Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

Anti-globalization movement

News Neoliberalism Recommended Links Blowback against neoliberal globalization TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Brexit revisited: Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as antidote to Neoliberalism Corporatism
Anti-globalization movement Trump foreign policy platform Globalization of Financial Flows National Security State National Socialism and Military Keysianism Media-Military-Industrial Complex American Exceptionalism
The Great Transformation Neoliberalism as secular religion, "idolatry of money" Techno-fundamentalism Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Neocons as USA neo-fascists Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy
Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Neoliberalism Bookshelf Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Greenspan humor Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on crisis of  neoliberalism Etc

From Wikipedia:

Many critics of trade liberalization, such as Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Susan George, and Naomi Klein, see the Washington Consensus as a way to open the labor market of underdeveloped economies to exploitation by companies from more developed economies. The prescribed reductions in tariffs and other trade barriers allow the free movement of goods across borders according to market forces, but labor is not permitted to move freely due to the requirements of a visa or a work permit. This creates an economic climate where goods are manufactured using cheap labor in underdeveloped economies and then exported to rich First World economies for sale at what the critics argue are huge markups, with the balance of the markup said to accrue to large multinational corporations. The criticism is that workers in the Third World economy nevertheless remain poor, as any pay raises they may have received over what they made before trade liberalization are said to be offset by inflation, whereas workers in the First World country become unemployed, while the wealthy owners of the multinational grow even more wealthy.

Anti-globalization critics further claim that First World countries impose what the critics describe as the consensus's neoliberal policies on economically vulnerable countries through organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and by political pressure and bribery. They argue that the Washington Consensus has not, in fact, led to any great economic boom in Latin America, but rather to severe economic crises and the accumulation of crippling external debts that render the target country beholden to the First World.

Many of the policy prescriptions (e.g., the privatization of state industries, tax reform, and deregulation) are criticized as mechanisms for ensuring the development of a small, wealthy, indigenous elite in the Third World who will rise to political power and also have a vested interest in maintaining the local status quo of labor exploitation.

Some specific factual premises of the critique as phrased above (especially on the macroeconomic side) are not accepted by defenders, or indeed all critics, of the Washington Consensus. To take a few examples,[29] inflation in many developing countries is now at its lowest levels for many decades (low single figures for very much of Latin America). Workers in factories created by foreign investment are found typically to receive higher wages and better working conditions than are standard in their own countries' domestically-owned workplaces. Economic growth in much of Latin America in the last few years has been at historically high rates, and debt levels, relative to the size of these economies, are on average significantly lower than they were several years ago.

Despite these macroeconomic advances, poverty and inequality remain at high levels in Latin America. About one of every three people - 165 million in total- still live on less than $2 a day. Roughly a third of the population has no access to electricity or basic sanitation, and an estimated 10 million children suffer from malnutrition. These problems are not, however, new: Latin America was the most economically unequal region in the world in 1950, and has continued to be so ever since, during periods both of state-directed import-substitution and (subsequently) of market-oriented liberalization.[30]

Some socialist political leaders in Latin America are vocal and well-known critics of the Washington Consensus, such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Cuban ex-President Fidel Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador. In Argentina, too, the recent Peronist party government of Néstor Kirchner undertook policy measures which represented a repudiation of at least some Consensus policies (see Continuing Controversy below). However, with the exception of Castro, these leaders have maintained and expanded some successful policies commonly associated with the Washington Consensus, such as macroeconomic stability and property rights protection.

Others on the Latin American left take a different approach. Governments led by the Socialist Party of Chile, by Alan García in Peru, by Tabaré Vázquez in Uruguay, and by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, have in practice maintained a high degree of continuity with the economic policies described under the Washington Consensus (debt-paying, protection to foreign investment, financial reforms, etc.). But governments of this type have simultaneously sought to supplement these policies by measures directly targeted at improving productivity and helping the poor, such as education reforms and subsidies to poor families conditioned on their children staying in school.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Feb 13, 2019] Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As Hypocritical And Immoral

Feb 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Furious China Accuses US Of Fabricating Threats, Slams Huawei Boycott As "Hypocritical And Immoral"

by Tyler Durden Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:15 44 SHARES

The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, Huawei's critics are conjuring up threats and misusing state power to "suppress the legitimate development rights and interests of Chinese enterprises" and are "using political means to intervene in the economy."

Hua continued his slam of the US saying that "all countries should deal with relevant matters in an objective, comprehensive, rational, and correct manner, rather than fabricating excuses of all kinds for one's own pursuit of interest at the cost of others, which is quite hypocritical, immoral, and unfair."

Needless to say, Hua's comments - coming just as US trade negotiators are in Beijing with president Xi unexpectedly set to join the discussions - at a daily briefing were "some of the sharpest yet" in the growing feud over Washington's drive to convince other nations to shut Huawei out of their markets due to national security concerns, Reuters reported.

Huawei - the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and the leaders in 5G technology - insists that it is independent and poses no threat to the security of others, but has long been seen by some as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services. It's also why the United States, Australia, Japan and some other governments have imposed curbs on use of Huawei technology, including smart phones.

US warnings about the risks of Chinese telecom technology come as governments are choosing providers for the rollout of 5G wireless internet, where Huawei is among the global leaders.

Escalating the growing boycott of Chinese telecom, on Tuesday in Poland, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated a warning that the United States may be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with Huawei. Pompeo said the U.S. had strong concerns about Huawei's motives in Europe, especially in NATO and European Union member states, as well as its business practices.

"We've made known the risks that are associated with that, risks to private information of citizens of the country, risks that comes from having that technology installed in network systems," he said.

The US has argued that under Chinese security laws companies such as Huawei or ZTE could be compelled to hand over data or access to Chinese intelligence. However, Hua responded that such concerns were based on provisions of China's national intelligence law that differ little from similar legislation in other countries.

"It is an international practice to maintain national security with legislation and to require organizations and individuals to cooperate with national intelligence work," Hua said.

And, in the angriest retort to Washington yet, Hua accused the US of creating "conspiracy theories" backed by nothing but hearsay, and that lacking solid evidence, the U . S. "keeps making up crimes and churning out various threat theories."

"We believe that this is very hypocritical, unfair and immoral," she said. All nations, Hua said, have an obligation to "abide by the market principle of free and fair competition and truly safeguard the market environment of fairness, justice and non-discrimination."


CatInTheHat , 21 minutes ago link

Doesn't matter what they believe as long as the US dollar is main currency weaponize it whenever possible

US wants back door on China 5G so it can spy more on US citizens and NATO vassal countries

US hasn't caught up with China 5G and lacks innovation to do so .

Pompeo is a horses ***.

popeye , 1 hour ago link

To my knowledge Huawei has not yet been caught hacking sovereign leaders cellphones. Others have, and ....nothing.

Victory_Rossi , 5 hours ago link

"... lacking solid evidence ..." - evidence of what? That Huawei steals and copies technology? I can't be the only current or former Cisco employee here. Anyone remember watching a Huawei router boot a production IOS image? Building 8 in the first floor h/w lab? We rolled the Huawei router over from the TME lab next door? Then the lawsuit and the "settlement"? Trust no one but especially don't trust state controlled Chicoms.

BakedBeans , 5 hours ago link

Thanks, CISCO for all the NSA back doors you conveniently provided, allowing the govt to violate the 4th ammendment.

https://www.infoworld.com/article/2608141/internet-privacy/snowden--the-nsa-planted-backdoors-in-cisco-products.html

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

Victory_Rossi , 5 hours ago link

Hate CSCO, IBM, AAPL, GOOG, AMZN, FB and all the rest. Just don't go crazy and think that the Chicoms (ie: Huawei) are on your side.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

I don't care as much about Chinese or Russian backdoors (if they exist), I care more about NSA backdoors since I live inside their fraudulent political, economic, and judicial regime that services US elites.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

The Chinese didn't steal tech, it was sold to them by US elites that made fortunes on it. I don't blame the Chinese, I blame US elites that outsourced US jobs and industry to make a buck (fortunes of bucks).

Read 'The Conspirators' by Al Martin. A hell of a read that has some gems on how Bush's, Clinton's, and others made millions on selling tech to China along with real estate fraud, stock swindles, and running narcotics and weapons. Congress critters were involved along with the CIA, ONI, and US military. It still goes on. They love you going with the fear and hate China narratives.

AriusArmenian , 5 hours ago link

Huawei is the world's leader in 5G technology, but when US elites can't compete they play dirty.

The other problem for the US is that Huawei won't allow NSA backdoors in their equipment. Remember the Snowden revelations about Cisco router order shipments being redirected to be modified for the NSA?

Screw the US Stasi Security State.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

If you are a US citizen and live in the US and if US elites fraud that is plowing and plundering the american people continues (and nothing suggests the people will stop it) then nothing good will come from whatever elite narrative you decide to follow. US elites made a bundle on outsourcing US jobs and industry to Asia, and now they are still insiders leading the march to fear and hate China and Russia.

Read 'The Conspirators' by Al Martin on the Iran-Contra frauds run by powerful families in the US to get a taste of what they do.

admin user , 5 hours ago link

The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

I have to agree. Everything I needed to know about American perfidy, I learned from Edward Snowden.

AriusArmenian , 4 hours ago link

The US elites in Congress passed the laws to outsource US jobs and industry to Asia. They were insiders that made fortunes on it. Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband are examples. Now that the pickings are getting slim and China is going its own way those same elites are beating the drum about the dangerous China (and Russia) and are rolling out Cold War v2.

So I agree with you but do not blame Asia for what was offered to them on a silver platter. But I cannot agree with blocking all products from China which would result in price inflation in the US on steroids. The cost of living (especially for the young) would drive many into poverty. The US economy would crater into depression. So what to do? There are two direction: (1) do as the US is currently doing: spend more on its military and cyber weapons and threaten, bomb, kill to get other countries to let US corporations enter and dominate, or (2) cut US military spending by 60%+ and plow money into the US infrastructure and people.

It's one or the other and US elites are going with (1) which is the worst possible direction. I had hope for Trump based on his stump speeches but the CIA and others saw it as a direct threat to their geopolitical strategy regime and they engineered a coup and Trump has folded. This is evident by his original nationalist campaign staff being replaced after the election by neocon/neolib dead-enders. It would have been easy to cooperate with Russia and China to integrate them into a world order of international agreements already in place after Cold War v1. But US elites at heart are supremacists not willing to share the world with others. There is one other big problem in the US: that its foreign policy is substantially under the control of the UK, Israel, and Saudis (that in itself a big story). I feel a lot like you do but see US elites putting all their efforts into a dead end.

[Feb 09, 2019] Hungary Shows the West the Path to Survival The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... It is clear that on immigration, Eastern Europe differs from the rest of the continent -- attitudes represented politically only through the populist right in the west are thoroughly mainstream in the east. ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

For starters, he talks about demography. Like many countries in Europe, Hungary's birthrates have plummeted. Orbán has commenced a campaign to raise them, with measures including generous maternity and paternity leave stipends, subsidies of up to 50 euros a month per child, tax write-offs, and housing assistance for couples that have three or more children. The government has also sent out questionnaires asking Hungarians whether they think the solution to Hungary's demographic crisis is stronger support for families or higher immigration. Katalin Novak, Orbán's minister of family and youth, explained unabashedly that the purpose of this was "to send a clear message to Brussels: the renovation of Europe is impossible without support for families and Hungary wants neither immigration nor a modification of its population." This sort of frankness from leaders in the wealthier West is inconceivable. At a press gathering I recently attended, a Macron minister holding a comparable post focused most of the conversation on the expansion of gay rights.

Of course, the other half of the demography subject is immigration. In an address during the fall of 2016 that still resonates, Orbán proclaimed that Europe is "in mortal danger":

The danger is "not attacking us the way wars and natural disasters do mass migration is a slow stream of water persistently eroding the shores. It is masquerading as a humanitarian cause, but its true nature is the occupation of territory. And what is gaining territory for them is losing territory for us. Flocks of obsessed human rights defenders feel the overwhelming urge to reprimand us . [A]llegedly we are hostile xenophobes but the truth is that the history of our nation is also one of inclusion, of the intertwining of cultures. Those who have sought to come here as new family members, as allies, or as displaced persons fearing for their lives have been let in to make a new home for themselves. But those who have come here with the intention of changing our country, of shaping our nation in their own image, have been met with resistance."

Faced with the Merkel Million Man Migration, Orbán ordered Hungary's army to build a fence.

Bernard-Henri Lévy: Poster Boy For the False Europe How Brexit Burst the West's Immigration Taboos

Slovakia similarly refused to take in a quota of migrants dictated by Brussels and Berlin. The former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, wrote a short but excellent book, Europe All Inclusive , about the migration crisis in which he charged that Europe's western elites were supporting mass immigration explicitly to smash the remaining power of nation states so full European unification could be achieved. Poland has likewise refused EU demands to resettle refugees from the Mideast and North Africa.

It is clear that on immigration, Eastern Europe differs from the rest of the continent -- attitudes represented politically only through the populist right in the west are thoroughly mainstream in the east. This difference in political culture is so vast, it can be traced to many sources. A similar divergence surfaced before, during the Cold War, when Eastern Europeans stubbornly refused to allow Western European intellectuals to forget or ignore that communism was a malign and murderous system. Today, Eastern Europeans note that they have been already been the subjects of utopian projects to remake society according to a progressive vision -- and they have no desire for a repeat.

Encountering Eastern European resistance to progressive dogma for the first time is a bracing experience. I first had it during the mid-'70s, in a grad school lecture class at Columbia. A charming and generally well-liked democratic socialist professor would take admiring students through various sophisticated Marxist readings, leading inexorably to the conclusion that the collapse of "late capitalism" was inevitable and to be welcomed. This semester, there happened to be two Poles taking the class, one of whom was a woman who had been an imprisoned dissident. They seemed to know their Marx as well as the prof did: they were smart, they were vocal, and they were having absolutely none of it. It made for an exciting several months, and for me a memorable demonstration that Eastern Europeans were more or less immune to the guilt and self-hatred permeating much of the West.

Perhaps we are in for a reprise, when the people of the west learn once again from the east what is true and essential about their own societies. Of course, there are parallels between the communists' aspirations and the open borders diversity project. Both are genuinely revolutionary in their desire to destroy and remake Western societies according to models that have little viable precedent in human experience. Under this logic, the '60s and '70s can be seen as a kind of transitional phase, during which Western socialists looked longingly towards various Third World models -- China, Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua -- after they gave up on the Soviet Union and their own proletariats as viable revolutionary agents. Now progressives hope that social justice will bloom from the political chaos generated by demographic shifts.

Without the voices of Eastern Europe, the West might not have successfully resisted the first progressive onslaught. Once again, it needs the voices of the east to illuminate its path to survival.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars.

[Feb 09, 2019] No trade deal can dictate our relationship with China

Feb 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , February 06, 2019 at 01:32 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/no-trade-deal-can-dictate-our-relationship-with-china/2019/02/04/ff5ea754-28c4-11e9-8eef-0d74f4bf0295_story.html

February 4, 2019

No trade deal can dictate our relationship with China
By Lawrence H. Summers - Washington Post

As the United States and China continue to joust over trade and technology, the U.S. policy debate contrasts two views of the primary problem.

A first view expressed often in President Trump's tweets locates the key issue in the bilateral trade deficit that the United States chronically runs with China. On this theory of the problem, a solution is relatively easy: The Chinese could rearrange their imports of soybeans, fossil fuels and other products so more of them come from the United States, while countries now supplying China could export instead to nations now importing from the United States. This is what the Chinese keep offering since it means almost no real change in their economy. Neither levels of employment, output or total trade deficits and surpluses are likely to change much in either the United States or China.

A second view, held by more serious alarmists about the U.S.-China relationship, such as U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, emphasizes problematic Chinese practices in key technological sectors. These range from theft of U.S. technologies to requirements that U.S. firms wishing to do business in China -- chiefly in the development of key technologies, such as artificial intelligence -- must form joint ventures with Chinese firms, especially those with connections to the Chinese government.

Such technological alarmists in and out of the administration hold that we can wall off U.S. technologies with sufficiently aggressive policies so China cannot steal them, or that we can pressure China to the point where it will give up government efforts at industrial leadership. Neither of these prospects is realistic.

In many ways, U.S. concerns over China and technology parallel concerns over the Soviet Union in the post-Sputnik missile gap period just before President John F. Kennedy's election in 1960. Or over Japan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was often joked that "the Cold War is over and Japan won."

When atomic weapons were our most sensitive military secret, their creation required extensive sophisticated infrastructure. Yet the United States and Russia essentially had no normal interchange, so we were able to maintain a lead of three or four years with respect to both fission and fusion weapons.

Technology for artificial intelligence in development today, however, can be operated on widely available equipment. And there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens studying in the United States or working for U.S. companies that develop such technology. Keeping U.S. knowledge out of Chinese hands for substantial lengths of time is impracticable short of a massive breaking of economic ties.

Nor is it likely for the Chinese government to halt its support of technology development. How would the United States react if other countries demanded that we close down DARPA, the Defense Department's advanced research agency, because it represented unfair competition? Or if trading partners argued that U.S. support for private clean-energy companies, such as the subsidies provided by the Obama administration, was an unfair trade practice? Much of our current information technology and communications infrastructure comes directly or indirectly out of Bell Labs, which was financed out of the profits of a government-regulated and -protected monopoly. Would the United States have responded constructively to demands from other countries to dismantle the Bell system?

A focus on resisting the Chinese economic threat will likely not only be ineffective but may also be counterproductive if it diverts private and public energy from more productive pursuits. I remember well from the early Clinton administration that the great symbol of efforts to constrain unfair Japanese practices was Kodak's case against Fuji, the Japanese photographic film company that attracted massive attention from Kodak's senior management and U.S. policymakers. Perhaps if Kodak had instead focused on the digital photography ideas its scientists had developed, it would still be a significant company.

Where we can mobilize international support, we should, of course, push China to live up to its trade obligations and seek to modify rules in the World Trade Organization where they do not cover problematic practices. But in reality, our competitive success over the next generation will depend much more on what happens in our economy and society than at any international negotiating table.

Will our national investment in applied scientific research continue to languish to the point where even the most brilliant young scientists cannot get their first research grants until they are in their 40s? Will public officials who surely know better continue to allow creationism to be taught as serious science in U.S. public schools in a century with so much progress in life sciences? Will public policy concern itself with the strength and competitiveness of U.S. information technology companies as well as with their marketing practices? Will a national effort be made to improve the dismal performance of U.S. students at every level in international comparisons of mathematical and scientific achievement?

These questions and others like them, much more than any trade negotiation, will determine how the United States competes over the next generation. The Russian and the Japanese challenges pushed us forward as a nation in very constructive ways. So can the Chinese challenge if we seize the opportunity it represents.


Lawrence Summers is a professor at and past president of Harvard University.

[Feb 07, 2019] The Global Con Hidden in Trump's Tax Reform Law, Revealed

Notable quotes:
"... Last night, President Trump reserved a few minutes of his State of the Union address to praise his tax reform law, which turned a year old last month. To promote its passage, Mr. Trump and his congressional allies promised Americans that drastically lowered corporate tax rates would bring home large sums of capital that had been stashed overseas and finance a surge of domestic investment. ..."
"... Why would any multinational corporation pay America's 21 percent tax rate when it could pay the new "global minimum" rate of 10.5 percent on profits shifted to tax havens, particularly when there are few restrictions on how money can be moved around a company and its foreign subsidiaries? ..."
"... For starters, the law's repatriation deal did prompt a brief surge in offshore profits returning to the United States. But the total sum returned so far is well below the trillions many proponents predicted, and a large chunk of the returned funds have been used for record-breaking stock buybacks, which don't help workers and generate little real economic activity. ..."
"... Bottom line: the Trump tax cut is a giveaway to corporations that doesn't promote investment here ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , February 06, 2019 at 04:05 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/opinion/business-economics/trump-tax-reform-state-of-the-union-2019.html

February 6, 2019

The Global Con Hidden in Trump's Tax Reform Law, Revealed
Why would any multinational corporation pay the new 21 percent rate when it could use the new "global minimum" loophole to pay half of that?
By Brad Setser

Last night, President Trump reserved a few minutes of his State of the Union address to praise his tax reform law, which turned a year old last month. To promote its passage, Mr. Trump and his congressional allies promised Americans that drastically lowered corporate tax rates would bring home large sums of capital that had been stashed overseas and finance a surge of domestic investment.

"For too long, our tax code has incentivized companies to leave our country in search of lower tax rates," he said, pitching voters in the fall of 2017. "My administration rejects the offshoring model, and we have embraced a brand-new model. It's called the American model."

The White House argued they wanted a system that "encourages companies to stay in America, grow in America, spend in America, and hire in America." Yet the bill he signed into law includes a sweetheart deal that allows companies that shift their profits abroad to pay tax at a rate well below the already-reduced corporate income tax -- an incentive shift that completely contradicts his stated goal.

Why would any multinational corporation pay America's 21 percent tax rate when it could pay the new "global minimum" rate of 10.5 percent on profits shifted to tax havens, particularly when there are few restrictions on how money can be moved around a company and its foreign subsidiaries?

These wonky concerns were largely brushed aside amid the political brawl. But now that a full year has passed since the tax bill became law, we have hard numbers we can evaluate.

For starters, the law's repatriation deal did prompt a brief surge in offshore profits returning to the United States. But the total sum returned so far is well below the trillions many proponents predicted, and a large chunk of the returned funds have been used for record-breaking stock buybacks, which don't help workers and generate little real economic activity.

And despite Mr. Trump's proud rhetoric regarding tax reform during his State of the Union address, there is no wide pattern of companies bringing back jobs or profits from abroad. The global distribution of corporations' offshore profits -- our best measure of their tax avoidance gymnastics -- hasn't budged from the prevailing trend.

Well over half the profits that American companies report earning abroad are still booked in only a few low-tax nations -- places that, of course, are not actually home to the customers, workers and taxpayers facilitating most of their business. A multinational corporation can route its global sales through Ireland, pay royalties to its Dutch subsidiary and then funnel income to its Bermudian subsidiary -- taking advantage of Bermuda's corporate tax rate of zero.

Where American Profits Hide

[Graph]

No major technology company has jettisoned the finely tuned tax structures that allow a large share of its global profits to be booked offshore. Nor have major pharmaceutical companies stopped producing many of their most profitable drugs in Ireland. And Pepsi, to name just one major manufacturer, still makes the concentrate for its soda in Singapore, also a haven.

Eliminating the complex series of loopholes that encourage offshoring was a major talking point in the run-up to the 2017 tax bill, but most of them are still in place. The craftiest and largest corporations can still legally whittle down their effective tax rate into the single digits. (In fact, the new law encourages firms to move "tangible assets" -- like factories -- offshore).

Overall, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act amounted to a technocratic sleight of hand -- a scheme set to shift an even greater share of the federal tax burden onto the shoulders of American families. According to the Treasury Department's tally for fiscal year 2018, corporate income tax receipts fell by 31 percent, an unprecedented year-over-year drop in a time of economic growth (presumably a time when profits and government revenue should rise in tandem).

These damning results, to be sure, don't make for a good defense of what came before the new law. In theory under the old system, American-based firms still owed the government a cut of their global profits. In practice, large firms could indefinitely defer paying this tax until the funds could be repatriated -- usually when granted a tax holiday by a friendly administration.

Over a generation, this political dance was paired with rules that made it relatively easy for firms to transfer their most prized intellectual property -- say, the rights to popular software or the particular mix of ingredients for a hot new drug -- to their offshore subsidiaries. Taken together, they created a tax nirvana of sorts for multinational corporations, particularly in intellectual-property-intensive industries like tech and pharmaceuticals. But it wasn't enough.

For their next trick, the companies worked with their political allies to favorably frame the 2017 tax debate. When he was the House speaker, Paul Ryan was fond of talking about $3 trillion in "trapped" profits abroad. But those profits weren't actually, physically, sitting in a few tax havens.

Dwarf Economies, Giant American Profits

[Graph]

They were largely invested in United States bank accounts, securities and bonds issued by the Treasury or other companies headquartered in the States. As Adam Looney -- a Brookings Institution fellow and former Treasury Department official -- has explained, companies that needed to finance a new domestic investment could simply issue a bond effectively backed by its offshore cash. (For instance, Apple could bring its "trapped" funds onshore by selling a bond to Pfizer's offshore account, or vice versa.)

Put plainly, they got the best of both worlds: Uncle Sam could tax only a small slice of their books while they traded with one another based on the size of the entire pie.

The scale of the tax shifting has become so immense that some economists believe curbing it could raise reported G.D.P. by well over a percentage point -- something Mr. Trump, who's been absorbed by opportunities to brag about the economy, should notionally welcome.

President Trump's economic advisers and the key architects of the bill on Capitol Hill must have known their reform wasn't going to end business incentives that hurt American workers. Honest reform would have meant closing corporate loopholes -- a move they originally promised to make.

Should the opportunity present itself, perhaps to the next president, there are a couple of viable options for a fundamental tax overhaul that wouldn't require reinstating the 35 percent corporate tax rate.

