Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

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

The deep analogy exists between collapse of neoliberalism and dissolution of the USSR. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. Such a state can't last forever and eventually collapses. Neoliberalism which entered zombie state in 2008 now is more cruel and bloodthirsty then before

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  Recommended Links Brexit Casino Capitalism Secular Stagnation Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism Gangster Capitalism Anti-globalization movement Psychological Warfare and the New World Order Key Myths of Neoliberalism Globalization of Corporatism Greenwald US
Elite Theory Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions The Great Transformation Right to protect If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths
Super Capitalism as Imperialism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism America’s Financial Oligarchy Inverted Totalitarism Disaster capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Harvard Mafia Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Republican Economic Policy Monetarism fiasco Small government smoke screen The Decline of the Middle Class
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy Neoliberalism Bookshelf John Kenneth Galbraith Globalization of Financial Flows Humor Etc

Introduction

As the most recent transformation of capitalism, neoliberalism is a broad economic and political project of restoring class power of financial oligarchy it enjoyed in 20th of XX century (financial revanchism). It involved  consolidation, globalization and rapid concentration of financial capital (Giroux 2008; 2014). Both neoliberal  governments and authoritarian societies share one important self-destructive trait: They care only about consolidating power in the hands of the financial elite, common people be damned.  As such it  is not a sustainable social system, although this does not mean that the replacement will be better. It well can be worse.

In any case financial oligarchy is the most criminal and vile part of capitalism class. Probably more vile then limitary industrial complex. The most close to the organized crime. So the fact that they will drive the societies which allowed them to rule of the cliff is govern. Neoliberalism was a toxic ideology designed specifically to restore the power of financial oligarchy and as such it has no staying power.  It is unable to improve the standard of living of the majority of the population as it is oriented on looting of this majority by the financial oligarchy without any interference from the state.  The peak power of neoliberal ideology was the decade of  1990-2000. during this decade the standard of living of working and middle class of the USA was sustained by looting the xUSSR area as well as computer and telecommunication revolution, which partially compensated the deindustrialization trend.

After that neoliberalism experienced series of shocks:

  1. Dot com bubble
  2. Bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble, devaluation of CDOs and the collapse of financial industry. Government bailout at a huge cost instead of deep reforms of financial sector (Obama was really a traitor of his class and his race) . That was a knockdown, but not a knockout. This crisis buried the neoliberal ideology, much like WWII buried Bolsheviks ideology.  At this point neoliberalism entered zombie stage, much like Bolshevism in late forties.
  3. Election of Trump and rejection of candidate of neoliberal elite -- Hillary Clinton by the majority of the US electorate.
  4. Color revolution against Trump by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party which further delegitimized neoliberal elite. Epstein scandal.
  5. Unleashing by Trump administration of the trade war with China and end of "classic neoliberalism" globalization period.
  6. Defeat of the USA in Afghanistan  and realization that the dominance of Atlantic nations (G7) is coming to the end (Macron  remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz  is a nice illustration here)

As an ideology, neoliberalism consider profit-making to be the final arbiter and essence of democracy ("market fundamentalism"). Like Fascism and Bolshevism neoliberalism relies on the power of the state for pushing neoliberal "reforms" and the relentless brainwashing of the population by neoliberal propaganda (including indoctrination of the university students via neoclassical economy courses).   So democracy under neoliberalism is just a fig leaf covering dictatorship of financial oligarchy ("inverted totalitarism'). Despite smoke screen of "free market" rhetoric neoliberal are statists  par excellence. But this is covered by thick smoke screen  of propaganda, which in its intensity, penetration and the level of deception outdo Bolsheviks propaganda by an order of magnitude approaching the level described in Brave New World dystopia. In other words neoliberal population is a thoroughly brainwashed population.

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

From the late 1980s to 2016, neoliberal ideas held hegemonic sway among both the Democratic elite and the Republican elite in the USA. But election of Trump was a sign of the  legitimization of the neoliberal elite and a really serious crack in the neoliberal facade. Which neoliberal elite tried to patch with the campaign of virulent Russophobia (aka RussiaGate.)  Moreover intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party tried to reverse the results of the elections by unleashing the color revolution against Trump.

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

As the mode of governance, neoliberalism produces the way of life driven by a survival-of-the fittest ethic, grounded in the idea of the free, predatory individual in economic jungles. And it declared the moral the right of ruling groups and institutions to exercise power ignoring issues of ethics and social costs (variant of "might is right" mentality).  Epstein scandal (or more correctly the fact that Epstein was not ostracized after his initial conviction and prison term)  is just extreme demonstration of this mentality. 

In the area of economic policies such mentality tend to produce an economy with highly unequal incomes, prevalence of monopolies and high business concentration, unstable booms, and long, painful busts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That means that the crisis of neoliberalism turned from the stage of purely intellectual  problems (collapse and discreditation of the ideology) to the stage of rising political challenges. Under Trump the effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda declined and start approaching the effectiveness of Soviet propaganda under Brezhnev. Neoliberal MSM are viewed by the majority of population of "fake news" -- the label in popularization of which Trump played an important role. Even "leading neoliberal economists" like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and Thomas Piketty started voicing concerns.  Rising inequality lessen the cohesion of neoliberal societies and  created social tensions within them as we see in Marcon France. Even top economist from the IMF have recently acknowledged that neoliberalism has been “oversold”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A generation of economists centered around the Chicago School, including Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, provided the intellectual backbone, gaining strength in the 1950s and '60s. They argued that New Deal structures were a drag on economic growth, and that taxes, regulation, and social insurance needed to be cut. America simply couldn't afford the strangling red tape and high taxes of the New Deal. And this time, they assured everyone, things would be different — no 1929-style crash would be in the cards. That was all a very clever deception,  propaganda design at restoring the power of financial oligarchy undermined by the New Deal capitalism and increasing the rate of profits via financialization of everything. Plus a dream of world neoliberal revolution  taken directly from Trotskyite books (Neoliberalism can be viewed as a Trotskyism for the rich)

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

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

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

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

  1. When the USSR collapsed neoliberal ideology was a clear alternative and the collapse of the USSR coincided with "triumphal march" of neoliberalism around the globe.  In a sense the USSR simply fall on the rails of the neoliberal train.
  2. Right now we do not see such a prominent alternative to the dominant neoliberal ideology, although it is clear that it is wrong and that neoliberal promise that high inequality speeds up economic development and "rising tide lifts all bots" proved to be a fake. But right now  neoliberalism  is still social system that is dominant globally (BTW this is true not only for the USA and Western Europe, but also for Russia and China).  Even after 2008 it managed to counterattack in Argentina and Brazil.
  3. Neoliberalism exists without  major geopolitical threat, unlike Soviet Union which existed in the hostile surrounding of major Western powers with their three letter agencies directly targeting this society. The "collective West" used huge money resources of Western financial system against the USSR, limit access to technology and scientific exchange, and created constant threat of the mere survival which justified huge military expenses (which in turn entrenched Soviet military-industrial complex which starved the civil society) and the burning desire (especially by the US neoliberal elite, which came to power in 1980 ) to get rid of competition by any means possible. 
  4. While Trump administration reminds in its incompetence Brezhnev administration, the gap is still tremendous. While Trump is definitely a third  rate politician, Gorbachov as a politician was simply a naive (and probably bought) idiot. In comparison with him Trump looks like a shrewd statesman (or, at least, a staunch nationalist.) Unless we assume that "Gorby" (cultivated by his handler Margaret Thatcher) was a traitor (the version that became increasingly popular in post Soviet space after 1991). But the complete absence of political talent (Gorbachov came to power as a protégé of Andropov)  is still the primary suspect, because you should not assume sinister motives when incompetence is enough for the explanation of the events (  The Soviet collapse Contradictions and neo-modernization ):

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

  5. Despite all difficulties the USA remains the owner of world reserve currency and the center of technological innovation (although in the later role it somewhat slipped). It military spending (which stimulate fundamental research) remains the largest in the world. The country still remains the magnet for immigration from other countries.
  6. Geographic location of the USA is such that it has no rivals that share common border.

Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The slide to "Neoliberalism in name only" under Trump

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

Trumps "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) mixed with economic nationalism can be called "neoliberalism in name only". Trump foreign economic policies look more and more like an economic aggression, economic racket, then a neoliberal economic policy (which presuppose treating financial oligarchy of other countries as equals). Looks like Trump's "national neoliberalism" became "Hail Mary pass" with which the US financial oligarchy seeks to maintain at all costs it global dominance (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

Which does not bode well for the USA future, if the hypothesis that the same fundamental forces are in play in both cases. In this sense the collapse of neoliberal ideology ("free market fundamentalism"), which happened in  2008 is a bad omen indeed.

There is still a chance that the US elite proves to be flexible again  and manage to escape this "ideological mousetrap" by switching to some new ideology, but they are pretty weak, if we look at the quality of Trump administration and the personalities in the USA Congress. The latter clearly resembles the level of degeneration of Soviet Politburo.

Some members of Congress and key figured in Trump administration way  too closely correspond to the depiction of sociopaths to stay comfortable.  Some are perverts. The same was true about certain parts of Soviet "nomenklatura", especially leaders of Komsomol (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League ), from which such questionable post-communist figures such a Khodorkovsky, in Russia (of "pipes and corpses" film fame), and Turchinov in Ukraine  later emerged.

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

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

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

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

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


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Nov 14, 2019] Neoliberalism Paved the Way for Authoritarian Right-Wing Populism by Henry A. Giroux

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality. ..."
"... This apocalyptic populism was rooted in a profound discontent for the empty promises of a neoliberal ideology that made capitalism and democracy synonymous, and markets the model for all social relations. In addition, the Democratic proponents of neoliberalism, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, participated in the dismantling of the social contract, widening economic inequality, and burgeoning landscapes of joblessness, misery, anger and despair. ..."
"... Liberal democracies across the globe appeared out of touch with not only the misery and suffering caused by neoliberal policies, they also produced an insular and arrogant group of politicians who regarded themselves as an enlightened political formation that worked " on behalf of an ignorant public ." ..."
"... As a regime of affective management, neoliberalism created a culture in which everyone was trapped in his or her own feelings, emotions and orbits of privatization. One consequence was that legitimate political claims could only be pursued by individuals and families rather than social groups. ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | truthout.org

Part of the Series The Public Intellectual

Talk of a looming recession is heating up as the global economy slows and President Trump's tiff with China unsettles financial markets. As world trade contracts, stock markets drop, the manufacturing sector in the United States is in decline for the first time in a decade , and farmers and steel workers continue losing their income and jobs.

Rumors of a coming recession accentuate fears about the further deterioration of conditions faced by workers and the poor, who are already suffering from precarious employment, poverty, lack of meaningful work and dwindling pensions. A global economic slump would make living standards for the poor even worse. As Ashley Smith points out , levels of impoverishment in the United States are already shocking, with "four out of every ten families [struggling] to meet the costs of food, housing, health care, and utilities every month."

Just as the 2008 global economic crisis revealed the failures of liberal democracy and the scourge of neoliberalism, a new economic recession in 2019 could also reveal how institutions meant to serve the public interest and offer support for a progressive politics now serve authoritarian ideologies and a ruling elite that views democracy as the enemy of market-based freedoms and white nationalism.

What has not been learned from the 2008 crisis is that an economic crisis neither unites those most affected in favor of a progressive politics nor does it offer any political guarantees regarding the direction of social change. Instead, the emotions that fueled massive public anger toward elites and globalization gave rise to the celebration of populist demagogues and a right-wing tsunami of misdirected anger, hate and violence toward undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslims and people of color.

The 2008 financial crisis wreaked havoc in multiple ways. Yet there was another crisis that received little attention: a crisis of agency. This crisis centered around matters of identity, self-determination and collective resistance, which were undermined in profound ways, giving rise to and legitimating the emergence of authoritarian populist movements in many parts of the world, such as United States, Hungary, Poland and Brazil.

At the heart of this shift was the declining belief in the legitimacy of both liberal democracy and its pledges about trickle-down wealth, economic security and broadening equal opportunities preached by the apostles of neoliberalism. In many ways, public faith in the welfare state, quality employment opportunities, institutional possibilities and a secure future for each generation collapsed. In part, this was a consequence of the post-war economic boom giving way to massive degrees of inequality, the off-shoring of wealth and power, the enactment of cruel austerity measures, an expanding regime of precarity, and a cut-throat economic and social environment in which individual interests and needs prevailed over any consideration of the common good. As liberalism aligned itself with corporate and political power, both the Democratic and Republican Parties embraced financial reforms that increased the wealth of the bankers and corporate elite while doing nothing to prevent people from losing their homes, being strapped with chronic debt, seeing their pensions disappear, and facing a future of uncertainty and no long-term prospects or guarantees.

Neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality.

In an age of economic anxiety, existential insecurity and a growing culture of fear, liberalism's overheated emphasis on individual liberties "made human beings subordinate to the market, replacing social bonds with market relations and sanctifying greed," as noted by Pankaj Mishra. In this instance, neoliberalism became an incubator for a growing authoritarian populism fed largely by economic inequality. The latter was the outcome of a growing cultural and political polarization that made "it possible for haters to come out from the margins, form larger groups and make political trouble." This toxic polarization and surge of right-wing populism produced by casino capitalism was accentuated with the growth of fascist groups that shared a skepticism of international organizations, supported a militant right-wing nationalism, and championed a surge of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-democratic values.

This apocalyptic populism was rooted in a profound discontent for the empty promises of a neoliberal ideology that made capitalism and democracy synonymous, and markets the model for all social relations. In addition, the Democratic proponents of neoliberalism, such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, participated in the dismantling of the social contract, widening economic inequality, and burgeoning landscapes of joblessness, misery, anger and despair.

At the same time, they enacted policies that dismantled civic culture and undermined a wide range of democratic institutions that extended from the media to public goods such as public and higher education. Under such circumstances, democratic narratives, values and modes of solidarity, which traded in shared responsibilities and shared hopes, were replaced by a market-based focus on a regressive notion of hyper-individualism, ego-centered values and a view of individual responsibility that eviscerated any broader notion of social, systemic, and corporate problems and accountability.

Ways of imagining society through a collective ethos became fractured, and a comprehensive understanding of politics as inclusive and participatory morphed into an anti-politics marked by an investment in the language of individual rights, individual choice and the power of rights-bearing individuals.

Under the reign of neoliberalism, language became thinner and more individualistic, detached from history and more self-oriented, all the while undermining viable democratic social spheres as spaces where politics bring people together as collective agents and critically engaged citizens. Neoliberal language is written in the discourse of economics and market values, not ethics. Under such circumstances, shallowness becomes an asset rather than a liability. Increasingly, the watered-down language of liberal democracy, with its over-emphasis on individual rights and its neoliberal coddling of the financial elite, gave way to a regressive notion of the social marked by rising authoritarian tendencies, unchecked nativism, unapologetic expressions of bigotry, misdirected anger and the language of resentment-filled revolt. Liberal democracies across the globe appeared out of touch with not only the misery and suffering caused by neoliberal policies, they also produced an insular and arrogant group of politicians who regarded themselves as an enlightened political formation that worked " on behalf of an ignorant public ."

The ultimate consequence was to produce later what Wolfgang Merkel describes as "a rebellion of the disenfranchised." A series of political uprisings made it clear that neoliberalism was suffering from a crisis of legitimacy further accentuated by the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the election of Donald Trump, support for the National Rally ( formerly known as the National Front ) in France, and the emergence of powerful right-wing populist movements across the globe.

What has been vastly underestimated in the rise of right-wing populism is the capture of the media by authoritarian populists.

As a regime of affective management, neoliberalism created a culture in which everyone was trapped in his or her own feelings, emotions and orbits of privatization. One consequence was that legitimate political claims could only be pursued by individuals and families rather than social groups. In this instance, power was removed from the social sphere and placed almost entirely in the hands of corporate and political demagogues who used it to enrich themselves for their own personal gain.

Power was now used to produce muscular authority in order "to secure order, boundaries, and to divert the growing anger of a declining middle and working-class," Wendy Brown observes . Both classes increasingly came to blame their economic and political conditions that produced their misery and ravaged ways of life on "'others': immigrants, minority races, 'external' predators and attackers ranging from terrorists to refugees." Liberal-individualistic views lost their legitimacy as they refused to indict the underlying structures of capitalism and its winner-take-all ethos.

Functioning largely as a ruthless form of social Darwinism, economic activity was removed from a concern with social costs, and replaced by a culture of cruelty and resentment that disdained any notion of compassion or ethical concern for those deemed as "other" because of their class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. This is a culture marked by gigantic hypocrisies, "the gloomy tabulation of unspeakable violent events," widespread viciousness, "great concentrations of wealth," "surveillance overkill," and the "unceasing despoliation of biospheres for profit."

George Monbiot sums up well some of the more toxic elements of neoliberalism, which remained largely hidden since it was in the mainstream press less as an ideology than as an economic policy. He writes :

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning. Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimized, public services should be privatized. The organization of labor and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

In the neoliberal worldview, those who are unemployed, poor consumers or outside of the reach of a market in search of insatiable profits are considered disposable. Increasingly more people were viewed as anti-human, unknowable, faceless and symbols of fear and pathology. This included undocumented immigrants in the United States and refugees in Europe, as well as those who were considered of no value to a market society, and thus eligible to be deprived of the most basic rights and subject to the terror of state violence.

Marking selected groups as disposable in both symbolic and material forms, the neoliberal politics of disposability became a machinery of political and social death -- producing spaces where undesirable members are abused, put in cages , separated from their children and subject to a massive violation of their human rights. Under a neoliberal politics of disposability, people live in spaces of ever-present danger and risk where nothing is certain; human beings considered excess are denied a social function and relegated to what Étienne Balibar calls the "death zones of humanity." These are the 21st century workstations designed for the creation and process of elimination; a death-haunted mode of production rooted in the "absolute triumph of irrationality."

Economic and cultural nationalism has become a rallying cry to create the conditions for merging a regressive neoliberalism and populism into a war machine.

Within this new political formation, older forms of exploitation are now matched, if not exceeded, by a politics of racial and social cleansing, as entire populations are removed from ethical assessments, producing zones of social abandonment. In this new world, there is a merging of finance capital and a war culture that speaks to a moral and political collapse in which the welfare state is replaced by forms of economic nationalism and a burgeoning carceral state .

Furthermore, elements of this crisis can be seen in the ongoing militarization of everyday life as more and more institutions take on the model of the prison. Additionally, there is also the increased arming of the police, the criminalization of a wide range of behaviors related to social problems, the rise of the surveillance state, and the ongoing war on youth, undocumented immigrants, Muslims and others deemed enemies of the state.

Under the aegis of a neoliberal war culture, we have witnessed increasing immiseration for the working and middle classes, massive tax cuts for the rich, the outsourcing of public services, a full-fledged attack on unions, the defunding of public goods, and the privatization of public services extending from health and education to roads and prisons. This ongoing transfer of public resources and services to the rich, hedge fund managers, and corporate elite was matched by the corporate takeover of the commanding institutions of culture, including the digital, print and broadcast media. What has been vastly underestimated in the rise of right-wing populism is the capture of the media by authoritarian populists and its flip side, which amounts to a full-fledged political attack on independent digital, online and oppositional journalists.

While it is generally acknowledged that neoliberalism was responsible for the worldwide economic crisis of 2008, what is less acknowledged is that structural crisis produced by a capitalism on steroids was not matched by subjective crisis and consequently gave rise to new reactionary political populist movements. As economic collapse became visceral, people's lives were upended and sometimes destroyed. Moreover, as the social contract was shredded along with the need for socially constructed roles, norms and public goods, the "social" no longer occupied a thick and important pedagogical space of solidarity, dialogue, political expression, dissent and politics.

As public spheres disappeared, communal bonds were weakened and social provisions withered. Under neoliberalism, the social sphere regresses into a privatized society of consumers in which individuals are atomized, alienated, and increasingly removed from the variety of social connections and communal bonds that give meaning to the degree to which societies are good and just.

Establishment politics lost its legitimacy, as voters rejected the conditions produced by financialized capitalism.

People became isolated, segregated and unable " to negotiate democratic dilemmas in a democratic way " as power became more abstract and removed from public participation and accountability. As the neoliberal net of privilege was cast wider without apology for the rich and exclusion of others, it became more obvious to growing elements of the public that appeals to liberal democracy had failed to keep its promise of a better life for all. It could no longer demand, without qualification, that working people should work harder for less, and that democratic participation is exclusively about elections. What could not be hidden from many disenfranchised groups was that ruling elites produced what Adam Tooze describes as "a disastrous slide from the hypocrisies and compromises of the previous status quo into something even [more dangerous]."

As the global crisis has intensified since 2008, elements of a political and moral collapse at the heart of an authoritarian society are more obvious and find their most transparent expression of ruthlessness, greed and unchecked power in the rule of Donald Trump. As Chris Hedges points out :

The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military "virtues" are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch . Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages.

The slide into authoritarianism was made all the easier by the absence of a broad-based left mass movement in the United States, which failed to provide both a comprehensive vision of change and an alignment of single-issue groups and smaller movements into one mass movement. Nancy Fraser rightly observes that following Occupy, "potential links between labour and new social movements were left to languish. Split off from one another, those indispensable poles of a viable left were miles apart, waiting to be counterposed as antithetical."

Since the 1970s, there has been a profound backlash by economic, financial, political and religious fundamentalists and their allied media establishments against labor, an oppositional press, people of color and others who have attempted to extend the workings of democracy and equality.

As the narrative of class and class struggle disappeared along with the absence of a vibrant socialist movement, the call for democracy no longer provided a unifying narrative to bring different oppressed groups together. Instead, economic and cultural nationalism has become a rallying cry to create the conditions for merging a regressive neoliberalism and populism into a war machine. Under such circumstances, politics is imagined as a form of war, repelling immigrants and refugees who are described by President Trump as "invaders," "vermin" and "rapists." The emergence of neoliberalism as a war machine is evident in the current status of the Republican Party and the Trump administration, which wage assaults on anything that does not mimic the values of the market. Such assaults take the form of fixing whole categories of people as disposable, as enemies, and force them into conditions of extreme precarity -- and in increasingly more instances, conditions of danger. Neoliberal capitalism radiates violence, evident in its endless instances of mass shooting, such as those that took place most recently in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. This should not be surprising for a society that measures power by the speed that it removes itself from any sense of ethical and social responsibility. As Beatrix Campbell puts it ,

The richest society on the planet is armed. And it invests in one of the largest prison systems in the world. Violence circulates between state and citizen. Drilled to kill, doomed to die: mastery and martyrdom is the heartbreaking dialectic of the manufacture of militarized, violent masculinity . The making and maintaining of militarised masculinities is vital to these new modes of armed conflict that are proliferating across the flexible frontiers of globalized capitalism, between and within states.

What has become clear is that the neoliberal agenda has been a spectacular failure . Moreover, it has mobilized on a global level the violent political, social, racial and economic energies of a resurgent fascist politics. Across the globe, right-wing modes of governance are appearing in which the line collapses between "outside foreign enemies" such as refugees and undocumented immigrants, on the one hand, and on the other, inside "dangerous" or "treasonous" classes such as critical journalists, educators and dissidents.

As neoliberal economies increasingly resort to violence and repression, fear replaces any sense of shared responsibilities, as violence is not only elevated to an organizing principle of society, but also expands a network of extreme cruelty. Imagining politics as a war machine, more and more groups are treated as excess and inscribed in an order of power as disposable, enemies, and [forced] into conditions of extreme precarity. This is a particularly vicious form of state violence that undermines and constrains agency, and subjects individuals to zones of abandonment, as evident in the growth of immigrant jails and an expanding carceral complex in the United States and other countries, such as Hungary.

As neoliberalism's promise of social mobility and expanding economic progress collapsed, it gave way to an authoritarian right-wing populism looking for narratives on which to pin the hatred of governing elites who, as Paul Mason notes , "capped health and welfare spending, [imposed] punitive benefit withdraws [that] forced many families to rely on food banks [and] withdraw sickness and disability benefits from one million former workers below retirement age."

Across the globe, a series of uprisings have appeared that signal new political formations that rejected the notion that there was no alternative to neoliberal hegemony. This was evident not only with the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, but also with the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and support for popular movements such as the National Rally in France. Establishment politics lost its legitimacy, as voters rejected the conditions produced by financialized capitalism.

In the United States, both major political parties were more than willing to turn the economy over to the bankers and hedge fund managers while producing policies that shaped radical forms of industrial and social restructuring, all of which caused massive pain, suffering and rage among large segments of the working class and other disenfranchised groups. Right-wing populist leaders across the globe recognized that national economies were in the hands of foreign investors, a mobile financial elite and transnational capital. In a masterful act of political diversion, populist leaders attacked all vestiges of liberal capitalism while refusing to name neoliberal inequities in wealth and power as a basic threat to their societies. Instead of calling for an acceleration of the democratic ideals of popular sovereignty and equality, right-wing populist leaders, such as Trump, Bolsonaro and Hungary's Viktor Orbán defined democracy as the enemy of those who wish for unaccountable power. They also diverted genuine popular anger into the abyss of cultural chauvinism, anti-immigrant hatred, a contempt of Muslims and a targeted attack on the environment, health care, education, public institutions, social provisions and other basic life resources. As Arjun Appadurai observes , such authoritarian leaders hate democracy, capture the political emotions of those treated as disposable, and do everything they can to hide the deep contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.

In this scenario, we have the resurgence of a fascist politics that capitalizes on the immiseration, fears and anxieties produced by neoliberalism without naming the underlying conditions that create and legitimate its policies and social costs. While such populists comment on certain elements of neoliberalism such as globalization, they largely embrace those ideological and economic elements that concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a political, corporate and financial elite, thus reinforcing in the end an extreme form of capitalism. Moreover, right-wing populists may condemn globalization, but they do so by blaming those considered outside the inclusive boundaries of a white homeland even though the same forces victimize them . At the same time, such leaders mobilize passions that deny critical understanding while simultaneously creating desires and affects that produce toxic and hypermasculine forms of identification.

Authoritarian leaders hate democracy and do everything they can to hide the deep contradictions of neoliberal capitalism.

In this instance, an oppressive form of education becomes central to politics and is used as a tool of power in the struggle over power, agency and politics. What is at stake here is not simply a struggle between authoritarian ideas and democratic ideals, but also a fierce battle on the part of demagogues to destroy the institutions and conditions that make critical thought and oppositional accounts of power possible. This is evident, for example, in Trump's constant attack on the critical media, often referring to them as "'the enemy of the people' pushing 'Radical Left Democrat views,'" even as journalists are subject to expulsion, mass jailing and assassination across the world by some of Trump's allies.

