I wonder how the USA would look after a week of retaliatory aerospace strikes?"

Like New Orleans after Katrina – a breakdown in the social order as all the diverse groups start fighting each other and shooting at rescue efforts because they're morons and thieves.

"Open the USA borders wide open and encourage 1 billion South Aemricans, Africans, SE Asians and South Asians into the USA is the fastest and easiest way to close the human resource gap between the USA and China."

How exactly is an efficient democracy supposed to work in that instance? Seems like dysfunction, low social trust, and corruption would reign. Besides, the Chinese population will still be far more intelligent overall, so no gap will be closed. The US should have focused on immigration from Europe and increasing its white birth rate back in the 1970s. They'd be in a far stronger position now if they had done that then.

TT , says: February 27, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
@Anon Which West European nations willing to move to dysfunctional disUnited States filled with crimes & unemployment en masse?

May be some poor cousins of East European. But they will soon find US is worst than their country, no good jobs, homeless without affordable accommodation, crime infested, their whites is actually marginalized by diversification, LGBT conflict with their WASP value. Most will want go back soon.

So its left with only choice of finest selection of 1.3B poor Indians, Latino, South Americans, Africans & ME refugees willing to go anywhere just to get out of their countries shithole.

When they arrived, hundreds of millions whites, Chinese & Asians will flee like been no tomorrow.

Here it go, United States of Asshole is founded. Pls handover all nukes to UNSC before implementing lest been exchange for food or use for heating in winter.

TT , says: February 27, 2019 at 1:15 pm GMT
@jeff stryker Its Malaysia PM Mahatir who said Malays are inheritingly lazy. Im just quoting.

Do educate yourself about CIA & Muslim politicians instigated riots against ethnic Chinese before writing off in ignorant.

Spore was shielded from all these info distorted with West msm propaganda. I had only learned about these details from Indonesian Chinese friends whose family had suffered these trauma. After some readings, also Indonesia under current Chinese ethnic President Jokowi, did all these CIA-Muslims Generals collision genocides been publicized. How about you, where you got yours?

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1998/02/indo-f14.html

https://sweetandsoursocialism.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/cias-role-in-indonesias-anti-chinese-genocide-hidden-harmonies-blog/amp/

China did not help Duterte. China makes the drugs there or in Taiwan. Duterte pleaded with them to stop sending shabu to the Philippines but China does not care and so Filipinos continue to stagger around like zombies in their squats.

Why did you say China didn't help Prez Duerte in drugs war, your Chinese philippino mistress told you? Pls cite your evidence.

Its widely publicized in our msm, West msm that China gov working with Philippines police to track & dry up many drugs supply, even donated rehab centers as part of long term solution. So you mean all these West msm are lying to help China.

In your word, these shabu are make & sold by China gov? Or they are part of global drug syndicates that operated in every countries including all West?

As for CIA containment plans, you'll probably say that the reason Singapore immigration allowed so many Indians in was because the US government wanted to import a competitive ethnic group to prevent Chinese in Singapore from controlling all of Southeast Asia.

Let these unequal US FTA & India CECA speak itself. These were shoved into our PM LEE ass to screw SG, allowing unlimited Indians of all kinds & their families to live & work in SG, with their mostly internationally unrecognized qualifications mandatory to be accepted.

Also both US & India nationals enjoy tax free in property investment, while Sporeans & all foreigners subjected to 3% + 7% + 7% tax regimes, literally giving them a 10~17% profits upfront.

https://thehearttruths.com/2013/11/11/this-is-why-singaporeans-will-not-be-protected-in-our-jobs-by-the-government/amp/

Indians as " competitive " ethnic group to suppress SG Chinese, you are joking or seriously think Indians IQ80 & its education is superior to Sg Chinese IQ107 that rank consistently Top in SAT, PISA & Olympiad?

These are the dredge of India, violent drunkard, not those US get. Numerous are caught with fake certificates when they simply could not even do the most basic task, near illiterate. A documentary show was make to investigate how widespread & complex is it in India, even there are someone stationed to pick up call as reference to certify everything. These including medical MD cert, aka fake Indian Drs that India Health Ministry condemn openly been so rampant up to 80% of India Drs(that was posted in one of Unz old discussion 2yrs ago)

https://gocertify.in/articles/certification-verification-rogue-it-credentials-rampant-in-india/

TT , says: February 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT
@Erebus If both US & China go on full trade war 100% tariff, to the brim of stop trading, who do you think can last longer?

As you said, in mere wks, US will be paralyzed with every shelves empty & factories shut down. Emergency declared with imports from other sources with much chaos. Frustrated, nation wide civil riots may ensue with states like California, Texas, demanding independent.

Whereas for China its life as usual with some restructuring, since it can live without yanks useless financial services, msm & few chips easily replaced by EU/Jp or live without. Airbus will be happy to replace Boeing.

China total export to US is ~$500B, 50% are imported components, so $350B damage is passed back to US $250B(total US export to China) & global suppliers $100B.

That make China actual impact only $150B, $4T reserved, it can theoretically offset the trade loss for >20yrs, while continue to expand its domestic consumption, BRI & global trade to fuel growth.

But the world will be in chaos to get double impact of a totally collapsed US $21T GDP & China import cut. With all economies stunt, global financial mkt burst, consumption all dive, US allies turning to China for leadership & trade, a WW3 look imminent as yank is left with only one product – weapons!

But not to worry, it should be very short one in yelling, as no yanks want to die with empty belly, nor there are $ to pump vessels & bombers or resources to prepare long war. Military is quickly paralyzed with desertion, & split between seperated states. There go 51 disUnited states of America.

So China is indeed discussing with yanks from great strength. But with farsight, they prefer to settle yanks brinkmanship in Chinese humble & peaceful way.

I hope China can drag on until US can no longer conceal its pain with fake data, screamming out loudly for truce to sign China dictates trade agreement. China need to teach yank a painful lesson to humble it once & for all, including a WTO style unequal treaty that yank shoved down china throat.

jeff stryker , says: February 27, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
@TT TT

For all the refugees the US creates in the Mideast, it doesn't except many of them. Most Iraqi and Afghani refugees have no hope of entering the US; European countries that protested the war in Iraq end up absorbing the human cost.

jeff stryker , says: February 27, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT
@TT An Indian-Malay should know.

As for the CIA cooperating with Muslims in anti-Chinese anything, I am skeptical. My feeling about Indonesia is that a 3% minority owning everything and displaying contempt for the natives as lazy savages is enough fuel ethnic hatred and Chinese backing of Suharto didn't help things.

Indians don't represent job competition for Singapore, they are simply a basic menace to your society. And it is possible that the US government, not wanting to see Singapore become a vassal state of China, wanted your country's population to become more well, diversified.

Patricus , says: February 27, 2019 at 4:50 pm GMT
@Joe Wong The "dominance" of Anglo-Saxons is overstated. They are a pretty small minority in the US. They still dominate Britain, maybe.
Erebus , says: February 27, 2019 at 7:59 pm GMT
@TT

If both US & China go on full trade war 100% tariff, to the brim of stop trading, who do you think can last longer?

China would take a hit, but not greater than the whole world could be expected to take. Probably quite a bit less.

There's little doubt in my mind that China is in a much stronger position to both survive and to be in a position to take advantage of the world's eventual recovery. As you note

$4T reserved, it can theoretically offset the trade loss for >20yrs

It also has the world's widest and deepest industrial infrastructure.

It's not only the $4T and the infrastructure. China also has a lot of gold within its domestic system, which it can mobilize to make purchases from the the rest of the world's staggered economies. Approx 20kT, by some quite carefully done estimates. Mobilizing that gold, of course, is where things get tricky. The world would be awash with useless dollars and how all that liability gets unwound would cause a lot of Central Bankers and their govts a lot of sleepless nights.

Anon [409] Disclaimer , says: February 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm GMT
"Which West European nations willing to move to dysfunctional disUnited States filled with crimes & unemployment en masse?"

Quite a number of Europeans would have moved to the US circa 1965 – 1990 with the countries then demographics, which was the point being made in the comment. The US is a huge country with lots of space. In 1980, virtually all Eastern Europeans would have been better off in almost any place in the US over where they were. The US Ruling Class had the chance but cast it aside for lesser and more divisive groups so they could win elections and stiff their workers. Even the US now is a mostly a better place to live than virtually any place in Eastern Europe, and quite a number of places in overcrowded Western Europe – now filled with Muslim invaders, rising crime, higher unemployment than the US, and yearly riots.

TT , says: February 27, 2019 at 10:25 pm GMT
@Erebus One TV celebrity went on crusade to expose Monsanto GMO toxicity impact in food chain few yrs ago.

He visited US & collected clinical evidences of GMO cancer causing from several US professors, publicized them online. These force China gov to investigate, and their clinical test too revealed mice & animals fed with GMO have huge tumors growing all over shortly.

China agriculture minister was investigated, found to hold lucrative high pay job in Monsanto taking bribery, and blanket approved all untested Monsanto GMO seeds, grains & weed killer. Even those used as domestic animals feed but banned for wild animals in US were introduced into food chain. Some also passed off as non GMO to plant in vast land not approved for GMO.

About 30% of China food chain & vast agriculture lands contaminated, no longer productive. That agri minister got arrested. No sure what China gov is doing about it. But Prez Xi is hailing organic food. Tibets & Xinjiang have mega irrigation projects on going now, might be to open up new agri lands to offset.

TT , says: February 27, 2019 at 10:50 pm GMT
@jeff stryker Tonnes of evidences on CIA-Muslim generals instigated riots & massacre since 1965. You choose to see otherwise.

A trove of recently released declassified documents confirms that Washington's role in the country's 1965 massacre was part of a bigger Cold War strategy.
https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/543534/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/still-uninvestigated-after-50-years-did-the-u-s-help-incite-the-1965-indonesia-massacre/5467309/amp

https://www.globalresearch.ca/trumps-indonesian-allies-in-bed-with-isis-backed-fpi-militia-they-seek-to-oust-elected-president-jokowi/5588694/amp

I couldn't find one article published in one unz comment by Denk?, where West msm interviewing Indonesia biggest opposition party. Their chiefs had audacity to brag how they will instigate another massive anti-Chinese riots to win next election.

The jews are much more vicious & open in controlling US, but you won't see CIA staged riots & protest against their jewish masters Aipac.

Thailand Chinese ethnic are holding most economy too, but their politicians elites been Chinese don't instigate riot against own ethnic to meddle election.

TT , says: February 27, 2019 at 11:07 pm GMT
@jeff stryker

US government, not wanting to see Singapore become a vassal state of China, wanted your country's population to become more well, diversified.

Its not diversification, its complete indianized with Weapon of Mass Migration, by jews controlled US to push back China influence. As China refused to let jews control them!!! Its also happening for Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Mauritius now.

Its Top to bottom all indians now in SG, 9% Indians with India new migrants controlling 75% Chinese & 15% Malays. Since when Indians have turn so great well surpass all Chinese capability, over a short span of 10yrs since Obama's new balance in Asia Pacific started. Its a regime change, silent coup.

Starting from Indian Prez, Indian DPM(a ex-criminal for leaking state secret data, he was highly touted as best future PM to test voter response, but a Chinese PM candidate was eventually selected for coming election as voters brainwashing not yet complete), national DBS bank CEO chairman Indian. Central bank MAS chief Indian. Law, Home Affair, Foreign Minister all Indians. High court judges flooded Indians. Chief judge Indian. Top senior counsels(equivalent to Queen Councils) many Indians. MPs also new india migrants. MSM journalist & writers flooded Indians.

Some are India newly arrived Indians of no credential. Yet no msm reporting on that. Its near complete regime change in stealth.

Patricus , says: February 28, 2019 at 2:00 am GMT
@Erebus In addition to the herbicide and insecticide resistance some plants are modified to withstand prolonged dry conditions, or to produce more of certain proteins or vitamins, or to increase yields.

The corn or maize we now have started from an indigenous plant in Central and South America. Twenty plants would produce a tablespoon of grain. The native corn plant can still be found. Over thousands of years these were bred for increased size and yields but probably for other reasons as well like drought resistance. That's genetic modification over many generations.

