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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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Elite Theory Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions The Great Transformation Right to protect If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths
Super Capitalism as Imperialism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism America’s Financial Oligarchy Inverted Totalitarism Disaster capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Harvard Mafia Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Republican Economic Policy Monetarism fiasco Small government smoke screen The Decline of the Middle Class
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy Neoliberalism Bookshelf John Kenneth Galbraith Globalization of Financial Flows Humor Etc

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). Both neoliberal  governments and authoritarian societies share one important self-destructive trait: They care only about consolidating power in the hands of the financial elite, common people be damned.  As such it  is not a sustainable social system, although this does not mean that the replacement will be better. It well can be worse.

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".  So democracy under neoliberalism is just a fig leaf covering dictatorship of financial oligarchy ("inverted totalitarism'). Despite smoke screen of "free market" rhetoric neoliberal are statists  par excellence. But this is covered by thick smoke screen  of propaganda, which in its intensity, penetration and the level of deception outdo Bolsheviks propaganda by an order of magnitude approaching the level described in Brave New World dystopia. In other word neoliberal population is a thorously brainwashed population.

There no surprise that most people now hate it which in this USA resulted in the election of Trump and is GB in Brexit. Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar yet the philosophy's entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources that one of its megaphones once declared its triumph "the end of history".

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 (which paradoxically was the result of the existence of the USSR and which entered the decline after the USSR dissolution) .  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).  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). The collapse  of such a society is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.

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 environment, as well as the lack of alternative social system might prolong the life of neoliberalism. Also one advantage neoliberalism enjoyed 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 neoliberalism, 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 turned from from the stage of purely intellectual  problems (collapse and discreditation of the ideology) to the stage of rising political challenges. Under Trump the effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda declined nd start approaching the effectiveness of Societ propaganda under Brezhnev. Neoliberal MSM are viewed by trhe majority of population of "fake news" -- the label in popularization of which Trump played an important role. Even "leading neoliberal 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 tensions 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 nomenklatura 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. That was all a very clever deception,  propaganda design at restoring the power of financial oligarchy undermined by the New Deal capitalism and increasing the rate of profits via financilization of everything. Plus a dream of world neoliberal revolution  taken directly from Trotskyite books (Neoliberalism can be viewed as a Trotskyism for the rich)

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 USA into a trade deficit, which broke the Bretton-Woods system. Profits declined and big business mobilized against labor and trade unions. 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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[Aug 22, 2019] The Two-Faced Elizabeth Warren by Matt Purple

Yes, is way Warren is a connuation of "Trump tradition" in the USA politics: reling of hate toward the neoliberalism establishment to get the most votes.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...in a piece Warren wrote for Medium in which she (rightly) warned of "a precarious economy that is built on debt -- both household debt and corporate debt." Notably missing was the national debt, which amounts to around $182,900 per taxpayer and which Warren's policies would only steepen. How exactly is a government flailing in red ink supposed to make the country solvent? And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal interventions?

Those objections aside, it would be wrong to dismiss Warren as just another statist liberal. She's deeper than that, first of all, having written extensively about economics, including her book The Two-Income Trap . But more importantly, she's put her finger on something very important in the American electorate. It's the same force that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016: a seething anger against goliath institutions that seem to prize profit and power over the greater welfare. This is firmly in the tradition of most American populisms, which have worried less about the size of government and more about gilded influence rendering it inert.

Warren thus has a real claim to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, which is deeply skeptical of corporate power. She could even try to out-populist Donald Trump. She's already released more detailed policy proposals than any of her Democratic rivals, everything from sledgehammering the rich with new taxes to canceling student debt to wielding antitrust against big tech companies to subsidizing childcare. All this is chum to at least some of the Democratic base (old-school sorts rather than the SJWs obsessed with race and gender), and as a result, she's surged to either second or third place in the primary, depending on what poll you check. She's even elicited praise from some conservative intellectuals, who view her as an economic nationalist friendly to the family against the blackhearted forces of big.

America has been in a populist mood since the crash of 2008, yet in every presidential election since then, there's been at least one distinctly plutocratic candidate in the race. In 2008, it was perennial Washingtonian John McCain. In 2012, it was former Bain Capital magnate Mitt Romney. (The stupidest explanation for why Romney lost was always that tea party activists dragged him down. Romney lost because he sounded like an imposter and looked like the guy who fired your brother from that firm back in 1982.) And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine.

If Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination next year, it will be the first time since Bear Stearns exploded that both parties' candidates seem to reflect back the national temperament. It will also pose a test for Warren herself. On one hand, her economic policies, bad though they might be, stand a real chance of attracting voters, given their digestibility and focus on relieving high costs of living. On the other hand -- this is where Fauxcahontas comes back in -- a white woman claiming Indian status in order to teach at Harvard Law is pretty much everything Americans hate about politically correct identity politics.

The question, then, is which image of Warren will stick: one is a balm to the country's economic anxiety; the other is unacceptable to its cultural grievances. Right now we can only speculate, though it seems certain that Trump will try to define her as the latter while much of the media will intervene in the other direction.


john a day ago

Her entire political theory seems to have been that giant corporations should not be allowed to utterly screw the common man. That is about it, and for this she is called a commie radical. I like her, little afraid of foreign policy
=marco01= 18 hours ago • edited
Warren was born into a middle class family, Trump wasn't. Trump is playing the populist, he has no idea what average Americans deal with.

Warren was raised on the family lore of having native ancestry and she does. Not much but she does and that's all it takes to start family lore. Her Native American ancestor was from around the time of the American Revolution and it's easy to see how that legend could be passed down. There is no proof she ever benefited from this, she was just proud to have Native American ancestry.

Funny how the RW is so outraged by this one thing. Maybe it would be better for her to con people, lie and make stuff up nonstop like Trump. It seems a never ending blizzard of lies and falsehoods renders one immune.

polistra24 18 hours ago
Let's remember that our only effective populist, in fact our only effective president, was a rich patrician. FDR's roots went back to the Mayflower, yet he was able to break the influence of the banks and give us 50 years of bubble-free prosperity. The only thing that counts is GETTING THE WORK DONE.
Nelson 12 hours ago
Her economics aren't bad. She herself claims to be a capitalist, she just wants our massive economy to also benefit regular folks instead of just the elites. And whatever economic program she proposes is most likely further left than she thinks necessary because that's a better negotiating position to start from. Remember every proposal has to go through both branches of Congress to become law, and they will absolutely try to make everything more pro-corporate because that is their donor base.
cka2nd 11 hours ago
"And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal
interventions?"

Mr. Purple might want to remind himself that 75% of federal student financial aid in the 1970's was in the form of grants, not loans, and that it was only after the intervention of conservative Republican congressman Gerald "Jerry" Solomon and the Reagan Administration that the mix of federal student financial aid was changed to be 75% loans and only 25% grants. I believe the Congressman used to rail against free riding college students, which is all well and good until one finds that the "free hand of the market" becomes warped by so many people being in so much debt, and all of them being too small to save.

Democrats might want to ask Joe Biden about this, considering his support for legislation that made it harder to discharge student debt in bankruptcy proceedings. They might also ask Senator Warren about this subject.

Absolute Fictions 11 hours ago
Warren believed her family story. Trump, on the other hand, knew that his family was not Swedish, but knowingly continued the lie for decades, including in "The Art of Deal " - claimin his grandfather came "from Sweden as a child" (rather than dodging the draft in Bavaria who made his fortune in red light districts of the Yukon territory before trying to return to the Reich).

Warren made no money from her heritage claims, but the $413 million (in today's dollars) given to Trump by his daddy was made by lying to Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn and Queens who, understandably, did not want to rent property from a German.

Vanity Fair asked him in 1990 if he were not in fact of German origin. "Actually, it was very difficult," Donald replied. "My father was not German; my father's parents were German Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?"

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
This column was pretty much as I expected. It started out by rehashing all of the Fox News talking points about Warren, without debunking those that were without merit.

After that it touched on Morning Joe's take on her, just to make it 'fair and balanced'.

Then it acknowledged, briefly, that she has been correct in many areas. No comment on how the CFPB recovered hundreds of millions of $$ from corporations that abused their power or broke the law.

Then it mis-characterized the impact of her policies "sledgehammering the rich", "economic policies, bad though they might be".

Dismiss Warren all you want. She could very well be the nominee, or the VP. She would eviscerate Trump in a debate. Her knowledge of issues, facts and policies would show Trump to be what he is. A narcissistic, idiotic, in-over-his-head clueless and dangerous buffoon. I anticipate Trump would fall back on his favorite tropes. Pocahontas, socialist, communist, and MAGA.

My opinion is that the average American is getting really tired of Trump's shtick. The country is looking for somebody with real solutions to real problems. This reality tv star act is getting pretty old....

Kent 10 hours ago
Good article. Especially enjoyed this turn of phrase:

"And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine."

Really enjoyable.

I don't think anyone is going to care about the pocahontas thing. This election will be squarely about Trump. I think Warren is by far the best candidate the dems can bring out if they want to beat him. A Warren/Buttigieg or a Warren/Tulsi ticket would likely be a winner.

Bernie's a little too far to the left for Joe Lunchbucket, Joe Biden is a crooked Hillary wannabe, Kamala Harris is unlikeable, and the rest won't rise out of the dust.

Heaventree 9 hours ago • edited
The whole business about her supposed Native American ancestry and whatever claims she made will make no difference to anybody other than folks like Matt Purple who wouldn't support her under any circumstances anyway.
Consider that the best-known advocate of the "Pocahontas" epithet is of course Donald Trump, whose entire reputation is built on a foundation of bulls--t and flim-flam.
Lynnwig 9 hours ago
"Thus in retrospect was it the "Obama" in "Obamacare" that was the primary driver of opposition from conservatives, only for their concerns over federal intrusion to mostly disappear once Trump was at the controls."

No. What disappeared was the Individual Mandate. THAT was what rankled me...the government can do whatever stupid thing they want as long as they don't try to force me into it.

[Aug 22, 2019] Anti-China Cult Gets U.S. Government Money - Runs Large Pro-Trump Ad Campaign

Aug 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

jb , Aug 21 2019 18:32 utc | 1

"The Democrats could up their game by taking a deeper look into this issue." you mean the CIA democrats like Mark Warner? the US has nothing to offer the world except war, which is why the people of the US must destroy this country. there is 1000% bipartisan agreement on the war drive against both china & russia. both parties spend their days yelling at each other about who is the most commie, like Moscow Mitch or Comrade Nancy, b/c they are unified in their war drive. as they are on anything else that matters. this country exists to wage war, as the platform for projection of power, against competitors. nothing else. the illusion that any of the operators w/in the system, any of them at all, are doing anything but crafting a persona in relation to power for self-aggrandizement, not challenging power in the slightest, is not helpful.

ab initio , Aug 21 2019 18:56 utc | 2

b, what makes you think the Democrats are not in on the scam?

Also, just like the US funds NGOs in other countries, China too spends hugely and has bought many influential lobbyists and think-tanks as well as media personalities and politicians in the US. Not very different than Israel lobbyists through AIPAC and the massive Israel First big money. China influence operations in the US is likely significantly larger than US influence operations in China since China is a closed CCP controlled system.

psychohistorian , Aug 21 2019 18:57 utc | 3
b wrote
"
The Democrats could up their game by taking a deeper look into this issue.
"
I agree with jb at comment #1

Yes there are "good" Democrats which are very much in the minority. The rest D/R are acolytes for the God of Mammon finance/war based social order of the West.

Yes, we are in a very strange WWIII with lots of spinning plates and propaganda action and shedding of blood mostly where the Western public does not "see" it

vk , Aug 21 2019 19:15 utc | 5
Well, unless the crisis catches the USA first:

Deficit Will Reach $1 Trillion Next Year, Budget Office Predicts

This time, the world may not be able to prop the Dollar up : the "rest of the world" is also maxed out.

karlof1 , Aug 21 2019 20:37 utc | 15
Excellent work b! Funding what on the surface appears to be a propaganda op aimed at another nation becomes a form of campaign finance for a president's reelection campaign! I wonder how many such funds went to similar work on previous occasions?

It seems that at some point in time those within the Outlaw US Empire deemed it unimportant that other nations learn the funding for numerous NGOs seeking to subvert them are overtly financed by the USG and are thus not NGOs at all but CIA appendages; and that despite the overtness, the USG still claims those organizations to be legitimate NGOs.

I find it worthy in an ironic manner that the USA will soon be eclipsed by the nation it might have become had it not sought to be a global empire. In fact, it's the very product of those Open Door policy advocates that will soon become the bane of their descendants who opted for a financialized Free Lunch economy for themselves instead of a massively robust, resilient industrial/commercial economy for all Americans.

William Gruff , Aug 21 2019 20:40 utc | 16
Falun Gong is kinda like Scientology crossed with Amway. Get rich quick while simultaneously healing your goiters. In its best days it was a terrible scam. Now it is just a blunt instrument that the US State Department uses to try and beat China with.
FSD , Aug 21 2019 21:01 utc | 18
The Epoch Times' Jeff Carlson has been in the thick of uncovering the broad Democratic Party coup (in league with transnational intelligence assets) against the Trump Presidency. Thus b's depiction here of the Dems potentially acting in the role of white knight subverts mountains of evidence. As for Falun Gong's potential affiliations with the CIA and NED that's another quite plausible storyline altogether.
DrivelP , Aug 21 2019 21:32 utc | 19
Funny thing, after watching a Vesti News video on youtube I saw a video ad for the Epoch Times. It had a young white millennial saying a bunch of propaganda drivel about the evil communist Chinese with regards to the Hong Kong protests.

Money is flowing.

[Aug 20, 2019] Is the So-Called Manufacturing Renaissance a Mirage

Without suppression of Wall Street speculators the renaissance on manufacturing is impossible...
Notable quotes:
"... A tooling firm closes, and a complex organism withers. The machinery is sold, sent to the scrapyard, or rusts in place. The manuals are tossed. The managers retire and the workers disperse, taking their skills and knowledge with them. The bowling alley closes. The houses sell at a loss, or won’t see at all. Others, no doubt offshore, get the contracts, the customers, and the knowledge flow that goes with all that. All this causes hysteresis. “The impact of past experience on subsequent performance” cannot be undone simply by helicoptering a new plant in place and offering some tax incentives! To begin with, why would the workers come back? ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If I lived in the past, I might assume that re-industrialization would be as easy as building a new plant and plopping it down in my model town; "build it and they will come." But this America is not that America. Things aren't that frictionless. They are not, because of a concept that comes with the seventy five-cent word hysteresis attached, covered here in 2015. Martin Wolf wrote :

"Hysteresis" -- the impact of past experience on subsequent performance -- is very powerful. Possible causes of hysteresis include: the effect of prolonged joblessness on employability; slowdowns in investment; declines in the capacity of the financial sector to support innovation; and a pervasive loss of animal spirits.

(To "loss of animal spirits" in the entrepreneurial classes we might add "deaths of despair" in the working class.) And if there were a lot of people like me, living in the past -- in a world of illusion -- that too would would cause hysteresis, because we would make good choices, whether for individual careers, at the investment level, or at the policy level, only at random.

Our current discourse on a manufacturing renaissance is marked by a failure to take hysteresis into account. First, I'm select some representative voices from the discourse. Then, I will present a bracing article from Industry Week, " Is US Manufacturing Losing Its Toolbox? " I'll conclude by merely alluding to some remedies. (I'm sure there's a post to be written comparing the policy positions of all the candidate on manufacturing in detail, but this is not that post.)

The first voice: Donald Trump. From " 'We're Finally Rebuilding Our Country': President Trump Addresses National Electrical Contractors Association Convention " (2018):

"We're in the midst of a manufacturing renaissance -- something which nobody thought you'd hear," Trump said. "We're finally rebuilding our country, and we are doing it with American aluminum, American steel and with our great electrical contractors," said Trump, adding that the original NAFTA deal "stole our dignity as a country."

The second voice: Elizabeth Warren. From " The Coming Economic Crash -- And How to Stop It " (2019):

Despite Trump's promises of a manufacturing "renaissance," the country is now in a manufacturing recession . The Federal Reserve just reported that the manufacturing sector had a second straight quarter of decline, falling below Wall Street's expectations. And for the first time ever , the average hourly wage for manufacturing workers has dropped below the national average.

(One might quibble that a manufacturing renaissance is not immune from the business cycle .) A fourth voice: Trump campaign surrogate David Urban, " Trump has kept his promise to revive manufacturing " (2019):

Amazingly, under Trump, America has experienced a 2½-year manufacturing jobs boom. More Americans are now employed in well-paying manufacturing positions than before the Great Recession. The miracle hasn't slowed. The latest jobs report continues to show robust manufacturing growth, with manufacturing job creation beating economists' expectations, adding the most jobs since January.

Obviously, the rebound in American manufacturing didn't happen magically; it came from Trump following through on his campaign promises -- paring back job-killing regulations, cutting taxes on businesses and middle-class taxpayers, and implementing trade policies that protect American workers from foreign trade cheaters.

Then again, from the New York Times, " Trump Promised a Manufacturing Renaissance. What Happens in 2020 in Places That Lost Those Jobs ?" (2019):

But nothing has reversed the decline of the county's manufacturing base. From January 2017 to December 2018, it lost nearly 9 percent of its manufacturing jobs, and 17 other counties in Michigan that Mr. Trump carried have experienced similar losses, according to a newly updated analysis of employment data by the Brookings Institution.

Perhaps the best reality check -- beyond looking at our operational capacity, as we are about to do -- is to check what the people who will be called upon to do the work might think. From Industry Week, " Many Parents Undervalue Manufacturing as a Career for Their Children " (2018):

A mere 20% of parents associate desirable pay with a career in manufacturing, while research shows manufacturing workers actually earn 13%more than comparable workers in other industries.

If there were a manufacturing renaissance, then parents' expectations salaries would be more in line with reality (in other words, they exhibit hysteresis).

Another good reality check is what we can actually do (our operational capacity). Here is Tim Cook explaining why Apple ended up not manufacturing in the United States ( from J-LS's post ). From Inc. :

[TIM COOK;] "The products we do require really advanced tooling, and the precision that you have to have, the tooling and working with the materials that we do are state of the art. And the tooling skill is very deep here. In the US you could have a meeting of tooling engineers and I'm not sure we could fill the room. In China you could fill multiple football fields.

"The vocational expertise is very very deep here, and I give the education system a lot of credit for continuing to push on that even when others were de-emphasizing vocational. Now I think many countries in the world have woke up and said this is a key thing and we've got to correct that. China called that right from the beginning."

With Cook's views in mind, let's turn to the slap of cold water administered by Michael Collins in Industry Week, " Is US Manufacturing Losing Its Toolbox? ":

So are we really in the long-hoped-for manufacturing renaissance? The agency with the most accurate predictions on the future of jobs is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their projection to 2026 shows that US manufacturing sector will lose 736,000 manufacturing jobs. I spoke with BLS economists James Franklin and Kathleen Greene, who made the projections, and they were unwavering in their conclusion for a decline of manufacturing jobs.

This prompted me to look deeper into the renaissance idea, so I investigated the changes in employment and establishments in 38 manufacturing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries from 2002 to 2018. I really hoped that the optimists were right about the manufacturing renaissance, but the data I collected in Table 1 (see link) shows some inconvenient truths -- that 37 out of the 38 manufacturing industries are declining in terms of both number of plants and employees.

So, yeah. Mirage.

... ... ...

A tooling firm closes, and a complex organism withers. The machinery is sold, sent to the scrapyard, or rusts in place. The manuals are tossed. The managers retire and the workers disperse, taking their skills and knowledge with them. The bowling alley closes. The houses sell at a loss, or won’t see at all. Others, no doubt offshore, get the contracts, the customers, and the knowledge flow that goes with all that. All this causes hysteresis. “The impact of past experience on subsequent performance” cannot be undone simply by helicoptering a new plant in place and offering some tax incentives! To begin with, why would the workers come back?

So, when I see no doubt well-meant plans like Warren’s “Economic Patriotism” — and not to pick on Warren — I’m skeptical. I’m not sure it’s enough. Here are her bullet points:

There’s a lot to like here, but will these efforts really solve the hysteresis that’s causing our tooling problem? Just spit-balling here, but I’d think about doing more. Start with the perspective that our tooling must be, as much as possible, domestic. (“If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.” Similarly, if your industrial base depends on the tooling of others, it’s not an industrial base.)

As tooling ramps up, our costs will be higher. Therefore, consider tariff walls, as used by other developing nations when they industrialized. Apprenticeships and training are good, but why not consider skills-based immigration that brings in the worker we’d otherwise have to wait to train?

Further, simply “training” workers and then having MBAs run the firms is a recipe for disaster; management needs to be provided, too.

Finally, something needs to be done to bring the best and brightest into manufacturing, as opposed to having them work on Wall Street, or devise software that cheats customers with dark patterns. It’s simply not clear to me that a market-based solution — again, not to pick on her — like Warren’s (“sustainable investments,” “research investments,” “R&D investments,” “export promotion,” and “purchasing power”) meets the case.

It is true that Warren also advocates a Department of Economic Development “that will have a single goal: creating and defending good American jobs.” I’m not sure that’s meaningful absent an actual industrial policy, democratically arrived at, and a mobilized population (which is what the Green New Deal ought to do).

[Aug 20, 2019] Trumponomics on the march: Israeli and EU farmers say thank you to Trump .

Notable quotes:
"... "The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day," said John Heisdorffer, the chairman of the American Soybean Association. "Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting. ..."
"... The Republican senator Chuck Grassley, who represents Iowa, a state heavily reliant on agriculture, has called for a quick resolution to the dispute. "Americans understand the need to hold China accountable, but they also need to know that the administration understands the economic pain they would feel in a prolonged trade war," Grassley said in a statement. ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

American farmers are likely to feel the pain first. Soybean exports to China collapsed last year when the trade war began, and agricultural exports will be hit harder when, or if, the new tariffs are imposed. Farmers are also suffering from extensive flooding that has delayed planting.

"The sentiment out in farm country is getting grimmer by the day," said John Heisdorffer, the chairman of the American Soybean Association. "Our patience is waning, our finances are suffering and the stress from months of living with the consequences of these tariffs is mounting."

The new round of tariffs will hit other parts of the US food industry, with beans, lentils, honey, flour, corn and oats all on the list of goods that will be taxed.

... ... ...

The Republican senator Chuck Grassley, who represents Iowa, a state heavily reliant on agriculture, has called for a quick resolution to the dispute. "Americans understand the need to hold China accountable, but they also need to know that the administration understands the economic pain they would feel in a prolonged trade war," Grassley said in a statement.

[Aug 20, 2019] China Warns Trump It Won't Make Trade Concession If US Plays Hong Kong Card

Aug 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

China Warns Trump It Won't Make Trade Concession If US "Plays Hong Kong Card"

by Tyler Durden Tue, 08/20/2019 - 09:15 0 SHARES

Just days after Trump for the first time linked the ongoing Hong Kong protests with his assessment of the US-China trade war, Beijing has issued an ultimatum to the White House: the United States should not link trade negotiations with China to the Hong Kong protests, denouncing such a move as a miscalculation.

In a short commentary published by Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily late on Monday, the author said that events in Hong Kong were the internal affairs of China, and linking them with trade negotiations was a "dirty" aim.

"Making a fuss about Hong Kong will not be helpful to economic and trade negotiations between China and the US," the commentary said. " They would be naive in thinking China would make concessions if they played the Hong Kong card " the oped cautioned.

Chinese diplomatic observers also said Beijing considered the worsening situation in Hong Kong a sovereignty issue and would be highly unlikely to cave to Washington's pressure.

The remarks followed a statement by US Vice-President Mike Pence on Monday which reiterated President Donald Trump's demand to tie the largely stalled trade talks with Hong Kong's deepening crisis, a day after hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully in defiance of repeated intimidation from Beijing. In an address at the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, Pence said the Trump administration would continue to urge Beijing to resolve differences with the protesters peacefully and warned that it would be harder for Washington to make a trade deal with Beijing if there was violence in the former British territory. Separately, Mike Pompeo said that China should allow Hong Kong protesters the freedom to express themselves, in what China saw as clear interference in its own internal matters.

The Chinese article countered by saying that the top priority for Hong Kong was to stop violence and restore order, adding that US politicians should not send the wrong message to people creating chaos in the city. "In the face of political intimidation, we not only dare to say no, but also take countermeasures," it warned.

Global Times, a tabloid controlled by the flagship state-run newspaper People's Daily, also warned in an editorial on Monday that American political and public opinion elites should not harbour the illusion they could influence China's decisions on Hong Kong.

"Because of the trade war, the US has lost the ability to impose additional pressure on China," it said.

"The US should stop its meaningless threat of linking the China-US trade talks with the Hong Kong problem. Beijing did not expect to quickly reach a trade deal with Washington. More Chinese people are prepared that China and the US may not reach a deal for a long time."

Chinese analysts noted Trump appeared to have hardened his stance on Hong Kong in the past week or so, under growing pressure from US lawmakers and extensive media coverage of the increasingly violent protests. Indeed, it was only a month ago when we reported that " Trump Abandoned Support For Hong Kong Protests To Revive Trade Talks With Beijing ." Now that trade war is once again front and center, with Trump using it as leverage for further Fed rate cuts, the US president is once again refocusing his attention on Hong Kong.

As the SCMP writes , Trump initially focused on making a deal with China ahead of his 2020 re-election bid and adopted a hands-off approach by characterizing the protests as "riots" which were a matter for China to handle. Over the past few days, he suggested Chinese President Xi Jinping should resolve the situation by meeting with protest leaders and warned that any violence in the handling of the Hong Kong crisis would exacerbate difficulties for attempts to bring an early end to the trade war.

"Trump's about-face on Hong Kong, from being neutral to piling pressure on Beijing, is largely due to domestic political pressure ahead of the presidential elections," said Shi Yinhong, an international relations expert at Renmin University and an adviser to the State Council which is China's cabinet.

" But the Hong Kong issue concerns China's sovereignty and the government's ability to maintain stability, which in Beijing's view is of superior priority . China cannot afford to make much compromise and will do everything to fend off interventions from abroad, in spite of all the risks and ramifications," he said.

Despite the soured mood between China and the US over their spiralling trade war – as well as escalating tensions over Huawei, Taiwan and other geopolitical rifts – both sides were planning further trade talks in the coming 10 days, according to White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday.

Any progress would be virtually impossible with analysts cautioning that the US attempt to "play the Hong Kong card" would further complicate the trade talks.

Meanwhile, in the latest significant escalation in diplomatic tensions, China responded angrily to Washington's decision on a US$8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan and Trump's warning against Huawei citing national security threats.

"When a long list of old problems between the two countries remains unsolved, the US side is now ramping up the pressure on Hong Kong," said Shen Dingli, a professor of US studies at Fudan University. "China has so far refused to make concessions in the absence of adequate mutual respect and trust and I don't think we'll have much room to compromise on Hong Kong or other issues. We'll have to wait and see what the US would do next," he said.

Shi also said none of the flashpoints in the bilateral ties – from Hong Kong, Taiwan, to the South China Sea and the denuclearisation of North Korea – had any easy solution in sight, with both sides showing little willingness to cooperate and accommodate the other's interests. He said the increasingly hardline, confrontational approach on China by Trump – who faced mounting pressure in his bid for re-election, especially amid signs of a looming global economic recession – would only make a trade deal increasingly unattainable.

"Even if there were no Hong Kong crisis, could the US and China reach a trade deal? Even if Beijing caved into Washington's pressure on Hong Kong, would it make it easier for them to bridge their glaring differences in the trade talks and cut a deal?"

Of course not, and since Trump is far more interested in keeping trade war simmering and on the verge of a substantial escalation if only to keep the Fed on its toes and ready for far more aggressive rate cuts, and even "some quantitative easing", that's precisely what the US president wants.

[Aug 20, 2019] Marci government was a tool of global investment banks, global money and the supranationals. And sure rgt devoure Argentina and pushed it again into debt slavery

Notable quotes:
"... Ex-IMF president, and soon to be head of the ECB, Christine Lagarde personally staked her support for President Mauricio Macri's pro-market government when she steamrollered through the IMF's biggest ever bailout of $56 billion for Argentina last year ..."
"... In return for the 2018 Bailout, the IMF demanded its usual pound of flesh policies: Austerity, Austerity and Austerity, spiced with inflation-targeted monetary policy, fiscal tightening, currency controls, and the keys to the Peso printing presses. Give Lagarde some credit -- she did give lip service to the people with a smattering of minor austerity mitigants in terms of gender equality and social provision. But, essentially the IMF's answer to yet another predictable Argentinian crisis was more of the same programme. You know the definition of madness ..."
"... While the new Macri government was welcomed by markets in 2015 -- it was immediately clear it didn't have widespread and deep-rooted political support. His government was perceived as a tool of global investment banks, global money and the supranationals. The electorate went along with it for a while, but the results of "neo-liberalising" the economy were disastrous; killing jobs, creating a balance of payments crisis, devaluation, driving inflation, and yet another flirtation with default -- hence the new IMF bailout. ..."
"... Macri failed to deliver on his promises to the electorate: inflation wasn't reined in, but soared to 60-70. Instead of growth the economy tumbled into recession. And more and more people fell into extreme poverty. Compare and contrast with the experience of Argentina under the populist Peronistas, the Kirchners, who drove recovery in the early 2000s via easy monetary and a massive fiscal spending initiatives. These didn't work so well when commodities declined, recession struck the currency sagged and massive monetary corruption followed. Argentina came close to default in 2012, and a naval vessel was actually seized by one creditor! ..."
"... The answer is not Austerity, Austerity, Austerity -- but that's her most likely only weapon in the ECB's armoury. There are clear parallels between Argentina and Europe -- much to be learnt in how not to handle recovery in the face of populism and undeliverable political promises. ..."
Aug 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

This morning's headlines are screaming how Argentina and President Mauricio Macri have precipitated yet another crisis on the stressed geopolitical battlefront Relax. We are more than used to dealing with Argentina defaults But, its far more complex than that. The latest Argentina Dance Macabre is all about Global Credibility. It's another Massive Fail!

What does it say about the credibility of Global Institutions and Policy when Argentina's whole market collapsed following a primary for an election in December? Ex-IMF president, and soon to be head of the ECB, Christine Lagarde personally staked her support for President Mauricio Macri's pro-market government when she steamrollered through the IMF's biggest ever bailout of $56 billion for Argentina last year .

It now looks an extremely poor call on Lagarde's part. Macri won a mere 32% of the vote, while former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner won 47%. Don't Cry for Me Argentina indeed Domestic Argentine Politics have left the IMF looking stupid.

There are three major issues to consider here:

First there is the absolute predictability of what's just happened in Argentina:

In return for the 2018 Bailout, the IMF demanded its usual pound of flesh policies: Austerity, Austerity and Austerity, spiced with inflation-targeted monetary policy, fiscal tightening, currency controls, and the keys to the Peso printing presses. Give Lagarde some credit -- she did give lip service to the people with a smattering of minor austerity mitigants in terms of gender equality and social provision. But, essentially the IMF's answer to yet another predictable Argentinian crisis was more of the same programme. You know the definition of madness

The programme did achieve some minor success: bringing down Argentina's primary deficit and putting the trade balance in to surplus -- but only because they spent IMF money supporting the peso. "Surprisingly" Austerity wasn't to the electorate's taste -- inflation remains out of control and poverty is rising allowing politicians to exploit the widening income-gap divide. What a complete shock! Who could have possibly predicted an unhappy electorate would damn Macri at the polls and favour former Peronista's from the last century instead? (US Readers -- Massive Sarcasm Alert.)

While the new Macri government was welcomed by markets in 2015 -- it was immediately clear it didn't have widespread and deep-rooted political support. His government was perceived as a tool of global investment banks, global money and the supranationals. The electorate went along with it for a while, but the results of "neo-liberalising" the economy were disastrous; killing jobs, creating a balance of payments crisis, devaluation, driving inflation, and yet another flirtation with default -- hence the new IMF bailout.

Macri failed to deliver on his promises to the electorate: inflation wasn't reined in, but soared to 60-70. Instead of growth the economy tumbled into recession. And more and more people fell into extreme poverty. Compare and contrast with the experience of Argentina under the populist Peronistas, the Kirchners, who drove recovery in the early 2000s via easy monetary and a massive fiscal spending initiatives. These didn't work so well when commodities declined, recession struck the currency sagged and massive monetary corruption followed. Argentina came close to default in 2012, and a naval vessel was actually seized by one creditor!

The Macri programme effectively went to the dogs y'day. The laughable Argie Century Bond crashed as low as 60 y'day. Default swaps are 40 cents upfront (pay $40mm to insure $100mm). Short-term debt is yielding near 40%. Argentinians voted for former leftist politician Kirchner instead, despite the widespread accusations of corruption, and the likelihood her election will simply deepen ongoing crisis.

The second point to this on-going Argentine Crisis is what does it say about Lagarde?

She is a gifted politician, a former French finance and apparently very efficient. She is not a trained central banker, but give her credit for being self-aware. She recently admitted : "The Argentine economic situation has proved incredibly complicated and I dare say that many of those involved, including us, underestimated a bit, when we started with the Argentine authorities building the programme."

Her new job at the ECB is going to be a political minefield. She will need to draw Europe into agreement on fiscal policy support for Southern European Economies -- which is a massive political issue when she's seen as Macron's candidate, Merkel is about to exit the stage, and the next crop of German Leader's look crushingly incompetent in the leadership department. The Italian League has already thrown down it's gauntlet -- if they don't get permission to start spending their way out of recession, they are going to do it anyway.

Lagarde has to balance the economic conservatism of Europe's strongest economy, Germany, against the risks of "free-spending" other European's creating further debt crisis. And she has to do it while holding the Euro together, dealing with consequences of Brexit, and being a distinct number 2 on the priority list for national governments. Is she up to it?

