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Neoliberalism

The ideology that dare not speak it's name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism. It is completely and intentionally based on lies, on deception. In reality this "religion of freedom" (redefinition of the meaning of the word "freedom" and sophisticated speculation on it is at the center of neoliberal religion) is a coercive cult enforced by corrupt, deceitful financial oligarchy with the explicit goal of milking the common people (aka "deplorables"). They have money to hire intellectual prostitutes (aka  professors of economics) to do the dirty job of creating elaborate mathness and neoclassic economy based smoke screen over the lies

Version 7.20

Skepticism and Pseudoscience > Who Rules America > Neoliberal Brainwashing

News Who Rules America Recommended books Recommended Links An introduction to Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Globalization of Financial Flows
Neoliberalism 101: 12 best articles on neoliberalism Neoliberal rationality Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura Neoliberalism and Christianity Key Myths of Neoliberalism Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Anti-globalization movement
Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Coming collapse of neoliberalism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Definitions of neoliberalism Neoliberal Brainwashing Neoclassical Pseudo Theories
Neocon stooge formerly known as Anti-Globalist and Trump betrayal of his voters Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Casino Capitalism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism War is Racket Inverted Totalitarism
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism and shift to neo-fascism Neoliberal corruption Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Corruption of Regulators "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization
Alternatives to Neo-liberalism Elite Theory Neoliberal Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions Key Myths of Neoliberalism Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Gangster Capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality Blaming poor and neoliberalism laziness dogma Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime
Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump The Deep State Predator state Disaster capitalism Harvard Mafia Small government smoke screen Super Capitalism as Imperialism
The Great Transformation Monetarism fiasco Neoliberalism and Christianity Republican Economic Policy In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Ronald Reagan: modern prophet of profligacy Milton Friedman -- the hired gun for Deification of Market
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocons New American Militarism Media domination strategy Libertarian Philosophy Frederick Von Hayek Neoliberal Deregulation
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few YouTube on neoliberalism History of neoliberalism PseudoScience Related Humor Politically Incorrect Humor Humor Etc


Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.
“There’s class warfare, all right, "Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

- New York Times

Make no mistake, the neo-Liberal fuckers are just as bad as the Stalinists

May '68 and its Afterlives [Review]

Neoliberal ideology acted as a smokescreen that enabled the financially powerful to rewrite the rules and place themselves beyond the law.

Church , 10 Jun 2013 17:21

Due to the size the introduction was moved to a separate page: Neoliberalism: a primer



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Old News ;-)

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For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

(Research materials to the paper Neoliberalism: an Introduction)

[Mar 28, 2020] People's lives have absolutely zero value to these monsters at the top, who have gotten where they are because they are so ruthless and selfish.

Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT

@tomo Hi tomo!

Yes, I would believe it.

I was a partner in a law firm where I was ultimately responsible for all civil litigation we handled. I was continually shocked and disgusted by what I saw. It was incredible. People's lives have absolutely zero value to these monsters at the top, who have gotten where they are because they are so ruthless and selfish.

We, as a society, carefully select for these psychopathic types in all high-level competitive endeavors where large sums are hanging in the balance. Their only loyalty is 1.) to themselves; 2.) to the shareholders/partners, firmly in that order, and they are VERY highly rewarded for it. That the commoner's well being holds no value to them aside from how it can be exploited to their businesses' advantage, is a truism revealed and reinforced daily. The Ford Pinto, Dalkon Shield and other horrifying high profile cases (from the era when I practiced) come immediately to mind.

Pig Pharma is by no means alone in their utter disregard for the everyday man and woman, it's just that we intuitively expect people in the medical field to want to heal the sick, not prolong it. But as the Wall Street analysts remind the heads of Pig Pharma on a daily basis: curing disease is a bad business model. Prolonging and worsening illness, just short of death, is optimal. Just ask the lovely Sackler family.

Very sad to learn it's as bad or worse across the pond, but I guess that's to be expected.

I suspect the worst of it exists in the military environment, where service men and women are apparently routinely used as guinea pigs, and often completely unknowingly. But at least they know when they sign up that they are 100% expendable ..

[Mar 28, 2020] Covid-19 Hits the Dual Economy Incomes Destroyed at the Bottom, Profits Supported at the Top

Mar 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Lance Taylor, Arnhold Professor of International Cooperation and Development, New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

This note presents broad brush illustrations from a simple accounting model of the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic on macroeconomic balance, with emphasis on fiscal interventions. The premise is that supporting effective demand is essential for sustaining economic activity. The covid-19 epidemic created mass unemployment by shutting activity down. The resulting income loss undoubtedly reduced household consumption which makes up two-thirds of GDP. The only way to restore consumption is for the government acting as the "borrower of last resort" to raise its deficit and transfer the proceeds to households. A numerical example presented below suggests that an increase of ten percentage points in the ratio of government net borrowing (spending on goods and services plus transfers to households minus tax revenues) to GDP would do the trick.

The stimulus legislation now before Congress does not go far enough. Its size -- $2.2 trillion or ten percent of GDP – is the right order of magnitude but the breakdown of spending is biased away from households and toward business, viz. , payments that may flow more or less directly to households – checks in the mail, more unemployment insurance, small business support, state and local government support, and less than $100 billion to food stamps and disaster relief – come to $1.2 trillion or 5.7% of GDP.

Big business support in the form of loans and a range of other payments amounts to $800 billion or 3.8% of GDP. No doubt, politics aside, some of this money will be usefully spent, but its contribution to aggregate demand will be slow and indirect.

Before getting into the details of demand management, a few background observations are needed.

One is that both government and business have substantial debt overhangs. The simulations suggest that an increase of about $3 trillion in the deficit of the government sector (close to the total built into the various packages now in place or being enacted) is needed to offset the macro shock that the epidemic creates. Outstanding Federal debt is $22 trillion. New issues of three trillion may be difficult for markets to absorb.

Even worse, the corporate sector's outstanding debt is $10 trillion, five times total profits before depreciation, interest, and taxes. Share buybacks, largely financed by borrowing and ranging in the upper hundreds of billions per year, have been an important driver of growth of debt. The production side of once dominant firms – think of General Electric and Boeing – has been hollowed out by financial engineering. Politics will continue to be influenced by pressures to solve financial problems for firms created by their past mistakes.

On the real side of the economy, over the last two or three decades the share of employment in sectors with low real wages, productivity, and profits increased by around twenty percent. The share of profits in national income grew at around 0.4% per year for five decades, mostly flowing through various channels to households in the top one percent of the size distribution of income. Households at the bottom of the distribution became especially vulnerable.

The major impact on economic activity will come from falling consumption of goods and services due to income losses caused by businesses shutting down. Starting from an initial income level, household saving or the difference between income and spending will shoot up with further multiplier effects on output. High profit activities such as real estate rental and leasing, finance, and information will be protected. Sectors with high employment and low wages and productivity such as retail, accommodation and food, and other services will be hard hit (education and health will be the main exception). To offset the impacts, fiscal demand creation by the government will be essential, with the required outlays depending on the size of the consumption drop and other shocks such as lower private investment and exports.

We begin with details about differences across sectors, and go on to the macroeconomic effects of the coronavirus epidemic on incomes and output.

Dual Economy

The shifts in the structure of production just mentioned created an American dual economy with prosperity at the top and near subsistence living at the bottom. Table 1 presents details for sixteen sectors, ordered from the higher to lower rows by decreasing estimates of payments per hour to labor (including "supplements" or contributions for pensions and insurance).

Real wages and productivity vary over wide ranges. The same is true of sectoral profits. Real estate takes the lion's share, followed by manufacturing, finance, business services, and information. Profits are meager from retail on down the rows, while output and especially employment shares are relatively high. The three sectors mentioned above -- retail, accommodation and food, and other services – provide around 46 million jobs, more than one-quarter of the 162 million total. Their labor payments amount to $263 billion, about one percent of GDP of $21 trillion. This number can be contrasted with $600 billion of profits in real estate. Incomes of low-wage workers do not matter

greatly in the grand macroeconomic scheme of things, but for them even a ten percent income loss would be devastating.

Table 1: Structure of production in 2016 Wages and output used to calculate wage rate per hour and productivity per hour are deflated by the GDP deflator (2019=100). Shares of real output are deflated based on each sector's own industry price index (2009=100).

Macroeconomic Balance

Before turning to the impacts of covid-19, it makes sense to review previous macroeconomic shocks such as the great recession and the smaller Trump tax reduction of 2018. A simple accounting scheme can be built around "net borrowing" (NB) levels of four institutional sectors – households (HH), corporate business, government at all levels, and the rest of the world.

For households and business, NB is equal to gross fixed capital formation plus changes in inventories ("investment") minus saving. For government, it is current spending on goods and services plus investment minus the excess of tax receipts over fiscal transfers to households. Broadly speaking, foreign NB is the current account surplus or exports minus imports. It is negative for the USA. In the jargon, investment, government spending, and exports are demand "injections." HH and business saving, taxes minus fiscal transfers, and imports are "leakages." Overall macroeconomic balance requires that the sum of NB levels across sectors should equal zero (subject to a "statistical discrepancy" between estimates of spending and incomes in the national accounts). Table 2 summarizes data for selected years. The "rates" are calculated with respect to the relevant year's real GDP.

Table 2: Net borrowing behavior in the USA for selected years (levels in trillions of dollars at prices of 2019, rates are relative to GDP)

Each year's "multiplier" is the inverse of the sum of the four leakage rates. The multiplier times the sum of injections equals output.

In a further illustration, Figure 1 shows annual net borrowing rates in the form of a bar chart. High net borrowing by the government in response to the financial crisis stands out. Even more striking at the far right of the diagram is the fiscal response to the consumption loss due to the coronavirus as estimated in Table 3 below.

Figure 1: Annual sectoral net borrowing (in the past and estimated for 2020)

The diagram and table show that business retained earnings usually provide the main source of saving, with resources also coming from households and negative net borrowing by the rest of the world (positive net lending to the US economy). The government is the principal net borrower, as underlined by its role in recent macroeconomic events and especially now.

Recession and the Trump Tax Cut

The 2007-09 recession was precipitated by private sector retrenchment in wake of the financial crisis. Household consumption was flat, while private investment fell by 30%. Household saving and business retained earnings went up, meaning that the overall private saving rate rose from 19% to 22%. Output rose between 2007 and 2009. It would have dropped dramatically if the net government tax-minus-transfer rate had been stable. But in fact it fell from 15% to 6% due to automatic stabilizers and the Obama stimulus package of around 5% of GDP. The overall impact was that private net borrowing fell by 10.2% of output while government borrowing went up by 8.6%. Reduction of the external deficit by 1.7% made up the difference.

In sum, the recession was not a disaster because of fiscal realignment. Causality ran from a private sector shock to automatic and discretionary government responses. It went the other way for the more modest Trump tax cut. The tax-minus-transfer rate fell from 11.6% to 10.7%, or about $185 billion. Output did go up by 2.9%, but the increase would have been greater if there had been a strong business investment boom instead of only a $320 billion increase. Lower business taxes were in large part distributed via dividends and share buybacks to households at the top of the income ladder with high saving rates.

Both episodes show that changing government net borrowing plays a key role in macroeconomic adjustment. More government spending on goods and services (unimportant in 2007-09) will also have to help absorb the covid-19 shock

Coronavirus and Consumption

The biggest immediate impact of the epidemic is loss of economic activity as businesses shut down in a "supply" shock. Unless they reopen rapidly, both payments to labor and profits will fall. Household consumption makes up almost 70% of GDP and will drop accordingly.

As an illustration, we can consider a consumption decrease over 2020 of $1.5 trillion from a 2019 level of $14.6 trillion, or 10% (a high but not unreasonable estimate). That amounts to seven percent of GDP. Because they have low or negative saving rates, households hit by loss of low-wage jobs at the bottom of the Table 1 ladder would be major contributors.

For households, saving basically equals income minus spending for consumption, (mostly) residential investment, and taxes. A decrease in consumption translates into higher saving, or in Table 3 a jump of the HH saving rate from 0.086 to 0.156. More saving means less demand creation so that output falls from 21.06 to 18.34 trillion dollars.

Table 3: Possible effects of the coronavirus shock

In a quirk of national accounting, HH net borrowing falls from -0.045 to -0.108, or net lending to the rest of the economy rises to close to 11% of GDP. Presumably the higher "lending" would take the form of paying off debt. In practice, that will not happen. The proper policy response would be a decrease in the government's tax-minus-transfer rate from 0.101 to 0.031, taking the form of a $1.5 trillion transfer to households, which could hold consumption spending and output stable over the year. Government borrowing would rise by 7% of GDP, or from $1.56 to $3.03 trillion (compare the two rightmost bars of Figure 1). This hypothetical percentage increase exceeds the actual change between 2007 and 2009 recorded in Table 2.

In other words, the only way to maintain economic activity is for the government to borrow to transfer money to households to support consumption. Ideally, a few hundred billion could be targeted specifically at the poorly paid quarter of the work force in the sectors in the lower part of Table 1, along with poor households who don't receive labor income.

There are more potential complications. Table 2 shows that private investment fell by around 30% between 2007 and 2009. Lower capital formation along with stable profits drove up retained earnings so that business net borrowing fell. Broadly similar shifts could be expected during the epidemic. Exports could decrease as well. On the other hand, increased government spending on goods and services would raise aggregate demand. In the rightmost column of Table 3, a plausible outcome would be a visible recession, despite government borrowing of 17% of GDP, or $3.4 trillion.

Reality check

The initial impact of covid-19 has been to annihilate labor income through the loss of employment. The challenge is to create demand to offset lost wages and consumer spending. The calculations herein are illustrative at best, although government net borrowing in Table 3 is close to the total outlay of stimulus packages approved by Congress. But there are further complications.

` As noted at the outset, more than three trillion dollars of new government debt is a non-trivial increase over the $22 trillion outstanding. Advocates of Modern Monetary Theory suggest that the Federal Reserve could absorb the new issues, adding to the 15% of government paper that it already holds. In the USA such an experiment is yet to be run.

The Fed has offered to intervene massively to buy up corporate debt, which would also run up its balance sheet. Nevertheless, bailouts for business will remain in political competition with transfers to households in bottom tiers of the income distribution which really need the money. The Obama stimulus directed less than half its outlays toward households. There could be better targeting under present circumstances.

Table 1 suggests that profits in some sectors could be taxed to help offset transfers. Real estate, finance, and information jump to attention.

Timing matters. GDP over one year is the reference frame for Table 3. If, as is likely, job losses and demand decreases are not offset over a shorter period, the effects on economic activity could be devastating.

Finally, immediate direct action is needed to overcome supply shortfalls for vast amounts of new medical and caretaker services, not to mention production of personal protective gear for caregivers.

Support from INET and help from Özlem Ömer are gratefully acknowledged.


Another Scott , March 27, 2020 at 7:13 am

One issue I take with this article is that it often classifies money as going to either labor or profits. There is a third category – suppliers. In my experience payments to suppliers has dried up since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown. Whether because AP and AR aren't considered essential functions, because businesses, even essential businesses, don't have enough cash to pay employees and suppliers, or because they simply don't want to pay supplier. This is creating a cash crunch for businesses, who are cutting down on discretionary activities like advertising and even turning away new sales out of fears new customers won't pay. I have not seen any analysis on the impact of the loss of trade credit.

Jesper , March 27, 2020 at 8:38 am

The importance of trade-credit has been ignored for decades. I had hopes that one positive effect of the ultra-low interest-rates would have been that large customers would stop paying their suppliers so late. It hasn't happened, banks love it as they force the small suppliers to go to the bank and borrow money at high(er) interest-rate and the money lent out by banks would be the low(er) interest-rate provided by the customer.
There is a risk now that the supply-chains freeze completely due to suppliers not being paid and suppliers then stopping supply – either voluntaritly or due to going under. It might be necessary to legislate and enforce maximum payment terms.
What might possibly be happening is more and better automation of the AP/AR-functions. The current automation is often so bad that it increases employment instead of what might be the intended reduction of employment, the next automation (done by skilled professionals, not like now by when it is often done talkers) might (in my opinion very likely) permanently reduce employment.

Grayce , March 27, 2020 at 11:49 am

Aren't suppliers also the likeliest creditors to lose out in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Time to write to legislators for nuance in the regs.

notabanktoadie , March 27, 2020 at 2:36 pm

AP? AR?

Now maybe I'm blind but I see no definition of those abbreviations.

Have a little mercy on laymen, please?

Jesper , March 27, 2020 at 2:51 pm

AP=Accounts Payable
AR=Accounts Receivable (most senior executives might not know they have AR, they believe they only have cash-collectors .)

notabanktoadie , March 27, 2020 at 3:25 pm

Thanks, those definitions also just occurred to me on my walk to the grocery store.

It's amazing how the mind works – if I'll just give it time.

But more accurately, in my considered opinion and experience, is this:

Lamentations 3:25-26

Vag , March 27, 2020 at 3:08 pm

accounts payable, accounts receivable

notabanktoadie , March 27, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Thanks to you also; no businessman I, except as a paper boy in High School.

jackiebass , March 27, 2020 at 8:25 am

This has been the M.O. forever and will continue to be the M.O. Te rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

[Mar 28, 2020] Contrary to free-market catechism, the pursuit of profit frequently runs contrary to the public's well-being

Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 5:32 pm GMT

"Contrary to free-market catechism, the pursuit of profit frequently runs contrary to the public's well-being. This is especially true in an industry devoted to inventing and manufacturing health-giving and life-saving drugs."

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/3/gilead-orphan-drug-remdesivir-coronavirus

The free market is for chumps and the parasties who feed on them.

[Mar 28, 2020] On disappearance of certain drugs

Highly recommended!
Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment March 26, 2020 at 9:03 pm GMT

They have every right to suppress cures and raise prices.

It's the free market. Don't you people get it?

Realist , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 11:51 am GMT
@obwandiyag

They have every right to suppress cures and raise prices.

It's the free market. Don't you people get it?

Sadly that's what the free market means to the wealthy and powerful.

Oracle , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
More activity on the dark, unethical side of capitalism. There's an entire history of it, opium wars, Atlantic slave trade, pornography, control of political agents through pedophilia. The list does go on and strangely enough it's usually the same actors.

[Mar 28, 2020] Just imagine the French hoity toity now not having to put up with the yellow vests in the streets. Must be such a comforting relief.

Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Old and Grumpy , says: Show Comment

[Mar 28, 2020] One common flavour of modern idiotism: I've heard doctors and pharmacists complain that patients will get offended when prescribed a cheaper, older drug. They want the best and newest, they need and deserve it!

Highly recommended!
Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Redneck farmer , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 10:09 am GMT

There is also a tendency to think newer=better. I've heard doctors and pharmacists complain that patients will get offended when prescribed a cheaper, older drug. They want the best and newest, they need and deserve it!
Jake , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
@Redneck farmer That is because advertising works. Drug companies being allowed to advertise guaranteed that predators, such as the Sacklers, would want to own drug companies.
Oracle , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
More activity on the dark, unethical side of capitalism. There's an entire history of it, opium wars, Atlantic slave trade, pornography, control of political agents through pedophilia. The list does go on and strangely enough it's usually the same actors.

[Mar 27, 2020] We have to beg for hand sanitizer? It's almost like we are one of the nations under strct USA sanction

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 26 2020 23:56 utc | 90

Just one of many important anecdotal observations :

"We have to beg for hand sanitizer? It's almost like we are one of the nations we sanction."

[Mar 27, 2020] Coronavirus vs Boris Johnson 1:0

Video with Johnson statements about coronavirus as they "evolved" over time. Some of them in retrospect simply hilarious. Must watch.
Boris Johnson has assured people he won't stop shaking people's hands during the coronavirus outbreak. 03/03/2020 By Reuters - SBS
Mar 27, 2020 | twitter.com

Shamil Esq , Bring on 2020! @Shamils18 · 5h Replying to @BorisJohnson

Not wishing Covid-19 on anyone.

Here you're saying you were shaking hands with a few Covid-19 patients on the 3rd March!

How many people did you infect since? Will you publicly apologise for the herd immunity strategy now?

Will you get tests out asap?

1:07 From JOE

the real guigsy.... @franMcguigan20 · 5h Replying to @BorisJohnson

How did you get tested before NHS staff....

Mike P Williams @Mike_P_Williams · 5h Replying to @BorisJohnson

Tested positive for being an irresponsible dickhead too

[Mar 27, 2020] Trump was tested for Corona. The result was absolutely beautifully tremendously perfectly so unique negative

See video of this parody inside. It is absolutely brilliant.
Mar 27, 2020 | twitter.com

Wall St Shouldn't Govern - End the Creditocracy ‏ 6:03 AM - 26 Mar 2020

More Copy link to Tweet Embed Tweet Replying to @ HalaJaber @ ejmalrai

Oh, he's definitely a textbook case.... in narcissism. Insecurity is the flip side of that coin.

Ich bin dumm, du auch ‏ 6:25 AM - 26 Mar 2020

@ wanderadoyo ona hii

[Mar 27, 2020] Exactly when did behaviour of neoliberals become a bunch of out-takes from Catch-22?"

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 27 2020 1:17 utc | 98

johnbrewster@77
Here's a story from today's Toronto Star. It's a neoliberalism story and goes well with Pepe Escobar's piece in Asia Times (see above for link)
Basically the Province of Ontario stockpiled everything need for the pandemic that SARs warned them was bound to come.

Then, a couple of years ago, they destroyed the stockpiles including 55 million facemasks.

Now there are no face masks to be found and medical staff, inter alia, are having to take totally unnecessary risks.

Why did this happen? Because neo-liberalism is all about profits and fiscal austerity: as soon as the masks got beyond their 'best before' date they were destroyed - so the manufacturers could have another bite at the cherry and sell another 55 million masks. But then, austerity, the need to finance tax cuts for the wealthy, stepped in so the orders were not renewed. And people will die, horrible deaths, as a result.


https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2020/03/25/province-stockpiled-55-million-face-masks-then-destroyed-them.html

[Mar 27, 2020] Looks like the USA and the Soviet Union traded jerseys after the wall fell.

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

steve , Mar 26 2020 22:46 utc | 75

For me the USA and the Soviet Union traded jerseys after the wall fell. The USA took victory way to seriously.

[Mar 27, 2020] Larry Summers should have a drink named after him

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 26 2020 19:46 utc | 22

karlof1 #10

Larry Summers should have a drink named after him.
Ofshore double hoarder
Safebreaker with tonic
Gin and plunder scammer


Thanks b,I bought last roll of narrow elastic yesterday and will cut up some old silk shirts today.

[Mar 27, 2020] Trump's about as innocent in the coronavirus fiasco as jack the ripper

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Miss Lacy , Mar 26 2020 20:32 utc | 35

PS to vk # 1. Please think again. Trump has been in a trade war with China for what? a couple of years? AND, he specifically banned imports of medical supplies from China. Other posters wave supplied links for this idiocy.

Trump's about as innocent as jack the ripper. You may just be seeing things relatively, as ghouls like Elliot Abrahms and disgusting Pomposity make Trump seen like an amateur.

[Mar 27, 2020] How coronavirus epidemics crushed neoliberal globalism: Now Germany one of the citadels of neoliberals in Europe prohibited export of ventilators to other countries

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

augusto , Mar 26 2020 20:46 utc | 41

We know how the USofA has been over last months now harassing, blackmailing an' threatening other countries NOT to adopt the chinese HUawei 5G technologies.
Many nations were threatened, UK, Berlin, Brazil etc

Now Germany the first vassal of the Empire, 'primus inter pares' has seemingly prohibited the exportation of breathers to other countries - who of course need them most.

So what is globalism after all.

A nice idea the rich sell the morons, and tamed nations of the world. But which gets zeroed as soon as their main interests are menaced.

[Mar 27, 2020] Origins of the USA finacilization drive

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Prof K , Mar 26 2020 19:57 utc | 25

VK,
The financialization of the US economy has deep roots, going back to the postwar boom, during which western Europe and Japan began to outcompete US firms in world trade. By the mid 60s the US was running trade deficits with west Germany and Japan. As a result, US dollars began accumulating in central banks globally, with no purpose. When foreign governments began to exchange their dollars for gold under the bretton woods agreement, Nixon abrogated the system of fixed currencies backed by gold and refused to negotiate a new international monetary system. A new structure of economic relations emerged: the US would slowly deindustrialize because of a lack of competitiveness, it would run systematic trade deficits, but other countries would lend their dollars back to Wall Street as well as to the Treasury Department to fund the US federal deficit. This allowed financialization to take off.
The key point is that financialization is rooted in long-term dynamics of declining American competitiveness vis a vis its principal rivals.
Some people have take a short term view of this process, believing it gives the US structural power in the world system.
Over time, though, it has lead to structural economic weaknesses, grotesque inequality, unpayable debt, and endless crises.

thiamin , Mar 26 2020 20:03 utc | 27

I dont blame Trump either. Of course they would bail out the financial market: that is all america has left. The financial crowd since the Clinton era have been selling out everyone to get rich. Now all they have left are the bail outs. Even their military is useless because they cannot destroy china without hurting their american corporations that they keep propping up. Poor bastards.
vk , Mar 26 2020 21:34 utc | 58
This information is crucial and makes my hypothesis that the USA is "financializing" even stronger:

Figures for US corporate profits in Q4 and for 2019

Overall corporate profits rose 2.2% year over year in Q4, but ended up exactly flat for the whole of 2019. Most important, non-financial sector profits were down 2.1% year over year in Q4 and down 3.1% in 2019 as a whole compared to 2018.

This shows that the US corporate sector was already in a profits slump before the virus broke. Q1 2020 data should be revealing.

The trend in domestic non-financial corporate profits has been downwards for some time. These profits at end 2019 were 21% below the level at the end of 2014.

In other words, the USA is managing to save its financial sector, but not its "real economy". The USG moved mountains to keep profitability of the financial sector stable in 2019Q4, but the "real economy" (non-financial sector) fell almost at the same magnitude as the financial sector's grew (-2.1%).

And this is not a punctual event: the American non-financial sector had a 21% lower profit rate than it had in 2014 - and 2014 is still the post-crisis era, so they were not good profits either.

If this trend continues, we should expect a long-term continuity of the deindustrialization of the USA, increased militarization (so as to keep the USD standard), and the domination of the so-called "gig jobs", where the working class is essentially reduced to a "quick bucks", "pay to play" labor force.

[Mar 26, 2020] COVID-19 and Class in the United States by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... Today supermarkets are playing a ground-zero role in our struggle to adapt to restrictions imposed by COVID-19. And grocery workers are bearing much of the the brunt of our anxiety and frustration, as we [who?] descend on depleted stores. ..."
Mar 26, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

In the United States, #COVID-19 began with globalization and globalizers. One thing we can be of is that grovery workers -- to whom the virus will "trickle down" soon enough -- didn't create the conditions for it, or introduce it. Let's take a look at the grocery workers before dollying back to the global. From the Los Angeles Times, " Column: How coronavirus turned supermarket workers into heroes ":

Today supermarkets are playing a ground-zero role in our struggle to adapt to restrictions imposed by COVID-19. And grocery workers are bearing much of the the brunt of our anxiety and frustration, as we [who?] descend on depleted stores.

Without masks or barriers, employees are working long hours, risking infection and battling exhaustion to do their jobs. They connect us to material essentials, like bread and toilet paper. But they're also part of the social fabric that holds us together in unsettling times.

That friendly chat with the guy restocking the egg case this morning might be my only social interaction on this shelter-at-home day. And I feel better whenever I see my favorite cashier at her register. There's something reassuring about the familiar in a world where everything has changed.

Markets are about the only place we're still allowed to gather en masse. And their employees -- pressed into service in ways they never expected -- are our new first responders. They're apt to see us at our worst, and they aim to ease our strain.

"They're dealing with a public that's fearful, apprehensive and frustrated, and it gets hostile," [said John Grant, a former meatpacker who is president of the union that represents grocery employees in Southern California]. "This wasn't what they signed up for, but they realize it's their responsibility. They've cursed how vulnerable they are, and yet they keep going out of their profound dedication to their communities."

Funny thing. The people who "connect us to material essentials" are suddenly more important than Senators and Represenatives (who can fly home), or all the MBAs in the head office, or the CEOs. Heaven forfend they collectively decided to withdraw their labor!

"Vulnerable" as the grocery workers are, they didn't bring #COVID19 on themselves or us. First, I'll look at how globalization made the "material essentials" to deal with #COVID19 so hard to obtain. Then, I'll look at how globalizers were vectors for the diseases spread.

Globalization

The story of how the United States 1% deindustrialized American by moving our manufacturing base offshore (mostly to China) is well known and I will not rehearse it here. From the New York Times, " How the World's Richest Country Ran Out of a 75-Cent Face Mask ":

The answer to why we're running out of protective gear involves a very American set of capitalist pathologies -- the rise and inevitable lure of low-cost overseas manufacturing, and a strategic failure, at the national level and in the health care industry, to consider seriously the cascading vulnerabilities that flowed from the incentives to reduce costs.

(By "reduce costs," of course, we mean "increase profits.") The shortage of masks has been the dominant narrative, but we don't make anything . If masks had not been "the long pole in the tent," as project managers say, something else would have been or will be: ventilators , gloves , nasal swabs for testing, extraction kits and pipettes , reagents , whatever. The real issue is not a shortage of this or that material essential, but a forty-year policy of globalization, supported by the ruling class as a whole, that has led to a shortage of all material essentials (and that's not even taking austerity and the general gutting of public services into account). I have altered the famous "flattening the curve" chart (here with "dotted line to show capacity") to show the effect"

Lack of "material essentials" reduces our capacity ("How many very sick people hospitals can treat"); it pushes the dotted line down. So we either have to flatten the curve further than we would otherwise have to do, or we don't, and lose lives. Thank you, globalization! And with that, let's turn to the globalizers.

Globalizers

By globalizers, I mean the 1% on down, plus the PMC (Professional Manager Class) who own and manage our globalized system. One effect of globalization has been the vast expansion of air transport and international travel, so that globalizers can do their jobs. And tha t's how SARS-COV-2 was brought to the United States :

The man who would become Patient Zero for the new coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. appeared to do everything right. He arrived Jan. 19 at an urgent-care clinic in a suburb north of Seattle with a slightly elevated temperature and a cough he'd developed soon after returning four days earlier from a visit with family in Wuhan, China.

(I'm not blaming any individual; I travel internationally myself, and there are many good reasons to do it. But international air travel was the vector that brought the virus to the United States. That is the system. I'm assuming Patient Zero travelled for professional reasons, since Wuhan is an unlikely tourist destination.)

We can make a highly suggestive correlation between globalizers and COVID-19 if we look at two simple maps. First, as is well known , one of the main distinctions between the places that are " optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward " (i.e., globalizers) and the dull provincials in flyover is the possession of passports. (A passport is a likely marker for the sort of person who asks "Why don't they just leave?"; "front-row kids," in Chris Arnade's parlance, as distinguished from, say, grocery workers, who he calls "back-row" kids.) Here is a map of passport ownership by state:

http://maps.unomaha.edu/Map_Sites/US_Passport_Map.htm

And here is a map of COVID-19 outbreaks:

The correlation is rather neat, don't you think? It makes sense that the first case was in a globalist, passport-owning city like Seattle on the West Coast; and it makes sense that the world capital of globalization, passport-owning New York City, now has a major outbreak.

Oh, and the ability to travel by air correlates to income (a proxy for class):

If one hypothesizes, as I am doing, that COVID-19 will trickle from globalizers downward, we might ask ourselves how that will happen. One answer, of course, is social interaction between the globalizers themselves. The New York Times describes " Party Zero: How a Soirée in Connecticut Became a 'Super Spreader ':"

About 50 guests gathered on March 5 at a home in the stately suburb of Westport, Conn., to toast the hostess on her 40th birthday and greet old friends, including one visiting from South Africa. They shared reminiscences, a lavish buffet and, unknown to anyone, the coronavirus.

Then they scattered.

The Westport soirée -- Party Zero in southwestern Connecticut and beyond -- is a story of how, in the Gilded Age of money, social connectedness and air travel, a pandemic has spread at lightning speed. The partygoers -- more than half of whom are now infected -- left that evening for Johannesburg, New York City and other parts of Connecticut and the United States, all seeding infections on the way.

Westport, a town of 28,000 on the Long Island Sound, did not have a single known case of the coronavirus on the day of the party. It had 85 on Monday, up more than 40-fold in 11 days.

It is the globalizers' ability to "scatter," in other words -- both internationally and domestically -- that made them such effective vectors. The Westport hot-spot was innocent, since nobody knew enough about COVID-19. Other examples are not innocent at all, where globalizers infect all those around them by trying to escape the disease. The Hamptons example is famous. From the New York Post, " 'We should blow up the bridges' -- coronavirus leads to class warfare in Hamptons ":

Every aspect of life, most crucially medical care, is under strain from the sudden influx of rich Manhattanites panic-fleeing, bringing along their disdain and disregard for the little people -- and in some cases, knowingly bringing coronavirus.

The Springs resident says her friend, a nurse out here, reported that a wealthy Manhattan woman who tested positive called tiny Southampton Hospital to say she was on her way and needed treatment.

The woman was told to stay in Manhattan.

Instead, she allegedly got on public transportation, telling no one of her condition. Then she showed up at Southampton Hospital, demanding admittance.

"Someone else took a private jet to East Hampton and did not tell anybody 'til he landed," the resident says. "That's the most horrendous aspect. The virus is already here, and we don't have any medical resources."

Everybody loves a "rich people behaving badly" story, but here's a second one. From the Los Angeles Times, " Some of Mexico's wealthiest residents went to Colorado to ski. They brought home coronavirus ":

The frantic effort to find the ski trip participants has highlighted an uncomfortable fact: It is people wealthy enough to travel outside the country who have brought the coronavirus back to mostly poor Mexico. Yet if the disease spreads, it is those with the least who will probably suffer the most.

"The virus is imported by people with the economic capacity to travel," wrote actor Tenoch Huerta on Twitter. "Those who ask that everything be closed and all economic activity stop, hurting the people who live day-to-day, why didn't they voluntarily isolate for three weeks so as not to spread it? Or should only the poor be responsible?"

The same dynamic can be inferred in Blaine Country, Idaho, home of ski resort Sun Valley :

Idaho has 123 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the state's coronavirus website. That includes 37 in Ada County and eight in Canyon County. Blaine County, where Sun Valley is located, has the most confirmed cases at 52. Idaho's first case was reported 12 days ago, in Ada County. The number of people tested in the state is now up to 2,188.

(Many of the cases around the state came from travel to Blaine County.)

Finally, Berkshire County, MA:

In my home area of Berkshire County, MA, the superrich from the city who own second homes have come up en masse, buying up all the food and refusing to quarantine. The latter means they will overwhelm an already insufficient healthcare system.

-- Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) March 25, 2020

Conclusion

Of course, this rough-and-ready, anecdotal analysis is no substitute for formal, scientific contact tracing. But I don't think, at this point, we will ever be able trace the original outbreaks. And I didn't see anybody else making this argument, so I thought I'd throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. All I can say is that when I think of the grocery workers -- and all the workers -- in the Hamptons, Mexico, Idaho, and Massachusetts having COVID-19 brought to them, I become very ticked off. For pity's sake, at least can we practice social distancing by traveling only when it's essential?

[Mar 26, 2020] The face of Trump in foreign policy is Pompeo and it is wicked, ungly face of a gangster

Yet another Gofgather
Notable quotes:
"... The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be . ..."
March 24, 2020 < Older
No Respite for the Wicked, Pompeo Unleashed Written by Tom Luongo Tuesday

There are few things in this life that make me more sick to my stomach than watching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking. He truly is one of the evilest men I've ever had the displeasure of covering.