One of several possibilities is to return to a system of global taxation without the deferrals that enabled empty repatriations. That would mean profits sneakily booked tax-free in Bermuda would be taxed every year at 21 percent. Profits booked in Ireland -- or other low-tax nations -- would be taxed at the difference between Ireland's rate and America's rate.

It's an approach that would protect small and midsize American companies while cracking down on bad corporate actors with enough fancy accountants and lawyers to rig the game to their advantage. And it would be far better than the fake tax reform passed a year ago.

anne -> anne... , February 07, 2019 at 06:16 AM
https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1093271623212457985

Paul Krugman‏ @paulkrugman

This is very good from the essential Brad Setser, our leading expert on international trade and money flows. Bottom line: the Trump tax cut is a giveaway to corporations that doesn't promote investment here 1/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/opinion/business-economics/trump-tax-reform-state-of-the-union-2019.html

The Global Con Hidden in Trump's Tax Reform Law, Revealed

Why would any multinational corporation pay the new 21 percent rate when it could use the new "global minimum" loophole to pay half of that?

2:14 PM - 6 Feb 2019

@Brad_Setser also gets at something I've been trying to explain: corporate cash "overseas" isn't really a stash of money that can be brought home, it's an accounting fiction that lets them avoid taxes, with no real consequences for investment 2/

And this chart, showing the predominance of tax avoidance in overseas "investment", is a classic 3/

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DywVXVvWsAAUvrh.jpg

[Feb 07, 2019] Government shutdown, Venezuela Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm

Notable quotes:
"... The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel ..."
"... Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy ..."
"... Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war ..."
"... So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision. ..."
"... Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance. ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Even before the 2016 US presidential election, this blog supported that Donald Trump is a pure sample of neoliberal barbarism . Many almost laughed at this perception because Trump was being already promoted, more or less, as the 'terminator' of the neoliberal establishment. And many people, especially in the US, tired from the economic disasters, the growing inequality and the endless wars, were anxious to believe that this was indeed his special mission.

Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Trump sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008.

In 2017 , Trump bombed Syria for the first time, resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of the confrontation with Russia.

Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends.

In the middle of all this 'orgy' of pro-establishment moves, Trump offered a controversial withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan to save whatever was possible from his 'anti-interventionist' profile. And it was indeed a highly controversial action with very little value, considering all these US military bases that are still fully operational in the broader Middle East and beyond. Not to mention the various ways through which the US intervenes in the area (training proxies, equip them with heavy weapons, supporting the Saudis and contribute to war crimes in Yemen, etc.)

And then , after this very short break, Trump returned to 'business as usual' to satisfy the neoliberal establishment with a 'glorious' record. He achieved a 35-day government shutdown, which is the "longest shutdown in US history" .

Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams.

And now, we have the Venezuela issue. Since Hugo Chavez nationalized PDVSA, the central oil and natural gas company, the US empire launched a fierce economic war against the country. Yet, while all previous US administrations were trying to replace legitimate governments with their puppets as much silently as possible through slow-motion coup operations, Trump has no problem to do it in plain sight.

And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. "

Therefore, one should be very naive of course to believe that the Western imperialist gang seriously cares about the Venezuelan people and especially the poor. Here are three basic reasons behind the open US intervention in Venezuela:

  1. The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel, as well as the great untapped natural resources , particularly gold (mostly for the Canadian companies).
  2. Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy, which is mainly funded by the oil production. The imperialists know that they must interrupt the path of Venezuela to real Socialism by force if necessary. Neoliberalism must prevail by all means for the benefit of the big banks and corporations.
  3. Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war. The country may find an alternative to escape the Western sanctions in order to fund its social programs for the benefit of the people. And, of course, the West will never accept the exploitation of the Venezuelan resources by the Sino-Russian bloc.

So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision.

This is something we have never seen before. The 'liberal democracies' of the West - only by name - immediately, uncritically and without hesitation jumped on the same boat with Trump towards this outrageously undemocratic action. They recognized Washington's puppet as the legitimate president of a third country. A man that was never elected by the Venezuelan people and has very low popularity in the country. Even worse, the EU parliament approved this action , killing any last remnants of democracy in the Union.

Yet, it seems that the US is finding increasingly difficult to force many countries to align with its agenda. Even some European countries took some distance from the attempted constitutional coup, with Italy even trying to veto EU's decision to recognize Guaido.

Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance.

This unprecedented action by the Western neoliberal powers to recognize Guaido is a serious sign that neoliberalism returns to its roots and slips towards fascism. It appears now that this is the only way to maintain some level of power.

[Feb 07, 2019] Bernie arrived on the scene like a time traveler from an era before the unbreakable stranglehold of neoliberalism

If Trump runs of the defense of neoliberalism platform he will lose. But Trump proved to be a bad, superficial politician, Republican Obama so to speak, so he may take this advice from his entourage. Trump proved to be a puppet of MIC and Israel, his tax cuts had shown that he is a regular "trickle down" neoliberal. So he attraction to voters is down substantially. Now
Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the "center" as a position somewhere between those of the two parties, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center; if anything, it's to the left of the Democrats. Tax cuts for the rich are the G.O.P.'s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they're too high. Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years.
Notable quotes:
"... Insiders have suggested that Trump plans to explicitly run against socialism in 2020. In fact, in playing up the dangers of socialism, he may be positioning himself to run against Bernie Sanders in 2020. ..."
"... Sanders's rebuttal to Trump's address gave us a preview of how he plans to respond to the mounting attacks on socialism from the Right. President Trump said tonight, quote, "We are born free, and we will stay free," end of quote. Well I say to President Trump, people are not truly free when they can't afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages. People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families. ..."
"... As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in 1968, and I quote, "This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor." What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable. ..."
"... In essence what we're seeing here is Bernie Sanders challenging the popular equation of capitalism with democracy and freedom. This is the same point Bernie has been making for decades. "People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech," he said in 1976. This Cold War dogma swept the pervasive reality of capitalist unfreedom - from the bondage of poverty to the perversions of formal democracy under the pressure of a dominant economic class - under the rug. In a 1986 interview, Bernie elaborated: ..."
"... All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small "d." I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average working person who's making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank or corporation. So, if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy as well. ..."
"... The rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the Soviet Union relieved the capitalist state's elite of the need to keep shoring up the equation between capitalism and freedom. Capitalists and their ideology had triumphed, hegemony was theirs, and socialism was no real threat, a foggy memory of a distant era. But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by capitalist economic crisis remade the world - slowly, and then all at once. When Bernie Sanders finally took socialist class politics to the national stage three years ago, people were willing to listen. ..."
Feb 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , February 06, 2019 at 01:36 PM

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/02/trump-state-of-union-socialism

02.06.2019

Trump Is Right to Be Afraid of Socialism
BY MEAGAN DAY

... I think he's scared," said Ocasio-Cortez of Trump's socialism remarks. "He sees that everything is closing in on him. And he knows he's losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we're advancing to the public." Given the remarkable popularity of proposals like Bernie's Medicare for All and tuition-free college and Ocasio-Cortez's 70 percent top marginal tax rate, she's probably onto something.

Insiders have suggested that Trump plans to explicitly run against socialism in 2020. In fact, in playing up the dangers of socialism, he may be positioning himself to run against Bernie Sanders in 2020. That would be a smart move, since Bernie is the most popular politician in America and could very well be Trump's direct contender in the general election, if he can successfully dodge attacks from the establishment wing of the Democratic Party in the primary.

Sanders's rebuttal to Trump's address gave us a preview of how he plans to respond to the mounting attacks on socialism from the Right. President Trump said tonight, quote, "We are born free, and we will stay free," end of quote. Well I say to President Trump, people are not truly free when they can't afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages. People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families.

As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in 1968, and I quote, "This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor." What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable.

In essence what we're seeing here is Bernie Sanders challenging the popular equation of capitalism with democracy and freedom. This is the same point Bernie has been making for decades. "People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech," he said in 1976. This Cold War dogma swept the pervasive reality of capitalist unfreedom - from the bondage of poverty to the perversions of formal democracy under the pressure of a dominant economic class - under the rug. In a 1986 interview, Bernie elaborated:

All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small "d." I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average working person who's making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank or corporation. So, if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy as well.

For more than four decades, Bernie made these points to relatively small audiences. In 2016, everything changed, and he now makes them to an audience of millions.

The rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the Soviet Union relieved the capitalist state's elite of the need to keep shoring up the equation between capitalism and freedom. Capitalists and their ideology had triumphed, hegemony was theirs, and socialism was no real threat, a foggy memory of a distant era. But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by capitalist economic crisis remade the world - slowly, and then all at once. When Bernie Sanders finally took socialist class politics to the national stage three years ago, people were willing to listen.

Bernie has been so successful at changing the conversation that the President now feels obligated to regurgitate Cold War nostrums about socialism and unfreedom to a new generation.

Good, let him. Each apocalyptic admonition is an opportunity for Bernie, and the rest of us socialists, to articulate a different perspective, one in which freedom and democracy are elusive at present but achievable through a society-wide commitment to economic and social equality. We will only escape "coercion, domination, and control" when we structure society to prioritize the well-being of the many over the desires of the greedy few.

Mr. Bill said in reply to anne... February 06, 2019 at 03:29 PM

A lot of the opinion part of what Paul Krugman says, in this article, maybe, doesn't ring quite true, although I don't dispute the facts.

Poll after poll show that 75% of us agree on 80% of the issues, regardless of which political tribe we identify with.

I tend to think that the real problem is that neither the GOP, which represents the top 1% of the economically comfortable, nor the Democrats who represent the top 10%, are representative of the majority of Americans.

Frantically trying to slice and dice the electorate into questionably accurate tranches, ignores the elephant in the room, Paul.

[Feb 06, 2019] https://www.businessinsider.com/state-of-the-union-transcript-trump-full-speech-2019-2

Feb 06, 2019 | www.businessinsider.com

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else. Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The United States economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century. African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. More people are working now than at any time in our history -- 157 million.

We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit.

We virtually ended the estate, or death, tax on small businesses, ranches, and family farms.

We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty -- and to give critically ill patients access to life-saving cures, we passed right to try.

My Administration has cut more regulations in a short time than any other administration during its entire tenure. Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers thanks to historic reductions in taxes and regulations.

We have unleashed a revolution in American energy -- the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.

After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day. Members of Congress: the State of our Union is strong. Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.

On Friday, it was announced that we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone -- almost double what was expected. An economic miracle is taking place in the United States -- and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.

If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way!

... ... ...

Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America's crumbling infrastructure.

I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill -- and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity.

The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs -- and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

Already, as a result of my Administration's efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.

But we must do more. It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, unfair, and together we can stop it.

... ... ...

he final part of my agenda is to protect America's National Security.

Over the last 2 years, we have begun to fully rebuild the United States Military -- with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year. We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by NATO -- but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the United States is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Under my Administration, we will never apologize for advancing America's interests.

For example, decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities. While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't -- in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months. If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. And Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela, and its new interim President, Juan Guaido.

... ... ...

Our approach is based on principled realism -- not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress. For this reason, my Administration recognized the true capital of Israel -- and proudly opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives. More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded. We have spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.

As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach. Great nations do not fight endless wars.

When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Today, we have liberated virtually all of that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers.

Now, as we work with our allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS, it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.

I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan. Our troops have fought with unmatched valor -- and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.

In Afghanistan, my Administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban. As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism. We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement -- but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace.

... ... ...

My Administration has acted decisively to confront the world's leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime in Iran.

To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country.

[Feb 02, 2019] Michael Hudson Trump s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember US Dollar Hegemony by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Looks like the world order established after WWIII crumbed with the USSR and now it is again the law if jungles with the US as the biggest predator.
Notable quotes:
"... The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet. ..."
"... Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy ..."
"... A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest. ..."
"... For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness. ..."
"... Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II. ..."
"... Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards. ..."
"... Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." ..."
"... This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer. ..."
"... England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank." ..."
"... But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium. ..."
"... On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe ..."
"... The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945. ..."
"... By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands. ..."
"... It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either. ..."
"... But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid. ..."
"... It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. ..."
"... Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe. ..."
"... It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence. ..."
"... Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority. ..."
"... Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change. ..."
"... Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times. ..."
"... Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. ..."
"... To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles. ..."
"... Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually. ..."
"... So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change. ..."
"... Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. ..."
"... I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. ..."
"... If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing. ..."
"... In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3. ..."
"... Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble." ..."
"... He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas. ..."
"... The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run. ..."
"... Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners. ..."
"... Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap. ..."
"... On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect. ..."
"... Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o ..."
"... Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT. ..."
"... The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy. ..."
Feb 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is now driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions.

This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and now Elliott Abrams, to fan the flames in Venezuela. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties.

The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the "Heartland" nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago.

The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.

Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.

In the Devil's Dictionary that U.S. diplomats are taught to use as their "Elements of Style" guidelines for Doublethink, a "democratic" country is one that follows U.S. leadership and opens its economy to U.S. investment, and IMF- and World Bank-sponsored privatization. The Ukraine is deemed democratic, along with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that act as U.S. financial and military protectorates and are willing to treat America's enemies are theirs too.

A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest.

This trajectory could be seen 50 years ago (I described it in Super Imperialism [1972] and Global Fracture [1978].) It had to happen. But nobody thought that the end would come in quite the way that is happening. History has turned into comedy, or at least irony as its dialectical path unfolds.

For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness.

The reality is that right-wing parties want to get elected, and a populist nationalism is today's road to election victory in Europe and other countries just as it was for Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump's agenda may really be to break up the American Empire, using the old Uncle Sucker isolationist rhetoric of half a century ago. He certainly is going for the Empire's most vital organs. But it he a witting anti-American agent? He might as well be – but it would be a false mental leap to use "quo bono" to assume that he is a witting agent.

After all, if no U.S. contractor, supplier, labor union or bank will deal with him, would Vladimir Putin, China or Iran be any more naďve? Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II.

Dismantling International Law and Its Courts

Any international system of control requires the rule of law. It may be a morally lawless exercise of ruthless power imposing predatory exploitation, but it is still The Law. And it needs courts to apply it (backed by police power to enforce it and punish violators).

Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards.

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy. Without such power, the United States would not join any international organization. Yet at the same time, it depicted its nationalism as protecting globalization and internationalism. It was all a euphemism for what really was unilateral U.S. decision-making.

Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." [1]

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton erupted in fury, warning in September that: "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," adding that the UN International Court must not be so bold as to investigate "Israel or other U.S. allies."

That prompted a senior judge, Christoph Flügge from Germany, to resign in protest. Indeed, Bolton told the court to keep out of any affairs involving the United States, promising to ban the Court's "judges and prosecutors from entering the United States." As Bolton spelled out the U.S. threat: "We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

What this meant, the German judge spelled out was that: "If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, [Bolton] said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted."

The original inspiration of the Court – to use the Nuremburg laws that were applied against German Nazis to bring similar prosecution against any country or officials found guilty of committing war crimes – had already fallen into disuse with the failure to indict the authors of the Chilean coup, Iran-Contra or the U.S. invasion of Iraq for war crimes.

Dismantling Dollar Hegemony from the IMF to SWIFT

Of all areas of global power politics today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint. International monetary reserves were supposed to be the most sacrosanct, and international debt enforcement closely associated.

Central banks have long held their gold and other monetary reserves in the United States and London. Back in 1945 this seemed reasonable, because the New York Federal Reserve Bank (in whose basement foreign central bank gold was kept) was militarily safe, and because the London Gold Pool was the vehicle by which the U.S. Treasury kept the dollar "as good as gold" at $35 an ounce. Foreign reserves over and above gold were kept in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, to be bought and sold on the New York and London foreign-exchange markets to stabilize exchange rates. Most foreign loans to governments were denominated in U.S. dollars, so Wall Street banks were normally name as paying agents.

That was the case with Iran under the Shah, whom the United States had installed after sponsoring the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mosaddegh when he sought to nationalize Anglo-Iranian Oil (now British Petroleum) or at least tax it. After the Shah was overthrown, the Khomeini regime asked its paying agent, the Chase Manhattan bank, to use its deposits to pay its bondholders. At the direction of the U.S. Government Chase refused to do so. U.S. courts then declared Iran to be in default, and froze all its assets in the United States and anywhere else they were able.

This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions – a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on "socialism," not on U.S. political attempts to "make the economy scream" (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) – Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.

England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank."

Turkey seemed to be a likely destination, prompting Bolton and Pompeo to warn it to desist from helping Venezuela, threatening sanctions against it or any other country helping Venezuela cope with its economic crisis. As for the Bank of England and other European countries, the Bloomberg report concluded: "Central bank officials in Caracas have been ordered to no longer try contacting the Bank of England. These central bankers have been told that Bank of England staffers will not respond to them."

This led to rumors that Venezuela was selling 20 tons of gold via a Russian Boeing 777 – some $840 million. The money probably would have ended up paying Russian and Chinese bondholders as well as buying food to relieve the local famine. [4] Russia denied this report, but Reuters has confirmed is that Venezuela has sold 3 tons of a planned 29 tones of gold to the United Arab Emirates, with another 15 tones are to be shipped on Friday, February 1. [5] The U.S. Senate's Batista-Cuban hardliner Rubio accused this of being "theft," as if feeding the people to alleviate the U.S.-sponsored crisis was a crime against U.S. diplomatic leverage.

If there is any country that U.S. diplomats hate more than a recalcitrant Latin American country, it is Iran. President Trump's breaking of the 2015 nuclear agreements negotiated by European and Obama Administration diplomats has escalated to the point of threatening Germany and other European countries with punitive sanctions if they do not also break the agreements they have signed. Coming on top of U.S. opposition to German and other European importing of Russian gas, the U.S. threat finally prompted Europe to find a way to defend itself.

Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.

Russia and China have already moved to create a shadow bank-transfer system in case the United States unplugs them from SWIFT. But now, European countries have come to realize that threats by Bolton and Pompeo may lead to heavy fines and asset grabs if they seek to continue trading with Iran as called for in the treaties they have negotiated.

On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe.

I have just returned from Germany and seen a remarkable split between that nation's industrialists and their political leadership. For years, major companies have seen Russia as a natural market, a complementary economy needing to modernize its manufacturing and able to supply Europe with natural gas and other raw materials. America's New Cold War stance is trying to block this commercial complementarity. Warning Europe against "dependence" on low-price Russian gas, it has offered to sell high-priced LNG from the United States (via port facilities that do not yet exist in anywhere near the volume required). President Trump also is insisting that NATO members spend a full 2 percent of their GDP on arms – preferably bought from the United States, not from German or French merchants of death.

The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945.

The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands.

It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either.

Likewise, the IMF has been forced to admit that its basic guidelines were fictitious from the beginning. A central core has been to enforce payment of official inter-government debt by withholding IMF credit from countries under default. This rule was instituted at a time when most official inter-government debt was owed to the United States. But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid.

It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. Europe has taken notice that its own international monetary trade and financial linkages are in danger of attracting U.S. anger. This became clear last autumn at the funeral for George H. W. Bush, when the EU's diplomat found himself downgraded to the end of the list to be called to his seat. He was told that the U.S. no longer considers the EU an entity in good standing. In December, "Mike Pompeo gave a speech on Europe in Brussels -- his first, and eagerly awaited -- in which he extolled the virtues of nationalism, criticised multilateralism and the EU, and said that "international bodies" which constrain national sovereignty "must be reformed or eliminated." [5]

Most of the above events have made the news in just one day, January 31, 2019. The conjunction of U.S. moves on so many fronts, against Venezuela, Iran and Europe (not to mention China and the trade threats and moves against Huawei also erupting today) looks like this will be a year of global fracture.

It is not all President Trump's doing, of course. We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Instead of applauding democracy when foreign countries do not elect a leader approved by U.S. diplomats (whether it is Allende or Maduro), they've let the mask fall and shown themselves to be the leading New Cold War imperialists. It's now out in the open. They would make Venezuela the new Pinochet-era Chile. Trump is not alone in supporting Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi terrorists acting, as Lyndon Johnson put it, "Bastards, but they're our bastards."

Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen's French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.

The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me. It took a colossal level of arrogance, short-sightedness and lawlessness to hasten its decline -- something that only crazed Neocons like John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo could deliver for Donald Trump.

Footnotes

[1] "It Can't be Fixed: Senior ICC Judge Quits in Protest of US, Turkish Meddling," January 31, 2019.

[2] Patricia Laya, Ethan Bronner and Tim Ross, "Maduro Stymied in Bid to Pull $1.2 Billion of Gold From U.K.," Bloomberg, January 25, 2019. Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe.

[3] ibid

[4] Corina Pons, Mayela Armas, "Exclusive: Venezuela plans to fly central bank gold reserves to UAE – source," Reuters, January 31, 2019.

[5] Constanze Stelzenmüller, "America's policy on Europe takes a nationalist turn," Financial Times, January 31, 2019.

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year< Jointly posted with Hudson's website


doug , February 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Yes we do. no escape? that I see

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 9:43 am

Well, if the StormTrumpers can tear down all the levers and institutions of international US dollar strength, perhaps they can also tear down all the institutions of Corporate Globalonial Forced Free Trade. That itself may BE our escape . . . if there are enough millions of Americans who have turned their regionalocal zones of habitation into economically and politically armor-plated Transition Towns, Power-Down Zones, etc. People and places like that may be able to crawl up out of the rubble and grow and defend little zones of semi-subsistence survival-economics.

If enough millions of Americans have created enough such zones, they might be able to link up with eachother to offer hope of a movement to make America in general a semi-autarchik, semi-secluded and isolated National Survival Economy . . . . much smaller than today, perhaps likelier to survive the various coming ecosystemic crash-cramdowns, and no longer interested in leading or dominating a world that we would no longer have the power to lead or dominate.

We could put an end to American Exceptionalism. We could lay this burden down. We could become American Okayness Ordinarians. Make America an okay place for ordinary Americans to live in.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

I read somewhere that the Czarist Imperial Army had a saying . . . "Quantity has a Quality all its own".

... ... ...

Cal2 , February 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Drumlin,

If Populists, I assume that's what you mean by "Storm Troopers", offer me M4A and revitalized local economies, and deliver them, they have my support and more power to them.

That's why Trump was elected, his promises, not yet delivered, were closer to that then the Democrats' promises. If the Democrats promised those things and delivered, then they would have my support.

If the Democrats run a candidate, who has a no track record of delivering such things, we stay home on election day. Trump can have it, because it won't be any worse.

I don't give a damn about "social issues." Economics, health care and avoiding WWIII are what motivates my votes, and I think more and more people are going to vote the same way.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Good point about Populist versus StormTrumper. ( And by the way, I said StormTRUMper, not StormTROOper). I wasn't thinking of the Populists. I was thinking of the neo-etc. vandals and arsonists who want us to invade Venezuela, leave the JCPOA with Iran, etc. Those are the people who will finally drive the other-country governments into creating their own parallel payment systems, etc.

And the midpoint of those efforts will leave wreckage and rubble for us to crawl up out of. But we will have a chance to crawl up out of it.

My reason for voting for Trump was mainly to stop the Evil Clinton from getting elected and to reduce the chance of near immediate thermonuclear war with Russia and to save the Assad regime in Syria from Clintonian overthrow and replacement with an Islamic Emirate of Jihadistan.

Much of what will be attempted " in Trump's name" will be de-regulationism of all kinds delivered by the sorts of basic Republicans selected for the various agencies and departments by Pence and Moore and the Koch Brothers. I doubt the Populist Voters wanted the Koch-Pence agenda. But that was a risky tradeoff in return for keeping Clinton out of office.

The only Dems who would seek what you want are Sanders or maybe Gabbard or just barely Warren. The others would all be Clinton or Obama all over again.

Quanka , February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

I couldn't really find any details about the new INSTEX system – have you got any good links to brush up on? I know they made an announcement yesterday but how long until the new payment system is operational?

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Here is a bit more info on it but Trump is already threatening Europe if they use it. That should cause them to respect him more:

https://www.dw.com/en/instex-europe-sets-up-transactions-channel-with-iran/a-47303580

LP , February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

The NYT and other have coverage.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/world/europe/europe-trade-iran-nuclear-deal.amp.html

Louis Fyne , February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

arguably wouldn't it be better if for USD hegemony to be dismantled? A strong USD hurts US exports, subsidizes American consumption (by making commodities cheaper in relative terms), makes international trade (aka a 8,000-mile+ supply chain) easier.

For the sake of the environment, you want less of all three. Though obviously I don't like the idea of expensive gasoline, natural gas or tube socks either.

Mel , February 1, 2019 at 9:18 am

It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence.

Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change.

What this change would consist of, and how it would manifest, remained an open question. Would he pursue rapprochement with Russia and pull troops out of the Middle East as he claimed to want to do during his 2016 campaign, would he doggedly pursue corruption charges against Clinton and attempt to reform the FBI and CIA, or would he do both, neither, or something else entirely?

Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times.