If Lagarde thinks Argentina's economic situation is complex, wait till she tries to balance the ECB. Her job is not to simply continue the "do-what-ever-it-takes" Mario Draghi "keep-the-Euro-going" mantras, but to actually move the European economy forward in a political vacuum. The answer is not Austerity, Austerity, Austerity -- but that's her most likely only weapon in the ECB's armoury. There are clear parallels between Argentina and Europe -- much to be learnt in how not to handle recovery in the face of populism and undeliverable political promises.

The third point to learnt from the new Argentina crisis is who leads the IMF now that Legarde is off to Frankfurt?

The European's have decided they want their compromise candidate, Kristalina Georgieva, to lead the institution. Its always been led by a European. Rest of world don't like that. While I'm sure Ms. Georgieva of the World Bank is an excellent candidate I am sure there are better. Mark Carney -- Canadian and Irish. Why Not. He's a proper banker..

What a complete ClusterF**k.


JPHR , 20 minutes ago link

Empire always gets QE, but indentured client states austerity and liberal reform facilitating a fire sale of their assets.

US has been exploiting IMF for this scam for years now. EU/Germany is copying that on Greece, Ukraine but not yet fully on Spain and Italy.

Don't expect Lagarde imposing austerity on either Germany or France, but she will try to impose that on Italy.

spanish inquisition , 23 minutes ago link

Bravo Argentina! They know how to play the game. He who defaults first can default the most. Get money, pass it around the corrupt establishment, default again, get mo money!

Batman11 , 1 hour ago link

Richard Koo explained the problem with austerity to the IMF after Greece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump is about the agony. The agony of the US centered global neoliberal empire.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The current neoliberal order failed to suppress China development enough to block her from becoming the competitor (and the second largest economy.) ..."
"... That's why a faction of the USA elite decided to adopt "might makes right" policies (essentially piracy instead of international law) in a hope that it will prolong the life of the US-centered neoliberal empire. ..."
"... As much as Trump proved to be inapt politician and personally and morally despicable individual (just his known behavior toward Melania tells a lot about him; we do not need possible Epstein revelations for that) he does represent a faction of the US elite what wants this change. ..."
"... All his pro working class and pro lower middle class rhetoric was a bluff -- he is representative of faction of the US elite that is hell bent on maintaining the imperial superiority achieved after the collapse of the USSR, whatever it takes. At the expense of common people as Pentagon budget can attest. ..."
"... That also explains the appointment of Bolton and Pompeo. That are birds of the feather, not some maniacs (although they are ;-) accidentally brought into Trump administration via major donors pressure. ..."
"... In this sense Russiagate was not only a color revolution launched to depose Trump by neoliberal wing of Democratic Party and rogue, Obama-installed elements within intelligence agencies (Brennan, Comey, McCabe, etc.) , but also part of the struggle between the faction of the US elite that wants "muscular" policy of preservation of the empire (Trump supporters faction so to speak) and the faction that still wants to kick the can down the road via "classic neoliberalism" path (Clinton supporters faction so to speak.) ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> anne... August 04, 2019 at 04:14 PM

It is not about the strategy. It's about the agony. The agony of the US centered global neoliberal empire.

Trump and forces behind him realized that current set of treaties does not favor the preservation of the empire and allows new powerful players to emerge despite all institutionalized looting via World Bank and IMF and the imposition of Washington Consensus. The main danger here are Germany (and EU in general) and, especially, China.

The current neoliberal order failed to suppress China development enough to block her from becoming the competitor (and the second largest economy.)

That's why a faction of the USA elite decided to adopt "might makes right" policies (essentially piracy instead of international law) in a hope that it will prolong the life of the US-centered neoliberal empire.

As much as Trump proved to be inapt politician and personally and morally despicable individual (just his known behavior toward Melania tells a lot about him; we do not need possible Epstein revelations for that) he does represent a faction of the US elite what wants this change.

All his pro working class and pro lower middle class rhetoric was a bluff -- he is representative of faction of the US elite that is hell bent on maintaining the imperial superiority achieved after the collapse of the USSR, whatever it takes. At the expense of common people as Pentagon budget can attest.

That also explains the appointment of Bolton and Pompeo. That are birds of the feather, not some maniacs (although they are ;-) accidentally brought into Trump administration via major donors pressure.

In this sense Russiagate was not only a color revolution launched to depose Trump by neoliberal wing of Democratic Party and rogue, Obama-installed elements within intelligence agencies (Brennan, Comey, McCabe, etc.) , but also part of the struggle between the faction of the US elite that wants "muscular" policy of preservation of the empire (Trump supporters faction so to speak) and the faction that still wants to kick the can down the road via "classic neoliberalism" path (Clinton supporters faction so to speak.)

[Aug 17, 2019] America is the richest country in the world, but it has more than half a million homeless and 28 million people without health insurance out of a population of around 325 million. Is America Crazy? by John Feffer

Decline of neoliberalism in not a pretty picture. Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. Greek version of this saying which appers in Sophocles’ play Antigone is more precise: "evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction". Oscar Wilde — 'When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.'
Aug 17, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
The United States witnessed three mass shootings in one week recently in California, Texas, and Ohio. There have been more than 250 mass shootings so far in 2019, more than one a day. This year in America, more than 33,000 shooting incidents have killed more than 8,700 people.

America is the richest country in the world, but it has more than half a million homeless and 28 million people without health insurance – out of a population of around 325 million. The U.S. infant mortality rate places it 33rd out of wealthiest 36 nations.

... ... ...

People from other industrialized countries must think that the United States has simply gone insane. It is a nation of terrible extremes: grotesque wealth and horrific poverty, brilliant minds and widespread ignorance, high rates of volunteerism and endemic violence. America seems to be suffering from some kind of bipolar disorder with pockets of manic energy and large areas of deep depression.

It would be tempting to argue that America is only suffering from a bout of temporary insanity. But mass shootings, gross economic inequality, and corruption didn't begin when Donald Trump became president. He has made matters worse, to be sure. But these trends are longstanding.

So, why do Americans put up with such violence, economic inequality, and political nonsense?

... ... ...

Moreover, more than half of Americans have never traveled to another country. One in ten hasn't even gone outside the state in which he or she was born. Since most of the news about other countries is negative, Americans naturally believe that life is more dangerous outside their borders. They haven't actually seen what it's like in other countries, so there's no way for them to compare the craziness of life in America with life anywhere else.

Of course, plenty of countries experience considerable violence, economic inequality, and political corruption. But they are usually not powerful industrialized nations.

In the 2019 Global Peace Index , for instance, the United States ranks 128 th in the world, between South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Kosovo, Haiti, and Bangladesh all rank higher than America. Part of the reason that the United States ranks so poorly is the amount of military violence that the country inflicts around the world – through war, arms sales, and military bases. But the high homicide rate in the United States also dragged its score down.

The GINI index measures a country's economic inequality. The United States, according to OECD figures , is fourth from the bottom of the wealthiest countries in the world. Only Chile, Turkey, and Mexico have greater income inequality after taxes and transfers.

On corruption issues, the United States has generally been in the top twenty in terms of transparency. But in 2018, it dropped six places to number 22 in the Transparency International rankings. Here, the influence of the Trump administration has been significant. The problem is not ordinary corruption like bribery. Rather, Trump is challenging the very foundations of the rule of law. He promised to "drain the swamp" of political influence-peddling in Washington, DC. But he has only made the nation's capital swampier.

Individuals with mental disorders can seek professional help. They can take medications and enter psychotherapy. They can check themselves into a hospital.

But what happens when a country is crazy?

[Aug 17, 2019] Charge us More by Michael Hudson

Aug 15, 2019 | michael-hudson.com

Trump's claim that China is paying for the tariffs is completely false and basically serves to redirect income from his poor supporters to his wealthy supporters.

Not only that, the policy will have the consequence of further isolating the United States, says Michael Hudson.

[Aug 17, 2019] Is Warren just another smooth talking confidence artist?

Video link removed --- see the original post...
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): Worth listening to in full:

There's a lot wrong here -- although Warren is a terrific story teller -- but it's really too bad that Obama didn't say "accounting control fraud," instead of "predatory lending." Although it's not clear that Warren would have understood him if he had.

Michael Fiorillo , August 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm

You're damn right there's problems with Warren's Obama story: he does five minutes of research about her career and focus before she arrives, makes sure to be backlit upon her entrance, rings what comes across as a transparently canned bell and she swoons!

I get that that most people were taken in by that talented, fraudulent shapeshifter, but this is painful to watch.

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Smooth talking confidence artist, IMHO.

[Aug 16, 2019] A New Assessment of the Role of Offshoring in the Decline in US Manufacturing Employment naked capitalism

Aug 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F08%2Fa-new-assessment-of-the-role-of-offshoring-in-the-decline-in-us-manufacturing-employment.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> By Christoph Boehm, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, Aaron Flaaen, Senior Economist, Research and Statistics Division, Federal Reserve Board, and Nitya Pandalai-Nayar, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Texas at Austin. Originally published at VoxEU

What has caused the rapid decline in US manufacturing employment in recent decades? This column uses novel data to investigate the role of US multinationals and finds that they were a key driver behind the job losses. Insights from a theoretical framework imply that a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing led firms to increase offshoring, and to shed labour.

One of the most contentious aspects of globalisation is its impact on national labour markets. This is particularly true for advanced economies facing the emergence and integration of large, low-wage, and export-driven countries into the global trading system. Contributing to this controversy, between 1990 and 2011 the US manufacturing sector lost one out of every three jobs. A body of research, including recent work by Bloom et al. (2019), Fort et al. (2018) and Autor et al. (2013), has attempted to understand this decline in manufacturing employment. The focus of this research has been on two broad explanations. First, this period could have coincided with intensive investments in labour-saving technology by US firms, thereby resulting in reduced demand for domestic manufacturing labour. Second, the production of manufacturing goods may have increasingly occurred abroad, also leading to less demand for domestic labour.

New Facts on Manufacturing Employment, Trade, and Multinational Activity

On the surface, the second explanation appears particularly promising. Manufacturing employment declined from nearly 16 million workers in 1993 to just over 10 million in 2011, shown by the black line in Figure 1. This large decline in manufacturing employment coincided with a surge in outward foreign direct investment (FDI) by US firms (the blue line in Figure 1). Nevertheless, existing theories of trade and multinational production make ambiguous predictions regarding the link between foreign production and US employment. Further, due to a lack of suitable firm-level data on US multinationals, there has been limited research on their role in the manufacturing employment decline (see Kovak et al. 2018 for a recent exception).

Figure 1 US manufacturing employment and US outward FDI

Source : BEA for FDI; Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) and authors' calculations for employment.

In a recent paper, we address the question of whether foreign input sourcing of US multinationals has contributed to a decline in US manufacturing employment (Boehm et al. 2019). We construct a novel dataset, which we combine with a structural model to show that US multinationals played a leading role in the decline in US manufacturing employment. Our data from the US Census Bureau cover the universe of manufacturing establishments linked to transaction-level trade data for the period 1993-2011. Using two directories of international corporate structure, we augment the Census data to include, for the first time, longitudinal information on the direction and extent of firms' multinational operations. To the best of our knowledge, our dataset is the first to permit a comprehensive analysis of the role of US multinationals in the aggregate manufacturing decline in the US. With these data, we establish three new stylised facts.

Fact 1: US-owned multinationals were responsible for a large share of the aggregate manufacturing employment decline
Our first finding is that US multinational firms, defined as those US-headquartered firms with foreign-owned plants, contributed disproportionally to the decline in US manufacturing employment. While 33.3% of 1993 employment was in multinational-owned establishments, this group directly accounted for 41% of the subsequent decline.

Fact 2: US-owned multinationals had lower employment growth rates than similar non-multinationals
In Figure 2, we show that multinationals exhibited consistently lower net job creation rates in the manufacturing sector, relative to other types of firms. Compared to purely domestic firms and non-multinational exporting firms, multinationals created fewer jobs or shed more jobs in almost every year in our sample. Of course, these patterns may not be causal, and other characteristics of multinationals could be driving the low job creation rates. To address this concern, we control for all observable plant characteristics, and find that multinational plants experienced lower employment growth than non-multinational owned plants in the same industry, even when the size and age of the plants are held constant.

Figure 2 Net US manufacturing job creation rates by type of US firm

Source : Authors' calculations based on the LBD, Directory of Corporation Affiliations (DCA), and Longitudinal Foreign Trade Transactions Dataset (LFTTD)

Fact 3: Newly multinational establishments experienced job losses, while the parent multinational firm expanded imports of intermediate inputs
An alternative way to assess the role of multinational activity on US employment with our data is to use an 'event study' framework. We compare the employment growth trajectories of newly multinational-owned plants to otherwise similar plants in terms of industry, firm age, and plant size. As can be seen in Figure 3a, prior to the plants becoming part of a multinational, their growth patterns are not different from the control group. However, in the years following the multinational expansion, there is a brief positive but then sustained negative trajectory of employment at these manufacturing plants. Ten years after the transition, these newly multinational-owned plants have manufacturing employment that is about 20% smaller than an otherwise similar plant.

Figure 3 US employment and import dynamics at new multinational plants

a) Relative imports

b) Cumulative relative employment (Index)

Source : Authors' calculations based on LBD, DCA, and LFTTD.

Further, these newly multinational firms increase imports following the expansion abroad. As Figure 3b demonstrates, these firms substantially increase imports both from related parties and other firms (at arms-length), relative to their control group. Taken together, Figures 3a and 3b suggest that offshoring might explain the observed negative relationship between trade and employment.

Structural Analysis: Did the Offshoring of Intermediate Input Production Result in a Net Employment Decline in the US at the Firm Level?

While the patterns we identify above are suggesting that increased foreign input sourcing by multinational firms led to a decrease in US manufacturing employment, they are not necessarily causal. Standard models of importing, such as Halpern et al. (2015), Antras et al. (2017) or Blaum et al. (2018), make ambiguous predictions as to whether foreign sourcing is associated with increases or decreases in domestic employment. At the heart of this ambiguity are two competing forces. First, a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing leads firms to have access to cheaper intermediate inputs. As a result, their unit costs fall and their optimal scale increases. This 'scale effect' raises their US employment. On the other hand, firms respond by optimally reallocating some intermediate input production towards the location with lower costs. This 'reallocation effect' reduces US employment. Theoretically, the scale effect could dominate the reallocation effect and lead to positive employment effects of offshoring, or vice versa.

We use our microdata to estimate the relative strengths of these two competing forces. We show that in a conventional class of models and in partial equilibrium, the value of a single structural constant – the elasticity of firm size with respect to firm production efficiency – completely determines which of the two forces dominates. Our estimation approach is to develop a method to structurally estimate an upper bound on this constant using our data on the universe of US manufacturing firms. While a high value of the upper bound leaves open the possibility that foreign sourcing and domestic employment are complements, a low value of the bound unambiguously implies that the two are substitutes.

Our estimates of the bound are small, indicating that during the period 1993-2011, the reallocation effect was much larger than the scale effect. In other words, during this period of aggregate manufacturing employment decline, multinationals' foreign input sourcing was leading to a net decline of manufacturing employment within these firms.

Aggregate Implications for US Manufacturing Employment

It is important to point out that the model we use only speaks to employment changes within existing firms and does not take into account general equilibrium forces that can also affect employment. Since such general equilibrium effects are inherently difficult to assess, estimates of how much of the observed aggregate decline can be attributed to offshoring of multinational firms are uncertain and often require strong assumptions. We thus proceed under two alternative sets of assumptions. In the first, we conduct a simple partial equilibrium aggregation exercise, which uses observed changes in firm cost shares of domestic inputs together with our estimated parameter bounds to obtain model-implied predictions of the employment loss due to foreign sourcing. This approach captures both the direct impact of foreign sourcing by existing firms as well as the first-order impact on domestic suppliers, holding all else equal. Under the second, we model these indirect, general equilibrium effects, such as firm entry and exit, explicitly. In both of these scenarios, we find that the offshoring activities of multinationals explains about one-fifth to one-third of the aggregate US manufacturing employment decline.

Policy Implications

Our research shows that the global sourcing behaviour of US multinational firms was an important component of the manufacturing decline observed in the past few decades. These firms set up production facilities abroad and imported intermediate goods back to the US, with the consequence of reduced demand for domestic manufacturing workers. While our research suggests that offshoring had a negative impact on employment, we caution that it does not support the view that offshoring and trade should be contained with tariffs or other policy interventions. Previous research has shown that both trade and offshoring are critical for consumers' access to affordable goods in the US. Instead, our research implies that government assistance for displaced manufacturing workers could facilitate their transition to new jobs in other sectors.

Authors' note: Any opinions or conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of the US Census Bureau or the Board of Governors or its research staff.

See original post for references

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Louis Fyne , August 16, 2019 at 10:29 am

It's not just big-ticket manufacturing (appliances, etc) .little stuff that a nation uses on a daily basis has been off-shored as well -- electrical wiring, capacitors, even foodstuffs like cookies and candy.

Bobby Gladd , August 16, 2019 at 11:04 am

Rx, military equipment parts

https://regionalextensioncenter.blogspot.com/2019/08/china-rx.html

upstater , August 16, 2019 at 10:51 am

"our research implies that government assistance for displaced manufacturing workers could facilitate their transition to new jobs in other sectors."

How does the research make such an implication? Every person a gig worker, I suppose?

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm

our research implies .could facilitate their transition

Can we pay our bills with the "implied" income?

"implied" < 40% probability, "facilitated" < 40% probability, overall probability < 16%.

Nice, less than 1 in 4 get a new job.

rd , August 16, 2019 at 11:10 am

I think an overlooked aspect is environmental protection and labor working conditions as well as wages.

We are offshoring our pollution by moving manufacturing to other countries with much less stringent environmental regulation. Similarly, labor rules in those countries don't require as much worker safety, so we are offshoring injuries as well.

As the other countries become wealthier and more educated, they are starting to push for more of these protections as well as higher wages which is forcing the companies to move their production again to keep their costs low.

An interesting recent trend is the rejection of our "recycling" from countries that used to receive it, so the feel-good greenwashing of filling the recycling bins is started to boomerang back to North America as countries ship back the trash parts of the recycling. This will likely require a second recycling revolution with more domestic processing of recycling or an admission that it simply isn't going to happen in which case the righteousness quotient of many suburbanites is going to plummet.

Tyronius , August 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm

This is such an easy problem to solve from a policy standpoint- and it has been solved by countries as small as the Netherlands.

Legally mandate a small list of fully recyclable materials for manufacturers to use in production and packaging, and enforce it with punitive tariffs on non conforming goods. This can take many forms, one logical option being that of holding companies responsible for the costs of recycling their products.

This is as applicable to soda bottles as it is to large and complex products like automobiles; BMW is a world leader in lifecycle waste reduction and recycling of vehicles.

As usual, the impediment isn't technology or consumerism, it's corporate profitability and one time costs of adjusting the supply chain.

neo-realist , August 16, 2019 at 11:15 am

So the writer says "that government assistance for displaced manufacturing workers could facilitate their transition to new jobs in other sectors." I take it to mean that a policy such as "free college" as advocated by Sanders which would involve government funded vocational training in other sectors would go a long away toward helping those displaced by outsourcing?

David Carl Grimes , August 16, 2019 at 11:27 am

It's just another version of "Let them eat training!"

Inode_buddha , August 16, 2019 at 11:51 am

I remember all that BS back in the 80's and 90's everybody was on the bandwagon about careers in computers, or any other hi-tech. I was one of those who had *some* training at least .. right before they offshored all those jobs to India. It was a double kick in the nuts.So, manufacturing went to China, computing went to India. And people wonder why I'm so bitter and cranky sometimes.

Napoleon: "Money has no Fatherland. Financiers are without patriotism and without shame. Their sole object is gain." IMHO US manufacturing is the reason why we're not all speaking German today. And we gave all that capacity away like a bunch of lemmings over the cliff

Katniss Everdeen , August 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm

"that government assistance for displaced manufacturing workers could facilitate their transition to new jobs in other sectors."

This "implies" that there are "jobs in other sectors" that create as much economic value, expertise and "innovation" as manufacturing jobs do. What are they–"service" jobs? Taking in each other's laundry? Delivering McDonald's to your door? Netflix?

Manufacturing is not just a job category that can be changed out for something shiny and new, it's vital infrastructure that represents a nation's ability to provide for itself, and to create a standard of living that reflects that capability. Those "affordable goods" so important to american "consumers" are manufactured goods. It's not just the price to buy them, it's the ability to make them that's important.

Like it or not, the once mighty american economy was built on the mightiest manufacturing capacity that the world had ever known. Trivializing it as being only about cheap stuff is a colossal mistake. We used to know that, and we've only begun to pay the price for forgetting.

polecat , August 16, 2019 at 2:43 pm

We* might very well learn to make lasting things of value again .. on a lesser scale, after half the population is dead from despair, war, and disease ..

*not necessarily as one people, however ..

Summer , August 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm

40 years later?!?! This is the conclusion. Note it's still not being done effectively.

They are full of it.

They may have an effective retraining program once there are about 10 manufacturing workers left in the country

Punxsutawney , August 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Let me tell you how useful this is in replacing your income when your 50 and the manufacturing you supported is gone.

Not so much!

sierra7 , August 16, 2019 at 11:58 am

Outsourcing of manufacturing jobs by multi-nationals contributed to job losses ..
Really! LOL!
30 years too late for this info.
Wasn't hard to see even way back in the 1980's how multi-nationals were working very hard to export jobs and import their "anti-labor" behaviour they were excising outside the laws and borders of the US.

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Dear Mr Trump

Tariffs were historically used to protect domestic manufacturers. Both the fees and increased price were use to boot domestic manufacturing, and hence domestic employment.

What's you intention for the tariff money?

doug , August 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm

So , you are implying there is a plan in the man's head?

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm

No, I'm asking if he has one.

I'm implying nothing.

Trump makes a lot of noise. I'm also familiar with the proverb "Empty Vessels make the most Noise."

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm

That's a little different from the Zen story about the empty tea cup being more receptive.

The Rage , August 16, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Yes, during the wave of industrialization. But they don't work so well once consolidation starts. 1875-1925(roughly) was the golden age of US manufacturing, even the WWII bounce was government DoD driven. Private ex-DoD manufacturing peaked in 1924 and was flat since then. Then we have the 97-05 downwave which then has boosted us about back to 1925's ex-DoD high. Just like the tech wave, it ended.

I mean, by 1925 Portsmouth Ohio was done by 1925, by 1950 they just bled manufacturing while it consolidated around bigger cities after WWII.

We need self-efficiency not capitalists growth. It ain't happening people. Its over. We need 10% contraction of GDP just to get manufacturing growing again from a much lower base. Tariffs are dead in the water for growth now, and act like the opposite. They are also creating a bubble in "base" consumption while killing domestic production and yes, eventually overcapacity will kill base consumption and it crash again like last years 4th quarter driving down domestic manufacturing further.

Samuel Conner , August 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Anecdotally, in a field I worked in for a while, middle management in a small privately owned "needle trades" firm, the "growth" among our competitors was in firms that (we assumed) did their design work in US but manufactured overseas. Domestic manufacturers either adapted to this, or closed down.

At least in this field, automation had next to nothing to do with it.

cirsium , August 16, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Instead, our research implies that government assistance for displaced manufacturing workers could facilitate their transition to new jobs in other sectors.

Ah yes, the subsidised retraining for manufacturing jobs that, in fact, do not exist. Louis Uchitelle covered this policy failure in his 2006 book "The Disposable American: Layoffs and their consequences". Is the phrase "got the T-shirt" relevant here?

Susan the other` , August 16, 2019 at 1:23 pm

For the government to re-employ workers who have lost their factories would be a form of industrial policy. Ours is never clearly stated, if there is one. But one thing is clear and that is the government gave the internationals every opportunity to offshore our national productivity without any safety net for labor except unemployment insurance. Which runs out. Michael Pettis has just backed a proposal to tax foreign capital saving and investment here in this country. Because most of it is just financial "investments". Foreign investment for long term capital projects would be virtually unaffected. It is claimed that this tax on money parking would reduce out trade deficit and make it fluctuate within an acceptable balance. By doing something that sounds like real-time exchange rate adjustments for every transacted trade, now to include foreign investment and savings. So why didn't the government, after offshoring all those jobs, re-employ all the laid-off workers as banking and investment managers? So all this unproductive foreign money is skewing our trade balance. Making our unemployment deeply structural. It is so bizarre that we are "trading" in money at all. We are trading in the medium of exchange, which is fiat, which itself is susceptible to exchange rate adjustments with other money and all of it supposedly backed by the productivity of that country. That foreign productivity is frequently nothing more than IMF money, stolen and taken out of the country. The P word. Because the world has reached manufacturing overcapacity, I assume, all this money is totally skewing the ledgers. It's laughable except for the fact that the bean counters take it seriously. The mess we are in is something more fundamental than balanced exchange rates. It's more like hoarding at its most irrational. Way over my head. And for us to fix unemployment here in the US will take far more than a tax on all this loose international money.

Inode_buddha , August 16, 2019 at 1:40 pm

Yeah it's nice to have it "officially" credentialed etc its not like I haven't been saying this since they passed NAFTA, but then I wasn't "credentialed" so nobody listened . its like, "No $#!t sherlock ???" pretty much *everyone* who has spent some time in the industrial sectors knows this by heart without even needing to be told. Of course maybe now its OK to say it out loud or something . smh.

Glen , August 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Can we also admit that American CEOs gave our jobs away?

Inode_buddha , August 16, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Dirty furriners sho didn't steal em trying to get *anyone* to admit this is like pulling teeth

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 16, 2019 at 5:19 pm

It's good people are asking questions.

Jerry B , August 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

===the Role of Offshoring in the Decline in US Manufacturing Employment===

It is not just the role of offshoring in the decline of US manufacturing employment, BUT the effect the offshoring, and the competing with foreign manufacturers, had on the existing US manufacturing workforce. The manufacturers and manufacturing workers that remain in the US have to compete with their cheaper foreign competition for work.

I spent most of the last 25 years working in plastics injection molding. After spending the first six years of my career in plastics/ polymer research and development, I transitioned to injection molding. In the mid 90's when I started in injection molding, globalization had already begun especially in the automotive sector. The car manufacturers were already setting up global and domestic supply chains. But even then the Chicago area (and the US in general) was heavy in mold making and injection molding businesses.

Then China became a major player in the world economy, NAFTA started, etc. and in the early 2000's it was like the last manufacturer who gets stuck in the US gets to turn out the lights!

There were a lot of small to medium size mold maker shops and plastic injection molders in the Chicago area that went under because they could not compete with the cheaper foreign competition. It was very sad as I knew many small mom and pop mold makers and injection molders in the Chicago area who were in business for 20 – 30+ years that closed.

The fact that many businesses/corporations in the US, due to offshoring and globalization, are forced to compete with foreign competitors that have cheaper labor, less regulation, cheaper land costs, etc. etc. is beyond reason.

And to this day you can see the effects of neoliberal globalization in any manufacturing or other business you visit as they are dealing with consequences of having to compete directly with cheaper foreign competitors through cost cutting, low wages, and running the employees into the ground.

The tables were tilted against manufacturers and manufacturing employees in the US. It is like the US manufacturing (and other sectors) are trying to fight a battle with one hand tied behind our backs.

There is a good book that relates to this post. The book is called Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy by Edward Alden.

https://www.amazon.com/Failure-Adjust-Americans-Economy-Relations-ebook/dp/B01M03S1R4

The Rage , August 16, 2019 at 5:04 pm

NAFTA killed a bunch of material extraction jobs, but boosted a bunch of auto production jobs down the supply chain. You can see that on the data. Granted, auto sales have been flat for 20 year which has led to a flattening of employment growth since 2005 after the material extraction driven drop.

That is why the Trump Administration just basically rebooted it.

John , August 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Has there been a study of a relationship between off-shoring and the rise of upper management compensation?

Susan the other` , August 16, 2019 at 4:22 pm

can the government itself, operating under a vague constitution, be treasonous?

Subaltern , August 16, 2019 at 4:48 pm

Consider it payback for colonialism and neocolonialism.

The Rage , August 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

lol, but it created a bunch of debt finance jobs throughout the economy as well, that boosted existing manufacturing. Offshoring accounts for .1% of the job loss. Most of it is consolidation and technology. My great grandfather lost his job in 1925 during the first wave of consolidation. What about that?

This post reeks of globalist propa.

Altandmain , August 16, 2019 at 5:09 pm

As someone working in manufacturing, while I am glad that there is some acknowledgement that outsourcing is responsible, I strongly disagree about not implementing tariffs. Effectively workers are competing for a race to the bottom in wages, working conditions, and other factors like environmental laws.

Guess what if there are tariffs? Things will cost more, but there will also be more jobs for the working class. Actually there will also be quite a few white collar jobs too. Engineering, HR, Finance, Sales, etc, are all needed in any manufacturing industry.

I suspect that net, most workers would be better off even if prices were higher due to the jobs. The thing is, the top 10 percent would not be and the 1 percent would not be. That's the main reason for this outsourcing. To distribute income upwards so the rich can parasitically take it.

While our research suggests that offshoring had a negative impact on employment, we caution that it does not support the view that offshoring and trade should be contained with tariffs or other policy interventions. Previous research has shown that both trade and offshoring are critical for consumers' access to affordable goods in the US. Instead, our research implies that government assistance for displaced manufacturing workers could facilitate their transition to new jobs in other sectors.

This is where I strongly disagree. As discussed above, I think that the net effect might be beneficial for the majority of society.

The other is the old retraining claims, which never pan out. What jobs are there? Visit the communities in the Midwestern US and Southern Ontario. Retraining for what? For jobs that are part time, minimum wage, with few or no benefits?!

Manufacturing may not have been perfect, but at least there were benefits, it was often full time, and the salaries allowed a middle class existence.

When I read things like this, as much as I dislike Trump, I can understand why people would support him.

sierra7 , August 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm

For the life of me I don't see how any other outcome could have happened. With the economic system we have embraced at least in my long lifetime, it was inevitable that "capital" would seek the lowest level playing field in the long term. Nation's boundaries kept that flow "fenced" to a certain limit for as long as there have been physical borders between countries. Once the cat was let out of the bag of competing countries after WW2, for example the Japanese with computer driven machinery (lathes) that crushed American companies that in too many cases refused to invest and welcomed the slow destruction of organized labor here in the US, it was inevitable that that condition would be the future of manufacturing here. The advent of the Mexican maquiladoras gave a great push to the exporting of jobs. NAFTA put the nails in the coffin so many more of those good paying jobs. "Labor" was never invited to those global meetings that proved to be so destructive to so many countries.
But, again. The system we embrace can have no other outcome. "Tariffs" will eventually lead to wars. So in the words of that famous Russian: "What is to be done?"
Anybody have a solution? You will be saving civilization from itself. We need a complete rethinking of how we live on this planet. That will take better humans that we have now that lead nations. In the meantime it's, "kill them all and let God sort them out!" The weak will succumb; the strong will continue to battle for territory, in this case jobs, jobs, jobs.

Rick , August 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

For a look at what the numbers have been for the past half century:

Manufacturing employment

It's surprisingly linear, and the inflection point at the last recession is curious.

[Aug 16, 2019] In my eyes the NWO has lost its stamina in its fight to conquer the world

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ahoy , says: August 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm GMT

@ J. Gutierrez

In my eyes the NWO has lost its stamina in its fight to conquer the world. They started with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia during degenerate Clinton times and continued with the so called Color Revolutions. That imitation of human being, General Clark, told us it will be 7 countries in 7 years. That would take care of the M.E. After two successes, Libya and Irak, the Russians gave their ass in their hands in Syria.

Let's take a look at South America. In Brazil they deposed Rousef and installed that nincampoop Bolsonaro. To me that victory has all the characteristics of Disney cartoon. Venezouela now. It was January 2018 they told us they are going to invade to restore democracy (here we laugh) and human rights (more laughter) and they are still invading. They know if they ever dare the whole South America will be up in arms and that is too big of a bite to chew.

Add to this a 24 trillion debt economy with 15% of the Americans homeless and their dream just fizzled.

Mexico is humanistic and civilised and when something dear to them is threatened THEY RUN AS ONE TO RING THE CHURCH BELLS. They will not only survive they will come out victorious.

Some other time we will take a look at this monstrous attack against the white race in Europe through engineered invasion of Afroasians. Planning and management of Soros. The scum of the earth.

Enjoy your Harley!

[Aug 15, 2019] Warren might soon pass Biden of official polls

Aug 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 08:25 AM

Yet another clear as day reason S. Warren is the leading and ONLY Dem candidate with ideas and actual SOLUTIONS to fix America's problems

PS do note that a recent Poll but Biden behind Sanders in New Hampshire

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elizabeth-warren-suggests-shed-repeal-the-94-crime-bill?ref=home

"Elizabeth Warren Suggests She'd Repeal Biden's 1994 Crime Bill"

'The senator had tough words for one of Joe Biden's signature laws'

by Gideon Resnick, Political Reporter...08.14.19...10:57AM ET

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) suggested in an interview Tuesday evening that she would seek the repeal of the 1994 crime bill -- a historic though highly controversial measure tied closely to one of her closest competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It "needs to be changed, needs to be rolled back, needs to be repealed." Warren said of the law, which has become widely bemoaned by criminal justice reform advocates for its tough-on-crime measures, harsh sentencing guidelines, and general encouragement of the war on drugs."...

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 09:21 AM
Good news for S. Warren, Bad news for V.P. Biden

...but in meaningless Polling at this early date

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/457387-biden-just-one-point-ahead-of-warren-in-new-weekly-tracking-poll

"Biden just 1 point ahead of Warren in new weekly tracking poll"

By Julia Manchester...08/14/19...11:04 AM EDT

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by just 1 point in a new Economist–YouGov weekly tracking poll.

Biden sits at 21 percent support in the survey, while Warren is close behind at 20 percent. The next candidate is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 16 percent support among voters."...

Plp -> im1dc... , August 14, 2019 at 03:30 PM
If broadly reflective of a trend


It means Biden as massive front runner
A few months ago
Is now deflating fast

Fred C. Dobbs , August 14, 2019 at 01:13 PM
Pa. Democrats support Joe Biden and Elizabeth
Warren, but will vote for anyone against
Donald Trump in 2020, poll finds
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/pa-2020-presidential-election-poll-trump-biden-warren-sanders-20190808.html

Hiladelphia Inquirer - August 8

Pennsylvania voters have very strong -- and mostly negative -- views about President Donald Trump, and about half say they will vote against him no matter his opponent, according to a new poll of registered voters across the state.