In this country the Food and Drug Admin. and Dept. of Agriculture have studied the genetically modified plants extensively. Not that government agencies always get it right but it would be interesting to see a real life example of these plants actually harming people, or animals and insects. Sometimes the fear of Frankenfoods is related to a fear of lower cost imports and a sop for the local farmers.

Having an interest in horticulture I produced greenhouse bedding plants for the most part. One significant expense was pesticides. We took great pains to carefully watch the crops. If the aphids, or other creatures, showed up we would strive to isolate the affected plants and only treat the ones with aphids and some that were nearby. Lots of hours with a bright light and magnifying glass. We didn't proactively apply these because of the expense. Sometimes an entire greenhouse required several treatments and there goes much of the profit. On the other hand refusing to use pesticides leads to total crop failures. Nobody applies pesticides if there are no pests. Without pesticides the world population would be much smaller and the remaining living people would know about famines.

jeff stryker , says: February 28, 2019 at 2:58 am GMT
@Anon ANON

In terms of space, most Europeans would immigrate to US cities. Chicago was popular with Slavs, for instance. And of course Silicone Valley. Very few immigrants move to rural wide-open areas. There is nothing to do there and Norwegians in 1990 were no longer homesteading on the North Dakota plains.

By 1990, few Irish wanted to immigrated to Boston or Italians to New Jersey. Europe was actually safer and more prosperous when I was young than the US.

Europeans prior to 1965 were attracted to the US middle-class standard of living and that has shrunken precipitously.

The refugee crisis in Europe is relatively recent. As for unemployment, indeed this is bad. But the social safety net is slightly better and there is less poverty overall in Western Europe.

anon [267] Disclaimer , says: February 28, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
"Very few immigrants move to rural wide-open areas."

Sure, if you're talking Nevada or New Mexico desert. But there are areas considered "rural" in the US that have relatively mid-sized cities nonetheless. Oklahoma City has a population roughly equal to the population of Latvia's capital, for example. And I'm sure that Eastern Europeans could have been coaxed to leave Europe for the US had America pursued a deal with the Soviets – white South Africans, too. Certainly, this could have been done with success post Soviet breakup. Some Western Europeans could also have been coaxed, perhaps a few million, with the right financial incentives. Along with substantial efforts to increase the native European birthrate and targeted, gender-imbalanced ~skills-based immigration* from emerging market, high IQ countries, US demographics would be in a far better place today. The country would be less divided and more rational on a global stage (and probably friends with Russia, too).

*In other words, purposely encourage 2 to 1 female immigration from places like Korea and China back when they were both poor and filled with people ready to emigrate and compliment that with an equal but reversed ratio elsewhere (Vietnam, Laos). This forces interbreeding and prevents formation of divisive ethnic communities, while also having the benefit of harming your competitor's demographics down the road. Actor Keanu Reeves is something like 1/8th Japanese. But most people just think he's a white guy.

If that kind of policy had been adopted in 1965, along with my plan above (and a few other things not mentioned), things would be better for the US now. The US would be overwhelmingly white with a small admixture of smart Asian while leaving descendants who look European; the kind of internecine racial strife we see now could have been avoided. However, that kind of plan requires a competent, and rational, near-authoritarian to be in charge. As Fred Reed has pointed out, that kind of plan is not capable in Western countries that choose their leaders via popularity contest with a birthright citizenship voting base.

Erebus , says: February 28, 2019 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Patricus

That's genetic modification over many generations.

One wonders how many fish genes made their way into corn over those generations, and how they got in there.

it would be interesting to see a real life example of these plants actually harming people, or animals and insects.

Pesticides of increasing toxicity are surely not good for insects. As for harming people, I doubt we'd see any more harm than the fructose and aspartame etc, or the growth hormones and rampant anti-biotic use in husbandry that those agencies approved have caused. Of course, genetics is much more complex, and so who knows what will turn up in humans a few generations from now.

Without pesticides the world population would be much smaller and the remaining living people would know about famines.

I'm of the firm opinion that a smaller population would be a very, very good thing, and we'll be seeing famines soon enough anyway, but on a scale that will dwarf all other famines.

Patricus , says: February 28, 2019 at 7:23 pm GMT
"Pesticides of increasing toxicity are surely not good for insects. As for harming people, I doubt we'd see any more harm than the fructose and aspartame etc, or the growth hormones and rampant anti-biotic use in husbandry that those agencies approved have caused. Of course, genetics is much more complex, and so who knows what will turn up in humans a few generations from now.'

The pests who feed on domesticated crops lived in nature before people were around. When they stumble upon thousands of acres of corn or wheat they rapidly reproduce to exploit the windfall. The pesticides will hopefully kill or drive off many of these insects but their total number would probably be higher than in a pre-human environment. There is a balance of power.

Utilizing the "precautionary principle" one could say any technical advance might have some unanticipated detrimental effect in the near or distant future. Therefore let's stop all new technology. For now we have the methods of physical science to guide us. These aren't perfect but it's the best we have and more sensible than the precautionary principle, also called the paralysis principle.

"..a smaller population would be a very, very good thing, and we'll be seeing famines soon enough anyway, but on a scale that will dwarf all other famines.".

I'm hoping my family and I (and you) are not among the culled billions. Death by starvation is not a pleasant way to go, so I've heard.

Erebus , says: March 1, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
@Patricus

their total number would probably be higher than in a pre-human environment. There is a balance of power.

Probably? Pre-human? Yours is the disingenuity of a pesticide salesman.
The insect world is in a massive die off, losing of ~75% its flying population over 3 decades, as attested by countless studies. The studies tell us what we already know. 40 yrs ago, a 2 hr drive in the countryside at night meant 30 min spent scraping insects off your windshield and headlights. Every lonely streetlight in the middle of nowhere had a cloud around it. Screens to protect the radiator, or even the entire front of the car were sold by every automotive shop and gas station. Seen one lately?

Utilizing the "precautionary principle" one could say any technical advance might have some unanticipated detrimental effect in the near or distant future.

One could say it, and one would often be right for doing so. As the complexity of the technological advance increases, so do its effects. Who considered 50 years ago that pesticide use would devastate the insect world? Who knows with any level of certainty what the effect of that will be on the ecosystem we live in? What we know is it ain't gonna likely to be good, and may be devastating. They're now found in mother's milk with potential effects we lack the tools and brain power to comprehend, never mind predict.

When it comes to playing with complex, chaotic systems that support our life on the planet, humans are like a monkey with a hand-grenade. To borrow a phrase "If the planet's ecosystem was simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it. " Our myopia & hubris will kill us, if our stupidity and belligerence doesn't do it first.

Patricus , says: March 2, 2019 at 11:14 pm GMT
The insect "die off" is an interesting occurrence. Puerto Rico lost a large percentage of insects while at the same time they decreased pesticide use by 80%. This die off is observed in a limited number of regions of the world. It isn't known exactly what caused the drop in insect population. Some say pesticides, others say climate change (the theory that explains all things), are killing the bugs.

Pesticides have been overused in the past but there have been impressive improvements in the technology which reduces the amounts required. There are herbicides and pesticides designed with chemical half lives. These kill the weeds or pests then break down into harmless components and in 10-14 days can no longer be detected in the field. Unfortunately for some any improvements will require some kind of technology.

We are all going to die eventually, hopefully later rather than sooner.

[Mar 04, 2019] War With China by Michael T. Klare

Mar 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

In his highly acclaimed 2017 book, Destined for War , Harvard professor Graham Allison assessed the likelihood that the United States and China would one day find themselves at war. Comparing the U.S.-Chinese relationship to great-power rivalries all the way back to the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century BC, he concluded that the future risk of a conflagration was substantial. Like much current analysis of U.S.-Chinese relations, however, he missed a crucial point: for all intents and purposes, the United States and China are already at war with one another. Even if their present slow-burn conflict may not produce the immediate devastation of a conventional hot war, its long-term consequences could prove no less dire.

To suggest this means reassessing our understanding of what constitutes war. From Allison's perspective (and that of so many others in Washington and elsewhere), "peace" and "war" stand as polar opposites. One day, our soldiers are in their garrisons being trained and cleaning their weapons; the next, they are called into action and sent onto a battlefield. War, in this model, begins when the first shots are fired.

Well, think again in this new era of growing great-power struggle and competition. Today, war means so much more than military combat and can take place even as the leaders of the warring powers meet to negotiate and share dry-aged steak and whipped potatoes (as Donald Trump and Xi Jinping did at Mar-a-Lago in 2017). That is exactly where we are when it comes to Sino-American relations. Consider it war by another name, or perhaps, to bring back a long-retired term, a burning new version of a cold war.

Even before Donald Trump entered the Oval Office, the U.S. military and other branches of government were already gearing up for a long-term quasi-war, involving both growing economic and diplomatic pressure on China and a buildup of military forces along that country's periphery. Since his arrival, such initiatives have escalated into Cold War-style combat by another name, with his administration committed to defeating China in a struggle for global economic, technological, and military supremacy.

This includes the president's much-publicized "trade war" with China, aimed at hobbling that country's future growth; a techno-war designed to prevent it from overtaking the U.S. in key breakthrough areas of technology; a diplomatic war intended to isolate Beijing and frustrate its grandiose plans for global outreach; a cyber war (largely hidden from public scrutiny); and a range of military measures as well. This may not be war in the traditional sense of the term, but for leaders on both sides, it has the feel of one.

Why China?

The media and many politicians continue to focus on U.S.-Russian relations, in large part because of revelations of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and the ongoing Mueller investigation. Behind the scenes, however, most senior military and foreign policy officials in Washington view China, not Russia, as the country's principal adversary. In eastern Ukraine, the Balkans, Syria, cyberspace, and in the area of nuclear weaponry, Russia does indeed pose a variety of threats to Washington's goals and desires. Still, as an economically hobbled petro-state, it lacks the kind of might that would allow it to truly challenge this country's status as the world's dominant power. China is another story altogether. With its vast economy, growing technological prowess, intercontinental "Belt and Road" infrastructure project, and rapidly modernizing military, an emboldened China could someday match or even exceed U.S. power on a global scale, an outcome American elites are determined to prevent at any cost.

Washington's fears of a rising China were on full display in January with the release of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, a synthesis of the views of the Central Intelligence Agency and other members of that "community." Its conclusion: "We assess that China's leaders will try to extend the country's global economic, political, and military reach while using China's military capabilities and overseas infrastructure and energy investments under the Belt and Road Initiative to diminish U.S. influence."

To counter such efforts, every branch of government is now expected to mobilize its capabilities to bolster American -- and diminish Chinese -- power. In Pentagon documents, this stance is summed up by the term "overmatch," which translates as the eternal preservation of American global superiority vis-à-vis China (and all other potential rivals). "The United States must retain overmatch," the administration's National Security Strategy insists, and preserve a "combination of capabilities in sufficient scale to prevent enemy success," while continuing to "shape the international environment to protect our interests."

In other words, there can never be parity between the two countries. The only acceptable status for China is as a distinctly lesser power. To ensure such an outcome, administration officials insist, the U.S. must take action on a daily basis to contain or impede its rise.

In previous epochs, as Allison makes clear in his book, this equation -- a prevailing power seeking to retain its dominant status and a rising power seeking to overcome its subordinate one -- has almost always resulted in conventional conflict. In today's world, however, where great-power armed combat could possibly end in a nuclear exchange and mutual annihilation, direct military conflict is a distinctly unappealing option for all parties. Instead, governing elites have developed other means of warfare -- economic, technological, and covert -- to achieve such strategic objectives. Viewed this way, the United States is already in close to full combat mode with respect to China.

Trade War

When it comes to the economy, the language betrays the reality all too clearly. The Trump administration's economic struggle with China is regularly described, openly and without qualification, as a "war." And there's no doubt that senior White House officials, beginning with the president and his chief trade representative, Robert Lighthizer , see it just that way: as a means of pulverizing the Chinese economy and so curtailing that country's ability to compete with the United States in all other measures of power.

Ostensibly, the aim of President Trump's May 2018 decision to impose $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports ( increased in September to $200 billion) was to rectify a trade imbalance between the two countries, while protecting the American economy against what is described as China's malign behavior. Its trade practices "plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy," as the president put it when announcing the second round of tariffs.

