Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization

News Neoliberalism Recommended Links American Exceptionalism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy
Two Party System as Polyarchy Slightly skeptical view on US Presidential Elections of 2016 Donald Trump      
Corporatism Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on crisis of  neoliberalism Neocons as USA neo-fascists National Security State National Socialism and Military Keysianism Media-Military-Industrial Complex
The Great Transformation Neoliberalism as secular religion, "idolatry of money" Techno-fundamentalism Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Globalization of Financial Flows Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime
Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Neoliberalism Bookshelf   Greenspan humor Etc

"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy, the moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days, my friends, will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves, to our fellow men.

Recognition of that falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.

Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live."

Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

Globalization and free trade are fast becoming dirty words. That’s because they are   culprits for major  shocks—like the 2008 financial crisis. In the United States alone, median household income has been practically stagnant for about three decades, the labor market continues to be anemic, manufacturing jobs have been lost, and many have experienced a significant deterioration in living standards.

Much of the post-Brexit and primary election conventional wisdom seems to be stuck in a political narrative in which the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump_vs_deep_state in the United States are seen as symbols of the populist revolution. These symbols are combined with a nationalist tide has been sweeping not only the United Kingdom and the United States, but also many other parts of Europe, including Poland, Hungary, France, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, not to mention, Russia, Turkey, India and Israel.

According to this narrative, economic insecurity and cultural anxiety that reflect sociodemographic trends have given momentum to ethnonationalism and religious separatism in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The Rust Belt is pitted against New York City, and the Midlands against London.

All this means that the crisis of neoliberalism, which started in 2008 now obtained political dimension, when the institutions created by neoliberalism are under attacks from the disgruntled population. The power of neoliberal propaganda, the power of brainwashing and indoctrination of population via MSM, schools and universities to push forward neoliberal globalization started to evaporate.

This is about the crisis of neoliberal ideology and especially Trotskyism part of it (neoliberalism can be viewed as Trotskyism for the rich). The following integral elements of this ideology no longer work well and are starting to cause the backlash:

  1. High level of inequality as the explicit, desirable goal (which raises the productivity). "Greed is good" or "Trickle down economics" -- redistribution of wealth up will create (via higher productivity) enough scrapes for the lower classes, lifting all boats.
  2. "Neoliberal rationality" when everything is a commodity that should be traded at specific market. Human beings also are viewed as market actors with every field of activity seen as a specialized market. Every entity (public or private, person, business, state) should be governed as a firm. "Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices." People are just " human capital" who must constantly tend to their own present and future market value.
  3. Extreme financialization or converting the economy into "casino capitalism" (under neoliberalism everything is a marketable good, that is traded on explicit or implicit exchanges.)
  4. The idea of the global, USA dominated neoliberal empire and related "Permanent war for permanent peace" -- wars for enlarging global neoliberal empire via crushing non-compliant regimes either via color revolutions or via open military intervention.
  5. Downgrading ordinary people to the role of commodity and creating three classes of citizens (moochers, or Untermensch, "creative class" and top 0.1%), with the upper class (0.1% or "Masters of the Universe") being above the law like the top level of "nomenklatura" was in the USSR.
  6. "Downsizing" sovereignty of nations via international treaties like TPP, and making transnational corporations the key political players, "the deciders" as W aptly said. Who decide about the level of immigration flows, minimal wages, tariffs, and other matters that previously were prerogative of the state.

So after 36 (or more) years of dominance (which started with triumphal march of neoliberalism in early 90th) the ideology entered "zombie state". That does not make it less dangerous but its power over minds of the population started to evaporate. Far right ideologies now are filling the vacuum, as with the discreditation of socialist ideology and decimation of "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal in the USA there is no other viable alternatives.

The same happened in late 1960th with the Communist ideology. It took 20 years for the USSR to crash after that with the resulting splash of nationalism (which was the force that blow up the USSR) and far right ideologies.

It remains to be seen whether the neoliberal US elite will fare better then Soviet nomenklatura as challenges facing the USA are now far greater then challenges which the USSR faced at the time. Among them is oil depletion which might be the final nail into the coffin of neoliberalism and, specifically, the neoliberal globalization.

Advocates of the neoliberalism constantly repeat the refrain that "there is no alternative" (TINA). Brexit is a powerful demonstration that this is not true (Back to (our) Future)

A major crack has appeared in the edifice of globalization, and the neoliberal order that has dominated the world’s economy since the end of World War II is now in danger.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by any means. But poisonous weeds are just as likely as green shoots to grow up through those cracks. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Those who make constructive evolution impossible may be making destructive devolution inevitable.

We now know that Great Britain, itself an amalgam of older nations, is divided. England and Wales voted to leave Europe, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and ethnically diverse London voted to remain.

This vote was a stunning rejection of Great Britain’s political establishment. “Leave” prevailed despite opposition from all three major political parties. Prime Minister David Cameron, who will now step down, called on voters to “Remain.” So did socialist Jeremy Corbin, the most left-wing Labor leader in a generation. Barack Obama crossed the Atlantic to stand beside Cameron and offer his support.

Voters rejected all of them.

The uprising has begun. The question now is, who will lead it going forward?

Globalism’s Shadow Self

The world’s financial and political elites must now face the fact that resistance to their economic order, which has shaped the world since the Bretton Woods conference of 1944, is a major phenomenon. These elites are apparently more out of touch with the citizens of the industrialized world than at any time in modern memory.

Make no mistake: The “Leave” vote was a rejection of globalization, at least as it’s currently structured. This was a revolt of working class Britons who have seen their postwar prosperity erode around them and their social contract eviscerated by the corporate and financial oligarchy.

But it was also the sign of a darker and more sinister worldwide phenomenon: the resurgence of global nativism and xenophobia. This worldwide turn toward fear of the Other is globalization’s shadow self.

Revolt of the Powerless

That’s not to say that there wasn’t a legitimate left-wing case to be made for leaving the European Union. The “Left Leave” movement, or #Lexit, had its own advocates. “Why cling to this reactionary institution?” asked one.

But this near-victory wasn’t won with leftist arguments about resisting the global oligarchy. The left was too divided to make that case clearly or forcefully. It was largely won by stirring up bigotry against immigrants, cloaked in flimsy arguments about excessive regulation. Legitimate economic grievances were channeled into nationalist hostility.

Many “Leave” voters felt powerless, that they no longer had much of a say in their own destinies. They weren’t wrong. The European Union was largely a creation of transnational financial forces driven by a self-serving neoliberal ideology of “free” markets, privatization, and corporate economic governance.

But ,even at its worst, the EU is a symptom and not a cause. Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests.

The British people have lost more sovereignty to trade deals like NAFTA and the TPP then they could have ever surrendered to the European Union. Their democratic rights are trampled daily, not by faceless EU bureaucrats, but by the powerful financial interests that dominate their politics and their economy.

Low Information Voters

This vote won’t help the middle class. British workers will no longer be guaranteed the worker rights that come with EU membership. British corporations will be less regulated, which means more environmental damage and more mistreatment of employees and customers. They will not, in the words of William Blake, “build Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.”

Most “Leave” voters probably don’t know that, because the media failed them too. Instead of being given a balanced understanding of EU membership’s advantages and disadvantages, the British people were fed a constant diet of terror fears and trivial anti-government anecdotes meant to reinforce the notion that EU was needlessly and absurdly bureaucratic.

As Martin Fletcher explains, Boris Johnson played a key role in degrading the performance of Britain’s corporate press back in his days as a journalist. Other outlets were all to eager to mimic his anti-government and anti-Europe stereotypes. And now? It’s as if Sean Hannity’s deceptive sensationalism had made him a top presidential prospect.

Johnson and UKIP leader Nigel Farage played the same role in the Leave campaign that Donald Trump is playing in US politics. Like Trump, they have used economic fears to stoke the anti-immigrant fear and hatred that is their real stock in trade. Their slogan might just as well have been “Make England Great Again.”

The campaign’s fearmongering and hate has already claimed a victim in Jo Cox, the Labor MP who was violently martyred by a white British racist. Tellingly, her murder was not described as an act of terrorism, which it clearly was. The decision to restrict the “terrorist” label to Muslims, in Great Britain as in the United States, feeds precisely the kind of hatred that fuels movements like these.

Great Britain’s immigrant population grew by 4.5 million under EU membership. But in a just economy, that would lead to growth for the existing middle class. Britain’s immigrants didn’t wound that country’s middle class. They’re scapegoats for rising inequality and the punishing austerity of the conservative regime.

Aftershock

What happens next? Markets are already reacting, retrenching in anticipation of new trade barriers and political uncertainty.

Before the voting, estimates of a Leave vote’s effect on Britain’s economy ranged from “negative” to outright “calamitous.” The outcome will probably fall somewhere between the two.

Will the reprehensible Mr. Johnson, who pushed aggressively for Brexit, now lead his party -perhaps even his country? How much will this boost UKIP? By rejecting the EU, will Great Britain soon experience even harsher economic austerity measures than Cameron’s?

Scotland may once again pursue independence so that it can rejoin Europe. Sinn Fein is calling again for the reunification of Ireland. Suddenly anything seems possible.

There are already calls for a similar referendum in France.

British workers are likely to be worse off without EU protections, especially if the far right prevails in future elections as the result of this vote.

Trade deals will need to be negotiated between Britain and the EU, along with the terms of separation. Judging by its behavior toward Greece, Germany prefers to punish any nation impertinent enough to try guiding its own economic destiny. These negotiations won’t be pleasant.

The New Resistance

The current order is unstable. The uprising has begun. But who will lead it?

All over the world there are Boris Johnsons and Nigel Farages poised to capitalize on the chaos. The US has Trump, who was quick to tie himself to the vote. Greece has Golden Dawn. Germany has the far-right, anti-immigrant AfD party. Scandinavia has the Sweden Democrat Party and the Danish People’s Party. Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, itself nationalistic and totalitarian by nature, is in danger of being outdone by the racist and anti-Semitic Jobbik party.

Hungary is already building a Trump-like wall, in fact, a barb-wired fence meant to keep Syrian refugees out of the country and Jobbik out of political power.

There is also also a growing democratic counterforce, poised to resist both the global elites and the nationalist bigots. It includes Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, and the Corbin movement in Great Britain (although Corbin’s fate is unclear in the wake of this vote). In the US it has been seen in both the Occupy movement and, more recently, in the newly resurgent left inspired by Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

The global financial order is fracturing. But will it fall? It’s powerful and well organized. Even if it does, what will replace it: a more humane global order, or a world torn by nationalism and hate? Should these new progressive parties and factions form a transnational movement?

That’s the goal of economist Yanis Varoufakis, among others. Varoufakis confronted the EU’s economic leadership directly when he negotiated with them as Greece’s first Finance Minister under Syriza. They prevailed, and Varoufakis is now a private citizen.

The Greeks chose economic autonomy when they voted for Syriza. They didn’t get it. The British aren’t likely to get what they want from this vote either. No matter what happens, British citizens will still be in thrall to corporate financial forces – forces that can rewrite the rules they go along.

Greece’s fate has been a cautionary tale for the world, a powerful illustration of the need for worldwide coordinated resistance to today’s economic and political elites. We can vote. But without economic autonomy, we aren’t truly free. In the months and years to come, the people of Great Britain are likely to learn the truth: We are all Greece now.

The question is, where do we go from here?


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Old News ;-)

[Jul 25, 2020] The USA is home to the father of protectionism: Alexander Hamilton. He stated that a national industry in its infancy should be protected from its more mature competition. The USA followed his advice and protected its nascent industry from the British threat.

Jul 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jul 24 2020 21:09 utc | 46

The American Revolution was a catastrophe for its economy, which had to endure decades of reconstruction. In order to neutralize the threat of the British Empire, it stroke multiple trade deals with it.

The USA is home to the father of protectionism: Alexander Hamilton. He stated that a national industry in its infancy should be protected from its more mature competition. The USA followed his advice and protected its nascent industry from the British threat.

When the British Empire begun to degenerate, the Americans used the cheap British capital in excess in the financial markets to build up their infrastructure, specially their railways. Australia did the same.

The Founding Fathers did what they had to do in order to protect their country and make it flourish. When the ideology of the time stated they shouldn't, they invented a new ideology that stated they should. And the could: when the British and French tried to destroy the USA through a sea embargo, they responded in kind (Embargo Act of 1807) and prevailed; they did not cave in to the then imperial powers.

So, I don't understand why so many Americans are offended with China. The capitalist world tried to keep China poor and as a raw material exporter, sweatshop conglomeration. China didn't accept this, and decided to fight back. The result is here for all of us to see.

[Jul 16, 2020] If Pompeo has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products

Jul 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:58 am

Fat bully boy speaks for Bully Boy state:

"Today the Department of State is updating the public guidance for CAATSA authorities to include Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream 2. This action puts investments or other activities that are related to these Russian energy export pipelines at risk of US sanctions. It's a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia's malign influence projects and will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences".

Pompeo speaking at a press conference today.

CAATSA -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

So Russia and Turkey are "adversaries" of the USA?

In what way?

Do these states wish to wage war against the USA?

Is it adversarial to United States interest to compete economically with the hegemon?

MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:59 am

Link to above:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202007151079893067-us-plans-to-add-nord-stream-2-turkstream-to-list-of-projects-to-be-sanctioned/

MARK CHAPMAN July 15, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Who cares? Really, is Pompeo still scary? If he has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products which might be withheld on a whim when America wants political concessions. 'Will not be tolerated' – what a pompous ass. Sanction away. The consequence is well-known to be seizure of assets held in the United States or an inability to do business in the United States. That will frighten some into submission – like the UK, which was threatened with the cessation of intelligence-sharing with the USA (sure you can spare it?) if it did not drop Huawei from its 5G networks. But others will take prudent steps to limit their exposure to such threats, in the certain knowledge that if they work, they will encourage the USA to use the technique again.

[Jul 14, 2020] The good news is that the unstoppable juggernaut of globalization has fallen to it's knees

Jul 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tod , Jul 13 2020 20:05 utc | 18

The good news is that the unstoppable juggernaut of globalization has fallen to it's knees. Countries and societies around the world will have to look at ways they came become independent and self sufficient,at least to some degree. It's like "War of the Worlds" really, the best effort of humanity to contain the plague fails, but a random natural occurrence saves humanity from the brink of destruction. Hopefully some real scientists will be allowed to mitigate the medical disaster, but one thing is for sure, the grand plan of turning everyone into a nomad competing for pennies on the international market, for the sole benefit of the richest among the rich, is dead. Some really hard times are coming for the international nomads/ parasites, and hopefully humanity will move to some more beneficial culture, and have a real chance to survive as a species, in the long term.

[Jul 03, 2020] The world s economy is in contraction. Although capital, what actual capital exists, will have to try and do something productive, it is confronted by this fact, that everything is facing contraction.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I agree that globalism is/will be heading into the dumpers, but I see no chance that US-based manufacturing is going to make any significant come-back. ..."
"... What market will there be for US-manufactured goods? US "consumers" are heavily in debt and facing continued downward pressures on income. ..."
"... There will certainly be, especially given the eye-opener of COVID-19, a big push to have medical (which includes associated tech) production capacities reinvigorated in the US. ..."
"... More "disposable" income goes toward medical expenditures. Less money goes toward creating export items; wealth creation only occurs through a positive increase in balance of trade. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, death, the US will likely continue, for the mid-term, to export weaponry; but, don't expect enough growth here to mean much (margins will drop as competition increases, so figure downward pressure on net export $$). ..."
"... the planet cannot comply with our economic model's dependency on perpetual growth: there can NOT be perpetual growth on a finite planet. US manufacturing requires, as it always has, export markets; requires ever-increasing exports: this is really true for all others. Higher standards of living in the US (and add in increasing medical costs which factor into cost of goods sold) means that the price of US-manufactured goods will be less affordable to peoples outside of the US. ..."
"... I'll also note that the notion of there being a cycle, a parabolic curve, in civilizations is well noted/documented in Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (you can find electronic bootlegged copies on the Internet)- HIGHLY recommended reading! ..."
"... All of this is pretty much reflected in Wall Street companies ramp-ups in stock-buy-backs. That's money that's NOT put in R&D or expansion. I'm pretty sure that the brains in all of this KNOW what the situation is: growth is never coming back. ..."
"... Make no mistake, what we're facing is NOT another recession or depression, it's not part of what we think as a downturn in the "business cycle," as though we'll "pull out of it," it's basically an end to the super-cycle ..."
"... We are at the peak (slightly past peak, but not far enough to realize it yet) and there is no returning. Per-capita income and energy consumption have peaked. There's not enough resources and not enough new demand (younger people, people that have wealth) to keep the perpetual growth machine going. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Seer , Jul 3 2020 10:34 utc | 125

NemesisCalling @ 28

I agree that globalism is/will be heading into the dumpers, but I see no chance that US-based manufacturing is going to make any significant come-back.

The world's economy is in contraction. Although capital, what actual capital exists, will have to try and do something "productive," it is confronted by this fact, that everything is facing contraction. During times of contraction it's a game of acquisition rather than expanding capacity: the sum total is STILL contraction; and the contraction WILL be a reduction in excess, excess manufacturing and labor.

What market will there be for US-manufactured goods? US "consumers" are heavily in debt and facing continued downward pressures on income. China is self-sufficient (enough) other than energy (which can be acquired outside of US markets). Most every other country is in a position of declining wealth (per capita income levels peaked and in decline). And manufacturing continues to increase its automation (less workers means less consumers).

There will certainly be, especially given the eye-opener of COVID-19, a big push to have medical (which includes associated tech) production capacities reinvigorated in the US. One has to look at this in The Big Picture of what it means, and that's that the US population is aging (and in poor health).

More "disposable" income goes toward medical expenditures. Less money goes toward creating export items; wealth creation only occurs through a positive increase in balance of trade. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, death, the US will likely continue, for the mid-term, to export weaponry; but, don't expect enough growth here to mean much (margins will drop as competition increases, so figure downward pressure on net export $$).

Lastly, and it's the reason why global trade is being knocked down, is that the planet cannot comply with our economic model's dependency on perpetual growth: there can NOT be perpetual growth on a finite planet. US manufacturing requires, as it always has, export markets; requires ever-increasing exports: this is really true for all others. Higher standards of living in the US (and add in increasing medical costs which factor into cost of goods sold) means that the price of US-manufactured goods will be less affordable to peoples outside of the US.

And here too is the fact that other countries' populations are also aging. Years ago I dove into the demographics angle/assessment to find out that ALL countries ramp and age and that you can see countries' energy consumption rise and their their net trade balance swing negative- there's a direct correlation: go to the CIA's Factbook and look at demographics and energy and the graphs tell the story.

I'll also note that the notion of there being a cycle, a parabolic curve, in civilizations is well noted/documented in Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (you can find electronic bootlegged copies on the Internet)- HIGHLY recommended reading!

All of this is pretty much reflected in Wall Street companies ramp-ups in stock-buy-backs. That's money that's NOT put in R&D or expansion. I'm pretty sure that the brains in all of this KNOW what the situation is: growth is never coming back.

MANY years ago I stated that we will one day face "economies of scale in reverse." We NEVER considered that growth couldn't continue forever. There was never a though about what would happen with the reverse "of economies of scale."

Make no mistake, what we're facing is NOT another recession or depression, it's not part of what we think as a downturn in the "business cycle," as though we'll "pull out of it," it's basically an end to the super-cycle.

We will never be able to replicate the state of things as they are. We are at the peak (slightly past peak, but not far enough to realize it yet) and there is no returning. Per-capita income and energy consumption have peaked. There's not enough resources and not enough new demand (younger people, people that have wealth) to keep the perpetual growth machine going.

[Jul 01, 2020] The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.

Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Jeff Stryker , says: June 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm GMT

@Rev. Spooner bout the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or community. Those are a joke to people whose money is made transnational.

The lumpens who have never traveled out of their state have no concept of geographic dimensions. They have never even left home. They think everyone is as patriotic as them and will fight and die for their country and their community.

I assure none of the elite care a whit. Penthouses look the same from Manhattan to Tokyo.

Ask the Boers in South Africa or Polish in Detroit who did not "sniff the wind" in time.

The guy who has a gun loaded in his pocket as an insurance policy has a plan and it does not end well for the person who hit him.

The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.

[Jun 09, 2020] Galbraith 'Disillusion' Is America's One Big Growth Sector Right Now

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Moreover, people do distinguish between needs and wants. Americans need to eat, but they mostly don't need to eat out. They don't need to travel. Restaurant owners and airlines therefore have two problems: they can't cover costs while their capacity is limited for public-health reasons, and demand would be down even if the coronavirus disappeared. This explains why many businesses are not reopening even though they legally can. Others are reopening, but fear they cannot hold out for long. And the many millions of workers in America's vast services sector are realizing that their jobs are simply not essential. ..."
"... America's economic plight is structural. It is not simply the consequence of Trump's incompetence or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's poor political strategy. It reflects systemic changes over 50 years that have created an economy based on global demand for advanced goods, consumer demand for frills, and ever-growing household and business debts. This economy was in many ways prosperous, and it provided jobs and incomes to many millions. Yet it was a house of cards, and COVID-19 has blown it down. ..."
Jun 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In the 1960s, the US had a balanced economy that produced goods for both businesses and households, at all levels of technology, with a fairly small (and tightly regulated) financial sector. It produced largely for itself, importing mainly commodities.

Today, the US produces for the world, mainly advanced investment goods and services, in sectors such as aerospace, information technology, arms, oilfield services, and finance. And it imports far more consumer goods, such as clothing, electronics, cars, and car parts, than it did a half-century ago.

And whereas cars, televisions, and household appliances drove US consumer demand in the 1960s, a much larger share of domestic spending today goes (or went) to restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, gyms, salons, coffee shops, and tattoo parlors, as well as college tuition and doctor's visits. Tens of millions of Americans work in these sectors.

Finally, American household spending in the 1960s was powered by rising wages and growing home equity. But wages have been largely stagnant since at least 2000, and spending increases since 2010 were powered by rising personal and corporate debts. House values are now stagnant at best, and will likely fall in the months ahead.

Mainstream economics pays little attention to such structural questions. Instead, it assumes that business investment responds mostly to the consumer, whose spending is dictated equally by income and desire. The distinction between "essential" and "superfluous" does not exist. Debt burdens are largely ignored.

But demand for many US-made capital goods now depends on global conditions. Orders for new aircraft will not recover while half of all existing planes are grounded. At current prices, the global oil industry is not drilling new wells. Even at home, though existing construction projects may be completed, plans for new office towers or retail outlets won't be launched soon. And as people commute less, cars will last longer, so demand for them (and gasoline) will suffer.

Faced with radical uncertainty, US consumers will save more and spend less. Even if the government replaces their lost incomes for a time, people know that stimulus is short term. What they do not know is when the next job offer – or layoff – will come along.

Moreover, people do distinguish between needs and wants. Americans need to eat, but they mostly don't need to eat out. They don't need to travel. Restaurant owners and airlines therefore have two problems: they can't cover costs while their capacity is limited for public-health reasons, and demand would be down even if the coronavirus disappeared. This explains why many businesses are not reopening even though they legally can. Others are reopening, but fear they cannot hold out for long. And the many millions of workers in America's vast services sector are realizing that their jobs are simply not essential.

Meanwhile, US household debts – rent, mortgage, and utility arrears, as well as interest on education and car loans – have continued to mount. True, stimulus checks have helped: defaults have so far been modest, and many landlords have been accommodating. But as people face long periods with lower incomes, they will continue to hoard funds to ensure that they can repay their fixed debts. As if all this were not enough, falling sales- and income-tax revenues are prompting US state and local governments to cut spending, compounding the loss of jobs and incomes.

America's economic plight is structural. It is not simply the consequence of Trump's incompetence or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's poor political strategy. It reflects systemic changes over 50 years that have created an economy based on global demand for advanced goods, consumer demand for frills, and ever-growing household and business debts. This economy was in many ways prosperous, and it provided jobs and incomes to many millions. Yet it was a house of cards, and COVID-19 has blown it down.

"Reopen America" is therefore an economic and political fantasy. Incumbent politicians crave a cheery growth rebound, and the depth of the collapse makes possible some attractive short-term numbers. But taking them seriously will merely set the stage for a new round of disillusion. As nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality show, disillusion is America's one big growth sector right now.

[Jun 03, 2020] RussiaGate for neoliberal Dems and MSM honchos is the way to avoid the necessity to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[Apr 29, 2020] China has become GREAT because the USA turned to neoliberalism and financialization of the economy and turned the USA into byzantinne, militaristic, mercenary rogue nation at service of the Globalists elites

Apr 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

which do not care about that cosmological romantic lyrical notion of America.

Anonymous [589] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 8:38 pm GMT

It is undeniable that China has made impressive achievements since the Maosits revolution to date. BUT lets be realistic pre1973 China still a Nation with markedly 3th world living standards, even today with a soft racist inuendos , people speak about the Chinese must adopt better hygiene standards personally and privately.

Before 1973 China had mainly 3th world status, eversince Nixon (or Kissinger?) opened China US Corporate Capitalists inundated Chinas economic landscape, in other words the real, KEY bases for Chinas economic success remain USA Corporations majority perhaps more than 70% of their industrial output, although China has wisely constraint, restrain the USA/World FINANCIAL cartels..(Soros speclation against te yuan, ans Soros Opensociety inflkuence in HongKong)

Can China remain stable internally with a growing well travel educated savvy middle class, and a POOR lower working class with meager salaries, slave like labor conditions, and oppressive political controls, that's a recipe for a social cauldron..

Will the Chinese proletariat demand more "democracy" western/eastern oriented reforms??..

... ... ...

China has become GREAT because the USA decided to become poor a Spartan, byzantinne, militaristic, mercenary rogue nation at service of the Globaloists ELITES which do not care about that cosmological romantic lyrical notion of America.

[Apr 24, 2020] Atlantacist Method: Raw materials come into China by Ship, and finished Goods leave by ship. Globo Homo ownership class takes the increment of production and wage arbitrage as gains. Wall Street/London is a hero, main street is a zero.

Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm GMT

@anon Lets add to the bigger picture. With regards to Israel: Exceptions don't make the rule.
_______

The forces that off-shored the jobs, to then make wage arbitrage and become masters of the universe, are the very same ones that are now demonizing China.

They are "international" in outlook, and the only national country that matters to them is Israel.

In general, it is a "class" of people -sometimes called "Davos Man" who goes by other names, such as globo-homo, ZOG (zionist world government), Ne0-Con, Neo-Liberal.

Globo-Homo couldn't resist the wage arbitrage that China represented after the Berlin Wall fell in 1990. Clinton gave China effective MFN status in 1993. Wall Street begins Green Mail Coercion Techniques against American industry to then off-shore jobs.

China also runs a simultaneous gambit against the U.S. by buying up TBills instead of goods from U.S. main-street. This then insures that U.S. dollar is propped up against the Yuan e.g. currency manipulation. The China/Wall Street Gambit is in full swing, and globo-homo is happy.

Globo-Homo doesn't care about the destruction of American Mainstreet, because only prices matter, and they are getting rich. China becomes the workshop for the world.

There are still elements within Globo-Homo that like their easy money derived from ownership of transplanted industry.

If you look at today's propaganda emission center for China psy-ops you will see that it is another mouthpiece and organ of the "international." They are festooned with neo-liberals and ne0-cons.

Why the sudden shift, where China is the golden goose, to becoming the enemy?

Summary: There are two main enemies against American Mainstreet Labor. There is the internal and international enemy of globo homo centered in Wall Street and London, and there are elements within China that used Mercantile techniques to continue imbalanced trade and theft of American patrimony and industry.

Globo homo has new marching orders, as they have belatedly realized that they got played. The jig is up, you cannot operate the usury mechanism, do speculation, and RIG THE WORLD, forever.

The U.S. military security state has communicated clearly, they don't like their "international" supply chains and loss of U.S. domestic manufacturing. Globo Homo has long used the US. military as a Golem which protected movement of ships from China's east coast.

Atlantacist Method: Raw materials come into China by Ship, and finished Goods leave by ship. Globo Homo ownership class takes the increment of production and wage arbitrage as gains. Wall Street/London is a hero, main street is a zero.

[Apr 20, 2020] John Kenneth Galbraith

Apr 20, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org

1955 book about 1929 crash. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Crash,_1929

The tectonic shifts and the trajectory of both countries (China and the USA) after this epidemics end is unpredictable. "Chimerica" type of globalization was in decline before the epidemic (Huawai, etc) and Trump badly wants decoupling from China. Somebody needs to pay for those changes. It might well be us. So it is quite probable that those techno Nouveau riche like us might be soon royally fleeced one way or another.

It might be prudent to have at least 300K in three bank accounts (in the USA only the first 100K are ensured) at 1% or less. Buying TIPs directly from Treasury is another option. I hope your house is already fully paid.

BTW Marina can get half of your Social Security pension if her own is too small.

[Apr 13, 2020] COVID-19 Shutdown The End Of Globalization And Planned Obsolescence Enter Multipolarity by Joaquin Flores

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Joaquin Flores via The Strategic Culture Foundation, ..."
"... the declining rate of profit necessitated by automation, with the increasingly irrational policies, in all spheres, being pursued to salvage the ultimately unsalvageable. ..."
"... Because the present system is premised on a production-consumption and financial model, the solutions to crises are presented as population reduction and what even appears, at least in the case of Europe, as population replacement. As cliché as this may seem, this also appeared to be the policy of the Third Reich when capitalism faced its last major crises culminating in WWII. ..."
Apr 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Joaquin Flores via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that the twin processes of globalization and planned obsolescence are deficient and moribund. Globalization was predicated on a number of assumptions including the perpetuity of consumerism, and the withering away of national boundaries as transnational corporations so required.

What we see instead is not a globalization process, but instead a process of rising multipolarity and a rethinking of consumerism itself.

Normally a total market crash and unemployment crisis would usher in a period of militant labor activity, strikes, walk-outs and community-labor campaigns. We've seen some of this already . But the 'medical state of emergency' we are in, has effectively worked like a 'lock-out' . The elites have effectively flipped-the-script. Instead of workers now demanding a restoration of wages, hours, and work-place rights, they are clamoring for any chance to work at all, under any conditions handed down. Elites can 'afford' to do this because they've been given trillions of dollars to do so. See how that works?

All our lives we've been misinformed over what a growing economy means, what it looks like, how we identify it. All our lives we've been lied to about what technical improvement literally means.

A growing economy in fact means that all goods and services become less expensive. That cuts against inflation. Rather all prices should be deflating – less money ought to buy the same (or the same money ought to buy more). Technical innovation means that goods should last longer, not be planned for obsolescence with shorter lifespans.

Unemployment is good if it parallels price deflation. If both reached a zero-point, the problems we believe we have would be solved.

In a revealing April 2nd article that featured on the BBC's website, Will coronavirus reverse globalisation? it is proposed that the pandemic exposes the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a global supply-chain and manufacturing system, and that this in combination with the over-arching US-China trade war would see a general tendency towards 're-shoring' of activities. These are fair points.

But the article misses the point of the underlying problem facing economics in general: the declining rate of profit necessitated by automation, with the increasingly irrational policies, in all spheres, being pursued to salvage the ultimately unsalvageable.

The Karmic Wheel of Production-Consumption

The shut-downs – which seem unnecessary in the numerous widely esteemed experts in virology and epidemiology – appear to be aimed at stopping the production-consumption cycle. When we look at the wanton creation of new 'money', to bailout the banks, we are told that this will not cause inflation/debasement so long as the velocity of money is kept to a minimum. In other words – so long as there is not a chain reaction of transactions, and the money 'stays still' – this won't cause inflation. It's a specious claim, but one which justifies the quarantine/lock-down policy which today destroys thousands of small businesses every day. In the U.S. alone, unemployment claims will pass 30 million by mid April .

Likewise, this money appears real, it sits digitally as new liquidity on the computer screens of tran-Atlantic banks – but it cannot be spent, or it tanks the system with hyper-inflation. More to the point, the BBC piece erroneously continues to assume the necessity of the production-consumption cycle, spinning wheat into gold forever.

The elites were not wrong to shut-down the cycle per se. The problem is that they cannot offer the correct hardware in its place – for it puts an end to the very way that they make money. It is this, which in turn is a major source for the maintenance of their dopamine equilibrium and narcissist supply.

This is not an economic problem faced by 'the 1%' (the 0.03%) . It is an existential crisis facing the meaning of their lives, where satisfaction can only be found in ever greater levels of wealth and control, real or imagined – chasing that dragon, in search of that ever-elusive high.

So naturally, their solutions are population reduction and other such quasi-genocidal neo-Malthusian plans. Destruction of humanity – the number one productive-potential force – resets the hands of time, back to a period where profit levels were higher. The algorithmically favored coronavirus Instagram campaign of seeing city centers without people and declaring these 'beautiful' and 'peaceful' is an example of this misanthropic principle at play.

That the elites have chosen to shut-down the western economy is telling of an historic point we have reached. And while we are told that production and consumption will return somewhat 'after quarantine', we also hear from the newly-emerged unelected tsars – Bill Gates et al – that things will never return to normal .

What we need to end is the entire theory and practice of globalization itself, including UN Agenda 21 and the dangerous role of 'book-talking' philanthropists like Gates and his grossly unbalanced degree of power over policy formation in the Western sphere.

In place of waning globalization, we are seeing the reality of rising multipolarity and inter-nationalism. With this, the end of the production-consumption cycle, based upon off-shore production and international assembly, and at the root of it all: planned obsolescence towards long-term profitability.

The Problem of Globalization Theory

Without a doubt, globalization theory satisfied aspects of descriptive power. But as time marched forward, its predictive power weakened. Alternate theories began to emerge – chief among these, multipolarity theory.

The promotion of globalization theory also raises ethical problems. Like a criminologist 'describing' a crime-wave while being invested in new prison construction, globalization theory was as much theory as it was a policy forced upon the world by the same institutions behind its popularization in academia and in policy formation. Therefore we should not be surprised with the rise of solutions like those of Gates. These involve patentable 'vaccines' by for-profit firms at the expense of buttressing natural human immunities, or using drugs which other countries are using with effectiveness.

The truth? Globalization is really just a rebrand of the Washington Consensus – neo-liberal think-tanks and the presumed eternal dominance of institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which in turn are thinly disguised conglomerates of the largest trans-Atlantic banking institutions.

So while globalization was often given a humanist veneer that promised global development, modernization, the end of 'nation-states' which presumably are the source of war; in reality globalization was premised on continuing and increasing concentration of capital towards the 19th century zones – New York, London, Berlin, and Paris.

'Internationalism' was once rooted in the existence of nations which in turn are only possible with the existence of culture and peoples, but was hi-jacked by the trans-Atlanticist project. Before long, the new-left 'internationalists' became champions of the very same process of imperialism that their forbearers had vehemently opposed. Call it 'globalization' and show how it's destroying 'toxic nationalism' and creating 'microfinance solutions for women and girls' – trot out Malala – and it was bought; hook, line and sinker.

This was not the new era of 'globalization', but rather the usual suspects going back to the 19th century; a 'feel-good' rebranding of the very same 19th century imperialism as described in J.A Hobson's seminal work from 1902, Imperialism. Its touted 'inevitability' rested not on the impossibility of alternate models, but on the authority that flows forth from gunboat diplomacy. But sea power has given way to land power.

In many ways it aligned with the era of de-colonialization and post-colonialism. New nations could wave their own flags and make their own laws, so long as the traditionally imperialist western banking institutions controlled the money supply.

But what is emerging is not Washington Consensus 'globalization', but a multipolar model based in civilizational sovereignty and difference, building products to last – for their usefulness and not their repeatable retail potential. This cuts against the claims that global homogenization in all spheres (moral, cultural, economic, political, etc.) was inevitable, as a consequence of mercantile specialization.

Therefore, inter-nationalism hyphenated as such, reminds us that nations – civilizations, sovereignty, and their differences – make us stronger as a human species. Like against viruses, some have stronger natural immunity than others. If people were identical, one virus could wipe-out all of humanity.

Likewise, an overly-integrated global economy leads to global melt-down and depression when one node collapses. Rather than independent pillars that could aid each other, the interdependence is its greatest weakness.

Multipolarity is Reality

This new reality – multipolarity – involves processes which aspects of globalization theory also suggest and predict for, so there are some honest reasons why experts could misdiagnose multipolarity as globalization. Overlooked was that the concentration of capital nodes in various and globally diverse regions by continent, were not exclusively trans-Atlantic regions as in the standard globalization model of Alpha ++ or Alpha+ cities. This capital concentration along continental lines was occurring alongside regional economic development and rising living standards which tended to promote the efficiency of local transportation as opposed to ocean-travel in the production process. As regional nodes by continent had increasingly diversified their own domestic production, a general tendency for transportation costs to increase as individual per capita usage increased, worked against the viability of an over-reliance on global transit lines.

But among many problems in globalization theory was that the US would always be the primary consumer of the world's goods, and with it, the trans-Atlantic financial sector. It was also contingent on the idea that mercantilist conceptions of specialization (by nation or by region) would always trump autarkic models and ISI (income substitution industrialization). Again, if middle-class consumer bases are rising in all the world's inhabited continents as multipolarity explains and predicts, then a global production regimen rationalized towards a trans-Atlantic consumer base as globalization theory predicts isn't quite as apt.

Because the present system is premised on a production-consumption and financial model, the solutions to crises are presented as population reduction and what even appears, at least in the case of Europe, as population replacement. As cliché as this may seem, this also appeared to be the policy of the Third Reich when capitalism faced its last major crises culminating in WWII.

Breaking the Wheel

The shutdown reveals the karmic wheel of production-consumption is in truth already broken. We have already passed the zenith point of what the old paradigm had to offer, and it has long since entered into a period of decay, economic and moral destruction.

Like the Christ who brings forth a new covenant or the Buddha who emerges to break the wheel of karma, the new world to be built on the ruins of modernity is a world that liberates the productive forces, realizing their full potential, and with it the liberation of man from the machine of the production-consumption cycle.

Planned obsolescence and consumerism (marketing) are the twin evils that have worked towards the simultaneous time-wasting enslavement of 'living to work' , and have built globalization based on global assembly and global mono-culture.

What is important for people and their quality of life is the time to live life, not be stuck in the grind. We hear politicians and economists talking about 'everyone having a job', as if what people want is to be away from their families, friends, passions, or hobbies. What's more – people cannot invent, innovate, or address the greater questions of life and death – if their nose is to the grindstone.

Now that we are living under an overt system of control, a 'medical state of emergency' with a frozen economy, we can see that another world is possible. The truth is that most things which are produced are intentionally made to break at a specific time, so that a re-purchase is predictable and profits are guaranteed. This compels global supply chains and justifies artificially induced crashes aimed at upward redistribution and mass expropriations.

Instead of allowing Bill Gates to tour the world to tout a police-state cum population reduction scheme right after a global virus pandemic struck, one which many believe he owns the patent for , we can instead address the issues of multipolarity, civilizational sovereignty, and ending planned obsolescence and the global supply chain, as well as the off-shoring it necessitates – which the BBC rightly notes, is in question anyhow.

[Apr 10, 2020] 'Piracy' Or America First US Customs To Seize All Exports Of Masks Gloves

Apr 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

A policy that US allies in Europe have recently slammed as 'piracy' is set to continue, as Washington unabashedly and unapologetically continues blocking shipments from US soil of personal protective equipment (PPE) -- such as gowns, gloves, and N95 face masks -- which hospitals and health workers desperately need in the fight against COVID-19.

The Hill reports that "The federal government will begin seizing exports of personal protective equipment, or PPE, until it decides if the tools should be kept in the country to fight the coronavirus."

The announcement was made Wednesday by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), formalizing an existing controversial practice under Defense Production Act (DPA) which has recently blocked millions of masks from being exported from Minnesota-based 3M to Canada. US customs will block all respirators, surgical masks and surgical gloves from going abroad.

Image source: Reuters

Canadian leaders blasted the move as putting lives in danger, while Germany and France described the US policy, which has seen recent interventions against shipments from China bound for Europe, as 'piracy'.

"FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas," a joint statement indicated.

"Today's order is another step in our ongoing fight to prevent hoarding, price gouging, and profiteering by preventing the harmful export of critically needed PPE," the White House also said in a statement. "It will help ensure that needed PPE is kept in our country and gets to where it is needed to defeat the virus."

It appears Trump's 'America First' policy in action at a crucial time of crisis , as the US is the global epicenter for COVID-19, now with over 430,000 confirmed cases - most in New York state - which has witnessed hospitals running desperately low on supplies, including ventilators.

However, foreign governments have of late essentially warned 'what goes around comes around' . Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel at the start of the week stated bluntly of Washington's brazen policy that it constitutes a Wild West tactic - essentially warning Europe can play dirty too.

[Apr 10, 2020] Japan To Spend Billions Relocating Production Out Of China

Apr 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Japan has allocated $2.2 billion (US) of its $993 billion emergency stimulus package to help manufacturers relocate production out of China amid the COVID-19 pandemic which began in the communist nation. According to SCMP , $2 billion (US) will be set aside for companies shifting production back to Japan , while roughly $223.5 million will be spent on helping companies move production to other countries, according to SCMP .