Waging war on democracy and the institutions that produce it, neoliberalism has tapped into a combination of fear and cathartic cruelty that has once again unleashed the mobilizing passions of fascism, especially the historically distinct registers of extreme nationalism, nativism, white supremacy, racial and ethnic cleansing, voter suppression, and an attack on a civic culture of critique and resistance. The result is a new political formation that I have called neoliberal fascism, in which the principles and practices of a fascist past and neoliberal present have merged, connecting the worst dimensions and excesses of gangster capitalism with the fascist ideals of white nationalism and racial supremacy associated with the horrors of a fascist past.

Neoliberal fascism hollows out democracy from within, breaks down the separation of power while increasing the power of the presidency, and saturates cultural and social life with its ideology of self-interest, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos, and regressive notions of freedom and individual responsibility.

What needs to be acknowledged is that neoliberalism as an extreme form of capitalism has produced the conditions for a fascist politics that is updated to serve the interest of a concentrated class of financial elite and a rising tide of political demagogues across the globe.

The mass anger fueling neoliberal fascism is a diversion of genuine resistance into what amounts to a pathology, which empties politics of any substance. This is evident also in its support of a right-wing populism and its focus on the immigrants and refugees as "dangerous outsiders," which serves to eliminate class politics and camouflage its own authoritarian ruling class interests and relentless attacks on social welfare.

A new economic slump would further fuel forces of repression and strengthen the forces of white supremacy.

In the face of a looming global recession, it is crucial to understand the connection between the rise of right-wing populism and neoliberalism, which emerged in the late 1970s as a commanding ideology fueling a punitive form of globalization. This historical moment is marked by unique ideological, economic and political formations produced by ever-increasing brutal forms of capitalism, however diverse.

Governing economic and political thinking everywhere, neoliberalism's unprecedented concentration of economic and political power has produced a toxic state modeled after the models of finance and unchecked market forces. It has also produced a profound shift in human consciousness, agency and modes of identification. The consequences have become familiar and include cruel austerity measures, adulation of self-regulating markets, the liberating of capital from any constraints, deregulation, privatization of public goods, the commodification of everyday life and the gutting of environmental, health and safety laws. It has also paved the way for a merging of extreme market principles and the sordid and mushrooming elements of white supremacy, racial cleansing and ultranationalism that have become specific to updated forms of fascist politics.

Such policies have produced massive inequities in wealth, power and income, while further accelerating mass misery, human suffering, the rise of state-sanctioned violence and ever-expanding sites of terminal exclusion in the forms of walls, detention centers and an expanding carceral state. An impending recession accentuates the antagonisms, instabilities and crisis produced by the long history and reach of neoliberal ideologies and policies.

A new economic slump would further fuel forces of repression and strengthen the forces of white supremacy, Islamophobia, nativism and misogyny. In the face of such reactionary forces, it is crucial to unite various progressive forces of opposition into a powerful anti-capitalist movement that speaks not only to the range of oppressions exacerbated by neoliberalism, but also to the need for new narratives that speak to overturning a system steeped in the machineries of war, militarization, repression and death.

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and is the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books include: Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education (Haymarket 2014), The Violence of Organized Forgetting (City Lights 2014), Dangerous Thinking in the Age of the New Authoritarianism (Routledge, 2015), America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016), America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017), The Public in Peril (Routledge, 2018) and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism (City Lights, 2018) and The Terror of the Unforeseen (LARB Books, 2019). Giroux is also a member of Truthout 's Board of Directors.

[Nov 14, 2019] In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%.

Nov 14, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Nomad Money said in reply to Buscar Mañana... , November 11, 2019 at 09:08 AM

"In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%."
~~Elizabeth Warren~

do you see how EW has finally opened our eyes?

sure! poor people think about wealth as being income. they think about Wealth as being their salary. from the perspective of a wealthy senator wealth is a function of assets. EW had the guts to share this perspective with us, to open our eyes to reality.

we should not be taxing the payroll we should not be taxing the capital gains and other income. we should be taxing non productive assets, assets which cannot be hidden which cannot be taken off shore.

the Swiss have such a tax. all of their real estate is taxed at a rate of 0.3% per annum. it would be easy for us to stop all local taxes All County taxes all state taxes and all federal tax then initiate a 1% tax on all real property unimproved and on all improved real property. we should continue this tax until our federal debt is completely discharged. such a taxation shift would revv up our productive activity and increase our per capita GDP. as usual there would be winners and there would be losers. the losers would be those who want more inequality and the winners would be

those who want more
equality
.!

[Nov 14, 2019] Opinion Attack of the Wall Street Snowflakes by Paul Krugman

Notable quotes:
"... Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral." ..."
"... Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

No, the really intense backlash against Warren and progressive Democrats in general is coming from Wall Street . And while that opposition partly reflects self-interest, Wall Street's Warren hatred has a level of virulence, sometimes crossing into hysteria, that goes beyond normal political calculation.

What's behind that virulence?

First, let's talk about the rational reasons Wall Street is worried about Warren. She is, of course, calling for major tax increases on the very wealthy, those with wealth exceeding $50 million, and the financial industry is strongly represented in that elite club. And since raising taxes on the wealthy is highly popular , it's an idea a progressive president might actually be able to turn into real policy.

Warren is also a big believer in stricter financial regulation; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was highly effective until the Trump administration set about gutting it, was her brainchild.

So if you are a Wall Street billionaire, rational self-interest might well induce you to oppose Warren. Rationality does not, however, explain why a money manager like Leon Cooperman -- who just two years ago settled a suit over insider trading for $5 million, although without admitting wrongdoing -- would circulate an embarrassing, self-pitying open letter denouncing Warren for her failure to appreciate all the wonderful things billionaires like him do for society.

Nor does it explain why Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral."

The real tell here, I think, is that much of the Wall Street vitriol now being directed at Warren was previously directed at, of all people, President Barack Obama.

Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012.

I wonder, by the way, if this history helps explain an odd aspect of fund-raising in the current primary campaign. It's not surprising that Warren is getting very little money from the financial sector. It is, however, surprising that the top recipient isn't Joe Biden but Pete Buttigieg , who's running a fairly distant fourth in the polls. Is Biden suffering from the lingering effects of that old-time Obama rage?

In any case, the point is that Wall Street billionaires, even more than billionaires in general, seem to be snowflakes, emotionally unable to handle criticism.

I'm not sure why that should be the case, but it may be that in their hearts they suspect that the critics have a point.

What, after all, does modern finance actually do for the economy? Unlike the robber barons of yore, today's Wall Street tycoons don't build anything tangible. They don't even direct money to the people who actually are building the industries of the future. The vast expansion of credit in America after around 1980 basically involved a surge in consumer debt rather than new money for business investment.

Moreover, there is growing evidence that when the financial sector gets too big it actually acts as a drag on the economy -- and America is well past that point .

Now, human nature being what it is, people who secretly wonder whether they really deserve their wealth get especially angry when others express these doubts publicly. So it's not surprising that people who couldn't handle Obama's mild, polite criticism are completely losing it over Warren.

What this means is that you should beware of Wall Street claims that progressive policies would have dire effects. Such claims don't reflect deep economic wisdom; to a large extent they're coming from people with vast wealth but fragile egos, whose rants should be discounted appropriately. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .

[Nov 13, 2019] The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The credibility of neoliberalism's faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity is on life-support these days. And well it should be. The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation. Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years. ..."
"... The effects of capital-market liberalization were particularly odious: If a leading presidential candidate in an emerging market lost favor with Wall Street, the banks would pull their money out of the country. Voters then faced a stark choice: Give in to Wall Street or face a severe financial crisis. It was as if Wall Street had more political power than the country's citizens. 1 ..."
"... Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told, "You can't pursue the policies you want" – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – "because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer." 1 ..."
"... How can wage restraint – to attain or maintain competitiveness – and reduced government programs possibly add up to higher standards of living? Ordinary citizens felt like they had been sold a bill of goods. They were right to feel conned. ..."
"... If the 2008 financial crisis failed to make us realize that unfettered markets don't work, the climate crisis certainly should: neoliberalism will literally bring an end to our civilization. But it is also clear that demagogues who would have us turn our back on science and tolerance will only make matters worse. ..."
"... The sad truth is, human nature is selfish, and the elites will always do whatever it takes to protect their own interests. With this being the basis of all political systems, it only comes down to how the elites can best serve their own interests. In democracies, it relies on creating an illusion of people's power. ..."
Nov 04, 2019 | www.project-syndicate.org

For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?

NEW YORK – At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a celebrated essay called " The End of History? " Communism's collapse, he argued, would clear the last obstacle separating the entire world from its destiny of liberal democracy and market economies. Many people agreed.

Today, as we face a retreat from the rules-based, liberal global order, with autocratic rulers and demagogues leading countries that contain well over half the world's population, Fukuyama's idea seems quaint and naive. But it reinforced the neoliberal economic doctrine that has prevailed for the last 40 years.

The credibility of neoliberalism's faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity is on life-support these days. And well it should be. The simultaneous waning of confidence in neoliberalism and in democracy is no coincidence or mere correlation. Neoliberalism has undermined democracy for 40 years.

The form of globalization prescribed by neoliberalism left individuals and entire societies unable to control an important part of their own destiny, as Dani Rodrik of Harvard University has explained so clearly , and as I argue in my recent books Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited and People, Power, and Profits . The effects of capital-market liberalization were particularly odious: If a leading presidential candidate in an emerging market lost favor with Wall Street, the banks would pull their money out of the country. Voters then faced a stark choice: Give in to Wall Street or face a severe financial crisis. It was as if Wall Street had more political power than the country's citizens. 1

Even in rich countries, ordinary citizens were told, "You can't pursue the policies you want" – whether adequate social protection, decent wages, progressive taxation, or a well-regulated financial system – "because the country will lose competitiveness, jobs will disappear, and you will suffer." 1

In rich and poor countries alike, elites promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. To get there, though, workers would have to accept lower wages, and all citizens would have to accept cutbacks in important government programs.

The elites claimed that their promises were based on scientific economic models and "evidence-based research." Well, after 40 years, the numbers are in: growth has slowed, and the fruits of that growth went overwhelmingly to a very few at the top. As wages stagnated and the stock market soared, income and wealth flowed up, rather than trickling down.

How can wage restraint – to attain or maintain competitiveness – and reduced government programs possibly add up to higher standards of living? Ordinary citizens felt like they had been sold a bill of goods. They were right to feel conned.

We are now experiencing the political consequences of this grand deception: distrust of the elites, of the economic "science" on which neoliberalism was based, and of the money-corrupted political system that made it all possible.

The reality is that, despite its name, the era of neoliberalism was far from liberal. It imposed an intellectual orthodoxy whose guardians were utterly intolerant of dissent. Economists with heterodox views were treated as heretics to be shunned, or at best shunted off to a few isolated institutions. Neoliberalism bore little resemblance to the "open society" that Karl Popper had advocated. As George Soros has emphasized , Popper recognized that our society is a complex, ever-evolving system in which the more we learn, the more our knowledge changes the behavior of the system. 2

Nowhere was this intolerance greater than in macroeconomics, where the prevailing models ruled out the possibility of a crisis like the one we experienced in 2008. When the impossible happened, it was treated as if it were a 500-year flood – a freak occurrence that no model could have predicted. Even today, advocates of these theories refuse to accept that their belief in self-regulating markets and their dismissal of externalities as either nonexistent or unimportant led to the deregulation that was pivotal in fueling the crisis. The theory continues to survive, with Ptolemaic attempts to make it fit the facts, which attests to the reality that bad ideas, once established, often have a slow death. 3

If the 2008 financial crisis failed to make us realize that unfettered markets don't work, the climate crisis certainly should: neoliberalism will literally bring an end to our civilization. But it is also clear that demagogues who would have us turn our back on science and tolerance will only make matters worse.

The only way forward, the only way to save our planet and our civilization, is a rebirth of history. We must revitalize the Enlightenment and recommit to honoring its values of freedom, respect for knowledge, and democracy.

Follow Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University, is the co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize, former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and former Chief Economist of the World Bank. His most recent book is People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent .

[Nov 13, 2019] Bolivia is the same scenario than in the Ukraine, where communists and other opposed factions in Rada were beaten, covered in paint and thrown in waste containers...until they left the country. Remaining to be elected only those puppets of oligarchs or the US... Bolivia coup was orchestrated with direct assist of OAS analysis/report which identified alleged voting fraud

Nov 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 22:41 utc | 160

Are we starting to witness some state cinture in Spain?
After yesterday warning, is the socialist government of Sánchez turning, at least a bit, if only in form, socialist?

( after the advance of the "devotes of Trump´s night worship" in yesterday elections and probably progession of Spanish policy investigation on Barcelona riots, two events that reinforced each other? )

Spain condemns military intervention in the resignation of Morales

Spain criticizes the role of the Bolivian Army and Police in the resignation of President Evo Morales, after protests against his re-election.

Spain joins the avalanche of international comdenations before the proceeding of the Bolivian Army and Police at the juncture that the Latin American country is going through, since, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, that proceeding reminds past times in Latin American history, even more when President Evo Morales opted for a new call for elections.

"Spain condemns that the process opened yesterday towards a new electoral call has been distorted by the intervention of the Armed Forces and the Police, suggesting to Evo Morales to submit his resignation", the note said.

Likewise, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls "all actors to avoid resorting to violence" and "to guarantee the security of all Bolivians (...) including former President Morales himself, his relatives and members of his administration".

For his part, the general secretary of the Spanish Unidas Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, has written on his Twitter account that "Coup d'etat in Bolivia. Shameful that there are media that say the army makes the president resign. In the last 14 years Bolivia has improved all its social and economic indicators. All our support to the Bolivian people and Evo Morales".



Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:31 utc | 51

The style of scaring the people is a total imitation from post-Maidan Ukraine, where communists and other opposed factions in Rada were beaten, covered in paint and thrown in waste containers...until they left the country...

Then Myrotvorets was launched and the first killings on those who dared to quition Euromaydan events... Recall Alex Buzina... Any compromised intellectual will suffer the same fate in Bolivia...

Guess who is behind this coup at the letter of the book...

Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:41 utc | 52
Pillaging has already started at Evo´s home...I told you that this follow the book of Maidan verabtim...
#Breaking they ransack the house of the president @evoespueblo, persecution this is what follows with the resignation of @evoespueblo

https://twitter.com/madeleintlSUR/status/1193668989622325248

Vasco da Gama , Nov 10 2019 23:43 utc | 53
Don't get me wrong Sasha, I don't think Evo's team objective, 2 weeks after they've win them, was to repeat elections so soon. This is likely their best approach right now, for the sake of Bolivians and their supporters. Not mentioning possible reaction a la Caracas.
Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:44 utc | 54
#InfoMV Evo Morales denounced that his security personnel were offered 50 thousand dollars for him to be delivered to violent opposition groups. He held Fernando Camacho and Carlos Mesa responsible for what would happen to him or García Linera.

https://twitter.com/Mision_Verdad/status/1193667429823664128

Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:49 utc | 55
@Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 10 2019 23:43 utc | 53

You seem to be unaware of the developments of events to this time, Evo called for elections BEFORE he was oblied to resign by police and military rebels, and made leave the country...
Elections now with every Evo´s supporter under menace of death would only throw a fake result favourable to the opposition who did not manage to win elections democratically...

This is the same scenario than in the Ukraine, where representatives of the working people were never more able to concur to elections and had to leave the country, remaining to be elected only those puppets of oligarchs or the US...

Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:53 utc | 56
Fascist pickets taking over Venezuelan Embassy...Look what kind of people is this...
Free elections in Bolivia now? Do not make me laugh!

https://twitter.com/LaHojillaenTV/status/1193655455886827527

#NoAlGolpeEnBolivia
#EvoNoEstasSolo

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 0:23 utc | 61
Pasquinades posted by coupist opposition before Efvo´s resignation what ccan illustrate why the government has resigned so fast...
Pure fascism....
What I told you? Here you have the Bolivian Myrotvorets .....

https://twitter.com/TorresVirly/status/1193607591152308224

Translation of the pasquinade:

Traitor Tracking The population is asked to register all the social network publications of the "Cyber llunkus". Take screenshots and copy the links of the publications and profiles of the "Cyber Llunkus".

The M.A.S. ( Evo´s party ) is a criminal organization.
Once Evo Morales falls, a rake will be made to identify the traitorous of the people "Cyber Llunkus" and imprison them through the location of their mobile devices.
Fake profiles will not save them.

#Civil Resistance Bolivia

Now that the US tells us the tale of democratic elections in Bolivia now...


karlof1 , Nov 11 2019 0:47 utc | 65
pogohere @49 & arby @50--

A people's Counter-revolution that sweeps the Reactionaries down the drain once and for all.

Chavez was keen to the CIA's modus and thus reformed the military in numerous respects, particularly by making it impervious to corruption--AND--instituting the uniquely structured Bolivarian Constitution. Evo's problems stem from the lack of extensive public support as proven by the election results that kept him from instituting the sort of reforms Chavez accomplished; and the same goes for all other Latin American nations. In a nutshell, the Bolivian people squabbled too much amongst themselves and never constructed the type of Revolutionary constitution and social system required to be resilient to outside manipulation. Yes, Venezuela was very much a Bottom->Up remaking of society to the point where the Comprador upper 10% didn't matter, which is why Chavez then Maduro left them to their own devices. But elsewhere, the popular masses never generated the required solidarity to prevent losing their hard won freedoms. Sure, it's possible to regain power through the ballot box, but it can be just as easily lost as is happening now in Bolivia if preventative measures aren't taken beforehand.

Nations must have constitutions that don't allow for rich minorities to gain control or to allow them to begin in control as in the USA's case. But to institute such an instrument, the popular masses must act as one and cast their factionalisms aside until this primary aspect of consolidating power in their hands becomes the law of their land. Plus, they must again drop their in-fighting when confronted by any reactionary threat and remember what the main task is at all times--Maintenance of Freedom.

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 0:52 utc | 66
Here the tweet of the Mexican Foreign Secretary announcing that 20 people have already been granted asylum and that Evo Morales is offered asylum.

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1193676949450829824

psychohistorian , Nov 11 2019 0:58 utc | 67
Sorry to read about the military coup in Bolivia.

We all see what seems to be the demise of empire but facts on the ground tell a different story today in Bolivia. I am sorry for the pain and suffering for many caused by my country under the control of the global private finance cult. I continue to try and spread the word about the perfidy of Western empire and will keep trying but am limited in my abilities.

I hope to live to see the demise of private finance led empire all over the world. Humanity deserves a better future.

psychohistorian , Nov 11 2019 0:58 utc | 67
Sorry to read about the military coup in Bolivia.

We all see what seems to be the demise of empire but facts on the ground tell a different story today in Bolivia. I am sorry for the pain and suffering for many caused by my country under the control of the global private finance cult. I continue to try and spread the word about the perfidy of Western empire and will keep trying but am limited in my abilities.

I hope to live to see the demise of private finance led empire all over the world. Humanity deserves a better future.

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:05 utc | 68
@Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 11 2019 0:47 utc | 65

What saved Venezuela was the huge investing in education started with Chavez, in that they counted with the help and advice of people from the Spanish left ...
Bolivian people, of the poor class, are mostly poorly educated people...and so easy to buy and fool...as this images show...
Look that this people ransacking Evo´s home, they are not white patricios ...but those who they have payed to do the dirty work...indigenous people poorly dressed...collaborating in ovrthrowing the legitimate democratically elected from their own...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1193667619485818881

It was a poor peasant who sold Ché Guevara to "Pat´s unit", in gratitude for a medical officila having attended his son´s wounded foot....

The same lesson could be taken out from the events in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon...

Paul , Nov 11 2019 1:10 utc | 69
Wow, it seems the US went straight for the throat this time in Bolivia.
Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:10 utc | 70
Demonstrators supporting Evo Morales in Cochabamba...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1193666222036000770

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:17 utc | 71
@Posted by: Paul | Nov 11 2019 1:10 utc | 69

Yeah..this time is no different from others, they always go straight to the throat of the weak and poor...Totally depsicable...
To their own, earning points in the view of the world...

psychohistorian , Nov 11 2019 1:34 utc | 72
@ Sasha who wrote
"
What saved Venezuela was the huge investing in education started with Chavez, in that they counted with the help and advice of people from the Spanish left ...
Bolivian people, of the poor class, are mostly poorly educated people...and so easy to buy and fool...as this images show...
"

I agree, thank you for your commenting and want to add my perspective to that.

If you read many who come and comment at MoA that supposedly are "educated" you will notice that they continue to think and write in terms of the conflict being between socialism and capitalism in spite of myself, karlof1 and others that continually point out that China is 80% capitalistic as are other "socialistic" countries but what matters is what part of the social economy is socialism versus capitalism. That is why I continue to beat my drum about the evil of global private finance that is the core problem with the social contract of the West. Look at how many in the West are brainwashed to not understand the difference between public/private finance and its effects on the whole culture and aggressive nature of the society under that meme.

That, IMO, is the core education that all those in the West and all striving to throw off the chains/economic jackboot of the West must learn and take to heart.

flankerbandit , Nov 11 2019 1:37 utc | 73
Very disappointing to hear about Evo...but this is just one round in a very long fight...

In Argentina we have a new government for the people...in Mexico also...Lula is out of jail now in Brazil so eventually that will turn also...

The empire is rotting but is very dangerous right now because they are lashing out everywhere...we see in Lebanon and Iraq they are not succeeding...

This is desperation we see folks...they are losing control quickly and are trying to forestall the inevitable collapse of their global fascist dictatorship...

I think the end will come much sooner than they expect...the house of cards is teetering badly...

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:42 utc | 74
Camacho confirms arrest warrant against Evo Morales

Maidán script all the way....They do not have enough with hi resigning, they need to wipe out such honest leader form the face of Earth, at least while the "new fake elections" to maskerade the take over by the opposition are developed...as happened with Lula....

Here, US Lawyer sees all the signature of the US around the place...as happens to me...

https://www.rt.com/news/473105-morales-resignation-us-interference/

Jen , Nov 11 2019 1:57 utc | 75
karlof1 @ 65, Sasha @ 68:

A significant factor is that the anti-Morales opposition is based mainly in Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia. This is the largest department (in territory and population) in Bolivia and has significant natural gas reserves. The indigenous people living in that department have virtually nothing in common with the highland indigenous people (Aymara and Quechua speakers) who formed Morales' base.

Morales did not have a military background as Chavez did and we can presume he was never able to cultivate a network of militias among the urban and rural working class that could support and defend his government. Significantly it was the armed forces who asked Morales to resign.

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:58 utc | 76
@Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 11 2019 1:34 utc | 72

Sorry...but the conflict is between socialism and capitalism...between the rich and the working masses, especially those who work and still they remain poor....as has always been....who says otherwise is only trying to fool the masses...

Of course, you people in this forum who live over the average peer, I do not try that you understand...
You live in your world, looking your belly button, and the furthest you are willing to go is complain here about the Outlaw US Empire...

Why do you not damn go tomorrow in the streets to protest this new coup by your fascist administration?

Do not tell me, that would risk your privileged pensions...and all those expensive things you do to your bodies...

Excuse me, but today, reading the same stupid things of always make me feel like throwing up...

Ghost Ship , Nov 11 2019 3:42 utc | 83
Pompeo tweeted:
Fully support the findings of the @OAS_official report recommending new elections in #Bolivia to ensure a truly democratic process representative of the people's will. The credibility of the electoral system must be restored.

Will he still support new elections in the morning?
Meanwhile the protesters are calling MAS a criminal organization so no doubt it'll be excluded from the new elections as happened to the Party Of The Regions in Ukraine. The wonders of American "democracy".
arby , Nov 11 2019 15:42 utc | 120
"
Scott T. Patrick
‏ @PompeiiDog

Why was Evo Morales overthrown? He was nationalizing the highly profitable lithium industry and planning to deal directly on the international market rather than exporting the commodity at bargain prices to Western corporations"


"Bolivia has %43 of World's Lithium mines. Batteries from smartphones to Electric cars are all made with Lithium. Evo Morales was investing in facilities to produce Lithium as a high end export material rather than just exporting the mine itself."

Johny Conspiranoid , Nov 11 2019 15:44 utc | 121
Peter AU1

Somewhere on his blog "Sic Semper Tyrannis", maybe earlier this year, Pat relates the tale of how when working for the US Gov. in Bolivia he gave medical help to someone and was rewarded with information which led to the capture of Che Guevara. This may be what Sasha is referring to.

Peter AU1 , Nov 11 2019 18:41 utc | 145
https://www.export.gov/article?id=Bolivia-Hydrocarbons
"Bolivia - Hydrocarbons
This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data."

"The Hydrocarbons law (Law 3058, May 2005) and a subsequent Supreme Decree (May 2006) require that companies sell all production to YPFB and that domestic market demand be met before exporting hydrocarbons. Furthermore, these laws transfer the entire transport and sales chain over to state control. After the law was enacted, hydrocarbon companies were required to sign new contracts with YPFB, agreeing to pay 50 percent of gross production in taxes and royalties."

"Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices."

karlof1 , Nov 11 2019 18:57 utc | 147
I usually try to read all the comments before making my first of the day, but I have yet to do so, although I looked to see if anyone had linked to Escobar's report on Lula and Brazil , which is an extremely important article for events within Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and the rest of the world that's resisting the Outlaw US Empire and its Neoliberal/Neofascist attack dogs.

The information Pepe provides is very important as it jibes with what Assad averred in his RT interview , for which I'm still looking for a transcript. Here's Pepe's warning about the likely future course of events, which has CIA scrawled over every act:

"With the military betting on a strategy of chaos, augmented by Lula's immense social base all over Brazil fuming about his return to prison and the financial bubble finally burst, rendering the middle classes even poorer, the stage would be set for the ultimate toxic cocktail: social 'commotion' allied with 'terrorism' associated with 'organized crime.'

"That's all the military needs to launch an extensive operation to restore "order" and finally force Congress to approve the Brazilian version of the Patriot Act (five separate bills are already making their way in Congress).

" This is no conspiracy theory. This is a measure of how incendiary Brazil is at the moment, and Western mainstream media will make no effort whatsoever to explain the nasty, convoluted plot for a global audience ." [My Emphasis]

jayc , Nov 11 2019 21:10 utc | 151
Bolivia coup was orchestrated with direct assist of OAS analysis/report which identified alleged voting fraud. OAS report focuses on a vote-counting system called TREP, which was adopted by Bolivia and others in the region on direct advice of OAS. The TREP system is meant to provide/ publicize initial results, but it is not "official". The official results come from a slower and more thorough vote count process. The OAS claim of irregularities in the TREP count is largely irrelevant, as it was never intended to be "official" or legally reflect official results. There were no irregularities in the official count, won by Morales, and the so-called "delay" was in fact the natural process of the slower moving count to produce the official result.