An examination of the demands submitted to Chinese negotiators by the U.S. trade delegation last May suggests, however, that Washington's primary intent hasn't been to rectify that trade imbalance but to impede China's economic growth. Among the stipulations Beijing must acquiesce to before receiving tariff relief, according to leaked documents from U.S. negotiators that were spread on Chinese social media:

halting all government subsidies to advanced manufacturing industries in its Made in China 2025 program, an endeavor that covers 10 key economic sectors, including aircraft manufacturing, electric cars, robotics, computer microchips, and artificial intelligence; accepting American restrictions on investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating; opening up its service and agricultural sectors -- areas where Chinese firms have an inherent advantage -- to full American competition.

In fact, this should be considered a straightforward declaration of economic war. Acquiescing to such demands would mean accepting a permanent subordinate status vis-à-vis the United States in hopes of continuing a profitable trade relationship with this country. "The list reads like the terms for a surrender rather than a basis for negotiation," was the way Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell University, accurately described these developments.

Technological Warfare

As suggested by America's trade demands, Washington's intent is not only to hobble China's economy today and tomorrow but for decades to come. This has led to an intense, far-ranging campaign to deprive it of access to advanced technologies and to cripple its leading technology firms.

Chinese leaders have long realized that, for their country to achieve economic and military parity with the United States, they must master the cutting-edge technologies that will dominate the twenty-first-century global economy, including artificial intelligence (AI), fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications, electric vehicles, and nanotechnology. Not surprisingly then, the government has invested in a major way in science and technology education, subsidized research in pathbreaking fields, and helped launch promising startups, among other such endeavors -- all in the very fashion that the Internet and other American computer and aerospace innovations were originally financed and encouraged by the Department of Defense.

Chinese companies have also demanded technology transfers when investing in or forging industrial partnerships with foreign firms, a common practice in international development. India, to cite a recent example of this phenomenon, expects that significant technology transfers from American firms will be one outcome of its agreed-upon purchases of advanced American weaponry.

In addition, Chinese firms have been accused of stealing American technology through cybertheft, provoking widespread outrage in this country. Realistically speaking, it's difficult for outside observers to determine to what degree China's recent technological advances are the product of commonplace and legitimate investments in science and technology and to what degree they're due to cyberespionage. Given Beijing's massive investment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at the graduate and post-graduate level, however, it's safe to assume that most of that country's advances are the result of domestic efforts.

Certainly, given what's publicly known about Chinese cybertheft activities, it's reasonable for American officials to apply pressure on Beijing to curb the practice. However, the Trump administration's drive to blunt that country's technological progress is also aimed at perfectly legitimate activities. For example, the White House seeks to ban Beijing's government subsidies for progress on artificial intelligence at the same time that the Department of Defense is pouring billions of dollars into AI research at home. The administration is also acting to block the Chinese acquisition of U.S. technology firms and of exports of advanced components and know-how.

In an example of this technology war that's made the headlines lately, Washington has been actively seeking to sabotage the efforts of Huawei , one of China's most prominent telecom firms, to gain leadership in the global deployment of 5G wireless communications. Such wireless systems are important in part because they will transmit colossal amounts of electronic data at far faster rates than now conceivable, facilitating the introduction of self-driving cars, widespread roboticization, and the universal application of AI.

Second only to Apple as the world's supplier of smartphones and a major producer of telecommunications equipment, Huawei has sought to take the lead in the race for 5G adaptation around the world. Fearing that this might give China an enormous advantage in the coming decades, the Trump administration has tried to prevent that. In what is widely described as a " tech Cold War ," it has put enormous pressure on both its Asian and European allies to bar the company from conducting business in their countries, even as it sought the arrest in Canada of Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, and her extradition to the U.S. on charges of tricking American banks into aiding Iranian firms (in violation of Washington's sanctions on that country). Other attacks on Huawei are in the works, including a potential ban on the sales of its products in this country. Such moves are regularly described as focused on boosting the security of both the United States and its allies by preventing the Chinese government from using Huawei's telecom networks to steal military secrets. The real reason -- barely disguised -- is simply to block China from gaining technological parity with the United States.

Cyberwarfare

There would be much to write on this subject, if only it weren't still hidden in the shadows of the growing conflict between the two countries. Not surprisingly, however, little information is available on U.S.-Chinese cyberwarfare. All that can be said with confidence is that an intense war is now being waged between the two countries in cyberspace. American officials accuse China of engaging in a broad-based cyber-assault on this country, involving both outright cyberespionage to obtain military as well as corporate secrets and widespread political meddling. "What the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing," said Vice President Mike Pence last October in a speech at the Hudson Institute, though -- typically on the subject -- he provided not a shred of evidence for his claim.

Not disclosed is what this country is doing to combat China in cyberspace. All that can be known from available information is that this is a two-sided war in which the U.S. is conducting its own assaults. "­The United States will impose swift and costly consequences on foreign governments, criminals, and other actors who undertake significant malicious cyber activities," the 2017 National Security Strategy affirmed. What form these "consequences" have taken has yet to be revealed, but there's little doubt that America's cyber warriors have been active in this domain.

Diplomatic and Military Coercion

Completing the picture of America's ongoing war with China are the fierce pressures being exerted on the diplomatic and military fronts to frustrate Beijing's geopolitical ambitions. To advance those aspirations, China'sleadership is relying heavily on a much-touted Belt and Road Initiative , a trillion-dollar plan to help fund and encourage the construction of a vast new network of road, rail, port, and pipeline infrastructure across Eurasia and into the Middle East and Africa. By financing -- and, in many cases, actually building -- such infrastructure, Beijing hopes to bind the economies of a host of far-flung nations ever closer to its own, while increasing its political influence across the Eurasian mainland and Africa. As Beijing's leadership sees it, at least in terms of orienting the planet's future economics, its role would be similar to that of the Marshall Plan that cemented U.S. influence in Europe after World War II.

And given exactly that possibility, Washington has begun to actively seek to undermine the Belt and Road wherever it can -- discouraging allies from participating, while stirring up unease in countries like Malaysia and Ugandaover the enormous debts to China they may end up with and the heavy-handed manner in which that country's firms often carry out such overseas construction projects. (For example, they typically bring in Chinese laborers to do most of the work, rather than hiring and training locals.)

"China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands," National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed in a December speech on U.S. policy on that continent. "Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption," he added, "and do not meet the same environmental or ethical standards as U.S. developmental programs." Bolton promised that the Trump administration would provide a superior alternative for African nations seeking development funds, but -- and this is something of a pattern as well -- no such assistance has yet materialized.

In addition to diplomatic pushback, the administration has undertaken a series of initiatives intended to isolate China militarily and limit its strategic options. In South Asia, for example, Washington has abandoned its past position of maintaining rough parity in its relations with India and Pakistan. In recent years, it's swung sharply towards a strategic alliance with New Dehli, attempting to enlist it fully in America's efforts to contain China and, presumably, in the process punishing Pakistan for its increasingly enthusiastic role in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In the Western Pacific, the U.S. has stepped up its naval patrols and forged new basing arrangements with local powers -- all with the aim of confining the Chinese military to areas close to the mainland. In response, Beijing has sought to escape the grip of American power by establishing miniature bases on Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea (or even constructing artificial islands to house bases there) -- moves widely condemned by the hawks in Washington.

To demonstrate its ire at the effrontery of Beijing in the Pacific ( once known as an "American lake"), the White House has ordered an increased pace of so-called freedom-of-navigation operations (FRONOPs). Navy warships regularly sail within shooting range of those very island bases, suggesting a U.S. willingness to employ military force to resist future Chinese moves in the region (and also creating situations in which a misstep could lead to a military incident that could lead well, anywhere).

In Washington, the warnings about Chinese military encroachment in the region are already reaching a fever pitch. For instance, Admiral Philip Davidson, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, described the situation there in recent congressional testimony this way: "In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States."

A Long War of Attrition

As Admiral Davidson suggests, one possible outcome of the ongoing cold war with China could be armed conflict of the traditional sort. Such an encounter, in turn, could escalate to the nuclear level, resulting in mutual annihilation. A war involving only "conventional" forces would itself undoubtedly be devastating and lead to widespread suffering, not to mention the collapse of the global economy.

Even if a shooting war doesn't erupt, however, a long-term geopolitical war of attrition between the U.S. and China will, in the end, have debilitating and possibly catastrophic consequences for both sides. Take the trade war, for example. If that's not resolved soon in a positive manner, continuing high U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports will severely curb Chinese economic growth and so weaken the world economy as a whole, punishing every nation on Earth, including this one. High tariffs will also increase costs for American consumers and endanger the prosperity and survival of many firms that rely on Chinese raw materials and components.

This new brand of war will also ensure that already sky-high defense expenditures will continue to rise, diverting funds from vital needs like education, health, infrastructure, and the environment. Meanwhile, preparations for a future war with China have already become the number one priority at the Pentagon, crowding out all other considerations. "While we're focused on ongoing operations," acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan reportedly told his senior staff on his first day in office this January, "remember China, China, China."

Perhaps the greatest victim of this ongoing conflict will be planet Earth itself and all the creatures, humans included, who inhabit it. As the world's top two emitters of climate-altering greenhouse gases, the U.S. and China must work together to halt global warming or all of us are doomed to a hellish future. With a war under way, even a non-shooting one, the chance for such collaboration is essentially zero. The only way to save civilization is for the U.S. and China to declare peace and focus together on human salvation.

Michael T. Klare, a TomDispatch regular , is the five-college professor emeritus of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and a senior visiting fellow at the Arms Control Association. His most recent book is The Race for What's Left . His next book, All Hell Breaking Loose: Climate Change, Global Chaos, and American National Security , will be published in 2019.

[Mar 04, 2019] As far as "economic" war, China has been fighting one for decades. It's called competing and trying to do the best to improve your people's lot.

Mar 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Godfree Roberts , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:41 am GMT

A recent Asia Society conference asked how we should compete with China. https://asiasociety.org/northern-california/made-china-2025-policy-behind-rhetoric

The genuinely expert panelists could not articulate America's demands beyond the familiar 'level playing field' that America created by shackling China with uniquely humiliating conditions before admitting it to the WTO.

Today, China generates 20% of global GDP (the US 15%), its imports and exports are in balance, its currency fairly valued, its economy one third larger and growing three times faster than America's and it produces essential technology that America needs and cannot provide.

It is almost impossible to imagine a war scenario that the US could win, short of China invading America.

Alfa158 , says: February 18, 2019 at 5:31 am GMT
Excellent article Mister Klare, but would like to raise a few quibbles.

1) As far as "economic" war, China has been fighting one for decades. It's called competing and trying to do the best to improve your people's lot. The US is finally starting to fight back but some of it's measures are inappropriate and/or ineffective.

2) As far as the US trying to confine the Chinese military to its own region, I really haven't seen that the Chinese military is particularly interested in operation outside their own region anyway. It seems to be focused on protecting China and its own neighborhood and interests, and the Chinese aren't stupid enough to bleed away their wealth and blood in distant misadventures.

3) I'd gotten the impression from the Deep State's rhetoric that they are much hotter on fighting a shooting war with Russia than with China. In an extended struggle, as long as it doesn't go nuclear, US chances are much better against a Russia whose economy is only a fraction of China's.

MEFOBILLS , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:06 am GMT
Keynes says this, "All trade is only barter." The Wall Street/China Gambit is key to understanding today. Clinton signed MFN trade status with China, screwing over NAFTA. Those Zenith TV's that were supposed to be made in Mexico became Chinese made electronics.

Balanced trade was also thrown out the window, as Wall Street was in on the gambit. Trade in goods was unbalanced, and America supplied dollars to China to make up the difference. China then recycled those mercantile won dollars back to the U.S. to buy Tbills, helping keep interest rates low, and acting as a prime variable in forming U.S. housing bubble. Returning dollars then spun out into the American economy, so American's could buy more Chinese goods from transplanted American factories.

The wall street China gambit turned mainstreet American's into Zeros, while wall street became heroes.

Any discussion of China current economic status cannot overlook the role of Wall Street exporting of jobs, to then get wage arbitrage. Immigrating third world people into America is also a function of this "finance capitalism" as it wants wage arbitrage from third world labor as well.

Finance Capitalism in turn is part of Zion and Atlantacism. International credit "banking" will send its finance capital anywhere in the world to get the lowest price. In the case of China, overhang of communist labor in the mid 90's was available to make things, and then export Chinese made goods back to U.S. (at the China price.)