Under normal circumstances, China is Japan's largest trading partner - however imports from China plummeted nearly 50% in February as the coronavirus pandemic resulted in closed factories and unfilled orders. Meanwhile, a planned visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan early this month - the first such trip in a decade - was postponed with no date rescheduled.

It remains to be seen how the policy will affect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's years-long effort to restore relations with China.

" We are doing our best to resume economic development ," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing Wednesday in Beijing, when asked about the move. " In this process, we hope other countries will act like China and take proper measures to ensure the world economy will be impacted as little as possible and to ensure that supply chains are impacted as little as possible ." - SCMP

China's production trainwreck has revived discussion among Japanese firms over reducing their reliance on China as a manufacturing base - while the government's panel on future investment recommended last month that manufacturing of high-value products should shift back to Japan - while other goods should be diversified across Southeast Asia.

"There will be something of a shift," according to Japan Research Institute economist Shinichi Seki, who noted that Japanese companies were already considering moving out of China. "Having this in the budget will definitely provide an impetus." That said, certain industries such as automotive will likely stay put.

Japan exports a far larger share of parts and partially finished goods to China than other major industrial nations, according to data compiled for the panel. A February survey by Tokyo Shoko Research found 37 per cent of the more than 2,600 companies that responded were diversifying procurement to places other than China amid the coronavirus crisis. - SCMP

[Mar 24, 2020] With the neocon foreign policy of "full Spectrum Dominance" the USA seems well trapped in its rail tracks

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Daniel Chieh , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm GMT

@Divine Right American conflicts with Russia are based partly on self-serving fictions of the military industrial complex that need an enemy for their continued existence, as well as some more realistic conflicts involving Eastern Europe and rival interests over oil prices. The US need for hegemony, which is highly tied to the value of the dollar as a reserve currency, further thrusts this forward and center(and indeed, into conflict with China as well). This all is intermingled with a [fake and hypocritical] generalized rejection of "authoritarian" governments.

China, on the other hand, has no real current conflicts with Russia – most conflicts involve sales of weaponry and political influence over central Asian states, nothing of vast importance at least compared to being their the target of an enormous world-spanning sanctions order or a dedicated trade war.

Your argument has the weird self-contradiction that the CCP both is supposedly the mind-controlling alien brain of all Asians, while at the same time, not actually benefiting from any specific conflict with Russia. This also ignores the fact that Asians tend to assimilate the highest by any population(at nearly 40% intermarriage in some segments, that Chinese students in particularly no longer tend to stay in the US( only 20% by 2017 ), and that a overwhelming part of the demographic increase by immigration is Indian with long historical and cultural rivalries with China. And far more than Chinese Americans, who often engage in racial masochism(witness Gordan Chang ), Indian Americans are vastly more active and influential in American politics both due to cultural reasons as well as higher verbal IQ. This isn't even hypothetical: Indian American political writers dominate National Interest articles stressing for more hawkish Chinese attitudes and were directly contributory to renaming the South China Seas conflict to the "Indo-Pacific region."

I do agree that the US has long since crippled its resource base. But there's no evidence that Trump, or anyone else, is demonstrating the barest inkling of trying to resolve it(or that it is even possible, given the bueaucratic overload and red tape of regulations). Gould once described evolution as a "drunkard's walk" between complexity, where organisms sometimes fall trapped inside rail tracks, unable to stumble out.

The US seems well trapped in its rail tracks.

Blinky Bill , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Indian American political writers dominate National Interest articles stressing for more hawkish Chinese attitudes and were directly contributory to renaming the South China Seas conflict to the "Indo-Pacific region."

Prime example Saagar Enjeti.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vkqq74knVXM?feature=oembed

neutral , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Blinky Bill This is just further proof that there is a growing Indian problem in America.

[Mar 24, 2020] Many Italians in Northern Italy sold their leather goods and textiles companies to China. Italy then allowed 100,000 Chinese from Wuhan/Wenzhou to move to Italy to work in these factories, with direct Wuhan flights. Result: Northern Italy is Europe's hotspot for Wuhan Coronavirus

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Felix Keverich , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin There is apparently a large colony (100.000) of Chinese workers in Lombardy, with direct flights between Lombardy and Wuhan, so this Italian outbreak is not a coincidence.

Many Italians in Northern Italy sold their leather goods and textiles companies to China. Italy then allowed 100,000 Chinese from Wuhan/Wenzhou to move to Italy to work in these factories, with direct Wuhan flights. Result: Northern Italy is Europe's hotspot for Wuhan Coronavirus

-- George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) March 18, 2020

UK had a "herd immunity" strategy from the beginning. They made no real effort at containment. British government allowed their people to become infected, and only began to change course after public outrage.

Europe Europa , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich The large Chinese population in Italy has been completely ignored by the media, in fact China itself seems to have been let completely off the hook. The focus is now on how terrible Britain and the native British people are.

Someone even posted a Tweet above by a Vietnamese person trying to claim that BRITAIN of all countries is responsible for the outbreak in Vietnam, I mean what kind of ridiculous logic is that? Vietnam bloody BORDERS China, the origin and epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Vietnamese are trying to say Britain is the cause? It beggars belief.

[Mar 24, 2020] Manufacturing in cheap Third World countries and rewarding the local compradors with a permission to migrate to the West as contributing factor to the coronavirus epidemic

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm GMT

@AP

less globalization outside North America/Europe/Japan/Australia

You are missing the point of globalization: manufacturing in cheap Third World countries and rewarding the local compradors with a permission to migrate to the West. That's the deal, that's what globalization is.

With NA-Europe-Japan all you get is tourism and travel. I would be surprised if we can at this point convince Chinese and the other cheap labor countries to do the work and forgo the hope of migration. It was a Faustian deal and those as we know end in hell.

utu , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@AP Calm down, man and stop the stupid blaming game. It seems that your Banderite spin also includes bashing Chinese which, on the second thought, should not be surprising as there is only one paymaster. Perhaps you should specialize in Ukraine only and leave China to more competent haters.

Compare Canada and Italy on Chinese residents: Canada has 5 times more Chinese than Italy but 62 times less infection cases and 539 times less fatalities than Italy (as of March 16). Furthermore France and UK have more Chinese than Italy.

What about tourists: In Canada 0.75 mil Chinese tourist but in Italy 3.5 mil Chinese tourists. So it must be the tourists, right?

So compare Japan with Italy on Chinese tourists: 8.4 mil Chinese tourist in Japan vs. 3.5 mil Chinese tourists in Italy. How many cases in Japan?

So what I am trying to convey is that the expression of the epidemic in different countries is not congruent with the number of Chinese residents or Chinese tourist.

We will never know where the patients zero (yes plural, there are many patients zero) really came from. For various political reasons we will not be told and what we will be told we must be skeptical about. I found interesting data about the first infected in British Columbia that has huge rather affluent Chinese population. There were as many Iranians as non-Iranians on the list.

In British Columbia cases 1 to 5 were from China though it does not appear they infected others while cases 6, 7, , 12 and 14, 15, 19 were traced to Iran. Then the case 22 was from Iran and also case 31. Case 32 was from Italy, case 35 was from Egypt and case 37 was from Germany. So out of first 37 cases over 50% were people came form Iran, Egypt, Germany and Italy. My point is that while Canada has huge Chinese population (1.7 mil) and gets 700,000 Chinese visitors per year it does not look like China was the main vector. In BC it is Iran and Europe.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/covid-19-coronavirus-canadian-cases

One should consider a possibility whether virus introduction to Iran and the Middle East did precede its introduction in China.

Now let's return to Italy. Most Chinese tourists go to Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities were not affected as much as Lombardy where there is not that many tourists. So we are told that Chinese workers could carry the virus. So look at Prato (in Tuscany near Florence) which has the highest density of Chinese population in Italy. Wiki lists 11,882 (6.32%) for Prato while the highest absolute number is Milan 18,918 (1.43%). The numbers are probably outdated as most likely they do not include illegal residents.

On March 11 Italy had 12,246 cases.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

So I checked what Prato had on March 11:

https://iltirreno.gelocal.it/prato/cronaca/2020/03/11/news/coronavirus-casi-triplicati-a-prato-e-il-giorno-piu-nero-1.38580402
Coronavirus, casi triplicati a Prato: è il giorno più nero

"In a single day the positive cases of coronavirus in the province of Prato have tripled: from 7 to 21 . It is the darkest day since the outbreak began. According to what was announced in the afternoon of today, March 11, by the bulletin of the regional council "

"Therefore, 314 patients are currently positive in Tuscany. This is the subdivision by signaling areas: 71 Florence, 32 Pistoia, 21 Prato (total Asl center: 124), 43 Lucca, 40 Massa Carrara, 34 Pisa, 16 Livorno (total North West Asl: 133), 12 Grosseto, 37 Siena , 14 Arezzo (total Asl southeast: 63)."

So clearly the 2nd largest Chinese community in Italy (and first in density) with 21 cases (out of 12,246 cases in Italy) did not contribute a lot to the corona virus outbreak in Italy.

utu , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@AP Calm down, man and stop the stupid blaming game. It seems that your Banderite spin also includes bashing Chinese which, on the second thought, should not be surprising as there is only one paymaster. Perhaps you should specialize in Ukraine only and leave China to more competent haters.

Compare Canada and Italy on Chinese residents: Canada has 5 times more Chinese than Italy but 62 times less infection cases and 539 times less fatalities than Italy (as of March 16). Furthermore France and UK have more Chinese than Italy.

What about tourists: In Canada 0.75 mil Chinese tourist but in Italy 3.5 mil Chinese tourists. So it must be the tourists, right?

So compare Japan with Italy on Chinese tourists: 8.4 mil Chinese tourist in Japan vs. 3.5 mil Chinese tourists in Italy. How many cases in Japan?

So what I am trying to convey is that the expression of the epidemic in different countries is not congruent with the number of Chinese residents or Chinese tourist.

We will never know where the patients zero (yes plural, there are many patients zero) really came from. For various political reasons we will not be told and what we will be told we must be skeptical about. I found interesting data about the first infected in British Columbia that has huge rather affluent Chinese population. There were as many Iranians as non-Iranians on the list.

In British Columbia cases 1 to 5 were from China though it does not appear they infected others while cases 6, 7, , 12 and 14, 15, 19 were traced to Iran. Then the case 22 was from Iran and also case 31. Case 32 was from Italy, case 35 was from Egypt and case 37 was from Germany. So out of first 37 cases over 50% were people came form Iran, Egypt, Germany and Italy. My point is that while Canada has huge Chinese population (1.7 mil) and gets 700,000 Chinese visitors per year it does not look like China was the main vector. In BC it is Iran and Europe.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/covid-19-coronavirus-canadian-cases

One should consider a possibility whether virus introduction to Iran and the Middle East did precede its introduction in China.

Now let's return to Italy. Most Chinese tourists go to Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities were not affected as much as Lombardy where there is not that many tourists. So we are told that Chinese workers could carry the virus. So look at Prato (in Tuscany near Florence) which has the highest density of Chinese population in Italy. Wiki lists 11,882 (6.32%) for Prato while the highest absolute number is Milan 18,918 (1.43%). The numbers are probably outdated as most likely they do not include illegal residents.

On March 11 Italy had 12,246 cases.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

So I checked what Prato had on March 11:

https://iltirreno.gelocal.it/prato/cronaca/2020/03/11/news/coronavirus-casi-triplicati-a-prato-e-il-giorno-piu-nero-1.38580402
Coronavirus, casi triplicati a Prato: è il giorno più nero

"In a single day the positive cases of coronavirus in the province of Prato have tripled: from 7 to 21 . It is the darkest day since the outbreak began. According to what was announced in the afternoon of today, March 11, by the bulletin of the regional council "

"Therefore, 314 patients are currently positive in Tuscany. This is the subdivision by signaling areas: 71 Florence, 32 Pistoia, 21 Prato (total Asl center: 124), 43 Lucca, 40 Massa Carrara, 34 Pisa, 16 Livorno (total North West Asl: 133), 12 Grosseto, 37 Siena , 14 Arezzo (total Asl southeast: 63)."

So clearly the 2nd largest Chinese community in Italy (and first in density) with 21 cases (out of 12,246 cases in Italy) did not contribute a lot to the corona virus outbreak in Italy.

Daniel Chieh , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm GMT
@AP

If this started in the USA and spread elsewhere the world would have good cause to condemn the USA and to judge any subsequent efforts by Americans to help others as "the least they could do."

Chinese shipments of medical goods are actually to the risk of the own population, where hospitals are still recovering. While in some ways it is a blatant PR play, its quite a significant cost amd self-risk that goes beyond "the least they could do."

[Mar 24, 2020] Chinese settlers in northern Italy.

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

AP , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm GMT

@TheTotallyAnonymous

The Chinese are showing an unprecedented amount of humanity, morality and basic decency by giving medical aid to more than half the world in genuinely useful forms despite almost everyone shitting on them by calling this a "Chinese virus" and other garbage.

... ... ...

Here is an article about them in the New York Times. Written soon before the onset of the plague. It would not be written now – there's too obvious a connection between open borders, multiculturalism, and death:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/business/italy-china-far-right.html

As Prato's factories went dark, people began arriving from China to exploit an opportunity.

Most were from Wenzhou, a coastal city famed for its entrepreneurial spirit. They took over failed workshops and built new factories. They imported fabric from China, sewing it into clothing. They cannily imitated the styles of Italian fashion brands, while affixing a valuable label to their creations -- "Made in Italy."

Chinese groceries and restaurants have emerged to serve the local population. On the outskirts of the city, Chinese-owned warehouses overflow with racks of clothing destined for street markets in Florence and Paris.

Among Italian textile workers who have veered to the right, the arrival of the Chinese tends to get lumped together with African migration as an indignity that has turned Prato into a city they no longer recognize.

"I don't think it's fair that they come to take jobs away from Italians," says Ms. Travaglini, the laid-off textile worker. She claims that Chinese companies don't pay taxes and violate wage laws, reducing pay for everyone.

Since losing her job at a textile factory nearly three years ago, Ms. Travaglini has survived by fixing clothes for people in her neighborhood. "There are no jobs, not even for young people," she says.

Chinese-owned factories have jobs, she acknowledges, but she will not apply. "That's all Chinese people," she says, with evident distaste. "I don't feel at ease."

:::::::::::

Lots of Ukrainians there also. They don't bring such a virus to Italy, but they bring the virus back to Ukraine.

::::::::::

So nice PR move after killing lots of European old people. One of the sacrificed in Milan to this virus, Vittorio Gregotti, was an architect who helped build the city. Killed by the Chinese virus. A symbol of native Italy replaced by migration.

[Mar 24, 2020] The Chinese have internal natural resources and have been vigorously working world wide to obtain rights to, develop, and extract mineral and energy resources in order to keep production going

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Alfa158 , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm GMT

@Kim The Chinese have internal natural resources and have been vigorously working world wide to obtain rights to, develop, and extract mineral and energy resources in order to keep production going. See the documentary Empire of Dust about Chinese getting the rights to African resources and developing the infrastructure to extract them. Also following the supposed "war for oil" in Iraq the oil contracts went almost entirely to China. China has a lot of the mines for the rare earths needed in modern technological products. The largest single mine used to be in California. A Chinese company bought and re-opened it.

In effect they already own or have contracts for what they need and are much less leveraged than we are.

As to whether their customers can continue to pay for it, that is a different kettle of fish. The rest of us have been running up our credit card with them. We have been paying it off by selling off our countries piece by piece through Chinese purchases of real estate, businesses, port facilities etc. As China has grown economically they have been developing their internal market to reduce dependence on Wal-Mart so that might reduce the impact of poorer foreign markets.

In any event they own a huge infrastructure in plants tooling and human expertise for making things. Our leaders have deliberately hollowed ours out for profits and cheaper consumer goods.

[Mar 05, 2020] What is Globalism? Globalism is Neoliberalism which is Corporatism

Mar 05, 2020 | www.reddit.com

The term Globalism has been around from at least the 1960's but its origins come from Cecil Rhodes Round Tables which were set up around 1900 as a mechanism for Rhodes and his allies from the British and South African Oligarchs to take over the world. Globalism is another term for Neoliberalism, which is another term for Corporatism. It is principally pushed by Fake Liberals who pretend to be lefties, but are actually Corporatists or Corporate Fascists.

Globalism

The aim of Globalism is to transfer all power and wealth from ordinary people to a handful of Banking Elites, Oligarchs and major Corporate CEO's. The ultimate aim is to set up an anti democratic, authoritarian one world government where ordinary people are effectively serfs and have no say, in a system of Neo-Feudalism. We are very nearly already there.

This is being constantly carried out by transferring ever increasing powers from elected local governments to massive governmental Super States, such as the EU or the Federal government in Washington DC.

A great example of a Globalist policy was Obama's Corporate Power Grab TPP and TTIP, Corporate protectionist deals, which transferred power from elected legislatures to transnational tribunals staffed by Corporate lawyers acting as Judge and Jury.

TPP, TISA and TTIP agreements are massive Corporate power grabs dressed up as trade deals http://ian56.blogspot.com/2015/11/tpp-tisa-and-ttip-agreements-are.html

"Neo-libs" are NOT Centrists. They are extremist supporters of Perpetual War, Corruption, Corporatism, Authoritarianism & the Transfer of all wealth & power from ordinary ppl to the Oligarchs & CEOs in the top 0.01%.

What is Globalism? Clue: Its NOT what the Corporate Establishment tells you it is http://ian56.blogspot.com/2017/11/what-is-globalism.html

Neoliberalism. The ideology that dare not speak its name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/index.shtml

[Feb 29, 2020] Boris Johnson s Incredible Landslide by Catte Black

Notable quotes:
"... Corbyn's weakness was always the elephant in the room but was fully revealed when he had to step up to plate and fight. No leader can survive without being able to fight his enemies and no country should be led by such a person. Saddly he squandered the enormous opportunity handed to him in the last election: in hindsight, that opportunity was handed to him by an electorate steeped in wishful thinking ..."
"... Of course it's criticism of the state of Israel. And of course that's not anti-Semitism. But the label "anti-Semitism" is the kiss of death to the executive class i.e. that middle layer who "inform" the masses. If you are one of them and you get called "anti-Semitic", it's the equivalent of your boss saying, "I want a word – and bring your coat!" ..."
"... Corbyn seems like a nice enough guy, an honest, yet unremarkable footsoldier MP, but the idea he was suited to leading the Labour Party into an epic struggle with a revitalised Tory Party under a strong leader like Boris Johnson, is a fantastic notion. Johnson had to be cut down to size, before the election. ..."
"... And, finally, Corbyn could have turned the media bias against him to his advantage, only he's not suited to the strategy that's required. That strategy is the one Donald Trump employed, taking on the media and identifying them as the enemy and explaining why they publish lies. Corbyn should have publically taken on both the Guardian and the BBC, rather than appeasing them, unsuccessfully, because appeasing them isn't possible. ..."
"... Why didn't Corbyn express anger and shock when he was accused of being a paedophile, sorry, an anti-Semite? Those MPs who went along with that sordid narrative, should have been kicked out of Labour immediately by Corbyn himself. ..."
"... "A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people. Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them. ..."
"... The point about the EU not being directly responsible for Tory austerity is technically true but it is nonetheless a neo liberal monster crushing the shit out of the most vulnerable ..."
"... Especially when it comes to countries like Greece. I don't understand the constant veneration of the EU. By design, our membership did nothing to protect us from the carnage of this Tory crime wave. The EUs constitutional arrangements contains baked in obligations to maintain permanent austerity in the service of ever greater corporate profit. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | off-guardian.org

... ... ...

No one feels like recalling, for example, that more people voted against the Tories than for them (13.9mn for and 16.2mn against).

Or that 10.3 million people still voted Labour despite the entirety of the unprecedentedly vicious and Stalinist hate campaign conducted against them – and Corbyn in particular – since the latter became leader in 2015.

Which fact, along with Labour's near-win in 2017 and the surprise Brexit victory in 2016, implies the mainstream media's ability to direct and manipulate public opinion is a lot less wholesale and guaranteed than we oftentimes assume, and that this is unlikely to be a single explanation for yesterday's result.

More importantly, no one – even those who are boggling at the implausibility – is questioning the validity of the result.

No one.

It's as if even suggesting election fraud can happen in a nice majority-white western country like the UK is improper and disrespectful. Election fraud is – as every good racist knows – done by brown people or Orientals, or 'corrupt' eastern European nations, not by fine upstanding empire builders like the British.

This seems to be so much of a given that the results of any vote are simply accepted as 100% valid – no matter how improbable they may seem.

And apparently even in the face of clear evidence for at least some level of shady activity.

Remember this? It only happened on Wednesday but it's already some way down the Memory Hole.

Laura Kuenssberg, being the true idiot she really is, blabbing off on prime time telly about apparently institutional election malpractice – and not even having the basic brains to see the import of what she's letting slip.

There's been a lot of effort expended in minimising the significance of this in social media and in the mainstream press – and indeed by resident trolls on OffG. There have been claims it's 'routine' – as if that somehow makes it ok. Or that Kuenssberg was misinformed, or 'tired'.

.... ... ...

Consider the facts

Labour's socialist policies are known to be popular . Poverty has increased so much under the Tories that 22% of the country now lives below the poverty line , including 4 million children. 200,000 people have died as a result of austerity-driven cuts, foodbank use is increasing by tens of thousands year on year . The mortality rate is going up and up . And Boris Johnson was caught in a direct, proven lie about "protecting" the NHS.

And after all this, Labour heartlands – red since World War 2, through Thatcher and Foot and every anti-Labour hate campaign the media could muster – all voted Conservative?

Does that seem likely?

I don't know, all I do know is I think that discussion needs to start. I think it's time to think the unthinkable, and at least open the prospect of electoral fraud up for real discussion.

How secure is our electoral process? Can results be stage-managed, massaged or even rigged? What guarantees do we have that this can't happen here? In an age of growing corruption and decay at the very top, do the checks and balances placed to safeguard our democracy sill work well, or even at all?

This Friday the Thirteenth, with BoJo the Evil Clown back in Downing Street, looks like a good moment to get it going.


aspnaz ,

Corbyn's weakness was always the elephant in the room but was fully revealed when he had to step up to plate and fight. No leader can survive without being able to fight his enemies and no country should be led by such a person. Saddly he squandered the enormous opportunity handed to him in the last election: in hindsight, that opportunity was handed to him by an electorate steeped in wishful thinking. Should he apologise to his supporters, probably not, they backed the wrong horse but the limp was visible from day one.

Bootlyboob ,

NHS in for a rough ride. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JpseLa9_txw

Gezzah Potts ,

How do you mean 'weird'?

That inequality and poverty will continue increasing under neoliberal economic policies, and the majority of us will continue being ground into the dirt, or that Julian Assange will end up in the U.S for certain to face a Stalinesque show trial, or the observation about George Galloway.

George Mc ,

I know it's bad for my health but oh I just can't stop myself. Had another Groan trip. Here's one from that good time gal Jess Phillips:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/14/working-class-voters-didnt-trust-labour-jess-phillips

I only supply the link to see if anyone can see any actual content in this. I suppose it must be a real cushy number to get paid for pitching in a lot of foaming waffle that feels purposeful but remains totally non-commital. That and those nice cheques rolling in from that Hyslop and Merton quiz fluff.

George Mc ,

You have to understand that it's all showbiz. Why did the Tories prefer Boris to Jeremy Hunt? Because Hunt looked and sounded like the oily little tyke everyone wanted to kick. Whereas Boris was the cutesie country womble from a Two Ronnies sketch. When Boris appeared on his test outing as host for Hignfy, all he had to do was to be incompetent i.e. all he had to do was turn up. Oh how we all laughed.

As for Jess – well, she's the ballsy fake prole tomboy – like a WOKE verson of Thatcha. I doubt anyone is "buying this" (to use one of the Americanisms we'll all be spouting as we become the 51st state) but it's all part of "the movie".

ricked by its sharp thorn anywhere near the heart. Don't know what the street name will be for it but it has two current codewords i heard 'stellar' & 'jessa'.

George Mc ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=When+I+said+%26%238220%3Bcome+clean%26%238221%3B+I+meant+as+...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F13%2Fboris-johnsons-incredible-landslide%2F%23comment-106199">

When I said "come clean" I meant as in "reveal yourself". I really think you should calm down. Take some deep breaths. Have a nice cup of tea.

Chris Rogers ,

Alan,

By all means comment, but when you slander those who actually felt it important that their vote counted, that their opinion mattered and then were told to fuck off by the very people asking them for their opinion, its expected you get blow back, which is what has happened.

Now, may i enquire, do you have a belief in democracy and upholding democratic outcomes, do you believe that Russian interference actually resulted in the Brexit vote itself, and do you believe that the working class is so fucking pig ignorant that it should never be allowed to vote.

In summation, are you a Blairite by any chance as they way you communicate shows an utter contempt for those poor sods slagged off by Remainiacs for so long to just fuck off.

As for economic decline, strange, but the UK is one of the top 10 wealthy nations globally, much of said wealth now from the FIRE Economy, which means its extractive and put to no real purpose, whilst the break-up of the Union is up to the constituent parts itself – as i support Irish reunification, i don't weep for Northern Ireland, whilst the Scots have every right o be free of Westminster, its not as if they held an actual Referedum on it prior to the signing of the Act of Union is it.

And as for wales, well, here's a small country who's political establishment are incapable of recognising it elected to Leave the EU, which sometimes has aspirations itself to Independence, an Independence it will never gain due to the fact nearly 800K English live within our lands, but the fantasists persist none the less.

Now, as the EU, via the Treaty named after Lisbon is very much a neoliberal organisation, one that puts monetary union above the welfare of its own citizens, please explain why I must support such an Institution that does not benefit the average Joe in most member States?

Alan Tench ,

What you must remember is that a democratic decision isn't always a good one. In my view, the current one concerning Brexit, is a bad one. The fact that a majority support it doesn't make it good or right. We just have to live with it. Consider the death penalty. I'm sure the vast majority of voters in this country would vote in favour of it. Would that might it right?

Ruth ,

Don't blame them. In all likelihood they had their votes hijacked by MI5

Alan Tench ,

All this anti-Semitism stuff – anyone know what it's about? I assume it had zero influence on the electorate. Just how does it manifest itself? Is most of it – maybe nearly all of it – concerned with criticism of the state of Israel? If so, it's not anti-Semitism .

George Mc ,

Of course it's criticism of the state of Israel. And of course that's not anti-Semitism. But the label "anti-Semitism" is the kiss of death to the executive class i.e. that middle layer who "inform" the masses. If you are one of them and you get called "anti-Semitic", it's the equivalent of your boss saying, "I want a word – and bring your coat!"

MichaelK ,

I think the Labour Party's election strategy, and long before, was fatally flawed. I'm shocked by it. How bad it was. First they should never have agreed to an election at this time. Wait, at least until Spring. The idea, surely, was to keep weakening Johnson's brand and splitting the Tories apart. Johnson wanted an election for obvious reasons, that alone should have meant that one did everything in one's power not to give him what he wanted. Labour did the exact opposite of what they should have done, march onto a battleground chose by Johnson.

Of course one can argue that the liberals and the SNP had already hinted that they would support Johnson's demand, but Labour could have 'bought them off' with a little effort. Give the SNP a pledge on a second referendum and give the Liberals a guarantee of electoral reform, whatever.

The Liberals actually had an even more stupid and incompetent leadership than Labour and suffered a terrible defeat too. Why is it that it's only the Tories who know how to play the election game, usually?

Corbyn seems like a nice enough guy, an honest, yet unremarkable footsoldier MP, but the idea he was suited to leading the Labour Party into an epic struggle with a revitalised Tory Party under a strong leader like Boris Johnson, is a fantastic notion. Johnson had to be cut down to size, before the election.

Allowing the Tories to become the People's Party, the Brexit Party in all but name; was a catastrohic mistake by Labour; unforegivabel really.

And, finally, Corbyn could have turned the media bias against him to his advantage, only he's not suited to the strategy that's required. That strategy is the one Donald Trump employed, taking on the media and identifying them as the enemy and explaining why they publish lies. Corbyn should have publically taken on both the Guardian and the BBC, rather than appeasing them, unsuccessfully, because appeasing them isn't possible.

Why didn't Corbyn express anger and shock when he was accused of being a paedophile, sorry, an anti-Semite? Those MPs who went along with that sordid narrative, should have been kicked out of Labour immediately by Corbyn himself. He needed to be far more aggressive and proactive, taking the fight to his enemies and using his position to crush them at once. Call me a kiddy fiddler and I'll rip your fucking throat out! Only Corbyn was passive, defencesive, apathetic and totally hopeless when smeared so terribly. People don't respect a coward, they do respect someone who fights back and sounds righteously angry at being smeared so falsely. Corbyn looked and sounded like someone who had something to hide and appologise about, which only encouraged the Israeli lobby to attack him even more! Un-fuckin' believable.

What's tragic is that the right understood Corbyn's weaknesses and character far better than his supporters, and how to destroy him.

Ruth ,

I agree with you about the election timing

Derek ,

And, finally, Corbyn could have turned the media bias against him to his advantage, only he's not suited to the strategy that's required.

Yes you are absolutely right, he should have stolen a journalists phone or hid in a fridge, maybe stare at the ground when shown a picture of a child sleeping on a hospital floor. Now that's turning turning events to your advantage right?

He made many mistakes and you are right, but caving into "remain" the perceived overturning of the referendum by the Labour party is what dunnit, the final nail in his coffin. I am sorry to see him go.

tonyopmoc ,

Judging by the spelling of "Labour", I guess an American wrote this on The Moon of Alabama's blog. It is however very accurate and I know that MOA is a German man, running his blog from Germany. His analyses, are some of the best in the world.

Tony

"A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people. Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 13 2019 7:09 utc | 33″

MichaelK ,

I thought the left were supposed to be internationalists too? I dunno. I think they should never have supported the referendum scam in the first place. If the Tories wanted it, that alone should have made them oppose it. Look at what's happened, the referendum and Brexit have massively benefitted the Tories and crushed everyone else. Isn't that an objective fact, or am I missing something; seriously?

What does 'anti-globalist' really mean? The tragedy was allowing the Tories to blame Europe for the devastating consequences of their own 'austerity' policies which hit the North so hard. These policies originated in London, not Bruxelles!

The truth is harsh. Corbyn was a terrible leader with awfully confused policies that he couldn't articulate properly and a team around him that were just as bad.

Pam Ryan ,

The point about the EU not being directly responsible for Tory austerity is technically true but it is nonetheless a neo liberal monster crushing the shit out of the most vulnerable.

Especially when it comes to countries like Greece. I don't understand the constant veneration of the EU. By design, our membership did nothing to protect us from the carnage of this Tory crime wave. The EUs constitutional arrangements contains baked in obligations to maintain permanent austerity in the service of ever greater corporate profit.

Thom ,

'Incredible' is the word. We're expected to believe that for all his personal and intellectual flaws, Johnson achieved a landslide on the scale of Blair and Thatcher; that he drew in Leave supporters from traditional Labour voters while holding on to Remain Tories; that all three major UK opposition parties flopped, including the one party pushing for outright Remain; and that turnout fell even though millions registered just before the election. Sorry, but it doesn't add up.

nottheonly1 ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=What+just+happened+was+an+inverted+U.S.+selectio...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F13%2Fboris-johnsons-incredible-landslide%2F%23comment-106262">

What just happened was an inverted U.S. selection. In the U.S., a confused rich man got elected, because the alternative was a psychopathic war criminal. In the U.K. a confused upper class twat got elected, because the alternative was too good to be true.

Something like that?

tonyopmoc ,

Something strange going on in Sedgefield. What the hell is Boris Johnson doing there today? Tony Blair Labour, Boris Johnson Tory. What's the difference? Same neocons. Same sh1t?

tonyopmoc ,

Dungroanin, Jeremy Corbyn is 70 now. He's done his bit. Now its time for him to take it easy.

Incidentally "Viscount Palmerston was over 70 when he finally became Prime Minister: the most advanced age at which anyone has ever become Prime Minister for the first time."

George Mc ,

The Groan is keen to highlight the sheer thanklessness of the BBC's undying fight to objectively bring The Truth to the masses:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/14/bbc-staff-express-fear-of-public-distrust-after-election-coverage

And for all the tireless work they do, they are open to accusations of "conspiracy theory" and worse:

"The conspiracy theories that abound are frustrating. And let's be clear – some of the abuse which is directed at our journalists who are doing their best for audiences day in, day out is sickening. It shouldn't happen. And I think it's something social media platforms really need to do more about."

Sickening social media abuse? Echoes of all those frightfully uncivil – and never verified – messages that wrecked poor little Ruth Smeeth's delicate health.

Thom ,

The only way the BBC and Guardian will understand if people don't pay the licence fee and don't click on their articles (and obviously don't contribute!). Hit them in the pockets.

George Mc ,

It didn't take long for the Groaniad to "dissect" the Labour defeat. Here we get THE FIVE REASONS Labour lost the election:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/13/five-reasons-why-labour-lost-the-election

Interesting. Note the space given to Blairite toadies Ruth Smeeth and Caroline Flint. Note the disingenuousness of this:

"In London, antisemitism and what people perceived as the absence of an apology appeared to be a key issue."

It's always suspicious when we get that expression "what people perceived". What "people"? And note that the dubiousness relates to the absence of an apology for anti-Semitism – not the anti-Semitism itself which is, of course, taken for granted.

Also note the conclusion:

"With a new Conservative government led by Boris Johnson poised for office, the Guardian's independent, measured, authoritative reporting has never been so vital."

Yes – The Groaniad is yer man, yer champion, yer hero!

[Feb 24, 2020] The fatal flaw of neoliberalism: it's bad economics by Dani Rodrik

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism and its usual prescriptions – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. ..."
"... The term is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation or fiscal austerity. Today it is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas and practices that have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, led to the loss of our political values and ideals, and even precipitated our current populist backlash. ..."
"... The use of the term "neoliberal" exploded in the 1990s, when it became closely associated with two developments, neither of which Peters's article had mentioned. One of these was financial deregulation, which would culminate in the 2008 financial crash and in the still-lingering euro debacle . The second was economic globalisation, which accelerated thanks to free flows of finance and to a new, more ambitious type of trade agreement. Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today's world. ..."
"... That neoliberalism is a slippery, shifting concept, with no explicit lobby of defenders, does not mean that it is irrelevant or unreal. Who can deny that the world has experienced a decisive shift toward markets from the 1980s on? Or that centre-left politicians – Democrats in the US, socialists and social democrats in Europe – enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism, such as deregulation, privatisation, financial liberalisation and individual enterprise? Much of our contemporary policy discussion remains infused with principles supposedly grounded in the concept of homo economicus , the perfectly rational human being, found in many economic theories, who always pursues his own self-interest. ..."
Nov 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Neoliberalism and its usual prescriptions – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics.

As even its harshest critics concede, neoliberalism is hard to pin down. In broad terms, it denotes a preference for markets over government, economic incentives over cultural norms, and private entrepreneurship over collective action. It has been used to describe a wide range of phenomena – from Augusto Pinochet to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, from the Clinton Democrats and the UK's New Labour to the economic opening in China and the reform of the welfare state in Sweden.

The term is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation or fiscal austerity. Today it is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas and practices that have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, led to the loss of our political values and ideals, and even precipitated our current populist backlash.

We live in the age of neoliberalism, apparently. But who are neoliberalism's adherents and disseminators – the neoliberals themselves? Oddly, you have to go back a long time to find anyone explicitly embracing neoliberalism. In 1982, Charles Peters, the longtime editor of the political magazine Washington Monthly, published an essay titled A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto . It makes for interesting reading 35 years later, since the neoliberalism it describes bears little resemblance to today's target of derision. The politicians Peters names as exemplifying the movement are not the likes of Thatcher and Reagan, but rather liberals – in the US sense of the word – who have become disillusioned with unions and big government and dropped their prejudices against markets and the military.

The use of the term "neoliberal" exploded in the 1990s, when it became closely associated with two developments, neither of which Peters's article had mentioned. One of these was financial deregulation, which would culminate in the 2008 financial crash and in the still-lingering euro debacle . The second was economic globalisation, which accelerated thanks to free flows of finance and to a new, more ambitious type of trade agreement. Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today's world.

That neoliberalism is a slippery, shifting concept, with no explicit lobby of defenders, does not mean that it is irrelevant or unreal. Who can deny that the world has experienced a decisive shift toward markets from the 1980s on? Or that centre-left politicians – Democrats in the US, socialists and social democrats in Europe – enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism, such as deregulation, privatisation, financial liberalisation and individual enterprise? Much of our contemporary policy discussion remains infused with principles supposedly grounded in the concept of homo economicus , the perfectly rational human being, found in many economic theories, who always pursues his own self-interest.

But the looseness of the term neoliberalism also means that criticism of it often misses the mark. There is nothing wrong with markets, private entrepreneurship or incentives – when deployed appropriately. Their creative use lies behind the most significant economic achievements of our time. As we heap scorn on neoliberalism, we risk throwing out some of neoliberalism's useful ideas.

The real trouble is that mainstream economics shades too easily into ideology, constraining the choices that we appear to have and providing cookie-cutter solutions. A proper understanding of the economics that lie behind neoliberalism would allow us to identify – and to reject – ideology when it masquerades as economic science. Most importantly, it would help us to develop the institutional imagination we badly need to redesign capitalism for the 21st century.


N eoliberalism is typically understood as being based on key tenets of mainstream economic science. To see those tenets without the ideology, consider this thought experiment. A well-known and highly regarded economist lands in a country he has never visited and knows nothing about. He is brought to a meeting with the country's leading policymakers. "Our country is in trouble," they tell him. "The economy is stagnant, investment is low, and there is no growth in sight." They turn to him expectantly: "Please tell us what we should do to make our economy grow."

The economist pleads ignorance and explains that he knows too little about the country to make any recommendations. He would need to study the history of the economy, to analyse the statistics, and to travel around the country before he could say anything.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tony Blair and Bill Clinton: centre-left politicians who enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism. Photograph: Reuters

But his hosts are insistent. "We understand your reticence, and we wish you had the time for all that," they tell him. "But isn't economics a science, and aren't you one of its most distinguished practitioners? Even though you do not know much about our economy, surely there are some general theories and prescriptions you can share with us to guide our economic policies and reforms."

The economist is now in a bind. He does not want to emulate those economic gurus he has long criticised for peddling their favourite policy advice. But he feels challenged by the question. Are there universal truths in economics? Can he say anything valid or useful?

So he begins. The efficiency with which an economy's resources are allocated is a critical determinant of the economy's performance, he says. Efficiency, in turn, requires aligning the incentives of households and businesses with social costs and benefits. The incentives faced by entrepreneurs, investors and producers are particularly important when it comes to economic growth. Growth needs a system of property rights and contract enforcement that will ensure those who invest can retain the returns on their investments. And the economy must be open to ideas and innovations from the rest of the world.

But economies can be derailed by macroeconomic instability, he goes on. Governments must therefore pursue a sound monetary policy , which means restricting the growth of liquidity to the increase in nominal money demand at reasonable inflation. They must ensure fiscal sustainability, so that the increase in public debt does not outpace national income. And they must carry out prudential regulation of banks and other financial institutions to prevent the financial system from taking excessive risk.

Now he is warming to his task. Economics is not just about efficiency and growth, he adds. Economic principles also carry over to equity and social policy. Economics has little to say about how much redistribution a society should seek. But it does tell us that the tax base should be as broad as possible, and that social programmes should be designed in a way that does not encourage workers to drop out of the labour market.

By the time the economist stops, it appears as if he has laid out a fully fledged neoliberal agenda. A critic in the audience will have heard all the code words: efficiency, incentives, property rights, sound money, fiscal prudence. And yet the universal principles that the economist describes are in fact quite open-ended. They presume a capitalist economy – one in which investment decisions are made by private individuals and firms – but not much beyond that. They allow for – indeed, they require – a surprising variety of institutional arrangements.

So has the economist just delivered a neoliberal screed? We would be mistaken to think so, and our mistake would consist of associating each abstract term – incentives, property rights, sound money – with a particular institutional counterpart. And therein lies the central conceit, and the fatal flaw, of neoliberalism: the belief that first-order economic principles map on to a unique set of policies, approximated by a Thatcher/Reagan-style agenda.

Consider property rights. They matter insofar as they allocate returns on investments. An optimal system would distribute property rights to those who would make the best use of an asset, and afford protection against those most likely to expropriate the returns. Property rights are good when they protect innovators from free riders, but they are bad when they protect them from competition. Depending on the context, a legal regime that provides the appropriate incentives can look quite different from the standard US-style regime of private property rights.