Into the insanity of the over-reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, Pompeo wasted no time ramping up sanctions on firms doing any business with Iran, one of the countries worse-hit by this virus to date.

It's a seemingly endless refrain, everyday, more sanctions on Chinese, Swiss and South African firms for having the temerity in these deflating times to buy oil from someone Pompeo and his gang of heartless psychopaths disapprove of.

This goes far beyond just the oil industry. Even though I'm well aware that Russia's crashing the price of oil was itself a hybrid war attack on US capital markets. One that has had, to date, devastating effect.

While Pompeo mouths the words publicly that humanitarian aid is exempted from sanctions on Iran, the US is pursuing immense pressure on companies to not do so anyway while the State Dept. bureaucracy takes its sweet time processing waiver applications.

Pompeo and his ilk only think in terms of civilizational warfare. They have become so subsumed by their big war for the moral high ground to prove American exceptionalism that they have lost any shred of humanity they may have ever had.

Because for Pompeo in times like these to stick to his talking points and for his office to continue excising Iran from the global economy when we're supposed to be coming together to fight a global pandemic is the height of soullessness.

And it speaks to the much bigger problem that infects all of our political thinking. There comes a moment when politics and gaining political advantage have to take a back seat to doing the right thing.

I've actually seen moments of that impulse from the Democratic leadership in the US Will wonders never cease?!

Thinking only in Manichean terms of good vs. evil and dehumanizing your opponents is actually costlier than reversing course right now. Because honey is always better at attracting flies than vinegar.

But, unfortunately, that is not the character of the Trump administration.

It can only think in terms of direct leverage and opportunity to hold onto what they think they've achieved. So, until President Trump is no longer consumed with coordinating efforts to control COVID-19 Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are in charge of foreign policy. They will continue the playbook that has been well established.

Maximum pressure on Iran, hurt China any way they can, hold onto what they have in Syria, stay in Iraq.

To that end Iraqi President Barham Salei nominated Pompeo's best choice to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi to throw Iraq's future into complete turmoil. According to Elijah Magnier, Adnan al-Zarfi is a US asset through and through .

And this looks like Pompeo's Hail Mary to retain US legal presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliament adopted a measure to demand withdrawal of US troops from the country. Airstrikes against US bases in Iraq continue on a near daily basis and there have been reports of US base closures and redeployments at the same time.

This move looks like desperation by Pompeo et.al. to finally separate the Hashd al-Shaabi from Iraq's official military. So that airstrikes against them can be carried out under the definition of 'fighting Iranian terrorism.'

As Magnier points out in the article above if al-Zarfi puts a government together the war in Iraq will expand just as the US is losing further control in Syria after Turkish President Erdogan's disastrous attempt to remake the front in Idlib. That ended with his effective surrender to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be .

It is sad that, to me, I see no reason to doubt Pompeo and his ilk in the US government wouldn't do something like that to spark political and social upheaval in those places most targeted by US hybrid war tactics.

But, at the same time, I can see the other side of it, a vicious strike back by China against its tormentors. And China's government does itself, in my mind, no favors threatening to withhold drug precursors and having officials run their mouths giving Americans the excuse they need to validate Trump and Pompeo's divisive rhetoric.

Remaining on the fence about this issue isn't my normal style. But everyone is dirty here and the reality may well be this is a natural event terrible people on both sides are exploiting.

And I can only go by what people do rather than what they say to assess the situation. Trump tries to buy exclusive right to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a German firm and his administration slow-walks aid to Iran.

China sends aid to Iran and Italy by the container full. Is that to salve their conscience over its initial suppression of information about the virus? Good question. But no one covers themselves in glory by using the confusion and distraction to attempt further regime change and step up war-footing during a public health crisis, manufactured or otherwise.

While Pompeo unctuously talks the talk of compassion and charity, he cannot bring himself to actually walk the walk. Because he is a despicable, bile-filled man of uncommon depravity. His prosecuting a hybrid war during a public health crisis speaks to no other conclusion about him.

It's clear to me that nothing has changed at the top of Trump's administration. I expect COVID-19 will not be a disaster for Trump and the US. It can handle this. But the lack of humanity shown by its diplomatic corps ensures that in the long run the US will be left to fend for itself when the next crisis hits.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Mar 25, 2020] Rumour in the markets has it WHO held out as long as possible to avoid triggering the provisions of World Bank Pandemic Bonds

This is clearly corruption...
Mar 25, 2020 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 10:42 am GMT

@Oddly Enough

The WHO declared a pandemic 50 days later on March 11th.

Rumour in the markets has it WHO held out as long as possible to avoid triggering the provisions of World Bank Pandemic Bonds, for which investors enjoyed relatively high coupon rates in the current low interest-rate environment in exchange for running the risk of losing their principal investment if a pandemic was declared in the window period.

[Mar 25, 2020] By blockading health care products, most proably the same people who have caused all this, may seek that public health care collapsing gives a bad impression so as to get them privatized once the country in depression.

Mar 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

H.Schmatz , Mar 24 2020 23:57 utc | 112

WTF?
Six million protection masks for Germany disappeared at the Kenya airport. They were valued at a million dollars. Theft is suspected or that the manufacturer (Belgium) decided to destroy them. Nothing is accidental in disaster capitalism.

https://twitter.com/berlinConfid/status/1242413373830115329

I wonder whether those who seak war at all costs, are now trying to get us fighting for masks and ventilators....

Seeing the comments at SST on the necessities of NYC major, it seesm to me that the same people who seeks always confrontation is always ready to start a fight with its nationals for whatever reason....

In Spain, as I am seeing, even counting with the inability and greed of those at the helms, it seems to me that a "USSR 1990" effect on dissapearing health care items from the market to then make them appear at multiple times their price could be happening right now...

By blockading health care products, most proably the same people who have caused all this, may seek that public health care collapsing gives a bad impression so as to get them privatized once the country in depression.

[Mar 25, 2020] So if you are talking about people in SE Asia and the West hating Chinese for their behaviour, exemplified by the behaviour of Amy Chua to her own daughters and of her family to its Filipino servants, and the behaviour of people in Hong Kong and Singapore with their status-seeking and selfish materialist values, and their adherence to extreme Protestant Christian beliefs, bear in mind where they learned their lessons.

Mar 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Moa , Mar 25 2020 0:43 utc | 120

Jen, yes, I am very familiar with the program as I have an acquaintance who helps usher in very wealthy Chinese into Canada for a hefty fee.

That doesn't change the fact the Chinese are hated everywhere they go. This is very well documented in the book entitled World on Fire, by a Chinese American author Amy Chua who also wrote the book Hymn of the Dragon Mother.

She brags about how she pushes her children to achieve more in the second book.

In the first, she explains how her Chinese aunt was murdered by their Filipino servants because the servants were badly treated. Now, you can tell me if the two have any relation to each other.

Apart from TCM which the Chinese got from the Indians and developed, the entire Chinese civilization needs to be scrapped and started over.

Jen , Mar 25 2020 1:27 utc | 122

Moa @ 120:

The Chinese "scrapped" their civilisation starting in the 1950s. By then it was on its last legs anyway, after over 100 years of degradation from mass opium addiction brought by the British, followed by decades of foreign interference and the consequences of that interference: a messianic cult culminating in the Taiping rebellion in the 1860s and then the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the 20th century, among other things.

Amy Chua is just one person whose mother's family came from Fujian province in SE China and settled in the Philippines, along with several other families from that part of China. (Former Philippines President Corazon Aquino also had family from Fujian.) People living in Fujian and Guangdong (the old Canton province) were exposed to more Western / European influences than other parts of China. Fujian and Guangdong are also the areas where most overseas Chinese communities living in SE Asia and the West, up to the 1980s, hailed from.

So if you are talking about people in SE Asia and the West hating Chinese for their behaviour, exemplified by the behaviour of Amy Chua to her own daughters and of her family to its Filipino servants, and the behaviour of people in Hong Kong and Singapore with their status-seeking and selfish materialist values, and their adherence to extreme Protestant Christian beliefs, bear in mind where they learned their lessons.

I speak as one of those you damn.

[Mar 25, 2020] Senator Rand Paul wisely proposed cutting war spending to help pay for the relief package. We should go much, much farther than he proposed and slash hundreds of billions of dollars in annual military spending and instead give it directly to US Citizens here at home.

Mar 25, 2020 | www.unz.com

RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 4:22 am GMT

@Anon As for people with jobs supposedly not needing the relief checks, speak for yourself. Completely out of touch with how much tens of millions of working Americans are living and struggling, and not just the poor or minimum-wage workers by any means.

Middle-income and upper-middle-income people in many places are struggling with housing costs and medical costs above all, and their situation generally is not improving in recent years.

As a factual correction, the proposals on both sides are not for $1,000 per family; they are for $1,000 or $1,200 or more to each adult, plus $500 for each child, and I'm glad they are.

This would be a better use of taxpayer money -- or money conjured out of thin air by the federal reserve -- than most of what the fed gov has been doing. That includes the vast sums we have spent on unnecessary wars and occupations that are neither defensive nor retaliatory.

Senator Rand Paul wisely proposed cutting war spending to help pay for the relief package. We should go much, much farther than he proposed and slash hundreds of billions of dollars in annual military spending and instead give it directly to US Citizens here at home.

We should also consider placing a permanent floor under Americans, not just a fleeting relief package that ends when this virus quiets down. Very large cuts to the warfare state and the welfare-state bureaucracy alike can provide funding for a substantial monthly universal basic income for all US Citizens age 21 and over -- with less government borrowing than we have now.

Public ownership of our God-given natural resources could provide another large source of funding for the UBI -- without any government borrowing at all.

Of course, these ideas are too responsible for either Dems or Republicans to even debate. Instead, they'll do a sensible and just thing, directly helping Americans rather than big connected corporations and banks, but they'll recklessly borrow to do so.

There is a middle way and we should be negotiating it.

[Mar 25, 2020] When one of Reagan's top bureaucrats is calling for writing down the debt and nationalisation, it is obvious that neo-liberalism is dying

Mar 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 24 2020 19:20 utc | 38

1/ @35 And you can include Ontario in that farewell too.

2/ When one of Reagan's top bureaucrats is calling for writing down the debt and nationalisation, it is obvious that neo-liberalism is dying.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/54068.htm

3/ Isn't chloroquine just a new name for Jesuit's (Peruvian) bark? Or quinine. The tonic in gin and tonic?

4/ Tom Paine's 1796 pamphlet 'The English System of Finance' and Cobbett's 'Paper against Gold' are coming into their own. What Disraeli called the Dutch system of finance is what is collapsing, almost 500 years after it began. That was the contradiction in globalisation, one that Rosa Luxemburg had pointed out more than a century ago: we have reached the limits of constant expansion. And not just in environmental terms.

[Mar 24, 2020] We are headed into the unknown. Like the first stages of the collapse of the soviet union.

Mar 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter , Mar 24 2020 10:59 utc | 212

A User
Six months down the track, duopoly voting majority may perhaps be looking to do more than vote for the duopoly, but that's only a maybe. It will take a lot of hardship to pull them away from reality tv...meantime, your comment fits in here like another brick in the wall. Another pissed off human having a winge.

Doing something... seems to me a group with structure, a plan and an endgoal is required and this got out to the wider public. End goal needs to be something that would be accepted by the reality tv watching public and step by step plan to get there...
We havn't hit bottom yet, still a long way from it. Any plan will have to match the situation at the bottom and the way back. But first you gotta get two people to agree on a plan.

We are headed into the unknown. Like the first stages of the collapse of the soviet union.

Putin when asked about Gorbochov and Yeltsin he just says "everyone knew we had to change but nobody knew how to go about it."
Here is somewhat different because in the mainstream types, nobody knows we have to change.
We are likely to go through something akin to the soviet nineties and only then will the population know we need to change because the old ways failed.
Best to play it by ear until that point. Nothing can be done untill the wider population realise that all they have known has failed and a different start must be made. I doubt too many of our countries will have a Putin that can pull us out of the shit. And by a Putin, I mean somebody that has a vision acceptable to the majority and comes to be trusted by the majority and also has the nous and ability required.


[Mar 24, 2020] I got the "flu" in November 2019 and I had the same symptoms as Coronavirus - I thought it was going to kill me

Mar 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tim E. , Mar 23 2020 23:52 utc | 111

@68 - antares

I got the "flu" in November 2019 and I had the same symptoms as Coronavirus - I thought it was going to kill me - and while I missed some work - work demanded me back - and so I worked through some terrible times. Everyone at work was sick with different levels of symptoms. To this day I have still not 100% recovered - but I am poor and have no health insurance - and, well, everybody has been exposed for months so it doesn't even matter anymore. No one has died - but everyone has a low level persistent respiratory illness.


c1ue , Mar 24 2020 0:24 utc | 114

Again: if nCOV was really already in the US in November - where was the surge in hospitalizations? Regardless of age, ~20% of those who get it, get pneumonia or worse and need hospital care.

We don't even have that right now despite a huge number of cases. Maybe the US and Germany are different - we'll see in about 2 weeks.

Tim E. , Mar 24 2020 0:29 utc | 117
Again: if nCOV was really already in the US in November - where was the surge in hospitalizations?

Because most in US can't afford Hospitals or even have health insurance.

[Mar 24, 2020] Trump owns hotels and casinos which will be devastated. that might explain his position on the virus and initial downplaying of the danger

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Tor597 , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:30 pm GMT

Actually, Trump was downplaying Corona Virus as late as March 9th.

https://mobile.twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1237027356314869761

One thing I think played a role that is not mentioned is Trumps business that he owns. He owns hotels and casinos which will be devastated. Trump wont rule out government assistance for himself.

For Trump to shut down the economy and produce an effective containment, he would have had to do this knowing that his own business would be devastated.

https://mol.im/a/8138335

[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] Actual morality reinforces social solidarity, which is why our neoliberal overlords have been attempting to destroy it for so long.

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dutch Boy , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 3:59 pm GMT

Actual morality reinforces social solidarity, which is why our overlords have been attempting to destroy it for so long. Social solidarity is the key to overcoming crises in general and not just the present Covid 19 pandemic.

[Mar 24, 2020] Welcome to Sweatshop Amerika! by Mike Whitney

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

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Imagine if the congress approved a measure to form a public-private partnership between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Can you imagine that?

Now imagine if a panicky and ill-informed Congress gave the Fed a blank check to bail out all of its crooked crony corporate and Wall Street friends, allowing the Fed to provide more than $4.5 trillion to underwater corporations that ripped off Mom and Pop investors by selling them bonds that were used to goose their stock prices so fatcat CEOs could make off like bandits. Imagine if all that red ink from private actors was piled onto the national debt pushing long-term interest rates into the stratosphere while crushing small businesses, households and ordinary working people.

Now try to imagine the impact this would have on the nation's future. Imagine if the Central Bank was given the green-light to devour the Treasury, control the country's "purse strings", and use nation's taxing authority to shore up its trillions in ultra-risky leveraged bets, its opaque financially-engineered ponzi-instruments, and its massive speculative debts that have gone pear-shaped leaving a gaping black hole on its balance sheet?

Well, you won't have to imagine this scenario for much longer, because the reality is nearly at hand. You see, the traitorous, dumbshit nincompoops in Congress are just a hairs-breadth away from abdicating congress's crucial power of the purse, which is not only their greatest strength, but also allows the congress to reign in abuses of executive power by controlling the flow of funding. The power of the purse is the supreme power of government which is why the founders entrusted it to the people's elected representatives in congress. Now these imbeciles are deciding whether to hand over that authority to a privately-owned banking cartel that has greatly expanded the chasm between rich and poor, incentivized destructive speculation on an industrial scale, and repeatedly inflated behemoth asset-price bubbles that have inevitably blown up sending stocks and the real economy into freefall. The idea of merging the Fed and the Treasury first appeared in its raw form in an article by former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen in the Financial Times. Here's a short excerpt from the piece:

"The Fed could ask Congress for the authority to buy limited amounts of investment-grade corporate debt The Fed's intervention could help restart that part of the corporate debt market, which is under significant stress. Such a programme would have to be carefully calibrated to minimize the credit risk taken by the Fed while still providing needed liquidity to an essential market." ( Financial Times )

The Fed is not allowed to buy corporate debt, because it is not within its mandate of "price stability and full employment". It's also not allowed to arbitrarily intervene in the markets to pick winners and losers, nor is it allowed to bailout poorly-managed crybaby corporations who were gaming the system to their own advantage when the whole deal blew up in their faces. That's their problem, not the Fed's and not the American taxpayer's.

But notice how Bernanke emphasizes how "Such a programme would have to be carefully calibrated to minimize the credit risk taken by the Fed". Why do you think he said that?

He said it because he anticipates an arrangement where the new Treasury-Fed combo could buy up to "$4.5 trillion of corporate debt" (according to Marketwatch and BofA). And the way this will work, is the Fed will select the bonds that will be purchased and the credit risk will be heaped onto the US Treasury. Apparently Bernanke and Yellen think this is a "fair" arrangement, but others might differ on that point.

Keep in mind, that in the last week alone, investors pulled a record $107 billion out of corporate bonds which is a market which has been in a deep-freeze for nearly a month. The only activity is the steady surge of redemptions by frantic investors who want to get their money back before the listing ship heads for Davey Jones locker. This is the market that Bernanke wants the American people to bail out mainly because he doesn't want to submerge the Fed's balance sheet in red ink. He wants to find a sucker who will take the loss instead. That's where Uncle Sam comes in, he's the target of this subterfuge. This same theme pops up in a piece in the Wall Street Journal. Check it out:

"At least Treasury has come around to realizing it needs a facility to provide liquidity for companies. But as we write this, Mr. Mnuchin was still insisting that Treasury have control of most of the money to be able to ladle out directly to companies it wants to help. This is a recipe for picking winners and losers, and thus for bitter political fights and months of ugly headlines charging favoritism. The far better answer is for Treasury to use money from Congress to replenish the Exchange Stabilization Fund to back the Fed in creating a facility or special-purpose vehicles under Section 13(3) to lend the money to all comers. "( "Leaderless on the Econom" , Wall Street Journal)

I can hardly believe the author is bold enough to say this right to our faces. Read it carefully: They are saying "We want your money, but not your advice. The Fed will choose who gets the cash and who doesn't. Just put your trillions on the counter and get the hell out."

Isn't that what they're saying? Of course it is. And the rest of the article is even more arrogant:

"The Fed can charge a non-concessionary rate, but the vehicles should be open to those who think they need the money, not merely to those Treasury decides are worthy." (Huh? So the Treasury should have no say so in who gets taxpayer money??) The looming liquidity crisis is simply too great for that kind of bureaucratic, politicized decision-making. (Wall Street Journal)

Get it? In other words, the folks at Treasury are just too stupid or too prejudiced to understand the subtleties of a bigass bailout like this. Is that arrogance or what?

This is the contempt these people have for you and me and everyone else who isn't a part of their elitist gaggle of reprobates. Here's a clip from another article at the WSJ that helps to show how the financial media is pushing this gigantic handout to corporate America:.

"The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and banking regulators deserve congratulations for their bold, necessary actions to provide liquidity to the U.S. financial system amid the coronavirus crisis. But more remains to be done. We thus recommend: (1) immediate congressional action . to authorize the Treasury to use the Exchange Stabilization Fund to guarantee prime money-market funds, (2) regulatory action to effect temporary reductions in bank capital and liquidity requirements (NOTE–So now the banks don't need to hold capital against their loans?) .. additional Fed lending to banks and nonbanks .(Note -by "nonbanks", does the author mean underwater hedge funds?)

We recommend that the Fed take further actions as lender of last resort. First, it should re-establish the Term Auction Facility, used in the 2008 crisis, allowing depository institutions to borrow against a broad range of collateral at an auction price (Note–They want to drop the requirement for good Triple A collateral.) Second, it should consider further exercising its Section 13(3) authority to provide additional liquidity to nonbanks, potentially including purchases of corporate debt through a special-purpose vehicle" ( "Do More to Avert a Liquidity Crisis" , Wall Street Journal )

This isn't a bailout, it's a joke, and there's no way Congress should approve these measures, particularly the merging of the US Treasury with the cutthroat Fed. That's a prescription for disaster! The Fed needs to be abolished not embraced as a state institution. It's madness!

And look how the author wants to set up an special-purpose vehicle (SPV) so the accounting chicanery can be kept off the books which means the public won't know how much money is being flushed down the toilet trying to resuscitate these insolvent corporations whose executives are still living high on the hog on the money they stole from credulous investors. This whole scam stinks to high heaven!

Meanwhile America's working people will get a whopping $1,000 bucks to tide them over until the debts pile up to the rafters and they're forced to rob the neighborhood 7-11 to feed the kids. How fair is that?

And don't kid yourself: This isn't a bailout, it's the elitist's political agenda aimed at creating a permanent underclass who'll work for peanuts just to eek out a living.

Welcome to Sweatshop Amerika!


anachronism , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 5:03 am GMT

In 2008-2009, the Federal Reserve bailed out the global banking system to the tune of $16 Trillion. But American citizens were left to pay usurious rates of interest on $1 Trillion of credit card debt. And American students had lost years of economic opportunity but their $1 Trillion dollars of debt could not be discharged through bankruptcy.

This time the banks should stand behind the debtors at the government troth.

anachronism , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 5:06 am GMT
It's hard to understand how holiday cruise shipping can be regarded as an essential business.

It is almost as hard to understand why a "Globalist Enterprise" should be spared its fate through the generosity of of one country. Even harder to understand, why would that one country should bail out a business, which had employed both tax-avoidance schemes as well as strategy import substitution and foreign investment to improve its profits at the expense of that country.

Nationalism is better that globalism. The current crisis was not caused by globalism; but globalism has drained from our country the means to respond to the crisis with the medicines and equipment that would reduce its severity.

Not a single cent of government aid should go toward a person or an entity outside the United States and it territories. Conditions should be placed upon such aid, so that the companies receiving it, must domesticate their supply chains, and must produce and develop their products within the United States.

Kim , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 5:38 am GMT
@anachronism Make the universities discharge the student debt. It was their scam all along. They can begin by retrenching their schools of the humanities and at least halving their administrative staff. And end building and sports programs. The fat hangs heavy on that particular pig.
anachronism , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 7:19 am GMT
@Kim I agree with you up to a point.

The student and the university should share responsibility equally. In the future, the institution should be made a co-signor on any student loan; and the obligation to repay the loan should be joint and several for both the institution and the student.

Bankruptcy provides the ex-student with the chance to start over and to escape the burden; but not without consequences. This will discourage the ex-student, who is doing well financially and has the means to service the debt, from just walking away.

[Mar 23, 2020] The West was exposed, not only for not being able to handle a pandemic, but also for having a ponzi scheme economy.

Mar 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Tor597 , says: Show Comment March 23, 2020 at 5:34 am GMT

Other things of note:

1) The West was exposed, not only for not being able to handle a pandemic, but also for having a ponzi scheme economy.

Having its citizens and its companies leveraged up to a point where America can collapse with any amount of hardship badly exposes America as being exceptionally weak.

2) Decoupling of Asia from America. For the West to try and target the Chinese, there will be fallout. It's not like white people bother to distinguish Chinese from Korean or Japanese when they harass Asians they see.

This will have consequences in Asia as Asian countries will just focus on trading with each other than have to deal with a hostile west.

3) America cannot exist in a multipolar world, it can only exist in a unipolar world that it controls. So it will not just be a decoupling of China and America, it will be escalation between America and China till one is left standing.

You can expect to see color revolutions in HK and Taiwan. Meanwhile China will have no reason to show any restraint in fighting back. China could target the west in Iran, Venezuela, or even in the US by tormenting color revolutions of it's own.

4) it is easy to say that America will just trade more with Europe, but how does that work? Drug prices are already too high in America, so now America will pay even higher prices?

Trading more with Latin America makes more sense to me, but I also don't think Latin America is up to it.

5) I honestly don't think America will be the same country after the outbreak is over. Things are already cracking early on, how will Americans pull together 3 months in?

How will America pull together if Trump pulls war time authority?

[Mar 23, 2020] Life and Death under Liberalism by Andrew Joyce

Mar 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

As stated in my review of Don DeLillo's White Noise (1985), we live in a decaying society that is in terror of death, and pathologically so. This pathology is rooted in mistaken beliefs that our civilization is dying from, or could imminently die from, disease epidemics, climate catastrophes etc., in the midst of willful and ignorant abdication of a future (via self-hate and industrialized abortion) in favor of mass immigration, consumerism, and instant gratification. Just as one has to confront death in order to truly live (or to become "authentic" in Heidegger's philosophy), our society is in constant flight from death and thus inevitably collapses into inauthentic decay. COVID-19, while not as lethal as media coverage would suggest, is a reminder of our mortality and human fragility and will necessarily have a jarring effect on a Western liberalism that has become increasingly distant from the confrontation with death.

Life under liberal finance capitalism is largely one of illusion, in which the prospect of real death is pushed far into the distance, both psychologically and culturally. Postmodern Western liberal culture is largely one of perpetual adolescence, in which the primary virtues are acting according to one's individual will, identifying oneself in a hyper-individualistic manner, and expressing these identities via conspicuous consumption and behavior. We do not "live towards" Death, with a sense of purpose and a feeling that we are part of a much grander civilizational trajectory. We do not understand that Death has shaped our historical path, and that it hangs over us in ways that should direct our actions in the present.

COVID-19, regardless of current confusion over its true mortality rate, is a corrective to illusions that "progressive" Man has overcome Nature and can shape the world according to the human image, and without consequences. Certainly throughout my own lifetime, I've grown accustomed to assertions that life expectancy will continue to increase, and that there will be an endless supply of innovations and social projects that will make the mechanics of life easier and more productive.

One increasingly expects that one will live a long life, mostly in very good health. Such a sense of security can breed all kinds of arrogance and fantasies, including the recent perverse luxury of the delusion that one can simply decide to be this or that gender. This new virus, however, presents the possibility, both in itself and its inevitable heirs, that Death is much closer than we ever thought, and that for all our technological advancement and self-congratulation, Nature need only tweak one molecule, so small our naked eyes could never perceive it, and the grave opens before us. The Age of Fantasy is confronted with the ultimate reality.

How the West responds to this realization will be a further cultural challenge. We have grown equally accustomed to the idea that we have "advanced" morally as a society, and that we have overcome some of the more "brutish" aspects of human existence that we perceive in the past. But in a world of apparently increasing plenty, such notions can be hard to test. It's always easy for a man with a full stomach to condemn the actions of the starving. The conceit of the full-bellied West that it has overcome and surpassed itself and its past will now be tested. I, of course, arise from a political and philosophical tradition that insists there is no shame in the past. I see little or no place for morality in the struggle for survival. And I also see the cracks already forming in the Western conceit. This society that is against "hate" and prides itself on "coming together" is already struggling to stop people rioting over toilet paper and bottled water. If civil order breaks down, will the proud feminists be seeking their own resources, or hoping for a strong man to protect them? If the death toll does rise dramatically, and if curfews and lockdowns are imposed and intensified, I ask: How well will your beloved multicultural societies respond? If resources become scarce and tensions rise, who will you trust? These tests are coming.

Economic and Political Fallout

Just days ago, JPMorgan projected that a recession will hit the US and European economies by July, with US GDP to shrink by 2% in the first quarter and 3% in the second, and Eurozone GDP to contract by 1.8% and 3.3% over the same periods. Sudden cessation of economic activity through quarantines, event cancellations, social distancing, and the almost complete shutdown of the tourist industry will have both immediate and longer term consequences for national economies and broader trade patterns. The mass closing of schools will expose pre-existing weaknesses in a modern system that sees women funneled en masse into the work place while their children are left in day cares or schools. According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 70 percent of American mothers with children under 18 work. Through the closing of schools alone, the impact of COVID-19 will almost certainly have the greatest impact on the role of women in the workplace since World War Two, with many forced to leave work and return to the home for an as yet undetermined amount of time. How this will impact the businesses or public entities employing these women remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly cause significant difficulties and necessitate some level of infrastructural change.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is also projected to test Western healthcare provision to the limit. It's been particularly interesting that the outbreak in Italy effectively broke the health system in Lombardy, widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Before the outbreak, it was remarked that:

The Lombardy healthcare system, characterised by quality and efficiency, is a model of reference both in Italy and worldwide. With the benefit of private partnerships in fact, it ensures its citizens and those who live in other regions or abroad have access to prime level health care with all the advantages of a public system. Lombardy has 56 University Departments of Medicine, 19 IRCCS (IRCCS means an institution devoted to excellence in clinical care and research) which represent 42% of the national total, 47 Institutes and 32 Research Centres. As a result, Lombardy and in particular Milan have always attracted the most renowned physicians in every field of expertise.

It took COVID-19 just four weeks to exhaust every hospital bed in Lombardy, force doctors out of retirement and medical students to graduate early, and provoke the creation of 500 triage tents outside hospitals nationwide. The different, and ever-politicized, healthcare systems of the United States and Great Britain are about to experience the most intensive test in their respective histories.

One of the most outspoken figures from the medical profession on social media in recent days is Eugene Gu , who has made a point of attacking the profit-seeking nature of much of the American medical establishment. Gu has argued that American medicine is essentially a pyramid scheme that profits those at the top by artificially restricting the number of doctors produced by the system:

The medical school and residency system in the United States is completely broken compared to other countries. Now that we are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, we need to reflect upon an abusive system that hurts patients and seeks to make a few specialists filthy rich. Even before the coronavirus, we created a huge physician shortage by limiting spots in medical schools to inflate doctors' salaries the same way De Beers fixes the diamond market. And we gutted primary care so that specialists like plastic surgeons and dermatologists can get rich. I took an oath to "first, do no harm." I cannot just stand by and watch as the corrupt cesspool we call our American medical system fails our patients while a few doctors, insurance executives, and Big Pharma get filthy rich. Medicine should not be a for-profit industry.

Whether or not one agrees with Dr Gu's perspective, the coming weeks and months will test both American for-profit medicine and Britain's nationalized health system, and perhaps leave long term political legacies for both.

Political consequences will also inevitably result from the approaches of individual leaders to the crisis. Boris Johnson is risking his political future on a " herd immunity " strategy that is radically different from the course of action pursued by other leaders. It's been criticized as involving the sacrifice of the older generation for a slightly prolonged period of economic normalcy and an entirely assumed future immunity among the young.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, is quickly trying to move on from a highly dismissive initial response to the outbreak. In both cases, and throughout the West, moderately "conservative" populism based on the celebration of finance capitalism and token gestures on borders will be tested to the limit by increasing strains on all aspects of social, political, and economic life. Trump, in particular, has managed to squeeze a lot of political mileage out of the performance of the stock market. With stocks tumbling, and the American healthcare system pushed to the limit, it remains to be seen whether Trump's drive to make gay sex legal in Africa will be enough to keep his voters happy.

In another return of the Real, of course, COVID-19 is doing more to close borders than any expression of political populism ever has. It was all well and good that "the world is a village" when this involved cheap and cheerful vacations, but all it took was a few houses in the throes of sickness for the rest of the villagers to wish there was somewhere they could escape to. The global village is in shutdown. All humans might be equally susceptible to this virus, but national borders, so often scorned until recently, now reveal they might have some uses after all – just one of them being the invaluable opportunity to seal and control a limited territory. How people grow accustomed to this renewed emphasis on border control may leave a lasting political legacy for the West also. In any case, we can only hope it will.

[Mar 23, 2020] Looks like the virus further damage neoliberalism

Mar 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Mar 22 2020 19:39 utc | 60

The idea advanced on the last thread [by Vk and here @7 and 39 I think] that governments should be organized around something different than economics is sound and worthy of everyone's input, ideas and objections; discussion is needed and welcome.

International human to human discussion should take place. Human experience with nation state globalism has shown just how vulnerable humanity is to organized and institutionalized corruption; the actions of the leaders of individual nations have shown the nation state system cannot be trusted.

The Covid 19 pandemic has reminded us all that we as humans <= have a right to a government that is of our collective liking, we have learned that governments must serve the best interest of the most persons, not special interest of a few. Governments which fail to serve equal right, open access and equal chance to those it governs are prima facia legitimates. Covid 19 brought the meaning of the principle of self-determination to the forefront. Everyone's life is challenged by submicroscopic beast. It takes the cooperation of all of us, to save most of us, and it takes the corruption of a few, to ruin it all, for most of us.

Human rights come first, long before economics . No economic rationale can support the delay or justify the cost of failure for those entrusted with the power to act, should they fail to timely act with diligence on threat that human lives are in danger. Experience suggest it is not possible to leave the power, function, and direction of government to those whose responsibility it is to operate it <= something very different is needed.

Covid 19 was a wake up call , that makes real the unfulfilled and failed campaign promises in a never ending trail of campaigns. Its time for everyone to insist on truth, truth in media, truth in political campaigns, open book truth from those appointed to government, and to bring everyone's troops home. Its time for nation states to stop supporting the private oil and gas bandits, the MSM, or any other special interest, its time to make a single global currency that bears no interest and that does not require repayment of principal, its time for governments to stop arming belligerents, their own or those of anyone else (gun control should be transformed into between governments, weapons control and the persons of all humans everywhere should be equally armed), its time to stop one nation instigating or supporting regime change in another, and its time to deny government leaders from using the governments they lead, to enable private or corrupt profits. Every human has a right to life, liberty and to pursuit of happiness: <=governments were instituted to secure to mankind the enjoyment of the privilege of those rights; but it seems mankind has been lax in making these governments conform to their privilege of existence.

A $0 military budget, and no interest, no repay currency could bring the credit needed to create multi many places of employment, AWA fix ailing infra structures, improve access to, even make access globally universal. It could improve the quality of education and open to everyone<= fair play, access to capital (instead of venture capital expecting reward of profit, how about advances of capital in search of human progress). which could enable real progress on earth for mankind.

Its time to eliminate the dependency on, or even the existence of those monopolies nation states like to create out of thin air by using their power to invent by rule of law, powers that restrain true competition (license, privatized government ownership, special authority, patents, copyrights, and the private property ownership).

It time to stop over hyped , Wall Street multi global type greed which only exist because currency is used as control devise, instead of a facilitator. Nation states should facilitate humans to interact, in ways transparent to the nation state boundaries (Its economics, that encourages non sharing attitudes, that cause competitors to seek ways to use governments to restrain human inter action). Humans should try to replace foreign products with locally made goods and the foreign goods producers should be encouraged to make goods in places where the goods have a demand because demand produces jobs and provides opportunity, globalism organized to produce economic gains, often attempt to steal from locals the benefits of demand created by the locals. The local province rule should apply: that is if locals want to make it, multinationals should be denied. The billions saved to the global economy in unexpended energy consumption (no transport cost), could bring prices of goods and services to comparative advantage adjusted market price levels. I predict, the poor would prosper because they would have an opportunity to contribute to our global human society, and government would be re instituted to encourage and enforce equality for all to those it governs. Governments should restrain and deny wealth, but they should encourage and facilitate local competition. At one time people elected their representatives based on performance in accord to those ideals. Currency that carries no interest and that never needs to be repaid, challenges economic induced greed and redirects the efforts of mankind to providing that which is needed.

