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

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

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Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The slide to "Neoliberalism in name only" under Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Old News ;-)

[Jan 17, 2019] No loyal American would fire a leader as impressive as FBI director James Comey by Tucker Carlson

Jan 17, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

Don Lemon -- has it nailed. As we told you Tuesday night - you could've seen this coming - the FBI has suspected this for some time.

The bureau opened a criminal investigation into the president more than a year ago, on the grounds that no loyal American would fire a leader as impressive as FBI director James Comey. Putin must have ordered it. The Washington Post concurred with this.

As one of the paper's columnists noted, Trump has also "endorsed populism." That's right. Populism.

It has the stink of Russia all over it. Smells like vodka and day-old herring.

[Jan 17, 2019] Neoliberal elite which reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Selousscout1 , 29 Nov 2018 12:20

''Tis booming because the left/liberal/metropolitan muesli crunching elites (and I include the Tories in that) who have reigned disdainfully over us since the Second World War have ignored our fears over mass immigration and the changing of our established traditions and cultures. They have also connived in the insanity of insisting every hair brained liberal idea is worthy of being protected by the human rights legislative farce. Rapists being offered a say in the upbringing of their issue, school uniforms being dragged into law and a thousand and other one 'special issues' to a tiny minority being rammed down the throats of the fed up majority at every opportunity by activists.

[Jan 17, 2019] That populist has been so vaguely defined that neoliberal MSM use it as a label for anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

DanInTheDesert -> Tiny Toy , 29 Nov 2018 15:20

But that's the point, isn't it? That populist has been so vaguely defined that it encompasses anything the authors don't like. It's a straw man, a pejorative.

Populism is a belief in the goodness of people, a belief that masses make better decisions than elites and that the the rule of the elite come at the expense of the demos.

It's a term synonymous with grassroots, popular democracy. Proponents of elite rule with reductionistic views democracy (rule with the consent of the governed and all that trash) call their grassroots opponents 'populists' in attempt to tie them to strong men.

Signed, a left populist.

lagoalberche , 29 Nov 2018 15:00
Noam Chomsky has a view on this issue and I am inclined to think he has a better understanding of it than the author of this piece.

Chomsky rejects the term "populism" in this matter and offers, instead, the proposal that ;

"Working people are turning against elites and dominant institutions that have been punishing them for a generation"

The theory of 'cause and effect' seems eminently more sensible to me than the shrill cries of "It was the internet wot dun it"

The elites and dominant institutions that Chomsky refers to ( including mainstream media ) precipitated the current shift and would do better to acknowledge the part they played in it, rather than insult and demean the consequential reaction of people on the receiving end of it.

DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 12:06
Before people get out the pitchforks and burn the populists in effigy, perhaps we could hear from some left populists?

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/elites-no-credibility-left-interview-journalist-chris-hedges /

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA7NA2TgXBQ&feature=youtu.be

The enemy is not populism, it's the right's capture of the populist narrative. Trump is a faux populist that has nothing but disdain for the people he employs and the people rules.

AnglophileDe -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:39
Well, here's a very apposite quote:

The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov
"A Cult of Ignorance". Newsweek, January 21, 1980.

DanInTheDesert -> JulesBywaterLees , 29 Nov 2018 11:38

the very old school Christian conservative libertarians and old skool nutty right have seized on the success populist narrative has had in recent elections and referendum.

I would argue that is is because establishment figures in the Democratic party -- the New Democrats -- decided that the days of class struggle were over, that 'we are all capitalists now' and ceded the populist narrative to the right. Yes, this a populist moment and the question is not if we can reestablish faith in the elite but whether we can ensure that the new populism goes is a left rather than right direction.

I don't agree that populism lacks depth -- probably because when I think of populism I think of left populist intellectuals like Friere, Martin-Baro and the like who thought that democracy should be built on the virtues of the people.

The occupy movement was a populist movement. It said we, the people on the ground, know better than the elites in the towers. It made decisions democratically, this in stark contrast to the hierarchical structures of decision making exercised by the financial elite. I think populism, or grassroots, popular democracy has intellectual depth and sophistication. Take a look a the writing of Sheldin Wolin, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, David Graeber . . .

I don't agree with most of the definitions of populism we've been offered -- I think they are little more that pejoratives dressed in academic language and have as much depth as the right's favored "snowflake" pejorative.

Brian_Drain -> The_Common_Potato , 29 Nov 2018 11:38
I remember watching 'Tomorrows World' ' in the 1970s and they showed us an unpuncturable cycle tyre that would last 25,000 miles.
The patent was bought by Europe's largest cycle tyre manufacturer, and AFAIK that was the last ever heard of it.
If that happened why is the water fuel idea so fanciful?
If you inject water into the inlet port or combustion chamber of a petrol engine, compression ratios, power output and efficiency can be raised dramatically, this has been known since WW1 and was employed in high altitude aero engines during WW2, yet has never been taken up by any major car manufacturer as far as I know, why?
So the notion that inventions could be suppressed for commercial reasons is really not fanciful at all, it would make less sense for such technology, if it existed, to be made altruistically available on a single purchase basis than to shitcan it.
BluebellWood -> CheshireSalt , 29 Nov 2018 11:30
But who are the 'liberal elite' exactly?

As far as I can see, our country has been ruled by a right-wing, monied elite for many years- not a 'liberal' one. Liberals at least tend to think in terms of economic equality and social freedoms, whatever their other faults might be.

But many working class and middle class people still carry on voting Tory even though it's against their own interests.

We don't have a 'liberal elite' in the UK. We still have the old-fashioned right wing Tory elite in power based on class and wealth. Why 'liberals' get all the abuse these days is beyond me.

(I'm a socialist, btw.)

JulesBywaterLees -> Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 11:28
I'm researching populism on youtube - and it is seedy- and I have yet to turn on the FB news feed, but the algorithms do support populism- watch a PragerU video and the feed is full of other rightwing nonsense.
And all of it has the same empty lines.

I watched the Oxford Union Steve Bannon address- and it could have come from a left winger- the globalised corporate world has abandoned the little guy, and Trump is fixing it.
The on message is the MSM is lying
PC and activists are totalitarian = commies
either capitalism or socialism [commies] = freedom vs enslavement

and an over whelming anti intellectualism - where have we heard that before.

fredmb -> BluebellWood , 29 Nov 2018 11:25
True but there is still a case for having decent housing etc and training our own professionals as well and not hollow out professionals from less advantaged countries. When we took hundreds of nurses from the Philippines in 2000 and whole clinics there had to shut to terrible detriment of ill locals

[Jan 17, 2019] Critique or populism as providing simple solution to complex problems is deliberately overstated by political and media establishement. Lion share of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments is due to reaction to neoliberalism in the USA

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 , 29 Nov 2018 08:56

"But populism has two chief characteristics. First, it offers immediate and supposedly obvious answers to complicated problems, which usually blame some other group along the way."

I think this point (simple solutions to complex problems) is often overstated. If you take the issue of immigration (an issue that has fuelled populism) , it actually shouldn't necessarily be that difficult to bring the number of new immigrants down, except that the political and media establishment pretend that it is.

Take Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this as it is ultimately every country's prerogative to defend its borders.

Ditto for intra-EU immigration (perhaps the main reason for Brexit): the EU acts as if this principle of free movement is sacred, but why should that be the case? Or Germany, where I live, where the constitution guarantees a right to asylum for those seeking refuge in the country. Again, this is spoken of as though it were cast in stone, when it really shouldn't be that difficult to amend. So I don't necessarily believe that solutions to problems always have to be difficult and complicated.

HippoMan -> PSmd , 29 Nov 2018 08:30
I agree that advances in people's abilities to interact with greater numbers of other people tend to usher in periods of social upheaval. A lot of the current nationalistic, anti-foreigner sentiments are the result of our initial reactions against unfamiliar influences coming from groups with whom we previously had relatively little contact.

Brexit, "Make America Great Again", and similar movements are the collective screams of resistance against dealing with unfamiliarity, learning new things, and growing. Over time, we will adapt, but this will probably require a generation or so, at minimum.


Of course, given the high pace of technological change, we are likely to be collectively bonded together even more tightly before we are able to adapt to the current state of the world. It won't be long before people will all be interconnected via implants, which means that each and every thing we do and every emotion we have will be sent out over the net.


It will be a brave new world.

[Jan 17, 2019] Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite."

In a way Populism is somewhat similar to Marxism: implicit message is that the class struggle in the societies is the key problem, which is completely true. American middle class was robbed from 1970th of a considerable chunk of its standard of living. So it is not surprising that the neoliberal elite ( the News Class of as they are called the US nomenklatura) now feels threatened and resorts to censorship, usage of intelligence agencies and mass surveillance, and other oppressive tactics to squash the dissent.
But in such cases the dissent grows stronger despise such an efforts and might turn, at some point, into insurrection against financial oligarchy as Marxists predicted.
The only problem is with Marxism is that they considered working class to the the next dominant class and this proved to be a false idea. That will never never happens.
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JulesBywaterLees -> Jason1925 , 29 Nov 2018 07:50

Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people," often juxtaposing this group against a so-called "elite." There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populists", and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.

the wiki page is a bit more expansive you should try reading it.

The left is also guilty of populist ideas- blaming the rich, or banking [when in the UK we get a lot of tax from international banking as a service].

The right has just seized on populism and mainly through social media- brexit and trump are proof its works- but the people behind the populist message are the same old tired neo con christian right of the Reagan era and the sad old far right conspiracy nut jobs. Their message failed in the past- but people like Rees-mogg can now seize on this technique.

Your misunderstanding of what socialism means indicates you swallow the new right wing propaganda. Poorly funded education will result in people without proper opportunity- S.Korea is not a socialist country but they spend a huge amount on education and reap the rewards. But they have a culture where children doing well academically is praised but can also have negative pressure consequences.

It is complicated and worth discussion but populism wants the easy message.

[Jan 17, 2019] No wonder the neoliberal establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!'

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Writeangle , 29 Nov 2018 07:19

One of the better reports on populism I've see recently is ''European Disunion'' by Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard https://newrepublic.com/article/143604/european-disunion-rise-populist-movements-means-democracy .
A analysis by Harvard ''Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash'' found that the primary factor driving populism is a cultural backlash i.e. against [neo]liberal policies and immigration.
kbg541 , 29 Nov 2018 06:59
Populism is growing because wealth is being concentrated into the hands of the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else.

Generations, instead of doing better, through working are doing worse because governments are allowing individuals and corporations to reduce terms and conditions of the workforce.

Twenty years ago, many UK workers had company pension schemes and jobs that paid the rent & bills. Now, the pensions have largely dried up and as housing has got more expensive, and incomes have shrunk.

Those at the top are pushing those beneath them closer to a bowl of rice a day, and shrug at the social consequences as inevitable - and a necessary step to protect shareholder values and profits.

In essence, it is the same situation that gave rise to populism in the thirties.

Who do you blame for the fact that house prices have gone up?

Who do you blame for the fact that your pension is going to be smaller than your parents'?

Thing is the populist politicians are the very same people who cut your pension and made money out of it. They just want you to blame someone else.

Candidly -> 5nufk1n4prez , 29 Nov 2018 06:54
The Long Read: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/29/why-we-stopped-trusting-elites-the-new-populism

[Jan 17, 2019] We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

One of the main power weapons of the elite is the control over the information flows
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

Some highlights from this thread (no names, no pack drill):

Populism is a kickback and correction to the forty years of political correctness where the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites.

Perhaps the reason that "populism" is thriving is that the liberal elites who ruled us in the entire post war period became complacent out of touch with those they were meant to represent.

there are millions of others whose voices have been ignored or silenced by the mainstream news

We are disenfranchised by what the elites are saying because the elites control the narrative in a way that makes sure the power will always reside with them.

The MSM has always been biased-

Why is democracy booming the article asks.
Well because the lies and bullshit of the liberal elite are there for all to see.

Take a look at what the MSM refuses to report, or what it deliberately distorts,

You can see the problem. It's like they are all reading from the same limited script which has been handed to them. Given the freedom to express our opinions, we are regurgitating what someone else has told us to say.

Maybe we should not be too pessimistic. The levels of opportunity for expression that the internet and social media have given us might currently have exceeded our ability to think critically about whatever bullshit we are being fed, but future generations may be better. After all, it's only a small step from doubting whatever mainstream thought tells you, to starting to wonder who is telling you to doubt those things and why and then to actually go back and think for yourself about the issues.

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

... the white masses of Europe and America were forbidden by the liberal establishment to be their real selves.

Lifted straight from the pages of the Völkischer Beobachter , I suspect.

TheBorderGuard , 29 Nov 2018 10:43
Some people are more attracted to certainties than subtleties -- and I suspect such people are ideologues in general and populists in particular.
DanInTheDesert , 29 Nov 2018 09:46
Sigh.

So Corbyn and Trump are the same because they both have shirts. Well, color me convinced!

Like so many of these articles -- including the long but uninformative 'long read' on the same topic -- there is no mention of the failures of the elites.

Clinton sold us a false bill of goods. The Washington Consensus on economics would make the country richer and, after some 'pain', would benefit the working class. Sure you wouldn't be making cars but after some retraining you would work in tech.

This was a broken promise -- de industrialization has devastated the upper midwest. The goods are made in China and the money goes to Bezos. People are rightly upset.

The Washington Consensus on war sold us a false bill of goods. Instead of peace through strength we have seen a century of endless conflict. We have been caught in state of constant killing since 2001 and we are no safer for it. Indeed the conflicts have created new enemies and the only solution on offer is a hair of the dog solution.

People are fed up with the elite consensus because of the failures of the elites. Nowhere are the repeated failures of the elites, the decades of broken promises mentioned in the articles. Instead, those of us who prefer Sanders to Clinton, Corbyn to Blair are mesmerized by emotional appeals and seduced by simplistic appeals to complex problems. And they wonder why we don't accept their analyses . . .

TL;DR -- clickbait didn't get us here. The broken promises of the Washington consensus did.

[Jan 17, 2019] So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared? Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

FallenApple , 29 Nov 2018 06:48

My Oxford English Dictionary defines a populist as "a member of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people."

Sounds good to me.

So why is "populist" now used as a derogatory term and populism seen as something to be feared?

Part of this is that government and the MSM realise that developments brought by internet means that they have lost control of the narrative.

Once only government pronouncements or newspaper commentary and propaganda could shape our views.

Newspapers in the UK could more or less bring down a government, such was their influence on the electorate.

Now we can search out information on the internet, fact-check for ourselves, listen to whom we want, and read a whole range of arguments and views.

No wonder the establishment is horrified and looking for ways to censor and control content available online!

samuelbear , 29 Nov 2018 06:22
Why is populism booming asks the writer - simple, because people feel that no-one's listening. Can it really be a surprise to The Guardian Opinion writers that people who have a zero hours contract, pay a high rent and have little job security won't vote for more of the same?
It's not a question as the writer suggests of 'if this wave of populism drifts into authoritarianism or worse' it's more a question of when - and when it does the liberal left will still be asking themselves - why?

[Jan 17, 2019] Tucker Carlson's 'Ship of Fools'The American Spectator

Notable quotes:
"... Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution , ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | spectator.org

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hip of Fools' November 15, 2018, 12:05 am

A serious look at a serious American problem by a serious thinker.

A truer examination of a serious American problem could not be had.

In his new book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution , Tucker Carlson gets to the heart of the seriously bad situation that confronts America.

Ship of Fools is, says the opening flap of the book, "the story of the new American elites, a group whose power and wealth has grown beyond imagination even as the rest of the country has withered. The people who run America now barely interact with it. They fly on their own planes, ski on their own mountains, watch sporting events from the stands in skyboxes. They have total contempt for you."

In thumbnail, that could not possibly be a more accurate description of American elites, not to mention the reaction they produced: the election of Donald Trump. As someone who long ago left the precincts of Inside the Beltway Washington, D.C. to come home to the wilds of Central Pennsylvania, it was plain what was coming down the pike in November of 2016. This area was awash in Trump signs. They were everywhere, even hand-painted on the sides of barns. As it were, this was a sure sign of what Tucker describes this way:

Trump's election wasn't about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America's ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do.

Bingo.

On page after page Ship of Fools discusses the problems that millions of Americans have long since grasped -- sometimes without even formally being aware just what they were coming to understand. Among them:

• "a meritocracy" that is about the business of creating "its own kind of stratification, a kind more rigid than the aristocracy it replaced."

• Apple, on the one hand, has an astounding record of iPhones being assembled in China by Foxconn, "a Taiwanese company that is the biggest electronics manufacturer in the world." That would be workers making less than two dollars an hour, and who report "being forced to stand for twenty-four hours at a time" with others "beaten by their supervisors." On the other hand, the company gets a pass because "like virtually every big employer in American life, has purchased indulgences from the church of cultural liberalism. Apple has a gay CEO with fashionable social views. The company issues statements about green energy and has generous domestic partner benefits. Apple publicly protested the Trump administration's immigration policies. The company is progressive in ways that matter in Brooklyn. That's enough to stop any conversation about working conditions in Foxconn factories." Concern about this from the American ruling class? Zero.

• Then there's Uber, presenting itself to the public with the same liberal wokeness as Apple. But in reality? In reality Uber's more than one million drivers "would make Uber the second-largest private sector employer in the world." Ahhhh but there's a catch, which the book zeroes in on. "But employees are expensive, they require vacation days and health-care benefits. They have rights. In the United States, employees receive unemployment insurance, and they are entitled to compensation for on-the-job injuries." But does Uber do these things? Of course not. By playing a game that says their drivers aren't employees but rather "contractors," like a small independent business -- Uber escapes these responsibilities.

• And let's not forget Facebook. In perhaps the most frightening section of the book, Tucker details the degree to which Facebook "continues to gather ever-growing amounts of intimate information about its customers," something about which "most people have no idea." Tucker writes:

Use Facebook's mobile app on your phone? Facebook sees and records everywhere you go. Facebook knows the stores you visited, the events you attended, and whether you walked, drove, or rode your bike. Because Facebook is integrated onto so many other sites, the company also knows much of your Web browsing history as well, even when you're not browsing on Facebook.

Worse? There is the admission from Facebook's first president, Sean Parker, that, as Tucker writes, Parker "admitted that Facebook can override the free will of its users. The product is literally addictive. It was engineered to be that way."

There's more here on Facebook, much more that will raise the hair on the back of readers', not to mention Facebook users', necks. And much more to Ship of Fools . There is a thorough-going discussion of Cesar Chavez who founded the United Farmworkers union in the 1960s. As a serious Bobby Kennedy fan in that time-period, I well recall Chavez and RFK's alliance with him that made repeated headlines in the day. What Tucker reminds here is that there was no stauncher opponent of illegal immigration than the then-liberal hero Cesar Chavez. Chavez went to incredible lengths to fight the problem, even going to the extent of having his union members out "intercepting Mexican nationals as they crossed the border and assaulted them in the desert. Their tactics were brutal: Chavez's men beat immigrants with chains, clubs, and whips made of barbed wire. Illegal aliens who dared to work as scabs had their houses bombed and cars burned. The union paid Mexican officials to keep quiet." Which is to say, Cesar Chavez on illegal immigration makes Trump look like a wimp. And this being a Tucker Carlson book, there is the humorous irony as he notes that Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993, is so revered by liberals surely unaware of his actual position on illegals that there is a California state holiday named for him, along with all manner of schools, libraries, highways, and one college.

Not spared in this book -- as well they should not be -- is the GOP Washington Establishment. Tucker lasers in on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan, saying that he has been a leader in the open borders movement. He runs through various Ryan actions that made clear "Republicans in Congress don't care about the territorial integrity of the country."

This is a superb book, filled with eye-popping information on just how today's American ruling class conducts itself. As soon as the book appeared, it shot to the top of the bestseller lists, as well it should.

A word here about the author. In the headlines the other day was a tale of Antifa thugs gathering outside the Carlson home -- he was at the Fox TV studio -- yelling and screaming as an attempt was made to knock down the front door, damaging it as Tucker's wife, fearing a home invasion, hid in the pantry calling the police.

This in fact was just one more incident in a list of similar attacks made by mobs of fascist-minded thugs who have made it their business to go after any recognizable conservative or Trump supporter across the country. It takes courage to go on the most popular cable network night after night and stand up for conservative values in an atmosphere where the Left is in a furious fight to gain permanent power and privilege over their fellow Americans. Tucker Carlson -- like his colleagues Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham -- thankfully have that courage in spades.

Violence is in the DNA of the American Left -- and it always has been. From the use of the Ku Klux Klan as the military arm of the Democratic Party to labor violence, the 1960s Weather Underground and anti-Vietnam War protests, not to mention the window smashers of Occupy Wall Street and now the hooded thugs of Antifa, the Left's instinctive use of violence has never changed. It is imperative to understand that this is, indeed, straight-up fascism. Antifa -- and those who defend them in the liberal media and the Democratic Party and in scores of venues across the country, college campuses notably -- need to be called out for what they are. "Antifa" is, in reality, "Profa" -- pro-fascist, not anti-fascist. They are the philosophical descendants of Mussolini's "black shirts" -- with the addition of hoods to hide their paramilitary faces. And when they show up and physically attack someone's home, they should be tracked down, arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

It is amazing -- and I have written on this subject a great deal in this space -- that to believe in a colorblind America as Tucker Carlson does, to oppose identity politics, the latter which I have long since termed the son of segregation and grandson of slavery because it is, in fact, racist -- is to be accused, of all ridiculous things, of "white nationalism." It should not escape that the Carlson accusers on this score have a serious projection problem.

As Ship of Fools makes crystal clear, Americans face a serious problem in dealing with this cast of characters who populate the American elites. These elites do indeed hold millions of Americans in contempt -- and the election of Donald Trump was the answer. But Donald Trump will not be president forever, and, as Tucker points out, "if you want to save democracy, you've got to practice it."

[Jan 17, 2019] Brasil neoliberal counterevolution by James Petras

Jan 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: President Trump's Losing Strategy: Embracing Brazil and Confronting China James Petras January 8, 2019

Introduction

The US embraces a regime doomed to failure and threatens the world's most dynamic economy. President Trump has lauded Brazil's newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and promises to promote close economic, political, social and cultural ties. In contrast the Trump regime is committed to dismantling China's growth model, imposing harsh and pervasive sanctions, and promoting the division and fragmentation of greater China.

Washington's choice of allies and enemies is based on a narrow conception of short-term advantage and strategic losses.

In this paper we will discuss the reasons why the US-Brazilian relation fits in with Washington's pursuit for global domination and why Washington fears the dynamic growth and challenge of an independent and competitive China.

Brazil in Search of a Patron

Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro from day one, has announced a program to reverse nearly a century of state directed economic growth. He has announced the privatization of the entire public sector, including the strategic finance, banking, minerals, infrastructure, transport, energy and manufacturing activities. Moreover, the sellout has prioritized the centrality of foreign multi-national corporations. Previous authoritarian civilian and military regimes protected nationalized firms as part of tripartite alliances which included foreign, state and domestic private enterprises.

In contrast to previous elected civilian regimes which strived – not always successfully – to increase pensions, wages and living standards and recognized labor legislation, President Bolsonaro has promised to fire thousands of public sector employees, reduce pensions and increase retirement age while lowering salaries and wages in order to increase profits and lower costs to capitalists.

President Bolsonaro promises to reverse land reform, expel, arrest and assault peasant households in order to re-instate landlords and encourage foreign investors in their place. The deforestation of the Amazon and its handover to cattle barons and land speculators will include the seizure of millions of acres of indigenous land.

In foreign policy, the new Brazilian regime pledges to follow US policy on every strategic issue: Brazil supports Trump's economic attacks on China, embraces Israel's land grabs in the Middle East, (including moving its capital to Jerusalem), back US plots to boycott and policies to overthrow the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. For the first time, Brazil has offered the Pentagon military bases, and military forces in any and all forthcoming invasions or wars.

The US celebration of President Bolsonaro's gratuitous handovers of resources and wealth and surrender of sovereignty is celebrated in the pages of the Financial Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times who predict a period of growth, investment and recovery – if the regime has the 'courage' to impose its sellout.

As has occurred in numerous recent experiences with right wing neo-liberal regime changes in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador, financial page journalists and experts have allowed their ideological dogma to blind them to the eventual pitfalls and crises.

The Bolsonaro regime's economic policies ignore the fact that they depend on agro-mineral exports to China and compete with US exports Brazilian ago-business elites will resent the switch of trading partners.. They will oppose, defeat and undermine Bolsonaro's anti-China campaign if he dares to persists.

Foreign investors will takeover public enterprises but are not likely to expand production given the sharp reduction of employment, salaries and wages, as the consumer market declines.

Banks may make loans but demand high interest rates for high 'risks' especially as the government will face increased social opposition from trade unions and social movements, and greater violence from the militarization of society.

Bolsonaro lacks a majority in Congress who depend on the electoral support of millions of public employees, wage and salaried workers ,pensioners,and gender and racial minorities. Congressional alliance will be difficult without corruption and compromises Bolsonaro's cabinet includes several key ministers who are under investigation for fraud and money laundering. His anti-corruption rhetoric will evaporate in the face of judicial investigations and exposés.

Brazil is unlikely to provide any meaningful military forces for regional or international US military adventures. The military agreements with the US will carry little weight in the face of deep domestic turmoil.

Bolsanaro's neo-liberal policies will deepen inequalities especially among the fifty million who have recently risen out of poverty. The US embrace of Brazil will enrich Wall Street who will take the money and run, leaving the US facing the ire and rejection of their failed ally.

The US Confronts China

Unlike Brazil, China is not prepared to submit to economic plunder and to surrender its sovereignty. China is following its own long-term strategy which focuses on developing the most advanced sectors of the economy – including cutting edge electronics and communication technology.

Chinese researchers already produce more patents and referred scientific articles than the US. They graduate more engineers, advanced researchers and innovative scientists than the US based on high levels of state funding . China with an investment rate of over 44% in 2017, far surpasses the US. China has advanced, from low to high value added exports including electrical cars at competitive prices. For example, Chinese i-phones are outcompeting Apple in both price and quality.

China has opened its economy to US multi-national corporations in exchange for access to advanced technology, what Washington dubs as 'forced' seizures.

China has promoted multi-lateral trade and investment agreement ,including over sixty countries, in large-scale long-term infrastructure agreements throughout Asia and Africa.

Instead of following China's economic example Washington whines of unfair trade, technological theft, market restrictions and state constraints on private investments.

China offers long-term opportunities for Washington to upgrade its economic and social performance – if Washington recognized that Chinese competition is a positive incentive. Instead of large-scale public investments in upgrading and promoting the export sector, Washington has turned to military threats, economic sanctions and tariffs which protect backward US industrial sectors. Instead of negotiating for markets with an independent China, Washington embraces vassal regimes like Brazil's under newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro who relies on US economic control and takeovers.

ORDER IT NOW

The US has an easy path to dominating Brazil for short-term gains – profits, markets and resources, but the Brazilian model is not viable or sustainable. In contrast the US needs to negotiate, bargain and agree to reciprocal competitive agreements with China ..The end result of cooperating with China would allow the US to learn and grow in a sustainable fashion.

[Jan 15, 2019] The Neoliberal ship is foundering while the uplifting of people-based policies of Russia and China keep them on track to reach their aims

Notable quotes:
"... Soon, if Trump keeps the government shutdown, those idled federal workers just might be seen in the streets. ..."
"... "The very conditions Macron strove so very hard to bring about in Damascus and that France DID help bring about in Kiev are now rocking the very foundations of the French Republic." ..."
"... Metaphorically, Rome burns while Nero and his Senators fiddle ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 9, 2019 6:35:16 PM | link

George Galloway weighs in on the chaos engulfing the Empire in Washington, London and Paris. The Neoliberal ship is foundering while the uplifting of people-based policies of Russia and China keep them on track to reach their aims. Soon, if Trump keeps the government shutdown, those idled federal workers just might be seen in the streets. George has a penchant for connecting things, and had this to say about Macron:

"The very conditions Macron strove so very hard to bring about in Damascus and that France DID help bring about in Kiev are now rocking the very foundations of the French Republic."

The false flag of Austerity--Neoliberalism preying on its own as was predicted at its beginnings is what we're witnessing, while the actors that created the situation cling with bloody hands to the ship of state unwilling to surrender the wheel to those who might salvage the situation.

Metaphorically, Rome burns while Nero and his Senators fiddle .

[Jan 15, 2019] Profit Over People Neoliberalism and Global Order eBook Noam Chomsky Kindle Store

Jan 15, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Trevor Neal 4.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated November 2, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The book, Profit over People by Noam Chomsky, Linguist turned political / social critic, is an indictment against the process of globalization currently in vogue. Supporters of U.S. International policy and trade agreements beware. If you agree with present policy then this book is not for you. However, if you seek to examine your views, or if you need data to utilize as a critique of current policy then Noam Chomsky offers a strong expose of capitalism and globalization.

The book revolves around several major themes, including an examination of neoliberalism, its definition, history, and how it is utilized in current policy. Next, Mr. Chomsky turns to how consent for neoliberalism is manufactured through institutions such as the media. He ends with a critique of U.S. Foreign policy especially in Latin America, the NAFTA agreement, and insights into the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas Mexico during the 1990's.

Mr. Chomsky uses neoliberalism as a pejorative term to connote the practices of economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, and deregulation. In 'Profit over People' it is defined "as the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much as possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit." Neoliberalism is based on the economic theories of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

At the time of 'Profit Over People,' Neoliberalism had been the dominant economic paradigm for a couple decades. In his critique of this paradigm, Mr. Chomsky observed that it was being used to justify the corporate domination of the civic and public life of nations including the U.S. He also noted that through neoliberalism, capitalism was being equated with democracy and supporters were using this perspective to advocate for deregulation policies as well as international trade agreements. He insinuated that at the same time corporations were manufacturing consent for economic liberalization their real goal was to attempt to gain control of international markets. A quote from the introduction illustrates this theme;

"....as Chomsky points out, markets are almost never competitive. Most of the economy is dominated by massive corporations with tremendous control over their markets and that therefore face precarious little competition of the sort described in economic textbooks and politicians speeches. Moreover, corporations themselves are effectively totalitarian organizations, operating along nondemocratic lines."

Contemplating the issues Mr. Chomsky raises it is difficult to be objective with him because his argument is so one-sided. He does not have one good thing to say about the effects of globalization or trade agreements. There definitely are some negative effects of globalization, yet it raises red flags in the mind of a discerning reader when positive effects are overlooked. For example, he is very critical of NAFTA and provides evidence in support of his argument, yet his critique is before NAFTA even went into effect.

Still, although a little outdated, and opinionated, Profit over People provides important insights into the process of globalization, and who gains from the process. Mr. Chomsky raises legitimate concerns about current trends in global development, and the forces behind it. This is why I consider 'Profit over People' a book worth reflecting on.

[Jan 14, 2019] Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump as President - Desperate Ones Do!

People are ready to rebel... Stability of countries is underrated and it is easy to destroy it and very difficult or often impossible to rebuilt it.
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com


John McCandlish 4.0 out of 5 stars Good book - but dinging him one star for not being bold and honest with himself October 20, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition

I encourage people to read this book. My four star rating certainly does NOT reflect my agreement with all of his points and arguments. However, debate and understanding of other viewpoints is important. Compared to many other right-wing books, Tucker I think makes a lot of valid points.

However, I am dinging him one-star because I don't think he put himself really out there. I suspect he wants to protect his viewership on Fox by not calling out Trump when appropriate. Tucker never once mention Trump where Trump does not stand for what Tucker stands for. The words civility is often mentioned; yet nothing about our President outright meanness, cruelty, and lack of civility. Also, I get and agree with the subject of Free Speech and some of the extremists on the left. Yet failing to mention the attacks on the free press from Trump illustrates his weakness to be completely objective. (Yes the MSM is liberal, but free press is still part of our democracy). Probably most important is Tucker's failure to even address tax and fiscal policy in regards to the elites. Maybe Tucker thinks a ballooning debt is okay (both Obama and Trump); and the Trump tax cut is not part of the elite structure to gain even more power. Seems odd to me.

Other noteworthy items for potential readers. Be prepared for two long rants. While I lean liberal, I had no idea what Chelsea Clinton was up to. Apparently she is destroying the world. lol. It's almost like Tucker just has a personal vendetta with her. I myself don't keep up with any President's kids. ...okay, that's a little bit of a lie. I find the SNL skits on Don Jr. and Eric very funny. Tucker's other personal vendetta is with Ta-Nehisi Coates. I got in the first two minutes Tucker didn't like the book and thought it full of holes. I didn't agree with everything Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote either just like I don't agree with everything Tucker writes; but I have rated both as four stars.

Scott Z. 4.0 out of 5 stars Missing an Action Plan October 27, 2018 Format: Hardcover

T.C. - Kudos, you absolutely nailed it with title and introduction. The first paragraph exacts our situation, and lowers down your reader ever so softly, allowing us to know: You Do Get It. Perhaps best explified with this little zinger:

"Happy countries don't elect Donald Trump as President - Desperate Ones Do!"

And, please accept a Big Thank You for taking the time to narrate your own book. IT truly is the best way to consume the content.

"Nothing is really hidden - Only ignored!!" I sincerely doubt our ruling class - which reasoned away why Trump was ever elected.. Will Ever Get This Point. Today's ruling elite's are fully insulated and it is EXACTLY the way they like it. They have it Far Too Good living in a No Answer Required reality while being fed by lobbists. Heck our leadership is so far removed, they couldn't hear the ever increasing cries for Civil Revolution that have bellowed on since at least, 2010. On the other hand, Donald Trump sure did! He campaigned exactly on this. And some of us that voted for him, are willing to bet too - The Wizards of Oz [Federal Reserve] were listening as rebels yelled with question of their secret club and it's role in this funneling - decades long downward swirel. Lest anyone forget, it was they [under FDR's New Deal] who are postured with pinnicle to shield us from another Great Depression.

So What if Trump tells lies. Don't you get it? It's FREE Speech on Steroids. He's making a statement about our First Amendment.

Your next 8 chapters... profoundly filled with deep and convincing material.. albeit, sometimes shocking in perspective... clearly articulates our reality... all of which, when glued together tells us exactly what we know: The Boat has Run Amuk!

The meaty middle of your publication... filled with oceans of content - leaves this reader to wonder which think tank supported your endevour? I mean, material like this doesn't just come from perusing the Washington or New York Post. Lastly, you give thanks to your Fox Team but come on... this is far too volumous for stellar three research artists to uncover - even if given 5 years.

Notwithstanding, it was your epilog that brought my Biggest Disappointment. Any sailor knows if you want to Right a Rolled Ship, you'll first need Force - to get the thing uprighted, and a Super Slurping Sump to get it drained. Only then, can we change how it Floats.. and which way it Sails. In fairness, perhaps you are implying the ship was uprighted by such a force back in Nov. 2016, with the election of President Trump. If so, I clearly missed that one from you.

Amazingly, with just under two years in office, his administration has made tremendous headway at operating the bilge. And, I don't think there has been another president in the history of your country who has Done More of what he campaigned on, to this point in any administration. And only the next election cycle will determine if the Coast Guard has begun sailing toward us in rescue.

With our capitalistic democracy you can't just wish the boat to flip and drain. While your "Tend to the Population" idea is both eloquent and laudable - and will help change the course once the keel is down.. it does nothing to cause money to stop flowing up the hill. When 2% of the population holds 90% of the wealth, when the outdated middle class based Income Taxation System is wrapped around a middle class that is no longer in existence, then there's little hope for the lower 10% to emerge. Heck, take this to a basic conversation about our democracy. We have lost faith in the power of our vote against the lobbists. The middle and lower class population can't spare the time to handle your decentralized suggestion even if leaders did fork over some power. We fell in the ocean long ago and are doing all we can to tread water, while fending off the circling sharks.

Sir, you know full well there is no incentive in our current democracy which will change what has been 40+ years in the making.. that which your middle 8 chapters so eloquently reveal. Oh, one or two politicians with genuine heart will try. But the two party system and all it's disfunctional glory will only laugh.

You suggest our leaders should proceed slow, that they decentralize power. Again laudable in therory, but reality suggests we stand too far devided in these "United States" and far too loudly is the call for revolution. The politicians are pandering the point!

We need to break the Democratically Elected, Capitalistically Funded - Autocratcy! Short of a mutiny, I for one have lost faith to believe anything else is going to right the ship. Rather than offer a mildly soft solution, your book needed to speak to action. And how it will get done!