This may seem like a semantic point with little practical import; but China's phenomenal economic success is largely due to its orthodoxy-defying institutional tinkering. China turned to markets, but did not copy western practices in property rights. Its reforms produced market-based incentives through a series of unusual institutional arrangements that were better adapted to the local context. Rather than move directly from state to private ownership, for example, which would have been stymied by the weakness of the prevailing legal structures, the country relied on mixed forms of ownership that provided more effective property rights for entrepreneurs in practice. Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), which spearheaded Chinese economic growth during the 1980s, were collectives owned and controlled by local governments. Even though TVEs were publicly owned, entrepreneurs received the protection they needed against expropriation. Local governments had a direct stake in the profits of the firms, and hence did not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

China relied on a range of such innovations, each delivering the economist's higher-order economic principles in unfamiliar institutional arrangements. For instance, it shielded its large state sector from global competition, establishing special economic zones where foreign firms could operate with different rules than in the rest of the economy. In view of such departures from orthodox blueprints, describing China's economic reforms as neoliberal – as critics are inclined to do – distorts more than it reveals. If we are to call this neoliberalism, we must surely look more kindly on the ideas behind the most dramatic poverty reduction in history.

One might protest that China's institutional innovations were purely transitional. Perhaps it will have to converge on western-style institutions to sustain its economic progress. But this common line of thinking overlooks the diversity of capitalist arrangements that still prevails among advanced economies, despite the considerable homogenisation of our policy discourse.

What, after all, are western institutions? The size of the public sector in OECD countries varies, from a third of the economy in Korea to nearly 60% in Finland. In Iceland, 86% of workers are members of a trade union; the comparable number in Switzerland is just 16%. In the US, firms can fire workers almost at will; French labour laws have historically required employers to jump through many hoops first. Stock markets have grown to a total value of nearly one-and-a-half times GDP in the US; in Germany, they are only a third as large, equivalent to just 50% of GDP.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'China turned to markets, but did not copy western practices ... ' Photograph: AFP/Getty

The idea that any one of these models of taxation, labour relations or financial organisation is inherently superior to the others is belied by the varying economic fortunes that each of these economies have experienced over recent decades. The US has gone through successive periods of angst in which its economic institutions were judged inferior to those in Germany, Japan, China, and now possibly Germany again. Certainly, comparable levels of wealth and productivity can be produced under very different models of capitalism. We might even go a step further: today's prevailing models probably come nowhere near exhausting the range of what might be possible, and desirable, in the future.

The visiting economist in our thought experiment knows all this, and recognises that the principles he has enunciated need to be filled in with institutional detail before they become operational. Property rights? Yes, but how? Sound money? Of course, but how? It would perhaps be easier to criticise his list of principles for being vacuous than to denounce it as a neoliberal screed.

Still, these principles are not entirely content-free. China, and indeed all countries that managed to develop rapidly, demonstrate the utility of those principles once they are properly adapted to local context. Conversely, too many economies have been driven to ruin courtesy of political leaders who chose to violate them. We need look no further than Latin American populists or eastern European communist regimes to appreciate the practical significance of sound money, fiscal sustainability and private incentives.


O f course, economics goes beyond a list of abstract, largely common-sense principles. Much of the work of economists consists of developing stylised models of how economies work and then confronting those models with evidence. Economists tend to think of what they do as progressively refining their understanding of the world: their models are supposed to get better and better as they are tested and revised over time. But progress in economics happens differently.

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.

Does an increase in the minimum wage depress employment? Yes, if the labour market is really competitive and employers have no control over the wage they must pay to attract workers; but not necessarily otherwise. Does trade liberalisation increase economic growth? Yes, if it increases the profitability of industries where the bulk of investment and innovation takes place; but not otherwise. Does more government spending increase employment? Yes, if there is slack in the economy and wages do not rise; but not otherwise. Does monopoly harm innovation? Yes and no, depending on a whole host of market circumstances.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Today [neoliberalism] is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas that have produced growing economic inequality and precipitated our current populist backlash' Trump signing an order to take the US out of the TPP trade pact. Photograph: AFP/Getty

In economics, new models rarely supplant older models. The basic competitive-markets model dating back to Adam Smith has been modified over time by the inclusion, in rough historical order, of monopoly, externalities, scale economies, incomplete and asymmetric information, irrational behaviour and many other real-world features. But the older models remain as useful as ever. Understanding how real markets operate necessitates using different lenses at different times.

Perhaps maps offer the best analogy. Just like economic models, maps are highly stylised representations of reality . They are useful precisely because they abstract from many real-world details that would get in the way. But abstraction also implies that we need a different map depending on the nature of our journey. If we are travelling by bike, we need a map of bike trails. If we are to go on foot, we need a map of footpaths. If a new subway is constructed, we will need a subway map – but we wouldn't throw out the older maps.

Economists tend to be very good at making maps, but not good enough at choosing the one most suited to the task at hand. When confronted with policy questions of the type our visiting economist faces, too many of them resort to "benchmark" models that favour the laissez-faire approach. Kneejerk solutions and hubris replace the richness and humility of the discussion in the seminar room. John Maynard Keynes once defined economics as the "science of thinking in terms of models, joined to the art of choosing models which are relevant". Economists typically have trouble with the "art" part.

This, too, can be illustrated with a parable. A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. "What do you mean by 'good'?" he responds. "And good for whom?" The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: "So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's wellbeing." If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's longterm growth rate is not clear either, and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.

This professor is rather different from the one the journalist encountered previously. On the record, he exudes self-confidence, not reticence, about the appropriate policy. There is one and only one model, at least as far as the public conversation is concerned, and there is a single correct answer, regardless of context. Strangely, the professor deems the knowledge that he imparts to his advanced students to be inappropriate (or dangerous) for the general public. Why?

The roots of such behaviour lie deep in the culture of the economics profession. But one important motive is the zeal to display the profession's crown jewels – market efficiency, the invisible hand, comparative advantage – in untarnished form, and to shield them from attack by self-interested barbarians, namely the protectionists . Unfortunately, these economists typically ignore the barbarians on the other side of the issue – financiers and multinational corporations whose motives are no purer and who are all too ready to hijack these ideas for their own benefit.

As a result, economists' contributions to public debate are often biased in one direction, in favour of more trade, more finance and less government. That is why economists have developed a reputation as cheerleaders for neoliberalism, even if mainstream economics is very far from a paean to laissez-faire. The economists who let their enthusiasm for free markets run wild are in fact not being true to their own discipline.


H ow then should we think about globalisation in order to liberate it from the grip of neoliberal practices? We must begin by understanding the positive potential of global markets. Access to world markets in goods, technologies and capital has played an important role in virtually all of the economic miracles of our time. China is the most recent and powerful reminder of this historical truth, but it is not the only case. Before China, similar miracles were performed by South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and a few non-Asian countries such as Mauritius . All of these countries embraced globalisation rather than turn their backs on it, and they benefited handsomely.

Defenders of the existing economic order will quickly point to these examples when globalisation comes into question. What they will fail to say is that almost all of these countries joined the world economy by violating neoliberal strictures. South Korea and Taiwan, for instance, heavily subsidised their exporters, the former through the financial system and the latter through tax incentives. All of them eventually removed most of their import restrictions, long after economic growth had taken off.

But none, with the sole exception of Chile in the 1980s under Pinochet, followed the neoliberal recommendation of a rapid opening-up to imports. Chile's neoliberal experiment eventually produced the worst economic crisis in all of Latin America. While the details differ across countries, in all cases governments played an active role in restructuring the economy and buffering it against a volatile external environment. Industrial policies, restrictions on capital flows and currency controls – all prohibited in the neoliberal playbook – were rampant.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Protest against Nafta in Mexico City in 2008: since the reforms of the mid-90s, the country's economy has underperformed. Photograph: EPA

By contrast, countries that stuck closest to the neoliberal model of globalisation were sorely disappointed. Mexico provides a particularly sad example. Following a series of macroeconomic crises in the mid-1990s, Mexico embraced macroeconomic orthodoxy, extensively liberalised its economy, freed up the financial system, sharply reduced import restrictions and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). These policies did produce macroeconomic stability and a significant rise in foreign trade and internal investment. But where it counts – in overall productivity and economic growth – the experiment failed . Since undertaking the reforms, overall productivity in Mexico has stagnated, and the economy has underperformed even by the undemanding standards of Latin America.

These outcomes are not a surprise from the perspective of sound economics. They are yet another manifestation of the need for economic policies to be attuned to the failures to which markets are prone, and to be tailored to the specific circumstances of each country. No single blueprint fits all.


A s Peters's 1982 manifesto attests, the meaning of neoliberalism has changed considerably over time as the label has acquired harder-line connotations with respect to deregulation, financialisation and globalisation. But there is one thread that connects all versions of neoliberalism, and that is the emphasis on economic growth . Peters wrote in 1982 that the emphasis was warranted because growth is essential to all our social and political ends – community, democracy, prosperity. Entrepreneurship, private investment and removing obstacles that stand in the way (such as excessive regulation) were all instruments for achieving economic growth. If a similar neoliberal manifesto were penned today, it would no doubt make the same point.

Critics often point out that this emphasis on economics debases and sacrifices other important values such as equality, social inclusion, democratic deliberation and justice. Those political and social objectives obviously matter enormously, and in some contexts they matter the most. They cannot always, or even often, be achieved by means of technocratic economic policies; politics must play a central role.

Still, neoliberals are not wrong when they argue that our most cherished ideals are more likely to be attained when our economy is vibrant, strong and growing. Where they are wrong is in believing that there is a unique and universal recipe for improving economic performance, to which they have access. The fatal flaw of neoliberalism is that it does not even get the economics right. It must be rejected on its own terms for the simple reason that it is bad economics.

A version of this article first appeared in Boston Review

[Feb 15, 2020] Global supply chains are cost-efficient but not resilient

Feb 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

So here we are, with a global economy that's very cost-efficient but not resilient. It's wonderful that Walmart has worked out how to order a new tube of toothpaste from China the second one is pulled off a shelf in Topeka, KS. But that means there is no deep storage to draw upon in times of disruption to the status quo. No warehouses stocked with 12 months of future goods. Just a brilliantly-complicated supply chain thousands of miles long that has to work perfectly for things to keep running.

As an example that drives home this point: we learned during the 2011 earthquake in Japan that there was just one single factory making a necessary polymer gel for the odd-shaped lithium batteries used in smartphones and iPods. There was no backup factory.

We watched closely during that enormous crisis (which also spawned the Fukushima nuclear disaster) as electronics companies scrambled to triage their remaining supplies and attempt to find new sources. It was very touch and go. Vast portions of the battery-fueled electronic industry came within a whisker of simply shutting down production -- all for want of an esoteric polymer gel.

Yes, the most cost-effective way to make that gel was to house it all in a single plant. But it made no sense from a redundancy and resilience standpoint.

And did 'we' learn from that experience? Nope.

Supply Chain Armageddon

The global economy is more interdependent than ever. Its supply chains are built on a huge network of dependencies with many 'single points of failure' strung along its many branches.

Can anybody predict what will happen next? No.

But we're already seeing early failures as Chinese plants, factories and ports sit idle from the country's massive quarantine efforts:

China set to lose out on production of 1M vehicles as coronavirus closes car plants

China exports about $70 billion worth of car parts and accessories globally, with roughly 20 percent going to the U.S.

Feb. 5, 2020, 4:32 PM EST

By Paul A. Eisenstein

China could suffer the loss of a million vehicles worth of production as factories in its crucial automotive industry remain shuttered until at least next week -- and likely longer in Wuhan, the "motor city" at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

With more than 24,000 people infected, the impact of the highly contagious disease is also beginning to be felt by automakers in other parts of the world. Hyundai is suspending production in its South Korean plants because of a shortage of Chinese-made parts, and even European car manufacturers could be hit: Volkswagen and BMW could see a dip of 5 percent in their earnings for the first half of 2020, according to research firm Bernstein.

( Source – NBC )

We're predicting that these auto shutdowns are just beginning. All it takes is a single component to be unavailable and the entire line has to be shut down.

Is China the sole source for many critical components in the auto industry? Absolutely.

Here's an inside view:

On Monday, Steve Banker and I had the opportunity to speak with Razat Gaurav, CEO of Llamasoft. Razat had some interesting takes on the outbreak, especially as it relates to the automotive and pharmaceutical supply chains. On average it takes 30,000 parts to make a finished automobile.

Due to the virus, production facilities have already indicated that they will have lower than normal parts volumes. This has left companies scrambling to make contingency plans. During my conversation with Razat, he mentioned that inventories for most of these automotive parts are managed on a lean just-in-time basis.

This means that, on average, companies have anywhere between two and twelve weeks of buffer inventory on-hand for automotive parts. As production volumes are decreasing, this has the potential to cause quite the global shortage of parts. The buffer inventory will only last so long, and once the pre-holiday supply runs dry, the industry is going to be in serious trouble. According to Gaurav: " Most OEMs single source components for new vehicles and China is a large supplier of those."

( Source – Logistics Viewpoints )

"Single sourcing" is exactly what it implies. There's a single factory somewhere churning out a single component that is absolutely vital to make a motorized vehicle. If that factory goes away for any length of time, a new source has to be identified or – worse, from a time and cost standpoint – built from scratch.

But this vulnerability to China-dependent supply chains is by no means unique to the auto industry:

Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States' growing reliance on China's pharmaceutical products. The topic reminded me of a spirited discussion described in Bob Woodward's book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

In the discussion, Gary Cohn, then chief economic advisor to President Trump, argued against a trade war with China by invoking a Department of Commerce study that found that 97 percent of all antibiotics in the United States came from China.

( Source – CFR )

That's as close to a 'sole source' as you can get.

And to put the cherry on top: guess the name of the region in China responsible for producing all if these antibiotics? Yep, Hubei province. With Wuhan its most important production hub.

Can we find another source for our generic drugs and antibiotics? India, possibly. But here again we run into the same global interdependency issue:

Another industry that is feeling the impact of the coronavirus is the pharmaceutical industry. The average buffer inventory for the pharmaceutical industry is between three and six months. However, this does not tell the full story. Gaurav mentioned that China is responsible for producing 40 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the pharmaceutical world.

Additionally, China supplies 80 percent of key starting materials (KSM's), which are the chemicals in APIs, to India . Put together, this represents 70 percent of all APIs across the world.

( Source – Logistics Viewpoints )

India's production is directly tied to uninterrupted supply from China:

Indian generic drugmakers may face supply shortages from China if coronavirus drags on

Feb 13 (Reuters) – Shortages and potential price increases of generic drugs from India loom if the coronavirus outbreak disrupts suppliers of pharmaceutical ingredients in China past April , according to industry experts.

An important supplier of generic drugs to the world, Indian companies procure almost 70% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for their medicines from China.

India's generic drugmakers say they currently have enough API supplies from China to cover their operations for up to about three months.

"We are comfortably placed with eight to 10 weeks of key inventory in place," said Debabrata Chakravorty, head of global sourcing and supply chain for Lupin Ltd, adding that the company does have some local suppliers for ingredients.

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd said it has sufficient inventory of API and raw materials for the short term and has not seen any major disruption in supplies at the moment.

The Indian drugmaker, however, said supply has been impacted for a few API products and the company is closely monitoring the situation. It did not identify the products.

India supplies nearly a third of medicines sold in the United States , the world's largest and most lucrative healthcare market.

( Source )

Is this a huge concern? Of course it is.

If you're dependent in any way on prescription drugs, it would be entirely rational to chase down whether those come from China or India and, if they are, begin talks with your doctor about alternatives or what to do if supplies get pinched.

A Fast-Moving Situation

Look, we entirely get why the authorities and media are downplaying the covid-19 pandemic. We really do. They feel the need to manage the crisis, which means managing the public narrative.

But c'mon. Does it make any sense for Apple's stock price to be up while its main Foxconn manufacturing facility is all but completely shuttered?

Fewer iPhones and Airpods being made should equate with lower future earnings and thus a lower stock price. But no, AAPL is up handily over the past month:

And this is even crazier. Does it make ANY sense for Boeing's stock to be up $12 over the past month? As it reported its first year (2019) of NEGATIVE orders and a completely order-free January (2020)? No, of course not.

But those are the sorts of 'signals' that the officials believe have to be sent in order to keep the masses from catching on that something really concerning is happening.

Unfortunately, such signals work on the masses. Higher stock prices send a powerful comforting message that "all is well".

But prudent critical thinkers, which defines those in the Peak Prosperity tribe, can readily see through the ruse and get busy preparing themselves for what's coming.

It's Time For Action

The situation with covid-19 is fluid, and fast-moving. Staying on top of the breaking developments and making sense of them for you is our primary job.

But information without informed action is useless.

After all, knowing something concerning but then doing nothing about it is merely cause for anxiety if not alarm.

The only ways to remain calm and protect your loved ones from the threat of this pandemic are rooted in taking smart action.

Yes, we can all hope this blows over. We sincerely wish the macro-planners all the best in shaping the narrative and keeping the macro economy somehow functioning and glued together.

But we're going to prepare as best we can, here at our micro level because that's our duty to ourselves, to our families, and to our communities.

Creating A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus

This is a huge moment in history. The first global pandemic at a time when the world economy is sole-sourced and completely interdependent.

Nobody can predict what will happen next. Autos, drugs who knows what the next industry to stumble will be?

Given the ridiculously high rate of infectivity of covid-19 there's really no chance of stopping its spread. The rate is now just a equation of time, luck, and official actions to aggressively isolate and quarantine infected individuals and communities.

Our position affords us many experienced contacts with experts throughout the world, and those we know with deep medical training are preparing the most aggressively right now. This outbreak has their full attention; and that informs us that it should have ours, too.

Which is why our advice is to get busy preparing yourself now.

Last week we issued the guide How We're Personally Preparing For The Coronavirus to our premium subscribers. It's a great resource providing specific recommendations for prevention and treatment.

Today, we're releasing an expanded companion guide A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus , again for our premium members.

Particularly useful for those who have recently found their way to PeakProsperity.com, it offers both a valuable framework to use in preparing for any disaster (including pandemics) and then details out specific action steps to take today across all aspects of your life (i.e., not just health & hygiene) against a coronavirus outbreak in your local area.

Click here to read this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

[Feb 07, 2020] The Consequence Of Globalism Is World Instability by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Yes, more complex systems are less stable.
Notable quotes:
"... The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism. ..."
"... Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence. ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

If the coronavirus proves to be serious, as it does not appear to be at the present time, many economies could be adversely affected. China is the source of many parts supplied to producers in other countries, and China is the source of the finished products of many US firms such as Apple. If shipments cannot be made, sales and production outside of China are affected. Without revenues, employees cannot be paid. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, this would be an unemployment crisis and bankruptcy of large manufacturing and marketing corporations.

This is the danger to which globalism makes us vulnerable. If US corporations produced in the US the products that they market in the US and the world, an epidemic in China would affect only their Chinese sales, not threaten the companies' revenues.

The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism.

Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence.

At this point of time, it is difficult to understand the hysteria over coronavirus and predictions of global pandemic. In China there are about 24,000 infections and 500 deaths in a population of 1.3 billion people. This is an inconsequential illness. Compared to the ordinary seasonal flu that infects millions of people worldwide and kills 600,000, the coronavirus so far amounts to nothing. Infections outside of China are miniscule and appear to be limited to Chinese people. It is difficult to know for certain, because of the reluctance to identify people by race.

Yet China has huge areas in quarantine, and travel to and from the country is restricted. Nothing like these precautions are taken against seasonal flu. So far this flu season in the US alone 19 million people have been sickened, 180,000 hospitalized, and 10,000 have died. The latest report is that 16 people in the US (possibly all Chinese) have come down with coronavirus, and none have died.

Perhaps the coronavirus is just warming up and much worse is to come. If so, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take a hit. Quarantines prevent work. Finished products and parts cannot be made and shipped. Sales cannot take place without products to sell. Without revenues companies cannot pay employees and other expenses. Incomes decline across the world. Companies go bankrupt.

You can take it from here.

If a deadly coronavirus pandemic or some other one does erupt and there is a world depression, we should be very clear in our mind that globalism was the cause. Countries whose governments are so thoughtless or corrupt as to make their populations vulnerable to disruptive events abroad are medically, economically, socially, and politically unstable.

The consequence of globalism is world instability.


yerfej , 47 minutes ago link

It makes sense for rich countries elites to leverage poor backwards shithole countries to manufacture the things they need because the elites then don't have to worry about anyone but themselves. Globalism is wonder as it bypasses all that crazy western nonsense like jobs and wages and society and hope and such.

Coram Justice , 1 hour ago link

"Bolshevism is globalism according to Lenin."
Prof. V. G. Liulevicius, Utopia & Terror in the 20th Century

Street Chief Martin , 2 hours ago link

Globalism is nothing more than the major central banks finding ways to dump off their inflation which is the deflation of an ever increasing number countries which the major cb's used to deflate their currencies. The older the cb you are the worse off yo are. From a since A.D. perspective only the Sterling is what you have to worry. From my last fiat currency perspective its the Venisthaler that is un doing everything.

To get more zero's you have to add more nine's. They can not be added as nausem like people think zero's are. The compensation pool has been shrinking for centuries on end now. Globalism is an attempt to keep the pool growing at all cost which results relentless asset appreciation. We are out of nine's. The end result of that is hyper deflation for the man and hyper reflation for the people. Easily provable at a store named Vons owned by the treasury retired.

That ladies and gents is your simplified street fed explanation. I am not trying to even remotely write out the longer technical version.

Having said that meet me at what is known as the small walmart around here, which is the home of what does MU do, what does MU do at walmart it never gets old fame for a real life walk thru of what globalism is and looks like. We will then progress to the "Big Walmart" not even a mile away and I will show you what an out of control system looks like.

So we are clear of what I just said. I live in the only place in the world where when a tourist ask you where Wal Mart is, you get your choice of size. Whats the difference you ask??? The small Wal Mart has one main entrance, the big one has three. The lady almost smacked the **** out of the guy I got that from when she asked what the difference was. The hand came up. You really had to be there.

rtb61 , 2 hours ago link

Regional trade blocks with relatively balanced resource and production capabilities make more sense. Globalisation just lead to one country seeking to 'DOMINATE' in every sphere of global activity, raising the threats of economic and military conflict, as clearly demonstrated and this with the aim of global enslavement to multinational corporations, the aim of Globalism, really sick psychopathic stuff.

Regional trade blocks relatively balanced for resource and production, provide stability within each block and lesson competition for outside resource and commercial competitiveness, and represents a far more long term stable structure.

Within each trade block, as it is economic rather than socio-political the original identities of each distinct region can be preserved for the long term, so that future generations can enjoy and share in the different cultures. Race ******** is race ********, there is only one race and all of it's people are free to share in which ever culture they choose or combinations there of. Whether you get to move to those regions and enjoy those cultures will be done to your personal worth, character and ability to contribute to those societies, just the way it will be.

Some economic blocks will be far more preferable to others and will attract higher worth individuals (character and ability to contribute to society), the least and most desirable will become more so as higher worth individuals move to the most preferable away from the least preferable and make the most preferable more preferable by their active presence.

I would tip the Japan Australia one to be the most preferable for this century, the next hard to tell (there are real deep problems in the Americas caused by the USA, the EU had an bad immigrant problem as in they let in too many bad unvetted immigrants, Africa will be what Africa will be corrupt and Russia China it depends upon how quickly the modernise and socially advance, the middle of the middles south east to mid east it depends how long it takes them to come together and religion is a real problem for them).

free corn , 2 hours ago link

Competing MAD capable nations need communication/cooperation to keep the world somewat stable, that's one reason for Globalism. Author sucks.

headless blogger , 4 hours ago link

I've been wondering if this might be some kind of Globalist Drill. It doesn't make sense, although there is always the potential it could become worse than it is.

uhland62 , 3 hours ago link

I thought so, too. Strangely enough, Wuhan Chinese are now repatriated from Bali back to Wuhan?!

Instability is a necessary condition to get more conflicts and then wars going. Weapons production must be kept up; peace and stability would make make weapons production an expensive hobby.

Shifter_X , 4 hours ago link

Globalism is the shredding of nations, peoples, traditions, culture and religion.

It is failing and will continue to fail for two reasons:

1. Good fences make good neighbors

2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

People are not going to stand for these destructive invasions any more. Bottom-of-the-barrel wages, crap jobs, high crime -- it's coming to a head.

I hope every nation in the EU exits.

Every idiot in Congress who supports this ridiculous bill that would make illegal immigration legal, require that the US NOT deport criminals and that we taxpayers pay to bring CRIMINALS we've deported, back to the USA, should be stripped of citizenship and kicked off the planet.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5383/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22chamberActionDateCode%3A%5C%222019-12-10%7C116%7C1000%5C%22+AND+billIsReserved%3A%5C%22N%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=10&s=4

Have you SEEN this **** pending in Congress???

surf@jm , 5 hours ago link

Globalism was outlawed forever at the Tower of Babel.....

That law has never been revoked....

[Feb 03, 2020] Boris Johnson acting as if he can threaten the EU with a no deal at the end of the transition period by Yves Smith

Notable quotes:
"... If the strategy is to pressurise the EU into giving the UK a better trade deal though, it is unlikely to be treated as a credible threat. In the short to medium term, the UK is in no position to set up inspection systems which could handle the volume of goods coming in from EU Member States . ..."
"... The fundamental problem is that the most brilliant team of negotiators in the world can't do anything unless they have a clear negotiating mandate. (This was the case in 1972 and 1991 by the way). There comes a point in negotiations where you have to decide whether to stick, twist or bust, and you can only do that if you have a clear idea of the overall political objectives of your masters. There's nothing worse (it's happened to me) than to be sent out to die in a ditch on some issue only to find out half way through that your principals have had a rethink and changed their position. It doesn't do your credibility any good, but it also makes it practically impossible to negotiate, because nobody believes you afterwards when you say "no." ..."
"... Johnson has one fatal weakness – the Faustian bargain he struck to deliver a hard Brexit to win the prime ministership. Any economic bounce this year will be short-lived: the Bank of England's forecast of 1.1% growth for the next three years could even be optimistic, as both inward direct investment and UK business investment dry up when access to the EU single market and customs union ceases. The Canada-style trade deal Johnson advocates is as close to self-immolation as economics provides. Britain already has a vast trade deficit in goods that will widen alarmingly as competitive overseas exporters take advantage of zero tariffs, while services – where Britain has great competitive strengths – will be crippled by being denied their former EU markets. It is insane and risks an unstoppable run on the pound, as a former cabinet minister privately agreed. Renewed austerity and recession will follow. ..."
"... For Johnson the first objective of Brexit is to place greater controls on labor. The intention is to ensure that by controlling free movement labor itself can be controlled, and so too can its price be kept at rates the government would desire. And that is low, of course. ..."
"... Freeports are instead about permitting the free movement of capital beyond the control of the state and without the imposition of any taxes. ..."
"... Quite bizarrely, given that freeports are effectively declared to be outside the country that creates them, one of the major objectives Johnson has for Brexit is to carve whole chunks of the UK out of the control he claims to have just taken back, and to pass it over to the free loaders who frequent freeports. ..."
"... The aim of freeports is to undermine the state. It achieves this by suspending the law. Freeports permit illicit activity ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

On the one hand, we Americans are hardly ones to talk about empty posturing, usually accompanied with moral indignation and finger-wagging. On the other hand, it isn't just that the Government's approach to Brexit has been heavy on theatrics and thin on substance. It's also that the UK is in Groundhog Day mode, subjecting the rest of us to tired tropes yet another time.

The latest iteration of this far-too-familiar play is Boris Johnson acting as if he can threaten the EU with a no deal at the end of the transition period. Specifically, Johnson has made a big show of poking the EU in the eye by setting forth his tough guy negotiating demands over this past weekend. Admittedly, the Prime Minister isn't setting out his position formally until Monday, but there's no mystery as to what it will be: a rejection of accepting EU rules yet saying it wants a Canada-style free trade agreement.

... ... ...

The BBC said Johnson also intends to threaten the EU with customs checks at UK point of entry. As Richard North pointed out, the EU is not impressed :

If the strategy is to pressurise the EU into giving the UK a better trade deal though, it is unlikely to be treated as a credible threat. In the short to medium term, the UK is in no position to set up inspection systems which could handle the volume of goods coming in from EU Member States .

Needless to say, a "senior EU source" has rejected the idea of reacting to Johnson's plan to impose import controls. "We saw similar threats from Theresa May" he says, "but frankly we never believed them. And if the UK is actually ready for border checks – which are indeed coming – then so much the better for both sides".

Even the normally sober Economist concludes that Johnson is aiming for " the hardest possible Brexit ." He does have a fallback:

"A government source said last night: "There are only two likely outcomes in negotiation, a free trade deal like Canada or a looser arrangement like Australia – and we are happy to pursue both." Australia is the new euphemism for No Deal or WTO ! https://t.co/BDpwb4Z3qP

-- S & W Yorkshire for Europe (@SWYforEurope) February 3, 2020

Some dry humor from the Financial Times:

This new stance has prompted bafflement in Brussels, given that Canberra is still in the process of negotiating a wide-ranging trade deal with the EU.

... ... ...

Needless to say, this does not look pretty. As I said to our Brexit mavens by e-mail yesterday:

Johnson is playing a game of chicken. He's already lashed himself to the mast of 11 months.

Sir Ivan Rogers basically warned that the early months would amount to shape of the table talks and he thought negotiations could break down then. I would not see that as lasting but with time so tight any delay increases the risk of bad outcomes. And Sir Ivan warned that there had never been a trade deal between countries trying to get further apart. He's stressed that point so often that I think he is saying at least that the human dynamics of that make getting to a deal more difficult.

Again, if the time weren't so rigid, the odds would look completely different.

And the EU would almost certainly give an extension if the UK asked .but at a price .and would Johnson ever ask? The most I can see him being able to finesse might be say a 2 -3 month "technical" extension, which won't buy meaningful negotiating runway given the complexity of deals like this.

Now we've seen these games of chicken resolve without a crash before, but Johnson is making it difficult as hell, and the UK is further hampered by a Foreign Office which is short staffed and has effectively no experience negotiating trade deals.

David's response:

The fundamental problem is that the most brilliant team of negotiators in the world can't do anything unless they have a clear negotiating mandate. (This was the case in 1972 and 1991 by the way). There comes a point in negotiations where you have to decide whether to stick, twist or bust, and you can only do that if you have a clear idea of the overall political objectives of your masters. There's nothing worse (it's happened to me) than to be sent out to die in a ditch on some issue only to find out half way through that your principals have had a rethink and changed their position. It doesn't do your credibility any good, but it also makes it practically impossible to negotiate, because nobody believes you afterwards when you say "no."

Not only do I not think Johnson has no real negotiating objectives, I also believe that he's uninterested in even fairly high-level detail, and sees the negotiations as one more jolly game that he wants to win. My fear is that he's out to deliberately sabotage progress in order to create drama and tension, only to fly to the rescue at the very last minute. This is more than dangerous. "Insane" is perhaps the word for it.

Some other takes. Will Hutton in the Guardian contends that Johnson has become a prisoner of the allegiances he made to become Prime Minister (and Hutton is very complimentary of the moves Johnson has made so far ex Brexit). I'm not sure I agree, since before his ascent, Johnson was famed for shamelessly reversing himself and getting away with it. But Johnson sure looks like someone who is choosing to throw away the steering wheel. From the Guardian:

However, Johnson has one fatal weakness – the Faustian bargain he struck to deliver a hard Brexit to win the prime ministership. Any economic bounce this year will be short-lived: the Bank of England's forecast of 1.1% growth for the next three years could even be optimistic, as both inward direct investment and UK business investment dry up when access to the EU single market and customs union ceases. The Canada-style trade deal Johnson advocates is as close to self-immolation as economics provides. Britain already has a vast trade deficit in goods that will widen alarmingly as competitive overseas exporters take advantage of zero tariffs, while services – where Britain has great competitive strengths – will be crippled by being denied their former EU markets. It is insane and risks an unstoppable run on the pound, as a former cabinet minister privately agreed. Renewed austerity and recession will follow.

Johnson and his Brexit cabinet, backed by our Europhobic rightwing press, will blame dastardly Europeans for the crisis – and the anti-foreigner mood will grow ugly. But even if the worst is avoided, Britain is plainly not going to grow at "new dawn" rates of up to 2.8%, as our curiously naive chancellor wants. Rather, the years ahead are going to be a drip of disappointments, as the reality of a hard Brexit bites. And on this Johnson cannot be breezily opportunistic and convert to a soft Brexit, tempted though he may be. He will be imprisoned by his know-nothing right – the European Research Group in full battle cry.

Richard North argues , "What this looks like, therefore, is Johnson setting up his alibi for the failure of the talks, getting his blame game cranked into gear before the EU can react." And Richard Murphy contends Johnson knows what he is doing, which it to put in place Singapore on the Thames :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gn2W4JtYpjE?feature=oembed

Nothing I have yet seen so starkly states what Brexit is all about.

For Johnson the first objective of Brexit is to place greater controls on labor. The intention is to ensure that by controlling free movement labor itself can be controlled, and so too can its price be kept at rates the government would desire. And that is low, of course.

And his second objective is to create freeports. He will claim that these are all about creating regulation free hubs for enterprise. This is completely untrue. There is no evidence that regulation free ports have ever generated work, wealth, much employment, or free market enterprise, come to that. This is unsurprising. That is not what freeports are about, at all. Freeports are instead about permitting the free movement of capital beyond the control of the state and without the imposition of any taxes.

Quite bizarrely, given that freeports are effectively declared to be outside the country that creates them, one of the major objectives Johnson has for Brexit is to carve whole chunks of the UK out of the control he claims to have just taken back, and to pass it over to the free loaders who frequent freeports.

To understand how freeports really work I suggest watching this video. I know it's not in English, but it's good, and explains how the Geneva freeport works to handle diamonds, gold, armaments, fine art and rare wines, all beyond the control of authorities and all beyond the reach of tax:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CwuMY-_V4dc?feature=oembed

The aim of freeports is to undermine the state. It achieves this by suspending the law. Freeports permit illicit activity. They permit wealth to be accumulated in secret. That wealth is beyond the reach of tax. Research suggests that much of that wealth is also shielded by anonymous offshore shell companies that disguise the ownership of an asset even if it can be located. The object is to ensure wealth can accumulate without constraint.

This is the paradox that Johnson revealed in his video. He wants to control and constrain people. He will use that power to oppress, not just those who want to come to the UK but also, of course, those who wish to leave the UK as well. The market in labour will be constrained. People will suffer as a result.

At the same time the market in illicit wealth will be liberated to traffic at will. The cost will be to us all, in lost tax revenue, increased inequality and the undermining of the rule of law. Additional jobs will be few and far between.

And let's not for a moment pretend that any freeport activity supports markets: creating ring fences always creates unlevel playing fields that will always, by definition and in practice, undermine effective markets. So there is nothing in this policy that is about wealth creation: it is all about wealth expropriation and extraction.

This is what Brexit was for. And Johnson admitted it last night. One day people will realise.

If Murphy is correct, that would explain Johnson's recent conversion to fixity of purpose, at least with Brexit. We'll have more clues in due course whether the hard core Brexit faction is mad like a fox or simply a different variant of the madness we've seen all along.


notabanktoadie , February 3, 2020 at 5:57 am

but it's good, and explains how the Geneva freeport works to handle diamonds, gold , armaments, fine art and rare wines, all beyond the control of authorities and all beyond the reach of tax: [bold added]

Gold obviously has value in industry but its use as or to back fiat is inherently corrupt* and obsolete** too.

So let's please quit idolizing a corrupt and obsolete money form, i.e. Central Banks, along with other reforms, should be required, in a manner to promote the general welfare, to sell all private asset forms, including precious metals such as gold.

*Fiat is backed by the authority and power of the State to tax and needs no other backing; hence to "back" fiat with gold is to do no such thing but is to back gold with the authority and power of the State to tax, a violation of equal protection under the law.

**Historically, precious metals had some use as an anti-counterfeiting measure but modern payment systems have no need for such.

PlutoniumKun , February 3, 2020 at 6:10 am

Yup, the Freeports thing is clearly the Big Idea that lots of Brexit backers are hoping to cash in on. Of course, what will happen is that lots of manufacturers will simply move into the Freeports to save on taxes and regulations and close down their existing premises.

The UK has been there before – Thatcher was a huge fan of Development Corporations which were low tax low regulation zones in crumbling industrial areas of the North and Midlands. They became a byword for outright corruption. And of course huge areas which were supposed to be redeveloped for industry became distribution hubs or frequently just massive shopping malls (such as Merry Hill in the West Midlands, owned by two major Tory financial contributors). Various studies after the event intended to demonstrate their success were quietly buried when the results were not as expected. In reality, they were a costly failure.

vlade , February 3, 2020 at 6:19 am

"costly failure". I believe the words you were looking for were "corporate welfare".

[Feb 01, 2020] Stragulation of nations with petty laws in EU: the "regulatory ecosystem" that the EU has evolved is unsound

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jerry , Jan 31 2020 19:51 utc | 24

I like Moon aka Bernard or whatever but he says the EU needs slightly less regulation. This stupid giant politically correct police state has like 66,000 laws and they pass 5,000 new ones a year. Nanny police state fascism and all they do is steal money from the taxpayers of Europe. It is a Central Bank ponzi scheme that is going to implode.

Most recent joke today is the EU Army which has pretty much no working tanks, planes or ships. Who are they going to fight anyway? The Russians? God help Europe - maybe Russians and Putin might reinstate Christianity in Europe and throw off the yoke of the CIA/MIC/Operation Gladio-Mockingbird from USA.


SteveK9 , Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94

vk , Feb 1 2020 13:35 utc | 95
The impression I'm getting from comments here is that there are still many Europeans (in the broad sense, both EU and British) in complete denial.

Europe is in decline, not in ascension. The numbers just came out yesterday: 0.1% for the EU (with France and Italy in recession); UK's number for Q4 are still one month away, but Q3 was also pathetic.

World trade (globalization) has grown to a halt. It's all maxed out already, there are no more free trade deals to be made.

Germany is in de facto recession. Most worryingly, its industrial output is plummeting - with only its services sector keeping the whole thing afloat. And we know that's not how the German economy should work.

The UK is still a capitalist economy - free from the EU or not. It will not invest in those fabled renewable energy sources from tide, wind etc. etc. if the profit rates are not high enough. And they are not high enough. The only way, then, for those investments to happen is if energy prices spike up - very bad news for the British people (which, fair to say, could happen in or out of the EU, so this is not a Brexit question).

Many countries in Europe tried to invest in those renewable, but apart from insignificant micro-nations such as Denmark, most failed to supplant the old sources. It was reduced to a complementary source.

The only reason to think the European Peninsula can rise from the ashes is that it rose from the ashes before (post-war miracle). But the post-war miracle was a very exceptional historical period, where a lot of improbable variables aligned. It will certainly not happen again.

The European peoples should stop with their dellusions of grandeur and accept a treaty of Eurasian integration, with a subordinate status to Russia and China. You did it before with the USA in 1945, you can do it again now with Russia/China. That is unexceptional in European History, and can certainly happen again.

Likklemore , Feb 1 2020 14:06 utc | 96
Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 1 2020 7:35 utc | 83

The Commonwealth long since ceased to have any meaning for the UK other than as a vestige of an expropriative empire, which has been a caricature since 1942[.]
If you think that the land mass of the Commonwealth represents a kind of control comparable to the EU then you need to study the last century[.]

In that comment you have attracted Her Majesty's displeasure. Suggest a read up of the 53 Commonwealth countries' property ownership in common law - in fee simple>radical title > The Crown's underlying title in common law. Oh, add the thirteen colonies prior to the American revolution found unpalatable.

Bubbles , Feb 1 2020 14:09 utc | 97
Fun read from George Galloway @RT. Lot's of things independent minded folk can agree with but pay particular attention to the conclusion / ending and give it a 1 to 10 reality rating.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/479595-brexit-eu-uk-future/

Eloquent words of inspiration and Hopium are so nice to read in the morning.

Nemesiscalling , Feb 1 2020 14:30 utc | 98
@89 LuBa

No, I don't think so.

Think of the absolutely absurd straight line that separates Canada from the U.S. West of the great lakes.

Now think of that artificially imposed boundary and ask yourself, "What a stupid line, surely that line wouldn't be able to instill any cultural differences between two artificial constructs (nations)?"

(Anecdotally, I live in the Pac NW and every time I have ever crossed the border into Canada it literally feels like you are entering a retiring, European state.)

And then ask yourself how it is possible one country has a national healthcare system while the other abhors the idea. Or why the U.S. has the worst gun violence in the First World while Canada has a 1/10th of that number.

Face it, regardless of lines on a map, a national identity still gives a people the choice to galvanize and develop independently.

Bubbles , Feb 1 2020 14:35 utc | 99
Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94

Apologies to Steve as I didn't see you had already posted the link to Galloway's story and should have referenced your post.

Russianasset , Feb 1 2020 15:08 utc | 100
I think the EU is in for more trouble in the future than the UK. By the end of this decade, several central and eastern European countries economies will have grown sufficiently that their EU yearly subsidies will now become EU payments. In other words, the EU cash cow will suddenly become a cash drain for some countries. In the meantime, France and Germany will have the pick up the financial slack caused by Brexit. Put it all together and it seems to me some trouble ahead for the EU.
English Outsider , Feb 1 2020 15:17 utc | 101
A User @ 58

I believe you have stated the underlying facts here -

"b is correct tho that the tendency of politicians pretending to be technocrats to centralise in order to build a trade-able power base must be halted. otherwise the national devolution movements become superseded by a Brussels top down pyramid management structure where citizens are too removed from decision makers and the decision makers are too removed from the results of their decisions."