In 1949 the income tax in USA governed America was layered into tiers (where different tax rates were applied); the USA taxed those who made big bucks at 90% in its highest tier .. Seem to recall Briton had something similar [100% of everything over $150,000 pounds of taxable Income?]. From here => http://www.milefoot.com/math/businessmath/taxes/fit.htm <=i made a table
year rate@personal taxable income level
1941 81% @$5,000,000
1942-1943 88% @$200,000
1944-1945 94% @$200,000 The tax limited to a 90% effective rate.
1946-1947 91% @$200,000 The tax limited to a 90% effective rate (85.5% >credits).
1948-1951 91% @$400,000 The tax limited to a 77% effective rate in 1948-1949, .
1952-1953 92% @$400,000 The tax was limited to an 88% effective rate.

corporate rate from http://www.milefoot.com/math/businessmath/taxes/fit.htm I made a small table.
1942- 1945 40% > $50,000
1946- 1949 38% > $50,000
1950 42% > $25,000
1951 50.75% > $25,000
1952- 1963 52% > $25,000
1964 52% > $25,000
1965- 1967 48% > $25,000
1968- 1969 52.8% > $25,000

These numbers suggest a long winded story of useless corruption.

[Mar 23, 2020] If you'd ever tried to set up a business here in the UK, you'd realise pretty quickly that you are under complete and utter control of the government in every aspect

Mar 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TJ , Mar 22 2020 20:57 utc | 74

@1 vk

If you'd ever tried to set up a business here in the UK, you'd realise pretty quickly that you are under complete and utter control of the government in every aspect and they own your business by dint of the taxes and the loans you have to take out from their banker friends, we have soft communism because the government owns you but pretends not to. Magna Carta is dead and it's only possible resuscitation would be a Runnymede 2 Electric Boogaloo.

[Mar 22, 2020] Mask piracy among neoliberal nations: Wonderful show of world-wide solidarity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 1) Pompeo and Grenell reportedly arguing that coronavirus has created window of opportunity for a direct strike on a weak and divided Iran. ..."
"... Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisian has criticized the #UK for not delivering millions of masks #Iran bought in preparations ahead of #Covid19 outbreak. The London govt. refused to deliver them citing US sanctions! Note that Germany took supplies meant for Switzerland, The US via the Italian Mafia (I suppose) gets masks from Bergamo. etc. ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Mar 21 2020 21:25 utc | 31

I just think that the US "Intelligence" and most of the US Administration just haven't got it. I suppose when you are waiting for the "rapture" anything that can add to the chaos is to be included.

1) Pompeo and Grenell reportedly arguing that coronavirus has created window of opportunity for a direct strike on a weak and divided Iran. They were arguing about the severity of the strike.

2) Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisian has criticized the #UK for not delivering millions of masks #Iran bought in preparations ahead of #Covid19 outbreak. The London govt. refused to deliver them citing US sanctions! Note that Germany took supplies meant for Switzerland, The US via the Italian Mafia (I suppose) gets masks from Bergamo. etc. Wonderful show of world-wide solidarity.

Pompeo should hold his "rapture" in his hot little hand and .....

[Mar 21, 2020] Tucker Senator Burr sold shares after virus briefing - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Mar 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bowhead31 , 5 hours ago

The problem is these people no longer see themselves as public servants.

Maria Summers , 6 hours ago

The Georgia Senator is just as guilty as the rest of them, regarding "Insider Trading".

shane passey , 3 hours ago

She's a crook just like the rest of the politicians. They say they be there for the people. But they're really there to make themselves rich

[Mar 21, 2020] Don't forget our congressritters

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... @supenau ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

@supenau who make profits as well. I cannot remember exactly when insider trading for them became legal but it should be no surprise to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that they're ALL doing it. That is one reason, at least in my semi-educated opinion, they did not go after Trump for emoluments during Shampeachment, because THEY ALL DO IT.

That goes all the way to the White House, no doubt.

up 10 users have voted. --

Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

Marie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 10:28am

Looks as if the crisis profiteers were on top of it:

Think about this:

Weeks before you had any inkling you were going to lose your job, Senator Kelly Loeffler was selling off millions of stocks -- and *buying* stock in a teleworking company.

-- Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 20, 2020

[Mar 21, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators --

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "better prepared than ever ..."
"... "akin to the 1918 pandemic." ..."
"... "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," ..."
"... "Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks." ..."
"... "stomach churning," ..."
"... "For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," ..."
"... "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself." ..."
"... "If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," ..."
"... "calling for immediate investigations" ..."
"... "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated & prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators 21 Mar, 2020 21:19 Get short URL Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated & prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators FILE PHOTO: Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the US Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta, Georgia, November 20, 2019 © Reuters / Brendan McDermid Follow RT on RT In a rare moment of bipartisanship, commenters from all sides have demanded swift punishment for US senators who dumped stock after classified Covid-19 briefings. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called for criminal prosecution. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) has received daily briefings on the threat posed by Covid-19 since January. Burr insisted to the public that America was ready to handle the virus, but sold up to $1.5 million in stocks on February 13, less than a week before the stock market nosedived, according to Senate filings . Immediately before the sale, Burr wrote an op-ed assuring Americans that their government is "better prepared than ever " to handle the virus.

Also on rt.com Liberal icon Sean Penn wants a 'compassionate' army deployment to fight Covid-19

After the sale, NPR reported that he told a closed-door meeting of North Carolina business leaders that the virus actually posed a threat "akin to the 1918 pandemic." Burr does not dispute the NPR report.

In a tweet on Saturday, former 2020 presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called for criminal investigations. "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," she wrote.

"Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks."

Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated & prosecuted for insider trading (the STOCK Act). It is illegal & abuse of power. Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks. https://t.co/rbVfJxrk3r

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 21, 2020

Burr was not the only lawmaker on Capitol Hill to take precautions, it was reported. Fellow Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and her husband sold off more than a million dollars of shares in a biotech company five days later, while Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe (R) made a smaller sale around the same time. Both say their sales were routine.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) attended a Senate Health Committee briefing on the outbreak on January 24. The very same day, she began offloading stock, dropping between $1.2 and $3.1 million in shares over the following weeks. The companies whose stock she sold included airlines, retail outlets, and Chinese tech firm Tencent.

She did, however, invest in cloud technology company Oracle, and Citrix, a teleworking company whose value has increased by nearly a third last week, as social distancing measures forced more and more Americans to work from home. All of Loeffler's transactions were made with her husband, Jeff Sprecher, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) have joined the clamor of voices demanding punishment. Ocasio-Cortez described the sales as "stomach churning," while Omar reached across the aisle to side with Fox News' Tucker Carlson in calling for Burr's resignation.

I am 💯 with him on this 😱 https://t.co/Gbi3i2BagY

-- Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 20, 2020

"For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," Carlson said during a Friday night monolog. "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself."

As of Saturday, there are nearly 25,000 cases of Covid-19 in the US, with the death toll heading towards 300. Now both sides of the political aisle seem united in disgust at the apparent profiteering of Burr, Loeffler, and Feinstein.

Right-wing news outlet Breitbart savaged Burr for voting against the STOCK Act in 2012, a piece of legislation that would have barred members of Congress from using non-public information to profit on the stock market. At the same time, a host of Democratic figures - including former presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Kirsten Gillibrand - weighed in with their own criticism too.

"If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," Yang tweeted on Friday.

If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest.

-- Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) March 20, 2020

Watchdog group Common Cause has filed complaints with the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee "calling for immediate investigations" of Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws."

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Mar 21, 2020] How neoliberalism treats workers in case of calamity

Mar 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Serf

Qantas Airways: the flag carrier of Australia Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia and its largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations

The crisis hit and Qantas sends home 20,000 workers or two thirds of its workforce of 30,000. Go home with no pay . The company management is proud of implementing such measures to save the Australian icon.

Qantas, once a government owned entity, is a civilisational symbol of strength and prestige. But with such behaviour, shouldn't we ask the question: what are these Strength and Prestige built upon?

[Mar 20, 2020] This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible

Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Mar 19 2020 23:25 utc | 225

A group of economists and policy experts on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump to immediately lift the United States' crippling sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries, warning that the economic warfare -- in addition to being cruel in itself -- is "feeding the coronavirus epidemic" by hampering nations' capacity to respond.

"This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible," Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs said in a statement just hours after the Trump administration intensified sanctions against Iran, which has been devastated by COVID-19.

https://truthout.org/articles/economists-demand-trump-immediately-lift-iran-cuba-venezuela-sanctions/

Mao , Mar 19 2020 23:37 utc | 229

Promising to "smash" Venezuela's government during a "maximum pressure March," Trump has imposed crushing sanctions that force Venezuela to spend three times as much as non-sanctioned countries on coronavirus testing kits.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/03/17/us-sanctions-venezuelas-health-sector-coronavirus/

[Mar 20, 2020] ProPublica reported on Thursday that republican Senator Burr sold off up to $1.56 million in stock on February 13th, as he was reassuring the public about coronavirus preparedness.

Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Augustin L , Mar 19 2020 23:39 utc | 231

Bernhard when will Chump and his neo-confederates drain the swamp ? "ProPublica reported on Thursday that republican Senator Burr sold off up to $1.56 million in stock on February 13th, as he was reassuring the public about coronavirus preparedness. At the time, Burr and the Intelligence Committee were receiving daily briefings about COVID-19.

Three weeks ago, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee privately warned dozens of donors about the harrowing impact the coronavirus would have on the United States, while keeping the general public in the dark.

In a secret recording obtained by NPR, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr is heard giving attendees of a club luncheon a much different message than most federal government officials, especially President Trump, were giving the public at the time.

"There's one thing that I can tell you about this," Burr said, "It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history." He added, "It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic."

That pandemic claimed more than 600,000 American lives...

Burr warned the business leaders about effects on travel 13 days before the State Department released info on restrictions and 15 days before the Trump administration banned European travelers." https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/secret-recording-intelligence-chairman-warning-donors-about-coronavirus-weeks-ago-969767/?fbclid=IwAR3FdNapk5KbzhnftTNZy-PH7GGhIM-mk_0zDH2Uwj40mEXFa-nIM4B0oNM

[Mar 20, 2020] Tucker Carlson and China bashing

Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Minnesota Mary , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:37 pm GMT

@FB I, too, have been disappointed in Tucker Carlson's China bashing. I have thought that he was the best on FOX News, but now he is getting to be as bad as Sean Hannity.

We may never know the origin of the coronavirus. It is foolish to try and assign blame at this point.

[Mar 20, 2020] The virus and the Deep state

Notable quotes:
"... Both financial systems and economies were clearly crashing beginning in early September. Now the elites get to blame all the troubles on a virus ..."
Mar 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 3:43 am GMT

Well, I think there's a certain amount of circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Coronavirus outbreak may have been an American bioweapon attack against China (and Iran).

But if so, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

The most obvious answer is that they were stupid and incompetent, but here's another point to consider

In late 2002 there was the outbreak of SARS in China, a related virus but that was far more deadly and somewhat different in other characteristics. The virus killed hundreds of Chinese and spread into a few other countries before it was controlled and stamped out. The impact on the US and Europe was negligible, with just a small scattering of cases and only a death or two.

So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a Coronavirus attack against China, isn't it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we'd similarly remain insulated from the Coronavirus?

Obviously, such an analysis was foolish and mistaken, but would it have seemed so implausible at the time?

https://www.unz.com/article/was-coronavirus-a-biowarfare-attack-against-china/#comment-3775042

Father O'Hara , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 3:55 am GMT
Well, I have only recently heard of a guy named Francis Boyle,a law professor out of the Univ. Of Illinois. He is apparently an expert on bio-warfare treaties. He claims covid-19 is manmade,period.
That is a very scary notion,from which most people will flee.
As I have accepted that 9/11 was "the usual suspects," I guess it is definitely possible.
Sasha , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:00 am GMT
@Ron Unz Maybe, but my take is an engineered market crash. This looks to me like a Nathan Rothschild sort of trick (according to legend) – propagating fake news about Napoleon's victory at Waterloo, crashing the markets, then snapping up the whole LSE for a penny to the pound. If so, you have to admire it, the sheer genius, the psychopathic beauty of it all.

As a bonus, the Reichstag Fire also is an extremely efficient delivery system for the eugenics payload – a very virulent strain that almost exclusively targets the social burden (pensioners and already ill) while leaving alone the tax-farm base! Never in the history of tax-farming have the sheeple been stampeded and fleeced so thoroughly! Bravo!

Flubber , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:13 am GMT
"The US cannot win a trade war with China."

What kind of bollocks is this.

Of course the US can win a trade war.

The US is the customer, with the enormous trade deficit. Trump has been hugely effective with his tariff's policy in rehoming manufacturing to the US – a process that will vastly accelerate thanks to the Corona virus outbreak.

I agree that 9-11 stink to high heaven and that PNAC are unmitigated bastards, but this capitulation to China is balls.

Delta G , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:16 am GMT
@Ron Unz Stupidity is certainly an American Military essential behavior for promotion and success in the current US Armed Forces.

But you can't have someone clever enough to create a Recombinant Designer Pathogen and be in the US Military.

However, the psyops fucks would likely be ready to game the system should a natural outbreak occur which would be called a Pandemic even when its not and make everyone of our low quality leaders $hit their pants and go totally crazy. A mild fart with the claim its poison gas would make the Stock Markets Collapse.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:22 am GMT

But if so, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

This is the same issue with cyberwar viruses. One can infect computers in Iran, but with the internet they may be passed onto the entire world, just like rap music.

antibeast , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:41 am GMT
@Ron Unz

But if so, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

One word: Trump. Because he could very well lose his reelection bid if the pandemic causes an economic recession which now seems highly likely given the stock market collapse.

Cui Bono ? The people OPPOSED to Trump, variously referred to as the "Deep State" or the "National Security State" as described by Gore Vidal in his book which by the way Julian Assange was holding while being hauled away from the Ecuadorian Embassy.

After Russiagate and Ukrainegate, THEY finally hit the bullseye with Coronagate.

Si1ver1ock , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:05 am GMT
This is a pretty good article. I'll probably link to it.

Some people think this is coming from City of London types. The US pursued a "strategy of tension" with China that may have allowed third party actors to intervene and get them fighting each other.

There has been some Bad Blood between British elites and China for awhile now. It's not clear why.

In this scheme, the US is the patsy, the Oswald to take the blame.

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:16 am GMT
@Polemos Check this link out:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/17/coronavirus-universal-basic-income-andrew-yang-134922

The real gem in the whole article are the observations made by Yang himself:

YANG: That's what freaks me out about the whole thing. What we're doing is saying things like, "Keep your social distance," and trying to stop the spread that way, which is fine. But we have shit for data. Like, we don't know what the infection rate is. And so, there's no reason we would ever be able to give the 'all-clear.' If you don't have any data, this whole thing is a nightmare that doesn't end. When you close schools, what gives you the all-clear to say, "OK, open them again"? Nothing. There's no data to compare it to. This whole thing is a fear-based approach with no end in sight. There's no catalyst to ever sound the all-clear. This whole thing is so fucked up.

YANG: I think the nature of that guidance has to be different, personally. I think they need to be transparent about what kind of data we're relying on, to give people a sense of the timeline. Right now, our sense of the future is so cloudy. And you get the sense the president went from not taking this seriously to suddenly realizing its seriousness, and now we're reacting in various ways to slow the spread of the virus. But then what? I would be clearer as to what the timeline looks like, what data we're going to rely upon, how we're going to get that data, what steps we're taking to increase testing capacity and just give people a sense of the future.

We need to know now what the future can look like under different scenarios and then be presented with what scenario we're in when that time comes. We've been on lockdown for half a week. Right now, the American people don't have any visibility into whether it's going to be four more weeks or four more months, and we don't know how those judgments are going to determined. As president, I would say, "Look, here's the information, here's the dashboard, here's what we're lining up, here's what we're hoping for, here's how circumstances could change, and thank you for doing your part -- if you proceed with like the rest of the country in flattening the curve and keeping things under this level, then we can look forward to this. " You know, so we could actually have a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

So here we have it, replicated throughout the whole of the Western world. An open-ended clamp-down based on fear, with no timeline or road map, and no conditions set on when (or IF) things will get back to normal.

For now, smells really fishy. Even if DS (Deep State) did not intentionally engineer this circumstance, they are decisively and very swiftly exploiting it to exert extreme control over everything .

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:31 am GMT
@antibeast On the contrary, for the deep state Trump is the ideal puppet. Those who are against Trump belong to the surface state , i.e. Democrats, Leftists in general and the equally Leftist main stream media. Real policy in the US is only made by the deep state .
bobbybobbob , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:57 am GMT
Let me cut through all this speculative noise with Occam's Razor.

The virus is natural. The CCP elites are using it in exactly the same way the USG and EU elites are. Both financial systems and economies were clearly crashing beginning in early September. Now the elites get to blame all the troubles on a virus (which isn't actually killing anyone in interesting numbers). Absent the WuFlu they'd all risk getting strung up pretty soon. Now instead of being called out for the decade+ of ineptitude that lead to a collapsing global bubble economy, they get to be praised as heroes that saved everyone from dying.

Now that I've cleared up all that nonsense about a bioweapon and grand scheme to kneecap China, I have to say that the "China inevitably taking over" narrative is rather ridiculous, flu or not. Japan re-ascendant and taking back Manchokou is more believable. As the USA washes its hands of these messes overseas and pulls back homeward, China is in the worst position. All its neighbors hate it and will check it. China has been the #1 beneficiary of Pax Americana this century. Well, Americans are rapidly losing interest in that project.

Malcolms_brother , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:01 am GMT
@Ron Unz

But if so, I'm * extremely * skeptical that the perpetrators ever intended or imagined that it would leak back into the US and inflict the horrific economic and social damage that now seems unavoidable. How to explain this lack lack of foresight?

Dr. Unz,

That's because -- if it indeed is a bio-weapon -- the value of the attack for this particular case does not lie in the attack itself. The goal is the propaganda that can be generated from the attack, i.e. the propaganda value . Words in general (and therefore propaganda) have real-world material power. It affects people's thinking, which in turn affects people's actions and behavior, which in turn have real-world consequences. Propaganda of this sort would then utterly damage the world's perception of China, which could then affect China's economic, diplomatic, and political dealings.

If the infection were contained within China's borders or within isolated parts of East Asia, then not much of a big fuss could be made about it. The infection needs to spread for it to have propaganda value. Note that Covid-19 has a very low fatality rate compared to SARS or other recent infection outbreaks. Yet it is very infectious (meaning, many people getting infected / high rate of infection). Covid-19 is a virus that is very infectious BUT has a low fatality rate -- exactly the kind of virus you want if you wanted something to spread.

Also, the elites are willing to incur losses in the short-run. They'll weather whatever short-run losses just fine, and they'll make up for it in other ways. The real people that will get hit economically in a permanent way are the low-income, the middle-class, and even the upper middle-class. The oligarchs won't.

What they're really concerned about is the long-run, and that's smart on them. They'll have real losses in the long-run if China completes its rise. China is set to complete its overall rise (not on everything, but just overall) in the probably the next 5 to 10 years. Much of the indicators for this has been covered by that Godfree guy and by others. So something must be done to stop it.

Anonymous [428] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:07 am GMT
@Trinity And don't forget to add that such a magical cure – should it be created – would become weaponized to exclude the usual suspects (Iran, Syria, Taliban-Afghanistan, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iraq, possibly war-ravaged Libya and who knows, even impoverished shee-thole nations like Haiti and African countries) from having access to it. Also include the offer by Trump to German firm CureVac to move its Covid-19 vaccine research operations to the US so the vaccine could be used exclusively for Americans.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-vaccine-trump-us-cases-germany-carevac-a9403646.html

refl , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT

After Russiagate and Ukrainegate, THEY finally hit the bullseye with Coronagate.

And Coronagate contains just about as much reality as those other "gates" – the experience of gateology tell us that once the story is up and runing,it does not matter, if the back story resembles anything in the real world.

The Chinese at first might really have believed that they were under a bioweapons attack. They would have kept it secret at first, not to further the panic.
After they had inflicted tremendous damage on their own economy they could not confess that they had been taken in by a panic. So, they play along with the story that there really is a dangerous virus around.
This way, they force the same debilitating countermessures on western economies. While they can overcome the blow, European economies are so weak by now that they will fold. Which leaves China even gaining from their gambit.

As for the US, it has long been established that the anti trumpers will stop at nothing and blow their country to pieces ten times over, if it only carried a minimal chance of hurting Trump.

It is China and the Zionists who will be cashing in on this. A hell of a combination.

Sparkon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Flubber T his passage you have plagiarized is commonly misattributed to Cicero, but it was penned by Taylor Caldwell in her 1965 work A Pillar of Iron , a fictional novel about the Roman orator.

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.

-- Taylor Caldwell, A Pillar of Iron (1965) ch. 56

https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191843730.001.0001/q-oro-ed5-00017226

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:55 am GMT
@Ron Unz

So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a Coronavirus attack against China, isn't it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we'd similarly remain insulated from the Coronavirus?

The SARS virus may not be an apt comparison for the simple reason that it is far too deadly apparently [I'm not a virus expert] viruses that kill a lot aren't successful because the only way they can reproduce is through a host

Viruses live on a delicate balance, don't they? They have to be able to thrive without killing their host.

Right. The ones that kill off their host quickly will disappear. With the SARS virus, it's no surprise that killing 10 percent of its host, it wasn't able to establish itself as a pandemic virus on this planet.

Are there any signs that this coronavirus will kill itself?

This one has a lower pathogenicity. The lower its virulence, the more likely it'll become part of an endemic, part of a seasonal event. That's one of the big things that's going to be a worry.

–Leading Virologist Dennis Carroll

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:03 am GMT

The US cannot win a trade war with China. It cannot win a nuclear war. It cannot win a conventional land war. Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong.

Of course those are plain facts that are clear to thinking people very few of which will be commenting on this particular website I notice the yowls of protest are already starting on this thread brace for many more

Strategic analysts agree that the necessary prelude to ramped up US-vs.-China warfare would be a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies. That decoupling is happening now, thanks to coronavirus.

True again, and an important point I was surprised to see the often-sensible Tucker Carlson going into full China bashing today calling exactly for this kind of economic decoupling from China and encouraging Trump in his belligerent tone towards China

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5W9vjsFQUUU?feature=oembed

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:14 am GMT
@Flubber Flubbering Idiot says

the Chinese authorities suppression of the initial medical analysis of the outbreak.

Total BS

These agit-prop China-bashing stories have been totally discredited by the great results the Chinese have achieved very effective and very efficient let's see now how the US copes [why do I have the feeling it won't be nearly as smooth ?]

Greg Bacon , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:18 am GMT

"So the United States is run by lunatics, by psychopaths who are entirely capable of launching World War 3 by way of a biological warfare attack on China and Iran, with the Iran component presumably led by Israel. That's the most likely explanation for what we're seeing."

This is the kind of rot Press TV publishes.

The US is run by lunatics who are absolutely devoid of empathy for anyone else, unless it's their fellow war mongers or their colonial master, Israel.

The list of false flags the ruling US clique have used–to accomplish their goals–go back to the Spanish-American war and have only gotten bloodier and more sophisticated.

Take this excerpt from the PNAC declaration:

And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool" (p. 60).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm

Don't know about UNZ readers, but creating bio-weapons that target specific genotypes sounds like what took place in China, then Iran, where the virus mutated to target Persians.

If you go to the PNAC doc and read the names of the directors, staff and signatories, it reads like a Bar Mitzah guest list, that even has our old friend, former Pentagon comptroller Rabbi Dov S. Zakheim listed. Wonder if the good Rabbi ever found those missing Pentagon trillions?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century#People_associated_with_the_PNAC

The Israeli masterminded 9/11 false flag has been almost consecrated–like the holocaust–and anyone who dares to question the official lies, stands to lose their jobs, stature and be endlessly vilified for asking historical questions. Punitive measures that Mr. Barrett has first-hand knowledge of.

Monty Ahwazi , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:26 am GMT
Thank you Kevin Barrett for another informative article. Also thank you to UNZ for his support!
I just have one simple comment for both of you. I love the other fat man and I think his last name is something like Pimpeo! He expanded the US sanctions against Iran to include the antiviral medications this past Tuesday! He justified his action to furthering "extreme pressure" on Iranians and then he said the Iranian government is the corona virus in the region! Meaning it has to be exterminated! Isn't Mr Pimpeo a real good person?
You may want to add the Pimpeo's action against the Iranians to the list of your justifications that this virus was a man made virus and spread for evil reasons! Perhaps you are giving the stupid planners and executioner of the plan more credit than they deserve by saying that this plan may eventually save the western imperialism! As you said a bunch of inept and incompetent people planned and executed the spread of this virus but it blew up in their faces beyond their imagination. They just didn't realize that this virus can walk, spread and ultimately not discriminating against anyone, weak and strong or rich and poor!
Been_there_done_that , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:32 am GMT

" I spent most of 2004 through 2006 blaming Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for 9/11.

With 2020 hindsight I can now see that I should have interpreted 9/11 as a likely false flag immediately, based on cui bono."

Better late than never. To anybody following that event on television back then, it should have already been obvious by the end of that same day that this was a professionally planned operation, based on the following clues:

• As the event was still unfolding, Ehud Barak was at BBC headquarters to provide the desired narrative;

• George W. Bush was not immediately whisked away from elementary school by his security agents.

• Symmetrical destruction of twin towers was inconsistent with consequences from a plane impact;

• Third tower collapsed rapidly for no apparent or plausible reason except a controlled demolition;

• Implausibility of emerging story involving coordinated Muslim hijackings with box cutter blades;

• Repetitive (scripted) "New Pearl Harbor " mantra by newscasters preceded by movie all summer long.

And a few weeks later it should have been obvious that the continuing molten metal and bedrock at ground-zero was a lingering effect of the nuclear detonations below the three buildings that precipitated their collapse. Even after so many years, some critics have still been reluctant to acknowledge this particularly hideous aspect of the operation.

" The question of whether the virus is naturally evolved or man-made is still open. "

A month ago Professor Boyle at University of Illinois publicly reported the findings from the scientific literature, that the virus had obviously been manipulated to provide "gain of function" properties, in other words, weaponized. In the meantime, virtually nobody in alternative media believes the official story purporting that the virus evolved naturally from animals.

However, had the virus been released intentionally during the Wuhan military games prior to Halloween, then the mass epidemic effects would definitely have already been conspicuously apparent by Thanksgiving, in late November, due to the rapid exponential infection rates in such a huge metropolis, instead of at least a month later, toward the end of the year. So the specific conspiratorial conjecture presented here – virus released in late October to then cause maximum damage three months later while remaining exclusively constrained within China– is already necessarily flawed and therefore implausible.

Since there has been so much talk over the past years, for instance by Alex Jones, of plans to use the need to protect a population against a biological weapons attack as a convenient pretext for governments to curtail everyone's freedoms and thereby condition people to accept such measures, this now evolving scenario was surely in the back of many people's minds. With such contingencies already in place, it is easy to presume that, once an accidental release had actually occurred, those who advocated such a new type of authoritarianism would not miss the opportunity to exploit the crisis in an attempt to shape future events accordingly.

Yet this new event can also be effectively harnessed by those who oppose the many adverse manifestations of " Globalism " (open borders facilitating mass migration, labor arbitrage through outsourcing, interdependent international supply chains, authoritarian government, curtailing public criticism through imposed censorship, disrupting social cohesion, etc.), so that type of endeavor to resist these globalist trends would be a worthwhile focus.

slashslashdele , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:45 am GMT
The big players, even as they are fighting one another, will agree that the current outbreak is an excellent opportunity to test a few things and to increase their control over their respective populations. Whether the virus came from a bat or a lab, they will take note, but in the end it matters little as they are all engaged in the same neverending campaign of theft and murder.
Agent76 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 4:51 pm GMT
Sep 6, 2019 9/11 Whistleblowers

In the early 2000s, Kevin Ryan was the site manager at Environmental Health Laboraties. On November 11, 2004, he wrote directly to Frank Gayle, the director of NIST's Twin Towers investigation. The following week, he was fired. This is his story.

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

2.3 TRillion Dollars Missing from DOD Day before 9/11/ 2001

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 Defense Business Practices

Secretary Rumsfeld and other officials talked with reporters about the need to refine the Defense Department's business practices. An opening ceremony will kick off Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?165947-1/defense-business-practices

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm GMT
@dimples

Possibly the virus is an engineered product, I don't know, that is up to those with bio-molecular expertise and experience. But released on purpose? A stretch to be sure given the all too predictable consequences.

I think you are being naive. This happened where I live:
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/u-s-secretly-tested-carcinogen-in-western-canada-during-the-cold-war-researcher-discovers
Winnipeg and the surrounding area have unusually high rates of bowel cancer and bowel disease.

Greg Bacon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT
@Robert White

Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research

An experiment that created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus -- one related to the virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) -- has triggered renewed debate over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks.

https://www.nature.com/news/engineered-bat-virus-stirs-debate-over-risky-research-1.18787?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews

Looks like someone has been working behind your back.

Does anyone truly think that the nation that dropped multiple thousands of tons of Napalm & Agent Orange on Vietnamese peasants, used Iraq for a weapons testing ground in 1991 and ever since 2003, especially in Fallujah, where we murdered wholesale anyone left in town after the Army brass told them to vamoose, then brought in bulldozers to bury the evidence.
And the nation that is so tough, that it uses pimply-faced kids, sitting in an AC bunker 9,000 miles away and commands them to sic Hellfire missiles onto weddings, apartments, mosques, hospitals and markets, do you really think that nation would stoop so low as to use bio-weapons?

All this butchery is affecting someone, like our vets, whose conscience wouldn't shut up, so over 60,000 committed suicide between 2008-2017

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/23/alarming-va-report-totals-decade-veteran-suicides.html

Guess I should add that the USA Deep State helped Israel pull off the 9/11 false flag, but I won't.

Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT
@AnonFromBeijing There is a theory that Christianity in the west has been co opted by the Jews. Basically it means Christians who got twisted into serving jewish/zionist interests. This process started as early as the start of the 20th century.

It is why you have 45% of the US population who consider Israel/ Jerusalem to be holy land. They are evangelicals. They are the ones who put bush Jr and trump into the white house.

I personally would consider every single war since 2000 has been for israels benefit, maybe not wholely, but at least half.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:20 pm GMT
Well, I think I'll take the liberty of republishing portions of a couple of my recent comments from other threads for those who haven't seen them:

here's my analogy

Suppose two neighbors are feuding, and one of them has a psychopathic teenage son, who sneaks out late at night and starts an arson fire next door to "teach them a lesson."

But the victimized family smells smoke, wakes up, and using heroic effort puts the fire out with only fairly minor damage.

Meanwhile, the fire spreads back to the teenager's own house, and since the family is too lazy and incompetent to bother doing anything, the house catches on fire and burns to the ground, killing several relatives and leaving everyone homeless.

Under such a scenario, wouldn't it be more sensible for the attacked family to just quietly gloat a little and maybe offer condolences rather than to plot further vengeance?

https://www.unz.com/isteve/arguably-wrong-potential-american-deaths-range-from-5k-to-5-million/#comment-3772963

If this was a bioweapon released by the Us. The US would most certainly have a cure.

Well, that would make perfect sense unless elements of the American national security establishment were criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent. However, they ARE criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent.

Let's focus on an important point about which I think we can all now agree

According to official US government estimates published in the NYT, it's expected that up to 1.7 million Americans will die from the Coronavirus. Actually, the true figure may be far higher since they estimate that something like 200 million Americans will become infected, and 200 million infections would probably lead to many millions of deaths.

Over the last couple of months, China locked down its entire country in quarantine and stamped out the disease. South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan took immediate action to avert the disaster, and have successfully avoided substantial fatalities.

Meanwhile, during the same period the American government was so incredibly stupid, crazy, and incompetent that it did absolutely nothing, meaning that millions of Americans may quite possibly die as a consequence.

So everyone can agree that the American government is so stupid, crazy, and incompetent that millions of Americans may soon die.

Therefore, isn't it plausible that elements of a government so stupid, crazy, and incompetent as to cause the deaths of millions of Americans might also be so stupid, crazy, and incompetent as to have deployed a deadly bioweapon against China (and Iran)?

https://www.unz.com/article/was-coronavirus-a-biowarfare-attack-against-china/#comment-3773960

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:21 pm GMT
@Chroniccough I strongly recommend the work of Martin Armstrong. He forecast this thing 3 years ago – 10 March 2020. Here is his blog. He is a very wealthy man and is doing this as a public service. I was a cynic to start with.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/blog/

He is forecasting that after this drop, there will be a rise to a higher level than ever before. He also forecast the current rise in the USD. Everyone else – especially in the commentary in blogs such as this one – has been suggesting that the end of the dollar was neigh.

Here is his letter today to Trump. He has advised heads of state for 40 years. He believes Trump is receiving bad advice.

Asking for Your Help – Forward This Letter To Whoever You May Think Will Help | Armstrong Economics

Bill Jones , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:27 pm GMT
@Anonymous "I originally thought the Coronavirus was a bioweapon targeted against China. But that doesn't make sense now that the virus has gone global and has hit US shores. "

Your reservations seem to be based on an assumption of competence of the perpetrators.

It is not one I share.

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm GMT
@Ron Unz IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVES ON THE CORONAVIRUS:

http://www.yourdestinationnow.com/2020/03/most-of-those-infected-wont-even-know.html

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

http://www.domigood.com/2020/03/nobel-prize-winner-who-predicted-china.html

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/false-claims-about-the-novel-coronavirus-and-how-to-debunk-them.html#more

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

cranc , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMT
Worth looking at this thread by Swiss Propaganda Research which links to the recently published data from Italy (amongst many other things) :
https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/
Almost everyone who has died out there had at least one cause of comorbidity. They were majoritively old and ill.
I've been critical of OffGuardian's line on the matter of the virus (i.e. that COVID response is basically exaggerated beyond all proportion and is best considered as driven by media hype and an undisclosed agenda) , but am now taking it seriously, as it appears to be at least partially backed up by the Italian ISS data. Hat tip to them.
Zarathustra , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:45 pm GMT
Everything is only speculation.
But this one certainly makes sense.
Alfred , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:46 pm GMT
@DaveE

It took us years to put the 9/11 pieces together and realize the gargantuan Zionist scam

When my mother in London phoned me to tell me that "something was happening in New York", I got to see on TV the second building being hit. Later, when I saw huge chunks of matter flying heavenwards, I realised that it was a controlled-demolition.

I studied civil engineering 50 years ago. Maybe they no longer teach engineers the Laws of Motion of Isaac Newton. I don't know. But the silence by the engineering profession has been deafening my ears ever since.

There is not need to analyze anything. The videos give the game away to any scientifically-educated person.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CYCuAa0eFKg?feature=oembed

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Malcolms_brother And pray tell, how the oligarchs will/or have escaped being infected? Have they and their progeny been secretly vaccinated? With all flights being cancelled, how are they going to bolt to their burrows.
The only way to tell is check on the fatality rate among the super rich in the days to come.
Malcolms_brother , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:55 pm GMT
@Ron Unz The 200 million infection figure for the U.S. that you suggest is hyper-octane hyperbole. Not sure where you got that number from or how. Whatever the original source, that's clearly propaganda coming from them.

You do realize 200 mil would be nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population, no? The U.S. population is 330 mil. The Spanish Flu never infected that many people, nor Swine Flu, nor Bird Flu, NOR the SEASONAL FLU itself, nor this, nor that and so on and so forth.

I'd imagine the infection at it's very highest could be in the low single-digit millions, but unlikely.

Also, the 5k to 5 mil deaths cited by Steve Sailer is also nonsense. Anything of such a wide range tells you that the original person who came up with it really has no clue and is just pulling a figure out of his backside.

If 5 mil deaths, that would mean more than 166 mil infected (166,666,666 to be more exact), given a 3% fatality rate. That's way more than one-third of the U.S. population.

5k deaths is way more reasonable and more likely. That would mean 166,666 infections in the U.S.