See this analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
http://cepr.net/publications/reports/bolivia-elections-2019-11

Ghost Ship , Nov 11 2019 21:40 utc | 154
While Trump denounced Morales, the US State Department stepped in to sanitize Washington's position, with a senior official telling Reuters that the US has "no preference" among opposition candidates. The spokesperson did say, however, that anyone who tried to "distort" last month's vote should not be allowed to participate .

That's MAS banned from the election by the cunts in the fucking State Department. Imagine if the Russian MFA announced that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties could field presidential candidates in 2020. Trump is an idiot but the State Department, DoJ, and Treasury are the real bastards. Forget the CIA, that's just a bunch of senile tossers who have wet dreams about Cold War 2.0.

Don Bacon , Nov 12 2019 0:19 utc | 166
b mentioned lithium with reference to Bolivia in his 139 above

Nov 11, 2019 -- Bolivian Coup Comes Less Than a Week After Morales Stopped Multinational Firm's Lithium Deal
"Bolivia's lithium belongs to the Bolivian people. Not to multinational corporate cabals."

The Morales move on Nov. 4 to cancel the December 2018 agreement with Germany's ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA) came after weeks of protests from residents of the Potosí area. The region has 50% to 70% of the world's lithium reserves in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats.
Among other clients, ACISA provides batteries to Tesla; Tesla's stock rose Monday after the weekend.
As Bloomberg News noted in 2018, that has set the country up to be incredibly important in the next decade:
Demand for lithium is expected to more than double by 2025. The soft, light mineral is mined mainly in Australia, Chile, and Argentina. Bolivia has plenty -- 9 million tons that have never been mined commercially, the second-largest amount in the world -- but until now there's been no practical way to mine and sell it. . . here

But Teslas catch fire....from ZPower--
Actually, lithium may be in trouble for vehicle batteries.
Just as lithium-ion (Li-ion) replaced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) before it and nickel cadmium (NiCd) before that, silver zinc (AgZn) batteries are on track to replace Li-ion too, according to a McGraw-Hill forecast as far back as 2010. Since then silver zinc has been perfected and are on the market for rechargeable hearing-aid "button" batteries by ZPower LL (Camarillo, Calif.) They are nonflammable and could provide up to 40 percent more run time than lithium-ion batteries. . . here
bevin , Nov 12 2019 0:53 utc | 168
Credit where its due: both Corbyn and Sanders have issued statements against the coup in Bolivia.
On the other hand the recently re-elected, appalling government of Canada has backed it to the hilt. Was probably involved in financing it. See yves engler
https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/11/canada-backs-coup-against-bolivias-president/

The State Department which rarely misses a chance to discredit the democracy that it so hates, is accusing Morales of 'distorting' the election result. Nobody is suggesting that he didn't win the election, at most it is being claimed that his margin of victory, more than 10%, was exaggerated.
A similar, equally spurious claim was used to justify the coup against Aristide. There it was not disputed that Lavelan candidates had won their senatorial elections but that their victories were merely pluralities not majorities.
For this offence Canada, the US and (let it be recalled) Brazil occupied the country, kidnapped Aristide and banned his party from running in future elections.

[Nov 13, 2019] Ecuador The Restoration of Neoliberalism and the Monroe Doctrine by Dr. Birsen Filip

Nov 10, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

On November 7, 2019, the National Court of Justice of Ecuador ratified the preventive detention of former president Rafael Correa , along with a number of his former officials. Immediately after the court rendered its decision for pretrial detention, Correa rejected accusations of bribery, illicit association and contributions to his political campaign between 2012 and 2016, while he was the leader of Alianza Patria Altiva i Soberana (PAIS). Correa founded Alianza PAIS in 2006, as a democratic socialist political party with an objective to achieve economic and political sovereignty, and foment a social and economic revolution in the nation, which came to be known as The Citizens' Revolution (La Revolución Ciudadana).

During his presidency, which lasted from January 15, 2007 to May 24, 2017, Correa introduced a brand of 21 st century socialism to Ecuador, with a focus on improving the living standards of the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population. His presidency was part of 'the revolutionary wave' in Latin America, referred to as 'Pink tide', where a number of left-wing and socialist governments swept into power throughout the continent during the 2000s, including Cristina Néstor Kirchner and Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. All of these governments were opposed to neo-liberal economic policies and American imperialism.

While he was president, Correa raised taxes on the rich and cut down on tax evasion, and increased public investment on infrastructure and public services, including publicly-funded pensions, housing, free health care and education. His government ended up building many schools in different parts of the nation, particularly the countryside, and provided students with nearly all of the materials needed to further their studies. President Correa also more than doubled the minimum wage, which contributed to significantly reducing socioeconomic inequality. In 2018, a World Bank report explained that:

Ecuador has made notable improvements in reducing poverty over the last decade. Income poverty decreased from 36.7 percent in 2007 to 21.5 percent in 2017. In addition, the share of the population living in extreme poverty fell by more than half, from 16.5 percent in 2007 to 7.9 percent in 2017, representing an average annual drop of 0.9 percentage points. In absolute numbers, these changes represent a total of 1.6 million individuals exiting poverty, and about one million exiting extreme poverty over the last decade.[i]

Furthermore, the unemployment rate fell from an 'all time high of 11.86 percent in the first quarter of 2004' to 'a record low of 4.54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014'[ii]. The World Bank also reported that Ecuador posted annual economic growth of '4.5 percent during 2001-2014, well above the average for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region of 3.3 percent. During this period, real GDP doubled and real GDP per capita increased by 50 percent.'[iii]

On October 1, 2016, Correa announced the nomination of Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés , who served as his vice president from 2007 to 2013, as his party's candidate for the 2017 presidential election at the conference of Alianza PAIS. Moreno was elected president, and it was expected that he would continue and build on Correa's left-wing economic policies. However, within a few months of winning the election, president Moreno began to dismantle many of the social, economic and political reforms enacted by Correa during his decade as president. Contrary to Correa's government, many of the domestic policies pursued by president Moreno included reducing public spending, weakening worker rights, and providing significant tax cuts to the rich and large corporations. In other words, president Moreno has gradually shifted Ecuador's left-wing policies to the political centre-right.

Moreno's presidency also shifted Ecuador's foreign policy stance, giving it a more neo-liberal and pro-American orientation. When Correa's socialist government was in power, Ecuador enjoyed close diplomatic and economic relations with Venezuela, and was more independent of American hegemony. For example, president Correa closed a US military base in Manta, Ecuador when Washington's lease expired in 2009. Prior to that, in 2007, Correa stated:

We'll renew the [Manta air] base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base if there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely, they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.[iv]

Subsequently, on September 18, 2009, he also said:

As long as I am president, I will not allow foreign bases in our homeland, I will not allow interference in our affairs, I will not negotiate our sovereignty and I will not accept guardians of our democracy.

Contrary to Correa, the US-Ecuador military relationship has expanded under the Moreno government 'through training, assistance, and the reestablishment of an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Quito.'[v]Ecuador and the US have also signed deals for the purchase of weapons and other military equipment, and agreed to cooperate more closely in the areas of security, intelligence, and counter-narcotics.

In 2011, president Correa expelled US ambassador Heather Hodges from Quito. Subsequently, in 2014, his government expelled the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from the country, where it had been operating since 1961 as part of John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress (AFP)[vi]. USAID regularly exercises 'soft power' in Latin American nations in order to help the US establish itself as an 'international police power'[vii]. In May 2019, Moreno's government announced that USAID would return to Ecuador.

President Correa also became renowned for providing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with political asylum in Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 to prevent his arrest and possible extradition to the US. However, shortly after his election, there were indications that Moreno might be willing to hand him over to authorities in the UK. In addition to calling Assange an 'inherited problem,' a 'spoiled brat' and a 'miserable hacker', Moreno accused him of repeatedly violating his asylum conditions and of trying to use the embassy as a 'centre for spying'[viii]. Then, on April 11, Assange's political asylum was revoked, which allowed him to be forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy by British police.In response, Correa called Moreno 'the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history' for committing 'a crime humanity will never forget'[ix].

President Correa's government supported the integration of South America countries into a single economic and political bloc. However, since Moreno came to power, Ecuador has distanced itself from the Venezuelan government, and withdrew from the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas[x](ALBA) in August 2018, as well as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in September 2019. UNASUR was established by 12 South American countries in 2008to address important issues in the region without the presence of the United States. Currently, only five members remain: Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The other seven members, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay, agreed to create the Forum for the Progress of South America (PROSUR) in March 2019. The goal of this alternative organization is to achieve the right-wing agenda in Latin America, as its members support neo-liberal austerity measures and closer ties with Washington. It could be said that PROSUR aligns well with the goals and objectives of the Monroe Doctrine.

Another major shift in president Moreno's political stance pertains to lawsuits brought against Texaco/Chevron by the Correa government to obtain compensation for environmental damages caused when the operations of Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001) dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic wastewater in the Amazon region of Ecuador between 1964 and 1992, affecting more than 30,000 Indigenous people and Campesinos in the area. 'Chevron left 880 pits full of crude oil which are still there, the rivers are still full of hydrocarbon sediment and polluted by the crude oil spills in Amazonia, which is one of the most biodiversity rich regions in the world'[xi], and 'the damage has been left unrepaired for more than 40 years'[xii]. To raise public awareness about this environmental disaster, president Correa's government established an international campaign called the 'Dirty Hand of Chevron'. In 2011, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court ordered Chevron to pay $9.5 billion in compensation for social and environmental damages it caused.

In September 2018, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), an agency of the United Nations based in the Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the Ecuadorian court decision against Chevron was illegal, because it was an outcome of fraud, bribery, and corruption. The PCA 'also ruled that Ecuador will have to pay economic compensation'[xiii]to Chevron. 'The amount has not been established yet, but Chevron requested that Ecuador assume the US$9.5 billion' awarded to affected communities by the Ecuadorean court.[xiv]Following the PCA decision, the government of president Moreno announced that:

the state will sue former President Rafael Correa and his government officials if Ecuador lost the international arbitration process.[xv]

In this matter, president Moreno also accused Correa of 'failing to defend the country's interests correctly and spending money on "The Dirty Hand of Chevron" campaign, which according to the government sought to "manipulate national and international public opinion."'[xvi] In reality, president Moreno supports the PCA decision, thereby prioritizing the interest of Texaco/Chevron over those of his own citizens . In fact, his government has been attempting to nullify the Constitutional Court ruling against Chevron. In response, former president Correa has accused the Moreno government of 'doing homework ordered by (the United States Vice President Mike) Pence'. Even some of Moreno's own cabinet ministers condemned the PCA ruling and expressed their support for Ecuador's Constitutional Court for defending of the country's nationals interest and the rights of the people of the Amazon.

Sell Out: How Corruption, Voter Fraud and a Neoliberal Turn Led Ecuador's President Moreno to Give Up Assange

Correa exhibited a hostile attitude towards the Bretton Woods Institutions during his presidency. He sought to renegotiate Ecuador's external debt of US$10.2 billion, which he called 'illegitimate' because 'it was accrued during autocratic and corrupt regimes of the past. Correa threatened to default on Ecuador's foreign debt, and ordered the expulsion of the World Bank's country manager'[xvii], which was carried out on April 26, 2007. His government also opposed the signing of any agreements that would permit the IMF to monitor Ecuador's economic plan. As a result of such actions on the part of Correa's government, 'Ecuador was able to renegotiate its debt with its creditors and redirect public funds towards social investments.'[xviii]

To the contrary, Moreno has enthusiastically embraced the IMF during his short time as president. On March 1, 2019, Ecuador's central bank manager, Verónica Artola Jarrín, and economy and finance minister, Richard Martínez Alvarado,submitted a letter of intent to the IMF requesting a three-year $4.2 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement. An EFF allows the IMF to assist countries that are facing 'serious medium-term balance of payments problems.' More precisely, EFF is designed to:

to provide assistance to countries: (i) experiencing serious payments imbalances because of structural impediments; or (ii) characterized by slow growth and an inherently weak balance of payments position. The EFF provides assistance in support of comprehensive programs that include policies of the scope and character required to correct structural imbalances over an extended period.[xix]

The IMF agreement signed in March allowed Ecuador to borrow $4.2 billion. However, as is always the case, the IMF agreement was not without conditionalities, as it required the Ecuadorian government to implement a series of neo-liberal economic reforms. According to IMF statements, these reforms aim to transform Ecuador's fiscal deficit into a surplus, reduce the country's debt-to-GDP ratio, and increase foreign investment. On March 11, 2019, Christine Lagarde, former Managing Director of the IMF, claimed that:

The Ecuadorian authorities are implementing a comprehensive reform program aimed at modernizing the economy and paving the way for strong, sustained, and equitable growth.[xx]

On March 11, 2019, Christine Lagarde also explained that:

Achieving a robust fiscal position is at the core of the authorities' program, which will be supported by a three-year extended arrangement from the IMF. The aim is to reduce debt-to-GDP ratio through a combination of a wage bill realignment, a careful and gradual optimization of fuel subsidies, a reprioritization of capital and goods and services spending, and a tax reform. The savings generated by these measures will allow for an increase in social assistance spending over the course of the program. The authorities will continue their efforts to strengthen the medium-term fiscal policy framework, and more rigorous fiscal controls and better public financial management will help to enhance the effectiveness of fiscal policy.[xxi]

Protecting the poor and most vulnerable segments in society is a key objective of the authorities' program. In this context, the authorities plan to extend the coverage of, and increase the nominal level of benefits under the existing social protection programs. Work is also underway to improve the targeting of social programs.[xxii]

Ecuador's participation in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) represents another point of contention between Correa and the Moreno government. Ecuador was a member of OPEC from 1973 and 1992. After a period of absence, it rejoined the organization in 2007 after Correa became president of the country. However, on October 1 st , president Moreno announced that Ecuador would once again end its membership in OPEC effective January 1, 2020. Given Moreno's penchant for implementing neo-liberal economic policies, this decision was likely based on the notion that freeing the country from the burden of having to abide by quotas would bring fiscal sustainability to Ecuador. This is evidenced by the fact that Ecuador contacted OPEC to request permission to produce above its quota in February 2019, though it was never confirmed whether a response was received[xxiii]. While increasing production in its Amazonian oil fields would likely bring more foreign investment to Ecuador and open up new markets, it would also lead to serious conflicts between the Moreno government and the indigenous people living in the area, who are strongly opposed to oil extraction.

In addition to announcing Ecuador's departure from OPEC, president Moreno also selected October 1 st as the date to introduce Decree 883, a series of economic measures that included ending longstanding subsidies for fuel, the removal of some import tariffs, and cuts to the benefits and wages of public employees. In particular, the elimination of fuel subsidies, which had been in place for 40 years, was instituted in order to meet IMF requirements to keep the $4.2 billion programme on track, and to satisfy international investors. The EFF agreement between the IMF and the Ecuadorean government also called for thousands of public employees to be laid off, the privatization of public assets, the separation of the central bank from the government, cutting public expenditures, and raising taxes over the next three years. IMF representatives claim that these types of reforms bring more foreign direct investment into the economy.

In fact, a close examination of the neo-liberal economic reforms recommended by the IMF in many countries reveals that they are almost identical, meaning that they do not take the diverse needs and realities of each country into account; rather, they are driven by the interests of the countries and other stakeholders that provide the funds. Generally, the IMF's recommendations[xxiv]consist of cutting deficits, liberalizing trade, privatizing state-owned enterprises, reforming the banking and financial systems, increasing taxes, raising interest rates, and reforming key sectors. However, countless studies have revealed that these types of reforms, have raised the unemployment rate, created poverty, and have often preceded recessions. On October 2, 2019, the IMF issued a press release on Ecuador stating that:

The reforms announced yesterday by President Lenin Moreno aim to improve the resilience and sustainability of Ecuador's economy and foster strong, and inclusive growth. The announcement included important measures to protect the poor and most vulnerable, as well as to generate jobs in a more competitive economy.

The authorities are also working on important reforms aimed at supporting Ecuador's dollarization, including the reform of the central bank and the organic code of budget and planning.

IMF staff will continue to work closely with the authorities to improve the prospects for all Ecuadorians. The second review is expected to be submitted to the Executive Board in the coming weeks.[xxv]

President Moreno's decision to end the subsidies on fuel led to the prices of diesel and petroleum increasing by 100% and 30%, respectively, overnight, which directly contributed to significantly raising the costs of public transportation. In response, protests erupted against Moreno's austerity measures on October 3 rd , featuring students, unions and indigenous organizations. They declared an indefinite general strike until the government reversed its neo-liberal adjustment package. Moreno's initial response was to reject the ultimatum and state that he would 'not negotiate with criminals.'

The following day, on October 4, 2019, president Moreno declared a state of emergency under the pretext of ensuring the security of citizens and to 'avoid chaos.' Nonetheless, the protests continued and intensified to the point that the government was forced to relocate to city of Guayaquil because Quito had been overrun by anti-government protestors. However, this attempt to escape the protestors proved ineffective as taxi, bus and truck drivers blocked roads and bridges in Guayaquil, as well as in Quito, which disrupted transportation nationwide.

In the following days, thousands of demonstrators continued to demand the reversal of austerity measures, as well as the resignation of the president. However, Moreno remained defiant, refusing both demands under all circumstances. Subsequently, Ecuador's main oil pipeline ceased operations after it was seized by indigenous protesters. Petro-Ecuador was concerned that production losses could reach 165,000 barrels a day. Indigenous protesters also occupied two water treatment plants in the city of Ambato. Meanwhile, violent clashes between protesters and police resulted in seven deaths , about 2,000 injuries, and over 1,000 arrests. Eventually, Moreno's government was forced to back down and make concession with the well -organised protesters.

On October 13, president Moreno agreed to withdraw Decree 883 and replace the IMF-backed plan with a new proposal, involving negotiations with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and other social groups. The following day, president Moreno signed Decree 894, which reinstated the cancelled fuel subsidies. However, on October 23, CONAIE released a statement informing the public that 'it paused talks with President Lenin Moreno because of the government's "persecution" of the group's leaders [Jaime Vargas] since a halt to violent anti-austerity protests.'[xxvi]

It is unlikely that president Moreno would be willing to give up on his austerity policies or start the process of cancelling the IMF loan, given his apparent commitment to helping the US realize the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine. Many of the reforms and policies that his government has introduced will help keep Ecuador firmly entrenched in America's backyard for years to come.

This is not a new development, as history has revealed that, for more than a century , 'in Latin America there are more than enough of the kind of rulers who are ready to use Yankee troops against their own people when they find themselves in crisis' (Fidel Castro, Havana 1962). However, the eruption of protests in response to Moreno's neo-liberal reforms suggests that he faces an uphill battle, as his fellow Ecuadorians do not appear to share his enthusiasm for selling his country to external creditors and foreign influences. Although Moreno has managed to successfully drive Rafael Correa out of Ecuador, the former president's opposition to capitalism and imperialism remain strong among the population.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Global Research contributor Dr. Birsen Filip holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Ottawa.

[Nov 13, 2019] Russia and China have realised that a bifurcation of the world economy into a US sphere and a non-US sphere is now unavoidable and they are playing the long game

Nov 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kadath , Nov 11 2019 19:02 utc | 148

Re: Paul #142,


Yes, the US and the EU betrayed the Iran deal the moment the ink was on the page and Trump's actions merely formalized an open betrayal. However, with respect to Russia and China's intentions regarding Iran, I surmise that they have realised that a bifurcation of the world economy into a US sphere and a non-US sphere is now unavoidable and they are playing the long game. By allowing the US/EU to continue threaten and harass Iran, violating their own agreement, they are in effect allowing the Europeans to slit their own throats with respect to their trustworthiness and independence, after all why sign an agreement with the EU if they fold like a wet tissue the moment the Americans change their minds. Whereas the Russians and Chinese give iron-clad guarantees and are dependable allies.

Further, the Russians and Chinese are under no formal obligations to defend Iran's interest (and both states have prior, though minor, issues with Iran), so I imagine they see the American's actions as useful for indirectly pressuring the Iranians into more favorable trade and security relations. That having been said, I imagine the Chinese and Russians have jointly agreed to some non-negotiable redlines regarding US actions towards Iran that they will allow. Namely, I think if the US were to attack Iran they would start funneling arms to them immediately and turn a blind eye towards Iranian counter moves in the rest of the Middle East. Though I'm curious as to b's opinion on this matter, what does he think the Russians and Chinese would do if the US attacked Iran or were crazy enough to invade?

flankerbandit , Nov 11 2019 19:49 utc | 149

Kadath...
I imagine the Chinese and Russians have jointly agreed to some non-negotiable redlines regarding US actions towards Iran that they will allow.

I agree with that...

I imagine they [Russia and China] see the American's actions as useful for indirectly pressuring the Iranians into more favorable trade and security relations.

I don't see this at all...I don't think trade has anything to do with it...security only indirectly...

I think Russia and China would like to see Iran move toward a more mature diplomacy, that is more in alignment with the impeccably legalistic position of the two powers that are shaping the emerging new order...

The overarching aim for the duo is to restore a functioning international legal order, as embodied in the creation of the UN and its charter...as well as the supreme authority of the Security Council...

This order was the outcome of WW2 in which both China and Russia suffered greatly...and both are adamant about restoring a genuine legal order where outlaw states cannot thumb their nose with impunity...

The key here is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization...which is clearly the most important supranational 'club' in the world...and only getting stronger...

Iran has been in the SCO 'waiting room' for a long time now...even Turkey will likely get in sooner...

A couple of reasons for that, and it has to do with Iran's politics...

First, Iran is a theocracy at bottom...the state embodies many desirable aspects of socialism in its functioning, but it also views itself as the 'defender' of world Islam...anywhere, anytime...

This is not up to par to the diplomacy practiced by the likes of Putin and Xi...

For instance, the Iranians were quick to jump into the manufactured 'Rohingya crisis' in Burma...which is clearly an agitation project designed to put a stick in the spokes of the BRI...

China was surely irritated...

For Russia, another irritant coming from Iran is its maximalist approach to Israel...we note that a large population of Israel is Russian-speaking...

Israel does have the right to exist in its pre-1967 borders, as established by UNSC 242 and other subsequent resolutions...[it must also withdraw unconditionally from those occupied territories as per those resolutions, but, with the US backing, is ignoring international law]...

So Iran is not quite up to par diplomatically as far as the two big powers shaping the new world order are concerned...

However...I do not think that either Russia or China would try to exploit the pressure on Iran by steering it towards the path they would like...I don't think they would make such a linkage, as this itself is bad diplomacy...

The bottom line is that there is probably zero desire on either Russia or China's part to exploit Iran's situation...this is not how these two powers operate...

[Nov 12, 2019] Ecuador The Restoration of Neoliberalism and the Monroe Doctrine - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Glo

Nov 12, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Ecuador: The Restoration of Neoliberalism and the Monroe Doctrine By Dr. Birsen Filip Global Research, November 10, 2019 Region: Latin America & Caribbean Theme: Global Economy , History

On November 7, 2019, the National Court of Justice of Ecuador ratified the preventive detention of former president Rafael Correa , along with a number of his former officials. Immediately after the court rendered its decision for pretrial detention, Correa rejected accusations of bribery, illicit association and contributions to his political campaign between 2012 and 2016, while he was the leader of Alianza Patria Altiva i Soberana (PAIS). Correa founded Alianza PAIS in 2006, as a democratic socialist political party with an objective to achieve economic and political sovereignty, and foment a social and economic revolution in the nation, which came to be known as The Citizens' Revolution (La Revolución Ciudadana).

During his presidency, which lasted from January 15, 2007 to May 24, 2017, Correa introduced a brand of 21 st century socialism to Ecuador, with a focus on improving the living standards of the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population. His presidency was part of 'the revolutionary wave' in Latin America, referred to as 'Pink tide', where a number of left-wing and socialist governments swept into power throughout the continent during the 2000s, including Cristina Néstor Kirchner and Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. All of these governments were opposed to neo-liberal economic policies and American imperialism.

While he was president, Correa raised taxes on the rich and cut down on tax evasion, and increased public investment on infrastructure and public services, including publicly-funded pensions, housing, free health care and education. His government ended up building many schools in different parts of the nation, particularly the countryside, and provided students with nearly all of the materials needed to further their studies. President Correa also more than doubled the minimum wage, which contributed to significantly reducing socioeconomic inequality. In 2018, a World Bank report explained that:

Ecuador has made notable improvements in reducing poverty over the last decade. Income poverty decreased from 36.7 percent in 2007 to 21.5 percent in 2017. In addition, the share of the population living in extreme poverty fell by more than half, from 16.5 percent in 2007 to 7.9 percent in 2017, representing an average annual drop of 0.9 percentage points. In absolute numbers, these changes represent a total of 1.6 million individuals exiting poverty, and about one million exiting extreme poverty over the last decade.[i]

Furthermore, the unemployment rate fell from an 'all time high of 11.86 percent in the first quarter of 2004' to 'a record low of 4.54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014'[ii]. The World Bank also reported that Ecuador posted annual economic growth of '4.5 percent during 2001-2014, well above the average for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region of 3.3 percent. During this period, real GDP doubled and real GDP per capita increased by 50 percent.'[iii]

On October 1, 2016, Correa announced the nomination of Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés , who served as his vice president from 2007 to 2013, as his party's candidate for the 2017 presidential election at the conference of Alianza PAIS. Moreno was elected president, and it was expected that he would continue and build on Correa's left-wing economic policies. However, within a few months of winning the election, president Moreno began to dismantle many of the social, economic and political reforms enacted by Correa during his decade as president. Contrary to Correa's government, many of the domestic policies pursued by president Moreno included reducing public spending, weakening worker rights, and providing significant tax cuts to the rich and large corporations. In other words, president Moreno has gradually shifted Ecuador's left-wing policies to the political centre-right.

Moreno's presidency also shifted Ecuador's foreign policy stance, giving it a more neo-liberal and pro-American orientation. When Correa's socialist government was in power, Ecuador enjoyed close diplomatic and economic relations with Venezuela, and was more independent of American hegemony. For example, president Correa closed a US military base in Manta, Ecuador when Washington's lease expired in 2009. Prior to that, in 2007, Correa stated:

We'll renew the [Manta air] base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base if there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely, they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.[iv]

Subsequently, on September 18, 2009, he also said:

As long as I am president, I will not allow foreign bases in our homeland, I will not allow interference in our affairs, I will not negotiate our sovereignty and I will not accept guardians of our democracy.

Contrary to Correa, the US-Ecuador military relationship has expanded under the Moreno government 'through training, assistance, and the reestablishment of an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Quito.'[v]Ecuador and the US have also signed deals for the purchase of weapons and other military equipment, and agreed to cooperate more closely in the areas of security, intelligence, and counter-narcotics.