James , February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. Whether or not he ever had or has a coherent plan for the havoc he has wrought, he has certainly been the agent for change many of us hoped he would be, in stark contrast to the criminal duopoly parties who continue to oppose him, where the daily no news is always bad news all the same. To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Look on some bright sides. Here is just one bright side to look on. President Trump has delayed and denied the Clinton Plan to topple Assad just long enough that Russia has been able to help Assad preserve legitimate government in most of Syria and defeat the Clinton's-choice jihadis.

That is a positive good. Unless you are pro-jihadi.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Clinton wasn't going to "benefit the greater good" either, and a very strong argument, based on her past behavior, can be made that she represented the greater threat. Given that the choice was between her and Trump, I think voters made the right decision.

Stephen Gardner , February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

Excellent article but I believe the expression is "cui bono": who benefits.

hemeantwell , February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am

Hudson's done us a service in pulling these threads together. I'd missed the threats against the ICC judges. One question: is it possible for INSTEX-like arrangements to function secretly? What is to be gained by announcing them publicly and drawing the expected attacks? Does that help sharpen conflicts, and to what end?

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

Maybe they're done in secret already – who knows? The point of doing it publicly is to make a foreign-policy impact, in this case withdrawing power from the US. It's a Declaration of Independence.

whine country , February 1, 2019 at 9:15 am

It certainly seems as though the 90 percent (plus) are an afterthought in this journey to who knows where? Like George C.Scott said while playing Patton, "The whole world at economic war and I'm not part of it. God will not let this happen." Looks like we're on the Brexit track (without the vote). The elite argue with themselves and we just sit and watch. It appears to me that the elite just do not have the ability to contemplate things beyond their own narrow self interest. We are all deplorables now.

a different chris , February 1, 2019 at 9:30 am

Unfortunately this

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected

Is not supported by this (or really the rest of the article). The past tense here, for example, is unwarranted:

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy.

And this

So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

Doesn't show Germany as breaking free at all, and worse it is followed by the pregnant

But then came Venezuela.

Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually.

So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 11:22 am

"So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change."

I'm surprised more people aren't recognizing this. I read the article waiting in vain for some evidence of "the end of our monetary imperialism" besides some 'grumbling and foot dragging' as you aptly put it. There was some glimmer of a buried lede with INTEX, created to get around U.S. sanctions against Iran ─ hardly a 'dam-breaking'. Washington is on record as being annoyed.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. World bond market flows are 10X the size of world stock market flows even though the price of the Dow and Facebook shares etc get all of the headlines.

And foreign exchange flows are 10-50X the flows of bond markets, they're currently on the order of $5 *trillion* per day. And since forex is almost completely unregulated it's quite difficult to get the data and spot reserve currency trends. Oh, and buy gold. It's the only currency that requires no counterparty and is no one's debt obligation.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm

That's not what Hudson claims in his swaggering final sentence:

"The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me."

Which is risible as not only did he fail to show anything of the kind, his opening sentence stated a completely different reality: "The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected" So if we hold him to his first declaration, his evidence is feeble, as I mentioned. As a scholar, his hyperbole is untrustworthy.

No, gold is pretty enough lying on the bosom of a lady-friend but that's about its only usefulness in the real world.

skippy , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Always bemusing that gold bugs never talk about gold being in a bubble . yet when it goes south of its purchase price speak in tongues about ev'bal forces.

timbers , February 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I don't agree, and do agree. The distinction is this:

If you fix a few of Hudson's errors, and take him as making the point that USD is losing it's hegemony, IMO he is basically correct.

Brian (another one they call) , February 1, 2019 at 9:56 am

thanks Mr. Hudson. One has to wonder what has happened when the government (for decades) has been shown to be morally and otherwise corrupt and self serving. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but the people, and precious few of them. Was it our financial and legal bankruptcy that sent us over the cliff?

Steven , February 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

Great stuff!

Indeed! It is to say the least encouraging to see Dr. Hudson return so forcefully to the theme of 'monetary imperialism'. I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. You can find any number of articles on his web site that return periodically to the theme of monetary imperialism. I remember one in particular that described how the rest of the world was brought on board to help pay for its good old-fashioned military imperialism.

If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing.

Until the US returns to the path of genuine wealth creation, it is past time for the rest of the world to go its own way with its banking and financial institutions.

Oh , February 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm

The use of the stick will only go so far. What's the USG going to do if they refuse?

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3.

Yikes , February 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm

UK withholding Gold may start another Brexit? IE: funds/gold held by BOE for other countries in Africa, Asian, South America, and the "stans" with start to depart, slowly at first, perhaps for Switzerland?

Ian Perkins , February 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Where is the left in all this? Pretty much the same place as Michael Hudson, I'd say. Where is the US Democratic Party in all this? Quite a different question, and quite a different answer. So far as I can see, the Democrats for years have bombed, invaded and plundered other countries 'for their own good'. Republicans do it 'for the good of America', by which the ignoramuses mean the USA. If you're on the receiving end, it doesn't make much difference.

Michael A Gualario , February 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Agreed! South America intervention and regime change, Syria ( Trump is pulling out), Iraq, Middle East meddling, all predate Trump. Bush, Clinton and Obama have nothing to do with any of this.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

" So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. "

What proof is there that the gold is still there? Chances are it's notional. All Germany, Venezuela, or the others have is an IOU – and gold cannot be printed. Incidentally, this whole discussion means that gold is still money and the gold standard still exists.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Wukchumni beat me to the suspicion that the gold isn't there.

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm

What makes you think that the gold in Fort Knox is still there? If I remember right, there was a Potemkin visit back in the 70s to assure everyone that the gold was still there but not since then. Wait, I tell a lie. There was another visit about two years ago but look who was involved in that visit-

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/after-40-years-fort-knox-opens-vault-to-civilians/466441331

And I should mention that it was in the 90s that between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were manufactured in the US under Clinton. Since then gold-coated tungsten bars have turned up in places like Germany, China, Ethiopia, the UK, etc so who is to say if those gold bars in Fort Knox are gold all the way through either. More on this at -- http://viewzone2.com/fakegoldx.html

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

A non-accountable standard. It's more obvious BS than what is going on now.

jochen , February 2, 2019 at 6:46 am

It wasn't last year that Germany brought back its Gold. It has been ongoing since 2013, after some political and popular pressure build up. They finished the transaction in 2017. According to an article in Handelblatt (but it was widely reported back then) they brought back pretty much everything they had in Paris (347t), left what they had in London (perhaps they should have done it in reverse) and took home another 300t from the NY Fed. That still leaves 1236t in NY. But half of their Gold (1710t) is now in Frankfurt. That is 50% of the Bundesbanks holdings.

They made a point in saying that every bar was checked and weighed and presented some bars in Frankfurt. I guess they didn't melt them for assaying, but I'd expect them to be smart enough to check the density.

Their reason to keep Gold in NY and London is to quickly buy USD in case of a crisis. That's pretty much a cold war plan, but that's what they do right now.

Regarding Michal Hudsons piece, I enjoyed reading through this one. He tends to write ridiculously long articles and in the last few years with less time and motivation at hand I've skipped most of his texts on NC as they just drag on.

When I'm truly fascinated I like well written, long articles but somehow he lost me at some point. But I noticed that some long original articles in US magazines, probably research for a long time by the journalist, can just drag on for ever as well I just tune out.

Susan the Other , February 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

This is making sense. I would guess that tearing up the old system is totally deliberate. It wasn't working so well for us because we had to practice too much social austerity, which we have tried to impose on the EU as well, just to stabilize "king dollar" – otherwise spread so thin it was a pending catastrophe.

Now we can get out from under being the reserve currency – the currency that maintains its value by financial manipulation and military bullying domestic deprivation. To replace this old power trip we are now going to mainline oil. The dollar will become a true petro dollar because we are going to commandeer every oil resource not already nailed down.

When we partnered with SA in Aramco and the then petro dollar the dollar was only backed by our military. If we start monopolizing oil, the actual commodity, the dollar will be an apex competitor currency without all the foreign military obligations which will allow greater competitive advantages.

No? I'm looking at PdVSA, PEMEX and the new "Energy Hub for the Eastern Mediterranean" and other places not yet made public. It looks like a power play to me, not a hapless goofball president at all.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 2:44 am

So sand people with sociological attachment to the OT is a compelling argument based on antiquarian preferences with authoritarian patriarchal tendencies for their non renewable resource . after I might add it was deemed a strategic concern after WWII .

Considering the broader geopolitical realities I would drain all the gold reserves to zero if it was on offer . here natives have some shiny beads for allowing us to resource extract we call this a good trade you maximize your utility as I do mine .

Hay its like not having to run C-corp compounds with western 60s – 70s esthetics and letting the locals play serf, blow back pay back, and now the installed local chiefs can own the risk and refocus the attention away from the real antagonists.

ChrisAtRU , February 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Indeed. Thanks so much for this. Maybe the RICS will get serious now – can no longer include Brazil with Bolsonaro. There needs to be an alternate system or systems in place, and to see US Imperialism so so blatantly and bluntly by Trump admin – "US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets" – should sound sirens on every continent and especially in the developing world. I too hope there will be fracture to the point of breakage. Countries of the world outside the US/EU/UK/Canada/Australia confraternity must now unite to provide a permanent framework outside the control of imperial interests. The be clear, this must not default to alternative forms of imperialism germinating by the likes of China.

mikef , February 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

" such criticism can't begin to take in the full scope of the damage the Trump White House is inflicting on the system of global power Washington built and carefully maintained over those 70 years. Indeed, American leaders have been on top of the world for so long that they no longer remember how they got there.

Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176373/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_tweeting_while_rome_burns

Rajesh K , February 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm

I read something like this and I am like, some of these statements need to be qualified. Like: "Driving China and Russia together". Like where's the proof? Is Xi playing telephone games more often now with Putin? I look at those two and all I see are two egocentric people who might sometimes say the right things but in general do not like the share the spotlight. Let's say they get together to face America and for some reason the later gets "defeated", it's not as if they'll kumbaya together into the night.

This website often points out the difficulties in implementing new banking IT initiatives. Ok, so Europe has a new "payment system". Has it been tested thoroughly? I would expect a couple of weeks or even months of chaos if it's not been tested, and if it's thorough that probably just means that it's in use right i.e. all the kinks have been worked out. In that case the transition is already happening anyway. But then the next crisis arrives and then everyone would need their dollar swap lines again which probably needs to cleared through SWIFT or something.

Anyway, does this all mean that one day we'll wake up and a slice of bacon is 50 bucks as opposed to the usual 1 dollar?

Keith Newman , February 2, 2019 at 1:12 am

Driving Russia and China together is correct. I recall them signing a variety of economic and military agreement a few years ago. It was covered in the media. You should at least google an issue before making silly comments. You might start with the report of Russia and China signing 30 cooperation agreements three years ago. See https://www.rbth.com/international/2016/06/27/russia-china-sign-30-cooperation-agreements_606505 . There are lots and lots of others.

RBHoughton , February 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run.

Whilst the far right factions fight over the rudder the only new game in town is AOC, Sanders, Warren, et al which Trumps supporters hate with Ideological purity.

/lasse , February 2, 2019 at 7:50 am

Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners.

On a household level it fits, but there no "loser" household that in infinity can print money that the "winners" can accumulate in exchange for their resources and fruits of labor.

One wonder what are Trumps idea of US being a winner in trade (surplus)? I.e. sending away their resources and fruits of labor overseas in exchange for what? A pile of USD? That US in the first place created out of thin air. Or Chinese Yuan, Euros, Turkish liras? Also fiat-money. Or does he think US trade surplus should be paid in gold?

When the US political and economic hegemony will unravel it will come "unexpected". Trump for sure are undermining it with his megalomaniac ignorance. But not sure it's imminent.

Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap.

On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

When the delusion takes hold, it is the beginning of the end.

The British Empire will last forever
The thousand year Reich
American exceptionalism

As soon as the bankers thought they thought they were "Master of the Universe" you knew 2008 was coming. The delusion had taken hold.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:45 am

Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT.

This is the US (46.30 mins.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg

The trade deficit required a large Government deficit to cover it and the US government could just create the money to cover it.

Then ideological neoliberals came in wanting balanced budgets and not realising the Government deficit covered the trade deficit.

The US has been destabilising its own economy by reducing the Government deficit. Bill Clinton didn't realize a Government surplus is an indicator a financial crisis is about to hit. The last US Government surplus occurred in 1927 – 1930, they go hand-in-hand with financial crises.

Richard Koo shows the graph central bankers use and it's the flow of funds within the economy, which sums to zero (32-34 mins.).

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

The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm

It should be remembered Bill Clinton's early meeting with Rubin, where in he was informed that wages and productivity had diverged – Rubin did not blink an eye.

[Feb 02, 2019] European Companies Won t Dare Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

Notable quotes:
"... My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought. ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

European Companies "Won't Dare" Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/02/2019 - 09:55 32 SHARES

The launch of INSTEX -- "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges" -- by France, Germany, and the UK this week to allow "legitimate trade" with Iran, or rather effectively sidestep US sanctions and bypass SWIFT after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year, may be too little too late to salvage the Iran nuclear deal .

Tehran will only immediately press that more than just the current "limited humanitarian" and medical goods can be purchased on the system, in accordance with fulfilling the EU's end of the 2015 JCPOA -- something which EU officials have promised while saying INSTEX will be "expansive" -- while European companies will likely continue to stay away for fear of retribution from Washington, which has stated it's "closely following" reports of the payment vehicle while reiterating attempts to sidestep sanctions will "risk severe consequences" .

As a couple of prominent Iranian academics told Al Jazeera this week: "If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran ," said political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran's leaders: "I don't think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump's threat," and continued, "The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

But Iranian leadership welcomed the new mechanism as merely a small first step: "It is a first step taken by the European side... We hope it will cover all goods and items," Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal.

The European side also acknowledged it as a precondition to keeping the nuclear deal alive, which EU leaders sea as vital to their security and strategic interests : "We're making clear that we didn't just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we're creating a possibility to conduct business transactions," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Thursday . "This is a precondition for us to meet the obligations we entered into in order to demand from Iran that it doesn't begin military uranium enrichment," Maas said.

What is INSTEX?

Technically US sanctions allow some limited humanitarian trade and limited goods; however the White House's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran has still scared away European giants like Seimens, Maersk, Total, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault, and others.

This brings up the central question of whether skittish European countries will actually return to doing business with Iran, the entire purpose on which the new mechanism rests. The dilemma was summarized at the start of this week by outspoken Iran hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who told the AP "The choice is whether to do business with Iran or the United States." He warned, "I hope our European allies choose wisely."

Thus far a number of analysts and observers have remained far less optimistic than the European sponsors of INSTEX. One particular interview with geopolitical analyst and journalist Luc Rivet, cited in Russian media, outlines the likelihood for failure of the new payment vehicle : "I don't know what companies will make use of that mechanism to sell to Iran," Rivet said, noting that countries still consider it "dangerous" to be caught working with Iran.

Addressing the current restriction of INSTEX facilitating medical and pharmaceutical goods transactions, he continued:

Who produces this equipment? You think that Siemens will sell to Iran? Never, because they sell to America many other things as well And Siemens is afraid of losing the American market.

No matter if a handful of companies resume or continue business with Iran he explained that an "incredible number of companies" won't. He added: "It's much easier for Chinese and Russian companies to make deals with Iran. The Europeans are scared in an incredible way. The companies are afraid by ricochet of being in the eye of the storm with the Americans."

He concluded, "That's very dangerous for European companies," and repeated, "I don't know anybody who will dare to go with this Instex system."

And the New York Times in asking the same question -- But Will Anyone Use It? -- concludes similarly that "given that most large companies have significant business in the United States, very few -- if any -- are likely to use the trading mechanism for fear of incurring Washington's wrath."

However, the test will be whether or not a steady trickle of small companies gives way to bigger companies. The NYT report continues :

But the financial mechanism could make it easier for smaller companies with no exposure in the United States to trade with Iran and could promote trade in medicine and food, which are not subject to sanctions. European diplomats say that, in the beginning, the concentration will be on goods that are permitted by Washington, to avoid an early confrontation .

But much could also depend on just how fierce the White House reaction will be. If the past months' Trump administration rhetoric is any indicator, it will keep large companies scared and on the sidelines.


CarmenSandiego , 8 minutes ago link

This is the first step? then a independent military? Without asking money bosses in the USA?

alter , 34 minutes ago link

Europe has had double the tariffs on American cars than we had for theirs. It's time for us to quadruple the tariff on European cars, to make up for the tariff imbalance that Europe has taken advantage of for decades.

schroedingersrat , 1 hour ago link

Multinationals surely wont use it. But its great for small businesses.

Wantoknow , 1 hour ago link

Before World War II the question was, "Who will stand up to the demands of Germany?" Now the question is, "Who will stand up to the demands of the United States?" It is clear that as far as means and methods are concerned Washington flies the swastika. History has come full circle.

The following quote from J. R. R. Tolkien makes the point, "Always after a defeat and a respite," says Gandalf, "the shadow takes another shape and grows again." The irony of our times is that the shadow has moved from Germany to the US.

Consternation and craven refusal to confront the reality of our times is again in vogue. We are walking towards madness crying, "Let the other fellow fix this!"

Good Luck

ExpatNL , 1 hour ago link

My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought.

Einstein101 , 1 hour ago link

"The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

So Iran is "running out of patience"? So what, what Iran will do? ...

[Jan 29, 2019] For all practical purposes Communism never existed – and probably never will. Only Socialism existed in one form or another in few dozen countries. Hitler attacking Russia because they were communist is like US attacking France because they are capitalists. Total propaganda BS on the part of the Nazis – calling themselves Socialists .

Notable quotes:
"... Those who really, really didn't want socialism, thought that it would be a great idea to fake it – so people won't miss it so much. Prime examples of this great idea – fake it, so hopefully you won't have to make it – are Nazi Germany and currently – the greatest democracy. ..."
Dec 17, 2018 | www.unz.com
Cyrano , December 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm GMT

Marks **** s Hitler, but Hitler was pretty good at *** ing Marks too. Listen to this logic: The party that Hitler belonged to, was called National-Socialist, yet he hated communist and attacked Russia.

Communism and socialism are the same. There never was communism – that's what they were "aspiring" to become in some distant utopian future. So Hitler attacking Russia because they were communist is like US attacking France because they are capitalists. Total propaganda BS on the part of the Nazis – calling themselves "Socialists".

The whole last century has been spent on one major task by the west: Combat socialism. Mainly by wars, but propaganda also. And yet, socialism refuses to die. And the idea will never die. I know, someone will say, where have you been in the last almost 30 years? Capitalism defeated socialism in the cold war. Not so fast. Capitalism may have scored a major victory but it may have sustained a mortal self-inflicted wound of propaganda nature. In the last 100 years 3 major ways to fight socialism domestically were discovered:

FDR approach – include little bit of socialism into capitalism, to prevent a lot of socialism (total takeover). Nazi Germany approach – include none of socialism, but only use its name for propaganda and pretend that all is hunky-dory, and that "socialism" is already here. US approach – include a little bit of fake socialism in order to prevent a lot of real socialism from taking over. That's how multiculturalism came into being.

Again, I must say that the best approach was FDR's. If capitalism wants to survive – that's the way to go. Despite all the numerous wars against socialist countries, US haven't been able to erase the idea of socialism like they were hoping for.

If you want proof of this, just look at the last US election. Along comes Bernie Sanders, just mentions the name socialism few times – claiming himself to be one – socialist, and wins the primaries, only to be robbed by the Democratic mafia bosses who couldn't stand the idea of "socialist" running for president – after all the US has done to destroy socialism.

By the way, I think that Bernie is a good guy, but he is probably as much socialist as Adolf used to be. It still demonstrates the power of the socialist idea to attract people. Pretty clever propaganda ploy on Bernie's part, but there was no chance in hell the "democrats" would let him run for president on that platform.

And he would have defeated Trump. Talking about exercise in futility – US trying to erase the idea of socialism. That's what made them inflict the mortal wound of fake socialism on themselves and might in the end destroy them. FDR approach was the best – little bit of socialism to prevent a lot of it.

The other 2 ideas are self-destructive.

Kratoklastes , says: December 18, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT

@Cyrano

Communism and socialism are the same.

How about " Nope ". Communism is an end ; Socialism is a means that Marx considered the most likely to enable the end-point to be achieved. It's akin to saying that a mall (the end) and a car (the means) are "the same thing", on the basis that a car is an efficient way to get to the mall.

To flesh it out: Communism is explicitly anarchic, and is mainly characterised by

This all seems slightly silly when you write it down, so Marx recognised that there had to be a ' radical transformation of consciousness ' whereby people didn't want what they couldn't have.

He reckoned that the best way was to entrust an enlightened clique (the ' vanguard of the proletariat ') to take control, and to force society towards the 'end' by coercion – until such time as the end was in sight, whereupon the enlightened vanguard would relinquish control and society would be on a glide path to utopia.

And doing that specifically requires that the 'vanguard' controls production and allocation decisions during the transition – which he thought (wrongly) means that the means of production must be owned by the State.

Hence Socialism.

His end is correct so long as you add one adjective. A society free of artificial stratification is a desirable end. His means were totally wrong because he was a fucking idiot (as well as being a parasitic charlatan). The State would not relinquish control under any circumstances, and will actively undermine any mechanism that raises everyone (because that would narrow the gap between the political class and the demos can't have that).

A society free of artificial stratification is where we will end up once technological progress gets past its next 'knee' (' The Singularity ') it would be hastened if the parasites in the global political class are put to the sword.

Cyrano , says: December 18, 2018 at 12:47 am GMT
@Kratoklastes

I don't think you understood my argument here. You are correct. Socialism and Communism are not the same in philosophical sense. My argument was that for all practical purposes Communism never existed – and probably never will. Only Socialism existed in one form or another in few dozen countries.

Those who really, really didn't want socialism, thought that it would be a great idea to fake it – so people won't miss it so much. Prime examples of this great idea – fake it, so hopefully you won't have to make it – are Nazi Germany and currently – the greatest democracy.

[Jan 29, 2019] Beijing Slams Politically Motivated Huawei Indictment

Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Beijing Slams "Politically Motivated" Huawei Indictment

by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/29/2019 - 07:30 31 SHARES

Since the US successfully convinced Canada to arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the telecoms giant's founder, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other US officials have insisted that the Huawei issue is "separate" from trade talks with China. But it's becoming increasingly clear that that's not really the case, and that the Chinese certainly don't agree.

On Monday, the US filed a series of indictments against Huawei and Meng on allegations ranging from technology theft, to obstruction of justice to bank fraud, the latest step in the US's push to drive the telecoms giant and 5G leader out of Western markets - a campaign that has already yielded some success, given that New Zealand and Australia have already banned Huawei equipment and European countries including Germany and the Netherlands are considering similar steps.

But in its response to the charges, which likely foreshadow an outright ban from US markets for Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms giant ZTE, a spokesman in Beijing denied the charges against Huawei and blamed them on political motivations, the BBC reported. The denial from Beijing is ironic, considering that Huawei has countered accusations levied by the US that it cooperates with Chinese by insisting that it is independent from the state.

At a briefing in Beijing, government spokesperson Geng Shuang said there were "political motivations" behind US attempts to "smear and suppress certain Chinese companies."

"We urge them to treat Chinese enterprises in a fair and just way."

The spokesman added that allegations of technology theft had already been settled back in 2014 during a civil case brought by T-Mobile, which had accused Huawei engineers of stealing 'Tappy', a robot designed by the company to mimicked the movements of human fingers to test phones.

All told, the US laid out 23 charges against the company. During a press conference, FBI Director Wray said Huawei posed a dual threat against the US - both economic and national security-related.

In a statement from the company, Huawei said it was "disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company today," and added that it didn't commit "any of the asserted violations" and that it "is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng."

Here's the full statement, courtesy of Bloomberg:

"Huawei is disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company today. After Ms. Meng's arrest, the Company sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation. The allegations in the Western District of Washington trade secret indictment were already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim. The Company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion."

Hu Xijin, the editor of the English-language Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times insinuated that the US's crackdown on Huawei has been motivated by the inability of US companies' to compete with Huawei's 5G network technology...

me title=

...Prompting hedge fund investors and noted China bear Kyle Bass to chortle about GT's portrayal of China as a victim.

me title=

The charges against Huawei follow a series of indictments brought by the DOJ against alleged hackers and others accused of aiding Chinese intelligence services. Meanwhile, the US is expected to formally lodge an extradition request for Meng by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Huawei's CFO "should not be a hostage" in Sino-U.S. relations, her lawyer said on Tuesday, after the United States announced criminal charges against herself and the Chinese firm just days before crunch trade talks with Beijing.

Meng's lawyer Reid Weingarten, partner at Steptoe & Johnson, pointed to "complex" Sino-U.S. relations. " Our client, Sabrina Meng, should not be a pawn or a hostage in this relationship. Ms. Meng is an ethical and honorable businesswoman who has never spent a second of her life plotting to violate any U.S. law, including the Iranian sanctions."

Though IP theft is one of the main allegations against Huawei, and also represents one of the biggest sticking points in the ongoing trade spat with Beijing, we imagine that this won't in any way impact the "very, very important" trade talks taking place in Washington this week.