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:56 pm GMT
Let's take a look at the media of Israel. It will be interesting to see how many Jews die – if any. Let's not forget that the Israelis are past masters at manipulating their casualties of war and conflict.

To me, the number of "serious" cases is remarkably low – especially when compared to Iran. I guess it is because Iranian doctors are so bad. /sarc

Jump of 96 sick people over day earlier, partially due to increase in number of tests given; most patients doing well, 6 remain in serious condition

Number of confirmed virus cases hits 529 (Israel) as testing ramps up

Sean , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:57 pm GMT
@AnonStarter When an author is trying to convert the public to what is very much a minority view (in this post that a Deep State cabal is trying to start WW3 with a bioweapons attack on China), his readers have a reasonable expectation that his education and achievements or other qualifications validating his heterodox views will not be concealed by use of a pseudonym, and indeed Barrett did not use one.

I was not the one who said Barrett is held in such low regard by public opinion that it is counter productive for him to use his own name, and he is not worth neutralising even by something that would attract little attention such as fraudulent IRS tax audit, framing for having illegal pornography, wrongly diagnosed as a danger to himself and others or civil suits of the type that silenced the Sandy Hook Truthers. You did, and you said that Barrett lost his credibility by having already gone public under his own name as a 9/11 Truther critical of Israel. I suggested that as someone unknown under his own name you could step up and prevent WW3, but for the fact that your resume was far less impressive than Doctor Barrett's.

Mick Jagger gathers no mosque , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 5:57 pm GMT
Bioweapon? Prolly not as this pandemic was predicted in 2017

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/china-ground-zero-future-pandemic-180965213/

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool

Thanks for digging that up [from page 60 of the Project for the New American Century think tank's 90-page report Rebuilding America's Defenses, which is summarized at the link you posted ]

Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and 'combat' likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, 'cyber-space,' and perhaps the world of microbes.

Nobody can look at this and say this isn't the work of madmen but fast-forward twenty years since that insane screed was published, and those policies embarked upon, and where is the US now ?

Losing badly on every single front, that's where just in the last several days the US military has had to flee from some of their bases in Iraq, due to being rocketed by increasingly hostile anti-occupation groups Afghanistan is a lost cause and the US has agreed to a peace deal with the Taliban that amounts to the same kind of 'peace with honor' capitulation as Nixon sought in Vietnam

The US military might which these neocon crazies assumed would reign supreme, has been shown to be a paper tiger cowed and humiliated by an Iranian missile attack on a US military base in Iraq in January that produced dozens of casualties

The US project for regime change in Syria has been thoroughly defeated its Saudi allies are getting completely routed in Yemen Libya is completely out of reach now there is not a single conflict that the US has started in the last twenty years that it is not completely defeated [only Israel hangs on to its brutal apartheid occupied territory, but for how much longer ?]

The dream of 'dominating' space relies on Russian rocket engines to put US spy sats and other vital national security payloads into orbit because the US is incapable of producing such technology on its own the so-called 'missile defense' system has proved a complete papier-mâché joke, as North Korean missiles fly over the heads of dozens of 'missile defense' ships in the Sea of Japan

Didn't really take all that long for this grandiose wishcasting by the neocons to go up in a puff of smoke, now did it talk about delusional

Of course much of this utter failure was completely predictable at the time and many did forecast exactly such an unraveling of this insane scheme

Gabriel Kolko, research professor emeritus at York University and author of Another Century of War? (The New Press, 2002), in his article published in CounterPunch, and William Rivers Pitt, in Truthout, respectively, argued that the PNAC's goals of military hegemony exaggerated what the military can accomplish, that they failed to recognize 'the limits of US power'

Aqualung , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:10 pm GMT
@Anonymous Or China discovered a new strain of Corona virus, which is nothing special because it's a common flu virus which is always mutating, and they weaponized the idea instead of he virus. They know in any given flu season a large percent of people will get a Corona virus, which a test can pick up on, so if they do more
Testing, it will appear Cassie's are going up. They decide to put on a huge show with them shutting down cities and building hospitals at lightning speed. This Fuels media hysteria, not just in China, but globally. Iran eventually joins China and starts their own media storm about Corona, maybe give some politicians and clerics an early retirement, but make sure the news coming out is pure doom. Now the fear factor is getting real, and the media is non stop Corona doom, drawing in everyone, right wing left wing and feeding on its own hysteria. Italy, another global player who is friendly with China, starts reporting pandemonium. Never mind the fact that average age of people dying is 80 and 99% had preexisting illness or disease. Americans are panicking as usual, and in the process destroying their economy. China/Iran/Russia sit back and laugh as America descends into self induced anarchy
A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:14 pm GMT
@Quintus The U.S. is promoting generic chloroquine to fight WUHAN-19 virus. (1)

President Donald Trump promoted the use of the anti-malaria drug chloroquine at the White House on Thursday, the purpose of which is to treat people infected with the coronavirus.

"We're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately," Trump said at the White House press briefing on Thursday.
.
FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said that under the president's direction he would move quickly for a chloroquine clinical trial to test its ability to treat the coronavirus.

In the meantime, doctors can ask for experimental drugs to use to treat their patients as part of a "compassionate use" program.

Normally 'experimental drugs' are cost prohibitive. However in this case, chloroquine is a generic already used to fight malaria.

Now all Trump has to do is make sure GlobalistPharma is kept at bay while single drug therapy is tried. No doubt the anti-Citizen CorporateLeft backing Quid Pro Joe will only want to test a 'cocktail' that includes at least one high cost component.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/03/19/donald-trump-chloroquine-treatment-coronavirus-showing-tremendous-results/

PetrOldSack , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:17 pm GMT
@Sasha

Maybe, but my take is an engineered market crash

, obvious, yet there are other elements of ambition. As you might well know, 2008 was no less engineered. Again catering to the surplus US population, the wizardy might stick, to the elites in other power centers of the world though, all this hoaxing looks misery.

Now for China, or Russia, all significant players, none would hold back and answers must be in the make. All players know each other´s unlimited ambitions. Nothing new @any of them. To our knowledge, there is no single serious plan to deploy technology, science and social and political harnessing, economic sustainability, global population quality and sustainable numbers tuning into a "vision" other then washed out models, conflictive stances, base psychology. The ambition to play God, is not the same as assuming the responsibility of the Gods.

To the credit of Putin and Xi, their public figures at the least look and feel more consistent and reposed. The American elites, pulling out all tricks, pandering about look ridiculous to the rest of the world. Covid-19 cannot change that. Re-assessing the accounting is just not credible any longer. Existing historical models are inadequate, will allow for a few more loops maybe, but then, either new lines of thought or bust.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm GMT
@Malcolms_brother

The 200 million infection figure for the U.S. that you suggest is hyper-octane hyperbole. Not sure where you got that number from or how. Whatever the original source, that's clearly propaganda coming from them You do realize 200 mil would be nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population, no?

Well, what do I know? I'm not a professional epidemiologist.

But the estimate of something like 200 million infected Americans came from an official government CDC report that was published in my morning NYT. Right around then, Trump and all the politicians in DC got all agitated and began proposing massive national measures.

The British government estimated that 60-70% of their own population would end up getting infected, and the German government said pretty much the same thing. So the US CDC estimates were hardly extreme outliers.

A highly contagious disease which is spread for 1-2 weeks before the illness becomes apparent and to which no one has any immunity tends to increase exponentially. Someone claimed that the doubling-time of Coronavirus infections in the US was around five days. So what would stop 200 million people from getting infected?

ld , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm GMT
@Sean Since when has Empire cared about how obvious they are? There is a long list of wars, happy accidents murders and heart attacks where they offer the most transparent excuse and ignore the tsunami of questions and accusations from the annoying populace. Their contempt for Joe citizen has never been more apparent.
St-Germain , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:22 pm GMT
@St-Germain

Sorry! Forgot to mention twofresh news items: 1. a French research group led by Didier Roault issued an invitation to health professionals only to participate in testing the anti-malaria agent hydroxichloroquine against corona virus because France and the Chinese among others have found it very effective in preventing that new corona virus parasitic infection. 2. The U.S. government offered $1 billion for control of Germany's top vaccine manufacturer with the stipulation that all rights to its prospective cornna remedy would go to the United State only. Smelling an "offer it couldn't refuse" the company alerted the German government, which replaced the CEO who had been invited to the White House and said the company was not for sale. It said any vaccine it makes would be for the whole world, not for just one country.

So, there's aconnection between malaria drug develpment, a U.S. Army specialty since 1963, and the corona virus vaccine race. Both malaria and corona come from blood parasites, although the former is mosquito-borne. Looks now like the same class of drugs can also kill two birds with one shot. Coincidence?

A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm GMT
@Ron Unz -1- The most likely explanation is still natural. If a simple malaria drug chloroquine is effective, that strongly suggests that WUHAN-19 is not a weaponized virus.

The other likely scenarios are:

-2- Escape from the Wuhan viral lab. Poorly paid workers need money for big holidays. If an employee was likely to do something foolish, it is logical & unsurprising that the WUHAN-19 escape would align with a holiday spending need.

-3- Indiscriminate Mass Attack on multiple nations -- U.S., China, etc..
. -3a- Erdogan dislikes both the U.S. & China. Plus he is crazy enough to infect the world.
. -3b- Sociopath Khameni also has no restraint and would be willing to exterminate all life on the planet.
. -3c- Non-State terrorist group, such as Islamic Jihad or Islamic State.

-4- Intentional Chinese false flag to blame the U.S.
. Far fetched, but still vastly more likely than the 0% chance of a U.S. attack. WUHAN-19 would have guaranteed world wide spread while allowing the Chinese government to appear to be taking action.
_____

There is no plausible reason to believe the Trump administration ordered this attack.

The U.S. Trade Negotiating Team lead by Robert E. Lighthizer has been beating the helpless Chinese totally senseless on every front. No one attacks a loser. The loser is already losing .

A high spread choice, such as WUHAN-19 makes no sense. Any U.S. attack would have selected something more easily contained in China.

If you believe that an Obama appointed traitor did this to over throw Trump, that should be classified as an anti-U.S. attack even if the material was illicitly & treasonously obtained from a U.S. facility.

PEACE

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:51 pm GMT
@Astuteobservor II I would like to add to this, if I may.

Are you aware of the religious group/cult from China called the Falun Gong? They were (past tense) a group of mutually-supporting, silently-conspiring Han Chinese who almost never spoke of their affiliation with their "cult".

That they had their own specific religious practices was never a problem. If they had stayed simply a religion, they would have been left alone.

But, it was noticed by wider Chinese society that they tended to collude with other Falun Gong religious practitioners, and to be slowly and quietly placing their members into influential and sometimes even powerful positions in wider Chinese society. Everything from governments (local, provincial and even national), the educational system, the media, the military, and industry and finance.

Of course, maybe the media and educational infiltration would not have gotten very far given the Chinese "censors" and the . . . "thought regulators", but the attempt to infiltrate and hijack society was clearly being made. The Falun Gong conspiracy had been patiently operating in the shadows for quite a long time.

This finally incited alarm and fury among the masses and the leadership. The Chinese state (through-out history) has always had strong safeguards against alien/foreign infiltration, apart from the innate paranoia and suspicions of the people themselves.

So the PRC government swung into action , banning Falun Gong, arresting many members at all levels (all the way to the National), throwing a huge number (a VERY huge number, including families, it is said) into "re-education camps".

They forced, by various means (use your imagination), members of the group to turn each other in. Every Falun Gong sympathizer was uncovered and stripped of influence. Teachers pointed out officials, who pointed out businessmen, who denounced Party members, who turned in PLA officers. An unknown number of executions followed, and rather more consigned to the prison camps.

Falun Gong influence was thoroughly purged from Chinese life.

And that, IMHO, is the source of much of the championing of Falun Gong (some of whom escaped) by the Western MSM, and its owners and controllers.

After all, if China can purge and then destroy people clearly their own (full-blooded Chinese, albeit engaged in conspiracy against society), how could those very clearly alien manage to subvert and manipulate the Chinese into being their slaves? And how could China be destroyed from within?

Well, it VERY probably cannot.

A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm GMT
@St-Germain

The U.S. government offered $1 billion for control of Germany's top vaccine manufacturer with the stipulation that all rights to its prospective cornna remedy would go to the United State only.

This Fake Stream Media [FSM] lie was already thoroughly debunked days ago. (1)

German newspaper claiming that President Donald Trump wanted to secure exclusive American access to a coronavirus vaccine has proven to be false, but only after the story was repeated and spread by mainstream media outlets including Reuters, The Guardian, and Business Insider.

Reuters later stealth-edited its story to incorporate official statements denying the original newspaper report. But a New York Times journalist had already shared the Reuters article before it was altered. An MSNBC producer also shared the story.

German media deceivers are no different than than the rest of the FSM. DW=CNN

Please stop repeating their lies.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2020/03/16/reuters-stealth-edits-debunked-story-claiming-trump-sought-monopoly-on-covid-19-vaccine/

Aqualung , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm GMT
@refl China/Iran weaponized common flu simply by putting on a great show. Shuttering cities, building hospitals at lightning pace, imposing draconian travel bans and leaking questionable videos. Iran does the same and sends some clerics and politicians to early retirement. Max doom from their media, feeds into ours. Left or right, it's bipartisan fear. Corona is one of the more common flu viruses, thousands get it every year, so slowly ramping up testing specifically for that virus will inevitably lead to a perceived exponential spike especially if you never compare it to other flues this year or last. Anyway, America destroys their economy in the panic.
FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:57 pm GMT
@AnonFromBeijing

Your elite and your people deserve each other, just like master and slaves deserve each other

LOL you're way too intelligent for this website, friend you will get bored here very quickly I predict

Jew & Israel, have to serve the Anglo since Zionist have no backups no hidings, some times function as scapegoats and get given up or set up by the Anglo to ease the angry of common white or other elite.

That's pretty much it you will find plenty of these 'common white' here on this website they're entire existence revolves around blaming the wrong people for their misery mostly 'commies' and Jews

'The public must be put in its place so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of the bewildered herd.'

–Walter Lippman, Society in its Place

'You have to control people by control of beliefs and attitudes' [when the people] are spectators not participants, then you'll have a properly functioning democracy the idea is to try to control everyone they want to create an uninformed electorate which will make irrational choices often against their own interests

–Noam Chomsky

So you see what has happened here is that the smart people [those with the intelligence and the money and power] have basically created a completely fantastic parallel universe that has nothing to do with reality [commies killed a gazillion people] that very effectively steers the sheeple right into the box of rampant ignorance that the elite want them to inhabit

The sheeple of course are weak-minded, unable to think for themselves, and simply gravitate to easy solutions and scapegoats pre-manufactured for them by the intelligentsia ie blame others, go and vent in this direction just don't blame us, your rulers, who are the real source of your misery LOL

It is amazingly effective you will find on this very website proof of this at least a thousand times a day it's like unruly children who are given toys on which they can take out their frustrations, while the parents go about their business in peace and quiet

UK , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 6:59 pm GMT
The US did better in the 2019 Military Games than the 2015 ones. You conspiracy theorist loons can't be bothered to check anything.
Kevin Barrett , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:15 pm GMT
@Sean My favorite Yiddish saying is: "If you tell the truth, make it funny, or they'll kill you."

So I write satire as life insurance: https://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.is/category/satire/

It has worked fine so far.

Anon [123] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:16 pm GMT
The ability of the biowarfare or biotec scientists to manipulate DNA or RNA to achieve a particular result either in disease or ethnocentric targeting is wildly overestimated in the press and otherwise.

It is hyped by Biowarfare "Experts" in governments seeking funding and in biotec by scientists trying to IPO or sell themselves to big-pharma.

The ability of big pharma to do this is non-exisitent as they are monopolist bankers and never invent anything despite the enourmos R&D budgets.

That an existing disease and possible candidate for biowarfare, could escape from the new Wuhan lab, (certified 2015 and the only level 4 lab in China) is far more plausible, given Chinese attitudes towards quality control rules and regulations.

Iran's intense interaction with China because of the sanctions over the past years has facilitated spread through increased travel between Wuhan and Quom.

Some of the same Chinese trade facilatators traveled to Italy negotiating the belt and road, which is a comedy heading to a unfortunate end despite however much Panda boy pays Pepe to shill for him.

I don't see any plausible link to Israel here, but Bill Gates is mighty strange.

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:17 pm GMT
@AnonFromBeijing And just to illustrate my earlier point about the predictable stupidity of the noisy, indoctrinated sheeple that puzzle you here an example from one such ruminant

White Europeans have the dubious distinction of being hated and despised most passionately by jews and this is why powerful jewish forces have been deliberately flooding every single historic White European nation on Earth with millions of non-white aliens from the third world.

This is the 'Great Replacement' agenda.

So the influx of millions of desperate folks willing to work for peanuts and thus drive down the wages of ordinary Americans and Europeans in the turbo-capitalist system is not due to any desire to profit on our labor but is simply motivated by the hate of Jews towards whites ?

You decide if that passes even the most basic human logic ?

And these same indoctrinated fools, their heads filled with koolaid about the glory of capitalism will stand up and actually defend the right of billionaires to just keep on fleecing everybody

You will also see them railing most passionately against the 'Chicoms' even as China's people continue to ascend to ever greater heights of prosperity, while their own beloved, capitalism buries them ever deeper into bondage

Again, you decide whether these 'highly intelligent' white folks are shooting at the right target LOL

tomo , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:17 pm GMT
@antibeast Too many of us assume these psychopaths in charge of our Idiocracy are actually wise, knowledgeable and even honorable (mostly thanks to the loudest megaphone the same psychopaths own and control to spread disinformation)

Psychopaths don't think that way – they are kind of like HIV in how they act

9-11 and Coronavirus is exactly something they would do – especially because it seems anti-intuitive.
The same way blaming their victims for their crimes does – and that's why psychopaths use these tricks to manage us.

Normal people find such behavior hard to believe – and that is exactly why psychopaths and psychopathic 'cultures' use them.
It's all about confusing their victims before they try to destroy them completely.
it's a 100% predatory mindframe.
And don't forget most of these 'wealthy' (in money only perhaps) people got their wealth from their equally dumb and clueless parents whose only skill also is kissing ass to their wealthy parents so to inherit the ill-gotten $$.
After a few generation of such degenerated incompetent people in power – you end up where we are now – Trump as a ruler of world's biggest idiocracy ever

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:32 pm GMT
jamesfetzer.org :"The only pandemic in America is that of unbridled fear and a total lack of intelligent thought" By Gary D.Burnett :
"Can the common flu cause people in America and worldwide to lose their minds and their ability to think?Apparently that is the case , as Americans have gone insane over a monster created in thin air called Coronavirus . I have anticpated a scenario such as this, and written about it for a decade or more , but the response by the people of this country is more ridiculous than even I could have imagined It is my belief that the regular flu is being used as a cover for this fake virus and will serve to hide fault of a State-created economic collapse Trump and his entourage are actually preparing the sheep for ongoing martial law."
anon [182] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 7:58 pm GMT
M. Unz's analogy to domestic arson is appealing but inaccurate in this case. What we have here is an act subject to two institutionalized legal processes: international criminal law and state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts. These are two complementary means of righting wrongs but they don't provide for either vengeance or gloating.

Since use of COVID-19 is an undeclared act of war, the international criminal law at issue is that governing crimes against peace:

https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/commentaries/7_4_1996.pdf

This is in a late stage of development, but formal acceptance of the code doesn't matter because for the gravest crimes, the principle is, you should know better.

Now another way to handle CIA's germ warfare is to treat it as an internationally wrongful act in breach of jus cogens. This provides for restitution, reparations, satisfaction, and compensation with interest for the consequences of CIA use of COVID-19. The rules are different, but they articulate with international criminal law because satisfaction may involve prosecution of designated suspects (Robert Gates, Hayden, Haspel, etc.) The procedure is analogous in function to domestic tort law.

https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/commentaries/9_6_2001.pdf
(This is a draft because the annotations help explain the precedents and rationale.)

So this is what's gonna happen to the DO psychos. After the war.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:40 pm GMT
@anon

M. Unz's analogy to domestic arson is appealing but inaccurate in this case Since use of COVID-19 is an undeclared act of war, the international criminal law at issue is that governing crimes against peace: Now another way to handle CIA's germ warfare is to treat it as an internationally wrongful act in breach of jus cogens. This provides for restitution, reparations, satisfaction, and compensation with interest for the consequences of CIA use of COVID-19.

Well, first of all there's no solid evidence that the Coronavirus outbreak was a biowarfare attack, and there may never be

But let's suppose a case is somehow made and reasonably proven. The consequences will have been trillions of dollars of damage to the American economy, hundreds of millions of Americans severely inconvenienced or financially damaged, and (if we're lucky!) maybe only tens of thousands of American deaths. This would quite possibly be one of the worst national disasters in our entire history.

If it were reasonably proven that certain individuals in the CIA or some other government agency were responsible, do you think there would be enough pieces left of their bodies to consider applying "jus cogens" or anything else??!!

S , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:46 pm GMT
Great article.

Whether the virus was 'planned' (ie created) or not, it can be used for all sorts of things:

1) Should it mutate, or, as it is, simply be handled completely incompetently, it may be used to push global population down closer to the five hundred million 'sustainable' figure which has long been touted by some powerful people and their hangers on.

2) To break the US economically by 'shutting everything down', and to thereby cause the 'Fall of Capitalism' (paralleling Communism's 'fall' thirty years ago), so that the two wings of this manufactured and broadly controlled Hegelian Dialectic which has been at play since 1776 and 1789 can be pushed forward towards final 'synthesis' in global Multi-Culturalism, and the establishment of a long sought after world state/empire.

[Not to worry, 'true believers' in Capitalism, as just as with Communism's purported demise decades ago, there will still be gigantic chunks of Capitalism around, and probably (just as now) it will remain in the superior position vis-a-vis the remnants of Communism, the way it always has been. True believers in Communism will be allowed and encouraged to think they are responsible for Capitalism's purported 'fall' as a consolation for thirty years ago.]

3) Trump and Xi, as ultimately likely controlled opposition of each other, could very well be used to steer the US/UK and China/Russia into WWIII. The almost cartoon like insistence of Trump saying 'Chinese flu' of late could be a very small part of that at the moment, as is China's recently suggesting the US military was behind the flu's introduction in Wuhan. In any such war, as is now standard procedure, the US/UK would strive to have it at least appear that China/Russia struck the first blow. WWIII, with probable massive casualties possibly far out stripping the human losses of WWI and WWII, would work towards global depopulation. [See #1 above]

4) A world war, one not going as well as initially expected, ie 'badly', combined with economic collapse, would in certain ways recreate conditions parallelling late 1917 Russia in the United States. This would further energize the already radicalized 'Bernie Bros' and much of the Democratic party, and may tempt them to seriously consider revolutionary action, ie a 'Red October 2.0' type of event to seize power, to be followed by a vicious Russian style 'civil war'. This civil war would also work towards global depopulation. [See #1 above]

No doubt this virus can be used for other purposes as well.

As late in the day as it is, what can people do?

As individuals (and groups) people can stop buying into this manufactured and contrived supposedly 'progressive' and 'enlightened' dialectic which has been at work between Capitalism and Communism the past two hundred plus years, and offer something better, to both yourself and others.

It shouldn't take much to have something a lot better, as this now centuries old hatred driven dialectical 'cure' which has been offered humanity, and now has the peoples of the world on the cusps of WWIII, is 'worse than the disease'.

DaveE , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:48 pm GMT
@Alfred I agree. I'm an engineer also (electronics) and it took me a little longer to put it all together, but not by much. My comment was directed more at the goobers than the way-above-intelligence types like engineers. It's taken them a little longer (maybe a LOT longer) but they're onto the truth, these days.

I have daily contact with a bunch of dirt-poor, uneducated white people and even they are totally onto the "coronavirus" hoax. They ain't buying a word of it. Although they realize that a lot of the shortages and product hoarding is simply a poor man's hedge fund, just in case the virus is an engineered pathogen and is "somewhat" a concern. Better prepared than not – and I can't fault that logic.

But panicked and hysterical they are definitely NOT.

Hope you find this as heartening as I do.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:51 pm GMT
@Ron Unz "So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a Coronavirus attack against China, isn't it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we'd similarly remain insulated from the Coronavirus?"

Yes, except they seemed to willingly let it in. After the outbreak in China was officially announced, planeload after planeload of potential virus carriers were landing in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and the E.U. countries every single day. I'm surprised there's anybody left in China!

Now, if it was an American biowarfare attack, and considering what I said above, it could be they developed the weapon to specifically target Chinese/Asian people. That might explain why they willingly let them fly in, because they already knew it wouldn't do that much damage to the host population.

SARS mainly attacked Chinese people. It would be interesting to know whether the people being affected in the U.S. and Canada, for instance, are mainly Asians.

Sean , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:54 pm GMT
There is a key point about coronavirus being spread by not yet obviously ill people that was made in Sean Carroll's podcast with Tara Smith yesterday. She also said that SARS is completely different because the SARS virus is only shed from really sick people. So American bioweapons experts would also understand that, and not expect the late 2002 outbreak of SARS in China failing to spread all across the globe to be a guide to how a coronavirus epidemic would behave.
ploni almoni , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:56 pm GMT
@anon Did you say Dis-information officers? Captain Ilan Rabinovich wants to see you in his office right away.
K. W. , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 8:57 pm GMT
Dr. Barret, in your article you cite a study that you quote (incorrectly) as saying: Other sources claim "The spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV contains a cleavage absent in CoV – showing that it was engineered rather than evolved." Indeed, the journal article itself does not claim that it must have been "engineered rather than evolved". I'm agnostic on whether it was engineered or evolved, but would urge you to remove "engineered rather than evolved" at least from the hyperlinked part and leave it as normal text so that people do not mistakenly assume that the article itself openly claims this
Arnieus , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
Blow back also serves a purpose.
Whether or not blowback was foreseen it serves as a scapegoat for Trump. The media that lies about everything keep saying this will end Trump. I don't think so. The great economy he pats himself on the back for is made of several trillion more dollars on our US credit card. Many prognosticators predicted the bubble could not sustain till election. Many didn't want it to. Now the air is out of the bubble and Trump can avoid blame at least to his supporters.

The shutdown is a massive power grab and anti-China propaganda. Governments of all sizes and shapes assume the authority to shut down the economy on every level. This is the 2×4 to the head to get the attention of main street. At the same time China gets the blame. It is so reminiscent of the 1930s when many diplomats like Joe Kennedy were highly concerned about the western media vilification of Germany and Japan. Sure enough events were manipulated to incite "the good war".

One thing is sure IMO. The virus did not come from a bat. Given the list of coinsidences of location and timing, just months after the Globalist Event 201 I lean toward it not being China's fault. That is China's opinion as well apparently. I for one don't really want another good war.

Sasha , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:06 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Trudeau I consider to be the bumbling front-man, while the power behind the throne is the former FM and now current Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. She is a close friend of George Soros, and was slated to be his official biographer. Not exactly comforting to me, but the vast majority of Canadians are incredibly ignorant and complacent. Will never venture outside of the Overton Window. Good piece concerning her right here. https://off-guardian.org/2017/09/29/canadian-fm-freeland-was-slated-to-be-george-soros-authorized-biographer/ , and this alarming report – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-would-be-replaced-by-freeland-if-unable-to-perform-duties-amid/
cranc , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT
@Ron Unz The data from Italy shows that 99.2% of deaths atrributed to Covid19 are actually deaths of people who already have serious diseases. We do not know if they died with Covid or from Covid.
https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/
This is data from the Italian National Health Institute, it is official government numbers.
What will likely kill many more people than the virus are the actions of our governments, destroying the global economy and sending us over the edge into social breakdown due the ever growing lockdown.
https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/
DaveE , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:13 pm GMT
@Ron Unz The economy was gonna tank anyway. When you have a "market" selling shares with P-E ratios of 100 or more, common, what other possibility is there?

But "never let a good crisis go to waste" is the guiding M.O. of the zionists. Maybe they just gave it gentle "push" and that was all it took.

I predict this is all just groundwork for something MUCH bigger in the near future. A little pain and suffering to get us ready, IOW.

Wyatt , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm GMT
@SethF1968 The rest of the article does say it might not be true. I trust the Chinese to be malicious, duplicitous scumbags, but I don't trust them to be competent with that. Given two scenarios:

1. The Chinese are successfully engineering a bio-weapon that a careless scientist just happens to get into his rice during lunch or,
2. The Chinese are trying to engineer a bio-weapon, doing a piss poor job of it and when it escapes from the lab, it has the propensity to mutate dangerously like it's goddamn Resident Evil,

I'll pick the latter. The CCP is a litany of continuous fuckups that would have been handled decades ago if our own government wasn't filled with self serving degenerates and tards.

anon [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:30 pm GMT
Many thanks for your thought-provoking reply! If, M. Unz, by solid evidence you mean proof, that may be true for now. The bill of indictment took a long time to complete in the case of JFK and 9/11, but now the open-source evidence meets forensic standards, notwithstanding state secrecy, Section 202, the operational files exemption, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, deference upon deference, the political questions doctrine, and all the other legal pretexts CIA has set up to obscure attribution of its crimes. The cases are open and shut but there's no way to prosecute CIA here at home, by design. The last time somebody gave it a try (Church and Pike,) Don Gregg threatened martial law and that was that.

This case is different because the whole world has a beef. CIA's impunity setup don't work so good offshore. The sovereign victims are already on the case.

I'm not sure Americans would tear em apart if they found out. Americans are the most brainwashed population in the world. They make North Koreans look like Spinoza. The trick of equating America and the government is sunk in deep. They fall for it every time. The trick of confounding adverse information with foreign dictators works equally well on left and right. (We all saw the left blame Putin for the Queen of Mena's 2016 party putsch because it failed.) CIA will never be made to pay without outside pressure. It's a problem for the world. Good thing they're on it.

Iva , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:33 pm GMT
I wouldn't worry about beeing calld "antisemite" , "this is the trick we always use ." says former Israeli minister on Amy Godman show Democracy Now.
Sparkon , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:34 pm GMT
@Flubber W hen you fail to attribute a quotation, and fail to enclose it within quotation marks (or use the blockquote tag), it is plagiarism, irrespective of your intentions or ignorance, either one.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the verb "to plagiarize" means:

"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source "

How To Avoid Plagiarism in Your Work:

1 Cite your source
When alluding to an idea or wording that's not your own, add a citation in your writing that identifies the full name of the source, the date it was published, and any other citation element that's required by the style guide you're adhering to.

2 Include quotations
If you insert a source's words into your writing, verbatim, one of the most simple yet obvious ways to avoid plagiarism is by using quotation marks around the text to denote that the words aren't your own. A direct quote should also cite the source so that readers know who the quote is from.

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/5-most-effective-methods-for-avoiding-plagiarism/

(my bolds)

I see you are having trouble with English in a number of ways, so perhaps it is not your first language. Please take the opportunity to learn from the experience, and improve your English.

anon8383892 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:37 pm GMT
@Alfred Yes absolutely correct.

I saw the planes hit that morning from desert suburbia AZ, then when they exploded (the language in the news was "collapsed" but it is clear from direct visual intuition that they went off something like "Roman candles") I was like "no way! They fucking exploded! "
It was obvious to me at the time that they were rigged." And yet, somehow I convinced myself in the following months that the buildings had collapsed. I convinced myself after careful study of the NYT that the buildings had suffered "progressive collapse". Complete subservience of reason and sense to authority, and I was someone regarded as a renegade, maverick, free-thinker.
By late 2002 my suspicions of the neo-cons had me thinking they'd cultivated and allowed the terror attack to go through in order to reap the benefits. I started hearing theories about controlled demolition at WTC and a missile at Pentagon I thought no way they would take the associated operational risk (of exposure and justice), plus the NYT had convinced to disregard my lying eyes A few years later I realized my mistake, saw research and documentaries on the nano-thermite angle, WTC-7 etc

The moral of the story is how gullible and naive even a supposed high-iq independent thinker can be.

And yeah, it's amazingly obvious that those buildings exploded/burned (nano-thermite) like roman-candles.

The other moral of the story is just how dishonorable -- I think the term "cucked" is popular these days -- a nation can be. Right in your face, and you do nothing, pretend you didn't see it. All the conformists, people afraid of suffering for something.

Hempus , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm GMT
@ Kevin Barrett

Thanks for this great article! I know you from the time when Ahmadinejad was president of Iran and when at Presstv was the possibility to leave comments. This changed with Rouhani but I followed your writings also at VT.

I think this Covid-19 plot is especially designed to weaken China, but especially also because China is a supporter of Iran, Iraq, Syria..the main countries of the resistance against the greater Israel project.

The first person in Iran who died of "covid-19" was an 83 year old man after (!) a covid-19 "quick test" was made.
Covid-19 is probably all over the world and especially to find in old people homes where the inmates had recently a flu or those people with an acute flu.

Coronaviruses mutate permanently. It seems Covid -19 is an old mutation because its common all over the world and people who have the antibodies actually dont need a vaccination to create exactly those antibodies.
The special danger is when there is a mutation of this virus and you dont have the antibodies.

This testing is nonsense!
Those tests are even dangerous because the poor people who are tested positive are told that they have a deadly virus and this people tend to get in panic and fear, becomming breathlessness and eventually get an acute pneumonia fibrosis which leads sometimes to death.
Pneumonia fibrosis is not caused by a virus but by wrong breathing habits and bad air and especially by panic breathing!

Once more I like to give the link to Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg a German lung medical doctor who gives an excellent view into this insane virus hysteria.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/disease/dr-wolfgang-wodarg-confirms-this-is-an-insane-panic/

I am a breathing therapist and worked on the front line also during the AIDS hysteria. Kevin Barrett, I know you have still excellent contacts to presstv and It would make me happy to help solving this nightmare in Iran.

Pft , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:42 pm GMT
Its seems to me there is a Chinese-American collaboration at work. Much of the apparent conflict is fake wrestling. Leaders of countries need external enemies to control their own citizens.

If you look at the research thats been done on corona viruses gain of function and corona virus/ebola/zika virus vaccines you run into the same names a lot, Chinese scientists, American scientists, Wuhan , UNC, Duke all funded by DARPA, NSAID, NIH , chinese military, chinese cdc Bill Gates, etc, often in collaboration with each other. George Gao of China CDC attended Event 201.

The goal is creation of Authoritarian states throughout the world modeled after China, as elaborated in Lock Step. Moving away from the Global Village concept, each region/country will duplicate the firewall China has built for internet to isolate its citizens from foreign ideas and internal censorship, although the elites and multinationals corporations and institutions will be united and interlocked. Travel between countries and foreign residence/immigration will become more difficult for the non-elite. Walls will be built to keep ordinary people in. Mandatory vaccinations and health care (medicare for all-appropriately rationed) . Digital ID, enhanced tracking/surveillance. Robots will replace illegal immigrant workers. Conditions will be ripe to implement the green economy, enforce a cashless society and ration energy consumption through 5G/IoT and smart meters, and universal income

The economic crash like all crashes was planned. As Mnuchin said, they are great buying opportunities for the rich so as to accumulate more wealth at a discount (paper losses are future tax breaks). Former CDC director sold half her Merck Shares on jan 13 for 9.11 million. Bezos sold off billions of Amazon stock, etc. Maybe they knew what was coming.

Mefobills , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:46 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett It may be a moot, to point fingers at this juncture.

The models for replication are predicated on X transmission rate. Where X doesn't assume there is part of the population that is naturally resistant.

Also, the models don't predicate for temperature and humidity. All of the hot spots are in a narrow band of temperature and humidity.

Turkey is not reporting high levels of infection, while they are in that "zone" right now. They are probably lying.

https://www.asbmb.org/asbmb-today/science/020620/could-an-old-malaria-drug-help-fight-the-new-coron

If above study is right, an inexpensive pill can be sent to the hot spots.