R. Patrick Baugh 4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas to ponder November 6, 2018 Format: Hardcover

Love him or loathe him (I happen to know him, and I'd describe him as a "charming rogue" after sitting next to him at dinner on several occasions), the author has some very interesting things to say about why we as a nation seem to be headed in the direction we're heading. A few of his facts that he uses to back up his ideas seem a little "let me see if I can find an obscure fact or quote to back my point up" and fly in the face of reality (which is why I only gave 4 stars), but he presents some ideas that everyone should consider - you may choose not accept them, but an open-minded, independent person would take the time to actually think about what he's saying instead of dismissing it out of hand.

[Jan 14, 2019] Carlson labeled the "1% Gang" as "globalist" schemers who could care less about the folks at the bottom - or our America. He wrote that they hide their contempt for the poor and working class behind the "smokescreen of identity politics." They are leaving us with a "Them vs. Us" society, he warned - "a new class system."

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Bill Hughes 4.0 out of 5 stars I'm giving Carlson's tome three out of five stars. November 3, 2018 Format: Hardcover Let's face it, we live in trying times. Take politics for example. Donald Trump's Right-leaning Republicans (The Repugs) couldn't be more divided from Nancy Pelosi's Liberal Democrats (The Dims) on just about every serious issue. How wide? Think Atlantic Ocean wide!

We don't need any expert to tell us that either. Things are so bad, most sane people won't bring up sensitive subjects, such as government, race, immigration, the environment, and on and on, in the company of strangers. To do so is to risk starting WWIII. Under the reign of "El Presidente," aka "The Donald," it has all gotten worse.

When I was growing up in a heavily-democratic South Baltimore, a Republican was a novelty. There was only one on my block in Locust Point. She kept a low profile. This was so even during the halcyon days of Republican Theodore "Teddy" McKeldin, twice mayor of Baltimore and twice governor of Maryland.

Things have changed dramatically. Now, my old democratic political club on South Charles Street, near the Cross Street market, "The Stonewall," a once-strong bastion for the working class, is no more. Its boss, Harry J. "Soft Shoes" McGuirk, too, has passed on to his final reward. Its loyal followers, the ever faithful precinct workers, have vanished along with it. Instead, there's a booming housing market with properties, new and old, selling in Federal Hill, and Locust Point, too, for over one half million dollars.

During my salad days, you could have bought a whole block of houses in Locust Point for that kind of money. That day is over.

The Millennials, aka "Generation Y," have flooded the area. They have also found it hard to identify with either major political party, or major institutions, according to a recent Pew Study. Bottom line: The Millennials have demonstrated little or no interest in democratic machine politics. This is not a good sign for maintaining a vigorous participatory democracy at either the local or national level.

Enter Tucker Carlson and his best-selling book, "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution." It couldn't be more timely with divisions in the country rising daily and sometimes leading to - violence!

The author zeroed in on America's grasping ruling clique. I like to call them "The 1% Gang." The numbers keep changing for the worse. One study shows them owning about 40 percent of the country's wealth. They own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, according to a Federal Survey of Consumers Finances.

In a recent "Portside" commentary, writer Chuck Collins, pointed out that the wealth of America's three richest families has grown by 6,000 percent since 1982. Today, they owned as "much wealth as the bottom half of the U.S. population combined." (11.02.18)

Carlson labeled the "1% Gang" as "globalist" schemers who could care less about the folks at the bottom - or our America. He wrote that they hide their contempt for the poor and working class behind the "smokescreen of identity politics." They are leaving us with a "Them vs. Us" society, he warned - "a new class system."

How did Donald Trump win in 2016? Carlson gives his spin on that controversial election: He said, "desperate" countries elect candidates like Trump. The voters were, in effect, giving the "middle finger" to the ruling class, after decades of "unwise leaders." Once the voters believe that "voting is pointless," anything can happen. Wise leaders should understand this. But after listening to Hillary Clinton perpetually whine about her losing bid, "poor Hillary," in 2016, for the highest office, I'm not so sure they do.

To underscore the charge of unwise leadership, the author pointed to the stupid decisions to "invade Iraq and bail out Wall Street lowering interest rates, opening borders and letting the manufacturing sector collapse and the middle class die." The people, Carlson emphasized, sent a strong message: "Ignore voters for long enough and you get Donald Trump." To put it another way, Hillary's "Deplorables" had spoken out loud and clear.

I especially enjoyed how Carlson ripped into the Neocons' leading warmonger, Bill Kristol. He exposed the latter's secret agenda to become the "ideological gatekeeper of the Republican party." Kristol believed the U.S. should be bombing and invading countries throughout the Middle East. His main claim to infamy was his support for the illegal and immoral U.S. invasion of Iraq. When Trump critiqued the Iraq War and its promoters, Carlson wrote "Kristol erupted." That feud continues to this day. I'm sure if Trump goes along with a US invasion of Iran, they will patch things up - quickly.

Question: Shouldn't warmongering be a "Hate Crime?"

In summing up his book, Carlson said that the "1% Gang," hasn't gotten the message. They are "fools, unaware that they are captains on a sinking ship."

Let's hope the Millennials are listening. It sure is odd, however, that this book advocating "reason" in our political life, comes from a commentator associated with a television station which is known as a bastion of unreason - Fox News! The author is an anchor on the Fox News Channel.

Although, Carlson deserves credit for blasting both the Left and Right in his book, I found some of his arguments lacking substance. Nevertheless, his main point about greedy lunatics running the country into the ground, and the need for a campaign to stop them, warrants immediate attention by an informed electorate.

I'm giving Carlson's tome three out of five stars.

[Jan 14, 2019] Tucker Carlson Leaves Cenk Ugyur SPEECHLESS On Immigration

Notable quotes:
"... Chunk Yogurt is unaware that breaking into our country is a crime. He's talking about a secondary crime being committed by the illegals ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

WesleyAPEX 1 month ago

Chunk Yogurt is unaware that breaking into our country is a crime. He's talking about a secondary crime being committed by the illegals

Fernando Amaro 1 month ago

While Tucker uses logic and facts to make his arguments, Cenk uses feelings to support his. If anyone is still a follower of Cenk after this video, then Tucker is right, the level of delusion in society is staggering.

Western Chauvinist 1 month ago

Chunk really is a disingenuous slime ball. He brings up food as evidence of our "multiculturalism", it's such a moronic example. The fundamentals of culture that Tucker was speaking of include our beliefs enshrined in the constitution, freedom of speech, our egalitarianism, capitalism, the English language, ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit, all of the god-given rights we believe in, self defense, etc. It's very uniquely American and to have millions upon millions of Hondurans or Mexicans or whatever flood in, not assimilate, and change the language and the freedoms/god-given rights we believe in, that will displace OUR culture with theirs.... and clearly our culture is superior, if it wasn't then they'd be the one's with a rich country that we'd want to move to. Who gives a fuck if we like to eat tacos or pasta you greasy slime ball. Basically if Glob of Grease was right then there would be no such thing as assimilation.

CWC4 1 month ago

At the risk of sounding misogynistic I have to say listening to a liberal is like listening to a woman. No matter how wrong they are in their mind they're right. No matter how much logic & common sense you throw their way it's never enough for them to understand. That's what it be like watching these "debates". This is why a lot of the left when it comes to men are considered BETA. They have the skewed mind like that of a female, men appeal more to logic than emotional rhetoric like what Cenk was speaking from. This is why civilizations of the past have all gone the way of the dodo bird. Because they'll allow themselves to become so diverse to the point of collapse. It's funny too because all of the countries they beg us to allow in are some of the most segregated countries on the planet, such as Asia.

[Jan 14, 2019] Nanci Pelosi and company at the helm of the the ship the Imperial USA

Highly recommended!
The quote below is from Tucker book... Tucker Carlson for President ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... What was written as an allegory is starting to feel like a documentary, as generations of misrule threaten to send our country beneath the waves. ..."
"... Facts threaten their fantasies. And so they continue as if what they're doing is working, making mistakes and reaping consequences that were predictable even to Greek philosophers thousands of years before the Internet. ..."
"... They're fools. The rest of us are their passengers. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Most terrifying of all, the crew has become incompetent. They have no idea how to sail. They're spinning the ship's wheel like they're playing roulette and cackling like mental patients. The boat is listing, taking on water, about to sink. They're totally unaware that any of this is happening. As waves wash over the deck, they're awarding themselves majestic new titles and raising their own salaries. You look on in horror, helpless and desperate. You have nowhere to go. You're trapped on a ship of fools.

Plato imagined this scene in The Republic. He never mentions what happened to the ship. It would be nice to know. What was written as an allegory is starting to feel like a documentary, as generations of misrule threaten to send our country beneath the waves.

The people who did it don't seem aware of what they've done. They don't want to know, and they don't want you to tell them. Facts threaten their fantasies. And so they continue as if what they're doing is working, making mistakes and reaping consequences that were predictable even to Greek philosophers thousands of years before the Internet.

They're fools. The rest of us are their passengers.

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars October 2, 2018

Don't drink and read

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

[Jan 14, 2019] Sunday Special Ep 26 Tucker Carlson

Nov 04, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Tucker Carlson, Fox News host and author of "Ship of Fools", joins Ben to discuss the social impact of rapid technological advances, what role government should or shouldn't play in the economy, and how both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are able to appeal to the same voters.

Subscribe to the Daily Wire to watch the bonus question! https://bit.ly/2q0wopL

[Jan 14, 2019] Ship of Fools How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution Tucker Carlson 9781501183669 Amazon

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Don't drink and read October 2, 2018 Format: Hardcover

Don't drink wine and read this book, you'll get angry and make posts on social media that are completely accurate and your friends will hate you.

Doyle 5.0 out of 5 stars Tucker at his best October 3, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I am 73 and voted for Bill Clinton both times. Was heavily involved in local union as president of a local. I have witnessed the declining middle class. The loss of our critical steel industry and the SHAFTA deal as we termed it NAFTA was first started by Bush Senior adopted as a center piece by Bill Clinton and and supported by both party's. Then we witnessed the migration of jobs, factories and the middle class becoming food stamp recipients. I couldn't understand how our country willing destroyed our manufacturing jobs. I wondered how we could ever fight a world war with no Steel and Aluminum plants. I became very disillusioned with both political party's. I felt Neither party gave a dime about the real loss to our country.

When the Towers fell I witnessed how it must have been when Pearl Harbor was attacked. People actually came together the Recruiter offices were packed with both men and women wanting to extract revenge on the terrorist. Then the longest war in our history began. It saddens me to say that our wonderful country hasn't won a war since World War 2. But not because of our military but the politicians . Vietnam was a for profit war most that fought there didn't have a clue as to why we were bogged down there and not one of the Generals had any idea how to fight this terrible travesty that took over 58000 lives and uncounted lives of veterans since.

When Trump announced his bid for president he was ridiculed by the elite from both party's . He listened to the disillusioned to the workers that lost everything. When Trump won it was a shot across the bow of the powers that be.

Our president is far from perfect however he heard the masses and brought back some semblance of sanity. Once again President has given hope to our country that had been commandeered by an apologist President . Who was not respected on the world stage. Thank you Tucker for this book.

Alan F. Sewell 5.0 out of 5 stars Tucker Carlson in sharpest focus October 2, 2018 Format: Hardcover

If there's one word that describes Tucker Carlson, it is "sharp." He cuts to the core of each issue, explains it concisely, and shucks away the hidden agendas of those who want to manipulate the issue for their own self-serving agendas.

That's exactly what he does in this book. It is written conversationally, the way Tucker Carlson talks on TV. He has condensed millions of words about the advent of Donald Trump into two sentences: "Countries can survive war and famines and disease. They cannot survive leaders who despise their own people." Tucker elaborates:

=====
Donald Trump was in many ways an unappealing figure. He never hid that. Voters knew it. They just concluded that the options were worse -- and not just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, but the Bush family and their donors and the entire Republican leadership, along with the hedge fund managers and media luminaries and corporate executives and Hollywood tastemakers and think tank geniuses and everyone else who created the world as it was in the fall of 2016: the people in charge. Trump might be vulgar and ignorant, but he wasn't responsible for the many disasters America's leaders created .

There was also the possibility that Trump might listen. At times he seemed interested in what voters thought. The people in charge demonstrably weren't. Virtually none of their core beliefs had majority support from the population they governed .Beginning on election night, they explained away their loss with theories as pat and implausible as a summer action movie: Trump won because fake news tricked simple minded voters. Trump won because Russian agents "hacked" the election. Trump won because mouth-breathers in the provinces were mesmerized by his gold jet and shiny cuff links.
=====

He covers many insights provided in other excellent books by Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, Anne Coulter, Charles Murray, and Jordan Peterson. But he brings them into the sharpest focus in his own unique way. For example, he addresses the issue of income inequality, which the Republican and Conservative Establishments seems afraid of:

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America thrived for 250 years mostly because of its political stability. The country had no immense underclass plotting to smash the system. There was not a dominant cabal of the ultrawealthy capable of overpowering the majority. The country was fundamentally stable. On the strata of that stability its citizens built a remarkable society.

In Venezuela . small number of families took control of most of the Venezuelan economy. America isn't Venezuela. But if wealth disparities continue to grow, why wouldn't it be? Our political leaders ought to be concerned. Instead they work to make the country even less stable, by encouraging rapid demographic change
====

He is courageous in pointing out that excessive immigration, of the kind that Wall Street Republicans and Liberals Democrat want, is perhaps detrimental to the interests of most Americans:

====
. Democrats know immigrants vote overwhelmingly for them, so mass immigration is the most effective possible electoral strategy: You don't have to convince or serve voters; you can just import them. Republican donors want lower wages.
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He talks about the social stratification of American society: that we have become an overly-credentialized society that concentrates its wealth into a tiny number of elites, while the middle class struggles far in the rea:

====
The path to the American elite has been well marked for decades: Perform well on standardized tests, win admission to an elite school, enter one of a handful of elite professions, settle in a handful of elite zip codes, marry a fellow elite, and reproduce.
=====

Tucker castigates the corruption of Conservatives and Liberals. He characterizes Republican House leader Paul Ryan as a bought-and-paid-for tool of multinational corporations. He talks about how Liberals have also become corrupted. The old-time Liberals (like his elementary school teacher) were an affable group of socially-conscious, well-meaning, and charmingly eccentric people. Some of those Liberals are still around. But many have become the greediest of Wall Street charlatans who operate the most oppressive companies here and abroad. Even worse, they have come do despise their fellow American citizens who have been distressed by the unstable economy of recent decades:

====
This is the unspoken but core assumption of modern American elites: I went to Yale and live on ten acres in Greenwich because I worked hard and made wise choices. You're unemployed and live in an apartment in Cleveland because you didn't. The best thing about old-fashioned liberals was how guilty they were. They felt bad about everything, and that kept them empathetic and humane. It also made them instinctively suspicious of power, which was useful. Somebody needs to be.
=====

Tucker concludes by explaining why the Establishments of both parties are whining about what they think is "the end of democracy" (translation: "We, the Establishment, think democracy is ending because the people won't vote for our candidates"). Then he gives the Establishment his trademark, one-sentence summation:

"If you want to save democracy, you've got to practice it."

TN_MAN 4.0 out of 5 stars Solution is Weak October 16, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Tucker Carlson does a good job, in this book, of laying out the mistakes being made by the Political Establishment in America. He takes both flavors of the Establishment to task. Both the smug, leftist Democrats and the soft Republican RINO's. I thought that I was educated on the problems being caused by this 'Ship of Fools' but Mr. Carlson informed me that things were even worse than I feared.

Where the book is weak is in the area of offered solutions. This is why I only gave it 4 stars. Mr. Carlson assumes that the Establishment set is purely driven by greed and a selfish desire for more and more power. So, his 'Solution' is to just tongue-lash them for being so greedy and selfish. He seems to assume that such shaming will force them to reform from within. This is delusional.

The Establishment is driven not only by greed and a lust for power. Many of them truly believe in a Marxist-Socialist ideology. They have taken over the education system, the legacy media, Hollywood and many big internet companies. This makes their ideology self-perpetuating. They cannot and will not reform on their own. Mr. Carlson is walking up the gangplank and joining the 'Ship of Fools' if he believes that 'self-reform' is a solution.

No, there are only two solutions. One is the election of 'disruptors', like President Trump, who will gradually reform both the Government and the Education System so as to replace Marxist-Socialism with a return to the core American principles of a Representative Republic. The other, I am sad to say, is forcible suppression of the Establishment Class by the American People. The smug elites may imagine that the police and military will support them. However, they won't do it against their own people. Especially for a ruling class that does nothing but belittle both the police and the military at every opportunity.

I truly don't want to see this second approach implemented. America already has enough blood-stained pages in her history. Nevertheless, if the Establishment and the Marxist-Socialist Education system is not reined in, it will end up with many of the Establishment Class hanging from lampposts or facing firing squads. I truly hope it does not come to that.

Not Original, But a Great Read, and a Great Primer October 28, 2018

"Ship of Fools" extends the recent run of books that attack the American ruling class as decayed and awful. However it is characterized, as the professional-management elite, the Front Row Kids, or one of many other labels, all these books argue the ruling class is running our country into the ground, and most argue it is stupid and annoying to boot. I certainly agree, and I also tend to agree with the grim prognostication in the subtitle, that revolution is coming -- that is, this will end in blood. What this book fails to offer, though, just like all these books, is any kind of possible other solution. Which, after a while, reinforces the reader's conclusion that there is no other solution.

Not a word in this book is truly original. That's not to say it's bad: Carlson is highly intelligent and well informed, and his book is extremely well written, clever, funny, and compelling. As with most current political books, Donald Trump appears often, not as himself, but as a phenomenon, whose rise deserves and requires explanation, and who therefore implicitly frames the book, though the author stops mentioning him about halfway through. Carlson's thoughts on Trump, however, are no more original than the rest of the book, the basic conclusion of which is that actions have consequences, and Trump is a natural consequence of the actions taken by our ruling class. In Greek myth, when you sow the earth with dragon's teeth, you get fierce warriors; today, when you harrow the disempowered with rakes, you get Trump.

Carlson, in his Introduction, recites a familiar litany, of the evisceration of the middle class and the emergence of the new class system, where there is a great gulf set between the ruling class and the mass of Americans. Part of the gap is money, shown by increased income and asset inequality. Part of the gap is status, as shown by behavior, such as consumption habits, but even more visible in differences in opportunity, where many desirable options are available to those who pass elite filters such as attending the right universities, and are wholly unavailable to the rest. Few people, of whatever political persuasion, would deny the emergence of this gap; it is what conclusions to draw that are in dispute.

This widening horizontal fracture between mass and elite is reflected in the political parties. The Democrats have shifted from a party of the masses, to a party focused on elite concerns, such as "identity politics, abortion, and abstract environmental concerns." They ignore existential threats to the non-elites such as the loss of good manufacturing jobs, the opioid epidemic, the dropping life span of the non-elite, and that Obamacare and crony capitalism handouts to the insurance companies and lawyers have made insurance unaffordable for the working class. The Republicans have always been more focused on the elite (until Trump), and so have shifted position less, but are no less blameless. Carlson recognizes that the common Republican talking point, that nobody in America is actually poor by historical standards, is mostly irrelevant for these purposes. Inequality is perceived on a relative scale, and it creates envy. As Jonathan Haidt has explained at length, for many people's moral views, fairness is a key touchstone, and abstract economic arguments are not an adequate response. And whatever the causes or rationales, this abandonment of the masses by both parties leaves nobody with power representing the non-elite.

Now, I think this horizontal fracture analysis of the political parties is a bit too simplistic. I see American politics as a quadrant, in which neoliberal Democrats like Hillary Clinton have more in common with elite-focused Republicans like Jeb Bush than they do with either Bernie Sanders Democrats or Trump Republicans, who have much in common with each other. Carlson collapses this quadrant into a duality, in essence lumping Clinton and Bush into one group, and Sanders and Trump acolytes into another. This conceals certain critical issues, especially between the two portions of the quadrant that constitute those excluded from the ruling class. But I suppose Carlson's main goal is to highlight the elite/non-elite distinction on which he builds his case.

The rest of the book is an expansion on this Introduction, in which history is intertwined with analysis of the present day. Carlson heavily focuses on immigration, i.e., "Importing a Serf Class." This is the issue most clearly separating the ruling class from the ruled. Democrat and Republican elites have actively cooperated to flood America with alien immigrants, legal and illegal, against the wishes and interests of the masses. Diversity is not our strength, "it's a neutral fact, inherently neither good nor bad. . . . Countries don't hang together simply because. They need a reason. What's ours?" Carlson contrasts Cesar Chavez, who hated illegal immigrants as wage-lowering scum, with today's elites, who demand illegal immigrants so they can be waited on hand and foot in their gated palaces. These changes are reflected in the official programs of the parties and in the pronouncements of their mandarins -- or they were, until Trump showed up, and modified the Republican approach. What is more, they extend now to seemingly unrelated single-issue pressure groups -- the Sierra Club, for example, now shrilly demands unlimited immigration, increased pressure on the environment be damned.

Immigration, though, is just one example of how the elites now ignore the legitimate interests of the working class. Apple treats workers (Chinese, to be sure) like slaves, but burns incense at the concerns of the elite such as gender inequality in management, so no attention is paid to the workers -- the time of Dorothy Day is long gone. Amazon treats its employees as human robots, yet nobody in power complains. Facebook corrupts our youth through deliberate addiction and is chummy with killer regimes, yet no Congressman challenges them for that. Meanwhile the Democratic Party has exiled real representatives of the masses, whom they used to lionize, such as Ralph Nader. How do the elites reconcile this behavior in their own minds? They are united in their belief that their elite status is the result of merit, what Carlson cleverly calls "secular Calvinism." The masses have less because they deserve less. That is to say, elite liberals, in particular, no longer challenge the hierarchy on behalf of the truly powerless, which is, as Jordon Peterson points out, the traditional and valid role of the Left. Instead, they denigrate the powerless, the bitter-clingers, the deplorables, while assuring themselves that because they focus on elite matters supposedly related to "oppressions," such as granting new rights to homosexuals (a wealthy and powerful group), that they are somehow maintaining their traditional role.

Carlson also covers "Foolish Wars," in which the masses die for elite stupidity, such as George W. Bush's delusion that the Arab world wanted democracy. Again, the cutting humor shows through: "One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. . . . The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans. Max Boot is living proof it's happening in America." Trump, at least in the campaign, saw the demands for ever-more foreign wars as what they are -- an abomination. The ruling classes, on the other hand, are all for more wars -- a departure from the past, especially among Democrats.

It's not just Max Boot that Carlson attacks by name. He slices up Bill Kristol for several pages. It is brutal. (I was a young intern in the White House when Dan Quayle was Vice President and Kristol his chief of staff. Kristol was a preening moron even then; unlike a fine wine, he has not improved with age.) Carlson also savages Ta-Nehisi Coates at length, although that's a bit like thrashing a man tied up in a gimp suit, too easy. Referring to Coates's miserable book, he says "It's a measure how thoroughly the diversity cult has corroded the aesthetic standards of our elite that the book was greeted with almost unanimous praise, which is to say, lying."

Next comes free speech. Liberals used to support free speech, no matter the cause; now the elite is eager to violently suppress speech that displeases them (or, more accurately, speech that threatens them by proving to be effective in eroding their power). Such suppression is primarily something pushed by the Left, though the elite Right is happy to cooperate. Carlson adduces the infamous dawn SWAT raids on conservatives by elite Democrats in Wisconsin, led by Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm, judge Barbara Kluka, and prosecutor Francis Schmitz (who have escaped punishment, so far, unfortunately, although if the revolution that Carlson seems to predict arrives, hopefully they will be remembered). Brendan Eich and James Damore also make an appearance, as individuals persecuted by the elites, in the form of corporations, for their speech.

Carlson makes an important point here, one ignored by the odious coterie of inside-the-beltway corporate Republicans and #NeverTrumpers -- that even though they are not subject to the First Amendment, it is false that corporations who behave this way cannot or should not be disciplined. As he notes, "Government regulates all sorts of speech in the private sector." What government doesn't do is regulate speech in a way that protects conservatives -- restriction of speech is a sword used only to enforce the dominion of the Left. The Right needs to weaponize it against the Left, not to defend an abstract and unnecessary principle that is ignored when harm is done to them. As I have written elsewhere, a good place to start would be legislatively forbidding all sizeable corporations from any discrimination based on speech or other expressive action (such as donating money to a cause) that the federal government could not legally forbid (e.g.., obscenity). The law would be enforced by massive statutory damages ($500,000 per occurrence), one-way fee shifting against the companies, and a huge federal enforcement bureaucracy empowered with broad discovery powers. This would apply both to protect employees and, critically, to protect all speech and actions of the public where the corporation, such as Twitter or Facebook, offers a supposedly neutral platform for the public to make statements. It would further apply, beyond mere speech, to forbid discrimination by all entities providing services analogous to common carriers, such as payment processors, notably PayPal, and credit card processors, whose services are now being selectively denied to suppress conservative speech. In addition, online shopping platforms such as Amazon would also be deemed common carriers, not permitted to refuse to list any non-illegal good for sale if they held themselves out as acting as a seller of general merchandise, or as acting as a platform to match third-party sellers and buyers. All this would be a good start to break the power of the corporate Left; it would be a change from conservatives' belief that private businesses should be left alone, but if they won't leave us alone, there is no reason we should leave them alone.

Identity, and its uses by the ruling class, swing next into the author's crosshairs. Carlson notes the elites don't bear the costs of the "diversity cult"; the masses do. The elites whip up fear of white supremacists as a political tool, even though the sum total of real white supremacists is trivial and they have no power. That is, the elites inflame racial passions for every group but whites, not realizing how dangerous that is. Of the obvious question, why whites shouldn't organize as a group, Carlson points out that some have asked the question, "but so far they have been self-discrediting: haters, morons, and charlatans. What happens when someone calm and articulate does it?" I am not eager to find out, but we are probably going to.

And, on feminism, Carlson notes the inconvenient truth that women are far less happy, as reported by the University of Chicago's longitudinal General Social Survey, than they were forty years ago, and that those with traditional views of gender roles are much happier, in general and in their marriages, than their harpy cousins. The latter, though, are dominant in the elites; Carlson names here names and shames Sheryl Sandberg. Moreover, the elites mandate a focus on their obsessive concerns about sexual behavior, including demanding the masses endorse claims utterly divorced from reality. "Men posing as female weight lifters isn't the biggest problem Western civilization faces, but it's an ominous symptom of deeper rot. When the people in charge retreat into fantasy, and demand that everyone else join them there, society itself becomes impervious to reality." Non-elite men, meanwhile, are treated like dirt, can't find jobs, and die at ever-younger ages, and the elite doesn't care -- in fact, it (mostly) discreetly celebrates. Finally, on environmentalism, elites don't care about the actual environment, cleaning up the trash, but rather about abstractions like supposed global warming, while they urge their private jets to greater speed.

It is a fast and compelling read. True, every so often Carlson missteps when talking about history. No, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, assassinated in 1914, was not "a second-string Austrian nobleman." Nor is it even remotely true that "Divide and conquer. That's how the British ruled India." Equally untrue is that "The right to express your views is the final bulwark that shields the individual from the mob that disagrees with him." The right to own and carry effective military weaponry, enshrined in the Second Amendment, is that right. Speech is a distant second as a bulwark. For a very smart man, Carlson seems to avoid any but recent history, and given these examples, that is probably a wise choice for him.

OK, so far, so good. The book is worth reading -- as I say, nothing original, but for those not attuned to such matters and looking for a primer, an excellent read. I eagerly looked forward to the last chapter, or rather the Epilogue, "Righting the Ship." That was a mistake. It is less than two pages. It offers bad history, suggesting that the only two alternatives are a system of oppressive rulers and oppressed serfs, and democracy. The former, supposedly, is the norm; our democracy is special, but it is under attack. Carlson therefore offers us, or rather our ruling class, two options: suspend democracy, or "attend to the population . . . If you want to save democracy, you've got to practice it." The alternative is likely civil war.

This is not helpful. Leaving aside that democracy is far from the only system that has provided a proper equilibrium between the ruling class and the masses (as Carlson himself admits when talking at length about the disappearance today of noblesse oblige), Carlson offers no reason at all for the ruling classes to take his advice. Why would they? Even if they accepted his analysis, which they don't, and won't, there is zero historical example of a late-stage ruling class reforming itself voluntarily. Carlson's Epilogue is just so much space filling. I suspect he knows that, too, which is why his Introduction is longer and more apocalyptic -- because he thinks that rupture is the future, and only hopes it will involve minimal violence. Rupture is almost certainly inevitable, but the end result is unlikely to be the saving of democracy as it exists now, since democracy is an inherently unstable system and at least partially responsible for the core fact of which Carlson complains, the rot of the ruling class. Thus, this book is a decent introduction to the topic of ruling class vice and decay, but no more. 16 people found this helpful Helpful 1 1 comment Report abuse

R. Larry Overstreet 4.0 out of 5 stars, November 1, 2018

Enlightening, but with Frustrations I like to watch Tucker Carlson's show on the Fox network. This book reads just like his opening monologues on his show, and I think that some (maybe much) of its content is a direct spinoff from that show. His writing sounds just like he speaks on his program. It is terse, compact, and often riveting. It is well written, and I did not observe any "typos" in its pages. He also provides excellent summaries of a wide ranging set of topics. For all of that, I would give the book a 5 star rating.

However, the book has a serious weakness for anyone who desires to use it to identify sources either easily or accurately. For examples, Tucker often directly quotes individuals (using quotation marks) but does not provide the sources where he obtained the quoted information. Many times he will refer to articles in Time magazine, or the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times, etc., but does not give the author of the articles, nor the titles, nor the dates. This makes a reader wonder precisely what those sources are. I recognize that Tucker is writing for an "ordinary reader," but for any reader who desires to have precise source data, this book is completely lacking. For that reason, I gave it a 4 star rating.

Amazon Customer 4.0 out of 5 stars, October 14, 2018

Eye opening

Being pre-baby boomer (1943) I have witnessed most of this. I guess I was aware on some level but not until Bill Clinton did I really start to pay close attention to political slide that is so evident now. Much of the Democratic screed is utter BS but to youngsters it is new, exciting and entirely believable because they have no from of reference.

Vantage2020 4.0 out of 5 stars October 24, 2018

Tucker Will Make You Angry

The average liberal, democrat, or progressive might want to avoid this book unless they possess a fair amount of courage. I'm talking about the courage to have their world view challenged. About what, you ask? A short, partial list includes immigration, racism, environmentalism, global warming, and the first amendment. And left wing folks are not the heroes of the piece. Then again, this book is not full of heroes. But the elites and ruling classes, most--but certainly not all--of whom are are left wing as described here--consistently occupy the roles of the villains in Ship of Fools. Tucker writes clearly and concisely in sketch and essay format. Each topic he tears into, and there are many, ends up shredded, in ruins when he's done with it and moves on. My only regret as he angers me about one issue and then the next is that he fails to offer solutions. I believe that's from whence the anger emanates. Readers might like to read that there is something obvious, if not easy, they can do to correct the moronic and hypocritical deeds the elites have bequeathed to the rest of us.

EastTexasGal 4.0 out of 5 stars October 22, 2018

Appreciated the History

Being a fairly regular viewer of Tucker Carlson Tonight, I had heard a.lot of his views on, e.g., Environmentalism, Gender Issues, Feminism, etc. What I appreciated about his book was that he explained how, when and why these became issues for America and the process by which so many good ideas have been derailed by greed, personal agendas, and selfishness.

Ocean View Retiree 4.0 out of 5 stars October 27, 2018

But what do we do?

On balance, he's right! ! I'm a great fan of Tucker Carlson on TV; he routinely takes on the lip flappers in the same way he does in this book. Every night. Five nights a week. And to what end?

The subject is hypocrisy, pure and unadulterated. It won't change, no matter what. Reading books like it only serves to frustrate me because people like Tucker know what's going on and we are all powerless to do anything about it. Yes, I'll vote and go to meetings, but it's all so miniscule.

Keep on truckin Tucker. Maybe someday somebody will listen.

Medusa 4.0 out of 5 stars October 23, 2018

Moving right along until.....

My copy of the book went from page 184 to 217, which is bad enough, but from page 217 onward it was a rehash of Chapter 6. Fortunately, I also purchased the CD or I would never know what else Tucker had to say. Amazon, look into this!

The book itself, what I could read of it, is right on. He says we're on the brink of revolution. I think we're already there. We are no longer a republic; we are an oligarchy, IMO. Tucker points out the reasons why. Much of what he says in the book you have probably heard him say on his show. That may prevent you from buying this book but sometimes repetition is good, especially when it's on subjects that address our imminent demise as a sovereign nation if we don't wake up. Tucker is not an alarmist; he's a realist. Liberals will hate this book b/c truth hurts.

Dr. Russell Warren 4.0 out of 5 stars December 9, 2018

Only one paragraph on the last page devoted to the solution? Shameful

I give Mr. Carlson a four for his succinct statement of the major political/social problem of our society. It can be found in the preface and itself is a major contribution to understanding society's major challenge and the imperative to address it.
95% of the book is devoted to fleshing out the problem. But this section is much too verbose. Also Carlson tucks in his pet opinions uch as his belief that global warming is not happening. That is not at all essential to his argument. Whatever side one is on, the pet opinions distract from the imperative of the fundamental problem and tend to be divisive.

He gets one star for the solution to the problem. It is covered in the last paragraph on the last page. One might hope that almost half of the book might be devoted to it. After all, it does little good to identify a problem and then leave the reader to fend for himself in solving it. The absence of his thinking about it makes one wonder how serious he is in addressing society's greatest challenge. This book needed an enlightened and heavy-handed editor.

[Jan 14, 2019] The neoliberal European Union is dead, but it does not know it yet

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

At this point, deja vu mind-set returns to teach a powerful lesson. Having once witnessed a major historical reversal, one knows that historical determinism isan illusion -- opium for people on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Machiavelli insisted that surrender is a bad idea because we never know what surprises fortune may have in store for us. In Machiavelli's view, there are "good times" and "bad times" in politics, and the good ruler is not one who can fend off the "bad times" so much, as one who has accumulated enough goodwill among citizens to help him ride out those bad times.

The argument of this short book is that European Union is going through a really bad time today, torn apart by numerous crises that damage confidence in the future of the project among citizens across the continent. So the disintegration of the union is one of the most likely outcomes.

[Jan 14, 2019] Amazon.com Power Politics (Second Edition) (9780896086685) Arundhati Roy Books

Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Luc REYNAERT 5.0 out of 5 stars Dissent is the only thing worth globalizing October 29, 2009 Format: Paperback

For A. Roy, a writer has the responsibility to take sides overtly.
In these violent diatribes, she tears the masks of the `missionaries to redeem the wretched' and of those preaching privatization and globalization as the one and only solution for the whole world's economic problems.

The hypocrisy of globalization
For A. Roy, globalization has nothing to do with the eradication of poverty. It will not pull the Third World out of the stagnant morass of illiteracy, religious bigotry or underdevelopment. In India, 70 % of the population still has no electricity and 30 % is still illiterate.
Globalization means crudely and cruelly `Life is Profit'. `Its realm is raw capital, its conquest emerging markets, its prayers profits, its borders limitless, its weapons nuclear.'
Privatization (of agriculture, seeds, water supply, electricity, power plants, commodities, telecommunications, knowledge) consists only in the transfer of productive public assets from the State to private interests (transnational corporations).
The globalization's economic agenda `munches through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts.' One example: by hugely subsidizing their farm industries, the rich countries put impoverished subsistence farmers in the Third World out of business and chase them into the cities.

The hypocrisy of the war against terrorism
For A. Roy, the rich countries are the real worshippers of the cult of violence. They manufacture and sell almost all the world's weapons and possess the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, nuclear).
At the head of ICAT (The Coalition Against Terror) stays a country which spends mind-boggling military budgets to fight a few bunches of manipulated terrorists created by the hegemon himself. It committed `the most of genocides, ethnic cleansing, and human rights violations. It sponsored, armed and financed untold numbers of dictators and supports military and economic terrorism.' Its aim is full spectrum dominance.
But, as Paul Krugman remarked, the replacement of the Cold War issue by the (manipulated) terrorism one as a justification for massive military spending was (and is) a very big failure.

Arundhati Roy's bitter and angry texts are a must read for all those who want to understand the world we live in.