Show 134 Comments

[Jan 29, 2019] Huawei CFO's Lawyer Accuses US Of Hostage Taking After DOJ Indictment

Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Huawei CFO's Lawyer Accuses US Of "Hostage Taking" After DOJ Indictment

by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:22 26 SHARES

With the US reportedly preparing to formally request the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou following a series of indictments against Meng and the telecoms giant that her father founded, her lawyers are stepping up their rhetoric, accusing the US of "hostage-taking" and using Meng as a political "pawn".

According to Reuters , Meng's lawyer said Tuesday that the Huawei's CFO "should not be a hostage" to Sino-US relations. The remarks come ahead of trade talks between President Trump and a coterie of his senior trade officials, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He leading a delegation on the Chinese side.

Her lawyer Reid Weingarten, partner at Steptoe & Johnson, pointed to "complex" Sino-U.S. relations. "Our client, Sabrina Meng, should not be a pawn or a hostage in this relationship. Ms. Meng is an ethical and honorable businesswoman who has never spent a second of her life plotting to violate any U.S. law, including the Iranian sanctions." Huawei said it had sought to discuss the charges with U.S. authorities "but the request was rejected without explanation." It said it "denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations" and "is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng." China's foreign ministry urged the United States drop the arrest warrant and end "unreasonable suppression" of Chinese companies. Spokesman Geng Shuang also said China had issued stern representations to both Canada and the United States after the U.S. formally issued its extradition request for Meng.

Now that the charges have been filed, Canadian authorities have 30 days to decide whether they will proceed with the request and refer the case to the Supreme Court in British Columbia, where a hearing will be held. The whole process could take weeks or months.

Despite US officials' insistence that the charges against Huawei are "wholly separate" and won't impact the trade talks, Reuters reported that it's almost inevitable that the US's efforts against Huawei will factor into Beijing's calculus. And given President Trump's claim that he would be willing to intervene in the case if it means striking a trade deal with China, Beijing may expect that he might make good on this promise.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Monday that the alleged criminal activity at Huawei "goes back at least 10 years and goes all the way to the top of the company." Meng has been accused of misleading banks about the relationship between Huawei and a subsidiary that sought to sell goods in Iran.

[Jan 29, 2019] US steps up offensive against China with more "hacking charges" by Mike Head

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Sections of the Chinese regime responded belligerently to the accusations. An editorial in the state-owned Global Times ..."
"... The editorial asked: "Assuming China is so powerful that it has stolen technological information for over a decade that is supposedly worth over a trillion in intellectual property, as the US has indicated, then how is it that China still lags behind the US in so many fields, from chips to electric vehicles, and even aviation engines?" ..."
Dec 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Further escalating its economic and strategic offensive to block China from ever challenging its post-World War II hegemony, the US government yesterday unveiled its fifth set of economic espionage charges against Chinese individuals since September.

As part of an internationally-coordinated operation, the US Justice Department on Thursday published indictments of two Chinese men who had allegedly accessed confidential commercial data from US government agencies and corporate computers in 12 countries for more than a decade.

The announcement represents a major intensification of the US ruling class's confrontation against China, amid a constant build-up of unsubstantiated allegations against Beijing by both the Republican and Democrat wings of Washington's political establishment.

Via salacious allegations of "hacking" on a "vast scale," every effort is being made by the ruling elite and its media mouthpieces to whip up anti-China hysteria.

The indictment's release was clearly politically timed. It was accompanied by a global campaign by the US and its allies, accusing the Chinese government of an illegal cyber theft operation to damage their economies and supplant the US as the world's "leading superpower."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen immediately issued a statement accusing China of directing "a very real threat to the economic competitiveness of companies in the United States and around the globe."

Within hours, US allies around the world put out matching statements, joined by declarations of confected alarm by their own cyber-warfare and hacking agencies.

The Washington Post called it "an unprecedented mass effort to call out China for its alleged malign acts." The coordination "represents a growing consensus that Beijing is flouting international norms in its bid to become the world's predominant economic and technological power."

The Australian government, the closest ally of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, was in the forefront. Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton explicitly accused the Chinese government and its Ministry of State Security (MSS) of being responsible for "a global campaign of cyber-enabled commercial intellectual property theft."

Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, called the Chinese cyber campaign "shocking and outrageous." Such pronouncements, quickly emblazoned in media headlines around the world, destroy any possibility of anything resembling a fair trial if the two men, named as Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, are ever detained by US agencies and brought before a court.

The charges themselves are vaguely defined. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused the men of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Zhu and Zhang acted "in association with" the MSS, as part of a hacking squad supposedly named "APT1o" or "Stone Panda," the indictment said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray called a news conference to issue another inflammatory statement against China. Pointing to the real motivations behind the indictments, he declared: "China's goal, simply put, is to replace the US as the world's leading superpower, and they're using illegal methods to get there."

Coming from the head of the US internal intelligence agency, this further indicates the kinds of discussions and planning underway within the highest echelons of the US political and military-intelligence apparatus to prepare the country, ideologically and militarily, for war against China.

Washington is determined to block President Xi Jinping's "Made in China 2025" program that aims to ensure China is globally competitive in hi-tech sectors such as robotics and chip manufacture, as well as Beijing's massive infrastructure plans, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, to link China with Europe across Eurasia.

The US ruling class regards these Chinese ambitions as existential threats because, if successful, they would undermine the strategic position of US imperialism globally, and the economic dominance of key American corporations.

Yesterday's announcement seemed timed to fuel tensions between Washington and Beijing, after the unprecedented December 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, in Canada at the request of the US.

Last weekend, US Vice President Mike Pence again accused China of "intellectual property theft." These provocations came just weeks after the US and Chinese administrations agreed to talks aimed at resolving the tariff and trade war launched by US President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration is demanding structural changes to China's state-led economic model, greater Chinese purchases of American farm and industrial products and a halt to "coercive" joint-venture licensing terms. These demands would severely undermine the "Made in China 2025" program.

Since September, US authorities have brought forward five sets of espionage allegations. In late October, the Justice Department unsealed charges against 10 alleged Chinese spies accused of conspiring to steal sensitive commercial secrets from US and European companies.

Earlier in October, the US government disclosed another unprecedented operation, designed to produce a show trial in America. It revealed that a Chinese citizen, accused of being an intelligence official, had been arrested in Belgium and extradited on charges of conspiring to commit "economic espionage" and steal trade secrets.

The extradition was announced days after the Pentagon released a 146-page document, titled "Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States," which made clear Washington is preparing for a total war effort against both China and Russia.

Trump, Pence and Wray then all declared China to be the greatest threat to America's economic and military security. Trump accused China of interfering in the US mid-term elections in a bid to remove him from office. In a speech, Pence said Beijing was directing "its bureaucrats and businesses to obtain American intellectual property -- the foundation of our economic leadership -- by any means necessary."

Whatever the truth of the spying allegations against Chinese citizens -- and that cannot be assumed -- any such operations would hardly compare with the massive global intrigue, hacking, regime-change and military operations directed by the US agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA) and its "Five Eyes" partners.

These have been exposed thoroughly by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Leaked documents published by WikiLeaks revealed that the CIA has developed "more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other 'weaponized' malware," allowing it to seize control of devices, including Apple iPhones, Google's Android operating system, devices running Microsoft Windows, smart TVs and possibly the control of cars and trucks.

In an attempt to broaden its offensive against China, the US government said that along with the US and its Five Eyes partners, such as Britain, Canada and Australia, the countries targeted by the alleged Chinese plot included France, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland.

Chinese hackers allegedly penetrated managed services providers (MSPs) that provide cybersecurity and information technology services to government agencies and major firms. Finance, telecommunications, consumer electronics and medical companies were among those said to be targeted, along with military and US National Aeronautics and Space Administration laboratories.

Sections of the Chinese regime responded belligerently to the accusations. An editorial in the state-owned Global Times branded them "hysterical" and a warning sign of a "comprehensive" US attack on China.

The editorial asked: "Assuming China is so powerful that it has stolen technological information for over a decade that is supposedly worth over a trillion in intellectual property, as the US has indicated, then how is it that China still lags behind the US in so many fields, from chips to electric vehicles, and even aviation engines?"

The Global Times declared that "instead of adhering to a low-profile strategy, China must face these provocations and do more to safeguard national interests."

The promotion of Chinese economic and militarist nationalism by a mouthpiece of the Beijing regime is just as reactionary as the nationalist xenophobia being stoked by the ruling elite of American imperialism and its allies. The answer to the evermore open danger of war is a unified struggle by the international working class to end the outmoded capitalist profit system and nation-state divisions and establish a socialist society.

Ron Ruggieri13 hours ago

ANY rational person would think : a nation like USA TODAY which can name a different ENEMY every other week is clearly SICK, led by sociopaths. China ? Russia, Iran, North Korea ? Venezuela ? ( all fail to live up to the high moral standards of " OUR democracy " ?)
How are any of these countries a greater threat to YOU than the local Democratic or Republican party hacks ?
If YOU think that so many people hate you , would it not make sense to ask if there is perhaps something wrong with YOU ?
Lidiya17 hours ago
Imperialism means wars, as usual, Lenin was right in his polemics against Kautsky.

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 23, 2019] The wall, barrier system or whatever you want to call it presently exists on a number of sections of the border

A lot of grandstanding over a minor issue.
Jan 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Concerning the partial shutdown and and the border barriers 1 - The banks, credit unions and any other financial institutions that can lend money are missing a chance to build a lot of good will in this situation. Good will is an item that any good business plan must take into account even of it is impossible to quantify on paper. Good will leads to more customers. Businesses want to acquire more customers. The 800k federal employees now on furlough have legislated assurance that their back pay will be quickly forthcoming when the pause ends. Sooo! Make them no interest loans in the amount of their postponed pay. You will not be sorry if you do that. I don't know if that could be extended to contract employees since the contract that includes their services may not insure back pay.

2 - The wall, barrier system or whatever you want to call it presently exists on a number of sections of the border. Pelosi, Schumer and the other Democrats who prattle about the "immorality" and uselessness of physical border defenses should be asked each and every day if they want the present border barriers demolished so that anyone can cross the border whenever they want and anywhere they want. California is the destination of choice of these economic migrants. If the border barriers are taken down, there will be IMO a mass migration into what is now the United States and especially into California from Latin American and then inevitably from all over the world. Ask the Democrats, every day if they want the existing border barriers taken down, Ask them! pl


TTG , 4 hours ago

The current fight over "the wall" and funding for that wall is pure politics on both sides. We are under a partial government shutdown for the sake of a symbol. Some kind of border barrier has been in existence since the 90s and the "Secure Border Act" of 2006 called for close to 700 miles of double fence barriers. Both Republican and Democratic legislatures and presidencies have maintained and added to this fencing as well as doubling the size of the CBP. According to a December 2016 GAO report on securing the SW border, the CBP spent $2.4 billion between 2007 and 2015 to deploy tactical infrastructure (TI) - fencing, gates, roads, bridges, lighting and drainage infrastructure distributed along the entire SW border area. That includes 654 miles of fencing and 5,000 miles of roads.

A total of $1.7 billion was appropriated in FY17 and FY18 for new and replacement barriers and fences. Most of those funds have been obligated to the Corp of Engineers and much of that has been awarded to contractors. Only a small percentage (6%) has been paid out for completed contracts. The following projects account for close to half of those funds:

- In New Mexico to replace 20 miles of fencing with bollard wall for $73 million. Contract was awarded in February 2018. Construction started in April 2018 and was completed in September 2018.

- In the Rio Grande Valley to build 8 miles of 18 foot bollard wall and replace existing levee wall for $167 million to begin in February 2019.

- In Arizona to build/replace 32 miles of "primary pedestrian wall" for $324 million to begin in April 2019.

- Near San Diego to replace 14 miles of 8-10 foot metal wall/fence with 18-30 foot tall bollard wall system for $287 million to begin in July 2019.

Trump's current demand for $5.7 billion covers an additional 243 miles of fencing mostly in the Rio Grande Valley. It'll probably be 2020 before a single bollard is set from that $5.7 billion and several years after that to issue the contracts and complete the construction. Given the shortcoming in the present border fences, that $5.7 billion would be better spent on replacing the present barriers in the most needed areas rather constructing new fence in less vulnerable areas. Just to maintain and replace what we have should require close to a billion dollars a year. I say again, this current battle over $5.7 billion for "the wall" is political posturing by both sides.

The more important demand made by Trump was the $800 million to address the humanitarian crisis on the border. These funds would provide for improved care/processing of refugees/asylum seekers, 2,750 more border agents and 75 more immigration judges. In my opinion, that would be a wise expense. I think there ought to be ten times that number of new border agents/officers to better address the refugee problem (humanitarian crisis) which will probably remain for many years. Climate change is making drought, hurricanes, floods and mudslides the new normal in Central America. The farming economy in this region, which includes southern Mexico is collapsing. Local governments are dysfunctional and impotent. These people are going to migrate or die in place.

If you want to declare a national emergency, we could use eminent domain to condemn and buy a lot of farmland at cost from corporate agribusinesses and start a "40 acres and a mule" program for refugee farm families and any native American family who desire a new start.

Mark Logan -> TTG , 2 hours ago
Have to agree. Trump only asked for $1.6 billion for his wall in his 2019 budget...and got it. He then decided to have a fight, one that he was loath to have when the Republicans held the majority in the House.

IMO Pelosi and co have also decided this is a good place to have a Waterloo. This isn't a struggle for a wall it's a struggle for dominance. They await a tide of public opinion to decide it.

Eugene Owens -> TTG , 3 hours ago
A pox on both their houses!
John P. Teschke , 9 hours ago
They should shut down the whole regime. The first things to be shut down should be the myriad of bases occupying foreign soil, particularly the bases that support the destabilization of middle eastern countries. ReplyShare › Twitter Facebook
James Thomas , 9 hours ago
I am on the left and I don't have a problem with the wall. That said, if you really want to reduce illegal immigration exit controls would be more effective (and much more cost effective). I went through a whole lot of trouble to get a work visa to work legally in Poland in the late 90s - and I wouldn't have bothered if Poland didn't have exit controls. Almost every country in the world has exit controls ... except for Canada and the US.
Pat Lang Mod -> James Thomas , 7 hours ago
You need a wide variety of techniques. This will of necessity include border barriers.
EdwardAmame -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Oh cut it out. The wall is bullshit. If Trump was actually serious about illegal immigration he'd be pushing E-Verify for all US businesses to determine the eligibility of employees. But the GOP business lobby would never allow that so we get dog and pony shows like this so that Trump can act like he really means business.
Pat Lang Mod -> EdwardAmame , 14 minutes ago
Well, at last you have made a logical point. E-verify should be made mandatory. You would probably loose a lot of friends if it were. BTW, your many insulting comments today have caused me after many years to ban you.
ex-PFC Chuck , a day ago
With regard to #1 I'm not holding my breath. Fundamental to the financial sector's business model is opportunistic predation. As Michael Hudson relentlessly documents in his recently published and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year , it has been this way since money was invented in the ancient Near East over five thousand years ago. In today's world few banksters can be expected to forego invoking the fine print terms regarding the late fees and interest rate hikes, especially considering the fact the careers of the CEOs and CFOs of publicly traded companies live or die by the next quarterly earnings report.
https://amzn.to/2TfN2ht
Sadly Hudson's important book is getting little traction. He could only get this published on a print-to-order basis in spite of the fact he has about a dozen prior books to his credit. As a PtO book it will not be stocked by chain book stores.
MP98 , a day ago
They would never admit it, but of courser the Democrats want all the barriers gone and an open border.
There are approx. 22 mil. illegal aliens in this country and the Democrats want more and more.
Then they can push for amnesty (which the swamp Republicans, in their gross stupidity, will go along with) and PRESTO: 22 mil. plus entitled Democrat voters.
Who needs those redneck goober
MP98 , a day ago
They would never admit it, but of courser the Democrats want all the barriers gone and an open border.
There are approx. 22 mil. illegal aliens in this country and the Democrats want more and more.
Then they can push for amnesty (which the swamp Republicans, in their gross stupidity, will go along with) and PRESTO: 22 mil. plus entitled Democrat voters.
Who needs those redneck goober (white male)Trump voters, anyway?
Eugene Owens , 4 hours ago
http://www.hurriyetdailynew...
ex-PFC Chuck , 6 hours ago
As Philip Giraldi points out in a post a The Unz Review today, the Democratic establishment isn't opposed to walls per se. It depends on who's building it and for what purpose.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi...

RaisingMac , 7 hours ago
Pelosi, Schumer and the other Democrats who prattle about the immorality and uselessness of physical border defenses should be asked each and every day if they want the present border barriers demolished so that anyone can cross the border whenever they want and anywhere they want The wall, barrier system or whatever you want to call it presently exists on a number of sections of the border.

In honor of Sen. Chuck 'Shomer', I vote that we call our border barrier a fence , just as Israel does:

Play Hide
Pat Lang Mod -> RaisingMac , 5 hours ago
You are repeating what I wrote? Tell the Dems, not me.
Lewis.Ballard , 10 hours ago
Sir: While not directly on point, I knuckled under and signed up with Disqus simply to say how much I have appreciated this committee of correspondence over the years. Seeing your post recently about conversing with Glubb Pasha was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
Eric Newhill , 13 hours ago
IMO, we should sell coastal California to Mexico for $100 billion. Then use that money to build a wall from Oregon to Brownsville, TX. Solves two problems in one fell swoop.
It sure does seem like the lenders are missing an excellent opportunity for a nearly risk free public relations campaign as well as sales opportunities. Get these furloughed workers in the door and give them a furlough loan and then get them interested in home loans, auto loans...whatever they're qualified for. Should be a no-brainer.
Pat Lang Mod -> Eric Newhill , 11 hours ago
I would rather buy Baja California from Mexico.
peter hodges -> Pat Lang , 3 hours ago
We would still be stuck with LA and the Bay Area.
Pat Lang Mod -> peter hodges , 11 minutes ago
Why?
Stuart Wood , 16 hours ago
Trump, his wall, and the shutdown

Trump is our chief executive charged with the day to day running of the government and the proverbial "making the trains run on time" for government functions. All these functions work for him, not the legislative branch. His partial shutdown of the government reminds me of the classic film Blazing Saddles where the black sheriff, played by Cleavon Little, takes himself hostage by holding a gun to his own head to hold off a mob angry at having a black appointed sheriff for their town. It worked in the film. Let's hope it does not work in Washington.

Fred -> Stuart Wood , 14 hours ago
"This, I believe, is what the majority of the populace want." ... " his wall"
I believe that is why he won the election.
Harlan Easley -> Fred , 12 hours ago
Fred, just finished the book you recommended "A Disease in the Public Mind - Why We Fought the Civil War" by Thomas Flemming. The most balanced and fair nonfiction historical book I have read on this subject.

Also depressing because History is repeating itself. Not rhyming but repeating itself. The modern day abolitionist is convinced of their morale superiority over the deplorables. Just look at the Fake News regarding the Catholic School boys. One abolitionist said on Twitter that he wish they were dead along with their parents.

I hate the agenda of the Paul Ryan wing of the Republican Party but I hate these modern day abolitionist more since they desire to kill people just because they don't agree with their transgender, open borders anarchy, and taxes on the little guy for a Climate Change problem that doesn't exist. The Yellow Vest movement is a push back against this madness.

Instead of talking Medicare for All, jobs for everyone, prosperity, taking care of your countryman the political narrative is on bizarre subjects due to the Elite knowing Globalization is destroying huge sections of Western Civilization. The Yellow Vest have destroyed 60% of the Speed Cameras deployed to catch the little guy going 5 m.p.h. over the speed limit or running a red light that is timed to get you. It has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with raising money off the individuals who are already struggling to survive.

For the top 26 billionaires in the world to have as much wealth as the bottom 3.8 billion people in the world is barbaric. Globalization has led to drastic income inequality and the fuse is burning.

Fred -> Harlan Easley , 9 hours ago
Harlan,

Glad you read the book. I agree when you say " The modern day abolitionist is convinced of their morale superiority over the deplorables." I wrote an early piece about that existential angst of this newest generation. (Hard to believe it has already been two years.) https://turcopolier.typepad...

I think this generation is waking up to having 'been played' by the politicians. What is being missed in this latest effort to control the narrative is 1) Anti-Semitism in the Women's march which led many groups, inluding the DNC, to withdraw support. 2) A turnout that's roughly 90% lower than two years ago and a far, far cry from what was promoted. Others in random order: Unempolyment is way down. The stock market is up almost 10% since the shutdown began. Turmp is directing that the armed forces leave Syria (Afghanistan is probably next) and North Korea is making further move gestures towards actual denuclearization.

Eric Newhill -> Fred , 8 hours ago
What will be interesting to see, in the long run, is if the Democrats can keep the Hispanic vote. Being godless sodomites, the new age abolitionists are making war on Catholics and, it just so happens, that Hispanics, by and large, are serious about their Catholicism.
Pat Lang Mod -> Eric Newhill , 8 hours ago
Yes. It seems likely that the Hispanics will gradually gravitate to the GOP.
EdwardAmame -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Maybe, but not the GOP that currently exists.
Harlan Easley -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
I don't see it. California proves otherwise. Texas and Georgia have become competitive because of illegal immigrants having American born kids. The abolitionist say demography is destiny and I tend to agree. Shows how racist they are. And how much they hate white people.

I see the Republican Party becoming noncompetitive to extinct over the next 20 years. And the Democrat Party separating into 2 parties. The Progressive Wing versus the Moderate Wing. Of course it could just all burned down before then and I wouldn't be surprised. I plan to read your book next and have no doubt I will enjoy it. I've read the free excerpts you provided and enjoyed them.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if future white generations in America do not emigrate to Russia. I hate to be pessimistic but the monkey brain of man is incurable and hate runs rampant. The modern day white abolitionist will be sideline to the trailer park but they are too stupid to see it.

We need a new party in America that is for all colors of citizens and an economic populist platform along with a social justice system that is vibrant.

The Democrat Party is the most vile/racist/bigoted party in the world right now. This modern abolitionist attitude that killed many innocent Iraqi's due to no fault of their own and believes they can dictate to countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, and Russia on how to live because they are gender neutral is going to come back and destroy them. Either through a home grown movement such as the Yellow Vest or worse to all of our detriment.

Eric Newhill -> Pat Lang , 5 hours ago
Sir, It may already be happening. An NPR/PBS/Marist January poll (that's not Fox/Breitbart) shows approval of the performance of Trump among Hispanics rising from 31% to 50% since the same poll was performed just prior to the shutdown. I can't figure out if Trump is a 10th level Jedi master or if it's a case of the one eyed man being king in the land of the blind.
Pat Lang Mod -> Stuart Wood , 15 hours ago
Ah, the hostage taking meme.
EdwardAmame -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Trump says give me X number of $$s for my border wall (thought balloon over his head says "so I can get re-elected") or I shut down the gov't. What's to keep him from doing it again if the Dems cave this time?

On a side note: it's pretty appalling that you and your mostly Cuckoo bird commenters think this is the way the republic should be run. So sad what happened to this blog.

Greco , a day ago
We have Democrats like Sandy Ocasio-Cortez demanding the abolition of ICE. Is that one of so-called improvements to border security the Democrats are seeking with popular backing?

If left to their devices, the Democrats would happily do away with the border altogether. Don't take my word for it. Take the words of the two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She gave a paid, private speech in Brazil where she claimed, "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere." That's all fine and dandy, I'm sure, but oddly she didn't make that proclamation publicly on the campaign trail.

EdwardAmame -> Greco , 6 hours ago
You are so full of shit. Dems want borders and they want border security based on real experience, not a mnemonic device dreamed up by Roger Stone to focus candidate Trump on immigration issues.
Stuart Wood , a day ago
I think you are putting words in Pelosi's and the democrats mouths. I have heard of none of them espousing getting rid of the border barriers. I believe they view a wall as a dumb idea but are for other improvements for border security. This, I believe, is what the majority of the populace want.
Pat Lang Mod -> Stuart Wood , 15 hours ago
Pelosi and any number of other leading Dems have said that border barriers are immoral. The logical conclusion from those statements is that ALL border barriers are immoral. If that is their position then they should advocate removal of existing barriers. If they do not, then they are politically self serving liars.
EdwardAmame -> Pat Lang , 6 hours ago
Bullshit. She said Trump's wall is immoral. My take is that what is immoral referred to using a gov't shutdown to get it.
Stuart Wood -> Pat Lang , 13 hours ago
No. Pelosi said the wall was immoral.
Pat Lang Mod -> Stuart Wood , 11 hours ago
She made it clear that she thinks all barriers are immoral and does not differetiate between the two. Ask her.
mike2000917 -> Stuart Wood , a day ago
The walls in place currently are highly effective. Five billion would put more walls in areas focusing illegal crossers into smaller zones.

The Democrats are all but endorsing open borders. Whether it's just to thwart Trump or if they actually want no borders, the affect is the same.

EdwardAmame -> mike2000917 , 6 hours ago
Tell that to the angry ranchers along the southern Texas borders who think trump's wall is a political stunt that will ruin them economically.