China still uses Atlantic doctrine, where raw materials come in by ship, and finished goods with increment of production value add leave by ship. (Value add is key element to making any economy thrive. Just extracting raw materials turns a country into Africa, witness the attempt at turning Russia into an extraction economy in the 90's.)

Note difference in American policy in the 90's: Russia was to become extraction, and China was to become value add. As Tucker Carlson says, America is run by a ship of fools.

For China, "Eurasia" beckons, and raw materials can be had from China's interior and via overland routes. This then is a pivot away from London/Zion Atlantacism (finance capital) and toward industrial capitalism.

In other words, both U.S. and the West have hoisted themselves on their own petard. People that wax poetic about China's gains overlook this important mechanism of "gifting" of our patrimony to China. It is very easy to copy or be a fast follower, it is beyond difficult to invent and create.
Wall Street and greed gave away our patrimony, which was hard won over the ages in order to make wage arbitrage today, and gave away the future.

China uses state banks, and also forgives debts lodged in their state banks. This is actually one of the secret methods used to rope-a-dope on the west. The Chinese economy is not debt laden, and what public debts there are, are lodged in a State Bank, where they can be jubileed or ignored.

The U.S. and the West had better take a long hard look at finance capital method, which uses only "price signals" to make economic decisions, as pricing is main vector from which jobs were exported, and which China cleverly used to climb up its industrial curve. Sovereign money/Industrial Capitalism IS the American System of Peshine Smith and Henry Clay. Atlantacism/Zionism/Finance Capital is not American – the parasite jumped to the U.S. from London.

China is wisely in control of its money power via its state banks and is pivoting away from Atlantacism now that it has served its purpose. The belt and road routes are mostly overland, with some coastal sea routes, and there isn't a thing sea power (((atlantacists))) can do about it.

China has played the game well, but don't overlook the gifting of Western patrimony caused by a false neo-liberal finance capital economic ideology, which blinds Western adherents.

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:09 am GMT
@joe webb Yeah, so America can topple China and go after Russia immediately afterwards? I don't think the Russians are so stupid.

There is only 1 way Russia survives the 21st century without being broken up and ruined, and that is allying itself with China. The same is true for China.

The only way China can survive intact is to ally itself with Russia.

Pretty simple stuff I am sure each country understands.

Erebus , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:15 am GMT

China generates 20% of global GDP (the US 15%)

On a PPP basis, of course.

China's real economy, of course dwarfs that of the US'.

The author touches on a nuclear trade option China holds over the US that I see little mention of elsewhere. High tariffs are one thing, but a closure of trade in components and raw materials would do far more than

endanger the prosperity and survival of many firms that rely on Chinese raw materials and components.

Should China block exports of everything other than finished goods to the US, almost every US factory would close due to lack of parts and materials. The time and investment required to rebuild/replace supply chains in a JIT world means much of what's left of America's real economy would disappear within weeks.

What then?

Unlike Russia, the US is highly vulnerable to targeted sanctions. American trade negotiators are apparently oblivious to this. I find that very weird.

Wally , says: February 18, 2019 at 6:36 am GMT
author Klare said: "The media and many politicians continue to focus on U.S.-Russian relations, in large part because of revelations of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and the ongoing Mueller investigation."

– What "revelations"? "What meddling"?

– He tipped his hand right off the bat. Klare is just another run of the mill Communist with a case of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, complete with Communism's favorite scam, 'global warming'.

Klare said: "Ostensibly, the aim of President Trump's May 2018 decision to impose $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports (increased in September to $200 billion) was to rectify a trade imbalance between the two countries "

– No, the aim is to encourage China to removes it vastly more & extreme tariffs on US goods & services.

Klare said: " continuing high U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports will severely curb Chinese economic growth and so weaken the world economy as a whole, punishing every nation on Earth, including this one. High tariffs will also increase costs for American consumers and endanger the prosperity and survival of many firms that rely on Chinese raw materials and components."

– Nonsense, all China needs to do is remove it's many times over more severe tariffs.

– If the US's lesser tariffs on Chinese goods / services 'hurt the US', then why don't China's massive tariffs on US goods / services hurt China?

And to think some take this fraud, Klare, seriously.

Biff , says: February 18, 2019 at 7:17 am GMT
It was all a really great, intriguing article, but then it morphed into a dreamworld at the end.

The only way to save civilization is for the U.S. and China to declare peace and focus together on human salvation.

Humans aren't ready for peace or salvation, and anybody that has promoted such a thing is readily shot dead – Gandhi, John Lennon, MLK, Jesus.

"Love thy neighbor" "Give peace a chance"

"Fuck you! Bam!"

Humans are not ready.

Anonymous [370] Disclaimer , says: February 18, 2019 at 7:24 am GMT

The media and many politicians continue to focus on U.S.-Russian relations, in large part because of revelations of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and the ongoing Mueller investigation.

Eh? What revelations?

Cyrano , says: February 18, 2019 at 7:39 am GMT
It's not the economy stupid. According to many "experts" on this site, since the US economy and military expenditures are 10 times bigger than Russia's, it seems "logical" to those experts that the US army is 10 times better. I would argue that not only is not 10 times better, it's not even equal to Russia's army. Again, according to the same types of "experts" Russia's economy is the size of Italy. Why don't then someone break the good news to Italy and encourage them to go to war with Russia? Since their economies are equal – it seems that Italy stands a fair chance of beating Russia, thus eliminating the need of the 10 times superior army to fight them. The moronity on this site, man – it's unbelievable.
tamo , says: February 18, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@joe webb You sound like a failed proctologist in the crumbling Honkiedom.
Franklin Ryckaert , says: February 18, 2019 at 8:40 am GMT
China is not suffering from massive degeneration as the US is. Instead of trying to prevent China from becoming a leading nation of the world, why could the US not accept China's coming prominence and concentrate on strengthening its own population ? Unlike the US, China is not interested in "ruling the world", it is only interested in expanding its economy. For the rest, it is dedicated to stability and cooperation. No threat to the world at all, except for some compulsive hegemonists in the Pentagon.
HiHo , says: February 18, 2019 at 11:05 am GMT
This article is pure propaganda and as such is based upon lies, misconceptions and pure fantasy.
If there already is a war it is all in the minds of Anericans, and they have already lost that war because America needs allies and can only create enemies amongst people that were its friends.
Europe will join with Russia as soon as it can get away from the US bully. That means 550million Europeans will join 160 million Russians. 710 million people with Russian technology and Chinese investment (China already runs Btitain's North Sea gas), will produce an economic power that will humiliate the USA at every turn.
All of South America wants to break with the US, the entire Orient hates the US. America is actually doing to Africa what the US accuses Russia and China of doing.
If there really is a war between the US and China then the US has already lost it. The rest of the world wants only one thing: the absolute collapse of the entire US. Everyone hates the US. No one will ever support you US dictators and bullies 100%.
You stab everyone in the back sooner or later and your only interest is supporting the fascist and racist Israel that is genociding the true Semites, the Palestinians.

I'm amazed Fred Unz publishes this sort of trash. It is unadulterated lies, brainless stupidity and total hog wash. Pure drivel.

Counterinsurgency , says: February 18, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
The obvious:

It might be a bit harder than that.

It is often said that, had the Western and Eastern Europeans formed a coalition rather than fight WW I, they would still be dominant.
And if I had wings, I could fly to the moon.
The Eastern Europeans had never accepted the Western Enlightenment (still haven't), and to have done so would have destabilized their family structure -- the deep structure of their society -- exactly as it has finally destabilized ours, today. The nature of authority and organization in Eastern Europe differed considerably from that of Western Europe. Their forms of organization were different enough to make integration impossible, and perhaps to make formation of a coalition impossible.

China's organizational forms, family structure, and and social assumptions in general differ even more from the present day form of the Western Enlightenment than did those of East Europe c.a. AD 1900.

It's at times like these we get to test the assumption that reason and fear of death can lead to agreement on a modus vivendi.

Counterinsurgency

mikemikev , says: February 18, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
@Alfa158

In an extended struggle, as long as it doesn't go nuclear, US chances are much better against a Russia whose economy is only a fraction of China's.

I wonder how their economy would look after a week of strategic bombing.

Shaun , says: February 18, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@Biff I forget, who shot Jesus?
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 18, 2019 at 1:36 pm GMT
China is now PAC-man of the world.
DESERT FOX , says: February 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm GMT
I will never believe the Zionist controlled U.S. will go to war with China as long as one U.S. company remains in China and damn near all the major U.S. companies are in business in China, this is a ploy for the zionist controlled MIC to loot the America taxpayer!
JC , says: February 18, 2019 at 2:18 pm GMT
I didnt read the article but I dont think china needs the US for anything they are well on their way to be the dominant world power the US and ist zionist occupied government are losers the zionists want never ending wars which stupid USA has done,,china and all the rest will eventually dump the rothchild banking system and form its own which will in all likely hood benefit more than the zionist one does
WHAT , says: February 18, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT
@HiHo Ron probably has a quota to fill. Reed gets his scribbles in by the same token, I bet.
WHAT , says: February 18, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
@mikemikev >m-muh bombers

It will be fine, chinese know where to buy AA complexes that actually work.

onebornfree , says: Website February 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm GMT
No mention of an ideological battle, and no wonder, as "the Chinks" et al have apparently already won that one, as evidenced by the fact that the last US general election was merely yet another idiotic, meaningless [ yet highly entertaining], cat fight over blue socialism versus red socialism.

The US vs China trade war is just another power/domination battle scam between two competing, wholly criminal orgs, both totally against anything ever resembling truly free trade ..nothing more.

And so it goes .

The "America Is Not A Socialist Country" Scam :
http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/2019/02/onebornfrees-special-scam-alerts-no-87.html [bottom of page]

Regards, onebornfree

Rich , says: February 18, 2019 at 2:37 pm GMT
"The US and China must work together to halt global warming or all of us are doomed to a hellish future." Really? If this doesn't prove this guy is a lefty shill, nothing does. Even the clowns raking in grants and trying to impoverish everyone with higher taxes have seen the light and have been saying "climate change" lately. Many scientists are now arguing that we may be headed into a new cooling period rather than a "hellish" warming period that brought us so much prosperity. This "global warming" religion with its hockey stick icons and polar bear mythology is worse than the Heaven's Gate religion.
ThreeCranes , says: February 18, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
@HiHo

"The rest of the world wants only one thing: the absolute collapse of the entire US. Everyone hates the US. No one will ever support you US dictators and bullies 100%.
You stab everyone in the back sooner or later and your only interest is supporting the fascist and racist Israel that is genociding the true Semites, the Palestinians."

Well yes. As history has shown, occupation and rule by Jahweh's Chosen People tends to bring this fate down upon the host country.

Ned Ludlam , says: February 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT
Oh, for Pete's sake:
1. It will always be China+Russia vs. the US. The EU, site of WWIII, will just soil itself.
2. The Debt Bubble US economy will collapse. At some point. Changes every calculation.
3. The US will devolve into a state of civil war. Of some sort. Paralyze the place.

Momentum is with China and Russia. The US is sliding into history's toilet.

Just give it a few more years. And the whole world sees and knows it. The whole world can get along very well without the US. And would very much like that to be.

therevolutionwas , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:09 pm GMT
Global warming my azz! But the rest of it rings pretty true. If nukes arn't used, Russia and China will win this war simply because they have the gold now and the US has spread its fiat petro dollar all over the world which will come back big time to bite them. That is if China and Russia are smart enough to go on a gold exchange standard.
MEFOBILLS , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Cyrano

since the US economy and military expenditures are 10 times bigger than Russia's, it seems "logical" to those experts that the US army is 10 times better. I would argue that not only is not 10 times better, it's not even equal to Russia's army.

I would argue the same.

Russia is a land power. This means using a land army and area denial. Russia does not need to power project with a blue water Navy and she does not follow Atlantacist doctrine.

Atlantacist doctrine got its start when our (((friends))) evolved the method during the Levantine Greek City State period, where our tribal friends would be stationed in various entrepot cities ringing the Mediterranean. They would use their tribal connections to Launder pirated goods, and to push their "international" usurious money type, which in those days was silver. Simultaneously they were taking rents on their secret East/West mechanism, whereby exchange rates between gold and silver were exploited. Gold was plentiful in India and Silver more plentiful in the West, so the Caravan's took arbitrage on exchange rates as silver drained east and gold drained west.