C. Mclemore 4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh take on globalization June 1, 2003 Format: Paperback

Arundhati Roy bristles at being called a "writer-activist" (too much like sofa-bed, she says), but the rest of us should be grateful that the author of "The God of Small Things" is taking on the establishment, here and in India.
Part of Mrs. Roy's greatness is that she is not colored by the partisan debates that influence the dialogue on issues such as globalization in America. She is an equal-opportunity critic, taking on Clinton and Bush. Although other authors pledge no allegiance to either side of the aisle, Roy has a fresh perspective, and has a take on globalization that I haven't found in works by American authors.
This book is set up as a collection (a rather random collection) of several essays. The first essay gives a wonderful perspective of globalization (ie. the expansion of American business interests) from a foreign perspective. She examines the impact of the global economic movement on the actual people being affected by it at the lowest level. She reveals the influence of the privatization of the electric industry through the eyes of India's poorest citizens.
The second essay goes in-depth into politics in India, primarily addressing the enormous number of dams being built in the country, and the impacts (economic, environmental, social) that they will have. Mrs. Roy explicitly recounts how Enron scammed the Indian government into building new power generators, and how this will cost India hundreds of millions per year while lining the pockets of American business interests.
Critics will say that "Power Politics" is devoid of hard facts and analysis, but there can be no doubt that this book is worth a read. She may lack the economic background of Stiglitz, but her passion and style, in addition to her ability to articulate the important issues in the globalization debate in a readable manner, will be appreciated by anyone with an interest in global economic expansion.

[Jan 13, 2019] It is impossible to separate the current backlash on globalization from the backlash on neoliberalism as an ideology.

Notable quotes:
"... Crumbling of neoliberal ideology now is an undisputable scientific fact. While neoliberal practice continues since 2008 unabated, and neoliberalism even managed (not without help from some three-letter agencies) staged counterrevolutions in several countries such as Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil (the phenomena known as "Strange non-death of Neoliberalism"). ..."
"... The current level of degeneration of the neoliberal elite is another interesting factor. Essentially neoliberal oligarchy (and this is first of all financial oligarchy) and their political stooges lost the legitimacy in the minds of the majority of the electorate in the USA (Trump+Sanders supporters). ..."
"... Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society. ..."
"... Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 01.13.19 at 6:05 pm 22

My impression is that it is impossible to separate the current backlash on globalization from the backlash on neoliberalism as an ideology.

Crumbling of neoliberal ideology now is an undisputable scientific fact. While neoliberal practice continues since 2008 unabated, and neoliberalism even managed (not without help from some three-letter agencies) staged counterrevolutions in several countries such as Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil (the phenomena known as "Strange non-death of Neoliberalism").

One of the fundamental forces behind the last 25 years of neoliberal globalization is the availability of cheap oil. If this period is coming to an end in a decade or two (as in prolonging period of over $100 per barrel prices) the reversal of neoliberal globalization might acquire a completely different pace and scale.

The current level of degeneration of the neoliberal elite is another interesting factor. Essentially neoliberal oligarchy (and this is first of all financial oligarchy) and their political stooges lost the legitimacy in the minds of the majority of the electorate in the USA (Trump+Sanders supporters).

In this sense, I would like to emphasize an amazing and unexplainable (given Fox news owner) speech by Tucker Carlson on Jan 2, 2009.

He offered this blunt advice to Republicans:

Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

This is probably the first statement that neoliberalism is the enemy of healthy society on Fox.

This might not end well as financial oligarchy is entrenched and does not was to share power with anybody. Indeed, Carlson anticipated the resistance to his views in the way similar to FDR:

Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people

This also shed additional light of Russiagate, as an attempt to cement cracks in the neoliberal society by uniting the nation against the common enemy. In no way Russiagate is only about Trump.

[Jan 13, 2019] Catherine Austin Fitts – Federal Government Running Secret Open Bailout

Highly recommended!
Questionable, but still interesting perspective. Ignore marketing crap -- clearly there is marketing push within this presentation -- she wants your subscriptions. "This is Main Street vs Wall Street" dichotomy sounds plausible. Neoliberalism is, in essence, is the restoration of power of financial oligarchy.
But the idea of secret open bailout might explain why shale oil became so prominent despite high cost of producing it: Wall Street was subsidised via backchannels for bringing price downand supporting shale companies by the US goverment
Jan 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com

$21 trillion in "missing money" at the DOD and HUD that was discovered by Dr. Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts in 2017 has now become a national security issue. The federal government is not talking or answering questions, even though the DOD recently failed its first ever audit.

Fitts says, "This is basically an open running bailout. Under this structure, you can transfer assets out of the federal government into private ownership, and nobody will know and nobody can stop it. There is no oversight whatsoever. You can't even know who is doing it. I'm telling you they just took the United States government, they just changed the governance model by accounting policy to a fascist government. If you are an investor, you don't know who owns those assets, and there is no evidence that you do. . . . If the law says you have to produce audited financial statements and you refuse to do so for 20 years, and then when somebody calls you on it, you proceed to change the accounting laws that say you can now run secret books for all the agencies and over 100 related entities."

In closing, Fitts says, "We cannot sit around and passively depend on a guy we elected President. The President cannot fix this. We need to fix this. . . . This is Main Street versus Wall Street. This is honest books versus dirty books. If you want the United States in 10 years to resemble anything what it looked like 20 years ago, you are going to have to do it, and there is no one else who can do it. You have to first get the intelligence to know what is happening."

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Catherine Austin Fitts, Publisher of "The Solari Report." Donations: https://usawatchdog.com/donations/

Stay in contact with USAWatchdog.com: https://usawatchdog.com/join/

All links can be found on USAWatchdog.com: https://usawatchdog.com/secret-money-...

Bob T 20 hours ago

Greg, with all due respect I don't you understand what CAF is saying. Forget about a dollar reset. The fascists, using the Treasury, Exchange Stabilization Fund, HUD, DOD and any agency they choose, have turned the US government into a gigantic money laundering operation. And they maintain two sets of books - the public numbers are a complete sham. Any paper assets held by private citizens are not secure, are likely rehypothecated, and when convenient can be frozen or siezed by these fascists in Washington. There is no limit to how many dollars the FED can create secretly and funnel out through the ESF/Treasury to prop up and bail out any bank, black ops, pet project, mercenary army or paper assets they choose. The missing $21 trillion is probably a drop in the bucket as there is no audit and no honest books for us to examine. In sum, all paper asset pricing in dollars is a fraud and a sham. Any paper assets you think you own, whether it be stocks, bonds, or real estate are pure illusion: they can be repriced or stolen at any time; in reality, you own nothing. To the man and woman on the street I say this: get out of paper, get out of these markets and convert to tangibles in your physical possession - and do it secretly and privately, avoid insurances, records, paper trails. This mass defrauding of the American people by this corrupt government in Washington will come crashing down when the US dollar is displaced from reserve status; this is what China and Russia and the BRICS are setting the stage for: world trade without the US dollar. When this happens, your dollars will become virtual toilet paper and all of your paper assets will go poof.

D Loydel 18 hours ago (edited)

"We have to fix this". Ok how does the individual fix this? Private armies are running around doing whatever private armies do and I, the one man, is suppose to fix this. Please, will someone tell us what we are suppose to do, specific instructions not a mix of large words that say " we must fix this", damn, we need a leader. Greg you ask almost every person you interview what the middle class should be doing to protect themselves and you never get a "real" answer, just a dance around. Also you ask numerous people what this coming change is going to look like and again, just silence or dance music, no answers. Damn we need a leader. Your trying very hard to give us information that will help us weather the coming storm, so thank you for all you do, and you do more than anyone else out there.

Forrest Byers 19 hours ago

Question, why in part do I feel I am being lied to? Is it subscription hustle or is it, don't you believe your lying eyes!

Without knowing exactly what is what, anyone who would've watched Herbert Walker Bush's funeral with reactions from those who received cards, whether they be Bush family, the Clintons, the Obamas and entourage. Jeb Bush went from being proud and patriotic to panic like the funeral that he was at was for the whole family.

Joe Biden looked like he had a major personal accident and no way to get to the bathroom for cleanup.

George W. Bush after being asked a question, of which the answer was, "Yep" then proceeded to appear resigned and stoic! What ever was on those cards essentially amounted to, for all those receiving a card, "the gig is up" and it appears they all damn well knew it.

So, Catherine Austin Fitts, explain your, "Trump is colluding with the Bushies," I would say, that Canary in this mine of inquiry is dead. I'm just an old disabled Vietnam vet of plebeian background and certainly not a revolving door Washington DC Beltway patrician, so any explanation needs to be delivered in slow, logical step-by-step progression for I have not mastered the art of selling the sizzle in hopes that the dupes will later pay for the steak. I prefer, Greg, when you actually get more combative with Ms. Fitts. Make America, great again and do so, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

sell siliconvalley 19 hours ago

35 min: Fitts gives a great synopsis of the problem. She never deviates in all of her interviews. greg doesn't seem to understand at all. She repeats herself MULTIPLE TIMES and greg is still asking the same irrelevant PREPPER questions. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT ASSETS YOU HOLD GREG, AND THAT INCLUDES GOLD!!!! WHEN YOU'RE EXISTING IN A TYRANNICAL SYSTEM THAT STEALS AT WILL FROM ITS' CONSTITUENCY YOU CAN'T actually OWN ANYTHING!!!! lord! only so many ways to say

Andy Mak 17 hours ago

She lost credibility when she said Trump has "made a deal with the Bushes." That defies logic. The Bushes made a deal with Trump! Trump has gained full control of the military with a $ 1 1/2 trillion war chest. Trump and Putin are putting the China toothpaste back in the tube.

Karen Lydon 19 hours ago

This woman clearly knows nothing about the plan..she has not even mentioned that the world bank president has resigned who was appointed by obumma. And that is HUGE. She was in government in the corruption, but she doesn't know how things will be fixed..she's not in that loop of current things in the new reset..shes coming from her own perceptions

A T 20 hours ago

This woman always make me sick to my stomach. She comes out and says a bunch of scary stuff and offers no solution. If it's too much for just one person, then we the people need to take control. We don't need a central bank. We need local and state banks like the Bank of North Dakota then we can migrate over to them and then shut down the Fed.

[Jan 13, 2019] Tucker Carlson Routs Conservatism Inc. On Unrestrained Capitalism -- And Immigration by Washington Watcher

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Tucker Carlson's critique of unrestrained capitalism last week sent the Respectable Righ t into apoplectic fury. That's why it's irrelevant -- and why Carlson is increasingly emerging as a name to conjure with. ..."
"... Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating ..."
"... Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society. ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... The Right Should Reject Tucker Carlson's Victimhood Populism ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... National Review? ..."
"... [T]he primary responsibility for creating a life of virtue and purpose rests with families and individuals. In fact, it is still true that your choices are far more important to your success than any government program or the actions of any nefarious banker or any malicious feminist. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson Claims Market Capitalism Has Undermined American Society. He's Wrong. ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... America Needs Virtue before Prosperity ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Most young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, new report finds ..."
"... Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people ..."
"... Carlson's economic populism pairs with his support for patriotic immigration reform: both policies aim to serve the people's interest and strengthen America as a unified community. This vision conflicts with multinational corporations who would rather see America as one giant strip mall filled with atomized customers. Not surprisingly, these companies oppose patriotic immigration reform. Also not surprisingly, so does Conservatism Inc. ..."
"... The only institution that can stand up to corporations and tell them to change is the state -- which happens to be the only institution patriots can have any influence over. Academia, Hollywood, corporate America, and the Establishment Media are all under the thrall of Cultural Marxists. (The churches are a more complicated matter, but fewer Americans listen to religious leaders in our day and age.) ..."
"... Washington Watcher [ email him ] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway. ..."
"... Don't cry in 2020 if Donald Trump loses because he took advice from the same market capitalists who tried to sink him and his movement back in 2016 – the same people who destroyed Romney's chances in 2012. He's already well on his way with deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. Unfortunately, some of his supporters seem eager to help him in that losing effort. ..."
"... In my view, I think the message is clear. Government's role of facilitator, monitor and guarantor of fair practices has decided to jump in bed on the side of business and that without guarantee of a fair distribution to the US citizens, who in the case of government subsidies, contracts and bailouts are footing the bill for a good deal of financial misconduct and lousy adherence to best practices as they reap the benefits. ..."
"... Oh–I get it. The problem is not Capitalism. It's that we don't have more of it. God you people are brazenly ingenuous. ..."
"... Deregulating big biz without corresponding relaxations on common people is wrong and we must oppose it. No tax cuts for biz without much bigger ones for the common people! ..."
"... Some below average dude above said "this country has nothing resembling Capitalism going on. Big Business is in bed with Big Feral Gov't. "Crony Capitalism" may not roll off the tongue, but that's the usual fair description of it." Hear that on Fox News? Oh, if only we were all controlled and dominated by Capitalists. If only capitalists owned all the major media. If only Capitalists owned all the politicians. If only capitalists made up all the leading politicians. If only all the bankers were Capitalists If only the Fed was made up of capitalists. Then we would finally have true capitalism. ..."
"... But wait a minute. That's EXACTLY the situation that we do have. What that means is that we have EXACTLY the capitalism that capitalism produces. We have EXACTLY the capitalism that the leading capitalists, who will always control the capitalist government and the capitalist economy, want and need. ..."
"... And before anyone starts with "its the globalists." Globalism is capitalism. Capitalism brought the black slaves here, capitalism is bringing the Mexicans here. Slave labor/cheap labor is the name of the game, always has been. Nothing new. Globalism=capitalism ..."
"... Capitalist wars are also driving the refugees from their homelands. Whether in Iraq, Sudan or Honduras, wars are a twofer for capitalists, massive war profiteering, theft of resources, with the added bonus of driving refugees into Europe/America to lower the standard of living and decrease wages for us. ..."
"... Privatization of public property/resources is theft, privatization today is strictly about prioritizing money away from the commons and general welfare and giving total monopoly to the inbred 1% rent-seeking parasites, monopoly of resources (food, water, air, shelter), monopoly of control, monopoly of propaganda, monopoly of Policy, monopoly of money, monopoly of war. ..."
"... Most people, including below average guy above don't wan't to accept this, usually because of ignorance or "muh capitalism" and "muh free markets " brainwashing by Fox "News". They have been programmed subconsciously into thinking that any other alternative method will not work or it is "evil socialism". They are still interested in making rentier classes out of each other and fucking over their children's future, while propping up their capitalist overlords. ..."
"... Meet the New World Order. Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354-500-revealed-the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world/ ..."
"... and give it a rest with the "freedumb" BS you goon. The US has the largest prison population in the world. You go to jail for smoking a joint for goodness sake. At the same time capitalist bankers make off with trillions in stolen wealth without a slap on the wrist. ..."
"... Not to mention the spying/surveillance, Patriot Act, assassinations and indefinite detention of Americans with no due process, Anti-BDS laws, a totally rigged judicial system, a healthcare system that is nothing short of a racket, a fake media totally controlled by the capitalist war profiteers and corporate parasites. Everything that you accuse "communists" of is what is actually happening under the Capitalists. ..."
"... I agree with Tucker that the family unit is the most important reason why America is degenerating, resulting in less people getting married, less children, less everything, creating a vacuum that can only be filled by foreign invasion. The lack of strong families is also the reason for the rise in suicides, drug addiction, crime, treason, etc., etc. ..."
"... Militant feminism has made it such that husbands and wives become economic competitors rather than complementary partners. Families have become less important as compared to each partner seeking financial success above all else ..."
"... There is a disincentive to have children because it is an obstacle to climbing the corporate ladder. If you don't have children, there is not a lot of benefit to being married, so divorces increase. ..."
"... As Tucker says, no woman wants to marry a man who makes less than she does. So, as more women are forced into the workforce, less marriages happen. ..."
"... Uncontrolled immigration helps the ruling class to reduce wages, also contributing to declining families. Legal immigration decimates the middle class ..."
"... If that isn't enough, mass distribution of pornography, deviant sex, gender perversion, LGBTQXYZZY , all contribute to the breaking of traditional intimacy between one man and one woman, that is the foundation of marriage and stable families. ..."
"... And there are the fake wars. As sons, and now daughters, go off to fight in foreign lands that have not attacked us, only one parent stays behind to raise the family, inadequately. Moreover, when these traumatized soldiers return from battle, they are seldom able to re-integrate into the family unit, and in a large number of cases, divorces and criminal behavior result. ..."
"... Idiots on here are always going on about how we don't got capitalism, if we only had capitalism, we don't got free markets, if only we had free markets, then everything would be hunky-dory. Without any proof, of course, because there never was and never will be a "free" "market." The US has plenty capitalism. And everything sucks. And they want more. Confused, stupid, disingenuous liars. ..."
"... Free markets are crookedness factories. As a PhD from Chicago Business School told me, "Free markets?! What free markets?! There is no free market! It's all crooked!" ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Tucker Carlson's critique of unrestrained capitalism last week sent the Respectable Right into apoplectic fury. That's why it's irrelevant -- and why Carlson is increasingly emerging as a name to conjure with.

In a now-celebrated monologue on his Fox News show, Carlson blamed multinational corporations and urban elites for the decline of Middle America. [ Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating , Fox News , January 3, 2019] He listed several social ills that he attributed to unrestrained capitalism, including predatory loans, higher drug use , declining marriage rates , and shuttered factories.

Carlson lambasted "conservatives" who bemoan the decay of the family but refuse to consider if capitalism played any role in that tragedy. According to Carlson, "conservatives" consider criticism of the free market to be apostasy.

He offered this blunt advice to Republicans who want to make America great again.

Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Needless to say, this opinion was met with frothing anger by several Conservatism Inc. writers, a crowd that seems to believe the free market a holy thing that must not suffer blasphemy. They were upset that anyone would dare suggest that the state could act to rectify social ills, arguing that this was rank demagogy and antithetical to conservatism. National Review published several op-eds condemning Tucker's monologue -- a sure sign of Respectable Right displeasure.

David French , briefly Bill Kristol's Never Trump catspaw, represented the typical response in The Right Should Reject Tucker Carlson's Victimhood Populism . [ National Review , January 4, 2019]. French claims to agree with Carlson that Middle America suffers from numerous ills, but he argues the state should play no role with fixing them. Thus payday loans are a necessary part of capitalism, drug criminalization is bad because it puts nice minorities in jail, and radical feminism and Affirmative Action aren't serious concerns.

French also defended the virtue of America's elites, citing their charitable giving (including to National Review? ) to absolve the ir disdain of the working class and support for outsourcing :

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you.

French's solution is for the working class to go to community college and for America to magically experience an organic renewal of virtue. It's all up to the individual to make America better:

[T]he primary responsibility for creating a life of virtue and purpose rests with families and individuals. In fact, it is still true that your choices are far more important to your success than any government program or the actions of any nefarious banker or any malicious feminist.

It is certainly true that your family and your own choices has a great influence over whether you live a virtuous and even happy life. But that does not show how social ills will somehow be corrected by self-help advice.

Additionally, as one man from a Midwest town destroyed by plant closures pointed out on Twitter, community college and re-training are not sufficient in equaling the old manufacturing jobs . "'New tech always comes along to save the day' does not apply. The late 19th-Century farm workers who flocked to Henry Ford for jobs after the last great labor upheaval have nowhere to go this time," the man, Tom Ferguson, tweeted.

Greenville has only 8,000 residents, but is the largest city in Montcalm County. The plant closure eliminated 3,000 jobs. As long as we're quantifying, I'll note the equivalence to 3,000,000 (sic) jobs being lost in New York City. 4/20 The local community college offered communications and other job-skills courses. My recollection says this noble effort, measured across 3,000 layoffs, was not very meaningful. 8/20 "New tech always comes along to save the day" does not apply. The late 19th-Century farm workers who flocked to Henry Ford for jobs after the last great labor upheaval have nowhere to go this time. 11/20

(See the whole thread here , here , or (as a screenshot) here .)

French also failed to consider how much influence a " malicious feminist " can have over the lives of normal people. Just one "offensive" tweet can cost somebody their career and reputation if Leftists stir up a mob . Good luck finding a job if your Google history is says you're a sexist. Additionally, Human Resources Departments are run to conform to Leftist dictates, and your private speech and views could draw the suspicion of HR at any time.

Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro attacked Carlson in two separate articles. The first, for his own website, zealously defended the greatness of the free market and the purity of movement conservatism: "Traditional conservatives recognized that the role of economics is to provide prosperity – to raise the GDP," is a sentence that best summarizes Shapiro's ridiculous retconning of a once-great movement [ Tucker Carlson Claims Market Capitalism Has Undermined American Society. He's Wrong. , by Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire , January 4, 2019]

Shapiro truly believes the free market is one of the greatest things to ever exist and it must not be restrained. All social problems, according to him, are due to individual choices and we should not seek collective solutions to social ills like declining marriage rates and fewer good jobs for working-class males. Trust the free market and insist a virtue renewal will resolve the problems state aims to solve.

Shapiro followed up his Daily Wire column with a short column in National Review that also insisted we need a virtue renewal instead of a state intervention into the market. Shapiro believes we just need Americans to stop wanting "stuff" and exhibit virtue in order to bring back Middle America [ America Needs Virtue before Prosperity , by Ben Shapiro, National Review , January 8, 2019].

"Carlson's claim that material gain isn't enough to provide happiness doesn't lead him back to virtue, which would bolster additional freedom. It leads him to the same material solutions that undercut virtue in the first place," Shapiro concluded,.

It would be nice if people would make themselves better and get the right job training after they read one National Review column. But that's not going to happen and Shapiro offers no means for enacting a renewal of virtue.

In effect, all of Carlson's Conservatism Inc. critics demand we must do nothing about the woes of working-class whites and the free market will figure out something.

So at a time when a majority of Americans -- including a majority of Republicans -- support single-payer healthcare and other big government initiatives, Conservatism Inc. pundits offer platitudes about limited government and the greatness of capitalism [ Most young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, new report finds , by Kathleen Elkins, CNBC , August 14, 2018].

This will not end well. Indeed, Carlson anticipated noted this response in his monologue:

Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people

(Carson did not directly mention immigration, somewhat surprising because it has been one of his long-standing concerns. But it ties into this debate. Many of the Conservativism Inc, types outraged at Tucker also support mass immigration and buy into the notion that America is a " nation of immigrants ." They see America as primarily an economy or an idea, not a nation. Tucker's national populism reverses those false notions -- America is a nation first and its primary responsibility is to its citizens , not the GDP.

Carlson's economic populism pairs with his support for patriotic immigration reform: both policies aim to serve the people's interest and strengthen America as a unified community. This vision conflicts with multinational corporations who would rather see America as one giant strip mall filled with atomized customers. Not surprisingly, these companies oppose patriotic immigration reform. Also not surprisingly, so does Conservatism Inc.

The unfortunate fact is that American corporations pose the greatest threat to our fundamental liberties and way of life. They censor free speech, make banking difficult for political dissidents, exclusively promote progressive causes, listen to foreign governments more than our own, promote mass immigration, and demonstrate a loyalty only to their own profits and power. Currently, in fact, they are increasingly boycotting Tucker Carlson's show, to Leftist applause .

The only institution that can stand up to corporations and tell them to change is the state -- which happens to be the only institution patriots can have any influence over. Academia, Hollywood, corporate America, and the Establishment Media are all under the thrall of Cultural Marxists. (The churches are a more complicated matter, but fewer Americans listen to religious leaders in our day and age.)

Americans cannot expect a civic renewal from our social institutions. Conservatives wield zero influence over a culture that encourages drug use, sexual promiscuity, agnosticism, and women's' choosing career over family. We are not going to experience a social renaissance just by wishing for one.

If we want our society to improve, we have to push for state policies with that goal in mind. There is no other option.

It's time to discard the worn-out conservative dogmas and make the state serve the people. National populism is the only path for Republicans to remain viable and (yes!) make our country great again.

Washington Watcher [ email him ] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway. Tucker Carlson Routs Conservatism Inc. On Unrestrained Capitalism -- And Immigration, by Washington Watcher - The Unz Review


Anon [123] Disclaimer , says: January 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm GMT

The first two comments on this blog perfectly illustrate why conservatives are in so much trouble: they refuse to let go of old – harmful – dogmas, preferring to rationalize them instead; they fail to embrace the policies that could realistically assure a positive outcome for themselves and their beliefs. This leaves them vulnerable to rhetorical conmen like Ben Shapiro and outfits like the National Review – controlled opposition if I ever saw it.

It's not surprising to me that the National Review would oppose Carlson's viewpoint, as the article mentioned. Here are the readership demographics of the National Review: 60+ with an average annual salary somewhere north of $200,000. With that in mind, ask yourself if it is really more likely that the National Review is interested in preserving the principles of free market capitalism than they are merely interested in preserving the pocketbooks of their donors and readers.

And let's be honest, Ben Shapiro was brought in by the National Review to run interference after the disastrous failure of their market capitalism-based NeverTrump critiques back in 2016; their front cover during that campaign was entitled "Against Trump". Despicable.

Ben Shapiro's shtick is to mix "muh feminism" rhetoric popular with the youth with "muh unregulated markets" rhetoric popular with the National Review donors in order to obscure the line between the two. The end result is that you hear exactly what you want to hear (a temporary, but hollow, pleasure) while nothing is ever ultimately done to address the cause of "muh feminism" in the first place which just so happens to be some of the same things pushed by the National Review, as Tucker Carlson noted. This is the kind of thing that explains why you lost the culture war. You embraced rhetoric over reason with no mind to the future.

What the responder here has done is merely repackage old assertions with new rhetoric. He makes the same kind of outlandish and unrealistic claims as Shapiro, even if he is unaware – wishing for miracles, essentially. He points out an issue (say the tax code) and then claims this problem is the ultimate source of all our problems. Lost in this analysis is any sense of probability. What is the probability that the tax code (or anything else he mentioned) will spontaneously fix itself against the wishes of the public, according to all the polls? Answer: very small, probably zero. So, why bother with that approach?

Ask yourself why we shouldn't address the crime rate with the same logic. We could abolish the prison system and just hope that there is a solution to the ensuing rampant dysfunction by wishing for it. Obviously, that's stupid and the public would never go for it, ever. So, why is this logic smart for economics and politics?

Could the National Review and their conman Ben Shapiro really be so obtuse as to really believe that their suggestions are even a remote possibility? I doubt it. Or maybe they have an ulterior motive, as I have already mentioned: run interference with cleverly chosen words while fundamental problems affecting actual republican voters go unaddressed – poverty, suicide, revocation of fundamental liberties, a growing police state, and rampant internet censorship; meanwhile, rich National Review donors continue to line their pocketbooks with cheap labor immigration.

Also unaddressed in multiple – often disingenuous – critiques of Tucker Carlson is exactly how supporters of voodoo economics have any solutions themselves beyond mere rhetoric. Do they even bother at this point? I didn't see much in these rebuttals other than assertions and semantics games. Perhaps, instead, these people have a track record of success that might lead one to believe Elysium is around the corner? Hardly. They have a track record of continual failure. So, why believe them here?

Wage growth has been stagnant for decades while healthcare costs, public debt, and tuition have soared. They've done next to nothing on immigration; their proposal before Trump was to double it. These are also the same people who claimed NAFTA would be great for the American worker – that people could just get retrained. Also wrong. NAFTA has exploded the trade deficit while workers often work longer hours for less pay and fewer benefits. The culture wars? Total failure. Freedom of religion, of speech, and of association are on life support – often at the behest of multinational corporations that threaten boycotts or deny service to conservative viewpoints. What about the rise of China? Totally wrong. That nation is eating our lunch. Sucks that we had to export our industries to them. As we speak, they're considering an armed assault against Taiwan while Rand says their military is probably strong enough to defeat ours if we came to their defense.

Meanwhile, cultural conservatives have lost every battle in the United States mainland. The movement is so weak we can't even protect our own borders because, according to Nancy Pelosi, "that's not who we are." You want to know who else agrees with Nancy? Multinational corporations and National Review donors. Funny how those issues go hand-in-hand. It's almost like these trucons care more about low taxes than mass immigration. Which do you care more about?

And that's why conservatives lose. They refuse to choose between pie-in-the-sky dogma that benefits others at their expense and practical solutions to the issues at hand. They'll justify the current order with statements like "this isn't capitalism, if only we had real capitalism" not realizing that this is the real capitalism the ruling class wants because it benefits them economically, not you the ordinary man.

Ironically, this result is similar to Alexander Fraser Tytler's critique of democracy – that it ends as soon as the public realizes they can vote themselves free goodies. The often missed point of Lord Tytler's argument is that, when given a choice, the average person will forego sacrifice with long-term benefits, instead choosing short-term pleasures with long-term consequences; the end result is dysfunction and ruin. In this case, market capitalists make the same mistake. They embrace disastrous long-term policies – immigration, deregulation, monopolies, a warped tax code, punishing the poor – in order to preserve their short-term bank accounts. We will lose the nation if they and their supporters are allowed to carry the day. That's what happens when you let your enemy control every lever of power in society; they use it to their benefit and at your expense. And that's exactly what free market capitalists advocate, even if they don't directly state it. Thus, the need for regulation and the exercise of power from the sole places where we have it: the government and the military.

Don't cry in 2020 if Donald Trump loses because he took advice from the same market capitalists who tried to sink him and his movement back in 2016 – the same people who destroyed Romney's chances in 2012. He's already well on his way with deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. Unfortunately, some of his supporters seem eager to help him in that losing effort.

EliteCommInc. , says: January 11, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT
In my view, I think the message is clear. Government's role of facilitator, monitor and guarantor of fair practices has decided to jump in bed on the side of business and that without guarantee of a fair distribution to the US citizens, who in the case of government subsidies, contracts and bailouts are footing the bill for a good deal of financial misconduct and lousy adherence to best practices as they reap the benefits.

Solutions:

a. no member of an elected position should be permitted to own stock, sit on the boards of stock or financial instititions which they are the creators of regulations and laws.

b. elected and appointed government employees are barred from consulting and working as or with private sector companies.

c. senior military leaders are barred from working with or for private industry in any manner related to government provides services and goods, (except as instructors, and similar capacities)

just for starters -- I am a pro capitalist. But what we are experiencing is not capitalism.

obwandiyag , says: January 11, 2019 at 10:13 pm GMT
Oh–I get it. The problem is not Capitalism. It's that we don't have more of it. God you people are brazenly ingenuous.
Fidelios Automata , says: January 13, 2019 at 1:52 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman As a long-time libertarian, I'd agree with you for the most part. But I've had an epiphany in the last 2 years. All freedoms are not created equal. One of the things beltway-tarians such as the Koch-funded Cato Institute push is the idea that an increase in freedom in any area is good because the benefits "trickle down." Bullcrap!

Deregulating big biz without corresponding relaxations on common people is wrong and we must oppose it. No tax cuts for biz without much bigger ones for the common people!

redmudhooch , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT
Some below average dude above said "this country has nothing resembling Capitalism going on. Big Business is in bed with Big Feral Gov't. "Crony Capitalism" may not roll off the tongue, but that's the usual fair description of it." Hear that on Fox News? Oh, if only we were all controlled and dominated by Capitalists. If only capitalists owned all the major media. If only Capitalists owned all the politicians. If only capitalists made up all the leading politicians. If only all the bankers were Capitalists If only the Fed was made up of capitalists. Then we would finally have true capitalism.

But wait a minute. That's EXACTLY the situation that we do have. What that means is that we have EXACTLY the capitalism that capitalism produces. We have EXACTLY the capitalism that the leading capitalists, who will always control the capitalist government and the capitalist economy, want and need.

Newsflash! There can be no Capitalism that is different from what we've got today. You would have to kill all the capitalists, to start over, because they would just buy their way right back to the top. The money all accrues to the top, very quickly. It's like a bad game of Monopoly. They take the money they've accumulated, and, realizing that money is just a means to an end, put it to work. They buy political power, and use the combination of political and financial/economic power to cement their monopoly. The very first thing they do it to pull up the "ladder of success" after themselves.

When nobody else can climb the ladder, we get frustrated, and want to change the rules to allow an "even playing field." This is exactly what the early winners of Capitalism will not allow, and they go to great lengths to prevent it. They also complain bitterly about any and all attempts to even out the effects of Capitalism.

That "evil government" that you hate is nothing more than the organization of the capitalists. Every member of the government is a Capitalist, often funded into power by even richer capitalists. We do not have a government, we have puppets of capitalists or as you Fox News Hannity enthusiasts call it "the deep state"

Government was intended to be of the people, by the people, for the people, and to serve the people, not the Corporation.

To the (((shill))) Shapiro

If we all had a PhD, there would be EXACTLY the same number of people being paid poverty wages and exactly the same number unemployed. McDonalds and Wal-Mart don't pay a penny more for a fry cook or greeter with a PhD. It's capitalism that determines the jobs and the pay, not the education level of the masses.

When capitalism tells the masses to "go get an education" as being the solution to their poverty, it's nothing more than saying, "you workers need to compete harder among yourselves for the few good-paying jobs that capitalism has to offer." Thanks to the capitalists sending the good paying middle class jobs to slave labor countries so they could make a few dollars more.

And before anyone starts with "its the globalists." Globalism is capitalism. Capitalism brought the black slaves here, capitalism is bringing the Mexicans here. Slave labor/cheap labor is the name of the game, always has been. Nothing new. Globalism=capitalism

Capitalist wars are also driving the refugees from their homelands. Whether in Iraq, Sudan or Honduras, wars are a twofer for capitalists, massive war profiteering, theft of resources, with the added bonus of driving refugees into Europe/America to lower the standard of living and decrease wages for us.

Privatization of public property/resources is theft, privatization today is strictly about prioritizing money away from the commons and general welfare and giving total monopoly to the inbred 1% rent-seeking parasites, monopoly of resources (food, water, air, shelter), monopoly of control, monopoly of propaganda, monopoly of Policy, monopoly of money, monopoly of war.

Most don't have a clue what Socialism actually is. Socialism is government by the working-class. There is not the slightest hint of the working-class ruling over society anywhere in the world. Obviously.

The New World Order is being brought to you through capitalism, private banking and corporate monopoly over EVERYTHING. You think your imaginary boogie-man socialists and communists are scary? Wait till Monsanto/Bayer have total monopoly over our food and water, they're getting very close, better wake up. Jesus warned you.

redmudhooch , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:04 am GMT
Some miserably mediocre guy above said "Jesus didn't warn me that I'd better love "my" government."

He warned you about the love of money AKA capitalism, and what it leads to. You like being replaced with cheap labor, H1B visa slaves, alright that's fine, but I think most American workers are a little tired of it. Problem today mediocre dude, is that governments aren't "governments" but private corporations, with shareholders, operating in the public sector. Again, government is the PEOPLE. The citizens, the workers. Of the people, by the people, for the people, and to serve the people, not the Corporation. Not the parasite. You got it backwards son.

Most people, including below average guy above don't wan't to accept this, usually because of ignorance or "muh capitalism" and "muh free markets " brainwashing by Fox "News". They have been programmed subconsciously into thinking that any other alternative method will not work or it is "evil socialism". They are still interested in making rentier classes out of each other and fucking over their children's future, while propping up their capitalist overlords.

Meet the New World Order. Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354-500-revealed-the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world/

redmudhooch , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:39 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

I get that you are too young, too stupid, or both, to imagine freedom

and give it a rest with the "freedumb" BS you goon. The US has the largest prison population in the world. You go to jail for smoking a joint for goodness sake. At the same time capitalist bankers make off with trillions in stolen wealth without a slap on the wrist.

Not to mention the spying/surveillance, Patriot Act, assassinations and indefinite detention of Americans with no due process, Anti-BDS laws, a totally rigged judicial system, a healthcare system that is nothing short of a racket, a fake media totally controlled by the capitalist war profiteers and corporate parasites. Everything that you accuse "communists" of is what is actually happening under the Capitalists.

Ask Julian Assange or Snowden about this freedumb you speak of.

That's about all I have to say about that.

Cloak And Dagger , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT
I agree with Tucker that the family unit is the most important reason why America is degenerating, resulting in less people getting married, less children, less everything, creating a vacuum that can only be filled by foreign invasion. The lack of strong families is also the reason for the rise in suicides, drug addiction, crime, treason, etc., etc.

But Tucker can't tell us the reason for why this has been happening for decades now. He can't point to the deliberate manipulation of America by strong Jewish forces. The family unit has been the thrust of these attacks, and nobody realizes it.

... ... ...

3. Militant feminism has made it such that husbands and wives become economic competitors rather than complementary partners. Families have become less important as compared to each partner seeking financial success above all else.

There is a disincentive to have children because it is an obstacle to climbing the corporate ladder. If you don't have children, there is not a lot of benefit to being married, so divorces increase. After his divorce, one of the managers in my company has been living together with his girlfriend for 11 years, and they have no intention of getting married or having children. They are together because neither can afford housing on their own and their joint income makes it possible. With only economic necessity holding them together, there is every reason to expect cheating or unexpected dissolution of the partnership when better financial opportunities present themselves. As Tucker says, no woman wants to marry a man who makes less than she does. So, as more women are forced into the workforce, less marriages happen.