In 2011, president Correa expelled US ambassador Heather Hodges from Quito. Subsequently, in 2014, his government expelled the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from the country, where it had been operating since 1961 as part of John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress (AFP)[vi]. USAID regularly exercises 'soft power' in Latin American nations in order to help the US establish itself as an 'international police power'[vii]. In May 2019, Moreno's government announced that USAID would return to Ecuador.

President Correa also became renowned for providing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with political asylum in Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 to prevent his arrest and possible extradition to the US. However, shortly after his election, there were indications that Moreno might be willing to hand him over to authorities in the UK. In addition to calling Assange an 'inherited problem,' a 'spoiled brat' and a 'miserable hacker', Moreno accused him of repeatedly violating his asylum conditions and of trying to use the embassy as a 'centre for spying'[viii]. Then, on April 11, Assange's political asylum was revoked, which allowed him to be forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy by British police.In response, Correa called Moreno 'the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history' for committing 'a crime humanity will never forget'[ix].

President Correa's government supported the integration of South America countries into a single economic and political bloc. However, since Moreno came to power, Ecuador has distanced itself from the Venezuelan government, and withdrew from the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas[x](ALBA) in August 2018, as well as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in September 2019. UNASUR was established by 12 South American countries in 2008to address important issues in the region without the presence of the United States. Currently, only five members remain: Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The other seven members, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay, agreed to create the Forum for the Progress of South America (PROSUR) in March 2019. The goal of this alternative organization is to achieve the right-wing agenda in Latin America, as its members support neo-liberal austerity measures and closer ties with Washington. It could be said that PROSUR aligns well with the goals and objectives of the Monroe Doctrine.

Another major shift in president Moreno's political stance pertains to lawsuits brought against Texaco/Chevron by the Correa government to obtain compensation for environmental damages caused when the operations of Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001) dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic wastewater in the Amazon region of Ecuador between 1964 and 1992, affecting more than 30,000 Indigenous people and Campesinos in the area. 'Chevron left 880 pits full of crude oil which are still there, the rivers are still full of hydrocarbon sediment and polluted by the crude oil spills in Amazonia, which is one of the most biodiversity rich regions in the world'[xi], and 'the damage has been left unrepaired for more than 40 years'[xii]. To raise public awareness about this environmental disaster, president Correa's government established an international campaign called the 'Dirty Hand of Chevron'. In 2011, the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court ordered Chevron to pay $9.5 billion in compensation for social and environmental damages it caused.

In September 2018, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), an agency of the United Nations based in the Hague, Netherlands, ruled that the Ecuadorian court decision against Chevron was illegal, because it was an outcome of fraud, bribery, and corruption. The PCA 'also ruled that Ecuador will have to pay economic compensation'[xiii]to Chevron. 'The amount has not been established yet, but Chevron requested that Ecuador assume the US$9.5 billion' awarded to affected communities by the Ecuadorean court.[xiv]Following the PCA decision, the government of president Moreno announced that:

the state will sue former President Rafael Correa and his government officials if Ecuador lost the international arbitration process.[xv]

In this matter, president Moreno also accused Correa of 'failing to defend the country's interests correctly and spending money on "The Dirty Hand of Chevron" campaign, which according to the government sought to "manipulate national and international public opinion."'[xvi] In reality, president Moreno supports the PCA decision, thereby prioritizing the interest of Texaco/Chevron over those of his own citizens . In fact, his government has been attempting to nullify the Constitutional Court ruling against Chevron. In response, former president Correa has accused the Moreno government of 'doing homework ordered by (the United States Vice President Mike) Pence'. Even some of Moreno's own cabinet ministers condemned the PCA ruling and expressed their support for Ecuador's Constitutional Court for defending of the country's nationals interest and the rights of the people of the Amazon.

Sell Out: How Corruption, Voter Fraud and a Neoliberal Turn Led Ecuador's President Moreno to Give Up Assange

Correa exhibited a hostile attitude towards the Bretton Woods Institutions during his presidency. He sought to renegotiate Ecuador's external debt of US$10.2 billion, which he called 'illegitimate' because 'it was accrued during autocratic and corrupt regimes of the past. Correa threatened to default on Ecuador's foreign debt, and ordered the expulsion of the World Bank's country manager'[xvii], which was carried out on April 26, 2007. His government also opposed the signing of any agreements that would permit the IMF to monitor Ecuador's economic plan. As a result of such actions on the part of Correa's government, 'Ecuador was able to renegotiate its debt with its creditors and redirect public funds towards social investments.'[xviii]

To the contrary, Moreno has enthusiastically embraced the IMF during his short time as president. On March 1, 2019, Ecuador's central bank manager, Verónica Artola Jarrín, and economy and finance minister, Richard Martínez Alvarado,submitted a letter of intent to the IMF requesting a three-year $4.2 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement. An EFF allows the IMF to assist countries that are facing 'serious medium-term balance of payments problems.' More precisely, EFF is designed to:

to provide assistance to countries: (i) experiencing serious payments imbalances because of structural impediments; or (ii) characterized by slow growth and an inherently weak balance of payments position. The EFF provides assistance in support of comprehensive programs that include policies of the scope and character required to correct structural imbalances over an extended period.[xix]

The IMF agreement signed in March allowed Ecuador to borrow $4.2 billion. However, as is always the case, the IMF agreement was not without conditionalities, as it required the Ecuadorian government to implement a series of neo-liberal economic reforms. According to IMF statements, these reforms aim to transform Ecuador's fiscal deficit into a surplus, reduce the country's debt-to-GDP ratio, and increase foreign investment. On March 11, 2019, Christine Lagarde, former Managing Director of the IMF, claimed that:

The Ecuadorian authorities are implementing a comprehensive reform program aimed at modernizing the economy and paving the way for strong, sustained, and equitable growth.[xx]

On March 11, 2019, Christine Lagarde also explained that:

Achieving a robust fiscal position is at the core of the authorities' program, which will be supported by a three-year extended arrangement from the IMF. The aim is to reduce debt-to-GDP ratio through a combination of a wage bill realignment, a careful and gradual optimization of fuel subsidies, a reprioritization of capital and goods and services spending, and a tax reform. The savings generated by these measures will allow for an increase in social assistance spending over the course of the program. The authorities will continue their efforts to strengthen the medium-term fiscal policy framework, and more rigorous fiscal controls and better public financial management will help to enhance the effectiveness of fiscal policy.[xxi]

Protecting the poor and most vulnerable segments in society is a key objective of the authorities' program. In this context, the authorities plan to extend the coverage of, and increase the nominal level of benefits under the existing social protection programs. Work is also underway to improve the targeting of social programs.[xxii]

Ecuador's participation in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) represents another point of contention between Correa and the Moreno government. Ecuador was a member of OPEC from 1973 and 1992. After a period of absence, it rejoined the organization in 2007 after Correa became president of the country. However, on October 1 st , president Moreno announced that Ecuador would once again end its membership in OPEC effective January 1, 2020. Given Moreno's penchant for implementing neo-liberal economic policies, this decision was likely based on the notion that freeing the country from the burden of having to abide by quotas would bring fiscal sustainability to Ecuador. This is evidenced by the fact that Ecuador contacted OPEC to request permission to produce above its quota in February 2019, though it was never confirmed whether a response was received[xxiii]. While increasing production in its Amazonian oil fields would likely bring more foreign investment to Ecuador and open up new markets, it would also lead to serious conflicts between the Moreno government and the indigenous people living in the area, who are strongly opposed to oil extraction.

In addition to announcing Ecuador's departure from OPEC, president Moreno also selected October 1 st as the date to introduce Decree 883, a series of economic measures that included ending longstanding subsidies for fuel, the removal of some import tariffs, and cuts to the benefits and wages of public employees. In particular, the elimination of fuel subsidies, which had been in place for 40 years, was instituted in order to meet IMF requirements to keep the $4.2 billion programme on track, and to satisfy international investors. The EFF agreement between the IMF and the Ecuadorean government also called for thousands of public employees to be laid off, the privatization of public assets, the separation of the central bank from the government, cutting public expenditures, and raising taxes over the next three years. IMF representatives claim that these types of reforms bring more foreign direct investment into the economy.

In fact, a close examination of the neo-liberal economic reforms recommended by the IMF in many countries reveals that they are almost identical, meaning that they do not take the diverse needs and realities of each country into account; rather, they are driven by the interests of the countries and other stakeholders that provide the funds. Generally, the IMF's recommendations[xxiv]consist of cutting deficits, liberalizing trade, privatizing state-owned enterprises, reforming the banking and financial systems, increasing taxes, raising interest rates, and reforming key sectors. However, countless studies have revealed that these types of reforms, have raised the unemployment rate, created poverty, and have often preceded recessions. On October 2, 2019, the IMF issued a press release on Ecuador stating that:

The reforms announced yesterday by President Lenin Moreno aim to improve the resilience and sustainability of Ecuador's economy and foster strong, and inclusive growth. The announcement included important measures to protect the poor and most vulnerable, as well as to generate jobs in a more competitive economy.

The authorities are also working on important reforms aimed at supporting Ecuador's dollarization, including the reform of the central bank and the organic code of budget and planning.

IMF staff will continue to work closely with the authorities to improve the prospects for all Ecuadorians. The second review is expected to be submitted to the Executive Board in the coming weeks.[xxv]

President Moreno's decision to end the subsidies on fuel led to the prices of diesel and petroleum increasing by 100% and 30%, respectively, overnight, which directly contributed to significantly raising the costs of public transportation. In response, protests erupted against Moreno's austerity measures on October 3 rd , featuring students, unions and indigenous organizations. They declared an indefinite general strike until the government reversed its neo-liberal adjustment package. Moreno's initial response was to reject the ultimatum and state that he would 'not negotiate with criminals.'

The following day, on October 4, 2019, president Moreno declared a state of emergency under the pretext of ensuring the security of citizens and to 'avoid chaos.' Nonetheless, the protests continued and intensified to the point that the government was forced to relocate to city of Guayaquil because Quito had been overrun by anti-government protestors. However, this attempt to escape the protestors proved ineffective as taxi, bus and truck drivers blocked roads and bridges in Guayaquil, as well as in Quito, which disrupted transportation nationwide.

In the following days, thousands of demonstrators continued to demand the reversal of austerity measures, as well as the resignation of the president. However, Moreno remained defiant, refusing both demands under all circumstances. Subsequently, Ecuador's main oil pipeline ceased operations after it was seized by indigenous protesters. Petro-Ecuador was concerned that production losses could reach 165,000 barrels a day. Indigenous protesters also occupied two water treatment plants in the city of Ambato. Meanwhile, violent clashes between protesters and police resulted in seven deaths , about 2,000 injuries, and over 1,000 arrests. Eventually, Moreno's government was forced to back down and make concession with the well -organised protesters.

On October 13, president Moreno agreed to withdraw Decree 883 and replace the IMF-backed plan with a new proposal, involving negotiations with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) and other social groups. The following day, president Moreno signed Decree 894, which reinstated the cancelled fuel subsidies. However, on October 23, CONAIE released a statement informing the public that 'it paused talks with President Lenin Moreno because of the government's "persecution" of the group's leaders [Jaime Vargas] since a halt to violent anti-austerity protests.'[xxvi]

It is unlikely that president Moreno would be willing to give up on his austerity policies or start the process of cancelling the IMF loan, given his apparent commitment to helping the US realize the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine. Many of the reforms and policies that his government has introduced will help keep Ecuador firmly entrenched in America's backyard for years to come.

This is not a new development, as history has revealed that, for more than a century , 'in Latin America there are more than enough of the kind of rulers who are ready to use Yankee troops against their own people when they find themselves in crisis' (Fidel Castro, Havana 1962). However, the eruption of protests in response to Moreno's neo-liberal reforms suggests that he faces an uphill battle, as his fellow Ecuadorians do not appear to share his enthusiasm for selling his country to external creditors and foreign influences. Although Moreno has managed to successfully drive Rafael Correa out of Ecuador, the former president's opposition to capitalism and imperialism remain strong among the population.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Global Research contributor Dr. Birsen Filip holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Ottawa.

[Nov 11, 2019] The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'.

Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: November 9, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT

Recent class history of US is quite simple: the elite class first tried to shift the burden of supporting the lower classes on the middle class with taxation. But as the lower class became demographically distinct, partially via mass immigration, the elites decided to ally with the ' underpriviledged ' via identity posturing and squeeze no longer needed middle class out of existence.

What's left are government employees, a few corporate sinecures, NGO parasitic sector, and old people. The rest will be melded into a few mutually antagonistic tribal groups providing ever cheaper service labor. With an occasional lottery winner to showcase mobility. Actually very similar to what happened in Latin America in the past few centuries.

The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along.

alexander , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
BUILDING OUT vs. BLOWING UP

China 2000-2020 vs. USA 2000-2020

Unlike the USA (under Neocon stewardship) China has not squandered twenty trillion dollars of its national solvency bombing countries which never attacked it post 9-11.

China's leaders (unlike our own) never LIED its people into launching obscenely expensive, illegal wars of aggression across the middle east. (WMD's, Mushroom clouds, Yellow Cake, etc.)

China has used its wealth and resources to build up its infrastructure, build out its capital markets, and turbo charge its high tech sectors. As a consequence, it has lifted nearly half a billion people out of poverty. There has been an explosion in the growth of the "middle class" in China. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are now living comfortable "upwardly mobile" lives.

The USA, on the other hand, having been defrauded by its "ruling elites" into launching and fighting endless illegal wars, is now 23 trillion dollars in catastrophic debt.
NOT ONE PENNY of this heinous "overspending" has been dedicated to building up OUR infrastructure, or BUILDING OUT our middle class.

It has all gone into BLOWING UP countries which never (even) attacked us on 9-11.

As a consequence , the USA is fast becoming a failed nation, a nation where all its wealth is being siphoned into the hands of its one percent "war pilfer-teers".

It is so sad to have grown up in such an amazing country , with such immense resources and possibilities, and having to bear witness to it going down the tubes.

To watch all our sovereign wealth being vaporized by our "lie us into endless illegal war" ruling elites is truly heartbreaking.

It is as shameful as it is tragic.

SafeNow , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
That's fascinating about the declining "middle class" usage. A "soft synonym" that has gone in the opposite direction, I think, is "the community."
LoutishAngloQuebecker , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
The white middle class is the only group that might effectively resist Globohomo's designs on total power.

Blacks? Too dumb. Will be disposed of once Globohomo is finished the job.
Hispanics? Used to corrupt one party systems. Give them cerveza and Netflix and they're good.
East Asians? Perfectly fine with living like bug people.
South Asians? Cowardly; will go with the flow.

The middle class is almost completely unique to white people.

Racial aliens cannot wrap their minds around being middle class. They think I'm crazy for appreciating my 2009 Honda Accord. They literally cannot understand why somebody would want to live a frugal and mundane life. They are desperate to be like Drake but most end up broke. It will be very easy for GloboHomo to control a bucket of poor brown slop.

Svevlad , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:32 pm GMT
Ah yes, apparatchiks. The worst kind of person
Counterinsurgency , says: November 9, 2019 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

There IS a black middle class, but a big chunk of that works for governments of all shapes and sizes.

Strictly speaking, there is no more "middle class" in the sense of the classical economists: a person with just enough capital to live off the income if he works the capital himself or herself. By this definition professionals (lawyers, dentists, physicians, small store owners, even spinsters [1] and hand loom operators in a sense) were middle class. Upper class had enough property to turn it over to managers, lower class had little or no property and worked for others (servants and farm workers, for example). Paupers didn't earn enough income per year to feed themselves and didn't live all that long, usually.

What we have is "middle income" people, almost all of whom work as an employee of some organization -- people who would be considered "lower class" by the classical economists because they don't have freedom of action and make no independent decisions about how the capital of their organizations is spent. Today they are considered "intelligentsia", educated government workers, or, by analogy, educated corporate workers. IMHO, intelligentsia is a suicide job, and is responsible for the depressed fertility rate, but that's just me.

Back in the AD 1800s and pre-AD 1930 there were many black middle class people. usually concentrating on selling to black clientele. Now there are effectively none outside of criminal activities, usually petty criminal. And so it goes.

Of course, back then there were many white middle class people also, usually concentrating on selling to white clientele. Now there are effectively none, except in some rural areas. And so it goes.

Counterinsurgency

1] Cottagers who made their living spinning wool skeins into wool threads.

Mark G. , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:20 pm GMT
@unit472 A lot of the middle class are Democrats but not particularly liberal. Many of them vote Democrat only when they personally benefit. For example, my parents were suburban public school teachers. They voted for Democrats at the state level because the Democrats supported better pay and benefits for teachers but voted for Republicans like Goldwater and Reagan at the national level because Republicans would keep their federal taxes lower. They had no political philosophy. It was all about what left them financially better off. My parents also got on well with their suburban neighbors. Suburbanites generally like their local school system and its teachers and the suburban school systems are usually careful not to engage in teaching anything controversial. A lot of the government employed white middle class would be like my parents. Except in situations where specific Republicans talk about major cuts to their pay and pensions they are perfectly willing to consider voting Republican. They are generally social moderates, like the status quo, are fairly traditionalist and don't want any radical changes. Since the Democrats seem be trending in a radical direction, this would put off a lot of them. Trump would be more appealing as the status quo candidate. When running the last time, he carefully avoided talking about any major cuts in government spending and he's governed that way too. At the same time, his talk of cutting immigration, his lack of enthusiasm for nonwhite affirmative action, and his more traditional views on social issues is appealing to the white middle class.
anon [201] • Disclaimer , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:33 pm GMT
Wealth held by the top 1% is now close to equal or greater than wealth held by the entire middle class.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-09/one-percenters-close-to-surpassing-wealth-of-u-s-middle-class

Something similar was seen in the 1890's, the "gilded age". This is one reason why Warren's "wealth tax" has traction among likely voters.

WorkingClass , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:55 pm GMT
The term middle class is used in the U.S. to mean middle income. It has nothing to do with class. Why not just say what you mean? Most of the middle class that we say is disappearing is really that rarest of phenomenons. A prosperous working class. The prosperous American working class is no longer prosperous due to the Neoliberal agenda. Free trade, open borders and the financialization of everything.

Americans know nothing of class dynamics. Not even the so called socialists. They don't even see the economy. All they see is people with infinite need and government with infinite wealth. In their world all of Central America can come to the U.S. and the government (if it only wants to) can give them all homes, health care and education.

Lets stop saying class when we mean income. Not using the word class would be better than abusing it.

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
@Audacious Epigone

Are we to the point where we've collectively resigned ourselves to the death of the middle class?

In the neoliberal worldview, the middle class is illegitimate, existing only as a consequence of artificial trade and immigration barriers. Anytime Americans are spied out making a good living, there is a "shortage" that must be addressed with more visas. Or else there is an "inefficiency" where other countries could provide said service or produce said product for less because they have a "comparative advantage."

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:25 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

I don't know about that anymore. Increasingly, "middle class" means Asian, with Whiteness being associated with the lower middle class (or perhaps "working class"). Sometimes the media uses the term " noncollege Whites," which I think is actually very apt. They are the ones who identify with Whiteness the most.

[Nov 11, 2019] Bolivia is the same scenario than in the Ukraine, where communists and other opposed factions in Rada were beaten, covered in paint and thrown in waste containers...until they left the country. Remaining to be elected only those puppets of oligarchs or the US... Bolivia coup was orchestrated with direct assist of OAS analysis/report which identified alleged voting fraud

Nov 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 22:41 utc | 160

Are we starting to witness some state cinture in Spain?
After yesterday warning, is the socialist government of Sánchez turning, at least a bit, if only in form, socialist?

( after the advance of the "devotes of Trump´s night worship" in yesterday elections and probably progession of Spanish policy investigation on Barcelona riots, two events that reinforced each other? )

Spain condemns military intervention in the resignation of Morales

Spain criticizes the role of the Bolivian Army and Police in the resignation of President Evo Morales, after protests against his re-election.

Spain joins the avalanche of international comdenations before the proceeding of the Bolivian Army and Police at the juncture that the Latin American country is going through, since, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, that proceeding reminds past times in Latin American history, even more when President Evo Morales opted for a new call for elections.

"Spain condemns that the process opened yesterday towards a new electoral call has been distorted by the intervention of the Armed Forces and the Police, suggesting to Evo Morales to submit his resignation", the note said.

Likewise, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls "all actors to avoid resorting to violence" and "to guarantee the security of all Bolivians (...) including former President Morales himself, his relatives and members of his administration".

For his part, the general secretary of the Spanish Unidas Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, has written on his Twitter account that "Coup d'etat in Bolivia. Shameful that there are media that say the army makes the president resign. In the last 14 years Bolivia has improved all its social and economic indicators. All our support to the Bolivian people and Evo Morales".



Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:31 utc | 51

The style of scaring the people is a total imitation from post-Maidan Ukraine, where communists and other opposed factions in Rada were beaten, covered in paint and thrown in waste containers...until they left the country...

Then Myrotvorets was launched and the first killings on those who dared to quition Euromaydan events... Recall Alex Buzina... Any compromised intellectual will suffer the same fate in Bolivia...

Guess who is behind this coup at the letter of the book...

Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:41 utc | 52
Pillaging has already started at Evo´s home...I told you that this follow the book of Maidan verabtim...
#Breaking they ransack the house of the president @evoespueblo, persecution this is what follows with the resignation of @evoespueblo

https://twitter.com/madeleintlSUR/status/1193668989622325248

Vasco da Gama , Nov 10 2019 23:43 utc | 53
Don't get me wrong Sasha, I don't think Evo's team objective, 2 weeks after they've win them, was to repeat elections so soon. This is likely their best approach right now, for the sake of Bolivians and their supporters. Not mentioning possible reaction a la Caracas.
Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:44 utc | 54
#InfoMV Evo Morales denounced that his security personnel were offered 50 thousand dollars for him to be delivered to violent opposition groups. He held Fernando Camacho and Carlos Mesa responsible for what would happen to him or García Linera.

https://twitter.com/Mision_Verdad/status/1193667429823664128

Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:49 utc | 55
@Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 10 2019 23:43 utc | 53

You seem to be unaware of the developments of events to this time, Evo called for elections BEFORE he was oblied to resign by police and military rebels, and made leave the country...
Elections now with every Evo´s supporter under menace of death would only throw a fake result favourable to the opposition who did not manage to win elections democratically...

This is the same scenario than in the Ukraine, where representatives of the working people were never more able to concur to elections and had to leave the country, remaining to be elected only those puppets of oligarchs or the US...

Sasha , Nov 10 2019 23:53 utc | 56
Fascist pickets taking over Venezuelan Embassy...Look what kind of people is this...
Free elections in Bolivia now? Do not make me laugh!

https://twitter.com/LaHojillaenTV/status/1193655455886827527

#NoAlGolpeEnBolivia
#EvoNoEstasSolo

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 0:23 utc | 61
Pasquinades posted by coupist opposition before Efvo´s resignation what ccan illustrate why the government has resigned so fast...
Pure fascism....
What I told you? Here you have the Bolivian Myrotvorets .....

https://twitter.com/TorresVirly/status/1193607591152308224

Translation of the pasquinade:

Traitor Tracking The population is asked to register all the social network publications of the "Cyber llunkus". Take screenshots and copy the links of the publications and profiles of the "Cyber Llunkus".

The M.A.S. ( Evo´s party ) is a criminal organization.
Once Evo Morales falls, a rake will be made to identify the traitorous of the people "Cyber Llunkus" and imprison them through the location of their mobile devices.
Fake profiles will not save them.

#Civil Resistance Bolivia

Now that the US tells us the tale of democratic elections in Bolivia now...


karlof1 , Nov 11 2019 0:47 utc | 65
pogohere @49 & arby @50--

A people's Counter-revolution that sweeps the Reactionaries down the drain once and for all.

Chavez was keen to the CIA's modus and thus reformed the military in numerous respects, particularly by making it impervious to corruption--AND--instituting the uniquely structured Bolivarian Constitution. Evo's problems stem from the lack of extensive public support as proven by the election results that kept him from instituting the sort of reforms Chavez accomplished; and the same goes for all other Latin American nations. In a nutshell, the Bolivian people squabbled too much amongst themselves and never constructed the type of Revolutionary constitution and social system required to be resilient to outside manipulation. Yes, Venezuela was very much a Bottom->Up remaking of society to the point where the Comprador upper 10% didn't matter, which is why Chavez then Maduro left them to their own devices. But elsewhere, the popular masses never generated the required solidarity to prevent losing their hard won freedoms. Sure, it's possible to regain power through the ballot box, but it can be just as easily lost as is happening now in Bolivia if preventative measures aren't taken beforehand.

Nations must have constitutions that don't allow for rich minorities to gain control or to allow them to begin in control as in the USA's case. But to institute such an instrument, the popular masses must act as one and cast their factionalisms aside until this primary aspect of consolidating power in their hands becomes the law of their land. Plus, they must again drop their in-fighting when confronted by any reactionary threat and remember what the main task is at all times--Maintenance of Freedom.

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 0:52 utc | 66
Here the tweet of the Mexican Foreign Secretary announcing that 20 people have already been granted asylum and that Evo Morales is offered asylum.

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1193676949450829824

psychohistorian , Nov 11 2019 0:58 utc | 67
Sorry to read about the military coup in Bolivia.

We all see what seems to be the demise of empire but facts on the ground tell a different story today in Bolivia. I am sorry for the pain and suffering for many caused by my country under the control of the global private finance cult. I continue to try and spread the word about the perfidy of Western empire and will keep trying but am limited in my abilities.

I hope to live to see the demise of private finance led empire all over the world. Humanity deserves a better future.

psychohistorian , Nov 11 2019 0:58 utc | 67
Sorry to read about the military coup in Bolivia.

We all see what seems to be the demise of empire but facts on the ground tell a different story today in Bolivia. I am sorry for the pain and suffering for many caused by my country under the control of the global private finance cult. I continue to try and spread the word about the perfidy of Western empire and will keep trying but am limited in my abilities.

I hope to live to see the demise of private finance led empire all over the world. Humanity deserves a better future.

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:05 utc | 68
@Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 11 2019 0:47 utc | 65

What saved Venezuela was the huge investing in education started with Chavez, in that they counted with the help and advice of people from the Spanish left ...
Bolivian people, of the poor class, are mostly poorly educated people...and so easy to buy and fool...as this images show...
Look that this people ransacking Evo´s home, they are not white patricios ...but those who they have payed to do the dirty work...indigenous people poorly dressed...collaborating in ovrthrowing the legitimate democratically elected from their own...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1193667619485818881

It was a poor peasant who sold Ché Guevara to "Pat´s unit", in gratitude for a medical officila having attended his son´s wounded foot....

The same lesson could be taken out from the events in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon...