The U.S. inherited Atlanticist method after WW2. The U.S. is not an island economy like England – it does not need to go around the world beating up others to then extract raw materials. The U.S. is actually more like Russia in that U.S. can afford to have economic autarky and be independent. The U.S. does not need to power project with a blue water navy, despite the false narrative (((inheritance))) passed down to us, especially after WW2. Nobody likes being punked with false narrative.

U.S. military expenditures are so heavy because of this tendency of finance capital to search the world for gains, and this means posting overseas military bases, which in turn are expensive to operate. Russia only has a "close in" defensive posture of area denial. This is far less expensive than power projecting.

Also, GDP figures are misleading. In the U.S. if housing prices go up it reflects in GDP growth, when in reality – the house didn't improve. GDP figures are lies. If finance takes 50% cut of the economy, they are only pushing finance paper back and forth at each other this is not the real economy, but it shows up in GDP because finance paper is an "asset".

Russia's economy is much larger than their GDP, probably it is closer to Germany's in real terms. Real terms = real economy = the making of goods and services.

China is not America's natural ally, Russia is. Atlantacist doctrine sold America's patrimony to China for cheap, and then the ((international)) will just jump to another host.

America has been parasitized by false doctrine and the output is thus that of an infected brain – an output that is crazy. Finance plutocracy typically will not let go willingly, but has to be removed forcefully.

jeff stryker , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
Russia is a country of vodka drunks and Dubai prostitutes run by a syndicate of Israel oligarchs and ex-KGB who kill their journalists in foreign countries.

China is dependent on outsourcing and if the US factories were to withdraw tomorrow the Chinese economy would take a huge hit.

NoseytheDuke , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@Erebus The US is vulnerable in so many other ways too, see how fast the store shelves empty just on the news of an approaching big storm. Panic buying is rife and some people keep minimal food available at home. I know people who have to stop at an ATM to get $20. All kinds of vital distribution of food, water, power, fuel and more seems to pass through a myriad of often vulnerable bottle-necks real or virtual. Easy targets for low cost, low tech sabotage teams I'd think.

I'm inclined to think also that this threatening hysteria possibly is a deep state psy-op designed to prime Americans prior to the enactment of some sort of "democracy" modifications.

Sean , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:28 pm GMT
America is the most powerful country solely because it has the most powerful economy in the world, and that was in no small measure due to America's abundance of arable land, navigable waterways, natural resources ect ect. . In a few decades China has rocketed close to US level and is in a global hegemon trajectory solely on the quality and size of its population . There is not much doubt about the outcome of any competition between China and the West, especially as much of the profits of the ruling class in the West has come from offshoring and investment in China and their economy of scale production suppressing labour's power in the West. The Chinese and their Western collaborators will just wait Trump out. Trump is a populist not a creature of the Deap State alarmed at China's rise. The leading strategists of America's foreign policy establishment still don't realise what they are dealing with in China.

Perhaps the greatest victim of this ongoing conflict will be planet Earth itself and all the creatures, humans included, who inhabit it. As the world's top two emitters of climate-altering greenhouse gases, the U.S. and China must work together to halt global warming or all of us are doomed to a hellish future.

Better to reign in hell. Anyway, there is hardly a tree left in China and since 2006, China has been the world's largest emitter of CO2 annually and though they pay lip service they accept no binding target for reduction; quite the opposite.

Even if their present slow-burn conflict may not produce the immediate devastation of a conventional hot war, its long-term consequences could prove no less dire.

The manufacturing should be done in the most advanced regions of Earth ie the West, because that is where the technology and will exists to protect the environment. China is trying to churn out cheaper goods and does not care what damage they do in cutting environmental corners.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_in_China
China still supports the "common but differentiated responsibilities" principle, which holds that since China is still developing, its abilities and capacities to reduce emissions are comparatively lower than developed countries'. Therefore, its emissions should not be required to decrease over time, but rather should be encouraged to increase less over time until industrialization is farther along and reductions are feasible

In other words the global environment is going to continue to be ripped apart like a car in a wrecking yard by China. "Industrialization is farther along" is obviously Chinese speak for "when China is able to dominate the world with enormous productive capacity and we do not even have to pay lip service any more".

In today's world, however, where great-power armed combat could possibly end in a nuclear exchange and mutual annihilation, direct military conflict is a distinctly unappealing option for all parties. Instead, governing elites have developed other means of warfare -- economic, technological, and covert -- to achieve such strategic objectives. Viewed this way, the United States is already in close to full combat mode with respect to China.

No, the appeal of a real war will increase precipitously for any clear loser in the economic competition who has a rapidly declining military advantage (especially in thermonuclear first strike capacity due to proximity fuses and sub location tech), and we all know who that is going to be. A shooting war will come, and the sooner it comes the better for the whole world. Reassuring Russia that it will not be subjected to the same treatment by the West at some point in the future will be the main problem inhibiting the coming military take down (and nuking if necessary) of China.

NoseytheDuke , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:30 pm GMT
@Shaun Eric Clapton, surely. Or was it Eric Idle? I forget. Who was it?
Reuben Kaspate , says: February 18, 2019 at 3:32 pm GMT
As to bringing in Hindoos and Pakis into to the America-China conflict with a singular example of the demand for defense related technology transfer by the former

India is a mediocrity but Pakistan is a nightmare for all concerned, given that after imbibing religious mumbo jumbo from moronic Arabs, with which havocs were created in Afghanistan via neoconnish America, now they are fellating uncircumcised Chinese for crumbs the ungodly Chinese will play the idiotic Pakis like a fiddle to the detriment of the West!

[Mar 03, 2019] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Regime change wars have disastrous consequences

Feb 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Truth , Mar 2, 2019 4:02:55 PM | link

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Regime change wars have disastrous consequences

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpe79LfhUZU

[Mar 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren GRILLS Betsy DeVos At Confirmation Hearing

She raise important question about Trump university
Notable quotes:
"... That was brutally enlightening. I mean, I heard from the news that she didn't have a clue about education, but I didn't know it was this bad. America's education system desperately needs to be improved, but I don't see that coming with her... ..."
"... Senator Warren's zeal and interrogation skills are both admirable. ..."
Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

FrostScience , 2 years ago

Warren is my hero. Keep up the great work Elizabeth!

Shaoul Rick Chason , 2 years ago

Warren for President, 2020

AfternoonBaboon , 1 year ago

"Put the pen down, dear, we both know you're not writing anything" - Olenna Tyrell

PRESTIGIOUS691 , 2 years ago

DeVos is clueless, another idiotic pick for swamp cabinet!!

Kristina V. , 2 years ago

Warren sounds like a teacher telling her student why they're failing.

Rondell Threadgate , 1 year ago

I am an Australian observer, What I see of Elizabeth Warren, she should be the next American President, 1, she has a brain, 2, she has dignity, 3, she knows what she is dong, (she has a clue, unlike the current one ) no one scares this woman.

Melissa Warren , 2 years ago

She is so SAVAGE. I love Elizabeth Warren for this!

Cupid Betty , 1 year ago

This is so funny. As so soon as Warren said "oh good", DeVos was going down.

whm5609 , 2 years ago

Betsy deVos got raked over the coals by both Franken and Warren... deVos isn't qualified to be a teacher's aid for a kindergarten class much less run the D. of Ed. scary!

Paul Copland , 2 years ago

We need more Elizabeth Warrens in America. And we need new rules in our governance. Can you imagine if this was a real life corporate board interview. Would DeVos be hired by that board? Be honest....... DeVos was beyond stupid here.

Lucas Sg , 2 years ago

That was brutally enlightening. I mean, I heard from the news that she didn't have a clue about education, but I didn't know it was this bad. America's education system desperately needs to be improved, but I don't see that coming with her...

D Allen , 2 years ago

Education Secretary wanted, no experience necessary, top salary paid, full benefits.......man sign me up!

Clyde Mccray , 2 years ago

I am not a fan either way of DeVos, but this was nothing but a platform for Warren to fast talk over her, and a way to slam Trump, call him a crook and fraud, and be condescending non-stop.

Elizabeth Warren has some good ideas at times, but this was bullying and showboating on her part and she wasted her time lecturing instead of really giving her a real opportunity to answer a few strong questions to see where she stood on certain topics. Pity.

Has Warren been held accountable for the billions of waste and fraud committed by the congress in the past 8 years on failed policies, laws, etc.

And by the way, how many people in Washington, D C have had experience running a Trillion dollar bank? What a rather dumb question since the answer is NOBODY.

DeVos never stood a chance.

Guitar73 T , 2 years ago

"Destroys?" She basically ask her a bunch of questions she already knew the answer to just to point out she hasn't taken out a student loan or has experience overseeing a trillion dollar program. Then Liz proceeds to derive her own answer prior to Besty answering herself.

A cop may not have saved someones life before so by that logic the cop is not qualified to save lives? Sure, she may not have experience with student loans but that doesn't mean she doesn't understand compound interest, inflation and economics. Maybe these hearings would be a better use of tax payer's money if they weren't merely a forum to broadcast the fact that you don't like someone's political affiliations.

RcMx , 2 years ago

So having focused on being a community organizer is fine for running for president, but somehow NOT for running a federal agency under a president? Meanwhile, when it comes to following the spirit of regulations as opposed to regulations themselves, which (if any) were NOT violated when a certain senator used to be a professor at Harvard and proclaimed that she was of American Indian heritage, while such a classification "coincidentally" benefited whomever claimed it?

Having said that, Senator Warren's zeal and interrogation skills are both admirable. So is the way in which Betsy Devos diplomatically handles such an onslaught of pointed questions that some say are agenda-driven.

This is democracy at work and it's refreshing to see. Thanks Youtube and all who helped bring this about.

nfl doesn't matter , 2 years ago

Senator Warren. You are a US Senator. What is your plan for insuring the United States won't run up 10's of trillions of debt which will bankrupt our country? Senator Warren, have you ever balanced a budget? Do you know what a balanced budget is? Senator Warren, what is your plan for protecting US citizens from criminal illegal aliens? Do you know, Senator Warren, we already have laws in place to protect US citizens from criminal illegal aliens? They're called immigration laws.

[Mar 03, 2019] Warren is buddies with Suze Orman. I will never vote for her for this reason alone.

Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Michael O , 1 hour ago

Warren is buddies with Suze Orman. I will never vote for her for this reason alone.

[Mar 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren To Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan You Should Be Fired CNBC

Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Tc Linn , 1 year ago (edited)

Tim Sloan has all the characteristics of a crook. He is remorseless, misleading, lacks responsibility, tries to cause confusion of the facts, and a manipulator. This guy was the CFO and claims he was removed from the scams. Yeah right!

Lily Reyes , 5 months ago (edited)

He should be fired for sure, fired straight to jail.

Realistic Man , 1 month ago

I know Tim Sloan did not do a good job and Senator Warren grilled him to the point where I feel bad for him. She is so good at finding out the truth and cornering the guilty like a rat.

Shauneille Morton , 1 month ago

Tim Sloan is a criminal psychopath and a habitual liar.

crayzmoe , 2 months ago

87% of CEO are crooks

J F , 3 weeks ago (edited)

Good job standing up against this loony who thinks she's a Native American.

Jeff Luallin , 3 weeks ago

I don't know all the ins-and-outs of Tim Sloan, probably some fair criticism, but he doesn't strike me as a crook. For Pocahontas to say he should be "fired", the same charge could be made at Pocahontas - that she should resign (fire herself from the Senate); the scam of her claiming Native American heritage to further her career was TOTALLY bogus.

[Mar 03, 2019] Fed Chair Jerome Powell answers Sen. Elizabeth Warren's questions on bank mergers - YouTube

Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

A E. , 4 days ago

This was a great line of questioning by Warren.

Boris Psenicnik , 3 days ago

Great job Ms. Warren!!!