... ... ...

5. Uncontrolled immigration helps the ruling class to reduce wages, also contributing to declining families. Legal immigration decimates the middle class.

6. If that isn't enough, mass distribution of pornography, deviant sex, gender perversion, LGBTQXYZZY , all contribute to the breaking of traditional intimacy between one man and one woman, that is the foundation of marriage and stable families.

7. And there are the fake wars. As sons, and now daughters, go off to fight in foreign lands that have not attacked us, only one parent stays behind to raise the family, inadequately. Moreover, when these traumatized soldiers return from battle, they are seldom able to re-integrate into the family unit, and in a large number of cases, divorces and criminal behavior result.

... ... ...

obwandiyag , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:37 am GMT
Idiots on here are always going on about how we don't got capitalism, if we only had capitalism, we don't got free markets, if only we had free markets, then everything would be hunky-dory. Without any proof, of course, because there never was and never will be a "free" "market." The US has plenty capitalism. And everything sucks. And they want more. Confused, stupid, disingenuous liars.
obwandiyag , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
Look, what you call "capitalism" and "free markets" just means scams to make rich people richer. You read some simple-minded description of some pie-in-the-sky theory of some perfect world where rational actors make the best possible decisions in their own interest without any outside interference, and you actually think you are reading a description of something real.

I'll tell you what's real. Crookedness. Free markets are crookedness factories. As a PhD from Chicago Business School told me, "Free markets?! What free markets?! There is no free market! It's all crooked!"

GandalfTheWhite , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman "We need nationalism without capitalism and socialism without internationalism" ~ Gregor Strasser

In the American case, that would also in effect restrict all transfer payments to being within kin-groups and at the local / state / civil society level. America could have had a workable welfare state if the right leadership had governed it (i.e. if there had been no Sexual Revolution amplified by feminism and Cultural Marxist subversion of critical institutions) and if resources of middle class white families were not transferred to non-white underclass dysfunctional degenerates.

follyofwar , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:48 am GMT
Tucker's show is the only political opinion show I watch. The rest of Fox is pretty much Neocon Central. CNN/MSNBC are jokes parading as news outlets. I love it when Trump continually calls them Fake News, which is exactly what they are.

But it's ominous that so many corporations have stopped advertising on Tucker's show. Fox now finds itself in a bind. Not knowing he would become such a threat to the established order when they gave him a prime time gig, they may well prefer to get rid of him. And they could use the convenient excuse that no one wants to advertise on the show anymore. But Carlson has become such a popular pundit that, if they fired him, it could well spell the end of Fox as viewers would leave in droves.

Free speech is dying in newsrooms everywhere and is endangered on the Internet also, with all-powerful leftist corporations like Google deciding what (to them) is acceptable speech. I'd just hate to see Tucker go the way of Phil Donohue, who lost his MSNBC show (at the time the most popular on the network) because he was against the Iraq war.

Huskynut , says: January 13, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT
@achmed e newman, @redmudhooch

It's kinda weird watching you two trade blows.. from the outside your differences seem about 10% of your shared disgust of the MSM.
I'm guessing you'll thump each other to a draw and both fall over exhausted, having left the genuine shared enemy untouched.
In what world is that a sensible outcome?! Stop being such macho douches and start playing a smart political game, or just get used to being shat on by the incumbent powers. Your choice..

anon [180] Disclaimer , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:04 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman yes, I agree with you Mr. Newman.. but there is something still missing to explain how the good wholesome concept of Capitalism has captured the governed of nearly every nation state and placed them into a prison farm where the monopoly powered corporate private capitalist can extort as much as they please.

Keeping the economic environment fair, open, free, in a fully restrained completely fair play condition is an absolute requirement of capitalism is the only legitimate function of government; in fact, it is the essence of a government that is formed of the substance of the right of self determination. When monopoly powers are generated by government and given to private private enterprise, or or when government services are privatized, capitalism has been turned into captivism and the market has be turned into a human farm yard, allowing those with the monopoly powers to cull and harvest the herds as they wish.

Instead of government doing its job; the USA has actually become the center for biasing capitalism. It continues to bestow monopoly powers (copyright, patents, and it continues to give government grants to universities that use the grants to take the risk that industry should be taking, to investigate new ideas and new products and it continues to allow its obligations to the governed to be privatized ). Basically the University has become the middle man between government and monopoly powered capitalism. The government gives the University a grant, the grant is used to fund training programs called Phd studies, and after a while the (the research encounters a promising discovery, and the corporate department is created within the University but funded by the governed in the form of a government grant. Next when a product of substance is sufficiently understood and most of the questions about it fully explored at government expense (note the privately owned monopoly powered corporation does not have to put any money at risk, until the University develops the product so billions of research dollars are funded from the pockets of the governed, for the practical benefit of one of the monopoly powered corporations), the entire university department become employees of the patent acquiring monopoly powered privately owned corporation. Then as if to add insult to injury, the government has been allowing the private corporations to offer the services the government is suppose to offer (like the water companies, the power companies, the garbage companies, the security companies, the production of weapons, and the likes, all of these government monopolies have been sold off or licensed to private enterprise.in a monopoly transfer concept called privatization or grant by government contract)
so in fact there is no such thing as capitalism in the USA governed America, its privatized monopoly ism.

What makes monopolies so bad is that they prevent competition (and competition is the name of the game in capitalism ). Someone in his back yard invents something that puts Apple or Microsoft, or IBM or the Federal Reserve out of business, just as the University of Australia has invented a way to supply the whole world with nearly free energy, the solar and wind power are used when functioning while the excess is stored so that the capacity of the wind, solar and hydro storage are sufficient to generate, store and provide a flow of energy sufficient to supply the needs of the world, yet few have heard about it, because the media is another privatized thing, and it(the media) will remain silent about such innovation, at least, until it can force the university to sell its patents to one of the mega buck monopoly powered corporations. This solar, wind and hydro combinationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lk3elu3zf4 is not really a new science discovery , its an application using proven methodology) would eliminate the need for gas and oil in the world, and that would solve the C02 problem which is the essence of global warming .
The problem with capitalism USA style is that government must function as an independent third party, some the USA cannot seem to be, an honest broker.. the government must deny any kind of favouritism to any and all that would in any way bias discovery, bias competition, or bias the financing of investigations that might lead to discovery or financing needed to build the infra structure that allows the new invention to replace the old. History shows the problem with republics, is that the corrupt soon own the government, at least that seems to fit the conditions in the UK, USA, Israel, France, and Saudi Arabia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lk3elu3zf4

utu , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:06 am GMT
@obwandiyag The same thing was in the Soviet Union. Any problem was dismissed on account that they would go away once they had more communism. And it was always emphasized that it must be so because it was scientifically proven by Marx. The libertarian idiots like our Achmed here are no different than those communist idiots.
utu , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:10 am GMT
Achmed E. Newman -- > Commenters to Ignore

I strongly recommend doing this.

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:32 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman Indeed, the examples below are not free market capitalism, but these are what too many erroneously think is the result of free market capitalism:

– Trade deals made by Big Gov are not free market capitalism.
– Special exemptions from competition for those connected to Big Gov is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov granting monopolies to unions is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov granted monopolies to utility companies are not free market capitalism.
– No bid Big Gov contracts are not free market capitalism.
– Gov laws supporting rent controls are not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov price fixing is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov income taxes are not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov property taxes are not free market capitalism
– The Big Gov authorized Federal Reserve is not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov massive taxes on every aspect of the economy are not free market capitalism, and which often lead to companies setting up shop elsewhere.
– Big Gov fees for services from agencies we already pay for are not free market capitalism.
– Big Gov subsidies of "alternative energy" which cannot otherwise compete is not free market capitalism.

The list of Big Government intervention in the economy is endless.

Big Gov intervention is the problem, not free market capitalism

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:42 am GMT
@obwandiyag It's government intervention in the economy that is the problem, not real free market capitalism.

Please pay attention.

BTW, what kind of economic system does your absurdly beloved Africa have?
Oops.

animalogic , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:46 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman " a land full of people encouraged to be irresponsible by, yes, you guessed it, Big Government." Sure. OK.
But watch an hour of TV & try to tell me it's ONLY big Gov encouraging people to be irresponsible.
Our whole consumer culture makes a virtue out of irresponsibility & the plain stupid & juvenile. (Incidentally, it is utter crock that the Right wants "virtuous" citizens. Where would the Oligarchs be if masses of people started being virtuous ? Honesty, truth, justice, impulse control & rational desires would wreck their whole grubby set-up. Indeed, a virtuous public might actually start thinking & thinking might lead to lamp posts & pitch forks .)
Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 7:51 am GMT
@redmudhooch You simply don't know the difference between authoritarian Big Government intervention in the economy, which is sadly what we increasingly have and is what you advocate more of, vs. a truly free market economy.

But then Communists have made ignorance and being wrong an art form.

jilles dykstra , says: January 13, 2019 at 8:04 am GMT

make our country great again.

Another undefined slogan in this era of muddle headed thinking, or of no thinking at all.
The 'again' suggests there once upon a times there was this great America.
I cannot be too difficult to specify when this great America existed, and what was so great about it.
But I wonder if it is as in one of Deighton's Cold War novels, German refugees from the east meeting in West Berlin, 'talking about a society that never was'.

Biff , says: January 13, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
What's the difference between government controlling every aspect of business, or business controlling every aspect of government?
Would there be two different outcomes?
Icy Blast , says: January 13, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
I keep hearing about "free markets" but I've never actually encountered one. It seems we will die slowly of taxation and regulation while blaming Ron Paul and his friends for our misery. If there were free markets we would be able to sell coal and oil to China and buy weapons from Russia, build nuclear power plants, desalination plants, and LNG ports. But our wise overlords in D.C. won't permit this. Also, the pride of those Marxists who were converted in the 70's and 80's won't let them admit they were cruelly deceived.
eah , says: January 13, 2019 at 9:23 am GMT
Such voices are out there -- it is very important that more people hear them and their arguments.
niceland , says: January 13, 2019 at 10:07 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

Solutions:

a. no member of an elected position should be permitted to own stock, sit on the boards of stock or financial instititions which they are the creators of regulations and laws.

b. elected and appointed government employees are barred from consulting and working as or with private sector companies.

c. senior military leaders are barred from working with or for private industry in any manner related to government provides services and goods, (except as instructors, and similar capacities)

You hit the jackpot, this is a good start but needs to go much further to drive the powerful interest groups out of Government.

It doesn't matter if you believe in capitalism, socialism both or neither. Left or Right politics, big or small government or none. Everyone should recognize that without this process NOTHING will ever change, absent perhaps a bloody revolution.

It's a full time job for citizens of every country to guard their government from being hijacked by special interest groups. In most cases they fail and almost always it's the same group ending up with all the power. Crony capitalist elites.

In America and most of Europe the Crony Capitalistic elites running the country have joined small part of the left wing – SJW types and allow them good access to their media outlets and small share of the loot. This mercenary army of SJW then in turn barks and gnaws at anyone threatening the status quo. It's a win win. In the meantime both the traditional left (pro working class) and the right have no voices or influence.

Our own (Icelandic) banking crash enabled similar process as you describe, grants to political parties are limited, MP's have to publish their ownership in corporations etc and all kinds of limitations. We are currently enjoying the benefits. It will last few years more – by then the elites will be back in full force.

Realist , says: January 13, 2019 at 10:07 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

Solutions:

a. no member of an elected position should be permitted to own stock, sit on the boards of stock or financial instititions which they are the creators of regulations and laws.

b. elected and appointed government employees are barred from consulting and working as or with private sector companies.

c. senior military leaders are barred from working with or for private industry in any manner related to government provides services and goods, (except as instructors, and similar capacities)

just for starters --

Big talk now make it happen Hahahahaaa

aspnaz , says: January 13, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Where can we find a free market? The US markets are so skewed by regulation that there is not one commodity that has a 'free' market. Add to that the fact that the government has abandoned its policy of preventing market dominance through monopoly. Add to that the US tax payers feeding money into the wealthiest government in the world, a quantity of money that attracts the least beneficial leeches from around the world. The government attracts leeches, otherwise known as individual or corporate government contractors, being overpaid money from the tax payers to support their companies that can't make it in the 'free' market: these companies need the handouts to help them survive.

So where's the free market? It exists only in the small companies that litter the USA and who battle the big corporates, like Amazon, that survive on tax handouts, beating their competitors by bribing politicians rather than fighting the good fight in the free market.

james charles , says: January 13, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
"the free market"?
[MORE]
'This "equilibrium" graph (Figure 3) and the ideas behind it have been re-iterated so many times in the past half-century that many observes assume they represent one of the few firmly proven facts in economics. Not at all. There is no empirical evidence whatsoever that demand equals supply in any market and that, indeed, markets work in the way this story narrates.
We know this by simply paying attention to the details of the narrative presented. The innocuous assumptions briefly mentioned at the outset are in fact necessary joint conditions in order for the result of equilibrium to be obtained. There are at least eight of these result-critical necessary assumptions: Firstly, all market participants have to have "perfect information", aware of all existing information (thus not needing lecture rooms, books, television or the internet to gather information in a time-consuming manner; there are no lawyers, consultants or estate agents in the economy). Secondly, there are markets trading everything (and their grandmother). Thirdly, all markets are characterized by millions of small firms that compete fiercely so that there are no profits at all in the corporate sector (and certainly there are no oligopolies or monopolies; computer software is produced by so many firms, one hardly knows what operating system to choose ). Fourthly, prices change all the time, even during the course of each day, to reflect changed circumstances (no labels are to be found on the wares offered in supermarkets as a result, except in LCD-form). Fifthly, there are no transaction costs (it costs no petrol to drive to the supermarket, stock brokers charge no commission, estate agents work for free – actually, don't exist, due to perfect information!). Sixthly, everyone has an infinite amount of time and lives infinitely long lives. Seventhly, market participants are solely interested in increasing their own material benefit and do not care for others (so there are no babies, human reproduction has stopped – since babies have all died of neglect; this is where the eternal life of the grown-ups helps). Eighthly, nobody can be influenced by others in any way (so trillion-dollar advertising industry does not exist, just like the legal services and estate agent industries).
It is only in this theoretical dreamworld defined by this conflagration of wholly unrealistic assumptions that markets can be expected to clear, delivering equilibrium and rendering prices the important variable in the economy – including the price of money as the key variable in the macroeconomy. This is the origin of the idea that interest rates are the key variable driving the economy: it is the price of money that determines economic outcomes, since quantities fall into place.
But how likely are these assumptions that are needed for equilibrium to pertain? We know that none of them hold. Yet, if we generously assumed, for sake of argument (in good economists' style), that the probability of each assumption holding true is 55% – i.e. the assumptions are more likely to be true than not – even then we find the mainstream result is elusive: Because all assumptions need to hold at the same time, the probability of obtaining equilibrium in that case is 0.55 to the power of 8 – i.e. less than 1%! In other words, neoclassical economics has demonstrated to us that the circumstances required for equilibrium to occur in any market are so unlikely that we can be sure there is no equilibrium anywhere. Thus we know that markets are rationed, and rationed markets are determined by quantities, not prices.
On our planet earth – as opposed to the very different planet that economists seem to be on – all markets are rationed. In rationed markets a simple rule applies: the short side principle. It says that whichever quantity of demand or supply is smaller (the 'short side') will be transacted (it is the only quantity that can be transacted). Meanwhile, the rest will remain unserved, and thus the short side wields power: the power to pick and choose with whom to do business. Examples abound. For instance, when applying for a job, there tend to be more applicants than jobs, resulting in a selection procedure that may involve a number of activities and demands that can only be described as being of a non-market nature (think about how Hollywood actresses are selected), but does not usually include the question: what is the lowest wage you are prepared to work for?
Thus the theoretical dream world of "market equilibrium" allows economists to avoid talking about the reality of pervasive rationing, and with it, power being exerted by the short side in every market. Thus the entire power hiring starlets for Hollywood films, can exploit his power of being able to pick and choose with whom to do business, by extracting 'non-market benefits' of all kinds. The pretense of 'equilibrium' not only keeps this real power dimension hidden. It also helps to deflect the public discourse onto the politically more convenient alleged role of 'prices', such as the price of money, the interest rate. The emphasis on prices then also helps to justify the charging of usury (interest), which until about 300 years ago was illegal in most countries, including throughout Europe.
However, this narrative has suffered an abductio ad absurdum by the long period of near zero interest rates, so that it became obvious that the true monetary policy action takes place in terms of quantities, not the interest rate.
Thus it can be plainly seen today that the most important macroeconomic variable cannot be the price of money. Instead, it is its quantity. Is the quantity of money rationed by the demand or supply side? Asked differently, what is larger – the demand for money or its supply? Since money – and this includes bank money – is so useful, there is always some demand for it by someone. As a result, the short side is always the supply of money and credit. Banks ration credit even at the best of times in order to ensure that borrowers with sensible investment projects stay among the loan applicants – if rates are raised to equilibrate demand and supply, the resulting interest rate would be so high that only speculative projects would remain and banks' loan portfolios would be too risky.
The banks thus occupy a pivotal role in the economy as they undertake the task of creating and allocating the new purchasing power that is added to the money supply and they decide what projects will get this newly created funding, and what projects will have to be abandoned due to a 'lack of money'.
It is for this reason that we need the right type of banks that take the right decisions concerning the important question of how much money should be created, for what purpose and given into whose hands. These decisions will reshape the economic landscape within a short time period.
Moreover, it is for this reason that central banks have always monitored bank credit creation and allocation closely and most have intervened directly – if often secretly or 'informally' – in order to manage or control bank credit creation. Guidance of bank credit is in fact the only monetary policy tool with a strong track record of preventing asset bubbles and thus avoiding the subsequent banking crises. But credit guidance has always been undertaken in secrecy by central banks, since awareness of its existence and effectiveness gives away the truth that the official central banking narrative is smokescreen.'
https://professorwerner.org/shifting-from-central-planning-to-a-decentralised-economy-do-we-need-central-banks/
james charles , says: January 13, 2019 at 11:36 am GMT
"Socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people "

"Even in the US most of nine Labour policies we put to people received majority backing

The British General Election of 2017, an academic account of last year's vote, recalls how Jeremy Corbyn's team questioned just how radical Labour's manifesto was, given that many of the policies were already mainstream in several European countries.
But the question shouldn't unduly worry Labour advisers; a new international YouGov survey shows that Corbynite policies are popular not only on the continent, but also in the UK."
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/01/09/eurotrack-corbyns-policies-popular-europe-and-uk?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=website_article&utm_campaign=eurotrack_corbyn

The Alarmist , says: January 13, 2019 at 11:45 am GMT
Tucker's point is that the "Free Market" system of America is run by an amoral predator class looking out for only its own interests. What is missing is a sense of noblesse oblige rank has its privileges, but also its own duties to others in the system. Shapiro is but another amoral schmuck looking out only for himself.
Druid , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
Eell said. He does sound like a verbose goon. And only ultra-stupids are libertarians
Druid , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
@niceland Congressmen are exempt from the laws against insider trading. The US is corrupt. The masters are in Israhell!
Druid , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT
@The Alarmist He is a "shapiro". What cane expect
Digital Samizdat , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm GMT
@redmudhooch So true. All these libertarians think capitalism automatically implies competition , but in the real world, that's just a temporary phase. Once the oligopoly stage of capitalism is reached, businesses cease to compete with one another and simply collude–to take over the government, among other things. Then you have business and government working together to shaft the common man (they'll call it "public/private partnership," or some such).

Competition is simply not a permanent part of capitalism, any more than the maggot-phase is a permanent part of being a fly. In the end, the 'free' market is destined to give way either to Jew-Bolshevism or to National Socialism. Personally, I opt for the latter.

niceland , says: January 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Realist

Big talk now make it happen Hahahahaaa

It looks like a pipe dream, and perhaps it is, do you have better alternative?

Of course: socialists, pure capitalists and libertarians can all continue to sit in their little corner and continue to argue against each other like they have done for the past decades, totally powerless and ignored. All waiting for.. what? At least here is an idea to start with, a common ground.

Think about it, while commenters "Achmed E. Newman" and "redmudhooch" almost totally disagree on ideological grounds It seems obvious they could march in a lockstep in a political movement trying to separate the Government from crony capitalism – with all the Unz crowd and majority of the public close behind them. It would be a beautiful sight!

Washington filled with protesters with signs: "We want our Government back" or "The best Government money can by doesn't work – lets try something else"

The MSM would be powerless, their heads would explode trying to dig up slander against such movement.

onebornfree , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm GMT
@aspnaz aspnaz says: "Where can we find a free market? "

It's now called "the black market" don't you know.

Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro etc, like most here, wouldn't know a free market if it bit them in the a$$.

Carlson and Shapiro et all are nothing more than shills for the state [again, like most here].

aspnaz says: "So where's the free market? It exists only in the small companies that litter the USA and who battle the big corporates"

Outside of "illegal" black markets, that's pretty much true.

Corporations are creatures of the state and are protected by the state. Hell, they are the state!

As you obviously know, government/ the state is the problem- never the solution.

The only real political "solution" [as I see it] would be to return the government to its original size and functions, getting rid of the 1000's of regulatory agencies [EPA, FDA, BATF, CIA FBI NSA etc etc etc ad nauseum], plus all welfare , government-run "healthcare", social "security" etc. etc.

And of course, getting rid of the standing army and all associated, to boot.

And to a nation of government indoctrinated, [virtually] commie slaves whose only desire is to live at the expense of everyone else, that "solution" is entirely out of the question.

But even if it were possible to return to the original constitutional government limitations, seeing as how, judging by the results to date, the constitution and bill of rights obviously was not/is not a secure enough chain on federal government growth and its ever increasing interference in all markets [and all areas of our lives], that "solution" would only give us all, at most, about 10 years of relative freedom and prosperity, if even that.

So unless we could figure out some new, better way to permanently chain down the government to a constitution and bill of rights and keep it out of everything else , then a dreamed of return to an allegedly "constitutionally limited" government would only provide a temporary, short term reprieve, as I see it.

Regards, onebornfree

Wizard of Oz , says: January 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm GMT
@niceland Unfortunately the prescriptions are naive.

c. with a bit of grammatical tidying up is already the rule I say with some confidence. The problem is what they might do in the hope of employment when they retire from the armed forces. Perhaps a four year embargo on receiving any direct or indirect benefit from the arms industry might be worth thinking about.

a. is an invitation to legal ingenuity. Ever heard of a "blind trust"? How blind is the politician to the reality of his interests even if his wife isn't the trustee. And if you banned blind trusts you wouldn't stop the spouse, siblings or children standing in for the politician as investor.

b. You could prevent them getting paid directly and immediately but they could often make a case that the consulting was just part of a politician's and some bureaucrats' everyday job and involved both giving and receiving information and advice. And, as to the money side of it, nearly all Congressmen spend a great deal of their time raising money for their reelection campaigns so they wouldn't be asking to be paid personally in most cases. And if the worst came to the worst a PAC fund could receive the money.

anon [393] Disclaimer , says: January 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm GMT
Ironically I came to tuckers same conclusion about a decade ago while being redpilled by neo reactionaries. They of course are technofuturist post humanists which is why its ironic, but they did encourage me to more radically check my premises and i had to admit capitalism had probably done more harm to west civ tham communism in fact without capitalism there is no communism. I had to admit my reflex unequivocal defense of capitalism was more coldwar anti socialism refelex mixed with theoretical capitalism. Oh im still a capitalist but like tucker i think its a tool and we who love it have to remember why we love it or ought to, because it serves us, iy might also be a beautiful machine but if it didnt serve us theres no reason to support it. i also had to admit not only do we not actually have capitalism but corporatism and corporatism is inevitable tendency of capitalism but that we dont really think capitalism functions well without intervention as we pretend we just think it functions best when conservatives invent the interventions .we know left un tended monopolies and cartels form, we know that large corporations will use their size to crush smarter more innovative new firms,price fixing will happen, we dont allow a free market in all sorts of things from child porn to heroine, yet inexplicably other porn and alcohol are ok.I also had to admit it wasnt true that capitalism needs democracy, capitalism finds ways of thriving in any government from stalinist communist to monarchies to managed theocracies or anything in between.Finally I had to admit apes are both capitalist and socialist creatures and white apes particularly so, we are the most capitalistic yet have the lowest tolerance for watching suffering, now that can be for the most part solved with market solutions to social safety if we are willing to admit that despite our hatred of socialists we are never the less social apes. And this is perhaps the crux of the matter, HBD some people are just genetically more capable than others in a free market some will thrive others not so much over time some will really really thrive others not so much at all. so yeah white nationalism is a must actually any nation must be an ethno state because your only real chance of overcoming this natural difference is to start with a group that at least fairly homogenous, but then you must intervene. NO NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMANS WITH RIGHTS FUCKEM NO NOT BECAUSE THEYRE MUH WHITE BROS
because theres more of them than us cog elites and as tucker points out eventually if we make it worth their wiles they will just take our shit. Capitalism does require some form of government even if its just my gang enforcing my rules. all civilization is built on violence and the proles have it they just dont use it because frankly we are their slaves we make the world better for them or they replace us.its in our interest to be their stewards. its also a better way to live with bakers wives and steam fitters smiling and happy nd pumping out children to ward off the other nations. As elites we must do for them what they can not naturally do for themselves a nation is a family or ought to be, everyone has a place. Thats not to say we ought not find ways to stretch our right tale and shorten our left tail which will make us tighter knit and more efficient and less fractured.
besides its simply retarded to give away your best tech to your enemies and and then buy it back from them while leaving your 90% unemployed. This idea that thats capitalism implies that you intend to reduce americans to the status of the least paid third worlder and only when hes willing to work for those wages will you hire him- well good luck with that all I can say is where are you going to hide.Heres the thing all the smart people do not in fact rise to the elite in fact more and more get locked out in a way that prevents them from even breeding statistically the average proles are producing 50% of each year cognitive elite children they are less stable cog elites in as much as their children more likely to revert to mean but never the less they will meet and fuck your children at harvard and contribute 50% of elite generation and some hybrid vigor.you really dont want 50% of the gifted struggling in tiny houses and gigs deciding they really ought to be figuring out how to build a robot army to take you out because they can they have the numbers
helmond , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT
Inside beltway crap.
Capitalism have been hijacked long time ago by the secret private bank.Central economic control.
The average american citizen daily survival depends on the will to deliver the goods from roughly 11 corporations and their subsidiary networks.And for those who are trying to control morality "happy fishing day".
KenH , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm GMT
@follyofwar Phil Donohue had his issues but was a semi-honest liberal and was the only popular talking head that I recall who was opposed to the Iraq war and asking the hard questions and second guessing politicians.

Mr. "no spin zone" Bill O' Reilly and many others gave us nothing but spin and just vomited out the neocon talking points.

follyofwar , says: January 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Wally Do you get your talking points from Ayn Rand's didactic, absurd novel "Atlas Shrugged?" Paul Ryan did, and what did he ever do for the country besides give more tax cuts to the rich?
lysias , says: January 13, 2019 at 3:09 pm GMT
Take power away from the elected politicians who can be bribed by the capitalists, and give it to average people. Adopt the Athenian system of choosing officials by lot from all citizens, and capitalism may have to reform.
onebornfree , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
"Dreams [Matrix Blues]":

"Dreams, you've been hanging on
To dreams when all your dreaming should be done
Dreams, about the way the world could be
You keep dreaming , despite reality

"Dreams, that Donald Trump is not a fraud,
Dreams, that Obama was not a fraud,
Dreams, that Reagan was not a fraud,
Dreams, that all the rest were not frauds,
Dreams, that the Constitution is not a scam,

[MORE]
Dreams, that the Supreme Court is not a scam,
Dreams, that the Federal Reserve is not a scam,
Dreams, that the C.I.A. is not a scam,
Dreams, that the F.B.I. is not a scam,
Dreams, that the cops and the courts are not a scam,

Dreams, that the Pentagon is not a scam,
Dreams, that 9/11 was not a scam,
Dreams, that the war on terror is not a scam,
Dreams, that Social Security is not a scam,
Dreams, that public education is not a scam .."
[and so on and so forth] .

Regards,onebornfree

Agent76 , says: January 13, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
November 21, 2018 The homelessness crisis deepens across North America

Homelessness is spiraling out of control across the US and Canada as laws are enacted to criminalize rough sleepers, reports John Clarke.

https://www.counterfire.org/articles/analysis/19988-the-homelessness-crisis-deepens-across-north-america

Oct 2, 2014 13 year old girl Victoria Grant explains Extreme Corruption the cause of Extreme Poverty Governments

Second speech by 13 year old Victoria Grant on the issue of corruption within the banking system. She argues it is a cause of extreme poverty.

DESERT FOX , says: January 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm GMT
What we have here in the US is communism disguised as capitalism , is anyone doubts this, read the 10 planks of the communist manifesto!
onebornfree , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 3:52 pm GMT
@anon anon[393] • Disclaimer says: "..i had to admit capitalism had probably done more harm to west civ tham communism in fact without capitalism there is no communism ."

If you [ or anyone else] wanted to live under an entirely voluntary communist/socialist [ or whatever] system, while others freely chose not to, then I personally would have no problem with that.

But of course, that is not whats being implied in all of this back and forth. The discussion here and elsewhere is ultimately always about who gets to enforce, at the point of a gun, their own imagined "ideal" system on everyone else, via everybodys imagined best friend/big brother, the government, regardless of individual preference.

Private socialism? Go for it.

Not a problem [except for those who try to live under it], but "go ahead, make my day" as someone once said.

After all , the very first Plymouth colony in the "New World" was founded on full on socialism, and therefor quickly failed, but , I remind myself: the one thing that we learn from history is that we don't learn anything from history.

Regards, onebornfree

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMT
@follyofwar 1. Nope, never read it. Whats "absurd" about it?

However, it's noted that you cannot refute my "talking points".

2. What tax cuts for the rich only? The recent one has helped everyone; me, even you, IF you even work.

Besides, I'm for any tax cuts. The less money Big Gov has the better.

BTW: ca. 50% of US workers pay NO federal income tax.

Cheers.

anarchyst , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc. I would take it a step further. As it stands now, Congress exempts itself from just about every law and regulation that it imposes on the rest of us. Also, most people are unaware that federal judges do not pay "income taxes".
What is needed it a Constitutional amendment to wit:
"Congress shall make NO LAW that does not apply equally to itself, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, and its agencies, departments, and subdivisions, thereof. All federal agencies, departments, and subdivisions thereof are prohibited from enacting any rulemaking without express approval of Congress. Corporate charters shall not confer the status of personhood on corporations"."
Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra I guess all those millions of illegals already in and all the millions more wanting in don't think America is so great.

And no doubt you're planning your move to Canada with Barbra Streisand. LOL

Wally , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:16 pm GMT
@Icy Blast Indeed, disparaging free market capitalism that doesn't exist is like describing Communism as government by & for the people.
Taxhonestyguy , says: Website January 13, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman Great comment! I found Tucker's speech to be vague and largely off point. We do not have capitalism, we have "currently existing capitalism"- like the left called the USSR "currently existing socialism", libertarians know, as Rand said, capitalism is an Unknown Ideal.
As a fellow traveller with Ron Paul, Tucker still has libertarian leanings. He seems confused sometimes about his stand on the Drug War, too often settling for his trope that interdiction at the border will actually stop the overdose deaths, rather than recognizing interdiction has been a failure for a hundred years. And how can he recognize that our foreign wars involve us in one futile crisis after another, without asking why after a century of the war on drugs, we are still experiencing a drug crisis? He says he regrets his "long haired libertarian youth", thereby marking himself as just another old fogey who can't remember the fun he had When he was young.
Instead of pearl clutching, he could strike the biggest blow to international corporatism by acknowledging the crucial role that de- dollariztion is playing. He could recognize the role of the Fed in creating international power centers in NYC, London, Zurich now being challenged by Moscow and Beijing.
Like all conservatives, and alas libertarians as well, he doesn'understand the US Individual Income Tax, the original Populist response to big government enabled crony capitalism. He doesn't understand the income tax is a tax on the exploitation of a federal privilege for profit, not an UN-apportioned tax on "everything that comes in". See http://www.losthorizons.com
And please, bring a real libertarian on as his straw man, not that awful, slow thinking slow talking Objectivist !
FvS , says: January 13, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
Libertarianism needs white nationalism, but at least libertarians consistently call out the Federal Reserve. Tucker never has to my knowledge, maybe because he doesn't understand or isn't interested in monetary policy. But monetary policy affects all aspects of the economy, from wages to international trade. Tucker is libertarian on foreign policy, among other things, and the last time I checked, he's no Bernie Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez when it comes to domestic policy. Does he favor socialized medicine, public higher education, expansion of the welfare state, and government housing for all? His main gripe is with many corporations' love of cheap foreign labor, big tech censorship, and "free" trade. Oh, and he thinks the rich need to be taxed a little more. Can't say I disagree with him there. However, I don't even see any evidence that he is a race realist. I like him, but he seems like the quintessential civic nationalist to me, though that could just be the mask he has to wear.

The foreign labor aspect does need to be reined in (hence why libertarianism needs racial/ethnic nationalism). Google is hardly a private company as it was seed funded by the CIA and NSA. Facebook regularly colludes with Israeli/U.S. Intelligence. It is not unlibertarian to oppose "private" companies that become arms of the state to shut down opposition. The whole free trade vs. protectionism debate is more complicated than either side will admit. Both policies create winners and losers to varying degrees as Trump's tariffs have shown, and the Federal Reserve mucks up things either way. There is no free market in America.

wayfarer , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm GMT

Socialism in Marxist theory is a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

SunBakedSuburb , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Anon Good rebuttal to Achmed E. Newman's comment and the Hallelujah Chorus replying to him. Carlson's point about market capitalism being a religion to conservatives triggers them mightily.
SunBakedSuburb , says: January 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman I love the way you sprinkle your magical market fairy dust.

[Jan 13, 2019] What happens when Tucker Carlson makes sense

Amazing admission in Bezos' blog...
Notable quotes:
"... "Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot," he scoffed at one point, and later elaborated: "Market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it." His speech reached a remarkable crescendo: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having." ..."
"... conservatives could also use this to finally connect with those market-critiquing progressives across the aisle -- or at least to understand them ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

The bell tolled last week on the Jan. 2 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," his Fox News show. Carlson spent several minutes in the first half of the show bemoaning the plight of American men, who, as one segment title put it, are "in decline as the ruling class looks away."

... ... ...

What happens when Tucker Carlson makes sense? - The Washington Post

Still, there were some uncomfortable truths to be found in between the finger-pointing. Men are struggling: Even the American Psychological Association, the country's largest professional organization of psychologists, agrees, and is crafting new standards to address it. Marriage rates are eroding , especially among the poor, and trade shocks -- especially to the manufacturing sector -- have lowered men's earnings and their marriage market potential. Yes, well-educated elites do tend to value stable marriages for themselves, even while championing atypical family structures and laissez-faire lifestyles in public.

Carlson's Wednesday night monologue was part of a larger critique of American financial systems and the failures of free market capitalism, and his commentary was on target there, too.

"Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot," he scoffed at one point, and later elaborated: "Market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it." His speech reached a remarkable crescendo: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having."

In a follow-up interview with the news site Vox , Carlson elaborated on his counterintuitive views...

... ... ...

Intriguingly, now that Carlson is speaking the truth, it's progressive outlets and personalities who seem most willing to engage with his rather out-of-character commentary. (There were positive write-ups in the Atlantic and the above piece in Vox, as well as approving chatter on social media and thoughtful discussion elsewhere .) And while conservatives were quick to defend his less-than-fact-based scapegoating of feminism, they seem less eager to countenance his newly woke ideas.

That's a shame. Carlson's fiery new take should appeal to his traditional constituency, which purports to have an interest in issues of the family and social stability. But conservatives could also use this to finally connect with those market-critiquing progressives across the aisle -- or at least to understand them...

[Jan 13, 2019] Opinion The Case for a Mixed Economy by Paul Krugman

So this neoliberal stooge woke up and started advocating mixed economy. Very interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... What we see right away is that even now, with all the privatization etc. that has taken place, government at various levels employs about 15 percent of the work force – roughly half in education, another big chunk in health care, and then a combination of public services and administration. ..."
"... Follow The New York Times Opinion section on ..."
"... Twitter (@NYTopinion) ..."
"... , and sign up for the ..."
"... Opinion Today newsletter ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Maybe not everything should be privatized. There are private activities that could plausibly be made public, like utilities, which in some cases are publicly owned already.