Paul , Nov 11 2019 1:10 utc | 69
Wow, it seems the US went straight for the throat this time in Bolivia.
Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:10 utc | 70
Demonstrators supporting Evo Morales in Cochabamba...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1193666222036000770

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:17 utc | 71
@Posted by: Paul | Nov 11 2019 1:10 utc | 69

Yeah..this time is no different from others, they always go straight to the throat of the weak and poor...Totally depsicable...
To their own, earning points in the view of the world...

psychohistorian , Nov 11 2019 1:34 utc | 72
@ Sasha who wrote
"
What saved Venezuela was the huge investing in education started with Chavez, in that they counted with the help and advice of people from the Spanish left ...
Bolivian people, of the poor class, are mostly poorly educated people...and so easy to buy and fool...as this images show...
"

I agree, thank you for your commenting and want to add my perspective to that.

If you read many who come and comment at MoA that supposedly are "educated" you will notice that they continue to think and write in terms of the conflict being between socialism and capitalism in spite of myself, karlof1 and others that continually point out that China is 80% capitalistic as are other "socialistic" countries but what matters is what part of the social economy is socialism versus capitalism. That is why I continue to beat my drum about the evil of global private finance that is the core problem with the social contract of the West. Look at how many in the West are brainwashed to not understand the difference between public/private finance and its effects on the whole culture and aggressive nature of the society under that meme.

That, IMO, is the core education that all those in the West and all striving to throw off the chains/economic jackboot of the West must learn and take to heart.

flankerbandit , Nov 11 2019 1:37 utc | 73
Very disappointing to hear about Evo...but this is just one round in a very long fight...

In Argentina we have a new government for the people...in Mexico also...Lula is out of jail now in Brazil so eventually that will turn also...

The empire is rotting but is very dangerous right now because they are lashing out everywhere...we see in Lebanon and Iraq they are not succeeding...

This is desperation we see folks...they are losing control quickly and are trying to forestall the inevitable collapse of their global fascist dictatorship...

I think the end will come much sooner than they expect...the house of cards is teetering badly...

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:42 utc | 74
Camacho confirms arrest warrant against Evo Morales

Maidán script all the way....They do not have enough with hi resigning, they need to wipe out such honest leader form the face of Earth, at least while the "new fake elections" to maskerade the take over by the opposition are developed...as happened with Lula....

Here, US Lawyer sees all the signature of the US around the place...as happens to me...

https://www.rt.com/news/473105-morales-resignation-us-interference/

Jen , Nov 11 2019 1:57 utc | 75
karlof1 @ 65, Sasha @ 68:

A significant factor is that the anti-Morales opposition is based mainly in Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia. This is the largest department (in territory and population) in Bolivia and has significant natural gas reserves. The indigenous people living in that department have virtually nothing in common with the highland indigenous people (Aymara and Quechua speakers) who formed Morales' base.

Morales did not have a military background as Chavez did and we can presume he was never able to cultivate a network of militias among the urban and rural working class that could support and defend his government. Significantly it was the armed forces who asked Morales to resign.

Sasha , Nov 11 2019 1:58 utc | 76
@Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 11 2019 1:34 utc | 72

Sorry...but the conflict is between socialism and capitalism...between the rich and the working masses, especially those who work and still they remain poor....as has always been....who says otherwise is only trying to fool the masses...

Of course, you people in this forum who live over the average peer, I do not try that you understand...
You live in your world, looking your belly button, and the furthest you are willing to go is complain here about the Outlaw US Empire...

Why do you not damn go tomorrow in the streets to protest this new coup by your fascist administration?

Do not tell me, that would risk your privileged pensions...and all those expensive things you do to your bodies...

Excuse me, but today, reading the same stupid things of always make me feel like throwing up...

Ghost Ship , Nov 11 2019 3:42 utc | 83
Pompeo tweeted:
Fully support the findings of the @OAS_official report recommending new elections in #Bolivia to ensure a truly democratic process representative of the people's will. The credibility of the electoral system must be restored.

Will he still support new elections in the morning?
Meanwhile the protesters are calling MAS a criminal organization so no doubt it'll be excluded from the new elections as happened to the Party Of The Regions in Ukraine. The wonders of American "democracy".
arby , Nov 11 2019 15:42 utc | 120
"
Scott T. Patrick
‏ @PompeiiDog

Why was Evo Morales overthrown? He was nationalizing the highly profitable lithium industry and planning to deal directly on the international market rather than exporting the commodity at bargain prices to Western corporations"


"Bolivia has %43 of World's Lithium mines. Batteries from smartphones to Electric cars are all made with Lithium. Evo Morales was investing in facilities to produce Lithium as a high end export material rather than just exporting the mine itself."

Johny Conspiranoid , Nov 11 2019 15:44 utc | 121
Peter AU1

Somewhere on his blog "Sic Semper Tyrannis", maybe earlier this year, Pat relates the tale of how when working for the US Gov. in Bolivia he gave medical help to someone and was rewarded with information which led to the capture of Che Guevara. This may be what Sasha is referring to.

Peter AU1 , Nov 11 2019 18:41 utc | 145
https://www.export.gov/article?id=Bolivia-Hydrocarbons
"Bolivia - Hydrocarbons
This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data."

"The Hydrocarbons law (Law 3058, May 2005) and a subsequent Supreme Decree (May 2006) require that companies sell all production to YPFB and that domestic market demand be met before exporting hydrocarbons. Furthermore, these laws transfer the entire transport and sales chain over to state control. After the law was enacted, hydrocarbon companies were required to sign new contracts with YPFB, agreeing to pay 50 percent of gross production in taxes and royalties."

"Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices."

karlof1 , Nov 11 2019 18:57 utc | 147
I usually try to read all the comments before making my first of the day, but I have yet to do so, although I looked to see if anyone had linked to Escobar's report on Lula and Brazil , which is an extremely important article for events within Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and the rest of the world that's resisting the Outlaw US Empire and its Neoliberal/Neofascist attack dogs.

The information Pepe provides is very important as it jibes with what Assad averred in his RT interview , for which I'm still looking for a transcript. Here's Pepe's warning about the likely future course of events, which has CIA scrawled over every act:

"With the military betting on a strategy of chaos, augmented by Lula's immense social base all over Brazil fuming about his return to prison and the financial bubble finally burst, rendering the middle classes even poorer, the stage would be set for the ultimate toxic cocktail: social 'commotion' allied with 'terrorism' associated with 'organized crime.'

"That's all the military needs to launch an extensive operation to restore "order" and finally force Congress to approve the Brazilian version of the Patriot Act (five separate bills are already making their way in Congress).

" This is no conspiracy theory. This is a measure of how incendiary Brazil is at the moment, and Western mainstream media will make no effort whatsoever to explain the nasty, convoluted plot for a global audience ." [My Emphasis]

jayc , Nov 11 2019 21:10 utc | 151
Bolivia coup was orchestrated with direct assist of OAS analysis/report which identified alleged voting fraud. OAS report focuses on a vote-counting system called TREP, which was adopted by Bolivia and others in the region on direct advice of OAS. The TREP system is meant to provide/ publicize initial results, but it is not "official". The official results come from a slower and more thorough vote count process. The OAS claim of irregularities in the TREP count is largely irrelevant, as it was never intended to be "official" or legally reflect official results. There were no irregularities in the official count, won by Morales, and the so-called "delay" was in fact the natural process of the slower moving count to produce the official result.

See this analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
http://cepr.net/publications/reports/bolivia-elections-2019-11

Ghost Ship , Nov 11 2019 21:40 utc | 154
While Trump denounced Morales, the US State Department stepped in to sanitize Washington's position, with a senior official telling Reuters that the US has "no preference" among opposition candidates. The spokesperson did say, however, that anyone who tried to "distort" last month's vote should not be allowed to participate .

That's MAS banned from the election by the cunts in the fucking State Department. Imagine if the Russian MFA announced that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties could field presidential candidates in 2020. Trump is an idiot but the State Department, DoJ, and Treasury are the real bastards. Forget the CIA, that's just a bunch of senile tossers who have wet dreams about Cold War 2.0.

Don Bacon , Nov 12 2019 0:19 utc | 166
b mentioned lithium with reference to Bolivia in his 139 above

Nov 11, 2019 -- Bolivian Coup Comes Less Than a Week After Morales Stopped Multinational Firm's Lithium Deal
"Bolivia's lithium belongs to the Bolivian people. Not to multinational corporate cabals."

The Morales move on Nov. 4 to cancel the December 2018 agreement with Germany's ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA) came after weeks of protests from residents of the Potosí area. The region has 50% to 70% of the world's lithium reserves in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats.
Among other clients, ACISA provides batteries to Tesla; Tesla's stock rose Monday after the weekend.
As Bloomberg News noted in 2018, that has set the country up to be incredibly important in the next decade:
Demand for lithium is expected to more than double by 2025. The soft, light mineral is mined mainly in Australia, Chile, and Argentina. Bolivia has plenty -- 9 million tons that have never been mined commercially, the second-largest amount in the world -- but until now there's been no practical way to mine and sell it. . . here

But Teslas catch fire....from ZPower--
Actually, lithium may be in trouble for vehicle batteries.
Just as lithium-ion (Li-ion) replaced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) before it and nickel cadmium (NiCd) before that, silver zinc (AgZn) batteries are on track to replace Li-ion too, according to a McGraw-Hill forecast as far back as 2010. Since then silver zinc has been perfected and are on the market for rechargeable hearing-aid "button" batteries by ZPower LL (Camarillo, Calif.) They are nonflammable and could provide up to 40 percent more run time than lithium-ion batteries. . . here

[Nov 10, 2019] Liz Warren's Trans Train Whistlestop

At least Warren offers me something positive along with usual neoliberal "identity wedge" idiocy ;-).
Nov 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor ! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don't take this endorsement lightly. I'm committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs. https://t.co/KqWsVoRYMb

-- Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019

Well, that's clarifying. "Backbone of our democracy." That's about what you would expect a Harvard faculty member to say.

JoeMerl 2 days ago • edited

People need to remember that we literally didn't even have democracy until the trans movement started and finally brought us to The Right Side of History.

[Nov 09, 2019] Asia Times America's misguided war on Chinese technology Article

Nov 09, 2019 | www.asiatimes.com

America's misguided war on Chinese technology Jeffrey D Sachs By Jeffrey D Sachs November 8, 2019

The worst foreign-policy decision by the United States of the last generation – and perhaps longer – was the "war of choice" that it launched in Iraq in 2003 for the stated purpose of eliminating weapons of mass destruction that did not, in fact, exist. Understanding the illogic behind that disastrous decision has never been more relevant, because it is being used to justify a similarly misguided US policy today.

The decision to invade Iraq followed the illogic of then-US vice-president Richard Cheney, who declared that even if the risk of WMD falling into terrorist hands was tiny – say, 1% – we should act as if that scenario would certainly occur.

Such reasoning is guaranteed to lead to wrong decisions more often than not. Yet the US and some of its allies are now using the Cheney Doctrine to attack Chinese technology. The US government argues that because we can't know with certainty that Chinese technologies are safe, we should act as if they are certainly dangerous and bar them.

Proper decision-making applies probability estimates to alternative actions. A generation ago, US policymakers should have considered not only the (alleged) 1% risk of WMD falling into terrorist hands, but also the 99% risk of a war based on flawed premises. By focusing only on the 1% risk, Cheney (and many others) distracted the public's attention from the much greater likelihood that the Iraq war lacked justification and that it would gravely destabilize the Middle East and global politics.

The problem with the Cheney Doctrine is not only that it dictates taking actions predicated on small risks without considering the potentially very high costs. Politicians are tempted to whip up fears for ulterior purposes.

That is what US leaders are doing again: creating a panic over Chinese technology companies by raising, and exaggerating, tiny risks. The most pertinent case (but not the only one) is the US government attack on the wireless broadband company Huawei. The US is closing its markets to the company and trying hard to shut down its business around the world. As with Iraq, the US could end up creating a geopolitical disaster for no reason.

I have followed Huawei's technological advances and work in developing countries, as I believe that fifth-generation (5G) and other digital technologies offer a huge boost to ending poverty and other Sustainable Development Goals. I have similarly interacted with other telecom companies and encouraged the industry to step up actions for the United Nations' SDGs. When I wrote a short foreword (without compensation) for a Huawei report on the topic, and was criticized by foes of China, I asked top industry and government officials for evidence of wayward activities by Huawei. I heard repeatedly that Huawei behaves no differently than trusted industry leaders.

The US government nonetheless argues that Huawei's 5G equipment could undermine global security. A "back door" in Huawei's software or hardware, US officials claim, could enable the Chinese government to engage in surveillance around the world. After all, US officials note, China's laws require Chinese companies to cooperate with the government for purposes of national security.

Given the technology's importance for their sustainable development, low-income economies around the world would be foolhardy to reject an early 5G rollout. Yet despite providing no evidence of back doors, the US is telling the world to stay away from Huawei

Now, the facts are these. Huawei's 5G equipment is low-cost and high-quality, currently ahead of many competitors, and already rolling out. Its high performance results from years of substantial spending on research and development, scale economies, and learning by doing in the Chinese digital marketplace. Given the technology's importance for their sustainable development, low-income economies around the world would be foolhardy to reject an early 5G rollout.

Yet despite providing no evidence of back doors, the US is telling the world to stay away from Huawei. The US claims are generic. As a US Federal Communications Commissioner put it , "The country that owns 5G will own innovations and set the standards for the rest of the world, and that country is currently not likely to be the United States." Other countries, most notably the United Kingdom, have found no back doors in Huawei's hardware and software. Even if back doors were discovered later, they could almost surely be closed at that point.

The debate over Huawei rages in Germany, where the US government threatens to curtail intelligence cooperation unless the authorities exclude Huawei's 5G technology. Perhaps as a result of the US pressure, Germany's spy chief recently made a claim tantamount to the Cheney Doctrine: "Infrastructure is not a suitable area for a group that cannot be trusted fully." He offered no evidence of specific misdeeds. Chancellor Angela Merkel, by contrast, is fighting behind the scenes to leave the market open for Huawei.

Ironically, though predictably, the US complaints partly reflect America's own surveillance activities at home and abroad. Chinese equipment might make secret surveillance by the US government more difficult. But unwarranted surveillance by any government should be ended. Independent UN monitoring to curtail such activities should become part of the global telecommunications system. In short, we should choose diplomacy and institutional safeguards, not a technology war.

The threat of US demands to blockade Huawei concerns more than the early rollout of the 5G network. The risks to the rules-based trading system are profound. Now that the US is no longer the world's undisputed technology leader, President Donald Trump and his advisers don't want to compete according to a rules-based system. Their goal is to contain China's technological rise. Their simultaneous attempt to neutralize the World Trade Organization by disabling its dispute settlement system shows the same disdain for global rules.

If the Trump administration "succeeds" in dividing the world into separate technology camps, the risks of future conflicts will multiply. The US championed open trade after World War II not only to boost global efficiency and expand markets for American technology, but also to reverse the collapse of international trade in the 1930s. That collapse stemmed in part from protectionist tariffs imposed by the US under the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act , which amplified the Great Depression, in turn contributing to the rise of Adolf Hitler and, ultimately, the outbreak of World War II.

In international affairs, no less than in other domains, stoking fears and acting on them, rather than on the evidence, is the path to ruin. Let's stick to rationality, evidence and rules as the safest course of action. And let us create independent monitors to curtail the threat of any country using global networks for surveillance of or cyberwarfare on others. That way, the world can get on with the urgent task of harnessing breakthrough digital technologies for the global good.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
www.project-syndicate.org

[Nov 09, 2019] This should put the kobosh in Warren saying she is a progressive

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:25pm

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney.

Deval Patrick is a Managing Director.

Elizabeth Warren wants Patrick in her administration. @EmmaVigeland @atrios @NomikiKonst @_michaelbrooks @BernieBroStar

-- Eric J - #Bernie2020 (@EricJafMN) November 8, 2019

Deval Patrick served on the board at subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest. Melody Barnes is on the board at bigwig defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Textbook cases of the revolving door corruption Warren frequently attacks. https://t.co/KU3Ct3j9eC

-- Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) November 8, 2019

If she really cared about the policies she is running on she would have endorsed Bernie. Period. It was during the primary that Hillary said, "single payer will never ever happen here."

Bernie was running on it and yet Warren did not endorse him for it. If she actually wants to help us she would drop out and tell people to vote for Bernie. Sure everyone has the right to run for president, but we know or believe that she is only running to keep Bernie from becoming president.

She is lying to us about not taking money from rich people and corporations because she took their money for her senate campaign and transferred it to her presidential campaign. If she isn't up front about this then how can we trust her on anything else?

Chuck Todd is such a tool

My jaw is on the floor.

Elites eliting about elites while elitseplaining to working Americans about how they are going to vote for some elites and beat the Republicans elite. https://t.co/l0W8QPUT0E

-- Nomiki Konst(@NomikiKonst) November 8, 2019

"Who is to the left of Bloomberg on guns and climate change?" Hmm let me think...of course it's not Biden. Nor Harris...Kilobits.... Buttigieg or even Warren. Doh!

[Nov 09, 2019] Warren called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Warren did that(what Alex Thompson tweeted about) at her town hall here. Called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf. Do people really fall for this stuff? The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick. I was sitting there thinking "Come on, lady-you've been a professor at the highest profile law school in the country for how long now?"

Lambert Strether Post author , November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

> The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick.

Lime green Jello with marshmallows. That's the sort of thing I think of. Food I'd avoid at a church basement supper if at all possible.

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Yep.
It's funny-I spent 10 years at Harvard, and I lived near The Yard and the law school. I knew a lot of faculty at H, and was privy to a lot of the politics that went on. My bs detector was honed there. At the town hall, I could see right through her. It was all so familiar. Don't underestimate the cunning and doublespeak. What is that quote-"When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

Pavel , November 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Why didn't she proclaim her great groundbreaking achievement of being Harvard's "first woman of color" professorial appointment? Isn't she proud of that any more?

Dog, that woman seems to be in a race to seem the least authentic. Can't her staff tell her to act natural?

After I post this comment, I'm gonna get me a beer.

Phillip Allen , November 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm

"Can't her staff tell her to act natural?"

Why assume that what we see isn't her natural self, such as it is? Or, rather, that there's anything more genuinely human underneath the pandering, opportunistic surface? As Petal cited above, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

[Nov 09, 2019] Another humiliating blow to Latin-American neoliberalism

Nov 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Nov 8 2019 19:41 utc | 24

Another humiliating blow to Latin-American neoliberalism:

Boicote de 'supermajors' funciona, e governo vai mudar regime de leilão

Bolsonaro's government tried to auction Brazil's remaining unexplored (but already mapped, so it's certain there's oil there) presalt lots. The expectation was to raise some R$ 109 billion, but it only rose R$ 69 billion. To make things even worse, half of those came from the Brazilian State-owned oil company itself, Petrobras.

There's strong evidence this fiasco came from the international oil cartel; they think they can get the presalt oil for a (much) better price:

Chevron, Exxon, BP, Total e Repsol já tinham anunciado 'boicote' ao leilão

The pressure seems to be working. The government has already stated it will do another auction, this time with "changed rules", in order to "estimulate competition between the interested companies".

Another similar episode had already happened during usurper Brazilian president Michel Temer, when, in 2017, he tried to privatize the country's State-owned electricity company (Eletrobras). The auction was "desert" (i.e. no bids).

Why is this happening?

The problem with today's neoliberals is that the capitalist world is completely different from the one of the end of the 1980s and 1990s. In that era, there was excess liquidity from the First World countries -- specially USA and Japan pension funds -- which was purchasing fabulous profit rates in order to stay competitive in the recently-privatized world (pension funds in the USA had to profit at least 7% from each investment in their portfolio to reach ends meet in 2006, according to Dumenil & Levy).

After 2008, there was a crisis followed by a depression characterized by a credit crunch. Reverse stagflation happened (and still happens), where unemployment fell but inflation continued to fall. To put it simply, there's no more foreign money for Latin American neoliberal dictators to grab through the simple liquidation of public assets anymore -- at least not nearly enough to reach fiscal equilibrium (see Argentina for the more spectacular example).

So, yes, there was a cartel arranging for the presalt reserves failure, but this cartel only had to do what it did because -- you're already tired to read it from me -- the profit rates in the capitalist world are secularly falling . Were the profit rates high, the cartel would've already bought the presalt whatever the conditions. They are only bargaining with the already very submissive Brazilian government because they need to: presalt reserves, albeit abundant in good oil, require a unique and pretty advanced technology which was developed by Petrobras. If they invest, profit rate will fall even further, so they must get the oil, but free of investment (after the 2016 coup, they got their hands on the platforms -- but only those who were already installed by Petrobras).

That's also the reason the USA-backed New Silk Road will fail: Western capital won't invest in SE Asia because that would mean money spent to infrastructure (i.e. invesment), and that would erode their profit rates even more. And, sincerely, why would they? They had 70 years to invest there, and 100 years before that (during the colonial times), to do it. Why will they do now, when they are much weaker?


karlof1 , Nov 8 2019 20:49 utc | 30

!!Great news!!

Brazil's Supreme Court rules Lula must be released from prison ASAP. But, will this decision meet the criteria he set to accept being released? I checked Pepe Escobar's Facebook but he's not written anything there for 7 hours. I asked him the same question.

Vasco da Gama , Nov 8 2019 21:25 utc | 33
karlof1@30

Right now, Lula is speaking to the people and his supporters in the street outside Curitiba prison, and already in freedom.

To clarify on the Court's ruling: the decision says that the accused, with processes which have not exhausted all appealings, therefore have not yet been ultimately condemned, may not be kept in prison. A previous judgement allowed for this to happen if there had been a reversal of judgement along the court instances of the process ( LavaJato - corruption process ). It should be added that this is not exclusive to Lula, eight other accused, including one Lula's minister may be freed pending appropriate legal petition from defense, and any other current prisoner under similar circumstances in Brazil's justice system.

The Supreme Court only re-established the Constitutional order, following on the petitions to constitutional review by legal council association and the communist party.

Keep in mind that Lula is still under several accusations and may not while these processes are not finished to present himself for political offices.

karlof1 , Nov 8 2019 22:00 utc | 34
Vasco da Gama @33--

Thanks for your reply! I was about to answer my own question that Lula agreed to be let out. As I understand the situation, Lula still has to battle in court to keep his freedom; and he might also be targeted for elimination given the murderous nature of those associated with Bolsonaro. As Lula said upon release, they tried to imprison an idea by imprisoning a man; ideas cannot be imprisoned. For me, it's an excellent birthday gift!

Lcchearn @32--

Yes, I've contemplated starting my own blog, but most platforms are owned or affiliated in some manner with Google, so I stopped looking. I know non-affiliated hosts exist and will likely resume looking upon the turn of the year. I agree about writing longer essays as there are a few topics I'm into that demand expansion. I've been and continue to be impressed with Caitlin Johnstone's success as well as with other younger idealistic, truth-seeking journalists like those inhabiting The Grayzone . In fact, given its content, Grayzone's one site I'll ask who hosts them. Thanks very much for your interest and the support that goes with it!

Vasco da Gama , Nov 8 2019 22:23 utc | 35
karlof1, I'll drink to that too. Keep the good spirits and health. Cheers!

Bolsonaro, and their supporters are dwindling, the initial success of anti-social media platforms was only that: initial, sufficient to swindle brasilean people in the election alone. This had all the hallmarks of a Cambridge Analytica type campaign, which if not sustained serves only to expose the maracutaia (fraud) before everyone. I think the signs are getting positive, even the media, quite condescending during the campaign now take hard jabs at Bolsonaro and his quadrilha (gang).

[Nov 09, 2019] Around the world there are massive protests against neo-liberal policies and imperialism. In many of them the CIA and MI6 are fishing in troubled waters, as they always do and attempting to divert popular anger against corrupt capitalists into sectarian disputes

Notable quotes:
"... As to Brazil the right is in power there because the Workers Party was, first, driven from office by a capitalist plot and its candidate for the Presidency, Lula, imprisoned on totally phony charges and prevented from running. Had Lula run he would have won, easily. Then there is Chile where the post Pinochet settlement is maintained by military force, backed by imperialists. Peru would vote for socialists too if it were given the chance as would Guatemala. Mexico just did. ..."
"... That, after all is what they did in Ukraine, where the first move of the coup government was to ban opposition socialist parties. A free election in Ukraine would deliver a left wing government. ..."
"... Anyway let us see: the election of a socialist government will be the first step in the building of a totally new society organised not for individual profit but for humanity as a whole. It won't come easily but the tendency towards it is as natural to society as the desire to live is to the individual. Underneath everything else-the propaganda, the ideology, the terrorism, fear and ignorance-we are all, everywhere, inspired by the same longing for justice, equality and fair treatment and that is almost always the underlying theme in every election. ..."
"... Right now there is a very important election taking place in the UK where, against massive opposition from capitalists and leading a party riven with corrupted, treacherous Fifth Columnists, Jeremy Corbyn is putting forward a political platform which could re-invigorate the left internationally. ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Nov 8 2019 18:29 utc | 12

"Right wingers and fascists are winning more and more each time there's a vote..." Just Me@3

Maybe it is just you: in Argentine and Uruguay the fascists and other right wingers just lost elections. As they did in Bolivia. If there was an election in Ecuador the left would easily win, in fact it won last time and would still be in power were it not that Moreno, who his Dad named Lenin, turned coat as soon as his left wing campaign had yielded him the victory. In Colombia fair elections are very rare-basically left wing candidates are killed, if not before, then after the election- but the left appears to have won most of the recent provincial elections.
In Honduras the last election was a landslide victory for the left, until the voting was stopped and the election stolen. In Haiti Aristide would win except that he is prevented from running and kidnapped if he wins. The current US/OAS backed President would not last half an hour without the muscle, from Canada et al, that keeps him in power while the people call for the return of the $2billion that he and his predecessor-chosen by the Clinton Crime family- stole.

As to Brazil the right is in power there because the Workers Party was, first, driven from office by a capitalist plot and its candidate for the Presidency, Lula, imprisoned on totally phony charges and prevented from running. Had Lula run he would have won, easily. Then there is Chile where the post Pinochet settlement is maintained by military force, backed by imperialists. Peru would vote for socialists too if it were given the chance as would Guatemala. Mexico just did.

And that is just one continent -- the one most amenable to imperialist power, and closest to being under the thumb of its death squads and torturers.

Around the world there are massive protests against neo-liberal policies and imperialism. In many of them the CIA and MI6 are fishing in troubled waters, as they always do and attempting to divert popular anger against corrupt capitalists into sectarian disputes. That, after all is what they did in Ukraine, where the first move of the coup government was to ban opposition socialist parties. A free election in Ukraine would deliver a left wing government.