Thomasina , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:49 pm GMT
@cranc "We do not know if they died with Covid or from Covid."

Excellent point! If they are purposely looking to get the numbers of dead up, then they died "from" Covid.

The regular flu went through my uncle's old-age home. Killed him and many others, just pushed them over the edge, with pneumonia, just like Corona has.

Iva , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 9:55 pm GMT
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2020-03-18/coronavirus-could-reshape-global-order &#8230 ; some people say that we should take seriously what CFR's magazine Foreign Affairs say in its articles. They give us clues what GFR's globalists are planing for our world. Just as they set and ended communism in Central and Eastern Europe , they can end US hegemony in the world. If they will decide it is China's tern to be in power, that it will be.
Moti Nissani , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:03 pm GMT
This is a courageous, thought-provoking, article. It will take a while to piece this story together, but for now, this theory is at least as likely as the official explanation. If correct, this theory leads to a few interesting predictions. Among them:

1. No member of high standing of the Deep State, e.g., Gates, the Rockefeller Clan, Netanyahoo, will die from this virus.
2. Per capita, there will be less fatalities in Israel than anywhere else.

I'm not sure Barrett pointed this out: The psychopaths in charge did not hesitate to slaughter some 3,000 Americans on 9/11, nor any number of European allies during Operation Gladio. Everyday, they have their police kill 3 Americans. They would be very willing, perhaps even glad, to sacrifice millions of Americans–or people of any nationality–to achieve their goals.

As Barrett notes, the parallels to 9/11 are indeed striking.

St-Germain , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:03 pm GMT
@A123 Two German cabinet members commented angrily on this matter. Either they are lying or it's the media sources you quote. And why was the American CEO of the company suddenly canned?
bjondo , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:04 pm GMT
https://gizadeathstar.com/2017/11/putin-someone-collecting-russian-dna-usaf-admits/

https://www.rt.com/news/408416-russians-biological-samples-research/

Was similar collecting done from Chinese/Chinese Americans,
from Iranians/Iranian Americans, others?

5ds

SBaker , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:04 pm GMT
@Just Passing Through Ouch. Antimuslim comments will raise the hair on a pig. Ever notice how the Muslims and the other Semites, the Jews led the impeachment/coup against Trump. These two groups were completely united together with the Semite controlled old media, and yet, commenters here call Trump their puppet.
Scott Locklin , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:09 pm GMT

Other sources claim "The spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV contains a cleavage absent in CoV – showing that it was engineered rather than evolved." Perhaps readers more familiar with the science than I am can arbitrate such disputes in the comments section.

Yeah, I'll ajudicate the "dispute," you unspeakable dingus: the word "engineered" and the phrase "showing that it was engineered rather than evolved" are not in the paper, and the paper makes no assertion remotely like your misquotation. The paper merely notes how the virus differs from other CoV viruses.

Unz review has really turned into something Alex Jones tier. Except with Steve Sailer and Whitney Webb.

SBaker , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:11 pm GMT
@Sean There is a key point about coronavirus being spread by not yet obviously ill people that was made in Sean Carroll's podcast with Tara Smith yesterday. She also said that SARS is completely different because the SARS virus is only shed from really sick people. So American bioweapons experts would also understand that, and not expect the late 2002 outbreak of SARS in China failing to spread all across the globe to be a guide to how a coronavirus epidemic would behave.""

Sean, the Wuhan corona is far more contagious than either the SARS or MERS corona viruses. People with the Wuhan shed large viral loads prior to the onset of disease and mild cases will never get tested.

Iris , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

The Israeli masterminded 9/11 false flag has been almost consecrated–like the holocaust–and anyone who dares to question the official lies, stands to lose their jobs, stature and be endlessly vilified for asking historical questions. Punitive measures that Mr. Barrett has first-hand knowledge of.

Good to remember that Dr Barrett is unambiguously proven to be right by the immutable laws of Physics and Engineering:

– A September 2019 University of Alaska PhD thesis, using state-of-the-art civil engineering design software, proved that WTC7 could have only been destroyed by controlled demolition.

– Due to the witnesses around, it would have been impossible to bring and install explosives into WTC7 during the time window after the collapse of the Twin Towers.

– Hence the explosives used to blow up WTC7 were already in place before the alleged WTC "plane attack" onto the Twin Towers took place.

– Hence the perpetrators are those who had control the WTC7 and were represented by Larry "Pull It" Silverstein.

anon [414] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@ploni almoni So I wonder why they're here so far away from their people? I'm not their people.
Robjil , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm GMT
This is a second 9-11.

It is even using the same numbers to start the game.

Purim this year was March 9-11.

March 9th Queen Esther fast, March 10 Purim, March 11 Walled city ( Jerusalem is one) Purim

The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on the last day of Purim – walled city Purim – March 11, 2020. Ever since March 11, our MSM has been building up more and more hysteria about this disease. It is literally another nine eleven, same number game, promoted by our MSM.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/03/deeply-concerned-who-declares-covid-19-pandemic

Mar 11, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) today declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pushing the threat beyond the global health emergency it had announced in January.

AnonStarter , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT
@Sean I was not the one who said Barrett is held in such low regard by public opinion

Come now, Sean You did exactly this in your opening salvo.

I suggested that as someone unknown under his own name you could step up and prevent WW3, but for the fact that your resume was far less impressive than Doctor Barrett's.

This would be quite humorous but for the fact that I haven't bothered to advance any theories thus far.

I just enjoy the hissing sound your posts make after we punch 'em with a thumbtack. A nice, short, sharp jab does the trick every time.

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:22 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike You are velkum my frend

Regards, onebornfree

S , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:24 pm GMT

"And advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." The Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America's Defenses (September 2000)

That is interesting.

I was aware of the PNAC report and it's 'Pearl Harbor' comment, but had forgotten about the bio warfare statement.

As a related aside, the very 'progressive' H G Well's in the circa 1935 movie Things to Come has it that a future biological war will kill over half the world's population. To humanity's rescue (and I kid you not as to the script's wording) will come a Mr John 'Cabal' representing the 'new order' with it's 'freemasonry of science'.

Not to be outdone (I suppose) the also very 'progressive' Gene Roddenberry in 1968 had a Star Trek episode (See links below) whose plot revolves around a parallel Earth which in the distant past had a global biological war fought between Red China (Khoms) and the United States (Yangs). The Chinese are victorious and over run the planet, while meanwhile the shattered remnants of what had been the US is living out a stone age existance.


Yang vs Kohm ('Yank' vs 'Commie')

'The virus still exists.'

MCCOY: The infection resembles one developed by Earth during their bacteriological warfare experiments in the 1990s. Hard to believe we were once foolish enough to play around with that The virus still exists. Then over the years, nature built up these natural immunising agents in the food, the water, and the soil.

http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/54.htm

https://www.unz.com/akarlin/corona-will-kill-millions-crater-the-world-economy/#comment-3739964

Minnesota Mary , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:32 pm GMT
"Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong."

That was the very reason Britain and France picked World War I with Germany. Germany was becoming and economic power house, and the Brits and the French resented it. So they had to slap Germany down before she became even stronger. It backfired on them until the U.S. came in and pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for them. Will anyone pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Uncle Sam? I doubt it.

CanSpeccy , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:39 pm GMT
@Ron Unz

Well, that would make perfect sense unless elements of the American national security establishment were criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent. However, they ARE criminal, crazy, and totally incompetent.

Love the capitalization "ARE". That'll really convince the rubes. Soon, the debate will be reduced to the exchange of 'tis and 'tisn't for all the substance of the Unzian thesis.

Iris , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:42 pm GMT
@Alfred

I studied civil engineering 50 years ago. Maybe they no longer teach engineers the Laws of Motion of Isaac Newton. I don't know. But the silence by the engineering profession has been deafening my ears ever since.

There is an astounding number of Engineering and Physics pieces of evidence which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled demolition.

But there is one fact which is so, so superior to any other evidence that it instantly destroys the "risible work of fiction" known as the 9/11 Commission report:

– The WTC footprint radiated heat from the footprint of the demolished towers for about 4 months, recorded by satellite infrared cameras.
– The amount of heat released was calculated, using the classic, centuries-old exponential heat decay equation for heat transfer by free convection.
– A low estimate for the amount of heat realesed by the WTC was an astounding 10^15 Joules (one peta Joules).
– This amount of heat is equivalent to the energy produced over a month by a 900 MW nuclear reactor.

In other terms, the amount of heat released by the WTC after its collapse was so high that it was mandatorily of nuclear origin.

This is what the American people and the rest of humankind are up against: a bunch of Zionist psychopaths deranged enough to use nuclear weapons in the heart of New York.

Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:44 pm GMT
@Wyatt So you're saying these Chinese continuous fuckups ended decades ago if they could have been handled decades ago, but the US fuckups are intrinsic to
their mad system of government, continue, can't be handled, Bush will never be hanged for the naked aggression against Iraq? Is that what you mean?
John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 10:55 pm GMT
@anon8383892 On 9/11, readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/john-chuckman-comment-a-survivor-says-even-the-simplest-questions-around-911-have-not-been-answered-by-government-yes-and-some-disturbing-truths-around-those-events-the-saudi-arabian-nonsense/

A123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:02 pm GMT
@St-Germain

Two German cabinet members commented angrily on this matter

German cabinet ministers under Mutti Mullah Merkel who serves George Soros and elite Globalsm.

Everyone should be 99.99%+ sure that Team Soros/Germany is lying.

PEACE

JohnnyWalker123 , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Ron Unz

#BREAKING Gov. Newsom says 56% of Californians are expected to be infected with coronavirus "over an eight week period." https://t.co/Mk5A6B7dtN pic.twitter.com/qjaQJkbFI7

-- ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) March 19, 2020

SaneClownPosse , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Delta G "But you can't have someone clever enough to create a Recombinant Designer Pathogen and be in the US Military. "

Does not preclude such a person, clever and psychopathic, working as a civilian for the military or intelligence.

I believe the focus on Who, should include those who operate above the national governments. The type of individuals who have no allegiance, except to other elite families and largely to profiting, without regard for human concerns.

Hence, the focus is on whether the USA or China, or a third nation, did it, is a deliberate "look over there" misdirection.

The 9/11 equivalent would be the 9/11 families continuing to focus on suing the Saudi government as the responsible party. No planes, no Saudis. What we do have is "five dancing Israelis" and "Israeli art students running wires for an art project", along with Larry Silverstein's "Pull It!".

The US Dollar is overdue for its demise.
The Petrodollar was just extending the inevitable reckoning.

We may be nearing the flash point of the French Revolution, the moment when the French Treasury was discovered to be empty. USA is $23T in the hole and coincidentally the Department of Perpetual War cannot account for $22T.

JamesinNM , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:26 pm GMT
Definitely another inside job. Fear and hate dominate, and the is no room left for truth.
Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:29 pm GMT
@Kim Riiiight as if the terror trilogy of the IMF, WB and IBS isn't "a debt trap for all of those impoverished nations". I could be wrong but I think that your concern is that the Anglo-American-Zionist Alliance which is more like SPECTRE than anything else is losing global domination.
JamesinNM , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:30 pm GMT
@Nonny Mouse At the final judgement all evil will suffer the second death and burn for eternity. Matthew 10 28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Minnesota Mary , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:37 pm GMT
@FB I, too, have been disappointed in Tucker Carlson's China bashing. I have thought that he was the best on FOX News, but now he is getting to be as bad as Sean Hannity.

We may never know the origin of the coronavirus. It is foolish to try and assign blame at this point.

AB_Anonymous , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:43 pm GMT
@Sean Defending one outstanding false-flag with another – how ingenious !
Just like using (if I'm not mistaken, habitually with some variations) logical
chains based on : "if you're not utterly destroyed (one way or another),
you just can't be the one telling the truth".
This is a mob logic, but you probably have to wait for a few more high caliber false-flags
to be swallowed by the millions world-wide before it becomes absolutely legit.
hetro , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:55 pm GMT
@ΑΖ Do we have a price yet on how much it will cost to get vaccinated? As with in six weeks more time, after a second three week sheltering spell, so we're all ready to get back out on the streets and into the pubs as long as we're vaccinated, you see. Having been scared the black plague is waiting at the door all this time, we'll rush to the vaccination markets? Hundred fifty a shot maybe?
utu , says: Show Comment March 19, 2020 at 11:59 pm GMT
@Anonymous Not the first time for Sean. He made similar innuendos towards Ron Unz, iirc.
Desert Fox , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:06 am GMT
If anyone is interested in why the elites created the coronavirus, go to davidicke.com and watch his interview by london real, it is 2 hours of brutal truth.
Per/Norway , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:09 am GMT
@Just Passing Through Do you really have so little knowledge that you dont know the difference btween a wahabi takfir and a muslim?
Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:18 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job So, you read Winterwatch too. I think that Russ checks in here sometimes. I've been reading his crime archives lately. There are some really interesting articles on unsolved and memory holed crimes there.
Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:23 am GMT
@SBaker The Jews aren't Semites. They're unrelated to the ancient Hebrews, who became the Palestinians. And the Iranians and Afghans and Malays aren't Semites. You sound pretty clueless, SBaker.

Okay, the Jews insist they are Semites, but everything about them is fraud.

Anon [144] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:25 am GMT
@Been_there_done_that

virtually nobody in alternative media believes the official story purporting that the virus evolved naturally from animals.

"b" of moon of alabama .

B is trying to "flatten the curve" of comprehending how fast our liberties are "vanishing" (according to the New York Times). At least he won't be fining offending "bar flies" 13,000 something something.

New York Times is right. It will "vanish". "Our way of life". Because our reality is in fact manufactured, including our "alternative" reality.

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT
@follyofwar Well, as the Cheyenne used to say, "It's a good day to die". If the ones who think they can rule over others push it too far," then the the sun will shine upon a good day to die". I remember that line from the novel "Little Big Man".

It used to be part of the American ethos, the idea that it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. Levon Helm wrote a line in a song in the '80s: "You give your life to live your life". Some of us still see it that way.

EdNguyen , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:27 am GMT
@dimples A good many of those in the loop on an operation like this also have the skills and opportunity to make a great fortune on a 1929, or worse, financial catastrophe. Don't assume that blowback isn't anticipated or even welcome.
Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:27 am GMT
@JohnnyWalker123 Whoa! CA Gov. Newsom says that 25M Californians are expected to get infected within an eight week period

Apparently, that figure may have been the projection prior to the statewide lockdown he declared earlier this week. At least I really, *really* hope that's not what the experts think will still happen after the lockdown.

25M California infections over a couple of months would totally collapse the health care system, and probably result in at least a million deaths. In California alone. Over just a few weeks. Projecting that out, we'd be talking about something like 10M dead Americans.

Suppose it did turn out that this was all unintended blowback from some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:35 am GMT
@AnonFromBeijing

It's noticed that some rich Jews today live in China are very active in media and entertainment.

Wait until they get involved in [Chinese] politics and you're in for a hoot and a 1/2

Some people see China as the US of Asia. May you fare better and be spared where we are now.

anon [837] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:38 am GMT
It seems the so-called National Bolsheviks, Third Positionists, Strasserites were visionaries. Everything wrong with the world today is a result of Jewish finance capitalism and degenerate post-modern liberalism.
A123 , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:44 am GMT
@Ron Unz

Suppose it did turn out that this was all unintended blowback from some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

If the NeoConDemocrats did this in an attempt to overthrow the Constitution, it would guarantee GOP majority until the end of time.

The Globalist Left is certainly unhinged However risking a total forces CHINA-US nuclear war?

Hillary prefers the (im)plausible deniability of eliminating individuals a defenseless ambassador or prisoner or lawyer or reporter.

PEACE

hetro , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:52 am GMT
@JohnnyWalker123 That would be something like 20 million Californians. Note also predictions from guests (John Ross, for one) on Sputnik Loud and Clear Radio (Tuesday and Wednesday of this week) 2 million will die in the US by June of this year.

Now 2 mill figures out to about 10% of those getting infected will die (according to Newsome), which is contradicted by various studies (some mentioned in this thread), including that 15% of elderlies will die (or maybe it's only 8% and particularly those with pre-existing conditions); 5% of people in their 50's; and .02% of children.

In short Gavin Newsom is being irresponsible with this kind of talk, but now we know why the drastic shutdown has taken place in Northern California, no doubt following his alarmist lead.

We drastically need scientific studies particularizing vs generalizing the dangers as to which people, how, what, why, under what conditions/circumstances, instead of the hysterical over-reaction now underway by our "leaders."

Check out the following from this thread (sorry to those who posted the following if I don't mention you, and thank you very much for guiding me to them):

Swiss study

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

In German, but worth pursuing the translation:

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/disease/dr-wolfgang-wodarg-confirms-this-is-an-insane-panic/

Kevin Barrett , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 12:57 am GMT
@Franklin Ryckaert Avoidable mortality expert Gideon Polya breaks down the 9/11-triggered 27 million Muslim Holocaust: https://www.patreon.com/posts/gideon-polya-on-14190770

Since Muslims are not as insane as Jews, you can claim the real figure is actually only 26.9 without fear of imprisonment.

utu , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:01 am GMT
@Arnieus Thanks, good comment.
Thomasina , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:02 am GMT
Kevin Barrett – excellent article!

There are so many scenarios. I haven't read all of the comments, so what I'm about to say may already have been touched on.

1. The virus happened naturally, transferred from a bat and eventually to humans.

2. The virus accidentally escaped the Wuhan lab.

3. The globalists did it. The globalists (the Chinese elite in concert with the U.S. multinational corporate elite) don't want things to change as both groups of elites are getting filthy rich off of the offshoring of jobs to China.

Trump is a nationalist. He is upsetting their apple cart as he's placing tariffs on the goods manufactured in China by the U.S. multinational corporations, trying to force the U.S. multinationals to come back home. They don't want to, so they manufactured the virus thinking it would bring down the economy/stock market, thereby bringing down Trump.

China plays along, feigns ignorance, and accuses the U.S. of trying to infect their citizens, Xi wears a mask. A few thousand old people dying is a small price to pay, in their minds.

4. The U.S. multinational corporate elite did it alone, without China's knowledge, for the same reasons as stated in #3, to throw a wrench in the works, purposely sink the economy. With Trump gone, globalism could continue.

5. The U.S. did it alone, without China's knowledge. The U.S. globalists realize globalism is ending and they have acquiesced to the U.S. nationalists. They are angry that China has not followed through with their part of the original deal, which is that China gets the offshored jobs, their elite get rich, and they get money to modernize, but she must open up more to the U.S. corporations and financial firms, which she has been reluctant to do.

6. The nationalists did it in order to bring down globalism, put an end to it once and for all. Once people realize that supply lines (especially pharmaceuticals) thousands of miles away is a recipe for disaster, they'll scream for things to be changed. Trump has said he likes President Xi and the Chinese people, this is nothing personal, but he wants the jobs to return.

7. China did it alone. The Chinese elite realize that globalism is ending, and they know the Chinese citizens will blame them for the loss of their jobs. The Chinese elite worry that the citizens will wonder why they've become filthy rich and they haven't. The Chinese elite plant the virus, but blame it on the U.S.

8. The world elites, in collusion with the central banks, have blown massive financial bubbles.
They realize they can't continue blowing the bubbles any bigger, but they don't see any way out without being blamed. They plant the virus in order to bring down the world economy, deflate the bubble. The virus takes the blame, not them. China blames the U.S., the U.S. blames China, some old people are sacrificed, and they raise a glass to the devil.

I'm leaning towards #8.

Just another serf , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:04 am GMT
@Ron Unz

Suppose it did turn out that this was all unintended blowback from some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

I would hope that people would treat such individuals with compassion. Recognize that we all make mistakes. Their plans for these microbes never involved the suffering and death of millions of innocent people and simply got out of control. Certainly a stern letter of admonishment should be added to their files. But their names should not be made public.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:12 am GMT
Mar 19, 2020 Corona crazy, strengthen your immune system

With between 90 to 99 percent of people who get this Corona virus recover , this virus panic will pass, the loss of freedoms will continue, strengthen you immune system.

04/16/2010 100 Years of US Medical Fascism

One hundred years ago today, on April 16, 1910, Henry Pritchett, president of the Carnegie Foundation, put the finishing touches on the Flexner Report. No other document would have such a profound effect on American medicine, starting it on its path to destruction up to and beyond the recently passed (and laughably titled) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), a.k.a., "Obamacare." Flexner can only be accurately understood in the context of what led up to it.

https://mises.org/library/100-years-us-medical-fascism

Iris , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:14 am GMT
@Ron Unz This study from respected epidemiologists at Imperial College London has forecast death rates for various scenarios of suppression and mitigation measures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there are far too many parameters at play to reach figures with reasonable certainty, they have calculated that doing nothing to mitigate the pandemic would result in 81% of the US and UK population being infected after a course of 3 months of spreading epidemic, resulting in "only" 2.2 million and 0.5 million deaths respectively.

The non-linear relation is due to the US' larger geographic scale.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

I guess that the fascist NeoCons won't be too concerned killing "only" 2,2 million Americans, considering how many are already being genocided with drugs.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:22 am GMT
@Ron Unz Un intended blowback ?

ATMs are cranking out crisp new Steve Mnuchin $20 paper.

A lot of planning went into these "unintended" events, and yes, I believe some influencers have enough hate in them, that they've been nursing as well as gaming for years, that a trigger was aimed and pulled deliberately, not accidentally.

Kevin Barrett wrote a pretty good essay, but I would not have used the term/concept Black Swan.

Suppose it did turn out that this was . . . some "clever ploy" by the Deep State Neocons to take China (and Iran) down a notch or two. Can anyone imagine what people would do to them?

What would they do, Ron? Write a stern letter to their congressman?
Vote for Biden instead of Trump?
Hang Mark Dubowitz in effigy and get tossed in jail for it?

This Forum is the only place I know that people even write about, um, redressing certain injustices. I'm one of your biggest fans so no disrespect, but where has that gotten us?

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:31 am GMT
@JohnnyWalker123 I believe that Gavin Newsom is another 33rd degree mason whose fingerprints seem to be all over this "faux pandemic '/psyop or a "hoax " according to Trump(Knights Templar/Scottish Rite freemason ?)
see: "Coronavirus Hoax World Tour hits California -Gavin Newsom 33 Masonic hoax!" bitchute.com
President John Quincy Adams warned Americans about the secret oaths of the Freemasons but his warnings have been forgotten.
Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:39 am GMT
@Wyatt Looks like somebody's really forgetting the Korean (direct mano-a-mano), Indo-China (proxy fight) and Vietnam Wars (proxy fight) in which the "West" attempted to handle the "CCP fuckups".

They were starving and dirt-poor back then, so it should have been a piece of cake, each time.

And Every.Single.Time, the result was bloody failure, and humiliation.

And today's China isn't the China of the 1960s, or of our younger years, or even of 10 years ago – oh hell no. Kinda makes one THINK, eh?

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:47 am GMT
@FB 'Highly intelligent' folks can also think in terms of "both and" instead of only "either or". White entrepreneurs can desire more cheap labor out of irresponsible greed, while at the same time Jews can promote mass non-White immigration out of hatred for Whites. You see Jews in politics and media do just that, while selfish White entrepreneurs welcome it. The Jewish problem is always a problem of Jewish destructive behavior in cooperation with immorality of some Gentiles.
Tor597 , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:48 am GMT
@Ron Unz Too many Americans are stuck on Pax Americana la la land and will never admit something so grave to American status. We saw exactly this during 9/11.
SafeNow , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 1:59 am GMT
@Ron Unz It was just yesterday (Wednesday) that Newsom said his "modeling" predicts 56% of Californians will be infected. Thus, it was said WITH distancing already in effect. Newsom wants the hospital ship Mercy to be moored in LA.; his 56% was probably a sales pitch to influence the mooring-location decision. BTW, speaking of the hospital ship, the number-of-beds figure being given is fallacious. I looked at images of the wards of the Mercy, and the patients are packed together. Images of coronavirus wards in hospitals show a wide spacing of patients.
Iris , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:03 am GMT
@SolontoCroesus

This Forum is the only place I know that people even write about, um, redressing certain injustices. I'm one of your biggest fans so no disrespect, but where has that gotten us?

Then the blowback will come from outside the US, Solonto.

I don't know whether you realise how the rest of the world is feeling at the moment: people are stunned as if the Apocalypse has come. They are worried about their very survival, and things are only going to get worse because the containment, lockdown, military special powers will likely extend for weeks and months ahead, as it will take months to gain control over the epidemic.

The Chinese have officially accused the US to have, at a minimum, covered up early Covid-19 infections that took place in America several weeks before the epidemic broke out in Wuhan.

Separate Japanese and Taiwanese epidemiologists have previously determined that only the US had the five strains of Coronavirus that could have generated the Covid-19:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-further-evidence-virus-originated-us/5706078

The Chinese have scientists, military might and a powerful voice in the concert of nations.
They are respected and credible, because they respect others' sovereignty and help in time of crisis.
They won't passively stand accused of a crime committed by the US Zionist NeoCons, and for which the whole world will soon want to hold somebody accountable for.

Richard B , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:06 am GMT
@Kevin Barrett Does anyone ever really win a trade war?

I don't mean Argentina vs China, or anything like that.

I mean where both sides have a lot of money, or power, or both.

Today's coronavirus black swan, like 9/11, has all the characteristics of a trauma-based mass-mind-control op.

Not only do I agree, but I think it's so obvious that it's exasperating that, after all we've been through, it even needs to be pointed out. But it does.

It has already been used to demonize China in the same way 9/11 was used to demonize Islam: Just as we were supposed to hate the crazy suicidal Muslims yearning for harems of afterlife virgins, we are now supposed to feel disgust for Chinese slurpers of bat soup.

Here I respectfully disagree.

What Jewish Supremacy Inc. did after September 11th was,

1. Blame Islam
2. Shame Americans* for Blaming Islam

A better example of control through crazy-making would be impossible to imagine.

And it's exactly what they're doing now.

1. Blame China
2. Shame Americans for Blaming China

*or anyone else who refused or refuses to bow before the alter of Politically Correct Identity Politics (two tools essential to Full Spectrum Dominance).

As we have already seen, the consequences are immense.

Because if that kind of crazy-making is effective it's totally demoralizing. As learned helplessness sets in people won't even defend themselves. As happened in Italy, and not just Italy.

But there are other discernible patterns well worth pointing out.

1. Destroy The Evidence
2. Control The Narrative
3. Enforce The Law (on anyone looking for evidence to question the narrative)

Victimize – Blame Victim – Play Victim

Demonize Dissent and Pathologize Opposition

And all ending in what I've come to call the Supremacist Waltz

What makes a supremacist is not just making claims ("Our Superiority Is Absolute", or "We are the Chosen") or demands. No. It's that they have the power to effectuate the demands that support their claims.

And what are the demands they have the power to effectuate?

1. to be placed above criticism
2. loved unconditionally
3. blindly obeyed

It's The Rule of Man over The Rule of Law

It's a Culture of Blind Obedience over a Culture of Individual Conscience

It's Tyranny over Freedom

Hence The Great Replacement, accompanied by chants and taunts like "We Will Replace You!"

In other words, Full Spectrum Dominance.

But, there's a snake in this garden.

The kind of power they're interested in is fundamentally destablizing.

All top down authoritarian power destablizes social-institutions.

From the point of view of cultural history this is exactly why cultures emerged in the Western world that promoted democratic forms of governance. Because authoritarians cultures are ultimately so extraordinarily destructive and unsustainable. Like this one is. Isn't it obvious?

And, from the point of view of the bottom line, prolonged and profound social instability disrupts and even halts economic activity.

When that happens there's no alternative.

This is why civilization itself was created. Because any civilization's primary objective is and must be the circumnavigation of the use of force.

This is why what we're really witnessing is nothing less than

The Pyrrhic Victory of Jewish Supremacy Inc.

Because JSI's rise to power has been in direct proportion to the collapse of the very social-institutions that power controls. Pride Before The Fall, indeed.

And the reason is easy to see and devoid of any complexity or glamour.

JSI is no good at social-management.

And make no mistake about it, social-management is at its core an adaptational strategy, as are our social-institutions.

So, if we blow this, we're in no position to laugh at the dinosaurs for getting themselves extinct.

After all, they lasted a lot longer than we have so far.

Assuming the human race has a chance (in itself rather doubtful) perhaps its time to turn their words against them and say,

Treason Against Jewish Supremacy Inc. Is Loyalty To Humanity

Do we really need to ask them for permission to care about our children's future?

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:09 am GMT
@Kevin Barrett Gideon Polya seems to be an "expert" in extreme exaggeration. From your link :

" In 2013, he published, "American Holocaust, Millions Of Untimely American Deaths And $40 Trillion Cost Of Israel To Americans,"[2] and tallied $30 trillion based on "A $125 trillion cost associated with 15.6 million preventable American deaths since September 2001, of which about $30 trillion can be attributed to US fiscal perversion supporting Apartheid Israel "

$30 trillion of costs to Israel, 15,6 millions of dead Americans he deserves the Nobel price for exaggeration!

Anonymous [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:16 am GMT
@Minnesota Mary

"Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong."

Will anyone pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Uncle Sam? I doubt it.

If we attacked first, if WE essentially commit a Pearl Harbor-style aggression against a competitor (a competitor , not an enemy – very big difference), we would deserve to lose.

Maybe the "Other-Dimensional/Space-Time/Genetic/Nano-tech/Robotic/AI/Alien/angels/gods/Spirit-Beings/from The Future" (whew – that's a mouthful) will save us.

Either that, or . . . we lose.

anon [837] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:20 am GMT
@Richard B I disagree. Jews are fanning anti-Asian sentiment as a scapegoat for economic collapse, virus, all the bullshit they created. Asians receive zero protection in this system, it's only reserved for the right minorities. It's a shame the so-called Holocaust never happened, I might have had some beautiful lampshades by now.
Justsaying , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:20 am GMT
@Flubber I wonder if Trump would have the courage to call Covid-19 a Jewish virus, had it originated from Israel.
E_Perez , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:25 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat "For the first time in my life, not only did I truly understand our history, but even the very current events transpiring before my eyes.
And that's how I became a Nazi."

Dont worry, nobody cannot avoid becoming a "Nazi" once he understands our history and sees the current events. The Germans were the only white tribe warning what was in store for us.

Franklin himself would be a Nazi, if these evil Germans had not entered his beloved Holland.

FB , says: Website Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:30 am GMT
@Franklin Ryckaert There may be 'both' instead of 'either' but there is also the word 'mostly' which is what applies here

John McCain used to go around saying that Americans wouldn't do farm labor if you paid them fifty bucks an hour as if that is somehow obscene rather than a good living wage, so naturally Mexicans need to be imported to do that work even Trump recently said recently that we need more legal immigrants because we have too many jobs

And this in a country where a King Bezos gets tens of millions in tax 'holidays' from states and municipalities falling over each other to host the King's new HQ, as he flees from Seattle to avoid paying taxes [I guess the folks punching a clock at Boeing should pick up the tab for schools, roads and everything else that the King's Amazon employees use ?]

But nobody says boo about that nor any of the other plutocrats paying no taxes [even Warren Buffet has said it has gone too far, noting that he pays less tax than his secretary ]

Fact is it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that mass immigration is simply the other half of offshoring of factories they are both part and parcel of labor arbitrage and the larger agenda of beggaring ordinary folks

There has been a concerted effort to wipe out the middle class for the last forty years now when are these 'highly intelligent' American sheeple going to wake up ?

The Chinese people's living standard is going nowhere but up, while Americans are headed for the toilet all of this is mostly due to capitalism, and the idiotic support for this wretched system by fools who don't understand what's good or bad for them

I suggest you watch the Noam Chomsky doc I posted today industry is ten percent of the economy, while banking is 30 union membership has gone from 30 to practically nothing why did this happen ?

Nothing happens without a cause, and the cause is that the plutocracy and oligarchy decided in the 1970s to start rolling back the freedoms and standard of living that the people had gained under the New Deal starting with getting rid of Nixon, who was in fact the last New Deal president and brought a lot of good things into being

We can vividly see that timeline here, showing the share of the richest 0.1 percent of total wealth, over the last 100 years

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:42 am GMT
@DaveE Dave, I agree with everything except the combat boots thing. That's why I didn't just use an agree tag.
Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:45 am GMT
@SaneClownPosse

I believe the focus on Who, should include those who operate above the national governments.

As someone one famously said, "It doesn't matter who hires the assassin. Focus on who pays for the bullets."

To remain objective and informed is quite a daunting task lately, but not something one should think lightly of or entertain thoughts of giving up altogether. There's only one way: forward.

Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:50 am GMT
@Trinity See that's why jews like that guy don't go into beer joints in the south. In a beer joint, the method of debate is different from what they have on TV talk shows. About the time the guy started his spiel, he'd get KTFO or at least hit from three different directions at once.

Southerners don't play that shit in their own beer joints. The rule is that someone saying something snotty is fair game for punching. It sounds uncivilized, but it does tend to keep a conversation more civil.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:55 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job

Fortunately for the Privately owned FED , the United States Treasury Department (and its Bureau of Printing and Engraving) still has printing presses , ink and paper .

And it lends the money, so, in the end, we, the ' footing-the-bill ' suckers pay for it anyway. Like you say, it can't be emphasized enough Privately owned FED should be mutually exclusive [of course it isn't]. What a swindle. When will it end and who's going to end it?

aandrews , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 2:58 am GMT
@Agent76 "This too shall pass" is actually my overall take on this thing.
Twodees Partain , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:02 am GMT
@SBaker "It's beyond dispute that the novel coronavirus officially known as COVID-19originated in Wuhan, China."

No, it's being disputed every day. That "beyond dispute" phrase is what retards like Mike Pompeo use to try to shut down a discussion in which he's getting his fat ass kicked.

"The degree of hypocrisy and divisiveness displayed by the MSM at a time of national crisis is simply unacceptable."

Now, I'll bet you a beer that you stole that idiotic line from somebody like Sean Hannity. Look, S, the MSM created this fake 'national crisis'. Without the MSM, there would be no crisis.

I hope somebody pulls that flagstaff out of your butt for you. It's making you say the most ridiculous things.

Trinity , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:04 am GMT
@Justsaying haha. EXCELLENT QUESTION. Answer: HELL NO. But then again not a single damn POTUS in the last 100 years would have the sack to say it. One poster called it the "Jew Flu" which is hilarious.

Didn't we have the Spanish Flu and the Ebola Virus? How about poor Lou Gehrig, they named a whole disease after one man. haha. ( stole those examples from the David Duke radio show at DavidDuke.com . Git-r-Done.

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:10 am GMT
@Kim Nonsense. They can frack. You can frack almost anywhere.
Milton , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:10 am GMT
Well, here in PA, the Governor has ordered the shutdown of all non-life-sustaining businesses, and he intends to enforce it with the State Police and other agencies starting Saturday. He said the enforcement will last "indefiintely." This is like something out of a bad horror movie: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/03/all-non-life-sustaining-businesses-in-pa-must-close-gov-wolf.html
FB , says: Website Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:13 am GMT
@Minnesota Mary

We may never know the origin of the coronavirus. It is foolish to try and assign blame at this point.

Exactly but that is exactly the first reaction of a lot of dumb people blame China even though it is now clear that they have done an absolutely remarkable job in containing this, whatever its source

obwandiyag , says: Show Comment March 20, 2020 at 3:15 am GMT
@Delta G First of all, why couldn't they just have released a naturally occurring virus as a bioweapon?