There is no illegal alien southern border crisis in 2019 -- and the migrant caravan that had so many republicans freaked out ultimately wound up in Tijuana, across the wall from San Diego. Because that's where migrant families wind up, at official points of entry so they can apply for asylum.

Pat Lang Mod -> mike2000917 , 15 hours ago
Thank you for your support. Now, tell the Democrat leaders that!
Pat Lang Mod -> Stuart Wood , a day ago
They should be asked.
Britam -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Sir;
The problem with the idea of banks building 'good will' is that the financial sector, by and large, has moved on from old fashioned business models to an 'enrich the insiders at everyone else's expense' model.
My local bank that I use has signs in the lobby directing workers discommoded by the shutdown to apply at the small loan desk. I do not know what incentives are on offer, but my unpleasant experience with the bank once before does not give me much hope of the bank acting altruistically.
William K Black, who headed part of the Federal response to the 'Savings and Loan' crisis in the 1980's has called this trend the building of a "criminogenic environment."
As for the wall fiasco, I would ask Chuck and Nancy; "Who do you consider as being Americans?" Then tell them to serve that group, no one else. The last time I looked, no one had abolished the Nation State.
Thank you for your indulgence.
Barbara Ann -> Britam , 14 hours ago
But that is exactly the problem; global corporations and their lobbyists are doing their utmost to abolish the Nation State. Nation states are a PITA, from the Globalist POV. They make regulations, have borders impeding the rampant denuding of talent pools and worst of all occasionally erect trade barriers to favor their domestic industries. All of this is harmful to the corporate profits of a global business. What we are witnessing in the US and elsewhere is the push back against this drive to maximize profits at the cost of huge sections of national populations.

Trump may be a billionaire businessman with worldwide interests, but real estate is different. It employs largely local labor and is not vulnerable to 'protectionist' government policies in the same way. This is key to understanding how a billionaire like Trump can think and act so differently to the Davos club and billionaires like Bezos.

Mrm Penumathy -> Barbara Ann , 13 hours ago
Totally agree with you. What I can't understand about these politicians from the democratic party or for that matter the main stream media is if we are so internationalized then why all the this drum beating about Russia Russia since we a re all a part of the nice international group of people. Don't they have as much stake who governs in this international brotherhood?
Pat Lang Mod -> Britam , 15 hours ago
My comment on the good will issue means that I am telling them what they would be wise to do.
Bill H -> Stuart Wood , a day ago
Then that is what they should say, rather than the prattle they are currently issuing. Apparently, unlike me, you completed the mind reading class in high school.
Pat Lang Mod -> Bill H , 15 hours ago
Yes, my mind reading skills are legendary.
Bill H -> Pat Lang , 12 hours ago
My mind reading comment was actually addressed to Stuart Wood for his remark about Pelosi and company that despite their words to the contrary, "I believe they view a wall as a dumb idea but are for other improvements for border security."

[Jan 20, 2019] This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears

Notable quotes:
"... Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity. ..."
"... I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anne Jaclard , Jan 20, 2019 6:02:29 PM | link

On Integrity Initiative Endgame:

From Consortium News

It should be pointed out that the Integrity Initiative recently claimed on Twitter that some of the documents leaked in batch #4 were not theirs and had been misrepresented as part of the organisation.

It doesn't really matter, though: all that we know, anti-socialist shills writing propaganda on behalf of II (Nimmo, Cohen, Reid-Ross) have confirmed their own roles, and the Twitter account was proven to have pushed out slanderous material on Jeremy Corbyn.

Note that "misrepresented" could have referred to the inclusion of the Corbyn slide show document which was presented at but created by the II.

This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears,

-Yellow Vests
– Jill Stein
-Jeremy Corbyn
-George Galloway
-Seuams Milne
-German Left Party
-French Left Party
-French Communist Party
-Greek Communist Party
-Podemos
-Norwegian Red Party
-Norwegian Socialist Left Party
-Swedish Left Party
-Swedish Greens
-International Anti-NATO Groups
-Greyzone Project
-Julian Assange
-MintPressNews

Via

-Infiltrating Corbyn and Sanders campaigns
-Inserting propaganda anonymously into local media including the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, The Times, the Guardian, and more
-Using social media to orchestrate hate and dismissal campaigns against those mentioned above
-Hosting events for collaboration between members
-Building online "clusters" to deploy and shape discourse in the media and elsewhere

By repeating or openly collaborating with:

-Ben Nimmo
-Oz Katergi
-Anne Applebaum
-Peter Pomerantsev
-Bellingcat
-Atlantic Council
-Carole Cadwalladr
-David Aaronovitch
-Center For A Stateless Society
-PropOrNot
-Alexander Reid-Ross
-Nick Cohen
-Michael Weiss
-Jamie Fly
-Jamie Kirchick

Directed by:

-Tory Government
-NATO
-Facebook
-German Multinationals

uncle tungsten | Jan 20, 2019 6:18:59 PM | 16

Thank you Anne Jaclard @ | 14

Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity.

I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people.

[Jan 17, 2019] The function of the wall is not to block the access, but to slow it down and raise the cost of crossing for illegal immigrants. As such it has some value. Also those neoliberal Dems are eager to finance foreign wars and programs like F35 without any hesitation.

Jan 17, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

[Jan 17, 2019] I've grown very sceptical over the years about the whole issue of asylum. To me, the idea that an individual can cross a border illegally without a visa, or without even a passport, and then suddenly become quasi legal be declaring that they wish to seek asylum is a bit of a farce

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

GBM1982 -> honeytree , 29 Nov 2018 10:25

I've grown very sceptical over the years about the whole issue of asylum. To me, the idea that an individual can cross a border illegally without a visa, or without even a passport, and then suddenly become quasi legal be declaring that they wish to seek asylum is a bit of a farce. The situation becomes even more farcical when failed asylum seekers still aren't deported. As for humanitarian and ethical obligations, I don't really buy into that either because the demographics of the world are such that the West is at risk of losing its very identity if it feels "obliged" to accept everyone seeking asylum and/or work from the world's more troubled regions. I see the admission of refugees as a generous gesture, not as an obligation.

[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] 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] 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.

Advertisement

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. .

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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?

Reply 2 Recommend
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

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
Meredith New York Dec. 27, 2018

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

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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...

Reply 4 Recommend
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).

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
Sandy BC, Canada Dec. 27, 2018

@Robert Wood A thousand recommends , if I could.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 16 Recommend
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.

Reply 17 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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?

Reply 3 Recommend
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?

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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,

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 6 Recommend
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).

Reply 1 Recommend
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 -...

Reply Recommend
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?

Reply 8 Recommend
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.

Reply 7 Recommend
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.

Reply 11 Recommend
ursamaj Montreal, Canada Dec. 24, 2018

@Yves Leclerc I couldn't have said it better myself. Joyeuses fętes, 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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 7 Recommend
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."

Reply 2 Recommend
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....

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 5 Recommend
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?

Reply 3 Recommend
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".

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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)

Reply Recommend
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

Reply 1 Recommend
M. J. Shepley Sacramento Dec. 24, 2018

what about CA taking over PG&E?

Reply Recommend
Suzanne Wheat North Carolina Dec. 24, 2018

Dr. Krugman has had an epiphany!

Reply 1 Recommend
Jenifer Wolf New York Dec. 24, 2018

Most sensible article you've written to date

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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

Reply 2 Recommend
Studioroom Washington DC Area Dec. 24, 2018

Why we need public funding? Long term stability.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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?

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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?

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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 /

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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?

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 7 Recommend
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.

Reply 5 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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...

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 5 Recommend
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.

Reply 6 Recommend
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).

Reply 5 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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."

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 7 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
carl bumba mo-ozarks Dec. 24, 2018

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

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 9 Recommend
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.

Reply 9 Recommend
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.

Reply 5 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 6 Recommend
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.

Reply 5 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 10 Recommend
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.

Reply 8 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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."

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 13 Recommend
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?

Reply 6 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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?

Reply 1 Recommend
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.

Reply 3 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 12 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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"

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 14 Recommend
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 !

Reply 5 Recommend
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.

Reply 2 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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?

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 12 Recommend
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.

Reply 7 Recommend
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.

Reply 8 Recommend
Walter Reisner Montreal Dec. 23, 2018

Maybe internet services like Facebook and Google should be turned into public utilities.

Reply 10 Recommend
William Smith United States Dec. 23, 2018

I thought the US was already mixed?

Reply 2 Recommend
Networthy SF Dec. 23, 2018

Yeah, because private high schools and private universities are so horrible compared to the public alternatives...

Reply 2 Recommend
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!

Reply Recommend
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 ...

Reply 4 Recommend
Winston Adam Chicago Dec. 24, 2018

@Terry Krohe It would be a military dictatorship.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 10 Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 4 Recommend
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.

Reply 8 Recommend
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.

Reply 15 Recommend
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!

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 7 Recommend
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 Săo 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.

Reply 2 Recommend
Cdb EDT Dec. 23, 2018

Capitalism suffers from the tragedy of the commons in virtually every aspect.

Reply Recommend
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.

Reply 1 Recommend

[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] These US companies employ the most H-1B visa holders

Jan 12, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

One of the most sought-after visa programs in the U.S., the H-1B, could see some significant changes in 2019, according to President Trump , including a potential path to citizenship for recipients of the non-immigrant visa.

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire graduate-level workers in specialty occupations, like IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, science and medicine. Any job that requires workers to have at least a bachelor's degree falls under the H-1B for specialty occupations.

Each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allots about 85,000 of the H-1B visas -- 65,000 for applicants with a bachelor's degree or equivalent, and 20,000 for those with a master's degree or higher.

As of April 2017, when Trump signed an executive order -- "Buy American and Hire American" -- it's become more difficult for U.S. companies to hire people via H-1B. It directs the Department of Homeland Security to only grant the visas to the "most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries."

Here's a look at the American companies (and industries) that benefited the most from the program in 2017.

Cognizant: The IT services business had a whopping 3,194 H-1B initial petitions approved in 2017, the most of any U.S. company by almost 600.

Amazon: In 2017, the e-commerce behemoth hired 2,515 employees via the H-1B visa program, according to data compiled by the National Foundation for American Policy . That was about a 78 percent increase from 2016, or 1,099 more employees.

Microsoft: Microsoft hired 1,479 workers through H-1B in 2017, the second most of U.S. companies -- an increase in 334 employees from the year prior, or close to 29 percent.

IBM: In 2017, IBM employed about 1,231 workers through the H-1B visa program.

Intel: The California-based company employed 1,230 workers through H-1B in 2017, 200 more workers -- or a 19 percent increase -- compared to 2016.

Google: The search engine giant had 1,213 H-1B initial petitions approved for fiscal year 2017, a 31 percent increase of about 289 from 2016.

[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 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 02, 2019] Britain must surely be in the running for the Wooden Spoon award doe 2018

Notable quotes:
"... Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 31, 2018 3:36:34 PM | link

If Syria wins the award for Country of the Year 2018, I'd hate to see who gets the Wooden Spoon for 2018. There must be quite a few serious contenders for that prize!

Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment.

[Jan 02, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis 150 Central Americans tried by force this week to enter the US illegally en masse

Jan 02, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

150 Central Americans tried by force this week to enter the US illegally en masse Static.politico.com

"US agents have fired tear gas over the border into Mexico at migrants trying to enter the country illegally.

Around 150 Central Americans tried to make the crossing near the town of Tijuana to the south of California on New Year's Day.

One US official described the migrants as a "violent mob".

It comes as the US federal government remains shut down as President Donald Trump and Congress argue over funding for his proposed border wall." BBC

------------

The BBC does not seem to know that the US voluntarily admits over one million legal IMMIGRANTS per year. These people are automatically on a track to full citizenship after five years residence if they behave themselves, pay their taxes, do not commit criminal acts, etc. They can accelerate that process if they join the US armed forces and serve honorably.

The people now seeking to force their way across the border seem to think that they are justified in crashing across the US border with Mexico without regard to US law. To willingly cross the US border illegally is a misdemeanor crime. The US government has a duty under the constitution to defend the borders of the US against foreign invasion. How are foreign people trying to crash through the border not an invasion? Tear gas? Yes, it makes you cry and choke. The alternative is force escalating to deadly force.

The US listens to petitions for asylum from conditions that threaten life. The US does not recognize petitions for asylum based on poor conditions of local economy or crime in countries of origin. If the US did accept such petitions, most of the population of the planet would be eligible for asylum in the US.

The argument is raised that the US should make Central America an earthly paradise, a veritable Nebraska in which Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans would be content to abide. Well, pilgrims, as I have explained here several times, the US has been trying to do that in Latin America ever since the Kennedy Administration with minimal success. Do these little countries wish to surrender their sovereignty to the US so that we might perform our magic of enrichment and creation of actual democracy upon them? I think they do not. They approach our borders waving the various flags of their wretched countries even while asking for ASYLUM from those countries, countries that cannot run their own affairs well enough to make people want to stay home and live the good life Latino style.

Make no mistake. If these migrants, who think nothing of using little children as human shields, force surrender of control of immigration, there will be a tidal wave coming behind them. pl

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46739126

[Dec 31, 2018] Manifesto for the democratisation of Europe - Le blog de Thomas Piketty

The Democratization Treaty is available on-line at www.tdem.eu
When a state is captured by neoliberals, it is naive to think that they will abandon their power without a fight.
Notable quotes:
"... transnational, political space ..."
Dec 31, 2018 | blog.lemonde.fr

Our proposals are based on the creation of a Budget for democratization which would be debated and voted by a sovereign European Assembly. This will at last enable Europe to equip itself with a public institution which is both capable of dealing with crises in Europe immediately and of producing a set of fundamental public and social goods and services in the framework of a lasting and solidarity-based economy. In this way, the promise made as far back as the Treaty of Rome of 'improving living and working conditions' will finally become meaningful.

This Budget, if the European Assembly so desires, will be financed by four major European taxes, the tangible markers of this European solidarity. These will apply to the profits of major firms, the top incomes (over 200,000 Euros per annum), the highest wealth owners (over 1 million Euros) and the carbon emissions (with a minimum price of 30 Euros per tonne). If it is fixed at 4% of GDP, as we propose, this budget could finance research, training and the European universities, an ambitious investment programme to transform our model of economic growth, the financing of the reception and integration of migrants and the support of those involved in operating the transformation. It could also give some budgetary leeway to member States to reduce the regressive taxation which weighs on salaries or consumption.

The issue here is not one of creating a 'Transfer payments Europe' which would endeavour to take money from the 'virtuous' countries to give it to those who are less so. The project for a Treaty of Democratization ( www.tdem.eu ) states this explicitly by limiting the gap between expenditure deducted and income paid by a country to a threshold of 0.1% of its GDP. This threshold can be raised in case there is a consensus to do so, but the real issue is elsewhere: it is primarily a question of reducing the inequality within the different countries and of investing in the future of all Europeans, beginning of course with the youngest amongst them, with no single country having preference. This computation does exclude spending that benefit equally to all countries, such as policies to curb global warming. Because it will finance European public goods benefiting all countries, the Budget for democratization will de facto also foster convergence between countries.

Because we must act quickly but we must also get Europe out of the present technocratic impasse, we propose the creation of a European Assembly. This will enable these new European taxes to be debated and voted as also the budget for democratization. This European Assembly can be created without changing the existing European treaties.

This European Assembly would of course have to communicate with the present decision-making institutions (in particular the Eurogroup in which the Ministers for Finance in the Euro zone meet informally every month). But, in cases of disagreement, the Assembly would have the final word. If not, its capacity to be a locus for a new transnational, political space where parties, social movements and NGOs would finally be able to express themselves, would be compromised. Equally its actual effectiveness, since the issue is one of finally extricating Europe from the eternal inertia of inter-governmental negotiations, would be at stake. We should bear in mind that the rule of fiscal unanimity in force in the European Union has for years blocked the adoption of any European tax and sustains the eternal evasion into fiscal dumping by the rich and most mobile, a practice which continues to this day despite all the speeches. This will go on if other decision-making rules are not set up.

[Dec 30, 2018] Soros 'person of the year' indeed -- In 2018 globalists pushed peoples' patience to the edge

Notable quotes:
"... stateless superpowers ..."
"... an old-school Christian democracy, rooted in European traditions ..."
"... Beggar-thy-neighbor migration policies, such as building border fences, will not only further fragment the union; they also seriously damage European economies and subvert global human rights standards. ..."
"... at least 300,000 refugees each year ..."
"... surge funding, ..."
"... raising a substantial amount of debt backed by the EU's relatively small budget. ..."
"... To finance it, new European taxes will have to be levied sooner or later, ..."
Dec 30, 2018 | www.rt.com

It is no secret that neoliberalism relentlessly pursues a globalized, borderless world where labor, products, and services obey the hidden hand of the free market. What is less often mentioned, however, is that this system is far more concerned with promoting the well-being of corporations and cowboy capitalists than assisting the average person on the street. Indeed, many of the world's most powerful companies today have mutated into " stateless superpowers ," while consumers are forced to endure crippling austerity measures amid plummeting standards of living. The year 2018 could be seen as the tipping point when the grass-roots movement against these dire conditions took off.

Since 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants into Germany and the EU, a groundswell of animosity has been steadily building against the European Union, perhaps best exemplified by the Brexit movement. Quite simply, many people are growing weary of the globalist argument that Europe needs migrants and austerity measures to keep the wheels of the economy spinning. At the very least, luring migrants with cash incentives to move to Germany and elsewhere in the EU appears incredibly shortsighted.

Indeed, if the globalist George Soros wants to lend his Midas touch to ameliorating the migrant's plight, why does he think that relocating them to European countries is the solution? As is becoming increasingly apparent in places like Sweden and France, efforts to assimilate people from vastly different cultures, religions and backgrounds is an extremely tricky venture, the success of which is far from guaranteed.

Tear gas fired as Yellow Vests and police clash in French city of Rouen (VIDEOS)

One worrying consequence of Europe's season of open borders has been the rise of far-right political movements. In fact, some of the harshest criticism of the 'Merkel plan' originated in Hungary , where its gutsy president, Viktor Orban, hopes to build " an old-school Christian democracy, rooted in European traditions ." Orban is simply responding to the democratic will of his people, who are fiercely conservative, yet the EU parliament voted to punish him regardless. The move shows that Brussels, aside from being adverse to democratic principles, has very few tools for addressing the rise of far-right sentiment that its own misguided policies created.

Here it is necessary to mention once again that bugbear of the political right, Mr. Soros, who has received no political mandate from European voters, yet who campaigns relentlessly on behalf of globalist initiatives through his Open Society Foundations (OSF) (That campaign just got some serious clout after Soros injected $18bn dollars of his own money into OSF, making it one of the most influential NGOs in the world).

With no small amount of impudence, Soros has condemned EU countries – namely his native Hungary – for attempting to protect their territories by constructing border barriers and fences, which he believes violate the human rights of migrants (rarely if ever does the philanthropist speak about the "human rights" of the native population). In the words of the maestro of mayhem himself: " Beggar-thy-neighbor migration policies, such as building border fences, will not only further fragment the union; they also seriously damage European economies and subvert global human rights standards. "

Through a leaked network of compromised EU parliamentarians who do his bidding, Soros says the EU should spend $30 billion euros ($33bln) to accommodate " at least 300,000 refugees each year ." How will the EU pay for the resettling of migrants from the Middle East? Soros has an answer for that as well. He calls it " surge funding, " which entails " raising a substantial amount of debt backed by the EU's relatively small budget. "

Nigel Farage @Nigel_Farage

George Soros has spent billions in the EU to undermine the nation state. This is where the real international political collusion is.

28.8K 4:35 AM - Nov 14, 2017

Any guesses who will be forced to pay down the debt on this high-risk venture? If you guessed George Soros, guess again. The already heavily taxed people of Europe will be forced to shoulder that heavy burden. " To finance it, new European taxes will have to be levied sooner or later, " Soros admits. That comment is very interesting in light of the recent French protests, which were triggered by Emmanuel Macron's plan to impose a new fuel tax. Was the French leader, a former investment banker, attempting to get back some of the funds being used to support the influx of new arrivals into his country? The question seems like a valid one, and goes far at explaining the ongoing unrest.

Soros & the Ł400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy?

At this point, it is worth remembering what triggered the exodus of migrants into Europe in the first place. A large part of the answer comes down to unlawful NATO operations on the ground of sovereign states. Since 2003, the 29-member military bloc, under the direct command of Washington, has conducted illicit military operations in various places around the globe, including in Iraq, Libya and Syria. These actions, which could be best described as globalism on steroids, have opened a Pandora's Box of global scourges, including famine, terrorism and grinding poverty. Is this what the Western states mean by 'humanitarian activism'? If the major EU countries really want to flout their humanitarian credentials, they could have started by demanding the cessation of regime-change operations throughout the Middle East and North Africa, which created such inhumane conditions for millions of innocent people.

This failure on the part of Western capitals to speak out against belligerent US foreign policy helps to explain why a number of other European governments are experiencing major shakeups. Sebastian Kurz, 32, won over the hearts of Austrian voters by promising to tackle unchecked immigration. In super-tolerant Sweden, which has accepted more migrants per capita than any other EU state, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party garnered 17.6 percent of the vote in September elections – up from 12.9 percent in the previous election. And even Angela Merkel, who is seen by many people as the de facto leader of the European Union, is watching her political star crash and burn mostly due to her bungling of the migrant crisis. In October, after her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered a stinging setback in Bavaria elections, which saw CDU voters abandon ship for the anti-immigrant AfD and the Greens, Merkel announced she would resign in 2021 after her current term expires.

Meanwhile, back in the US, the government of President Donald Trump has been shut down as the Democrats refuse to grant the American leader the funds to build a wall on the Mexican border – despite the fact that he essentially made it to the White House on precisely that promise. Personally, I find it very hard to believe that any political party that does not support a strong and viable border can continue to be taken seriously at the polls for very long. Yet that is the very strategy that the Democrats have chosen. But I digress.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!

181K 12:32 PM - Dec 24, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy

The lesson that Western governments should have learned over the last year from these developments is that there exists a definite red line that the globalists cross at risk not only to the social order, but to their own political fortunes. Eventually the people will demand solutions to their problems – many of which were caused by reckless neoliberal programs and austerity measures. This collective sense of desperation may open the door to any number of right-wing politicians only too happy to meet the demand.

Better to provide fair working conditions for the people while maintaining strong borders than have to face the wrath of the street or some political charlatan later. Whether or not Western leaders will change their neoliberal ways as a populist storm front approaches remains to be seen, but I for one am not betting on it.

[Dec 27, 2018] Trump Considering Order To Ban Purchases Of Huawei, ZTE Equipment

Dec 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

After the US government elicited outrage from the Chinese due to its attempts to convince its allies to bar the use of equipment made by telecoms supplier Huawei, President Trump is apparently weighing whether to take another dramatic antagonistic step that could further complicate trade negotiations less than two weeks before a US delegation is slated to head to Beijing.

According to Reuters , the White House is reportedly considering an executive order that would ban US companies from using equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, claiming that both companies work "at the behest of the US government" and that their equipment could be used to spy on US citizens. The order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to order the Department of Commerce to prohibit the purchase of equipment from telecoms manufacturers that could threaten national security. Though it wouldn't explicitly name Huawei or ZTE, the ban would arise from Commerce's interpretation. The IEEA allows the president the authority to regulate commerce in the face of a national emergency. Back in August, Congress passed and Trump signed a bill banning the use of ZTE and Huawei equipment by the US government and government contractors. The executive order has reportedly been under consideration for eight months, since around the time that the US nearly blocked US companies from selling parts to ZTE, which sparked a mini-diplomatic crisis, which ended with a deal allowing ZTE to survive, but pay a large fine.

The feud between the US and Huawei has obviously been escalating in recent months as the US has embarked on an "extraordinary influence campaign" to convince its allies to ban equipment made by both companies, and the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada has also blossomed into a diplomatic crisis of sorts.

But the real reason issuing a ban on both companies' equipment is seen as a priority is because Huawei's lead in the race to build 5G technology is making its products more appealing to global telecoms providers. Rural telecoms providers in the US - those with fewer than 100,000 subscribers - are particularly reliant on equipment made by both companies. They've expressed concerns that a ban would require them to rip out and scrap their equipment at an immense cost.

Rural operators in the United States are among the biggest customers of Huawei and ZTE, and fear the executive order would also require them to rip out existing Chinese-made equipment without compensation. Industry officials are divided on whether the administration could legally compel operators to do that.

While the big U.S. wireless companies have cut ties with Huawei in particular, small rural carriers have relied on Huawei and ZTE switches and other equipment because they tend to be less expensive.

The company is so central to small carriers that William Levy, vice president for sales of Huawei Tech USA, is on the board of directors of the Rural Wireless Association.

The RWA represents carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers. It estimates that 25 percent of its members had Huawei or ZTE equipment in their networks, it said in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month.

As Sputnik pointed out, the news of the possible ban followed questions from Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, who expressed serious concerns over the involvement of Huawei in Britain's 5G network, suggesting that Beijing sometimes acted "in a malign way." But even if it loses access to the US market, Huawei's global expansion and its leadership in the 5G space are expected to continue to bolster profits and growth. Currently, Huawei sells equipment in 170 countries.