Look closer at Germany and you will see that the AfD are simply taking advantage of circumstances that the left has refused to face honestly. The same is true in Hungary and Poland where it has been the traditionalist, semi fascist clerical right wing parties which have dared to challenge the neo-liberalism which the 'left' has promoted and protected. The right wins in Europe by default, when the left refuses to follow its principles (Hello M Hollande Blairite President that was of France!) and often that is because the left parties have been colonised, systematically, by imperialist forces.

Anyway let us see: the election of a socialist government will be the first step in the building of a totally new society organised not for individual profit but for humanity as a whole. It won't come easily but the tendency towards it is as natural to society as the desire to live is to the individual. Underneath everything else-the propaganda, the ideology, the terrorism, fear and ignorance-we are all, everywhere, inspired by the same longing for justice, equality and fair treatment and that is almost always the underlying theme in every election.

Right now there is a very important election taking place in the UK where, against massive opposition from capitalists and leading a party riven with corrupted, treacherous Fifth Columnists, Jeremy Corbyn is putting forward a political platform which could re-invigorate the left internationally.

[Nov 08, 2019] Well then, thank God for Tucker Carlson: he is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border

Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

@DanFromCT Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border. His is the only show that I watch anymore, and he pushes back from Fox's Israel-first orthodoxy as much as he can and still keep his job, which he wouldn't have if not for his high ratings. Tucker destroyed ultra hawk neocon John Bolton shortly before Trump stupidly appointed him as his NSA.

BTW, Hannity is a war pig, who happens to be right on one issue – supporting Trump against the democrat coup. And Buck is also right, Epstein did not kill himself.

Curmudgeon , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 pm GMT
@Patricus You are a victim of finance capitalism propaganda. Communism is Marxism, not socialism. Socialists do not outright reject private ownership, the goal was co-ops to displace finance capital. Co-ops are corporations where every member has only one share. The majority decides, not one shareholder with 50.1% of the shares. The state is not the worker.

Real socialists are opposed to private central banks. I haven't heard any of the allegedly "far left" Democratic Presidential candidates suggest nationalizing the Fed. Ron Paul was more of a socialist than they are on that one.

Also part of the brainwashing is the absolute failure of the vast majority of Americans, who fail to understand that immigration is the reserve army of capital, used to attack the people of the nation. It lowers wages and working conditions; produces more pollution; increases living costs; lowers standards of living; and most importantly, increases profits

Any real nationalism, out of necessity, will have socialist aspects, because doing what is right for the nation, in the truest sense of the word, means that the best solution can come from anywhere on the political spectrum. Governments "own" armies. Is that communism, or should it be a government asset that should be privatized just as the US government privatized the control of its currency.

As long as people dwell in the land of "left" and "right" the owners will continue to divide. One solution would be to ban political parties and require all candidates running for office to be funded equally, out of the public purse. That would make candidates have to face their electorate more directly, and make them more responsive to the electorate, rather than the party. In Congress, the political parties would not get to choose committee chairs, individuals would have to earn the respect of their peers for that.

There is a long way to go.

DanFromCT , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@follyofwar Tucker Carlson is the only news show I can watch, too. The rest is pretty obviously intended to neutralize the rise of native leadership with the relentless insinuation that all we can do is whine like Lou Dobbs and his guests, vote Republican, and show what we're made of by blowing hot air out our asses like Hannity with his mawkish imbecilities about America still being great because he gets great deals at Costco. Sean wuvs America and the gal who follows him turns to American-hating Alan Dershowitz to update us about the espionage of his long-term client Jeffrey Epstein. Check.

Just yesterday the kosher msm was mendaciously portraying our Army's combat vets as baby killers, while today no one says a word when Fox' toadeaters tout that "muh brothers, muh mission" fake and phony honor among "warriors" -- now all heroes of course, just for putting on the uniform for Eretz Israel and the Yinon Plan. More importantly, Fox News' elaborate efforts concealing Israel's culpability for 9/11 constitutes, as a matter of law, powerful circumstantial evidence of their guilt in the greatest act of treason against this country in its history.

Fox News' basecamp commando and armchair warrior types were outed by Homer's Achilles in the ninth century BC, in the Iliad. As Pope's translation has it,

O monster! Mixed of insolence and fear,
Thou dog in forehead, but in heart a deer!
When wert thou known in ambush'd fights to dare,
Or nobly face the horrid front of war?
'Tis ours, the chance of fighting fields to try;
Thine to look on, and bid the valiant die.

How dare Fox News demand we honor the soldiers who foolishly believed Fox News that they were fighting for their country. They still go in droves to their possible deaths, mistaking the costumed bureaucrats in the Pentagon who serve Israel first in all things for warrior patriots like themselves. I do not believe a military whose leadership's chief trait is servility toward a foreign nation and betrayal of its own can survive no matter how much money is counterfeited by the Treasury out of thin air to pay its bills.

[Nov 08, 2019] The age of neoliberalism happened more or less when the USA turned from net exporter to net importer (what Varoufakis called the "global plan" phase and the "global minotaur" phase). I think that probably there is some world cycle stuff going on.

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

MisterMr 11.08.19 at 12:12 pm 76

If we speak of neoliberal economic policies, instead than of neoliberal theories, I believe that there are two aspects that are underappreciated:

1) The age of neoliberalism happened more or less when the USA turned from net exporter to net importer (what Varoufakis called the "global plan" phase and the "global minotaur" phase). I think that probably there is some world cycle stuff going on.

2) It seems to me that new deal economies had strong structural elements pushing wages up (high welfare spending, strong unions, etc.), while in the neoliberal age those element disappeared and were replaced to an almost complete dependence of cyclical measures (deficit spending, interest rates) aimed at creating a permanent boom. When these policies fail we are in deep s-t. But I doubt it is possible to keep a capitalist system permanently in boom mode.
However the pumping up of deficit spending and lowering of the interest rates are also a consequence of neoliberalism and of the overreliance on cyclical instruments, IMHO.

[Nov 08, 2019] When trying to find a proper definition of neoliberalism, first of all we need to admit that we are discussing a yet another dead ideology

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

likbez 11.08.19 at 8:21 am ( 74 )

When trying to find a proper definition of neoliberalism, first of all we need to admit that we are discussing a yet another dead ideology:
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/18/neoliberalism-the-idea-that-changed-the-world

Three senior economists at the IMF, an organisation not known for its incaution, published a paper questioning the benefits of neoliberalism. In so doing, they helped put to rest the idea that the word is nothing more than a political slur, or a term without any analytic power. The paper gently called out a "neoliberal agenda" for pushing deregulation on economies around the world, for forcing open national markets to trade and capital, and for demanding that governments shrink themselves via austerity or privatisation. The authors cited statistical evidence for the spread of neoliberal policies since 1980, and their correlation with anaemic growth, boom-and-bust cycles and inequality.

Also when we discussing the proper definition of neoliberalism we need to remember very questionable pedigree of its founders. For example, Hayek was as close to the intellectual prostitute of financial oligarchy as one can get:

After washing out at LSE, Hayek never held a permanent appointment that was not paid for by corporate sponsors. Even his conservative colleagues at the University of Chicago – the global epicentre of libertarian dissent in the 1950s – regarded Hayek as a reactionary mouthpiece, a "stock rightwing man" with a "stock rightwing sponsor", as one put it. As late as 1972, a friend could visit Hayek, now in Salzburg, only to find an elderly man prostrate with self-pity, believing his life's work was in vain. No one cared what he had written!

Which means that one of key components in the definition of neoliberalism should be that this ideology was the project launched and supported by financial oligarchy, who felt squeezed by the New Del regulations. And its main task was to justify the return to political power of the financial oligarchy.

The more Hayek's idea expands, the more reactionary it gets, the more it hides behind its pretence of scientific neutrality – and the more it allows economics to link up with the major intellectual trend of the west since the 17th century. The rise of modern science generated a problem: if the world is universally obedient to natural laws, what does it mean to be human? Is a human being simply an object in the world, like any other? There appears to be no way to assimilate the subjective, interior human experience into nature as science conceives it – as something objective whose rules we discover by observation.

Society reconceived as a giant market leads to a public life lost to bickering over mere opinions; until the public turns, finally, in frustration to a strongman as a last resort for solving its otherwise intractable problems.

Surely there is a connection between their growing irrelevance and the election of Trump, a creature of pure whim, a man without the principles or conviction to make for a coherent self.

likbez 11.08.19 at 8:29 am ( 75 )
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Dani Rodrik on neoliberalism:
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/14/the-fatal-flaw-of-neoliberalism-its-bad-economics

Economists study a social reality that is unlike the physical universe. It is completely manmade, highly malleable and operates according to different rules across time and space. Economics advances not by settling on the right model or theory to answer such questions, but by improving our understanding of the diversity of causal relationships.

Neoliberalism and its customary remedies – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. Good economists know that the correct answer to any question in economics is: it depends.

[Nov 08, 2019] Neoliberalism's Children Rise Up to Demand Justice in Chile and the World by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies

Notable quotes:
"... When Chile's socialist leader Salvador Allende was elected in 1970, after a 6-year-long covert CIA operation to prevent his election, President Nixon ordered U.S. sanctions to " make the economy scream ." ..."
"... U.S. sabotage of the new government intensified, and on September 11th, 1973, Allende was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup. The new leader, General Augusto Pinochet, executed or disappeared at least 3,200 people, held 80,000 political prisoners in his jails and ruled Chile as a brutal dictator until 1990, with the full support of the U.S. and other Western governments. ..."
"... The Chicago Boys pointed to rising economic growth rates in Chile as evidence of the success of their neoliberal program, but by 1988, 48% of Chileans were living below the poverty line. Chile was and still is the wealthiest country in Latin America, but it is also the country with the largest gulf between rich and poor. ..."
"... The governments elected after Pinochet stepped down in 1990 have followed the neoliberal model of alternating pro-corporate "center-right" and "center-left" governments, as in the U.S. and other developed countries. Neither respond to the needs of the poor or working class, who pay higher taxes than their tax-evading bosses, on top of ever-rising living costs, stagnant wages and limited access to voucherized education and a stratified public-private healthcare system. Indigenous communities are at the very bottom of this corrupt social and economic order. Voter turnout has predictably declined from 95% in 1989 to 47% in the most recent presidential election in 2017. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
Uprisings against the corrupt, generation-long dominance of neoliberal "center-right" and "center-left" governments that benefit the wealthy and multinational corporations at the expense of working people are sweeping country after country all over the world.

In this Autumn of Discontent, people from Chile, Haiti and Honduras to Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon are rising up against neoliberalism, which has in many cases been imposed on them by U.S. invasions, coups and other brutal uses of force. The repression against activists has been savage, with more than 250 protesters killed in Iraq in October alone, but the protests have continued and grown. Some movements, such as in Algeria and Sudan, have already forced the downfall of long-entrenched, corrupt governments.

A country that is emblematic of the uprisings against neoliberalism is Chile. On October 25, 2019, a million Chileans -- out of a population of about 18 million -- took to the streets across the country, unbowed by government repression that has killed at least 20 of them and injured hundreds more. Two days later, Chile's billionaire president Sebastian Piñera fired his entire cabinet and declared, "We are in a new reality. Chile is different from what it was a week ago."

The people of Chile appear to have validated Erica Chenoweth's research on non-violent protest movements, in which she found that once over 3.5% of a population rise up to non-violently demand political and economic change, no government can resist their demands. It remains to be seen whether Piñera's response will be enough to save his own job, or whether he will be the next casualty of the 3.5% rule.

It is entirely fitting that Chile should be in the vanguard of the protests sweeping the world in this Autumn of Discontent, since Chile served as the laboratory for the neoliberal transformation of economics and politics that has swept the world since the 1970s.

When Chile's socialist leader Salvador Allende was elected in 1970, after a 6-year-long covert CIA operation to prevent his election, President Nixon ordered U.S. sanctions to " make the economy scream ."

In his first year in office, Allende's progressive economic policies led to a 22% increase in real wages, as work began on 120,000 new housing units and he started to nationalize copper mines and other major industries. But growth slowed in 1972 and 1973 under the pressure of brutal U.S. sanctions, as in Venezuela and Iran today.

U.S. sabotage of the new government intensified, and on September 11th, 1973, Allende was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup. The new leader, General Augusto Pinochet, executed or disappeared at least 3,200 people, held 80,000 political prisoners in his jails and ruled Chile as a brutal dictator until 1990, with the full support of the U.S. and other Western governments.

Under Pinochet, Chile's economy was submitted to radical "free market" restructuring by the " Chicago Boys ," a team of Chilean economics students trained at the University of Chicago under the supervision of Milton Friedman for the express purpose of conducting this brutal experiment on their country. U.S. sanctions were lifted and Pinochet sold off Chile's public assets to U.S. corporations and wealthy investors. Their program of tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, together with privatization and cuts in pensions, healthcare, education and other public services, has since been duplicated across the world.

The Chicago Boys pointed to rising economic growth rates in Chile as evidence of the success of their neoliberal program, but by 1988, 48% of Chileans were living below the poverty line. Chile was and still is the wealthiest country in Latin America, but it is also the country with the largest gulf between rich and poor.

The governments elected after Pinochet stepped down in 1990 have followed the neoliberal model of alternating pro-corporate "center-right" and "center-left" governments, as in the U.S. and other developed countries. Neither respond to the needs of the poor or working class, who pay higher taxes than their tax-evading bosses, on top of ever-rising living costs, stagnant wages and limited access to voucherized education and a stratified public-private healthcare system. Indigenous communities are at the very bottom of this corrupt social and economic order. Voter turnout has predictably declined from 95% in 1989 to 47% in the most recent presidential election in 2017.

If Chenoweth is right and the million Chileans in the street have breached the tipping point for successful non-violent popular democracy, Chile may be leading the way to a global political and economic revolution.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace , and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran . Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . Read other articles by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies .

This article was posted on Thursday, November 7th, 2019 at 1:39am and is filed under Chile , CIA , Haiti , Honduras , Neoliberalism , President Sebastian Piñera , Protests .

[Nov 07, 2019] Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border.

Nov 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

@DanFromCT Well then, thank god for Tucker Carlson for going against the grain. He is against all the Middle East wars, and wants to bring the troops home and put them on our Southern Border. His is the only show that I watch anymore, and he pushes back from Fox's Israel-first orthodoxy as much as he can and still keep his job, which he wouldn't have if not for his high ratings. Tucker destroyed ultra hawk neocon John Bolton shortly before Trump stupidly appointed him as his NSA.

BTW, Hannity is a war pig, who happens to be right on one issue – supporting Trump against the democrat coup. And Buck is also right, Epstein did not kill himself.

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren By Dean Baker

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-rant-against-warren

November 5, 2019

Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren
By Dean Baker

The New York Times gives Steven Rattner * the opportunity to push stale economic bromides in columns on a regular basis. His column ** today goes after Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He begins by telling us that Warren's plan for financing a Medicare for All program is "yet more evidence that a Warren presidency a terrifying prospect." He goes on to warn us:

"She would turn America's uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste, *** European-style system. If you want to live in France (economically), Elizabeth Warren should be your candidate."

It's not worth going into every complaint in Rattner's piece, and to be clear, there are very reasonable grounds for questioning many of Warren's proposals. However, he deserves some serious ridicule for raising the bogeyman of France and later Germany.

In spite of its "dirigiste" system France actually has a higher employment rate for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) than the United States. (Germany has a much higher employment rate.) France has a lower overall employment rate because young people generally don't work and people in their sixties are less likely to work.

In both cases, this is the result of deliberate policy choices. In the case of young people, the French are less likely to work because college is free and students get small living stipends. For older workers, France has a system that is more generous to early retirees. One can disagree with both of these policies, but they are not obvious failures. Large segments of the French population benefit from them.

France and Germany both have lower per capita GDP than the United States, but the biggest reason for the gap is that workers in both countries put in many fewer hours annually than in the United States. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an average worker in France puts in 1520 hours a year, in Germany just 1360. That compares to 1780 hours a year in the United States. In both countries five or six weeks a year of vacation are standard, as are paid family leave and paid sick days. Again, one can argue that it is better to have more money, but it is not obviously a bad choice to have more leisure time as do workers in these countries.

Anyhow, the point is that Rattner's bogeymen here are not the horror stories that he wants us to imagine for ordinary workers, even if they may not be as appealing to rich people like himself. Perhaps the biggest tell in this piece is when Rattner warns us that under Warren's proposals "private equity, which plays a useful role in driving business efficiency, would be effectively eliminated."

Okay, the prospect of eliminating private equity, now we're all really scared!

* https://fortune.com/2010/12/30/ex-car-czar-steve-rattner-settles-pay-to-play-scandal/

** https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/medicare-warren-plan.html

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme

Dirigisme is an economic doctrine in which the state plays a strong directive role, as opposed to a merely regulatory role, over a capitalist market economy.

Reply Tuesday, November 05, 2019 at 11:34 AM

[Nov 06, 2019] Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM

Wake up, Democrats https://nyti.ms/32fUM7y
NYT - David Leonhardt - November 5

Maybe this is the wake-up call that Democrats need.

My old colleagues at The Upshot published a poll yesterday (*) that rightly terrified a lot of Democrats (as well as Republicans and independents who believe President Trump is damaging the country). The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

This was the sentence, by Nate Cohn, that stood out to me: "Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president" in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign, focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.

The 2020 presidential candidates are making a grave mistake by ignoring the lessons of 2018. I'm not saying they should run to the mythical center and support widespread deregulation or corporate tax cuts (which are also unpopular). They can still support all kinds of ambitious progressive ideas -- a wealth tax, universal Medicare buy-in and more -- without running afoul of popular opinion. They can even decide that there are a couple of issues on which they are going to fly in the face of public opinion.

But if they're going to do that, they also need to signal in other ways that they care about winning the votes of people who don't consider themselves very liberal. Democrats, in short, need to start treating the 2020 campaign with the urgency it deserves, because a second Trump term would be terrible for the country.

What would more urgency look like? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would find some way to acknowledge and appeal to swing voters. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would offer more of a vision than either has to date. Pete Buttigieg, arguably the best positioned to take advantage of this moment, would reassure Democrats who are understandably nervous about his lack of experience. And perhaps Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar can finally appeal to more of Biden's uninspired supporters. ...

* One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but
Leads Warren in Battlegrounds https://nyti.ms/2NDDeNb
NYT - Nate Cohn - November 4 - Updated

[Nov 06, 2019] Planned Collapse of Neoliberalism

Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Globalism sounds like such a nice thing for many, it even has a nice ring to it! At least to the naïve, whom actually believe that if the world could just get together and work out its problems under one big umbrella, all would be great. I think most people would agree that true free trade, coupled with safeguards to protect American jobs would be fine. The corrupted globalism that this world has become nearly immersed in is a mechanism that, in reality, is intent on creating a one world corporate owned planet operated under a top-down, locked-down, political and economic management system backed up by coercion. Whew! That is a mouthful I agree! It will be run by a partnership of the top .001% of wealthiest elites and administered by the United Nations. International rules and laws for every single decision will nearly all come under the auspices the United Nations. This plan has been laid out in various United Nations publications and official policy.

President Trump has vowed to, and succeeded in some ways, to buck these one world globalists, not to say he hasn't treated them to overly generous tax breaks since he has been in charge! Not withstanding the prior, these one world globalists include even some of the most prominent lawmakers in Washington D.C. far too often. The entrenched snake sales people over at the White House lawmaking division are far too often part of the plan to decimate America whether they believe it or not. We can only hope that a large part of them are do not realize what the end-game is of this globalist cabal. Perhaps this is of course why we so often shake our heads in disbelief when they utter ideas and beliefs that sound so foreign to ears, anti-American and even scary!

So far, Pres. Trump seems to have accomplished about as much as any one president ever could accomplish when walking into a room of entrenched den of thieves! Washington is not going to be a part of solving the problems of globalism, for they and the globalists are in bed together. Part of the problem remains that the establishment agenda is overrun by statists who walk in lock-step with their leaders and party platforms even if corrupted. It is just too profitable for them to ignore. Yet, the truth is that statism has no sense of proportion. These sometimes well-meaning politicians, once they are put into power, knowingly or unknowingly become slaves to their corporate owners. This is corporatocracy, and it is unsustainable. The one world corporate pirates, comprising a collection of the largest 100 or so family dynasties, do in fact control approximately 90 percent of the wealth of the world, hidden inside a dark web of very complex multi-structured organizations and corporate nameplates. Such makes it very difficult, but not impossible to truly figure out who the real owners are behind the maze. This is perhaps the reason why I contend that President Trump, an outsider with a new direction for America, may be our last chance. Most of these types hate Trump because he is hitting them where it hurts on most fronts and is slowing down the globalist agenda!

Corporate socialism IS globalism. It is a growing and controlled oligarchy. As such, it affords both the supranational capitalists, world's governments and non-elected quasi governmental agencies to profit together as a baseball team would. Yes, working together with one unified grand vision for the profit and powers of both. Globalism is the name. We already see how nearly everything around us is becoming part of the so-called global order. These, creating quid-pro-quo systems of control over the entire world economies, whom create wars for profit, create inflation to inadvertently benefit themselves and enact so-called "free-trade partnerships" that portend to help creates jobs here at home, only succeed occasionally of creating low wage service jobs in large part in the parts of the world that the globalists venture with their self-serving con-game. Limiting competition, being on the inside, having power over others, this is what the global government and one world monopolistic corporations are all about. The free trade agreements offer all of its members to petition, (and usually get) allowances to get around many of the safeguards and traditional legal rules that used to be sacrosanct in world trade. Especially as to food processing. The move toward monopolization is perhaps the biggest motivator these have for supporting globalist (un)free trade agreements.

What the true elite globalists (who reside in both political parties in Washington and world power centers in particular) want is unbridled control over nearly everything in order to unite us into a global world of subservient slaves unto them. So, what's the answer?

It is easy to witness that the far leftists often do not divulge they are socialists at all. In recent years, this is changing, now that millions of young voters have been convinced by their colleges and mass media outlets that socialism IS the answer. In the past, no candidate would utter the word socialism for fear of many lost votes. Today, a surprisingly large percentage of politicians in government are onboard. We can easily spot them if we compare their voting records. Then compare them to the promises made when running for election! So, before you get too comfortable with politicians who come off as infectiously kind and compassionate while often using the words 'fairness', "world community", "social equality", "open borders", "free trade", "globalism", "social justice" and other such pleasantly attractive bleeding heart politicians using such catch-phrases, be careful. Although Democrats will more often than not fall into this category of unsung globalists, many on both sides of the isle fit the bill as well. Some more than others knowingly use these kind sounding platforms in order to garner votes from the gullible young in particular. History shows over and over again how gullible citizens can be duped into voting for someone they thought was a caring politician, then come to discover they voted for a hidden socialist or communist in fact. Although we can all agree on the responsibilities of our government as spelled out in the Constitution, our founding fathers warned the new country that we must beware of politicians who promise more than that great document promises.

Government / corporate partnerships, whether formal or consensual, create insanely profitable fortunes for their owners while too often screwing over not only Americans but the worlds taxpaying citizens and their industrialized countries as well. Who do you think the prime contractors are who build and supply trillions of dollars of military weapons to the huge, high testosterone American military machine? These war factories are largely owned by billion-dollar super elites whose huge goliath corporations very often operate under a duplicity of names that largely hides the true identities of the owners behind them. These true owners often use layers of sub-corporations operating under various, differing names and locations providing legal and illegal tax havens around the world. Apple pays zero US taxes for example using such a scheme. This is just one case amongst thousands. Often the tax havens are claimed are justified by the existence of a foreign post office box. Seldom are these caught or fined by our U.S. authorities. When they do occasionally get caught, the fines are typically just a miniscule part of the total savings they have accumulated over the past years.

With a little research we can find many of the same board members appearing again and again on the rosters of the quietly interconnected mega corporations. This creates the long-time problem of immoral collusions that often allow shifting of profits to other tax havens, allowing American profits to go untaxed and shifting the responsibility fully onto the American worker. Does it not make sense that a corporation that makes ridiculous record profits such as Apple and others do, that they should pay their share? This globalist mindset of the elites creates record profits at the expense of American workers and their spending powers.

Within our public "screwling system" as I call it, students are increasingly taught that "globalism" is a new religion of sorts, a "cure-all" for world discourse perhaps! Those with enough power to create massive changes in culture are behind the politically correct culture, the green movement and most other leftist power grabs. These are often the very same supra-national corporations and political kingpins who wish to undermine the America we remember, its legal system while creating a monopolistic economic and totalitarian one world state. It is wise to remember the confirmed beliefs and admissions o f the godfathers of the one world order. Of course I am speaking of the Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan and dozens more of the wealthiest families of the world whom have for centuries verifiably acted upon and talked of such plans. Their heirs, as well as the new titans such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos (Amazon fame), Elon Musk (Tesla) and other such billionaire or trillionaire types are nearly all on board vocally with a one world order system of governance. I will cover this much more further on.

For over 100 years, much of American education has been stealthily entrenched in anti-Western "cultural Marxism" propaganda and other damaging indoctrinations (as I document later). Public schools have long promoted the globalism lie, teaching such as the yellow brick road towards acceptance of a one world order that delivers utopia. It is hard indeed to find a young person today in America who still believes strongly in traditional values and ideas of self-responsibility, detest government interference in their lives, loves the Constitution, what it stands for and protects. They have been indoctrinated by our schools to the point that common sense no longer matters, for honest discourse in discussions are heavily discouraged in many a classroom. I prove further along that most of the liberal ideology being increasingly touted by the left is borne out of a long dreamt of socialist utopia carried out by a partnership between the corporate globalists, the U.N. and those elites who desire power over the world. And I can guarantee to you that these are getting impatient. These, their cohorts/devotees are those whom desire to make the choices as to everything you buy, eat, drive, live, your job destiny, how much or how little you make, etc. etc. Most of this agenda is not so hidden, contained already within the prime vehicle to bring about the one world order with the United Nations Agenda 21 policies taking place around the world.

Considering that at least 50% of the world's wealth is verifiably controlled by the top 1% consisting of only 67 of the world's wealthiest individuals (and shrinking), this is pretty good evidence that we are essentially being controlled by a very small corporate global elite club designed and run for the few. These stats are verified later. The pace of their destruction is staggering.

Today, the top 200 corporations are bigger than the combined economies of 182 countries and have twice the economic influence than 80 per cent of all humanity as I prove!

Globalism has come very far in rendering world with greatly reduced amounts of anything amounting to a capitalistic system that comes with practical safeguards against abuses that place too much harm to the hard working stiffs. Increasingly, we witness wage inequalities worse than in the Great Depression. Truly, the top 10 percent earners have left everyone else in the dust increasingly over the last 50 years. The top 1 percenters incomes during this time has gone to the moon at the expense of the masses.