But more importantly, out of all the people who have died in Italy, only two did not have serious other diseases, heart problems and cancer, that was killing them anyway. I think that there is something fishy going on here.

https://personalliberty.com/corona-bologna-italy-the-truth-begins-to-leak-out/

[Mar 19, 2020] The neoliberal imperial regime is not only brittle and riven through with corruption but run by talents selected in an anti-meritocratic way

Mar 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 19 2020 16:47 utc | 69

There is a common idea behind all the various theories that attribute the pandemic to government action, ruling class planning or financial manipulators.

And that is the idea that the ruling class/establishment/tptb,1%-call them what you will- are all powerful, wise, though evil, and capable of defeating any popular resistance.

The people claiming now that the virus was unloosed to enable an attack on Iran, those who claim that it was produced as a smokescreen to obscure the collapse of the financial system, those who see it as a means to steal away our last liberties and to knock a dying democracy on the head, even those who see it as an out of control experiment , if you look at their posts in the past, are generally going to be found to be the same people who thought that the US military could not be defeated, that Syria was bound to fall, that Venezuela and Cuba were toast. And that Hezbollah and Ansarullah stood no chance against the vast forces arrayed against them.

The idea is always the same: the Empire is indefatigable, the greedy mediocrities who run it (many of them public figures whose characters are daily open to examination) have foreseen all possibilities. Resistance is useless. We are all doomed.

In fact, as people who don't have the leisure to indulge themselves in these gloomy excuses for inaction and apathy are always demonstrating, the imperial regime is not only brittle and riven through with corruption but run by talents selected in an anti-meritocratic way. The reason that Petraeus, for example, rose to the top of the US military machine was that he was a slimy careerist of the sort we have all come across, and, if we have been doing our duty, trod on, in our lives: as a General he was clueless, unoriginal and, because he was immoral and cynical, quite unable to understand how Iraqis would react to his crude terrorist methods. Unfortunately he was caught out by his lust; had he maintained a respectable image he would probably, by now, be into his second term as President and making Trump look competent.

And what is true of the Pentagon is equally true of those running the US economy, Wall St and the banking system: they are utterly witless. Look around you for the fruits of their wisdom.

In fact the entire political class of the US, ably assisted by its clownish puppets elsewhere, has brought the system that they worship to the brink of dissolution. Class rule teeters on the edge of massive uprisings.

And this is not-I have already taken up too much space and time- because the pandemic was planned but because despite its predictability, the near certainty that the seven good years would be followed by plagues and famines, they could not restrain themselves from dismantling the safety nets-from flood controls to food reserves to healthcare services designed to be able to expand when needed to deal with emergencies.
(In the Canadian county in which I live the Public Health Unit founded in the aftermath of the First World War and the 'flu epidemics, was shut down, to save money, last year. Most of its functions were left to chance and the marketplace to fulfil. And now we have a pandemic.)
Instead the entire system is riddled with the weaknesses that usurious practises impose: there are empty hospitals in the Pennines because local health authorities cannot both pay interest on PPP loans and meet the payrolls of medical staff. So, following the logic of capitalism-first pay interest- local taxes, designed to maintain public health, are diverted to the money lenders. And then there is the cost of monopolised drug purchases.

And that is symptomatic of the entire system, in all its aspects: education, including the work needed to provide scientific and medical personnel, is crippled in the same way, by high fees, by capital costs swollen by interest payments, by professions designed to hoard rather than spread knowledge.

The entire system is corrupt and collapsing. And that is why,particularly in the "West" where mass indoctrination has long been part of the culture, it is necessary to recognise that it is not going to take much in the way of mass energy to bring the whole thing down. And to replace it with real democracy.


Rob20 , Mar 19 2020 16:55 utc | 72

The virus may not have been created in a laboratory but as a minimum it should be studied to learn more about its origin and spread. At the present time we only hace circumstantial evidence but it point in one direction. Certain facts are worth considering:

2)The Wuhan wet-market is not the first source of the coronavirus;

2) SARS-CoV virus was being studied and experimented on at a US Bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick. In August 2019, it was cited for unsafe conditions that may have led to contamination of wastewater;

3) The US sent over 300 military personnel to the World Military Games in Wuhan in late October 2019;

4) Four foreign military participants came down with an unknown respiratory illness during the games;

5) Genetic studies conducted in Taiwan and Japan indicate that the ancestral form of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 coronavirus does not occur in China but is found in the US and elsewhere.

Jonathan W , Mar 19 2020 17:28 utc | 90
African swine fever is also spread by man-made means even if it is not in itself man-made. Criminal elements spread it with drones The longer it takes to track down the origin even if the Chinese reportedly monitor everything, the more suspicious it becomes.

[Mar 19, 2020] The best we can hope for is that the depth of this crisis will finally force countries -- the US, in particular -- to fix the yawning social inequities that make large swaths of their populations so intensely vulnerable.

Mar 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jpm , Mar 19 2020 16:35 utc | 61

Thanks, contributors, for all the (mostly) good well-thought-out information and views on this blog during this unprecedented time of world-wide crisis. Another valuable source I've found is MIT's Technology Review such as their latest article: We're not going back to normal:
Social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever.
As might be expected from the source, a lot of solid technical information but also some pertinent political commentary. The way this piece ends:

The world has changed many times, and it is changing again. All of us will have to adapt to a new way of living, working, and forging relationships. But as with all change, there will be some who lose more than most, and they will be the ones who have lost far too much already. The best we can hope for is that the depth of this crisis will finally force countries -- the US, in particular -- to fix the yawning social inequities that make large swaths of their populations so intensely vulnerable.

[Mar 19, 2020] No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests. However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.

Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

Miro23 , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm GMT

@Spanky

No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests. However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.

Incredibly globalization as a system seems to have mostly disappeared in 6 weeks. There are closed frontiers, no more container ships, the ports are empty, no flights and the malls are closing.

It's not clear where the US public are going to get their electronics, clothing and other Walmart items unless everything rebounds 100%. If there's no rebound, then it starts to look like some kind of watershed event equivalent to WW1.

If elites and their interests are the foundation of the NWO, then right now they seem to be all over the place.

– The globalists want a strong dollar which they ensure with the dollar's reserve currency role (particularly the petrodollar). The dollar is doing fine now as a refuge, but with oil approaching $20 a barrel it doesn't look like such a great link longer term, and what use is a reserve currency when there's no trade?

– Globalism is based on ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) to keep the West consuming and allow the issuance of massive debt. Now international bond markets are hesitating in the face of more massive international issuance to deal with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus. Interest rates only have to rise to their historic averages to collapse the whole thing.

– The LGBT, SJW crowd find that racism, diversity and generally anti-White propaganda has become a non-issue. Everything has become Coronavirus which is actually sort of equalizing , and putting the focus on what the government needs to do to protect all the public including Deplorables (unusual turnaround).

– Frontiers are closing with the cheap labour/ multicultural crowd having gone quiet.

– Many globalist interests are facing bankruptcy as demand disappears, new share and bond issuance is blocked, credit disappears and a myriad of counterparty risks (finacialized opaque derivatives) turn into counterparty failures.

– The general inability of Western government elites to handle all these combined events. Monetary policy doesn't work in a ZIRP environment so they may just resort to "Helicopter Money" but with shortages of goods this is guaranteed to feed directly into inflation.

Altogether a remarkable change of direction in a very short time.

[Mar 19, 2020] I am having a bit of difficulty with the currently popular theory that a unified, omnipotent and near infallible global elite is behind everything single thing that happens on the world stage

Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

Spanky , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT

@Miro23 Coronavirus is certainly a useful way to deflate a speculative bubble. The virus gets the blame rather the Dumpers in the Pump and Dump cycle. -- Miro23

But, given the precarious state of the global financial system, wouldn't any black swan of sufficient magnitude suffice to accomplish both deflation and take the blame?

No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests . However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.

Which explains Tom Dye's assertion that one of the critical roles of the Counsel on Foreign Relations (CFR) is conflict resolution between competing elite factions. Or, in other words, I am having a bit of difficulty with the currently popular theory that a unified, omnipotent and near infallible global elite is behind everything single thing that happens on the world stage

[Mar 17, 2020] This pandemic is demonstrating once again that the global neoliberal economy is a fragile Potemkin construct that breaks down at the slightest tension

Mar 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Daniel , Mar 17 2020 0:59 utc | 106

Fully in agreement with b here. Instead of shovelling money at banksters and corporate scammers to prop up the collapsing market, the Fed, ECB and other central banks should give the cash to people who need it and will use it to buy things and stimulate the economy.

This pandemic is demonstrating once again that the global neoliberal economy is a fragile Potemkin construct that breaks down at the slightest tension. Finance capitalism is a busted flush, a blatant scam to line the pockets of the 1% at everyone else's expense. And when the going gets really tough they will sacrifice all of us to save their cowardly avaricious asses. Governments need to represent the interests of citizens, not central bankers and the obscenely wealthy. That means putting the well-being of people first, not spending trillions to "save" the stock market aka "the economy."

[Mar 16, 2020] Conswqunces of outsourcing the medical equipment and pharmaceutical supply chain to a different country are acutly felt during pandemic by Jason Morgan

Mar 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
| ... ... ...

As the disease spread around Asia and then the world, however, the news focus gradually shifted, so that now many are questioning the wisdom of having so unthinkingly globalized everything and made so many industries -- including the medical industry -- dependent on a place like the People's Republic of China. "What is it like to shoot oneself in the foot?" is yet another question that has been bubbling up uncomfortably these past few weeks.

Outsourcing the medical equipment and pharmaceutical supply chain to a hostile communist dictatorship with perhaps the worst public health record on the planet is the equivalent of the Army Corps of Engineers' having put the emergency generators for the storm pumps at the bottoms of the levees, where they would be the first to flood during a hurricane. But globalists, like government engineers, are incapable of learning from mistakes. In fact, in their minds, disasters serve perversely to confirm the advisability of their follies. Which leads normal people to wonder, "What is going on in the globalist's mind?"

What, in other words, is it like to be a globalist? This is a question worth asking, because the answer will determine very much in the months and years ahead. Unless we can figure out how the globalist looks at the world, we will continue to be at his mercy, and will continue to face pandemics and crises that are the precipitate of his ideology. We have got to understand who these people are who have taken over our every doing, our every coming and going. Otherwise, we will keep getting done in by them.

... ... ...

Jason Morgan is associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan.

Putin Apologist an hour ago • edited

China: 1.4 billion with 3,099 deaths over a period of months

Italy: 80 million and 1,809 deaths over a period of weeks

Yet China has the "worst public health record on the planet"? Really?

Amicus Brevis 30 minutes ago • edited
"But globalists, like government engineers, are incapable of learning from mistakes. "

Is this supposed to be a serious statement? The piece is clearly written for the amusement of people for whom he has very little respect otherwise it would not contain so many nonsensical generalization. I dare he or anyone to provide a definition of a "globalist" which does not make nonsense of that claim.

Outsourcing the medical equipment and pharmaceutical supply chain to a hostile communist dictatorship with perhaps the worst public health record on the planet is the equivalent of the Army Corps of Engineers' having put the emergency generators for the storm pumps at the bottoms of the levees, where they would be the first to flood during a hurricane.

I really would like to know what is Professor Morgan's specialty. He should know that China is not a Communist country. Just because they choose to call themselves that doesn't mean that a professor anything remotely connected to politics, government or economics would be fooled. And where one puts a factory to manufacture goods, bears no relationship whatsoever with how that country deploys those goods among its own population. The piece is not serious. It is political entertainment. And for those who assume that criticizing the rigor of a piece is the same as supporting whatever the piece is attacking, I am 100% against what the writer seems to mean when he refers to "globalism". I personally consider our monied class who shipped American jobs wherever they could find semi-slave labor to be literally traitors. So, I have very strong views on "globalism". I just dislike the disrespect shown by writers who think that they can write any nonsense, once they show that they hate the same things that their audience hates, all in the search for cheap applause. Writers should treat their readers like thinking beings, not like an audience at a bullfight who are expected to howl with applause once you wave the red flag around and shed enough blood.

That won't do, either, though. China is a place, too! In swoops the World Health Organization (the aptly acronymed WHO?): it's COVID-19 now.

A much more serious comment would be about how China bullied WHO into expressing far more confidence in China's published numbers that it had any basis for expressing. How it lavished praise on China's handling of the outbreak rather than South Korea's excellent management in their country. But educated people know what WHO is and the excellent work they do all over the world. Of the millions of lives they have saved all over the world. And that they are empowered by the governments of the world to name new viruses. That every decent person in the world knows that country names attached to diseases can generate persecution of people which is not a good thing, regardless against whom it is directed. The WHO did not name the virus at the request of China. That is one of its normal functions.

This piece is nothing short of absurd hate mongering.

[Mar 16, 2020] 'Grotesque Level of Greed'

Mar 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Owned by World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos, Whole Foods Wants Workers to Pay for Colleagues' Sick Leave During Coronavirus Pandemic

Remember when Jeff Bezos, whose company owns Whole Foods, said he was so freakin' rich he didn't know how to spend his money so, heck, he'd start a space program? https://t.co/PjLe6MpQc8

-- Alex Kotch (@alexkotch) March 13, 2020

[Mar 16, 2020] The Man Who Sold the World Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America Kleinknecht, William 9781568584423 Amazon.

Notable quotes:
"... Kleinknecht also spares little on showing just how disengaged Reagan was, and how rich tycoons used this to their advantage. At the same time, along the lines of Paul Kennedy in "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," Kleinknecht notes that, even before Reagan's election, these tycoons were already more corporate raiders, looking to make money off various forms of cooking or tricking out company books, than they were corporate builders reinvesting in their companies. ..."
Mar 16, 2020 | www.amazon.com

This title is from an award-winning journalist, a major work of reporting and history that shatters the myth of Ronald Reagan. Since Ronald Reagan left office - and after his death especially - his influence has loomed over American life. Singled out for his 'courage, his kindness, his persistence, his honesty, and his almost heroic patience in the face of setbacks', a number of conservatives, from the late William Buckley to his former speechwriter Peggy Noonan to Republican nominee John McCain have looked to Reagan as a figure to regenerate the American conservative tradition as the Bush White House stumbles through crisis and scandal. This carefully calibrated image is a complete fiction, however.

The Reagan presidency was epoch-shattering, but not - as his propagandists would have it - because it invigorated private enterprise, toppled the Berlin Wall or made America feel strong again. Rather what gives Reagan such an awesome legacy is that he presided over the dismantling of one of the greatest social experiments in human history-an eight-decade period of reform in which working people were given an unprecedented sway over US politics, economy, and culture. Reagan halted this forward march toward democracy almost overnight.

In "The Man Who Sold the World", journalist William Kleinknecht explores Middle America and shows how Reaganism put the poor and working class back on the margins of everything except the basest popular culture. This scathing indictment of the Reagan legacy is the first comprehensive book to deal seriously with Ronald Reagan's place in contemporary America. Just as Americans are trying to grapple with the legacy of George W. Bush, "The Man Who Sold the World" shows how poorly we understand Reagan's.


Paul , Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2016

If only more people knew the extent of the damage ...

If only more people knew the extent of the damage this man did to our country! I don't have time to write a long review, but this book takes an exhaustive look at every spectrum of the domestic policies that this laissez-faire, trickle-down, invisible hand of the free market president unleashed on Americans. And it doesn't even touch on Iran-Contra or the multiple despotic dictators he propped up or supported in Central America. 8 people found this helpful Helpful

Amazon Customer , Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2013
A Small Glimmer of Truth

Since studying business and law in graduate school, every search for solutions to our policy problems has led me back to the changes made under Reagan. The sad truth is, his presidency was probably the most destructive in our history. If only more people would open their eyes to the truth about what he did to our society and our economy. Both our social battles and our declining economy are his legacies.

S. J. Snyder , Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2010
Good book with a GREAT "hook"

Since a lot of conservatives like to claim Reagan did so much to help small towns' Main Street, and since Reagan himself pitched myths about that, Kleinknecht starts the book off with a brilliant conceit.

He actually visits Reagan's small-town birthplace of Dixon, Ill., and talks to people there about how it has changed since 1980. That includes people who say they'll only talk to him if not asked to comment negatively on Reagan - which is, itself, an indirect negative comment on Reagan!

Kleinknecht then supplements that with data from the Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, etc., showing just what Reagan did do to, and NOT "for," Dixon and by extension, other small towns.

Kleinknecht also spares little on showing just how disengaged Reagan was, and how rich tycoons used this to their advantage. At the same time, along the lines of Paul Kennedy in "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," Kleinknecht notes that, even before Reagan's election, these tycoons were already more corporate raiders, looking to make money off various forms of cooking or tricking out company books, than they were corporate builders reinvesting in their companies.

Kleinknecht then goes beyond that, showing that many conservatives, including economist Hayek (Hey, Milton Friedman, you didn't study him well enough!) warned about the perils of such unbridled "capitalism."

At a time when "conservatives" today bash lower-middle-class people for paying little to know income tax, while failing to point out massive companies like Reagan sponsor GM do the same on the corporate side, this reminder that conservativism is more than, and different from, what some talking heads today claim, is important.

That said, Kleinknecht cuts Jimmy Carter a bit too much slack and Bill Clinton a lot too much. I'm reminded of one of Clinton's first lies, IMO, where he said, with mock surprise, (not exact quote), "You mean my economic program is hostage to the bond market?" Yes, he was cleaning up parts of the Reagan deficit mess old man Bush hadn't fully tidied. But, he was too close to Jackson Stephens to really be surprised. Ditto for Congressional Democratic leadership, beyond the increasingly frail Tip O'Neill, in the Reagan era. (This means you, Jim Wright.)

This really is, though, at least a 4/5 star book. Ignore the 1-star reviews.

[Mar 16, 2020] Situation with COVID-19 on campuses

Mar 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sophy , March 14, 2020 at 11:43 am

Everything the CDC has been doing has been shocking. As a health care provider I just don't want to even look at their recommendations anymore: their information is months old and not based in science, let alone current research on COVID-19.

Local colleges have been shutting down but forcing instructors to go to the schools – that's not social distancing. And many are still having students in EMT, nursing, psychology, physical therapy, and other health sciences, go to their clinicals, where they will be exposed without adequate personal protection equipment. This is because of the CDC. And admin's greed for money.

Anon , March 14, 2020 at 1:41 pm

My local community college, after implementing/pleading with students to incorporate careful hygiene and social distancing into their time on campus, and seeing minimal compliance, decided to make ALL lecture classes online access for the next 3 weeks (at least). We have no known Covid-19 cases in the COUNTY. (But since testing is not extant, or common, no one knows what the true situation is.)

The goal of moving to online class instruction is to minimize the number of students (15K total) on campus and limit contact with older instructors, counselors, and other staff. Lab classes (PE, Science) will continue under strict personal contact protocol. The solution is a compromise between health issues and the need for students to complete 80% of course curricula to get transferable college credits. We'll see if the gamble works out.

Closing K-12 schools is a "no win" situation. Some parents want them closed, others don't. In Los Angeles the school district decided to close from pressure by the teachers labor union. Again, few kids understand/implement the protocols of social distancing and smaller home groups may be the better option (for some). Meals for disadvantaged students will continue at the LAUSD (~500K students), but they will be drive-thru pick-up.

It appears the pandemic could bring even the invincible US to its knees.

Jack Parsons , March 15, 2020 at 12:11 am

Children are all super-spreaders. There is no good argument for schools to be open.

[Mar 15, 2020] Your country under neoliberalism: The CDC tested only 77 people this week for coronavirus.

Mar 15, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

According to Amazon's rankings, Camus' The Plague is now #7 in the Self-Help & Psychology Humor category, which is an irony Camus himself probably couldn't have gotten away with

+ The for-profit health care system in the US is already starting to crack under the pressure and the virus hasn't even really hit yet

+ Pence promised 8 million tests by the end of the week, but according to Lamar Alexander: "We are going to work as hard as we can to push this administration to continue to ramp up the number of tests but the reality is..they do not yet have the tests available and can't give us a date." South Korea, where the virus appeared about the same time it did in US, is testing 10,000 a day and has been for nearly a month.

+ Your country under neoliberalism: The CDC tested only 77 people this week for coronavirus.

+ Here in Oregon, the state health lab only has the capacity to perform 80 tests a day but that's still more than the CDC did all week.

+ Another sign of the impending crisis (and that ObamaCare was a disaster): The number of hospital beds in the US has fallen by 5% over the last ten years .

+ The US (pop. 330 million) has fewer hospital beds than Italy (pop. 60 million) and South Korea (pop. 51 million). And many of those are unaffordable for most people. Winning!

+ Larry Kudlow, who missed the great recession, "The virus is contained!"

+ On Weds night Sanjay Gupta asked CNN's Don Lemon to read the CDC's coronavirus testing stats off of his phone.

ZERO tests conducted today by CDC.

A grand total of 8 tests conducted by other public health agencies across the country.

EIGHT.

+ The Republican Governor for Ohio Mike DeWine confirmed on Thursday that only 1,000 tests are available to 11.69 million citizens who live in the Buckeye State. He further said that projections are that more than 100,000 Ohioans will be infected with the coronavirus

+ The projections for NYC are sobering, to say the least

(1/11) The #NYC Region is in trouble. Our #COVID19 case load is growing so quickly that we risk running out of hospital beds in UNDER TWO WEEKS. To avoid a crisis at our hospitals, we need to act now. 1,200 hospital beds are not enough. @BilldeBlasio @NYCSpeakerCoJo @NYGovCuomo pic.twitter.com/QLpWr6bIWQ

-- Michael Donnelly (@donnellymjd) March 12, 2020

+ Rebecca Nagle: "Look, I fully support banning travel from Europe to prevent the spread of infectious disease. I just think it's 528 years too late."

+ Matt "Gas Mask" Gaetz, one of the most ridiculous buffoons in a Congress filled with them, voted against paid sick leave. Now he's taking it , because he was exposed to COVID-19.

+ The Cuban health care system, whose doctors are even now in China testing interferon-based drugs against the virus, is going to look better and better to people in the US, as the COVID-19 does its thing here. Even the Miami Cuban nutcases may be singing Fidel's praises before this is over .

+ Maybe Jay Inslee (who promised tests would be "free") is a " snake " after all

Maybe Inslee (who promised tests would be "free") is a "snake" after all

Posted by Jeffrey St Clair on Thursday, March 12, 2020

+ The Senate won't take up House coronavirus bill until after its recess. "The Senate will act when we come back and we have a clearer idea of what extra steps we need to take," Sen. Lamar Alexander told reporters What if they never come back? One can hope

+ Why the Senate is refusing to act on COVID-19: "A key sticking point in the talks appears to be GOP demands to include Hyde amendment language in the bill to prevent federal funds from being used for abortion " Priorities, priorities

+ Joe Biden: "I don't like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don't think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body." (Biden said this in 2006 , not 1976.)

+ The World Health Organization has announced that dogs cannot contract Covid-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. WHO let the dogs out! (The jokes will only get worse, as the virus spreads.)

+ To wit: Always scrub your hands like you just shook hands with the President

+ Come back, Marianne, your country (if not your lamentable party) needs you!

Uh, maybe we should cancel that order for 100 B-21 Raiders all equipped with nuclear bombs at the rate of $560M each, and use the money instead to pay for free testing and coronavirus treatment We need to change our thinking about all this, do it quickly, and speak it loudly.

-- Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) March 12, 2020

+ From The Plague:

"What on earth prompted you to take a hand in this, doctor?"

"I don't know. My my code of morals, perhaps."

"Your code of morals. What code, if I may ask?"

"Comprehension."

+ According to Amazon's rankings, Camus' The Plague is now #7 in the Self-Help & Psychology Humor category, which is an irony Camus himself probably couldn't have gotten away with. A viral pandemic is apparently what it takes to get Americans to read French existentialist literature

+ "Carbon Joe" Biden's entire climate change plan is budgeted at $1.7 trillion. The Fed just dropped that much on Wall Street in a single day without any public input

+ And they said we "can't afford" national health care!

[Mar 15, 2020] Priorities of the top one percent are not priorities of the bottom ninety-nice percent

Mar 15, 2020 | twitter.com

Uh, maybe we should cancel that order for 100 B-21 Raiders all equipped with nuclear bombs at the rate of $560M each, and use the money instead to pay for free testing and coronavirus treatment We need to change our thinking about all this, do it quickly, and speak it loudly.

-- Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) March 12, 2020

[Mar 15, 2020] The Jack Ma Foundation has just donated 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to America. The Chinese have also sent aid to Italy.

Mar 15, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , March 14, 2020 at 6:53 am

Just to underline the incompetency of neoliberalism, the Jack Ma Foundation has just donated 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to America. One guy on twitter said-

'Many will welcome this. Some will see it as an insult. The real insult is that the richest country in the world has waged war on science and as a result is finding itself helpless..'

The real tragedy is this. Iran has been covering up the large number of their Coronavirus deaths in the past few weeks until satellite images showed mass burial sites outside their cities. Through gross negligence, the US has also been covering up the infiltration of Coronavirus in America and trying to cover it all up in the same manner.

So in a few months time, will the Russian and Chinese be releasing images of mass burial sites on the American mainland that the Trump government will seek to hide?

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483102-china-jackma-coronavirus-aid-us/

BillS , March 14, 2020 at 7:25 am

The Chinese have also sent aid to Italy.

The EU and USA were notable in their absence. To be fair, the EU has promised assistance, but the Germans and Lagarde are still stumbling around with the conditions that they want to attach.

Neoliberal overlords don't give up easily.

[Mar 15, 2020] The Real Crisis Of neoliberalism Starts Now In Europe

Mar 15, 2020 | tomluongo.me

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden by Tyler Durden Sun, 03/15/2020 - 09:20 Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

I think it's safe to say the new crisis just killed the Schengen Treaty. That ridiculous document which guaranteed freedom of movement across the European Union finally hit something it couldn't bully, COVID-19. Regardless of whether you believe the pandemic is real or not, the reaction to it is real and is having real consequence far beyond the latest print of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The lockdown of Italy isn't a temporary thing. Oh, the suspension of free movement is temporary, but it portends something far bigger.

It's the beginning of the real political balkanization that's coming to the European Union over the next few years. Old enmities and prejudices have not been stamped out under the boot heel of oppressive legislation coming from a bunch of disconnected technocrats in Brussels.

They have only been suppressed.

Because when there are existential threats there's no time or desire to virtue signal about how we're all one big happy dysfunctional family. 1 minute ago The thing is most people at Zerohedge have no idea about the reality in Germany and the other European countries and the psychicological robustness of its people. This crisis is nothing compared to the catastrophies of the 20th century. In times of challenge one can see who is strong and effective and acting in solidarity. And this is it what the extended Euroland is going to show soon. A masterplan for Euroland how to overcome this Corona problems. It takes time to adopt but things do move already in the right direction. Banning travel is a harsh measure but the right thing in this situation.

The economy will take a deep dip but there will be no catastrophy. Even when Deutsche Bank should go down that would impact the situation only in the financial markets. But luckily Euroland has a worldclass manufacturing and agricultural sector, plus there is the ECB owned by Eurolands member states.

So there is money, there is food, there is production, there are raw materials as well as energy available from Russia,.. Europe is world leader in renewable energy and recycling of waste materials., ..

So nothIng to worry about in principle. Its only one real danger, the Anglo Saxon Jewish dominated financial sector and the MIC which is still dreaming about world domination. I hope their dream is shattered soon. 12 minutes ago Thanks Tom..

But we won't comment and why?

Because the cause of the crisis is still not being addressed..

Corona of virus is simply an accelerant to a serious problem..

And that's all we'll say... 43 minutes ago Old enmities and prejudices have not been stamped out .... This has been said a thousand times across EU social media and comments in national press in developed member states. Particularly during Brexit. That the EU was flawed from the start in imagining the ******, pretend EU would ever; by adopting developed EU rules and regulations, even begin to match up to the Real EU. Pretend EU would only ever pretend - many nothing more than 1st generation democracies. So the elite in the ****** EU hand picked who was to lead that ministry or council and then all levels of locally elite society and their friends and families were greased by jobs in the bloated public sector. Now Germany is supposed to keep this "Noses in the Trough" nonsense going!

It is mind blowing to realise the damage to the EU the 'Contra os Bretoes' EU retards have done in victimising the British! The UK - an advanced G7 country with many centuries of history of sorting out, at great loss to its citizens and economy, European squabbles - long before the US was encouraged to get involved as well.

UK Remainers need to focus their efforts on the ****** EU crashing (or being crashed) out and the UK rejoining the EU and helping make the EU work the way it was sold to us British decades ago. 44 minutes ago Feudal-Vassalism it is, extended into https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocolonialism
The situation in Greece has been for about a decade worse off than in Gaza.

[Mar 15, 2020] Coronavirus update reason for alarm; (small) reason for hope

Mar 15, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , March 15, 2020 11:57 am

    As Otto von Bismarck noted "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America."

    That's a reason for hope.

    But there are multiple reasons for despair (hoarding epidemics has shown how brainwashed people are with neoliberal rationality)

    The neoliberal society with its twisted guiding philosophy of radical individualism and competition combined with a supremacist "that could never happen here" attitude quickly falls into panicked chaos when reality kicks in and reveals the society's underlying vulnerabilities.

    Countries with weak social safety nets and an ideological opposition to social responsibility are extremely vulnerable to systemic breakdown when their societies are hit with unexpected stress.

    That is what we see in the USA. This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal Social Darwinism ("every man for himself") ethic (aka "neoliberal rationality") is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are. Including first of all neoliberal politicians (aka Washington swamp rats)

    Casino capitalism economics is fragile and huge shocks are possible.

[Mar 15, 2020] The Companies Putting Profits Ahead of Public Health

Mar 14, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

As the coronavirus spreads, the public interest requires employers to abandon their longstanding resistance to paid sick leave.

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values . It is separate from the newsroom.

Most American restaurants do not offer paid sick leave. Workers who fall sick face a simple choice: Work and get paid or stay home and get stiffed. Not surprisingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2014 that fully 20 percent of food service workers had come to work at least once in the previous year " while sick with vomiting or diarrhea ."

As the new coronavirus spreads across the United States, the time has come for restaurants, retailers and other industries that rely on low-wage labor to abandon their parsimonious resistance to paid sick leave. Companies that do not pay sick workers to stay home are endangering their workers, their customers and the health of the broader public. Studies show that paying for sick employees to stay home significantly reduces the spread of the seasonal flu. There's every reason to think it would help to check the new coronavirus, too.

[Mar 15, 2020] Our Neo-Feudal System Is on the Verge of Collapse by Michael Hudson

Mar 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

Michael Hudson: [00:00:00] There's recognition that commercial banking has become dysfunctional and that most loans by commercial banks are either against assets – in which case the lending inflates the prices of real estate, stocks and bonds – or for corporate takeover loans.

The economy's low-income brackets have not been helped by today's financial system. Here in New York City, red lining and a visceral class hatred by high finance toward the poor characterized the major banks. From the very top to the bottom, they were very clear they were not going to lend to places with racial minorities like the Lower East Side. The Chase Manhattan Bank told me that the reason was explicitly ethnic, and they didn't want to deal with poor people.

A lot of people in these neighborhoods used to have savings banks. There were 135 mutual savings banks in New York City with names like the Bowery Savings Banks, the Dime Savings Bank, the Immigrant Savings Bank. As their names show, they were specifically to serve the low-income neighborhoods. But in the 1980s the commercial banks convinced the mutual savings banks to let themselves be raided. Their capital reserves of the savings banks, was just looted by Wall Street. The depositors' equity was stripped away (leaving their deposits, to be sure). Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, told me that the commercial banks' cover story was that they were large enough to provide more capital reserves to lend for low-income neighborhoods. The reality was that instead, they simply extracted revenue from these neighborhoods. Large parts of the largest cities in America, from Chicago and New York to others, are underbanked because of the transformation of commercial banks from providers of mortgages to emptiers-out, just revenue collectors. That leaves the main recourse in these neighborhoods to pay-day lenders at usurious interest rates. These lenders have become major new customers for Wall Street bankers, not the poor who have no comparable access to credit.

Apart from the savings banks, of course, you had the post office banks. When I went to work on Wall Street in the 1960s, 3 percent of U.S. savings were in the form of post office savings. The advantage, of course, is that post offices were in every neighborhood. So you actually had either a local community banking like savings banks – not like today's community banks, which are commercial banks, lending largely to real estate speculators to capitalize rental apartments into heavily mortgaged co-ops with much higher financial carrying charges – or you had post offices. You now have a deprivation of basic bank services in much of the economy, combined with an increasingly dysfunctional and predatory commercial banking system.

The question is, what's going to happen next time there's a bank crash? Sheila Bair wrote about after the 2008 crash that the most corrupt bank was Citibank – not only corrupt, but incompetent. She had wanted to take it over. But Obama and his Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, acted as lobbyists for Citibank from the beginning, protecting it from being taken over. But imagine what would have happened if Citibank would have been become a public bank – or other banks that are about to have negative equity if there is a downturn in the stock and bond and real estate market. Imagine what will happen if they were turned into public banks. They would be able to provide the kind of credit that the commercial banking system has refused to provide – credit to blacks, Hispanics and poor people that have just been red-lined in what is becoming a financially polarized dual economy, one for the wealthy and one for everyone else.

Walt McRee: [00:04:10] Well, power in that realm, of course, lies with the banking cartel. They look at public banks as a threat. They hate competition of any sort, it seems.

Michael Hudson: [00:04:18] Of course it is a threat.

Walt McRee: [00:04:22] And even when we say, Michael, that we're not going after the business you're already doing because you aren't lending to small, medium enterprises and so forth – we want to take on the infrastructure that you don't want to fund, but they still are pushing back. How will we be able to get past that?

Michael Hudson: [00:04:40] I think you should say that of course you're not going to take business away from them, because the public community bank or government-owned bank would not make corporate takeover loans or speculative derivative bets. It would not create the dysfunctional credit and debt overhead that has been expanding ever since 1999 when the Clinton administration changed the banking rules.

The problem is that the big commercial banks don't want the productive kind of loans that public banking would make. For instance, the reason they didn't want to extend credit to the Lower East Side or the Hudson Yards west side of New York was they wanted to sort of drive out their residents and gentrify it, by providing the money to the big developers who socially bulldoze these neighborhoods. Their policy is to kick out as many low-income renters or owners as they can, and replace them by raising rents from like $50 a month to $5,000 a month. That's what's happened on the Lower East Side from the time I first lived there to what rents are today.

There is a fight of the economy's unproductive sector against people who want to use credit in a productive way that actually helps the economy. I think it's a fight between good and evil, at least between the productive and unproductive economy, between economics for the people and economics for the One Percent.

ORDER IT NOW

Ellen Brown: [00:06:14] I wonder, though, if the Fed is going to even allow the banks to collapse again, with what they just did with the repo market. They can step in at any time to save anybody. I don't know that Congress, even has a say in it. What do you think?

Michael Hudson: [00:06:30] I think that's right. I've talked to Paul Craig Roberts and we discuss whether they can just keep on keeping these zombie banks alive. Can they keep the over-indebted zombie economy alive by the Federal Reserve manipulating the forward stock and bond markets to support prices? It doesn't actually have to buy stocks and bonds beyond the $4 trillion it's already put into Quantitative Easing. It can simply make manipulate the forward market. That doesn't really cost any money until the big crash comes. So I think one should have a discussion over what President Trump says is a boom that that he's created, with the stock market going up. Does that mean that the economy is getting richer? Are we fine with commercial banking the way it is, so that we don't need public banking?