That's the reason we have to leave the EU.

The next question is how.

The central fact here is that on a key point Brussels is absolutely in the right. Frictionless access to the Single Market - what we have now - can only go with Dynamic Alignment - continuing adherence to EU regulations. This fact was obscured during the vacillations of the May Premiership and may still be being obscured.

Me, I think the "regulatory ecosystem" that the EU has evolved is unsound. It also goes well beyond the technical setting of standards (most of which are set outside the EU in any case) and affects matters far removed from the purely technical. But it's what they have and it's not for us to attempt to change it.

Much of the hostility from the EU derives from the belief that as we leave we are trying to change their system, and for our own benefit. All the fears of "Cherry picking" and the rest. But it's not that they won't change. They can't, not without an entire recasting of that regulatory ecosystem. That would cause chaos if they attempted to do it. Engrenage is their watchword, the gradual accumulation of regulation and prescription, not demolition or radical rebuilding.

In short, for the reasons you have given above, we have to leave. When we consider the "how", we see that there is no magic solution that allows us to leave while continuing trading as if we have not left. Out really does mean out.

So where's the problem?

We've built up a good many trade links with the 27, the EU countries. They are vulnerable links, particularly the JIT links. It's going to take time to run down these links and replace them with new. We have other links as well - through the agencies - that will also take time to replace.

Such changes could take several years. If Brussels insists on that process happening overnight the result is serious disruption. On the principle that the EU is so much larger the calculation is that that disruption would hurt the UK much more than the EU. That is Brussels' bargaining counter.

Whether Brussels is using that counter for punitive reasons or whether it is using it in order to retain at least some control over the UK is irrelevant. The threat is there, however you look at it.

Some think we should face the threat down. I do - I think it is bluff. Others think we should not face it down - they fear it is not bluff. We wait to see which course the Johnson administration will adopt, not forgetting that the previous UK administration, and certainly the previous Parliament, didn't much like Brexit anyway - they wanted to stay in or close - and we're not yet sure what Johnson's position is.

.


(Note - engrenage as it works in practice explained here)

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=76804

[Feb 01, 2020] Quotes of former and current neoliberals suggest that globalization is an essential part of neoliberal doctrine

Notable quotes:
"... In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology ..."
Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology

General Titus , 22 minutes ago link

"The affirmative task we have now is to actually create a new world order."

-- Vice President Joe Biden, April 5, 2013

"Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order -- can emerge."

-- President George H. W. Bush, September 11, 1990

"We saw deterioration where there should have been positive movement toward a new world order."

-- Mikhail Gorbachev, October 19, 2011

"I think that his [Obama's] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a 'new world order' can be created. It's a great opportunity."

-- Henry Kissinger, January 5, 2009

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/15036-joe-biden-on-creating-a-new-world-order

RoboFascist 1st , 1 hour ago link

Remember it was the British that basically established political Zionism as a state back in Palestine.

It was Trump that declared Jerusalem as the 'eternal capital' of anti-Christ Judaism.

Boris Johnson is a 'passionate Zionist' by his own proclamation.

This is about a realignment of Zionist interest in the English speaking world.

The EU wasn't going to play ball on the terms of American (and British) Zionism.

The English (KJV) world of eschatology demands a pseudo-Christianity to bow down to the interests of anti-Christ Jewish nationalism. (It is why the U.S. Senate has passed legislation making it illegal to criticize 'Israel' as 'anti-Semitic')

American evangelicals are being misrepresented by heretics like John Hagee and a pseudo-Christianity that cares not for Jesus Christ at all but rather maintains a focus only on 'Israel'. A dual covenant theology mixed with heresies galore served up in a controlled media that doesn't allow for the recognition of Christianity as the real Israel against a history of the destruction of ancient Israel because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

The New Testament Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen is Jesus foretelling and giving clear reason for the destruction of anti-Christ Judaism in 70 AD.

The heresies of John Darby and Cyrus Scofield (again nearly exclusively in English) have created everything from British Israelism to fear and anxiety hustling crapola such as Hal Lindsey and The Late Great Planet Earth end of the world heresies.

On the basis of Christian heresy has emerged anti-Christ political Zionism and its vast adherents in the English speaking world now realigning.

[Feb 01, 2020] Britain now could easily be maneuvered into a similar vassal state situation with the US as Canada

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P , Feb 1 2020 15:35 utc | 102

To Nemesiscalling 98:

The way most Canadians define themselves and our country is in NOT being like the US in the most important ways. The decline into US-vassalage has been incrementally implemented since WW2, but there is still hope. Scheer and Ignatief found out exactly what Canadians thought about having a dual Cdn/US citizen PM... NOT HAPPENING. Harper found out trying to US-ify Canada was a bad idea.

The Cdn-US cultural border has been basically open for decades, the effectiveness of CRTC Cdn-content rules have been diluted to the point of irrelevance. But still we Canucks prefer little things like our free medical and minimal military bloat to the US shit-show.

But highly unlikely Canada will return to the "preferred trading status" the Commonwealth enforced. NAFTA Part Deux pretty much blocks that.

So Britain could easily be maneuvered into a similar vassal state situation with the US as Canada, but what will Britain bring to the table the US military/corporatocracy would want? No natural resources to speak of, so what is on offer? A handy military lily-pad perhaps, but the US already has that, and can't see Britain booting the US military off the island.

Britain is in a VERY weak bargaining position with the US, if anything weaker as it closes one avenue of access/influence the US has within the EU.


Nemesiscalling , Feb 1 2020 15:55 utc | 103

@102 a user

Britain has already been a de facto vassal state when it comes to aligning itself with every empire FP misadventure abroad for 30 years.

I do not think the U.S. will give the U.K. a bad deal. I think this is the hope of many here who foolishly advocate for the EU, which is really a byproduct of their unconscious from their academia templates they wish to lay down over the world a la a good technocrat.

They will get along swimmingly. The U.S. is looking for better deals as opposed to getting raped by China under the globalist paradigm.

[Feb 01, 2020] The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the neoliberal fabric

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 1 2020 3:13 utc | 71

The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the fabric which unites the Masters Of The Universe/ the 1%.
With China's Belt & Road Initiative gaining momentum, the weaponisation of the USD, and many countries looking East, it won't be difficult to cook up wedge issues to further erode the "unity" of the EU.
When the recession starts biting and politicians begin prattling about "Austerity" (for the 99%) it'll be time to instigate a thorough investigation into the Tax Haven Network, and a vigorous debate about how and why they should be closed down, the assets therein redistributed in a Fair & Balanced way, and the perps imprisoned or executed for Tax Evasion, Greed and Perjury.

[Feb 01, 2020] Brexit and GB financial industry

Brexit is a clear hit for the GB financial industry.
Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Feb 1 2020 0:00 utc | 58
The englanders refused to accept that the primary issue was never about brexit stay or go, but what philosophy would underpin england for the next decades.
The picked the mean, racist, classist & regionalist (only the south east matters) Tory Party so it won't be pretty. Yep the tories won seats in the working class areas of the midlands & further north in addition to the seats in the bourgeois areas up there they already held and yep Johnson did make noises about spending up large up there. However since the remainers in the south east didn't desert the tories, I doubt much will be diverted outside the south east, represented by long-standing MP's who don't 'talk funny' ie have a regional accent unlike the new largely inexperienced northern representatives.
It was M Thatcher who introduced the heroin addict traineeships for miners & factory workers in place of their jobs and I do not see the lobbyists who have worked so hard to ensure that the financialisation of everything industry grew to be the major component of the englander economy, countenancing anything more than token funds being diverted from them, not least because that industry is going to take a major hit.
There is no way the EU is going to agree to england's banks & finance corps getting anything like the same deal england had in the EU which means that the tax avoidance rorts are going to be harder to implement whilst being more transparent to regulators.

Already stockbrokers, accountancy firms and a couple of the bigger banks are checking out the weather in frankfurt now.
If the EU's shift to 137 governments international tax rules for tech giants idea remains as minimal & toothless as it appears to be, most corporate CFO's are going to see the notion of doing business in another jurisdiction & another currency expensive & pointless, when the job can be done easier within the EU.

I'm sure that those banksters who cannot or will not shift their operations outta London have some big strategy for persuading the EU to give way and treat the City as if it is still in the EU, but that price will be high for all other englander industries, leaving Jo/Joe Blow and the rest of the 99% in worse crap than they were before.

Sasha , Feb 1 2020 16:25 utc | 105

In case it gets hard for the UK economically after Brexit, the City of London will ask for Johnson´s head, who will not hesitate, as Eton privileged class, selling what of welfare still remains there, especially what Trump will for sure demand, the NHS, to try to save face...

They will not low Johnson or his successor´s wage, nor will renounce to their billionaire earnings, it will be he working class who will lose, as always happens. Then, probably a new labor movement will arise...but after having payed such a price....

The best and most realistic analysis, from satire group ICYMI member (v this time notice his graveness...)

Gloating Brexiteers happier about beating smug Remoaners than leaving EU

Much more realistic than the delusional vision by Galloway, since to reach his dreamt utopic state of affairs through this way, working people in the UK will first have to suffer a lot, even a confrontation amongst ecah other, which is the "ultra-right" agenda, chaos from which they reap...

[Feb 01, 2020] UK Came Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Barovsky , Jan 31 2020 20:57 utc | 40

I think Diane Johnstone's piece sums it up the best:


UK Came & Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

30 January 2020 -- Consortium News
As Great Britain returns to the uncertainties of the open sea, it leaves behind a European Union that is bureaucratically governed to serve the interests of financial capital, writes Diana Johnstone

/../

From the start, the question of British membership appeared as a thorn in the side of European unity. Initially, London was opposed to the Common Market. In 1958, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan assailed it as "the Continental Blockade" (alluding to Napoleon's 1806 European policy) and said England would not stand for it. But as the project seemed to take shape, London sought accommodation.

De Gaulle warned from the start that Great Britain didn't belong in a unified Europe, geographically, economically or above all psychologically.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/01/30/uk-came-went-leaving-europe-in-a-mess/

[Feb 01, 2020] Pluses and minuses of Brexit are not clar, but it might be that Brexit does not amount to very much for GB

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

cdvision , Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

A few countervailing points:

1. 50% of UK exports do not go to the EU. The "Rotterdam Effect" - whereby UK goods transported to the rest of the world go via Europe's largest container port and are counted in Eurostat land as exports to the EU.

2. The net balances of trade is massively in favour of the EU - ie the EU exports much more to the UK than vice versa. Thus its the EU which desperately needs a trade deal. With Germany a blink away from recession the last thing they need is tariffs on Mercedes, Audi, VW etc..

3. Don't underestimate the value of old Commonwealth (Australia, NZ etc) ties

4. The sole ECB guarantor, in reality, is now Germany. When the Euro banks go tits up it will be devastating for Germany.

5. The UK is a major financial hub, and will not be replaced by Frankfurt or Paris.

6. The UK could very easily do a Singapore by slashing business taxes and becoming the gateway to Europe.

7. The world does not end when the transition period ends with no deal. See 1 & 2 above. WTO trade terms then apply. Its how the rest of the world trades with the EU, and I don't see the likes of China or the US complaining.

I could go on. But the over-riding factor is that the UK gets back its sovereignty, and at last a democratic vote has been respected, albeit belatedly. This will have many positive effects for the UK. Oh, and the UK won't be the last to leave the EU.


lebretteurfredonnant , Jan 31 2020 23:11 utc | 51

Hello Everyone, Hello b

I think b that you got it all wrong. The European Union has no advantage whatsoever since it's institution are flawed. Just like Occupation put it "The structure of its financial system and capital flows is not equitable, sustainable or resilient". We saw that very fact unfold with the Greek crisis where the European union institutions and member states and countries refused to support Greece in any way whatsoever (Germany, mainly.). Greece is almost a third world country now to where the government has shortage of drugs and is selling some of his major islands to billionaire like Warren Buffet.Add to that the rise of anti European, German and globalist sentiments coupled with like minded terrorist groups such as the Popular fighter Group and the revolutionary Struggle since the 2008 crisis and we have pretty much a country in decay , very unstable and about to implode. I could go on and on adding the so call PIGS country economic and social state therein it wouldn't make a difference.

There is unity in European union but in name only.

Furthermore the European Union while not being democratic (since its parliament has not the power and freedom to introduce bills of law and the European commissioners can put any law they deem so necessary into effect without parliament consent ) has however a tremendous amount of legal power, when it comes to societal changes and free trade, that can overrule any member states and countries judicial systems (Let's Think of the introduction of GMO products and destructive and unhealthy agriculture in spite of states and people opposing them).

This may very well be one of the reasons why England and part of its ruling elite are keen to get out of the European Union.

Lets be in honesty and speak truth here, countries and member states of the European Union are ancient countries b, some having more than a thousand year history. Even if they truly wanted to make an efficient European union, their differences, different interests and mostly languages, cultural, practical and natural organizations of society inherited from years past make the European union way too hard to achieve . Such a dream will take at least a couple of centuries to happen if it ever does and will require unprecedented sacrifices and a denying of people long established habits, behaviors, and so on only history can overcome.You, b, better than anyone knows how politic even with great vision must be based on practical means and understanding of realities or else its result can be catastrophic. That isn't the path undertook by the European union.

Talking of economy, I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement on England weaknesses after the Brexit.

First, it will be easier for great Britain to protect its main industries and tax big corporations such as the GAFAM and the FANG.

Second, Britain is a very well educated and able country and there is nothing she cannot mostly (or at least partially) do and achieve on her own in the possibility that she lacks significant imports from other European countries. If anything,the refusal from other European countries of importing some products via trade deals will boost inner production and force Britain to re-industrialize segments of its economy which is very good for employment and salaries. Britain may take a few years to recover but in the end she will come out of the European union stronger and richer than she was in it.

Finally lets not fool ourselves England will certainly increased ties with the commonwealth, the united states and china without major issues. Africa as a whole is not far behind and I doubt France will ever stop selling cheese and wine to England and Germany stop selling Cars and machine tools to it.

vk , Jan 31 2020 23:19 utc | 52
@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 26

No. Nation-States are not born from cultural isolation: economic development develops culture, not the inverse. The problem with the "cultural genesis" hypothesis is that it is completely arbitrary: you could come up with an infinite combination of nation-States at every time, at any stage. It is a hypothesis that explains everything without explaining anything. It is, therefore, a scientifically useless hypothesis at best; a logical fallacy at worst.

My observation about the development of the productive forces come from the objective reality. It is the most scientifically precise description of human societal development in a historical frame. This is not an opinion of mine: it's a fact. So, let's not waste time with this anymore, as it would only bother the people who visit this blog.

--//--

@ Posted by: cdvision | Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

1. Maybe. But, as you state at #5, the UK is basically a rentier economy, so the battle won't be won by the UK in the exports front.

2. This could be because the UK's productive sector is weak, not that the EU's productive sector is strong. Besides, we live in a capitalist world, where there are not one, but two balances: trade and capitals. The UK has a massive surplus in the capitals balance - massive enough to cut by 7% its entire deficit per year.

3. Well then...

4. True.

5. True. But it will lose its Euro swap services monopoly - not enough to break the bank, but a minus nevertheless.

6. You know you're desperate when you begin to resort to fucking Singapore to try to search from some light at the end of the tunnel. First of all: Singapore is tiny. Very tiny. Actually, it is a city.

Second, the UK's tax rates are already very low, and it already controls the main tax havens, so there isn't much to lower anymore.

Third: as mentioned here in my first comment, the UK already had more than 750 bilateral free trade agreements with the rest of the world; the UK was already "free" while it was in the EU.

True, it won't be the total collapse the Remainers have been touting - but it won't be that boom the Brexiter are preaching too. Basically nothing will change in the UK in terms of trade agreements. Fourth: did I mention you're literally comparing a nation-State of 70 million people to a city-state?

7. True. Europe simply isn't that relevant anymore.

But the most funny thing I find about this Brexit debate is how amplified it is: Remainers think the world will end; Brexiters think the Empire will come back. People, Brexit only makes things go as they were before . Did the world end when the WTO ruled trade? No. Did the UK become a superpower again when Thatcher rose to power? No. Was the UK a superpower before the EEC and after WWI? No.

So, in other words, almost nothing will change. UK will strike some Norway-type deal with the rest of the EU (is Norway collapsed? No.), it will probably renegotiate its already existing trade deal with the USA - under unfavorable terms, for sure, since the USA is infinitely richer and stronger than the UK - and the other one gazillion bilateral deals it already had before will continue to exist.

The only notable thing I find about Brexit is its symbolism: it represents the inexorable fall of Europe as a significant world player. In its history, Europe only became a world player on two short lived occasions: when the Roman Empire was at its apex (the "High Empire", from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius) and when the British Empire led a coalition of second-rate empires essentially at the 19th Century (i.e. when capitalism became global). That's only 350 years in more than 12,000 of human civilization history. During the rest of it, Europe not only wasn't a world player, but it was probably one of the most peripheral and poor regions of the planet.

It should bo back to its place.

Sveno , Jan 31 2020 23:21 utc | 53
I think MA outlook for Britan is too shadowed in sorrow. Britain strength in fishing waters and import of germany cars are too underestimated. Britain with there connection to former colonial countries make them sustainable. In the end germany will bend down to any toll on cars. Britain has the upper card. Meanwhile the whole french spanish portuguise fishing industry can wish they where british.

Still you wounder, the Illuminati outpost recommended brexit, what are they planning? Hope it's a struggle between Illuminati and not a plan to extinguish common people. Eu will fall like Rom, but the timeline is quit quick. Farage the city of london citizen talking to the people convinced to leave eu what can be wrong? The world is no democracy and you can just observe Illuminati decisions.

Ash Naz , Jan 31 2020 23:51 utc | 56
We should not underestimate the importance of today from the viewpoint of sovereignty and democracy.

The principal of sovereignty must apply both to the countries we here defend as the targets of the Empire, and even to the Chief Poodle of the US Empire itself, the UK. It is of course unlikely, but if Britain is to be free of Brussels it should be free of Washington too. Hard to imagine when the CIA and MI6 seem to be the same thing.

One of the reasons I voted Leave was to remove the toxic Chief Poodle influence of Britain from Europe. If the EU becomes less Russophobic with MI6 removed, then this is a win for Brexit.

The democracy thing is huge though. Here we have had for three and a half years almost the whole coalition of forces who constitute the ruling-class narrative control (minus a few Tories) demonise Brexit and portray Leavers as knuckle-dragging racist xenophobe chauvinist nazi fascist bigoted hateful morons who were duped by a gross rather than net figure on the side of a bus.

Despite this Leavers have quietly, peacefully and patiently voted in three elections since the referendum with outcomes favouring Leave. In the 2017 GE both Tory and Labour promised to respect the referendum and Labour did well. The Lib Dems ran on reversing Brexit and got nothing. In the EU Parliament elections (there are no elections for the EU commission - now there's a thing) the Brexit Party basically smashed it and won most of the seats. Then in the 2019 GE Labour was forced by the Blairites (and probably not opposed by the Corbynistas who are also pro-Eu, contrary to their guru's long-held Tony Bennite Left Euro Scepticism) to campaign on a rejection of the referendum, and the so-called Red Wall of sold, traditional Labour working-class constituencies voted Tory because Labour had betrayed them.

And so, after FOUR polls, and the majority of the elites trying to crush the popular will, finally The Thing is done - at least symbolically - there is more to come.

The future is uncertain, but tonight this is a victory for democracy, and a blow for the elites who instructed the proles to Remain. The proles refused.

SteveK9 , Feb 1 2020 0:20 utc | 62
Martin Jay disagrees with the conclusions of this article and believes GB has the advantage.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/25/eu-is-showing-its-cracks-already-as-boris-now-shows-it-the-whip-on-trade-deal/

[Feb 01, 2020] The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 31 2020 19:09 utc | 11

Britain has until the end of this year to make a new trade deal with Europe, with the U.S., and with other countries.

The UK already had more than 750 bilateral deals around the world. The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Nothing significant will change in this front after Brexit.

But the EU will also need to change its urge to centralize and regulate everything. If it continues on its path other countries may want to follow the British example despite the damage it will cause to them.

The issue is not between "centralization vs decentralization", but the historical process of the development of the productive forces.

Before the creation of the Euro, it was economically advantageous for the little poor countries from the European Peninsula to seek EU membership. After its creation, the economies begun to diverge: Germany begun to siphon the wealth from its poorer members.

Add to that the worldwide capitalist meltdown from 2008 and you have the toxic mixture for what is essentially a neoliberal union in the EU.

Centralization and decentralization, in abstract, mean nothing. It's always the historical context that counts. It's not the quest for centralization that menaces the dissolution of the EU, but the fact that the EU was already economically declining for two decades that resulted in its smaller members to complain about its perceived quest for centralization. This vicious cycle generated a dialetical contradiction which impelled the EU to actually try to seek more centralization in response - in a classic "self-realizing prophecy" case.

This must be the case, since it explains why Brexit happened in 2016 and not in 2000; why the Scotish referendum happened in 2015 and not in 1708; and why similar movements are happening more or less at the same time in Italy and Greece. It also explains why there is not "exit" movements in Poland and Hungary, even though there are anti-EU movements there.


ben , Jan 31 2020 19:11 utc | 12

IMO, this leaves GB more susceptible to the influences of the empire. I fully expect the U$A to attack the British National Health Service with pressure to privatize.
ErGmb , Jan 31 2020 19:20 utc | 13
Spot on vk! Your analysis of EU dynamics is a pretty succint summary.

Those who think that Brexit will reduce immigration to the UK are fantasists (as well as racists - at this point UKIP and Farage have an undeniable track record one could plausibly claim not to know about in 2014). The current UK economic model relies on a large inflow of immigrant labour to underpin fanciful "growth" statistics, depress wages, and keep up pressure on the housing market, among other "schemes" in the worst sense of the word, and the government has already said that it will seek to increase non-European immigration to make up for decreases in EU immigration. Bye bye Polish plumber, hello ???...

NemesisCalling , Jan 31 2020 19:21 utc | 15
Bilateral, un-hypercentralized all the way.

Victoria Nuland said it best, "Fuck the EU."

When will European people come to their senses and trust the ability of their own local leaders? B isn't quite there yet.

[Feb 01, 2020] Brexit in name only (BRINO)

Feb 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Tallis Marsh ,

Exactly! It was always going to be Brexit in name only (BRINO) with Theresa May and Boris at the helm (due to their establishment masters including the civil service). If the 2019 election hadn't been transparently & despicably corrupt (with its uber smears of Jeremy Corbyn and the outright rigging with postal ballots) we would not be in this position. The truth must be that the estab had too much to lose to not rig it.

Will we be leaving all the EU institutions including the ECJ?

Why did Theresa May (and Boris) insidiously sign us up to the Global Compact for Migration? Why did Theresa May (and Boris) also insidiously sign us up to the EU/European Defence Union? Do some people not know what I am talking about? Well, there is a Media 'D Notice' on these subjects. if you need to find out about these things you will have to look to the alternative media like UK column and social media (like Twitter e.g Veterans for Britian) to find these things out.

Did you know Lord James of Blackheath was threatened for speaking about the EU Defence Union last year – that may tell you how important it is that the estab need keep most of the public unaware of the subject.

[Jan 21, 2020] At the start of a new decade, Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of history

Neoliberals are mostly neocons and neocons are mostly neoliberals. They can't understand the importance of Brexit and the first real crack in neoliberal globalization facade.
She really was on the wrong side of history: a tragedy for a politician. EU crumles with the end of her political career which was devoted to straightening EU and neoliberalism, as well as serving as the USA vassal. While she was sucessful in extracting benefits for Germany multinationals she increased Germany dependency (and subservience) on the USA. She also will be remembered for her handing of Greece crisis.
Notable quotes:
"... The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. ..."
"... Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets. ..."
"... its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective". ..."
"... Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.ft.com

It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.

Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.

Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."

Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.

But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.

Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.

Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.

The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.

In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."

The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.

Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.

It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.

The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.

"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."

Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".

Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.

Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.

"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.

Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".

"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.

China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.

The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.

Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?

Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'

She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.

She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.

The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK

[Jan 11, 2020] Good Riddance to the WTO by Walden Bello

Dec 18, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Rich countries embraced trade multilateralism when it suited them, and now they're abandoning it. That may not be such a bad thing.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is on its last legs now that the Trump administration has blocked the appointment or reappointment of judges to the appeals court of its Dispute Settlement Mechanism -- which is the central pillar of the 24-year-old multilateral body.

Do I regret the demise of the World Trade Organization now that Trump is on a unilateral trade rampage? No. I always saw the WTO and unilateralism as two faces of U.S. power deployed against those countries seeking to remake the world trading order in a more equitable and just direction.

Multilateralism and unilateralism have, since the end of the Second World War, been alternative strategies for global hegemony preferred by competing factions of the U.S. ruling elite.

The Democrats preferred multilateralism because they felt it would both institutionalize the U.S.'s hegemonic status in the world trading order at the same time that it would make it more legitimate by obtaining the consent of its allies. Republicans, however, felt that the exercise of U.S. power should be as little constrained by global rules and institutions as possible.

These two views clashed head-on in 1948 during the debate over the ratification of the Havana Charter, which would have established the International Trade Organization (ITO). After having participated in the negotiations, the Democratic administration of President Truman did not submit it to the Senate for ratification, worried that the Republicans would successfully block it. The Republicans argued that ratifying the Havana Charter would be unconstitutional since no legal code could stand above the U.S. Constitution, and that a treaty governing trade would do precisely that.

Republicans and Democrats agreed to a compromise: the much weaker General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which had little checks on U.S. trade practices and did not bring under its ambit the global agricultural trade that U.S. corporations dominated. With trade making up only a small part of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) then, the U.S. was not worried about the absence of strong rules on global trade, and felt these would only harm the bottom line of its emerging transnational corporations.

Paradoxically, GATT allowed the rise of a number of formerly minor trading countries into major actors in global trade, which would not have been possible within an iron-clad free trade regime. These were mainly economies from East Asia like South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia that engaged in aggressive export policies while building up manufacturing industries protected by high tariffs and import quotas. At the same time, by the 1970s and 1980s, trade accounted for a greater part of U.S. GDP than in the late 1940s, and U.S. corporations wanted fewer restrictions on their penetration of foreign markets.

So Washington changed its mind in the 1980s, and both Republicans and Democrats agreed to push for a strengthened global trade regime.

The U.S. was confident that it would benefit mainly its corporations which it saw as the most competitive in the world. The European Union decided to join the bandwagon for a strengthened international trade regime mainly because, like Washington, it wanted to dump its massive agricultural surpluses on developing countries.

Leading industries in Europe, the U.S., and Japan -- like the automobile, information, and pharmaceutical industries -- also had a joint interest in preventing the emergence of new competitors from East and Southeast Asia by making the latter's liberal acquisition of complex technologies (dubbed "intellectual piracy") a violation of trade rules, or by preventing them from using trade restrictions to build up their industries.

The result was the World Trade Organization, which came into being in 1995. The WTO, from the perspective of U.S. interests, was a set of rules and institutions that would promote, consolidate, and legitimize structures of global trade ensuring the hegemony of US interests.

While free trade was the rhetoric of the WTO, the achievement of monopoly was actually the aim of the WTO's three most important agreements.

The Agreement on Agriculture (AOA) institutionalized the dumping of U.S. and European surpluses on developing countries by forcing the latter to end their import quotas and lower their tariffs. The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) sought to institutionalize U.S. corporations' monopoly of high technology by outlawing reverse engineering and other methods used by developing countries to get universal access to knowledge. The Trade Related Investment Measures Agreement (TRIMs) sought to prevent countries from imitating Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia and using trade policy, like reducing imported inputs into finished goods in favor of local inputs, to build up industries that became significant competitors both in local and global markets.

Then, in 2003, with the heft provided by India, Brazil, and China (a WTO member since 2001), the developing countries in the WTO were able to prevent the U.S. and EU's attempt to dismantle government protection of small farmers. They foiled attempts to tighten the already very restrictive TRIPs Agreement, and prevented the joint U.S.-EU attempt to bring investment, government procurement, and competition policy under the ambit of the WTO.

Following this, the U.S. abandoned the multilateral route. After the Fifth Ministerial of the WTO collapsed in Cancun in 2003, the Republican Bush administration's Special Trade Representative Robert Zoellick warned: "As the WTO members ponder the future, the U.S. will not wait: we will move towards free trade with can-do countries."

Over the next few years, the U.S. and the EU preferred to put their efforts into forging bilateral trade agreements or limited multilateral agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was the fallback position favored by the Obama administration. So Trump did not initiate the move back to unilateralism -- he merely brought to its climax, with his trade war with China, a swing back to unilateralism that had begun with the George W. Bush administration in 2003.

Indeed, Trump's blocking of judges to the WTO's appellate court is simply an extension of the policy of blocking the appointment or reappointment of judges practiced earlier by the supposedly multilateralist Obama administration. The most notorious trade act of the U.S. under Obama was its ouster in 2016 of Appellate Body Member Seung Wha Chang of South Korea on the grounds that it did not agree with the distinguished South Korean jurist's judgments in four trade disputes involving the U.S.

The result, the current global trading system, is a hodge-podge featuring a weakened WTO, failed trade agreements like the TPP, stalemated or slow-moving negotiations like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), developing country trade arrangements like Mercosur, bilateral treaties like the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, and non-institutionalized bilateral and unilateral initiatives.

This may, in fact, be the least undesirable of outcomes. For many developing countries, the era of the weak GATT regime from 1948 to 1995 was a dynamic era that left them a lot of development space owing to the lack of pressure for them to open up their agricultural and manufacturing sectors, weak trade dispute mechanisms, and the absence of anti-development pro-developed country regimes like TRIPs.

Instead of the chaos that neoliberal ideologues warn us against, current conditions might, in fact, be moving in the direction of a hybrid GATT-like system that would hold out a larger space for efforts at genuine sustainable development by the global South. Share this:

One of the principal actors in the Anti-Globalization Movement, FPIF commentator Walden Bello is the author of Deglobalization: Ideas for a New World Economy (Zed, 2000) and Revisiting and Reclaiming Deglobalization (Focus on the Global South, 2019). He can be contacted at waldenbello@yahoo.com . This article originally appeared in German in the German periodical Welt-Sichten, Nov 7, 2019

[Jan 01, 2020] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger The

Dec 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Dec 30, 2019] Nationalism is transforming the politics of the British Isles its power as a vehicle for discontent grows ever stronger

Dec 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world

Patrick Cockburn | @indyworld |

Nationalism in different shapes and forms is powerfully transforming the politics of the British Isles, a development that gathered pace over the last five years and culminated in the general election this month.

National identities and the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland are changing more radically than at any time over the last century. It is worth looking at the British archipelago as a whole on this issue because of the closely-meshed political relationship of its constituent nations. Some of these developments are highly visible such as the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to permanent political dominance in Scotland in the three general elections since the independence referendum in 2014.

Other changes are important but little commented on, such as the enhanced national independence and political influence of the Republic of Ireland over the British Isles as a continuing member of the EU as the UK leaves. Dublin's greater leverage when backed by the other 26 EU states was repeatedly demonstrated, often to the surprise and dismay of London, in the course of the negotiations in Brussels over the terms of the British withdrawal.

Northern Ireland saw more nationalist than unionist MPs elected in the general election for the first time since 1921. This is important because it is a further sign of the political impact of demographic change whereby Catholics/nationalists become the new majority and the Protestants/unionists the minority. The contemptuous ease with which Boris Johnson abandoned his ultra-unionist pledges to the DUP and accepted a customs border in the Irish Sea separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain shows how little loyalty the Conservatives feel towards the northern unionists and their distinct and abrasive brand of British nationalism.

These developments affecting four of the main national communities inhabiting the British Isles – Irish, nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland, Scots – are easy to track. Welsh nationalism is a lesser force. Much more difficult to trace and explain is the rise of English nationalism because it is much more inchoate than these other types of nationalism, has no programme, and is directly represented by no political party – though the Conservative Party has moved in that direction.

The driving force behind Brexit was always a certain type of English nationalism which did not lose its power to persuade despite being incoherent and little understood by its critics and supporters alike. In some respects, it deployed the rhetoric of any national community seeking self-determination. The famous Brexiteer slogan "take back control" is not that different in its implications from Sinn Fein – "Ourselves Alone" – though neither movement would relish the analogy.

The great power of the pro-Brexit movement, never really taken on board by its opponents, was to blame the very real sense of disempowerment and social grievances felt by a large part of the English population on Brussels and the EU. This may have been scapegoating on a grandiose scale, but nationalist movements the world over have targeted some foreign body abroad or national minority at home as the source of their ills. I asked one former Leave councillor – one of the few people I met who changed their mind on the issue after the referendum in 2016 – why people living in her deprived ward held the EU responsible for their poverty. Her reply cut through many more sophisticated explanations: "I suppose that it is always easier to blame Johnny Foreigner."

Applying life lessons to the pursuit of national happiness The Tories won't get far once progressives join forces 22,000 EU nationals have left NHS since Brexit vote, figures show This crude summary of the motives of many Leave voters has truth in it, but it is a mistake to caricature English nationalism as simply a toxic blend of xenophobia, racism, imperial nostalgia and overheated war memories. In the three years since the referendum the very act of voting for Brexit became part of many people's national identity, a desire to break free, kicking back against an overmighty bureaucracy and repelling attempts by the beneficiaries of globalisation to reverse a democratic vote.

The political left in most countries is bad at dealing with nationalism and the pursuit of self-determination. It sees these as a diversion from identifying and attacking the real perpetrators of social and economic injustice. It views nationalists as mistakenly or malignly aiming at the wrong target – usually foreigners – and letting the domestic ones off the hook.

The desire by people to see themselves as a national community – even if many of the bonds binding them together are fictional – is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It can only be ignored at great political cost, as the Labour Party has just found out to its cost for the fifth time (two referendums and three elections). What Labour should have done was early on take over the slogan "take back control" and seek to show that they were better able to deliver this than the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. There is no compelling reason why achieving such national demands should be a monopoly of the right. But in 2016, 2017 and 2019 Labour made the same mistake of trying to wriggle around Brexit as the prime issue facing the English nation without taking a firm position, an evasion that discredited it with both Remainers and Leavers.

Curiously, the political establishment made much the same mistake as Labour in underestimating and misunderstanding the nature of English nationalism. Up to the financial crisis of 2008 globalisation had been sold as a beneficial and inevitable historic process. Nationalism was old hat and national loyalties were supposedly on the wane. To the British political class, the EU obviously enhanced the political and economic strength of its national members. As beneficiaries of the status quo, they were blind to the fact that much of the country had failed to gain from these good things and felt marginalised and forgotten.

The advocates of supra-national organisations since the mediaeval papacy have been making such arguments and have usually been perplexed why they fail to stick. They fail to understand the strength of nationalism or religion in providing a sense of communal solidarity, even if it is based on dreams and illusions, that provides a vehicle for deeply felt needs and grievances. Arguments based on simple profit and loss usually lose out against such rivals.

Minervo , 1 day ago

Bigger by far are two forces which really do have control over our country -- the international NATO warmongers but even more so, the international banksters of the finance industry.

Why no 'leftist' campaign to Take Back Control of our money? Gordon Brown baled out the banks when they should have gone bankrupt and been nationalised.

Blair is forever tainted with his ill-fated Attack on Iraq. Surely New Liberals or Democrats or Socialists would want to lock down on that fiasco?

The Nationalism of taking back control could be a leftist project too.

[Dec 29, 2019] And no, the UK won't become "Singapore upon the Thames".

Dec 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 28 2019 18:51 utc | 18

One more to the "First World problems" topic:

The latest monthly indicators of economic activity in Japan, the Eurozone and Britain do not make pleasant reading.

The latest monthly indicators of economic activity in Japan, the Eurozone and Britain do not make pleasant reading.

Japan's December manufacturing sector PMI, as it is called, fell to 48.8 from 48.9 in November. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction. The services sector, however, picked up slightly to 50.6 from 50.3. So the overall 'composite' PMI was unchanged at 49.8. That means Japan is in recession (just).

The Eurozone manufacturing PMI slipped to 45.9, the lowest since October 2012 and employment also fell at the fastest pace for more than seven years. New orders declined for a fifteenth successive month, while input prices continued to fall sharply. The sector was driven down mainly by Germany, where the manufacturing PMI hit 43.4, falling for the 12th straight month.

However, as in Japan, there was a slight pick-up in the services sector, where Eurozone PMI reached 52.4 from 51.9 in November. So the overall 'composite' PMI stood unchanged at 50.6. In effect, the Eurozone economy is standing still.

In the UK, the manufacturing sector took another dive to 47.4 (a sharp contraction). Output fell the most since July 2012. The services sector was also down to 49.0, making the overall composite PMI in negative territory at 48.5 - the deepest contraction since July 2016. The UK is in recession - but maybe the Conservative government election victory and the ending of uncertainty over Brexit (the UK will now definitely leave the EU in 2020) may encourage a recovery.

In sum, as we end 2019, Japan, the Eurozone and the UK are in recession or stagnation.

Long story short: the EU is only not in outright recession because the "services sector" (gig economy) is compensating for the collapse of its manufacturing sector - for now.

And no, the UK won't become "Singapore upon the Thames".

[Dec 24, 2019] Open Borders are a Trillion-Dollar Mistake

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carey , December 23, 2019 at 12:15 pm

'Open Borders are a Trillion-Dollar Mistake':

Editor's Note: Last month, Foreign Policy ran an article, "Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea," which advocated for Open Borders. So for all those who say, "Oh, no one supports Open Borders," here it is in writing! Every point made by author Bryan Caplan, an economics professor, is refutable, and, while the piece is long, we believe it's important "for the record" to counter all of his points.

As I first read Bryan Caplan's "Open Borders Are a Trillion-Dollar Idea" in Foreign Policy, besides disbelief, my thoughts were that this person must not get out much or must not read much. A quote from writer Upton Sinclair came to mind as well: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
https://progressivesforimmigrationreform.org/open-borders-trillion-dollar-mistake/

And some BBC coverage of the bombings in Sweden (now apparently spreading to Denmark): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50339977

[Dec 24, 2019] It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems aka our Blairites

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian , December 23, 2019 at 10:29 am

Re Bill Mitchell–his theme is that the Labour disaster is all due to the failure of the party to follow their working class base–if that is their base–and support Brexit. I believe that was Clive's theme as well. This is definitely not my topic but any Remainers care to rebut?

It is interesting how the situation in Britain seems to mirror the political situation here and the dilemma of the Dems–aka our Blairites. People like Hillary denounce the deplorables and Obama calls them bitter clingers but these verbal targets were once the backbone of a party that stood in opposition to the party of the bankers and finance.

The problen for the DemoRats is that their new, hoped for diversity base isn't large enough to replace the former great unwashed base. Perhaps that's Labour's problem too. We have a party of the people whose leaders are (in secret when not in public) batting for the other team.

PlutoniumKun , December 23, 2019 at 10:41 am

All polls indicated that around 40% of Labour supporters were Brexiters, 60% Remainers (of course the intensity of support might be different). Those were mostly the older working class 'old Labour' types along with some ideological left wingers. Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 10:56 am

In the months after the referndum, people like Owen Jones tried to convince the Remainer Labourites that they had to accept the result of the referendum and fight for the "softest" Brexit possible (I remember because he was bringing that up in his post-mortems after the election). And of course, most Remainers were having none of it. They came up with "The People's Vote" and eventually Jones and the rest of the Labour bigwigs got on board.

But objectively, Brexit will be, and can only be, a disaster for Britain and most pro-Brexit voters are badly misinformed, so what were Labour leaders supposed to do? It looks undemocratic to stop people from shooting themselves (and you too!) in the foot, but are you supposed to just let them pull the trigger?

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 11:11 am

The constituency where I canvassed, the divide was very clearly generational – the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark. I have not seen any national data on this – has anyone else?

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm

>>I canvassed

Thank you for your service.

>>the old were Tory, the young were Labour or Libdem. It was very stark.

That would seem to match up with survey data.

>>I have not seen any national data on this

Here you go .

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Thank you. A very interesting read.

Foy , December 23, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Yep, chechout the 3rd chart on this post. Very generational split moving from Labour to Tories with age. 18-24 yos voted 19% Tory, 67% Labour, and it virtually reversed when looking at 65yo+ which voted 62% Tory, 18% Labour, with an almost linear movement inbetween. I think someone linked to this a few days ago

https://www.ianwelsh.net/why-labour-lost-in-britain/

Lambert Strether Post author , December 23, 2019 at 1:36 pm

> Doing what Mitchell suggested would certainly have shored up Labours working class bases. It would also have lost Labour its base in the major metropolitan areas and most voters under 40. In short, it would have been politically suicidal.

I would say that what Labour ended up doing was suicidal, quite evidently. Labour (and Corybn's) problem was existential, the fractured base (not merely by age, but geographically and by class) bequeathed to them by Blair. I would say that Mitchell's proposal is not like suicide, but like an animal caught in a trap chewing off a leg to escape -- the leg, in this case, being PLP. Of course, if Labour wants to be the party of London professionals, that's fine, but rebranding from "Labour" might be in order.