Over multiple questions and surveys, a clear portrait emerges of an electorate deeply polarized over the president, with strongly held feelings on either side.

About half of voters had a "strongly unfavorable" opinion of the president, twice the number who held a "strongly favorable" opinion.

And while the divisions among Democratic voters are real during this primary election, especially across groups such as age, race, and income, the real divide is between the parties and ideologies: Most Democrats, regardless of which candidate they support, say they will vote against Trump no matter what. ...

---

Trump claims credit for Shell plant announced under Obama
https://www.inquirer.com/news/donald-trump-beaver-county-pa-shell-cracker-energy-environment-climate-20190813.html
Philadelphia Inquirer - JILL COLVIN and JOSH BOAK - August 13

MONACA, Pa. (AP) -- President Donald Trump sought to take credit Tuesday for the construction of a major manufacturing facility in western Pennsylvania as he tries to reinvigorate supporters in the Rust Belt towns who helped send him to the White House in 2016.

Trump visited Shell Oil Co.'s soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, which will turn the area's vast natural gas deposits into plastics. The facility, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands of workers dressed in fluorescent orange-and-yellow vests, Trump said, "This would have never happened without me and us."

In fact, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, when President Barack Obama was in office.

A Shell spokesperson said employees were paid for their time attending Trump's remarks.

Trump used the official White House event as an opportunity to assail his Democratic rivals, saying, "I don't think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?"

The focus is part of a continued push by the Trump administration to increase the economy's dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And it's an embrace of plastic at a time when much of the world is sounding alarms over its impact.

"We don't need it from the Middle East anymore," Trump said of oil and natural gas, calling the employees "the backbone of this country."

Trump's appeals to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters turn to Democrats in 2018's midterm elections. In one of a series of defeats that led to Republicans' loss of the House, voters sent Democrat Conor Lamb to Congress after the prosperity promised by Trump's tax cuts failed to materialize.

Beaver County is still struggling to recover from the shuttering of steel plants in the 1980s that surged the unemployment rate to nearly 30%. Former mill towns like Aliquippa have seen their populations shrink, while nearby Pittsburgh has lured major tech companies like Google and Uber, fueling an economic renaissance in a city that reliably votes Democratic.

Trump claimed that his steel and aluminum tariffs have saved those industries and that they are now "thriving." a description that exaggerates the recovery of the steel industry.

Trump also took credit for the addition of 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Labor Department figures show that roughly 500,000 factory jobs have been added under his presidency. ...

(Apparently, workers' pay would be docked if they
did not attend; and they were advised to 'behave'.)

[Aug 15, 2019] "Moscow Mitch" nickname means that anybody who does not fully conform classic neoliberal dogma is now Russian stooge and anti-Semite (attack on Corbin and his faction in the UK)

Notable quotes:
"... Now one can probably understand Russiagate (among other things) as both of "Hail Mary" pass to unify those two factions on the base of common external enemy (Russophobia or, better, Russophenia does represent the lowest common denominator between two parties), as well as the attempt to misdirect people away from the fact that Trump's election represents an irreconcilable split in the US elite. ..."
"... Trump faction which can roughly be described as one related to extractive and heavy manufacturing industries (energy, agriculture, mining, construction, steel, aluminum industries, etc.) went to war against FIRE sector, media and tech sectors. Currently they are undergunned and undermanned: MSM and intelligence agencies control is in the hands of the New Class. "Trumpists" can rely only on military intelligence and some MSM outlets (Fox). Moreover Trump himself was quickly neutered and now represents a shadow (or caricature) of former, election time, self. ..."
"... Also "Trumpists" have the intensity and ferocity of people who fight for the right cause (or at least against well-defined enemy -- classic neoliberalism), which is lacking in "classic neoliberals" camp. They also have (temporary and tactical) support of the resurgent nationalist movement. The latter is the natural result of more then 40 year on neoliberal domination (if we count from Carter, who and not Reagan was the first neoliberal president and who started Wall Street deregulation.) ..."
"... That's why the color revolution was launched against Trump camp (nothing personal here, just business) by Dems who represent those three sectors politically. They do not want to lose political power. Which is completely understandable, but let then eat cakes does not work. ..."
Aug 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 02:10 PM

Speaker Pelosi finally is hitting Moscow Mitch hard, let's hope she also remembers to hit him often after today...

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/457419-pelosi-refers-to-mcconnell-as-moscow-mitch

"Pelosi refers to McConnell as 'Moscow Mitch'"

By Cristina Marcos...08/14/19...01:09 PM EDT

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) "Moscow Mitch" while attacking him for blocking House Democrats' legislation, including election security measures."...

likbez -> im1dc... , August 14, 2019 at 10:21 PM
I like "Moscow Mitch" nickname. It reflects that depth of the split between two factions of the US elite. The equivalent for Pelosi would probably be to call her "Insurance industry prostitute." That means war propaganda mode: anybody who does not fully conform to the classic neoliberal dogma is now Russian stooge and anti-Semite (attack on Corbin and his faction in the UK)

Now one can probably understand Russiagate (among other things) as both of "Hail Mary" pass to unify those two factions on the base of common external enemy (Russophobia or, better, Russophenia does represent the lowest common denominator between two parties), as well as the attempt to misdirect people away from the fact that Trump's election represents an irreconcilable split in the US elite.

Trump faction which can roughly be described as one related to extractive and heavy manufacturing industries (energy, agriculture, mining, construction, steel, aluminum industries, etc.) went to war against FIRE sector, media and tech sectors. Currently they are undergunned and undermanned: MSM and intelligence agencies control is in the hands of the New Class. "Trumpists" can rely only on military intelligence and some MSM outlets (Fox). Moreover Trump himself was quickly neutered and now represents a shadow (or caricature) of former, election time, self.

But still he was able to unleash trade war with China which really hurt opposing faction of the elite.

Also "Trumpists" have the intensity and ferocity of people who fight for the right cause (or at least against well-defined enemy -- classic neoliberalism), which is lacking in "classic neoliberals" camp. They also have (temporary and tactical) support of the resurgent nationalist movement. The latter is the natural result of more then 40 year on neoliberal domination (if we count from Carter, who and not Reagan was the first neoliberal president and who started Wall Street deregulation.)

That's why the color revolution was launched against Trump camp (nothing personal here, just business) by Dems who represent those three sectors politically. They do not want to lose political power. Which is completely understandable, but let then eat cakes does not work.

So the real danger for "Clintonists" now is that tech monopolies like Google will be split and neutered and some investment banks who were too cozy to Clintons might soon have problems.

In this sense it is prudent to view Elisabeth Warren with her anti-Wall Street stance as a variation of Trump theme (Trump very quickly folded and became kind of parody on Obama). Which means that she might have a chance.

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 02:38 PM

I apologize for posting yet another crazy conspiracy story being spread by Trump Supporter Media

...read this to see how truly crazy the Right Reality is...

Moscow Mitch fits right in with these loonies...'I know the truth, I'm protecting you, THEY are out to get me, The truth will come out you'll see, it's a secret conspiracy of the Left', yada, yada, yada

https://www.thedailybeast.com/james-okeefes-google-whistleblower-loves-qanon-accused-zionists-of-running-the-government

"James O’Keefe’s Google ‘Whistleblower’ Loves QAnon, Accused ‘Zionists’ of Running the Government"

'The former YouTube software engineer believes Google is now trying to “off” him'

by Will Sommer...08.14.19...3:56PM ET

"Right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe published his latest video on tech giants on Wednesday, touting an interview with former YouTube software engineer and self-proclaimed “whistleblower” Zach Vorhies. In the video, Vorhies claims that Google’s search algorithms are riddled with political bias, and touted a cache of internal Google files he alleges prove his case.

Vorhies complains that Google doesn’t surface conspiracy theory websites like InfoWars in one of its news search algorithms. He insists that his information is so valuable that he has a credible fear that Google could be “trying to off me.”

“Some say that you’re a hero, some are going to say that you have extreme moral courage,” O’Keefe told the former Googler in the video.

“I always thought that when the time came to do the right thing, in a big way, that I would always be the one that stood up and did the right thing,” Vorhies replied.

What O’Keefe’s video leaves out, though, is that his much-hyped insider is not as credible as he claims. On social media, Vorhies is an avid promoter of anti-Semitic slanders that banks, the media, and the United States government are controlled by “Zionists.” He’s also pushed conspiracy theories like QAnon, Pizzagate, and the discredited claim that vaccines cause autism.

On Wednesday, O’Keefe defended Vorhies on Twitter. “Not every source is a perfect angel,” he tweeted. “Good journalists know this is true.” Vorhies and Google didn’t respond to requests for comment.

On his Twitter account, @Perpetualmaniac, Vorhies repeatedly attacks Jewish people and accuses them of a wide range of crimes. (Both O’Keefe and his group, Project Veritas, promoted Vorhies’s Twitter account in tweets on Monday.)

He even alleges that “Zionists” killed conservative publisher and O’Keefe mentor Andrew Breitbart, who died of heart failure in 2012.

“It’s very simple, either you go along with the zionists or you end up like Andrew Breitbart,” Vorhies wrote in January.

In a May tweet, Vorhies accused Israel of plotting the 9/11 attacks, and encouraged Twitter users to look up 9/11-related conspiracy theory content, providing no evidence of his claims.

“Israel and the zionist cabal planned 9/11 and its going to all come out,” Vorhies wrote."..l.

im1dc -> im1dc... , August 14, 2019 at 02:41 PM
"the Right Reality" ought to be 'the Right's Reality'

[Aug 13, 2019] Trump Is Delaying Tariffs on China for Holiday Shopping Season

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 13, 2019 at 09:46 AM

Ho Ho Ho

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-is-delaying-tariffs-on-china-for-holiday-shopping-season?ref=home

"Trump Is Delaying Tariffs on China for Holiday Shopping Season"

by Shira Feder...08.13.19...11:04AM ET

"The Trump administration announced Tuesday that tariffs set to be imposed Sept. 1 on Chinese consumer products like electronics, sneakers, and video game consoles will not go into effect until Dec. 15."...

Fred C. Dobbs , August 13, 2019 at 09:50 AM
(Ho, ho, ho!)

US to Delay Some China Tariffs Until Stores Stock
Up for Holiday Shoppers https://nyti.ms/2H50NMv
NYT - Ana Swanson - August 13

The Trump administration on Tuesday narrowed the list of Chinese products it plans to impose new tariffs on as of Sept. 1, delaying levies on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and other consumer goods until after stores stock up for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons. Stocks soared on the news.

The move, which pushed a new 10 percent tariff on some goods until Dec. 15 and spared others entirely, came as President Trump faces mounting pressure from businesses and consumer groups over the harm they say the continuing trade war between the United States and China is doing.

Mr. Trump's earlier tariffs on Chinese imports were carefully crafted to hit businesses in ways that everyday Americans would mostly not notice. But his announcement this month of the 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods meant consumers would soon feel the trade war's sting more directly.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump acknowledged as much.

"We're doing this for the Christmas season," he told reporters around noon. "Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers." ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , August 13, 2019 at 09:54 AM
... Mr. Trump's comments about the tariffs' impact on consumers followed the United States trade representative's office announcement that while the new tariffs would take effect as Mr. Trump had threatened, some notable items would not immediately be subject to them.

Consumer electronics, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors and some footwear and clothing items were among the items the trade representative's office said would not be hit with tariffs until retailers had time to stockpile what they needed for their busiest time of year.

The administration also said some products were being removed from the tariff list altogether "based on health, safety, national security and other factors." A spokesman for the trade representative's office said the products being excluded from the tariffs included car seats, shipping containers, cranes, certain fish and Bibles and other religious literature.

The S&P 500 climbed nearly 2 percent after the announcement, lifted partly by stocks of retailers and computer chip producers that have been sensitive to indications that trade tensions were getting either better or worse.

Best Buy, which gets a many of the products it sells from China, was among the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500, up more than 8 percent in morning trading. The Nasdaq composite index rose more than 2 percent. ...

[Aug 13, 2019] The United States is openly encouraging a hard or radical split between the United Kingdom and the European Union

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , August 13, 2019 at 01:38 PM

The United States is openly encouraging a hard or radical split between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This by way of John Bolton. Why the administration would take such a position is a puzzle to me, and the openness is shocking.
anne -> anne... , August 13, 2019 at 01:41 PM
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-13/U-S-supports-no-deal-Brexit-with-trade-deals-ahead-says-Bolton-J7cM4HEMLK/index.html

August 13, 2019

U.S. supports no-deal Brexit with trade deals ahead, says Bolton

The United States would enthusiastically support a no-deal Brexit if that is what the British government decided to do, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday during a visit to London aimed at reassuring Britain over UK-U.S. ties.

"If that's the decision of the British government we will support it enthusiastically, and that's what I'm trying to convey. We're with you, we're with you," Bolton told reporters after his first day of meetings.

"They will have to figure out how to do what they can by October 31 or soon thereafter. From our point of view, we would have been happy to do it before that," the official said. "The previous government didn't want to do it, this government does. We're very happy about it," he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to see a successful British exit from the European Union on October 31 and Washington will be ready to work fast on a U.S.-UK free trade agreement, Bolton told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

BBC quoted Bolton as saying that a bilateral agreement or "series of agreements" could be carved out "very quickly, very straight-forwardly."

He said British officials had given him an unmistakable sense that they were determined to honor the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

"The fashion in the European Union: When the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, it's to make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right," Bolton said.

The central message Bolton was delivering is that the United States would help cushion Britain's exit from the EU with a free trade deal that is being negotiated by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his British counterpart, Liz Truss.

Bolton said Britain and the United States could agree trade deals on a sector-by-sector basis, leaving more difficult areas in the trading relationship until later.

He said the ultimate aim was a comprehensive trade deal, but highlighted that financial services could be one of the more difficult industries to reach an agreement on.

Bolton had been expected to urge officials from Johnson's government to align its policy on Iran more along the lines of the United States, which has pushed a much tougher line against Tehran since withdrawing from world powers' 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.

But, after his meetings Bolton said talks on some of these thornier diplomatic issues could wait.

Johnson has told the European Union there is no point in new talks on a withdrawal agreement unless negotiators are willing to drop the Northern Irish backstop agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.

The EU has said it is not prepared to reopen the divorce deal it agreed with May, which includes the backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return to a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

[Aug 13, 2019] From an economic perspective, when and if UK exists the EU is shrinking from 27 member-states to 9."

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Aug 12 2019 5:29 utc | 69

@66 psychohistorian

Good to catch you around these economic matters. The WWIII is actually just being waged by one side, I think. China is the caravan moving on. The fading bark of the dogs is the western end of the deal, I think. But no time to enlarge on this right now, what with Europe having the vapors...

Everybody got economics going on, it seems like, and Europe is no exception. Check out below.

~~

Brexit and the EU

Alastair Crooke has a new piece out, riffing largely on a Pritchard Evans article in the Telegraph, and including a very hot video clip from the heart of German concerns as the UK executes Brexit.

I didn't realize how important the UK is to the EU and how its exit changes everything for Germany. But the EU realpolitik illustrated in this Crooke article and in the 6-minute video clip of the German speech is an entire facet of Brexit I had never seen until now. Check this quote:

Speaking in the German parliament, Alice Weidel, the AfD leader, tore into Chancellor Merkel for her and the Brussels botched handling of Brexit (for which "she, Merkel bears some responsibility"). Weidel pointed out that "the UK is the second biggest economy in Europe – as big as the 19 smallest EU members combined". "From an economic perspective, the EU is shrinking from 27 member-states to 9." [My emphasis]

Crooke and co are saying that the UK departure from the EU changes the entire regime of monetary controls within this economic union. Crucially, the lead is now shifting away from Germany and to the failed economic model of France.

To make the chronic acute, now Trump cares, and the US has a stake in this - who knew? The EU didn't know. It always thought the US was a partner, but maybe not.

If you want to dive straight into the German angst, here's the six-minute video of Alice Weidel ripping German complacency apart with a call to attention from her constituency in marginalized eastern Germany:
German view of Brexit

And for the containing article from Crooke - be warned that he quotes Paul Krugman but I have to say it sounds pretty good to me - here's his article:
Germany Stalls and Europe Craters

[Aug 12, 2019] Argentine president suffers crushing defeat in key primaries ahead of general election

Is this the end of the neoliberal counterrevolution in Argentina ? Moor did its duty moor has to go -- Macri converted Argentina into the Debt slave again and now to get out of this situation is nest to impossible.
Aug 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 12, 2019 at 05:52 AM

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-08-12/Argentine-president-suffers-crushing-defeat-in-key-primaries--J5Ov4caLvi/index.html

August 12, 2019

Argentine president suffers crushing defeat in key primaries ahead of general election

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri suffered a crushing defeat as people voted in party primaries on Sunday ahead of October's general election.

Given that all of the recession-hit South American country's major parties have already chosen their presidential candidates, the primaries effectively served as a nationwide pre-election opinion poll.

Center-left nominee Alberto Fernandez led by around 15 points after partial results were revealed. Center-right Pro-business Macri admitted it had been "a bad election."
The first round of the presidential election will be held on October 27, with a run-off – if needed – set for November 24.

With 87 percent of polling station results counted, Fernandez had polled 47.5 percent with Macri on a little more than 32 percent and centrist former finance minister Roberto Lavagna a distant third on just 8.3 percent.

Macri had been hoping to earn a second mandate, but his chances appear all but over.

If Fernandez was to register the same result in October, he would be president as Argentina's electoral law requires a candidate to gain 45 percent for outright victory, or 40 percent and a lead of at least 10 points over the nearest challenger.

Inflation and poverty

"We've had a bad election and that forces us to redouble our efforts from tomorrow," said Macri, whose popularity has plunged since last year's currency crisis and the much-criticized 56 billion U.S.-dollar bail-out loan he secured from the International Monetary Fund.

"It hurts that we haven't had the support we'd hoped for," he added.

Argentina is currently in a recession and posted 22 percent inflation for the first half of the year – one of the highest rates in the world. Poverty now affects 32 percent of the population.

Backed by the IMF, Macri has initiated an austerity plan that is deeply unpopular among ordinary Argentines, who have seen their spending power plummet.

The peso lost half of its value against the dollar last year. The Buenos Aires stock exchange actually shot up eight percent on Friday amid expectation that Macri would do well in Sunday's vote.

anne -> anne... , August 12, 2019 at 06:22 AM
IMF loan of $56 billion:

Then;

Austerity,

Inflation rate 22% from January to June 2019,

Poverty rate 32%,

Peso lost 50% in value in 2018.

anne -> anne... , August 12, 2019 at 07:03 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=onpw

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, 1992-2018

(Percent change)


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=onpx

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, 1992-2018

(Indexed to 1992)

anne , August 12, 2019 at 04:01 PM
An important task now is to understand why the IMF assistance to Argentina proved damaging to the economy from the beginning; the data showed the damage being done. However, there was almost no mention of the problems that developed outside Argentina and there was surprise when the failure of the economy was reflected in the serious vote against the current president.

Of course, Joseph Stiglitz watched the same sort of problems unfold in Argentina almost 20 years ago and was severely criticized for discussing them. How did the problems recur so readily now? Why is IMF national assistance seemingly so dangerous economically?

[Aug 12, 2019] Bretton Wood is the American version and as usual it was all screwed up, but Keynes original proposals contain policies needed for the EAEU's ability to function

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Formerly T-Bear , Aug 12 2019 21:30 utc | 137

@ karlof1 | Aug 12 2019 20:08 utc | 129

J.M.Keynes addressed 'foreign exchange' between sovereign states in his original version of World Bank and International Money Fund, both addressing the fundamental causes of the Great Depression. These presentations to U.S. government authorities also included the British application for war debt forgiveness at the termination of hostilities to avoid repeating post WWI scenarios. These presentations were then made to the Bretton Woods Conference as the American version of the proposals, reversing institution and purpose as contrived by Washington's design. Makes interesting reading the cables between Keynes and London. What exists since Bretton Wood is the American version and as usual it was all screwed up, but Keynes original proposals contain policies needed for the EAEU's ability to function (and to avoid the economic causes of the Great Depression).

I recalled it was tax collection that became the failure of the colonial confederation, the failure of the Continental Congress to meet its obligations, but then interpretations can vary.

[Aug 12, 2019] The generation that wrote the Treaty of Rome were mostly replaced by the 1980's with a generation not sharing common experiences that the war generation had

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 12 2019 18:23 utc | 115

Grieved @69--

Finally got around to reading Crooke's latest. Yes, the EU's surely in a fix; but IMO, he's correct about the ultimate source of the problem and the inability of solving it without a total reformation. However, I would argue that reforming the EU would be a massive error. IMO, it makes far greater sense to learn from the mistakes and negotiate with Russia and China to consummate Putin's proposal for an EAEU sans the strangulating aspects of an EAEU Central Bank and currency--the Euro and EUCB being two of the EU's mistakes. Such a creation would also see the demise of NATO and the freeing of monies for war to be used on debt relief, infrastructure, and building public/human capital. Russo- and Sinophobia would immediately cease. The issues of South Asia would become easier to handle. And to be included in the club Occupied Palestine would need to become Palestine--one state--thus defusing the last colonial imposition impeding Eurasian integration/unity.

Yes, the five anglophone entities would be left out in the cold, although I can't see The City allowing its politicos to blow its opportunity to cash in by having a piece of the action (but then the British are unpredictable) while Scotland, Ireland and Wales prosper. Africa would see its future lies in joining with Eurasia.

I don't think either Merkel or Macron have the vision required to even imagine the above possibility, although I'd be happy to get surprised. But would such a suggestion need to come from either France or Germany; why not Central and Southern Europe as such a change would really benefit those nations?


Formerly T-Bear , Aug 12 2019 18:59 utc | 122

@ karlof1 | Aug 12 2019 18:23 utc | 115

Don't forget the generation that formed the Treaty of Rome and conducted subsequent negotiations were mostly replaced by the 1980's with a generation not sharing common experiences that the war generation had. Also, by the 1980's the economic theories being taught had substantially changed from the economic understandings and experiences of the war generation.
The war generation had each sovereign country having sufficient and adequate laws governing banking and finance that prevented most aberrations within that country. Each country had developed from differing circumstances and had drafted their laws to those specific circumstances. Finding a common legal denominator proved to be, as they say 'a bridge too far' but as long as each country's laws were effective, no problems presented.
The subsequent generation under the neoliberal economic theories found the central EU government devoid of economic governance or regulatory structures; an open field easily commanded by removing the abilities of each country to provide such governance for their state. Centralisation of economic power became the problem and the cause of problems that remain unaddressed and unless address is done, the economic house of cards will not last for long.

karlof1 , Aug 12 2019 20:08 utc | 129
Formerly T-Bear @122--

Agreed! That's why I made it a point to list the EUCB and Euro as the two main mistakes that must be learned from if an EAEU is to be formulated. Both Russia and China are determined that each nation must remain sovereign, which means each must have control over its monetary and political systems. Instead of a Union implying a federal structure, the proposed political entity would be better termed as a Confederation with each nation retaining its homogeneity. The major difference being the proposed Confederation would have no trade barriers and visa-free movement for its citizens. (Recall the main failing of the initial Confederation of United States were the trade barriers erected between states that prompted the businessmen's revolt that led to the 1787 Constitution and the formation of the federal United States of America.) If a regional grouping of nations--say the former Yugoslavian entities--wanted to reform into a larger political-economic unit to better provide for their collective citizenry, there would be no objection; and the reverse would be possible as sovereignty of people would remain a foundation of human rights.

Given future challenges, IMO the above makes the best sense for Eurasia and Africa. The implosion of the Outlaw US Empire and its affect on its hemispheric neighbors remains unknown. It's possible the once formidable economic magnet of the Empire's economy will reverse its polarity and drive people out as it did during the Great Depression. The vast amount and depth of corruption within the Empire will take several generations to be extinguished, and only then will political reformation become possible.

[Aug 12, 2019] Degradation of the elite is probably inevitable with the degradation of the social system that ensured their rise -- neoliberalism

The establishment just can’t handle it when people begin to figure things about neoliberalism out for themselves, so the desperate attempts to control the narrative once again surface...
Notable quotes:
"... "This country is filled with a patronage network of well off established people including Democrats who believe everything's fine as it is and are willing to shut their eyes to what's not working – the financial crisis of the working class, the racism underlying the for profit prison system and immigration system, the horrific endless regime change wars and the massive deregulation of banks on Bill Clinton's watch and much more, including the Climate Crisis." ..."
"... Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters. ..."
"... Each generation of Americans frets that they will be the ones who fritter the republic away. At least once every decade, it is the sad lot of some journalist to draw strained parallels between the state of the nation and the last days of the Roman Republic ..."
"... If anything "Russophobia" (Or Russophenia, to be exact) is the sign that the US neoliberal elite feels that it is losing the level of control they are accustomed since Carter. They are panicking and are ready to the slide of governance model from the current "inverted totalitarism" model toward a more repressive regime. ..."
"... Although the question whether the postwar democratic republic model of governance (with the New Deal as the cornerstone in the USA) is compatible with the existence of Wall Street oligarchy and powerful intelligence agencies which serve them as much if not more then the state was probably answered in November, 1963. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> anne... Monday, August 12, 2019 at 07:40 PM

Degradation of the elite is probably inevitable with the degradation of the social system that ensured their rise -- neoliberalism.

As in Roman saying: "Those whom the gods would like to destroy they first make mad".

But the deep, existential crisis of neoliberalism is real and is not going away, no matter how many times you chant Russia, Russia, Russia. Or China, China, China.

"This country is filled with a patronage network of well off established people including Democrats who believe everything's fine as it is and are willing to shut their eyes to what's not working – the financial crisis of the working class, the racism underlying the for profit prison system and immigration system, the horrific endless regime change wars and the massive deregulation of banks on Bill Clinton's watch and much more, including the Climate Crisis."

And even more lemmings of the "rentier class" just check their account in Vanguard or Fidelity and are satisfied when they are rising.

There are serious arguments in favor of viewing "Russophenia" as a defensive reaction on the crisis on neoliberalism which provides an easy explanation of the country ills.

In this sense it is similar to the propaganda of Iraq war, which was also designed as the kludge to cement cracks in the US society -- as in "war is the health of the state" ( although the desire to expropriate Iraq oil was strong too )

From https://consortiumnews.com/2019/08/11/russiagate-is-dead-but-for-the-political-establishment-it-is-still-the-new-42/

Mark Thomason , August 12, 2019 at 10:34

Like the Wolfowitz explanation of the Iraq War, Russiagate is the idea around which varied interests can be organized. Cold Warriors like to hate on Russia. It justifies arms spending and their own importance. Clintonistas need an excuse to distract from her being a loser. The DNC needs an excuse for manipulating the candidate selection in favor of donor interests. "Moderates" need a distraction from their ongoing refusal to address the interests of voters.

Fred C. Dobbs , August 12, 2019 at 07:37 PM
(It's Niall...)

No, this isn't the fall of Rome https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/08/12/this-isn-fall-rome/34Uco0HivEVG8w0IZ7lpII/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Niall Ferguson - August 12

"A republic, madam -- if you can keep it." That was supposedly Benjamin Franklin's reply to a woman who asked him the result of the Constitutional Convention after it adjourned, in 1787.

Each generation of Americans frets that they will be the ones who fritter the republic away. At least once every decade, it is the sad lot of some journalist to draw strained parallels between the state of the nation and the last days of the Roman Republic. Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, this has become more like an annual ritual. ...

likbez , August 12, 2019 at 07:54 PM
Fred,

I am afraid that nothing, or very little is left to preserve.

If anything "Russophobia" (Or Russophenia, to be exact) is the sign that the US neoliberal elite feels that it is losing the level of control they are accustomed since Carter. They are panicking and are ready to the slide of governance model from the current "inverted totalitarism" model toward a more repressive regime.

Witch hunts are always a sign of "tightening the screws" by the ruling elite.

Although the question whether the postwar democratic republic model of governance (with the New Deal as the cornerstone in the USA) is compatible with the existence of Wall Street oligarchy and powerful intelligence agencies which serve them as much if not more then the state was probably answered in November, 1963.

[Aug 11, 2019] How much of US China trade imbalance are due to each country's trade policy

Aug 11, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1160183976771936257

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman

OK, I'm having a very nerdy moment. Trying to understand why US-China bilateral trade imbalance is so large. NOT because it's important, but just because it's kind of a puzzle; I guess it's my inner @Brad_Setser 1/

6:39 AM - 10 Aug 2019

So last year US goods imports from China were $539.5 billion, US goods exports $120.3 billion. That's 4.5 to 1. Why so much asymmetry? I think 4 reasons: Hong Kong, macroeconomics, value-added, and oil 2/

Hong Kong: effectively part of the Chinese economy, and the US runs a large surplus - $37 b in exports, only $6 b in imports. Basically a lot of US goods appear to enter China via HK (something similar in Europe, where US exports to Germany go via Belgium/Netherlands) 3/

Adding HK reduces the export imbalance to "only" 3.5 to 1. Now macro: the US runs overall trade deficit, with imports 1.5 times exports. China runs overall surplus, with imports only 0.8 exports. On some sort of gravity-ish story, this suggests ratio "should" be around 2 4/

Now add China's role as "great assembler", with value-added in exports really coming from elsewhere; famous case of iPhone. Much less true than it used to be, but still means that Chinese surplus is partly optical illusion 5/

Lastly, China imports a lot of oil, which means other things equal needs to run a surplus on everything else. Used to be true of US, but with fracking we're now almost self-sufficient in hydrocarbons (but not exporting to China) This adds a further reason for bilateral 6/

Someone with more time and patience should try to do the full accounting, but I think the US-China bilateral can mainly be explained by "natural causes"; doesn't have much to do with either country's trade policy 7/

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to anne... , August 10, 2019 at 07:17 AM
I guess that Krugman is just a natural law kind of guy wherein IP protectionism and arbitrage seeking cross border capital flows in an exorbitantly privileged global reserve currency are just natural phenomenon like meteor showers and rain.
anne -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 10, 2019 at 07:17 AM
I tried, but have no idea what this criticism means; whereas I understand Paul Krugman.

[Aug 08, 2019] Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the only candidates with support in the double digits

Notable quotes:
"... Warren has the best potential to grow ..."
"... Among the reasons why Biden, Sanders, and Warren will be difficult to topple from the top tier: a significant portion of their supporters say they have made up their minds about the race. ..."
"... This is especially the case with Sanders. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of his supporters said they would definitely vote for him... ..."
Aug 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , August 07, 2019 at 05:42 AM

The top tier of Democrats in NH is
starting to solidify, and more poll takeaways
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/08/06/the-top-tier-democrats-starting-solidify-and-more-poll-takeaways/y4SYgN0uzQPs9SZH0xYvjM/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - August 6

A new poll out Tuesday on the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary shows the outcome is anyone's guess between former vice president Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Beyond which candidate had what level of support in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary -- scheduled for February 2020 -- a deeper dive into the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll provides a number of other big-picture takeaways.

The top tier is hard to crack

Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the only candidates with support in the double digits (21 percent, 17 percent, and 14 percent, respectively), and a closer read suggests that might not change anytime soon. Much of this has to do with the fact that a significant portion of their support is locked down. Nearly half of Sanders' and Biden's supporters in the poll say they their mind is made up and they aren't looking at supporting anyone else in the field. Something dramatic could occur, of course, but odds are that the status quo will remain for a while.

Further, if there are big changes in the race, the poll found that Warren, not someone else outside of the top three, is in the best position to benefit. Warren was the "second choice" of 21 percent of respondents. No one else was even close to her in that category.

While Sanders has support locked down now, and Warren has the best potential to grow , Biden, it appears, has his own lane of supporters that no other candidate is even contesting. Biden's support is very strong among older voters, moderates, and union members. For the most part, these voters aren't even looking at other options.

New Hampshire Democrats are moderate

For all the conversation about how far left the Democratic Party has moved in recent years, the poll shows likely Democratic primary voters have not moved the same way. Yes, a majority back the Green New Deal concept and Medicare for All, but more than 50 percent describe themselves as either moderate, conservative, or very conservative. This is compared with the 45 percent who say they are either liberal or very liberal. While this might seem like a near tie, consider this survey polled likely Democratic voters -- the party's base -- which is the most liberal. ...

Biden, Sanders, and Warren top
post-debate survey of NH Democrats
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/08/06/biden-sanders-and-warren-top-postdebate-survey-democrats/OQFDiH2UeFSbEj0i4DRNCL/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

... In fourth place is Senator Kamala Harris of California at 8 percent, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6 percent and Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at 3 percent.

Among the reasons why Biden, Sanders, and Warren will be difficult to topple from the top tier: a significant portion of their supporters say they have made up their minds about the race.

This is especially the case with Sanders. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of his supporters said they would definitely vote for him...

Graphic: See key results from the Suffolk/Globe poll
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/08/06/poll-suffolk-university-boston-globe-poll-puts-biden-atop-democratic-primary/c5k6eDUNmU5VlDWsAU91yM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , August 07, 2019 at 09:45 AM
Biden seems to have the democrat "NH state machine" who did okay in 2016, the delegation all democrats in lock step with the crooked DNC.

Sad that Bernie has to be hitched to the saddest excuse for a party since the Nixon GOP.