There are private activities that could plausibly be made public, like utilities, which in some cases are publicly owned already. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

A mind is a terrible thing to lose, especially if the mind in question is president of the United States. But I feel like taking a break from that subject. So let's talk about something completely different, and probably irrelevant.

I've had several interviews lately in which I was asked whether capitalism had reached a dead end, and needed to be replaced with something else. I'm never sure what the interviewers have in mind; neither, I suspect, do they. I don't think they're talking about central planning, which everyone considers discredited. And I haven't seen even an implausible proposal for a decentralized system that doesn't rely on price incentives and self-interest – i.e., a market economy with private property, which most people would consider capitalism.

So maybe I'm being dense or lacking in imagination, but it seems to be that the choice is still between markets and some kind of public ownership, maybe with some decentralization of control, but still more or less what we used to mean by socialism. And everyone either thinks of socialism as discredited, or pins the label on stuff – like social insurance programs – that isn't what we used to mean by the word.

But I've been wondering, exactly how discredited is socialism, really? True, nobody now imagines that what the world needs is the second coming of Gosplan. But have we really established that markets are the best way to do everything? Should everything be done by the private sector? I don't think so. In fact, there are some areas, like education, where the public sector clearly does better in most cases, and others, like health care, in which the case for private enterprise is very weak. Add such sectors up, and they're quite big.

In other words, while Communism failed, there's still a pretty good case for a mixed economy – and public ownership/control could be a significant, although not majority, component of that mix. My back of the envelope says that given what we know about economic performance, you could imagine running a fairly efficient economy that is only 2/3 capitalist, 1/3 publicly owned – i.e., sort-of-kind-of socialist.

I arrive at that number by looking at employment data . What we see right away is that even now, with all the privatization etc. that has taken place, government at various levels employs about 15 percent of the work force – roughly half in education, another big chunk in health care, and then a combination of public services and administration.

Looking at private sector employment, we find that another 15 percent of the work force is employed in education, health, and social assistance. Now, a large part of that employment is paid for by public money – think Medicare dollars spent at private hospitals. Much of the rest is paid for by private insurers, which exist in their current role only thanks to large tax subsidies and regulation.

And there's no reason to think the private sector does these things better than the public. Private insurers don't obviously provide a service that couldn't be provided, probably more cheaply, by national health insurance. Private hospitals aren't obviously either better or more efficient than public. For-profit education is actually a disaster area.

So you could imagine an economy in which the bulk of education, health, and social assistance currently in the private sector became public, with most people at least as well off as they are now.

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Then there are other private activities that could plausibly be public. Utilities are heavily regulated, and in some cases are publicly owned already. Private health insurance directly employs hundreds of thousands of people, with doubtful social purpose. And I'm sure I'm missing a few others.

By and large, other areas like retail trade or manufacturing don't seem suitable for public ownership – but even there you could see some cases. Elizabeth Warren is suggesting public manufacture of generic drugs , which isn't at all a stupid idea.

Put all of this together, and as I said, you could see an economy working well with something like 1/3 public ownership.

Now, this wouldn't satisfy people who hate capitalism. In fact, it wouldn't even live up to the old slogan about government controlling the economy's "commanding heights." This would be more like government running the boiler in the basement. Also, I see zero chance of any of this happening in my working lifetime.

But I do think it's worth trying to think a bit beyond our current paradigm, which says that anything you could call socialist has been an utter failure. Maybe not so much?

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography. @ PaulKrugman


Avraam Jack Dectis Universe Du Jour Jan. 2

. Dr. Krugman missed the largest communist socialist organization in the USA - the military! The live on communes called bases. They have everything provided including clothes, housing, food and training. They get routine exercise as they prepare to defend the country in a world with no credible threat. It is like summer camp year round. The biggest irony? This communist orgsnization fought and trained for conflicts with communists. .

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Michael Dulin Cranbury NJ Jan. 1

To see what the government can do to support the economy we don't need to look farther than our own borders. The government has been crucial to the development and maintenance of many economic activities as they exist today. Much of our shiny technology owes its existence to government investment. Government investment was crucial to the development of flat screens and touch screens. GPS based products rely for their operation on continued government support. Mariana Mazzucato makes the point more completely in her book "the Entrepreneurial State." We should re-examine many areas of the economy to see where the government already has a positive impact. Where we find positive effects, we should try to extend those effects in the same and other enterprises - we should also look to see what is not working and eliminate or curtail the negative impacts of those activities. Outdoor recreation and tourism is another area of the economy that thrives on government support. Those activities contribute far more to the local economy of many rural areas than what they currently rely on in extractive activities like mining, oil and gas production and logging. Expanding outdoor activities and tourism will also require finding ways to reduce the risk of fires in many remote areas, which will also create jobs. (anyone for raking?) So thank you Professor Krugman for highlighting the possibilities of a mixed economy, but as you suggest, we need to broaden our imagination.

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BoulderDad Colorado Dec. 30, 2018

Can the state be a better capitalist? I always hear how Norway has done an amazing job of creating a sovereign wealth fund, funded by their petroleum production taxes and fees. Last I checked, the US produces a lot of petroleum, but we don't have a sovereign wealth fund with $165,000 per person. Do we see our severance fees and royalties in other ways or do socialist economies do a better job in managing the funds?

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Excellency Oregon Dec. 28, 2018

Capitalism can be a bit of a boxing match. Not everything needs to be (should be?) a boxing match. A little Fri nite music for Krug - Alison Krause doing Simon & Garfunkel https://youtu.be/hci5q3G6-FA

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Ellen San Diego Dec. 28, 2018

Dr. Krugman - Please provide concrete examples of how other nations deal with such concepts as public/private in realistic ways that help the ordinary citizen. Bashing what we've got without profiling meaningful reforms only goes so far.

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DFWcom Canada Dec. 28, 2018

The roots of capitalism lie in how we create capital - on the basis of debt and, for the most part, by private sector banks. It's done using fractional reserve banking - taking money created by the state (promissory notes) and lending it over and over - by a factor of around eight times. The key - money is only created on the promise of a "profit", ie, economic growth. It's why GDP growth is always the measure of "progress". As this system becomes ever more dysfunctional and our thoughts turn to sustainability, it is logical we need to think about different systems of creating money. Why not by the state? 2008 is the answer to anyone who says it won't work - private sector banks created commercial paper out of fraudulent debt - not rational, efficient, or fair by any measure. China is an example of an economy where the state creates commercial money. It seems to be doing rather well, especially in building infrastructure that benefits peoples lives. Of course, we criticize China for not playing by the "rules" - our rules, of course, rules that are driving us over a cliff. I believe it's fundamental that we think of ways in which we can reduce the amount of commercial money created for profit by private sector banks in favour of money created for the common good. A nice side effect will be the increasing irrelevance of private-sector "wealth" - a way of scaling back inequality.

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Meredith New York Dec. 27, 2018

Krugman the liberal with a conscience, wouldn't go so far as to point out the many pros vs the cons of the EU social democracy systems. That would be going too far. The Democratic Party still need to raise plenty of corporate money to run in 2020. He'll continue with the anti Trump, anti GOP tirades. And write MAYBE not everything should be privatized as a profit center---in an operating democracy. Americans will still be left uninformed about what they should be demanding from the govt they stand in long lines to elect. Thus be left more vulnerable to GOP propaganda and maybe even future Trumps, now swimming up from the swamp.

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Meredith New York Dec. 26, 2018

So why doesn't our liberal with a conscience make concrete comparisons in real people terms with our PAST GENERATIONS when the middle class was expanding, and with other capitalist democracies now? American past examples are all there---upward mobility, unions, secure pensions, high tax rates on the wealthy, better regulations, infrastructure and highway building, low cost college tuition at state universities--etc etc . .... etc. The data is all there, as would befit an economist who won a special Nobel in economics. And who now works with an institute at City University of NY that studies income inequality. For more informative reading instead, read Leonhardt's column--When the Rich Said No to Getting Richer. And the recent Edsall column on big money influence in our politics. That's a topic most columnists and pundits avoid, except for 1 line occasionaly to show they're hip to it. Then they go on to something else to stay safe and centrist in line with our warped political spectrum. As our columnists stay careful in our FOX News/GOP/corporate political culure, we get more realistic, informative mini columns from many reader commenters instead of the columnists. It's the reader commenters, not the columnists who up the sales of the NYTimes.

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Meredith New York Dec. 26, 2018

I read that Canada avoided our 08 crash because it had earlier refused to merge with US banks. Maybe that's sensible 'conservativsm'--- to conserve their more balanced banking system and economy. Bernie Sanders once had a senate hearing on health care with witnessess from Canada and 4 other countries on how they pay for and use health care for all. Our media ignored it---I happened to catch it on cspan. Is Krugman even aware of this? Citizens of dozens of other countries wouldn't put up even with Obamacare, which is a vast improvement over the previous non system. But it keeps insurance profits subsidized by our taxes. Abroad, if not single payer, then their govts regulate premium prices for their citizens with insurance mandates. If they didn't the citizens would vote them out. This difference should rate a few columns by Krugman the economist, concerned about inequality. But he avoids these comparisons. It's how he and the NYT are positioning themselves in our politics---humanitarian, but not too much. At least we have reader comments to give some realistic data on other countries to Americans who are mostly kept in the dark by their media.

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Citixen NYC Dec. 27, 2018

@Meredith I'm sorry Meredith, but your charge is unfair. I don't know how long you've been reading Krugman's column in the NYT, but he's literally published DOZENS of them comparing our healthcare 'system' with that of other countries, before, during, and after the implementation of Obamacare. And then there's his NYT blog, where wrote similarly but on a more advanced level. The last thing you could say about Krugman is that he's been 'captured' by the wealthy elite. Anything but.

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Meredith New York Dec. 27, 2018

@Citixen.....reading long time. Little about abroad. How about a link or 2?

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morgan kansas Dec. 26, 2018

re: the case for a mixed economy The choice of markets or public ownership or any combination of the two is not the answer or even the question. By the way communism has never been given a fair shot. You mentioned the key to any discussion of economics... self-interest. Communisms downfall has always been self-interest (GREED). Greed comes in a number of guises. Military dictatorships or the NYSE. Capitalism's dead end is its ultimate goal... One conglomeration with one CEO.

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Citixen NYC Dec. 27, 2018

@morgan If Communism had a downfall, then it had a shot, and it failed. There's no reason to think that, as a system run by fallible human beings, the outcome would EVER be any different. Capitalism, on the other hand, has many flavors, almost all of which we ignore here in the USA, except the one that seeks to destroy our public institutions in the name of an extreme libertarianism masquerading as a Utopia of 'free markets'. Whether by committee or by the wealthy, redistribution of wealth by the few has always been a fool's game. Regulatory vigilance, constant reform, and transparent oversight, has proven itself the best partner of capitalism in every case. There IS a middle ground with capitalism that we ignore for the extremes of either wealth, or control.

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Meredith New York Dec. 26, 2018

Krugman says "But have we really established that markets are the best way to do everything? Should everything be done by the private sector? I don't think so." Gosh, don't THINK so? Krugman cautiously asks the question. He doesn't want to offend any centrist Democratic party leaders needing campaign money, and one of them may someday pick him as Treasury Secretary. CNN's Ali Velsh who is from Canada, stated flatly on TV that free market health care has never worked in any country. The incentives are not aligned to provide care that was deemed a right in most modern nations in 20th Century. But not deemed a right in USA. Krugman, as a winner of a special Nobel prize in economics, might actually compare the international GINI Score ranking of countries on their citizens' economic moblity. Americans ranks behind other democracies---that are also capitalist countries. Othe countries like profits too, but profits are not prioritized above all else like here. But to criticize this underlying causation is to look too left wing liberal socialist unAmerican, etc etc. Krugman shies away. That would seem the perfect topic for a Krugman-type columnist who titles himself a liberal with a conscience.

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Meredith New York Dec. 26, 2018

Hey, where's the usual easy Trump bashing that gives us all such emotional catharsis? Is Krugman realizing his anti Trump/Gop columns aren't enough, that we actually need more? Such as questioning the basic tenets of our political culture? That it's not only Trump that is weakening our democracy? This column is just a start---Krugman stays careful not to go too far to criticize our warped norms.

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Meredith New York Dec. 26, 2018

Omg! Warrens idea of public mfgr of generic drugs "isn't a stupid idea"? Is that all you can think up to say, PK? Tell us why it ISN'T stupid. PK wants to look like a humanitarian but still stick with the main Democratic party positions---but this party has to vie with GOP for campaign money. And PK is seen by the Times as its prestigious 'liberal' columnist. To not look too liberal by our warped standards, PK in effect helps to marginalize any ideas that are truly progressive and needed. They're not stupid, but are they smart? For whom? Policies that are called progressive in the US, are centrist in other capitalist democracies--- but keep that dark. Hey, 'liberal', where's your conscience you told us about? Talk not about those who hate capitalism, but those who want to keep it, if it is properly regulated by elected govt. Talk about how our politics are regulated by corporations --through donor money and norm setting, esp for the media. It's obvious--our columnists are careful to stay safe within the guidelines set up. There are many ways to influence 'free speech' without actual govt censorship. We see this daily in our news media, careful to stay within guidelines.

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John Mullen Gloucester, MA Dec. 26, 2018

Economies are human, social creations, they are not at all like solar systems, for example. As human creations, they should serve human interests. That will not happen independent of the political system of democracy. In the US, democracy is seriously corrupted by the power of oligarchs, so the failures of the US economy to do its job cannot be solved by purely economic re-arranging. Assuming that power is back in the hands of people, what should we expect from an economy? Three things: 1. sufficient production of goods and services (this is the free market's strong point), 2. fair (not necessarily equal) distribution of these (this a the free market's weak point), and 3. jobs that satisfy workers' needs for sociability and dignity. (This is a strong point of Marx's thought.) # 2 and 3 require an intelligent, well-functioning democracy. Framing this in old, worn out terms like capitalism and socialism, terms undermined by decades of rhetorical conflict, is not helpful...

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Miguel Madeira Portugal Dec. 26, 2018

A perhaps implausible proposal for a decentralized system that doesn't rely in a market economy with private property (which most people would consider capitalism): - The Firm in Illyria: Market Syndicalism, by Benjamin Ward, published in The American Economic Review , Vol. 48, No. 4 (Sep., 1958).

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tomster03 Concord Dec. 26, 2018

I remember seeing Dr Krugman in a Sunday TV panel discussion on US economic and tax policy. During his turn he spoke strictly in terms of the merits as policy. His fellow panelist George Will followed him and wisely avoided expressing any opinions about economic policy and instead made a sarcastic remark about the political chances of implementing the policy being discussed. I like to think we can discuss policy proposals whether or not they have a chance politically to become law. The alternative might not even appeal to George Will.

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NYT Reader Walnut Creek Dec. 26, 2018

Hey, I think you are talking about China....the proportions are not quite what you suggest (1/3 public) but by incorporating capitalism into a communist model, they are able to get the benefits of both.

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MS Norfolk, VA Dec. 26, 2018

Public manufacture of generic drugs... Where, without competition, would be the incentive for maintaining quality and/or efficiency? Where would be the incentive for improvement of the drugs themselves - increased effectiveness, less side effects, etc? Orwell's horse ("I must work harder!") was a figment of his imagination. Krugman forgets just what is the part of capitalism that brings the most to the table, competition.

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Sandy BC, Canada Dec. 26, 2018

@MS Competition for what? Wealth, of course. And we're back to those whose greed will never be satisfied. Why not "cooperation"? A competition for who can do the most good for humanity.

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MK Kentucky Dec. 27, 2018

@MS Is MS really think that competition among the drug lords of big pharma is truly competition ? Reminds me of the book on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations with a photo of a huge factory belching smoke on his cover. When Adam Smith wrote his book in the late 18th century, a factory was ten people making pins.

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Robert Wood Little Rock, Arkansas Dec. 26, 2018

As I understand it, most, if not all, of the attempts at creating a "socialist" economy haven't really merited the name. They've tended to be autocratic regimes that falsely used the term "socialism" as a means of suggesting to their citizens that they would have a more participatory government. They were cynical charades. I would love to see a true socialist element in our economy, i.e., one that actually placed the needs of the citizens above the needs of plutocrats. Healthcare, in particular, seems to be an ideal candidate for public ownership. Too many companies today in the field are unnecessarily driving up the cost of care for all of us.

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Sandy BC, Canada Dec. 27, 2018

@Robert Wood A thousand recommends , if I could.

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gary e. davis Berkeley, CA Dec. 26, 2018

Krugman's thought experiment here seems to too readily accept that the questioner of "capitalism" knows what they're asking about, deflected by wanting speculation about whatever else -- supplements? ("mixed economy") Alternatives? I've spent many years with this issue, if I may say so. One aspect that ready critics of "capitalism" don't seem to appreciate is the difference between capital-intensive business and capitalISM. The latter is about profit at any cost and tends to be predatory. The former is normal business whose investors accept a reasonable margin and sustain concerns about employee quality of life, corporate citizenship, professional ethics, etc. as part of normal business. Normal business accepts a degree of regulatory constraint for the sake of a level playing field and reliable futures market (in an idiomatic sense), which is required for long-term investment. Libertarian Republicans apparently regard all regulation as "Socialist," but actually socialism is just a bad theory of democratic republicanism (small-d, small-r). If one examines the history of so-called "socialism," it's a history of desire for a democratic republic without much sophistication about making an economy innovative, resiliant, etc.; and a bad sense of government that enables prosperity. Questioning whether "capitalism" has run its course is an unwitting invitation to have one's sense of economics and good government enlightened.

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Ed F Tavares FL Dec. 26, 2018

"Everything For Sale" by Robert Kuttner, 1996. The same idea in specific areas of the economy. Recommended reading.

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John Brews ..✅✅ Reno NV Dec. 26, 2018

It's shocking that an economist finds a mixed economy has to "have a case made for it". It is very obvious that the private sector is not going to undertake any endeavor that helps everybody and not just its own competitive advantage. And it's obvious that regulating the private sector doesn't put them on the right road; just from running amok. Infrastructure, healthcare, education, environment, climate change -- the private sector -- you kidding?? And of course we have the great benefits of Citizens United to thank for assisting corporations to focus our politics upon what needs to be done. The GOP has succeeded beyond all expectations in ruining the country by doing favors for corporations.

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observer Ca Dec. 26, 2018

Socialized agriculture, socialized defense companies, socialized churches, socialized border security walls and socialized tax cuts are what america has. Republicans are hypocrites. Without the huge government subsidies that farmers get-many many billions, including but not limited to the 12 billion from trump after china imposed soyabean tariffs, the farmers would all be out of business by now. Defense companies are financed by ten and even hundreds of billions of pentagon spending. They can't survive on exports to saudi arabia alone. The pentagon gets hundreds of billions from government when there has been no war since world war 2, other than the ones it created in vietnam and iraq. Evangelical churches, GOP enterprises. are financed by tax charity, basically by government and they are socialist organizations. Trump wants to spend 5 billion of tax payer money for a border wall, after talking nonsense about making mexico paying for it-it would be a socialist border wall. The 2017 gop tax cut is socialist welfare for billionaires and corporations. It has added 1 trillion to the federal deficit. Trump and his party are the socialist party serving the top 0.1 percent of the wealthiest.

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observer Ca Dec. 26, 2018

A mixed economy is the best economic model. Capitalism is purely about profit. A purely private economy would create a society with a handful of ultrawealthy people, a small middle class and many tens or hundreds of millions of poor people with no basic health and education services- a system like the one that existed in the king, baron and serf era in england, and in many developing countries. We would have a trump tower with a corrupt and criminal politician and businessman sitting in it, and homeless people and slums surrounding the building for miles. Companies would pollute and destroy the air and water with impunity. The air in the cities would be hard to breathe, and the water would contain poisonous chemicals. Many millions would starve, be unable to go to school and get health services, and live in dirt and squalor. Global climate change would accelerate and the human species would soon be extinct. All relations with friends and allies alike would be purely business transactions and russia, china and hackers would be an much bigger threat than they are. saudi arabia can murder journalists-we will look the other way, just selling them arms and buying their oil.A purely public economy would give us job security for life, and cheap products and services, but they would all be poor in quality, and at the cost of higher taxes.When people want free electricity, and the local politician wants to give it to them,the utility company goes bankrupt.There will be no innovation

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Tdub Piedmont, CA Dec. 26, 2018

For me this is one of the long awaited topics that I have been hoping Krugman would engage; Now more than ever we need discussions of alternatives to the capitalism we have evolved to with its tacit assumption that it is the best of all possible models and that growth is essential. Paul do you really believe that growth can be endless without environmental consequences? I would like to see Krugman wade in on this and especially address newer discoveries of the de-growth movement embodied in stock flow consistent modeling done by Tim Jackson (Prosperity without Growth) and others that show that virtually zero growth can be sustainable and perhaps more stable than our current system.

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Michael Cohen Brookline Mass Dec. 25, 2018

There are 3 basic methods in a modern industrialized societies in which ownership of the means of production can be accomplished. 1. Ownership by a special group, called capitalists, or rentiers is apart from labor in enterprises which produce goods and services. 2. The government can own enterprise and employees like in the British Health Service can be state employees. The state can run the enterprise at a profit or run it paid for partially or completely by the taxpayer. 3. As in Germany in Part labor can have a voting share either complete as in a cooperative such as the Spanish Mondragon and ownership can be by the workers with a lead worker or even Union Official managing the company. Many mixes are possible and all posibilities need to be seriously considered. This has yet to be done in a serious or empirical fashion

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John Big City Dec. 25, 2018

What is the end game for right wingers? If everything is privatized and jobs are insecure, people will be afraid to spend. And we'll live in a feudalistic society. Think about that before you take away working class pensions to give tax cuts to the rich.

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observer Ca Dec. 25, 2018

One of the biggest socialist enterprises in america is the federal reserve board. They poured 4.5 trillion into banks and the economy to lower interest rates. It has turned out to be welfare for wall street and corporations. Trump and the wall street journal editors are complaining about this socialism for corporations when they attack and criticize the fed chief. The fed needs to go back to their main role-containing inflation. Let the stocks drop by 40 percent. The market will eventually adjust. With no place for their money, and low bond and cd rates, the investors will go back into stocks. After all the fed money sloshing around in the system has dried up banks and corporations will go back to paying mom and pop investors like you and me 5 percent. It will be great for financial stability as well. People have been forced to take too much risk in the stock market for years because of near zero interest savings and cd rates. Safe cds should pay interest rates well above inflation. Mortgage rates were low in 2008 even before the fed intervened. There was no need for the fed to pour in trillions. Fed intervention made sense till two years ago. No longer-it is just socialism for billionaires. They should have raised interest rates much faster than they have in the last two years and got out in a hurry. The interest rates are still too low. Mom and Pop investors are making a sacrifice to make hedge fund managers and CEOs even wealthier.

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Craig Hill Wintering in AZ Dec. 25, 2018

Actually Krugman sells socialism in America short, as practiced before our Founders formally engraved it in the Constitution with government operation of the mail. Before the term socialism was coined there were socialized sidewalks, public schools, socialized fire departments, socialized police departments ET CETERA! with no one back then dissenting from necessary partial socialist governance. It was only after the Civil War in the rightwing drift against socialism caused by the desires of massive private concentrated wealth that the socialist menace began to be a thing. It isn't, it never was, tho it, socialism in practice, will continue, the alternative being the alt-truth of for-profit governance, i.e. Medieval Feudalism sane peoples have long jettisoned as the ne plus ultra of concentrated wealth incarnate. That's how absolute monarchs appointed themselves as heads of state, rule by the wealthiest pirates (e.g. Donald Trump) of their time for which little-s socialism has always been the NECESSARY CORRECTIVE.

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Anon Brooklyn Dec. 25, 2018

The rich people want to privatize more and make more money for themselves. Privatizing puts them beyond public scrutiny and we wont really understand when they are failing us. We have to protect our democartic institutions and make income distribution more equal.

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asell1 scarsdlae ny Dec. 24, 2018

Technology is about to change society in a most drastic way. Unless the transformation is properly controlled the outcome could be disastrous. This enormous task cannot succeed without the government setting the strategy and providing the resources necessary to implement if The Chinese government has defined the goals and is engaged in working out a process of implementation. They have so far produced a successful version of a mixed economy. We may adopt perhaps a different mix but their example is worth to learn from

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Jerryg Massachusetts Dec. 24, 2018

It's an indication of how far we've fallen that an article like this has to make a case for a mixed economy. Even for Adam Smith it was self-evident that government had a key role to play. When Smith talked the value of free markets he was not talking about an uncontrolled private sector. He was talking about a new and better system that could be achieved if government would stop the private sector from perverting the markets--through monopoly behavior and influence over government policy. He was FIGHTING the kind of nonsense we have today. Krugman is actually arguing for the mainstream against the lunatic fringe. The idea that the liberated private sector is going to solve all problems has no basis in historical fact. The strength of capitalism is its efficiency in achieving its own ends. It will not miraculously assure the well-being of the population if government doesn't make it. It will not defend the environment or educate the population. It will not even provide the resources for its own success. The should be no question about the need for a mixed economy. It's the only way to get the job done.

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BWGIA Canberra Dec. 24, 2018

I work for a government agency. I have worked for private enterprise in the past. In a very simplistic way, I think the main difference between the two is that private enterprise takes in money, uses it to purchase goods and services and outputs something with the purpose to generate more money. Public 'enterprise' takes in money, uses it to purchase goods and services and outputs something with the purpose of improving (or if you like, maintaining) society. The issue is that money is easy to count, while literacy and good roads are much more difficult to quantify. Also, I'm always struck by how private enterprise can do whatever it likes because it has the freedom to completely fail. I think it's easy to use this metric to see where private enterprise is not really appropriate. National parks, national defense, public infrastructure and so on; we don't want more money from these things, and they can't fail like Nokia. What is really lacking is a public willing to have an extended and thoughtful discussion on what we want as public goods, and what we think they are worth.

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David Staszsk Saranac Lake NY Dec. 24, 2018

My real challange for Proff Krugman is to explain how an economy with zero or declining population would work it seems to me that our capitalistic system needs an ever increasing population.

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Citixen NYC Dec. 25, 2018

That is the big, unspoken, truth about the industrialized world that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge: material wealth tends to lower birth rates. Like climate change, the deniers would have you believe something different, that the world is overpopulated today and exploding tomorrow. The truth is, while global population is indeed increasing, the rate of increase is slowing down dramatically, as people exit systemic poverty and enter into relative wealth that is a consequence of industrialization. The implication is obvious even in our times of protectionism and manufactured xenophobia: if a market economy is to be maintained and there are limited supplies of workers, we either need to encourage domestic birth rates, or accept the idea of immigration and worker productivity (and just compensation) as a necessary part of transitioning to a sustainable human presence on this planet. There is no way out of this conundrum. Just as with climate change, hard choices will need to be made--our desires, wishes, and pet ideologies won't matter if we wish to provide a decent future for our children and their children. Else, what is this all for?

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Craig Hill Wintering in AZ Dec. 26, 2018

@David Staszsk : We're approaching 350 million at what seems like breakneck speed. Aren't you confusing the US with Italy, where the birth rate is barely equal to the death rate?

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Citixen NYC Dec. 27, 2018

@Craig Hill But it isn't. While most of the industrialized West is at or below the replacement rate (births/deaths), the US is one of the few that doesn't have to worry (as much). Why? Our heretofore open attitude toward immigration. But, like everything else, Trump and the GOP is destroying that advantage as well. Talk to a fruit farmer and ask them about their harvest plans. Their loss of income due to an inability to hire labor is just the beginning.

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observer Ca Dec. 24, 2018

Some industries require heavy investment that only Government can provide. How would America produce stealth fighters and aircraft carriers, and operate them, without many tens of billions of Government spending on a handful of private companies that produce defense products like Northrop and Boeing ? The pentagon greatly wastes money because of government throwing money at them with no accountability whatsoever, producing 20,000 dollar toilet seats. The GOP and their supporters do all that while they deny unlucky and disabled people food stamps. China's massive government investment in the last 40 years, in their export oriented industries, education and defense has been a huge success for them. The US has been on the decline for 40 years now, because of it's overdependance on private investment. The US Government needs to invest a lot more in it's people-in education, health care and by attracting immigrants to cover labor shortages in some areas, to compete with China in the 21st century, but with the 21 trillion debt and many GOP reactionaries(basically ignorant and some crazy and misguided people calling it 'socialism'). Private companies lead America's innovation and create new services and jobs, but Government and it's enterprises play a crucial role. If Obama had not intervened in 2008 GM and Ford would only be found in history books.

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observer Ca Dec. 24, 2018

Why do we need government ? Companies and their shareholders only care about profit. Left to themselves rapacious and unethical corporations adopt unfair and monopolistic practices, produce poor quality and overpriced products, and provide substandard services and cheat consumers. Historically, they have even hired armies, and occupied and impoverished countries in the European colonial era. Companies, when there is no regulation, heavily pollute the air and water, pouring industrial waste into the oceans and our drinking water. Global climate change and deforestation, worsened by non-government and destructive government policies is causing wild fires, floods, droughts and hurricanes, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and higher carbon monoxide levels, and accelerating at an unprecedented pace. Corporations, overall, do not protect us from our enemies and from hackers(except for a few defense and software companies).Drug companies and insurance companies keep hiking the prices of even generic drugs that have been in the market since the 1950s and 70s.Public steel, utility and telecommunication companies. and collective farms have been a failure however.Often, there is no real accountability for Government money and services, and employees are not motivated, knowing their jobs are secure even if they don't show up,and a lack of competition results in shoddy products and poor service. But public schools,universities and local government provide good,low cost services.

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Xav Lampi Palo Alto, CA Dec. 24, 2018

Implausible or not, Parecon (for Participatory Economy), a proposal described in the book The Political Economy of Participatory Economics by Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel, is a decentralized system that doesn't rely on price incentives and self-interest,

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Sagebrush Woonsocket, RI Dec. 24, 2018

The perfect example of the advantages of public ownership is the Los Angeles power company. In 2001, Enron wreaked havoc (and profited from it) in California's newly deregulated private electricity markets. The targeted manipulations sent prices skyrocketing, and triggered rolling blackouts elsewhere throughout the state, while Los Angeles remained untouched by any of it. Prices in LA remained stable, and power was uninterrupted. Another benefit came from Los Angeles Water & Power's independence from a profit motive. Faced with growing power demand, instead of building a new plant (which would have ensured growing revenues to a private power company), LA W&P paid for each household to receive a compact fluorescent bulb. The resulting reduced consumption by its more than 1 million housing units reduced LA W&P's income, but eliminated the need for a new plant.

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MarkerZero Jacksonville, Fl Dec. 24, 2018

Thanks for motivating me to read again a clearly written clear-headed history of, and manifesto for recovering, the achievements of our "mixed economy" - Hacker and Pierson, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (2017).

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Michael Shirk Austin, Texas Dec. 26, 2018

@MarkerZero it is great that you appreciate Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. I very much have been influenced by them and quoted them in my post as well. Check out Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson; Making America Great Again: The Case for the Mixed Economy" - Foreign Affairs - May/June 2016) https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2016-03-21/making -...

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Odd Arne Jakobsen Bergen, Norway Dec. 24, 2018

"Put all of this together, and as I said, you could see an economy working well with something like 1/3 public ownership. Now, this wouldn't satisfy people who hate capitalism." Perhaps not, but would it satisfy ""capitalists" who hate socialism? Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting Americans visiting in Norway who, rather that finding the socialist hell-hole they expected to encounter, found that things they'd brand socialism worked surprisingly well here. What has often intrigued me has been their unwillingness to apply, even as an experiment, the "Norwegian way" in their own country. Is there an inherent fear in Americans of being proven wrong that they cannot live with? Case in point: every year in the wake of snowstorms and rainstorms hundreds of thousands of people across America lose their power for days and weeks. Why don't they put their cables in the ground where the wind cannot get to them? Why do they insist on paying over and over and over again to put the cables in the air? Is there some particular capitalist "intelligence" that dictates that is better to pay $100 ten times over than to pay $500 once and be done with it?

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thomas jordon lexington, ky Dec. 24, 2018

Our government built the interstate highway system using competitive bidding with private sector contractors. The deign specs and overall management was the government's responsibility. A fantastic success. WW II was successfully executed by our government overseeing the military/allies and the private economy to defeat two powerful enemies. They did for the COMMON GOOD of the world not to maximize profits. When government works it can implement grand achievement. When corrupted by free marketeers nothing gets done.

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Yves Leclerc Montreal, Canada Dec. 24, 2018

In fact, a mixed or (better) hybrid economy should include three sectors of unequal but flexible size: a. the private market-oriented, profit-driven system, b. the public service-oriented and social equity-driven system, and the cooperate-associative, proximity-oriented and non-profit system. Each answers a clear needs of human societies, each corresponds to a basic instinct of the species: the aggressive acquisitive drive of the meat-eating killer, the stability expected by the family-breeding tribe member, the solidarity and cooperation needed by the pack-hunter. The first is essentially dynamic, geared for progress and growth, the second is basically static, geared for fairness and predictability, the third is adaptive and responsive to immediate needs. Their relative sizes should be allowed to vary according to the evolution of social and political life, science and technology, and material survival conditions -- and political rules should make sure that each survives and plays its role.

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ursamaj Montreal, Canada Dec. 24, 2018

@Yves Leclerc I couldn't have said it better myself. Joyeuses fêtes, fellow Montrealer. & while we're at it, let's raise a glass for Hydro-Quebec, our much-maligned healthcare system & the non-profits who contribute so much to making our lives easier in our wonderful city. La Porte Jaune, I'm thinking of you.

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John Murphysboro, IL Dec. 24, 2018

We should make public all those things necessary for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that, were they left to the free market, would not be available to one and all equally. We already do that with police and fire protection and public infrastructure. We should also add health care and education at all levels to that list, for a start.

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John Upstate NY Dec. 24, 2018

You have to start by completely discarding the word "socialism." It aborts every potentially useful exploration of any kind of concept. I know that's not justified, but it's the sad truth. Lots of good ideas could be aired out fairly if called by some other names and discussed in terms that specifically denounced "socialism."

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Mattie Western MA Dec. 31, 2018

@John Call it capitalistic humanism, or humanistic capitalism. It should put needs of people before (or at least on equal footing with) needs of profit. As we used to say in the old days....

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Sarah Oakland Dec. 24, 2018

Maybe Prof. Krugman owes an apology to Bernie Sanders, whose plan for Sinle Payer Healthcare he derided as "rainbows and puppy dogs" during the last presidential campaign.

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DCW Port St Lucie, FL Dec. 24, 2018

I found this entry by Krugman is awfully weak, but it's not too surprising. Robert Reich, for instance, has a recent short video out about this issue of when to privatize and when not to, and it's more thought out. I hate to think this, but Krugman's apparent weakness on this issue seems to reflect what I see is a major problem with the "big media" like the NYT. It's mostly all Republicans all the time, even if it's total criticism of Republicans, and harsh criticism of Republicans is not the same as developing alternative views (e.g., Rachel Maddow nonstop criticism of Republicans). You just never hear sustained coverage about serious alternative ideas and the groups working on them. You have to go somewhere else to see that sort of news. There's hardly any sustained investigation into what you could call progressive left views, ideas, and actions. The big media is incredibly biased in this regard, and so it's not too surprising that Krugman, for some reason, seems so incapable of expressing alternative ideas to privatization and capitalism.

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PhredM67 Bowie, Maryland Dec. 24, 2018

Averous and greed are what drive capitalist economies. But there is nothing in the book of human nature that says they must be the only characteristics that drive capitalist economies. Why not compassion and empathy?

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Tom Carney Manhattan Beach California Dec. 24, 2018

Hey Paul, Do not cut your "life time" short. Problem with economists or whatever your called is that you can not see what's coming because you are sworn to look through those broken glasses. Capitalism and for that matter PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF PROPERTY, are two of the most ridiculous delusional concepts that selfishness has ever conned us with. I mean, really Paul, how can somebody who is going to be dead eventually own any "THING". We can not even own our own bodies for that long. All so, this ridiculous notion is that there is not ENOUGH therefore we have to hoard what we have... BTW Paul, there are an estimated 8,000,000 people starving to death in just in that Nation that the Saudis want to own. Come on, Paul. It just makes sense for everyone to have what they need regardless of what some billionaire might thik he/she "owns".