Anonymous 2 , December 23, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Rebranding from Labour –

Richard North has been running some interesting material recently, including today, raising the question to what extent the traditional working class still exists in England in the sense it was once understood. I have no real insights into what is clearly a very large topic but I found todays piece especially interesting.

I am doubtful Labour wants to be the party only of London professionals – there are far too few of them to win elections. At present it is clearly the party of the young. Any strategy for its future needs to take this into account. Although I am old myself I know a fair number of the young in the UK through my children and their friends. They are having a very hard time of it as their jobs are very insecure and their prospects of owning their own homes/better quality housing are far poorer than those enjoyed by the boomers. They also face a high risk of being made redundant at 40.

Rather than a class-based analysis of UK politics I wonder if a generational analysis – boomers v the rest – would not be more fruitful at present. Though of course you can see this as a rich/old versus young/poor struggle.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 4:32 pm

>>rebranding from "Labour" might be in order

Labour lost biggest among the pensioners, who by definition, are not labouring. The reason they lost all those Northern towns was that they had so many pensioners.

Doing deliveries on a bicycle, teaching children, and keeping the elderly alive, meanwhile, are all labour, even if they don't take place in a factory or a mine. Certainly not "professional" in the traditional sense.

Labour's error was failing to build a legacy media operation (print, TV, radio) to reach the pensioners, and not turning out the younger vote.

[Dec 21, 2019] The Blairites foisted the U-turn on Brexit onto the party when most of the seats it held in the old parliament, and most of the seats it needed to win, voted leave. Now the Blairites are hypocritically blaming Corbyn for the result of their own policy.

Dec 21, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Capricornia Man ,

lundiel (and Seamus) have it right.

The Blairites foisted the U-turn on Brexit onto the party when most of the seats it held in the old parliament, and most of the seats it needed to win, voted leave. Now the Blairites are hypocritically blaming Corbyn for the result of their own policy. The election loss was exactly what they wanted: Corbyn out of the way and Britain 'safe' for neo-liberalism.

BigB ,

31 mn people voted to extend the consensual mandate of the neoliberal capitalist state to globally expand, extract and expropriate planetary wealth for themselves. Unconsciously: without any consideration of the consequences. Now, nearly 11 mn of them want to pretend they were duped into this because two films did not get released? Can there be a more deluded abdication of self-responsibility? Without any inherent maturity at all: it's hard to see where UK politic goes from here? What is the deepest spot a mile below the nadir? The 'People's Government' of Boris Johnson we co-constituted the reality of last week?

The election was for a successor capitalist imperialist state: the capitalist imperialist state was duly elected. No one – no one – can then abdicate responsibility to say it was the "wrong capitalist state". If people do not like this process – and it is the most debilitating, dehumanising, and destructive of all processes – then it is their social responsibility to at least explore the possibility of finding another process. In the co-creation of superior/inferior status and co-determination of the master/slave dialectic – we volunteer to choose position of the inferior and the enslaved. Then spend the consensual contract term complaining about the subordinant class politics we voted for. Projecting blame scattergun everywhere but where the blame is due: with the voters and endorsers of globalised neoliberal capitalism.

Is no one else getting bored of this? Not just the embarassment of excuses we can find for our own self-inferiorisation and voluntary infantalisation: but the fact that no one will make a positive assessment of how to break this vortex cycle of self-defeatism and performative powerlessness so we never have to go through the same charade again? Which, no doubt we will in five years time. Unless we take it on the chin: and fess up to what we have created as a social reality the Trump/Johnson axis of world power.

If this below and beyond the low point cannot act as a bifurcation point – whereby we totally reject the state electoral inferiorisation process – I do not know what can. It is unlikely there will be much left to reclaim in five years: much less so in ten. If we cannot claim humanity and ecology back from neoliberal globalisation in the next few years well, it ain't going to be pretty.

A good starting point would be to admit the corruption of the entire state electoral process of inferiorisation: and take co-responsibility for our part in the election of Johnson. Then the avowal never to do it again and take the legislative and judicial power we abdicated back. Which is the socially responsible alternative to the drawnout emetic debrief that seems to be favoured.

GEOFF ,

Great point BigB I think you're wasting your time they don't care what happens here so long as they're out of the EU that is all that matters to them. I'm so happy I don't have any grandchildren, although I fear for those that have, so sad all done in the name of getting our country back, I wonder how they will feel if farage gets some kind of peerage, you know the one that has been fighting the elites, and celebrating his birthday at the Ritz owned by those two socially aware brothers barclay , ha ha ha ha .

smelly ,

We have the very few, the few, and the serfs. The politics of the world is driven by the Economics of the very few. The very few have created for themselves a feudal system, its informal, its hidden, but its highly functional and it accounts in large measure for the global atrocities.

The chiefs (a very few) distribute to the feudal lords(the few) in a variety of ways.
1. direct government contracts
2. privatize the assets and government services that remain after regime change or infra structure destruction of economic value from regime sex corrupted, blackmailed, regime changed or defeated nation states and or from sweetheart deals in corporate takeovers.
3. appointment to and assignment to intelligence, or high level diplomatic positions in defeated entities.
4. promotion to USA congress or the USA presidency or to a high level corporate job.
5. control of access of the goy to education, entry level jobs leading to the knowledge to be promoted, to bank loans, to houses in neighborhoods, to medical care, and to a massive variety of other things. They are all in on it together.
6. many others

The tools of the trade are coercion by any means available to include sex, blackmail, spy technology, war machinery, military, intelligence, private armies, dark money and money laundering operations to name but a few.

Dependency : it is
This is no longer a problem bounded by one nation, it has become a problem important to the liberties and freedoms and the station of status of person in the society, membership in clubs, obtaining credentials to be eligible for licenses (law, medicine, home building, contracting, service provider, and everything else). License is a huge gate used to keep the Goya

What Bexit has shown is that there is not a bit of difference between those governed by any of the nation governments of any kind(they are controlled by the same few), we are just the Goy or as Hilary Clinton puts it: the deplorables. No longer should we look at ourselves as citizens of Britain, or Citizens of the United States, or citizens of France, or citizens of Saudi Arabia, or citizens of Israel, or citizens of Libya, or whatever, we must recognize that it is the many vs the few . from here on out. We must not identify and expose all of the ways nation state leaders use or allows others to use information to control our behaviors and to dictate our rights.

We must help each other no matter or sex, language, religion or nationality because they have made us all one, but trying to control our lives from birth to death and by trying to use us, at our expense, for their purposes.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Professor Emeritus Vilfredo Pareto outlined the empirical skew of wealth transfer for 'the few' as a function of culture whereby all have the same or similar wealth distribution. Post-Lehman evidenced the wholesale destruction that empirical skew manifested on the Western Banking System & concomitant ruling oiligopoly.

Empirically, the Western Fractional Reserve Banking System has crashed outright to reveal
even greater skew after all the M&A post-Lehman debacle. In terms of wealth distribution we are now in what Professor Emeritus Minsky characterized as Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism. Amazon & Bezos are transnational, leveraged like a Hedge Fund, and a monopoly that was legislated against during the 30s in the USA.

Today, in contemporary totalitarian society we are fed a daily diet of pseudoscience & half-baked so-called 'truths' that serve to mask the lies & falsehood.

What is evidently true today is that the empirical skew of wealth has become a matter of superstructural fault where the tectonic plates of sovereign nations are bound to give us all degrees of continental shift in contradistinction to the empirical skew of wealth transfer which is by no means immoveable.

Like gravity, what goes up must come down. Wealth hoarding sub-groups of elite will have nowhere to hide when the avalanche cascades on top of them without notice before hand.

Six Sigma extinction level events exist for all empirical distributions given the right conditions.

MOU

BigB ,

The other problem with 'the Few' analysis I have been trying to highlight is that we are in it the Few that is. In terms of per capita mass aggregate consumption/pollution rates – 93% of us in the UK are in 'the Few'. Which holds for a rough Pareto Principle (80/20): we are among the top 20% of consumers responsible for 70% of the lifestyle consumption emissions [Anderson; LabourGND; Oxfam]. Which amounts to 28,000 tonnes per capita of aggregate material flows: against a global average of 7,000 tonnes [Hickel]. In global consumption/pollution terms: we are among the "wealth hoarding sub-groups of [the] elite" of the mass material consumption bourgeoisie.

There are unfair distributions: and inequitable distributions between the haute bourgeoisie and we in the bourgeoisie. But the greatest inequitable maldistribution is North to South: where the poorest 50% of the global population are limited – by being resource cursed and having to subsidise us – to 10% of lifestyle consumption emissions. If you can call it a lifestyle; a consumer lifestyle; or a profligate pollution problem which is doubtful? And it current rates of wealth redistribution: it will be 200-900 years before they are out of poverty.

As for 'wealth hoarding sub-groups': we in the UK voted to extend the amount of mass material material aggregate demand. Which is complex: because UK rates have been falling but only because of the service economy. Rates of industrialisation and resource extractivism are effectively exported. Global demand rises: and so must global supply. Our consumption fetishism is driving global capitalism. Not solely: the whole of the developed world is.

It is this material economy that acts as a baseline – of sorts – for the overfinancialised derivative, arbitrage, and highly leveraged stocks, bonds, and equities and any other exotic financial instruments that can be gambled on. A market that is roughly 75 times the size of the material 'real' productive economy. The market that is likely being subsidised by the repo- and other 'not QE' hypertrophic liquidity supplements. The market that is going to collapse when the anabolic steroid effect fails to maintain exponential growth. Professor Minsky will have his moment!

Whereupon the UK will quickly realise that it is a pissling little island in a sea of globalisation. With an 80% tertiarised service economy. Servicing an extinct financial market economy. With failing services and no food coming in from abroad. Or medicines. Or water purification products. And possibly no energy. But we will have 60,000 military and paramilitary police to uphold the private property rights of the haute bourgeoisie.

Maybe then we will see and feel what it is like for the rest of the world? Who we have only ever viewed as subsidisers of our wealth? Just as we subsidise the wealth of those we choose to be subordinate to. It's a shitty, shitty, system which the UK has done not too badly out of. Well, enough for us to never look from the outside in through the eyes of a Frantz Fannon: and try to change the system for a globally more equitable system free from our white privileged ethnosupremacist racism.

We got the government we deserved – and voted for. And we await the fate of collapse we deserve – and voted for. As John Michael Greer said: the UK is rushing to collapse early to avoid the disappointment in the rush. We live in a complete fantasy bubble of a post-Empire state of mind. As if other – dehumanised foreign – people and the holistic integrity of the biosphere did not exist. Well, thanks to our lifestyle choices, they may not for much longer. But the only thing that has perturbed our reserved compassion and indifferent inhumanity is our election of a Johnson government. Well, that is an indignity! But not even a fraction of an indignity that we are quite happy to violently impose on the rest of the world. But let us pretend and console ourselves it would have been a utopia if they had not held back those films.

Dungroanin ,

"We don't have to join too many dots to see why a discussion about Wikileaks, war crimes in Iraq, and OPCW crimes in Syria was something the Tories didn't need,"

They also didn't need the Intelligence report of 'Russian' influence in their party and government; the direct threat made by Pompeo to stop Labour, the deal which they have been negotiating with the US which confirms the NHS is part of it amongst many other things – as was confirmed by their Ambassador Woody (Of Johnson&Johnson fame who stand to benefit hughy) ;the dangerous levels of capacity in the NHS; etc etc etc.

Anyway the Graun is claiming to run a ask us a question about the election now on their blog – I've asked mine but am not holding my breath for an answer.

tonyopmoc ,

David Macilwain usually writes far better than this. In fact 90% of this, is the same sort of nonsense, he has apparently been brainwashed with, by reading the Guardian et al.

He displays his own ignorance and arrogance, by yet again telling over 50% of The British voting public that we didn't know what we were voting for re Brexit.

"not least because only 30% of that public actually voted for Brexit, and did so in complete ignorance of what it might mean and because of their own long-standing prejudices."

He analysed Skripal very well. This is total crap.

Tony

JudyJ ,

As soon as UK based Russian oligarchs are mentioned the presumption of many – encouraged by Western media – is that they must be 'friends' of Putin or have 'close connections' to him. In fact, in respect of most of them, it is exactly the opposite. They are based in London precisely because the UK establishment doesn't clamp down on tax dodging and corrupt business dealings as Putin has done since the beginning of his Presidential tenures. Corrupt business owners donations to parties in power? Hmm, I wonder why it is that they are given every encouragement and incentive to settle in London undisturbed?

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/06/understanding-russia-un-demonizing-putin/

Tallis Marsh ,

This article is wrong to imply/assume that Brexiters/Lexiters didn't know what they were voting for. Wrong to suggest/assume we did/do not have a strategy to try to help leave the EU. Wrong to assume we are racist and/or stupid. Of course there are a few exceptions but on the whole people know the score and we love the individual, distinct European countries; we just despise the imperial, uber-technocratic, ultimately anti-democratic superstate that is the EU.

See UK Column & similar websites, and the archive of Tony Benn/Barbara Castle/Peter Shore/Bob Crow (on the reasons for disliking the EEC/EU/Maastrict & Lisbon Treaties etc) for why so many people voted to leave the EU. I reckon when the options on who to vote for were purposely limited by the LP (in the last few months after JC was forced to go along with the PLP) and TBP (after Farage made a deal with Trump/Boris) many Brexiters (and a few Lexiters?) were forced to vote for the Tories to give a message to the establishment? I am guessing they thought the election would result in a hung parliament with the tories having to ally with the DUP again.

Imo – I have a strong suspicion that the real result was a very close result (hung parliament) and that the establishment using the secret services helped in some way to engineer this landslide result (probably through postal ballot rigging). On the day of the election many people observed and commented on the huge queues in the poll stations and seeing so many young people voting like never before (including many photos on social media). The result does not seem plausible and the status quo has/had so much to lose.

Incidentally, and this is obviously anecdotal but in my household (and as far as I know) all my friends voted Labour or stayed at home (we are mostly Lexiters, don't-knows, and a couple Brexiters) and only know quite well of two openlyTory voters (at my partners' workplace). On the other hand, I do know my local area (which has been impoverished since the Thatcher years) is a heavy leave-voting area and I reckon most people here lend their vote to Tories for strategic reasons (I know a neighbour who wants the Tories to 'own' Brexit knowing full well they will renege on all their promises and not just the Brexit promise – they think Boris is a fake and wants to BRINO or, ultimately, even to remain).

I can only state what I observe and hear around me, and what I saw on social media during the election, but I do know people are so much more informed than the establishment/media would like to admit.

Francis Lee ,

I was shocked, yes shocked, to see the type sentiments espoused below.

"No-one could seriously believe that Brexit is something the ruling elite has pursued because it respects the so-called democratic will of the British public – not least because only 30% of that public actually voted for Brexit, and did so in complete ignorance of what it might mean and because of their own long-standing prejudices.

That could have come from the mouth Jo Swinson, the Economist, the Guardian or any other ultra-remainer rag.

It gets better, or worse depending on your point of view.

"Had the Government not had an interest in restructuring its relationship with the US and NATO, and seen political and economic gains – well illustrated by the jump in the value of Sterling following the result – then the idea of Brexit would just have quietly died away."

Yep, it's those damn proles who voted for Brexit again and "did so in complete ignorance of what that might mean and because of their own long-standing predudices." But of course! Time to rethink the idea of universal suffrage perhaps. Actually those sort of sentiments (see above) are precisely why Labour lost the election so heavily.

The point seems to be missed that euroland is an occupied zone and has been zone since 1945 – it is a neoliberal juggernaut and junior partner in the geopolitical global order. In addition it is the civilian wing of NATO, another American construction. It is based upon a core-periphery economic structure and upon a currency which locks its members into a neoliberal straight-jacket, and since they cannot devalue the core runs up trade surpluses whilst to periphery runs up permanent trade deficits. The euro currency is designed to do precisely this. Moreover the Stability and growth pact robs states of their ability to have an independent foreign and economic policy. The eastern and southern peripheries are little more than colonies. Printing their own currencies – God forbid – is strictly verboten, so that they cannot and will not recover. Taking Italy 137% of debt-to-gdp ratio and Greece with a staggering 181% of debt-to-gdp you will get a pretty good picture of what is happening in Euroland.

It really don't know why I have to explain all of this, particularly in light of the fact that Corbyn himself has always been a eurosceptic, along with other notables such as Benn (Sr.) Bryan Gould, Peter Shore and Barbara Castle, that was a unlike the present time when Labour was Labour.

I think the Labour party has now gone to far to reverse course; it has become an anachronism, and a neo-Blairite – ultra-remainer – is party now taking shape.

GEOFF ,

I've no idea why you keep going on about the EU , you got your way, we're leaving forget it, lets see how good it's going to be in this shithole without some protection from the EU , why do none of you address that, the slob has already started with his refusal to include workers rights, the fat slob says we can have better employment protection once we leave ha ha ha ha ha ha whats been stopping him from doing it for the last 40 years ? nothing. everyone is entitled to their view obviously and I respect it, but you just shut us out as if your opinion is all that matters, I would suggest 80% of those that voted leave know absolutely nothing about the EU, I arrive at that by talking incessantly to people, who think they're clued up and when you start pointing faults with their argument, you get the usual ' hey mate I've only come in for a pint'

Francis Lee ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=But+we+haven%26%238217%3Bt+left+it.+And+there+is+g...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F20%2Fofficial-secrets-lies-and-the-five-eyes%2F%23comment-107077">

But we haven't left it. And there is good reason to suppose that we never will. A BRINO is being cooked up by a coalition of the usual suspects whose object is to end the existence of the UK as an independent nation state and turn it into a province of a European super-state. We will be voting – if at all – in the equivalent of local government or council elections with decisions, with economic and geopolitical issues being decided by non-elected technicians and bureaucrats.

Democracy is only meaningful at the national level. Democracy and Empire (the EU) or should I say the EUSA, do not mix. Even Thucydides knew this.

GEOFF ,

But that happens here without the EU there are two pricks zac goldsmith and morgan, both been rejected by the electorate , both been given a place in the H.O.L £305 a day , totally unelcted but there to make our laws and you still won't see i twill you

Cassandra2 ,

Very much agree, I don't trust Boris to effect a clean break.

I generally trust my instincts like most normal plebs, but since the Lisbon Treaty Europe has consolidate Federalisation, far removed from the original concept and principles of a Common Market and my instincts prompted a closer look.

Delving deeper, an easy process given internet access, one discovers a cesspit of deception. European Union is in reality the successor to the (totalitarian) Third Reich. Refer to Christopher Story's YouTube 3 part lecture on the subject. EU was planned in 1942 by a German social elite hierarchy in the likely event of Hitlers defeat. Key members of this hierarchy were transferred (operation paperclip) to USA at the end of the war and were integrated into a form of 5th column governing elite (power behind Deep State) who have since 1946 systematically hollowed the out the USA by undermining it's production base (excluding military hardware production) and displacing economic investment through reckless speculation/manipulation and perpetual global warfare.

Other than filling the Elites multi-trillion banking chest USA's resources and manpower (Military & Intelligence) have been utilised to construct a global platform for imposing a 'New World Order'. Europe's homogenization simply forms an essential part of this ambition.

Given a cursory (pleb) assessment of Europe's widespread corruption, undemocratic structure and it's true strategic purpose I cannot help but feel that those who voted 'remain' have had their critical faculties effectively lobotomized by Elite owned State MASS INDOCTRINATION i.e. BBC et al.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Goldman Sachs engineered the entire EU finance by first fudging the books on Greece. The whole edifice was built upon a shifting substrate of sand.

Castles made of sand float into the sea, eventually. Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold as Love

MOU

Francis Lee ,

"NOBODY voted for a HARD brexit onto WTO rules and the country should have been asked very specifically if that is what the mythical 17 Million wanted."

'Nobody voted for a hard -Brexit.' Really!

How come you are privy to this "information?" It would be amusing to see you trying to substantiate this statement.

And as for the 'mythical 17 million' (17.2 million actually) 'well, yes that must have been a mirage; it didn't happen.

Strange times in which we live when conjecture is treated as if it were fact. Yep, that is one of the hallmarks of the totalitarian mindset. In his marvellous essay, 'Notes on Nationalism' Orwell captures this frame of mind perfectly. He writes:

"By 'nationalism' I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people' (Leave voters by any chance?) "can be labelled 'good' or 'bad' But secondly (and this is much more important) I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a particular nation, political party, religious group or even football team, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests" (Remainers perhaps?)

Moreover, "although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat or revenge, the nationalist is somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether or not they support his views Arguments with his adversaries are always inconclusive since each of the contestants believe themselves always right and always winning the victory (in the sight of God anyway).

Some of the true believers are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connexion with the physical world."

Sadly true.

Dungroanin ,

WE will NOT let YOU forget the VoteLEAVE bs. Paul & co.
Here is Vote Leave NOT saying we are going onto WTO rules:

'The day after nothing changes legally. There is no legal obligation on the British Government to take Britain out of the EU immediately. There will be three stages of creating a new UK-EU deal – informal negotiations, formal negotiations, and implementation including both a new Treaty and domestic legal changes. There is no need to rush. We must take our time and get it right.

WHAT'S THE OVERALL FRAMEWORK WE NEED?

Overall, the negotiations will create a new European institutional architecture that enables all countries, whether in or out of the EU or euro, to trade freely and cooperate in a friendly way. In particular, we will negotiate a UK-EU Treaty that enables us 1) to continue cooperating in many areas just as now (e.g. maritime surveillance), 2) to deepen cooperation in some areas (e.g. scientific collaborations and counter-terrorism), and 3) to continue free trade with minimal bureaucracy. The details will have to await a serious negotiation but there are many agreements between the EU and other countries that already solve these problems so we will be able to take a lot 'off the shelf'.'
Etc.
http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/briefing_newdeal.html

AND HERE IS FACT CHECK

'As far as we've seen, Leave campaigners hardly mentioned the customs union in explicit terms at all, so there was generally little clarity about what leaving might mean in that regard.'

&
'There are also examples of leave campaigners claiming the UK could adopt a position similar to Norway -- which is still part of the single market while not being an EU member.

Arron Banks, a founder of the Leave.EU campaign tweeted in November 2015 "Increasingly the Norway option looks the best for the UK".'

And so on – NO FULL HARD BREXIT
https://fullfact.org/europe/what-was-promised-about-customs-union-referendum/

Now Paul& co show us where the HARD brexit was part of the Leave campaign.

austrian peter ,

Well observed David, thank you. I have already lobbied my new Tory MP with relevant articles and have a meeting scheduled with him early in the New Year to push for Julian's release and freedom. I am appalled at how our supposed freedom-loving society has been corrupted beyond measure by manipulative 'deep state' actors. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2019/december/12/edward-snowden-speaks-out-for-julian-assange-and-chelsea-manning/

Furthermore, I remain confused about what the globalists actually want apart from their final goal of New World Order global government, global currency (probably now being crypto) and removing the use of cash entirely.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/who-are-globalists-and-what-do-they-want

This article has clarified the main targets for the globalists but where do you think Brexit stands in their agenda, do they want out of the EU or not? I am confused which side is in favour of freedom and liberty and which one wants global centralised command and control.

Long ago John Perkins exposed the elites' nefarious agendas with 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman': https://johnperkins.org/ and the book is well worth reading:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1785033859/ref=sr_1_1?adgrpid=57307986950&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI34Dt8tzD5gIVC7DtCh3pXgnREAAYASAAEgJ7cvD_BwE&hvadid=259102724630&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007152&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=9838918690422858993&hvtargid=kwd-295426377502&hydadcr=24461_1816157&keywords=confessions+of+an+economic+hitman&qid=1576827695&sr=8-1

And my own book: 'The Financial Jigsaw' (due to publish in Q1 2020) exposes the globalists' financial agenda extant today.

A free PDF of my manuscript is available on request to: peter@underco.co.uk

[Dec 15, 2019] The regulated EU economy has treated Britons and Europeans even worse. The EU regulations, treaties and policies are overall highly destructive to workers, massive welfare for the rich.

Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com
Calgacus hk90911 hours ago

They will gingerly exchange the regulated EU economy for the freewheeling American economy - and hasn't that economy worked so well for American workers.

If so, that's a good thing, for the regulated EU economy has treated Britons and Europeans even worse. The EU regulations, treaties and policies are overall highly destructive to workers, massive welfare for the rich. What remains of European Social Democracy and welfare states obscure the fact that US workers are actually treated better by their nation's fundamental economic policies and structures. Europe as a whole is MORE unequal, more of a class society than the USA, not less.

Brexit is a good thing, a leftist, progressive policy. It's jumping completely off the hot stove, not into the fire. The British, who preferred Labour's other policies, felt that the merits of Brexit outweighed all the other negatives of the Tories. They might be right.

[Dec 15, 2019] Boris Johnson's Trumpism without Trump is about moving the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. Boris Johnson outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy

Money quote: "Johnson will have to work superhard on this if he is to re-create not the Thatcher coalition but the Disraeli nation. That's what he means when he talks about "One Nation Conservatism." That was Disraeli's reformist conservatism of the 19th century, a somewhat protectionist, supremely patriotic alliance between the conservative elites and the ordinary man and woman. It will take a huge amount of charm and policy persistence to cement that coalition if it is to last more than one election. But if Boris pulls that off, he will have found a new formula designed to kill off far-right populism, while forcing the left to regroup."
Notable quotes:
"... But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.15.19 at 1:33 am 9

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Brexit is an eruption of English nationalism, and the Tories are now, under that shambling parody of a drunk racist English aristo, Johnson, an English nationalist party.

IMHO this is highly questionable statement. Brexit is a form of protest against neoliberal globalization. The fact that is colored with nationalism is the secondary effect/factor: rejection of neoliberalism is almost always colored in either nationalist rhetoric, or Marxist rhetoric.

Here are some quotes from paleoconservative analysis of the elections taken from two recent articles:

While I do not share their enthusiasm about "Red Tories" rule in the UK, and the bright future for "Trumpism without Trump" movement in the USA, they IMHO provide some interesting insights into paleoconservatives view on the British elections results and elements of social protest that led to them:

[AS] It is clearer and clearer to me that the wholesale adoption of critical race, gender, and queer theory on the left makes normal people wonder what on earth they're talking about and which dictionary they are using. The white working classes are privileged? A woman can have a penis? In the end, the dogma is so crazy, and the language so bizarre, these natural left voters decided to listen to someone who does actually speak their language , even if in an absurdly plummy accent.

[AS] But just as important, he moved the party sharply left on austerity, spending on public services, tax cuts for the working poor, and a higher minimum wage. He outflanked the far right on Brexit and shamelessly echoed the left on economic policy . ... This is Trumpism without Trump. A conservative future without an ineffective and polarizing nutjob at the heart of it. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. Unlike Trump, he will stop E.U. mass migration, and pass a new immigration system, based on the Australian model. Unlike Trump, he will focus tax cuts on the working poor, not the decadent rich. It's very much the same movement of left-behind people expressing their views on the same issues, who, tragically, put their trust in Trump. What we've seen is how tenacious a voting bloc that now is, which is why Trumpism is here to stay. If we could only get rid of the human cancer at the heart of it.

[AS] Trump has bollixed it up, of course. He ran on Johnson's platform but gave almost all his tax cuts to the extremely wealthy, while Johnson will cut taxes on the poor. Trump talks a big game on immigration but has been unable to get any real change in the system out of Congress. Johnson now has a big majority to pass a new immigration bill, with Parliament in his control, which makes the task much easier. Trump is flamingly incompetent and unable to understand his constitutional role. Boris will assemble a competent team, with Michael Gove as his CEO, and Dom Cummings as strategist.

[AS] If Johnson succeeds, he'll have unveiled a new formula for the Western right: Make no apologies for your own country and culture; toughen immigration laws; increase public spending on the poor and on those who are "just about managing"; increase taxes on the very rich and redistribute to the poor; focus on manufacturing and new housing; ignore the woke; and fight climate change as the Tories are (or risk losing a generation of support).

[RD] I have no idea why the Republicans are so damned silent on wokeness, including the transgender madness. No doubt about it, the American people have accepted gay marriage and gay rights, broadly. But the Left will not accept this victory in the culture war. They cannot help bouncing the rubble, and driving people farther than they are willing to go, or that they should have to go. It's the elites -- and not just academic elites. Every week I get at least two e-mails from readers sending me examples of transgender wokeness taking over their professions -- especially big business. People hate this pronoun crap, but nobody dares to speak out against it, because they are afraid of being doxxed, cancelled, or at least marginalized in the workplace.

[RD] My friend said (I paraphrase):

"Can you blame people for not answering pollsters' questions? Everybody is told all the time that the things they believe, and the things they worry about, are backwards and bigoted. They have learned to keep it to themselves. It's the same thing here. I hate Donald Trump, but I'm probably going to end up voting for him, because at least he doesn't hate my sons. I want a good future for every child -- black, Latino, white, all of them -- but the Left thinks my sons are what's wrong with the world

[RD] Boris (and Sully) style Toryism is better than nothing, isn't it? As a general rule, in this emerging post-Christian social and political order, we conservative Christians had better not let the unachievable perfect be the enemy of the common-sense good enough.

[Dec 14, 2019] The Full Spectrum Dominance inevitably lead to threat inflation it is logically drives the USA into the major war

Notable quotes:
"... I think the current period can be called the “collapse of neoliberalism” period. In any case the neoliberal elite who was in power (Blairists, Clintonists) lost the trust of people. This is true both for the US and labour in the UK. In this sense the anti-Semitic smear against Corbin is equivalent to neo-McCarthyism hysteria in the USA. Both reflect the same level of desperation and clinging to power of “soft neoliberals.” ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

James R McKinney 12.13.19 at 6:54 pm ( 1 )

Well, so much for all that. It's time to stop pretending we're still in the postwar period (the question is, are we in a pre-war one).

From now on, only the rich will have the luxury of any sense of historical continuity.

likbez 12.14.19 at 1:13 am 2

It’s time to stop pretending we’re still in the postwar period (the question is, are we in a pre-war one).

True. As “Full Spectrum Dominance” inevitably lead to “threat inflation” it is logically drives the USA into the major war.

I think the current period can be called the “collapse of neoliberalism” period. In any case the neoliberal elite who was in power (Blairists, Clintonists) lost the trust of people. This is true both for the US and labour in the UK. In this sense the anti-Semitic smear against Corbin is equivalent to neo-McCarthyism hysteria in the USA. Both reflect the same level of desperation and clinging to power of “soft neoliberals.”

Unfortunately Corbin proved to be too weak to withstand the pressure and suppress Blairists. But Blairists in labour might still be up to a great disappointment. The history train left the station and they are still standing on the neoliberal platform, so to speak.

That’s why Brexit, as a form of protest against neoliberal globalization, has legs. It is a misguided, but still a protest movement.

From now on, only the rich will have the luxury of any sense of historical continuity.

The rich are not uniform. Financial oligarchy wants to stay, while manufacturers probably would prefer Brexit.

At the same time the grip on neocons in both countries are such that there is no hope that they will be deposed in foreseeable future. See comments to The Afghanistan war is more than a $1 trillion mistake. It’s a travesty

yemrajesh 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it’s easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away.

This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

and

manoftheworld -> Redswordfish 10 Dec 2019 15:47

Perhaps the only thing Trump has got right .. and ever will get right.. is his dislike for war. He is right about Afghanistan. The terrible US press and political reaction to his peace talks with the Taliban showed that the deep state still doesn’t get it…

Mattis, Graham et al are insane liars… and so is Hilary Clinton and Petraeus… none of them has ever had the guts to tell the truth…

the average American is way more indoctrinated than the average pupil at a madrasa. …we should boot these lying American generals out of NATO.. they’re a threat to world peace…

In any case Brexit is a litmus test of what is the next stage for neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization.

[Dec 14, 2019] Angry Bear " The 2019 Globie "Capitalism, Alone" by Branko Milanovic

Dec 14, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

This year's winner is Branko Milanovic's Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World . (This is the second Globie for Milanovic, who won it in 2016 for Global Inequality .) The book is based on the premise that capitalism has become the universal form of economic organization. This type of system is characterized by "production organized for profit using legally free wage labor and mostly privately owned capital, with decentralized coordination." However, there exist two different types of capitalism: the liberal meritocratic form that developed in the West, and state-led political capitalism, which exists primarily in Asia but also parts of Europe and Africa.

The two models are competitors, in part because of their adoption in different parts of the world and also because they arose in different circumstances. The liberal meritocratic system arose from the class capitalism of the late 19th century, which in turn evolved out of feudalism. Communism, Milanovic writes, took the place of bourgeoise development. Communist parties in countries such as China and Vietnam overthrew the domestic landlord class as well as foreign domination. These countries now seek to re-establish their place in the global distribution of economic power.

Milanovic highlights one characteristic that the two forms of capitalism share: inequality. Inequality in today's liberal meritocratic capitalism differs from that of classical capitalism in several features. Capital-rich individuals are also labor-rich, which reinforces the inequality. Assortative mating leads to more marriages within income classes. The upper classes use their money to control the political process to maintain their position of privilege.

Because of limited data on income distribution in many of the countries with political capitalism, Milanovic focuses on inequality in China. He attributes its rise to the gap between growth in the urban areas versus the rural, as well the difference in growth between the maritime provinces and those in the western portion of the country. There is also a rising share of income from capital , as well as a high concentration of capital income. In addition, corruption has become systemic, as it was before the communist revolution.

The mobility of labor and capital allows capitalism to operate on a global basis. Migrants from developing economies benefit when they move to advanced economies. But residents in those countries often fear migration because of its potentially disruptive effect on cultural norms, despite the positive spillover effects on the domestic economy. Milanovic proposes granting migrants limited rights, such as a finite term of stay, in order to facilitate their acceptance. He points out, however, the potential downside of the creation of an underclass.

Multinational firms have organized global supply chains that give the parent units in their home countries the ability to coordinate production in different subsidiary units and their suppliers in their host nations. Consequently, the governments of home countries seek to limit the transfer of technology to the periphery nations to avoid losing innovation rents. The host countries, on the other hand, hope to use technology to jump ahead in the development process.

The Trump administration clearly shares these concerns about the impact of globalization. President Trump has urged multinational firms to relocate production facilities within the U.S. Government officials are planning to limit the export of certain technologies while carefully scrutinizing foreign acquisitions of domestic firms in tech-related areas. New restrictions on legal immigration have been enacted that would give priority to a merit-based system. Moreover, the concerns over migration are not unique to the U.S.

Milanovic ends with some provocative thoughts about the future of capitalism. One path would be to a "people's capitalism," in which everyone has an approximately equal share of both capital and labor income. This would require tax advantages for the middle class combined with increased taxes on the rich, improvements in the quality of public education, and public funding of political campaigns. But it is also feasible that there will be a move of liberal capitalism toward a form of political capitalism based on the rise of the new elite, who wish to retain their position within society.

Milanovic's book offers a wide-ranging review of many of the features of contemporary capitalism. He is particularly insightful about the role of corruption in both liberal and political capitalism. Whether or not it is feasible to reform capitalism in order to serve a wider range of interests is one of the most important issues of our time.

2018 Adam Tooze, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

2017 Stephen D. King, Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History

2016 Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality

2015 Benjamin J. Cohen. Currency Power: Understanding Monetary Rivalry

2014 Martin Wolf, The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned–and Have Still to Learn–from the Financial Crisis

  1. likbez , December 14, 2019 3:35 am

    ==quote==
    The Trump administration clearly shares these concerns about the impact of globalization. President Trump has urged multinational firms to relocate production facilities within the U.S. Government officials are planning to limit the export of certain technologies while carefully scrutinizing foreign acquisitions of domestic firms in tech-related areas. New restrictions on legal immigration have been enacted that would give priority to a merit-based system. Moreover, the concerns over migration are not unique to the U.S.
    == end ==
    In plain language that means the collapse of neoliberal globalization.

[Dec 14, 2019] Labor Lost for Good Reason

When Liberal governments fail to provide answers for economic despair the road is paved for strong-armed, bloviating fascists. And the more desperate things become fascism will only get stronger if history is any indication.
Dec 14, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

ban nock on Fri, 12/13/2019 - 6:18am and the analogies with Sanders and the US only go so far.

Politics in the US, Britain, and Europe in general are being upended, I'd caution against pigeon holing things into the old left/right, Dem/Repub, Tory/Labor, scenario.

Britain's Labor similar to America's Democratic Party has lost lots of it's legitimacy with working people. Globalisation has decimated cities like Liverpool and Manchester. Labor didn't support Brexit, the biggest issue in politics in Britain. Being a part of the EU allowed workers from Eastern Europe to enter England and directly compete for low skilled jobs.

Labor in England also included upper middle class woke culture, which is very pro EU and anti Brexit. It's impossible to imagine a pro Brexit leader in Labor just as much as it is impossible to imagine working class people in England supporting the loss of their jobs via Remain. People voted for their economic self interests, can you blame them? As in the US there are more working class voters than there are upper middle class intellectuals.

Boris Johnson promised increased funding for the National Health Service, not tearing it down as many seem to suggest. Whether he does so is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't read his win as a rejection of the social safety net. Socialism is for many some kind of intellectual game, the working class is much less interested in ideas, and much more interested in health care, higher wages, and better conditions overall.

Ever since I watched Bernie Sanders' rise in the primaries in 16 I've felt he would be a much stronger general election candidate than he is in the primaries. As contrary as Trump might seem to hard core political junkies, Trump did steal many of Sander's memes and use them in the general election. Most wage earners actually do feel powerless in the face of the corporate overclass, they feel things getting worse not better.

To have even a snowball's chance in the pre primaries, the endless positioning and twitter wars that have occurred for months prior to even our first primary, Sanders is now committed to many of the same positions as the woke side of the Democratic Party. There might well be a big enough drop off of Hispanics, African Americans, and Working Class Dems of all hues to lose this thing again, even if Sanders wins the primary. The Democratic Party has lost working people even as it has gained Country Club Republicans from the suburbs.

Last night as the results were obvious I watched the old DK, the NYT, and other web sites. Stunned Silence. It's as if they didn't realize 2016 happened and were surprised all over again.

[Dec 14, 2019] The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 13 2019 7:09 utc | 33

A big part of why Labor and Corbyn lost so badly is the complete abdication of "the Left" on Brexit. The left were supposed to be anti-globalists, in which case their task was to join battle offering an egalitarian, left-populist version of Brexit which would have benefited the people.

Instead, faced with a real decision and a real opportunity they punted and ran home to globalist mama. This removed one of the main reasons to bother supporting them.


MFB , Dec 13 2019 8:19 utc | 36

Thing is, this destroys the left in Britain. The right in Labour had been in control since the early 1980s, and Corbyn's leadership victory was an accident which will not be given a second chance. Now what will replace Corbyn will not be Blairism, it will be something well to the right of Blairism, something much more like the DNC in the United States.

In other words, this is not a defeat of a party, it is a catastrophe for anyone seeking to struggle against the triumph of neoliberal barbarism. Oh, and it makes the probability of the end of the world through environmental catastrophe or nuclear war much higher. So apart from the ideological catastrophe it's also a human calamity.

Tsar Nicholas , Dec 13 2019 8:29 utc | 37
Corbyn destroyed hismelf. He performed quite well, unexpectedly so, in 2017 because he said that he would honour the result of the 2016 referendum. Yesterday the electors punished him for reneging on that and telling 17.4 million voters that they were wrong.

It was the less well off who voted to Leave, and it was the less well off who yesterday deserted Labour in droves. They have had enough of being told that they are in the wrong by a middle class elite who would be repelled if they ever actually met someone from the working class.

Bemildred , Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39
I find it interesting that so much effort was expended to defeat Corbyn, over such a long period, when apparently it was so little needed.

I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

Norwegian , Dec 13 2019 9:59 utc | 40
Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 13 2019 9:41 utc | 39
I am no expert on UK politics, but it does look like Brexit was the issue that Boris won on. Everybody is sick of it and wants if over with.

I am no expert on UK politics either, but from my point of view in Norway the main issue to be resolved is dismantling the EU, and it looks like the Brexit vote and this election confirms that many in the UK see it the same way. Whether it will happen is another question.

I voted NO in the 1994 Norwegian referendum on the question of becoming member of "European Community". One of the arguments in the debate at that time was that the "European Community" was aiming to become a union and a superstate. Those who argued that way were called lots of things, including conspiracy theorists. Today we are not members of the EU, but all the "regulations" are forced upon us anyway. The EU is a non-democratic nightmare that must be demolished.

I don't expect much good from the Tories, I don't exclude another betrayal of the Brexit cause, but we shall see. Corbyn lost on his betrayal of Brexit, that is for sure. I sympathize with Corbyn, but betraying the Brexit referendum is a no-no.

What the UK needs is real progressives that see the EU as the globalist project it is. It also means that the "climate crisis" must be recognised as a political tool created by the same forces. Corbyn failed on both accounts and therefore he lost.

vk , Dec 13 2019 11:38 utc | 46
Now that the official results are out, I'll comment on the British elections.
If Corbyn had won and taken us out of the EU we would have gone all Venezuela. If he'd won and kept us in the EU we'd have gone all Greece. The result is the best of the bad options available.
- Valiant_Thor, 26m ago

This comment on The Guardian encapsulates the average Conservative voter for these 2019 elections.