[Aug 08, 2019] China Retaliation Is '11' on Scale of 1 to 10, Wall Street Warns

Notable quotes:
"... "While there were measures that could have been chosen with larger direct effects on supply chains, the announcements from Beijing represent a direct shot at the White House and seem designed for maximum political impact," Krueger said. " We expect a quick (and possibly intemperate) response from the White House, and consequently expect a more rapid escalation of trade tensions." ..."
"... In a mid-day note, Krueger added that "the next stop on the currency manipulation road is probably off the map." Krueger expects Trump's "drumbeat on currency" will get louder, with the potential for the president to use a "charge of currency manipulation to justify some combination of (more) tariffs, investment restrictions and export controls." ..."
"... Instructing state-owned Chinese firms to halt U.S. crop purchases triggered "the obligatory flight-to-quality," which pushed 10-year yields to 1.74%, with two-year yields keeping pace. That was "an impressive move that suggests August will not experience the traditional summer doldrums. Who needs vacation anyway?" ..."
"... Bank investors' eyes were "glued to the yield curve last week," with Trump's tariff tweet on Thursday, Graseck wrote in a note. They're now asking about Morgan Stanley's net interest margin (NIM), outlook. ..."
Aug 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , August 05, 2019 at 01:39 PM

China Retaliation Is '11' on Scale of 1 to 10, Wall Street Warns
Bloomberg - Felice Maranz - August 5, 2019

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-05/china-retaliation-is-11-on-scale-of-1-to-10-wall-street-warns

Analysts continued to warn about the dangers of an escalating trade war on Monday, as China moved to strike back at the U.S., hitting U.S. stocks and boosting Treasuries.

Semiconductors, with direct exposure to trade, and banks stocks, which are sensitive to interest rates, were among the decliners. The biggest U.S. banks slid, with the KBW Bank Index dropping as much as 4.1% to the lowest since June 4. Bank of America Corp. led index decliners, with a drop of 5.5%, the most since Dec. 4, while Citigroup Inc. shed more than 4% and JPMorgan Chase & Co. slipped 3.8%.

Micron Technology Inc. fell 6.2% while Texas Instruments Inc. lost 4.4% and Intel Corp. was down 4%. Apple Inc. dropped 5.6%, the most since May 13. Shares in Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com Inc. fell near two month lows in U.S. Trading.

Agriculture equipment makers Deere & Co. and AGCO Corp. tumbled as China suspended imports of U.S. agricultural products. The escalating trade tensions are also a major risk for the U.S. automotive industry, which has a significant exposure to the country. According to UBS's Global Wealth Management Chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele, the latest spat raises the possibility that "tariffs could also be placed on auto imports."

President Donald Trump tweeted about China and the Fed on Monday morning, saying: "China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It's called 'currency manipulation.' Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!"

Here's a sample of some of the latest commentary:

Cowen, Chris Krueger
Krueger called China's retaliation "massive," adding that "on a scale of 1-10, it's an 11." He cited the Chinese government calling on state buyers to halt U.S. agricultural purchases, while there's "increased anecdotal evidence that the Chinese government is tightening its overview of foreign firms."

"While there were measures that could have been chosen with larger direct effects on supply chains, the announcements from Beijing represent a direct shot at the White House and seem designed for maximum political impact," Krueger said. " We expect a quick (and possibly intemperate) response from the White House, and consequently expect a more rapid escalation of trade tensions."

"There now will be increased expectations that the Fed will cut again in September to offset the drag caused by this escalation in the trade war," he added. "Such moves will only be a partial, lagged offset to the recessionary headwinds a cycle of retaliation would cause."

In a mid-day note, Krueger added that "the next stop on the currency manipulation road is probably off the map." Krueger expects Trump's "drumbeat on currency" will get louder, with the potential for the president to use a "charge of currency manipulation to justify some combination of (more) tariffs, investment restrictions and export controls."

BMO, Ian Lyngen
"The wait is over for those wondering how Beijing would respond to Trump's recent tariff announcement," BMO said. "The result: the yuan was allowed to depreciate well beyond 7.0."

Instructing state-owned Chinese firms to halt U.S. crop purchases triggered "the obligatory flight-to-quality," which pushed 10-year yields to 1.74%, with two-year yields keeping pace. That was "an impressive move that suggests August will not experience the traditional summer doldrums. Who needs vacation anyway?"

"The most significant unknown at this moment," Lyngen added, "is how much further the yuan will be allowed to fall given that it's already the weakest since 2008."

Morgan Stanley, Betsy Graseck (bank analyst)

Bank investors' eyes were "glued to the yield curve last week," with Trump's tariff tweet on Thursday, Graseck wrote in a note. They're now asking about Morgan Stanley's net interest margin (NIM), outlook.

Graseck didn't change her NIM assumptions -- yet. "We bake one additional cut of 25 basis points in 2019 in-line with our economist, and bake in the 10-year at 1.75% by mid 2020," she wrote. She'll update NIM and earnings per share estimates "if it looks like these trade tariffs are going through as September approaches."

Morgan Stanley, Michael Zezas (policy strategist)

"The dynamics of U.S.-China negotiation and macro conditions mean the next round of tariffs will likely be enacted, and investors are likely to behave as if further escalation will follow in 2019 until markets price in impacts," Zezas wrote. "This supports our core view of weaker growth and skews the Fed dovish."

Zezas sees incentives for the U.S. to escalate quickly. If the administration "understands the Fed's trade policy reaction function, then it may also perceive that a more rapid escalation could deliver one or more of three beneficial points ahead of the 2020 election: 1) A quicker, potentially more aggressive Fed stimulus response that could help the economy heading into the election; 2) More time to re-frame the potential economic downside; and 3) A major concession by China (not our base case, but it is, of course, a possibility)."

Veda, Henrietta Treyz

"The U.S. and China are moving into one of their most aggressive phases yet in the year-plus long trade war and we fully expect things to escalate from here," Treyz wrote in a note.

Treyz added that China's ability to quickly adjust their currency is an advantage they have over the U.S. that "goes to the heart of the issue for the Trump administration." The administration may view China's communist regime as a "systemic advantage" versus "free markets and democracy" in the U.S., as the Chinese can "subsidize domestic industry, quickly, enact lower tax rates and provide stimulus."

Furthermore, her conversations with Republicans point to the belief that "China's economy is on the brink of collapse," she said, with turmoil in Hong Kong "considered evidence of an organic domestic uprising that many believe the Chinese government cannot contain."

Republicans may also believe Trump will "galvanize" his base behind him, while attracting "anti-trade and union Democrats in the Rust Belt as he takes on the mantle of a war time president going into 2020 by engaging in this trade war." ...

[Aug 08, 2019] There's a revealing puzzle in the China tariffs

Aug 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 06, 2019 at 12:26 PM

http://larrysummers.com/2019/05/15/theres-a-revealing-puzzle-in-the-china-tariffs/

May 15, 2019

There's a revealing puzzle in the China tariffs

On Monday, China announced new tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. exports, and the United States threatened new tariffs on up to $300 billion of Chinese goods. These actions were cited as the principle reason for a decline of more than 600 points in the Dow Jones industrial average, or about 2.4 percent in broader measures of the stock market. With the total value of U.S. stocks around $30 trillion, this decline represents more than $700 billion in lost wealth.

This was not an isolated event. Again and again in the past year, markets have gyrated in response to the state of trade negotiations between the United States and China.

The market sensitivity to threats and counter-threats in the trade war is quite remarkable. Monday's announcement by the Chinese, for example, would be expected to raise China's tariffs by about $10 billion. Much of this will show up as higher prices for Chinese importers, and some of it will be avoided by diverting exports of goods such as liquid natural gas to other markets, so the impact on U.S. corporate profits will be far less than $10 billion. Meanwhile, U.S. tariffs are likely to raise corporate profits as higher import costs push some business to domestic producers.

There is the further consideration that reasonable market participants should not have entirely discounted the possibility of tariff increases Monday and that there surely remains some chance a trade deal will be reached. So, in fact, the market should not even have moved in full proportion to the change in corporate profitability associated with new tariffs.

There is a revealing puzzle here. Events whose direct impact on corporate profits is a few billion dollars seem to be driving market fluctuations that change the total value of corporations by hundreds of billions of dollars. To be sure, there would be many ways of refining my calculation of the profit impact to recognize various feedbacks, and certainly the imposition of tariffs increases uncertainty, which in general depresses markets. But with any plausible calculation of the direct impact of tariff changes on profitability or uncertainty about profitability, it is not possible to justify the kinds of changes in market value we observed Monday or on many other days when there was news about the status of the U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Part of the answer to the puzzle, I suspect, lies in markets' tendency to sometimes overreact to news, especially in areas where they do not have long experience. This idea is supported by the tendency illustrated by the market's Tuesday rally, which took place without any particularly encouraging U.S.-China developments.

A larger part of the answer probably lies in the idea that the current trade conflict is a possible prelude to a far larger conflict between the two nations with the largest economies and greatest power for as far as can be foreseen. When it appears less likely that a conflict over well-defined and ultimately not-that-difficult commercial issues can be resolved, rational observers conclude that it is also less likely the United States and China can manage issues ranging from 5G wireless technology to North Korea, from the future of Taiwan to global climate change, and from the management of globalization to the security architecture of the Pacific region.

A world where relations between the United States and China are largely conflictual could involve a breakdown of global supply chains, a splinternet (as separate, noninteroperable internets compete around the world), greatly increased defense expenditures and conceivably even military conflict. All of this would be catastrophic for living standards and would also have huge adverse effects on the value of global companies.

It is, I suspect, the greater risk of catastrophic medium-run outcomes, rather than the proximate impact of trade conflicts, that is driving the outsize market reactions to trade negotiation news.

This carries with it an important lesson for both sides: It is risky to turn the pursuit of even vital national objectives into an existential crusade. Rather, even when nations have objectives that are in conflict, it is important to seek compromise, to avoid inflammatory rhetoric and to confine rather than enlarge the areas where demands are being made. Establishing credibility that promises will be kept and surprises will be avoided is as or more important with adversaries as with friends.

As the Trump administration carries on the trade negotiations, and as the presidential campaign heats up, Americans will do well to remember that there is no greater threat to the success of our national enterprise over the next quarter-century than mismanagement of the relationship with China. It is not just possible but essential to be strong and resolute without being imprudent and provocative.

-- Larry Summers

anne -> anne... , August 06, 2019 at 12:29 PM
Correcting date:

May 15, 2019

[Aug 08, 2019] White House To Unveil Rule Banning Agencies From Doing Business With Huawei

Aug 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As has long been expected, the White House is preparing to release a new rule on Wednesday barring government agencies from buying equipment or doing any kind of business with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei - ratcheting up tensions between the world's two largest economies at an already precarious time for the global economy.

Here's more from CNBC :

The Trump administration is expected to release a rule Wednesday afternoon that bans agencies from directly purchasing telecom, video surveillance equipment or services from Huawei. The prohibition was mandated by Congress as part of a broader defense bill signed into law last year.

"The administration has a strong commitment to defending our nation from foreign adversaries, and will fully comply with Congress on the implementation of the prohibition of Chinese telecom and video surveillance equipment, including Huawei equipment," said Jacob Wood, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget.

Per CNBC, the new rule is expected to take effect a week from Wednesday, and it applies not only to Huawei, but also to a list of other telecom companies that have drawn security concerns, such as ZTE and Hikvision.

The official said contractors will be able to seek waivers from individual federal agencies if they believe their business with any of the targeted companies should be exempt from the rule.

Moreover, the new rule will also set a deadline of August 2020 for a broader ban on federal contractors doing business with Huawei and other firms.

The law passed by Congress is separate from the Trump Administration's own efforts to keep Huawei in check.

The Commerce Department instigated the tensions between the US and China after it placed Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bans the company from buying goods or doing any kind of business with Huawei. A 90-day grace period that kept Huawei off the blacklist temporarily is now almost over. And President Trump has apparently walked back his promised, made at the G-20 Summit in Osaka, to ease the pressure on Huawei.

However, US chipmakers and tech firms can request waivers, and the CEOs of Google, Qualcomm, Micron, Intel and others met with President Donald Trump at the White House last month and urged the administration to issue those decisions quickly.

In an interview on CNBC, Huawei CSO Andy Purdy defended the company's track record, arguing that European leaders in the UK and Germany had told their counterparts in the US that they had found no evidence that Huawei was a security threat.

"We have tested the products of all vendors to international standards so that there's trust through verification," Purdy said.

But that likely won't change anybody's mind.


TheRapture , 9 hours ago link

Expect a new rule from China:

All Chinese government agencies will be prohibited from buying CISCO and other American telecommunications products. Furthermore, contractors dealing with Chinese government agencies will also be so prohibited from buying American telecom products.

America - population 329 million. Economic growth rate: 2.8%
China - population 1.4 billion. Economic growth rate: 6.5%
source: Wikipedia

China is rapidly industrializing, and has the largest manufacturing base in the world. The USA is already a mature industrial economy, and since NAFTA has offshored most of its manufacturing base. The USA leads the world in the design, manufacture and export of weapons, but relies on coercive political relationships (such as NATO) rather than the "free market" to sell its overpriced and line of products to captive satellite countries. China is rapidly expanding in the weapons manufacturing sphere, as is Russia, and offer increasingly competitive products at lower prices, and with fewer political strings attached.

Something to think about before breastbeating and cheering ourselves on.

CashMcCall , 10 hours ago link

Trump is getting the **** kicked out of him on CNBC and every Financial media on the internet. When China dug in, that was the end of the Trump bluff. For the first time, the absurd articles about China losing are gone and now the new reality is that China is going to squeeze the life out of Trump.

Huawei is just another of Trump's wayward policies of getting Canadian poodles to kidnap Huawei's founder's daughter. Nice dirty **** Trump. Women already hate Trump this ices that cake.

Last week Huawei overtook Apple as the second largest smart phone maker. Huawei announced it no longer had any dependence on US manufacturers for 5G, another body blow to the blowhard.

Dozens of certifying agencies have no studied Huawei products and have found zero instances of spyware or any instance of this hardware being used for spying. In short, Trump and the NSA and CIA look like a bunch of assholes. This will only accelerate Huawei's 5G rollout.

Trump is being **** canned in every direction. The great part of Trump von hitler's personality is that he knows his 10% Sept Tariffs were essentially the end of his presidency, but is too arrogant to reverse course. Instead, he is screaming at the Fed for more loose money to support his bad policies. And he wants more Farmer WELFARE. That dog don't hunt!

China is not going to roll over over for Trump. The financial media is now tearing Trump a new ******* every hour. Markets are not responding to Trump plunge team efforts. They continue to sell off.

Where's the endgame they ask? This is the same deal as Trump closing down the gov for nothing. Trumptards cheered as the orange idiot painted himself in the corner and accomplished nothing. Not one inch of wall has been constructed since Trump took office. Trump floats on a raft of ********. Meanwhile Trump has a 20 year history of hiring Illegals for Trump Organization. Total Fraud and self dealer.

The GOP is now climbing the walls. Today Trump Screamed at the Fed to reduce rates emergently and then said it had nothing to do with China. Astonishing.

When China put an end to US Ag purchases effective immediately they were basically saying they were tired of Trump's ********. The farmer associations are turning on Trump round the clock. Where is Trump? He's hiding out. But of course this has NOTHING to do with China.

But here is Trump once again playing the phony national Security card with Huawei when a dozen independent organizations have published reports and cleared Huawei of the Trump Administration's phony security claims.

vincenze , 11 hours ago link

Huawei Honor smartphones and tablets are really good. The top models are even better than iPhones.

There were some Chinese smartphones at Best Buy the last time I checked.

But I just bought the 128Gb Lenovo Zuk for $280 from Banggoog a couple years ago when it was on sale. It's a little problematic to update Android, but it works perfectly anyway. There is a forum for Lenovo phones, though, with all answers.

There is no need to buy from Best Buy or Amazon, buy cheaper directly from China.
https://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-Smartphones-c-1567.html

me or you , 11 hours ago link

Back into reality.: Huawei to invest £1.2bn in new Shanghai R&D Centre, Build 'Self-Reliance' Amid US Trade War on

Tachyon5321 , 11 hours ago link

Poland's state security agency arrested Huawei sales director Wang Weijing and a Polish national over spying.

Dongfan Chung The 74-year-old former Boeing Co. engineer was convicted in July of six counts of economic espionage and other federal charges for keeping 300,000 pages of sensitive papers in his home

Chi Mak He copied and sent sensitive documents on U.S. Navy ships, submarines and weapons to China by courier.

Don't waste my time. A 20 second google search shows you have no point, but the one on the top of your head.

Thus, Given the Chinese government's record on espionage, "a good-faith assertion from Andy is not enough."

Asoka_The_Great , 12 hours ago link

Trumptard and the US Dark State's campaign to KILL Huawei has failed spectacularly.

Huawei reported revenue growth of 23% in the first half of 2019.

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/7/huawei-announces-h1-2019-revenue

"In Huawei's carrier business , H1 sales revenue reached CNY146.5 billion, with steady growth in production and shipment of equipment for wireless networks, optical transmission, data communications, IT, and related product domains. To date, Huawei has secured 50 commercial 5G contracts and has shipped more than 150,000 base stations to markets around the world.

In Huawei's enterprise business , H1 sales revenue was CNY31.6 billion. Huawei continues to enhance its ICT portfolio across multiple domains, including cloud, artificial intelligence, campus networks, data centers, Internet of Things, and intelligent computing. It remains a trusted supplier for government and utility customers, as well as customers in commercial sectors like finance, transportation, energy, and automobile.

In Huawei's consumer business , H1 sales revenue hit CNY220.8 billion. Huawei's smartphone shipments (including Honor phones) reached 118 million units, up 24% YoY . The company also saw rapid growth in its shipments of tablets, PCs, and wearables. Huawei is beginning to scale its device ecosystem to deliver a more seamless intelligent experience across all major user scenarios. To date, the Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem has more than 800,000 registered developers, and 500 million users worldwide.

"Revenue grew fast up through May," said Liang. "Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the entity list. That's not to say we don't have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term."

He added, "But we will stay the course. We are fully confident in what the future holds, and we will continue investing as planned – including a total of CNY120 billion in R&D this year. We'll get through these challenges, and we're confident that Huawei will enter a new stage of growth after the worst of this is behind us."

[1

Tachyon5321 , 11 hours ago link

Just more proof that Huawei is selling into the USA at below cost. A massive drop in American sales improved the razor thin profit of the company...

Asoka_The_Great , 11 hours ago link

"Just more proof that Huawei is selling into the USA at below cost. "

WHAT A DUMB ****!

HUAWEI HAS NO MARKETSHARE IN US.

Huawei Networking Equipments was banned in US, years ago. None of three major US cellular networks use Huawei's equipment or sell its smartphones.

Tachyon5321 , 4 hours ago link

WHAT A DUMB ****!: Thanks!!! That makes me 3 times smarter than you because Huawei subcontractors do sell Huawei products in the USA. You are an ignorant Asian that should go back to his village and the one room dirt floor hut... LOL

Edit: 8% margins....LOL

Everybodys All American , 12 hours ago link

I'd be the first to say that I don't know everything about this telecom but I will say this seems like a reasonable decision on it's face for the US government not to put in Chinese telecommunications equipment. Of course China is going to not like it because with Hillary she just gave them direct access to damn near anything through her email server.

Archeofuturist , 12 hours ago link

Exactly. Every penny .gov spends should mandated that it MUST be from America companies. Every nut, every bolt.

[Aug 06, 2019] Pretty glum outlook on US China trade war

Aug 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Aug 5 2019 22:48 utc | 61

b, the trade war is escalating, For The First Time In 25 Years, US Treasury Just Designated China A Currency Manipulator.

Can you make an article on the situation?

karlof1 , Aug 6 2019 0:26 utc | 65

Passer by @61--

First, Trump coerced the Fed into lowering interest rates which made US Dollars cheaper to buy then he increased domestic taxation 10% though increasing the tariff on selected Chinese goods. China then blocks the importation of all US foodstuffs and lowers the price of the Yuan an amount equal to the tariff increase--and the US treasury and Trump have the gall to call China the currency manipulator! NO, as usual with the Outlaw US Empire, it's accusations are psychological projection of what itself does. Hudson discusses it here . US financial markets have finally awakened to Trump's moves and have fallen 5% over the last three trading days, with more likely to follow. Hudson on Trump:

"It's all a diversion so that people won't look at what's really happening, only at what Trump is saying. But as people find that they have to pay higher prices, I don't think they'll believe Trump. I think he's lost all credibility. That's why the stock market's collapsing. They're aghast. They think that even Trump can't get away with this big a lie when it's so obviously false."

As I commented last Friday on the AP article my local paper ran about the tariff hike, it finally told the truth about who'll pay--US Consumers or China: US Consumers! AP, All Propaganda, tore a gapping hole into Trump's narrative--but will people believe a media outlet that's lied so often?

Trump can't win his global trade war. China won't capitulate; it's economy and society are 100x healthier than the Outlaw US Empire's and are resilient where the USA can only claim to have been once upon a time. Why that is has been explained before. The transcript of this interview's poor, but the topic covers the answer by showing how Canada's economy became a victim of the same predators as the USA's.

We know what happened, how and why. What we don't know how to do is reverse the situation politically. Hudson compares the dire situation to that of Rome:

"So they obviously, the left-wingers such as Bernie Sanders, want to run for president as a kind of educational campaign to make their policy clear to the people, but they know that there's no way in which the ruling class will let them win.

"It's been very clear, if they did win, they would be assassinated very quickly. I've been told that by presidential candidates. The threat is, you'll never be president, we have ways of keeping you out, and should you succeed, we will do to you what the Romans did to every advocate of democracy century after century, assassination."

It seems the best those of us residing within the Outlaw US Empire can hope for is that Trump's policies will decimate US financial institutions worse than what occurred in 2008. Hudson's perspective:

"I don't see any popular movement yet. You can very easily see why collapse is inevitable....

"There's no way of knowing when there will be a break in the chain of payment. Usually it's a bankruptcy of a big company, very often by fraud, as the 2008 crisis was bank mortgage fraud. You don't know when people will fight back. Often, surprisingly, they only fight back when things are getting better. But things still have a way to go to get much worse in Canada, much worse in the United States, so I don't see any possibility of reform within the next 4 to 8 years."

Pretty glum outlook.

[Aug 05, 2019] Impulsive and aggreesive President: not a good combination

Aug 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Aug 4 2019 23:56 utc | 56

Trump Overruled All Advisors Except Navarro "In Heated Exchange" Before Launching New China Tariffs

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-04/trump-overruled-all-advisors-except-navarro-launching-new-china-tariffs

So much for Trump being a "moderate" and "not a hawk".

In my assessment Trump is very aggressive President foreign policy wise. Way more aggressive than Obama.

[Aug 05, 2019] The USA very much reminds me the USSR -- empire in 1970th with its stupid, degenerated and cannibalistic elite.

Aug 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , August 04, 2019 at 03:28 PM

We won the Cold War...

[ Thinking through this Brad DeLong post, I am left with the same feeling I had after reading "The End of History" by Francis Fukuyama. History did not end with the division of the Soviet Union and evidently neither did the Cold War since the United States from at least as early as the presidency of George Bush was treating Russia as though the Cold War was continuing and this continued with Obama and Trump and now China is being openly included though this too can be traced easily back to the Clinton presidency.

DeLong is wrong, the Cold War is unfortunately not over and won. ]

likbez -> anne... , August 04, 2019 at 10:28 PM
> We won the Cold War...

I would not be so glib.

IMHO both major parties in the Cold war lost and the USA is just another loser like now defunct the USSR. It is China and Germany which won the Cold War, emerging as two major economic (and in case of China political) powers.

The USSR was a theocratic state, a self-destructing utopia which nevertheless served a very useful role -- as a protection mechanism against cannibalistic instincts of the USA elite.

The key here is that after its dissolution the USA elite stated looting its own people. Which they were afraid of doing while the USSR was present of the world arena.

But Bolshevism was dead after WWII and eventually Soviet Nomenklatura (and first of all KGB brass) changed sides and adopted neoliberalism, privatizing the country resources. The USA helped in this process (bribing considerable part of the elite and first of all Party and KGB elite including some members of Politburo), but the writing was on the wall.

But after that the stupidity of the USA neoliberal elite ruled supreme. Instead of cultivating former USSR as a strategic ally by adopting something like Marshall plan, a war criminal and sex addict Bill Clinton pursued the short sited policy of trying to loot and kick a Russia into the vassal state sowing the dragon's teeth.

Looting Russia after the dissolution (via Harvard mafia; http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml ) closed the opportunity of having strategic ally and eventually created a determined adversary. Which will patiently wait when due to its own stupidity the USA will show the vulnerable side and then strike.

While after the dissolution of the USSR most people in the USSR were favorably disposed toward the USA, now the situation drastically changed. ( see http://euromaidanpress.com/2016/05/31/why-americans-are-stupid-according-to-russians/ )

And that alone is a huge geopolitical defeat of a war criminal (by Nuremberg standards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_principles) Bill Clinton and his administration making him one of the most stupid and destructive USA president in the country history.

He essentially adopted British empire stance toward Russia. Now we have emerging potential alliance of Russia and China which complicates the efforts for the preservation of the USA-centered global neoliberal empire. The USA no longer can dictate it will against this alliance and that creates additional cracks in the empire façade visible in how EU reacts to China tariffs and Iran sanctions.

The USA dominance will not evaporate in one year or even in a decade, but it is in decline and now is really tested by China. Trump dysfunctional attempt to fight for the perseveration of the empire on three fronts (against Russia, China and Iran) is not very successful, to say the least.

And people whom he hired ( or who were hired by his handlers) are just a continuation of the line of Cold War warriors from three previous administration (starting from unforgettable Madeleine "not so bright" Albright). That's a real gallery of dinosaurs, if you ask me. Looks like Washington elite lives in its own kingdom of illusions and this echo chamber became completely disconnected with the reality. Attempt to push despicable and corrupt stooges of neoliberal status quo like Kamala Harris as a Democratic Party candidate in 2020 is just another manifestation of the same trend.

Also "neoliberal greed" (TM) destroyed the country manufacturing and without strong manufacturing capabilities research capabilities are hampered.

For example, the USA neoliberals managed substantially undermine the USA lead in IT and hardware.

Also using primarily financial instruments to ensure its dominance is a sign of the empire in decline. The same it true about the existence of huge parasitic, rent oriented finance. That also suggests that the dollar dominance can't last forever.

Much depends when the regime of "cheap oil" (let's say below $100 per barrel) ends. In any case, even with $50-$60 oil the secular stagnation is fact of the USA economic life. People just do not discuss it much anymore, but that's another strategic threat to neoliberalism and to the USA-centered neoliberal empire. Attempt to grab Venezuela resources is a demonstration that this treat is taken seriously.

As a side note, Neoliberalism as a social system, surprisingly managed to survive 2008 crisis largely intact converting itself into sudo-theocratic regime ( despite the fact that ideology was destroyed). It also successfully counterattacked in Argentina, Brazil, and France. Merkel, who is hard core neoliberal, managed to survive in Germany...

So it looks like it does have some staying power.

See "The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism" by Colin Crouch for an introduction to this strange phenomenon.

Still with the collapse of neoliberal ideology (essentially Trotskyism for the rich) the USA faces very uncertain future and supersized military expenses (essentially another form of looting of common people) does not changed the precarious situation the USA elite got the county. Neoliberal elite is not longer can rule as usual and the USA people want change. In other words we have what Marxists used to call a "revolutionary situation". It very much reminds me the USSR -- empire in 1970th with its stupid, degenerated and cannibalistic elite.

anne -> anne... , August 04, 2019 at 05:02 PM
We won the Cold War...

[ This assertion by DeLong, then leaves me wondering what winning the Cold War then or now would mean. We have, for instance, now arbitrarily set aside 2 Cold War nuclear arms treaties since 2001, and are building more nuclear capability when we have weaponry enough to decimate much of the earth, as does Russia.

Since Russia is now routinely considered a strategic adversary or threatening, we could not of course have won the Cold War. We routinely accuse supposed political opponents of being Russian sympathizers.

DeLong must be mistaken, unless there is a meaning of Cold War winning that is unclear to me. ]

[Aug 04, 2019] We see that the neoliberal utopia tends imposes itself even upon the rulers.

Highly recommended!
Aug 04, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Thus we see how the neoliberal utopia tends to embody itself in the reality of a kind of infernal machine, whose necessity imposes itself even upon the rulers. Like the Marxism of an earlier time, with which, in this regard, it has much in common, this utopia evokes powerful belief - the free trade faith - not only among those who live off it, such as financiers, the owners and managers of large corporations, etc., but also among those, such as high-level government officials and politicians, who derive their justification for existing from it.

For they sanctify the power of markets in the name of economic efficiency, which requires the elimination of administrative or political barriers capable of inconveniencing the owners of capital in their individual quest for the maximisation of individual profit, which has been turned into a model of rationality. They want independent central banks.

And they preach the subordination of nation-states to the requirements of economic freedom for the masters of the economy, with the suppression of any regulation of any market, beginning with the labour market, the prohibition of deficits and inflation, the general privatisation of public services, and the reduction of public and social expenses."

Pierre Bourdieu, L'essence du néolibéralisme

[Aug 04, 2019] Bank of America What Trump Did Is A Game Changer

Price of clothing is already noticeably higher with some categories (shooes) affected more then others.
Aug 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

However, all that is about to change, because as Bank of America team of economists writes, Trump's latest tariff announcement from last Thursday, when the president shockingly unveiled 10% tariffs on $300BN in Chinese imports starting September 1, "is a major escalation." The reason for this is that past measures had mostly avoided consumer goods. By contrast, the threatened tariffs would cover $120bn of consumer goods, out of $300bn in total, and since BofA expects the tariffs to be implemented, either on schedule or later this year, the period of dormant trade war inflation is about to end with a bang, not a whimper.

... ... ...

Was Trump's announcement a negotiating tactic?

For the past year, one of the points of biggest contention among economists and traders is that despite what is now a 1+ year trade war with China, inflation due to higher tariffs has been strangely missing, with some claiming that the goods targeted in previous tariff rounds were either not "consumer" enough, or simply had more affordable substitutes from other, non-Chinese supply chains, allowing US consumer to avoid having higher prices passed upon them.

However, all that is about to change, because as Bank of America team of economists writes, Trump's latest tariff announcement from last Thursday, when the president shockingly unveiled 10% tariffs on $300BN in Chinese imports starting September 1, "is a major escalation." The reason for this is that past measures had mostly avoided consumer goods. By contrast, the threatened tariffs would cover $120bn of consumer goods, out of $300bn in total, and since BofA expects the tariffs to be implemented, either on schedule or later this year, the period of dormant trade war inflation is about to end with a bang, not a whimper.

bitzager , 7 minutes ago link

"Game Changer" - What's in your wallet? We'll soon find out in

the Walmart near you.. :)))

2banana , 13 minutes ago link

Well, a silly "feedback loop" as for the first three years of Trump being elected - the Fed RAISED rates eight (8) times.

In the face of all the tariffs during that time period and a trade war with China.

Also - the Fed started the Great QE unwind in the same time period - "withdrawing" $700 billion from circulation.

[Aug 04, 2019] Commentary China will never buckle under Washington's old trick of trade bullying

Notable quotes:
"... As the U.S. administration is ready to impose a 10 percent tariff on the remaining 300 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese imports, its sincerity in reaching a mutually beneficial trade deal with Beijing that can accommodate each other's major concerns has gone bust. It seems that in the eyes of Washington's China hawks, trade talks are no more than a formality with which to rip China off. ..."
"... While the White House is boasting about taxing China until a trade deal is reached, it should keep in mind that China will only accept a win-win agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment. ..."
"... Beijing's position has been consistent and clear: China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and will fight one if necessary. ..."
"... It is therefore hoped that Washington should drop its fantasy to bring Beijing down to its knees with its same and old tricks of maximun pressure. If it truly wants a deal, then they will need to show some real sincerity first. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | www.xinhuanet.com

Despite calling the just-concluded China-U.S. trade talks in Shanghai "constructive" and hoping for more "positive dialogue," the White House on Thursday announced plans to impose extra tariffs on Chinese imports from Sept. 1.

Washington's unilateral escalation of trade disputes is a serious breach of trust after the two sides reached in June consensus to restart trade talks on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Apart from undermining the momentum of the newly resumed China-U.S. trade talks, the U.S. flip-flopping again exemplifies Washington's untrustworthiness in striking a deal and its disturbing propensity for bullying.

The U.S. administration should bear in mind that its bullying and tariff threat, which has not worked in the past, will not work this time.

For over a year, the U.S.-initiated trade disputes with China have bogged down not just economic growth of the two countries but that of the whole world. Meanwhile, an increasingly capricious Washington is harming the current world order with more uncertainties.

As the U.S. administration is ready to impose a 10 percent tariff on the remaining 300 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese imports, its sincerity in reaching a mutually beneficial trade deal with Beijing that can accommodate each other's major concerns has gone bust. It seems that in the eyes of Washington's China hawks, trade talks are no more than a formality with which to rip China off.

Also, the new twist in China-U.S. trade talks shows that some Washington politicians are trying to play tough against China on trade matters and gain cheap political points as the new cycle of U.S. presidential election is looming.

Unlike previous rounds of taxing Chinese imports, the U.S. administration this time is targeting a wide swath of consumer goods, and therefore, is "using American families as a hostage" in its trade negotiations, according to Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America.

While the White House is boasting about taxing China until a trade deal is reached, it should keep in mind that China will only accept a win-win agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.

Beijing's position has been consistent and clear: China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and will fight one if necessary.

In response to Washington's tariff assaults since March 2018, China has had to take forceful counter measures. This instance will be no exception.

Still, Beijing remains committed to handling its trade problems with Washington as long as the settlement is based on mutual respect and equality, and conform to China's core interests. China, which still sees a steady economic growth and boasts enormous potential for further development, will always find a way to withstand any pressure if there no deal is reached.

It is therefore hoped that Washington should drop its fantasy to bring Beijing down to its knees with its same and old tricks of maximun pressure. If it truly wants a deal, then they will need to show some real sincerity first.