I think you have to expose the fact that what's happened is artificial state intervention. What we have in the name of free market support of the banks is not a free market at all. It's a highly centralized market to support the predatory financial sector's wealth against the rest of the economy. The financial sector's wealth takes the form of credit to the rest of the economy, extracting interest and amortization, while making loans simply to increase asset prices for real estate and financial securities, not put new means of production in place to employ labor. So you have to go beyond the public banking issue as such, and look at the political context. Ultimately, the way that you defend public banking is to show how the economy works and how public banking could play a positive role in the economy as it should work.

Ellen Brown: [00:08:14] Can you explain what you meant by forward lending? I mean, they don't have to

Michael Hudson: [00:08:19] It's not forward lending, it's buying long. For the stock market's Dow Jones average, they'll contract to buy all its stocks or those in the S&P 500 in one month, or one week or whatever the timeframe is, for X amount – say, 2% over what they're selling today. Well, once the plunge protection team issues a guarantee to buy, the market is going to raise the bid prices for these stocks up to what the Fed and the Treasury have promised to pay for them. By the time the prices go up, the Fed doesn't actually have to buy these stocks, because everybody's anticipated that the Fed would buy them at this 2 percent gain. So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. We're dealing with a government run by the banks and the creditor powers to artificially raise asset prices, on credit. This has kept alive a system that represents itself as creating prosperity. But it's not creating prosperity for the 99 Percent. Public banking would aim at prosperity for the 99 Percent, not just for the One Percent.

Ellen Brown: [00:09:46] I'm writing about Mexico's AMLO, who is now who has just announced in January that he will be building 2,700 branches of a public bank in the next two years. He's expecting 13,000 branches ultimately, so it will be the largest bank in the country. His reasoning is just what you're saying, that the banks have failed and have not serviced the poor. His mandate is to help the poor, and he can't do that if they don't have banking services.

Michael Hudson: [00:10:17] Is that national?

Ellen Brown: [00:10:18] Yes, all across the country.

Walt McRee: [00:10:22] "Loprabrador", AMLO. So we know that a public monetary source is a public utility. Our vision is to create a network of local and state public banks. That leads us to the view that what we really need to be targeting is the Federal Reserve, to ultimately turn it into a publicly-owned entity. Is that folly or

Michael Hudson: [00:10:55] I think the way to get people to support this is if they understand how the Federal Reserve was created. A few years ago I published an article in an Indian economic journal (I think it's on my website), about how the Federal Reserve was created. [1] "How the U.S. Treasury avoided Chronic Deflation by Relinquishing Monetary Control to Wall Street," Economic & Political Weekly (India), May 7, 2016. Available on Naked Capitalism an michael-hudson.com. There was a fight by Wall Street led by J.P. Morgan. America had a central bank until 1913 – the Treasury. Until 1913 the Treasury was doing everything that the Federal Reserve began to do. The idea of creating the Federal Reserve was to take power away from the Treasury. The Treasury wasn't even allowed to be on the board as an owner of Federal Reserve stock. The idea was to take decision-making away from Washington, away from democratic politics, and insulate the financial system from the democratic political system by turning control over to the corporate financial centers -- Wall Street, Chicago, and the other Federal Reserve districts. They were the same districts as those that the Treasury already had divided the country into. Remember, these were the decades leading up to World War I when there was a social democratic revolution from Europe to the United States. A guiding idea was to democratize banking.

Wall Street very quickly developed a counter strategy to this. And the counter strategy was the Federal Reserve. You're welcome to republish my article on your site. You and I both aim to reverse the counterrevolution mounted against classical economics and social democracy. The entity you're talking about would probably be under the aegis of the Treasury. You'd be putting the economy back in the direction that the world was moving before World War I derailed these efforts.

ORDER IT NOW

You talk of nationalizing the Fed. I know people don't like the word nationalizing. How about thing de-privatizing or de-Thatcherizing the Fed? You have to represent the Fed as having stolen economic and financial policy away from the public domain. It became part of the neoliberal project taking form in Austria in the 1930s. You're trying to restore the classical economic vision of productive versus unproductive credit, productive versus unproductive labor, and public money as opposed to private money. These distinctions were erased by the censorial neoliberal counter-revolution.

It's not that you're radical, that these people had a radical revolution to carve away the financial system from democracy. And you're restoring the classical vision of democratizing, re-democratizing finance and banking.

Walt McRee: [00:14:12] I want to thank you for saying that, Michael, because de-privatizing the Federal Reserve is so much more accurate and powerful. You'll recall that we kind of exchanged a phrase when I said "institutionalized deception.". I think that's really important. But let's say that prior to that, Stephanie Kelton gets in there, or somebody from the MMT crowd gets into a new administration prior to de-privatizing the Fed. Does MMT have a place to play or to emerge in that environment?

Michael Hudson: [00:14:55] Of course, and here's the role: You can leave the commercial banks to do what they're doing, but you're not going to provide Federal Reserve credit for them to load down the economy with unproductive debt. The question is, if you're going to create real community banking via a public banking sector, where will it get the money to lend out? How do we provide money to the red-lined areas of the economy to actually finance tangible capital investment and people's living needs, not just predatory lending? The way that MMT comes in is much like the Chicago plan for one hundred percent reserves. These community banks will need Treasury-created depository credit beyond the deposits they raise in their local areas.

They need more money. MMT will provide credit to these banks in exchange for their loan originations of a productive character, on terms that borrowers can afford, with realistic mortgages also to build public housing. The new Fed that we're talking about will be a major depositor and will provider of the capital deposits and reserves to the banks. Right now, it has provided $4 trillion of Quantitative Easing credit to the banks, not to put into the economy but only to inflate the stock and bond market and make housing more expensive. Wouldn't it be much better to provide credit to community banks that actually would make credit available for productive economic purposes – and not for takeover loans, stock buybacks and asset speculation?

Productive credit was what everybody expected banking to develop in the late 19th century. Germany and Central Europe were leading the way. It was called Middle Europa banking, as opposed to Anglo-American banking. (I discuss this contrast in Killing the Host .) That was essentially following the classical model, as everybody expected banking to evolve prior to World War I.

Ellen Brown: [00:17:29] Cool. That's totally what I also wrote about in my latest book. The Federal Reserve is where you should be getting credit, so you don't have to borrow it from somewhere else. Everybody thinks this whole repo thing is so contrived. It's re-hypothecated. One party owns the collateral at night, the other party owns it during the day. It's all just bluff to make it look like they borrowed something that wasn't really there. So let's just acknowledge that all money is just credit. And like you say, if you have a good loan, a good project to be monetized, that's the whole point of a bank. It will turn your future productivity into something you can spend in the marketplace. And the central bank is there to provide the credit.

Michael Hudson: [00:18:21] That's right.

Ellen Brown: [00:18:22] Turn it into dollars.

Michael Hudson: [00:18:24] That's right. My way of describing it is to look at history, to show that this is not a utopian idea. It is what made German and Central European banking so much more productive in the decades leading up to World War I. So we actually have historical examples of good banking versus bad banking. But the predators won in the end.

Ellen Brown: [00:18:53] Well, regarding this whole repo thing, one big problem we have with our public banks is the 110 percent collateralization requirement in California. How is a bank supposed to make loans if it has to use its deposits to buy securities – something safe and yielding low interest to back the deposits? It seems to me that what the big banks do – and I think we could do it, too – is to take those deposits and buy federal securities at 1.5 percent, and then they turn around and use the securities as collateral in the repo market, where they pay 1.5 percent. In other words, they earn 1.5 percent and they pay 1.5 percent. So it's a wash. They get their money for free. I think we could do that, too. Or are only certain players allowed to play that game, and we can't jump in?

Michael Hudson: [00:19:50] Well, you're the lawyer. Of course they could do it. I think one of the things that you and other progressives have recommended is that the Fed should stop paying money to the banks for their reserve deposits. Stop giving them the free giveaway. If you want to say, "We're against the largest welfare recipients in the country. They're not the people you think. They're the Wall Street banks. These hypocrites want to cut back Social Security to balance the budget. They want to cut back medical care and social services, and make themselves the only welfare recipients."

Ellen Brown: [00:20:30] Right, agreed. But if we just stand on our high horse and say this has to change, nothing will happen. We could do it ourselves and just show what you're doing in contrast to what they're doing

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Michael Hudson: [00:20:44] You're asking for symmetry. They're making us carry a big load on our back, that they don't have to carry. They're loading the dice in their own favor. You want to unload the dice and stop the insider favoritism. You correctly represent the banks as being insiders. You have to say, "Look, these insiders are trying to keep a monopoly." You could use the anti-monopoly legislation that's been on the books since Teddy Roosevelt's time. You have a lot of legal power to break up the big banks. You could treat them like I think they could treat the pharmaceutical companies if Bernie gets in.

Walt McRee: [00:21:44] Monopolies are being challenged by the shadow banking industry. New forms of payment exchange technologies seem to be eating away at that singular source of credit. What's your prognosis for how that's going to evolve? Will the big banks find a way to clamp down on that ultimately?

Michael Hudson: [00:22:05] Are we talking about cryptocurrency?

Walt McRee: [00:22:07] That would be one example, yes.

Michael Hudson: [00:22:10] Well,. you can't stop people from gambling. People think that buying a cryptocurrency is like buying an Andy Warhol etching. Maybe it'll go up in price if a large number of people want it. But basically, it's junk. It's very speculative. It's certainly not stable. It goes up and down. One day there may be a solar flare that's going to wipe out all the bank records for these things. But there is no way to stop people from doing something that seems to be silly or gambling. You certainly will not insure them. So you will not give them any protection against loss. You also will want to insulate the economy from having any transactions in crypto, in these alternative money things that pose a big threat of loss. They are not real money, because the government will not accept payment of cryptocurrencies as taxes or for public goods and services. The government will only accept specified forms of money. You can create any kind of swap or bet. If you want to create the equivalent of a racetrack on horses. You can do it, but that's a financial racetrack. I think there may be taxes on racetracks. They were unregulated for a long time. But Hollywood movies showed that there's a lot of criminalization going on there.

Walt McRee: [00:23:59] We were all amused, well, maybe a little wondering about Max Kaiser. Ellen and I and Tyson Slokum had some time with him over there just before you were at his Brooklyn studio, but Max is into Bitcoin in a big way, and he sees it as the new gold.

Michael Hudson: [00:24:20] He told me that a lot of people watch his show because they're gold bugs or they are interested in Bitcoin. I think he's tried to take a neutral view of it, certainly in our personal conversations. He's not a gold bug and he's not a Bitcoin or other bug. But he said that a lot of people want to find out about it, so he has guests on his show telling people, "Here it is, take your choice." It's part of the new speculative financial landscape, just like swamps are part of landscape for Florida real estate. So he's going to cover the whole spectrum. Reuters produces his shows, and the audience wants to hear about this. So he talks about what they want to hear.

Ellen Brown: [00:25:20] I think he actually does promote Bitcoin. He's heavily invested in it and he was one of the originals, so he's obviously made a lot of money on it.

Michael Hudson: [00:25:29] Okay.

Ellen Brown: [00:25:29] I think he agrees that it can't be a national currency. It's too slow, too expensive, and too environmentally unfriendly. But like you say, it has been a good investment, just like fine art or something that, if people want it, the value goes up. Plus, there's a big black market for it, for trading and things that you don't want the government to know about.

Michael Hudson: [00:25:57] It's a real phenomenon. I know people who benefited from Andy Warhol. So he saw the phenomenon and he seems to have made money, but when Steve Keen and I and others got together with him for a couple of days two months ago, the topic never came up in discussion.

But gold did. I wonder where the gold of Libya went, for instance. Apparently it was all taken and I understand the US gave it to ISIS. Hillary said it had to go to ISIS to act as our Foreign Legion. We gave them Libya's weapons. Some of the gold must have just been taken by the CIA and State Department for dirty tricks for its black operations. Certainly, America wants to prevent any other country or large gold possessor from having enough gold to try to reinstate it as a means of settling balance-of-payments deficits. America runs a large military deficit, so at a certain point, the more money it spends abroad for its 800 military bases, the more gold it would lose. Just like in General de Gaulle's time during the Vietnam War, although actually Germany was taking more gold than France. So America wants to keep the dollar at the center of the world financial system. That really was why it went to war with Libya, because Libya was one of the first countries to de-dollarize and move its currency toward gold. So you're having a group of countries – Russia, China, Iran and others – add gold to their reserves instead of dollars. You're having a de-dollarization move throughout the world to break free from the US ability to do what it did do Iran.

When Iran borrowed in dollars under the Shah, it used Chase Manhattan Bank as its paying agent. It put enough money into the account to pay its foreign debts service. But then the State Department told Chase to screw Iran and refuse to turn over the payment. Now that the Shah wasn't running Iran, once Chase refused to turn over the payment and froze Iran's account, that meant that Iran went into default on the entire dollarized foreign debt. It was liable for a huge amount of capital.

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That was a warning for the rest of the world that no government could safely put its money in an American bank or an American bank branch, or in a British branch that would act as a subsidiary of the Pentagon. Because if you do, the bank can simply force you into default at any time, just like the US CIA can come in and use electronic weaponry to destroy your bank payment-clearing system. That's why the threat of cutting Russia and China and other countries off from the Swift Interbank Clearing System led Russia to develop its own clearing system. With a flick of a switch it can begin to work anytime United States tries to cut Russia off from the SWIFT payments system. So you're having the whole world de-dollarize very quickly. And right now the question is what Europe will choose. Are Germany and other countries going to become part of the de-dollarized system, or remain part of the dollar area?

This is part of the fight against using the IT chips and the communications chips from Huawei. Huawei did not put US spyware into the system. The United States says that if it can't have a phone system and communications system that it can control by spyware and use to blow up your economy, your public utilities, your electrical systems, then you're our enemy, because we feel insecure without this control. When President Trump said that Huawei was a threat to US national security, he meant that we don't feel secure unless we have the power to destroy any economy that acts in any way that is independent of the United States – because you might do something we don't like. This is the most aggressive concept of security that one could imagine. So of course the rest of the world is seeing its own national security as having a financial dimension. The financial dimension is to create a monetary and financial system that minimizes connections to the dollar except to the extent of having to buy and sell dollars to stabilize foreign exchange rate.

Ellen Brown: [00:31:31] There's a lot of talk, even among central bankers, that we need to get off the dollar as a global reserve currency. But it seems to me that gold is also manipulatable. I mean, it's not the ideal I had envisioned a system where instead of reserves being a thing, like dollars or gold that you can actually trade, it would just be a measure, like a yardstick. You would be able to compare one currency to another according to what you could buy with it. Like you'd have a whole basket of things that everybody uses in every country. And now that they report that kind of stuff, it wouldn't be all that hard to get the figures and, you know, just compare and say, well, your dollar will be worth so many pesos in Mexico or whatever. That was my idea, but what do you think?

Michael Hudson: [00:32:27] That would meet one of the criteria of money, which is as a measure of value, but it would not do at all for international money. You have to have some means of constraint. In other words, suppose the United States continued to run another military budget deficit like it did in the Vietnam War. There is no way that you could use the balance of payments as a constraint on the policy of deficit countries, which are usually the military aggressors. The whole idea of going off gold was that under the gold standard no country can afford to make war, because if you go to war your currency collapses. In 1976, Herman Kahn and I went to the Treasury and – this is to answer your question. He put up a map of the world and said, "These are the countries – Scandinavia, Western Europe, the United States – that don't believe in gold. They're all politically stable social democratic countries. They have faith in government. No look at these others here's the rest of the world – India, South America, Africa and most of Asia. these are people that believe in gold. Why do they believe in gold, but not the Protestant cultural area? Well, they don't have faith in government. They don't trust governments. They want some option that is independent of government. Gold is not only to bribe the border guards if they're escaping from somewhere. They want to be free of governments that have been captured by anti-democratic, predatory forces."

He said if you tried to think of what you would make that is an alternative to the dollar that people could understand, well, for thousands of years, people have decided that gold and silver. (I'm sure that you could add platinum and palladium.) So they have been the ultimate means of settlement, and hence of international monetary constraint.

Gold isn't to be used as money. It's not to be used as a normal means of payment. What it is to be used for is as a balance-of-payments constraint on the ability of countries to run up chronic deficits that are mainly military in character. So I called our presentation "Gold: the Peaceful Metal." Well, needless to say, the Treasury didn't go for that, because they said that we had just explained how super-imperialism works via the dollar. So they didn't go back to gold. We lost that argument.

Ellen Brown: [00:35:34] Isn't the reason we went off gold standard, though, that there simply isn't enough gold and that we wound up leveraging it, and

Michael Hudson: [00:35:42] No, there's plenty of gold. There wasn't enough gold to pay for the military deficit. Every month the dollars we spent in Vietnam would be turned over to the banks in Indo-China. They were French. They'd turn the dollars over to Paris and General de Gaulle would turn in these dollars for gold. We had to pay in gold for the military deficit, which was the entire source of the US balance-of-payments deficits in the 50s, 60s and into the 70s. America went off gold so that it could afford to wage war without the constraint of losing its control over the international monetary system.

Ellen Brown: [00:36:29] We went after gold domestically because it didn't work. I mean, you had to use fractional reserve lending

Michael Hudson: [00:36:35] Yes, of course gold doesn't work domestically. It's certainly not an appropriate domestic money supply. I'm only talking about it for settlements among central banks internationally.

Ellen Brown: [00:36:49] But you said it's not to be traded. But if you don't, how do you settle your balance of payments?

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Michael Hudson: [00:36:53] It can be traded. There is a market. And you began by saying, quite correctly, that gold prices are manipulated. Well, right now the US and the central banks are manipulating its price to keep it low, in the same way that they're manipulating the stock and bond market by buying forward. Except in the case of gold, they're selling forward. If they keep agreeing to sell gold at a very low price, people will see that if they can buy gold at this low price, why should they buy it at a higher price today, as the price will fall and be driven down. So, yes, gold is manipulated downwards today by the U.S. – essentially the plunge protection team acting internationally to keep the price of gold down to discourage other countries and populations from buying it is protection against collapse of the financial system.

So we're back to the fact that the financial system is dysfunctional. In a functional financial system, you wouldn't need domestic reference to gold. You'd have a domestic financial system that works fine without gold. Gold is what you have when the financial system becomes dysfunctional and there's a breakdown.

Ellen Brown: [00:38:21] Well, it almost seems like you need some sort of global regulator. But that's like a one-world government, which we all freak out about.

Michael Hudson: [00:38:28] You certainly don't want a one world government. Right now all the plans for world government are neoliberal. They aim essentially to limit, to break up democratic government regulation of corporate business, mining and monopolies. The idea of a one-world government is to destroy any democratic government's ability to make its own laws in the interests of labor or society. You would have a parallel government of wealth, government of property. It's what the University of Chicago calls the Law and Economics regime. And this is, this is fascism on an international scale. And there is a wonderful book by Quinn Slobodian in 2008, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Nationalism , showing how these plans were developed by fascists in the 1930s and by the fascist promoters at the University of Chicago. The fascist promoters were people like Hayek and von Mises and the Geneva economists around the League of Nations. So when they say they're anti-government, they're really anti-democracy. They're for an iron-fisted government by big business, big mining and big oil – and most of all, by big banks. That is the reason why people don't trust an international government. It would be an international iron fist of fascism, the way the current maneuvering of the financial classes and the rentier classes and the neocons have arranged things.

Ellen Brown: [00:39:56] Well, I totally agree. It's quite frightening. We want sovereignty for all our little nations, and even our little cities, states and so forth. But it seems to me, how do you get everybody to work together? For example, Venezuela has the debt problem that any country has that's heavily in debt to foreigners, or to vulture funds or whatever. There's not a universally recognized court that you can go to. And, you know, everybody agrees. It does seem like on some level we need some sort of collaborative effort where we all agree on the rules.

Michael Hudson: [00:40:33] Absolutely right. Now, of course, the United States would not recognize any international court. So, again, you'd have all the rest of the world belonging to the court, and the United States as the outlier. It's like you're the healthy body and we want to parasitize you. And it will not recognize the court. My Super-Imperialism reviews the history of this policy.

But you're right: There should be a court that would recognize such things as odious debt for governments. Venezuela's problem is that under the dictators that the Americans had installed by assassination and force, Venezuela had pledged its oil reserves as collateral for its international bonds. That gives a vested interest in the creditors to make it default and grab its oil reserves and its investments in the United States, the oil distributors it bought. So, yes, you do need a set of international rules for writing down bad debts. That means an alternative to the IMF. You need an anti-IMF. Instead of acting on behalf of the creditors imposing austerity on countries, you should create an organization representing society. And s the interest of society is to grow. Instead of promoting austerity like the IMF does, it would promote prosperity. Instead of financing the US government dollarization and giving US control, it would be part of the de-dollarization group.

So you'd have a pro-growth group of nations – of the world economy – using finance for growth and development with productive credit. You'd also have the United States providing predatory credit, austerity, cutting back Social Security, cutting back Medicare and having a polarizing economy that is shrinking and will end up looking like Greece or Argentina. The rest of the world would follow more productive and less oligarchic financial policies. That should ultimately be our global dream. But there's been little preparation for that. The financial sector's neoliberals have o put together an almost conspiratorial Law and Economics lobbying group to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership and World Trade Organization rules blocking governments from imposing anti-pollution fines or regulating monopolies or closing tax havens. If you fine an oil company for polluting, the government is obliged under this international law to pay the oil companies what they would have earned if they would have continued to poison the environment. This is

Ellen Brown: [00:43:41] Shocking.

Michael Hudson: [00:43:41] Definitely. This is an international deathwish.

Ellen Brown: [00:43:45] Agreed. Totally agreed.

Walt McRee: [00:43:47] We've been speaking with economist Michael Hudson. Our thanks to him for being on this program again. And you'll be hearing more from Michael on future editions of It's Our Money.

Walt McRee: [00:43:59] Well, that's it for this edition of It's Our Money with Ellen Brown. Thanks to our guests or sponsors, Public Banking Associates, and to you for listening. Be sure to check out Ellen's latest writings on the economy and the changing world of money by visiting ellenbrown.com. And for more information on public banking, visit PublicBankingInstitute.org. For information on how local and state governments can obtain professional insight and council about public banks from key national experts, visit PublicBankingAssociates.com. I'm Walt McRee. See you next time on It's our Money with Ellen Brown.

Notes

[1] "How the U.S. Treasury avoided Chronic Deflation by Relinquishing Monetary Control to Wall Street," Economic & Political Weekly (India), May 7, 2016. Available on Naked Capitalism an michael-hudson.com.

animalogic , says: Show Comment March 13, 2020 at 8:51 am GMT

@dc.sunsets "This is why those who promise to "Plan" economic prosperity are liars and fools, for they have the PRETENSE of knowledge, nothing more. "
Of course, this point is true -- but its posed as an absolute. No government can "plan" an entire economy -- we know this from the failings of the USSR etc. But nor can economies be totally unplanned. The US is not an unplanned economy: its an economy planned by the 1% for the 1%.
Modern economies are "mixed". There is coordinated planning between the public & private sector.
Sadly the US Gov' has renounced its responsibilities to "plan". Had the US Gov "planned" it would never have allowed key industries, knowledge & talent to be off shored to China. Such off shoring was a private plan by the 1% for the 1%. Worked well -- for them.
Robert White , says: Show Comment March 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
Adding complexity to an already far too complex system merely hastens blow out of distributions that are skewed fat tails and stressed to a breaking point of systemic failure. Greenspan purposely built a complex financial empire of asset inflation to replace Volcker's fiscal prudence & macroprudential professionalism system wide.

Once Greenspan has locked in the asset inflation regime & deregulated Glass-Steagall Act it was off to the races on a credit card for the largest parasite in the financial empire governing by force.

On September 10th 2001 Donald Rumsfeld announced to the world that the ever incompetent Pentagon had misplaced $1.3 trillion USD of taxpayer money. On September 11th 2001 Donald Rumsfeld took part in a clandestine covert US Military operation to assassinate all of the principle investigators & forensic Chartered Accountants that were about to uncover the crimes taking place under Donald Rumsfeld's directorship as Pentagon executive.

The USA has always been a system of fraud by stealth of US Military force thugsterism & all out fascist behaviour.

Great synthesis by Hudson IMHO.

[Mar 15, 2020] Four Reasons Civilization Won't Decline: It Will Collapse by Craig Collins

Mar 15, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

As modern civilization's shelf life expires, more scholars have turned their attention to the decline and fall of civilizations past. Their studies have generated rival explanations of why societies collapse and civilizations die. Meanwhile, a lucrative market has emerged for post-apocalyptic novels, movies, TV shows, and video games for those who enjoy the vicarious thrill of dark, futuristic disaster and mayhem from the comfort of their cozy couch. Of course, surviving the real thing will become a much different story.

The latent fear that civilization is living on borrowed time has also spawned a counter-market of "happily ever after" optimists who desperately cling to their belief in endless progress. Popular Pollyannas, like cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, provide this anxious crowd with soothing assurances that the titanic ship of progress is unsinkable. Pinker's publications have made him the high priest of progress. [1] While civilization circles the drain, his ardent audiences find comfort in lectures and books brimming with cherry-picked evidence to prove that life is better than ever, and will surely keep improving. Yet, when questioned, Pinker himself admits, "It's incorrect to extrapolate that the fact that we've made progress is a prediction that we're guaranteed to make progress." [2]

Pinker's rosy statistics cleverly disguise the fatal flaw in his argument. The progress of the past was built by sacrificing the future -- and the future is upon us. All the happy facts he cites about living standards, life expectancy, and economic growth are the product of an industrial civilization that has pillaged and polluted the planet to produce temporary progress for a growing middle class -- and enormous profits and power for a tiny elite.

Not everyone who understands that progress has been purchased at the expense of the future thinks that civilization's collapse will be abrupt and bitter. Scholars of ancient societies, like Jared Diamond and John Michael Greer, accurately point out that abrupt collapse is a rare historical phenomenon. In The Long Descent , Greer assures his readers that, "The same pattern repeats over and over again in history. Gradual disintegration, not sudden catastrophic collapse, is the way civilizations end." Greer estimates that it takes, on average, about 250 years for civilizations to decline and fall, and he finds no reason why modern civilization shouldn't follow this "usual timeline." [3]

But Greer's assumption is built on shaky ground because industrial civilization differs from all past civilizations in four crucial ways. And every one of them may accelerate and intensify the coming collapse while increasing the difficulty of recovery.

Difference #1: Unlike all previous civilizations, modern industrial civilization is powered by an exceptionally rich, NON-renewable, and irreplaceable energy source -- fossil fuels. This unique energy base predisposes industrial civilization to a short, meteoric lifespan of unprecedented boom and drastic bust. Megacities, globalized production, industrial agriculture, and a human population approaching 8 billion are all historically exceptional -- and unsustainable -- without fossil fuels. Today, the rich easily exploited oilfields and coalmines of the past are mostly depleted. And, while there are energy alternatives, there are no realistic replacements that can deliver the abundant net energy fossil fuels once provided. [4] Our complex, expansive, high-speed civilization owes its brief lifespan to this one-time, rapidly dwindling energy bonanza.

Difference #2: Unlike past civilizations, the economy of industrial society is capitalist. Production for profit is its prime directive and driving force. The unprecedented surplus energy supplied by fossil fuels has generated exceptional growth and enormous profits over the past two centuries. But in the coming decades, these historic windfalls of abundant energy, constant growth, and rising profits will vanish.

However, unless it is abolished, capitalism will not disappear when boom turns to bust. Instead, energy-starved, growth-less capitalism will turn catabolic. Catabolism refers to the condition whereby a living thing devours itself. As profitable sources of production dry up, capitalism will be compelled to turn a profit by consuming the social assets it once created. By cannibalizing itself, the profit motive will exacerbate industrial society's dramatic decline.

Catabolic capitalism will profit from scarcity, crisis, disaster, and conflict. Warfare, resource hoarding, ecological disaster, and pandemic diseases will become the big profit makers. Capital will flow toward lucrative ventures like cybercrime, predatory lending, and financial fraud; bribery, corruption, and racketeering; weapons, drugs, and human trafficking. Once disintegration and destruction become the primary source of profit, catabolic capitalism will rampage down the road to ruin, gorging itself on one self-inflicted disaster after another. [5]

Difference #3: Unlike past societies, industrial civilization isn't Roman, Chinese, Egyptian, Aztec, or Mayan. Modern civilization is HUMAN, PLANETARY, and ECOCIDAL. Pre-industrial civilizations depleted their topsoil, felled their forests, and polluted their rivers. But the harm was far more temporary and geographically limited. Once market incentives harnessed the colossal power of fossil fuels to exploit nature, the dire results were planetary. Two centuries of fossil fuel combustion have saturated the biosphere with climate-altering carbon that will continue wreaking havoc for generations to come. The damage to Earth's living systems -- the circulation and chemical composition of the atmosphere and the ocean; the stability of the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles; and the biodiversity of the entire planet -- is essentially permanent.

Humans have become the most invasive species ever known. Although we are a mere .01 percent of the planet's biomass, our domesticated crops and livestock dominate life on Earth. In terms of total biomass, 96 percent of all the mammals on Earth are livestock; only 4 percent are wild mammals. Seventy percent of all birds are domesticated poultry, only 30 percent are wild. About half the Earth's wild animals are thought to have been lost in just the last 50 years. [6] Scientists estimate that half of all remaining species will be extinct by the end of the century. [7] There are no more unspoiled ecosystems or new frontiers where people can escape the damage they've caused and recover from collapse.

Difference #4: Human civilization's collective capacity to confront its mounting crises is crippled by a fragmented political system of antagonistic nations ruled by corrupt elites who care more about power and wealth than people and the planet. Humanity faces a perfect storm of converging global calamities. Intersecting tribulations like climate chaos, rampant extinction, food and freshwater scarcity, poverty, extreme inequality, and the rise of global pandemics are rapidly eroding the foundations of modern life.

Yet, this fractious and fractured political system makes organizing and mounting a cooperative response nearly impossible. And, the more catabolic industrial capitalism becomes, the greater the danger that hostile rulers will fan the flames of nationalism and go to war over scarce resources. Of course, warfare is not new. But modern warfare is so devastating, destructive, and toxic that little would remain in its aftermath. This would be the final nail in civilization's coffin.

Rising From the Ruins?

How people respond to the collapse of industrial civilization will determine how bad things get and what will replace it. The challenges are monumental. They will force us to question our identities, our values, and our loyalties like no other experience in our history. Who are we? Are we, first and foremost, human beings struggling to raise our families, strengthen our communities, and coexist with the other inhabitants of Earth? Or do our primary loyalties belong to our nation, our culture, our race, our ideology, or our religion? Can we put the survival of our species and our planet first, or will we allow ourselves to become hopelessly divided along national, cultural, racial, religious, or party lines?

The eventual outcome of this great implosion is up for grabs. Will we overcome denial and despair; kick our addiction to petroleum; and pull together to break the grip of corporate power over our lives? Can we foster genuine democracy, harness renewable energy, reweave our communities, re-learn forgotten skills, and heal the wounds we've inflicted on the Earth? Or will fear and prejudice drive us into hostile camps, fighting over the dwindling resources of a degraded planet? The stakes could not be higher.

Notes.

[1] His books include: The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.

[2] King, Darryn. "Steven Pinker on the Past, Present, and Future of Optimism" (OneZero, Jan 10, 2019) https://onezero.medium.com/steven-pinker-on-the-past-present-and-future-of-optimism-f362398c604b

[3] Greer, John Michael. The Long Descent (New Society Publishers, 2008): 29.

[4] Heinberg, Richard. The End Of Growth . (New Society, 2011): 117.

[5] For more on catabolic capitalism see: Collins, Craig. "Catabolism: Capitalism's Frightening Future," CounterPunch (Nov. 1, 2018). https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/01/catabolism-capitalisms-frightening-future/

[6] Carrington, Damian. " New Study: Humans Just 0.01% Of All Life But Have Destroyed 83% Of Wild Mammals ," The Guardian (May 21, 2018). https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

[7] Ceballos, Ehrlich, Barnosky, Garcia, Pringle & Palmer. "Accelerated Modern Human-Induced Species Losses: Entering The 6th Mass Extinction," Science Advances. (June 19, 2015). http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253 Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Craig Collins

Craig Collins Ph.D. is the author of " Toxic Loopholes " (Cambridge University Press), which examines America's dysfunctional system of environmental protection. He teaches political science and environmental law at California State University East Bay and was a founding member of the Green Party of California.

[Mar 14, 2020] This is a transformational moment in history that will allow American politics to socialize and turn away resolutely from the anti-government stupidity represented by Trump and all the anti-New Deal elements among the elite predators that have dominated politically since Reagan

Notable quotes:
"... This is a transformational moment in history that will allow American politics to socialize and turn away resolutely from the anti-government stupidity represented by Trump and all the anti-New Deal elements among the elite predators that have dominated politically since Reagan. It is a mistake to chose Biden, chief author of the Patriot Act, business-as-usual candidate, corporate lackey, weasel. ..."
Mar 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jadan , Mar 14 2020 2:45 utc | 187

This is a transformational moment in history that will allow American politics to socialize and turn away resolutely from the anti-government stupidity represented by Trump and all the anti-New Deal elements among the elite predators that have dominated politically since Reagan. It is a mistake to chose Biden, chief author of the Patriot Act, business-as-usual candidate, corporate lackey, weasel.

Bernie is the only rational choice, but the American people are not rational, and do not yet understand the urgency of a radical left turn. Much suffering will be the result and a radical right turn could occur, although disenchantment with the blithering idiocy of Donald Trump has already deprived him of any chance of re-election. The virus is going to take him down before profound political embarrassment. He's a dead man walking.This may be true of Bernie & Biden as well, but I say this without prejudice.

The Chinese clearly knew the character of this virus before it became apparent to the world. They did not react so swiftly or dramatically to earlier outbreaks like SARS, swine flu, avian flu and etc. They had prior knowledge of the potential of nCov2019. The US did not.

Why do we have a National Security Council or a Department of Homeland Security if they cannot read the writing on the wall? It was an accidental release of a weaponized virus. The US should have taken a cue and reacted with similar conviction shown by the CCP. But we have no leadership worth a shit.

Our representative republic has suffered an embarrassment in this failure to protect the people while a so-called national enemy, a communist dictatorship, has demonstrated more effective leadership and greater capability to protect its people. This is more than an embarrassment. It is an indictment of our political system.

It is time to turn sharply left to social democracy.

[Mar 14, 2020] Complex Systems Collide, Markets Crash

Mar 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

At some point, systems flip from being complicated, which is a challenge to manage, to being complex. Complexity is more than a challenge because it opens the door to all kinds of unexpected crashes and events.

Their behavior cannot be reduced to their component parts. It's as if they take on a life of their own.

Complexity theory has four main pillars.

If you look out the window and see people bundled up in heavy jackets, for example, you're probably not going to go out in a T-shirt. Applied to capital markets, adaptive behavior is sometimes called herding.

Assume you have a room with 100 people. If two people suddenly sprinted out of the room, most of the others probably wouldn't make much of it. But if half the people in the room suddenly ran outside, the other half will probably do the same thing.

They might not know why the first 50 people left, but the second half will just assume something major has happened. That could be a fire or a bomb threat or something along these lines.

The key is to determine the tipping point that compels people to act. Two people fleeing isn't enough. 50 certainly is. But, maybe 20 people leaving could trigger the panic. Or maybe the number is 30, or 40. You just can't be sure. But the point is, 20 people out of 100 could trigger a chain reaction.

And that's how easily a total collapse of the capital markets can be triggered.

Understanding the four main pillars of complexity gives you a window into the inner workings of markets in a way the Fed's antiquated equilibrium models can't. They let you see the world with better eyes.

People assume that if you had perfect knowledge of the economy, which nobody does, that you could conceivably plan an economy. You'd have all the information you needed to determine what should be produced and in what number.