The UK is really at a crossroads: it is too tiny and poor in natural resources to implement socialism, but it is declining as a capitalist power.

I don't think the average British really thinks Venezuela is socialist or that Corbyn's policies would make them very poor, but I think they are afraid of the sanctions and embargoes they would suffer from the USA if they dared to try to go back to social-democracy.

This defeat may also be historic: this could go to History as the end of social-democracy. Social-democracy was already dead as an effective political force after the oil crisis of 1974-5, but at least it was able to polarize with neoliberalism in the ideological field and had some prestige that far outlived itself (to the point it was the main propaganda weapon that ultimately convinced Gorbachev to destroy the USSR, and to the point it was able to convince historians like Hobsbawn that it had actually "won the war" after 2008). Now it isn't considered even credible by half of the population of one of the few countries it was able to govern and fully influence in the post-war period.

In Rosa Luxemburg's last article (a few days before she was executed), she finally admitted defeat to the Bolsheviks. "We must separate the essential from the non-essential", she wrote. And the essential, she completed, was the fact that the Bolsheviks were right and the German Social-Democrats were wrong. It happened again, almost 100 years later.

[Dec 14, 2019] Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. In 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Formerly T-Bear , Dec 12 2019 22:30 utc | 13

@ Michael Droy | Dec 12 2019 20:57 utc | 5

(Brexit anger is about wage inequality - like US Trump support. 35 years, GDP doubled, median earnings up 10% in UK, 0% in US. If the media wrote about basic economics everyone would know this. Instead the bottom 75% have plain unfocussed anger with Trump/Brexit being lightening rods to direct it).

It might be wise to be careful here about assumptions used. First off, cognisance of population changes will not automatically translate into employed working sector changes, many factors intervene preventing a direct relationship. Secondly, having a accurate GDP measure from beginning to end of the period observed is crucial (to avoid apples vs. oranges comparisons) so that changes in productive sources (and their employed numbers) are accounted for (law offices rarely employ as many as heavy industrial firms). The history of price/wage inflation or loss of exchange value of currency will affect reported GDP statistics as well. Thirdly is measuring the general education and skill level of those employed, as those decrease so do earnings/salaries/wages. Fourthly, look at the change in social protections provided to the population in question, these protections have a cost that must be met, their absence has an even greater cost to income obtained but rarely appearing on the economic balance sheets. Regulatory capture by monopoly, sovereign & trust-fund management removes business restrictions and passes those costs to those employed. Try putting this on a bumper-sticker for your car.

In the U.S. the population had increased in double digits from the census of 1950 (150.9 millions) to 2010 (308.7 millions). Working income had not significantly increased from 1970's, Purchasing Power Parity of 1970 dollar and 2019 dollar is unobtainable information. GDP statistics are of the nature of apples vs. oranges, measuring unrelated economic production; it can be done but isn't (for reasons political) [an income of US$400,000 in 1915 would translate into a 1980's income of about US$ 8.5 millions; the economies were still roughly speaking nearly the same still and comparable, as wealth distributions were becoming again].

[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?

[Sep 22, 2019] The complete and total incompetence of the Tories

It is unclear why he calls this "incompetence". Tories clearly want to sabotage the deal and at the same time save face. That's a very tricky task and mistakes were made.
Notable quotes:
"... Politically the Tories have no plan at all, and when the clock stops on Brexit they will completely implode. The Tories are so deadlocked on Brexit that they can't even talk to themselves. ..."
"... You know the conservative party is full of incompetent wankers when the business community prefers a radical socialist over them. ..."
"... Christian Schulz at Citi says "perhaps" Corbyn is no longer as bad an option as no deal, while Deutsche's Oliver Harvey says fears about the Labour leader "may be overstated". ..."
"... "It is not that the financiers favour the opposition leader's plans for 'higher taxes, tighter labour laws, spending increases and the nationalisation of network industries', but that this may cause less harm than leaving the EU without a deal" says the Telegraph. ..."
Sep 07, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 12:07pm A little over a year ago I wrote this .

Politically the Tories have no plan at all, and when the clock stops on Brexit they will completely implode. The Tories are so deadlocked on Brexit that they can't even talk to themselves.

...This is a political and economic disaster, not just waiting to happen, but firmly scheduled...unless Labour's neoliberal Blairites save them, the Tory government is headed for an epic collapse.

It's rare that my predictions are 100% accurate, but this time I totally nailed it. To give you an idea of how badly the Tories have bungled things, look at these two headlines.

You know the conservative party is full of incompetent wankers when the business community prefers a radical socialist over them.

But while Corbyn may be less popular than no deal among the public, The Daily Telegraph says "the scourge of bankers and avowed opponent of capitalism, is winning support from unexpected new quarters" with two of the biggest global banks operating in the City of London "warming to the Labour leader".

According to the paper, he is now seen as the lesser of two evils by analysts at Citibank and Deutsche Bank, two titans of the financial system.

Christian Schulz at Citi says "perhaps" Corbyn is no longer as bad an option as no deal, while Deutsche's Oliver Harvey says fears about the Labour leader "may be overstated".

"It is not that the financiers favour the opposition leader's plans for 'higher taxes, tighter labour laws, spending increases and the nationalisation of network industries', but that this may cause less harm than leaving the EU without a deal" says the Telegraph.

To put this sentiment in hard numbers , a coalition led by his party would spur the pound more than 5%.

As for those overstated fears about the Labour leader, that's because of a highly coordinated three year smear campaign by the very same business community.

Just a few days ago the headline was: U.K.'s Super-Rich Prepare to Flee From Corbyn Rule, Not Brexit Now they want Corbyn to save them. Without the business community undermining him at every turn, Corbyn has easily managed to hold the opposition together. At the same time Corbyn has outmaneuvered the Tories and left them helpless.

Then, his efforts to secure a snap general election -- with the goal of replacing the sacked lawmakers with a new slate of candidates more aligned with his hard-Brexit views -- were scuppered when opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to play along.

Now, he is effectively trapped in Downing Street, with Corbyn holding the keys. The government plans to propose new elections again on Monday, but the opposition leader says his party will only support the move when its efforts to prevent a no-deal Brexit are locked down.

"Certainly his biggest tactical mistake so far was not to realize that it was Corbyn, as leader of the opposition, who effectively had veto power over when a general election could be held," said Professor Tony Travers, director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics.

This allows time for Corbyn to appear like a professional leader, so that when he finally allows a general election the memory of his steady hand will be fresh in the public's mind.

thanatokephaloides on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 6:20pm

catch-a-Tory

Like all other Tories worldwide, Boris "Tiny" Johnson is a charlatan. Hopefully, the British People will wake up and end their decades-long nightmare by placing him [Corbyn] in power.

As we need to do, ourselves.

edit: Added Corbyn's name to clarify that last sentence. And we, too, need to remove all Tories from power.

edg on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 3:58pm
Enemies

The value of an idea is often assessible by the number and strength of the enemies arrayed against it. Since so many entrenched interests and Powers-That-Be and elitists/globalists are against Brexit, I'm beginning to think that deal or no deal, Brexit must in the best interests of the 99%. Otherwise, the 1% wouldn't fight against it so hard.

gjohnsit on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 4:19pm
I think you are partly correct

@edg
I think Brexit is like tariffs. Tariffs are a good idea for the working class because it puts a cost on off-shoring jobs. BUT the way Trump is doing it is stupid and doesn't help anyone. Same thing with Brexit. It probably helps the 99%, but not the way the Tories are going about it.

The value of an idea is often assessible by the number and strength of the enemies arrayed against it. Since so many entrenched interests and Powers-That-Be and elitists/globalists are against Brexit, I'm beginning to think that deal or no deal, Brexit must in the best interests of the 99%. Otherwise, the 1% wouldn't fight against it so hard.

ludwig ii on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 4:06pm
What's the problem with no-deal?

The fact that Blair, the City of London, and neoliberals the world over hate Brexit and especially no-deal Brexit makes me think it's probably a good thing. Anything that chips away at the hegemony of global finance seems positive.

UntimelyRippd on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 8:41pm
for starters, it really screws up the Irish situation.

@ludwig ii

The fact that Blair, the City of London, and neoliberals the world over hate Brexit and especially no-deal Brexit makes me think it's probably a good thing. Anything that chips away at the hegemony of global finance seems positive.

[Sep 18, 2019] Gee, didn't we have this advantage once? Thanks, neoliberals!

Sep 18, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Trade

"The Trade War Spurs China's Technology Innovators Into Overdrive" [ Industry Week ]. "In Shenzhen's glitzy financial district, a five-year-old outfit creates a 360-degree sports camera that goes on to win awards and draw comparisons to GoPro Inc. Elsewhere in the Pearl River Delta, a niche design house is competing with the world's best headphone makers. And in the capital Beijing, a little-known startup becomes one of the biggest purveyors of smartwatches on the planet. Insta360, SIVGA and Huami join drone maker DJI Technology Co. among a wave of startups that are dismantling the decades-old image of China as a clone factory -- and adding to Washington's concerns about its fast-ascending international rival.

Within the world's No. 2 economy, Trump's campaign to contain China's rise is in fact spurring its burgeoning tech sector to accelerate design and invention. The threat they pose is one of unmatchable geography: by bringing design expertise and innovation to the place where devices are manufactured, these companies are able to develop products faster and more cheaply ." •

Gee, didn't we have this advantage once? Thanks, neoliberals!

[Sep 10, 2019] Neoliberal Capitalism at a Dead End by Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik

Highly recommended!
This is a Marxist critique of neoliberalism. Not necessary right but they his some relevant points.
Notable quotes:
"... The ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. ..."
"... The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. ..."
"... While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand. ..."
"... The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5 ..."
"... This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis. ..."
"... The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6 ..."
"... If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment. ..."
"... The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market ..."
"... In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people ..."
"... In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. ..."
"... The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support. ..."
"... The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism. ..."
"... And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more. ..."
"... Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | portside.org
Originally from: Monthly Review printer friendly
The ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop.

Harry Magdoff's The Age of Imperialism is a classic work that shows how postwar political decolonization does not negate the phenomenon of imperialism. The book has two distinct aspects. On the one hand, it follows in V. I. Lenin's footsteps in providing a comprehensive account of how capitalism at the time operated globally. On the other hand, it raises a question that is less frequently discussed in Marxist literature -- namely, the need for imperialism. Here, Magdoff not only highlighted the crucial importance, among other things, of the third world's raw materials for metropolitan capital, but also refuted the argument that the declining share of raw-material value in gross manufacturing output somehow reduced this importance, making the simple point that there can be no manufacturing at all without raw materials. 1

Magdoff's focus was on a period when imperialism was severely resisting economic decolonization in the third world, with newly independent third world countries taking control over their own resources. He highlighted the entire armory of weapons used by imperialism. But he was writing in a period that predated the onset of neoliberalism. Today, we not only have decades of neoliberalism behind us, but the neoliberal regime itself has reached a dead end. Contemporary imperialism has to be discussed within this setting.

Globalization and Economic Crisis

There are two reasons why the regime of neoliberal globalization has run into a dead end. The first is an ex ante tendency toward global overproduction; the second is that the only possible counter to this tendency within the regime is the formation of asset-price bubbles, which cannot be conjured up at will and whose collapse, if they do appear, plunges the economy back into crisis. In short, to use the words of British economic historian Samuel Berrick Saul, there are no "markets on tap" for contemporary metropolitan capitalism, such as had been provided by colonialism prior to the First World War and by state expenditure in the post-Second World War period of dirigisme . 2

The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. As Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy argued in Monopoly Capital , following the lead of Michał Kalecki and Josef Steindl, such a rise in the share of economic surplus, or a shift from wages to surplus, has the effect of reducing aggregate demand since the ratio of consumption to income is higher on average for wage earners than for those living off the surplus. 3 Therefore, assuming a given level of investment associated with any period, such a shift would tend to reduce consumption demand and hence aggregate demand, output, and capacity utilization. In turn, reduced capacity utilization would lower investment over time, further aggravating the demand-reducing effect arising from the consumption side.

While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand.

Historically, while labor has not been, and is still not, free to migrate from the third world to the metropolis, capital, though juridically free to move from the latter to the former, did not actually do so , except to sectors like mines and plantations, which only strengthened, rather than broke, the colonial pattern of the international division of labor. 4 This segmentation of the world economy meant that wages in the metropolis increased with labor productivity, unrestrained by the vast labor reserves of the third world, which themselves had been caused by the displacement of manufactures through the twin processes of deindustrialization (competition from metropolitan goods) and the drain of surplus (the siphoning off of a large part of the economic surplus, through taxes on peasants that are no longer spent on local artisan products but finance gratis primary commodity exports to the metropolis instead).

The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5

At the same time, such relocation of activities, despite causing impressive growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP) in many third world countries, does not lead to the exhaustion of the third world's labor reserves. This is because of another feature of contemporary globalization: the unleashing of a process of primitive accumulation of capital against petty producers, including peasant agriculturists in the third world, who had earlier been protected, to an extent, from the encroachment of big capital (both domestic and foreign) by the postcolonial dirigiste regimes in these countries. Under neoliberalism, such protection is withdrawn, causing an income squeeze on these producers and often their outright dispossession from their land, which is then used by big capital for its various so-called development projects. The increase in employment, even in countries with impressive GDP growth rates in the third world, falls way short of the natural growth of the workforce, let alone absorbing the additional job seekers coming from the ranks of displaced petty producers. The labor reserves therefore never get used up. Indeed, on the contrary, they are augmented further, because real wages continue to remain tied to a subsistence level, even as metropolitan wages too are restrained. The vector of real wages in the world economy as a whole therefore remains restrained.

Although contemporary globalization thus gives rise to an ex ante tendency toward overproduction, state expenditure that could provide a counter to this (and had provided a counter through military spending in the United States, according to Baran and Sweezy) can no longer do so under the current regime. Finance is usually opposed to direct state intervention through larger spending as a way of increasing employment. This opposition expresses itself through an opposition not just to larger taxes on capitalists, but also to a larger fiscal deficit for financing such spending. Obviously, if larger state spending is financed by taxes on workers, then it hardly adds to aggregate demand, for workers spend the bulk of their incomes anyway, so the state taking this income and spending it instead does not add any extra demand. Hence, larger state spending can increase employment only if it is financed either through a fiscal deficit or through taxes on capitalists who keep a part of their income unspent or saved. But these are precisely the two modes of financing state expenditure that finance capital opposes.

Its opposing larger taxes on capitalists is understandable, but why is it so opposed to a larger fiscal deficit? Even within a capitalist economy, there are no sound economic theoretical reasons that should preclude a fiscal deficit under all circumstances. The root of the opposition therefore lies in deeper social considerations: if the capitalist economic system becomes dependent on the state to promote employment directly , then this fact undermines the social legitimacy of capitalism. The need for the state to boost the animal spirits of the capitalists disappears and a perspective on the system that is epistemically exterior to it is provided to the people, making it possible for them to ask: If the state can do the job of providing employment, then why do we need the capitalists at all? It is an instinctive appreciation of this potential danger that underlies the opposition of capital, especially of finance, to any direct effort by the state to generate employment.

This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis.

The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6

It may be thought that this compulsion on the part of the state to accede to the demand of finance to eschew fiscal intervention for enlarging employment should not hold for the United States. Its currency being considered by the world's wealth holders to be "as good as gold" should make it immune to capital flight. But there is an additional factor operating in the case of the United States: that the demand generated by a bigger U.S. fiscal deficit would substantially leak abroad in a neoliberal setting, which would increase its external debt (since, unlike Britain in its heyday, it does not have access to any unrequited colonial transfers) for the sake of generating employment elsewhere. This fact deters any fiscal effort even in the United States to boost demand within a neoliberal setting. 7

Therefore, it follows that state spending cannot provide a counter to the ex ante tendency toward global overproduction within a regime of neoliberal globalization, which makes the world economy precariously dependent on occasional asset-price bubbles, primarily in the U.S. economy, for obtaining, at best, some temporary relief from the crisis. It is this fact that underlies the dead end that neoliberal capitalism has reached. Indeed, Donald Trump's resort to protectionism in the United States to alleviate unemployment is a clear recognition of the system having reached this cul-de-sac. The fact that the mightiest capitalist economy in the world has to move away from the rules of the neoliberal game in an attempt to alleviate its crisis of unemployment/underemployment -- while compensating capitalists adversely affected by this move through tax cuts, as well as carefully ensuring that no restraints are imposed on free cross-border financial flows -- shows that these rules are no longer viable in their pristine form.

Some Implications of This Dead End

There are at least four important implications of this dead end of neoliberalism. The first is that the world economy will now be afflicted by much higher levels of unemployment than it was in the last decade of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, when the dot-com and the housing bubbles in the United States had, sequentially, a pronounced impact. It is true that the U.S. unemployment rate today appears to be at a historic low, but this is misleading: the labor-force participation rate in the United States today is lower than it was in 2008, which reflects the discouraged-worker effect . Adjusting for this lower participation, the U.S. unemployment rate is considerable -- around 8 percent. Indeed, Trump would not be imposing protection in the United States if unemployment was actually as low as 4 percent, which is the official figure. Elsewhere in the world, of course, unemployment post-2008 continues to be evidently higher than before. Indeed, the severity of the current problem of below-full-employment production in the U.S. economy is best illustrated by capacity utilization figures in manufacturing. The weakness of the U.S. recovery from the Great Recession is indicated by the fact that the current extended recovery represents the first decade in the entire post-Second World War period in which capacity utilization in manufacturing has never risen as high as 80 percent in a single quarter, with the resulting stagnation of investment. 8

If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment.

There has been some discussion on how global value chains would be affected by Trump's protectionism. But the fact that global macroeconomics in the early twenty-first century will look altogether different compared to earlier has not been much discussed.

In light of the preceding discussion, one could say that if, instead of individual nation-states whose writ cannot possibly run against globalized finance capital, there was a global state or a set of major nation-states acting in unison to override the objections of globalized finance and provide a coordinated fiscal stimulus to the world economy, then perhaps there could be recovery. Such a coordinated fiscal stimulus was suggested by a group of German trade unionists, as well as by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression in the 1930s. 9 While it was turned down then, in the present context it has not even been discussed.

The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market.

Such a transition will not be easy; it will require promoting domestic peasant agriculture, defending petty production, moving toward cooperative forms of production, and ensuring greater equality in income distribution, all of which need major structural shifts. For smaller economies, it would also require their coming together with other economies to provide a minimum size to the domestic market. In short, the dead end of neoliberalism also means the need for a shift away from the so-called neoliberal development strategy that has held sway until now.

The third implication is the imminent engulfing of a whole range of third world economies in serious balance-of-payments difficulties. This is because, while their exports will be sluggish in the new situation, this very fact will also discourage financial inflows into their economies, whose easy availability had enabled them to maintain current account deficits on their balance of payments earlier. In such a situation, within the existing neoliberal paradigm, they would be forced to adopt austerity measures that would impose income deflation on their people, make the conditions of their people significantly worse, lead to a further handing over of their national assets and resources to international capital, and prevent precisely any possible transition to an alternative strategy of home market-based growth.

In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people.

The fourth implication is the worldwide upsurge of fascism. Neoliberal capitalism even before it reached a dead end, even in the period when it achieved reasonable growth and employment rates, had pushed the world into greater hunger and poverty. For instance, the world per-capita cereal output was 355 kilograms for 1980 (triennium average for 1979–81 divided by mid–triennium population) and fell to 343 in 2000, leveling at 344.9 in 2016 -- and a substantial amount of this last figure went into ethanol production. Clearly, in a period of growth of the world economy, per-capita cereal absorption should be expanding, especially since we are talking here not just of direct absorption but of direct and indirect absorption, the latter through processed foods and feed grains in animal products. The fact that there was an absolute decline in per-capita output, which no doubt caused a decline in per-capita absorption, suggests an absolute worsening in the nutritional level of a substantial segment of the world's population.

But this growing hunger and nutritional poverty did not immediately arouse any significant resistance, both because such resistance itself becomes more difficult under neoliberalism (since the very globalization of capital makes it an elusive target) and also because higher GDP growth rates provided a hope that distress might be overcome in the course of time. Peasants in distress, for instance, entertained the hope that their children would live better in the years to come if given a modicum of education and accepted their fate.

In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. This changes the discourse away from the material conditions of people's lives to the so-called threat to the nation, placing the blame for people's distress not on the failure of the system, but on ethnic, linguistic, and religious minority groups, the other that is portrayed as an enemy. It projects a so-called messiah whose sheer muscularity can somehow magically overcome all problems; it promotes a culture of unreason so that both the vilification of the other and the magical powers of the supposed leader can be placed beyond any intellectual questioning; it uses a combination of state repression and street-level vigilantism by fascist thugs to terrorize opponents; and it forges a close relationship with big business, or, in Kalecki's words, "a partnership of big business and fascist upstarts." 10

Fascist groups of one kind or another exist in all modern societies. They move center stage and even into power only on certain occasions when they get the backing of big business. And these occasions arise when three conditions are satisfied: when there is an economic crisis so the system cannot simply go on as before; when the usual liberal establishment is manifestly incapable of resolving the crisis; and when the left is not strong enough to provide an alternative to the people in order to move out of the conjuncture.

This last point may appear odd at first, since many see the big bourgeoisie's recourse to fascism as a counter to the growth of the left's strength in the context of a capitalist crisis. But when the left poses a serious threat, the response of the big bourgeoisie typically is to attempt to split it by offering concessions. It uses fascism to prop itself up only when the left is weakened. Walter Benjamin's remark that "behind every fascism there is a failed revolution" points in this direction.

Fascism Then and Now

Contemporary fascism, however, differs in crucial respects from its 1930s counterpart, which is why many are reluctant to call the current phenomenon a fascist upsurge. But historical parallels, if carefully drawn, can be useful. While in some aforementioned respects contemporary fascism does resemble the phenomenon of the 1930s, there are serious differences between the two that must also be noted.

First, we must note that while the current fascist upsurge has put fascist elements in power in many countries, there are no fascist states of the 1930s kind as of yet. Even if the fascist elements in power try to push the country toward a fascist state, it is not clear that they will succeed. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that fascists in power today cannot overcome the crisis of neoliberalism, since they accept the regime of globalization of finance. This includes Trump, despite his protectionism. In the 1930s, however, this was not the case. The horrors associated with the institution of a fascist state in the 1930s had been camouflaged to an extent by the ability of the fascists in power to overcome mass unemployment and end the Depression through larger military spending, financed by government borrowing. Contemporary fascism, by contrast, lacks the ability to overcome the opposition of international finance capital to fiscal activism on the part of the government to generate larger demand, output, and employment, even via military spending.

Such activism, as discussed earlier, required larger government spending financed either through taxes on capitalists or through a fiscal deficit. Finance capital was opposed to both of these measures and it being globalized made this opposition decisive . The decisiveness of this opposition remains even if the government happens to be one composed of fascist elements. Hence, contemporary fascism, straitjacketed by "fiscal rectitude," cannot possibly alleviate even temporarily the economic crises facing people and cannot provide any cover for a transition to a fascist state akin to the ones of the 1930s, which makes such a transition that much more unlikely.

Another difference is also related to the phenomenon of the globalization of finance. The 1930s were marked by what Lenin had earlier called "interimperialist rivalry." The military expenditures incurred by fascist governments, even though they pulled countries out of the Depression and unemployment, inevitably led to wars for "repartitioning an already partitioned world." Fascism was the progenitor of war and burned itself out through war at, needless to say, great cost to humankind.

Contemporary fascism, however, operates in a world where interimperialist rivalry is far more muted. Some have seen in this muting a vindication of Karl Kautsky's vision of an "ultraimperialism" as against Lenin's emphasis on the permanence of interimperialist rivalry, but this is wrong. Both Kautsky and Lenin were talking about a world where finance capital and the financial oligarchy were essentially national -- that is, German, French, or British. And while Kautsky talked about the possibility of truces among the rival oligarchies, Lenin saw such truces only as transient phenomena punctuating the ubiquity of rivalry.

In contrast, what we have today is not nation-based finance capitals, but international finance capital into whose corpus the finance capitals drawn from particular countries are integrated. This globalized finance capital does not want the world to be partitioned into economic territories of rival powers ; on the contrary, it wants the entire globe to be open to its own unrestricted movement. The muting of rivalry between major powers, therefore, is not because they prefer truce to war, or peaceful partitioning of the world to forcible repartitioning, but because the material conditions themselves have changed so that it is no longer a matter of such choices. The world has gone beyond both Lenin and Kautsky, as well as their debates.

Not only are we not going to have wars between major powers in this era of fascist upsurge (of course, as will be discussed, we shall have other wars), but, by the same token, this fascist upsurge will not burn out through any cataclysmic war. What we are likely to see is a lingering fascism of less murderous intensity , which, when in power, does not necessarily do away with all the forms of bourgeois democracy, does not necessarily physically annihilate the opposition, and may even allow itself to get voted out of power occasionally. But since its successor government, as long as it remains within the confines of the neoliberal strategy, will also be incapable of alleviating the crisis, the fascist elements are likely to return to power as well. And whether the fascist elements are in or out of power, they will remain a potent force working toward the fascification of the society and the polity, even while promoting corporate interests within a regime of globalization of finance, and hence permanently maintaining the "partnership between big business and fascist upstarts."

Put differently, since the contemporary fascist upsurge is not likely to burn itself out as the earlier one did, it has to be overcome by transcending the very conjuncture that produced it: neoliberal capitalism at a dead end. A class mobilization of working people around an alternative set of transitional demands that do not necessarily directly target neoliberal capitalism, but which are immanently unrealizable within the regime of neoliberal capitalism, can provide an initial way out of this conjuncture and lead to its eventual transcendence.

Such a class mobilization in the third world context would not mean making no truces with liberal bourgeois elements against the fascists. On the contrary, since the liberal bourgeois elements too are getting marginalized through a discourse of jingoistic nationalism typically manufactured by the fascists, they too would like to shift the discourse toward the material conditions of people's lives, no doubt claiming that an improvement in these conditions is possible within the neoliberal economic regime itself. Such a shift in discourse is in itself a major antifascist act . Experience will teach that the agenda advanced as part of this changed discourse is unrealizable under neoliberalism, providing the scope for dialectical intervention by the left to transcend neoliberal capitalism.

Imperialist Interventions

Even though fascism will have a lingering presence in this conjuncture of "neoliberalism at a dead end," with the backing of domestic corporate-financial interests that are themselves integrated into the corpus of international finance capital, the working people in the third world will increasingly demand better material conditions of life and thereby rupture the fascist discourse of jingoistic nationalism (that ironically in a third world context is not anti-imperialist).

In fact, neoliberalism reaching a dead end and having to rely on fascist elements revives meaningful political activity, which the heyday of neoliberalism had precluded, because most political formations then had been trapped within an identical neoliberal agenda that appeared promising. (Latin America had a somewhat different history because neoliberalism arrived in that continent through military dictatorships, not through its more or less tacit acceptance by most political formations.)

Such revived political activity will necessarily throw up challenges to neoliberal capitalism in particular countries. Imperialism, by which we mean the entire economic and political arrangement sustaining the hegemony of international finance capital, will deal with these challenges in at least four different ways.

The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support.

Even if capital controls are put in place, where there are current account deficits, financing such deficits would pose a problem, necessitating some trade controls. But this is where the second instrument of imperialism comes into play: the imposition of trade sanctions by the metropolitan states, which then cajole other countries to stop buying from the sanctioned country that is trying to break away from thralldom to globalized finance capital. Even if the latter would have otherwise succeeded in stabilizing its economy despite its attempt to break away, the imposition of sanctions becomes an additional blow.

The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism.

And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more.

Two aspects of such intervention are striking. One is the virtual unanimity among the metropolitan states, which only underscores the muting of interimperialist rivalry in the era of hegemony of global finance capital. The other is the extent of support that such intervention commands within metropolitan countries, from the right to even the liberal segments.

Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it.

Notes
  1. Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969).
  2. Samuel Berrick Saul, Studies in British Overseas Trade, 1870–1914 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1960).
  3. Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966).
  4. One of the first authors to recognize this fact and its significance was Paul Baran in The Political Economy of Growth (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1957).
  5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, " Inequality is Holding Back the Recovery ," New York Times , January 19, 2013.
  6. For a discussion of how even the recent euphoria about U.S. growth is vanishing, see C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh, " Vanishing Green Shoots and the Possibility of Another Crisis ," The Hindu Business Line , April 8, 2019.
  7. For the role of such colonial transfers in sustaining the British balance of payments and the long Victorian and Edwardian boom, see Utsa Patnaik, "Revisiting the 'Drain,' or Transfers from India to Britain in the Context of Global Diffusion of Capitalism," in Agrarian and Other Histories: Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri , ed. Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik (Delhi: Tulika, 2017), 277-317.
  8. Federal Reserve Board of Saint Louis Economic Research, FRED, "Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing," February 2019 (updated March 27, 2019), http://fred.stlouisfed.org .
  9. This issue is discussed by Charles P. Kindleberger in The World in Depression, 1929–1939 , 40th anniversary ed. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2013).
  10. Michał Kalecki, " Political Aspects of Full Employment ," Political Quarterly (1943), available at mronline.org.
  11. Joseph Schumpeter had seen Keynes's The Economic Consequences of the Peace as essentially advocating such state intervention in the new situation. See his essay, "John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946)," in Ten Great Economists (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952).

Utsa Patnaik is Professor Emerita at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her books include Peasant Class Differentiation (1987), The Long Transition (1999), and The Republic of Hunger and Other Essays (2007). Prabhat Patnaik is Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His books include Accumulation and Stability Under Capitalism (1997), The Value of Money(2009), and Re-envisioning Socialism(2011).

[Aug 28, 2019] Are we being manipulated to eventually discard objective reality or at least the concept of it?

Aug 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

O , Aug 27 2019 17:09 utc | 178

Interesting James Corbett video.
https://www.corbettreport.com/deep-fakes-the-cias-mission-accomplished/

Are we being manipulated to eventually discard objective reality or at least the concept of it?

[Aug 28, 2019] there are far fewer manufacturing workers overall, with about 7.5 million jobs lost since 1980.

Aug 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Aug 27 2019 22:36 utc | 208

@ Formerly T-Bear 203

a farmer has at least 3 PhD qualifications just to contend in the business

No need for a tongue-in-cheek, you're on track, if manufacturing food is akin to other manufacturing.
. . .from last year

August 2018, The fall of employment in the manufacturing sector
Today's manufacturing output is at least 5 percent greater than it was in 2000, but it has become much more capital intensive and much less labor intensive. Accordingly, workers in the sector are more likely to have at least some college education than their counterparts of years past. But there are far fewer manufacturing workers overall, with about 7.5 million jobs lost since 1980.


What is most responsible for the manufacturing job losses? Rising trade with China is often cited as a possible culprit. But competition from China only accounts for about a fourth of the decline in manufacturing during the 2000s. This theory is further eroded by the fact that local markets that did not compete with Chinese imports also saw employment declines.
A skills mismatch -- the gap between the skills workers have and the skills employers need -- has also contributed to the decline of manufacturing employment.
Prime age men and women with less than a high school degree have been hit particularly hard by changes to manufacturing employment. As the manufacturing sector has shifted from low-skilled to high-skilled work, workers who possess higher skill levels (e.g., engineers, computer programmers, software developers, etc.) have become more sought after than before. . . here


And the US supply of STEM graduates for any technical profession seems to be wanting. Meanwhile we must recognize that employment is not directly tied to the economy, given mechanization.

[Aug 26, 2019] Brexit and the USA UK trade deal

Notable quotes:
"... Brute facts tell us this. As part of the European Union, the UK and Germany have the same trading rules. Last year, however, Germany exported $134bn of goods to the US whereas the UK exported only $65.3bn. Per head of population, Germany's exports to the US were therefore 60% higher than the UK's. Much the same is true for other non-EU nations. Last year Germany exported $11.8bn to Australia whilst the UK exported just $5.9bn, a per capita difference of over 50%. German exports to Canada were $12bn whilst the UK's were $7.3bn, a 28% per capita difference. German exports to Japan, at $24.1bn were 2.2 times as great per head as the UK's. And German exports to China, at $109.9bn were three times as great per capita as the UK's $27.7bn. ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 23, 2019 at 04:50 PM

https://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2019/08/the-trade-deal-fetish.html

August 13, 2019

The trade deal fetish

John Bolton says the UK can strike a quick trade deal with the US. This reminds me of an under-appreciated fact – that it is not trade rules that are significantly holding back UK exports.

Brute facts tell us this. As part of the European Union, the UK and Germany have the same trading rules. Last year, however, Germany exported $134bn of goods to the US whereas the UK exported only $65.3bn. Per head of population, Germany's exports to the US were therefore 60% higher than the UK's. Much the same is true for other non-EU nations. Last year Germany exported $11.8bn to Australia whilst the UK exported just $5.9bn, a per capita difference of over 50%. German exports to Canada were $12bn whilst the UK's were $7.3bn, a 28% per capita difference. German exports to Japan, at $24.1bn were 2.2 times as great per head as the UK's. And German exports to China, at $109.9bn were three times as great per capita as the UK's $27.7bn.

Now, these numbers refer only to goods where Germany has a comparative advantage over the UK. But they tell us something important. Whatever else is holding back UK exports, it is not trade rules. Germany exports far more than the UK under the same rules.

As for what it is that is holding back exports, there are countless candidates – the same ones that help explain the UK's relative industrial weakness: poor management; a lack of vocational training; lack of finance or entrepreneurship; the diversion of talent from manufacturing to a bloated financial sector; the legacy of an overvalued exchange rate. And so on.

If we were serious about wanting to revive UK exports, we would be discussing what to do about issues such as these. Which poses the question: why, then, does the possibility of trade deals get so much more media attention?

One reason is that the right has for decades made a consistent error– a form of elasticity optimism whereby they over-estimate economic flexibility and dynamism. Back in the 80s, Patrick Minford thought, mostly wrongly, that unemployed coal miners and manufacturers would swiftly find jobs elsewhere as, I dunno, astronauts or lap-dancers. The Britannia Unchained crew think, again wrongly, that deregulation will create lots of jobs. And some Brexiters in 2016 thought sterling's fall would give a big boost to net exports.

In the same spirit, they think free trade deals will raise exports a lot. But they won't - and certainly not enough to offset the increased red tape of post-Brexit trade with the EU. Jobs and exports just aren't as responsive to stimuli as they think. The economy is more sclerotic, more path dependent, than that.

Secondly, the BBC has a bias against emergence. It overstates the extent to which outcomes such as real wages, share prices or government borrowing are the result of deliberate policy actions and understates the extent to which they are the emergent and largely unintended result of countless less obvious choices. In this spirit, it gets too excited about trade deals and neglects the real obstacles to higher exports.

But there's something else. Perhaps the purpose of free trade deals is not to boost exports at all. It is instead largely totemic. Such deals are one of the few things we'll be able to do after Brexit that we couldn't do before. They are therefore a symbol of our new-found sovereignty. They are, alas, largely just that – a symbol.

-- Chris Dillow

Joe -> anne... , August 23, 2019 at 09:35 PM
"John Bolton says the UK can strike a quick trade deal with the US. "
---
Clueless. The US and the UK do not need a trade deal, Brexit is happening because the UK decided it didn't need any trade deals, open market trading on whatever restrictions foreign government makes is fine with brexiters.

Way back when we were a smarter people, we assumed that trade deals are a restriction on trade. They exist to overcome protectionism which was there prior.

[Aug 26, 2019] A new assessment of the role of offshoring in the decline in US manufacturing employment

Notable quotes:
"... What has caused the rapid decline in US manufacturing employment in recent decades? This column uses novel data to investigate the role of US multinationals and finds that they were a key driver behind the job losses. Insights from a theoretical framework imply that a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing led firms to increase offshoring, and to shed labour." [link above] ..."
"... It looks like 'free' trade fundamentalists like Krugman are going to have to revisit their ideology... ..."
"... How pathetic can Democrats get with thier anti-worker policies ..."
"... Late 90's US corporations went whole in to industrializing [extreme low wage] China... FOREX, federal deficits, ignoring the US worker, etc. were in the [sympathetic] mix. There is a chicken, which egg is not important. ..."
"... Personally, I think that Trump is exploiting the distress of the working stiff and not doing anything for him. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership has shown callous indifference toward the working stiff so Trump gets their votes, because at least he will acknowledge that there's a problem unlike kurt and his ilk. ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH , August 23, 2019 at 03:37 PM

"A new assessment of the role of offshoring in the decline in US manufacturing employment," by Christoph Boehm, Aaron Flaaen, Nitya Pandalai-Nayar 15 August 2019
What has caused the rapid decline in US manufacturing employment in recent decades? This column uses novel data to investigate the role of US multinationals and finds that they were a key driver behind the job losses. Insights from a theoretical framework imply that a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing led firms to increase offshoring, and to shed labour." [link above]

It looks like 'free' trade fundamentalists like Krugman are going to have to revisit their ideology...

As for kurt, expect him to continue to deny the fact that 'free' trade has cost a significant number of jobs and caused enough economic disruption to tilt the election to Trump in 2016.

Further, expect the Democratic leadership to continue to tout the benefits of 'free' trade without acknowledging its severe adverse effects, both economically and politically. And of course, as long as they never acknowledge the adverse effects, they will never have to address it which will allow Trump to continue to bludgeon them on the issue.

How pathetic can Democrats get with thier anti-worker policies


ilsm -> JohnH... , August 23, 2019 at 04:47 PM
Late 90's US corporations went whole in to industrializing [extreme low wage] China... FOREX, federal deficits, ignoring the US worker, etc. were in the [sympathetic] mix. There is a chicken, which egg is not important.

The US worker lost in the evolutions. Aside from Trump who has tried anything for the US working stiff?

JohnH -> ilsm... , August 23, 2019 at 05:06 PM
Personally, I think that Trump is exploiting the distress of the working stiff and not doing anything for him. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership has shown callous indifference toward the working stiff so Trump gets their votes, because at least he will acknowledge that there's a problem unlike kurt and his ilk.
ilsm -> JohnH... , August 24, 2019 at 04:39 AM
Like Andrew Jackson taking on Charleston on Nullification?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, yeah. Mirage.

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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

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

New Facts on Manufacturing Employment, Trade, and Multinational Activity

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

Figure 1 US manufacturing employment and US outward FDI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure 3 US employment and import dynamics at new multinational plants

a) Relative imports

b) Cumulative relative employment (Index)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aggregate Implications for US Manufacturing Employment

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

Policy Implications

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

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

See original post for references

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

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

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

Rx, military equipment parts

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

upstater , August 16, 2019 at 10:51 am

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

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

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm

our research implies .could facilitate their transition

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

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

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

rd , August 16, 2019 at 11:10 am

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

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

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

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

Tyronius , August 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inode_buddha , August 16, 2019 at 11:51 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

polecat , August 16, 2019 at 2:43 pm

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

*not necessarily as one people, however ..

Summer , August 16, 2019 at 3:31 pm

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

They are full of it.

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

Punxsutawney , August 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

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

Not so much!

sierra7 , August 16, 2019 at 11:58 am

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

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Dear Mr Trump

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

What's you intention for the tariff money?

doug , August 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm

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

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm

No, I'm asking if he has one.

I'm implying nothing.

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

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cirsium , August 16, 2019 at 12:54 pm

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

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

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

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

Inode_buddha , August 16, 2019 at 1:40 pm

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

Glen , August 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

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

Inode_buddha , August 16, 2019 at 2:59 pm

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

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 16, 2019 at 5:19 pm

It's good people are asking questions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is why the Trump Administration just basically rebooted it.

John , August 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm

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

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

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

Subaltern , August 16, 2019 at 4:48 pm

Consider it payback for colonialism and neocolonialism.

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

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

This post reeks of globalist propa.

Altandmain , August 16, 2019 at 5:09 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sierra7 , August 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm

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

Rick , August 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

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

Manufacturing employment

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

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

Aug 13, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

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

August 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Aug 12 2019 5:29 utc | 69

@66 psychohistorian

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

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

~~

Brexit and the EU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 12 2019 18:23 utc | 115

Grieved @69--

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 03, 2019] The US elite realised that globalization no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it.

Notable quotes:
"... US President Trump does not do that in order to dismantle the dollar or US hegemony because of so called isolationism, as some may think. Trump does that in order to save US hegemony, implementing policies, in my opinion, devised by the US military/intelligence/science community. They now want to hamper globalisation and create fortress US, in order to bring back manufacturing and save as much as possible of the US Empire. Chaos and lack of cooperation in the world benefit the US. They now realise globalisation no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it." ..."
"... Trump and his trade negotiators continue to insist on China agreeing to an unequal trade treaty. ..."
"... IMO, China can continue to refuse and stand up for its principles, while the world looks on and nods its head in agreement with China as revealed by the increasing desire of nations to become a BRI partner. ..."
"... It should be noted that Trump's approach while differing from the one pushed by Obama/Kerry/Clinton the goal is the same since the Empire needs the infusion of loot from China to keep its financial dollarized Ponzi Scheme functioning. ..."
"... Russia's a target too, but most of its available loot was already grabbed during the 1990s. ..."
"... I keep going back to believing that multilateralism is a code word for no longer allowing empire global private finance hegemony and fiat money. ..."
"... The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire and its associated corporations and vassal nations checkmates what you think Trump's trying to accomplish. Hudson has explained it all very well in a series of recent papers and interviews: Neoliberalism is all about growing Financial Capitalism and using it to exert control/hegemony on all aspects of political-economy. ..."
"... Trump hasn't proposed any new policy to accomplish his MAGA pledge other than engaging in economic warfare with most other nations. His is a Unilateral Pirate Ship out to plunder all and sundry, including those that elected him. ..."
Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by | Aug 2 2019 23:39 utc | 30

I will mention this again, to see what people here think, as they are intelligent people. I sent mails to Russian and Chinese authorities about this.