According to a statement from the company's rotating chairman, the company's full-year sales are expected to increase 21% to $108.5 billion this year. The company has signed 26 contracts globally to supply 5G equipment for commercial use, leaving it well ahead of its US rivals.

[Dec 26, 2018] Neoliberalism as Structure and Ideology

The hypothesis is that due to emergence of mutual funds and other financial instruments the capitalist class became more homogeneous in its interests and more united with financial oligarchy.
Notable quotes:
"... In such a situation there were significant divisions within the capitalist class that attenuated its overall political clout. Industries divided according to policy preferences, and political parties, which were essentially interest group coalitions, attracted different segments of this class. (In the US the Republicans were just as much an interest group coalition as the Democrats, just different interests like small retail business, domestic mining, nonunion manufacturing, etc.) Public policy in this dispensation, whatever its ostensible justification, reflected sectoral influence. ..."
"... Since the early 1970s capital ownership has become substantially more fungible in every respect. Equity funds of various sorts established themselves as institutional players, allowing individual capitalists to diversify via investment in these funds. Regulatory restrictions on capital movements were dismantled or bypassed. New information technology dramatically reduced (but not eliminated!) the fog of all financial markets. ..."
"... The other side of the coin was political influence over ideas. Intellectuals who advanced the positions we now call neoliberal were rewarded with research funding, jobs and influence over government policy. ..."
"... Lending conditionality reproduced in developing countries the same incentives that had shifted the intellectual environment in the core capitalist world. ..."
"... This hypothesis -- and it's important to be clear that's what it is -- also gives us an explanation for why the 2008 crisis, while it did provoke a lot of reconsideration by intellectuals -- did not result in meaningful institutional or policy change: the underlying political economic factors were unaltered . And it implies that further intellectual work, necessary as it is, will not be enough to extricate us from the shackles of neoliberal political constraints. For that we need to contest the power that undergirds them. ..."
"... The alliance (in the US, the focus of my comments) of the monied interests, providing the financial resources and seeking the repeal of the social and fiscal policies of the New Deal, and the heavily Southern-based evangelical/religious right, providing the voting bloc and seeking to turn back the progress of minorities and women in achieving more equal social and political rights -- created the powerful political base from which the revisionist onslaught was mounted. Reagan then provided the smiling face to sell the proposition that "government isn't the solution to your problems; government IS the problem" that effectively neutered the one institution capable of regulating the monied interests. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is a dialectic between them more than it has been a fixed doctrine. The remarkable power and resistance to outside critique is attributable to the insular nature of that dialectic. ..."
"... Where we are -- neoliberalism triumphant albeit spent ..."
Dec 26, 2018 | econospeak.blogspot.com

... ... ...

A standard narrative is that the Keynesian postwar order cracked up over the crisis of inflation during the mid-1970s. A conservative alternative that trusted markets more and government less was vindicated by events and established its intellectual dominance. After a lag of a few years, policy followed along. One can critique this on matters of detail: economic growth remained stronger during the 70s than it would be thereafter, anti-Keynesians did not have a superior understanding of economic developments, and no intellectual revolution was complete within the space of just a few years. But the deeper problem, it seems to me, is that this attributes vastly exaggerated agency to coteries of intellectuals. Do we really think that the elections of Reagan and Thatcher, for instance, were attributable to a shift in grad school syllabi in economics and related fields?

I propose an alternative hypothesis. From the end of WWII to the collapse of the Bretton Woods monetary system, a large portion of capital was illiquid, its value tied to its existing use. The rich sought to diversify their portfolios, of course, but there were limits. Stock market transactions were beclouded by large information costs, and share ownership tended to be more stable and concentrated. Fortunes were rooted in specific firms and industries. In such a situation there were significant divisions within the capitalist class that attenuated its overall political clout. Industries divided according to policy preferences, and political parties, which were essentially interest group coalitions, attracted different segments of this class. (In the US the Republicans were just as much an interest group coalition as the Democrats, just different interests like small retail business, domestic mining, nonunion manufacturing, etc.) Public policy in this dispensation, whatever its ostensible justification, reflected sectoral influence.

Since the early 1970s capital ownership has become substantially more fungible in every respect. Equity funds of various sorts established themselves as institutional players, allowing individual capitalists to diversify via investment in these funds. Regulatory restrictions on capital movements were dismantled or bypassed. New information technology dramatically reduced (but not eliminated!) the fog of all financial markets. And firms themselves became separable bundles of assets as new technology and business methods allowed for more integrated production across ownership lines. The combined result is a capitalist class with more uniform interests -- an interest in a higher profit share of income and greater freedom for capital in every respect.

The crisis in real returns to capital during the 1970s, the true economic instigator, galvanized this reorganization of the political economy. (In the US the S&P peaked in 1972 and then lost almost half its inflation-adjusted value by the end of the decade. This is not an artifact of business cycle timing.)

Of course, all understanding of the world is mediated by the way we think about it. The wealthy didn't say to themselves, "Gee, my assets are taking a hit, so the government needs to change course." They turned to dissident, conservative thinkers who explained the "failures" of the 70s as the result of too little concern for the engine of growth, which (of course) was understood to be private investment. Market-friendly policy would, it was said, reinvigorate investment and spur economic growth. Keynesianism was seen as having failed because it took investors for granted, taxing and regulating them and competing with them for finance; politicians needed to show respect. It's understandable why capitalists would interpret their problems in this way.

The other side of the coin was political influence over ideas. Intellectuals who advanced the positions we now call neoliberal were rewarded with research funding, jobs and influence over government policy. When the World Bank and the IMF were remade in the wake of the 1982 debt crisis, this influence was extended internationally. Lending conditionality reproduced in developing countries the same incentives that had shifted the intellectual environment in the core capitalist world.

This hypothesis -- and it's important to be clear that's what it is -- also gives us an explanation for why the 2008 crisis, while it did provoke a lot of reconsideration by intellectuals -- did not result in meaningful institutional or policy change: the underlying political economic factors were unaltered . And it implies that further intellectual work, necessary as it is, will not be enough to extricate us from the shackles of neoliberal political constraints. For that we need to contest the power that undergirds them.

Cinclow20 said... December 18, 2018 at 5:30 PM

... ... ...

The alliance (in the US, the focus of my comments) of the monied interests, providing the financial resources and seeking the repeal of the social and fiscal policies of the New Deal, and the heavily Southern-based evangelical/religious right, providing the voting bloc and seeking to turn back the progress of minorities and women in achieving more equal social and political rights -- created the powerful political base from which the revisionist onslaught was mounted. Reagan then provided the smiling face to sell the proposition that "government isn't the solution to your problems; government IS the problem" that effectively neutered the one institution capable of regulating the monied interests.

2slugbaits said...December 18, 2018 at 7:10 PM

An interesting discussion of the roots, differences and similarities between neoliberalism and ordoliberalism. And believe it or not, the many comments raise some interesting points. Only one real gaslighting comment.

mainly macro Ordoliberalism, Neoliberalism and Economics

Bruce Wilder said... December 24, 2018 at 2:01 PM
... ... ...

One thing Barkley said should be repeated: neoliberalism has opposing poles quite a distance apart. Neoliberalism is a dialectic between them more than it has been a fixed doctrine. The remarkable power and resistance to outside critique is attributable to the insular nature of that dialectic. The neoliberal right has chosen its interlocutors, the centrist "left" very well, which is an important reason that the non-neoliberal real Left is emerging now from the sojurn in the politics of cultural critique where it went in the 1960's with no knowledge or interest in economics.

It does not take a genius to see that human civilization and the natural ecology can only survive if people somehow manage to produce a rational architecture for political economy deliberately and on an unprecedented scale and level of sophistication. Where we are -- neoliberalism triumphant albeit spent and a Left at peak consciousness -- is exactly the wrong place to be in the political cycle.

[Dec 25, 2018] If we are reaching neoliberal capitalism's end days, what comes next by John Menadue

Right now neo-fascism is the most probably scenario of the social system after the decline of neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... But, in Europe, there has always been a deep distrust of the Anglo-American celebration of "possessive individualism" and its repudiation of community and society. Remember Margaret Thatcher's contempt for the idea of "society"? So, it is unsurprising that neoliberalism's advocates dismiss recent European analyses of local, regional and global economies as the nostalgia of "old Europe", even as neoliberalism's failures stack up unrelentingly. ..."
"... The consequences of these failures are largely unseen or avoided by policymakers in the US and their camp followers in the UK and Australia. They are in denial of the fact that not only has neoliberalism failed to meet its claimed goals, but it has worked devastatingly to undermine the very foundations of late-modern capitalism. The result is that the whole shambolic structure is tottering on the edge of an economic abyss. ..."
"... If Streeck is correct, then we need to anticipate what a post-capitalist world may look like. He thinks it will be terrible. He fears the emergence of a neocorporatist state and close crony-like collaboration between big capital, union leaders, government and the military as the consequence of the next major global financial crisis ..."
"... Jobs will disappear, Streeck believes. Capital will be intensely concentrated in very few hands. The privileged rich will retreat into security enclaves dripping with every luxury imaginable ..."
"... Meanwhile, the masses will be cast adrift in a polluted and miserable world where life – as Hobbes put it – will be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. ..."
"... As Piketty and Streeck are pointing out to us, the post-neoliberal era has started to self-destruct. Either a post-capitalist, grimly neo-fascist world awaits us, or one shaped by a new and highly creative version of communitarian democracy. It's time for some great imagining. ..."
Feb 05, 2017 | theconversation.com
It is unfashionable, or just embarrassing, to suggest the taken-for-granted late-modern economic order – neoliberal capitalism – may be in a terminal decline. At least that's the case in what former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott likes to call the "Anglosphere" .

What was once known as the Chicago school of economics – the neoclassical celebration of the "free market" and "small government" – still closes the minds of economic policymakers in the US and its satellite economies (although perhaps less so in contemporary Canada).

But, in Europe, there has always been a deep distrust of the Anglo-American celebration of "possessive individualism" and its repudiation of community and society. Remember Margaret Thatcher's contempt for the idea of "society"? So, it is unsurprising that neoliberalism's advocates dismiss recent European analyses of local, regional and global economies as the nostalgia of "old Europe", even as neoliberalism's failures stack up unrelentingly.

The consequences of these failures are largely unseen or avoided by policymakers in the US and their camp followers in the UK and Australia. They are in denial of the fact that not only has neoliberalism failed to meet its claimed goals, but it has worked devastatingly to undermine the very foundations of late-modern capitalism. The result is that the whole shambolic structure is tottering on the edge of an economic abyss.

What the consequences might be

Two outstanding European scholars who are well aware of the consequences of the neoliberal catastrophe are French economist Thomas Piketty and German economist Wolfgang Streeck.

Piketty's 2013 book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century , charts the dangers of socioeconomic inequality in capitalism's history. He demonstrates how this inequality can be – and has been over time – fundamentally destructive of sustained economic growth.

Most compellingly, Piketty documented in meticulous detail how contemporary neoliberal policies have constructed the worst forms of socioeconomic inequalities in history. His analysis has been underlined by the recent Oxfam report that showed a mere eight multi-billionaires own the equivalent amount of capital of half of the global population.

Despite Piketty's scrupulous scholarship, Western neoliberal economies continue merrily down the road to nowhere. The foundations of that road were laid by the egregiously ideological policies of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan – and slavishly followed by Australian politicians on all sides ever since.

Streeck's equally detailed scholarship has demonstrated how destructive of capitalism itself neoliberal policymaking has been. His latest book, How Will Capitalism End? , demonstrates how this neoliberal capitalism triumphed over its opponents (especially communism) by devouring its critics and opponents, obviating all possible alternatives to its predatory ways.

If Streeck is correct, then we need to anticipate what a post-capitalist world may look like. He thinks it will be terrible. He fears the emergence of a neocorporatist state and close crony-like collaboration between big capital, union leaders, government and the military as the consequence of the next major global financial crisis .

Jobs will disappear, Streeck believes. Capital will be intensely concentrated in very few hands. The privileged rich will retreat into security enclaves dripping with every luxury imaginable .

Meanwhile, the masses will be cast adrift in a polluted and miserable world where life – as Hobbes put it – will be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

What comes next is up to us

The extraordinary thing is how little is known or understood of the work of thinkers like Piketty and Streeck in Australia today.

There have been very fine local scholars, precursors of the Europeans, who have warned about the hollow promises of "economic rationalism" in Australia.

But, like the Europeans, their wisdom has been sidelined, even as inequality has been deepening exponentially and its populist consequences have begun to poison our politics, tearing down the last shreds of our ramshackle democracy.

The time is ripe for some creative imagining of a new post-neoliberal world that will repair neoliberalism's vast and catastrophic failures while laying the groundwork for an Australia that can play a leading role in the making of a cosmopolitan and co-operative world.

Three immediate steps can be taken to start on this great journey.

First, we need to see the revival of what American scholar Richard Falk called "globalisation from below" . This is the enlivening of international civil society to balance the power of the self-serving elites (multinational managers and their political and military puppets) now in power.

Second, we need to come up with new forms of democratic governance that reject the fiction that the current politics of representative government constitute the highest form of democracy. There is nothing about representative government that is democratic. All it amounts to is what Vilfredo Pareto described as "the circulation of elites" who have become remote from – and haughtily contemptuous of – the people they rule.

Third, we need to see states intervening comprehensively in the so-called "free market". Apart from re-regulating economic activity, this means positioning public enterprises in strategic parts of the economy, to compete with the private sector, not on their terms but exclusively in the interests of all citizens.

As Piketty and Streeck are pointing out to us, the post-neoliberal era has started to self-destruct. Either a post-capitalist, grimly neo-fascist world awaits us, or one shaped by a new and highly creative version of communitarian democracy. It's time for some great imagining.


This article is based on an earlier piece published in John Menadue's blog Pearls and Irritations.

[Dec 24, 2018] Neoliberalism is being rejected around the world Can genuine progressives capitalize Salon.com

Dec 24, 2018 | www.salon.com

At the same time, however, it seems fair to point out that Trump and López Obrador both represent what the Times described as "a global repudiation of the establishment." Indeed, this fact could actually help to distinguish between the two leaders (along with other populist leaders) and their competing worldviews. While they stand on opposite sides of the political spectrum, both Trump and López Obrador are part of the global revolt against what critics call neoliberalism, and this is important for understanding our current era.

The past 30-plus years has been defined by the political project of neoliberalism, spearheaded by the U.S. government and international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with the utopian aim of creating a global capitalist economy perfectly guided by the invisible hand of the market (for neoliberals and free-market fundamentalists, the invisible hand is an almost divine concept, worshipped in economics departments around the country). The neoliberal era peaked in the 1990s, and in America it was Democratic President Bill Clinton who accomplished neoliberal "reforms" that right-wingers had long dreamed of, including financial deregulation, NAFTA and "ending welfare as we knew it" (he would probably have privatized Social Security too had it not been for Monica Lewinsky).

Though the 1990s is often remembered as the beginning of our hyper-partisan age (demonstrated by the Clinton impeachment scandal), the irony is that Democrats and Republicans became closer than ever before on economic issues during this decade. The "Washington consensus" dominated this period, and it took a Democrat to pass a Republican trade deal and other conservative economic policies. (Not surprisingly, the Democratic Party's shift to the right simply resulted in the GOP shifting even further to the right.)

Neoliberalism was a global project advanced by economic elites. Not surprisingly, then, the neoliberal policies of the past few decades have benefited those who pushed for them, creating enormous wealth for the richest individuals while leaving the world grossly unequal. According to Oxfam, 82 percent of the wealth created in 2017 went to the top one percent , while the poorest half got nothing. In America alone, inequality is at historic levels and more than 40 million people live in poverty; a UN report from last month notes that the U.S. "now has one of the lowest rates of intergenerational social mobility of any of the rich countries," and zip codes "are tragically reliable predictors of a child's future employment and income prospects."

Advertisement:

In Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States, the status quo is no longer acceptable to a populace that has been betrayed time and again throughout the neoliberal era. Leaders who represent this status quo are being thrown out of office left and right. Those who have challenged the "establishment" have been labeled "populists" by the press, of course, and thus are categorized more for what they stand against than what they stand for (this would be like identifying the Soviet Union and the U.S. for their anti-fascism, rather than their communism or capitalism).

Some dispute the characterization of right-wing populists as anti-neoliberal, and correctly point out that most of the Trump administration's economic policies have actually been neoliberalism on steroids (e.g., the GOP tax bill, deregulation, etc.). Right-wing populism is purely about racism and xenophobia, these critics insist, and to make it about economics is to ignore these ugly realities. But as Thomas Frank pointed out in The Guardian back in 2016, "trade may be [Trump's] single biggest concern -- not white supremacy."

"It seems to obsess him," wrote Frank, who watched several hours of Trump's speeches. "The destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies' CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US."

Say what you will about Trump's tendency to lie and spew falsehoods, but on the issue of trade he has actually been pretty consistent since entering the White House, and free trade is one of the staples of the neoliberal project. On the left, free trade deals like NAFTA and TPP have also been major talking points, as we saw with Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign in 2016. There are other economic issues where some agreement exists, and right-wing populist parties in Europe are even more likely to be anti-neoliberal on economic issues. Marine Le Pen's National Front, for example, opposed austerity cuts and promised to increase welfare for the working class (at least for French citizens), while lowering the retirement age and increasing tariffs to benefit French companies (and, the claim goes, workers too).

Advertisement:

Still, the left- and right-wing alternatives to neoliberalism are poles apart, and the differences between left-populists like López Obrador and Sanders and right-populists like Trump and Le Pen are hard to overstate. To appreciate just how different their worldviews are, it is worth considering how the left and right have historically understood themselves in relation to the Enlightenment and modernity.

Throughout the modern era progressives and reactionaries have more or less rejected the status quo, with thinkers from both sides offering critiques of the modern world. The fundamental difference was that the left considered itself a part of the Enlightenment tradition, while the right was part of the "counter-Enlightenment" (this goes back to the French Revolution, when revolutionaries sat on the left side of the Estates General and royalists sat on the right).

The left criticized modernity not because it rejected the modern world, but because it saw the Enlightenment project as incomplete. Karl Marx praised the bourgeoisie and called capitalism a "great civilizing influence," considering it to be a positive development in history. He also wrote the most influential critique of capitalism to date, and while he acknowledged that capitalism was progress over feudalism, he also believed that it must eventually be replaced with socialism to realize the goals of the Enlightenment. Put simply, Marx and other leftists believed in the idea of progress, long associated with the Enlightenment.

On the right, criticisms of modernity came from a very different perspective. Reactionaries did not see the modern world as progress over the pre-modern world; rather, they saw it as a decline. Driven by nostalgia and resentment, reactionaries romanticized the past and believed that the ills of modernity could be cured by simply turning back the clock and restoring the status quo ante.

In his classic book " Escape from Freedom ," the psychiatrist and social philosopher Erich Fromm attempted to make sense of the rise of fascism in the early 20th century, and in doing so offered a penetrating analysis of modernity. While the modern world had liberated men and women from social conventions of the past and various restrictions on the individual (i.e., "freedom from"), it had also severed what Fromm called "primary bonds," which gave security to the individual and provided meaning. Forced from their communities into urban and industrial environments, modern men and women were left alienated and rootless, feeling powerless and purposeless in the new world.

Advertisement:

There were two ways that people could respond to this situation, Fromm argued; either they could reject freedom altogether and embrace counter-Enlightenment movements like fascism, or they could progress to a "positive freedom," where one can relate oneself "spontaneously to the world in love and work."

"If the economic, social and political conditions on which the whole process of human individuation depends, do not offer a basis for the realization of individuality," wrote Fromm, "while at the same time people have lost those ties which gave them security, this lag makes freedom an unbearable burden." Freedom, he continued, "becomes identical with doubt, with a kind of life which lacks meaning and direction. Powerful tendencies arise to escape from this kind of freedom into submission or some kind of relationship to man and the world which promises relief from uncertainty, even if it deprives the individual of his freedom."

The reactionary impulse would be to "escape from freedom" and restore the conventions and "primary bonds" of the past, while the progressive impulse would be to progress to a more complete and dynamic kind of freedom.

The reader may be wondering where all of this fits in with the current revolt against neoliberalism. Put simply, the neoliberal age has left many people with the same kind of doubts and anxieties that Fromm discussed in his book almost 80 years ago. Numerous articles have been written in recent years about how the policies of neoliberalism have worsened stress and loneliness , exacerbated mental health problems , driven rising rates of suicide and the opioid crisis, and left people feeling desperate and hopeless in general. Globalization, deindustrialization, consumerism and "financialization"; all these economic trends are contributing to the breakdown of our democratic society, leading some to embrace authoritarian alternatives, as many did in Fromm's day.

From this point of view, the global rise of populism that continued with López Obrador isn't much of a surprise. The popular rejection of neoliberalism around the world is undeniable at this point, but it is still unclear whether this rejection of the status quo will lead to reactionary or progressive change in the long run. López Obrador represents progressive change, as does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprise primary victory in New York's 14th congressional district. Trump and other far-right populists like Le Pen represent something very different.

Advertisement:

It will ultimately come down to which side can offer the more appealing alternative, and the left should recognize that the more realistic and "pragmatic" approach isn't always the most politically persuasive. One of the most common criticisms of populists has been that they are selling a pipe dream, which to an extent is true -- especially for right-wing populists who base their entire worldview on falsehoods. If the left wants to stop reactionary populism, however, it will have to adopt an unapologetically populist approach of its own, and reject the dogma of neoliberalism once and for all.

[Dec 17, 2018] What economic philosophy will come after neoliberalism

Dec 17, 2018 | thequestion.com

Jana Bacevic 59 2 years ago PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology; sociology of knowledge, social theory, political economy of knowledge production.

This is an extremely interesting and important question. In the past years, critics are increasingly proclaiming that neoliberalism has come to an end , or at least become too broad or too vague to be used as an explanatory term.

Yet, neoliberalism has proven to be remarkably resilient. This, as Jamie Peck has argued, may be due to its propensity to 'fail forward', that is, perpetuate rather than correct or reverse the mechanisms that led to its failures in the first place – the economic/fiscal policies following the 2008 economic crisis are a good example. Or it may have to do with what Boltanski and Chiapello have dubbed 'the new spirit of capitalism', meaning its capacity to absorb political and societal challenges and subsume them under the dominant economic paradigm – as reflected, for instance, in the way neoliberalism has managed to coopt politics of identity.

But the success of neoliberalism has arguably less to do with its performance as an economic philosophy (at least after 2008, that is patently not the case – even IMF has admitted that neoliberal policies may be exacerbating inequality), and more to do with what seems to be the consensus of political and economic elites over its application. Neoliberalism allows for the convergence of financial, governmental, military, industrial and technological networks of power in ways that not only make sustained resistance difficult, but also increasingly constrain possibilities for thinking about alternatives.

This is not to say that heterodox economic ideas are lacking. Alternatives to mainstream (or neo-classical) economics range from Marxist and Keynesian approaches, to post-Keynesian, participatory, or 'sharing' economies, and the philosophy of degrowth. Yet, in the framework of existing system of political and economic relations, successfully implementing any of these would require a strong political initiative and at least some level of consensus beyond the level of any single nation-state.

In this sense, the economic philosophy to succeed neoliberalism will be the one that manages to capture the 'hearts and minds' of those in power. While the Left needs to start developing sustainable economic alternatives, it seems that, in the short term, economic policies will be driven either by some sort of authoritarian populism, (as for instance in Trump's pre-election speeches), or a new version of neoliberalism (what Will Davies has called "punitive" neoliberalism). Hopefully, even from such a shrunk space, alternatives can emerge; however, if we are to draw lessons from the intellectual history of neoliberalism , they will require long-term political action to seriously challenge the prevailing economic order.

5 Lucas Diaz-Molaro a year ago

This isn very important question that i try to answer in my books. I think regulation and taxation are key, as well as moving toward a more local circular economy. You can download the books for free at

endneoliberalism.org

[Dec 16, 2018] A World of Multiple Detonators of Global Wars by James Petras

So much for peace that neoliberal globalization should supposedly bring...
Notable quotes:
"... We face a world of multiple wars some leading to direct global conflagrations and others that begin as regional conflicts but quickly spread to big power confrontations. ..."
"... In our times the US is the principal power in search of world domination through force and violence. Washington has targeted top level targets, namely China, Russia, Iran; secondary objectives Afghanistan, North and Central Africa, Caucuses and Latin America ..."
"... China is the prime enemy of the US for several economic, political and military reasons: China is the second largest economy in the world; its technology has challenged US supremacy it has built global economic networks reaching across three continents. China has replaced the US in overseas markets, investments and infrastructures. ..."
"... In response the US has resorted to a closed protectionist economy at home and an aggressive military led imperial economy abroad. ..."
"... The first line of attack are Chinese exports to the US and its vassals. Secondly, is the expansion of overseas bases in Asia. Thirdly, is the promotion of separatist clients in Hong Kong, Tibet and among the Uighurs. Fourthly, is the use of sanctions to bludgeon EU and Asian allies into joining the economic war against China. China has responded by expanding its military security, expanding its economic networks and increasing economic tariffs on US exports ..."
"... The US economic war has moved to a higher level by arresting and seizing a top executive of China's foremost technological company, Huawei. ..."
"... Each of the three strategic targets of the US are central to its drive for global dominance; dominating China leads to controlling Asia; regime change in Russia facilitates the total submission of Europe; and the demise of Iran facilitates the takeover of its oil market and US influence of Islamic world. As the US escalates its aggression and provocations we face the threat of a global nuclear war or at best a world economic breakdown. ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.unz.com

We face a world of multiple wars some leading to direct global conflagrations and others that begin as regional conflicts but quickly spread to big power confrontations.