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C. M. Jones Tempe, AZ Dec. 24, 2018

It's been my experience that markets are really good at what they do up until the point at which they are really bad. I keep a running list of market failures, which includes but is not limited to: police departments, fire departments, public health departments, pharmaceuticals, journalism, and education. Pharmaceuticals: The fact that we are running out of new antibiotics is a market failure which can be solved be subsuming new drug development into public health departments (most drug development is government funded US university backed research anyway). Journalism: The market solution to journalism is the cable news business model which prizes infotainment, eye balls on the screen, and click bait above real journalism. Real journalism is funded by charitable donations like paying $44 per month to The New York Times, for example. The market solution for education is that rich people get really good schools and poor people get really bad schools. If you live in a state with a high GDP per capita you get better schools than poorer states, for example see the state Arizona. What is the business model for education? If the thing you are producing cannot be exchanged in a market it has no value. Even pro-free market economists recognized that light houses were considered public goods and that by collectively allocating public resources for them they facilitated commerce and increased wealth. The fact that most republicans ignore this today is purely spiteful.

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Mark Goldes Santa Rosa, CA Dec. 24, 2018

The Second Income Plan provides a Third Path - having the advantages of capitalism while sharply reducing inequality and many other disadvantages. It can be combined with a Universal Basic Income with no net cost to the treasury. See: SECOND INCOMES at aesopinstitute.org Here is a path to ending concern about the stock market that makes possible greater returns. 85-90% of an individual's funds should be invested in Treasury Bills, the safest place to put money on this planet. The remaining funds can best be invested with modest amounts, as highly leveraged as possible, in a substantial number of high risk opportunities (ideally an Angel investment portfolio). This is the prescription for investors by Nassim Taleb in his book - THE BLACK SWAN: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. (See page 205)

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louis v. lombardo Bethesda, MD Dec. 24, 2018

Thank you Prof. Krugman. But please recognize the basic need of the people for governance that is not corrupt. Elizabeth Warren has a bill addressing corruption. See https://www.vox.com/2018/8/21/17760916/elizabeth-warren-anti-corruption-act-bill-lobbying-ban-president-trump https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018.08.21 %20Anti%20Corruption%20Act%20Summary.pdf

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M. J. Shepley Sacramento Dec. 24, 2018

what about CA taking over PG&E?

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Suzanne Wheat North Carolina Dec. 24, 2018

Dr. Krugman has had an epiphany!

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Jenifer Wolf New York Dec. 24, 2018

Most sensible article you've written to date

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Good John Fagin Chicago Suburbs Dec. 24, 2018

" For-profit education is actually a disaster area." The City University of New York is an obviously a prime example of the excellence of public education if it employs a professor of your obvious ineptitude. BTW, where did you matriculate? If, by picking any one of a dozen private, for-profit, rip-off colleges you are making a case for public education, you obviously haven't been working with public school students lately. In my upper middle class community, the public high school, fed by a half dozen public grade schools, is, with numerous exceptions, nevertheless graduating students who have a mediocre grade school education. And at least a dozen of the teachers, highly paid and highly protected, couldn't pass an ordinary, private university entrance exam. I never cease to be amazed at the astounding ineptitude of the public education system, while the private, Catholic system continues to roll out educated citizens. (I'm not Catholic). A generalization like yours is certainly indicative of the failure of Yale University.

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Mitch Lyle Corvallis OR Dec. 24, 2018

@Good John Fagin Assertions are not facts. Please, some data on how your local public high school is putting out mediocre students.

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ursamaj Montreal, Canada Dec. 24, 2018

@Good John Fagin That's odd. So many other countries are doing a much better job in public education. Check out the OECD PISA results if you want to see how your argument against public education holds up.

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Tatateeta San Mateo Dec. 24, 2018

Re:Elizabeth Warren's idea of the US government manufacturing generic drugs -it is a great idea. According to Ralph Nader most of our antibiotics are manufactured in China. That worries me and it should worry you.

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Sparky Brookline Dec. 24, 2018

Let's face it, healthcare is undoubtedly the 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to a debate on the relationship between public and private economies. Many NYT commenters want to see Medicare for All become a reality in order to cut out all the profiteering in healthcare, and so that we would have a universal national one size fits all healthcare system. To this I say that Medicare profiteering is rampant with waste fraud and abuse by doctors and hospitals accounting for as much as 40% of Medicare's costs. So, if we really want to socialize healthcare, and take care of everyone, and control the costs we already have a national healthcare system. It is called the VA. In the VA the government owns all the hospitals and all the medical staff are government employees. We really need VA healthcare for everyone. Again, if one believes that socialism is the answer to solving our largest crisis, healthcare, and we also believe that no one should ever profit from providing healthcare, then VA healthcare for all is the only option.

Reply 1 Recommend
Bob Aceti Oakville Ontario Dec. 24, 2018

One important rule to understand the capitalist-socialist dichotomy: Capitalism has no national allegiance; socialism is required to adhere to political allegiances

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Studioroom Washington DC Area Dec. 24, 2018

Why we need public funding? Long term stability.

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Jerryg Massachusetts Dec. 24, 2018

It might be pointed out that even Adam Smith would have supported most of this. His primary thesis was that government has to set the rules or the private sector will go off perverting the free market he so valued. He also had no illusions about the private sector delivering education, social services, or other necessary functions. This idea that the unchained private sector is the solution to all problems is not free market economics -- it's wildly radical nonsense. The private sector, left to its own devices, will undermine the free market and the conditions needed for its success.

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GRW Melbourne, Australia Dec. 24, 2018

Well, my view is that "capitalism" and "socialism" (or "communism") do not exist and never could - over the longer term. The flirtation with "communism" was (or is) a "flash in the pan" relatively speaking and pure "capitalism" would be similarly disastrous if tried - consider the near attempt of the contemporary United States. In other words a "mixed economy" or "social democracy" is a "no-brainer" - and I think it a major embarrassment to the humanity that any of us thought differently in this our modern era. We are unfortunately seemingly naturally inclined to "black and white" or "all or nothing" thinking - but we can be schooled to overcome it for our own benefit if we so allow. Much of the sad experience of the last 150 years - and particularly the last 80 - could have been avoided if one Karl Marx had not been a chauvinistic and egotistical nationalist who wanted to go down in history as the father of a revolution in Germany that would be much bigger and better than the one in France. He wanted the "workers of the world' to "unite" simply for his glorification I contend. We might have had no fascist reaction, no fog of cold war. And a lot less dead in hot ones. Imagine. Much of the world now could have been an international association of interconnected and peace-loving social democracies of highly educated, civilised and ecologically concerned citizens like Denmark and Sweden. Imagine again. All lost because of one man's intellectual dishonesty and obstinacy.

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Bartolo Central Virginia Dec. 24, 2018

"And I'm sure I'm missing a few others." Banking, for goodness sake. The idea is catching on, so get out of the way. For starters, how about allowing the Post Office to do some local loan business to take away the awful people who do payday lending at very high interest rates? Lobbyists for that lot should be thrown out.

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MJ India Dec. 26, 2018

@Bartolo Indian government just inaugurated India Post Payments bank. India Post is equivalent of USPS. Virtually every village has a post office. Banking reaches everyone. Profits - minimal. But with limited options (savings, CDs, monthly income scheme, pension distribution , small loans only), to ensure the private banking can continue with all the fancier products, bigger loans etc.

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Tatateeta San Mateo Dec. 24, 2018

Socialism isn't a failure in happier countries than ours: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, for instance. They have a mix of private and public ownership of essential services like healthcare and education. And social services. For profit healthcare is an oxymoron. Profit always wins over good healthcare and slicing and dicing services and procedures to squeeze every nickel and dime out of them leads to very bad medicine.

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ALM Brisbane, CA Dec. 24, 2018

The worst part of capitalism is extreme concentration of wealth in a few hands, further aggravated by foolish taxation policies. Quality of education is uneven because of wide variation in local resources. Uniform federal funding of education would solve this problem. Same applies to healthcare. Equal level of healthcare is possible only by a single payer system such as Medicare. Public health which ranges from providing clean food, clean air, clean water, and vaccinations to garbage collection and dispositions is a matter that is better publicly handled. Continuous reeducation of workers displaced by automation or outsourcing is another matter that capitalism has ignored. Cremation or burial need to be publicly funded for those considered indigent when they were alive.

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Brookhawk Maryland Dec. 24, 2018

The devil would be in the political mayhem that would take place as we decide what should be capitalist and what should be socialist. Even if you base the decision on answering the question "What does every person need to live in this world?" you will have massive disagreements. Insurance is inherently socialist - it requires everyone contribute so that the ones who need $ can get it when the need it, on the theory that sooner or later we're all going to need it - but look at how insanely people (and corporations) have resisted Medicare for all and even Obamacare. On the other hand, the liquor industry doesn't need to be socialist - everybody doesn't need it and won't need it if they don't want it.

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ursamaj Montreal, Canada Dec. 24, 2018

@Brookhaw Ever consider checking out how other countries do things? You can't skew the statistics forever by stacking everything in the hands of the top 20-30% & still consider that on average, you're doing better than everybody else. The success of a few outliers do not a functional country make & no, you don't need the oil revenue of Norway to make sure that the basic needs of all citizens are met. It may not be easy & it's probably too late for the USA, as it takes generations of stability & hard work to pull it off, but the most successful countries in the twenty-first century either did just that or are trying very hard to do this well.

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JoeG Houston Dec. 24, 2018

Socialism works if you have oil like in Norway where there's a trillion in surplus in profit. With 5 million population you could have train service everywhere and elder care wherever you look. Wait they do have poverty. Never mind. Democratic Socialism, neither Democratic or Socialist, could be done here. But when the deficit reaches a gazillion and Alexandra Ocasio Cortez appointee's are running Ford and trying to select next years colors and mpg ratings why not cancel the government debt. It's not new it's even in the - you guessed it, the Bible. Wait a second being a billionaire is so common. Who wants to be a trillionaire?

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Truthseeker Great Lakes Dec. 24, 2018

I hate capitalism. I want something better. Capitalism is greedy, completely materialistic and gives no regard for human values. The earth and human civilization cannot survive unregulated capitalism, and capitalists don't care. Either we will create new ways of living or catastrophic environmental collapse will bring human civilization as it exists today to an end.

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Bruce USA Dec. 24, 2018

This is where liberals lose me. Sure there are areas of the economy that should be run by the government. Health care definitively is one of them (or at the very least a public option) But advocating socialism as opposed to social democracy is a NO NO. Last country that when full blast socialism was Venezuela 20 years ago and look at the results. Many other disastrous examples abound, Cuba any one?

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Ed Watters San Francisco Dec. 24, 2018

Capitalism's strength is wealth creation in the hands of the few, who then use this wealth to further enhance their wealth via control of governmental policy - all of which is contrary to the needs of the many. People who think a lot deeper than Krugman question whether it makes sense to talk about democracy in a capitalist society - and there are academic studies that support this. See: https://www.thenation.com/article/noam-chomsky-neoliberalism-destroying-democracy / https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf Regarding socialism, the concept implies bottom-up control of policy which has only been achieved briefly, on very small scale in societies and in history of which most are unaware. Dominant capitalist societies have attacked countries economically and militarily that have tried a socialist model. Whether these would have eventually adopted a bottom-up power structure is unclear.

Reply 1 Recommend
Bob Aceti Oakville Ontario Dec. 24, 2018

I agree with Paul Krugman, generally. But the issue respecting 1/3rd socialism and 2/3rds capitalism is that the socialist sector would be the servant of the capitalist sector that would suck the life blood (tax revenues) needed to sustain a productive health and education sector. One only need look at the military-industrial complex (MIC) to support my observation. The DoD spends "Huge" taxpayer funds to support global military dominance. How much of that (socialist) military budget is contrived by capitalist politician-lobbyists and over-spent with the blessing of the (socialist) military establishment that is recharacterized as "profit" is anyone's guess. The socialist Defence Budget, and privatized NASA budget, fall outside the normal bounds of markets as the buyers of these goods and services tend to be sovereign governments and sovereign corporations - TBTF. Eventually, retiring military leaders that sanction budget directives that enrich capitalist corporations that make these military 'assets', end up post-retirement as directors or officers of the MIC - i.e. Dick Chaney did well swinging socialist government business toward his business interests. I accept Krugman's estimation that a minor portion of government-associated business can cut-out the middleman and become more transparent and cost-effective producer of social goods and services - but only if there is an independent board and executive team NOT expecting "fringe benefits" doing so.

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Doug VT Dec. 24, 2018

Well, let's be honest, the "socialism is failure" paradigm is based on the corrupt and totalitarian regimes of the Soviets and Eastern Europe. Yes, they failed. We know that. But Jesus, can we advertise the successes of Socialism for a damn second!!!! C'mon, use the old brain. It is mixed economies that have yielded the best set of results in the modern era. There is no question about that. Can we stop with the inane arguments! A certain amount of socialism is good! Let's debate the right balance. Fine. But I'm sick of litigating the idea that some socialism is good.

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Chris Winter San Jose, CA Dec. 24, 2018

One question that I think doesn't get enough attention is: Can capitalism exist without the need for constant growth? My intuition is that it can, but most people regard the assumption of constant growth as a law of nature.

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John Upstate NY Dec. 24, 2018

I am happy to see someone point this out. The mantra of growth is, ironically, the one thing agreed upon by all political persuasions, but it's actually the least sustainable approach that could be imagined. I'd like to hear how capitalism might exist without it, but even more I'd like to hear of any long-term workable system that's compatible with a steady state rather than unlimited growth.

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Pinewood Nashville, TN Dec. 24, 2018

@Chris Winter and John Steady-state economics has been seriously proposed. There is a non-profit dedicated to its theory and implementation: the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, https://steadystate.org/discover/steady-state-economy-definition /

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Bob in NM Los Alamos, NM Dec. 24, 2018

Every human activity needs some sort of regulation to prevent exploitation of the vulnerable. Also, those portions of incomes so high that they can't possibly be spent need to be transferred to those who will spend them. That keeps the money circulating so that everyone benefits. This is what is needed, not arguing about public vs. private. Every activity can be private; that's fine. But every activity also requires oversight to prevent harm to others. Unfortunately, people will tend to misbehave if they can get away with it.

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John Griswold Salt Lake City Utah Dec. 24, 2018

"Maybe not everything should be privatized"? No maybe involved, NOT EVERYTHING should be privatized! See how easy that is?

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David Pittsburg, CA Dec. 24, 2018

What is ignored in this innocent debate is the finicky nature of politics. The political swings from say, Kennedy era public spending to Reagan era private enterprise along with a degraded view of government, can wreak havoc on those dependent on "government". I think of my friend who benefited for years on a "minority owned business" provision to get contracts for his business. He believed it was an entitlement. Then the Bush Administration cut out that provision and he ended up living out of his car. The lesson is always: Don't get dependent on government.

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BB Accord, New York Dec. 24, 2018

The argument against socialism is totally disingenuous and purely tactical. "Socialism" has been purposefully cast as the "other" in financial systems, exactly the same as foreigners have been cast as the "other." Socialism has always been a part of our democratic (not capitalistic) system. Building infrastructure, public education, public transportation, public health, public law enforcement are all socialism. Anti-monopoly laws are socialism. One can be reasonably certain that as soon as labels are used to evaluate policy rather than content and benefits it is a "red herring" argument to distract from opportunism by the perpetrators.

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SteveT Silver Spring, MD Dec. 24, 2018

@BB It could be argued that the United States was built through socialism. The Founding Fathers enshrined a national, government-run mail delivery system in the Constitution that united the states. President James Monroe expanded the mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from building coastal forts to surveying and improving inland waterways in 1824, helping to open the western frontier to expansion. President Abraham Lincoln and Congress provided taxpayer-funded grants and government-backed bonding as incentives for private companies to build transcontinental railroads and telegraph lines, uniting the continent. President Franklin Roosevelt used taxpayer funding to subsidize the expansion of electricity into rural areas, bringing large portions of the country into the 20th century. President Dwight Eisenhower proposed a taxpayer-funded interstate highway system that made America's a truly national economy.

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Awake New England Dec. 24, 2018

I suspect the only segment which can tolerate the inefficiency of humans is the government. Private firms will always seek the most efficient means to provide goods and services, thus the push to automate and deploy AI. There is nothing wrong with this, for example, the time saved using self checkout with portable scanners is wonderful, of course there are displaced workers.

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Ralph Bentley Portland Oregon Dec. 24, 2018

@Awake Private firms always seek the most efficient way to make money. The mission is to make more money than last year. To increase shareholder value. That is the extent of it.

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Dink Singer Hartford, CT Dec. 24, 2018

@Awake You apparently have never worked for a large corporation. I have worked for three different corporations that had annual budgeting procedures that were so inefficient it was often well into March before workers had anything to do. As a contract consultant I spent eight months on contract doing nothing while management considered which of two alternatives plans to implement. I have worked for a corporation where the internal charge for parking within the basement of a company owned building was far higher than the rates at commercial parking garages within a few blocks, so the manager of the department with the most company cars moved them saving his department money but decreasing the company's bottom line. I worked for a company where it became fashionable for executives to send documents to one another via FedEx overnight instead of via interoffice mail. Sorting took place in Memphis instead of the basement and the documents arrived two or three hours later or if the documents were ready early enough in the day, twenty hours later.

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John M Oakland Dec. 24, 2018

@Dink Singer: As you correctly note, large bureaucracies have inefficiencies regardless of whether they're publicly owned or privately owned. The Dilbert strip shows private enterprise, after all...

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Tom from North Carolina Dec. 24, 2018

From a cost efficiency standpoint, more public control of some industries is easily justified. The part of the puzzle that hasn't been solved is innovation. Without incentives brought about by capitalism, Google search, smart phones, YouTube, tablets not to mention thousands of applications making your phone or tablet or PC so useful, would not arrive in 100 years let alone one generation.

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Chris Herbert Manchester, NH Dec. 24, 2018

@Tom from The most patient investor in R&D is the federal government. For the obvious reason that more than 90% of R&D just proves what does not work. The CIA helped fund some of the original research that ended up being Google, and an Italian college professor (paid for by government money) made an important breakthrough as well. Read Mariano Mazzucato's The Entrepreneurial State.

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John Griswold Salt Lake City Utah Dec. 24, 2018

@Tom from Chris below goes no where near far enough. The entire technological platform on which Google, smart phones, YouTube and the rest rely would have taken at least decades longer to develop without Government action and support. There quite literally would not have been a "Silicon Valley" without the massive government investment in aerospace and defense in the 50's and 60's.

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Allan Dobbins Birmingham, AL Dec. 24, 2018

@Chris Herbert - Exactly right. The initial spadework -- fundamental research in materials, computing, biology that has led to technological revolutions, was funded by the government usually without any vision whatsoever of the end application. It is this that we are in great danger of getting away from, in doing applied research with an immediate end in mind (e.g. magic bullet drugs for cancer).

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1stPlebian Northern USA Dec. 24, 2018

A more realistic solution that wouldn't require the consent of our lawmakers would be to set up private companies that don't operate soley on the profit margin, and instead work to provide a good or service to the public better than the current players; treat their employees well and not pollute, cheat, steal, etc.; and provide a reasonable rate of return for investors (7% or so), with any extra profits being split up and reinvested, given as bonuses to workers, investors, and consumers, etc. by a predetermined formula. Western Europe gives lie to the argument that socialism doesn't work, but anybody who has been paying attention knows lawmakers and their handlers will not abide by it, and sabotage it first chance they got. Instead we can set up a sort of private socialist system, to compete in areas where the profit motive doesn't provide for the best outcomes, in areas like alternative energy, internet cooperatives, drug discovery and manufacture, insurance cooperatives, etc. Graduate schools could be set up as such allowing people to use their school money and the assets of the school to invent new products that could be then brought to the public under such rules. The private sector would be free to compete, but the profit motive wouldn't be the only game in town.

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hestal glen rose, tx Dec. 24, 2018

I have imagined a pair of such systems. One can't exist without the other. They are called Faction-Free Democracy and Democrato-Capitalism. They are based on the fact that our supply of money is unlimited. I have been preaching this gospel for years, including comments on this blog. I finally wrote a book about it called "Faction-Free Democracy." You can look it up. It provides government funding for almost everything, and models the government on the democracy of ancient Athens. Many people call it "socialism" but in fact it is a real democracy instead of the phony one we have now, which is, according to the Framers, a republic. Yes, it is possible to have a government modeled on Athenian democracy. Computers don't you know. We could have a world-wide democracy if we wished. It provides a Social Security Lifetime Supplement of $36,000 per year per citizen from birth to death. Don't be scared, check it out. To paraphrase Keynes: "The new ideas expressed here are extremely simple and should be obvious. The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which are now intertwined in every corner of our minds, and do not wish to be disturbed."

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mauouo10 Roma Dec. 24, 2018

If what Prof. Krugman were to happen in the US, it would just make them a bit more similar to European nations. Nothing revolutionary in European views, but definitevely so for the American mindset. I think it would also make the US a stronger a more cohesive nation. But expect private interests getting in the way of that by all means.

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Enri Massachusetts Dec. 24, 2018

Private individuals and self interest are of course abstractions that do not stand by themselves in reality, apart of the common sense ideology. They are mediated by social activities (via exchange -selling my capacity to work or buying what I need in the market). I don't produce something to consume it myself, as in earlier economies of self subsistence. The computer I'm writing on was made by others. Therefore I depend on others' products to live in society as I am not capable of producing my own means of subsistence. The social wealth (all the products of use) produced by the collective worker (all of those who work for a wage) is though appropriated by private individuals. But that is only a phenomenon that exists in a society where the means of production are individually appropriated. This happens even in China despite its "socialist" or mixed "economy." So socialism is not just the collective ownership of production means. It is the democratic control of the same, which does not happen under the regime of capital accumulation (even in those 'state owned enterprises'). The baptism of fire of capital was the dispossession of lands held in common by peasants in England starting in the xv century They were freed from their means of production and forced to work for others. This operation has been repeated since then-even in China as recent as a decade ago. Those cities, roads, and factories were made with the work of newly "freed" labor from the soil they used to till.

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Enri Massachusetts Dec. 24, 2018

Krugman says socialism is an utopia or it does not work based on the experience of the former Soviet Union or currently in China. Both are examples of centralized economies rather than socialism where the means of production (land, factories, technologies, etc) are democratically controlled. Indeed, this centralization has favored the concentration of wealth produced in those two areas of the world. The Russian oligarchs and the Alibabas come from somewhere, and the state has been there to help them along. So let's keep apart the idea of socialism as a way of producing and appropriating this product from the form of government that either fosters or suppresses it. There is not a clear example of the former. All the existing governments have so far mostly suppressed socialism as a mode of production despite their name. The so called mixed economies were the result of the truce between capital and labor after ww2. After that truce ended in the 1970s with low profitability capital has taken the offensive with both neoliberalism and globalization, which ran out of steam in 2008. We are now facing the dystopia of a capital regime in trouble and unable to deal with catastrophic climate change, the global poverty it has produced, the millions unemployed in the global south or precariously living in the midst of concentrated wealth like in the US, and the demoralization produced by this social malaise Economists need to deal with this dystopia and stop living in denial.

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Ejgskm Bishop Dec. 24, 2018

Professor Krugman are you not looking at the data? Total federal, state and local government spending was 37.9% of GDP in 2014 ( https://data.oecd.org/gga/general-government-spending.htm ). The largest shares go to my mom and my kids (thanks taxpayers!). Government expenditure is not the same as GDP but are you saying we should shrink government by 15% (5% of GDP) or grow it? If more money flows through DC (or, for this Californian, Sacramento), will additional lobbying for regulation delivering rents to unions and corporations be worthwhile? Lack of antitrust enforcement is doing more for the top .1% and to the bottom 10% than anything but maybe our silly tax code. Please think and write more about that.

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Robert Bott Calgary Dec. 24, 2018

I think many sectors could benefit from a greater role for cooperatives: one-member-one-vote rather than one-share-one-vote. Also, there could be mandatory inclusion of labor and public members on corporate boards. The current private sector model is focused on growth, rather than service or maintenance, and typically has a very short time horizon. If our goal is sustainability over the longer term, we need a better mix of governance and finance than at present. I completely agree with Dr. Krugman about the need for better structures to meet public purposes such as health, education, utilities, and a basic social safety net including housing.

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eben spinoza sf Dec. 24, 2018

The positive feedback loops of so-called network effects are concentrating economic and political power into black holes of incredible wealth. When things get too out-of-balance, society, like an ecology, disintegrates. A mixed economy can help maintain that balance. But, as things are going, it looks increasingly like many, many people are going to suffer first until some form of balance, social, economic and ecological, is restored.

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Ed Larchmont Dec. 24, 2018

My suggested guideline is simple. If an organizations highest priority should be to be the public it should be socialized (tax supported). If an organizations highest priority is profit its private. A healthy mixed economy is in our future. We just have to make it happen.

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John Brews ..✅✅ Reno NV Dec. 24, 2018

It is amazing that Paul is a bit embarrassed to say the private sector isn't able to do everything well. It is sooo clear that most of the big problems of this Country are a consequence of government being unable to do what has to be done. Of course, the GOP doesn't want to do anything. But infrastructure, opioid addiction, health care more generally, education, research, the arts, foreign policy, and politics in general are not where capitalism shines. In fact, simply making a profit very often isn't a good motivator when it makes providing goods and services simply an expense instead of an objective. Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram are cases in point, where the money motive has corrupted large portions of these enterprises, driving out responsibility.

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Ed Larchmont Dec. 24, 2018

The issue we need to discuss first is corruption. What else can you call the fact that our representatives are for sale to the highest bidder? We the public are clearly not capable of being represented in that system. Thus we are not. The issue of socialism vs capitalism is totally misrepresented by most commentators and media. If we define socialism as taxpayer funded programs for the public we've had the mixed economy Paul suggests for many years. Social security and medicare are the most referenced but there are many more; public schools, the post office, libraries, museums, highways and roads, water, sewage, parks, local police and government services..... But our unrepresentatives have shifted socialism on behalf of the public to socialism for the corporations, subsidizing many industries like oil and agriculture while vilifying socialism on behalf of the public. The military and the banking system are the most aggregis of the socialized, consuming over half our GDP. None of this will change until we deal with the corruption of our representatives. Paul is stating the obvious, a mixed economy currently serves both the public and private sectors, but is under relentless pressure to go private. Public institutions like schools and prisons have already been privatized. But when we get our representatives back we have to decide what it makes sense to socialize and privatize. My suggested guideline is simple.

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1stPlebian Northern USA Dec. 24, 2018

@Ed...if we get our representatives back. Absent another FDR and an overhaul of the democratic party that will embrace a New Deal, the democrats will not dominate our governments and remain beholden to the same interests that prioritize short-term gain over even their own long-term interests.

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DeclineAndFall Washington, DC Dec. 23, 2018

According to my cable-internet installer, a) Ethernet has defeated all other network protocols, b) Ma Bell was broken up over long distance, a topic no one cares about anymore, c) no one can make money delivering generic IP packets, so d) the government should re-create a national monopoly on fiber to homes and businesses, and e) bid out the installation and operation to local contractors. This would allow one big govt-run system (furnace) and all the installers and network operators would still have jobs. Happy Holidays.

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carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 23, 2018

Protecting our natural and cultural resources will unfortunately require a degree of protectionism. But this is a more sustainable solution for both our country AND the rest of the world. If we can favor LOCAL COMMERCE through local/municipal, county and state governments that preferentially support local/small-scale business, our carbon footprints and carbon sequestration figures, for examples, would improve. Federal-/national-level governance and multinational capitalism are, in concert, destroying the planet. Fortunately, our resource-richness allows us NOT to have to compete with the world's lowest bidders, in terms of exploitation of workers and the environment.

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1stPlebian Northern USA Dec. 24, 2018

@carl bumba, Yes we should try to think more locally, but moneyed interests think and act in concert globally, and a local mindset where we ignore issues that don't affect us directly leaves us all at the mercy of the globalists.

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carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 24, 2018

@1stPlebian They ain't gonna hurt us any.

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Ed Moise Clemson, SC Dec. 23, 2018

In the 1920s, the British government initiated what was in effect an experiment comparing public and private design and manufacture of an airship. This was before improvements in airplanes made airships obviously uncompetitive. The government designed and built one airship, the R101, while a private corporation designed and built another, the R100. The government airship was a disaster, literally. 48 people were killed when it crashed on its first attempt at a really long flight, in October 1930. Neville Shute Norway, an engineer who had worked on the R100, later said he believed one of the big advantages of the private airship was that it was under the scrutiny of suspicious government safety inspectors. The engineers building the government airship were not subjected to the same hostile scrutiny by the government--after all they were the government--so they were able to get away with things that should not have been permitted.

Reply 1 Recommend
Michael Shirk Austin, Texas Dec. 23, 2018

Neither pure 'capitalism' nor pure 'socialism' (or whatever may lie at the other end of the spectrum) have existed for centuries. The unregulated seeking of profits, just as a centrally controlled economy, would be disastrous in any country and we do well to understand the benefits of a mixed economy. The political economist Charles Lindblom "once described markets as being like fingers: nimble and dexterous. Governments, with their capacity to exercise authority, are like thumbs: powerful but lacking subtlety and flexibility. The invisible hand is all fingers. The visible hand is all thumbs. One wouldn't want to be all thumbs, of course, but one wouldn't want to be all fingers, either. Thumbs provide countervailing power, constraint, and adjustment to get the best out of those nimble fingers." (Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson; Making America Great Again: The Case for the Mixed Economy" - Foreign Affairs - May/June 2016) https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2016-03-21/making-america-great-again

Reply 1 Recommend
American in Austria Vienna, Austria Dec. 23, 2018

In comparative economics courses at US universities during the 1970s, large utilities experiencing decreasing long-run average costs (like power generation/distribution; telephone companies; certain aspects of airliners; etc) and certain other production where firms might have large numbers of employees, were hinted-at as prime candidates for being [quasi-]publicly sourced. What the resulting system was called seemed less important than output and cost (Pareto, Nash, other) efficiencies. In some countries, such industries flip back and forth between private and public production (or finance) over the decades, rendering those nations characterized as more or less socialistic or capitalistic at the time, depending on how the highest profile firms are supported by whatever prevailing administration (or ownership group) has power. This also can do wonders for public deficits and accumulated debt in a very short period of time.

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Bill Cape Town Dec. 23, 2018

What about the broadcasting industry? Imagine watching television with programs not being broken up by commercials. Nowadays is seems as if half of program time is taken up with commercials. Imagine having the quality of news, public affairs, and entertainment approaching that of the BBC. A very intelligent and competent television producer reminded me many years ago, "Television is not an information and entertainment medium, it's an advertising medium." We almost had a total national public broadcasting system instead of the small sliver we have today . Congress narrowly supported the private system when the issue was decided in the 1920's. Too bad it went that way.

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carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 24, 2018

@Bill So true. Then maybe we shouldn't reflexively trust corporate news, like NYT, to provide us with unbiased truth. For example, many people here seem to adopt views about "fly-over country" without ever really knowing it, firsthand. Likewise, readers' opinions here seem to be frequently formed by comparisons between REAL people (who are not Trump supporters) and DEPICTIONS of real people (who are Trump supporters). This is problematic.

Reply 1 Recommend
Frank Monachello San Jose, CA Dec. 23, 2018

Paul's totally on target and the timing just might be perfect. Hopefully, he and others can build on this with actual examples of other modern countries that have made this transformation successfully and the Democratic Party could finally UNITE around a prudent vision for the voters .. . the two key words? Prudent and UNITE.

Reply 1 Recommend
harvey wasserman LA Dec. 23, 2018

this brilliant and important piece misses a key phrase: the natural ecology. under pure capitalism the earth & the life support systems it provides have no monetary value. therefore they exist merely to be exploited (and destroyed) for private profit. in the long run such a system will doom us all. in fact, you could say in the short term it's already doing just that.

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Michael Shirk Austin, Texas Dec. 23, 2018

@harvey wasserman that is exactly the point. The single greatest negative externality of unregulated, profit-maximizing business, is global collapse.

Reply 4 Recommend
Don St Louis Dec. 23, 2018

The primary arbiter of the effectiveness of free markets must be the presence of effective competition. If natural forces or regulation do not insure effective competition in a market segment then the interests of the consumer must be enforced by regulation. If regulation does not suceed public ownership is the most obvious alternative. The common belief that, if unregulated, markets will function to the benefit of consumers and, on a larger scale, societies, is woefully misguided.

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James W. Russell Portland, Oregon Dec. 23, 2018

Retirement is a major area that could benefit from public ownership and control. Think of how much 401(k) gains are lost to the private financial services industry. Think about how much lower administrative overhead Social Security has than private financial service industry companies. Think what an expansion of the Social Security social insurance model could do to resolve the retirement crisis.

Reply 5 Recommend
PJM La Grande, OR Dec. 23, 2018

As a teacher of economics I am wondering the same thing. Are we at a point where economies are so large and complicated, and prosperity is so great (though not for realized for everyone), that some new economic system is called for. Call it "creative destruction" turned towards the economic system itself.

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rick Brooklyn Dec. 23, 2018

Just by the mention of a ratio of 2/3:1/3, Mr. Krugman illuminates his belief that, no mater what perils capitalism may bring, it is still twice as better than an economy that is heavily controlled by a government that is by and for the people. Eventually, we may have a government capable of leading the economy, but for now, and without any evidence, commentators like Mr. Krugman, cynically let us know that we should mostly just stay the course and give our money to the profit seekers. here's another way to think about this: not only could all the people working in health care be public employees, but they and the people who need medical care (all of us) could have our care subsidized by the creators of the drugs and diagnostic tools that save us. It is important to remember that in health care there are statistics that show specific percentages of those subjected to certain drugs or tests are actually harmed by those drugs and tests. It seems reasonable that those manufacturers should be in partnership with the government for (and on the hook for) costs associated with their imperfect products. That is more of a real public interest led economy where capitalism, because it harms people (as part of its nature), is humbled by the public good to subsidize their mistakes and support the health of the citizenry.

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Sam Song Edaville Dec. 24, 2018

@rick Let's see. You want the drug companies to underwrite the cost of patients who would receive their products. I think the drug producers would love that scheme.

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Bob Aceti Oakville Ontario Dec. 23, 2018

The socialist-capitalist, mixed economy, discussion in America is long overdue and, contrary to Prof. Krugman's guess that it would be "probably irrelevant", quite relevant indeed. The Chinese economy is the leading capitalist-socialist economy: "Real GDP Growth YoY data in China is updated quarterly, available from Mar 1992 to Sep 2018, with an average rate of 9.2 %." https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/china/real-gdp-growth The World Bank illustrates the difference in GDP percentage growth since 1960 for the U.S. and China. Clearly, the Chinese will over-take U.S. economy (GDP) in a matter of decades - likely when a millennial becomes President of the U.S. and China. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=CN-US Despite the evidence, Americans still think that the U.S. will defeat the historic odds and remain the world's leading economy and military power that it is today. In a world of increasing militarism, the future is uncertain. With unabated sustainable growth of GHG emissions, millennials will need to get involved in politics sooner than any prior generation: their standard of living is at real risk, they are part of the solution. The present U.S. Trump administration's denial of the science behind global warming and climate change is the problem.

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sgbotsford Warburg, Alberta, Canada Dec. 23, 2018

Some areas should be free market: Any area where there is clear competition -- e.g. automobiles. Some areas should be either government owned, or tightly regulated: Utilities fall in this category, as it is very inefficient to have competition in electricity, water, sewer, or wired communication. Cable TV would have fit in here 20 years ago, but there are enough other alternatives that this is no longer the case. Some areas where the industry has an impact on the common good -- businesses that pollute come to mind -- need regulations that govern that aspect. Any business that is "too big to fail" should get bailed out once: And then broken up into at least 3 smaller companies. Other areas of regulation: Overlapping directorships within an industry. Banks should not be in the insurance business. Nor in the stock selling business.

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JJ NVA Dec. 23, 2018

Krugman fails to mention the that most of the 2/3 capilaist portion of the ecomony he talks about isn't really capitalism, it dominated bystate sanctioned monopolies. No one really believes in a ture capilaist economy, if they did they would be arguing for the elimination of the largest distortions to a capitalist economy in the United States; tradmarks, patent, and limited liability corporations. these three distort from a freemarket truely capitalist economy much more than wlefare, public education, regulated healthcare. The government regulation inflicted by these three government mandates is much greater than Obama care and welfare ever could be.