[Aug 04, 2019] Neoliberalism Political Success, Economic Failure

Highly recommended!
Neoliberalism is an amazing ideological construct: secular religion designed for the rich. The level of brainwashing of population under neoliberalism probably exceeds achievable in a long run under Bolshevism and Nazism.
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way. ..."
"... By the 1990s, even moderate liberals had been converted to the belief that social objectives can be achieved by harnessing the power of markets. Intermittent periods of governance by Democratic presidents slowed but did not reverse the slide to neoliberal policy and doctrine. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party approved. ..."
"... Now, after nearly half a century, the verdict is in. Virtually every one of these policies has failed, even on their own terms. Enterprise has been richly rewarded, taxes have been cut, and regulation reduced or privatized. The economy is vastly more unequal, yet economic growth is slower and more chaotic than during the era of managed capitalism. Deregulation has produced not salutary competition, but market concentration. Economic power has resulted in feedback loops of political power, in which elites make rules that bolster further concentration. ..."
"... The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society's most powerful people -- as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab. The British political economist Colin Crouch captured this anomaly in a book nicely titled The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism . Why did neoliberalism not die? As Crouch observed, neoliberalism failed both as theory and as policy, but succeeded superbly as power politics for economic elites. ..."
"... As the great political historian Karl Polanyi warned, when markets overwhelm society, ordinary people often turn to tyrants. In regimes that border on neofascist, klepto-capitalists get along just fine with dictators, undermining the neoliberal premise of capitalism and democracy as complements. Several authoritarian thugs, playing on tribal nationalism as the antidote to capitalist cosmopolitanism, are surprisingly popular. ..."
"... The theory of maximizing shareholder value was deployed to undermine the entire range of financial regulation and workers' rights. Cost-benefit analysis, emphasizing costs and discounting benefits, was used to discredit a good deal of health, safety, and environmental regulation. Public choice theory, associated with the economist James Buchanan and an entire ensuing school of economics and political science, was used to impeach democracy itself, on the premise that policies were hopelessly afflicted by "rent-seekers" and "free-riders." ..."
"... Human capital theory, another variant of neoliberal application of markets to partly social questions, justified deregulating labor markets and crushing labor unions. Unions supposedly used their power to get workers paid more than their market worth. Likewise minimum wage laws. But the era of depressed wages has actually seen a decline in rates of productivity growth. Conversely, does any serious person think that the inflated pay of the financial moguls who crashed the economy accurately reflects their contribution to economic activity? In the case of hedge funds and private equity, the high incomes of fund sponsors are the result of transfers of wealth and income from employees, other stakeholders, and operating companies to the fund managers, not the fruits of more efficient management. ..."
"... Financial deregulation is neoliberalism's most palpable deregulatory failure, but far from the only one. Electricity deregulation on balance has increased monopoly power and raised costs to consumers, but has failed to offer meaningful "shopping around" opportunities to bring down prices. We have gone from regulated monopolies with predictable earnings, costs, wages, and consumer protections to deregulated monopolies or oligopolies with substantial pricing power. Since the Bell breakup, the telephone system tells a similar story of re-concentration, dwindling competition, price-gouging, and union-bashing. ..."
"... As regards clear language and definitions, I much prefer Michael Hudson's insistence that, to the liberal economists, free markets were markets free from rent seeking, while to the neoliberals free markets are free from government regulation. ..."
"... In a political system where the reputedly "labor" party would rather lose with their bribe-taking warmongering Goldwater girl than win with a people's advocate, Houston we have a problem. ..."
"... "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ..."
"... Neoliberalism gave liberals an excuse to sell out in the name of "fresh thinking." Meanwhile the vast working class had become discredited Archie Bunkers in the eyes of the intellectuals after Vietnam and the Civil Rights struggles. ..."
"... I'd add two other consequences of neoliberalism. One is the increasing alienation of citizens from the mechanism for provision of the basic necessities of life. ..."
"... As Phillip Mirowski patiently explains in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, neoliberalism is not laissez faire. Neoliberal desire a strong government to implement their market based nirvana, as long as they control government. ..."
Aug 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect. Reposted from Alternet .

Since the late 1970s, we've had a grand experiment to test the claim that free markets really do work best. This resurrection occurred despite the practical failure of laissez-faire in the 1930s, the resulting humiliation of free-market theory, and the contrasting success of managed capitalism during the three-decade postwar boom.

Yet when growth faltered in the 1970s, libertarian economic theory got another turn at bat. This revival proved extremely convenient for the conservatives who came to power in the 1980s. The neoliberal counterrevolution, in theory and policy, has reversed or undermined nearly every aspect of managed capitalism -- from progressive taxation, welfare transfers, and antitrust, to the empowerment of workers and the regulation of banks and other major industries.

Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way.

By the 1990s, even moderate liberals had been converted to the belief that social objectives can be achieved by harnessing the power of markets. Intermittent periods of governance by Democratic presidents slowed but did not reverse the slide to neoliberal policy and doctrine. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party approved.

Now, after nearly half a century, the verdict is in. Virtually every one of these policies has failed, even on their own terms. Enterprise has been richly rewarded, taxes have been cut, and regulation reduced or privatized. The economy is vastly more unequal, yet economic growth is slower and more chaotic than during the era of managed capitalism. Deregulation has produced not salutary competition, but market concentration. Economic power has resulted in feedback loops of political power, in which elites make rules that bolster further concentration.

The culprit isn't just "markets" -- some impersonal force that somehow got loose again. This is a story of power using theory. The mixed economy was undone by economic elites, who revised rules for their own benefit. They invested heavily in friendly theorists to bless this shift as sound and necessary economics, and friendly politicians to put those theories into practice.

Recent years have seen two spectacular cases of market mispricing with devastating consequences: the near-depression of 2008 and irreversible climate change. The economic collapse of 2008 was the result of the deregulation of finance. It cost the real U.S. economy upwards of $15 trillion (and vastly more globally), depending on how you count, far more than any conceivable efficiency gain that might be credited to financial innovation. Free-market theory presumes that innovation is necessarily benign. But much of the financial engineering of the deregulatory era was self-serving, opaque, and corrupt -- the opposite of an efficient and transparent market.

The existential threat of global climate change reflects the incompetence of markets to accurately price carbon and the escalating costs of pollution. The British economist Nicholas Stern has aptly termed the worsening climate catastrophe history's greatest case of market failure. Here again, this is not just the result of failed theory. The entrenched political power of extractive industries and their political allies influences the rules and the market price of carbon. This is less an invisible hand than a thumb on the scale. The premise of efficient markets provides useful cover.

The grand neoliberal experiment of the past 40 years has demonstrated that markets in fact do not regulate themselves. Managed markets turn out to be more equitable and more efficient. Yet the theory and practical influence of neoliberalism marches splendidly on, because it is so useful to society's most powerful people -- as a scholarly veneer to what would otherwise be a raw power grab. The British political economist Colin Crouch captured this anomaly in a book nicely titled The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism . Why did neoliberalism not die? As Crouch observed, neoliberalism failed both as theory and as policy, but succeeded superbly as power politics for economic elites.

The neoliberal ascendance has had another calamitous cost -- to democratic legitimacy. As government ceased to buffer market forces, daily life has become more of a struggle for ordinary people. The elements of a decent middle-class life are elusive -- reliable jobs and careers, adequate pensions, secure medical care, affordable housing, and college that doesn't require a lifetime of debt. Meanwhile, life has become ever sweeter for economic elites, whose income and wealth have pulled away and whose loyalty to place, neighbor, and nation has become more contingent and less reliable.

Large numbers of people, in turn, have given up on the promise of affirmative government, and on democracy itself. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, ours was widely billed as an era when triumphant liberal capitalism would march hand in hand with liberal democracy. But in a few brief decades, the ostensibly secure regime of liberal democracy has collapsed in nation after nation, with echoes of the 1930s.

As the great political historian Karl Polanyi warned, when markets overwhelm society, ordinary people often turn to tyrants. In regimes that border on neofascist, klepto-capitalists get along just fine with dictators, undermining the neoliberal premise of capitalism and democracy as complements. Several authoritarian thugs, playing on tribal nationalism as the antidote to capitalist cosmopolitanism, are surprisingly popular.

It's also important to appreciate that neoliberalism is not laissez-faire. Classically, the premise of a "free market" is that government simply gets out of the way. This is nonsensical, since all markets are creatures of rules, most fundamentally rules defining property, but also rules defining credit, debt, and bankruptcy; rules defining patents, trademarks, and copyrights; rules defining terms of labor; and so on. Even deregulation requires rules. In Polanyi's words, "laissez-faire was planned."

The political question is who gets to make the rules, and for whose benefit. The neoliberalism of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman invoked free markets, but in practice the neoliberal regime has promoted rules created by and for private owners of capital, to keep democratic government from asserting rules of fair competition or countervailing social interests. The regime has rules protecting pharmaceutical giants from the right of consumers to import prescription drugs or to benefit from generics. The rules of competition and intellectual property generally have been tilted to protect incumbents. Rules of bankruptcy have been tilted in favor of creditors. Deceptive mortgages require elaborate rules, written by the financial sector and then enforced by government. Patent rules have allowed agribusiness and giant chemical companies like Monsanto to take over much of agriculture -- the opposite of open markets. Industry has invented rules requiring employees and consumers to submit to binding arbitration and to relinquish a range of statutory and common-law rights.

Neoliberalism as Theory, Policy, and Power

It's worth taking a moment to unpack the term "neoliberalism." The coinage can be confusing to American ears because the "liberal" part refers not to the word's ordinary American usage, meaning moderately left-of-center, but to classical economic liberalism otherwise known as free-market economics. The "neo" part refers to the reassertion of the claim that the laissez-faire model of the economy was basically correct after all.

Few proponents of these views embraced the term neoliberal . Mostly, they called themselves free-market conservatives. "Neoliberal" was a coinage used mainly by their critics, sometimes as a neutral descriptive term, sometimes as an epithet. The use became widespread in the era of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

To add to the confusion, a different and partly overlapping usage was advanced in the 1970s by the group around the Washington Monthly magazine. They used "neoliberal" to mean a new, less statist form of American liberalism. Around the same time, the term neoconservative was used as a self-description by former liberals who embraced conservatism, on cultural, racial, economic, and foreign-policy grounds. Neoconservatives were neoliberals in economics.

Beginning in the 1970s, resurrected free-market theory was interwoven with both conservative politics and significant investments in the production of theorists and policy intellectuals. This occurred not just in well-known conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage, Cato, and the Manhattan Institute, but through more insidious investments in academia. Lavishly funded centers and tenured chairs were underwritten by the Olin, Scaife, Bradley, and other far-right foundations to promote such variants of free-market theory as law and economics, public choice, rational choice, cost-benefit analysis, maximize-shareholder-value, and kindred schools of thought. These theories colonized several academic disciplines. All were variations on the claim that markets worked and that government should get out of the way.

Each of these bodies of sub-theory relied upon its own variant of neoliberal ideology. An intensified version of the theory of comparative advantage was used not just to cut tariffs but to use globalization as all-purpose deregulation. The theory of maximizing shareholder value was deployed to undermine the entire range of financial regulation and workers' rights. Cost-benefit analysis, emphasizing costs and discounting benefits, was used to discredit a good deal of health, safety, and environmental regulation. Public choice theory, associated with the economist James Buchanan and an entire ensuing school of economics and political science, was used to impeach democracy itself, on the premise that policies were hopelessly afflicted by "rent-seekers" and "free-riders."

Click here to read how Robert Kuttner has been unmasking the fallacies of neoliberalism for decades

Market failure was dismissed as a rare special case; government failure was said to be ubiquitous. Theorists worked hand in glove with lobbyists and with public officials. But in every major case where neoliberal theory generated policy, the result was political success and economic failure.

For example, supply-side economics became the justification for tax cuts, on the premise that taxes punished enterprise. Supposedly, if taxes were cut, especially taxes on capital and on income from capital, the resulting spur to economic activity would be so potent that deficits would be far less than predicted by "static" economic projections, and perhaps even pay for themselves. There have been six rounds of this experiment, from the tax cuts sponsored by Jimmy Carter in 1978 to the immense 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by Donald Trump. In every case some economic stimulus did result, mainly from the Keynesian jolt to demand, but in every case deficits increased significantly. Conservatives simply stopped caring about deficits. The tax cuts were often inefficient as well as inequitable, since the loopholes steered investment to tax-favored uses rather than the most economically logical ones. Dozens of America's most profitable corporations paid no taxes.

Robert Bork's "antitrust paradox," holding that antitrust enforcement actually weakened competition, was used as the doctrine to sideline the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Supposedly, if government just got out of the way, market forces would remain more competitive because monopoly pricing would invite innovation and new entrants to the market. In practice, industry after industry became more heavily concentrated. Incumbents got in the habit of buying out innovators or using their market power to crush them. This pattern is especially insidious in the tech economy of platform monopolies, where giants that provide platforms, such as Google and Amazon, use their market power and superior access to customer data to out-compete rivals who use their platforms. Markets, once again, require rules beyond the benign competence of the market actors themselves. Only democratic government can set equitable rules. And when democracy falters, undemocratic governments in cahoots with corrupt private plutocrats will make the rules.

Human capital theory, another variant of neoliberal application of markets to partly social questions, justified deregulating labor markets and crushing labor unions. Unions supposedly used their power to get workers paid more than their market worth. Likewise minimum wage laws. But the era of depressed wages has actually seen a decline in rates of productivity growth. Conversely, does any serious person think that the inflated pay of the financial moguls who crashed the economy accurately reflects their contribution to economic activity? In the case of hedge funds and private equity, the high incomes of fund sponsors are the result of transfers of wealth and income from employees, other stakeholders, and operating companies to the fund managers, not the fruits of more efficient management.

There is a broad literature discrediting this body of pseudo-scholarly work in great detail. Much of neoliberalism represents the ever-reliable victory of assumption over evidence. Yet neoliberal theory lived on because it was so convenient for elites, and because of the inertial power of the intellectual capital that had been created. The well-funded neoliberal habitat has provided comfortable careers for two generations of scholars and pseudo-scholars who migrate between academia, think tanks, K Street, op-ed pages, government, Wall Street, and back again. So even if the theory has been demolished both by scholarly rebuttal and by events, it thrives in powerful institutions and among their political allies.

The Practical Failure of Neoliberal Policies

Financial deregulation is neoliberalism's most palpable deregulatory failure, but far from the only one. Electricity deregulation on balance has increased monopoly power and raised costs to consumers, but has failed to offer meaningful "shopping around" opportunities to bring down prices. We have gone from regulated monopolies with predictable earnings, costs, wages, and consumer protections to deregulated monopolies or oligopolies with substantial pricing power. Since the Bell breakup, the telephone system tells a similar story of re-concentration, dwindling competition, price-gouging, and union-bashing.

Air travel has been a poster child for advocates of deregulation, but the actual record is mixed at best. Airline deregulation produced serial bankruptcies of every major U.S. airline, often at the cost of worker pay and pension funds. Ticket prices have declined on average over the past two decades, but the traveling public suffers from a crazy quilt of fares, declining service, shrinking seats and legroom, and exorbitant penalties for the perfectly normal sin of having to change plans. Studies have shown that fares actually declined at a faster rate in the 20 years before deregulation in 1978 than in the 20 years afterward, because the prime source of greater efficiency in airline travel is the introduction of more fuel-efficient planes. The roller-coaster experience of airline profits and losses has reduced the capacity of airlines to purchase more fuel-efficient aircraft, and the average age of the fleet keeps increasing. The use of "fortress hubs" to defend market pricing power has reduced the percentage of nonstop flights, the most efficient way to fly from one point to another.

In addition to deregulation, three prime areas of practical neoliberal policies are the use of vouchers as "market-like" means to social goals, the privatization of public services, and the use of tax subsides rather than direct outlays. In every case, government revenues are involved, so this is far from a free market to begin with. But the premise is that market disciplines can achieve public purposes more efficiently than direct public provision.

The evidence provides small comfort for these claims. One core problem is that the programs invariably give too much to the for-profit middlemen at the expense of the intended beneficiaries. A related problem is that the process of using vouchers and contracts invites corruption. It is a different form of "rent-seeking" -- pursuit of monopoly profits -- than that attributed to government by public choice theorists, but corruption nonetheless. Often, direct public provision is far more transparent and accountable than a web of contractors.

A further problem is that in practice there is often far less competition than imagined, because of oligopoly power, vendor lock-in, and vendor political influence. These experiments in marketization to serve social goals do not operate in some Platonic policy laboratory, where the only objective is true market efficiency yoked to the public good. They operate in the grubby world of practical politics, where the vendors are closely allied with conservative politicians whose purposes may be to discredit social transfers entirely, or to reward corporate allies, or to benefit from kickbacks either directly or as campaign contributions.

Privatized prisons are a case in point. A few large, scandal-ridden companies have gotten most of the contracts, often through political influence. Far from bringing better quality and management efficiency, they have profited by diverting operating funds and worsening conditions that were already deplorable, and finding new ways to charge inmates higher fees for necessary services such as phone calls. To the extent that money was actually saved, most of the savings came from reducing the pay and professionalism of guards, increasing overcrowding, and decreasing already inadequate budgets for food and medical care.

A similar example is the privatization of transportation services such as highways and even parking meters. In several Midwestern states, toll roads have been sold to private vendors. The governor who makes the deal gains a temporary fiscal windfall, while drivers end up paying higher tolls often for decades. Investment bankers who broker the deal also take their cut. Some of the money does go into highway improvements, but that could have been done more efficiently in the traditional way via direct public ownership and competitive bidding.

Housing vouchers substantially reward landlords who use the vouchers to fill empty houses with poor people until the neighborhood gentrifies, at which point the owner is free to quit the program and charge market rentals. Thus public funds are used to underwrite a privately owned, quasi-social housing sector -- whose social character is only temporary. No permanent social housing is produced despite the extensive public outlay. The companion use of tax incentives to attract passive investment in affordable housing promotes economically inefficient tax shelters, and shunts public funds into the pockets of the investors -- money that might otherwise have gone directly to the housing.

The Affordable Care Act is a form of voucher. But the regulated private insurance markets in the ACA have not fully lived up to their promise, in part because of the extensive market power retained by private insurers and in part because the right has relentlessly sought to sabotage the program -- another political feedback loop. The sponsors assumed that competition would lower costs and increase consumer choice. But in too many counties, there are three or fewer competing plans, and in some cases just one.

As more insurance plans and hospital systems become for-profit, massive investment goes into such wasteful activities as manipulation of billing, "risk selection," and other gaming of the rules. Our mixed-market system of health care requires massive regulation to work with tolerable efficiency. In practice, this degenerates into an infinite regress of regulator versus commercial profit-maximizer, reminiscent of Mad magazine's "Spy versus Spy," with the industry doing end runs to Congress to further rig the rules. Straight-ahead public insurance such as Medicare is generally far more efficient.

An extensive literature has demonstrated that for-profit voucher schools do no better and often do worse than comparable public schools, and are vulnerable to multiple forms of gaming and corruption. Proprietors of voucher schools are superb at finding ways of excluding costly special-needs students, so that those costs are imposed on what remains of public schools; they excel at gaming test results. While some voucher and charter schools, especially nonprofit ones, sometimes improve on average school performance, so do many public schools. The record is also muddied by the fact that many ostensibly nonprofit schools contract out management to for-profit companies.

Tax preferences have long been used ostensibly to serve social goals. The Earned Income Tax Credit is considered one of the more successful cases of using market-like measures -- in this case a refundable tax credit -- to achieve the social goal of increasing worker take-home pay. It has also been touted as the rare case of bipartisan collaboration. Liberals get more money for workers. Conservatives get to reward the deserving poor, since the EITC is conditioned on employment. Conservatives get a further ideological win, since the EITC is effectively a wage subsidy from the government, but is experienced as a tax refund rather than a benefit of government.

Recent research, however, shows that the EITC is primarily a subsidy of low-wage employers, who are able to pay their workers a lot less than a market-clearing wage. In industries such as nursing homes or warehouses, where many workers qualified for the EITC work side by side with ones not eligible, the non-EITC workers get substandard wages. The existence of the EITC depresses the level of the wages that have to come out of the employer's pocket.

Neoliberalism's Influence on Liberals

As free-market theory resurged, many moderate liberals embraced these policies. In the inflationary 1970s, regulation became a scapegoat that supposedly deterred salutary price competition. Some, such as economist Alfred Kahn, President Carter's adviser on deregulation, supported deregulation on what he saw as the merits. Other moderates supported neoliberal policies opportunistically, to curry favor with powerful industries and donors. Market-like policies were also embraced by liberals as a tactical way to find common ground with conservatives.

Several forms of deregulation -- of airlines, trucking, and electric power -- began not under Reagan but under Carter. Financial deregulation took off under Bill Clinton. Democratic presidents, as much as Republicans, promoted trade deals that undermined social standards. Cost-benefit analysis by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) was more of a choke point under Barack Obama than under George W. Bush.

"Command and control" became an all-purpose pejorative for disparaging perfectly sensible and efficient regulation. "Market-like" became a fashionable concept, not just on the free-market right but on the moderate left. Cass Sunstein, who served as Obama's anti-regulation czar,uses the example of "nudges" as a more market-like and hence superior alternative to direct regulation, though with rare exceptions their impact is trivial. Moreover, nudges only work in tandem with regulation.

There are indeed some interventionist policies that use market incentives to serve social goals. But contrary to free-market theory, the market-like incentives first require substantial regulation and are not a substitute for it. A good example is the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which used tradable emission rights to cut the output of sulfur dioxide, the cause of acid rain. This was supported by both the George H.W. Bush administration and by leading Democrats. But before the trading regime could work, Congress first had to establish permissible ceilings on sulfur dioxide output -- pure command and control.

There are many other instances, such as nutrition labeling, truth-in-lending, and disclosure of EPA gas mileage results, where the market-like premise of a better-informed consumer complements command regulation but is no substitute for it. Nearly all of the increase in fuel efficiency, for example, is the result of command regulations that require auto fleets to hit a gas mileage target. The fact that EPA gas mileage figures are prominently disclosed on new car stickers may have modest influence, but motor fuels are so underpriced that car companies have success selling gas-guzzlers despite the consumer labeling.

Politically, whatever rationale there was for liberals to make common ground with libertarians is now largely gone. The authors of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made no attempt to meet Democrats partway; they excluded the opposition from the legislative process entirely. This was opportunistic tax cutting for elites, pure and simple. The right today also abandoned the quest for a middle ground on environmental policy, on anti-poverty policy, on health policy -- on virtually everything. Neoliberal ideology did its historic job of weakening intellectual and popular support for the proposition that affirmative government can better the lives of citizens and that the Democratic Party is a reliable steward of that social compact. Since Reagan, the right's embrace of the free market has evolved from partly principled idealism into pure opportunism and obstruction.

Neoliberalism and Hyper-Globalism

The post-1990 rules of globalization, supported by conservatives and moderate liberals alike, are the quintessence of neoliberalism. At Bretton Woods in 1944, the use of fixed exchange rates and controls on speculative private capital, plus the creation of the IMFand World Bank, were intended to allow member countries to practice national forms of managed capitalism, insulated from the destructive and deflationary influences of short-term speculative private capital flows. As doctrine and power shifted in the 1970s, the IMF, the World Bank, and later the WTO, which replaced the old GATT, mutated into their ideological opposite. Rather than instruments of support for mixed national economies, they became enforcers of neoliberal policies.

The standard package of the "Washington Consensus" of approved policies for developing nations included demands that they open their capital markets to speculative private finance, as well as cutting taxes on capital, weakening social transfers, and gutting labor regulation and public ownership. But private capital investment in poor countries proved to be fickle. The result was often excessive inflows during the boom part of the cycle and punitive withdrawals during the bust -- the opposite of the patient, long-term development capital that these countries needed and that was provided by the World Bank of an earlier era. During the bust phase, the IMFtypically imposes even more stringent neoliberal demands as the price of financial bailouts, including perverse budgetary austerity, supposedly to restore the confidence of the very speculative capital markets responsible for the boom-bust cycle.

Dozens of nations, from Latin America to East Asia, went through this cycle of boom, bust, and then IMF pile-on. Greece is still suffering the impact. After 1990, hyper-globalism also included trade treaties whose terms favored multinational corporations. Traditionally, trade agreements had been mainly about reciprocal reductions of tariffs. Nations were free to have whatever brand of regulation, public investment, or social policies they chose. With the advent of the WTO, many policies other than tariffs were branded as trade distorting, even as takings without compensation. Trade deals were used to give foreign capital free access and to dismantle national regulation and public ownership. Special courts were created in which foreign corporations and investors could do end runs around national authorities to challenge regulation for impeding commerce.

At first, the sponsors of the new trade regime tried to claim the successful economies of East Asia as evidence of the success of the neoliberal recipe. Supposedly, these nations had succeeded by pursuing "export-led growth," exposing their domestic economies to salutary competition. But these claims were soon exposed as the opposite of what had actually occurred. In fact, Japan, South Korea, smaller Asian nations, and above all China had thrived by rejecting every major tenet of neoliberalism. Their capital markets were tightly regulated and insulated from foreign speculative capital. They developed world-class industries as state-led cartels that favored domestic production and supply. East Asia got into trouble only when it followed IMFdictates to throw open capital markets, and in the aftermath they recovered by closing those markets and assembling war chests of hard currency so that they'd never again have to go begging to the IMF. Enthusiasts of hyper-globalization also claimed that it benefited poor countries by increasing export opportunities, but as the success of East Asia shows, there is more than one way to boost exports -- and many poorer countries suffered under the terms of the global neoliberal regime.

Nor was the damage confined to the developing world. As the work of Harvard economist Dani Rodrik has demonstrated, democracy requires a polity. For better or for worse, the polity and democratic citizenship are national. By enhancing the global market at the expense of the democratic state, the current brand of hyper-globalization deliberately weakens the capacity of states to regulate markets, and weakens democracy itself.

When Do Markets Work?

The failure of neoliberalism as economic and social policy does not mean that markets never work. A command economy is even more utopian and perverse than a neoliberal one. The practical quest is for an efficient and equitable middle ground.

The neoliberal story of how the economy operates assumes a largely frictionless marketplace, where prices are set by supply and demand, and the price mechanism allocates resources to their optimal use in the economy as a whole. For this discipline to work as advertised, however, there can be no market power, competition must be plentiful, sellers and buyers must have roughly equal information, and there can be no significant externalities. Much of the 20th century was practical proof that these conditions did not describe a good part of the actual economy. And if markets priced things wrong, the market system did not aggregate to an efficient equilibrium, and depressions could become self-deepening. As Keynes demonstrated, only a massive jolt of government spending could restart the engines, even if market pricing was partly violated in the process.

Nonetheless, in many sectors of the economy, the process of buying and selling is close enough to the textbook conditions of perfect competition that the price system works tolerably well. Supermarkets, for instance, deliver roughly accurate prices because of the consumer's freedom and knowledge to shop around. Likewise much of retailing. However, when we get into major realms of the economy with positive or negative externalities, such as education and health, markets are not sufficient. And in other major realms, such as pharmaceuticals, where corporations use their political power to rig the terms of patents, the market doesn't produce a cure.

The basic argument of neoliberalism can fit on a bumper sticker. Markets work; governments don't . If you want to embellish that story, there are two corollaries: Markets embody human freedom. And with markets, people basically get what they deserve; to alter market outcomes is to spoil the poor and punish the productive. That conclusion logically flows from the premise that markets are efficient. Milton Friedman became rich, famous, and influential by teasing out the several implications of these simple premises.

It is much harder to articulate the case for a mixed economy than the case for free markets, precisely because the mixed economy is mixed. The rebuttal takes several paragraphs. The more complex story holds that markets are substantially efficient in some realms but far from efficient in others, because of positive and negative externalities, the tendency of financial markets to create cycles of boom and bust, the intersection of self-interest and corruption, the asymmetry of information between company and consumer, the asymmetry of power between corporation and employee, the power of the powerful to rig the rules, and the fact that there are realms of human life (the right to vote, human liberty, security of one's person) that should not be marketized.

And if markets are not perfectly efficient, then distributive questions are partly political choices. Some societies pay pre-K teachers the minimum wage as glorified babysitters. Others educate and compensate them as professionals. There is no "correct" market-derived wage, because pre-kindergarten is a social good and the issue of how to train and compensate teachers is a social choice, not a market choice. The same is true of the other human services, including medicine. Nor is there a theoretically correct set of rules for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. These are politically derived, either balancing the interests of innovation with those of diffusion -- or being politically captured by incumbent industries.

Governments can in principle improve on market outcomes via regulation, but that fact is complicated by the risk of regulatory capture. So another issue that arises is market failure versus polity failure, which brings us back to the urgency of strong democracy and effective government.

After Neoliberalism

The political reversal of neoliberalism can only come through practical politics and policies that demonstrate how government often can serve citizens more equitably and efficiently than markets. Revision of theory will take care of itself. There is no shortage of dissenting theorists and empirical policy researchers whose scholarly work has been vindicated by events. What they need is not more theory but more influence, both in the academy and in the corridors of power. They are available to advise a new progressive administration, if that administration can get elected and if it refrains from hiring neoliberal advisers.

There are also some relatively new areas that invite policy innovation. These include regulation of privacy rights versus entrepreneurial liberties in the digital realm; how to think of the internet as a common carrier; how to update competition and antitrust policy as platform monopolies exert new forms of market power; how to modernize labor-market policy in the era of the gig economy; and the role of deeper income supplements as machines replace human workers.

The failed neoliberal experiment also makes the case not just for better-regulated capitalism but for direct public alternatives as well. Banking, done properly, especially the provision of mortgage finance, is close to a public utility. Much of it could be public. A great deal of research is done more honestly and more cost-effectively in public, peer-reviewed institutions such as the NIHthan by a substantially corrupt private pharmaceutical industry. Social housing often is more cost-effective than so-called public-private partnerships. Public power is more efficient to generate, less prone to monopolistic price-gouging, and friendlier to the needed green transition than private power. The public option in health care is far more efficient than the current crazy quilt in which each layer of complexity adds opacity and cost. Public provision does require public oversight, but that is more straightforward and transparent than the byzantine dance of regulation and counter-regulation.

The two other benefits of direct public provision are that the public gets direct evidence of government delivering something of value, and that the countervailing power of democracy to harness markets is enhanced. A mixed economy depends above all on a strong democracy -- one even stronger than the democracy that succumbed to the corrupting influence of economic elites and their neoliberal intellectual allies beginning half a century ago. The antidote to the resurrected neoliberal fable is the resurrection of democracy -- strong enough to tame the market in a way that tames it for keeps.

Arthur Littwin , August 4, 2019 at 7:36 am

Excellent article and very much appreciated so I can share with confused Liberal friends (mostly older) who think that they are now, somehow, Neoliberal. As far as market failure is concerned: I think Boeing is an incredible case in point. When one of the nation's flagship enterprises captures regulatory processes so completely that it produces a product that cannot accomplish its one aim: to fly. Btw: I am seeing a lot of use of the "populist" to describe what might be more correctly described as nativist, xenophobic, anti-democratic, authoritarian, or even outright fascist leaders. Keep the language clear and insist on precise definitions.

Ian Perkins , August 4, 2019 at 10:16 am

Excellent article, I agree. As regards clear language and definitions, I much prefer Michael Hudson's insistence that, to the liberal economists, free markets were markets free from rent seeking, while to the neoliberals free markets are free from government regulation.

"As governments were democratized, especially in the United States, liberals came to endorse a policy of active public welfare spending and hence government intervention, especially on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged. neoliberalism sought to restore the centralized aristocratic and oligarchic rentier control of domestic politics."

http://michael-hudson.com/2014/01/l-is-for-land/ – "Liberal"

bwilli123 , August 4, 2019 at 7:44 am

"The economic collapse of 2008 was the result of the deregulation of finance. It cost the real U.S. economy upwards of $15 trillion (and vastly more globally), depending on how you count, far more than any conceivable efficiency gain that might be credited to financial innovation ."
That High Priest of neo-Liberalism Alan Greenspan once said, "The only thing useful banks have invented in 20 years is the ATM "

vern lyon , August 4, 2019 at 8:33 am

Sorry, the ATM quote was Paul Volker not Greenspan.

paul , August 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

In my worthless opinion: The private sector is great for what you do not need

The public sector(direction not implementation) is the only way to provide what we all need. 2.5 up maslow's pyramid would suit many.

If you are short of links tomorrow: Craig Murray would be worth a look

Divadab , August 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

Hard to see how the federal government can be gotten back from the cartels at this point- the whole thing is so corrupt. And the "socialism is bad" mantra has captured a lot of easily led brains.

In a political system where the reputedly "labor" party would rather lose with their bribe-taking warmongering Goldwater girl than win with a people's advocate, Houston we have a problem.

As with anthropogenic climate change, the cause is systemic- the political system is based on money control and the economic system is based on unsustainable energy use. Absent a crash, crisis, systematic chaos and destruction I don't see much changing other than at the margins- the corruption is too entrenched.

Watt4Bob , August 4, 2019 at 9:28 am

We were warned about the situation you describe.

The following is a portion of an op-ed piece that appeared in the New York Times On April 4, 1944 . It was written by Henry Wallace, FDR's vice president;

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.

Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.

The full text is quite useful in understanding that there is no question as to how and why we find ourselves in the present predicament, it is the logical outcome of a process that was well understood during FDR's tenure.

That understanding has since been deliberately eradicated by the powerful interests that control our media.

John Zelnicker , August 4, 2019 at 12:04 pm

@Watt4Bob
August 4, 2019 at 9:28 am
-- -- -

Thank you for posting this excerpt.

Very enlightening.

There was a lot of wisdom put forth during and shortly after WWII in both politics (see above) and economics.

For example, there was a Treasury official, whose name I can't remember right now, who understood that the Federal government has no real need to collect taxes. And, Keynesianism prevailed until Milton Friedman and the Chicago School came along and turned everything upside down with Monetarism.

mle in detroit , August 4, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Wow, does Wallace's second paragraph describe today or what?

Ian Perkins , August 4, 2019 at 2:52 pm

My thoughts exactly.

Amfortas the hippie , August 4, 2019 at 10:00 am

"absent a crash " I reckon "unsustainable" is an important word to remember. None of it is sustainable all those spinning plates and balls in the air .and the grasshopper god demands that they keep adding more and more plates and balls.

All based on a bunch of purposefully unexamined assumptions.

... ... ...