James Powers , 4 days ago

If she would shut up about being an Indian and attacking Trump and focus on attacking the banks she would win I'm a Trump supporter and I would vote for her. She is great on the fed

Barry Calvert , 1 day ago

I hope she becomes the POTUS... They will kill her is=f she gets close. You think they dont like Trump ? They control him, they cant control her...

shiftnow , 3 days ago

Bravo Sen. Warren. Way smart, way informed and who gives a shit about DNA, Truth is, we're all a little bit Native American.

[Mar 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren on controversy I shouldn't have done it

Trump is a dangerous and in his own way very capability media person, a propagandist who is capable fully exploit this story. She really needs to call Trump Pinocchio to neutralize this line of attack
Notable quotes:
"... She has too much excess baggage to run for president. She reminds me a little bit of Hillary mixed with Trump. She used to or still supports Susie Orman, the self proclaimed financial wizard. Orman is a lier and has cheated many people and has made a lot of money off people who fell for her get rich sceems. Orman is a lot like Trump. I don't mind having a woman president but just not this ine! ..."
"... Donald and Fred Trump both claimed that their family is from Switzerland when they are are actually 2nd and 3rd generation German immigrants and still have a whole town of living relatives in Germany. I'm sure we need to demand Donald Trump take a DNA test and also exhume and test Fred Trump's remains . I mean since these matters are clearly so important to everyone. Come on let's dig up the president's dead father to solve a petty political dispute! ..."
"... CNN literally can't do an interview without being obsessed with race. ..."
"... She mentions her native ancestry. It's a point of pride to her, she has no shame of it. Trumps bullying her lead her to get the DNA test. It made her look foolish, like she would do anything to shut the bully up. Whatever her action they have a reaction of insulting her. Because they are racist. ..."
"... OMG, What controversy with Warren?? No one outside of DC cares about the ancestry.. Trump is literally a Mob Boss... ..."
Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Laura B , 2 hours ago

Is this the only dirt they can come up with. Lol 😊 Elizabeth Warren 2020

angelmushahf , 3 hours ago

Most White ppl in the U.S. think they are Cherokee, even though they aren't. In fact, I know White conservatives who claim Cherokee. Sure she went a step too far 30-40yrs ago, but at least she actually cares about Natives. Conservatives, on the other hand, claim to be Native Americans, support DAPL, could care less about them and mock Natives any chance they get

independent vote , 3 hours ago

This is FK'D. trump has committed EVERY political error in the book, breaks laws, THANK'D MATT GAETZ FOR THREATENING COHEN, cheats on wives..

BUT ELIZABETH WARREN IS IN TROUBLE ?

Queer Radical Social-Anarchist Punk-Rock Vegan , 3 hours ago

--Principal Chief Richard Sneed "It's media fodder. It's sensationalism. That's what it is,. All it takes is for one person to say they're offended, and then everybody does a dog pile. But to me, it's 'Wait a second. Let's get to some of the facts here.' Sen. Warren has always been a friend to tribes. And we need all the allies we can get."

Brian Young , 3 hours ago

I see the hate on the comments...it looks like the KKK types are here donning their MAGA hats. Are they tight? Lowering your, already low, IQs further? Yeah

James Burns , 3 hours ago

The whole DNA thing is such a silly, irrelevant distraction. It's so utterly unimportant. But we're now going to find that those sideshows become the focus of the race rather than any real discussion on policy. I'm becoming more and more convinced that people are increasingly too stupid or simply lazy and cynical to bother thinking about things that actually matter.

CC , 1 hour ago

Why? The poor learned the loopholes just like the rich. That's why she checked the native American box. And the hypocrisy of "President" Trump's past brought out from the time he stated he was running, this women was right next to Hillary knocking him down.

I don't buy the soft casual talk about not going to the past. She messes with the wrong man and then her skeletons came our of the closet. She deserved it

Slap Daddy , 3 hours ago

Nothing we First Nations people despise more than a white person so ashamed of themselves try and pretend they are one of us . We have more respect for white people who are strong and proud of their own people . She is not only very weak , she is a traitor to her people . We do not respect people ashamed of themselves .

Ezequiel H , 3 hours ago

Why so many stupid trump supporters in the comment section. This story is very relevant to many Americans my family included .

marzipanjoyjoy , 2 hours ago

I also hope all you upright citizens are out there demanding a boycott of Chuck Norris. I'm sure you're outraged by Walker Texas Ranger, correct? You know that tv show where one of the whitest guys in America claimed both in the show and outside of the show for marketing purposes that he is native American. I assume you all want Chuck Norris to take a DNA test and prove it right? Guys? Right?

Rob Wealer , 3 hours ago

They should simply agree on what is the proper genetic mix that is acceptable ideologically to determine which genetic mix is less or not acceptable so that the proper mistreatment of the lesser sort can be determined and enforced by popular consensus. This seems almost to be having the force and effect of law socially and politically. This is becoming a strange mix of nostalgic notions of virtue while at the same time embracing the basic premise of Nuremburg.

chip block , 2 hours ago (edited)

She has too much excess baggage to run for president. She reminds me a little bit of Hillary mixed with Trump. She used to or still supports Susie Orman, the self proclaimed financial wizard. Orman is a lier and has cheated many people and has made a lot of money off people who fell for her get rich sceems. Orman is a lot like Trump. I don't mind having a woman president but just not this ine!

Juantarde , 55 minutes ago

I'm happy as long as Elizabeth Warren is in ANY part of government where she can continue to kick major ass on the republican crooks.

marzipanjoyjoy , 2 hours ago

Donald and Fred Trump both claimed that their family is from Switzerland when they are are actually 2nd and 3rd generation German immigrants and still have a whole town of living relatives in Germany. I'm sure we need to demand Donald Trump take a DNA test and also exhume and test Fred Trump's remains . I mean since these matters are clearly so important to everyone. Come on let's dig up the president's dead father to solve a petty political dispute!

Jasion Sail , 2 hours ago

CNN literally can't do an interview without being obsessed with race. Warren would probably had a chance if they gave her a support like they do Harris. ...now here comes the twist I actually do not support her or anyone on the left but she didn't even get a solid chance she might as well drop out now and endorse someone.

Mister Sarajevo , 3 hours ago (edited)

Why do Bernie Bros hate her so much when she's basically doing the same thing but w/ less yelling, finger wagging & condescension?

2degucitas , 1 hour ago

She mentions her native ancestry. It's a point of pride to her, she has no shame of it. Trumps bullying her lead her to get the DNA test. It made her look foolish, like she would do anything to shut the bully up. Whatever her action they have a reaction of insulting her. Because they are racist.

Jason Milton , 2 hours ago

OMG, What controversy with Warren?? No one outside of DC cares about the ancestry.. Trump is literally a Mob Boss...

Lefty Jones , 2 hours ago

It's so annoying how anytime a decent person fucks up nowadays they're forced to spend like an entire year apologizing, and that's only if they don't automatically lose their entire career right after said fuck up. She admits she shouldn't have done it, great, now lets get back to policy.

TheRealMVP , 3 hours ago

I just don't understand how some people can't accept her apology for the Native American fiasco, yet they give trump all the slack in the world. This is a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy..... The double standard is just ridiculous.

[Mar 03, 2019] If Elizabeth Warren is nominated for president, and I hope she will be, I believe we will see the most virulent, vile and vituperative campaign imaginable against her by the right, the wealthy and the corporate interests.

Taxation itself does not solve the problem. You also need to cut MIC. Only in this case orginary americans will benefit. Andf that Mmieans that Eligeth Warren will face tremendous slander campaign neocons.
Mar 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

voreason Ann Arbor, MI Jan. 29

If Elizabeth Warren is nominated for president, and I hope she will be, I believe we will see the most virulent, vile and vituperative campaign imaginable against her by the right, the wealthy and the corporate interests. It will be a battle for the soul of this country. But if anyone can make the case to the middle class for real economic and tax reform in the face of the attacks that such a plan will face, Elizabeth Warren is the person to do it. She has a first class intellect, she has remarkable communication skills and, as she says, this is her life. She's not running in order to "be" president, she's running to enact policies that have the potential of turning the tide in this country in favor of the people and away from the plutocrats. And in this, she will face real opposition from many within her own party. It's going to be an interesting two years.

Robert Seattle Jan. 28

Paul, it would be great if you could compare the revenue effects of this Warren proposal with the actual tax policies that were in effect during the Eisenhower administration. It seems that the progressive taxation rates of that era, topping out at about 90% marginal rates, should and could be the "gold standard" for comparison with current plans.

The neolib/libertarian campaign, stretching back to those years and even earlier, has been wildly successful in brainwashing Americans with regard to both public finance and the link with tax structures. And the removal of controls on money in politics has us in a truly toxic environment that in my view has already tipped us into an oligo-klepto-plutocracy. The ravaging of all three branches of government has reached critical mass, and we're teetering on the brink in a way that may not be reversible.

Dawne Touchings Glen Ridge, NJ Jan. 29

Any candidate who is promising health care for all and a substantial response to climate change and crumbling infrastructure, has to be talking taxation of the wealthy either by income tax or wealth tax or both. Otherwise, they are just blowing smoke. Elizabeth has that combination in her platform.

Bill from Honor Jan. 29

@White Buffalo

It is a tragic commentary on the American political system that FDR felt he had to make a compromise with the Devil in order to gain the passage of progressive legislation.

The situation continues today with the institutions of the electoral college and especially the US Senate, where the population of several small easily manipulated states can hold equal power to representatives of states with many times more people. In our times the circumstances often result in gridlock when the Senators from progressive states refuse to compromise with these who represent minority viewpoints.

Tom Miller Oakland, California Jan. 29

Warren Buffett and other billionaires who are socially committed should endorse Senator Warren's proposal and her candidacy. Let Trump call her names; she knows what she's doing and is truly on our side.

Jay Arthur New York City Jan. 29

The national debt as a % of GDP was higher after WWII than it is now. Then we had three decades of prosperity along with a steady decline in the debt. How? High marginal tax rates. Since Reagan's election the debt has steadily increased, so that now it's almost as high as it was in 1945. We solved this problem before, we can solve it again. Warren and AOC are right on.

PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 29

There is a very simple logic to focus on; The corruption of Republicans from campaign donations to legislation as directed by wealthy's lobbyists enriching their wealthy benefactors, to gross wealth inequality as a result, is overwhelming justification to get that wealth back to the nation through progressive taxation. Tax the wealthy before they export America's wealth. It isn't trickling down as much as trickling Up and Out of the country.

mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

The idea that a couple of extra percentage points of taxes on fifty million dollars could be considered to be outrageous shows how radical the right-wing has become in this country.

Someone who has that much income- I was going to say "earned", but it's the lower-class working people who earn it for them- would not even miss that money. And how much money can you actually spend in a way that makes you happy, or happier, anyway?

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Taz

In real life, Obama already increased taxes for the extreme rich, and Hillary's campaign agenda included additional tax increases. So this is merely a logical continuation of what Democrats have always stood for.

bill washington state Jan. 29

I've noticed two things that have happened in my lifetime. Many Billionaires and near billionaires have proliferated while at the same time social security has become more precarious and homelessness has exploded.

And of course our overall national debt has dramatically increased. Nobody needs a billion dollars or even ten percent of it for that matter. Not sure if Warren's plan is the best but it would generate a ton of money to improve the collective good and it still wouldn't dent the billionaires much.

SAF93 Boston, MA Jan. 29

I for one, would be happy to pay the extra taxes that Senator Warren proposes, should I ever amass over $50million in wealth!

JW New York Jan. 29

The downside to this proposal is that my newest Bugatti Veyron I was planning to gold-plate may have to be silver-plated instead. Worse, my tenth beach house estate I was planning on building on the island I purchased off Fiji may have to be scaled back to a bungalow occasionally rented out to cover the utilities. Oh, the pain. And forget about me trying a hostile takeover of a major media outlet I will not name.

CH Indianapolis IN Jan. 29

Prof. Krugman, why do you give credit to Elizabeth Warren's party rather than to Elizabeth Warren herself? Her party will deserve credit if they can get beyond the corporatists and nominate her. Otherwise, no. Last night on Lawrence O'Donnell, Sen. Warren explained how the wealthy have manipulated the system for years to accumulate more and more wealth.

Their lobbyists persistently ask Congress for small, subtle changes in the law that benefit them. Because the individual changes seem minor, Congress often goes along, but, over the years, they add up to major benefits allowing the wealthiest to accumulate more and more assets.