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JJ NY Dec. 23, 2018

The question of "how discredited is socialism?" is odd. "Discredited" by whom? and in what context? Ronald Reagan crisscrossed the country on behalf of the AMA, fear-mongering about ending freedom forever because the AMA hated the idea of socialized medicine: Medicare. Today, many Americans seem not to know that original Medicare is a government-run program (socialized insurance, not socialized medicine) -- less expensive to run, higher quality results, better at controlling costs -- far better than the wolf-in-sheep's clothing Medicare Advantage programs that socialize risk, privatize profits, and make mountains of money for shareholders/execs. Polls show Americans have become far more comfortable with govt-run healthcare -- hence its importance in Nov18 ... and likely continued importance in 2020. And, last time I checked, Warren's drug manufacture plan included more than generics -- e.g., new drugs with insufficient profit potential -- for rare diseases, or that cure, or that will be used rarely (like new antibiotics). I'd prefer Prof. Krugman spend more time on economic explanations -- not worrying so much about political feasibility, prognosticating, and inflammatory labels. Maybe then he'd discuss economic, public policy -- and moral -- benefits of the NY Health Act, "Improved Medicare for all NYers," better than any current public or private insurance. If it becomes law in 2019, the feasibility of national single-payer will no longer be in question...just the terms.

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Theodore Minnesota Dec. 23, 2018

Capitalism begins to look a lot like state socialism when there is heavy concentration in the industry, for example, only one commercial jet manufacturer or only one military fighter jet manufacturer or High tech controlled by Amazon, Google, Apple, FaceBook. Capitalism works when there is competition, not monopoly. We are not as purely capitalistic as we like to think.

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Kodali VA Dec. 23, 2018

Free education for all advanced by Bernie Sanders is a first step that is needed. This is neither a socialism nor a capitalism. We have Medicaid to take care of poor. It is just a matter of adequately funding it. Next, setup public works program where unemployed can work for food stamps. Provide more public housing. This guarantees the basic necessities of food, shelter, education and health care. Pay for it by reverting to taxation of 60s. I don't know whether it is socialism or capitalism, but it certainly is a basic function of the government to take care of its own citizens.

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Steven Marfa, TX Dec. 23, 2018

We're at a point where a globalized administrative and distributive system can be successfully implemented. The only thing in the way is capitalism, and private ownership of the existing first steps, twisted to the will of the super-elite. All we need to do is turn that system into a global, public set of utilities, whose purpose is service, not profit. When the need for capital accumulation grows to handle macro problems, it can be managed more efficiently this way, without the massive drain of corruption that has heretofore hobbled all such efforts. The truck is going to be to make this system responsive and coherent, and that will involve far greater integration of existing financial systems and processes into other service organizations, to make them useful platforms for exchange management instead of the bubble casino fantasies built for the few they are today. This is an entirely feasible proposition, and is only impossible because of the desperate, self-serving greed of those now owning it all. Remove them, and their ownership, as a significant first step, and the rest becomes far more obvious soon thereafter. Or, continue living in the clouds hoping a few useless tweaks will fix a broken global capitalist order. The stay will, however, be short, and the fall is a long distance.

Reply 1 Recommend
Fred Up North Dec. 23, 2018

The fundamental problem with the idea of a mixed economy maybe be with the politicians who are advocating for it. Consider at this moment, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and the Brexit mess. No one has contributed less to that problem than Corbyn and the Labour Party. Or here at home, Bernie Sanders. Nice guy whose ideas harken back to Norman Thomas -- a wonderful man and perennial candidate for POTUS who never won. The message about a mixed economy has and has lacked a spokesperson who can make its case and get people to vote for them.

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Neal Arizona Dec. 23, 2018

The problem as I see it, Professor Krugman is that there ARE people who believe that Gosplan and the Great Leap Forward, or their equivalents, are the answer. While most are in College classrooms there are an increasing number of 20-something congresspersons among them. They are too inexperienced and uninformed even to imagine the ways in which their cherished solutions are and have been disasters. We are currently living through a national nightmare with thuggish real estate developers in charge of things, but coming out the other side into someone's rosy vision of the Worker's Paradise is certainly not the answer.

Reply 1 Recommend
Marc Hall Washington DC Dec. 23, 2018

I would like you to include a small sliver for co-operatives. I grew up in a farm community where a a co-op was a major source of seed etc. Later I lived in a cooperative community where both our homes and local grocery store was a co-op. These are just a few examples of how co operatives are used to supply basic and essential components of daily life without a profit margin.I even get a check now and then when the grocery has a "profit."

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ImagineEquality Bellingham, Wa Dec. 23, 2018

I grew up in a military family that has fought every American war in history. Healthcare for us was provided by the public, not private. The military provided public, not private education. Is the military socialist?? No. It's a combination of socialism and capitalism, and it works.

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James Osborn La Jolla Dec. 23, 2018

Advances in medicine is an area that works amazing well through a public-private hybrid. In fact, biotech and big Pharma companies even lobby for strong public sector funding for basic medical research. Why is that? Well, basic research has been the economic driving force of this country where all the most important scientific advances have come from. However, it makes no sense for the private sector to fund basic research (unless they are a charity) because it is unclear whether advances will quickly generate a profit. However, without such advances, the private sector will dry up because they won't fund this type of research. See where this is going. On the other hand, it is easy to justify public funding of basic research because 1) it trains our next generation of cutting edge scientists and engineers; 2) nearly all discoveries that power the next "big thing" that transforms our economy comes from basic research; 3) many basic discoveries are quickly converted into products and companies, again, driving the economy; 4) the most competitive countries have strong basic research. Even China, which is notorious for stealing technology and violating IP, is investing heavily in basic research. This is just a model where even the private sector says the role of the public sector is essential. If we can accept this fact, why can't we accept the fact that there are other areas that can't be done as well in the private sector as it can in the public sector?

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John FL Dec. 23, 2018

Professor, you're position is actually a restatement of "Rockefeller Republicanism." Named after Nelson Rockefeller (former Vice President and NY Governor), Rocky's version of Republicanism believed that the government that governed least, governs best, but with a big "however." Rockefeller knew that the markets we're imperfect, did not address every American's needs or desires, and in some cases, failed miserably. He believed government had a role in the economy, but that did not necessarily translate into large government organizations employing large numbers of public employees. Rocky pioneered (at the time) new, innovative ways to address market failures like the quasi-government corporation. They worked by the government setting up a publicly owned corporation, loaning the entity tax dollars "start-up" finds, and giving it a clear, simple mission. Take the NYS Thruway Authority. Before there was an interesting highway system, there was the Thruway Authority commissioned with construction, operation and management of limited access high-speed roads to connect the state's major urban areas. The initial taxpayer funded investment was repaid via tolls paid by users. Expansion and maintenance was done by floating binds on public markets to be repaid by toll revenues. When the bonds were paid off, tolls were mandated to drop (they did). This system worked without the "for profit" incentives of the private sector that raises costs to users. Rocky Republicanism works.

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gnowell albany Dec. 23, 2018

"Socialization of investment" is necessary to keep investment flowing when the private sector is in full retreat due to the paranoia du jour. Some public needs, such as health care and housing, are too important to be left to the individual calculations of firms with short term views and short term bottom lines.

Reply 4 Recommend
Subhash Garg San Jose CA Dec. 23, 2018

The key to success in any form of enterprise is motivating the leaders. Corporate CEOs respond to bonuses and options; lower level managers respond to promotions. What are the corresponding lures in public-sector enterprises? Altruism doesn't quite cut it. Maybe China has an answer?

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Claes Gothenburg Dec. 23, 2018

@Subhash Garg You may establish government-owned companies that are legally normal companies but mainly or fully national owned. In this way, you can ensure that CEO get bonuses if they do well etc., but the difference being that the top CEO salaries will not be 50 MUSD, but a fraction of that. Personally, I think it is possible to find someone doing a good job as a CEO for a 1 MUSD salary.

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John Griswold Salt Lake City Utah Dec. 23, 2018

@Subhash Garg Largely the same, good salaries and bonuses for effective employees and managers. Don't see why cutting out absent shareholders and incestuous "rock star" CEOs wouldn't help.

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abigail49 georgia Dec. 23, 2018

None of us lives our own lives by one pure ideology or rigid set of values. Why should we insist that one economic system will serve our needs, now, tomorrow and forever? Of course, it depends on what our goals and values are. If we believe that acquiring great wealth is the purpose of life and work, we will have a purely capitalist system where a few achieve that goal. If we believe that living comfortably with a modicum of security in a stable, healthy society where everyone has enough, we will want that "mixed" system. I prefer the latter.

Reply 4 Recommend
JPK NY Dec. 23, 2018

Krugman describes some of continental Europe. I am not saying it's good or bad, but there is something out there to see how that kind of mixed economy works.

Reply 4 Recommend
Doug Terry Maryland, Washington DC metro Dec. 23, 2018

Private, corporate interests should be put on notice: if you can't get the job done efficiently at a reasonable cost with on-going respect for privacy rights and without endangering large numbers of the population, someone else is going to step in. That someone else is all of us. Instead, things now are the other way around: the Republican hidden "master plan" is to privatize as much of government functions as possible so that massive profits can flow from the billions spend. The other view, the other side, should be a clear threat to private enterprise and intentionally so: do it well with respect for human decency or you will be replaced.

Reply 10 Recommend
Jackson Virginia Dec. 24, 2018

@Doug Terry. Apparently you are the only one who knows of a GOP master plan. You can't possibly believe big government does anything better.

Reply Recommend
carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 23, 2018

.... When life expectancies are declining, despite our tremendous resources and wealth, a degree of protectionism is in order. Local, small-scale interaction, both public and private - need to be promoted and supported, over the long-term. Our 'sustainability' depends on us protecting our cultural and natural resources.

Reply 2 Recommend
carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 23, 2018

Dr. Krugman misses the most important parameter for hierarchical social organization, which is the LEVEL of interaction. The public/private debate here contrasts ONLY federal or national-level public institutions with private sector alternatives, both at the national-level, e.g. power and telecommunication utilities, and local businesses and contractors. Sure, "central planning" is widely discredited (and "decentralized" programs rely on market forces). But, historically, most of these organizations were HIERARCHICAL networks; governments were not hubs of unstructured networks, but the top of pyramids of organizational levels. Governments that plan and operate at the LOCAL level through local, public institutions and elections, in support of local commerce and businesses, are not so easily discredited. The Washington swamp DOES need draining (for want of a biology-grounded metaphor). Municipal, county and (to a lesser extent) state governments need to be EXPANDED. We are the only superpower, BY FAR. We don't need to have extensive military commitments and alliances throughout the world anymore. These are NOT required for national security. This is an excuse; they protect our domination of the global marketplace. We don't need more national and multinational corporations. BOTH agribusiness, corporate franchises, etc. AND federal programs are terrible for life in middle America. When life expectancies...

Reply 1 Recommend
DBman Portland, OR Dec. 23, 2018

The criteria for public regulation/ownership should be whether the goods or services that a business provides are deemed either unethical to withhold from all citizens, or where the deprivation of those goods or services to some citizens adversely affects all citizens. Clearly health care and education fall into that category. Nobody would make the argument that it is ethical to deprive a child of education or health care because the parents were too poor to afford them. But uneducated or sick citizens is not just an ethical failure. There is significant economic damage to everyone if large segments of the population are sick and uneducated. Besides education and health care, other businesses with a compelling public interest come to mind. Mr. Krugman mentioned utilities (no one wants people denied access to clean water or electric power). But a free and open internet is, or should be, an area where the public has a compelling interest. Progressives should make the case why there is a compelling public interest to take ownership of, or regulate, these industries. Then the political climate would be more favorable to, for example, Medicare for all.

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Jeff M CT Dec. 23, 2018

So can Prof. Krugman explain why public is more efficient only it isn't? If a private concern can sell something for $10 with a $1 profit, then a public concern could sell it for $9. Seems elementary to me. Public companies can use the same techniques as private ones to determine demand. The profit motive is societal. It's not elemental.

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Phyllis Mazik Stamford, CT Dec. 23, 2018

There is no sense in having a committee of communists decide how much milk should be on the grocery store shelf. Capitalism is golden at responding to supply and demand. Yet, basics like roads, public safety, protection of our country (military), parks, education, healthcare, and basic protections for the young, sick, disabled and elderly should be the collective responsibility of all our citizens mainly through our local, state and federal governments. Quality of life should be the goal of humanity. It is also high time for Peace on Earth Good Will Toward Man.

Reply 16 Recommend
Ted Portland Dec. 23, 2018

Dr. K. Your best column since your call over a decade ago about a possible looming meltdown with your prescient observation re " they are selling each other condos down there in Florida". I would only disagree that it should be a greater figure for government running business, not only does this create better paying jobs for a greater number of people hopefully with benefits, but so much of the economy today allows private interests to capitalize on public investment not only resulting from public funded infrastructure but R and D by government entities that private interests were allowed, or lobbied into, reaping the enormous profits from. Forty years of runaway capitalism has produced little other than extreme inequality, the time is long overdue to correct these inequities, another thing that needs to be addressed is vulture capitalism that has seen so many mergers and acquisitions turn into little more than grand theft done by lawyers and bankers as they buy or gain control of one company after the other, fire millions in the name of efficiency, load it up with debt to pay themselves huge sums and dump the carcass on shareholders, fully fifty percent of these deals are bad for the companies not to mention the lives ruined, there is in my opinion a very good case these " venture capitalists" should be in prison. China with its central planning has done a good job in this area as well, people get to greedy they are executed, good riddance.

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Lee Herring NC Dec. 24, 2018

@Ted OK Ted, make the case: What law did they break? "there is in my opinion a very good case these " venture capitalists" should be in prison." I'll leave this absurd statement for another day: "Forty years of runaway capitalism has produced little other than extreme inequality"

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dajoebabe Hartford, ct Dec. 23, 2018

A paradigm that says "Anything you could call socialist has been an utter failure". Interesting thinking. Medicare. Social Security. Failures? Hmmnn. Wall Street has been an utter failure, destroying the economy in the Great Depression and nearly doing so Great Recession--which was saved by public programs, policies, and very public bailouts. And Wall Street doesn't do a whole lot of good (when the bad is included) on an ongoing basis. (I can hear the right-wingers howling on that one--innovation, start-ups, and yada, yada). Privatization of prisons and schools has been a disaster. Privately--owned utilities are generally a ripoff. The US health insurance system is a disaster. Several western European and Scandinavian countries have done quite well with public ownership of the healthcare system, and ownership (and real) regulation of others. It won't happen here, though, as Greed runs the show.

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ppromet New Hope MN Dec. 23, 2018

"...Private insurers don't..provide a service that couldn't be provided..by national health insurance. Private hospitals aren't obviously either better or more efficient than [their] public [counterparts] "So you could imagine..health..currently in the private sector [becoming] public, with most people at least as well off as they are now..." [op cit] -- Yes, by all means! -- For example? Check out what's already in place: the VA healthcare [totally government run] System, where I'm enrolled, as a veteran... -- And do you know what I think? 1. It words, "just fine." 2. It's cost efficient, as far as I can tell. 3. And I'm not complaining at all. 4. In fact? I'm grateful! *** "...Also, I see zero chance of any of this happening in my working lifetime..." [op cit] -- Too bad! -- Because when you consider that most of our "advanced" Neighbors have long since instituted "Socialized Medicine," it begs the question: 1. "What do they know, that we don't?" 2. And, "Why haven't we done likewise?" *** It's become apparent, that Americans have a penchant, for re-living the glory days of our past -- That is, debunking "progress," in favor of ways that have always been familiar, and still seem to work -- Want to be relegated to history's, "Junk-heap?" It's oh, so easy! Just keep on resisting -- 1. Better ideas. 2. Obvious examples, that work(!) 3. Sound advice, from those in the know. *** "Good luck," I say, heading into the future-- And may God help the hard-headed among us !

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Davide San Francisco Dec. 23, 2018

Three "human rights": education, health care and housing. They should be guaranteed by the government, that is us, and taken away from the unavoidable profiteering that is implicit with private sector enterprise. It would make for better economies and a more just society.

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DL Berkeley, CA Dec. 24, 2018

@Davide How can housing be guaranteed? Say all 320 million people would want to live in the Bay Area. There is not enough space to guarantee housing here. If not, then you have winners and losers no matter what type of housing distribution you adopt like by birth, lottery or anything else.

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russ St. Paul Dec. 23, 2018

Very helpful. Wouldn't it be a good idea for insurance of all types - auto, home, life - to be a government run, not for profit, sector? What added value does a private insurance company give to anyone but the owners?

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David Gregory Sunbelt Dec. 23, 2018

The whole socialism/capitalism thing is so muddied it would be hard to get a clear eyed view to compare. So called private entities get subsidies of varying kinds and many state owned enterprises are run more like for profit ventures. Companies have become so used to subsidy that they often get it without even asking for it. An example of the mess is my employer- a private, faith based hospital system. The building that houses the facility is city owned and leased to the private company in a sweetheart deal and it also receives a subsidy in the form of a city sales tax that is used for capital expenses. In addition, the operator gets a tax exemption as a "faith based not for profit". It also gets discounts on some supplies and other subsidies as part of various government programs. The recent Apple expansion in Austin, Texas was announced and it comes with subsidies. The Amazon expansion involves massive subsidy to get jobs in Virginia and New York that according to this paper were the obvious places to put them. Billionaire team owners routinely ask the city, county or state to fund new stadiums. While we are at it, there are even more forms of subsidy. Comcast & AT&T have copper or fiber running in my back yard without my permission or compensation. CenterPoint Energy has a natural gas line running underground in my yard and I get no compensation for it. Entergy has an underground power line and - you guessed it- they do not pay me a cent for it.

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Purity of Essence Dec. 23, 2018

America actually has a gigantic state sector: the military-industrial complex. We also have a huge, and bloated bureaucracy - not so much at the federal level - but at the state and municipal level, where nothing of real importance is done but where we still expect to pay middle-class salaries to these low-level civil servants on the backs of working-class taxpayers. Most of what the federal government does should remain as government work. But the state and municipal governments should be substantially reduced: very few jobs at that level are necessary or valuable to society, and there are far-too many mid-level managers in state and municipal government that are sucking the taxpayer dry. They take all the money that the taxpayer would like to give to the struggling, the young, and the disabled, and they use it to pay themselves handsome salaries. That certainly should end.

Reply 1 Recommend
5barris ny Dec. 23, 2018

@Purity of Let me make the argument that water and sewer services operated by municipalities are the most important components of good health followed rapidly by fire safety services offered by code enforcement officers and fire departments.

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Profbam Greenville, NC Dec. 23, 2018

@Purity Let me remind you that the majority of municipal/state employees are educators from k-graduate school. Then of course police, jailers and sanitation. The middle managers that you are complaining about are very small item in these budgets.

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Walter Reisner Montreal Dec. 23, 2018

Maybe internet services like Facebook and Google should be turned into public utilities.

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William Smith United States Dec. 23, 2018

I thought the US was already mixed?

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Networthy SF Dec. 23, 2018

Yeah, because private high schools and private universities are so horrible compared to the public alternatives...

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Kb Ca Dec. 24, 2018

@Networthy Our local private high school had a credentialed math teacher teaching U.S. History and a science teacher teaching A.P. English. Quality!

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ES Philadelphia, PA Dec. 23, 2018

You and David Brooks should get together and write a collaborative column. David advocated for a similar mix in a recent column. Great minds thinking alike?

Reply 2 Recommend
Terry Krohe Fairbanks AK Dec. 23, 2018

I have often wondered ... what would "society" be if it followed the military model: everybody has a MOS (job), food, housing, health care, retirement ...

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Winston Adam Chicago Dec. 24, 2018

@Terry Krohe It would be a military dictatorship.

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random Syrinx Dec. 23, 2018

A large share of the commenters here seem to not remember or be aware of some of the "features" of socialism that capitalism effectively saved us from. A key rule to remember of government, no matter how benign - you don't get a choice. You don't choose how much to contribute (taxes), you don't choose your service provider (no competition), and you have limited ability to effect a change (and only if you are lucky enough to live in a socialist system that is also a democracy.). Take a look at the history of the 70s US and Britain before the market reforms in both countries...

Reply 1 Recommend
Profbam Greenville, NC Dec. 23, 2018

@random I drive to work on paved roads with functional traffic lights, although they could be better synchronized, and if I saw an accident, I could call 911and get a trained operator who would dispatch the appropriate well trained and equipped first responders. I choose to pay for this through my votes on City Council and County Board members. If you do not want to pay for that, take the license plate off of your vehicle and stay off the roads.

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Lee Herring NC Dec. 24, 2018

@random Anyone remember the hated HMOs from the 90's? Today, you want an MRI you get it in the morning, whether you need it or not. Put all medical care under the g'ment, care will be rationed by time rather than dollars- you may get that MRI or joint replacement in 4 months by the Dr. of a bureaucrat's choice. It's going to be really difficult to unwind the choice of today to that system.

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Roland Alden California Dec. 24, 2018

Most of your points are not really true; but especially so if you consider free migration. One of the side-effects of widespread xenophobia is to gerrymander the world by blocking that most basic form of voting; voting with your feet.

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Walter Bolinas Dec. 23, 2018

Firemen are honored, and esteemed, by both sides of the political fence. But fire departments are socialist government in the sense that they are there, paid by all for the good of all, because if one house burns, the fire may spread. It used to be, however, that in the USA in the 19th century, firemen were paid by private insurance companies, and there were competing fire companies who would not put out your fire if you had not signed with them. We are glad now that that period is over. But the situation with health care today is identical. When will we Americans learn that the health of each of us impacts the whole. You have to put out a house on fire even if the residents have not paid insurance, because the fire can spread (infection) and damage the whole town (body).

Reply 9 Recommend
CMK Honolulu Dec. 23, 2018

So, we're looking for some kind of equilibrium with public and private control of the means of production. I think that is going on. And, it changes with each new generation, the goal posts move. The pendulum swings between the public and private. It is burdened by history. For me, I am not an economist I'm a LiArt guy, I am a cog in this system, and, it took me a while to accept that. But, having accepted that, I set my own economic goals and have achieved much of it. Healthcare was a no-brainer, I paid for and have had health insurance for myself and family all my working life. I am retired now, am comfortable, still working to leave something of a legacy for my children. This is something to think about. What is the right mix? Everything economic requires conscious effort. Capitalism and democracy work together and we are constantly looking for that equilibrium. I don't think it can be reduced to a nice, neat formula. It is dynamic and everything can be fungible. Of course, there may come a time when I won't care one whit about anything. That is when my long-term disability insurance should kick in, but, who knows, really, and I probably will not care.

Reply 1 Recommend
Ghost Dansing New York Dec. 23, 2018

This should be a blinding statement of the obvious with historical data to demonstrate the statement's truth. Decades of Republican propaganda exploiting the quasi-intellectual concepts of the libertarian laissez faire economics has created a mantra for "conservatives" that is in serious need of challenge. Good on Paul Krugman for confronting Republican economic theory.

Reply 6 Recommend
Taxidermitist New York Dec. 23, 2018

Why no mention of the fact the marginal cost of education should be 0 and education free?

Reply 1 Recommend
michaeltide Bothell, WA Dec. 23, 2018

@Taxidermitist, probably because "free" is a chimera. Schools need to be maintained and upgrades. Teachers need to be paid (a lot more then at present) and textbooks need to be printed. The cost of all these things comes from the taxes that most citizens regularly vote against. It behooves us as a nation to provide the highest quality education at the lowest possible cost – hence the public option is the most pragmatic, as well as the most practical. I think most people would support a public service requirement for graduates to spend x number of years in national service (not necessarily military) in exchange for their "free" education. "Free" is a loaded word, as well as being misleading.

Reply 2 Recommend
Michael W. Espy Flint, MI Dec. 23, 2018

Thank you Paul. Progressives must make the case that in order for Market Capitalism to be sustainable; Public sharing of Health Care, Education, Retirement Security, and National Park Lands with Environmental Protections must be part of our Common Goods we all need to exist. Progressives do not need to demonize Big Multinational Business. Just appeal to their own self interest by stating that if we share the risks of Health, Ed, and Retirement, Markets will be free of areas that they inherently fail at, and people will have more resources and time for pursuit of Free Enterprize.

Reply 15 Recommend
Lee Herring NC Dec. 23, 2018

@Michael W. Espy. Business pays for most non research healthcare today. Commercial insurance pays a premium so Medicare can pay direct costs only and Medicaid pays a fraction of actual costs.

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Hornbeam Boston, MA Dec. 23, 2018

It seems to me that focusing on public or private ownership, exclusively, misses the boat. Enterprise size is the issue. Could anything be more wasteful than the Pentagon or more socially destructive than Amazon? Small and medium sized enterprises (schools, towns, water departments, farms, factories, retail, etc) may be less efficient than large ones in some measures, but they may also avoid the externalities of big ones, so should be better for society on balance -- including geographic equity (i.e., they can make it outside of the coasts). But bigness can only be controlled through regulation, which has almost no friends and is more vilified than socialism.

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stan continople brooklyn Dec. 23, 2018

The reason for privatization has always been the obscene profits available to those few at the top, not "efficiency". Even with a 2/3 private, 1/3 public economy, the income distribution would remain vertiginously skewed on the private side, with some making billions and other pennies. The money will be used, as ever, to buy power, posing a continuous threat to the system. Let's get money out of politics first and then see what new economic equilibrium we settle in to.

Reply 12 Recommend
paladco New York Dec. 23, 2018

I have always felt that we should let the government do what it does best and let the private sector do what it does best. Mr. Krugman makes a valid case for the "mixed economy," but right-wing conservatives, who benefit the most from private ownership that is subsidized with huge tax benefits, will howl at the thought. It's Socialism! That term has become a pejorative for anything that smacks of the government taking over what the private sector has been doing, even when done poorly -- think providing adequate medical care for all Americans. Just look what's happened with so-called Obamacare. A sitting President had the courage to tackle this problem and he lost both houses of Congress. Did the Republicans who control Congress try to fix the broken system? No, they made political hay by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times.

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NP Santa Rosa Dec. 23, 2018

The utilities sector too. It makes no sense to privatize things for which there can be no meaningful competition. What we actually find is that services and price controls are strictly controlled by public utility commissions. So what was the point of it being a private enterprise?

Reply 7 Recommend
Miriam Chua Long Island Dec. 23, 2018

Totally agree; the profit motive does not bode well for public benefit. Two points: 1) My husband was on dialysis for ten months, and had a kidney transplant in January 2009, paid for by the government. 2) Does anyone believe that the private sector will send a letter across the country, indeed halfway around the world (think Guam) for 55 cents? We must not let the Postal Service be privatized! It pays for itself, and cannot be duplicated by the private sector.

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ER Almond, NC Dec. 23, 2018

We're in a mixed economy, already. Although not to the level that Krugman proposes. It's been a series of back and forth, with the Republicans curtailing taxpayer public social investments -- only if it does not serve their purposes (or there could be potential sizable donations as a result). It's a matter of keeping this in perspective: That is already the US economy -- we just have to make sure it is working for the public good instead of tax dollars and national heritages (public lands and resources) supporting private interests. Do more of this where it makes sense? Absolutely. Not in Krugman's working lifetime? Maybe not -- there's new blood with the desire to do the monumental task of mobilizing America and the world with a New Green Deal. That's just scratching the surface. And, they are definitely not afraid of the word socialism. Mixed economy it is and will be -- in spite of Trump and the Republican party.

Reply 8 Recommend
Timo van Esch Brussels, BE Dec. 23, 2018

As a European I live under a system where [still] many public services are without a doubt public: healthcare, infrastructure, education. Even utilities & public transport, although privatized, are mainly private monopolies, coming forth out of public services. For me it's simple: you don't make a profit off the back of the sick, the poor and the children. And infrastructure is a necessary evil that needs to be public, too. I don't mind private clinics, as long as public service offers the basics needed to keep people healthy. Extra care, softer pillows, luxury rooms and caviar for breakfast; if you want it, pay for it. Why not? The same for utilities (which should be public & non-profit, to my opinion) and education. If making a profit on the service hurts the economy (which is the case with education, health care, utilities and infrastructure), then it should be a non-profit, public service. And it doesn't hurt to have private companies doing the bidding for the subcontracts/services; as long as it's an open and transparent process, not a corruption. Simply put: if it is essential to our well-being, for our basic needs, make it public (or subsidize the rents, f.i.). Leaves us with the question: what is essential? - Water, electricity (gas for heating?), healthcare, education, infrastructure, public transport. What else? - Housing? For sure. Public housing for the poorest is essential. - Internet/TV/Radio/Telephone? Not sure. What do I miss?

Reply 21 Recommend
michaeltide Bothell, WA Dec. 23, 2018

@Timo van Esch, in this excellent and very complete list, you missed the courts, which in the US are a mechanism for extracting revenue from those who can least afford it. Our prisons are overflowing with people unable to pay fines, who are being charged rent for their incarceration. "If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed," if an oft quoted part of people being informed of their rights. What is not stated is that they will be presented with a bill for services - even from the Public Defender's office, and charged interest and penalties for failure to pay – even additional imprisonment in a vicious circle.

Reply 1 Recommend
carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 24, 2018

@michaeltide Very interesting, I had no idea a bill followed. I guess it's safe to say that public legal service rates are lower than than market rates! (By the way, Michael, to answer your earlier question: Trump supporters voted for Trump to be president, to solve our current problems, NOT to be our friend, neighbor, role model or have Camelot-charm/sex appeal.)

Reply Recommend
Truthseeker Great Lakes Dec. 24, 2018

@michaeltide It's a crime to be poor in America.

Reply 1 Recommend
MM Bound Brook, NJ Dec. 23, 2018

"Now, this wouldn't satisfy people who hate capitalism." No, Paul, it wouldn't -- as someone who hates capitalism myself, I can corroborate your claim. But what you have set forth here is a real start, too. People who hate capitalism tend to be people who hate the predatory, rent-seeking, deregulated and rigged capitalism practiced now, the kind that has slowly turned our country, as the systemic level, into an anti-democratic oligo-pluto-kakistocracy with the rhetorical trappings of a legitimate republic. Those who are arguing that greed is what demolishes both socialism and capitalism miss the salient point that capitalism (as we know it) is exhausting itself in part because it has nearly fulfilled its own logic: the more we automate, the less money we spend on salaried employees; the fewer salaried employees, the smaller the workforce, the bigger the bottom line, but the bigger the underclass of unemployed and potentially unemployable poor. Marx spoke often about the "means of production"; the transformation and partial, if not total, automation of these means seem to me inevitable, and profoundly dangerous for all but a tiny elite. There are those of us who would back any step in the right direction. The best analogy, perhaps, is in American healthcare policy. Those of us who lean left of Sanders believe, almost unanimously, that a single-payer system is the only one befitting a civilized nation. But the ACA was a start, and improvement. If you're game, I'm game.

Reply 8 Recommend
random Syrinx Dec. 23, 2018

@MM Greed is what makes capitalism work where it does. Human nature is the failure of socialism...

Reply 1 Recommend
edtownes kings co. Dec. 23, 2018

Mr. Krugman is almost as savvy re politics as he is with economics - I am sincere ... and it's high praise, of course. So, to bandy about words like socialism and even communism - words which almost everyone agrees are "fighting words" is either horridly insensitive or a rare lapse in judgment on his part If there WERE op-eds like is "behind what used to be called the Iron Curtain," they might score almost as many debating points about the failure of capitalism as Mr. Krugman strews as he basically finds nice things to say about what he calls socialism. I disagree very strongly with him that education is an area where the "public model" can take a bow. The Lincolnesque photo of him indicates that he probably was schooled (publicly ?) long enough ago so that oh-how-far-it's-fallen may not be apparent to him. As a guess, he has grand children who either live in a 1% type community or attend private school. (Not snide - just trying to fathom how he could be SO out-of-touch.) In fact, that's what's so awful about the "public model" - people not accountable to anyone really, holding jobs for life. It surely had a lot to do with the collapse of countries like East Germany ... and bodes ill if, say, utilities are de-privatized. OTOH, I think he is uncharacteristically tepid when it comes to our health care vs. most other (mostly) comfortable societies. Our bang-for-the-bucks is appalling. Obamacare's lack of a "public option" cemented a miserable status quo for anyone not rich.

Reply 1 Recommend
Pottree@aol.com Joshua Tree Dec. 23, 2018

we have a mixed economy now: it's good for the rich and bad for everyone else. and with President Trump's goverment shutdown, we're on the way to realizing a long-held Republican goal: a return to slavery, starting with government employees working for nothing right before Christmas.

Reply 3 Recommend
BG USA Dec. 23, 2018

Many who love the market system are either autocrats and boards of autocrats running their companies or the politicians bought and paid for by such. The market system definitely has its place but I am not sure that it has the ability and the patience to develop what truly reorients mankind's progression. The Greeks instauration to democracy, the Renaissance, the Moon program, the Genome project, were not created by the market, nor was the big data revolution and A.I. which were driven by the emergence of neural networks, birthed in universities. Neither will the market bring about the proper approach to climate change and population control. Now, once a direction with potential is determined then the market knows how to implement it. Socialism and Market economy are words mostly used by people in tribal camps who, for the most part, are useless in the long run. I do not think that rats like the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, or Carl Icahn and others (such as Trump) contribute anything to society. They are worse than Clorox!

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Newsbuoy NY Dec. 23, 2018

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially if the mind in question is an economist. But we are here to bury capitalism not to praise it dear Brutus [sic]. We already have a mixed economy. Communism for bankers and the ultra-rich and capitalism for the once great middle-class, and fascism for the poor. Do try to think a bit beyond our current predicament even if those stock buy-back strategies didn't workout so well.

Reply 3 Recommend
trillo Massachusetts Dec. 23, 2018

1)I really dislike how the meaning of the term "socialism" has been undermined by its repeated use as a pejorative. Any public-sector activity the right doesn't like is labelled "socialist." Now we're stuck trying to explain what it actually is to a bunch of people who still support the gold standard. Gah. 2)The idea of the government taking back its patents on generic drugs makes perfect sense. I'd rather have the federal government manufacturing insulin than watch more price fixing by a cartel of private companies, which is what we have now.

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DAM Tokyo Dec. 23, 2018

With rising profits, and declining services, there's a lot of room for Government to be competitive with the public sector. If you scratch the surface of a large company, you will find the same inefficiency as in government, only higher salaries and profit (some of which is guaranteed through 'government work'. Lots of good 'in-house' work has been provided by the state and federal government in engineering, research, ship repair and consumer protection. I worked for Alaska Railroad when it was owned by Department of Transportation, and it was pretty good. Probably a money-loser, but people liked that you could pull the string and get off where you liked, or stop the train and get on in the bush. You had to sign a paper saying you'd take to the hills and fight if the Russians attacked. There's nothing like that at Facebook.

Reply 1 Recommend
Arthur NY Dec. 23, 2018

The entire 20th century was a search for the balance between public and private economy in democratic societies throughout the world. Japan, South Korea, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, Canada, Sweden -- any number of nations demonstrate different ways to balance it all. Their experimentation is there recorded and available for anyone to study. Do you think anyone in the US government does? While this column is welcome, America seems doomed to debate the knowledge of the middle of the last century over again, as if it had never happened -- in economics as in all things -- why? Because History and other knowledge has been replaced by Ideology through Paid Commercial Media, both legacy and digital. This helped accomplish the great dumbing down initiated by the Reagan administration to cut pell grants and essentially as much education funding as possible. Replacing scholarships into a monetized banking scam. Aided and abetted by Democrats who controlled the house and had no interest in educating the voters that Republican Ideology wasn't based on truth. A whole generation of college professors didn't happened, or rather the more intelligent candidates were systematically replaced by the more wealthy candidates. This process has brought reduced elite education to nothing more than a fetishized luxury good -- credentials replacing achievement as a career goal. The triumph of nepotism then follows logically. The telegenic filled in for leadership for both parties.

Reply 2 Recommend
Albert Neunstein Germany Dec. 23, 2018

What we have to overcome, is this childish idea, capitalism would be a sort of natural law that will provide for us all! Eventually! i.e. something like god's little brother. The problem is not so much that free markets don't work, but that some markets are not, and will never be free e.g. health (people will pay anything for a treatment if it means life or death, and nothing if they don't need that treatment; lower prices will not increase demand); food (people have to eat; their demand can not drop to zero); ditto housing; and especially labour (people have to work to provide for themselves; the so called Manchester capitalism throve exactely on that) N.B.: A free market is a market in which supply and demand float freely, coupled by the price, not a market without any regulations! That would be a lawless market i.e. a gold digger town economy. Such markets tend not to remain free for long. Furthermore, please remember: A free market produces an equilibrium, and that's it! The point of equilibrium might still be unacceptable for moral reasons e.g such an equilibrium could very well be high unemployment, or a food shortage. And about privatisation: Even microeconomic science tells us that things will become more efficient if there is competition, not just because the players are private. A private monopolist is as bad, or even worse than a public one.