Ian Perkins , August 4, 2019 at 10:34 am

Or Edward Abbey: "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

I did an A-level (UK exam for 18 year olds) in economics years ago, and despite passing with an A, I not only couldn't understand this underlying assumption of continued exponential growth forever, I also couldn't understand why anyone couldn't understand its obvious absurdity.
Sustainability was a bit of a new word in those days, but when I discovered it, it summed up my problems with (over-) developed economies.

Carolinian , August 4, 2019 at 9:32 am

To add to the confusion, a different and partly overlapping usage was advanced in the 1970s by the group around the Washington Monthly magazine. They used "neoliberal" to mean a new, less statist form of American liberalism. Around the same time, the term neoconservative was used as a self-description by former liberals who embraced conservatism, on cultural, racial, economic, and foreign-policy grounds. Neoconservatives were neoliberals in economics.

This commenter has been scolded in the past for invoking Charlie Peters and the Washington Monthly rather than Friedman, Hayek etc. But what Peters' highly influential magazine (and the transformed New Republic that followed) did was to bring the Democrats into the neoliberal fold and that may be the real reason it's a beast that can't be killed.

Neoliberalism gave liberals an excuse to sell out in the name of "fresh thinking." Meanwhile the vast working class had become discredited Archie Bunkers in the eyes of the intellectuals after Vietnam and the Civil Rights struggles.

It's possible that what really changed the country was the rise of that middle class that Kuttner now mourns. Suggesting that it was all the result of a rightwing plan is too easy although that was certainly part of it.

David , August 4, 2019 at 10:06 am

I'd add two other consequences of neoliberalism. One is the increasing alienation of citizens from the mechanism for provision of the basic necessities of life. Before the 1980s, for example, water, gas, electricity etc. were provided by publicly-owned utilities with local offices, recognisable local and national structures, and responsible to an elected Minister.

If you had a serious problem, then in the final analysis you could write a letter to your MP, who would take it up with the Minister. Now, you are no longer a citizen but a consumer, and your utilities are provided by some weird private sector thing, owned by another company, owned by some third company, frequently based abroad, and with its customer services outsourced to yet another company which could be anywhere in the world all. All this involves significant transaction costs for individuals, who are expected to conduct sophisticated cost-effectiveness comparisons between providers, when in fact they just want to turn on the tap and have water come out.

The other is that government (and hence the citizen) loses any capacity for strategic planning. Most nationalized industries in Britain were either created because the private sector wasn't interested, or picked up when the private sector went bankrupt (the railways for example). But without ownership, the capacity to decide what you want and get it is much reduced. You can see that with the example of the Minitel – a proto-internet system given away free by the French government through the state-owned France Telecom in the early 1980s, and years ahead of anything else. You literally couldn't do anything similar now.

John Merryman. , August 4, 2019 at 10:35 am

Taking Michael Hudson's work into account, there is a much deeper and older dynamic at work, of which neoliberalism is just the latest itineration.
A possible explanation goes to the nature of money.

As the accounting device that enables mass societies to function, it amounts to a contract between the individual and the community, with one side an asset and the other a debt. Yet as we experience it as quantified hope, we try to save and store it. Consequently, in order to store the asset, similar amounts of debt have to be created.

Which results in a centripedial effect, as positive feedback draws the asset side to the center of the social construct, while negative feedback pushes the debt to the edges. It could be argued this dynamic is the basis of economic hierarchy, not just a consequence.

Yet money and finance function as the economic blood and arteries, circulating value around the entire community, so the effect of this dynamic is like the heart telling the hands and feet they don't need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get.

Basically we have to accept that while money is an effective medium of exchange, it is not a productive store of value. We wouldn't confuse blood with fat, or roads with parking lots, so it should be possible to learn to store value in tangibles, like the strong communities and healthy environments that will give us the safety and security we presumably save money for.

As a medium, we own money like we own the section of road we are using, or the fluids passing through our bodies. Let the neoliberals chew on that.

tegnost , August 4, 2019 at 11:39 am

Yet money and finance function as the economic blood and arteries, circulating value around the entire community, so the effect of this dynamic is like the heart telling the hands and feet they don't need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get.

nice image of a not so nice dynamic

John Merryman. , August 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Thanks. Political persuasion is about keeping it simple. How about; Government was once private. It was called monarchy. Do we want to go back there, or do we need to better understand the balance between public and private? Even houses have spaces that are public and spaces that are private.

pjay , August 4, 2019 at 10:44 am

This is, indeed, an excellent historical overview, evoking some of Kuttner's best writing over the decades. I would recommend it with no hesitation.

On the other hand, Kuttner's American Prospect has also provided cover for some damaging faux-progressive enablers of neoliberalism over those decades (IMHO). A puzzlement.

P S BAKER , August 4, 2019 at 10:45 am

An excellent exegesis – this is going to be my go-to summary from now on. Many thanks.

Sal , August 4, 2019 at 11:20 am

I must remind everyone that Bob Kuttner is no longer what he used to be. Bob Kuttner was against progressive Dem candidates like Bernie in 2016, and was in bed with THE neoliberal candidate ..With the passage of time, Kuttner has evolved into a partisan for the sake of partisanship, instead of being principled.

tegnost , August 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm

after reading your comment I went through the post again and found these suspicious points

"The failure of neoliberalism as economic and social policy does not mean that markets never work. A command economy is even more utopian and perverse than a neoliberal one. The practical quest is for an efficient and equitable middle ground. "

so, get in front of the riot and call it a parade? Maybe a little bit. Also

"Nonetheless, in many sectors of the economy, the process of buying and selling is close enough to the textbook conditions of perfect competition that the price system works tolerably well. Supermarkets, for instance, deliver roughly accurate prices because of the consumer's freedom and knowledge to shop around. Likewise much of retailing . However, when we get into major realms of the economy with positive or negative externalities, such as education and health, markets are not sufficient. And in other major realms, such as pharmaceuticals, where corporations use their political power to rig the terms of patents, the market doesn't produce a cure."

Probably not working so well for the employees or the farm workers who get food on the shelf
I guess maybe not practical to change that dynamic? That said, as history the post is as good as anything else I've seen, and reads well, but maybe does need a grain of salt to make it more palatable.

Camelotkidd , August 4, 2019 at 11:35 am

"Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way."

In an otherwise good article the author makes a fundamental error. As Phillip Mirowski patiently explains in Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, neoliberalism is not laissez faire. Neoliberal desire a strong government to implement their market based nirvana, as long as they control government.

Hayek's Heelbiter , August 4, 2019 at 11:43 am

The best summation on the failure of neoliberalism I've ever read. Will share widely Still nipping. Maybe one day I'll be able to take a real bite!

shinola , August 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm

"[ .] was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform."

That missing first word could easily be neoliberalism; however, that sentence was actually pulled from a definition of Social Darwinism.

[Aug 04, 2019] The Last Western Empire by The Saker

The entire point of the Ukraine conflict was to drive a wedge between natural allies in Europe: Russia and Germany. Together they would form the most powerful economic block on earth. This is USA greatest fear. Luckily for USA, they succeeded in blocking this alliance...
Aug 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

It all began during what I think of as the " Kristallnacht of international law," 30 August September 1995, when the Empire attacked the Bosnian-Serbs in a direct and total violation of all the most fundamental principles of international law. Then there was 9/11, which gave the Neocons the "right" (or so they claimed) to threaten, attack, bomb, kill, maim, kidnap, assassinate, torture, blackmail and otherwise mistreat any person, group or nation on the planet simply because " we are the indispensable nation " and " you either are with the terrorists or with us ". During these same years, we saw Europe become a third-rate US colony incapable of defending even fundamental European geopolitical interests while the US became a third-rate colony of Israel equally incapable of defending even fundamental US geopolitical interests. Most interestingly looking back, while the US and the EU were collapsing under the weight of their own mistakes, Russia and China were clearly on the ascend; Russia mostly in military terms (see here and here ) and China mostly economically. Most crucially, Russia and China gradually agreed to become symbionts which, I would argue, is even stronger and more meaningful than if these two countries were united by some kind of formal alliance: alliances can be broken (especially when a western nation is involved), but symbiotic relationships usually last forever (well, nothing lasts forever, of course, but when a lifespan is measured in decades, it is the functional equivalent of "forever", at least in geostrategic analytical terms). The Chinese have now developed an official, special, and unique expression to characterize that relationship with Russia. They speak of a "Strategic, comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era."

... ... ...

Empires cannot only trade. Trade alone is simply not enough to remain a viable empire. Empires also need military force, and not just any military force, but the kind of military force which makes resistance futile. The truth is that NO modern country has anywhere near the capabilities needed to replace the US in the role of World Hegemon: not even uniting the Russian and Chinese militaries would achieve that result since these two countries do not have:

1) a worldwide network of bases (which the US have, between 700-1000 depending on how you count)

2) a major strategic air-lift and sea-lift power projection capability

3) a network of so-called "allies" (colonial puppets, really) which will assist in any deployment of military force

...

neither China nor Russia have any interests in policing the planet or imposing some regime change on other countries. All they really want is to be safe from the US, that's it.

This new reality is particularly visible in the Middle-East where countries like the United States, Israel or Saudi Arabia (this is the so-called "Axis of Kindness") are currently only capable of deploying a military capable of massacring civilians or destroy the infrastructure of a country, but which cannot be used effectively against the two real regional powers with a modern military: Iran and Turkey.

But the most revealing litmus test was the US attempt to bully Venezuela back into submission. For all the fire and brimstone threats coming out of DC, the entire "Bolton plan(s?)" for Venezuela has/have resulted in a truly embarrassing failure: if the Sole "Hyperpower" on the planet cannot even overpower a tremendously weakened country right in its backyard, a country undergoing a major crisis, then indeed the US military should stick to the invasion of small countries like Monaco, Micronesia or maybe the Vatican (assuming the Swiss guard will not want to take a shot at the armed reps of the "indispensable nation"). The fact is that an increasing number of medium-sized "average" countries are now gradually acquiring the means to resist a US attack.

So if the writing is on the wall for the AngloZionist Empire, and if no country can replace the US as imperial world hegemon, what does that mean?

It means the following: 1000 years of European imperialism is coming to an end !

This time around, neither Spain nor the UK nor Austria will take the place of the US and try to become a world hegemon. In fact, there is not a single European nation which has a military even remotely capable of engaging the kind of "colony pacification" operations needed to keep your colonies in a suitable state of despair and terror. The French had their very last hurray in Algeria, the UK in the Falklands, Spain can't even get Gibraltar back, and Holland has no real navy worth speaking about. As for central European countries, they are too busy brown-nosing the current empire to even think of becoming an empire (well, except Poland, of course, which dreams of some kind of Polish Empire between the Baltic and the Black Sea; let them, they have been dreaming about it for centuries, and they will still dream about it for many centuries to come ).

Now compare European militaries with the kind of armed forces you can find in Latin America or Asia? There is such a knee-jerk assumption of superiority in most Anglos that they completely fail to realize that medium and even small-sized countries can develop militaries sufficient enough to make an outright US invasion impossible or, at least, any occupation prohibitively expensive in terms of human lives and money (see here , here and here ). This new reality also makes the typical US missile/airstrike campaign pretty useless: they will destroy a lot of buildings and bridges, they will turn the local TV stations ("propaganda outlets" in imperial terminology) into giant piles of smoking rubble and dead bodies, and they kill plenty of innocents, but that won't result in any kind of regime change. The striking fact is that if we accept that warfare is the continuation of politics by other means, then we also have to admit, that under that definition, the US armed forces are totally useless since they cannot help the US achieve any meaningful political goals.

The truth is that in military and economic terms, the "West" has already lost. The fact that those who understand don't talk, and that those who talk about this (denying it, of course) have no understanding of what is taking place, makes no difference at all.

...Indeed, if the Neocons don't blow up the entire planet in a nuclear holocaust, the US and Europe will survive, but only after a painful transition period which could last for a decade or more. One of the factors which will immensely complicate the transition from Empire to "regular" country will be the profound and deep influence 1000 years of imperialism have had on the western cultures, especially in the completely megalomaniac United States ( Professor John Marciano's "Empire as a way of life" lecture series addresses this topic superbly – I highly recommend them!): One thousand years of brainwashing are not so easily overcome, especially on the subconscious (assumptions) level.


peterAUS , says: August 1, 2019 at 3:55 am GMT

.no less pathological a revival of racist/racialist theories .

. the current megalomania ("We are the White Race! We built Athens and Rome! We are Evropa!!!") .

. the current waves of immigrants are nothing more than a 1000 years of really bad karma returning to where it came from initially..

Good to know.

The scalpel , says: Website August 1, 2019 at 4:19 am GMT

what does the collapse of the AngloZionist Empire really mean?

It means civil war, very likely nuclear civil war

Biff , says: August 1, 2019 at 5:08 am GMT
Well, the number one factor keeping empire in a hegemonic stance is the hegemonic U.S. dollar. The empire isn't going anywhere as long as the dollar remains as the worlds reserve currency. Most of planetary trade goes through Brussels and Wall Street denoted in dollars. Most of the credit cards carried and used around the world are SWIFT creations.

How and where this will change will be more telling than where the military loses its last battle.

Tom67 , says: August 1, 2019 at 5:39 am GMT
A usual tour de force by the Saker. But one can see things also very differently.

– Western Imperialism: the Holy Roman Empire never had any colonies. Nor did any of the Eastern European states. Nor did the Italians states save for the farcical attempts of Mussolini

– Whas the Turkish empire also due to the Frankish imperialistic popish impulse?

– What the Saker is talking about here are basically GB, France and Holland.

– What about the Russian Empire? What was it but a colonial enterprise? And will rump Russia endure? I have my doubts. Putin ended the Chechen war by giving Chechnya de facto if not de jure self governance. Right now things are okey dokey as Russia is bribing Kadyrov and Kadyrov and Putin having a special personal relationship. But what if circumstances change? Putin not being there any more and some new Russian government tries to enforce its writ in Chechnya? On top there is the birthrate in the Caucasus which is two times the Russian birthrate. Will all those different nationalities still feel bound to Russia in the future? And will Russians be willing to subsidise the Caucasus for ever?

– The "symbiosis" between Russia and China is laughable. As soon as the Anglo-Zionist empire really collapses the differences between Russia and China will come to the fore.

To get China´s help after the Ukraine crisis Russia had to give China a free hand in Mongolia. Before Russia had always seen to it that Mongolia didn´t get too dependent on China. Half of the foreign exchange of Mongolia was earned by the Russian-Mongolian copper mine of Erdenet. Three years ago Russia sold its share in Erdenet. By now Erdenet has been pledged by Mongolias venal politicians as collateral for Chinese loans.

Also China has certainly never forgot that the Russian far East was part of the Qing empire until the 1850s.Tthis will be brought up again as soon as Russia is sufficiently weak.

Russia was forced into the alliance with China by the West. The only industrial sphere where Russia does indeed have world class expertise is in armaments. After Ukraine Russia was forced to share its technology with China. And China will definately put this new knowledge to good use and in the not so far future overtake Russia in this particular field of expertise. Then watch what will happen.

– China not interested in old fashioned imperial politics. That is laughable as well. China has a base in Ceylon now that they got as collateral for a loan that Ceylon couldn´t repay. China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philipines, Indonesia and Vietnam. To back up these claims with military muscle they build navy bases all over the Spratley islands

– China is getting more and more carbon hydrates through pipelines from Central Asia. At the same time it is mass imprisoning its Turkic population (Uyghus, Kazakhs and Kirgiz). The way the Chinese treat those people is exactly racist in the way the Saker has described the European relationship to the rest of the world. If you are a businessman in any one of those countries you will not be allowed to interact with people of the same faith, culture and almost the same language who live just across the border in Xinjiang.

The Chinese government has seen to the fact that any member of those minorities lives in mortal fear of any contact with foreigners. Any business must now be conducted only with ethnic Chinese. And as as a Kirghiz or Kazakh national you are not distuingishable from a Kirgiz or Kazakh from Xinjiang you will suffer the same indignities as them when you travel to Xinjiang.

As venal and corrupt as the elites of the "Stans" might be: even they perceive Chinese actions in neighbouring Xinjiang as so grossly offensive that they hardly hide their disdain anymore. In fact I talked to a journalist last week who was present at the latest SCO gathering in Bishkek. She was astonished at the level of Sinophobia she accountered.

So on the one hand China is in the process of acquiring more and more of the ressources of the Stans. But on the other hand it is worsening its relationship with the peoples of these countries.

The Stans are still ruled by the same Soviet nomenklatura. There has been no real change. The question is how stable this arrangement is. It definately fits the requirement of the Chinese but the longer this lasts the more the elites of the Stans are coming between China and their own population.

China is well aware of this. To protect its investment it might have to use force in the future. And that is what I expect to happen in case one of those pipelines is interrupted. Not so different from what the West is doing in the Middle East. All that talk of the Saker about "good" and "bad" civilisations and promised land once the Anglo-Zionist ascendancy is over is just that: empty words.

In reality Nitzsche is still right: States are the coldest of cold monsters.

hunor , says: August 1, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
It is incredibly , wickedly absurd and naïve to even think that , what you call an empire
will go down without a world shattering fight.
It is mindless ignorance not to notice the handwriting on the wall.
This entity you call empire , has been preparing for this event for centuries.
They are telling it in our face directly , " new world order", " full spectrum domination"
They have what nobody else has , a proactive plan, a global network of military bases, and
the scariest part is the fact , that they have no moral barriers to say that, it is not going to be a fair fight. No hold barred ! No laws ! No rules of engagement! The end justifies the means !
On the end they will not win in fact nobody will .
But the old must die for the new to be .
Our desire to become brought us to this point , it was an exiting ride , but the new humans
will have a " climate change " of consciousness .
That is not a silly hope , that is logic based clearly on design.
anon [102] Disclaimer , says: August 1, 2019 at 9:13 am GMT

Both US Americans and Europeans will, for the very first time in their history, have to behave like civilized people, which means that their traditional "model of development" (ransacking the entire planet and robbing everybody blind) will have to be replaced by one in which these US Americans and Europeans will have to work like everybody else to accumulate riches.

Most Americans don't get to collect welfare. Most Americans have to get jobs and pay for stuff. Most Americans who work do NOT accumulate riches – they go broke. Probably the elite .01% – guys like Jeff Bezos and Jeff Epstein and Bernie Madoff – can get rich and accumulate riches. That is not "AngloZionist." It's just Zionist.

[Aug 03, 2019] The US elite realised that globalization no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it.

Notable quotes:
"... US President Trump does not do that in order to dismantle the dollar or US hegemony because of so called isolationism, as some may think. Trump does that in order to save US hegemony, implementing policies, in my opinion, devised by the US military/intelligence/science community. They now want to hamper globalisation and create fortress US, in order to bring back manufacturing and save as much as possible of the US Empire. Chaos and lack of cooperation in the world benefit the US. They now realise globalisation no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it." ..."
"... Trump and his trade negotiators continue to insist on China agreeing to an unequal trade treaty. ..."
"... IMO, China can continue to refuse and stand up for its principles, while the world looks on and nods its head in agreement with China as revealed by the increasing desire of nations to become a BRI partner. ..."
"... It should be noted that Trump's approach while differing from the one pushed by Obama/Kerry/Clinton the goal is the same since the Empire needs the infusion of loot from China to keep its financial dollarized Ponzi Scheme functioning. ..."
"... Russia's a target too, but most of its available loot was already grabbed during the 1990s. ..."
"... I keep going back to believing that multilateralism is a code word for no longer allowing empire global private finance hegemony and fiat money. ..."
"... The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire and its associated corporations and vassal nations checkmates what you think Trump's trying to accomplish. Hudson has explained it all very well in a series of recent papers and interviews: Neoliberalism is all about growing Financial Capitalism and using it to exert control/hegemony on all aspects of political-economy. ..."
"... Trump hasn't proposed any new policy to accomplish his MAGA pledge other than engaging in economic warfare with most other nations. His is a Unilateral Pirate Ship out to plunder all and sundry, including those that elected him. ..."
Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by | Aug 2 2019 23:39 utc | 30

I will mention this again, to see what people here think, as they are intelligent people. I sent mails to Russian and Chinese authorities about this.

"I will provide you with possible reasons behind the current trade wars and rejection of globalisation by the US. In short, they think that they will save their hegemony, to a certain degree, that way.

There are long term GDP Growth and Socioeconomic Scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the OECD, and the world scientific community. They are generally used to measure the impact of Climate change on the World. In order to measure it, Socioeconomic Scenarios were developed, as the level of economic growth in the world is very important for determining the impact of Climate Change in the future. High growth levels will obviously affect Climate Change, so these GDP estimates are important. The scenarios are with time horizon 2100.

For more on this you can check these studies here, some of the many dealing with this topic. They describe the scenarios for the world.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378016300681#sec0025

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378015000837

There are 5 main scenarios, or "Shared Socioeconomic Pathways". All of them describe different worlds.

See SSP 3. A world of rivalry, trade wars, trade barriers, lack of global cooperation, and fragmentation, will lead to lower level of growth in the developing world, and thus a slow catch up process. Multipolarity in such a world is weak as the developing world is hampered.

In other words, a world of cooperation between countries will lead to higher economic growth in the developing world, faster catch up process, and thus stronger multipolarity.

Low cooperation, fragmented world, high conflict scenarios consistently lead to low growth in the developing world and thus to the US and the West retaining some of its positions - a world with overall bad economy and low level of multipolarity.

Basically, globalisation is key. The developing world (ex West) was growing slowly before globalisation (before 1990). Globalisation means sharing of technology and knowledge, and companies investing in poorer countries. Outsourcing of western manufacturing. Etc. After globalisation started in 1990, the developing world is growing very well. It is globalisation that is weakening the relative power of the West and empowering the developing world. The US now needs to kill globalisation if it is to stop its relative decline.

So what do we see: exactly attempts to create the SSP 3 scenario. Trade wars, sanctions, attacks on multilateral institutions - the WTO, on international law, on the Paris Climate Change Agreement (which if accepted would put constraints on the US economy), on the UN, bullying of Europe, lack of care for european energy needs, support for Brexit (which weakens Europe), crack down on chinese students and scientists in the US, crack down on chinese access to western science data, demands to remove the perks for poor countries in the WTO, etc. This is hitting economic growth in the whole world and the global economy currently is not well. By destroying the world economy, the US benefits as it hampers the rise of the developing nations.

US President Trump does not do that in order to dismantle the dollar or US hegemony because of so called isolationism, as some may think. Trump does that in order to save US hegemony, implementing policies, in my opinion, devised by the US military/intelligence/science community. They now want to hamper globalisation and create fortress US, in order to bring back manufacturing and save as much as possible of the US Empire. Chaos and lack of cooperation in the world benefit the US. They now realise globalisation no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it."

karlof1 , Aug 2 2019 23:55 utc | 31

psychohistorian @11--

You ask, "The concept of multilateralism is not completely clear to me in relation to the global public/private finance issue and I am not of faith but of questions...."

Wikileaks definition :

"In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal."

The key point for the Chinese during negotiations as I understand them via their published White Paper on the subject is development and the international rules put in place at WTO for nations placed into the Developing category, which get some preferential treatment to help their economies mature. As China often reminds the global public--and officials of the Outlaw US Empire--both the BRI and EAEU projects are about developing the economies of developing economies, that the process is designed to be a Win-Win for all the developing economies involved. This of course differs vastly from what's known as the Washington Consensus, where all developing economies kowtow to the Outlaw US Empire's diktat via the World Bank and IMF and thus become enslaved by dollar dependency/debt. Much is written about the true nature of the Washington Consensus, Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Klein's Disaster Capitalism being two of the more recent and devastating, and many nations are able to attest to the Zero-sum results. The result is very few nations are willing to subject their economies to the pillaging via Washington Consensus institutions, which Hudson just recently reviewed.

The Empire is desperate and is looking for ways to keep its Super Imperialism intact and thus continue its policy aimed at Full Spectrum Dominance. But the Empire's abuse of the dollar-centric institutions of international commerce has only served to alienate its users who are openly and actively seeking to form parallel institutions under genuine multilateral control. However as Hudson illustrates, Trump doesn't know what he's doing regarding his trade and international monetary policies. Today's AP above the fold headline in Eugene's The Register Guard screamed "Trump threatens 10% tariffs;" but unusually for such stories, it explains that the 10% is essentially a tax on US consumers, not on Chinese companies, which provides a message opposite of the one Trump wants to impart--that he's being tough on the Chinese when the opposite's true. China will continue to resist the attempts to allow the international financial sharks to swim in Chinese waters as China is well aware of what they'll attempt to accomplish--and it's far easier to keep them out than to get them out once allowed in, although China's anti-corruption laws ought to scare the hell out of the CEOs of those corps.

The Empire wants to continue its longstanding Open Door policy in the realm of target nations opening their economies to the full force of Imperial-based corps so they can use their financial might to wrestle the market from domestic players and institute their Oligopoly. China already experienced the initial Open Door (which was aimed at getting Uncle Sam's share of China during the Unequal Treaties period 115 years ago) and will not allow that to recur. China invokes its right under WTO rules for developing economies to protect their financial services sector from predation; the Empire argues China is beyond a developing economy and must drop its shields. We've read what Hudson advised the Chinese to do--resist and develop a publicly-based yuan-centered financial system that highly taxes privatized rent-seekers while keeping and enhancing state-provided insurance--health, home, auto, life, etc--while keeping restrictions on foreign land ownership since it's jot allowed to purchase similar assets within the domestic US market.

The Outlaw US Empire insists that China give so it can take. Understandably, China says no; what we allow you to do, you should allow us to do. Trump and his trade negotiators continue to insist on China agreeing to an unequal trade treaty. Obviously, the latest proposal was merely a repetition of what came before and was rejected as soon as the meeting got underway, so it ended as quickly as it started. IMO, China can continue to refuse and stand up for its principles, while the world looks on and nods its head in agreement with China as revealed by the increasing desire of nations to become a BRI partner.

It should be noted that Trump's approach while differing from the one pushed by Obama/Kerry/Clinton the goal is the same since the Empire needs the infusion of loot from China to keep its financial dollarized Ponzi Scheme functioning.

Russia's a target too, but most of its available loot was already grabbed during the 1990s. D-Party Establishment candidates have yet to let it be known they'll try to do what Trump's failing to do, which of course has nothing to do with aiding the US consumer and everything to do with bolstering Wall Street's Ponzi Scheme.

Passer by | Aug 3 2019 0:06 utc | 32

karlof1 , Aug 2 2019 23:55 utc | 31

Good comment, karlof1 , i think that the attack against China is attack against the heart of multipolarity. It will be good if b could post about the escalation of the trade war. This is important. The US clearly intends to resist multipoarity, and tries to stop it.

karlof1 , Aug 3 2019 0:19 utc | 34
@ karlof1 with the response...thanks

If I would have had my act together last night I would have posted another link fro Xinhuanet (can't find now) about how China wants to retain developing nation status and provides as data that the (I think) per capita GDP had gone down....gotten worse in relation to the US per capita GDP.

I keep going back to believing that multilateralism is a code word for no longer allowing empire global private finance hegemony and fiat money.

Passer by @30--

The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire and its associated corporations and vassal nations checkmates what you think Trump's trying to accomplish. Hudson has explained it all very well in a series of recent papers and interviews: Neoliberalism is all about growing Financial Capitalism and using it to exert control/hegemony on all aspects of political-economy.

Thus, there's no need to sponsor the reindustrialization that would lead to MAGA. Indeed, Trump hasn't proposed any new policy to accomplish his MAGA pledge other than engaging in economic warfare with most other nations. His is a Unilateral Pirate Ship out to plunder all and sundry, including those that elected him.

In your outline, it's very easy to see why BRI is so attractive to other nations as it forwards SSP1. Awhile ago during a discussion of China's development goals, I posted links to its program that's very ambitious and doing very well with its implementation, the main introduction portal being here .

William Gruff , Aug 3 2019 0:28 utc | 35
psychohistorian @11 asked: "The concept of multilateralism is not completely clear to me in relation to the global public/private finance issue and I am not of faith but of questions...."

karlof1 @31 covered it pretty well I think, but I want to try to answer in just a couple sentences (unusual for me).

Global private finance is driven by one thing and one thing only: making maximum profits for the owners quarter by financial quarter. Global public finance is driven by the agendas of the nations with the public finance, with profits being a secondary or lesser issue.

This boils down to private finance being forever slave to the mindless whims of "The Market™" (hallowed be Its name), while public finance is, by its nature, something that is planned and deliberated. Nobody can guess where "The Market™" (hallowed be Its name) will lead society, though people with the resources like placing bets in stock markets on the direction It is taking us. On the other hand, if people have an idea which direction society should be heading in, public control over finance is a precondition to making it so.

Passer by , Aug 3 2019 0:32 utc | 36
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2019 0:19 utc | 34

"The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire"

I'm not sure this will be the case anymore -

Former heads of DHS and NSA explain how the U.S. can keep Huawei at bay

"Perhaps more importantly, this proposal demonstrates one way the U.S. can reinforce elements of what the government calls the “national technology and industrial base” (NTIB), the collection of companies who design, build and supply the U.S. with vital national-security related technologies."

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/11/chertoff-mcconnell-us-needs-to-have-more-allies-to-bypass-huawei.html

[Aug 03, 2019] China's UN Envoy Says If US Wants To Fight, We Will Fight, Warns Beijing Will No Longer Allow Hong Kong Protests

Aug 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

he war of words between the world's top superpowers is getting more heated by the hour.

China's new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said on Friday that if the United States wanted to fight China on trade, "then we will fight" and warned that Beijing was prepared to take countermeasures over new U.S. tariffs, Reuters reports.

"China's position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight," he told reporters. Calling Trump latest tariff announcement an "irrational, irresponsible act", Jun said that China "definitely will take whatever necessary countermeasures to protect our fundamental right, and we also urge the United States to come back to the right track in finding the right solution through the right way." The ambassador also took a stab at the disintegration of good relations between the US and North Korea (with Beijing's blessing no doubt), saying that "you cannot simply ask DPRK to do as much as possible while you maintain the sanctions against DPRK, that definitely is not helpful" Yun said siding the the Kim regime. It was more than obvious who the "you" he referred to was.

Pouring more salt on the sound, the Chinese diplomat said North Korea should be encourage, and "we think at an appropriate time there should be action taken to ease the sanctions", explicitly taking Pyongyang's side in the ongoing diplomatic saga between Kim and Trump.

When asked if China's trade relations with the United States could harm cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea, Zhang said it would be difficult to predict. He added: "It will be hard to imagine that on the one hand you are seeking the cooperation from your partner, and on the other hand you are hurting the interests of your partner."

As North Korea's ally and neighbor, China's role in agreeing to and enforcing international sanctions on the country over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs has been crucial.

However, it is what he said last that was most notable, as it touched on what will likely be the next big geopolitical swan, namely Hong Kong. To wit, Jun said that while Beijing is willing to cooperate with UN member states, it will never allow interference in "internal affairs" such as the controversial regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, and - last but not least - Hong Kong.

And in the latest warning to the defiant financial capital of the Pacific Rim, Jun virtually warned that a Chinese incursion is now just a matter of time, he said that Hong Kong protests are "really turning out to be chaotic and violent and we should no longer allow them to continue this reprehensible behavior."

... ... ...

[Aug 03, 2019] Bloomberg Economics initial estimate of the additional costs of U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliation sees both economies taking a 0.2% hit to GDP by 2021

This might speed up "Trump recession"
Aug 03, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump's threat Thursday to put 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports that aren't subject to his existing levies sent markets tumbling from Asia to Europe and in the U.S. on Friday. The new tax would hit American consumers, and businesses are going to face even more supply disruptions . China has already vowed to retaliate if Trump follows through.

Bloomberg Economics ' initial estimate of the additional costs of U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliation sees both economies taking a 0.2% hit to GDP by 2021.

Meanwhile, a simmering trade fight between Japan and South Korea is boiling over , putting the health of two Asian export powers at stake. In Europe, concerns are mounting for a hard U.K. exit from the European Union.

The week ended with fresh numbers out of Washington that show U.S. trade actually declined during the first six months of the year as exports flattened out.

[Aug 03, 2019] The USA begun to degenerate economically after the "stagflation" crisis (triggered by the oil crisis of 1974-5) that effectively destroyed the prestige of Keynesianism in the West and paved the way to the rise of Neoliberalism as the new main capitalist doctrine (Neoliberalism existed since the 1930s).

Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Aug 3 2019 14:18 utc | 91

@ Posted by: Hor, Jennifer | Aug 3 2019 11:33 utc | 77

The Nordic nations became rich welfare states in the post-war for different reasons.

Sweden already was a rich kingdom/country since the end of the 18th Century. In both WW it managed to stay neutral, so it went through them relatively unscathed.

Norway was a very poor country until North Sea oil was discovered at the beginning of the 1980s.

I don't know the case of Denmark.

Finland was a poor country which was basically rebuild from zero in the aftermath of WWII, thanks to the neutrality pact between the USA and the USSR. It was decided that Finland would be a very prosperous country, without many inner social contradictions, in exchange for absolute neutrality during the Cold War.

Iceland was very frugal, simple and classless village of fishermen that suddenly became very prosperous after the 1990s thanks to the sudden expansion of the world banking sector.

You see, all these countries became prosperous for different reasons. But what they all had in common was:

1) they all had relatively strong socialist parties/well-organized working classes in the aftermath of the WWII (except Iceland); and

2) all of them were insignificant countries in a very significant geographic location (frontier between Iron Curtain and Western Europe). Iceland's case is emblematic in this aspect, since it won the Cod Wars against a much more powerful enemy (the UK) solely on its geography (as the main outpost of the GIUK gap).

To put it simply, the countries which managed to create "welfare states" were countries usually at the cordon sanitaire area that, in a very smart and eventful way, managed to successfully use both superpowers to extract maximum wealth from an USA that, at the time, still had the material means to make small countries rich and prosperous (Taiwan and South Korea were the most emblematic cases in this aspect: both begun their respective industrialization essentially by blackmailing the USA and the USA/Japan, respectively).