"I will provide you with possible reasons behind the current trade wars and rejection of globalisation by the US. In short, they think that they will save their hegemony, to a certain degree, that way.

There are long term GDP Growth and Socioeconomic Scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the OECD, and the world scientific community. They are generally used to measure the impact of Climate change on the World. In order to measure it, Socioeconomic Scenarios were developed, as the level of economic growth in the world is very important for determining the impact of Climate Change in the future. High growth levels will obviously affect Climate Change, so these GDP estimates are important. The scenarios are with time horizon 2100.

For more on this you can check these studies here, some of the many dealing with this topic. They describe the scenarios for the world.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378016300681#sec0025

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378015000837

There are 5 main scenarios, or "Shared Socioeconomic Pathways". All of them describe different worlds.

See SSP 3. A world of rivalry, trade wars, trade barriers, lack of global cooperation, and fragmentation, will lead to lower level of growth in the developing world, and thus a slow catch up process. Multipolarity in such a world is weak as the developing world is hampered.

In other words, a world of cooperation between countries will lead to higher economic growth in the developing world, faster catch up process, and thus stronger multipolarity.

Low cooperation, fragmented world, high conflict scenarios consistently lead to low growth in the developing world and thus to the US and the West retaining some of its positions - a world with overall bad economy and low level of multipolarity.

Basically, globalisation is key. The developing world (ex West) was growing slowly before globalisation (before 1990). Globalisation means sharing of technology and knowledge, and companies investing in poorer countries. Outsourcing of western manufacturing. Etc. After globalisation started in 1990, the developing world is growing very well. It is globalisation that is weakening the relative power of the West and empowering the developing world. The US now needs to kill globalisation if it is to stop its relative decline.

So what do we see: exactly attempts to create the SSP 3 scenario. Trade wars, sanctions, attacks on multilateral institutions - the WTO, on international law, on the Paris Climate Change Agreement (which if accepted would put constraints on the US economy), on the UN, bullying of Europe, lack of care for european energy needs, support for Brexit (which weakens Europe), crack down on chinese students and scientists in the US, crack down on chinese access to western science data, demands to remove the perks for poor countries in the WTO, etc. This is hitting economic growth in the whole world and the global economy currently is not well. By destroying the world economy, the US benefits as it hampers the rise of the developing nations.

US President Trump does not do that in order to dismantle the dollar or US hegemony because of so called isolationism, as some may think. Trump does that in order to save US hegemony, implementing policies, in my opinion, devised by the US military/intelligence/science community. They now want to hamper globalisation and create fortress US, in order to bring back manufacturing and save as much as possible of the US Empire. Chaos and lack of cooperation in the world benefit the US. They now realise globalisation no longer serves the US as it leads to the rise of developing nations. Thus they no longer support it and even sabotage it."

karlof1 , Aug 2 2019 23:55 utc | 31

psychohistorian @11--

You ask, "The concept of multilateralism is not completely clear to me in relation to the global public/private finance issue and I am not of faith but of questions...."

Wikileaks definition :

"In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal."

The key point for the Chinese during negotiations as I understand them via their published White Paper on the subject is development and the international rules put in place at WTO for nations placed into the Developing category, which get some preferential treatment to help their economies mature. As China often reminds the global public--and officials of the Outlaw US Empire--both the BRI and EAEU projects are about developing the economies of developing economies, that the process is designed to be a Win-Win for all the developing economies involved. This of course differs vastly from what's known as the Washington Consensus, where all developing economies kowtow to the Outlaw US Empire's diktat via the World Bank and IMF and thus become enslaved by dollar dependency/debt. Much is written about the true nature of the Washington Consensus, Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Klein's Disaster Capitalism being two of the more recent and devastating, and many nations are able to attest to the Zero-sum results. The result is very few nations are willing to subject their economies to the pillaging via Washington Consensus institutions, which Hudson just recently reviewed.

The Empire is desperate and is looking for ways to keep its Super Imperialism intact and thus continue its policy aimed at Full Spectrum Dominance. But the Empire's abuse of the dollar-centric institutions of international commerce has only served to alienate its users who are openly and actively seeking to form parallel institutions under genuine multilateral control. However as Hudson illustrates, Trump doesn't know what he's doing regarding his trade and international monetary policies. Today's AP above the fold headline in Eugene's The Register Guard screamed "Trump threatens 10% tariffs;" but unusually for such stories, it explains that the 10% is essentially a tax on US consumers, not on Chinese companies, which provides a message opposite of the one Trump wants to impart--that he's being tough on the Chinese when the opposite's true. China will continue to resist the attempts to allow the international financial sharks to swim in Chinese waters as China is well aware of what they'll attempt to accomplish--and it's far easier to keep them out than to get them out once allowed in, although China's anti-corruption laws ought to scare the hell out of the CEOs of those corps.

The Empire wants to continue its longstanding Open Door policy in the realm of target nations opening their economies to the full force of Imperial-based corps so they can use their financial might to wrestle the market from domestic players and institute their Oligopoly. China already experienced the initial Open Door (which was aimed at getting Uncle Sam's share of China during the Unequal Treaties period 115 years ago) and will not allow that to recur. China invokes its right under WTO rules for developing economies to protect their financial services sector from predation; the Empire argues China is beyond a developing economy and must drop its shields. We've read what Hudson advised the Chinese to do--resist and develop a publicly-based yuan-centered financial system that highly taxes privatized rent-seekers while keeping and enhancing state-provided insurance--health, home, auto, life, etc--while keeping restrictions on foreign land ownership since it's jot allowed to purchase similar assets within the domestic US market.

The Outlaw US Empire insists that China give so it can take. Understandably, China says no; what we allow you to do, you should allow us to do. Trump and his trade negotiators continue to insist on China agreeing to an unequal trade treaty. Obviously, the latest proposal was merely a repetition of what came before and was rejected as soon as the meeting got underway, so it ended as quickly as it started. IMO, China can continue to refuse and stand up for its principles, while the world looks on and nods its head in agreement with China as revealed by the increasing desire of nations to become a BRI partner.

It should be noted that Trump's approach while differing from the one pushed by Obama/Kerry/Clinton the goal is the same since the Empire needs the infusion of loot from China to keep its financial dollarized Ponzi Scheme functioning.

Russia's a target too, but most of its available loot was already grabbed during the 1990s. D-Party Establishment candidates have yet to let it be known they'll try to do what Trump's failing to do, which of course has nothing to do with aiding the US consumer and everything to do with bolstering Wall Street's Ponzi Scheme.

Passer by | Aug 3 2019 0:06 utc | 32

karlof1 , Aug 2 2019 23:55 utc | 31

Good comment, karlof1 , i think that the attack against China is attack against the heart of multipolarity. It will be good if b could post about the escalation of the trade war. This is important. The US clearly intends to resist multipoarity, and tries to stop it.

karlof1 , Aug 3 2019 0:19 utc | 34
@ karlof1 with the response...thanks

If I would have had my act together last night I would have posted another link fro Xinhuanet (can't find now) about how China wants to retain developing nation status and provides as data that the (I think) per capita GDP had gone down....gotten worse in relation to the US per capita GDP.

I keep going back to believing that multilateralism is a code word for no longer allowing empire global private finance hegemony and fiat money.

Passer by @30--

The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire and its associated corporations and vassal nations checkmates what you think Trump's trying to accomplish. Hudson has explained it all very well in a series of recent papers and interviews: Neoliberalism is all about growing Financial Capitalism and using it to exert control/hegemony on all aspects of political-economy.

Thus, there's no need to sponsor the reindustrialization that would lead to MAGA. Indeed, Trump hasn't proposed any new policy to accomplish his MAGA pledge other than engaging in economic warfare with most other nations. His is a Unilateral Pirate Ship out to plunder all and sundry, including those that elected him.

In your outline, it's very easy to see why BRI is so attractive to other nations as it forwards SSP1. Awhile ago during a discussion of China's development goals, I posted links to its program that's very ambitious and doing very well with its implementation, the main introduction portal being here .

William Gruff , Aug 3 2019 0:28 utc | 35
psychohistorian @11 asked: "The concept of multilateralism is not completely clear to me in relation to the global public/private finance issue and I am not of faith but of questions...."

karlof1 @31 covered it pretty well I think, but I want to try to answer in just a couple sentences (unusual for me).

Global private finance is driven by one thing and one thing only: making maximum profits for the owners quarter by financial quarter. Global public finance is driven by the agendas of the nations with the public finance, with profits being a secondary or lesser issue.

This boils down to private finance being forever slave to the mindless whims of "The Market™" (hallowed be Its name), while public finance is, by its nature, something that is planned and deliberated. Nobody can guess where "The Market™" (hallowed be Its name) will lead society, though people with the resources like placing bets in stock markets on the direction It is taking us. On the other hand, if people have an idea which direction society should be heading in, public control over finance is a precondition to making it so.

Passer by , Aug 3 2019 0:32 utc | 36
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2019 0:19 utc | 34

"The continuing practice of Neoliberalism by the Outlaw US Empire"

I'm not sure this will be the case anymore -

Former heads of DHS and NSA explain how the U.S. can keep Huawei at bay

"Perhaps more importantly, this proposal demonstrates one way the U.S. can reinforce elements of what the government calls the “national technology and industrial base” (NTIB), the collection of companies who design, build and supply the U.S. with vital national-security related technologies."

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/11/chertoff-mcconnell-us-needs-to-have-more-allies-to-bypass-huawei.html

[Aug 03, 2019] Trump created a significant motivation in Europe and even China in creating a real alternative to the US dollar for international transactions which bypasses US banks. If this happens to any significant degree, it would undercut the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, resulting in a permanent drop in its value.

Aug 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Noel Nospamington , August 3, 2019 at 10:50 am

I think that 10 years from now the biggest impact from Trump will be from his cancellation of the Iran nuclear accord and unilateral imposition of strict sanctions which the Europeans were not able to bypass in any meaningful way due the prevalence of the US dollar in global transactions.

There is now significant motivation in Europe and even China in creating a real alternative to the US dollar for international transactions which bypasses US banks. If this happens to any significant degree, it would undercut the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, resulting in a permanent drop in its value.

Without international support, US Government deficits and trade deficits will become unsustainable, and there will be a significant drop in the American median standard of living.

[Aug 03, 2019] The overwhelming correlation between austerity and Brexit

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 23, 2019 at 03:27 PM

how those like kurt who mock economic anxiety are wrong

https://theweek.com/articles/853784/overwhelming-correlation-between-austerity-brexit

The overwhelming correlation between austerity and Brexit
Jeff Spross

July 22, 2019

Across the pond, the Brexit disaster continues to unfold in newly disastrous ways. Theresa May has resigned as prime minister, and the Trump-esque Boris Johnson looks like a lock to replace her. Parliament members -- up to and including Johnson's own fellow Conservatives -- are panicking that the new prime minister may try hardline tactics to force Brexit through, plan or no plan.

At this point, predicting how this mess will end is a fool's errand. But there are still lessons to be learned from how it began.

In particular, the Conservatives might want to look in the mirror -- and not just because it was their government that called the Brexit vote in the first place. It turns out the brutal austerity they imposed on Britain after the global 2008 financial crisis probably goes a long way towards explaining why Brexit is happening at all.

In the run-up to the Brexit referendum in 2016, much of the campaigning in favor of "Leave" was unabashedly racist. Hard-right political groups like the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) painted a picture of native Britons overrun by hordes of foreign immigrants that were straining the country's health care, housing, public services, jobs and wages to the breaking point. The thing is, the racism was a particular poisonous way of framing a very real underlying economic fear: all those necessities really had become harder to come by.

Yet, as it is in America, actual evidence linking influxes of immigrants to rising scarcity in jobs and wages and other services is scarce. But something else had also recently happened that could explain why hospitals and schools were closing and why public aid was drying up: massive cuts to government spending.

A decade ago, the aftershocks of the global financial crisis had shrunk Britain's economy by almost 3 percent, kicking unemployment up from 5 percent to 8 percent by 2010. Under then-Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservatives in power concluded that "confidence" among investors was necessary to restore economic growth -- and that meant cuts to government spending to balance the budget.

Thus the Conservatives pushed through a ferocious austerity package: Overall government spending fell 16 percent per person. Schools, libraries, and hospitals closed; public services like garbage collection ground to a halt; poverty shot up; and homelessness doubled. Despite unemployment staying stubbornly high and GDP growth staying stubbornly low -- in defiance of their own economic theory -- the Conservatives crammed through even more reductions in 2012. "It is hard to overestimate how devastating Cameron's austerity plan was, or how fast it happened," the British journalist Laurie Penny observed. A United Nations report from last year called the cuts "punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous."

But the damage was not evenly distributed across the country. At the district level -- Britain's units of local governance -- the reductions in spending ranged from 6.2 percent to an astonishing 46.3 percent from 2010 to 2015. The districts that were already the poorest were generally the hardest hit.

These differences across districts allowed Thiemo Fetzer, an associate professor of economics at the University of Warwick, to gauge the correlation between the government cuts and whether a district voted Leave or Remain. "Austerity had sizable and timely effects, increasing support for UKIP across local, national, and European elections," Fetzer wrote in a recent paper. He found that UKIP's share of a district's vote jumped anywhere from 3.5 to 11.9 percentage points in correlation with austerity's local impact. "Given the tight link between UKIP vote shares and an area's support for Leave, simple back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that Leave support in 2016 could have been easily at least 6 percentage points lower," Fetzer continued. As tight as the Brexit referendum was, that alone could have been enough to swing it.

Other studies have shown links between how a local British community's economic fortunes fared and how it voted for Brexit as well. Economists Italo Colantone and Piero Stanig found that support for Leave was "systematically higher" in the regions of the country hit hardest by trade with China over the last three decades. Another analysis by Torsten Bell showed a strong correlation between British income inequality as of 2015 and Brexit support, with higher local vote shares for Leave the lower the local incomes were. (It's worth noting the Bell didn't find a correlation with Brexit when he looked at how local incomes changed from 2002 to 2015, but that's also a weird time frame to choose, as it mashes together a period of wage growth before 2008 with a major drop afterwards.)

Inequality in Britain had been worsening for decades, as the upper class in the City of London pulled further and further ahead of the largely rural working class, setting the stage for Brexit. And then austerity fell hardest on the shoulders of the latter group, compounding the effect.

"Individuals tend to react to the general economic situation of their region, regardless of their specific condition," Colantone and Stanig wrote. But Fetzer was able to break out some individual data in his analysis of austerity, and he found a correlation with Brexit votes there as well. Individual Britons who were more exposed to welfare state cuts -- in particular a reduction in supports for housing costs -- were again more likely to vote for UKIP. "Further, they increasingly perceive that their vote does not make a difference, that they do 'not have a say in government policy' or that 'public officials do not care,'" Fetzer observed.

It isn't that the economic dislocation of the 2008 crisis and the ensuing austerity crunch made Britons more racist. By all accounts, half or more of the country has consistently looked askance on immigration going back decades. (Indeed, international polling suggests a certain baseline dislike for immigration is a near-universal human condition.) What changed in the last few years was the willingness of certain parts of British society to act politically on those attitudes. And that, arguably, is where the economics come in.

Work from the Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman is instructive here. He found that periods of economic growth, where people feel the future is bright, make national populations more open, generous, and liberal. Times of economic contraction and stagnation have the opposite effect.

The British people, like everyone everywhere, are a mix of good and evil impulses. But by decimating public investment in a self-destructive quest for investor-led growth, the British government created a monster from those impulses. And the reckoning for that terrible error is still unfolding.

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 03:28 PM
if - what should I call them? centerists? - like Krugman, Kurt and EMike really cared about racism they'd be in favor of ambitious programs so that voters' living standards rise.

Instead they push incrementalism and make excuses about Dems never having any power.

JohnH -> Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 03:33 PM
Tut! Tut! Tut! It's not politically correct for Democrats to talk about the economy, inequality, and dislocation, is it? If people keep raising the issue, Democrats might be forced into acknowledging problems they helped to create. Worse, they might have to craft a coherent economic message that their Big Money puppeteers might not like! OMG!!! Armageddon!!!
Joe -> Christopher H.... , July 23, 2019 at 04:08 PM
He presented no evidence, just pundicizing based on priors.

Well I looked and could find no change in growth, it has been declining steadily since 1990, and the ten years has been correspondingly dropping since 1980.

So, I I am supposed to see evidence, then cite the chart I am supposed to look at. We are tired of useless pundicizers.

Christopher H. said in reply to Joe... , July 23, 2019 at 06:10 PM
no he is presenting the agreed-upon evidence. Austerity hurt the UK.

Cranks like you have no place in the discussion. Go entertain yourself somewhere else.

Joe -> Christopher H.... , July 24, 2019 at 03:15 AM
No, he would have cited evidence.
If he had any brains he would have recognized that we got the secstags going around, meaning the one cannot just look at the eight year recession cycle, one has to look at the full monetary cycle.
It is easy to tell the dufas among economists, they never look at nor cite any data.

For example, Krugman ignored the fact that Obamacare raised monthly taxes about $500 per household, lost four elections, proved himself a dolt and now want to write off Obamacare. Never once did Krugman make any attempt to correlate the Obamacare taxes with election losses, not once. He preferred the delusion, same as most of our favorite economists, I can count the one who actually look.

As Kurt said, being delusional hysterical freaks who send hundreds of billions to wealthy people then complain? Stupid,stupid stupid.

kurt -> Joe... , July 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM
You are exactly right here - Obamacare subsidies should have tapered off or been taxed away around the top 20% of income rather than the top 60. Big mistake - but it was a compromise to get several republicans to vote yes, but they (the Rs) negotiated in bad faith and then didn't do what they promised. But hey - when have the H brothers let facts get in the way of what they know, know, know about me.
Christopher H. said in reply to kurt... , July 25, 2019 at 07:03 PM
Joe said nothing of the kind.

The Rs didn't do what they promised? What did you expect?

you're a naive sucker

[Aug 01, 2019] Brexit like Trump election was a protest against neoliberal globalization. A sign of collapse of neoliberal ideology and the grip of neoliberal elite on the population.

Aug 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 31, 2019 at 11:06 AM

https://mainly macro.blogspot.com/2019/07/there-is-no-mandate-for-no-deal.html

July 31, 2019

There is no mandate for No Deal

We are told constantly that the 2016 referendum gives our government a mandate for a No Deal Brexit, and that we would not respect democracy if we failed to leave. Both arguments are obviously false, yet they so often go unchallenged in the media.

... ... ...

-- Simon Wren-Lewis

likbez -> anne... , August 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
Brexit like Trump election was a protest against neoliberal globalization. A sign of collapse of neoliberal ideology and the grip of neoliberal elite on the population.

In essence, a "no confidence" vote for the neoliberal elite in both countries.

Of course, Simon Wren-Lewis is afraid to acknowledged this and is engaged in sophistry.

[Jul 30, 2019] EU bureaucracy is not compatible with UK identity.

Jul 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Jul 30 2019 15:42 utc | 94

EU bureaucracy is not compatible with UK identity.

I agree re. a sort of fundamental 'spirit'. So far, since 1973 (EEC, idk if this was properly done, you say not: fraudulent ) EU-UK relations have not been riven by disruptive strife or even temp. explosive argument (in part due to EU rules etc.) Accomodations were made.. An apogee of hand-holding-harmony was reached when Mitterand and Thatcher convinced the Germans to give up the D-mark in return for blessing the re-unification of Germany. The UK did not join the Euro zone (1992). So the UK was overall a big 'winner' on several levels (imho.)

Brexit is the first step in bringing politics back to local accountability

I hope so but dangers lurk and i am pessimistic. Crash-out on 31 Oct. will happen, and will have a horrific impact. In any case the political accountability of the Gvmt. in the UK is at present abysmally low.

[Jul 30, 2019] Donald Trump s ruthless use of the centrality of his country s financial system

Trump definitely contributes a lot to the collapse of classic neoliberalism. He rejected neoliberal globalization in favor of using the USA dominant position for cutting favorable to the USA bilateral deals. That undermined the role of dollar of the world reserve currency and several mechanisms emerged which allow completely bypass dollar system for trade.
Notable quotes:
"... US President Donald Trump's ruthless use of the centrality of his country's financial system and the dollar to force economic partners to abide by his unilateral sanctions on Iran has forced the world to recognise the political price of asymmetric economic interdependence. ..."
"... A new world is emerging, in which it will be much harder to separate economics from geopolitics. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

US President Donald Trump's ruthless use of the centrality of his country's financial system and the dollar to force economic partners to abide by his unilateral sanctions on Iran has forced the world to recognise the political price of asymmetric economic interdependence.

In response, China (and perhaps Europe) will fight to establish their own networks and secure control of their nodes. Again, multilateralism could be the victim of this battle.

A new world is emerging, in which it will be much harder to separate economics from geopolitics. It's not the world according to Myrdal, Frank, and Perroux, and it's not Tom Friedman's flat world, either. It's the world according to Game of Thrones .


Synoia , July 5, 2019 at 11:14 am

A new world is emerging, in which it will be much harder to separate economics from geopolitics.

Really? Why was Economics was originally named “Political Economy?”

vlade , July 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Politics is a continuation of economy by other means (well, you can write it the other way around too, TBH).

Summer , July 5, 2019 at 9:45 pm

It made me do a face palm. Somebody thought they had separated economics from geopolitics or power…or at least they wanted people to believe that and the jig is up.

fdr-fan , July 5, 2019 at 11:40 am

This paragraph is thought-provoking:

“One reason for this is that in an increasingly digitalised economy, where a growing part of services are provided at zero marginal cost, value creation and value appropriation concentrate in the innovation centers and where intangible investments are made. This leaves less and less for the production facilities where tangible goods are made.”

It depends on what you mean by value.

If value is dollars in someone’s Cayman Islands tax-free account, then value is concentrated in NYC and SF.

But if we follow Natural Law (Marx or Mohammed) and define value as labor, then this is exactly wrong. A Natural Law economy tries to maximize paid and useful work, because people are made to be useful.

The digital world steadily eliminates useful work, and steadily crams down the wages for the little work that remains. Real value is avalanching toward zero, while Cayman value is zooming to infinity.

Carolinian , July 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm

He’s talking more about the whims of the stock market and of our intellectual property laws. For example the marginal cost for Microsoft to issue another copy of “Windows” is zero. Even their revised iterations of the OS were largely a rehash of the previous software. Selling this at high prices worked out well for a long time but now the software can practically be had for free because competitors like Linux and Android are themselves free. So digital services with their low marginal cost depend on a shaky government edifice (patent enforcement, lack of antitrust) to prop up their value. Making real stuff still requires real labor and even many proposed robot jobs–driving cars, drone deliveries, automated factories and warehouses–are looking dubious. Dean Baker has said that the actual investment in automation during the last decades has slowed–perhaps because expensive and complicated robots may have trouble competing with clever if poorly paid humans. And poorly paid is the current reality due to population increases and political trends and perhaps, yes, automation.

And even if the masters of the universe could eliminate labor they would then have nobody to buy their products. The super yacht market is rather small.

eg , July 6, 2019 at 5:39 am

pour encourager les autres …

a different chris , July 5, 2019 at 12:14 pm

>the distribution of gains from openness and participation in the global economy is increasingly skewed. …. True, protectionism remains a dangerous lunacy.

Well “openness and participation” is looking like lunacy to the Deplorables for exactly the reason given, so what is actually on offer here?

Lee , July 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm

With useful physical labor being off-shored, first world citizens should all be made shareholders in the new scheme. We shall all then become dividend collecting layabouts buying stuff made by people we do not know, see, or care about. If they object we simply have the military mount a punitive expedition until they get whipped back into shape. Sort of like now but with a somewhat larger, more inclusive shareholder base. It will be wonderful!

CenterOfGravity , July 5, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Are you sayin’ the lefty Social Wealth Fund concept is really just another way of replicating the same old bougie program of domination and suppression?

Check out Matt Bruenig’s concept below. The likelihood that endlessly pursuing wealthy tax dodgers will be a fruitless and lost effort feels like a particularly persuasive argument for a SWF: https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/projects/social-wealth-fund/

Lee , July 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

I’m saying that it can be and historically, and that there are and have been multi-national systems of super exploitation of peripheral, primarily resource exporting populations, relative to a more broadly distributed prosperity for “higher” skilled populations of the center. This has been a common perspective within anti-imperialist movements.

The argument is not without merit. Is this a “contradiction among the people” where various sectors of a larger labor movement can renegotiate terms, or is it some more intransigent, deeply antagonistic relationship is a crucial question. The exportation of manufacturing to the periphery is disrupting the political status-quo as represented by the center’s centrism, political sentiments are breaking away to the left and right and where they’ll land nobody knows.

Ignacio , July 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Do not forget mentioning how the tax system has been gamed to increase rent extraction and inequality.

samhill , July 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Why is Iran such a high priority for so many US elites?

I was just reading this John Helmer below, like Pepe Escobar I’m not sure who’s buttering his bread but it’s all food for thought and fresh cooked blinis are tastier than the Twinkies from the western msm, and this thought came to mind: Iran is the perfect test ground for the US to determine Russian weapons and tactical capabilities in a major war context in 2019. That alone might make it worth it to the Pentagon, why they seem so enthusiastic to take the empire of chaos to unforseen heights (depts?). Somewhat like the Spanish Civil War was a testing ground for the weapons of WW2.

http://johnhelmer.org/against-the-blitz-wolf-russian-reinforcements-for-irans-defence-in-war-against-all/

Synoia , July 5, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Speculation:

1. Because it has a lot of non US controlled Oil.
2. Because it is Central on the eastern end of the silk road.
3. Because it does not kiss the US Ring bearers hand at every opportunity, and the US is determined to make it an example not to be followed.

John k , July 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm

But consider Saudi us relations… who is kissing who’s ring?
Or consider Israeli us relations… ditto.
We’re a thuggish whore whose favors are easily bought; bring dollars or votes. Or kiss the ring.

Susan the other` , July 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm

An environmental insight here. The world stands devastated. It has reached its carrying capacity for thoughtless humans. From here on in we have to take the consequences of our actions into account. So when it is said, as above, that the dollar exchange rate is more important than the other bilateral exchange rates, I think that is no longer the reality. There is only a small amount of global economic synergy that operates without subsidy. The vast majority is subsidized. And the dollar is just one currency. And, unfortunately, the United States does not control the sun and the wind (well we’ve got Trump), or the ice and snow. Let alone the oceans. The big question going forward is, Can the US maintain its artificial economy? Based on what?

Old Jake , July 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm

That is a factor that seems ignored by the philosophers who are the subjects of the headline posting. It is a great oversight, a shoe which has been released and is now impacting the floor. “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men”

Brian Westva , July 5, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Unfortunately our economy is based on the military industrial surveillance complex.

Sound of the Suburbs , July 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm

A multi-polar world became a uni-polar world with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Francis Fukuyama said it was the end of history.

The Americans had other ideas and set about creating another rival as fast as they possibly could, China.

China went from almost nothing to become a global super power.

The Americans have realised they have messed up big time and China will soon take over the US as the world’s largest economy.

Beijing has taken over support for the Washington consensus as they have thirty years experience telling them how well it works for them.

The Washington consensus is now known as the Beijing consensus.

[Jul 29, 2019] Michael Hudson Trump s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember US Dollar Hegemony by Michael Hudson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dismantling International Law and Its Courts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dismantling Dollar Hegemony from the IMF to SWIFT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes

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

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

[3] ibid

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

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

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


doug , February 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

Cal2 , February 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Drumlin,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quanka , February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

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

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

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

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

LP , February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

The NYT and other have coverage.

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

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

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

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

Mel , February 1, 2019 at 9:18 am

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

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

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

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

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

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

James , February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

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

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

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

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

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

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

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

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

hemeantwell , February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am

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

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately this

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

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

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

And this

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

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

But then came Venezuela.

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

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

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

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

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

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

skippy , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

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

timbers , February 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

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

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

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

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

Steven , February 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

Great stuff!

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

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

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

Oh , February 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm

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

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

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

Yikes , February 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

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

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

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:41 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

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

jochen , February 2, 2019 at 6:46 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 2:44 am

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

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

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

ChrisAtRU , February 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

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

mikef , February 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RBHoughton , February 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

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

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm

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

[Jul 18, 2019] Dmitry Orlov offers a highly-pertinent review of a current report to the US Congress about the severe degradation of the US's capacity to produce ANY heavy industrial goods

Jul 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Rhisiart Gwilym , Jul 17 2019 22:35 utc | 66

@ Trailer Trash 23

Dmitry Orlov offers a highly-pertinent review of a current report to the US Congress about the severe degradation of the US's capacity to produce ANY heavy industrial goods - including advanced weapons such as replacement aircraft carriers, cruisers, tanks and all the rest - within its own borders, independent of (exceedingly vulnerable) global supply networks:

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2019/07/war-profiteers-and-demise-of-us.html#more

Also, the US only has 'plenty' of fossil-hydrocarbon fuel on cloud-cuckoo-land paper. In reality, it has quite a lot of such stuff which it will never access, and will never be able to access, because of the non-negotiable, iron logic of EROEI and EROCI (the second acronym relating to energy returned on financial capital invested; currently a long way red-ink negative across the whole US fracking ponzi). EROEI refers to the even more intractable, terminally-insoluble problem of energy returned on ENERGY invested. When this gets down to around 4 to 1 or thereabouts, it's game over for actually being able to maintain an industrial hitech society that can hope - credibly - to do fossil-hydrocarbon mining in any seriously challenging conditions - which most of the world's remaining pools of such fuels now exhibit.

These predicaments are qualitatively different from problems; problems, by definition, can hope to be solved; predicaments, inherently, can't be, and can only be endured. The world is now close to the edge of a decisive non-availability of sufficient fossil-hydrocarbon fuels to keep even a skeleton semblance of modern hitech industrial society operating - at all. That's the predicament that is already staring us in the face, and that will soon be trampling us into the ground. Doesn't mean that hopeless political inadequates such as PompousHippo and The Insane Geriatric Walrus won't attempt to trigger such insanity as an aggression against Iran, though, they being too stupid, too delusional, and too morally-degenarate, to know any better.

This is the overall situation which insists that the US has literally zero chance of attacking Iran, and actually getting anything remotely resembling a 'win' out of it. Read Dmitry's piece to get a more detailed outline of why this is so.

PS: The above considerations apply just as decisively to the US's nuclear weapon capacity as they do to all the other hitech industrial toys which USAmerica is now barely able to produce on its own - at all.

[Jul 18, 2019] Most of the lost US manufacturing jobs in recent decades probably are not coming back

Notable quotes:
"... Of course, correlation is not causation, and there is no shortage of alternative explanations for the decline in U.S. manufacturing. Globalization, offshoring, and skills gaps are just three frequently cited causes. Moreover, some researchers, like MIT's David Autor, have argued that workers are benefiting from working alongside robots. ..."
"... Yet the evidence suggests there is essentially no relationship between the change in manufacturing employment and robot use. Despite the installation of far more robots between 1993 and 2007, Germany lost just 19 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 1996 and 2012 compared to a 33 percent drop in the United States. (We introduce a three-year time lag to allow for robots to influence the labor market and continued with the most recent data, 2012). ..."
"... Korea, France, and Italy also lost fewer manufacturing jobs than the United States even as they introduced more industrial robots. On the other hand, countries like the United Kingdom and Australia invested less in robots but saw faster declines in their manufacturing sectors. ..."
Jan 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. : January 28, 2017 at 01:49 PM , 2017 at 01:49 PM
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2015/04/29/dont-blame-the-robots-for-lost-manufacturing-jobs/

Don't blame the robots for lost manufacturing jobs

Scott Andes and Mark Muro

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a recent blog we described new research by George Graetz and Guy Michaels that shows the impact of automation technology in productivity statistics. So now there is good evidence that robots are a driver of economic growth.

However, this new evidence poses a question: Has productivity growth from robots come at the cost of manufacturing jobs?

Between 1993 and 2007 (the timeframe studied by Graetz and Micheals) the United States increased the number of robots per hour worked by 237 percent. During the same period the U.S. economy shed 2.2 million manufacturing jobs. Assuming the two trends are linked doesn't seem farfetched.

Of course, correlation is not causation, and there is no shortage of alternative explanations for the decline in U.S. manufacturing. Globalization, offshoring, and skills gaps are just three frequently cited causes. Moreover, some researchers, like MIT's David Autor, have argued that workers are benefiting from working alongside robots.

So is there a relationship between job loss and the use of industrial robots?

The substantial variation of the degree to which countries deploy robots should provide clues. If robots are a substitute for human workers, then one would expect the countries with much higher investment rates in automation technology to have experienced greater employment loss in their manufacturing sectors. Germany deploys over three times as many robots per hour worked than the United States, largely due to Germany's robust automotive industry, which is by far the most robot-intensive industry (with over 10 times more robots per worker than the average industry). Sweden has 60 percent more robots per hour worked than the United States thanks to its highly technical metal and chemical industries.

Yet the evidence suggests there is essentially no relationship between the change in manufacturing employment and robot use. Despite the installation of far more robots between 1993 and 2007, Germany lost just 19 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 1996 and 2012 compared to a 33 percent drop in the United States. (We introduce a three-year time lag to allow for robots to influence the labor market and continued with the most recent data, 2012).

Korea, France, and Italy also lost fewer manufacturing jobs than the United States even as they introduced more industrial robots. On the other hand, countries like the United Kingdom and Australia invested less in robots but saw faster declines in their manufacturing sectors.

...

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , January 28, 2017 at 02:12 PM
"Despite the installation of far more robots between 1993 and 2007, Germany lost just 19 percent of its manufacturing jobs between 1996 and 2012 compared to a 33 percent drop in the United States. "

Yes the U.S. and Germany have a similar pattern. So what.

Peter K. : , January 28, 2017 at 02:07 PM
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-04-28/why-factory-jobs-are-shrinking-everywhere

Why Factory Jobs Are Shrinking Everywhere
by Charles Kenny

April 28, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

A report from the Boston Consulting Group last week suggested the U.S. had become the second-most-competitive manufacturing location among the 25 largest manufacturing exporters worldwide. While that news is welcome, most of the lost U.S. manufacturing jobs in recent decades aren't coming back. In 1970, more than a quarter of U.S. employees worked in manufacturing. By 2010, only one in 10 did.

The growth in imports from China had a role in that decline–contributing, perhaps, to as much as one-quarter of the employment drop-off from 1991 to 2007, according to an analysis by David Autor and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But the U.S. jobs slide began well before China's rise as a manufacturing power. And manufacturing employment is falling almost everywhere, including in China. The phenomenon is driven by technology, and there's reason to think developing countries are going to follow a different path to wealth than the U.S. did-one that involves a lot more jobs in the services sector.

Pretty much every economy around the world has a low or declining share of manufacturing jobs. According to OECD data, the U.K. and Australia have seen their share of manufacturing drop by around two-thirds since 1971. Germany's share halved, and manufacturing's contribution to gross domestic product there fell from 30 percent in 1980 to 22 percent today. In South Korea, a late industrializer and exemplar of miracle growth, the manufacturing share of employment rose from 13 percent in 1970 to 28 percent in 1991; it's fallen to 17 percent today.

...

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , January 28, 2017 at 02:11 PM
In the United States, manufacturing employment went from 25 percent in 1970 to 10 percent in 2010, 40 years later.

In Germany, manufacturing's share of GDP went from 30 percent in 1980 to 22 percent today (2014, 34 years later).

Yes there's a similar pattern, as DeLong points out.

How does that support his argument?

[Jul 06, 2019] Neoliberalism start collapsing as soon as considerable part of the electorate has lost hope that thier standard of living will improve

Pretty superficial article, but some points are interesting. Especially the fact that the collapse of neoliberalism like collapse of Bolshevism is connected with its inability to raise the standard of living of population in major Western countries, despite looting of the USSR and Middle eastern countries since 1991. Spoils of victory in the Cold War never got to common people. All was appropriated by greedy "New Class" of neoliberal oligarchs.
The same was true with Bolshevism in the USSR. The communist ideology was dead after WWII when it became clear that "proletariat" is not a new class destined to take over and the "iron law of oligarchy" was discovered. Collapse happened in 45 years since the end of WWII. Neoliberal ideology was dead in 2008. It would be interesting to see if neoliberalism as a social system survives past 2050.
The level of degeneration of the USA elite probably exceeds the level of degeneration of Nomenklatura even now.
Notable quotes:
"... A big reason why liberal democracies in Europe have remained relatively stable since WWII is that most Europeans have had hope that their lives will improve. A big reason why the radical vote has recently been on the rise in several European countries is that part of the electorate has lost this hope. People are increasingly worried that not only their own lives but also the lives of their children will not improve and that the playing field is not level. ..."
"... As a result, the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate, conceding ground to the alternative package of the radical right that consists of external protectionism and internal liberalisation ..."
"... Mr Mody said the bottom half of German society has not seen any increase in real incomes in a generation. ..."
"... The reforms pushed seven million people into part-time 'mini-jobs' paying €450 (£399) a month. It lead to corrosive "pauperisation". This remains the case even though the economy is humming and surging exports have pushed the current account surplus to 8.5pc of GDP." ..."
"... "British referendum on EU membership can be explained to a remarkable extent as a vote against globalisation much more than immigration " ..."
"... As an FYI to the author immigration is just the flip side of the same coin. Why were immigrants migrating? Often it's because they can no longer make a living where they left. Why? Often globalization impacts. ..."
"... The laws of biology and physics and whatever else say that the host that is being parasitised upon, cannot support the endless growth of the parasites attached upon it. The unfortunate host will eventually die. ..."
"... "negative effects of globalisation: foreign competition, factory closures, persistent unemployment, stagnating purchasing power, deteriorating infrastructures and public services" ..."
"... he ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people. ..."
"... One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future. ..."
"... "If you're not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek's free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom." ~ Michael Hudson ..."
"... I'm surprised more people don't vote for neo-fascist parties like the Golden Dawn. Ordinary liberal politics has completely failed them. ..."
Jul 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The more a local economy has been negatively affected by the two shocks, the more its electors have shifted towards the radical right and its policy packages. These packages typically combine the retrenchment against international openness and the liberalisation of the internal market and more convincingly address the demand for protection by an electorate that, after the austerity following the Crisis, no longer trusts alternatives based on more liberal stances on foreign relations and the parallel promise of a stronger welfare state.

A big reason why liberal democracies in Europe have remained relatively stable since WWII is that most Europeans have had hope that their lives will improve. A big reason why the radical vote has recently been on the rise in several European countries is that part of the electorate has lost this hope. People are increasingly worried that not only their own lives but also the lives of their children will not improve and that the playing field is not level.

On the one hand, despite some progress in curtailing 'tax havens' in recent years, there has never been as much wealth in tax havens as there is today (Zucman 2015). This is seen as unfair because, if public goods and services (including those required to help the transition to a 'green economy') have to be provided in the regions where such hidden wealth comes from, lost tax revenues have to be compensated for by higher taxes on law-abiding households.

On the other hand, fairness is also undermined by dwindling social mobility. In the last decades, social mobility has slowed down across large parts of the industrialised world (OECD 2018), both within and between generations. Social mobility varies greatly across regions within countries, correlates positively with economic activity, education, and social capital, and negatively with inequality (Güell at al. 2018). Renewed migration from the South to the North of Europe after the Crisis (Van Mol and de Valk 2016) is a testimony of the widening relative lack of opportunities in the places that have suffered the most from competition from low-wage countries.

Concluding Remarks

Globalisation has come accompanied by the Great Convergence between countries around the world but also the Great Divergence between regions within several industrialised countries. The same holds within the EU. In recent years, redistributive policies have had only a very limited impact in terms of reversing growing regional inequality.

As a result, the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate, conceding ground to the alternative package of the radical right that consists of external protectionism and internal liberalisation.

This is both inefficient and unlikely to lead to more regional convergence. What the political and policy debate in Europe is arguably missing is a clearer focus on two of the main underlying causes of peoples' growing distrust in national and international institutions: fiscal fairness and social mobility.