Reply 5 Recommend
Frake PNW Dec. 23, 2018

Jeff Bezos collects almost 9 million dollars an hour at his job while I make 15 dollars an hour at mine. I spend every dollar I make to survive, which makes my economic worth zero. Bezos collects his dollars into the billions and has a gigantic economic worth. Because I live my life without enough money it's easy for me to forget that we are not economic things and that our value and worth cannot be summed by economic terms. I don't have any value or worth, I am not a commodity, I am not a variable or a statistic. I am not a cog in a wheel or a rat in a race. None of us are, but our culture conditions us to accept ourselves as consumers and nothing else. When we worry about our worth and value as people we are using incompatible terms. Bezos is not worth more than me or anyone else. He is not more valuable than anyone else. The only difference between Bezos and myself is that his ability to consume is off the charts and mine is minimal. If we really are economic entities then I am an earthbound worm eating dirt while Bezos exists as a tremendous black hole consuming matter, light, and everything else. I don't want to be a black hole. I want to create, like the burning stars, shedding heat and light as I consume what I am. It's a choice to be a black hole or a star. Create more, consume less.

Reply 10 Recommend
Keld Hansen Washington Crossing PA Dec. 23, 2018

It appears you are advocating the Scandinavian model ?

Reply 2 Recommend
VK São Paulo Dec. 23, 2018

The United States of America of today has effectively two systems: capitalism - the main one -, and socialism, in the Pentagon (which is between one tenth and one quarter of the American economy, depending on how you want to count it). The Pentagon is effectively socialist because, given the sui generis nature of the defense sector and the advanced level of the American capitalism, it runs, internally, a perfectly planned economy. How is it done? It receives unconditional and unlimited amounts of money-capital directly from the USG. Yes, the "outside world" is still capitalist, and many Pentagon contracts end up fueling the capitalist part of the country - and that's why the capitalist part of the USA is still the hegemonic one - but, in its inner logic, it is socialist. Why the USA accepts a big chunk of its economy to be socialist? Because the use value of national security requires absolute efficiency in terms of logistic readiness and lethal efficacy: you can't not bomb country X simply because the quantity of missiles Y would not be on a scale sufficient large enough to meet the necessary profit rates of supplier Z. No, if you need 1 missile Y at exact time W to achieve a military victory against country X, you bet your life the Pentagon will have it -- regardless if it is "cost effective" from the capitalist point of view. The only other time the USA was as socialist was during FDR: this reveals the American pragmatism towards the overall survival of capitalism.

Reply 1 Recommend
Mark Goldes Santa Rosa, CA Dec. 23, 2018

What the late Louis Kelso, inventor of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan used by 11,000 companies, called The Second Income Plan, deserves consideration. See SECOND INCOMES at aesopinstitute.org for a description. This is a Third Way that captures the advantages of capitalism while overcoming many of the disadvantages.

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Cdb EDT Dec. 23, 2018

Capitalism suffers from the tragedy of the commons in virtually every aspect.

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Joe Blow Kentucky Dec. 23, 2018

I believe that a combination of Capitalism & Socialism can work & is already working ,like the VA, which I use & i'm completely satisfied. Social security doesn't pay all my bills, but without it I would depend on the one day old Doughnut Company to eat. Having said all of the above, what made America Great is incentive, motivation & creativity that is the result of Capitalism. Socialism must be used in Education, rather then the insurance loan that put Graduates in debt for years. It should not be an open door to higher education, but given to only those that are qualified. Universal Health care has to be Socialized, & given only to the needy. Neither Socialism or Capitalism is the answer when used without the other, together it's not perfect but better than alone.

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[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much? by Dean Baker

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , January 07, 2019 at 02:34 PM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/if-china-is-suffering-so-much-because-of-trump-s-trade-war-why-is-its-surplus-up-so-much

January 4, 2019

If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much?
By Dean Baker

Donald Trump has made his tariffs against China and other countries a big part of his agenda as president. He even went so far as to dub himself "Tariff Man" on Twitter.

The media have been quick to assume that Tariff Man is accomplishing his goals, especially with regard to China. It is standard for news articles, like this one, to assert that China's economy is suffering in large part because of Trump's tariffs.

In fact, through the first ten months of 2018 China's trade surplus * with the United States on trade in goods has been $344.5 billion. This is up 11.5 percent from its surplus in the same months last year.

The tariffs surely are having some effect, and China's surplus would almost certainly be larger if they were not in place. But it is difficult to believe that China's $13.5 trillion dollar economy (measured at exchange rate values) could be hurt all that much by somewhat slower growth in its trade surplus with the United States. (For arithmetic fans, the surplus is equal to 2.5 percent of China's GDP. We are talking about slower growth in this surplus.)

It is worth noting that we will not be getting new trade data until the government shutdown is over since the Census Bureau is one of the government agencies without funding for fiscal year 2019.

* https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 07, 2019 at 09:07 PM
'If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much?'

Merchants outside of China stockpiling
Chinese-made goods (ahead of, or maybe
despite tariffs.)

It seems we've read of American firms
doing exactly that. They are probably
not alone.

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 09:23 AM
'If China Is Suffering So Much Because of Trump's Trade War, Why Is Its Surplus Up So Much?'

Merchants outside of China stockpiling
Chinese-made goods (ahead of, or maybe
despite tariffs.)

It seems we've read of American firms
doing exactly that. They are probably
not alone.

[ There has been no evident stockpiling of inventory by American firms:

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

January 30, 2018

Inventories to Sales Ratio, 2007-2018 ]

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:56 AM
I posted an NYT piece the other day
that described an automobile-headlight
manufacturer in Michigan who was struggling
to get LED bulbs from China, where they were
usually in plentiful supply, So, he was just
*trying* to stockpile some inventory.

(Too expensive to make in the US, he said.)

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 11:27 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/06/business/trump-tariffs-trade-war.html

January 6, 2019

Trump Has Promised to Bring Jobs Back. His Tariffs Threaten to Send Them Away.
By Peter S. Goodman

For EBW Electronics, the biggest hit has come through increased costs for components, including transistors, resistors and capacitors. Across the breadth of the factory, workers in blue lab coats slot these nibs of metal into circuit boards and then attach LED lights, most of these items imported from China.

These components are produced at enormous scale in China. Even with tariffs on Chinese imports, American factories have no incentive to make them, because profit margins are tiny, and the costs are vast.

"Nobody in this country wants to make these things," said Mr. Steeby, the EBW president, echoing a contention heard widely here.

The company has filed for exemptions from the tariffs, but has yet to hear back from the federal government. And EBW has encountered stiff resistance in passing on the extra costs to its customers, though it is obliged to continue delivering lights to major auto manufacturers at agreed-upon prices, or pay fines for interfering with production.

"We're the monkey in the middle," said Mr. LeBlanc, the EBW chairman.

If Mr. Trump follows through on threats to raise tariffs to 25 percent, EBW and its 230 employees could face dire circumstances.

"At 25 percent, we are not making money," Mr. Steeby said. "There's a threat that you cease to exist, or there's a threat that jobs move to Mexico."

In an era of anxiety over global competition, EBW has engaged Chinese suppliers to produce a crucial commodity -- American paychecks. Now, Mr. Trump's tariffs have put jobs at risk.

"There's no intelligence to the way this is being done," Mr. Steeby said. "The tariffs are designed to hurt China, but they are being paid by American companies."

Mr. Bill said in reply to anne... , January 09, 2019 at 04:31 PM
Of course, the Mr. Steeby, President of EBW Electronics, is without question, honest and trustworthy. Like a boy scout, he would never lie. What he said should be taken as the gospel truth, not a grain of salt.

Even when he lies.

Mr. Bill said in reply to Mr. Bill... , January 09, 2019 at 04:33 PM
Which, most likely, is always.
anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 11:31 AM
I posted an NYT piece the other day
that described an automobile-headlight
manufacturer in Michigan who was struggling
to get LED bulbs from China, where they were
usually in plentiful supply, So, he was just
*trying* to stockpile some inventory.

[ There is no indication the company is stockpiling LED bulbs, and there is no indication there is stockpiling as yet through the economy. ]

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... , January 08, 2019 at 12:44 PM
Hmmm. Substitute 'obtain'
for 'stockpile' then.
anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 08, 2019 at 12:55 PM
Substitute 'obtain'
for 'stockpile' then.

[ No, the matter is important, and I am correct and do not care to be baited.

This is no data showing that American companies are stockpiling. American companies have long operated with minimal inventory and a change would be dramatic. ]

anne -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 02:36 PM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=luZC

January 30, 2018

United States Goods Imports from and Exports to China Mainland & Hong Kong, 2007-2018


ttps://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=luZD

January 30, 2018

United States Goods Imports from and Exports to China Mainland & Hong Kong, 2007-2018

(Indexed to 2007)

anne -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 02:36 PM
Correcting link:

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

January 30, 2018

United States Goods Imports from and Exports to China Mainland & Hong Kong, 2007-2018

(Indexed to 2007)

[Jan 12, 2019] The head of the Russian Orthodox Church says the data-gathering capacity of devices such as smartphones risks bringing humanity closer to the arrival of the Antichrist.

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , January 08, 2019 at 08:38 AM

I chuckled when I read the headline but then read Patriarch Kirill's remarks and he's onto something real imo

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/russian-orthodox-church-says-smartphones-a-harbinger-of-the-antichrist-2019-01-08

"Russian Orthodox Church says smartphones a harbinger of the Antichrist"

"MOSCOW (AP) -- The head of the Russian Orthodox Church says the data-gathering capacity of devices such as smartphones risks bringing humanity closer to the arrival of the Antichrist.

In an interview shown Monday on state TV, Patriarch Kirill said the church does not oppose technological progress but is concerned that "someone can know exactly where you are, know exactly what you are interested in, know exactly what you are afraid of" and that such information could be used for centralized control of the world.

"Control from one point is a foreshadowing of the coming of Antichrist, if we talk about the Christian view. Antichrist is the person who will be at the head of the world wide web that controls the entire human race," he said."

[Jan 11, 2019] There is a cancer in the entire west, and it is leading to great inequality.

Dec 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Cyrano says: December 14, 2018 at 7:44 pm GMT 100 Words

If I could pinpoint where the things went wrong for the west – I would say it happened when they invented the idiocy of multiculturalism. It was supposed to prevent socialist revolution and on the face of it, it seemed pretty clever, but it's actually a moronic idea.

The thing that you are supposed to prevent should be the absolute worst case scenario, replaced with more benign idea. With multiculturalism – its' actually the opposite.

The remedy is worse than the malady. Multiculturalism is going to destroy the western civilization.

With that in mind and in the spirit of public service, I propose to replace the propaganda slogan: Diversity is our strength (which doesn't make sense to anybody), with a more logical and understandable propaganda slogan:

Diversity is our perversity. What Lies Behind the Malaise of the West?

Pat the rat , says: December 14, 2018 at 11:10 pm GMT

Feminism has been the cancer, pat.

Elite double income families have enjoyed great prosperity and influence and required many desk jobs for their wives and daughters, preferably in government. They have been fine, had a kid or two now and again and are very keen on their own self perceived virtue. Deep down they know the two incomes they enjoy comes at the expense of working class men who might aspire to better but are now rarely satisfied.

Further down the ladder poor men and women can rarely form bond and form stable families. They have little money and their women would rather use Uncle Sam as a partner.

They are harassed by one do-gooding government department after another.

The same do-Gooders have no problem with poor communities being flooded with porn and smut, nor do they seem overly concerned about rising house prices and rent. Wonder why?

There is a cancer in the entire west, and it is leading to great inequality.

MEN MUST STOP CHASING SEX AND THINK OF THEIR NEIGHBOR PARTICULARLY THEIR POOR NEIGHBOR.

Corvinus , says: December 14, 2018 at 11:20 pm GMT
@Ace "All if this combines to ensure that America is the go-to place for clowns everywhere. Nothing will be able to correct this cavalcade of lunacy, chaos, depravity, and destruction except economic catastrophe, coming soon to a neighborhood on top of you. Then to be followed immediately by dictatorship and years of statist and racial excess until, with luck, we reduscover what we have now uf we'd but lift a finger to protect it."

Congratulations, you are a doormat to the decline. So, what are you prepared to do about this dire situation other than lament and complain?

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Jan 11, 2019] http://www.unz.com/tsaker/placing-the-usa-on-a-collapse-continuum-with-dmitry-orlov/

Notable quotes:
"... If the dollar is no longer needed to conduct international trade, other nations no longer have hold large quantities of it in reserve. ..."
"... To the extent that the US has a culture, it is a commercial culture in which the goodness of a person is based on the goodly sums of money in their possession. ..."
"... I would venture to guess that most people in the US are too distracted, too stressed and too preoccupied with their own vices and obsessions to pay much attention to the political realm ..."
"... The fact that what amounts to palace intrigue -- the fracas between the White House, the two houses of Congress and a ghoulish grand inquisitor named Mueller -- has taken center stage is uncannily reminiscent of various earlier political collapses ..."
"... Gilettes Jaunes ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

I emailed Dmitry Orlov and asked him the following question:

In your recent article " The Year the Planet Flipped Over " you paint a devastating picture of the state of the Empire:

It is already safe to declare Trump's plan to Make America Great Again (MAGA) a failure. Beneath the rosy statistics of US economic growth hides the hideous fact that it is the result of a tax holiday granted to transnational corporations to entice them to repatriate their profits. While this hasn't helped them (their stocks are currently cratering) it has been a disaster for the US government as well as for the economic system as whole. Tax receipts have shrunk. The budget deficit for 2018 exceeds $779 billion.

Meanwhile, the trade wars which Trump initiated have caused the trade deficit to increase by 17% from the year before. Plans to repatriate industrial production from low-cost countries remain vaporous because the three key elements which China had as it industrialized (cheap energy, cheap labor and low cost of doing business) are altogether missing. Government debt is already beyond reasonable and its expansion is still accelerating, with just the interest payments set to exceed half a trillion a year within a decade.

This trajectory does not bode well for the continued existence of the United States as a going concern. Nobody, either in the United States or beyond, has the power to significantly alter this trajectory. Trump's thrashing about may have moved things along faster than they otherwise would have, at least in the sense of helping convince the entire world that the US is selfish, feckless, ultimately self-destructive and generally unreliable as a partner. In the end it won't matter who was president of the US -- it never has. Among those the US president has succeeded in hurting most are his European allies. His attacks on Russian energy exports to Europe, on European car manufacturers and on Europe's trade with Iran have caused a fair amount of damage, both political and economic, without compensating for it with any perceived or actual benefits.

Meanwhile, as the globalist world order, which much of Europe's population appears ready to declare a failure, begins to unravel, the European Union is rapidly becoming ungovernable, with established political parties unable to form coalitions with ever-more-numerous populist upstarts. It is too early to say that the EU has already failed altogether, but it already seems safe to predict that within a decade it will no longer remain as a serious international factor.

Although the disastrous quality and the ruinous mistakes of Europe's own leadership deserve a lot of the blame, some of it should rest with the erratic, destructive behavior of their transoceanic Big Brother. The EU has already morphed into a strictly regional affair, unable to project power or entertain any global geopolitical ambitions. Same goes for Washington, which is going to either depart voluntarily (due to lack of funds) or get chased out from much of the world.

The departure from Syria is inevitable whether Trump, under relentless pressure from his bipartisan warmongers, backtracks on this commitment or not. Now that Syria has been armed with Russia's up-to-date air defense weapons the US no longer maintains air superiority there, and without air superiority the US military is unable to do anything. Afghanistan is next; there, it seems outlandish to think that the Washingtonians will be able to achieve any sort of reasonable accommodation with the Taliban.

Their departure will spell the end of Kabul as a center of corruption where foreigners steal humanitarian aid and other resources. Somewhere along the way the remaining US troops will also be pulled out of Iraq, where the parliament, angered by Trump's impromptu visit to a US base, recently voted to expel them. And that will put paid to the entire US adventure in the Middle East since 9/11: $4,704,439,588,308 has been squandered, to be precise , or $14,444 for every man, woman and child in the US.

The biggest winners in all of this are, obviously, the people of the entire region, because they will no longer be subjected to indiscriminate US harassment and bombardment, followed by Russia, China and Iran, with Russia solidifying its position as the ultimate arbiter of international security arrangements thanks to its unmatched military capabilities and demonstrated knowhow for coercion to peace. Syria's fate will be decided by Russia, Iran and Turkey, with the US not even invited to the talks. Afghanistan will fall into the sphere of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. And the biggest losers will be former US regional allies, first and foremost Israel, followed by Saudi Arabia.

My question for you is this: where would you place the US (or the Empire) on your 5 stages of decline and do you believe that the US (or the Empire) can reverse that trend?

Here is Dmitry's reply:

Collapse, at each stage, is a historical process that takes time to run its course as the system adapts to changing circumstances, compensates for its weaknesses and finds ways to continue functioning at some level. But what changes rather suddenly is faith or, to put it in more businesslike terms, sentiment. A large segment of the population or an entire political class within a country or the entire world can function based on a certain set of assumptions for much longer than the situation warrants but then over a very short period of time switch to a different set of assumptions. All that sustains the status quo beyond that point is institutional inertia. It imposes limits on how fast systems can change without collapsing entirely. Beyond that point, people will tolerate the older practices only until replacements for them can be found.

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.

Internationally, the major change in sentiment in the world has to do with the role of the US dollar (and, to a lesser extent, the Euro and the Yen -- the other two reserve currencies of the three-legged globalist central banker stool). The world is transitioning to the use of local currencies, currency swaps and commodities markets backed by gold. The catalyst for this change of sentiment was provided by the US administration itself which sawed through its own perch by its use of unilateral sanctions. By using its control over dollar-based transactions to block international transactions it doesn't happen to like it forced other countries to start looking for alternatives. Now a growing list of countries sees throwing off the shackles of the US dollar as a strategic goal. Russia and China use the ruble and the yuan for their expanding trade; Iran sells oil to India for rupees. Saudi Arabia has started to accept the yuan for its oil.

This change has many knock-on effects. If the dollar is no longer needed to conduct international trade, other nations no longer have hold large quantities of it in reserve. Consequently, there is no longer a need to buy up large quantities of US Treasury notes. Therefore, it becomes unnecessary to run large trade surpluses with the US, essentially conducting trade at a loss. Further, the attractiveness of the US as an export market drops and the cost of imports to the US rises, thereby driving up cost inflation. A vicious spiral ensues in which the ability of the US government to borrow internationally to finance the gaping chasm of its various deficits becomes impaired. Sovereign default of the US government and national bankruptcy then follow.

The US may still look mighty, but its dire fiscal predicament coupled with its denial of the inevitability of bankruptcy, makes it into something of a Blanche DuBois from the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire." She was "always dependent on the kindness of strangers" but was tragically unable to tell the difference between kindness and desire. In this case, the desire is for national advantage and security, and to minimize risk by getting rid of an unreliable trading partner.

How quickly or slowly this comes to pass is difficult to guess at and impossible to calculate. It is possible to think of the financial system in terms of a physical analogue, with masses of funds traveling at some velocity having a certain inertia (p = mv) and with forces acting on that mass to accelerate it along a different trajectory (F = ma). It is also possible to think of it in terms of hordes of stampeding animals who can change course abruptly when panicked. The recent abrupt moves in the financial markets, where trillions of dollars of notional, purely speculative value have been wiped out within weeks, are more in line with the latter model.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost.

Within the US there is really no other alternative than the market. There are a few rustic enclaves, mostly religious communities, that can feed themselves, but that's a rarity. For everyone else there is no choice but to be a consumer. Consumers who are broke are called "bums," but they are still consumers. To the extent that the US has a culture, it is a commercial culture in which the goodness of a person is based on the goodly sums of money in their possession. Such a culture can die by becoming irrelevant (when everyone is dead broke) but by then most of the carriers of this culture are likely to be dead too. Alternatively, it can be replaced by a more humane culture that isn't entirely based on the cult of Mammon -- perhaps, dare I think, through a return to a pre-Protestant, pre-Catholic Christian ethic that values people's souls above objects of value?

Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.

All is very murky at the moment, but I would venture to guess that most people in the US are too distracted, too stressed and too preoccupied with their own vices and obsessions to pay much attention to the political realm . Of the ones they do pay attention, a fair number of them seem clued in to the fact that the US is not a democracy at all but an elites-only sandbox in which transnational corporate and oligarchic interests build and knock down each others' sandcastles.

The extreme political polarization, where two virtually identical pro-capitalist, pro-war parties pretend to wage battle by virtue-signaling may be a symptom of the extremely decrepit state of the entire political arrangement: people are made to watch the billowing smoke and to listen to the deafening noise in the hopes that they won't notice that the wheels are no longer turning.

The fact that what amounts to palace intrigue -- the fracas between the White House, the two houses of Congress and a ghoulish grand inquisitor named Mueller -- has taken center stage is uncannily reminiscent of various earlier political collapses , such as the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire or of the fall and the consequent beheading of Louis XVI. The fact that Trump, like the Ottoman worthies, stocks his harem with East European women, lends an eerie touch. That said, most people in the US seem blind to the nature of their overlords in a way that the French, with their Gilettes Jaunes movement (just as an example) are definitely not.

Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost.

I have been saying for some years now that within the US social collapse has largely run its course, although whether people actually believe that is an entire matter entirely. Defining "your people" is rather difficult. The symbols are still there -- the flag, the Statue of Liberty and a predilection for iced drinks and heaping plates of greasy fried foods -- but the melting pot seems to have suffered a meltdown and melted all the way to China. At present half the households within the US speak a language other than English at home, and a fair share of the rest speak dialects of English that are not mutually intelligible with the standard North American English dialect of broadcast television and university lecturers.

Throughout its history as a British colony and as a nation the US has been dominated by the Anglo ethnos. The designation "ethnos" is not an ethnic label. It is not strictly based on genealogy, language, culture, habitat, form of government or any other single factor or group of factors. These may all be important to one extent or another, but the viability of an ethnos is based solely on its cohesion and the mutual inclusivity and common purpose of its members. The Anglo ethnos reached its zenith in the wake of World War II, during which many social groups were intermixed in the military and their more intelligent members.

Fantastic potential was unleashed when privilege -- the curse of the Anglo ethnos since its inception -- was temporarily replaced with merit and the more talented demobilized men, of whatever extraction, were given a chance at education and social advancement by the GI Bill. Speaking a new sort of American English based on the Ohio dialect as a Lingua Franca, these Yanks -- male, racist, sexist and chauvinistic and, at least in their own minds, victorious -- were ready to remake the entire world in their own image.

They proceeded to flood the entire world with oil (US oil production was in full flush then) and with machines that burned it. Such passionate acts of ethnogenesis are rare but not unusual: the Romans who conquered the entire Mediterranean basin, the barbarians who then sacked Rome, the Mongols who later conquered most of Eurasia and the Germans who for a very brief moment possessed an outsized Lebensraum are other examples.

And now it is time to ask: what remains of this proud conquering Anglo ethnos today? We hear shrill feminist cries about "toxic masculinity" and minorities of every stripe railing against "whitesplaining" and in response we hear a few whimpers but mostly silence. Those proud, conquering, virile Yanks who met and fraternized with the Red Army at the River Elbe on April 25, 1945 -- where are they? Haven't they devolved into a sad little subethnos of effeminate, porn-addicted overgrown boys who shave their pubic hair and need written permission to have sex without fear of being charged with rape?

Will the Anglo ethnos persist as a relict, similar to how the English have managed to hold onto their royals (who are technically no longer even aristocrats since they now practice exogamy with commoners)? Or will it get wiped out in a wave of depression, mental illness and opiate abuse, its glorious history of rapine, plunder and genocide erased and the statues of its war heros/criminals knocked down? Only time will tell.

Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in "the goodness of humanity" is lost.

The term "culture" means many things to many people, but it is more productive to observe cultures than to argue about them. Cultures are expressed through people's stereotypical behaviors that are readily observable in public. These are not the negative stereotypes often used to identify and reject outsiders but the positive stereotypes -- cultural standards of behavior, really -- that serve as requirements for social adequacy and inclusion. We can readily assess the viability of a culture by observing the stereotypical behaviors of its members.

It is possible to quote statistics or to provide anecdotal evidence to assess the state and the viability of a culture, but your own eyes and other senses can provide all the evidence you need to make that determination for yourself and to decide how much faith to put in "the goodness of humanity" that is evident in the people around you.

Dmity concluded his reply by summarizing his view like this:

Cultural and social collapse are very far along. Financial collapse is waiting for a trigger. Commercial collapse will happen in stages some of which -- food deserts, for instance -- have already happened in many places. Political collapse will only become visible once the political class gives up. It's not as simple as saying which stage we are at. They are all happening in parallel, to one extent or another.

My own (totally subjective) opinion is that the US has already reached stages 1 through 4, and that there are signs that stage 5 has begun; mainly in big cities as US small towns and rural areas (Trump's power base

Don't expect these two losers to fix anything, they will only make things worse

In the meantime, the US ruling elites are locked into an ugly internal struggle which only further weakens the US. What is so telling is that the Democrats are still stuck with their same clueless, incompetent and infinitely arrogant leadership, in spite of the fact that everybody knows that the Democratic Party is in deep crisis and that new faces are desperately needed. But no, they are still completely stuck in their old ways and the same gang of gerontocrats continues to rule the party apparatus.

That is another surefire sign of degeneracy: when a regime can only produce incompetent, often old, leaders who are completely out of touch with reality and who blame their own failures on internal ("deplorables") and external ("the Russians") factors. Again, think of the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, the Apartheid regime in South Africa under F. W. de Klerk, or the Kerensky regime in 1917 Russia.

As for the Republicans, they are basically a subsidiary of the Israeli Likud Party. Just take a look at the long list of losers the Likud produced at home, and you will get a sense of what they can do in its US colony.

Eventually the US will rebound; I have no doubts about that at all. This is a big country with millions of immensely talented people, immense natural resources and no credible threat to it's territory. But that can only happen after a real regime change (as opposed to a change in Presidential Administration) which, itself, is only going to happen after an "E2 catastrophe" collapse.

Until then, we will all be waiting for Godot.

peterAUS , says: January 11, 2019 at 5:13 am GMT

Stopped reading at:

The EU has already morphed into a strictly regional affair, unable to project power or entertain any global geopolitical ambitions. Same goes for Washington, which is going to either depart voluntarily (due to lack of funds) or get chased out from much of the world.

Well, it's O.K. to have online therapy with that brief dopamine rush every now and then. Does help, I guess.

But, looks like, in order to keep having the "fix" the blathering is becoming ludicrous. Starting to feel desperate.

Like: " unable to project power or entertain any global geopolitical ambitions. Same goes for Washington .".

Some "analysts". Not even funny.

[Jan 08, 2019] Another world is possible. A spirituality of resistance -- World Council of Churches

Jan 08, 2019 | www.oikoumene.org

Criticism of neoliberal globalization cannot only be economic; it must also be theological. Theological analysis formed part of two workshops in which the WCC covered the theme of alternatives to economic globalization. "We have seen that the neoliberal paradigm is a new Tower of Babel, an arrogant project that aims to impose a uniformity that is contrary to God's will for a kingdom that respects diversity", stated Mshana. "The churches have a great opportunity here for prophetic condemnation and education."

Participants at the workshops agreed that in matters such as access to clean water, "when it comes to choosing between the technical or the ethical approach, between the market or human rights, priority must go to the latter", Mshana stated. The churches can therefore make a valuable contribution: "The churches must work very hard to bring pressure to bear on the international financial institutions not just to go along with the market solution".

The workshops also tackled the subjects of world trade, the international financial system and debt, all of which, in their present form, are harmful to the poor. With regard to trade, participants gave their backing to campaigns for fair trade like the Trade for people, not people for trade campaign sponsored by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.

As for the international financial system - "a lottery whose winnings flow from the South to the North", according to Mshana's definition - the general consensus was that it needed to be reformed. Mechanisms need to be put in place to limit the arbitrary movement of speculative capital and make sure that the capital invested in poor countries actually stays there and is used for development.

As far as the new methods of debt cancellation are concerned, "these are inadequate and do not solve the problem", Mshana explained. "What is needed is total cancellation and the introduction of a whole new system". One striking proposal was for an International Court under the aegis of the United Nations to judge the legitimacy of debts, taking into account the joint responsibility of debtors and creditors.

[Jan 08, 2019] AGAPE Consultation- There's a new world in the making -- World Council of Churches

Jan 08, 2019 | www.oikoumene.org

Confession

We confess that the whole of Creation bears the marks of God. God is our Creator; we love God, all of Creation and one another. We see that God wants the world to be a circle where everyone has a place. However, in North America, we have failed to live out our love.

While we have failed to live out our love, corporations have pursued violent development grabbing air, land and water; drowning islands; desertifying lands; violating human rights; and creating conditions of war.

While we have failed to live out our love, international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization have enforced finance and trade policies which have indebted nations and forced them to service social and economic debt rather than their people and Earth.

In our limitless pursuit of individual and national wealth and power, we are complicit in a market system that exploits natural resources and people within and beyond our borders:

When temporary foreign workers care for our children and grandparents, work on our farms, receive low wages, work long hours, live and work in harsh conditions, are vulnerable to abuse, have their human rights violated, fill other jobs that the common excuse says: "no North American would do";

We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.

When companies designate landfills and chemical dumps in the neighbourhoods of poor and marginalized people;

When US and Canadian corporations extract minerals and resources from other countries in order to operate without environmental safeguards or labour codes, do not pay their fair share of taxes and royalties, and use paramilitary forces against protesters and to displace indigenous communities;

We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.

When those who have contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions are the first to suffer the effects of climate change, and we demand that they reduce their greenhouse gas emissions without taking care of our own;

When we have watched the increased reliance on the military to pursue national self-interest, defend corporate interests, and cause forced migration in the rest of the world;

We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.

For too long, we have said and done too little. We have prioritized profit at the expense of clean air and water, devastated species and ecosystems, devalued people and their cultures, enriched the wealthy few and impoverished the poorest in our society and the global family.

These examples demonstrate the ecological debt we owe to Earth and the ecological indebtedness of the rich to the poor. The cry of Earth and the poor are one.

Wisdom

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. ( Revelation 22:1-2)

We are compelled and inspired by this vision of hope with respect to poverty, wealth and ecology, a new vision of Earth and the people who are dependent upon its abundance.

The great tree, echoing Genesis description of an idyllic garden, spans the river of the water of life. This image evokes not a singular tree but a vast, verdant forest that provides twelve kinds of fruit. In this way, the tree will bring food for all of God's people every month of the year. The vision of a redeemed Creation is one of a healthy Earth that will bring healing to the nations.

We have heard the wisdom of the worker, the scientist, the ancestor, the great tree, the river of the water of life. We have heard the wisdom of Your whole Creation calling us toward healing.

There is a new world in the making. You are working on behalf of Your people and restoring the good Earth You created. This world matters as do people's concrete struggles within it. It is our reminder to care for each other and all of Creation. You are a God of redemption, not of destruction, and invite us to participate in redemptive acts.

Healing

Creator, You endowed all of Your Creation with dignity, including human beings, a shining strand in the glimmering web of life.

Yet today, Creation is not the way it is supposed to be. We've seen the toxic pools, the gouged Earth, the forecasts of increased global average temperatures that will permanently change life on Earth. Climate change is the enveloping reality we live in.

We are alarmed by the increased concentration of wealth owned by a few. We know that poverty strips dignity away.

We have put our faith in what we have created – idols of gold and silver, luxury and consumer goods, markets and technology - rather than in You, our Creator.

Creator, enliven our imaginations to restore Your Creation. Heal our broken lives and communities.

Redeemer, save us from our greed, and the structures, policies and laws we've established that sustain and protect unearned privilege. We have heard the indictment in the gospel of Luke: "we take what we did not deposit, we reap what we did not sow." Already, we are taking more than Earth can offer, and returning more waste than Earth can absorb.

Save us from a "prosperity" gospel that neglects Your radical gospel of justice and hope for all.

Redeemer, grant us the courage to restore Your Creation. Heal our broken lives and communities.

Holy Spirit, come quickly. We are poor, we are rich; we are oppressed, we are oppressors. Reconcile us to one another, reconcile us with Earth. May the churches we represent be agents of reconciliation, centres for caring communities and shared sacrifice, models of an ethic of solidarity with future generations and our neighbours. Light us with a passion for justice, peace and solidarity.

Holy Spirit, breathe into us the passion to work together, to restore Your Creation. Heal our broken lives and communities.

Thanksgiving

We give thanks for young people who are inventing new forms of resistance to greed and injustice through forums like the Occupy movement and the "people's microphone."

We give thanks for the prophets among us who challenge our idolatry of the unregulated Market and who confront us with our addiction to the carbon economy.

We give thanks for the elders among us, who help us remember a time when it wasn't always like this; who call on the community's invisible heart to counter the Market's invisible hand; who help us to remember what a moral economy looks like.

We give thanks for the witness of those of our ancestors who have taught us our rightful place in Creation and who have spoken truth to power; who understood that Christ is found among those who are hungry, homeless, imprisoned and downtrodden.

We give thanks for our ecumenical partners who continue to deepen our common witness based on ecojustice principles of solidarity, sufficiency, sustainability and equity in the economy and Earth.

We give thanks for the power of being together, and for all those friends and allies who help us to remember who we are as a justice loving people.

************

Vision & Action

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision (Habbakuk 2: 2-3)

We see a time of new beginnings, of Jubilee, when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere no longer threaten life, when the carbon economy has been transformed, and we no longer mortgage our children's future. We see a time when unsustainable development has been rejected in favour of just, participatory and sustainable communities. We see a time when Earth has begun its regeneration and like God with Noah, we have covenanted with God and Creation to never destroy it again.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? (James 2:14)

We commit ourselves to lives of integrity and justice where we share all God's resources equitably, reduce our carbon footprint, seek right relationship in our economic transactions and strengthen the campaign for climate justice.

We call on churches, interfaith partners and all people of goodwill to work together to achieve this timeless and compelling vision. In order to mobilize appropriate resources and as a first step we call on the World Council of Churches, its member churches, and its sister ecumenical bodies to undertake a decade of action on ecojustice encompassing both ecological and economic justice.

We call on our North American churches to take action to transition from carbon-based to renewable energy, to narrow the gap between those of us who are rich and those of us who are poor, to respond to the needs of climate refugees, to hold their pension fund and investment managers accountable for the ethical implications of their investments, and to advocate for policies that will restore ecological balance.

We call on businesses and industries to commit to principles of integrity by complying with human rights codes; by shifting investments from carbon-based to renewable energy; and by showing leadership in reducing the gap between the rich and the poor by paying fair wages and paying their fair share of taxes.

We call on our governments to govern with integrity by implementing a moratorium on further development of the tar sands; compelling corporations to operate with the highest available environmental and labour standards wherever they do business on the globe; prohibiting excessive interest rates; legislating an international financial transactions tax to begin to make restitution for ecological debt; reallocating budgets from the military and systems of death and destruction to systems that promote the abundance of life; working for a new financial architecture; and ensuring that commercial banking is clearly separated from investment banking (speculative investments and financial transactions).

[Jan 08, 2019] Serve God, not Mammon- -- World Council of Churches

Notable quotes:
"... 47 representatives of churches from Central and Eastern Europe, along with resource persons, met June 24-28 in Budapest, Hungary. They were from Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, including a presenter delegated by the Council of the European Bishops' Conferences. In addition, 30 guests and staff persons of regional and international ecumenical and civil organizations from around the world were present. All these came to Budapest at the invitation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the WARC European Area Committee. Also accompanying the process was the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The consultation is part of the joint process on globalization of these organizations that grew out of the call of the WARC General Council in 1997 in Debrecen, Hungary for "covenanting for justice in the economy and the earth (Processus Confessionis)" and the recommendations on globalization made by the General Assembly of the World Council Churches 1998 in Harare. It is the second in a series of regional meetings that began with a symposium in Bangkok and will continue with meetings of churches in the Pacific, Western Europe, Latin America, Africa and North America. The consultation was graciously supported and hosted by the Reformed Church in Hungary, and was held at the Reformed Theological College (Raday) of Budapest. ..."
"... The Foundations of the Social Concept of the ROC ..."
"... SERVE PEOPLE, NOT POWER ..."
"... CHOOSE LIFE, NOT DEAT