As we well know now, the welfare state quickly evaporated when:

a) the USA begun to degenerate economically after the "stagflation" crisis (triggered by the oil crisis of 1974-5) that effectively destroyed the prestige of Keynesianism in the West and paved the way to the rise of Neoliberalism as the new main capitalist doctrine (Neoliberalism existed since the 1930s). According to the Keynesian "theory", stagflation was impossible, since supply should always equal demand (so, when unemployment falls, inflation goes up and vice versa). Stagflation saw both high unemployment and high inflation. Capitalism's "lifeblood" is the profit rate, and as those begun to fall, America begun to impose a series of financial weapons which undermined the spreading of the social-democrat consensus of the post-war, in a process that culminated with the Plaza Accord (1985) – which killed Japanese and German industrialization.

b) the USSR was destroyed from within in 1991, ending the menace from without and, thus, the working classes of the cordon sanitaire area main leverage against the capitalists of their own country. The USA now is the world solitary superpower and can do what it pleases.

[Aug 03, 2019] Trump created a significant motivation in Europe and even China in creating a real alternative to the US dollar for international transactions which bypasses US banks. If this happens to any significant degree, it would undercut the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, resulting in a permanent drop in its value.

Aug 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Noel Nospamington , August 3, 2019 at 10:50 am

I think that 10 years from now the biggest impact from Trump will be from his cancellation of the Iran nuclear accord and unilateral imposition of strict sanctions which the Europeans were not able to bypass in any meaningful way due the prevalence of the US dollar in global transactions.

There is now significant motivation in Europe and even China in creating a real alternative to the US dollar for international transactions which bypasses US banks. If this happens to any significant degree, it would undercut the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, resulting in a permanent drop in its value.

Without international support, US Government deficits and trade deficits will become unsustainable, and there will be a significant drop in the American median standard of living.

[Aug 03, 2019] Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 23, 2019 at 10:34 AM

Remember all those lies Krugman, EMike and Kurt said about "Bernie Bros?" Well turns out they are the out of touch elites, not Sanders supporters. They were projecting. Krugman won't even go all in for Warren!!!

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/12/sanders-warren-voters-2020-1408548

Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common
His backers are younger, make less money, have fewer degrees and are less engaged in politics.

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN
07/12/2019 05:01 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA -- Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are two of the most ideologically aligned candidates in the Democratic primary -- both left-wing populists who rail against a "rigged" economic system.

But the fellow enemies of the 1 percent have surprisingly different bases of support.

In poll after poll, Sanders appeals to lower-income and less-educated people; Warren beats Sanders among those with postgraduate degrees. Sanders performs better with men, Warren with women. Younger people who vote less frequently are more often in Sanders' camp; seniors who follow politics closely generally prefer Warren.

Sanders also has won over more African Americans than Warren: He earns a greater share of support from black voters than any candidate in the race except for Joe Biden, according to the latest Morning Consult surveys.

For progressive activists, who are gathering this week in Philadelphia at the annual Netroots Nation conference, it's both promising and a source of concern that the two leading left-wingers in the primary attract such distinct fans. It demonstrates that a progressive economic message can excite different parts of the electorate, but it also means that Sanders and Warren likely need to expand their bases in order to win the Democratic nomination.

Put another way, if their voters could magically be aligned behind one or the other, it would vastly increase the odds of a Democratic nominee on the left wing of the ideological spectrum.

The fact that Warren and Sanders' bases don't perfectly overlap hasn't garnered much public attention, but it's something very much on the minds of their aides and allies.

"It shows that the media does not base their perceptions on data that is publicly available," said Ari Rabin-Havt, chief of staff to the Sanders campaign. "I think people develop overly simplistic views of politics that presume that people who live in the real world think the same way as elite media in D.C. and New York."

It's not a given that Sanders voters would flock to Warren, or vice versa, if one of them left the race and endorsed the other. In Morning Consult, Reuters-Ipsos and Washington Post-ABC News polls, more Sanders supporters name Biden as their second choice than Warren -- and a higher percentage of Warren voters pick Kamala Harris as their No. 2 than Sanders, according to recent surveys.

Wes Bode, a retired contractor in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, illustrates the point: He said he likes that Sanders has "new ideas," such as free college tuition, and recently attended one of his town halls in the state. But he's fond of Biden, too, because he's "for the working man."

It might seem unusual that a voter's top picks for 2020 are the two candidates who best represent the opposite poles of the Democratic Party. But a person like Bode is actually more common than someone like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose favorites are Sanders and Warren.

For Sanders, the need to grow his base is a problem that dates back to his 2016 run. He failed to win the nomination that year in large part because he was unable to win over older voters, especially older voters of color.

"Two places where Bernie has always struggled with is older voters and women to some degree," said Mark Longabaugh, a top strategist to Sanders in 2016. "Warren is identifiably a Democrat and runs as a Democrat, so I think many more establishment Democrats in the party are more drawn to her -- whereas Bernie very intentionally ran for reelection as an independent and identifies as an independent, and appeals to those who look inside the Democratic Party and think it's not their thing."

During the 2020 campaign, Sanders' advisers have acknowledged that he needs to appeal more to older voters, and he's recently been holding more intimate events in the early states that tend to attract more senior crowds than his rallies do. His team is also trying hard to expand the primary electorate by turning out infrequent voters.

Warren, meanwhile, is aggressively working to win African American support. Her allies argue that her performance at events such as Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention and the She the People conference show that she has room to grow among black voters.

"If you were looking to buy a rising stock, you would look at future market share and indicators of strong fundamentals," said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which backs Warren. "Elizabeth Warren has consistently connected on a gut level with black audiences ... getting standing ovations after connecting her inspiring plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and being a single mom in Texas."

Several Democratic operatives said they believe Warren has the ability to expand her base to include black women in particular.

"She impressed 2,000 top women of color activists at [our conference]," said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People. "Elizabeth Warren has deepened, sharpened and made racial justice a grounding component of her policies."

A look at their poll numbers shows how distinct the pools of support for Sanders vs. Warren are.

Twenty-two percent of Democratic primary voters who earn less than $50,000 annually support Sanders, while 12 percent are for Warren, according to an average of the past four weeks of Morning Consult polling. Of those without college degrees, 22 percent are behind Sanders; 10 percent back Warren.

Roughly the same percentage of voters with bachelor's degrees -- 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively -- support Sanders and Warren. But among those with postgraduate degrees, 12 percent are for Sanders and 19 percent are for Warren.

There's a similar split based on age, gender and interest in politics. Sanders wins more than one-third of the 18- to 29-year-olds, while Warren gets 11 percent of them. Warren has the support of 13 percent of those aged 30 to 44, 12 percent of those aged 45 to 54, and 13 percent of those aged both 55 to 64 and 65 and up. Sanders' support goes down as the age of voters goes up: He is backed by 25 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds, 17 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 12 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds, and 8 percent of those 65 and older.

Twenty percent of men support Sanders and 11 percent support Warren; 18 percent of women are behind Sanders and 14 percent are behind Warren.

Warren also performs best among voters who are "extremely interested" in politics (winning 17 percent of them), while Sanders is strongest among those who are "not at all interested" (26 percent).

As for black voters, 19 percent are behind Sanders, while 9 percent support Warren.

With Biden still atop most polls, even after a widely panned performance at the first Democratic debate, some progressives still fear that Warren and Sanders could divide the left and hand the nomination to the former vice president.

"There's a lot of time left in this campaign," said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the liberal think tank Data for Progress. "But one thing that's clear is that it's very important for the left that we ensure that we don't split the field and allow someone like Joe Biden to be the nominee."

[Aug 03, 2019] Warren has moved beyond campaign rhetoric by introducing Bill on student debt in the Senate and a co-bill in the House by Rep. Clyburn

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , July 24, 2019 at 04:58 AM

S. Warren has moved beyond campaign rhetoric by introducing this Bill in the Senate and a co-bill in the House by Rep. Clyburn

She's REAL, not a phony like the others

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/elizabeth-warren-on-student-loans-new-bill-would-cancel-debt-for-millions/ar-AAEK4MO

"Elizabeth Warren on student loans: New bill would cancel debt for millions"

By Katie Lobosco, CNN...18 hrs ago

"Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is introducing a bill Tuesday that would cancel the student loan debts of tens of millions of Americans, a plan she first proposed on the campaign trail in April.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is partnering with South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, also a Democrat, who will sponsor companion legislation in the House.

The bill would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year, resulting in immediate relief to more than an estimated 95% of the 45 million Americans with student debt.

For those earning more than $100,000, the bill would offer partial debt relief with the amount getting gradually smaller until it phases out. Households that make more than $250,000 are not eligible for any debt relief.

Warren's campaign has said that she would pay for the debt relief -- as well as her plan to make tuition free at public colleges -- with revenue from her proposed wealth tax. It would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

The one-time debt cancellation could cost $640 billion, the campaign has said."...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to im1dc... , July 24, 2019 at 05:24 AM
MSN: ...

Warren's campaign has said that she would pay for the debt relief -- as well as her plan to make tuition free at public colleges -- with revenue from her proposed wealth tax. It would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

The one-time debt cancellation could cost $640 billion, the campaign has said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential hopeful, also has a student debt cancellation proposal. But his goes further and would cancel all $1.6 trillion in outstanding loan debt. There would be no eligibility limitations and it would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street speculation. Sanders has proposed making tuition free at public colleges, as well.

As proposed, Warren's bill would ensure that the debt canceled would not be taxed as income. Those borrowers with private loans would be allowed to convert them into federal loans so that they could be forgiven. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , July 26, 2019 at 07:13 AM
Elizabeth Warren's Wealth
Tax. How Would That Even Work?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/upshot/warren-wealth-tax.html
NYT - Neil Irwin - Feb. 18, 2019

When the United States government wants to raise money from individuals, its mode of choice, for more than a century, has been to tax what people earn -- the income they receive from work or investments.

But what if instead the government taxed the wealth you had accumulated?

That is the idea behind a policy Senator Elizabeth Warren has embraced in her presidential campaign. It represents a more substantial rethinking of the federal government's approach to taxation than anything a major presidential candidate has proposed in recent memory -- a new wealth tax that would have enormous implications for inequality.

It would shift more of the burden of paying for government toward the families that have accumulated fortunes in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. And over time, such a tax would make it less likely that such fortunes develop.

What is the Warren plan?

Developed by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two University of California, Berkeley, economists who are leading scholars of inequality, the proposal is to tax a family's wealth above $50 million at 2 percent a year, with an additional surcharge of 1 percent on wealth over $1 billion.

Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman estimate that 75,000 households would owe such a tax, or about one out of 1,700 American families.

A family worth $60 million would owe the federal government $200,000 in wealth tax, over and above what they may owe on income from wages, dividends or interest payments.

If the estimates of his net worth are accurate, Mr. Buffett would owe the I.R.S. about $2.5 billion a year, in addition to income or capital gains taxes. The Waltons would owe about $1.3 billion each.

The tax would therefore chip away at the net worth of the extremely rich, especially if they mainly hold investments with low returns, like bonds, or depreciating assets like yachts.

It would work a little like the property tax that most cities and states impose on real estate, an annual payment tied to the value of assets rather than income. But instead of applying just to homes and land, it would apply to everything: fine art collections, yachts and privately held businesses.

What are the arguments against it?

They are both philosophical and practical.

On the philosophical side, you can argue that people who have earned money, and paid appropriate income tax on it, are entitled to the wealth they accumulate.

Moreover, the wealth that individual families accumulate under the current system is arguably likelier to be put to work investing in large-scale projects that make the economy stronger. They can invest in innovative companies, for example, or huge real estate projects, in ways that small investors generally can't. ...

[Aug 03, 2019] Here is Yggies commenting on Warren's trade plan.

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 29, 2019 at 10:32 AM

Liz Warren's new plan on trade. Will PK, EMike or Kurt comment?

https://medium.com/@teamwarren/trade-on-our-terms-ad861879feca

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 29, 2019 at 10:37 AM
here is Yggies commenting on the plan. He's a good stand in for the centrists I mentioned.

https://www.vox.com/2019/7/29/8933825/elizabeth-warren-trade-economic-patriotism

all seems pretty vague

[Aug 03, 2019] The Best Guide For The Perplexed Progressive in 2020 is 2016 by John V. Walsh

Aug 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

2016 was widely recognized as the year of "populism," more adequately described as the year of revolt against the political Establishment -- in both Parties. The Democratic Primary in 2016 was a battle of progressive forces against the Democratic Establishment, and the battle lines were clearly drawn. Those lines remain much the same as we approach 2020.

On the Progressive or Populist side were those who opposed the endless wars in the Middle East, and on the Establishment side those who supported those long and bloody wars. On the Progressive Side were those who supported badly needed domestic reforms, most notably Medicare for All, which after all is a reform of almost 20% of the entire economy and a reform that has to do with life itself. In contrast on the Establishment side were those who supported ObamaCare, a device for leaving our health care to the tender mercies of the Insurance behemoths with its ever increasing premiums and ever decreasing coverage.

In 2016 the pundits gave progressives little chance of success. Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, we were all assured by a horde of "reliable sources." And given the control that the Clintonites exercised over the Democratic Party apparatus, there was little prospect of a successful rebellion and every chance of having one's career badly damaged by opposing Party elite. Summer soldiers and duplicitous candidates were not interested in challenging the Establishment.

In 2016 Bernie Sanders was the only politician who was willing to take on the Establishment. Although not technically a Democrat, he caucused with them and worked with them. And he was a lifelong, reliable and ardent advocate for Medicare for All and a consistent opponent of the endless wars. For these things he was prepared to do battle against overwhelming odds on the chance that he might prevail and because from his grass roots contacts he sensed that a rebellion was brewing.

In 2016 only one among the current crop of candidates followed Bernie, supported him and joined him on the campaign trail -- Tulsi Gabbard. At the time she was a two term Congresswoman and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a career building position, from which she would have to resign in order to support one of the candidates. Moreover, reports said she bridled at the internal bias of the DNC in favor of Hillary. To express her displeasure with the DNC and to support Bernie, she had to defy the Clinton Establishment, which might even have terminated her political career. But she was a foe of the endless wars, partly based on her own experience as a National Guard member who had been deployed to Iraq in a medical unit and saw the ravages of war first hand. So she joined Bernie, introducing him at many of his rallies and strengthening his antiwar message.

Bernie and Tulsi proved themselves in the defining battle of 2016. They let us know unequivocally where they stand. And Bernie might well have won the nomination were he not cheated out of it by the Establishment which continues to control the levers of power in the Democratic Party to this day.

In 2016 these two stood in stark contrast to the other 2020 Democratic candidates. Let us take one example of these others, Elizabeth Warren, a darling of the main stream media which often refers to her as ideologically aligned to Bernie Sanders. Perhaps she is so aligned at times -- at least in words; she is after all in favor of Medicare for All, although she hastens to add that she is "open to other approaches." That qualifier is balm to the ears of the Insurance behemoths. Translation: she has already surrendered before the battle has begun.

In 2016 a critical primary for Bernie was Masschusetts where Senator Warren wields considerable influence. Clinton defeated Sanders there by a mere 1.5% whereas she had lost to Obama there by 15% in 2008. Wikipedia has this to say of the primary:

"Following the primary, Elizabeth Warren, the state's senior US senator, was widely criticized by Sanders supporters online for her refusal to endorse him prior to the primary. Supporters of Bernie Sanders have argued that an endorsement from Warren, whose political positions were similar to that of Sanders's, and who was a frequent critic of Hillary Clinton in the past, could have handed Massachusetts to him. "

One must conclude that either Warren does not genuinely share the views of Sanders or she is loath to buck the Establishment and fight for those views. In either event she, and the others who failed to back Bernie in 2016, are not made of the stuff that can win Medicare for All, bring an end to the regime change wars and illegal sanctions of the last four or more administrations, begin serious negotiations to end the existential nuclear peril, and address the many other problems facing us and all of humanity.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com

Anonymous [322] • Disclaimer , says: August 1, 2019 at 4:26 am GMT

“Bernie walked the walk”
When was that? The time he toured through Baltimore and called it a third world city while assiduously not discussing how, why, and because of who it became so?
The way he openly sold out to Clinton and ducked into his new third manor house to avoid being held to task for leaving his base out to dry the very moment they were ready to seriously break ranks from the neolib political machine?
Is he walking the walk now as he tries to rationalize away his underpaying of his campaign workers and cuts hours to minimize the costs of the 15 dollar floor price he demanded for everyone other employer?
The man is a DNC stooge through and through.
And Tulsi being anti-war out of personal squeamishness doesn’t make up for the rest of her painfully party-line-compliant platform, particularly when the Deep State has multiple active avenues available to at the very least keep our military presence still existing military presence trapped and held hostage. All the dove cooing in recorded world history won’t hold up when, not if, Britain or France or whoever deliberately sinks another navy vessel and drags her by the hair into another desert scrum.
Daniel Rich , says: August 1, 2019 at 6:09 am GMT
@Anonymous Quote: “When was that?”

Reply: The moment he endorsed HRC and showed his true colors.

Kronos , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
@Tusk As with the 1960 Presidential Election, Hillary stole that election fair and square. Had Sanders went full third party, it would’ve destroyed the Democrats outright. Despite Clinton’s cheating, Bernie went ahead and bent the knee. Strangely enough, Trump’s victory saved Sanders and his faction. Had Clinton won, she would’ve purged the Sanders supporters relentlessly.

There is such a thing as a tactical retreat. Now he’s able to play again.

Nik , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
I dont remember either Bernard Saunders or Tulsi Gabbard even uttering the word Apartheid.

These peopke are hypnotized

alexander , says: August 1, 2019 at 9:35 am GMT
The reality, Mr. Walsh,

is that our “establishment elite” have failed the United States of America.

How, you may ask ?

The answer is simple.

By defrauded us into multiple illegal wars of aggression they have bankrupted the entire nation.

The iron fact is that because our “elites” lied us into illegal war we are now 22.5 trillion dollars in heinous debt.

Why is this okay ?

The answer is simple.

It is not okay, NOT AT ALL .

And it is not enough (anymore) to just demand we “end our wars”, Mr. Walsh.

The cost in treasure has been too high and the burden on the US taxpayer too obscene.

Without demanding “accountability” from our elites, who lied us into this catastrophe, our nation is most probably going under.

I say…. make them pay …”every penny”…. for the cost of the wars they lied us into.

An initiative, like the “War fraud Accountability Act” (retroactive to 2002) would do just that.

it would replenish the coffers of our nation with all the assets of the larcenous profiteers who deceived us all….into heinous war debt.

As we witness the rise of China as the new global economic powerhouse, we can see first hand how a nation can rise to immense wealth and global influence “precisely because” it was never deceived by its “ruling class” into squandering all its resources initiating and fighting endless criminal wars.

Just imagine where the USA would be today, had we chosen the same course.

stone cold , says: August 1, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Until Dems are willing to refuse to depend on Haim Saban’s “generous donation” to the Dem candidate, none of their candidates will deserve to be the the POTUS candidate. Ditto for the Republicans and their fetish with Shelly Adelson. Candidates must kowtow to Israel or else there will be no dough for them and they might even be challenged in their incumbencies next time around by ADL/AIPAC. Until we get rid of Israeli money and political power, we are toast.
War for Blair Mountain , says: August 1, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT
You left out two facts:

1)Both Sanders and Gabbard are onboard for going to war against Christian Russia over Crimea..Sanders has gone so far as saying that a Military response against Russia is an option if all else fails in getting Russia out of Crimea…

2)Both Sanders and Gabbard are waging a war of RACIAL EXTERMINATION against Working Class Native Born White American Males….And that’s WHITE GENOCIDE!!!!

Justvisiting , says: August 1, 2019 at 12:54 pm GMT
@Kronos Bernie “bent the knee” once and got to enjoy his lakeside home and his wife protected from fraud prosecution after she stole money from People’s United Bank for her college scam.

He is owned.

If Tulsi were a serious threat she would be neutralized one way or another.

“Progressives” are virtue signaling fools–the kleptocracy marches on and laughs at them.

concerned , says: August 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
Check out “The National Security State Needs an Enemy: Senator Warren Warns About “White Supremacist” Threat” by Kurt Nimmo at:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/state-needs-enemy-warren-warns-about-white-supremacist-threat/5685241?print=1

One has to wonder where Dems like Warren and their identity politics is taking the US. Will everyone who even slightly disagrees with them be labeled a terrorist?

[Aug 03, 2019] The overwhelming correlation between austerity and Brexit

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 23, 2019 at 03:27 PM

how those like kurt who mock economic anxiety are wrong

https://theweek.com/articles/853784/overwhelming-correlation-between-austerity-brexit

The overwhelming correlation between austerity and Brexit
Jeff Spross

July 22, 2019

Across the pond, the Brexit disaster continues to unfold in newly disastrous ways. Theresa May has resigned as prime minister, and the Trump-esque Boris Johnson looks like a lock to replace her. Parliament members -- up to and including Johnson's own fellow Conservatives -- are panicking that the new prime minister may try hardline tactics to force Brexit through, plan or no plan.

At this point, predicting how this mess will end is a fool's errand. But there are still lessons to be learned from how it began.

In particular, the Conservatives might want to look in the mirror -- and not just because it was their government that called the Brexit vote in the first place. It turns out the brutal austerity they imposed on Britain after the global 2008 financial crisis probably goes a long way towards explaining why Brexit is happening at all.

In the run-up to the Brexit referendum in 2016, much of the campaigning in favor of "Leave" was unabashedly racist. Hard-right political groups like the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) painted a picture of native Britons overrun by hordes of foreign immigrants that were straining the country's health care, housing, public services, jobs and wages to the breaking point. The thing is, the racism was a particular poisonous way of framing a very real underlying economic fear: all those necessities really had become harder to come by.

Yet, as it is in America, actual evidence linking influxes of immigrants to rising scarcity in jobs and wages and other services is scarce. But something else had also recently happened that could explain why hospitals and schools were closing and why public aid was drying up: massive cuts to government spending.

A decade ago, the aftershocks of the global financial crisis had shrunk Britain's economy by almost 3 percent, kicking unemployment up from 5 percent to 8 percent by 2010. Under then-Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservatives in power concluded that "confidence" among investors was necessary to restore economic growth -- and that meant cuts to government spending to balance the budget.

Thus the Conservatives pushed through a ferocious austerity package: Overall government spending fell 16 percent per person. Schools, libraries, and hospitals closed; public services like garbage collection ground to a halt; poverty shot up; and homelessness doubled. Despite unemployment staying stubbornly high and GDP growth staying stubbornly low -- in defiance of their own economic theory -- the Conservatives crammed through even more reductions in 2012. "It is hard to overestimate how devastating Cameron's austerity plan was, or how fast it happened," the British journalist Laurie Penny observed. A United Nations report from last year called the cuts "punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous."

But the damage was not evenly distributed across the country. At the district level -- Britain's units of local governance -- the reductions in spending ranged from 6.2 percent to an astonishing 46.3 percent from 2010 to 2015. The districts that were already the poorest were generally the hardest hit.

These differences across districts allowed Thiemo Fetzer, an associate professor of economics at the University of Warwick, to gauge the correlation between the government cuts and whether a district voted Leave or Remain. "Austerity had sizable and timely effects, increasing support for UKIP across local, national, and European elections," Fetzer wrote in a recent paper. He found that UKIP's share of a district's vote jumped anywhere from 3.5 to 11.9 percentage points in correlation with austerity's local impact. "Given the tight link between UKIP vote shares and an area's support for Leave, simple back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that Leave support in 2016 could have been easily at least 6 percentage points lower," Fetzer continued. As tight as the Brexit referendum was, that alone could have been enough to swing it.

Other studies have shown links between how a local British community's economic fortunes fared and how it voted for Brexit as well. Economists Italo Colantone and Piero Stanig found that support for Leave was "systematically higher" in the regions of the country hit hardest by trade with China over the last three decades. Another analysis by Torsten Bell showed a strong correlation between British income inequality as of 2015 and Brexit support, with higher local vote shares for Leave the lower the local incomes were. (It's worth noting the Bell didn't find a correlation with Brexit when he looked at how local incomes changed from 2002 to 2015, but that's also a weird time frame to choose, as it mashes together a period of wage growth before 2008 with a major drop afterwards.)

Inequality in Britain had been worsening for decades, as the upper class in the City of London pulled further and further ahead of the largely rural working class, setting the stage for Brexit. And then austerity fell hardest on the shoulders of the latter group, compounding the effect.

"Individuals tend to react to the general economic situation of their region, regardless of their specific condition," Colantone and Stanig wrote. But Fetzer was able to break out some individual data in his analysis of austerity, and he found a correlation with Brexit votes there as well. Individual Britons who were more exposed to welfare state cuts -- in particular a reduction in supports for housing costs -- were again more likely to vote for UKIP. "Further, they increasingly perceive that their vote does not make a difference, that they do 'not have a say in government policy' or that 'public officials do not care,'" Fetzer observed.

It isn't that the economic dislocation of the 2008 crisis and the ensuing austerity crunch made Britons more racist. By all accounts, half or more of the country has consistently looked askance on immigration going back decades. (Indeed, international polling suggests a certain baseline dislike for immigration is a near-universal human condition.) What changed in the last few years was the willingness of certain parts of British society to act politically on those attitudes. And that, arguably, is where the economics come in.

Work from the Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman is instructive here. He found that periods of economic growth, where people feel the future is bright, make national populations more open, generous, and liberal. Times of economic contraction and stagnation have the opposite effect.

The British people, like everyone everywhere, are a mix of good and evil impulses. But by decimating public investment in a self-destructive quest for investor-led growth, the British government created a monster from those impulses. And the reckoning for that terrible error is still unfolding.

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 03:28 PM
if - what should I call them? centerists? - like Krugman, Kurt and EMike really cared about racism they'd be in favor of ambitious programs so that voters' living standards rise.

Instead they push incrementalism and make excuses about Dems never having any power.

JohnH -> Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 03:33 PM
Tut! Tut! Tut! It's not politically correct for Democrats to talk about the economy, inequality, and dislocation, is it? If people keep raising the issue, Democrats might be forced into acknowledging problems they helped to create. Worse, they might have to craft a coherent economic message that their Big Money puppeteers might not like! OMG!!! Armageddon!!!
Joe -> Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 04:08 PM
He presented no evidence, just pundicizing based on priors.

Well I looked and could find no change in growth, it has been declining steadily since 1990, and the ten years has been correspondingly dropping since 1980.

So, I I am supposed to see evidence, then cite the chart I am supposed to look at. We are tired of useless pundicizers.

Christopher H. said in reply to Joe... , July 23, 2019 at 06:10 PM
no he is presenting the agreed-upon evidence. Austerity hurt the UK.

Cranks like you have no place in the discussion. Go entertain yourself somewhere else.

Joe -> Christopher H.... , July 24, 2019 at 03:15 AM
No, he would have cited evidence.
If he had any brains he would have recognized that we got the secstags going around, meaning the one cannot just look at the eight year recession cycle, one has to look at the full monetary cycle.
It is easy to tell the dufas among economists, they never look at nor cite any data.

For example, Krugman ignored the fact that Obamacare raised monthly taxes about $500 per household, lost four elections, proved himself a dolt and now want to write off Obamacare. Never once did Krugman make any attempt to correlate the Obamacare taxes with election losses, not once. He preferred the delusion, same as most of our favorite economists, I can count the one who actually look.

As Kurt said, being delusional hysterical freaks who send hundreds of billions to wealthy people then complain? Stupid,stupid stupid.

kurt -> Joe... , July 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM
You are exactly right here - Obamacare subsidies should have tapered off or been taxed away around the top 20% of income rather than the top 60. Big mistake - but it was a compromise to get several republicans to vote yes, but they (the Rs) negotiated in bad faith and then didn't do what they promised. But hey - when have the H brothers let facts get in the way of what they know, know, know about me.
Christopher H. said in reply to kurt... , July 25, 2019 at 07:03 PM
Joe said nothing of the kind.

The Rs didn't do what they promised? What did you expect?

you're a naive sucker

[Aug 02, 2019] Trade -- On Our Terms

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 30, 2019 at 09:13 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1156228417601376257

Paul Krugman‏ @paulkrugman

OK, obviously I need to weigh in on Elizabeth Warren's trade proposal. I've been a huge fan of her plans so far. This one, not so much, although some of the critiques are overdone 1/

https://medium.com/@teamwarren/trade-on-our-terms-ad861879feca

Trade -- On Our Terms
By Elizabeth Warren

Last month, I released my economic patriotism agenda -- my commitment to fundamentally changing the government's approach to the economy so that we put the interests of American workers and families ahead of the interests of multinational corporations. I've already released my ideas for applying economic patriotism to manufacturing and to Wall Street. This is my plan for using economic patriotism to overhaul our approach to trade.

8:41 AM - 30 Jul 2019

The truth is that this would have been a bad and destructive plan if implemented in, say, 1980. At this point it's still problematic, but not disastrous (this is going to be a long tweet storm) 2/

Background: the way we currently do trade negotiations is that professionals negotiate out of public view, but with input from key business players. Then Congress gets an up or down vote on the result 3/

This can sound like a process rigged in favor of special interests. But it was created by FDR, and its actual intent was largely the opposite. It took away the ability of Congresspeople to stuff trade bills with goodies for their donors and districts 4/

And while business interests certainly got a lot of input, it was set up in a way that set different groups against each other -- exporters versus import-competing industries -- and this served the interests of the general public 5/

Without this system we wouldn't have achieved the great opening of world markets after World War II -- and that opening was a very good thing overall, especially for poor countries, and helped promote peace 6/

So what has changed? The key point is that the system pretty much achieved its goals; we're a low-tariff world. And that has had a peculiar consequence: these days "trade negotiations" aren't mainly about trade, they're about intellectual property and regulation 7/

And it's not at all clear that such deals are actually good for the world, which is why I was a soft opponent of TPP 8/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/tpp-at-the-nabe/

TPP at the NABE

Not to keep you in suspense, I'm thumbs down. I don't think the proposal is likely to be the terrible, worker-destroying pact some progressives assert, but it doesn't look like a good thing either for the world or for the United States, and you have to wonder why the Obama administration, in particular, would consider devoting any political capital to getting this through.

So what Warren proposes is that we partially unravel the system FDR built, making trade negotiations more transparent and giving Congress a bigger role in shaping the deals. This sounds more democratic, but that's a bit deceiving 9/

Mainly it would substitute one kind of special interest distortion for another. That would have been a clearly bad thing when trade deals were actually about trade. Today, I think it's ambiguous 10/

Warren would also expand the criteria for trade policy to include a number of non-trade goals, like labor rights and environmental protection. Here again there are arguments on both sides 11/

On one side, the potential for abuse would be large -- we could be slapping tariffs on countries for all kinds of reasons, turning trade policy into global power politics, which would be really bas for smaller, weaker countries 12/

On the other hand, there are some cases where trade policy will almost surely have to be used to enforce some common action. If we ever do act on climate change, carbon tariffs will be needed to discipline free riders 13/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/climate-trade-obama/

Climate, Trade, Obama

I think the president has this wrong:

"President Obama on Sunday praised the energy bill passed by the House late last week as an 'extraordinary first step,' but he spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution."

And I also think the report gives a false impression of what this is about, making it seem as if it's nothing but dirty politics...

Overall, this is the weakest Warren plan so far. (Still waiting to hear from her on health care! Harris has taken point there, and done it well) But it's not bad enough to change the verdict that she's the strongest contender on policy grounds 14/

Christopher H. , July 30, 2019 at 09:32 AM
Krugman starting to turn on Warren.
Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:43 AM
He backs Harris's attempt to split difference on health care reform.

The problem with PK and Kurt and EMike is that if you don't deliver better services and rising living standards - no matter the excuses we don't care about your excuses -
you're going to get more racism, demagogues like Trump and toxic politics.

The Dems's track record for the past 40 years is objectively awful. PK lives in a rich man's bubble if he believes corporate trade has been good for humanity and peace.

Look at the world!

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:47 AM
Krugman argues trading order was built by FDR. It wasn't.
Plp -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 10:48 AM
Krugman has COSMO liberal scruples
About raising nationalist priorities

If he took Dean bakers line
He could avoid taking national sides

Be for the wage class and the toiling masses
Globally

Best possible Trade policy is simplified

Example
Intellectual property
Should not exist
It's bad for emerging systems
And advance systems both
If your frame is best for wage earners

And toiling masses

ilsm -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 01:58 PM
Harris is all for keeping FIRE profiting on the US health system, like she is for filling profitable prisons in Cali!

Harris a charter member of the DNC committee to re-elect Trump.

Plp -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:50 AM
Perhaps he is just revealing why he supported neo liberal trade policy
In the Reagan Clinton era

He's a cormopolite not a nationalist

And his frame is common humanity
Not the us wage class


Now we see what happens when multinational corporations get free reign as they did since the end of Bretton woods

Managed world trade from 1946 to 1971
Is probably the baby PK doesn't want to throw out
With the bath water accumulated since 1971

[Aug 02, 2019] During the debate, Warren argued no first use of neclear weapons policy would make the world safer

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to ilsm... , July 31, 2019 at 12:23 PM

Warren, Bullock spar over 'no first use' nuclear policy https://thehill.com/policy/defense/455472-warren-bullock-spar-over-no-first-use-nuclear-policy

Rebecca Kheel - July 30

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) sparred Tuesday night over her proposed "no first use" policy on nuclear weapons during the Democratic debate.

In defending the proposed policy, Warren argued for diplomatic and economic solutions to conflict, saying "we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution."

But Bullock opposed that proposal, saying, "I don't want to turn around and say, 'Well, Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that.'"

Warren is the lead sponsor of the Senate version of a bill that would make it U.S. policy not to use nuclear weapons first.

It has long been the policy of the United States that the country reserves the right to launch a preemptive nuclear strike.

Former President Obama reportedly weighed changing the policy before leaving office, but ultimately did not after advisers argued doing so could embolden adversaries.

Backers of a no first use policy argue it would improve U.S. national security by reducing the risk of miscalculation while still allowing the United States to launch a nuclear strike in response to an attack.

During the debate, Warren argued such a policy would "make the world safer."

"The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively, and we need to say so to the entire world," she said. "It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands."

Bullock argued he wouldn't want to take the option off the table, but that there should be negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.