We will proceed to identify 'great power' confrontations and then proceed to discuss the stages of 'proxy' wars with world war consequences.

In our times the US is the principal power in search of world domination through force and violence. Washington has targeted top level targets, namely China, Russia, Iran; secondary objectives Afghanistan, North and Central Africa, Caucuses and Latin America.

China is the prime enemy of the US for several economic, political and military reasons: China is the second largest economy in the world; its technology has challenged US supremacy it has built global economic networks reaching across three continents. China has replaced the US in overseas markets, investments and infrastructures. China has built an alternative socio-economic model which links state banks and planning to private sector priorities. On all these counts the US has fallen behind and its future prospects are declining.

In response the US has resorted to a closed protectionist economy at home and an aggressive military led imperial economy abroad. President Trump has declared a tariff war on China; and multiple separatist and propaganda war; and aerial and maritime encirclement of China's mainland

The first line of attack are Chinese exports to the US and its vassals. Secondly, is the expansion of overseas bases in Asia. Thirdly, is the promotion of separatist clients in Hong Kong, Tibet and among the Uighurs. Fourthly, is the use of sanctions to bludgeon EU and Asian allies into joining the economic war against China. China has responded by expanding its military security, expanding its economic networks and increasing economic tariffs on US exports.

The US economic war has moved to a higher level by arresting and seizing a top executive of China's foremost technological company, Huawei.

The White House has moved up the ladder of aggression from sanctions to extortion to kidnapping. Provocation, is one step up from military intimidation. The nuclear fuse has been lit.

Russia faces similar threats to its domestic economy, its overseas allies, especially China and Iran as well as the US renunciation of intermediate nuclear missile agreement

Iran faces oil sanctions, military encirclement and attacks on proxy allies including in Yemen, Syria and the Gulf region Washington relies on Saudi Arabia, Israel and paramilitary terrorist groups to apply military and economic pressure to undermine Iran's economy and to impose a 'regime change'.

Each of the three strategic targets of the US are central to its drive for global dominance; dominating China leads to controlling Asia; regime change in Russia facilitates the total submission of Europe; and the demise of Iran facilitates the takeover of its oil market and US influence of Islamic world. As the US escalates its aggression and provocations we face the threat of a global nuclear war or at best a world economic breakdown.

Wars by Proxy

The US has targeted a second tier of enemies, in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

In Latin America the US has waged economic warfare against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. More recently it has applied political and economic pressure on Bolivia. To expand its dominance Washington has relied on its vassal allies, including Brazil, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and Paraguay as well as right-wing elites throughout the region

As in numerous other cases of regime change Washington relies on corrupt judges to rule against President Morales, as well as US foundation funded NGO's; dissident indigenous leaders and retired military officials. The US relies on local political proxies to further US imperial goals is to give the appearance of a 'civil war' rather than gross US intervention.

In fact, once the so-called 'dissidents' or 'rebels' establish a foot hole, they 'invite' US military advisers, secure military aid and serve as propaganda weapons against Russia, China or Iran – 'first tier' adversaries.

In recent years US proxy conflicts have been a weapon of choice in the Kosovo separatist war against Serbia; the Ukraine coup of 2014 and war against Eastern Ukraine; the Kurd take over of Northern Iraq and Syria; the US backed separatist Uighurs attack in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.

The US has established 32 military bases in Africa, to coordinate activities with local warlords and plutocrats. Their proxy wars are discarded as local conflict between 'legitimate' regimes and Islamic terrorists, tribality and tyrants.

The objective of proxy wars are threefold. They serve as 'feeders' into larger territorial wars encircling China, Russia and Iran.

Secondly, proxy wars are 'testing grounds' to measure the vulnerability and responsive capacity of the targeted strategic adversary, i.e. Russia, China and Iran.

Thirdly, the proxy wars are 'low cost' and 'low risk' attacks on strategic enemies. The lead up to a major confrontation by stealth.

Equally important 'proxy wars' serve as propaganda tools, associating strategic adversaries as 'expansionist authoritarian' enemies of 'western values'.

Conclusion

US empire builders engage in multiple types of aggression directed at imposing a unipolar world. At the center are trade wars against China; regional military conflicts with Russia and economic sanctions against Iran.

These large scale, long-term strategic weapons are complemented by proxy wars, involving regional vassal states which are designed to erode the economic bases of counting allies of anti-imperialist powers.

Hence, the US attacks China directly via tariff wars and tries to sabotage its global "Belt and Road' infrastructure projects linking China with 82 counties.

Likewise, the US attacks Russian allies in Syria via proxy wars, as it did with Iraq, Libya and the Ukraine.

Isolating strategic anti-imperial power via regional wars, sets the stage for the 'final assault' – regime change by cop or nuclear war.

However, the US quest for world domination has so far taken steps which have failed to isolate or weaken its strategic adversaries.

China moves forward with its global infrastructure programs: the trade war has had little impact in isolating it from its principal markets. Moreover, the US policy has increased China's role as a leading advocate of 'open trade' against President Trump's protectionism.

ORDER IT NOW

Likewise, the tactics of encircling and sanctioning Russia has deepened ties between Moscow and Beijing. The US has increased its nominal 'proxies' in Latin America and Africa but they all depend on trade and investments from China. This is especially true of agro-mineral exports to China.

Notwithstanding the limits of US power and its failure to topple regimes, Washington has taken moves to compensate for its failures by escalating the threats of a global war. It kidnaps Chinese economic leaders; it moves war ships off China's coast; it allies with neo-fascist elites in the Ukraine. It threatens to bomb Iran. In other words the US political leaders have embarked on adventurous policies always on the verge of igniting one, too, many nuclear fuses.

It is easy to imagine how a failed trade war can lead to a nuclear war; a regional conflict can entail a greater war.

Can we prevent World War 3? I believe it will happen. The US economy is built on fragile foundations; its elites are deeply divided. Its main allies in France and the UK are in deep crises. The war mongers and war makers lack popular support. There are reasons to hope!


Per/Norway , says: December 12, 2018 at 10:29 pm GMT

I disagree. The parasitic terror regime that runs washington believe they can win a nuclear war, i have no hope left for peace. They need a culling of the "useless eaters", we are stealing the food out of their poor frightened children`s mouths by existing.
Eric Zuesse wrote a decent article yesterday at the Saker blog about the US nuclear forces and its owners wet dream.
"The U.S. Government's Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion"
The actions of nato/EU/UK/ISR/KSA etc certainly supports his article, at least in my opinion.
Anon [228] Disclaimer , says: December 12, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
Useful and clear article.

The US, and the West, by instigating wars elsewhere, and selling weapons to those, destroy countries and prosperity abroad. Those living in target countries find themselves miserable, with loss of everything. It is only natural that they may try to escape a living hell by emigrating to the West.

People in the US and the West in general will not want mass immigration, and with good reason; but if you were in a war torn country or an impoverished country (as a result of western "help") you would also attempt to move away from the bombs, etc.

If the West left the rest of the world alone (in terms of their regimes and in terms of their weapons), they might prosper and no longer need to run away from their home countries.

Can we build a better world, please?!

Godfree Roberts , says: December 12, 2018 at 11:32 pm GMT
The sanctions and embargoes have failed in the past, when China was much weaker, so we can be quite confident that they will fail again, and quickly, as this timeline suggests:

September 3, 2018 : Huawei unveils Kirin 980 CPU, the world's first commercial 7nm system-on-chip (SoC) and the first to use Cortex-A76 cores, dual neural processing units, Mali G76 GPU, a 1.4 Gbps LTE modem and supports faster RAM. With 20 percent faster performance and 40 percent less power consumption compared to 10nm systems, it has twice the performance of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 and Apple's A11 while delivering noticeable battery life improvement. Its Huawei-patented modem has the world's fastest Wi-Fi and its GPS receiver taps L5 frequency to deliver 10cm. positioning.

September 5, 2018 . China's front-end fab capacity will account for 16 percent of the world's semiconductor capacity this year, increasing to 20 percent by 2020.

September 15, 2018. China controls one third of 5G patents and has twice as many installations operating as the rest of the world combined.

September 21, 2018 . China has reached global technological parity and now has twelve of the world's top fifty IC design houses (China's SMIC is fourth, Huawei's HiSilicon is seventh), and twenty-one percent of global IC design revenues. Roger Luo, TSMC.

October 2, 2018 . Chinese research makes up 18.6 percent of global STEM peer-reviewed papers, ahead of the US at 18 percent. "The fact that China's article output is now the largest is very significant. It's been predicted for a while, but there was a view this was not likely to happen until 2025," said Michael Mabe, head of STM.

October 14, 2018 . Huawei announces 7 nm Ascend 910 chipset for data centers, twice as powerful as Nvidia's v100 and the first AI IP chip series to natively provide optimal TeraOPS per watt in all scenarios. Available 2Q19.

October 7, 2018 : China becomes largest recipient of FDI in H1, attracting an estimated 70 billion U.S. dollars, according to UNCTAD.

October 8, 2018: Taiwan's Foxconn moves its major semiconductor maker and five integrated circuit design companies to Jinan, China.

October 22, 2018 . China becomes world leader in venture capital, ahead of the US and almost twice the rest of the world's $53.4 billion YTD. The Crunchbase report says the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world is undergoing a major transformation: it is now driven by China instead of the US.

peterAUS , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
Apart from that "nuclear war" from:

Isolating strategic anti-imperial power via regional wars, sets the stage for the 'final assault' – regime change by cop or nuclear war

good article.
Only idiot can believe that nuclear war can be won, IMHO. Elites aren't suicidal, oh no. On the contrary.

Can they make a mistake and cause that war, definitely.

Which brings us to the important part:

Can we prevent World War 3? I believe it will happen. The US economy is built on fragile foundations; its elites are deeply divided. Its main allies in France and the UK are in deep crises. The war mongers and war makers lack popular support.

Agree, but, that's exactly the reason I disagree with:

There are reasons to hope!

No need to be pedantic, of course there is always a reason for hope.
But, I see it as so fertile ground for making The MISTAKE .

Giuseppe , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm GMT

Can we prevent World War 3? I believe it will happen. The US economy is built on fragile foundations; its elites are deeply divided. Its main allies in France and the UK are in deep crises. The war mongers and war makers lack popular support. There are reasons to hope!

It's when the elite war mongers' backs are up against the wall that they come up with a cleverly designed false flag attack to rally public support for war. They are more dangerous now than ever.

Splitpin , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:43 am GMT
Agree about Russia and China, however Iran needs to be viewed not as a play for oil or the Islamic crowd but driven wholly and solely by Israel. Iran is not a threat to US in any context, only Israel.
Wally , says: December 15, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT
question:
If the relatively small tariffs on Chinese goods amount to 'direct attacks on China', then what are the massive tariffs by China on US goods?
Biff , says: December 15, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
The "Chess men" behind "The Wall Street Economy" have stated a few times that the only way to remain the dominant economy is to first: convince rivals that resistance is futile, and second: to atomize any potential rival (Ghaddaffi is a clear example).

Breaking up Russia has been on the to-do list for decades, and I believe that the Chess Men have no idea what to do about containing China, and are clearly flat-footed, and desperate kidnapping a Chinese business executive.

The Wall Street Economy depended on cheap Chinese labor it's own profits, and that was Ok until .?
Until the writing on the Wall became ledgible .
The smell of genuine fear is in the air.

jilles dykstra , says: December 15, 2018 at 9:18 am GMT
" The war mongers and war makers lack popular support. There are reasons to hope! "

Is popular support needed to get a people in a war mood ?
Both Pearl Harbour and Sept 11 demonstrate, in my opinion, that it is not very difficult to create a war mood.
Yet, if another Sept 11 would do the trick, I wonder.
Sept 11 has been debated without without interruption since Sept 11.
After the 1946 USA Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour the USA government succeeded in preventing a similar discussion.
Until now the west, Deep State, NATO, EU did not succeed in provoking Russia or China.
Each time they tried something, in my opinion they did this several times, Russia showed its military superiority, at the same time taking care not to hurt public opinion in the west.

annamaria , says: December 15, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
Is not it amazing that the morally miserable US, a "power in search of world domination through force and violence," is officially governed by self-avowed pious X-tians. What kind of corruption among the high-level clergy protects the satanists Pompeo, Bush, Rice, Clinton, Obama, Blair and such from excommunication?

Russians explaining the perdition of the US deciders: https://www.rt.com/news/446533-sergey-shoigu-syria-inf/

"Washington does little to nothing to restore peace and help the devastated region to recover from the long war, while its [US] airstrikes continue to rack up civilian deaths At the same time, the US military presence at the Al-Tanf airbase and the "armed gangs" around it prevent refugees from returning home."

– Nothing new. The multi-denominational Syria has been pounded by the US-supported "moderate" terrorists (armed with US-provided arms and with UK-provided chemical weaponry) to satisfy the desires of Israel-firsters, arm-dealers and the multitude of war-profiteers that have been fattening their pockets at the US/UK taxpayers' expense.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204373.html

"Timber Sycamore" [initiated by Obama] is the most important arms trafficking operation in History. It involves at least 17 governments. The transfer of weapons, meant for jihadist organizations, is carried out by Silk Way Airlines, a Azerbaďdjan public company of cargo planes."

-- Biochemical warfare by the UK & US

https://www.rt.com/news/424047-russian-mod-syria-statement/

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-23/us-history-chemical-weapons-use-complicity-war-crimes

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-five-most-deadly-chemical-weapons-war-10897

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/04/576081/Russia-Kirillov-US-Georgia-Richard-Lugar-chemical-weapons-lab

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/09/21/bombshell-secret-american-laboratory-performs-deadly-human-experiments-in-caucasus-georgia/

WHAT , says: December 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts Huawei can announce whatever, there are much more experienced adversaries(IBM, intel and ARM) who can`t beat nV in computation, and especially in integration of silicon. Guess who`s running inference and computer vision in all these car autopilots.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 15, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
I do not think there will be an atomic war .

I think we could have an economic collapse like the Soviet Union had , or like Argentina had in 2001 with the " corralito " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corralito .

Being the complex and global society that we are , it would be a disaster , it would produce hunger , misery and all types of local wars .

VirtualAnon34 , says: December 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm GMT
"Notwithstanding the limits of US power and its failure to topple regimes "

Have to agree with that statement. Seriously, wherein is this vaunted "superpower" that our American politicians always yap about? All I've seen in my lifetime is our military getting its butt kicked in Cuba, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan. What, besides insanity and hubris, makes them think they could win anything much less a war against Iran, China or Russia?

Moi , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Splitpin It's the other way around–Israel is a threat to Iran.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm GMT
@WHAT What worth what? It did not help too much to GM. GM is shutting five of its plants.
SteveK9 , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
Mostly accurate, but 'closed protectionist society' ! Hardly. It's still very difficult to buy any manufactured goods made in this country. Of course this is part of the World economic circle countries use the US Dollar for all trade. They need dollars. We can print them and receive real goods in return. This has been going around and around for decades. It may come to an end in the not-too-distant future, but it has a lot of inertia.
Bill Jones , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

–Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

A mere piker compared to the American, Bernays

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html

DESERT FOX , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm GMT
The only threat to patriotic Americans is Zionism which has ruled the U.S. since it took control over the money supply and the taxes via the privately owned Zionist FED and IRS and has given America nothing to wars and economic destruction since the FED and IRS were put in place by the Zionist banking kabal in 1913 and both are UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

The threat is not from China or Russia or Iran etc., the threat is from within the U.S. government which is controlled in every facet by the Zionists and dual citizens and is as foreign to the American people as if it were from MARS!

Until the American people wake up to the fact that we are slaves on a Zionist plantation and are used as pawns in the Zionist goal of a satanic Zionist NWO and abolish the FED and IRS and break the chains of slavery that the FED and IRS have place upon us, until then nothing will change and the wars and economic destruction by the Zionist kabal will continue!

Read The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed and The Committee of 300 by Dr. John Coleman and The Protocols of Zion, to see the Zionist satanic NWO plan.

wraith67 , says: December 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm GMT
Lost me at Kurd takeover of northern Iraq/Syria. The Kurds have defacto owned those areas since 1991, and earlier. Saddam gassing the Kurds didn't accomplish anything except for making himself a target, no Arab lived in those areas, the Kurds would kill them.
Agent76 , says: December 15, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
Nov 28, 2018 Belt & Road Billionaire in Massive Bribery Scandal

The bribery trial of Dr. Patrick Ho, a pitchman for a Chinese energy company, lifts the lid on how the Chinese regime relies on graft to cut Belt and Road deals in its global push for economic and geopolitical dominance.

Miro23 , says: December 15, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT
I agree with Bob Sykes' commentary over on Instapundit:

Well, our "anti-ISIS" model in eastern Syria consists of defending ISIS against attacks by the Syrian government, allowing them to pump and export Syrian oil for their profit, arming them and allowing them to recruit new fighters. I suppose that means we should be arming the Taliban.

ISIS was created by the CIA to fight against Assad. But they slipped the leash and became the fighting force for the dissident Sunni Arabs all along the Euphrates Valley. We only began to oppose them when their rebellion reached the outskirts of Baghdad, and even then the bulk of the fighting was done by Iraq's Shias and Iran. Now we are transferring them, or many of them, into secure (for ISIS) areas of Iraq.

The three U.S. presidents, six secretaries of defense and five chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are, in fact, war criminals, in exactly the same sense that Hitler, Goebels, Goering, Himmler et al. were war criminals. Those presidents, secretaries and generals launched wars of aggression against Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Yemen not one of which threatened us in any way. They engineered coups d'état against two friendly governments, Egypt and Turkey. Now the fake American, anti-American neocons want to attack Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and even Russia and China.

Green needs to get his head out of his arse. We, the US, are the great rogue terrorist state. We are the evil empire. We are the chief source of death and destruction in the world. How many hundreds of thousands of civilians have we murdered in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia? How many cities have we bombed flat like Raqqa and Mosel. Putin is a saint compared to any US President.

Winston2 , says: December 15, 2018 at 4:08 pm GMT
Iran has always been at the center of the Great Game, the key square on the board to block
Eurasia.You must either control Afghanistan AND Pakistan or Iran.
With Pakistan now in the SCO, Iran is a US imperative.
Israels antipathy is secondary and a useful foil, not the primary motive.
Read MacKinder, the imperial power has changed, not the strategy.
Durruti , says: December 15, 2018 at 4:29 pm GMT
Open Letter to James Petras.

Your article has a glaring emptiness.

How is it possible for anyone to write an article titled:

A World of Multiple Detonators of Global Wars

without mentioning the Principal Detonator of Global Wars?? The Elephant!

The United States of America is no longer a Sovereign Nation.

The Local Political Power Elite (C. Wright Mills term), serve, are Minions, of the Zionist Jewish Financial Terrorist Initiators and Controllers of the Global New World Order.

I would express this point in stronger terms, but I have not yet finished my coffee. The "Mulitiple Detonators" Petras discusses are useless unless Triggered by the Global Controllers.

A Slight Digression: maybe:

Petras may have written his exposé this way, understanding that he might safely avoid mention of the anti-Semitic (they hate Palestinians and other Arabs – actual Semites), Zionist Land Thieves, because a clueless Anarchist would appear and complete his article for him. If that is the case, I want half of the $ Unz is paying Petras for this article.

In Conclusion: and by the number###:

1. The American Power Elite and servile Politicians in America's Knesset in Washington DC, do not go to the Bathroom, without permission from their Zionist Oligarch masters.

2. The American Gauleters, Quislings, (better known as Traitors), serve the Rothschild and other Foreign Oligarchs. Recently, only 1, of 100 'Senators' demanded that there be a discussion of the Bill to send another $35 Billion gift to the Zionist occupiers of Palestine. Poor Senator Rand Paul . How many ribs of his remain to be broken?

We the American people, have one Senator. And he has a great father.

3. Textbooks, Entertainment from Hollywood (key to all mind control), even Dictionaries, have been ruthlessly censored.

4. Our elected Zionist slaves in Congress, and all State and local governing bodies, live in fear of saying (accidentally), some truth, and ending up working at Walmart or 7-11, (if they are lucky).

5. Our young are effectively brainwashed in their schools; they have already been removed from their parents.

6. Our politicians are bribed with our own tax money (re-routed by the Zionists AIPAC, etc.).

7. The Zionist Entity has huge Financial Resources . They should be giving us 'Financial $$ Aid, not the other way around. Since NAFTA, we have entire cities & tons of infrastructure to rebuild.

Excuse me : Girlfriend thinks I should go to work.

Petras, I just fleshed out your, otherwise, promising article. You must understand – that the ethnic cleansing – genocide, against the Palestinian Nation, by the Terrorist Zionist Oligarchs, is the greatest single crime being committed on our Planet. All other crimes stem from this one.

We Americans must Restore Our Republic!

John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, M L King, Malcolm X. John Lennon; we are late, but we are coming.

God Bless!

Durruti

Durruti , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Agree with all.

Worth repeating:

The threat is not from China or Russia or Iran etc., the threat is from within the U.S. government which is controlled in every facet by the Zionists and dual citizens and is as foreign to the American people as if it were from MARS!

One comment:

Until the American people wake up to the fact that we are slaves on a Zionist plantation and are used as pawns in the Zionist goal of a satanic Zionist NWO and abolish the FED and IRS and break the chains of slavery that the FED and IRS have place upon us, until then nothing will change and the wars and economic destruction by the Zionist kabal will continue!

In order to accomplish the above , we American Citizen Patriots – must Restore Our Republic – that, with our Last Constitutional President, John F. Kennedy, was destroyed by the Zionist Oligarchs and their American underling traitors, in a hail of bullets, on November 22, 1963.

jilles dykstra , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Miro23 " same sense that Hitler, Goebels, Goering, Himmler et al. were war criminals. "
Why were they war criminals ?
Because of the Neurenberg farce ?; farce according to the chairman of the USA Supreme Court in 1945:
Bruce Allen Murphy, 'The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection, The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices', New York, 1983
Churchill and Lindemann in fact murdered some two million German civilians, women, children, old men. Not a crime ?
Churchill refused the May 1941 Rudolf Hess peace proposal, not a crime ?
FDR deliberately provoked Pearl Harbour, some 2700 casualties, his pretcxt for war, not a crime ?
900.000 German hunger deaths between the 1918 cease fire and Versailles, the British food blockade, not a crime ?
Will these wild accusations ever stop ?
Reuben Kaspate , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:17 pm GMT
I am all for the mother of all wars; however, it isn't going to come anytime soon, nay, not in our lifetime but when it does appear on the next century's horizon, it would be cathartic to all concerned. Rejoice!
Charles Carroll , says: December 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX If you want to know who rules over you, ask yourself who you are not permitted to criticize.
Bill Jones , says: December 15, 2018 at 7:49 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra ""Will these wild accusations ever stop ?"

Nah, Don't you know that being a Holohoax victim is now genetically transmitted.

"visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"

And after the forth generation, there'll be something else.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 8:17 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra They were war criminals because they lost the war. But hanging of Bock was a little bit overboard.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
Europe is realigning. England leaving Euro. French population is in upheaval. Eventually France will leave the Euro also.Most of German tourists now are going to Croatia. Italy is loosing tourists.
Italy living standard is declining. Germany is being pushed inevitably toward cooperation with Russia. Only supporter of Ukraine will remain USA. Ukraine will be only burden.
Brussels power will evaporate. NATO will remain only on paper and will cease to be reality.
.
This will be great step toward peace in the world.
Anon [118] Disclaimer , says: Website December 15, 2018 at 9:24 pm GMT
Unexpected turn of events.

http://theduran.com/the-real-reason-western-media-cia-turned-against-saudi-mbs/

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 15, 2018 at 10:58 pm GMT
@Anon Outstanding analysis,

US is treating its allies as used toilet paper.
Obviously Kashogi was sentenced to death for high treason in absence. The sentence was carried out on Saudi Arabia's territory. So in reality it is nobody's business.
All hula-buu did happen because he was a reporter working for warmongering Zionist New york times.