Billionaire Howard Schultz's ability to self-fund a presidential campaign and the Koch political network's efforts to make its own preferred policies exemplify another reason for taxing the wealthiest. They can and do use their vast resources to cause significant harm to the country.

Sherrie California Jan. 29

Watched Sen. Warren on MSNBC last night and she did well to explain her plan to us "regular folks," rare for a politician. Just ask Paul Ryan.

This plan can work if we don't let Republicans lie about its benefits. Nail the Fox crew to the wall in siding with their uber rich boss Murdoch, who loathes the plan (I wonder why). This plan can work if it still contains tax break goodies for the 90%---all levels. We all have to join together and we all have different economic concerns. That's a fact.

This plan can work if the public realizes it prevents tapping into Social Security or Medicare or cutting benefits. This plan can work if we can hear over and over again how the money will be spent on climate change, healthcare, college tuition, infrastructure, cyber security, and poverty, to name a few. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This plan will work if they point to the Republican tax debacle giveaway of 2018 did NOTHING to help any of those problems but was a major giveaway to the rich who did not reinvest into the economy but cashed in instead.

Meredith New York Jan. 29

The ripple effects of more fair, adequate, progressive tax rates are huge throughout the society. Low tax rates and tax havens for the rich and corporations lets mega donors keep increasing their donations (investments) in our politicians and elections, thus their dominance over lawmaking.

This effectively subverts our professed ideals of equality and citizen influence. It subverts our constitution, bill of rights, and the safeguards of our 3 equal branches. Big money values infect our executive, legislative and judicial branches. The S. Court legalized unlimited donor money (investments) in our elections, pretending that any limits would subvert the 1st Amendment's Free Speech. We see the effects on tax laws and weak regulations giving huge advantage to the donor elites. In effect they are regulating our govt.

johnj san jose Jan. 28

@Mystery Lits

You are wrong in every argument you make. You don't live in isolation, you live in an organized society that makes your wealth possible. There would be no wealth in the US if we didn't have a functioning society, and there would be no functioning society without taxation and government functions. And "the rich" didn't go anywhere in the fifties and sixties when the taxation was much higher than today. Also these 0.1 to 0.01% that Warren is proposing to tax don't pay vast majority of the taxes, it's the upper 10% that pays the majority.

Gene S Hollis NH Jan. 28

I agree that the tax rates from the 1950's were economically, fiscally and socially sound. Were it not a violation of the constitutional ban on bills of attainder, I would propose a more rigorous tax be applied to the Kochs and the Adelsons. When it comes to spending more on Medicare (which I interpret to mean more than the current 17-18% of GDP), however, we should not. I recently had a health problem while traveling in Germany. I spent 4 days in a teaching hospital (University Clinic of Bonn--UKB). Not only did I receive excellent care, which my American doctor told me was as good as any care available here, but the bill came to around $4300 (€3700). That included three diagnostic procedures. The Medicare-approved payments for the same care would have been about $28,000. Throwing more money down the bottomless pit of U.S. medical practice is futile. The proceeds of such a capital levy as that proposed by Ms.Warren would be better spent on addressing hunger, on infrastructure and on retiring some of the national debt

Ralph Averill New Preston, Ct Jan. 28

A tax on significant accumulated wealth is past due. The same for inherited wealth. Apparently the hated "Death Tax" doesn't go far enough. Many self-made millionaires promote the benefits of pulling one's self up by one's boot straps. Why are they so adamant about denying the opportunity to their children?

When Warren Buffett turned over much of his wealth to charity through Bill Gates, he was asked if he wasn't giving away his children's inheritance. Buffett responded, (paraphrase,) "My children have enough to do whatever they want. They do not have enough to do nothing." In my perfect world, it would be difficult to be very rich or very poor, and no one would ever go without.

Meredith New York Jan. 29

Nice headline---Eliz Warren does Teddy Roosevelt--- who broke up the trusts in the progressive era. And Bernie Sanders aimed to do Franklin Roosevelt. Sanders had the quixotic idea to restore the New Deal. But he was soundly bashed and trashed by Krugman and most NYT columnists/reporters.

Even if he wasn't their ideal candidate, his proposals should have been given the respect of serious discussion, like we now are getting for Ocasio and Warren. Do a compare and contrast on policy---Warren and Sanders. Interesting to see what we can learn.

Jose C North Gotham Jan. 29

Speaking of billionaires, I just heard Howard Schultz on NPR trashing Warren's wealth tax plan. So what does this say? Even a so-called progress wealthy person really doesn't want to give up a scintilla of coin. I think the counter-argument, that increasing the income of the 0.1% with tax breaks, does not lead to significant increases in prosperity for everybody - the "lifts all boats" ruse. A recent article in the NY Times shows that this is the case. That is, yachts are being lifted, dinghies are getting shredded by their propellers.

Blunt NY Jan. 28

Ignoring the irrelevance of the Teddy Roosevelt comparison (hardly has anything to do with the rest of his article anyway), this is pretty good from a guy who did all he could to kill Bernie against Hillary. Bernie would have said pretty much the same as Warren then and probably would agree with the proposals now. So Dr K, good to have you back in the midst of the progressives and assume you had a lapse of reason for the past 3 or 4 years. Saez, Piketty and Zucman are fantastic. I am delighted the first two are helping Warren. Ps. All three deserve the Nobel Prize. At least as much as you did.

Jack Mahoney Brunswick, Maine Jan. 29

I was disappointed that she didn't run in 16. She knows that large swaths of our population are under-educated, superstitious, and under the impression that their little arsenals will make a dent should their conspiracy theories that heroically place them behind bushes at Lexington and Concord at odds with the US government somehow come to pass. As someone who has taught school, she appears to understand that trying to engage the back row not only fails to produce positive results but also annoys and appalls those who showed up in good faith. Similarly, she appears to know that the best way to enlighten is to lay out the facts as accessibly as possible and trust that those viewing the facts can come to logical conclusions. Note that if her theory is fatally flawed, so is the Republic. Adlai Stevenson, when told that every thinking American would vote for him, reportedly was chagrined and noted that to win he needed a majority. That was in the 1950's, when sensible tax policies had not been hijacked by dark messaging funded by those who had so much to gain if American safety nets such as Social Security and, in the 1960's, Medicare, could be misconstrued as the insidious tentacles of the Red Menace. The messengers of deceit, thanks to Citizens United, no longer have to whisper doom from the shadows. Rest assured that if EW moves toward the nomination we will be frightened by slick ads that equate gross wealth not with a cancerous concentration but with American lifeblood.

Barbara Iowa Jan. 29

@JW Not sure why anyone on the left sneers at Sanders. Did you know that Sanders has an approval rating of something like 80% in Vermont, a state that used to be full of Republicans and still has plenty of conservatives? People who pay serious attention to Sanders like and respect him. We'll actually be very lucky if we get someone with Sanders' magnetism. If you listen closely, his anger is at injustice, not at other people. He cares about everyone.

Frank Columbia, MO Jan. 29

Why do we have college football coaches making $6million per year ? Because slightly lesser coaches make $5million per year. They could all get by very nicely on a quarter million per year. It's the same with the 1% : they need their fortune only in comparative terms. In the meantime 80% of us live in an economy comprising about 20% of our country's wealth, a very poor country in itself indeed.

Berkshire Brigades Williamstown, MA Jan. 28

Liz has always been ahead of the curve. She knows well that it's time for Democrats to right the ship of state by reducing income and wealth inequality before it sinks our democracy. Go Liz! Go Dems! Go big .. before it's too late!

M Lindsay Illinois Jan. 29

"...public opinion surveys show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich." Yet, congress refuses to support such tax reform. I guess that tells us that most politicians are serving and protecting their wealthy political donors rather than our country.

SherlockM Honolulu Jan. 29

Here's a fine way to make America great again. Yes, let's go back to the marginal tax rates of the prosperous '50's. What have we got to lose?

JLM Central Florida Jan. 29

@Linda

One summer in Sigourney, Iowa, when I was a small boy, my grandfather took me into the library Carnegie built and talked about it with great pride. By the way, he served in both world wars and was a prominent Republican. Oh, how times have changed.

Joe White Plains Jan. 29

This is going to be a tough choice for average voters. Work till the day you die, live in squalor and penury in old age as the social safety net is cut, and condemn your family to ever decreasing living standards -- or in the alternative, tax the accumulated wealth of billionaires. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

John Wesley Baltimore MD Jan. 29

RICH- THE ANSWER IS NOT CLASS WARFARE VS THE RICH...I'm not rejecting this proposal out of hand but Warren/Picketty have been putting the cart before the horse-she needs to identify and focus on a fiscal need, THEN assemble tax policy to pay for it in an earmarked way...and it has to be gradual, ideally phased in over 10 plus years. Suggestions ? What do we need to establish Medicare for all ? Or address infrastructure problems over next 10-20 years ? Or make SS solvent ? Determine the revenue you need, not the "revenge" you might want vs the "rentiers" - and I think a very good place to start would be top tax advantages accounts very heavily at high rates.Its absurd Mitt Romney has like what $200 million in his IRA and hes only taking the RMD ?? Tax any income to an IRA with a balance over say $10 million....nobody needs a tax break at that level.

Jesse DENVER, CO Jan. 29

But billionaires are the job creators, the noble stewards of finance and cap... and I'm laughing. Tax the rats. If they complain, tax them more. Let them move to Singapore and share their crocodile tears with crocodiles (does Singapore have crocodiles?)

America's oligarchs have given the working class 40 years of wage slavery and we've given them a life in the clouds. Time to renegotiate.

A.G. Alias St Louis, MO Jan. 29

@John Homan

It's I thought was about taxing the rich more, not only on high incomes but on high net worth also. Rajiv said about how the rich donate to causes that reduce their taxes, by say, electing more tax-cutting Republicans. The Koch brothers are good examples. I didn't quite get your criticism of Rajiv.

george Iowa Jan. 29

This column " Elizabeth Warren does Teddy Roosevelt " says a lot about Professor Warren but very little about Teddy. I read a column yesterday by Charlie Pierce where he goes into detail about TR`s New Nationalism speech.

There are parts of this speech that are real eye openers such as - The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being.

Or- We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that the people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs. This speech spends a lot of time praising the Saviors of our Country, The Civil War Veterans. And it also says a lot about the proper place for Capital and Corporations, servants not masters.

Marx and Lennon Virginia Jan. 29

@George

I might agree with you if this was a momentary phenomenon, but it's not. The imbalance that is finally plain to all began with subtle changes in the balance between capital and labor in the early 1970s. The truly rich understood what they were doing. They found a fulcrum that allowed them to pry money and power from the increasingly vulnerable middle and lower classes, so they did. To correct this by less drastic means will take at least that long again. I doubt we can wait another 45 years, so yes. We need to use the taxation authority as the fulcrum to pry back the people's fair share. There is no other option as far as I can see.

CallahanStudio Los Angeles Jan. 29

@Tom:

Your characterization of the argument as suggesting that "we should just take all the money from individuals because we can" is as complacent as your reference to Lenin and Mao. Did you miss the part where Krugman points out that we have already used progressive taxation in this country to advance the collective economic good? U.S. economic policy from the Great Depression to Reagan unleashed a rising tide that truly floated all boats in the U.S. economy.

It was the gratuitous tax giveaways to the wealthy advocated by Milton Friedman, among others, that gave our wealth distribution its present hourglass configuration.

Tim W Seattle Jan. 29

Let's add another thing: scrap the cap on the amount of wages subject to the 6.2% Social Security tax, currently set at $128,400. Why should someone making $20 million a year only pay the SS tax on the first $128,400? Scraping the cap would make SS solvent forever, and could even reduce the percentage we're taxed.

dwalker San Francisco Jan. 29

@Robert Elizabeth Warren is a good explainer, and when she starts banging on a point she's convincing. Importantly, she doesn't do it just once, she makes it a theme to be hammered.

A great lesson of the Vietnam War was that it is *repetition* that drives change -- in that case, TV news repeatedly showing flag-draped coffins coming home, covering marching protesters, exposing atrocities, etc.

Whether through timidity or laziness or slavishness to big money donors, Democrats have failed to create a momentum on the idea of wealth inequality that would persuade the public. This will change with Elizabeth Warren and, if he chooses to run, Bernie Sanders. In this regard, a prediction: At some point before November 2020, we will hear the phrase "I welcome their hatred."

Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

Far from radical, the ideas of Warren, Sanders, and AOC are sensible, logical, and fair. Bring on any politician who means business such as these proposals and can articulate them, isn't a billionaire already, and doesn't have a tawdry history of being entangled with Wall Street, and watch him/her win.

Andrew Zuckerman Port Washington, NY Jan. 29

@dmckj

Progressive taxation isn't all that progressive anymore. Capital gains and even earned income of incredible amounts of money as well as stock options are taxed at low rates. In case no one has noticed, the AMT is a bust. It doesn't work and when it does, it harms the upper middle class rather than the super-rich.

The "high-end earners" pay a lot (but not enough) because they are the only ones who have so much income that taxing them does not adversely affect the economy. We have rich folks who can afford giant yachts and not so rich folks who can't survive an unexpected $400 bill. That is not the way the economy should work. Eventually, income inequality will even weaken corporate profits and destroy the economy. Even large corporations need customers who can buy their products.

Rima Regas Southern California Jan. 28

FDR 2.0 must address the social class the Great Recession created. Those are the now 50-60 year olds and millennials who lost jobs, pensions, and are still underemployed and in the gig economy.

Starting in ten years, if nothing is done,very will have 95 million or so homeless. Leaving it to states to construct affordable housing won't do. We need Universal Basic Income. This is needed regardless of whether the GOP and Trump's scams cause a depression. Bernie and Elizabeth would easily demand Congress act on these ideas. Bloomberg and Schultz? Not on your life. A decent future is progressive. We need FDR 2.0. we need to be done with triangulation.

The GOP is an untrustworthy partner. --- Things Trump Did While You Weren't Looking [2019] https://wp.me/p2KJ3H-3h2

Constance Warner Silver Spring, MD Jan. 28

Let's hope Warren succeeds, whether she becomes President or not. I recall that under Eisenhower-era rates of taxation, the middle class and the working class had a lot better deal than we have today. Heck, we even had a better deal under Nixon-era rates of taxation. It's weird to be nostalgic for Nixon, but look at what's in the White House now.

JP MorroBay Jan. 29

Thanks for a great column again, and yes, Ms. Warren in on the right track. Now if we could only get the corporate media to stop trivializising her policies as "nerdy" we might get somewhere.

DocBrew Central WI Jan. 29

While Warren's proposal and ACO's marginal tax ideas both have merit, let's be honest- ideas such as these have no chance until campaign finance reform occurs. Given the current composition of the SOCTUS that seems impossible for several decades, as the obscenely rich simply buy the government they want.

Kwip Victoria, BC Jan. 29

@Brenda

I suggest that you rethink your position. I appreciate the frustration with the current system but the public school system is habitually underfunded. The $40k is not a direct benefit to each child. Look into that. And maybe look at Finland where schooling is considered one of the most important benefits to a country. As a result you see the best university graduates going into teaching because they make a very good salary and they are supported by an administration that supports their efforts, efforts that come with passion for helping kids.

Murray Illinois Jan. 29

A 2% tax on wealth is not much more than what many of us pay the financial industry to 'manage' our savings. The investment funds take their percentage, and the companies managing the portfolio take theirs. Small investors tend to pay a higher percentage in fees than larger investors. When all is taken into account, people living paycheck to paycheck pay the highest percentage, of what ends up being zero wealth. This 'wealth tax' would help rectify the imbalance.

Whole Grains USA Jan. 29

I'm very impressed with Elizabeth Warren,not just for her tax proposals, but because she is so intelligent - and genuine. Some say that she is too heady to win but she certainly has more charisma than Adlai Stevenson, who lost in the 1950s because he was too intellectual. And he didn't have a catchy slogan such as "I Like Ike." Unfortunately, it's all about how politicians are perceived. I would like to see Warren more poised and not afraid to express her sense of humor.

Karen Brooklyn Jan. 29

@Brenda

If talent and drive - particularly talent - were the deciding factor in wealth accumulation, the descendants of Fred Trump would be living on the street.

Julie Parmenter Jan. 29

@Linda

We have a Carnegie library in our small town of 2400 in rural Indiana. It is still in use as a community resource center and town history museum. It is a beautiful sturdy brick building and I assume it will be around for 100 more years. We just outgrew it and had to build a new one. Carnegie will be remembered for this, not his great wealth. Same with Gates and Buffett.

SteveHurl Boston Jan. 28

I've generally been impressed with Warren's economic analyses, going back a couple of years before she ran for Senate. A close version of this plan deserves support. If it seems "radical," it's probably because the USA drifted so far to the right. I blame disco and "Grand Theft Auto."

CDN NYC Jan. 28

Her tax proposal would be a nightmare to implement. How do you value thinly traded assets (real estate, art, antiques, etc.)? Hire a valuation expert? Have the IRS contesting it every year? Litigate? Please, tax all dividends as ordinary income, eliminate/change the duration for long term cap gains treatment, make inherited assets have a zero cost basis, etc. Simple to implement, enforce, ideas.

4Average Joe usa Jan. 29

In 1906, Representatives and Senators did not spend 4.5 days a week, every in a cubicle, begging for money, calling rich people all day. We have elected telemarketers. (no insult intended to telemarketers.)

Elizabeth Bennett Arizona Jan. 29

It's not surprising that "the usual suspects" are already trying to disarm Elizabeth Warren's well thought out tax plan. Many American billionaires are nouveau riche, and don't have the sense of responsibility that the very wealthy used to feel towards the less fortunate. And the Republican party is right there egging them on to resist fair taxation--like Elizabeth Warren's proposal.

Christy WA Jan. 29

I'm all for her. Warren is by far the smartest presidential candidate in the Democratic pack and I'm all for supertaxing the superrich -- as well as making mega-corporations pay the proper taxes they've been evading for so long.

Stephen Boston Canada Jan. 29

@George

The confiscation of excessive wealth is exactly the point and that point is a practical one -- to mitigate the tendency of unregulated large scale economies to form parasitic aristocracies that lead to resource deprivation in vast portions of the society's population. And this is not a scapegoating of the wealthy, it is refusing to worship them, it is to call them back to Earth and ask of them what is asked of each of us.

Mjxs Springfield, VA Jan. 29

"Malefactors of great wealth," Theodore Roosevelt called them. Prosperity that delivers unbelievable amounts of wealth to a very few while the other 99% struggle is not sustainable.

TR was no wild-eyed Socialist: he was a man of wealth and property and wished to remain so. He and FDR were both blue-blooded aristocrats. Both were saving capitalism by restraining its excesses.

Pinewood Nashville, TN Jan. 29

@Tom,

Whether you realize it or not, the good old USA takes away the wealth of individuals and hands it over to the government to allocate. The rest of your statement, about tyrants, is just wrong. You are equating communism with taxation, a silly thing to do. Educate yourself.

Alex Washington D.C. Jan. 29

@Peter Wolf

I agree with you 1000%. I'm tired of people arguing that certain persons would not be good candidates because they sound too smart. That's the dumbest argument I've heard so far. If someone sounds smart, then GOOD. I hope they ARE smart.

Right now we are a laughing stock of the world because our leaders are actually proud to sound stupid and boorish. Out with charisma and in with intellect and expertise, please. I wouldn't want Tom Hanks performing brain surgery on me, nor do I want him in the White House (much as I enjoy seeing him on the big screen

[Mar 03, 2019] There was a time when being rich carried a responsibility to contribute more to the world than those with less; a responsibility to serve society overall, and one's country and community in particular

Mar 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29 Times Pick

This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy. The concentration of wealth parallels the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it is economic climate change with consequences equally as dire as global warming on all lifeforms.

The challenge will be no less difficult, replete with a powerful lobby of deniers and greed-mongers ready for war against all threats to their power and position. Their battle cry is apres moi, le deluge -- as if taxing wealth and privilege is barbarians at the gate and the demise of civilization rather than curbing cannibals driven not by hunger but voracious greed. Everywhere climate change deniers are being drowned out by a rational majority who now see the signs of global warming in every weather report and understand what this means for their children if we continue to emulate ostriches.

Likewise, the same majority now sees the rising tide of inequality and social dysfunction and what that means for the future as a global caste system condemns nearly all of us -- but mainly our progeny -- to slavery in servitude to our one percent masters.

Elizabeth Warren is no nerd. She's our Joan of Arc. And it's up to us to make sure she isn't burned alive by the dark lords as she rallies us to win back our country and our future.

Paul Rogers Montreal Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian:

the two issues, inequality of wealth and global warming, are related. The vast wealth of the Koch Brothers enables them to drown out rational debate with propaganda. Propaganda must be abolished.

Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@FunkyIrishman I think Trump intentionally or inadvertently has destroyed anything resembling the status quo. It's the political equivalent of Newton's Third Law of Motion: that for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Trump is the ugly face of unbridled power and privilege, leavened only by vainglory ignorance.

He's the equivalent of melting icecaps and stranded polar bears when it comes to the concentration of wealth and economic climate change. His utter failure will be the rational majority's success in plowing a better and more equitable path forward. There's been nothing more radical than Trump. He's made radical solutions compelling and necessary. And inevitable.

hm1342 NC Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian: "This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed." Their is plenty of power, privilege and "greed" in our nation's capital, and it is practiced daily by individuals who are elected and un-elected.

Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@Jim Thanks for your reply and appreciation. I'm lucky to be an Editor's Pick as there are so many great comments by thoughtful and articulate NYT readers, particularly those who follow Krugman's columns. I agree with your sense of wealth as a social disease that's highly contagious. We need a vaccine and I hope Sen. Warren is it and she inoculates a strong majority by 2020.

November 2018 has Come; 2020 is Coming Vallejo Jan. 28

@Anne-Marie

Hislop

I agree, Anne - Marie. There was a time when being rich carried a responsibility to contribute more to the world than those with less; a responsibility to serve society overall, and one's country and community in particular. Also the rich were expected to have better manners and more discerning taste than those who worked because they had the free time to study and model grace and refinement.

In addition, the wealthy were expected to be patrons of the arts, the sciences, and religion by contributing money and time to support practioners, research, and experimentation in these areas.

Finally, the wealthy were expected to raise children who were role models, leaders, and volunteers who contributed emotionally and spiritually to their schools and communities.

Compare Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt to Paris Hilton or the tRump family.

Phyliss Dalmatian Wichita, Kansas Jan. 28

Amen and hallelujah, and I'm an atheist. For those asleep or oblivious, we're in the new gilded age. But faux gold, as evidenced by the occupant sitting in the Oval Office.

These " Job Creators " are creating Jobs only for shady attorneys and accountants specializing in creative mathematics, sham Corporations, Trusts and TAX avoidance. See: the Trump Family.

What's the average, law abiding citizen to do ??? Absent actually eating the Rich, WE must overhaul the entire system.

Warren is very nerdy, and very necessary. Unfortunately, the great majority of Men will not vote for any Woman, not yet. See: Trump. She would be a most excellent choice for VP, the back-up with a genius IQ and unstoppable work ethic. President ??? A modern day, working man's Teddy OR Franklin Roosevelt, and His name is Senator Sherrod Brown, Of the very great state of Ohio. MY native state. Think about it, it's the perfect pair.

Ray Zielinski Champaign, IL Jan. 28

@Peter Wolf

I particularly like Elizabeth Warren's ability to talk policy. But as a career academic I also realize that she sounds to most like a law professor giving a lecture. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a winning formula but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Nana2roaw Albany NY Jan. 28

Yesterday a billionaire threatened the Democratic Party with certain defeat in the 2020 Presidential election if the Party chose a candidate not to his liking. Increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few will ultimately spell the end of our democracy.

Gustav Durango Jan. 28

If there were ever a politician for our time, the second and more egregious gilded age, it should be Elizabeth Warren. She INVENTED the Consumer Financial Protection Burueau! She has studied the big banks and Wall Street for decades! She knows how they operate better than anyone on the planet. She is the Teddy Roosevelt of our time, but are we smart enough to elect her?

Ralph Philadelphia, PA Jan. 28

My wife and I find Warren to be the most impressive candidate we've seen in a long time. She has the mastery of detail that can actually move our country to where it should be. No lazy demagoguery, either -- and she com