"Never, I hope, certainly in my term or anyone else would we really even get close to pulling that trigger," he said. "Going from a position of strength, we should be negotiating down so there aren't nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand at this point, I wouldn't do."

Warren shot back that the world is closer to nuclear warfare after Trump's presidency, which is seeing the end of a landmark arms control agreement with Russia, the development of a low-yield submarine-launched warhead and the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

"We don't expand trust around the world by saying, 'you know, we might be the first one to use a nuclear weapon,'" she said. "We have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with."

Bullock said he agreed on the need to return to nonproliferation standards but that unpredictable enemies such as North Korea require keeping first use as an option.

"When so many crazy folks are getting closer to having a nuclear weapon, I don't want them to think, 'I could strike this country,'" he said. "Part of the strength really is to deter."

----

Long-standing US policy has been to lump chemical,
biological and nuclear weapons in a single
category. So, our guv'mint implicitly reserves the
right to respond to a chemical attack (say) with
nuclear weapons. This was how the US got het up
about Iraq's supposed 'weapons of mass destruction',
which is how the US lumps them together under
the heading 'CBN' weapons. Iraq certainly
had chemical weapons, possibly biological ones,
and much less plausibly a nuclear weapons program.
It was all about those mysterious 'aluminum tubes',
which supposedly could be used for uranium-enriching centrifuges. (Not these tubes, apparently.)

But I digress. Suffice it to say, the US has
quite a few self-serving policies.

Now, the real question is, how much longer
do we want to have Mr Trump in control
of the nuclear football, as the nuke-
authorizing gadget is known?


[Aug 02, 2019] Global Smartphone Shipments Plunge Again, Huawei Displaces Apple As No.2

Aug 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The global smartphone bust is currently underway (has been for some time) - but there's a new, surprising trend that could highlight one reason why the Trump administration has waged economic war against China.

First, let's start with the global smartphone shipment data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

This new data details how worldwide smartphone shipments fell 2.3% in 2Q19 YoY. It also states that smartphone manufacturers shipped 333.2 million phones in 2Q19, which was up 6.5% QoQ.

An escalating trade war between the US and China contributed to sharp declines in shipments in both countries over the last year. However, the declines weren't nearly as severe as expected in China over 1H19 versus 1H18, suggesting that three years of a smartphone bust in Asia could be nearing a recovery phase. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) maintained solid momentum in 2Q YoY, with shipments up 3% in the quarter fueled by Southeast Asia markets.

The surprising trend IDC detected is that Huawei surpassed Apple in 2Q19, making it the first time in seven years that Samsung and Apple weren't the top smartphones manufactures in the world.

Now it seems that a South Korea company [Samsung] and a Chinese company [Huawei] are the world leaders in smartphone shipments, something that has irritated the Trump administration.

Samsung ranked No.1 with 75.5 million shipments in 2Q19, a 5.5% YoY increase. Huawei was No.2 with 58.7 million shipments in 2Q19, a 8.3% YoY jump. Apple was No.3 with 33.8 million shipments in 2Q19, a -18.2% YoY plunge.


Cheap Chinese Crap , 1 minute ago link

So let's see if I got this straight:

1) Huawei announces a .6% decline in shipments worldwide over the Q1 numbers.

2) Huawei announces an all-time high in domestic operations that now take up 62% of its sales.

What do these two numbers hide?

That Huawei's shipments to the international market must have suffered a considerable decline.

That the rise in sales in low-value Chinese phones doesn't begin to offset the large drop in high-value developed world sales except on a purely nominal numerical basis of numbers of phones sold. The money isn't in the phones. It's in the plans. In fact, China pioneered the idea of giving the phones away for free and then making it all back on the gated connection plans.

But there's no way that one Chinese plan equals one western plan in profitability back to the company, so buffing up the domestic numbers at the expense of the cash cow numbers overseas is ultimately not a good business strategy.

Plus of course Huawei can report any number it wants inside China and nobody has any way of testing its veracity. They could have shipped 20,000,000 phones to distributors on consignment and then marked it up as sales.

TheABaum , 6 minutes ago link

Apple's been running on momentum since 2011. Cook isn't Jobs.

Max.Power , 19 minutes ago link

Apple is trapped in a once-brilliant marketing strategy which it struggles to escape now: hi-end expensive devices.

It's not a hi-end product anymore, so it becomes more difficult to justify the price even for true fans.

Omni Consumer Product , 4 minutes ago link

It's still high-end, per se. But the price premium is no longer justified because other companies have commoditized the high-end features.

Frankly, the company was doomed the moment Jobs died and the reins were turned over to Cook - an accountant by training, who clearly has no futurist vision or marketing skill whatsoever.

Jobs might have been a puffed up peacock, but he was a master of creating the Reality Distortion Field.

deFLorable hillbilly , 36 minutes ago link

Smartphones are no longer fun or new or anything other than a commodity.

Now they're also devices which even the dumbest know track your every thought, purchase, move, etc...

It's like having a little East German Stasi agent in your pocket.

I hope they all go broke.

TheABaum , 4 minutes ago link

The curse of always on, always with you, always spying and always misplaced.

He–Mene Mox Mox , 39 minutes ago link

There is one big problem that no one is talking about. The cell phone market is over saturated! Practically everyone has got a cell phone these days. It's like the auto industry. There has been an over production 10 billion automobiles in the world for 7.2 billion people, of which half really can't afford to buy, much less drive, or even have a place to park it. I have seen people with 3 and 4 cell phones, but you only have 2 ears. How are more cell phones going to help you? Even women don't multitask that well.

The only thing that would make sales better on cell phones is if you could combine the computing power of a Cray computer into a roll-up tablet. Or, maybe a brain implant would be even better.

deFLorable hillbilly , 33 minutes ago link

No, they'll realize that it's far easier to design phones that fall apart after 18 month than to keep building quality products. Like American cars.

Iconoclast422 , 40 minutes ago link

who the hell is buying 11 million pieces of iCrap each month?

navy62802 , 57 minutes ago link

Apple has slowly but steadily declined overall since Steve Jobs' death. It's really sad to see the company steadily decline like it has.

adr , 1 hour ago link

Apple's iPhone shipments and sales have been falling for five years. Yet the company added $600billion in marketcap during that time.

That is the insanity of Wall Street.

Max.Power , 22 minutes ago link

In modern days, even having a negative profit for years doesn't mean you can't increase market capitalization.

thereasonableinvestor , 1 hour ago link

Apple has moved on from the iPhone.

Tim Cook: "When you step back and consider Wearables and Services together two areas where we have strategically invested in last several years, they now approach the size of a Fortune 50 company."

[Aug 01, 2019] Trump will put additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China on Sept 1, 2019

Aug 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Just as investors thought it was safe to buy-the f**king-dip after Powell's plunge, President Trump steals the jam out of their donut by announcing new China tariffs...

"... on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country "

In a series of tweets, Trump laid out the state of the China trade deal... in a word - terrible...

Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to...

...buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so. Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States – this never happened, and many Americans continue to die! Trade talks are continuing, and...

...during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%...

...We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!

[Aug 01, 2019] Fortunately, as Trump said, 'Trade Wars are easy to win!

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Trump's anger was fueled, in part, by the fact that China has not begun buying large amounts of American farm products, which the president promised farmers would happen after a June meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. ..."
"... Mr. Trump took credit for China's weakening economy, saying the tariffs he's placed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods have put enormous pressure on the country, costing it jobs and prompting companies to leave. ..."
"... American and Chinese negotiators finished talks on Wednesday with little progress toward ending a trade war that has shaken the world's economic confidence and rattled markets. ..."
"... Instead, both sides appear to be settling in for a lengthy economic conflict. ..."
"... Senior Chinese officials who gathered at an economic meeting on Tuesday run by China's top leader, Xi Jinping, stressed that the country had to rely on domestic demand to manage "new risks and challenges" and ward off what they described as "downward pressure on the economy," according to the Chinese state news media. China could turn "a crisis into an opportunity," the report added. ..."
"... A lengthy trade war presents China's leaders with some difficult options. China is enduring an economic slowdown that has been made worse by the trade tensions. Beijing has responded by ratcheting up spending on infrastructure and other big-ticket projects, a reliable growth strategy that nevertheless could worsen the country's debt problems and do little to solve economic imbalances that could hinder its long-term prospects. ..."
"... At a daily news briefing on Wednesday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that "only if the U.S. shows sufficient integrity and sincerity, and conducts trade talks with the spirit of equality, mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, can the trade talks make progress." ... ..."
"... the trade pressure by the United States on China has from the beginning been about undermining Chinese development. The US point has always been to stop Chinese scientific and technological advance but the Chinese have always understood and that is just not ever going to happen. ..."
"... Accept United States restrictions on Chinese investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating. ..."
"... Open up its services and agricultural sectors to full American competition. ..."
Aug 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , July 30, 2019 at 10:52 AM

President Trump took credit for weakening
China's economy and downplayed the likelihood
of a trade deal before the 2020 election.

His comments came as his top negotiators were sitting
down to dinner with their counterparts in Shanghai.

Trump Goads China as Trade Talks
Resume https://nyti.ms/32X4vBj
NYT - Ana Swanson and Jeanna Smialek - July 30

WASHINGTON -- President Trump lashed out at China on Tuesday morning as trade talks between the two nations resumed, taking credit for weakening China's economy and downplaying the likelihood of a deal before the 2020 election.

The president's comments, in posts on Twitter and remarks to the press, came just as his top negotiators were sitting down to dinner with their counterparts at the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai. While both sides are trying to get trade talks back on track, Mr. Trump's angry words underscored the diminishing prospects for a transformative trade deal anytime soon and the extent to which the bilateral relationship has not unfolded in the way that Mr. Trump expected.

"I think the biggest problem to a trade deal is China would love to wait and just hope," the president said. "They hope -- it's not going to happen, I hope, but they would just love if I got defeated so they could deal with somebody like Elizabeth Warren or Sleepy Joe Biden or any of these people, because then they'd be allowed and able to continue to rip off our country like they've been doing for the last 30 years."

Mr. Trump's anger was fueled, in part, by the fact that China has not begun buying large amounts of American farm products, which the president promised farmers would happen after a June meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mr. Trump emerged from that meeting in Osaka, Japan, saying he had agreed to postpone tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese products and allow American firms to resume sales of nonsensitive goods to the Chinese telecom firm Huawei. In return, Mr. Trump said China would immediately start buying American agricultural goods, touting it as a big win for farmers.

But no such purchases have happened, and, in the weeks since, Chinese officials disputed that they had agreed to buy more farm products as a condition of the talks. On Sunday, Chinese state media reported that "millions of tons" of American soybeans had been shipped to China. But Mr. Trump on Tuesday said no such purchases had materialized.

China "was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now -- no signs that they are doing so," Mr. Trump tweeted. "That is the problem with China, they just don't come through."

His comments on Tuesday appeared to be an effort to give his negotiators more leverage and to pressure China into making concessions in talks this week. Mr. Trump took credit for China's weakening economy, saying the tariffs he's placed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods have put enormous pressure on the country, costing it jobs and prompting companies to leave.

But he seemed to veer between goading China to quickly accede to America's demands and suggesting the country could get a better deal if it waits and a Democrat wins the 2020 presidential election. ...

Fred C. Dobbs , July 31, 2019 at 06:50 AM
US-China Trade Talks End With No Deal
in Sight https://nyti.ms/2GE3LHt
NYT - Alexandra Stevenson - July 31

American and Chinese negotiators finished talks on Wednesday with little progress toward ending a trade war that has shaken the world's economic confidence and rattled markets.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Robert E. Lighthizer, the Trump administration's top trade negotiator, were seen leaving trade talks on Wednesday, the Chinese state news media said.

Both sides "conducted frank, efficient and constructive in-depth exchanges on major issues of common interest in the economic and trade field," said a statement late in the day that was released by CCTV, China's state broadcaster.

Another round of high-level talks will take place in the United States in September, CCTV reported.

The Trump administration had not yet released its own statement.

The meeting marked the first formal resumption of talks after negotiations fell apart almost three months ago, with each side pointing fingers at the other for derailing a deal. They agreed to try again after meeting last month on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Osaka, Japan.

Instead, both sides appear to be settling in for a lengthy economic conflict.

Senior Chinese officials who gathered at an economic meeting on Tuesday run by China's top leader, Xi Jinping, stressed that the country had to rely on domestic demand to manage "new risks and challenges" and ward off what they described as "downward pressure on the economy," according to the Chinese state news media. China could turn "a crisis into an opportunity," the report added.

A lengthy trade war presents China's leaders with some difficult options. China is enduring an economic slowdown that has been made worse by the trade tensions. Beijing has responded by ratcheting up spending on infrastructure and other big-ticket projects, a reliable growth strategy that nevertheless could worsen the country's debt problems and do little to solve economic imbalances that could hinder its long-term prospects.

Should China reach a quick deal, on the other hand, the country's leaders risk looking weak in the face of foreign powers, undermining the Communist Party's historical claim to rule.

At a daily news briefing on Wednesday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that "only if the U.S. shows sufficient integrity and sincerity, and conducts trade talks with the spirit of equality, mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, can the trade talks make progress." ...

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , July 31, 2019 at 07:36 AM
As I have repeatedly documented on Economist's View, the trade pressure by the United States on China has from the beginning been about undermining Chinese development. The US point has always been to stop Chinese scientific and technological advance but the Chinese have always understood and that is just not ever going to happen.
anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , July 31, 2019 at 07:37 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/05/04/trump-is-asking-china-to-redo-just-about-everything-with-its-economy/

May 4, 2018

Trump is asking China to redo just about everything with its economy
By Heather Long - Washington Post

The Trump administration has finally presented the Chinese government with a clear list of trade demands. It's long and intense (there are eight sections), and President Trump isn't just asking Chinese President Xi Jinping for a few modifications. He's asking Xi to completely change his plans to turn the Chinese economy into a tech powerhouse.

The demands include the following:

• China will cut the $336 billion U.S.-China trade deficit by at least $200 billion by 2020, a 60 percent reduction.
• China will stop subsidizing tech companies.
• China will cease stealing U.S. intellectual property.
• China will cut its tariffs on U.S. goods by 2020.
• China will not retaliate against the United States (including against U.S. farmers).
• The Chinese government will open China to more U.S. investment.

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , July 31, 2019 at 07:38 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/business/china-us-trade-talks.html

May 4, 2018

U.S.-China Trade Talks End With Strong Demands, but Few Signs of a Deal
By Keith Bradsher

BEIJING -- The extensive list of United States trade demands was unexpectedly sweeping, and showed that the Trump administration has no intention of backing down despite Beijing's assertive stance in the last few days. "The list reads like the terms for a surrender rather than a basis for negotiation," said Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell University.

Here are the highlights of the demands:

China must

■ Cut its trade surplus by $100 billion in the 12 months starting in June, and by another $100 billion in the following 12 months.

■ Halt all subsidies to advanced manufacturing industries in its so-called Made In China 2025 program. The program covers 10 sectors, including aircraft manufacturing, electric cars, robotics, computer microchips and artificial intelligence.

■ Accept that the United States may restrict imports from the industries under Made in China 2025.

■ Take "immediate, verifiable steps" to halt cyberespionage into commercial networks in the United States.

■ Strengthen intellectual property protections.

Accept United States restrictions on Chinese investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating.

■ Cut its tariffs, which currently average 10 percent, to the same level as in the United States, where they average 3.5 percent for all "noncritical sectors."

Open up its services and agricultural sectors to full American competition.

The United States also stipulated that the two sides should meet every quarter to review progress.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , July 31, 2019 at 07:51 AM
Fortunately, as Trump said,
'Trade Wars are easy to win!'

[Aug 01, 2019] Brexit like Trump election was a protest against neoliberal globalization. A sign of collapse of neoliberal ideology and the grip of neoliberal elite on the population.

Aug 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 31, 2019 at 11:06 AM

https://mainly macro.blogspot.com/2019/07/there-is-no-mandate-for-no-deal.html

July 31, 2019

There is no mandate for No Deal

We are told constantly that the 2016 referendum gives our government a mandate for a No Deal Brexit, and that we would not respect democracy if we failed to leave. Both arguments are obviously false, yet they so often go unchallenged in the media.

... ... ...

-- Simon Wren-Lewis

likbez -> anne... , August 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
Brexit like Trump election was a protest against neoliberal globalization. A sign of collapse of neoliberal ideology and the grip of neoliberal elite on the population.

In essence, a "no confidence" vote for the neoliberal elite in both countries.

Of course, Simon Wren-Lewis is afraid to acknowledged this and is engaged in sophistry.

[Aug 01, 2019] Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Katherine1984 , 31 Jul 2019 13:44

Like it or not, beating Donald Trump is no easy task.

A candidate too far to the left and they just won't get sufficient support from an electorate which inclines to the right (by UK standards).

Too establishment and "entitled" and some will hesitate to give them even a get-Trump-out vote.

Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

But she will have to brace herself for him to play a very nasty campaign against her.

MohammedS , 31 Jul 2019 13:24
Who gives a monkeys? The real issue is that the selfish, disorientated and cowardly way the Dems are conducting this race is handing Trump a winning platform for 2020.
After long hard thinking I have come to the sad conclusion that Trump is right and that he is indeed a genius. He has achieved what he had set out to do. He has polarised the standard bearer for democracy in the world. He has enriched himself and his family. He has broken American society, possibly irreversibly. He has brought about change in the worlds economies. He has also managed to set the debate and the stage to win in 2020. Now some may say he has been an awful president, but looking at his strategy he has been highly successful. He may not be what we want but he has certainly been better at feeling the pulse of America and deciding which medicine to give. A truly evil genius indeed.
TheMediaSux , 31 Jul 2019 13:15
Sanders and Warren are the only two with some kind of personality. The others look like they were created by lobbyists and corporate donors in a lab on a computer like Kelly Lebrock from Weird Science.
TremoluxMan , 31 Jul 2019 13:08
The point about taxes going up is a red herring and a straw man argument. If you get insurance through your employer, you pay anywhere from $300/month to $1200/month for yourself and family. Through a Medicare for all plan, that payment would disappear. Yes, you'd pay more in taxes to cover your health insurance, but it would likely be lower than private insurance, a net gain, with better coverage, no deductible or co-pays. Even if it was the same, it's still a wash. You're eliminating an expense for a tax. Plus, you're not paying for some executive's perks and exorbitant salary.

Personally, I'd feel better paying $50,000-$75,000/year to a government administrator than $10M-$20M/year + perks to a CEO.

ColoradoJack -> Andy Womack , 31 Jul 2019 12:10
Obama was simply being honest there. By any standard, Obama, both Clinton's, Gore (except for climate change) and Biden are at best moderate Republicans. Each would qualify as being to the right of Richard Nixon (leaving aside the issue of integrity).
In the case of Bill Clinton, Americans had not got woken to the fact that, while a little less by Democrats, the middle class was nontheless being screwed by both parties. Obama's rhetoric was enough cover to fool the public into thinking he would fight for real change. Both Gore and especially Hillary showed what the public now thinks of "moderates". Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren are the only chances to beat Trump in 2020.
Eisenhower , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
Reparations for slavery, the elimination of private insurance, free health care for anyone who overstays a visa or walks over from Mexico, and a crystal lady.

We are in trouble. My nightmare of a Trump re-election is more and more likely.

MoonlightTiger -> BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
I believe it is. Ha
BaronVonAmericano -> thepianist , 31 Jul 2019 11:11
The general election poses an obvious vote against Trump.

Virtually 100% of the decision-making you have about what future we might want is in the primary.

Staying out of the primary debates is tantamount to abandoning all political power.

BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:05
Warren and Sanders clearly demonstrated that a party wanting to win should nominate one of them.

They enthralled the audience, and showed they possess a vision for the future that every other Democratic candidate claims to eventually want, when there's time, maybe, perhaps if they get a majority someday.

Cmank1 , 31 Jul 2019 10:54
Clearly Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were the clear winners of the night! They shamed the listless other candidates, none of whom exhibited a similar energy, excitement & vision for the future of the country. Despite a definite veneer of displeasure by your account, both the audience at the event, and those watching at home felt the excitement of progressive proposals won the day.
KMdude , 31 Jul 2019 10:46
The winner of the debate was Trump.

When Sanders declared he's in favor of free healthcare and free education for illegal immigrants there was -at best - muted criticism from the other candidates.

Most Americans are likely outraged by this suggestion and this will play in Trump's favor.

DontFanMeBro , 31 Jul 2019 10:39
It's obvious that John Delaney is simply a plant by Big Business (which has both the centrist Democrats and all of Republicans in its pocket) to troll and derail the candidacy of progressives Sanders and Warren. His sole function is to throw a monkey wrench in their path and be a "nattering nabob of negativism" (to quote Agnew) regarding their policies. That's all he does all day and all night, and the centrist-loving moderators and journalists love giving him infinite time to do his damage
Haigin88 , 31 Jul 2019 04:42
The answer is obvious: if you want your best shot at 86-ing the orange pestilence, then it has to be Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren. You're not supposed to signal your vice-president until after you've got the nomination, I know, but surely having Trump as president has shredded all previous norms? Go now, right now, and say that it'll be you two. You can even keep it open and say that you don't know who'll head the ticket but it will be Warren and Sanders. That would crush all opposition and keep churning interesting as a guessing game.

Maybe Warren should head the ticket. I know that Sanders is very sharp and he plays basketball but if he was president then he'd be asking for a second term and to get sworn in when he's 83 and being in one's eighties might be too much of a psychological barrier. My suggestion, though, would be it's Sanders/Warren but on the promise that Sanders will step aside during his first term, after two years and one day (meaning that Warren could serve out the rest of the term and still then run for two more terms under her own steam).

That would guarantee the first female president and so quieten down the phoney-baloney identity politics drones; better, it would mean that the US would get an excellent leader in Elizabeth Warren, no matter her bodily organs; it would pull together the Crooked H. adherents and get them on side, if they truly care about getting female in there and if it doesn't it will expose them as the phonies they are. And it would keep matters on policy, when Trump is weak, rather than personalities, which is the territory on which Trump wants to fight.

[Jul 31, 2019] Lambert Strether

Jul 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

July 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Sanders: "Elizabeth is exactly right." On trade.

Adding, Warren keeps saying "suck profits out." Vivid!

Reply

DonCoyote , July 30, 2019 at 10:03 pm

"You're gonna hear a giant sucking sound ". Yup, Ross, we heard it

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Guardian editorializing in the photo at the top of their live blog . Accurately, I would say.

Of course, it's "just business." Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:45 pm

Warren: "We beat it by being the party of big structural change." The issue is whether "regulation" is big enough and structural enough.

Sanders: "To stand with the working class* of American that for the last 45 years has been decimated." Then the Canada bus trip. "We need a mass political movement. Take on the greed and the corruption of the ruling class of this country." Plugs website.

Sanders was better; working the bus trip in was good.

NOTE * Guardian paraphrase : "Bernie Sanders pledged to stand by the US middle class , recounting his recent trip to Canada to emphasize the high price of insulin in America." Lol.

WheresOurTeddy , July 31, 2019 at 4:24 am

The allergy to the phrase "working class" is not accidental. They want as many Americans as possible thinking they're just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

As someone who has spent most of my life in the working class, made it to the middle, got knocked down again, and made my way back up to the middle again, there is most certainly a difference.

Jessica , July 31, 2019 at 4:49 am

When was the last time (if ever) that someone said the words "ruling class" in a presidential debate? (I assume that Eugene Debs was never invited to any presidential debate.)
Even that Bernie said "working class" won points with me. Typical of the Guardian to change it to "middle class".
Williamson was impressive.
I liked that Warren showed fire and guts. Her policies would be a real change for the better, especially if pushed farther. My real question about her is whether she would stand up to the other side and fight to win.
For me, the biggest difference between Bernie and Warren is that I am starting to hope that Warren would really fight, but I know Bernie would.

Spring Texan , July 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

I like Bernie better, but I like Warren too, and I *DO* trust her to fight.

The big tell was when she went to Washington as a Senator and Larry Summers said don't criticize us in public if you want to be part of the club, and she not only ignored that but told on him publicly!

Two actually GOOD people! They were my dream team last night.

nippersmom , July 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Warren paraphrased Sanders stump speech.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:50 pm

In academic terms, yes.

Watching Warren's reactions was really interesting. I think the sheer stupidity of centrist arguments really ticks her off, which speaks well of her.

scarn , July 30, 2019 at 11:07 pm

I agree. I'm highly skeptical of Warren delivering anything (especially a victory), and I don't really trust her to try very hard to implement her plans. Watching her in this debate opened a thin crack in my icy wall of distrust. I hope she proves me wrong.

skippy , July 31, 2019 at 4:28 am

Eh . Warren for all her sociopolitical baggage is a completely different animal to the Blue Dog Corporatist DNC fundie or the Free Market Conservative slash Goat picked me to administrate reality for everyone dilemma.

But yeah feel [tm] free [tm] to play curricular firing squad and then wonder why ones head is sore from the effects of banging on an sacrilegious edifice .

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:47 pm

And now the spin doctors!

I think a photo finish by Sanders and Warren, Buttigieg in the running followed by Klobuchar, Beto fading, the centrists losing big, Williamson a dark horse coming up on the outside.

[Jul 31, 2019] Democratic Debate Warren and Sanders Stand Pat, but Look Out for Marianne by
Jim Geraghty

By one key metric -- Google interest -- Marianne Willamson was the dominant figure of the debate. and that's tells a lot about debate aorgnizers which are not interested in real political debase. Just interested in the debate as a political show. They are too interested in promoted identity politics to devide the electorate, to allow discussion of really important for the nation question such as rampant militarism.
Notable quotes:
"... A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for." ..."
"... Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society. ..."
"... One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype. ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for."

Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society.

One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype.

Advertisement

Warren shamelessly insisted that the government could pay for quality health care for every American -- and illegal immigrants, too! -- just by raising taxes on billionaires and big corporations. Warren made clear tonight that she's not going to let a little thing like fiscal reality get in between her and the nomination.

... ... ...

Tonight was another night where you could easily forget Amy Klobuchar was on stage. Back when Klobuchar's campaign was in the nascent stage, people wondered how "Minnesota nice" would play on a national debate stage. We can now declare it boring, predictable, and forgettable.

[Jul 31, 2019] Neoliberals/neocons are so detached from reality that it hurt

Russiagate is both sign of degradation of neoliberal elite and weakening of neoliberal social system now is deep social crisis as "rising tide does not lift all boats" and the level of inequality achieved destabilized the society.
Notable quotes:
"... There is a increasing body of evidence to suggest that Trump-Putin was a trumped up psy-ops campaign designed to demonize Russia (and Trump.) Some if Mueller's allegations rest on very shaky grounds. ..."
"... It does not take any courage at all to call Donald Trump a race baiting big stupid orange buffoon. It also accomplishes nothing to blame the Russians for his election. Well that does accomplish something. It makes the Democratic Party look puny, weak, and disconnected from the lives of the majority of US citizens. I won't press too hard on that part though because it was already established fact long before Donald Trump entered politics. ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> EMichael... , July 31, 2019 at 02:51 PM

EMichael,

Neoliberals/neocons like you are so detached from reality that it hurt. You better stop posting as you understand nothing and can learn absolutely nothing. You views are essentially frozen for the last three years and you definitely are unable to evolve above the level of a typical neoliberal propaganda.

Neoliberal ideology is discredited since 2008 and neoliberal elite lost the control of the electorate via usual "divide and conquer" identity politics in 2016; the neoliberal economics entered the state of "secular stagnation" (according to Summers) and chances that it can escape this state are non-existent.

Why it is so difficult to understand the USA is facing the crisis of neoliberalism much like the USSR faced the crisis of Bolshevism since 1960th.

And that Trump election was direct result of this crisis and the betrayal of working and lower middle class by "Clintonized" Dems, which become essentially Republican light (or "party of soft neoliberals") as well as the second war party (and being a war party means that you do not need to win the elections, MIC rules the country in any case). That's why Russiagate was launched to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade and as a smoke screen for neoliberal Dems political fiasco.

And Paine is right: after Bill Clinton sold Democratic Party to Wall Street it did not care one bit about the workers. Clinton's idea was that workers have nowhere to go. He was right for 20 years or so but then Dems were trumped ;-)

IMHO the best way for Neoliberal Dems in 2020 is to commit suicide by selecting semi-senile neoliberal Biden (who, essentially, is "Hillary light", especially in foreign policy ). This way the party can get rid of Clinton mafia.

But I think Warren has a chance in this cycle despite all her blunders.

As a side note, I still hope that war criminal Bill Clinton will be tarred and feathered and then lynched with Epstein. And please note that unlike Epstein, Bill can't claim asylum in Israel.

P.S. Please do not reply to this post. You can't say anything useful or constructive on the topic.

Joe -> Paine ... , July 21, 2019 at 05:33 PM
You have no real evidence for that fact, just supposition from some set of assumptions. Yet the articles posted continue to identify limits to what Uncle can do. like pay attention to demographics on entitlements, Malthus lives on,just one of the articles finding evidence of limits, compared to your invention.
kurt -> Paine ... , July 22, 2019 at 03:36 PM
You keep missing the fact that the white wage class has repeatedly voted to destroy unions, to have state level republican control and to vote in every model legislation that ALEC and Mackinaw Center hand them. Also, under normal (ie: when Rs didn't use procedure to prevent everything) circumstance, Ds really haven't had much power nationally since Reagan. But do go on.
Plp -> kurt... , July 22, 2019 at 05:49 PM
Perfectly missed the point

The Dems failed to provide a progressive
Wage class benefiting alternative
To hate and self destructive spite
For 40 years b4 Trump won the rust bowl derby

kurt -> ilsm... , July 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM
You object to being called a racist, but you support racists and racist ideas. Sorry - you can't have it both ways. You are a racist.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , July 16, 2019 at 10:44 AM
Racism is either a matter of degrees or, if you prefer, we are all racists. That is exactly what that joke line "I don't see color" means. When black people are racist and they get special treatment for being racist then that is about the most racist thing that I see around today that is still widespread.

The fraction factions are disgusting and soft racism is pervasive. But what many liberals do not get is that just calling people out (as they say) as racist really leads to more racism rather than less. If you want peer pressure to work for you, then first you must work to establish yourself as peer.

I understand that you are not the only graduate of the idiot school of childish psychology, but you are a consistent advocate of the practices as is your little nemesis ilsm.

kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , July 16, 2019 at 11:54 AM
I really strongly disagree with this. I try really hard to both notice and to correct any engaging in implicit bias. I also reject the idea that a person can be measured by the hue of their skin, where they worship (or if they do) and their sex or sexuality. My midwestern sensibilities tell me that what really matters is how hard you try and how decent of a human being you are. I don't see how you can 1. think that the Trump/Russia thing is a hoax after reading the Mueller report, 2. think that Trump belongs in office and is not doing serious irreparable damage to the United States and still be a good person. I also don't see how you can be anti-racist and support Trump. In fact, I think this is axiomatic.
ilsm -> kurt... , July 16, 2019 at 12:33 PM
how does one qualify to be "anti racist"?

Other than finding outrage in trump and folks who do not buy the latest DNC screed to be outraged about?

1. you need to convince not quote the Mueller hatchet job, w/o footnote!

What Mueller said: there is no collusion with Russia, but Trump pushed back too hard on the deep state attempted coup!

2. See 1.

I am for seeing Durham get to holes in the faux evidence and who dug them.

Is that racist?

kurt -> ilsm... , July 16, 2019 at 12:47 PM
I have provided the footnote about 50x. The report plainly states that there was coordination between known actors of the Russian government and Trump campaign officials, and that they could not get documentary evidence BECAUSE OBSTRUCTION - which, btw where the headline charges against both Nixon and Clinton. Also - Mueller SPECIFICALLY said that there is no legal standard for collusion and that there was likely conspiracy, but obstruction.

Qualifying to be anti-racist - against racism, racist policy, structural racism overtly.

Faux evidence? WTF are you talking about.

You support a racist. You cannot support a racist implementing racist policy measure in an extra legal way without yourself tacitly agreeing that said racism is just fine. Again - this is axiomatic and I am sorry that shining a light on it hurts your feelings, but you can change. I invite you to.

JohnH -> kurt... , July 17, 2019 at 11:29 AM
Such inflammatory charges!!! Meanwhile Democrats have no urgency about investigating this. Why the dillydallying? Because that's what Democrats are genetically programmed to do? Or because there is no there there?

There is a increasing body of evidence to suggest that Trump-Putin was a trumped up psy-ops campaign designed to demonize Russia (and Trump.) Some if Mueller's allegations rest on very shaky grounds.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , July 16, 2019 at 12:46 PM
I think that personal criticisms of an ant does not amount to a hill of beans, but rather reduces one to being an ant-man. I don't care for all those holes in my yard and I certainly do not want to see a long file of ants headed towards my pantry, but I have no personal accusations that are worth leveling against ants. I do not even squish a bug that stays out of my house. I let the ant lions that surround my home take care of most of the ants and when that fails and some start heading inside my home then I spray Raid in their path.

I advise everyone to always make friends with everyone that they do not want to kill. A key part of that is to know and observe one's own boundaries when dealing with others. One can criticize an idea or an action without the implicit arrogance required to pass judgement on others, which explicitly leads to most people not giving a damn what one has to say anyway. I prefer to not back anyone into a corner unless I am holding a gun.

kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , July 16, 2019 at 01:08 PM
Yeah - okay. But when someone lies, dissembles, makes stuff up out of whole cloth all in support of a person who has demonstrated repeatedly that they think that white is right - they are racist. That's fine.

When ilsm has the courage and morality to call Trump what he is, then I will give him quarter. Until then, he is as evil as they come in my book.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , July 16, 2019 at 02:31 PM
Evil comes in far more significant sizes than any anonymous blog commenter on an Internet economics board frequented by a small group of nerds and geeks. If you believe that ilsm is evil then you are lucky enough to have never encountered any real evil.

It does not take any courage at all to call Donald Trump a race baiting big stupid orange buffoon. It also accomplishes nothing to blame the Russians for his election. Well that does accomplish something. It m