See original post for references


Jesper , July 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm

When did this traditional liberal package mentioned in the concluding remarks ever happen?

the traditional liberal package of external liberalisation and internal redistribution has lost its appeal with the electorate

Maybe if it was clear who got it, what it was, when it was done, how it happened then people might find this liberal package appealing.

flora , July 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm

Right. It would be better to say "the traditional New Deal liberal package " has not lost its appeal, it was killed off bit by bit starting with NAFTA. From a 2016 Thomas Frank essay in Salon:

That appeal to [educated credentialed] class unity gives a hint of what Clintonism was all about. To owners and shareholders, who would see labor costs go down as they took advantage of unorganized Mexican labor and lax Mexican environmental enforcement, NAFTA held fantastic promise. To American workers, it threatened to send their power, and hence their wages, straight down the chute. To the mass of the professional-managerial class, people who weren't directly threatened by the treaty, holding an opinion on NAFTA was a matter of deferring to the correct experts -- economists in this case, 283 of whom had signed a statement declaring the treaty "will be a net positive for the United States, both in terms of employment creation and overall economic growth."

The predictions of people who opposed the agreement turned out to be far closer to what eventually came to pass than did the rosy scenarios of those 283 economists and the victorious President Clinton. NAFTA was supposed to encourage U.S. exports to Mexico; the opposite is what happened, and in a huge way. NAFTA was supposed to increase employment in the U.S.; a study from 2010 counts almost 700,000 jobs lost in America thanks to the treaty. And, as feared, the agreement gave one class in America enormous leverage over the other: employers now routinely threaten to move their operations to Mexico if their workers organize. A surprisingly large number of them -- far more than in the pre-NAFTA days -- have actually made good on the threat.

Twenty years later, the broader class divide over the subject persists as well. According to a 2014 survey of attitudes toward NAFTA after two decades, public opinion remains split. But among people with professional degrees -- which is to say, the liberal class -- the positive view remains the default. Knowing that free-trade treaties are always for the best -- even when they empirically are not -- seems to have become for the well-graduated a badge of belonging.

https://www.salon.com/2016/03/14/bill_clintons_odious_presidency_thomas_frank_on_the_real_history_of_the_90s/

The only internal redistribution that's happened in the past 25 – 30 yearsis from the bottom 80% to the top 10% and especially to the top 1/10th of 1 %.

Not hard to imagine why the current internal redistribution model has lost its appeal with the electorate.

Sound of the Suburbs, , July 3, 2019 at 1:50 pm

UK policymakers had a great plan for globalisation.

Everyone needs to specialise in something and we will specialise in finance based in London.

That was it.

rd , , July 3, 2019 at 1:58 pm

I think there are two different globalizations that people are responding to.

1. Their jobs go away to somewhere in the globe that has lower wages, lower labor protections, and lower environmental protections. So their community largely stays the same but with dwindling job prospects and people slowly moving away.

2. The world comes to their community where they see immigrants (legal, illegal, refugees) coming in and are willing to work harder for less, as well as having different appearance, languages, religion, and customs. North America has always had this as we are built on immigration. Europe is much more focused on terroire. If somebody or something has only been there for a century, they are new.

If you combine both in a community, you have lit a stick of dynamite as the locals feel trapped with no way out. Then you get Brexit and Trump. In the US, many jobs were sent overseas and so new people coming in are viewed as competitors and agents of change instead of just new hired help. The same happened in Britain. In mainland Europe with less inequality and more job protection, it is more of just being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of newcomers in a society that does not prize that at all.

Sound of the Suburbs, , July 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm

I saw the warning signs when Golden Dawn appeared in Greece

The liberals said it was just a one off, as they always do, until it isn't.

How did successful Germany turn into a country where extremism would flourish?
The Hartz IV reforms created the economic hardship that causes extremism to flourish.

"Germany is turning to soft nationalism. People on low incomes are voting against authority because the consensus on equality and justice has broken down. It is the same pattern across Europe," said Ashoka Mody, a former bail-out chief for the International Monetary Fund in Europe.

Mr Mody said the bottom half of German society has not seen any increase in real incomes in a generation. The Hartz IV reforms in 2003 and 2004 made it easier to fire workers, leading to wage compression as companies threatened to move plants to Eastern Europe.

The reforms pushed seven million people into part-time 'mini-jobs' paying €450 (£399) a month. It lead to corrosive "pauperisation". This remains the case even though the economy is humming and surging exports have pushed the current account surplus to 8.5pc of GDP."

This is a successful European country, imagine what the others look like.

Adam1 , July 3, 2019 at 2:20 pm

"British referendum on EU membership can be explained to a remarkable extent as a vote against globalisation much more than immigration "

As an FYI to the author immigration is just the flip side of the same coin. Why were immigrants migrating? Often it's because they can no longer make a living where they left. Why? Often globalization impacts.

Summer , July 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Another recap about that really just mourns the lack of trust in the establishment, with no answers. More "I can't believe people are sick to death of experts of dubious skills but networking "

What it is just admitted that a system that can only work great for 20% of any given population if they are born in the right region with the right last name just simply not work except as an exercise in extraction?

And about the EU as if it could never be taken over by bigger authoritatians than the ones already populating it. Then see how much those who think it is some forever bastion of liberalism over sovereignity likes it .

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , July 4, 2019 at 7:21 am

"Another recap about that really just mourns the lack of trust in the establishment, with no answers."

Usually it involves replacing the establishment or creating an internal threat to reinstate compliance in the establish (Strauss and Howe).

Strategies for initiate the former may be impossible in this era where the deep state can read your thoughts through digital media so you would like it would trend to the latter.

stan6565 , July 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Mmmmm, yes, migration, globalisation and such like.

But, unregulated migration into an established environment, say a country, say, UK, on one hand furthers profits to those benefiting from low labour wages (mainly, friends of people working for governments), but on the other leads to creation of parallel societies, where the incoming population brings along the society they strived to escape from. The Don calls these sh***hole societies. Why bring the f***ing thing here, why not leave it where you escaped from.

But the real betrayal of the native population happens when all those unregulated migrants are afforded immediate right to social security, full access to NHS and other aspects of state support, services that they have not paid one penny in support before accessing that particular government funded trough. And then the parasitic growth of their "family and extended family" comes along under the banner of "human rights".

This is the damnation of the whole of Western Civilisation which had been hollowed out from within by the most devious layer of parasitic growth, the government apparatus. The people we pay for under the auspices that they are doing some work for us, are enforcing things that treat the income generators, the tax paying society as serfs whose primary function in life is to support the parasites (immigrants) and parasite enablers (government).

The laws of biology and physics and whatever else say that the host that is being parasitised upon, cannot support the endless growth of the parasites attached upon it. The unfortunate host will eventually die.

Understanding of this concept is most certainly within mental capabilities of all those employed as the "governing classes " that we are paying for through our taxes.

Until such time when legislation is enacted that each and every individual member of "government classes " is made to pay, on an indemnity basis, through financial damages, forced labour, organs stripping or custodial penalties, for every penny (or cent, sorry, yanks), of damage they inflict on us taxpayers, we are all just barking.

Skip Intro , July 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

This piece does an admirable job conflating globalisation and the ills caused by the neoliberal capture of social democratic parties/leaders. Did people just happen to lose hope, or were they actively betrayed? We are left to guess.

"negative effects of globalisation: foreign competition, factory closures, persistent unemployment, stagnating purchasing power, deteriorating infrastructures and public services"

Note that these ills could also be laid at the feet of the austerity movement, and the elimination/privatisation of National Industrial Policy, both cornerstones of the neoliberal infestation.

Summer , July 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Not only is globalization not new, all of the issues that come with it are old news.
All of it.

Part of the problem is that the global economic order is still in service to the same old same old. They have to rebrand every so often to keep the comfortable even more comfortable.

Those tasked with keeping the comfortable more comfortable have to present this crap as "new ideas" for their own careerism or actually do not realize they haven't espoused a new idea in 500 years.

K Lee , July 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

Putin's recent interview with Financial Times editor offers a clear-eyed perspective on our changing global structure:

"What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon, as you said, in the US? What is happening in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people.

Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.

You know, it seems to me that purely liberal or purely traditional ideas have never existed. Probably, they did once exist in the history of humankind, but everything very quickly ends in a deadlock if there is no diversity. Everything starts to become extreme one way or another.

Various ideas and various opinions should have a chance to exist and manifest themselves, but at the same time interests of the general public, those millions of people and their lives, should never be forgotten. This is something that should not be overlooked.

Then, it seems to me, we would be able to avoid major political upheavals and troubles. This applies to the liberal idea as well. It does not mean (I think, this is ceasing to be a dominating factor) that it must be immediately destroyed. This point of view, this position should also be treated with respect.

They cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. Diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics. But why?

For this reason, I am not a fan of quickly shutting, tying, closing, disbanding everything, arresting everybody or dispersing everybody. Of course, not. The liberal idea cannot be destroyed either; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But you should not think that it has the right to be the absolute dominating factor. That is the point. Please." ~ Vladmir Putin

https://www.ft.com/content/878d2344-98f0-11e9-9573-ee5cbb98ed36

He's talking about the end of neoliberalism, the economic fascism that has gripped the world for over 40 years:

"If you're not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek's free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom." ~ Michael Hudson

Let's get back to using fiscal policy for public purpose again, to granting nations their right to self-determination and stopping the latest desperate neoliberal attempt to change international norms by installing fascist dictators (while pretending they are different) in order to move the world backwards to a time when "efforts to institutionalize standards of human and civil rights were seen as impingements on sovereignty, back to the days when no one gave a second thought to oppressed peoples."

http://tothepointanalyses.com/making-progressives-the-enemy/?fbclid=IwAR0ebXAngJpSZY0-WdB-zOgfqWnGsmYzqkYMP4A69kqbHrTI6WqjSpWM4Ow

kristiina , July 4, 2019 at 2:47 am

Very interesting article, and even more interesting conversation! There is a type of argument that very accurately points out some ills that need addressing, and then goes on to spout venom on the only system that might be able to address those ills.

It may be that the governing classes are making life easy for themselves. How to address that is the hard and difficult issue. Most of the protection of the small people comes from government. Healthcare, schools, roads, water etc.(I'm in scandinavia).

If the government crumbles, the small people have to leave. The most dreadful tyranny is better than a failed state with warring factions.

The only viable way forward is to somehow improve the system while it is (still) running. But this discussion I do not see anywhere.

If the discussion does not happen, there will not be any suggestions for improvement, so everything stays the same. Change is inevitable – it what state it will catch us is the important thing. A cashier at a Catalonian family vineyard told me the future is local and global: the next level from Catalonia will be EU. What are the steps needed to go there?

SteveB , July 4, 2019 at 5:54 am

Same old, Same old. Government is self-corrupting and is loath to change. People had enough July fourth 1776.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

FWIW: The fireworks we watch every Fourth of July holiday are symbolic!!!!

John , July 4, 2019 at 5:43 pm

The cashier seems to be envisioning a neoliberal paradise where the nation-state no longer exists. But who, then, collects the taxes that will pay for infrastructure, healthcare, education, public housing, and unemployment insurance? The European Parliament?

Will Germans and Finns be willing to pay high taxes in order to pay for those services for Greeks and Spaniards?

Look at the unemployment rate in Greece the Germans would simply say that the Greeks are lazy parasites and don't want to work (rather than understand that the economic conditions don't allow for job creation), and they would vote for MEPs that vote to cut taxes and welfare programs.

But maybe this was the plan all along you create this neoliberal paradise, and slowly but surely, people will dismantle all but the bare bones of the welfare state.

John , July 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm

I believe that one of the fundamental flaws in the logic behind the EU is this assumption of mobility. Proponents of the EU imagine society to be how it is described in economics textbooks: a bunch of individual actors seeking to maximize their incomes that don't seem to exist in any geographic context. The reality is that people are born into families and communities that speak a language. Most of them probably don't want to just pack up all of their things, relocate, and leave their family and home behind every time they get a new job. People throughout history have always had a very strong connection to the land on which they were raised and the society into which they were brought up; more accurately, for most of human history, this formed the entire existence, the entire universe, of most people (excluding certain oppressed groups, such as slaves or the conquered).

Human beings are not able to move as freely as capital. While euros in Greece can be sent to and used instantly in Germany, it is not so easy for a Greek person to leave the society that their ancestors have lived in for thousands of years and move to a new country with a new culture and language. For privileged people that get to travel, this doesn't sound so bad, but for someone whose family has lived in the same place for centuries and never learned to speak another language, this experience would be extremely difficult. For many people over the age of 25, it might not even be a life worth living.

In the past, economic difficulties would lead to a depreciation of a nation's currency and inflation. But within the current structure of the Eurozone, it results in deflation as euros escape to the core countries (mainly Germany) and unemployment. Southern Europeans are expected to leave everything they have ever known behind and move to the countries where there is work, like Germany or Holland. Maybe for a well-educated worldly 18 year old, that's not so bad, but what about a newly laid-off working class 35 year-old with a wife and kids and no college degree? He's supposed to just pick up his family and leave his parents and relatives behind, learn German, and spend the rest of his life and Germany? His kids now have to be German? Would he even be able to get a job there, anyway? Doing what? And how is he supposed to stop this from happening, how is he supposed to organize politically to keep jobs at home? The Greek government can hardly do anything because the IMF, ECB, and European Commission (all unelected officials) call the shots and don't give them any fiscal breathing room (and we saw what happened the last time voters tried to assert their autonomy in the bailout deal referendum), and the European Parliament doesn't have a serious budget to actually do anything.

I'm surprised more people don't vote for neo-fascist parties like the Golden Dawn. Ordinary liberal politics has completely failed them.

[Jul 05, 2019] Globalisation- the rise and fall of an idea that swept the world - World news by Nikil Saval

Highly recommended!
Globalization was simply the politically correct term for neocolonialism.
Jul 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

... ... ...

Over the last two years, a different, in some ways unrecognizable Larry Summers has been appearing in newspaper editorial pages. More circumspect in tone, this humbler Summers has been arguing that economic opportunities in the developing world are slowing, and that the already rich economies are finding it hard to get out of the crisis. Barring some kind of breakthrough, Summers says, an era of slow growth is here to stay.

In Summers's recent writings, this sombre conclusion has often been paired with a surprising political goal: advocating for a "responsible nationalism". Now he argues that politicians must recognise that "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good".

One curious thing about the pro-globalisation consensus of the 1990s and 2000s, and its collapse in recent years, is how closely the cycle resembles a previous era. Pursuing free trade has always produced displacement and inequality – and political chaos, populism and retrenchment to go with it. Every time the social consequences of free trade are overlooked, political backlash follows. But free trade is only one of many forms that economic integration can take. History seems to suggest, however, that it might be the most destabilising one.

... ... ...

The international systems that chastened figures such as Keynes helped produce in the next few years – especially the Bretton Woods agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) – set the terms under which the new wave of globalisation would take place.

The key to the system's viability, in Rodrik's view, was its flexibility – something absent from contemporary globalisation, with its one-size-fits-all model of capitalism. Bretton Woods stabilised exchange rates by pegging the dollar loosely to gold, and other currencies to the dollar. Gatt consisted of rules governing free trade – negotiated by participating countries in a series of multinational "rounds" – that left many areas of the world economy, such as agriculture, untouched or unaddressed. "Gatt's purpose was never to maximise free trade," Rodrik writes. "It was to achieve the maximum amount of trade compatible with different nations doing their own thing. In that respect, the institution proved spectacularly successful."

Partly because Gatt was not always dogmatic about free trade, it allowed most countries to figure out their own economic objectives, within a somewhat international ambit. When nations contravened the agreement's terms on specific areas of national interest, they found that it "contained loopholes wide enough for an elephant to pass", in Rodrik's words. If a nation wanted to protect its steel industry, for example, it could claim "injury" under the rules of Gatt and raise tariffs to discourage steel imports: "an abomination from the standpoint of free trade". These were useful for countries that were recovering from the war and needed to build up their own industries via tariffs – duties imposed on particular imports. Meanwhile, from 1948 to 1990, world trade grew at an annual average of nearly 7% – faster than the post-communist years, which we think of as the high point of globalisation. "If there was a golden era of globalisation," Rodrik has written, "this was it."

Gatt, however, failed to cover many of the countries in the developing world. These countries eventually created their own system, the United Nations conference on trade and development (UNCTAD). Under this rubric, many countries – especially in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – adopted a policy of protecting homegrown industries by replacing imports with domestically produced goods. It worked poorly in some places – India and Argentina, for example, where the trade barriers were too high, resulting in factories that cost more to set up than the value of the goods they produced – but remarkably well in others, such as east Asia, much of Latin America and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where homegrown industries did spring up. Though many later economists and commentators would dismiss the achievements of this model, it theoretically fit Larry Summers's recent rubric on globalisation: "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good."

The critical turning point – away from this system of trade balanced against national protections – came in the 1980s. Flagging growth and high inflation in the west, along with growing competition from Japan, opened the way for a political transformation. The elections of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were seminal, putting free-market radicals in charge of two of the world's five biggest economies and ushering in an era of "hyperglobalisation". In the new political climate, economies with large public sectors and strong governments within the global capitalist system were no longer seen as aids to the system's functioning, but impediments to it.

Not only did these ideologies take hold in the US and the UK; they seized international institutions as well. Gatt renamed itself as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the new rules the body negotiated began to cut more deeply into national policies. Its international trade rules sometimes undermined national legislation. The WTO's appellate court intervened relentlessly in member nations' tax, environmental and regulatory policies, including those of the United States: the US's fuel emissions standards were judged to discriminate against imported gasoline, and its ban on imported shrimp caught without turtle-excluding devices was overturned. If national health and safety regulations were stricter than WTO rules necessitated, they could only remain in place if they were shown to have "scientific justification".

The purest version of hyperglobalisation was tried out in Latin America in the 1980s. Known as the "Washington consensus", this model usually involved loans from the IMF that were contingent on those countries lowering trade barriers and privatising many of their nationally held industries. Well into the 1990s, economists were proclaiming the indisputable benefits of openness. In an influential 1995 paper, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner wrote: "We find no cases to support the frequent worry that a country might open and yet fail to grow."

But the Washington consensus was bad for business: most countries did worse than before. Growth faltered, and citizens across Latin America revolted against attempted privatisations of water and gas. In Argentina, which followed the Washington consensus to the letter, a grave crisis resulted in 2002 , precipitating an economic collapse and massive street protests that forced out the government that had pursued privatising reforms. Argentina's revolt presaged a left-populist upsurge across the continent: from 1999 to 2007, leftwing leaders and parties took power in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, all of them campaigning against the Washington consensus on globalisation. These revolts were a preview of the backlash of today.


Rodrik – perhaps the contemporary economist whose views have been most amply vindicated by recent events – was himself a beneficiary of protectionism in Turkey. His father's ballpoint pen company was sheltered under tariffs, and achieved enough success to allow Rodrik to attend Harvard in the 1970s as an undergraduate. This personal understanding of the mixed nature of economic success may be one of the reasons why his work runs against the broad consensus of mainstream economics writing on globalisation.

"I never felt that my ideas were out of the mainstream," Rodrik told me recently. Instead, it was that the mainstream had lost touch with the diversity of opinions and methods that already existed within economics. "The economics profession is strange in that the more you move away from the seminar room to the public domain, the more the nuances get lost, especially on issues of trade." He lamented the fact that while, in the classroom, the models of trade discuss losers and winners, and, as a result, the necessity of policies of redistribution, in practice, an "arrogance and hubris" had led many economists to ignore these implications. "Rather than speaking truth to power, so to speak, many economists became cheerleaders for globalisation."

In his 2011 book The Globalization Paradox , Rodrik concluded that "we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national determination, and economic globalisation." The results of the 2016 elections and referendums provide ample testimony of the justness of the thesis, with millions voting to push back, for better or for worse, against the campaigns and institutions that promised more globalisation. "I'm not at all surprised by the backlash," Rodrik told me. "Really, nobody should have been surprised."

But what, in any case, would "more globalisation" look like? For the same economists and writers who have started to rethink their commitments to greater integration, it doesn't mean quite what it did in the early 2000s. It's not only the discourse that's changed: globalisation itself has changed, developing into a more chaotic and unequal system than many economists predicted. The benefits of globalisation have been largely concentrated in a handful of Asian countries. And even in those countries, the good times may be running out.

Statistics from Global Inequality , a 2016 book by the development economist Branko Milanović, indicate that in relative terms the greatest benefits of globalisation have accrued to a rising "emerging middle class", based preponderantly in China. But the cons are there, too: in absolute terms, the largest gains have gone to what is commonly called "the 1%" – half of whom are based in the US. Economist Richard Baldwin has shown in his recent book, The Great Convergence, that nearly all of the gains from globalisation have been concentrated in six countries.

Barring some political catastrophe, in which rightwing populism continued to gain, and in which globalisation would be the least of our problems – Wolf admitted that he was "not at all sure" that this could be ruled out – globalisation was always going to slow; in fact, it already has. One reason, says Wolf, was that "a very, very large proportion of the gains from globalisation – by no means all – have been exploited. We have a more open world economy to trade than we've ever had before." Citing The Great Convergence, Wolf noted that supply chains have already expanded, and that future developments, such as automation and the use of robots, looked to undermine the promise of a growing industrial workforce. Today, the political priorities were less about trade and more about the challenge of retraining workers , as technology renders old jobs obsolete and transforms the world of work.

Rodrik, too, believes that globalisation, whether reduced or increased, is unlikely to produce the kind of economic effects it once did. For him, this slowdown has something to do with what he calls "premature deindustrialisation". In the past, the simplest model of globalisation suggested that rich countries would gradually become "service economies", while emerging economies picked up the industrial burden. Yet recent statistics show the world as a whole is deindustrialising. Countries that one would have expected to have more industrial potential are going through the stages of automation more quickly than previously developed countries did, and thereby failing to develop the broad industrial workforce seen as a key to shared prosperity.

For both Rodrik and Wolf, the political reaction to globalisation bore possibilities of deep uncertainty. "I really have found it very difficult to decide whether what we're living through is a blip, or a fundamental and profound transformation of the world – at least as significant as the one that brought about the first world war and the Russian revolution," Wolf told me. He cited his agreement with economists such as Summers that shifting away from the earlier emphasis on globalisation had now become a political priority; that to pursue still greater liberalisation was like showing "a red rag to a bull" in terms of what it might do to the already compromised political stability of the western world.

Rodrik pointed to a belated emphasis, both among political figures and economists, on the necessity of compensating those displaced by globalisation with retraining and more robust welfare states. But pro-free-traders had a history of cutting compensation: Bill Clinton passed Nafta, but failed to expand safety nets. "The issue is that the people are rightly not trusting the centrists who are now promising compensation," Rodrik said. "One reason that Hillary Clinton didn't get any traction with those people is that she didn't have any credibility."

Rodrik felt that economics commentary failed to register the gravity of the situation: that there were increasingly few avenues for global growth, and that much of the damage done by globalisation – economic and political – is irreversible. "There is a sense that we're at a turning point," he said. "There's a lot more thinking about what can be done. There's a renewed emphasis on compensation – which, you know, I think has come rather late."

[Jul 05, 2019] Globalization's Wrong Turn by Dani Rodrik

As Noam Chomsky says, the term globalisation has been appropriated by a narrow sector of power and privilege to refer to their version of international integration and it makes sense for them to own the term because anyone who is opposed to their version becomes anti-globalisation -- someone who is primitive and wants to go back to the stone age and that everyone likes international integration but not the investor rights version of it.
In reality globalization was a politically correct term for neocolonialism
Notable quotes:
"... In finance, the change was marked by a fundamental shift in governments' attitudes away from managing capital flows and toward liberalization ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.foreignaffairs.com

Globalization is in trouble. A populist backlash, personified by U.S. President Donald Trump, is in full swing. A simmering trade war between China and the United States could easily boil over. Countries across Europe are shutting their borders to immigrants. Even globalization's biggest boosters now concede that it has produced lopsided benefits and that something will have to change .

Today's woes have their roots in the 1990s, when policymakers set the world on its current, hyperglobalist path, requiring domestic economies to be put in the service of the world economy instead of the other way around. In trade, the transformation was signaled by the creation of the World Trade Organization, in 1995. The WTO not only made it harder for countries to shield themselves from international competition but also reached into policy areas that international trade rules had not previously touched: agriculture, services, intellectual property, industrial policy, and health and sanitary regulations. Even more ambitious regional trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, took off around the same time.

In finance, the change was marked by a fundamental shift in governments' attitudes away from managing capital flows and toward liberalization. Pushed by the United States and global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, countries freed up vast quantities of short-term finance to slosh across borders in search of higher returns.

At the time, these changes seemed to be based on sound economics. Openness to trade would lead economies to allocate their resources to where they would be the most productive. Capital would flow from the countries where it was plentiful to the countries where it was needed. More trade and freer finance would unleash private investment and fuel global economic growth.

But these new arrangements came with risks that the hyperglobalists did not foresee, although economic theory could have predicted the downside to globalization just as well as it did the upside.

... ... ...

[Jul 05, 2019] The UK public finally realized that the Globalist/Open Frontiers/ Neoliberal crowd are not their friends

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The key point, is that this happened in the 1980's – 90's. Vast profit possibilities were opening up through digitalization, corporate outsourcing, globalization and the internet. The globalists urgently wanted that money, and had to have political compliance. They found it in Neoliberalism and hijacked both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, creating "New Labour" (leader Tony Blair) through classless "modernization" following Margaret Thatcher's lead. ..."
"... Great blast by Jonathan Cook – I feel as if he has read my thoughts about the political system keeping the proles in an Orwellian state of serfdom for plunder and abuse under the guise of “democracy” and “freedom”. ..."
"... But the ideas of the Chicago School in cohorts with the Frankfurters and Tavistockers were already undermining our hopeful vision of the world while the think tanks at the foundations, councils and institutes were flooding the academies with the doctrines of hardhead uncompromising Capitalism to suck the blood off the proles into anaemic immiseration and apathetic insouciance. ..."
"... With the working class defeated and gone, where is the spirit of resistance to spring from? Not from the selfishness of the new generation of smartphone addicts whose world has shrunk to the atomic MEism and who refuse to open their eyes to what is staring in their face: debt slavery, for life. Maybe the French can do it again. Allez Gilets Jaunes! ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Miro23 says: July 5, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT 400 Words

This is a very good article on UK politics, but I would have put more emphasis on the background. Where we are today has everything to do with how we got here.

The UK has this basic left/right split (Labour/Conservative) reaching far back into its class based history. Sad to say, but within 5 seconds a British person can determine the class of the person they are dealing with (working/ middle/ upper) and act accordingly – referencing their own social background.

Margaret Thatcher was a lower middle class grocer's daughter who gained a rare place at Oxford University (on her own high intellectual merits), and took on the industrial wreckers of the radical left (Arthur Scargill etc.). She consolidated her power with the failure of the 1984-85 Miner's Strike. She introduced a new kind of Conservatism that was more classless and open to the talents, adopting free market Neoliberalism along with Ronald Reagan. A large section of the aspirational working class went for this (many already had middle class salaries) and wanted that at least their children could join the middle class through the university system.

The key point, is that this happened in the 1980's – 90's. Vast profit possibilities were opening up through digitalization, corporate outsourcing, globalization and the internet. The globalists urgently wanted that money, and had to have political compliance. They found it in Neoliberalism and hijacked both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, creating "New Labour" (leader Tony Blair) through classless "modernization" following Margaret Thatcher's lead.

The story now, is that the UK public realize that the Globalist/Zionist/SJW/Open Frontiers/ Neoliberal crowd are not their friends . So they (the public) are backtracking fast to find solid ground. In practice this means 1) Leave the Neoliberal/Globalist EU (which has also been hijacked) using Brexit 2) Recover the traditional Socialist Labour Party of working people through Jeremy Corbyn 3) Recover the traditional Conservative Party ( Britain First) through Nigel Farage and his Brexit movement.

Hence the current and growing gulf that is separating the British public from its Zio-Globalist elite + their media propagandists (BBC, Guardian etc.).


Digital Samizdat , says: July 5, 2019 at 12:43 pm GMT

@Miro23

She introduced a new kind of Conservatism that was more classless …

Or just plain anti-working class.

It was actually Thatcher who started the neo-liberal revolution in Britain. To the extent that she refused to finish it, the elites had Tony Blair in the wings waiting to go.

Parfois1 , says: July 5, 2019 at 1:18 pm GMT

Great blast by Jonathan Cook – I feel as if he has read my thoughts about the political system keeping the proles in an Orwellian state of serfdom for plunder and abuse under the guise of “democracy” and “freedom”. Under this system if anyone steps out of line is indeed sidelined for the “anti-semitic” treatment, demonized, vilified and, virtually hanged and quartered on the public square of the mendacious media.

In the good old days, when there was a militant working class and revolting (!) unionism, we would get together at meetings, organize protests and strikes and confront bosses and officialdom. There was camaraderie, solidarity, loyalty and confident defiance that we were fighting for a better world for ourselves and our children – and also for people less fortunate than us in other countries.

But the ideas of the Chicago School in cohorts with the Frankfurters and Tavistockers were already undermining our hopeful vision of the world while the think tanks at the foundations, councils and institutes were flooding the academies with the doctrines of hardhead uncompromising Capitalism to suck the blood off the proles into anaemic immiseration and apathetic insouciance.

... ... ... .

With the working class defeated and gone, where is the spirit of resistance to spring from? Not from the selfishness of the new generation of smartphone addicts whose world has shrunk to the atomic MEism and who refuse to open their eyes to what is staring in their face: debt slavery, for life. Maybe the French can do it again. Allez Gilets Jaunes!

Harbinger , says: July 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT
@Miro23 ic get pissed off and vote in the conservatives who then privatise everything. And this game continues on and on. The British public are literally headless chickens running around not knowing what on earth is going on. They’re not interested in getting to the bottom of why society is the way it is. They’re all too comfortable with their mortgages, cars, holidays twice a year, mobile phones, TV shows and football.

When all of this disappears, then certainly, they will start asking questions, but when that time comes they will be utterly powerless to do anything, as a minority in their own land. Greater Israel will be built when that time comes.

Miro23 , says: July 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat itants and win – which she did.

No one at the time had much idea about Neoliberalism and none at all about Globalization. This was all in the future.

And it was the British working class who were really cutting their own throats, by wrecking British industry (their future employment), with constant political radicalism and strikes.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Great-Britain-1976-Crisis/dp/0300057288

[Jul 01, 2019] Globalization is simply a neoliberal economic substitute for colonialism.

Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Jul 1 2019 5:38 utc | 114

Globalization is simply a neoliberal economic substitute for colonialism.

Neoliberals contrary to popular opinion do not believe in self-regulating markets as autonomous entities. They do not see democracy as necessary for capitalism.

The neoliberal globalist world is not a borderless market without nations but a doubled world (economic -global and social- national) . The global economic world is kept safe from democratic national demands for social justice and equality, and in return each nation enjoys cultural freedom.

Neoliberals see democracy as a real problem. Democracy means the unwashed masses can threaten the so called market economy (in fact manipulated and protected markets) with worker demands for living wages and equality and consumer demands for competitive pricing and safe products. Controlling both parties with money prevents that.

In fact, neoliberal thinking is comparable to that of John Maynard Keynes in one respect : "the market does not and cannot take care of itself".

The neoliberal project did not liberate markets so much as protect them by protecting capitalism against the threat of democracy and to reorder the world where borders provide a captive market

Neoliberals insulate the markets by providing safe harbor for capital, free from fear of infringement by policies of progressive taxation or redistribution. They do this by redesigning government, laws, and other institutions to protect the market.

For example the stock market is propped up by the Feds purchases of futures, replacing the plunge protection teams intervention at an even more extreme level. Manipulation of economic statistics by the BLS also serve a similar purpose.

Another example is getting government to accept monopoly capitalism over competitive capitalism and have appointed judges who believe illegal collusion is nothing more than understandable and legal "conscious parallelism"

Now it seems to me the Koch-Soros think tank is an attempt to unify the neoliberal globalist forces which represent factions from international greenies to nationalist protectionists . In other words to repackage and rename neoliberal globalism while keeping its essence. Be interesting to see what they come up with.

As for China opening to private international finance. They already did that but this takes it to a new level. Like I said. Fake wrestling. This was one of the demands in the trade negotiations by Trump. Why take one of your chips off the table if the game is for real?

China was Made in USA (includes the City of London) like the EU and Putins neoliberal Russia.
One day they will get around telling us they are all buddies, or maybe not. I suspect they have a lot of laughs playing us like they do.

I could be wrong but this is more interesting than the official and semi official narratives.


[Jul 01, 2019] Globalism is the transnational, mainly financial and legal architecture (or "system" if you will) through which neliberalim functions

Notable quotes:
"... if the US ever held unipolar control in reality it was briefly during the period after the downfall of the USSR and up until the conquest of Iraq. ..."
"... An economic system, of which the financial system is a part of, is one of the fundamental structures of any society. Societies in today's world are defined at the sovereign state level, and the economic systems are defined by the governments of these states ..."
"... 'Globalism' as discussed in these blogs, in opposition to 'multi-polarity' is not about global commerce, but rather about an effort by a certain group of wealthy elites, primarily centered in London and New York, and commonly referred to as 'Globalists' to transfer the authority for the definition and control of economic systems from sovereign states to a set of international institutions under their control. ..."
"... In doing so they strip the sovereignty from sovereign states, as as already happened with the EU, and create a global dictatorship, under the control of the 'Globalists' and completely isolated from any democratic oversight. A fascist project in the purest sense of fascism. ..."
"... The 'Multi-polar' group of nations are those nations who oppose this fascist project and who are working to maintain and restore the sovereignty of nations. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Jun 30, 2019 1:38:21 PM | 15

Gzon @ 10 and james @ 1

Stating "globalism" is antithetical to "multipolarity" is a non-sequitor.

Globalism is the financial structure (or "system" if you will) through which capitalist enterprises function. This is complex of course and includes capital markets, corporations, multinational corporations, currency markets, commodities markets, trading agreements. Politicians intervene in the functioning of globalism so there is seldom if ever anything like a globalism free of political influence.

OTOH, "multipolarity" has no structure that I can see. It is an empty vessel, purely a political, statist-inspired idea (whereas globalism is a "thing" which contains political and economic ideas of course but those ideas may or may not be statist in concept depending on the context) which can mean anything to anyone at any point in time.

I guess I would say the term is purely Orwellian. Thus, without reading anything other than James's comment I would guess the author's idea is either nonsensical or propagandistic in nature.

For me, the world became "multipolar" the minute the US invaded Iraq in 2003. The idea that the US wishes to maintain its "unipolar" leadership of the world may be true in the wishful sense of some neocons, however if the US ever held unipolar control in reality it was briefly during the period after the downfall of the USSR and up until the conquest of Iraq.

Today, I view the world as both multipolar and globalist. While many of the political and economic tensions we see result from the disconnects between national political and global economic conditions, I think we must admit if we are honest that many of the more recent tensions are simply the result of Trump's presidency, which has the intended affect of being "a bull in the china shop" of the globalist system.

This is not necessarily a bad thing in theory. Sadly, however, Trump is a geopolitical and foreign policy moron who doesn't know what he is doing beyond enriching himself and creating daily fake news headlines in hopes of being re-elected on behalf of the same global elites he playacts at combatting for his worshipful audience of true believers.

dh-mtl | Jun 30, 2019 3:51:11 PM | 29

gzon , Jun 30, 2019 4:25:58 PM | 33

@donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 1:38:21 PM | 15 says:

'Globalism is the financial structure (or "system" if you will) through which capitalist enterprises function.'

What B.S.!!

An economic system, of which the financial system is a part of, is one of the fundamental structures of any society. Societies in today's world are defined at the sovereign state level, and the economic systems are defined by the governments of these states , which are supposed to function on behalf of the population of each state, and in democratic states, are also supposed to be under the control of the overall population through their democratic institutions. International institutions are there to coordinate commerce between the different economic systems of sovereign states.

'Globalism' as discussed in these blogs, in opposition to 'multi-polarity' is not about global commerce, but rather about an effort by a certain group of wealthy elites, primarily centered in London and New York, and commonly referred to as 'Globalists' to transfer the authority for the definition and control of economic systems from sovereign states to a set of international institutions under their control.

In doing so they strip the sovereignty from sovereign states, as as already happened with the EU, and create a global dictatorship, under the control of the 'Globalists' and completely isolated from any democratic oversight. A fascist project in the purest sense of fascism.

The 'Multi-polar' group of nations are those nations who oppose this fascist project and who are working to maintain and restore the sovereignty of nations.

@ donkeytale 15

I think the world has always been multipolar, the differences that give the definition coming to (being presented to) the forefront, or being dissimilated, according to choice and circumstance. The globalist direction aims to interweave or merge these differences (cultural and historic, religion, philosophy and so on), or at least bring them under a common control. So the idea that multipolarity represents anything more than increased recognition of various regional power as opposed to recognition of one regional power (say western) as more visible, is not much more than an indication of how global policy will be conducted, i.e. with an emphasis on regional responsibility.

Recent US policy is not aimed at destroying the globalist order, it is a result of the failure of one format of the globalist order, where the global financial order no longer fitted into national or regional economic sense. This was the gfc, and there is simply no way to continue the flow of trade and finance as it existed for the previous decades. The easing of rates across the globe is paliative, it is no solution, you only have to look at national debt levels to understand this, or in Eurozone try target2 differences. The world is now partly funded by negative yielding debt. All of this works contrary to capitalist (in its basic honest philosophy) understanding. In short "something" is going to happen to readjust this circumstance, planned or otherwise. I have watched how in EU the single currency has been used to takeover the traditional national hierarchies (banking, political and to a degree social), but we don't have that sort of framework accepted at global level, only various currency pegs, bilateral arrangements and so on. The IMF and sdr is not much liked. What I have noted is virtual central bank currency is being promoted in several ways, be it the bis just announcing it may become a necessity face to cryptocurrency or similar (with a caveat of harmonising monetary policy) , EU organising a parallel payment system that avoids commercial banks, even Instex is along these lines. Where the US and some others truly stand with regard to this is a different question, as for now it (et al) still enjoy a financial hegemony that is both organised and profitable. Interesting times, I just hope that a major event is not the catalyst for reform, that the various parties can agree to withdraw to more localised structure and agreement if any grand plans meet the resistance or failure that is already partly visible. I doubt that will be allowed though, by the time people really want to take part, there won't be much option left and circumstance will already be already confused and conflictive.

james , Jun 30, 2019 4:27:54 PM | 34
@31 donkeytale.. well, if the usa didn't commit as much paper money as it does to the military complex it runs, i suppose the financial complex where the us$ can be printed ad nauseam might come into question.. the sooner oil isn't pegged to the us$ and etc. etc. happens, the better off the world will be... and, i don't blame the usa people for this.. they are just being used as i see it - much the same here in canada with our politicians thinking the prudent thing to do is to support the status quo.. the problem is the status quo can only go on for so long, before a change inevitably happens...

as for swift - they went along with usa sanctions back in 2011 on iran, but then it was brought to court in europe and overturned... but again - they are back in the same place bowing down to usa exceptionalism... call it what you want.. another system needs to get made if this one that exists is beholden to a special interest group - usa-uk-europe, where others are 2nd rate citizens of the world... same deal imf... these world financial institutions need to be changed to reflect the changes that are taking place... the voting rights of the developed countries are skewed to favour the ones who have been raping and pillaging africa, and etc. etc.. you may not think it matters, but i personally do.. and i don't blame the usa for it..but they are being used as a conduit to further an agenda which is very unbalanced and unfriendly to the world as i see it..

dh-mtl , Jun 30, 2019 5:25:13 PM | 41
donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 4:17:38 PM | 32

I am afraid that I cannot agree with much of what you said.

Dictatorship, as a governance system, has always failed, and will always fail. The 'Globalists' who grabbed power, and imposed an effective oligarchic dictatorship, in the U.S. in 1980 and the EU since 1990, have clearly demonstrated this fact through the destruction of the economies of the U.S. and much of Europe and the impoverishment of their populations. And since 2001, they have used the U.S. and British military and intelligence services and NATO as their personal bludgeon in order to force the submission of any state that did not voluntarily submit to their project of a 'Global' dictatorship.

Resistance to this 'Globalist' project is at the root of almost all conflicts in the world today. The 'Multi-Polar' nations resisting the 'Globalists', in Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, etc. is one front in this resistance. The other front is the resistance of 'Nationalists' (such as Trump, the Brexiteers, the Yellow Vests, and populists across Europe) to the 'Globalists.

The Trump Presidency is not the cause of tensions in the world today, as you suggest, but rather the symptom. Trump understands that without an industrial base, the U.S. is condemned to becoming the 'India' of the Americas'. The central theme of his actions is to restore the U.S. industrial base and U.S. sovereignty, which have largely been destroyed by the 'Globalists' and their 'Deep State' machine over the past 40 years. The 'Globalists' need only the U.S. military and intelligence services, and care nothing for its population and less for its sovereignty, and thus are fighting Trump every step of the way.

Trump may be coarse and a buffoon, and he may be completely wrong in carrying Israel's water with respect to Iran, but he is just about the only American politician that I see that is working on behalf of the U.S. population rather than on behalf of the 'Globalists'.

Reversing the 'Globalization' that has savaged the U.S. and Europe over the past several decades will not come easily, nor without pain and tensions, and winners and losers. However failure to do so guarantees the likely rapid and long term decline and impoverishment of all populations under 'Globalist' control.

wagelaborer , Jun 30, 2019 5:47:02 PM | 48
dh-mtl @29 explained it well, I thought, but some still don't seem to g