Globalism is the vehicle to achieve the elite globalist goals of a one world order, separate, nationalistic and independent nations with their own borders must be eliminated, which shouldn't be too much of a problem to accomplish in much of the world, especially in the current socialist run countries in and around the European continent and America who largely embrace socialism. What is ironic is that socialist Briton's have turn their backs on Brexit, meant to centralize nearly all power to the elite globalists. Little did they realize that you can't have both, at least in the long run.

The League of Nations was the precursor of the United Nations. From their beginnings, the primary long-term reason for both of them had always been to be the primary central agency of the world, an assemblage of the top global power brokers created to steer and carry out the new world order which has been dreamt of for millennium. Its creation has not been, as it touts, "to create a harmonious and peaceful world". No, the U.N.'s overarching goal has been to create a one world government using the ploy of globalism. There are ample records dating back before its very creation, direct from the U.N.'s own publications and top officers and founders to support this statement which I document quite fully in order to prove that point. This UN has with much ambition endorsed and sanctioned one world inspired leaders, corporations, groups, agencies, NGO's and billionaires from countries all around the globe in a long term unified vision of this new world order in order to further the one world agenda. The help that the UN has supplied in the creation of most planned wars, coups and disruptions across the world is well known by those who have done their homework on that subject. It is this cabal and others that are the enemies of true freedoms, borders, sovereignty across the globe yet are completely onboard with creating a one world government. Americanism or any other type of governance besides their one world order. These are the a major part of the world's Deep State apparatus who are in fact often hidden forces behind the worlds corporate powered global power structure.

The global multinational corporatist leaders have pushed their un-free trade treaties, long creating a horrid record of killing millions of good paying jobs across America and nearly everywhere they venture. These stealing of good jobs have swelled the bank accounts and powers of these globalist multinational corporations while boosting their wealth into the top 1% largely at the expense of the masses who now work for far less. lowered wages.

The globalists new world order plan requires a complete breakdown of the required systems that have historically allowed nation to prosper on its own merits. Sold by both parties is the false belief that big government can fix everything. This long-running sales job actually promotes self-interest above all, using deceptive techniques as I cover. Such a sales job requires a break away from traditions that bind us with our neighbors and family. It requires a growth in narcissism, self above God so much so that we can now even witiness the horrid reality of pedophilia becoming more mainstream! Since President Trump's reign, thousands of pedophilia people and groups have been arrested as never before! Thousand of killer gang members have been arrested as never before, especially those inside of the MS-13 ruthless group. This is just one of many actions by this President that leads to my belief that our new President is holding up his end of the agreement. Like him or not, he at least is holding up his promises.

History is replete with all the immense damages that the globalist movement has brought upon the world. These have sold the lie that globalism is the answer to the inequalities between the haves and the have nots. While the opposite is the real truth! The truth is now evident when one looks at the condition of the world they have pushed upon all of us over the last many years.

The elite new world order operatives have infiltrated all the major nations governmental agencies, top positions of power. Led by the lure of power, connectedness, money, these are often not aware that they are actually perpetuating a plan that is deadly for much of the world if the globalist elites they serve should get their way. Unfortunately for these self serving minions only are concerned with self promotion often. Yet the fact remains that political expediency and promotions come with compliance. The heads of nearly every major country are working together with this huge one world apparatus machine that is enclosed within the UN, World Bank, IMF, European Union, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, the Royal Family, the corporation called America, and hundreds of other governmental and non-governmental centers of power. Many of these hide behind nice sounding, humanitarian nameplates. Nearly all the crises we see play out are ones they actually create, (of which American hegemony around the world is a large player). For these, the ends always justify the means.

Continual non-stop conflicts around the world, of which America is often at the forefront of are exponentially increasing. I will explain why and how America's endless war policies has been implemented over the last many years, but I cannot divulge my take on who and what is behind much of the openly visible powers working behind much of the news we hear.

Explained will be real, actual reasons why America has spent over 15 years in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya with nothing to show besides disasters and deaths, while earning a bad reputation around the world as a bully. Be assured that the elites and banking system have made trillions of dollars from these three examples. And lives mean little. Psychopaths don't care about anything beyond their own desires and powers, and many of these are psychopaths indeed. They use false justifications as a passport to sell many of their warring's and destructions. This is globalism.

I predict that the CIA, (a globalist arm of the U.S. Government and deep state), armed with an unlimited budget and trillions of dollars derived from their years of secret under the radar dirty operations, are likely to be an agency to be reviewed, revamped or remodeled within the not so distant future. The truths behind this clandestine, above the law and corrupted agency may finally be surfacing as well. Ever since the Trump Russian collusion witch hunt also with an unlimited budget as well both of these conducted, likely during Pres. Trump's time as president, we should expect to witness a firestorm of controversy and change more momentous than anything in American history, hopefully.

President Donald Trump has his work cut out, but his years in office have shown he is no typical deep state establishment fixture of either political party! What we are now witnessing is perhaps the most important and fateful elections in America's entire history. The results will either allow the Republican Party to prove itself to be the party of the people, or become impotent, simply becoming water boys for the Democrat Party, thereafter having little real power for decades perhaps. The results of the coming elections leading into 2020, (general and mid-terms), will in fact be the determining factor for whether America and the world reject conservativism or falls into the clutches of a highly touted, yet untruthful liberalism that doesn't even resemble the old party of the people that dems used to own in the far past. So, we must ask ourselves, how did this all come to such a historic moment as we are living in?

[Nov 06, 2019] Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket [of the financial oligarchy], but it rapidly became one

Highly recommended!
Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.06.19 at 4:07 am 47

Z 11.05.19 at 9:23 am @45

It seems to me an important tenet of the neoliberal ideology is the arbiter (or auctioneer) role it gives the state and other political institutions with respect to markets. Markets are the locus of justice and efficiency, but political institutions have the essential task of organizing them and the competitions that takes place within them, supposedly at least.

In practice, this translated in a central role of political power not only in privatizing and breaking state monopolies, but also in the creation, sometimes ex nihilo, of markets supervised by state or quasi-state agencies (shielded of electoral choices by regulatory or ideally constitutional provisions) whose role was to organize concurrence in domains classical liberal economic theory would consider natural monopolies or natural public properties (education, health service, energy distribution, infrastructure of transportation, telecommunication, postal and banking service etc.)

What an excellent and deep observation ! Thank you ! This is the essence of the compromises with financial oligarchy made by failing social democratic parties. Neoliberalism is kind of Trotskyism for the rich in which the political power is used to shape the society "from above". As Hayek remarked on his visit to Pinochet's Chile – "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism".

George Monblot observed that "Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket [of the financial oligarchy], but it rapidly became one." ( The Guardian, Apr 15, 2016):

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

The free (as in absence of regulation for FIRE) market produces a tiny cadre of winners and an enormous army of losers (10% vs 90%) – and the losers, looking for revenge, have turned to Trump. Now entrenched centers of "resistance" (and first of all CIA, the Justice Department, The Department of State and a part of Pentagon) are trying to reverse the situation. Failing to understand that they created Trump and each time will reproduce it in more and more dangerous variant.

Trumpism is the inevitable result of the gap between the utopian ideal of the free (for the FIRE sector only ) market and the dystopian reality for the majority of the population ("without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape" Pope Francis, "Evangelii Gaudium")

The situation in which the financial sector generates just 4% of employment, but accounts for more than 25% of corporate profits is unsustainable. It should be reversed and it will be reversed.

[Nov 06, 2019] While internally neoliberalism is about monetarism, privatization, and union-busting, forign policy dimension are international trieateis and organization like WTO, IMF, World Bank, EU, etc

Notable quotes:
"... Markets are the locus of justice and efficiency, but political institutions have the essential task of organizing them and the competitions that takes place within them, supposedly at least. In practice, this translated in a central role of political power not only in privatizing and breaking state monopolies, but also in the creation, sometimes ex nihilo , of markets supervised by state or quasi-state agencies (shielded of electoral choices by regulatory or ideally constitutional provisions) whose role was to organize concurrence in domains classical liberal economic theory would consider natural monopolies or natural public properties (education, health service, energy distribution, infrastructure of transportation, telecommunication, postal and banking service etc.). In that sense, the economical management of the EU post-1992 by the European Commission is probably the actual political system closest to the pure ideology. ..."
"... On the whole I think that modern days anti-neoliberals like Trump are closer to paleo-liberals (European sense), that is even less redistributionist, so even when they call themselves as anti-neoliberal they are even more neoliberal than the older bunch. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.05.19 at 9:00 am 44

@35 and also @38

'Rather than concentrating on national programs of monetarism, privatization, and union-busting, Quinn Slobodian focuses on the transnational dimension: the EU and the WTO. The protagonists of his story are people you have never heard of, second-generation students of the original Austro-German founders, trained as lawyers, not economists -- men like Ernst-Joachim Mestmäker and Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, who shaped the agenda in Brussels and helped to steer global trade policy .

Slobodian has underlined the profound conservatism of the first generation of neoliberals and their fundamental hostility to democracy. What he has exposed, furthermore, is their deep commitment to empire as a restraint on the nation state. Notably, in the case of Wilhelm Röpke, this was reinforced by deep-seated anti-black racism. Throughout the 1960s Röpke was active on behalf of South Africa and Rhodesia in defense of what he saw as the last bastions of white civilization in the developing world. As late as the 1980s, members of the Mont Pèlerin Society argued that the white minority in South Africa could best be defended by weighting the voting system by the proportion of taxes paid .

If racial hierarchy was one of the foundations of neoliberalism's imagined global order, the other key constraint on the nation-state was the free flow of the factors of production. This is what made the restoration of capital mobility in the 1980s such a triumph. Following in the footsteps of the legal scholar and historian Samuel Moyn, one might remark that it was not by accident that the advent of radical capital mobility coincided with the advent of universal human rights. Both curtailed the sovereignty of nation states. Slobodian traces that intellectual and political association back to the 1940s, when Geneva school economists formulated the argument that an essential pillar of liberal freedom was the right of the wealthy to move their money across borders unimpeded by national government regulation. What they demanded, Slobodian quips, was the human right to capital flight .

By the 1990s it can hardly be denied that neoliberalism was the dominant mode of policy in the EU, OECD, GATT, and WTO

critiques can be radically illuminating by exposing the foundations of key concepts of modernity. But where do they lead? For Hayek this was not a question. The entire point was to silence policy debate. By focusing on broad questions of the economic constitution, rather than the details of economic processes, neoliberals sought to outlaw prying questions about how things actually worked. It was when you started asking for statistics and assembling spreadsheets that you took the first dangerous step toward politicizing "the economy."

An anti-Hayekian history of neoliberalism would be one that refuses neoliberalism's deliberately elevated level of discourse and addresses itself instead to what neoliberalism's airy talk of orders and constitutions seeks to obscure: namely, the engines both large and small through which social and economic reality is constantly made and remade, its tools of power and knowledge ranging from cost-of-living indicators to carbon budgets, diesel emission tests and school evaluations. '

I don't have time to talk about this here, and it's probably too dull, but there is a huge difference between the, so to speak, first generation of neoliberals, who were Europeans (frequently of aristocratic lineage ..Friedrich August von Hayek and Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises ) and brought up in a very notable Central European intellectual environment (Freud, Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx .Hayek et al hated Marx, but they had read and understood him) , who had a highly MittelEuropean concern for abstract theorising and qualitative data, and the 'school' of neoliberalism that emerged in the 1950s in the United States (Friedman, of course, but also the Chicago Boys). This latter group were rooted in Anglo-Saxon empiricism, logical positivism (not in its so to speak original form, but as interpreted by e.g. Ayer), and had a deep love of quantitative data, spreadsheets, equations, mathematical laws, and so on. They had little concern or interest in the history of economics, and while they ritually spat on portraits of Marx (and Hegel) every morning just to get themselves motivated in the morning, they didn't read Marx, or indeed any non-English language writers. They paid lip service to the Austrian school but again, they didn't really understand or care about what they were saying. They were concerned with making economics a natural science (which the Austrians were absolutely not), and were also concerned with making marketisation the so to speak 'default mode' of human cognition.

As Tooze hints, it is our current quotidian situation (in which the quantitative analysis of any given social phenomena in terms of 'competition' ..'school league tables' 'university league tables', consumerist assessment of products in terms of quantitative output (that one sees in, e.g. Which magazine), the increasing attempt to view Nature as a bankable (quantitative) resource which can be capitalised) really derives from this 1950s and 1960s approach to reality, as does the worship of the computer and the assumption that all social problems are essentially non-ideological, quantitative, and solvable by technocratic means, with (of course) the collaboration of the private sector (CF 'New Labour') .

And this is the world we all live in. In that sense, of course, we are all neoliberals now.

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/neoliberalism-world-order-review-quinn-slobodian-globalists

Z 11.05.19 at 9:23 am (no link)

@John Quiggin The core of the neoliberal program is (i) (ii) (iii)

Hmmm. For a rather short (and perceptive) blog post, that would probably do, but I find the description a bit too simplistic in the way it describes the role of the state. It seems to me an important tenet of the neoliberal ideology is the arbiter (or auctioneer) role it gives the state and other political institutions with respect to markets. Markets are the locus of justice and efficiency, but political institutions have the essential task of organizing them and the competitions that takes place within them, supposedly at least. In practice, this translated in a central role of political power not only in privatizing and breaking state monopolies, but also in the creation, sometimes ex nihilo , of markets supervised by state or quasi-state agencies (shielded of electoral choices by regulatory or ideally constitutional provisions) whose role was to organize concurrence in domains classical liberal economic theory would consider natural monopolies or natural public properties (education, health service, energy distribution, infrastructure of transportation, telecommunication, postal and banking service etc.). In that sense, the economical management of the EU post-1992 by the European Commission is probably the actual political system closest to the pure ideology.

Another aspect that is but alluded to is the actual electoral basis of neoliberal political power, a topic discussed at length in the Brahmin left thesis of Piketty's most recent book, though other people came there way earlier and though Atari democrats is from 1983.

As for the failure of neoliberalism, the crucial point in my mind is that both the ideological and actual social reality of neoliberalism (probably more or less the same thing) – that is to say the idea that competition in which the most efficient, educated, innovative come on top and in which the ensuing economic growth lifts all boats – dramatically lack a fundamental property: it cannot reproduce the conditions of its own social existence. The central problem is concrete and simple: those who came on top of the previous round of the competition essential to neoliberal philosophy have the means and opportunity to rig the next round. Add to that the fact that the original basic insights of classical liberal proved to be more empirically correct than their neoliberal update, in that natural public monopolies are indeed more efficiently managed by public monopolies, and you get a vicious circle in which the tax cuts, social welfare cuts and privatizations are paid by diminishing common goods, so that maintaining constant welfare (even for the educated and wealthy) requires more income (you may want to enroll your children in a private school, or to supplement your declining national health or pension plan with a private one etc.). Those who can do it consequently exert as much pressure as they can on the economical and political system so that their income increases, but this requires new tax cuts, social welfare cuts and privatizations.

Another much more elementary point is that neoliberalism, as a political philosophy, is characterized by its very relaxed attitude, to say the least, towards inequality. People born after 1995, whose entire life experience has been of increased and extreme inequalities, can hardly subscribe to such a view.

MisterMr 11.05.19 at 10:04 am (no link)
Political terms like "neoliberalism" make sense in opposition to other terms representing other political movements, because one political movement generally rises against another.

But in the case of neoliberalism there are two different opposing movements in two different times, so the term can have 2 different meanings.

The first meaning is in opposition to postwar new deal systems: "neoliberals" were people who tought that the state was excessively large and had to be pruned.In this sense, Tatcher and Reagan were the most neoliberal, and other third wayists on the left like Clinton and Blair were soft neoliberals. It should be noted that soft neoliberalism was actually very popular and not at all something imposed from the above, because for a variety of reasons many people including on the left tought that the old new deal system was going bad.

But more recently "neoliberalism" is opposed by a sort of neo nationalism, most obviously from right wing populists. Said right wing populists are pissed off by the "cosmopolitan" aspect of neoliberalism, not by the fact that the state is reined in. So the meaning of "neoliberalism" in this acception is redefined.

If we take the first meaning (reduced redistribution), we should come to the idea that Trump is more neoliberla than Obama (Trump cut taxes on the rich, Obama increased them).
If we take the second meaning Obama was clearly more cosmopolitan than Trump so Obama would be more neoliberal.

Other meanings are somehow attached to the term without a real justification, for example it is common to say that "austerity" is a neoliberal thing but, if you look at the USA, deficits post 1980 are generally higher than deficits before 1980 ("austerity" is a relative concept).

Also the "cosmopolitan" thing is dubious, most countries before WW2 were very protectionistic (Italy during fascism had autarky as an official policy), so compared to this "new deal" economy was already quite cosmopolitan and corresponded to a phase of strong cultural globalization, however later globalization increased even more so relative to the neoliberal (post 1980) period the new deal period looks more protectionist, but in the great scheme of things it wasn't really.

On the whole I think that modern days anti-neoliberals like Trump are closer to paleo-liberals (European sense), that is even less redistributionist, so even when they call themselves as anti-neoliberal they are even more neoliberal than the older bunch.

But this is because I think that various ideas of the current anti-neoliberals are BS, like the idea that immigration is bad for wages. People who really believe that immigration is bad for wages would likely disagree with me.

[Nov 06, 2019] Russiagate and the end of the period of classic neoliberalism in the USA

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.07.19 at 3:11 am 59

steven t johnson 11.06.19 at 3:50 pm @58

insist on contradicting likbez on other issues. But Trump's attempt to plant oppo on Biden abroad is the same thing that is alleged of the so-called dirty dossier. If the one is treasonous, so is the other. Or, as I say, they're just dirty tricks, which is standard for a corrupt system both sides uphold.

This simply is not the case and can't be compared. Biden is up to ears in Ukraine mess. And not only corruption, although this is clearly the case and provable (for a Clinton-style neoliberal this is a kind of badge of honor ;-), but in the much more serious stuff, including his instigation of the civil war in Donbas region in order to weaken Russia. The latter is a war crime.

Further, as Lee Arnold observes, none of this analysis makes any sense unless one can explain why the Deep State would panic at Trump, even if that nonsense were a real thing.

True.

Trump is just waging economic warfare, which may have fewer US soldiers killing people but is still warfare. As in Venezuela or Iran, I think, in many respects it is an even crueler form of warfare in that it directly targets the people. Any defense of Trump as being less violent takes words for deeds, and ignores anything but US casualties. The key notion, that Trump is somehow draining the swamp, is preposterous, starting with the folly of accepting such a meaningless phrase as sincere. There is no reasonable definition of swamp that doesn't imply Trump is a swamp creature.

I completely agree. I think that Trumpism can be defined as "national neoliberalism" -- fully neoliberal policies domestically, but with an important change in foreign policy -- instead of classic neoliberal globalization based on organizations like WTO, they want a different, more imperial type of globalization based mostly on bilateral treaties in which the USA can impose his will by the sheer economic might. Kind of British empire type of globalization.

Any theory that sees the CIA as the anti-Trump forgets the Clinton took the heat for covering up how a falling out over arms deals with jihadis led to the clash in the first place. So far, from helping Clinton the CIA hung her out to dry.

The military is also a part of the Deep State if there were one, but it was anti-Clinton, just like it has been for decades. As for demonizing John Brennan for the wrong reasons, Brennan has had a bipartisan career. But especially if you insist Brennan et al. are Democratic Party hacks, then that must mean Trump is just another Republican. And that contradicts every word about the Deep State and the swamp.

In no way, the CIA can be viewed as a monolithic organization. Factions within the CIA can fight with each other. The same is true for the FBI. Why Comey made this statement is completely unclear, but most probably there were some really incriminating information on Weiner laptop (which contained about 694,000 emails and a very strange "Insurance" folder ) that made it impossible not to reopen investigation due to the pressure from the other factions (for example, NY FBI office), which in case of Comey non-compliance could leak information to the press and finish Clinton; probably this was a "forced move" (Zugzwang) to prevent greater damage (see https://sputniknews.com/us/201808281067518732-comey-lied-clinton-emails-laptop/ )

My impression is that the military is also split. Compare Flynn with McMaster. The latter was a rabid neocon from the beginning to the very end. It looks like DIA hates Clinton neoliberals, including Obama, more than Trump, and that's why some forces within the CIA and FBI decided to neutralize Flynn using dirty methods ( Lisa Page edited Flynn's FBI 302 Report and then lied about that).

And powerful faction within DIA (and Pentagon in general), NSA and FBI definitely resent Brennan (and CIA in general: *https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/11/burn-cia-and-fbi-to-the-ground-start-over.html ), viewing him as inept careerist who was promoted despite his abysmal failures in KSA (where he served under Colonel Lang). He owns his promotion to Obama.

It is clear from Colonel Lang's posts ( https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/11/clapper-and-brennan-are-felons-probably-yes.html ) and other posts of former DIA staffers in his blog:

Former CIA Director John Brennan has admitted to lying under oath to Congress on two occasions. He may well face further legal exposure.

Brennan in 2016 also reached out to foreign intelligence services, primarily British and Australian, to surveille and entrap Trump aides, as a way of circumventing rules preventing CIA monitoring of American citizens. And he may well have also reverse-targeted Americans, under the guise of monitoring foreign nationals, in order to build a case of so-called Trump collusion.

Finally, Brennan testified to Congress in May 2017 that he had not been earlier aware of the dossier or its contents before the election, although in August 2016 it is almost certain that he had briefed Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on it in a spirited effort to have Reid pressure the FBI to keep or expand its counterintelligence investigation of Trump during the critical final weeks of the election.

I think Brennan is a kind of a soldier of the neoliberal empire, who was loyal to Obama and serves as a conduit of Obama policies and Obama decision to unleash the Russiagate false flag operation (which was colored not only by Obama's CIA past and his imperial presidency experience, but also by the desire to preserve his "legacy" and strong personal animosity to Trump.)

In no way Brennan should be viewed as an independent player. It looks like Obama is at the center of the Russiagate false flag operation and is a much more dangerous defender of the global neoliberal empire then Brennan.

What I would like to stress in this post is that the events connected with Nulandgate, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, and impeachment, are so complex that we probably can judge them objectively only a decade or more later. But like JFK assassination Russiagate (and Ukrainegate and impeachment are simply Russiagate 2.0) signifies finishing of one historical period (classic neoliberalism period in the USA), and opening of the other, which might be "national neoliberalism" period, or something completely different.

[Nov 06, 2019] Washington D.C. politicians and the elites have created a state seized by a tiny cabal of oligarchs and tyrants of the U.S. corporation

Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Washington D.C. politicians and the elites have created a state seized by a tiny cabal of oligarchs and tyrants of the U.S. corporation. Most of these types have no concept of what our lives are like. These types don't use regular commercial airlines, definitely not in passenger class! Many take a helicopter to work. Many have never been to a grocery market, instead always being catered to. Pres. Bush Sr. admitted this about himself.

Obviously, the members of Congress lack the capacity to fix our mess. For some members, it is purposeful. To make it worse, they only know how to piecemeal problems without having any concept or willingness of how to replace a failed system to a new one or truly fix the present one. Arguably, many of these same sold out souls believe that the the Fabian gradualism way to a new world order is an inevitability, so why try to fix the unchangeable? With this thought process, perhaps they escape any guilt to their predatory and self-serving largess. These petty, timid and uncreative bureaucrats are trained to carry out systems management, seeing only piecemeal solutions that simply move the chairs around on the titanic! They are too busy favors to satisfy the corporate and banking structures that finance their re-elections.

Their entire focus is on numbers, profits and personal advancements. I contend that a large majority lack a moral & intellectual core. They are able to deny gravely ill people to medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to peddle costly weapon systems to blood soaked dictatorships who pledge to kill us. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market, which they slavishly serve, and it applies to both parties.

Each political party claims to have the cures, but Americans have finally learned to not believe them anymore. We see that it's largely just theatre and they are the actors. It's like having buyer's remorse after the elections are done, with the realization that things won't change except to move even farther over to the one world globalist agenda for another 4 years, no matter who is in power.

Whatever mix of President, House or Senate you like, nothing seems to move towards good commonsense changes that everyday people can appreciate. For proof that both political sides belong to the corporatists, consider that even though the House Republicans fought against Obamacare with theatrical fortitude, even when they won the House and in fact finally have powers defund Obamacare, they didn't. This act is repeated time and time again, with Republicans acting and talking like they just couldn't overcome the opposition! But wait! Republicans have owned the House for years, so they have had full control of the nation's purse strings as well! Yet, they never seem to use their powers to get anything accomplished as far as really turning government around, creating a true economy, cut waste or nearly anything else that Joe Six-Pack could appreciate. How about real reforms that would align our country with the U.S. Constitution? How about using restraint before going into warring's by whatever methods are needed to justify or reject a war? And how fairer campaign reforms, instilling true and honest Wall Street reforms, balancing of the budgets. Isn't that odd? Once we realize that there are powers above them all, especially those of the establishment, it isn't so odd at all.

Within this corporate inverted fascism we witness around us here in America today, any substantial changes for the good of the country is difficult to achieve, to say the least. As with so many problems America faces, many times we witness many controversial laws being codified into law by liberal judges without a public vote or congressional vote. Sadly, in such cases we see that it is not necessary for socialist and communist activists and leaders to re-write the Constitution. It is easier for these cockroaches to exploit legitimate power by means of judicial and legislative interpretations. The courts, populated by justices who are often put behind the bench by politicians on both saide of the isle who act as representatives of the corporate elites, this too often allows many corporate laws to be decided by the bench while evading the taking of votes to decide their fates. This is part and parcel to the long running Fabian plan to destroy the democratic system from within while the electorate is asleep.

A recent example of the above statements follows: The Citizens United Supreme Court decision in particular was a godsend to corporations in particular. Without much fanfare or public knowledge, this decision insures that huge corporate campaign contributions are protected speech under the First Amendment. Now, corporations are treated by the state as persons. Yes, even though corporate misdeeds are allowed to escape personal prosecutions, somehow the court decided this was a good and logical decision! These nice corporations have over 35,000 lobbyists in Washington who shape and write legislations in exchange for campaign contributions. Now it is possible for campaign donors to make unlimited campaign contributions to Super Pac's, for their corporate status allows them to do such.

Tens of millions of Americans are catching on to the extent of this takeover of our court system and our country during the last couple of decades and are rising up, even though they often don't really understand the crux of the problems and those behind the smoke screens of political deception. Answers and fixes will not come unless people learn who the real enemies of freedom are. They must engage in peaceful but loud revolt en-masse, if that is what it takes, or else we shall face the music. In these situations, revolution is called for by our Founding Fathers. We are at fault for falling asleep and allowing the real powers around the world to fall more and more into the hands of the elites. We are now witnessing how effective their slowly acquired manipulations and their acquisitions of power over state have led us to this abyss. If allowed to continue, it is hard to believe but we will be faced with even more laws, edicts, governmental oversight and new trade agreements that will water down and surely eliminate most freedoms that we can still claim to have. Such will also elevate the costs to small and medium American businesses to the point that they can no longer operate. Citizens will face even larger losses of liberties, freedoms and economic inequalities than what we see today.