Socratic Truth , says: December 16, 2018 at 12:58 am GMT
@Durruti I agree with you partly, especially when it comes to the US regarding Zionism and the power of the Israel lobby to influence US foreign policy and even domestic policy.
But when it comes to Global governance, you have a somewhat narrow minded approach.
Most of the ills today that happen in the world, is driven by the NEW WORLD ORDER OF NEOLIBERAL GLOBALIZATION.
Unrelated phenomena, such as the destruction in the Middle East (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria), the destruction of Yugoslavia, the coup in Ukraine and the Greek economic catastrophe are a consequence of this NWO expansion. NWO expansion is the phasing out of national sovereignty (through economic and/or military violence) and its replacement by a kind of transnational sovereignty administered by a Transnational Elite. This is the network of the elites mainly based in the G7 countries, which control the world economic and political/ military institutions (WTO, IMF, World Bank, EU, European Central Bank, NATO, UN and so on), as well as the global media that set the agenda of the 'world community'.
The US is an important part of this since it provides the Military Means to integrate countries that do not "comply" with the NWO dictates.
The Zionists carry a lot of blame and are part of that drive for this NWO, but there are others, most of them in the US and Europe.

Here's a good link to an article if you have time, with good info about NWO & Trasnational corporations that are mainly to blame about all the worlds and misery in our world today.

THE MYTHS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER

http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/columnists/15-12-2014/129299-new_world_order_myths-0/

anon_4 , says: December 16, 2018 at 1:18 am GMT
@WHAT back door Intel , embedded ARM Open source Red Hat-IBM Hummm?.

I am not so sure, Mr. What. Experience may not mean much to abused IAI consumers. even if IAI catches up to the exponential fundamentals achieved by Huawei consumers might prefer back-door-free equipment and Operating Systems.

Russian times reported a few weeks ago that Russia has a quite different new processor and an OS that does not use any IAI stuff and is developing a backup Internet for Russians which it expects to expand regionally,

annamaria , says: December 16, 2018 at 1:28 am GMT
Here is lengthy repost from ZeroHedge (the comment section): https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-14/leaked-memo-touts-uk-funded-firms-ability-create-untraceable-news-sites-infowar

"What we have then, are criminal syndicates masquerading as philanthropic enterprises

Norman Dodd, director of research for the (U.S.) REECE COMMITTEE in its attempt to investigate tax exempt foundations, stated:

"The Foundation world is a coordinated, well-directed system, the purpose of which is to ensure that the wealth of our country shall be used to divorce it from the ideas which brought it into being."

The Rothschilds rule the U.S. through the foundations, the Council on foreign Relations, and the Federal Reserve System, with no serious challenges to their power. Expensive 'political campaigns' are routinely conducted, with carefully screened candidates who are pledged to the program of the WORLD ORDER. Should they deviate from the program, they would have an 'accident', be framed on a sex charge, or indicted on some financial irregularity.

Senator Moynihan stated in his book, "Loyalties", "A British friend, wise in the ways of the world, put it thus: "They are now on page 16 of the Plan." Moynihan prudently did not ask what page 17 would bring.

"Tavistock's pioneer work in behavioural science along Freudian lines of 'controlling' humans established it as the world center of FOUNDATION ideology.

[MORE]
Its network extends from the University of Sussex to the U.S. through the Standford Research Institute, Esalen, MIT, Hudson Institute, HERITAGE FOUNDATION, Centre of Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown, where State Dept personnel are trained, US Air Force Intelligence, and the Rand and Mitre corporations.

(at the time of writing, 1992) Today the Tavistock Institute operates a $6 billion a year network of foundations in the U.S., all of it funded by U.S. taxpayers' money. Ten major institutions are under its direct control, with 400 subsidiaries, and 3000 other study groups and think tanks which originate many types of programs to increase the control of the WORLD ORDER over the American people.

The personnel of the FOUNDATIONS are required to undergo indoctrination at one or more of these Tavistock controlled institutions.

A network of secret groups – the MONT PELERIN SOCIETY, TRILATERAL COMMISSION, DITCHLEY FOUNDATION, and CLUB OF ROME is the conduit for instructions to the Tavistock network.

Tavistock Institute developed the mass brain-washing techniques which were first used experimentally on AMERICAN prisoners of war in KOREA.

Its experiments in crowd control methods have been widely used on the American public, a surreptitious but nevertheless outrageous assault on human freedom by modifying individual behaviour through topical psychology.

A German refugee, Kurt Lewin, became director of Tavistock in 1932. He came to the U.S. in 1933 as a 'refugee', the first of many infiltrators, and set up the Harvard Psychology Clinic, which originated the propaganda campaign to turn the American public against Germany and involve the U.S. in WWII.

In 1938, Roosevelt executed a secret agreement with Churchill which in effect ceded U.S. sovereignty to England, because it agreed to let Special Operations Executive control U.S. policies. To implement this agreement, Roosevelt sent General Donovan to London for indoctrination before setting up the OSS (now the CIA) under the aegis of SOE-SIS. The entire OSS program, as well as the CIA has always worked on guidelines set up by the Tavistock Institute.

Tavistock Institute originated the mass civilian bombing raids [against the German people] carried out by [the ALL LIES] Roosevelt and Churchill as a clinical experiment in mass terror, keeping records of the results as they watched the "guinea pigs" reacting under "controlled laboratory conditions".

All Tavistock and American foundation techniques have a single goal – to break down the psychological strength of the individual and render him helpless to oppose the dictators of the WORLD ORDER.

Any technique which helps to break down the family unit, and family inculcated principles of religion, honor, patriotism and sexual behaviour, is used by the Tavistock scientists as weapons of crowd control.

The methods of Freudian psychotherapy induce permanent mental illness in those who undergo this treatment by destabilizing their character. The victim is then advised to 'establish new rituals of personal interactions', that is, to indulge in brief sexual encounters which actually set the participants adrift with no stable personal relationships in their lives – destroying their ability to establish or maintain a family.

Tavistock Institute has developed such power in the U.S. that no one achieves prominence in any field unless he has been trained in behavioural science at Tavistock or one of its subsidiaries. Tavistock maintains 2 schools at Frankfort, birthplace of the Rothschilds, the FRANKFURT SCHOOL, and the Sigmund Freud Institute.

The 'experiment' in compulsory racial integration in the U.S. was organized by Ronald Lippert of the OSS (forerunner of CIA) and the American Jewish Congress, and director of child training at the Commission on Community Relations.

The program was designed to break down the individual's sense of personal knowledge in his identity, his racial heritage. Through the Stanford Research Institute, Tavistock controls the National Education Association.

The Institute of Social Research at the Natl Training Lab brain washes the leading executives of business and government.

Another prominent Tavistock operation is the WHARTON SCHOOL OF FINANCE.

A single common denominator identifies the common Tavistock strategy – the use of drugs such as the infamous MK Ultra program of the CIA, directed by Dr Sidney Gottlieb, in which unsuspecting CIA officials were given LSD and their reactions studied like guinea pigs, resulting in several deaths – no one was ever indicted.

(Source of info: author Eustace Mullins "The World Order: Our Secret Rulers" 2nd ed. 1992. He dedicated his book "to American patriots and their passion for liberty". note: No copyright restrictions)

Socratic Truth , says: December 16, 2018 at 1:31 am GMT
@Agent76 Excellent video. More people need to see this to understand how corrupt the China Totalitarian state works behind the scenes along with the US as part of the Globalization NWO movement to enrich the few and impoverish the rest of the world population.

[Dec 14, 2018] Short Term Thinking Dooms U.S. Anti-China Strategy

Notable quotes:
"... The US rarely arrests senior businesspeople, US or foreign, for alleged crimes committed by their companies. Corporate managers are usually arrested for their alleged personal crimes (such as embezzlement, bribery or violence) rather than their company's alleged malfeasance. ..."
"... Meng is charged with violating US sanctions on Iran. Yet consider her arrest in the context of the large number of companies, US and non-US, that have violated US sanctions against Iran and other countries. ..."
"... The Trump administration is preparing actions this week to call out Beijing for what it says are China's continued efforts to steal American trade secrets and advanced technologies and to compromise sensitive government and corporate computers, according to U.S. officials. ..."
"... Multiple government agencies are expected to condemn China, citing a documented campaign of economic espionage and the alleged violation of a landmark 2015 pact to refrain from hacking for commercial gain ..."
"... Taken together, the announcements represent a major broadside against China over its mounting aggression against the West and its attempts to displace the United States as the world's leader in technology, officials said. ..."
"... The actions come amid mounting intelligence showing a sustained Chinese hacking effort devoted to acquiring sophisticated American technologies of all stripes. A number of agencies -- including the Justice, State, Treasury and Homeland Security departments -- have pushed for a newly aggressive U.S. response. A National Security Council committee coordinated the actions ..."
"... After three centuries of anglo-american imperialism the economic center of the world is moving back to the east . ..."
"... The U.S. is way too late to prevent this move. Its best and most profitable chance is not to challenge, but to accommodate it. That again would require to respect international laws and treaty obligations. The U.S. is not willing to do either. ..."
"... Nothing except a large scale war that results in the destruction of the industrial centers of east Asia, while keeping the U.S. and Europe save, could reverse the trend. Nuclear weapons on all sides and the principal of mutual assured destruction have made such a war unthinkable. What we are likely to see instead will be proxy conflicts in various other countries. ..."
"... The current U.S. strategy is to restrict China's access to foreign markets, advanced technologies, global banking and higher education. While that may for a moment slow down China's rise it will in the long run strengthen China even more. Instead of integrating into the world economy it will develop its own capacities and international systems. ..."
"... dh posted a link on the last thread to China banning import and sale of all iPhones in China (strange, I thought they were made in China? Must be exported and re-imported?). ..."
"... This is interesting. China hits a top US company manufacturing in China by granting an injunction in a case of one US company against another US company, in which one accuses the other of intellectual property theft. China was not expected to find in Qualcomm's favour, according to the article (perhaps in part because Apple manufactures in China therefore is a client of China, so it was expected China might favour Apple). If this decision was influenced by the arrest, the US can hardly point the finger at China! ..."
"... In my opinion, China should make these criminal actions of the US extremely painful indeed, and as quickly as possible ..."
"... With Trump's utterance, he also exposed how he/his government has abused Canada's extradition law for political purposes. Officially in this extradition procedure, the US now has 60 days to submit a complete extradition request which requires far more detail. Meng's court date is set for February. In any case, Canada's rubberstamping of extradition requests (90% are by the US) was already successfully challenged once in the Diab case with France, was criticized by Canada's Superior Court (extraditions are processed at the provincial judicial level), so Trudeau's hiding behind 'judicial process' is two-faced cowardliness. ..."
"... What's even more damning for the collective absolute stupidity of capitalist bigwigs is that I could see this coming more than 20 years ago, yet these idiots blindly charged as if short-term profits were all they wanted and would be enough to ensure their eternal dominance. ..."
"... What an empire does not control they destroy. ..."
"... The "own goal" was not outsourcing manufacturing to China but in not isolating China by bringing Russia into the Western fold. Instead, they kicked Russia while it was down via capitalist "Shock Doctrine" - hoping for total capitulation. Kissinger admits(*) this when, in his typical roundabout way, he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain. ..."
"... Does that moron Kissinger know nothing about WW2? That Kissinger projects an inability to absorb pain onto the Russians suggests that Kissinger knows the Americans have no ability to absorb pain themselves ..."
"... Maybe now Shell executives will be arrested for crimes against humanity in Nigeria. ..."
"... After all, as you stated, these maneuvers wrt Meng are emanating from John (I am the Eggman) Bolton's office and clearly evidence his trademarked hard-boiled belligerence which of course is heartily endorsed by Trump (as an "Art of the Deal" negotiating ploy by the master debater himself) who selected The Walrus in the first place. Or second place if you count Bolton's earlier appointment by that other intellectual giant of the GOP, GW Bush. ..."
"... "Kissinger admits(*) this when, in his typical roundabout way, he says that no one anticipated Russia's ability to absorb pain." Then Kissinger is a bigger fool than I thought. He's old enough to know about WWII, and previous wars as well. I mean, he did study the Napoleonic wars... ..."
"... She's not being accused of trading with Iran. She's being accused of bank fraud (providing false information to obtain a loan). ..."
"... The charges against Meng were brought by Richard P. Donoghue, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Donoghue was appointed as Interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on January 3, 2018, and as Attorney on May 3, 2018. ..."
"... The bottom line is that the bar for extradition from Canada is extremely low, which should worry Ms Meng. ..."
"... The historical West is still violently opposed to the objective rise of a fairer and more democratic polycentric world order. Clinging to the principles of unipolarity, Washington and some other Western capitals appear unable to constructively interact with the new global centres of economic and political influence. A wide range of restrictions are applied to the dissenters, ranging from military force and unilateral economic sanctions to demonisation and mud-slinging in the spirit of the notorious "highly likely." There are many examples of this dirty game...This has seriously debased international law. Moreover, attempts have been made to replace the notion of law with a "rules-based order" the parameters of which will be determined by a select few. ..."
"... We are especially concerned about the activities of the US administration aimed at destroying the key international agreements. These include withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, the declared intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), an open line for revising the settlement principles in the Middle East, as well as sabotaging the Minsk Agreements on overcoming the internal Ukrainian crisis. The trade wars that have been launched contrary to the WTO principles are rocking the global economic architecture, free trade and competition standards. The US establishment, blindly believing in the idea of their exceptionalism, continues to appoint rivals and adversaries, primarily among the countries that pursue an independent foreign policy. Everyone can see that Washington is a loose cannon, liable to act incongruously, including regarding Russia where any steps taken by US President Donald Trump to develop stable and normal channels of communication with Moscow on the biggest current problems are promptly blocked by those who want to continue or even strengthen the destructive approach to relations with Russia, which developed during the previous US administration. ..."
"... Overall, it looks as if the Americans and some of our other Western colleagues have forgotten the basics of diplomacy and the art of dialogue and consensus over the past 25 years. One result of this is the dangerous militarisation of the foreign policy thinking. As RIAC Director General Andrey Kortunov recently pointed out at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting, the Clausewitz formula can be changed to a mirror image, "Politics is a continuation of war by other means. ..."
"... Unfortunately, the U.S. ruling class cares more about the psychic gratification it derives from dominating the world. ..."
"... The prosecutor's case against Meng is fundamentally weak. For instance, there is no identification of a "co-conspirator", necessary to a charge of conspiracy. It does not seem to have been developed much beyond the information developed in the 2013 Reuters investigation. At least half of that relies on unnamed "former employees" and unnamed persons who claimed to have dealt with Skycom in Iran. ..."
Dec 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The United States issued an arrest warrant against the chief financial officer and heir apparent of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou. At issue is a six years old alleged violation of sanctions against Iran. Mrs. Meng was arrested in Canada. She has been set free under a stringent $10 million bail agreement . An extradition trial will follow in February or March.

It is unprecedented that an officer of a large company is personally indicted for the alleged sanction violations by a subsidiary company:

The US rarely arrests senior businesspeople, US or foreign, for alleged crimes committed by their companies. Corporate managers are usually arrested for their alleged personal crimes (such as embezzlement, bribery or violence) rather than their company's alleged malfeasance.
...
Meng is charged with violating US sanctions on Iran. Yet consider her arrest in the context of the large number of companies, US and non-US, that have violated US sanctions against Iran and other countries. In 2011, for example, JPMorgan Chase paid US$88.3 million in fines for violating US sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Sudan. Yet chief executive officer Jamie Dimon wasn't grabbed off a plane and whisked into custody.

The U.S. indicted dozens of banks for violating its sanction regime. They had to pay huge fines (pdf) but none of their officers were ever touched.

We called this U.S. operation a hostage taking to blackmail China . President Trump confirmed that this is indeed the case:

U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene in the U.S. Justice Department's case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

The arrest of Meng is but one part of a larger political campaign against China directed out of the office of National Security Advisor John Bolton:

The Trump administration is preparing actions this week to call out Beijing for what it says are China's continued efforts to steal American trade secrets and advanced technologies and to compromise sensitive government and corporate computers, according to U.S. officials.

Multiple government agencies are expected to condemn China, citing a documented campaign of economic espionage and the alleged violation of a landmark 2015 pact to refrain from hacking for commercial gain.

In typical propaganda style the U.S. media depict the Chinese as enemies:

Taken together, the announcements represent a major broadside against China over its mounting aggression against the West and its attempts to displace the United States as the world's leader in technology, officials said.

...

The actions come amid mounting intelligence showing a sustained Chinese hacking effort devoted to acquiring sophisticated American technologies of all stripes. A number of agencies -- including the Justice, State, Treasury and Homeland Security departments -- have pushed for a newly aggressive U.S. response. A National Security Council committee coordinated the actions.

One wonders what those "mounting aggressions" are supposed to be. Is the U.S. not constantly spying and hacking for economic or political gain?

Other reports today of alleged Chinese hacking are obviously part of the concerted anti-China campaign. As usual no evidence is presented for the vague allegations:

U.S. government investigators increasingly believe that Chinese state hackers were most likely responsible for the massive intrusion reported last month into Marriott's Starwood chain hotel reservation system, a breach that exposed the private information and travel details of as many as 500 million people, according to two people briefed on the government investigation.

These people cautioned that the investigation has not been completed, so definitive conclusions cannot be drawn. But the sweep and tactics of the hack, which took place over four years before being discovered, prompted immediate speculation that it was carried out by a national government.

The new anti-China campaign follows a similar push of anti-Russian propaganda three month ago.

China has taken first countermeasures against Canada's hostage taking on behalf of the United States. It detained Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who now works for the International Crisis Group. Beijing suggest that the ICG is operating illegally in China :

"The relevant organization has violated Chinese laws because the relevant organization is not registered in China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing Wednesday.

China sharply tightened its rules on NGOs operating in the country last year, ..

This will not be the sole Chinese measure against Canada for its role in enforcing extraterritorial U.S. sanctions.

The string of U.S. accusations and measures against China are partly to protect the market share of U.S. companies against better and cheaper Chinese products and partly geopolitical. Neither has anything to do with protecting the international rule of law.

After three centuries of anglo-american imperialism the economic center of the world is moving back to the east .


bigger

The U.S. is way too late to prevent this move. Its best and most profitable chance is not to challenge, but to accommodate it. That again would require to respect international laws and treaty obligations. The U.S. is not willing to do either.

Nothing except a large scale war that results in the destruction of the industrial centers of east Asia, while keeping the U.S. and Europe save, could reverse the trend. Nuclear weapons on all sides and the principal of mutual assured destruction have made such a war unthinkable. What we are likely to see instead will be proxy conflicts in various other countries.

The current U.S. strategy is to restrict China's access to foreign markets, advanced technologies, global banking and higher education. While that may for a moment slow down China's rise it will in the long run strengthen China even more. Instead of integrating into the world economy it will develop its own capacities and international systems.

The U.S. can temporarily hinder the telecommunication equipment provider Huawei by denying it access to U.S. designed chips. It will probably do so. But that will only incentivize Huawei to start its own chip production. With a few years delay it will be back and out-compete U.S. companies with even better and cheaper products.

It is typical for the current U.S. to seek short term advantage while disregarding the long term negative effects of its doing. It is a major reason for China's rise and its future supremacy.

Posted by b on December 12, 2018 at 07:07 AM | Permalink

Comments next page " The reason she is violating trade sanctions against Iran is because Trump suspended the Iran Nuclear treaty. How short-sighted is that?


fayez chergui , Dec 12, 2018 7:21:43 AM | link

Well, all these sanctions are pushing target countries to be self sufficient. That's wonderful. Us are pushing countries for a better production and decrease itself. Smart.
oldenyoung , Dec 12, 2018 8:03:14 AM | link
the King Liar has spoken...the boss of the mafia group U$A... The Chinese will interpret this as a kidnapping for blackmail and act accordingly...this can only get much worse...

way to go Donald...stupid is its own reward...

regards

OY

BM , Dec 12, 2018 8:42:16 AM | link
dh posted a link on the last thread to China banning import and sale of all iPhones in China (strange, I thought they were made in China? Must be exported and re-imported?). This concerns a patent dispute between US company Qualcomm and Apple, over which Qualcomm sued Apple in Chinese courts. The existence of the action in the courts must predate the Meng arrest, but the court decision to support Qualcomm could be influenced by the arrest.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/10/tech/china-iphone-ban/index.html
Posted by: dh | Dec 11, 2018 3:05:37 PM | 6

This is interesting. China hits a top US company manufacturing in China by granting an injunction in a case of one US company against another US company, in which one accuses the other of intellectual property theft. China was not expected to find in Qualcomm's favour, according to the article (perhaps in part because Apple manufactures in China therefore is a client of China, so it was expected China might favour Apple). If this decision was influenced by the arrest, the US can hardly point the finger at China!

It gets better: The Apple executive states in the article that they have stocks of all models in China and sales will not stop. How can this be, if sales are banned? Surely China can then arrest several Apple executives in China for breaking the injunction? Would depend of course on the terms of the injunction, of which the article gave no details.

In my opinion, China should make these criminal actions of the US extremely painful indeed, and as quickly as possible. One person arrested in China is not enough - it should be 10 Americans arrested for 1 Chinese, plus 5 Canadians. China should make sure the US and Canada understand that the ratio will stay constant if the US/Canada respond to the arrests in China. China should also take extremely painful action against US telecomms companies in China to compensate for the campaign against Huawei - it could include denying access to comms links, forcing US telcom communications to go through very expensive route, ceasing negotiations for investment consortia in favour of non-US companies, etc. The difficulty to navigate, of course, is the risk of inciting escalating actions against Huawei; but the Chinese will find excellent startegies I am sure.

daffyDuct , Dec 12, 2018 8:44:52 AM | link
It may be the case that the Huawei equipment is very, very secure, has much better performance. Soon, China will be the tech leader, hence the panic. I have a snippet below, but peruse the article in full on the 5G landscape.

"Huawei has been pouring money into research on 5G wireless networks and patenting key technologies. The company has hired many experts from abroad as well to decide the technical standards for the next generation of wireless communication technology.

As of early 2017, 10% of 1450 patents essential for 5G networks were in Chinese hands in which majority belongs to Huawei and ZTE.

Huawei spent around $12 Billion on R&D in 2017, which was threefold of Ericsson's spending of $4.1 Billion. This year, according to estimates, it will spend $800 million in 5G research and development alone.

The company wants to involve AI in 5G which according to them is a much more integral element of Huawei's 5G strategy. The company also plans to launch a full range of Huawei commercial equipment including wireless access networks, core networks, and devices.

Huawei has also revealed its hopes to launch smartphones ready for supporting 5G networks by 2019 and starting selling in the mid-2019. The company is also said to be working on developing a brand-new chipset for 5G services.

Huawei and Vodafone made the 5G call using non-standalone 3GPP 5G-NR standard and sub 6 GHz spectrum. The two companies built a 5G NR end-to-end test network for the trial and used 3.7GHz spectrum. They also used Huawei Radio Access Network and core network equipment to support the test with microservice-centric architecture, control plane/user plane separation, and unified access and network slicing technology.

Huawei also started manufacturing products that provide 5G services. In Mobile World Congress, Huawei launched its 5G customer-premises equipment (CPE), the world's first commercial terminal device supporting 3GPP standard for 5G. Huawei used its self-developed chipset Balong 5G01 – world's first commercial chipset supporting the 3GPP standard for 5G, with downlink speed up to 2.3 Gbps."

https://www.greyb.com/companies-working-on-5g-technology/

Josh , Dec 12, 2018 8:47:39 AM | link

With Trump's utterance, he also exposed how he/his government has abused Canada's extradition law for political purposes. Officially in this extradition procedure, the US now has 60 days to submit a complete extradition request which requires far more detail. Meng's court date is set for February. In any case, Canada's rubberstamping of extradition requests (90% are by the US) was already successfully challenged once in the Diab case with France, was criticized by Canada's Superior Court (extraditions are processed at the provincial judicial level), so Trudeau's hiding behind 'judicial process' is two-faced cowardliness.

Canada needs to amend its extradition law, become much more stringent, and arm this law against the bullying and abusive southern neighbor who prefers to lord its own laws over others than abide by any kind of international law.

Timothy Hagios , Dec 12, 2018 8:50:51 AM | link
We've been at war with Eurasia long enough. Time for Eastasia! The main question is whether Putin will remain Emmanuel Goldstein or if someone Chinese will get the honor.
bjd , Dec 12, 2018 9:02:26 AM | link
China should just dump US treasuries wholesale, and the US is done for within a week.
Russ , Dec 12, 2018 9:13:19 AM | link
Here's a counter-shot in the trade war.

China is set to introduce maximum residue limits (MRLs) of 200 parts per billion (ppb) or lower for glyphosate in all imported final food products and raw materials including grains, soybeans and other legumes before the end of 2019, according to Sustainable Pulse sources.....

It is expected that China will now import more grains from Russia, where glyphosate is not widely used as a desiccant. This also enables China to use glyphosate as a political tool in the current U.S. / China trade war, as food and raw material imports from the U.S., which often contain high levels of the weedkiller, will be put under major pressure.

https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18647-china-set-to-shock-markets-with-low-glyphosate-residue-limits-in-food-imports

That'll hit Monsanto's Roundup pretty hard. Of course China doesn't really have any problem with glyphosate - it's long been a major producer and exporter itself. So this is obviously a trade war action.

Clueless Joe , Dec 12, 2018 9:14:45 AM |