Corrupted partnerships between Congress and corporatisms have increased so immensely in the last 25 years that in one way or another, nearly all bills passing thru Congress today are summarily stuffed with pork filled, anti-Constitutional, even foreign favoritisms aimed against America's best interests in large part. And they are usually typed up by the corporate lawyers! These silent partnerships between Washington and corporations are not slowing, quite the opposite.

It has been no mistake that since the 2008 stock market and economic crash, Americas economic system had still not boosted wages by much for the 90%. By 2018 only the top 10%, again, had been the only ones to see large increases in real income. Is this just a mistake? Not if history is any example! Both parties in Washington have been onboard with the corporate ass kissings.

Just as in 2008, the un-federal reserve, the bankers and Wall Street are again playing even larger risks with other people's money obtained through near zero interest rate policies. For without the near zero un-federal reserve rates, this anemic economy would have crashed years ago while the national debt exploded. Many top economists fell as I do that only because of the near free interest rates has the American economy not crashed and burned. It has been on life support, never truly recovering for the largess of American debt.

. The official economic indicators we hear on the television and news sources are largely fabrications. Official economic numbers such as the unemployment rate, new jobs creation, inflation, money supply, GDP, GNP, are all massaged by whoever is in power. The formulas and the metrics that have been used for so many began changing around the time of President Bill Clinton (that can be verified).

Have you ever wondered why the CPI, GDP and employment numbers run counter to your personal and business experiences? The problem lies in the biased and often-manipulated government reporting. The quality of government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last couple of decades, largely for political gain in a particular year and who is in office. Reporting problems have included methodological changes to economic reporting that have pushed headline economic and inflation results out of the realm of real-world or common experience. Many statistics have been massaged with new metrics that often do not take into consideration many of the factors of the old methods, often leaving out inconvenient facts, and thus making it possible for the governmental accountings to look so rosy. The unemployment rate now includes anyone who works even one hour per week! I a person works three jobs in order to survive, this counts as 3 jobs! After just a couple of weeks of unemployment, a person is dropped off the unemployment rolls. On and on it goes!

I am one of the many who feel confident that the coming crash will have the job of not only wiping clean the current world debts, but also the leftovers of the corporate, state and federal debts of the 2008 world economic crash that were never fully flushed out of the system!

The big banks have been back at their old games of leveraging for about 10 years since the last crash. They have been quietly expanding and ravaging the financial markets, increasing their risk takings far beyond that of 2008. They never learned any lesson it would seem. Or perhaps we should consider that they actually are very smart indeed. With government guarantees and other incentives, could it possibly be that those stellar bankers whom own those thirty story swanky buildings in Manhattan might be complicit in purposely gaming the system AGAIN? Before the next financial Armageddon takes place? Could this consortium of big banks, most of whom are largely fronts for just a few mega wealthy families of the world, be partnering with the un-federal reserve insiders as well? Could the run up of reckless behavior by the banks really consist of an intentional act by the banking elites to rob the very same system that propped them back up last time they took a big fall? The answer is obvious. It isn't real money after all. They ran off with trillions of dollars of taxpayer's bailout money first time around, and from all indications they will recover all of their paper losses during the next crash of 2017-2018.

This time the new world order elites have engineered a coming economic crash that will many financial analysts believe will be a boon for those on the inside. This will be on a scale as the world has never seen. It will make the 1929 Great Recession look like a picnic! The bigger they are, the harder they fall as the saying goes. We have seen every recession since the 1960's takes longer to take place. Always we see higher highs and the lower lows in each successive crash. These charts are easily available online from the FED website. Without fixing the systemic problems of a unfederal reserve and an out of control government, each one builds upon the last one. If that's an indication, we are going to face financial Armageddon!

Before I go into the next section, I must preface it by explaining to the readers that I am not anti-capitalism at all! Capitalism and democracy must work together, and government must restrain capitalism from becoming a mechanism to be enjoyed only by a few. What we are witnessing today is just the opposite of that widely desired ideal. I believe we can all agree that too much of one or the other is dangerous. Karl Marx had even predicted the path that the corporate elites have taken. He prophetically claimed as well that it would all end up as a monopolized capitalism cabal if not stopped.

America and major nations have been duped into, or knowingly accepting, the globalists callings for so-called free trade agreements, allowing these mega national corporations to consolidate their trade rules under one big unregulated umbrella that only they benefit from. The free trade argument has never really been about fair trade, it was about "managed trade" devoted towards a monopolized market system. The following two quotes below come from two Rockefeller globalist pigs and surely hit a cord with what has been talked of above. These past tyrants and many like them run on the same old abusive tactics of their past lineages whom share their last names They are the proven grand masters and architects of the global elite's one world cabal. Forgive me if I have already included these two. These are just too good to not be repeated often!

PLEASE don't make the common mistake of thinking that these old geezers are pass`e and those days are gone, not relevant anymore for they have been extremely good at hiding their secrets for all these years, at least for those too busy to pay attention and really follow their trailing's for many years as some have. The plan has worked so well, we are on its doorsteps! After what you now know, do not the bankers really run the world? The quote below may help with that decision

"The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries." -David Rockefeller, Memoirs

"Competition is a sin!" John D. Rockefeller

MARX KNEW!

Karl Marx warned that unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force that consumes greater and greater numbers of human lives and whatever else it needs until it consumes itself. Uncomfortable and unpopular as it might be for die hard in-the-wool capitalist lovers to admit it, the huge mega capitalists of the world today do not care about individual nations or sovereignty. They care not if they exploit the very poor, leave their more expensive workers unnecessarily behind to suffer. Unrestrained capitalists are notorious for destroying forests, habitats, lives, causing massive and avoidable oil spills, and basically whatever got in way in their quest for profits. History is replete with examples. This is the uncomfortable bad side of capitalism if not regulated properly.

Perhaps it was Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money who admitted that what happened in the 2008 crash was in part a late stage symptom of capitalism written about by Karl Marx. His exact words were "The only guy who really called this right was Karl Marx." It has become more and more obvious since the 2008 crash that most of the "experts" don't have a clue in understanding the underlying actions of the markets and the forces that manipulate it or how bad they damage it, but Kramer obviously knows.

So, should we do away with capitalism? Of course not ! It by far offers the best economic system of any other to benefit the good of mankind! It is a miraculous system that, if practiced with common sense restraints and fair rules of trade, does benefit both the corporations, the smaller businesses, workers and the general welfare of most all. Only capitalism can offer so many benefits to so many, but it needs to be tamed with laws that restrain those excesses. Today's globalism represents a style of capitalism that in large part helps but for a few to any magnitude. Unfortunately, for the last 100 years the global capitalist elites have ever increasingly abused everything in their path, laws or not. The largest and most egregious violator of plundering the nation's wealth has of course been our friendly un-Federal Reserve, an entity not commonly thought of as a "corporation", but it is in fact a branch of the British /Rothschild's privately owned central banking system around the world, a.k.a. the Bank of International Settlements. This entity is the godfather of the entire central banking system. It controls the flow of money around the world in most respects, as is explained elsewhere.

As their final push for total control is almost complete, the globalists already have numerous, far reaching "free trade treaties" like the TPP, GATT, NAFTA, SPP, CATFA, PNTR, TAFTA and a myriad of past trade treaties already in place all around the world. Such complicated agreements are drawn up by the banker hired trade attorney's whom draft up legalese that few besides them can decipher, purposely. Often being thousands of pages long, members of Congress are rarely given enough time or energy to read these behemoth agreements.

The end game is to meld these varying trade agreement into just 4 major regional master agreements that will cover the entire planet. The most ominous example of late is the TTIP (a companion agreement to the TPP), standing for the "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" which is being implemented. It is a trade deal that melds together the American TPP and the European Union. The TPP is the big daddy that drives even more American jobs offshore. It dwarfs what NAFTA was in scope. Officials claim it is drafted to "provide multilateral economic growth." Growth for who I ask?

During President John F. Kennedy's speech about "All boats rising" , he was not talking about pure, unfettered capitalism to achieve that goal, but a more restrained, less concentrated type of democratic capitalism perhaps, combined with proper laws that kept it from abusing human rights while protecting good jobs. He knew too that if we could get rid of the private Federal Reserve system, America could retake the powers over its money creation, thereafter ridding ourselves paying interest on our debts while slowly become debt free!

President Trump has taken a tough, nationalistic fair play stance on the extremely unfair tariff disparities that current exist between countries that import their products into the U.S. and the high tariffs that America pays to those same countries when shipping to them. For instance, for years America has only

charged a 2.5% tariff to import cars to China. He persuaded China to lower their 25% tariff down to 15% effective July 2018. Canadian President Trudeau has been told to expect his tariffs to be raised to 25% on many items. Mexico will be handing over many concessions as well within the new NAFTA agreement under a new name. Of course, that will likely entail negotiations, but the result is the same. Good news for America! Other deals are in the making to create a fair playing field finally! Since when have we had a president that was not part of the good old globalist boy's club?

Trump promises a lot of things and I am sure he is doing his best. Whatever political persuasion you are, remember he is still our President and give him the respect he deserves as leader of the greatest country on earth. Not perfect for sure, but he and the country don't stand a chance of maintaining the freedoms we have enjoyed for two centuries if sanity does not return to sound policies on borders, government spending, setting priorities that are more nationalistic in nature and much more. We must stop the far leftist, sometimes communist extremist groups right here in the United States who have been playing Americans as fools with their stealthy tactics that mislead their followers using created crises and panics (the 2018 fake news event on illegal children kept in cages (hiding the fact that the photo was from back in 2014 during Obama's term) all the while blaming Trump! Once Americans understand who backs these slickly nefarious and anti-American stand-ins, the easier it will be to ban the evil George Soros and his Open Society Foundation out of America! Proofs abounds to this man's evil deeds, in 2018 Soros was banned from operating in his own native country Bulgaria! They know how evil he is. Americans should wake up and learn about this $50 billion dollar anti-American butches, self-promoter who is busy facilitating the one-world order with his billions at every turn!

.2

POLITICALLY-CORRECT

MALEDUCATES

The years 2017-2020 will be a time that the leftists and the deep state government push harder than ever before in history to squelch free speech, push the pc agenda, and spy on us. Even with Pres. Trump cleaning house, we see instances of free speech being squashed more and more so not only in America, but within countries all around the globe. This is the silencing of the opposition to the new world order with politically correct speech derived from the cultural Marxism revolution that came out of the Frankfurt School and flowed into our universities as I elaborate elsewhere.

In August of 2018 it was the popular Infowars and Alex Jones broadcasts that were suddenly banned in one fell swoop by Facebook, YouTube and just about every other social media behemoth. A huge surprise for those who orchestrated this coupe` was that Jones gained 5 million viewers overnight! An obvious blowback from all the negative lies about him. Whether you like him or not is not the issue here. This is a slippery slope towards total censorship of any and all who reject the official lines that the big state expects out of its citizens. This is only the beginning. So lets get this right folks! Should these powerful and quasi private controllers of information be able to gang up literally overnight in a coordinated effort and be able ban anyone who they, (under orders of higher ups and deep state operatives) deem to be unfit to talk to a willing public? Lest we not forget that we all share an on and off button! This is a slippery slope to controlling news ala communist control tactics. This incident is the tip of the iceberg folks! This is the first major effort, and possible win, for the one world order tyrants operated by the Deep State and Shadow Government. The next calculated guess is that Jones and others will be falsely and purposely implicated in serious and dangerous deeds, even upon newscasters of the msn who have shown hate towards Jones. This is called a false flag event meant to get rid of people like Jones by defaming the person. Jones is just an example of what is to come. The Deep State and CIA have a long record of successfully carrying out these covert types of operations.

Furthermore, Google, with its unmatched and fully proprietary informational control systems, as well as becoming a single source military contractor for our military and all computer system functions of such, is now a permanent and unabated partner with the U.S. Military, State Department and much more as can be imagined. Without Google secret technologies, our military would be impotent to defend America. This is just how important Google. Similarly, it is not just a coincidence why most all large data and computer technology firms in Silicon Valley are enjoying the highest growth and profitability numbers of all the fields out there today.

The above social media heads of companies are overwhelmingly quite frank about their one world socialism philosophy. That is, as long as they don't have to be simple follower and can continue to be a major profiteer in the coming corporate socialism world to come. What better way to achieve an otherwise illogical idea as one worldism? Dumbing down with one source informational news sources should work! China is using it now. With constant day in, day out big state programming of news and opinions, (while offering incentives for good followers of the state lines), China is far ahead of America. As one might admit, the many different silencing techniques used for many years upon the public is having a profound affect upon how the world sees their world!

Reporters Without Borders is a group that monitors freedom of press around the world. Around 2015 it took notice of Obamas administration in its quick stifling of the press. What did they find? Since Obama's administration, freedom of press had dropped from 32 nd to 46 th among the 180 countries measured. This is from the same Obama that had promised his would be the "most transparent" administration in American history. Presidential candidate Donald Trump learned the hard way that saying the wrong thing could come at a high cost. Example: South American Univision's airings of his upcoming Miss America pageant was threatened by that leftist media outlet. His sin was saying that he wanted to build a wall along the length of the Mexican border. Eventually he worked it all out, but it just shows how the big networks try to control anyone who bucks their agenda of open borders and one world agenda. What happened to free press? The globalist owned media's really do have immense sway as to what can be said, or they'll make sure you pay a price! Many accuse these liberal universities as a leading force toward the "standardization of culture." This term is their plan to squelch real free speech and regional cultures in exchange for their one size fits all global world and singular rules on conduct for all. It is in its essence Cultural Marxism.

[Nov 06, 2019] America Will Keep Losing Its Middle Class as Long as "The Free Market" Dominates the Economic Debate

Notable quotes:
"... By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute ..."
"... Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy ..."
"... When the government subsidize R&D here, what reason would there be for the resultant products that come from that R&D, be made here? In Canada the SRED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) tax credits are used by companies to develop products that are then manufactured in China. No Canadian production worker will ever see an hour of labor from those subsidies. That result is baked into the R&D cake. ..."
"... As you point out, "many of the large International Corporations moved their software development and R&D offshore too". What stops them from co-mingling the subsidies and scamming the system for their benefit, since everything done to favor big business resolves to a scam on the peasants. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on November 5, 2019 by Yves Smith By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute

National industrial policy was once something you might read about in today's equivalent of a friend's Facebook post, as hard as that might sound to believe. It was in newspapers; it was on the radio. Taxi drivers had opinions about it. That all changed in the last 35 years, when the rise and fall of the stock market and a shallow conversation about unemployment rates took over. Industrial policy became an inside-baseball conversation, and to the extent that it was discussed, it was through the prism of whether it imperiled the golden gospel and great economic distraction of our time, "the free market."

The decades of free-market propaganda we've been exposed to are basically an exercise in distracting the public from the meaningful choices that are now made behind closed doors. The two big political parties that outwardly represent symbolic issues like gun rights and school prayer spend the bulk of their time and political energy on complex industrial and regulatory questions.

But much like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, they'd better start considering the question of a national industrial policy before there's no industry left to manage. Manufacturing is now at its smallest share of the U.S. economy in 72 years, reports Bloomberg . Multinational supply chains undermine the negotiating power of workers, thereby exacerbating inequality.

Are there ways to bring back manufacturing, or should we just capitulate to a mindset that argues that these jobs are gone for good, that software retention is good enough, even as we shift what's left of our manufacturing sector overseas to sweatshop economies? That seems short-sighted. After all, it's pretty easy to steal IP; it's not so easy to steal an auto manufacturing facility. The real question is: In the absence of some sort of national industrial strategy, how do Western societies retain a viable middle class?

Decades of American middle-class exposure to favor China and other Asian countries' industrial capacity have foisted it right back from elite circles into our politics and the ballot box, in spectacular fashion, through the unlikely Donald Trump, who, in his typically blunderbuss fashion, has called attention to some serious deficiencies in our current globalized system, and the competitive threat posed by China to which we have remained oblivious for all too long.

Not that Trump's 19th-century protectionism represents the right policy response, but his concerns about Beijing make sense when you compare how much China invests in its own industrial base relative to the U.S.: Robert D. Atkinson and Caleb Foote of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation write that a recent Harvard Business School " study estimated that the Chinese governments (national, provincial, and local) paid for a whopping 22.2 percent of business R&D in 2015, with 95 percent of Chinese firms in 6 industries receiving government cash -- petrochemicals, electronics, metals and materials, machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and information technology."

In addition to the direct government grants on R&D, Atkinson and Foote estimate that "the Chinese R&D tax credit is between 3 and 4.6 times more generous than the U.S. credit. To match China's R&D tax credit generosity, the U.S. rate for the Alternative Simplified Credit would have to be increased from 14 percent to between 35 and 40 percent." Atkinson and Foote also note that " 97 percent of American federal government funding went to just three sectors: transportation equipment, which includes such as fighter jets, missiles, and the like ($14 billion); professional, scientific, and technical services ($5 billion); and computer and electronic products ($4 billion)."

Taken in aggregate, Atkinson and Foote calculate that "nearly 25 percent of all R&D expenditures in China come in the form of government subsidies to firms." That's the sort of thing that must enter the calculations of antitrust advocates when they call for breaking up big tech, without considering the ramifications to research and development, especially relative to their Chinese counterparts. (Statistically, as Anne Marie Knott and Carl Vieregger find in a 2016 paper "Reconciling the Firm Size and Innovation Puzzle," there are ample studies illustrating that R&D spending and R&D productivity increase with scale.)

Why does this matter? Robert Kuttner, writing at the Huffington Post at the inception of Barack Obama's presidency, made a compelling argument that many of America's great industrial enterprises did not simply spring up spontaneously via the magic of the "free market":

American commercial leadership in aerospace is no naturally occurring phenomenon. It reflects trillions of dollars of subsidy from the Pentagon and from NASA. Likewise, U.S. dominance in pharmaceuticals is the result of government subsidy of basic research, favorable patent treatment, and the fact that the American consumer of prescription drugs is made to overpay, giving the industry exorbitant profits to plow back into research. Throwing $700 billion at America's wounded banks is also an industrial policy.

So if we can have implicit industrial policies for these industries, why not explicit policies to rebuild our auto industry, our steel industry, our machine tool industry, and the industries of the next century, such as green energy and high-speed rail? And why not devise some clear standards for which industries deserve help, and why, and what they owe America in return?"

In fact, Kuttner describes a problem that well preceded Barack Obama. America's belief in national industrial planning has been undermined to the extent that the U.S. began to adhere to a doctrine of shareholder capitalism in the 1980s and beyond, a philosophy that minimized the role of the state, and gave primacy to short-term profitability, as well as production growth through efficiency (i.e., downsizing) and mergers. Corporate prioritization of maximizing shareholders' value and the ways American corporations have minimized long-term R&D expenditures and capital investment, all of which have resulted in the "unproductive disgorging of corporate cash profits -- through massive dividend payouts and unprecedented spending on stock repurchases -- over productive investment in innovation," write Professors Servaas Storm and C.W.M. Naastepad .

Although European companies have not gone quite as far down that route, their "stakeholder capitalism" culture has been somewhat subverted to the same short-term goals as their American counterparts, as evidenced via Volkswagen's emissions scandal and the erosion of workers' rights via the Hartz labor "reforms" (which actually undermined the unions' stakeholder status in the companies, thereby freeing up management to adopt many of the less attractive American shareholder capitalism practices). The European Union too is now belatedly recognizing the competitive threat posed by China . There's no doubt that the European political classes are also becoming mindful that there are votes to be won here as well, as Trump correctly calculated in 2016.

In the U.S., industrial policy is increasingly finding advocates on both the left (Elizabeth Warren's policy director, Ganesh Sitaraman ) and the right ( Professor Michael Lind ), via the convenient marriage of national security considerations and with international investment and trade. If trade policy is ultimately subordinated to national security concerns, it is conceivable that industrial policy could be "bi-partisanized," thereby giving primacy to homegrown strategic industries necessary to sustain viable national defense and security.

But this approach is not without risks: it is unclear whether the "national security-fication" of the industrial policy renaissance will actually enhance or hinder creativity and risk-taking, or merely cause these firms to decline altogether as viable civilian competitors vis a vis Beijing. The current travails of Boeing provide a salutary illustration of the risks of going too far down the Pentagon rat hole.

And there are a number of recent studies illustrating that the case for "dual-use" (i.e., civilian and military) manufacturing does not substantially enhance civilian industrialization and, indeed, may retard overall economic growth. On the other hand, as the venture capitalist William Janeway highlights in his seminal work, Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy , there are advantages at times to being "[d]ecoupled from any direct concern with economic return [It allowed] the Defense Department [to] fund numerous alternative research agendas, underwriting the 'wasteful' search for solutions that inevitably accompanies any effort to push back the frontiers of knowledge." So there's a balance to be struck here. But, as Janeway notes , "the strategic state interventions that have shaped the market economy over generations have depended on grander themes -- national development, national security, social justice, liberation from disease -- that transcend the calculus of welfare economics and the logic of market failure."

Furthermore, to the extent that national security considerations retard offshoring and global labor arbitrage, it can enhance the prospects for a viable form of " national developmentalism ," given that both mean tighter labor markets and higher wages, which in turn will likely push firms toward upgrading R&D spending in order to upgrade on the high end of the technology curve ( as Seymour Melman argued years ago ), as well as enhancing productivity gains. As author Ted Fertik observes :

Higher productivity makes possible more generous welfare states, and helps national industries compete to supply the world with high-tech products. If technological leadership and a prosperous, patriotic citizenry are the surest guarantees of military preponderance, such an economic policy represents the best military strategy in an era of great power competition.

Both the left and the right are beginning to recognize that it makes no sense to make war on wage-earners while claiming to protect the same wage earners from Chinese competition. But governments need to do more than act as a neutral umpire, whose role never extends beyond fixing market failures. As Janeway has illustrated , governments have historically promoted the basic research that fueled innovation and nurtured the talent and skills that "became the foundation of the Innovation Economy"; "the central research laboratories of the great corporations were first supplemented and then supplanted by direct state funding of research." But in spite of providing the foundational research for a number of leading commercial products (e.g., Apple's iPhone), the government has proved reticent in considering alternative forms of ownership structure (e.g., a " government golden share ," which gives veto rights on key strategic issues, such as relocation, offshoring, special voting rights, etc.), or retaining intellectual property rights and corresponding royalty streams to reflect the magnitude of their own R&D efforts, as Professor Mariana Mazzucato has proposed in the past . At the very least, we need to consider these alternative ownership structures that focus entrepreneurial development on value creation, as opposed to capitulating to the depredations of rentier capitalism on the spurious grounds that this is a neutral byproduct of the market's efficient allocation of resources.

Within the U.S., national industrial policy also suits green advocates, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, whose Green New Deal plan , while failing to address domestic/local content, or manufacturing in the broadest possible sense, at least begins to move the needle with regard to the federal government building and owning a national renewable grid.

Likewise in Europe, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier recently published a " National Industrial Strategy 2030 ," which, according to Dalia Marin of Bruegel think tank in Brussels , "aims to protect German firms against state-subsidized Chinese competitors. The strategy identifies key industrial sectors that will receive special government support, calls for establishing production of electric-car batteries in Europe, and advocates mergers to achieve economies of scale." It is striking that EU policymakers, such as Lars Feld of the German Council of Economic Experts , still apparently think it is a protectionist step too far to consider coordinating with the car companies (where there is already a high degree of trans-European policy coordination and international consolidation), and other sectors, to help them all at the same time -- as Beijing is now doing . Of course, it would help to embed this in a manufacturing-based Green New Deal, but it represents a healthy corrective to offshoring advocates who continue to advocate that their car industry should migrate to China, on the short-term grounds of cost consideration alone .

Essentially, the goal should be to protect the industries that policymakers think will be strategically important from outsiders, and to further integrate with allies and partners to achieve efficiencies and production scale. (Parenthetically, it seems particularly perverse right at this juncture for the UK to break away from all this continental European integration, and to try to go it alone via Brexit.) The aim should not be to protect private rent-seeking and increasing private monopolization under the guise of industrial policy, which, as Dalia Marin notes , is why EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager blocked the proposed merger between France's Alstom and Germany's Siemens. The two companies "rarely compete with CRRC in third countries, because the Chinese company mainly focuses on its home market." Hence, the grounds for creating " heavyweight champions " was really a cover for developing an oligopoly instead.

Much of the focus of negotiation in the seemingly endless trade negotiations between the U.S. and China has been on American efforts to dismantle the wave of subsidies and industrial support that Beijing furnishes to its domestic industries. This seems both unrealistic as well as being the exact opposite of what the U.S. should be doing if it hopes to level, or at least carve up, the playing field.

Likewise, the problem in both the EU and the U.S. is not the size of these companies generated by national developmentalism, but a size-neutral form of national regulation that precludes these companies from stifling competition. The goal of a truly successful and workable industrial policy should be to create an environment that supports and sustains value creation and that socializes the benefits of the R&D for society as a whole, rather than simply licensing it or selling it on to private companies so that it just becomes a vehicle that sustains rent extraction for private profits alone.

We are slowly but surely starting to move away from market fundamentalism, but we still have yet to make the full conceptual leap toward a sustainable industrial policy that creates an economy for all. At least this is now becoming a fit discussion as far as policy making goes, as many of the neoliberal shibboleths of the past 40 years are gradually being reconsidered and abandoned. That is a start.


Ignacio , November 5, 2019 at 6:13 am

Another way –and more precise in my opinion because it identifies the core problem– to frame the issue, would be this:

Why Trade Wars Are Inevitable

Repressed consumption in a few countries with sustained huge current account surpluses naturally drives manufacturing outside the US (and other deficit countries). Interestingly, Pettis says that those imbalances manifest today, not as a conflict between surplus/deficit countries, but between economic sectors: bankers and owners in surplus/deficit countries vs. the rest. According to Pettis this can be addressed internally in the US by tackling income inequality: Tax transfers, reduced health care & educational costs, raising minimum wages and giving negotiating power to unions. BUT BEFORE DOING THAT, THE US SHOULD IMPOSE CONTROLS ON FOREIGN CAPITAL INFLOWS (by taxing those) INSTEAD ON TARIFFS ON FOREIGN PRODUCTS. From the article:

It would have the additional benefit of forcing the cost of adjustment onto banks and financial speculators, unlike tariffs, which force the cost onto businesses and consumers.

If the US ever does this, other deficit countries, say the UK, France or Spain for instance, should do exactly the same, and even more abruptly if these don't want to be awash with foreign capital inflows and see inequality spiking even further.

Marshall Auerback , November 5, 2019 at 8:29 am

Not a bad way to frame the issue at all.

Winston ,