But complexity theory says that even if you had that perfect knowledge, you still couldn't predict financial and economic events. They can come seemingly out of nowhere.

For example, it was bright and sunny one day out in the eastern Atlantic in 2005. Then it suddenly got cloudy. The winds began to pick up. Then a hurricane formed. That hurricane went on to wipe out New Orleans a short time later.

I'm talking about Hurricane Katrina. You never could have predicted New Orleans would be struck on that bright sunny day. You could look back and track it afterwards. It would seem rational in hindsight. But on that sunny day in the eastern Atlantic, there was simply no way of predicting that New Orleans was going to be devastated.

Any number of variables could have diverted the storm at some point along the way. And they cannot be known in advance, no matter how much information you have initially.

Another example is the Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan a few years back. You had a number of complex systems coming together at once to produce a disaster.

An underwater earthquake triggered a tsunami that just happened to wash up on a nuclear power plant. Each one of these are highly complex systems -- plate tectonics, hydrodynamics and the nuclear plant itself.

There was no way traditional models could have predicted when or where the tectonic plates were going to slip. Therefore, they couldn't tell you where the tsunami was heading.

And the same applies to financial panics. They seem to come out of nowhere. Traditional forecasting models have no way of detecting them. But complexity theory allows for them.

I make the point that a snowflake can cause an avalanche. But of course not every snowflake does. Most snowflakes fall harmlessly, except that they make the ultimate avalanche worse because they're building up the snowpack. And when one of them hits the wrong way, it could spin out of control.

The way to think about it is that the triggering snowflake might not look much different from the harmless snowflake that preceded it. It's just that it hit the system at the wrong time, at the wrong place.

Only the exact time and the specific snowflake that starts the avalanche remain to be seen. This kind of systemic analysis is the primary tool I use to keep investors ahead of the catastrophe curve.

The system is getting more and more unstable, and it might not take that much to trigger the avalanche.

To switch metaphors, it's like the straw that breaks the camel's back. You can't tell in advance which straw will trigger the collapse. It only becomes obvious afterwards. But that doesn't mean you can't have a good idea when the threat can no longer be ignored.

Let's say I've got a 35-pound block of enriched uranium sitting in front of me that's shaped like a big cube. That's a complex system. There's a lot going on behind the scenes. At the subatomic level, neutrons are firing off. But it's not dangerous. You'd actually have to eat it to get sick.

But, now, I take the same 35 pounds, I shape part of it into a sphere, I take the rest of it and shape it into a bat. I put it in the tube, and I fire it together with high explosives, I kill 300,000 people. I just engineered an atomic bomb. It's the same uranium, but under different conditions.

The point is, the same basic conditions arrayed in a different way, what physicists call self-organized criticality, can go critical, blow up, and destroy the world or destroy the financial system.

That dynamic, which is the way the world works, is not understood by central bankers. They don't understand complexity theory. They do not see the critical state dynamics going on behind the scenes because they're using obsolete equilibrium models.

In complexity theory and complex dynamics, you can go into the critical state. What look like unconnected distant events are actually indications and warnings of something much more dangerous to come.

So what happens when complex dynamic systems crash into each other? We're seeing that right now.

We're seeing two complex systems colliding into each other, the complex system of markets combined with the complex system of epidemiology.

The coronavirus spread is a complex dynamic system. It encompass virology, meteorology, migratory patterns, mass psychology, etc. Markets are highly complex, dynamic systems.

Financial professionals will use the word "contagion" to describe a financial panic. But that's not just a metaphor. The same complexity that applies to disease epidemics also apply to financial markets. They follow the same principles.

And they've come together to create a panic that traditional modeling could not foresee.

The time scale of global financial contagion is not necessarily limited to days or weeks. These panics can play out over months and years. So could the effects of the coronavirus.

Just don't expect the Fed to warn you.

[Mar 13, 2020] Is the whole ideo of Trump tax holiday is to speed up the privatization of SS and Medicare. Look! The deficit's growing bigger.

Mar 13, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

allan , March 12, 2020 at 2:11 pm

President Trump's Payroll Tax Holiday: Budgetary, Distributional, and Economic Effects [Penn Wharton]

Summary: President Trump just announced his support for a full payroll tax holiday for the remainder of calendar year 2020, which PWBM projects would cost $807 billion. Households in the bottom 20 percent of incomes -- those households with the highest willingness to spend their tax savings -- would receive about 2 percent of the total tax cut, limiting the policy's stimulus potential.

But Penn Wharton's analysis might be based on unrealistically optimistic assumptions –
see the comments in the replies to this tweet.

Billy , March 12, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Don't forget the employer's half is also waived. Nice subsidy to business while helping cripple the Social Security funds for ultimate privatization. Doesn't do anything the unemployed, those laid off or fired as they pay no taxes. Now, if it were retroactive for a year or two, that'd be different.

Oh , March 12, 2020 at 4:34 pm

The whole idea is to speed up the privatization of SS and Medicare. Look! The deficit's growing bigger.

[Mar 13, 2020] This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal social Darwinist "every man for himself" ethos is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are

Mar 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Daniel , Mar 13 2020 22:16 utc | 138

@Joanne Leon 15
The explosion of hate and blame and fear flying around online with regard to this pandemic is more than alarming and ultimately useless and damaging. In a way it scares me more than the flu itself at the moment because of the implications of how it will hinder our ability to cooperate and deal with this.

That's a good point. Western society with its twisted guiding philosophy of radical individualism and competition combined with a supremacist "that could never happen here" attitude quickly falls into panicked chaos when reality kicks in and reveals the society's underlying vulnerabilities. Countries with weak social safety nets and an ideological opposition to social responsibility are extremely vulnerable to systemic breakdown when their societies are under unexpected stress.

This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal social Darwinist "every man for himself" ethos is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are. Additionally, the house of cards that makes up the global economy has been in crisis mode since 2008, when it was bailed out by massive money printing in the US and EU and China pumping billions of dollars into the economy to keep it afloat, simply can't handle any additional stressors without going into breakdown mode.

In this kind of situation where clear headed cooperation and mutual effort are required the opposite happens and people go into panic and finger pointing mode looking for some external enemy to blame. Just imagine what will happen if global warming turns out to be as serious as many are predicting.

[Mar 13, 2020] Free trade suddenly seems like a dangerous fantasy, as nations start putting their own people first

Mar 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

It may one day be said that the coronavirus delivered the death blow to the New World Order, to a half-century of globalization, and to the era of interdependence of the world's great nations.

Tourism, air travel, vacation cruises, international gatherings, and festivals are already shutting down. Travel bans between countries and continents are being imposed. Conventions, concerts, and sporting events are being canceled. Will the Tokyo Olympics go forward? If they do, will all the anticipated visitors from abroad come to Japan to enjoy the games?

Trump has issued a one-month travel ban on Europe.

As for the "open borders" crowd, do Democrats still believe that breaking into our country should no longer be a crime, and that immigrants arriving illegally should be given free health care, a proposition to which all the Democratic debaters raised their hands?

The ideological roots of our free trade era can be traced to the mid-19th century, when its great evangelist, Richard Cobden, rose at Free Trade Hall in Manchester on January 15, 1846, and rhapsodized: "I see in the Free Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe -- drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace."

In the pre-Trump era, Republicans held hands with liberal Democrats in embracing NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, and most favored nation trade privileges for China.

In retrospect, was it wise to have relied on China to produce essential parts for the supply chains of goods vital to our national security? Does it appear wise to have moved the production of pharmaceuticals and lifesaving drugs for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes to China? Does it appear wise to have allowed China to develop a virtual monopoly on rare earth minerals crucial to the development of weapons for our defense?

In this coronavirus pandemic, people now seem to be looking for authoritative leaders and nations seem to be looking out for their own peoples first. Would Merkel today invite a million Syrian refugees into Germany no matter the conditions under which they were living?

Is not the case now conclusive that we made a historic mistake when we outsourced our economic independence to rely for vital necessities upon nations that have never had America's best interests at heart?

Which rings truer today? We are all part of mankind, all citizens of the world. Or that it's time to put America and Americans first!

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


EdMan 11 hours ago

Wiping out the NWO and discrediting globalism's the silver lining to the dark cloud of the coronavirus.
IanDakar EdMan 8 hours ago
Which leaders have been speaking of ways to reverse the ways of globalism and how close are they to obtaining power? This is going to require a changing of the elites fro mthe ones who are and will continue to push this form of globalism to the ones that are willing to switch to a new system.

(there will always be an elite. It's just a question of which ones you let wield power as not all of them are the type that we carry.)

AlexanderHistory X 8 hours ago
Unfortunately a ton of people are still espousing open borders globalism. This includes a large number of visible elites, the vast majority, in fact.
The best thing that could happen is that those who espouse such dangerous ideas are held to account by nature. Let them get sick with the Wu flu, let them be unable to attain medication because China has restricted exports to us. Let's see what they think after they have finally begun to experience the ramifications of their ideological thinking.
Awake and Uttering a Song AlexanderHistory X 3 hours ago
The elites will ALWAYS have access to medication they need. Most of them will NEVER "experience ramifications" in any way more than minor inconveniences.
Don Quijote 6 hours ago
Considering that you can get from New York City to Tokyo in under 24 hours, and that there are no major city on the Planet that cannot be reached from the lower forty-eight in under 48 hours, how do you intend to reverse globalism? Ban airplanes, telephones and the internet-based communications?

Because short of that, Globalism is here to stay.

[Mar 12, 2020] Emergency Sick Leave Bill blocked from vote by Senate Republicans--Profit over People yet again.

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 11 2020 21:37 utc | 101

It's no different from the Republicans in the US Senate: Emergency Sick Leave Bill blocked from vote by Senate Republicans--Profit over People yet again.

[Mar 12, 2020] Neoliberalism in action in Italy: neo-liberal economic worship, all government bad, all private sector good, corruption good, banks worshipped as faultless guardians but actually kleptocrats.

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 11 2020 3:26 utc | 72

coronawhy #48
Why has Italy not try very hard to scale up hospital bed capacity for the surge of cases over the last several days? They have deployed a military hospital but it doesn't look like it's making a big dent. Instead reports are now coming in of abandoning very old people or those with prior conditions to die largely unattended.

In Wuhan, 16 big barracks were built to treat the seriously sick. Why doesn't Italy requisition schools, move in equipment from the rest of the country, deploy doctors from other regions, call other EU member states for help?

Does it have something to do with the difficulty of getting things done even in emergencies in modern bureaucratic states?

Italy: neo-liberal economic worship, all government bad, all private sector good, corruption good, banks worshipped as faultless guardians but actually kleptocrats.

China: socialism with a mild capitalist twist, government good, private sector ok, corruption to be rooted out, banks established and policed for the public good (mostly).

Modern bureacratic states function well when government is respected and well resourced intellectually and financially. Italy has been gutted by the Thatcherite and US model of deep coercion and destruction of its socialist roots. Ditto USA and UK and the five eyes cheer squad. New entries to job markets are propagandised to avoid the state employment.

There are many nations in the world with modern functional bureaucratic states. As you can see China and perhaps Russia appear to be in that team. Perhaps some of the Scandinavian states, maybe Portugal. France abandoned its respect for the centrality of State service provider decades ago and Mitterand appears to have been an effective assassin on behalf of the neo-liberal economic monsters in France.

Jen , Mar 11 2020 3:48 utc | 73

Uncle Tungsten @ 71:

I'm sure in your comparison of Italy and China, you forgot to mention the infiltration of the Mafia (as in the real Mafia of La Cosa Nostra, La Camorra, 'Ndrangheta and maybe some others I've missed) in Italian national and regional governments, and the horrific levels of air pollution in the Po Valley region where COVID-19 hotspots like Milan are located.

Perhaps also the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church and their links to the financial industry in Italy are also a problem.

[Mar 12, 2020] COVID-19 puts neoliberalism on its knee

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 11 2020 14:25 utc | 100

COVID-19 puts neoliberalism on its knees:

Germany abandons "zero deficit" policy

[Mar 12, 2020] Experts warn flaws in US neoliberalized health system doom its readiness

Notable quotes:
"... medically fragile individuals ..."
"... there's not enough equipment. There's not enough people. There's not enough internal capacity. There's no surge capacity ..."
"... use their judgment ..."
"... epidemiologic factors ..."
"... we would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. ..."
"... bottom line, it's going to get worse. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

The epidemic that has so far spread to half of US states, infecting over 1,000 Americans and killing 31...

At least 10 states have declared emergencies as of Wednesday, and disease experts are throwing up their hands, urging the administration to take real-life events more seriously.

...Centers for Disease Control director Robert Redfield agreed that critical regions of the US are beyond the reach of containment, sliding into the " mitigation " stage, and blamed the botched rollout of test kits to local health workers.

The availability of accurate tests for Covid-19 has become a major sore spot, with official reassurances colliding with uncooperative reality in full view of the public. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar insisted on Tuesday that " millions " of tests were available, even as the CDC urged healthcare providers to save tests for symptomatic patients already hospitalized and " medically fragile individuals ."

In at least one case , federal officials warned a Seattle lab against testing flu swab samples for coronavirus in January, before the epidemic was widely reported, losing critical response time – mirroring the " crime " the Trump administration has tried to pin on China.

And some have warned that the US' inability to handle an outbreak is more dire than either side realizes. During a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday, a Republican congressman from Washington, the first Covid-19 hotspot to flare up in the US, demanded to know why his constituents were unable to get their test results while his fellow congressmen had no problem getting tested just days after coming into contact with an infected person at a DC political conference. A CDC representative admitted " there's not enough equipment. There's not enough people. There's not enough internal capacity. There's no surge capacity ." To conserve tests, the CDC has told healthcare providers to " use their judgment " and consider " epidemiologic factors " before using up a valuable resource.

Existing flaws in the US healthcare system have exacerbated the testing problem. The CDC has refused to set up standalone testing centers, placing COVID-19 screening out of the reach of the many Americans who don't have primary-care physicians and rely on walk-in clinics and emergency rooms for their healthcare. Just 8,500 Americans had been tested as of Monday, according to the CDC, and federal officials told reporters some 75,000 tests had been sent out to public health laboratories on top of one million sent to hospitals and other sites. The real-life infected numbers in the country are thus likely much higher than what is being reported.

Control measures have varied wildly across local governments and institutions and even within cities. Over 1,000 schools have closed nationwide, and cities and counties from Santa Clara, California to Westchester, New York have banned large gatherings. The National Institutes of Health's Anthony Fauci called on others to follow suit during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, announcing " we would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. " Asked if " the worst " was yet to come, Fauci answered unequivocally: " bottom line, it's going to get worse. "

Even as new Covid-19 cases in China dwindle to near zero and cases in Italy, Germany, and other European countries surge, the US has not stepped up screenings of passengers from those countries at airports accordingly. Instead, the administration has continued to congratulate itself on " saving lives " by halting flights from China weeks ago.

See also: Watching the Hawks: The military-industrial complex vs healthcare & common sense

[Mar 12, 2020] In there a shortage of some medicine or test kits in the USA, and the normal behavior of providers of medicines and other medical goods is extremely rapacious

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Mar 11 2020 17:48 utc | 24

About testing: who makes testing kits, how reliable they are, what is the cost?

Seems that in USA there is a shortage, and the normal behavior of providers of medicines and other medical goods is extremely rapacious. For example, Gilead company found a cure for hepatitis C. In the first year of sales, they got more than 5 billion dollars because of enormous prices they demanded. In about 2 years almost all urgent cases were cured, which is fine, and competition emerged.

Unless forced, these companies will provide nothing at cost, only with enormous markup. If you want to get, say, 10 miilion kits that hypothetically cost 250 dollars to make, they would charge at least 10 billion. Actually, the price/cost multiples have no limit at all, as in Gilead case. In the face of that, Administration should use emergency powers to impose cost controls. Manufactures could be threatened delicately to ramp-up the production if they are not willing to do it just from civic sense of duty. That would violate the most precious human rights, i.e. the rights of billionaires. Not the American way.

[Mar 11, 2020] Coronavirus Reveals the Cracks in Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... "The companies suffering from their short-sightedness FULLY DESERVE what they're getting." ..."
Mar 11, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on March 11, 2020 by Yves Smith Yves here. While this article has a lot of helpful suggestions, it does not acknowledge that public health is a state and local, not a Federal matter. The Federal government can intervene only by invoking emergency authority, which in every case I can recall, has been done only when asked (begged) by the relevant authorities. Thus I cannot see the Federal government taking the lead with coronavirus on the medical front, as much as that is desperately needed. Look, for instance, at how it was New York State that imposed a containment area around coronavirus hot spot New Rochelle , and how New York State has started making its own hand sanitizer.

By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute

The coronavirus will eventually pass, but the same cannot be said for the Panglossian phenomenon known as "globalization." Stripped of the romantic notion of a global village, the ugly process we've experienced over the past 40 years has been a case of governmental institutions being eclipsed by multinational corporations, acting to maximize profit in support of shareholders. To billions of us, it has resembled a looting process, of our social wealth, and political meaning. Governments that wanted to stay on top would have to learn to master soft power to learn to be relevant in a globalized world, mostly acting to smooth transactions and otherwise stay out of the way.

In a globalized world, nation-states were supposedly becoming relics. To the extent that they were needed, small national governments were said to equate to good government. This hollow philosophy's main claims now appear badly exposed, as the supply chains wither, and the very interconnectedness of our global economy is becoming a vector of contagion. In the words of author David Goodhart, "We no longer need the help of rats or fleas to spread disease -- we can do it ourselves thanks to mass international travel and supply chains."

To be sure, there were many warning signs that called into question our hitherto benign assumptions about globalization: the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 (during which the Asian tiger economies were decimated by unconstrained speculative capital flows), the vast swaths of the Rust Belt's industrial heartlands created by outsourcing to China's export juggernaut, the concomitant rise in economic inequality and decline in quality of life in industrialized societies and, of course, the 2008 global financial crisis. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz described many of these pathologies in his book Globalization and Its Discontents, as did economist Barry Eichengreen, who lamented that "the nation state has fundamentally lost control of its destiny, surrendering to anonymous global forces." Both noted that globalization was severing a working social contract between national governments and their citizens that had previously delivered rising prosperity for all.

Those who would argue that the inexorable march of globalization cannot be reversed should consider the parallel during the early 20th century. Globalized economic activity and free trade were dominant before the onset of World War I; in 1914, trade as a proportion of global GDP stood at 14 percent. Needless to say, two world wars, and the Great Depression (which brought us the Smoot-Hawley tariffs), reversed this trend. The Cold War sustained regionalization and bifurcated trading blocs. Its end, and China's accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO), ushered in a new high-water mark in globalized trade.

But while it is true that viruses do not respect national boundaries, nothing has blown apart the pretensions of this New World Order as dramatically as the coronavirus, a pandemic now assuming global import, as international supply chains are severed, and global economic activity is brought to a screeching halt. We are increasingly seeing the hollow political content at the core of supranational entities such as the EU, structured more to comfort merged investor groups than strengthen public health systems.

Speaking of Europe, while the coronavirus started in China, its most long-lasting impact might be in the EU, as it has dramatically exposed the shortcomings of the latter's institutional structures. Take Italy as the most vivid illustration: The spread of COVID-19 has been particularly acute there. Being a user of the euro (as opposed to an issuer of the currency) the Italian national government risks exposing itself to potential national bankruptcy (and the vicissitudes of the volatile private capital markets) if it responds with a robust fiscal response, absent the institutional support of Brussels and the European Central Bank (which is the sole issuer of the euro). According to MarketWatch, "Italy needs a €500 to €700 billion ($572 billion to $801 billion) precautionary bailout package to help reassure financial markets that the Italian government and banks can meet their debt payment obligations as [the] country's economic and financial crisis becomes more fearsome."

The tragic case of Italy (where the entire country is now in full quarantined lockdown) provides a particularly poignant example of the gaping lacunae at the heart of the eurozone. There is no supranational fiscal authority, so the Italian government has been largely left to fend for itself, as it is trying to do now, for example, providing income relief by suspending payments on mortgages across the entire country. Here is a perfect example of where European Central Bank support for the Italian banking system would go a long way toward mitigating any resultant financial contagion. But so far, as Wolfgang Munchau of the Financial Times has noted, the ECB remains in "monitoring" mode. Indeed, the eurozone as a whole lacks the institutional mechanisms to mobilize on a massive, coordinated scale, in contrast to the U.S. and UK, and eurozone finance ministers remain incapable of agreeing on a coordinated policy response.

Other eurozone countries may no longer be complacent about the threat posed by COVID-19, but their national governments are more focused on the need to stockpile their own national resources to protect their populations. Italy remains particularly vulnerable to the ravages of this virus, as it has an aging population, so if coronavirus runs rampant through the country, it could potentially crash the nation's entire hospital system, as this account by an Italian doctor suggests.

EU solidarity, showing cracks on issues ranging from finance to immigration, increasingly resembles every country for itself.

Defenders of the EU may well retort that health care is designated as a "national competency" under the Treaty of Maastricht. But how does one expect national competencies to be carried out competently in an economic grouping devoid of national currencies (the key variable as far as supporting unconstrained fiscal capacity goes)? Additionally, the evil of decades of Brussels-imposed austerity has meant there aren't enough hospital beds, materials and staff anywhere in Europe, let alone Italy. This might well represent the death knell for a European project based on aspirations for an "ever closer union."

In spite of the manifest incompetence of the Trump administration, the U.S. at least has institutional mechanisms in place via the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide Americans with clear, credible instructions devoid of political spin.

As Professor James Galbraith has persuasively argued, the U.S. government has the capacity to "establish a Health Finance Corporation on the model of the Depression-era Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Like the RFC, which built munitions factories and hospitals during and after World War II, the HFC should have broad powers to create public corporations, lend to private companies (to fund necessary production), and cover other emergency costs. Even more quickly, the National Guard can be deployed to deal with critical supply issues and to establish emergency facilities such as field hospitals and quarantine centers." Likewise, Senator Marco Rubio has "sought to expand what's called the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which allows the Small Business Administration to start lending money directly instead of just encouraging banks to do so," as Matt Stoller has written.

Parenthetically, this represents a marked break with historic GOP policy, which for the most part has accepted the embedded assumptions inherent in globalization.

And while traditional monetary policy tools such as interest rate cuts are hardly adequate to stem a supply shock, Galbraith also points to the ability of the Federal Reserve to offer emergency financial support to help American companies through the worst of the coronavirus outbreak, by "buy[ing] up debt issued by hospitals and other health-care providers, as well as working to stabilize credit markets, as it did in 2008-09." Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England has made similar recommendations to the UK government.

Even with the measures proposed by Galbraith, Bailey and Rubio, virtually all Western economies, having largely succumbed to the logic of globalization, are now vulnerable, as supply chains wither. China, the apex of these offshored manufacturing supply chains, is in shutdown mode. Likewise South Korea and Italy. Worse, there appears to be a singular lack of understanding on the part of many multinational companies as to how far these supply chains go: "Peter Guarraia, who leads the global supply chain practice at Bain & Co, estimated that up to 60 per cent of executives have no knowledge of the items in their supply chain beyond the tier one group," reports the Financial Times.

A "tier one" company supplies components directly to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that sets up a global supply chain. But as is now becoming increasingly recognized, there are secondary-tier companies, which supply components or materials to those tier-one companies. When goods are widely dispersed geographically (instead of centered in a localized industrial ecosystem), it is harder for executives to have full knowledge of all of the items in their respective companies' supply chains, so the deficiencies of the model only become apparent by the time it is too late to rectify.

In the U.S. specifically, the mass migration of manufacturing has seriously eroded the domestic capabilities needed to turn inventions into high-end products, damaging America's ability to retain a lead in many sectors, let alone continue to manufacture products. The country has evolved from being a nation of industrialists to a nation of financial rentiers. And now the model has exposed the U.S. to significant risk during a time of national crisis, as the coronavirus potentially represents.

There is no national redundancy built into current supply networks, with the most problematic consequences now evident in the pharmaceutical markets. Countries such as China or India are beginning to restrict core components of important generic drugs to deal with their own domestic health crisis. This has the potential to create a major crisis, given that the U.S. "depend[s] on China for 80 percent of the core components to make our generic medicines," writes Rosemary Gibson in the American Conservative. She also notes that "generic drugs are 90 percent of the medicines Americans take. Thousands of them, sold at corner drug stores, grocery store pharmacies, and big box stores, contain ingredients made in China." Constraints on production, therefore, intensify as more and more of the manufacturing process pertaining to the drugs themselves is geographically globalized. And in regard specifically to research-intensive industries, such as pharmaceuticals or biotech, the value of closely integrating the R&D with manufacturing is extremely high, and the risks of separating them are enormous.

These are by no means new problems. We've been dealing with supply-side shocks emanating from hyper-globalization for decades, and the response of Western policymakers has largely been in the form of fiscal or monetary palliatives that seldom address the underlying structural challenges raised by these shortages. To the contrary: democratic caveats to globalization have been characterized as inefficient frictions that hinder consumer choice.

For now, we should start by reducing our supply chain vulnerabilities by building into our systems more of what engineers call redundancy -- different ways of doing the same things -- so as to mitigate undue reliance on foreign suppliers for strategically important industries. We need to mobilize national resources in a manner akin to the way a country does during wartime or during massive economic dislocation (such as the Great Depression) -- comprehensive government-led actions (which runs in the face of much of today's prevailing and increasingly outdated economic and political theology). In other words, the revival of a coherent national industrial policy.

To save the global economy, paradoxically, we need less of it. Not only does the private/public sector balance have to shift in favor of the latter, but so too does the multinational/national matrix in manufacturing. Otherwise, the coronavirus will simply represent yet another in a chain of catastrophes for global capitalism, rather than an opportunity to rethink our entire model of economic development.


Harry Shearer , March 11, 2020 at 3:12 am

But but but ."redundancy", which engineers like, is in direct conflict with "efficiency", which economists revere. Think of how many "smart" appliances we can invent and market if we don't have to make health-care and manufacturing robust again.

vlade , March 11, 2020 at 5:27 am

Cheetah paradox. The fastest land animal, but often dies if injured as can't hunt and has no fat to speak off to take it through lean times.

NC has discussed number of times that you can't have "efficiency" and "reduncancy". Of course, if your drive is short-term profit, it requires efficiency, and redundancy is just a cost.

The smarter companies that have built redundancy, will be the predators left once the injured cheetahs die off.

jaratec , March 11, 2020 at 6:07 am

Out of curiosity, can you name some companies that have built redundancy?

Amfortas the hippie , March 11, 2020 at 8:25 am

does my little farm/doomstead count?
multiple redundancies has been a large part of The Goal for a long time.

as for actual businesses, no except maybe for the more esoteric sectors of FIRE .are "exotic financial instruments" redundant?

"just in time", "warehouse on wheels", as well as globespanning supply lines have worried me since i learned of them.
"efficiency" as a weapon, that eventually gets turned on oneself.

Wukchumni , March 11, 2020 at 8:34 am

My favorite tale of redundancy going away was the oxygen system on commercial airliners. In the past it had 3 or 4 independent redundant systems built in and cost around $20k per seat, and then the cost cutters came up a single digital oxygen system costing only around $500 per seat.

Synoia , March 11, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Yes: Ford and General Motors. If you cannot buy from one company, there are alternatives. The companies are single points of failure. The combination of multiple single point of failure provide redundancy and resilience.

Supporting the Historical US concept of "truce busting" and encouraging competition in all markets.

flora , March 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm

old joke:
Libertarian market CEOs used to be called financial tigers. What are they called now? Ans.: financial cheet'ahs.
ba dum tsssh

-- –

Thanks for this post.

Paul O , March 11, 2020 at 5:30 am

Indeed. As an both an engineering (core mobile network infrastructure) and an econ graduate (PPE and life long interest) this has been an (perhaps, the) issue for me over the last 30 years. There are many ways in which redundancy and resilience have been degraded. Not least in terms of people with the combination of deep technical understanding and problem solving skills.

Baking in fragility in the name of efficiency. Efficiency? Well maybe, but only on a short enough timeline. And timelines have been getting shorter (to validate 'cost cutting').

urblintz , March 11, 2020 at 4:18 am

I don't like to be a smart-fanny and do appreciate the thinking and expertise that shines through this fine essay. I learned an enormous amount and feel better prepared to argue the subject.

But the second half of that last sentence

" the coronavirus will simply represent yet another in a chain of catastrophes for global capitalism, rather than an opportunity to rethink our entire model of economic development."

taken by itself, makes everything before it, well redundant. of course it will.

alex morfesis , March 11, 2020 at 4:18 am

and and and .the "tax planning" departments at majorco international will be crying on about all their masterful overseas tax siloing now having to come apart by having to actually re-shore production oh the pearl clutching to come .

Lambert Strether , March 11, 2020 at 4:50 am

> To billions of us, it has resembled a looting process, of our social wealth, and political meaning

What do you mean, "resembled"?

Ignacio , March 11, 2020 at 5:37 am

I usually like reading Auerback's posts but in this exceptional case I had to stop reading at about the 10th paragraph or so. It is the case that in the heat of the moment we are not having good reaction and fear is driving us a little bit mad.

Leaving our personal phantoms and demons to ride free when we should be carefully thinking on our personal safety and the fate of the social structures that sustain us is not good idea. For instance, identifying Italy as the core of the problem is IMO a misrepresentation of facts. A small city in Northern Italy was, just by chance, the first place in EU where the outbreak started showing all its virulence and it took us by surprise because we were all in denial.

Not only in the EU, a few days ago Mr. Strether left a link in his Water-cooler citing American economists saying that the US would probably not be reached by the epidemics. As an example on how in denial we have been, take a look at this letter sent to the editor of eurosurveillance the 21st of January by physicians from Marseille asking why so much fear about the new disease when they had tested and identified 0 Covid cases in their hospitals while we should focus on flu or rhinovirus. It is almost certain they are now regretting having this letter sent.

Though M. Auerback IMO rigthly crtitizices the fragmentation of the institutional and political framework in the EU, in comparison with the all powerful globalized supply chains, I cannot agree more, I also think he is missing how the institutional response is being organised. After the initial denial, the response to the emergency is necessarily reactive (think of equipments in short supply). In Madrid we are just about 7 days behind of Italy in epidemics development and I can see the same phenomenon here. We are starting to see that we could soon be in short supply of treatment equipment in hospitals. Schools and universities are closed starting today and large gatherings prohibited and yesterday some panic scenes in supermarkets were seen, just like in Italy. The government has programmed a set of measures that are going to be implemented as their necessity is seen such as delaying tax or mortgage payments, and some other help with a focus in small companies and autonomous workers. Both Italy and Spain will almost certainly give a kick in the ass to austerian stupidity and do things necessary to try to mitigate the damage and I bet there won't be any EU institution denying whatever support needed because, ya know, the BCE and other institutions will realise their survival is at risk if they try to be too orthodox in an emergency situation. So far, IMO, the biggest mistakes have been made in China from the very beginning of the outbreak to the brutal quarantines imposed. I think that in the EU, keeping open borders was good reaction.

We will see how this unfolds in the US. This said, I wish the best for Americans of both Americas, Asians, Oceanians, Europeans etc. I hope that authorities around the world have good reaction with this emergency.

ObjectiveFunction , March 11, 2020 at 7:46 am

Good comment, I agree. I've been offline for a bit, so forgive me if mentioned already, but early irruption of the virus in Italy is no mere accident. Chinese groups have bought up Italian luxury brands and then imported thousands of Chinese sweatshop migrants to preserve the coveted Made In Italy label while keeping costs low. Same arrangements in Spain I think, but you would likely know better than I.

For so long as people can't be arsed about where their food clothing and shelter really comes from, there will always be loopholes devised by the unscrupulous. The arbitrage toothpaste is very hard to put back in the tube.

I greatly enjoy Auerback's (and Hudson's) work although I am no socialist (to my mind, today's bankster or McKinsey wanker simply becomes tomorrow's third deputy minister for banana bending – regardless, it's still a small club and most of us ain't in it).

But in order for nations, however defined, to regain self-sufficiency, cartelization of labor enforced in law is going to have to become a thing again, whether it's via unionization, craft guilds or certification (credentialism by any other name would smell as sweet).

Hayek's Heelbiter , March 11, 2020 at 6:41 am

One question: Why does Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World is Flat , extolling the glories of globalization, still have a job paying no doubt tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, while many better informed and infinitely more prescient NCers have trouble putting groceries on the table?

Curious minds wonder.

John Wright , March 11, 2020 at 11:29 am

I realize your comment was rhetorical.

But..

Why does Friedman still have a job after all of his globalization cheer leading and war mongering?

Answer: Because he writes what his bosses want him to write.

In the upside-down world of USA media, people who give good advice (Chris Hedges and Phil Donahue on the Iraq War) get fired, while those who give bad advice (Friedman on almost everything) keep their jobs.

The contempt Friedman has for people may be illustrated by his "Suck on this" comment directed at innocent Iraqis who he judged needed to see US military power directed against them.

This is the USA, where harmful media people are brought down by sex-scandals (Charlie Rose, Chris Matthews) not by the quality of their media work.

Synoia , March 11, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Does this make me look fat?
Yes your majesty.
Off with his head!!

It is a human problem. Not just a US behavior. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The CEO of a large company is no different from the Baron in a Feudal Barony. The President of the United States is an Elected Monarch.

Mike , March 11, 2020 at 8:58 am

I don't get the article's point about a fractured EU response vs a coordinated American response. CDC has been torched by budget cuts and the nurses association in the USA – didn't they say few hospitals have any plans in place for an outbreak? Each country is going to have it's own challenges – good show on Joe Rogan this week and goes into 45% of Americans are obese – a big risk factor when combating Covid-19.

Also a revelation was nearly all generic drugs use in America are sourced from India and China. EU borders have been very fluid for decades, its not an easy thing to shut down for any reason and yes a lot of the response has been reactionary. So back to Globalisation – there are risks, this is the price.

David , March 11, 2020 at 9:02 am

Some good points, but a couple of quibbles.

Globalisation is not the same as trade. Trade, it's sometimes hard to recall, was originally "I'll swap you what you want for what I want." So the English exported wool, for example, and imported silks and spices. Globalisation is an attempt by an insane MBA student to restructure the world economy to be maximally "efficient" without concern for externalities. Globalisation is going down for sure, but of course it will take a lot of perfectly respectable trade with it.

I'm also getting a bit tired of reading that viruses "don't respect national borders." Of course, if there were groups of independently moving viruses, travelling through Europe on their little feet, they wouldn't think to contact the authorities when they cross national borders. But viruses have to be transported by something, usually people, and people (as in China recently) can be required to respect borders. Already there are signs that Free Movement in Europe is coming under strain (Slovenia closed its border with Italy yesterday) and judging by the violent reactions of the "no borders" lobby, they are worried that it may be one of the many types of collateral political damage.

One other thought: this epidemic may be the first in living memory where the PMC, politicians and media figures are disproportionately affected. (I can't think of a single case of a politician who's ever died of flu). The PMC etc. travel a lot more, get out a lot more and mix a lot more with foreigners. When there's no cure, some of them – CEOs, Ministers, media pundits, bankers – are going to die. What then? Already, the more contacts you have, especially with other countries, the worse things will be. Lawyers will find courts closed, consultants will find organisations less ready to consult them, business junkets and conferences will be cancelled, holidays postponed and upper middle-class parents will find that Tarquin and Miranda are unexpectedly at home because the European School in Florence has been closed. Some things will be very hard to bear.

Wukchumni , March 11, 2020 at 9:44 am

The changes coming on account of the virus will be substantial, and if we're all sitting on the sofa, afraid to leave the house for a year, supply chains will be rusty @ best when Coronavirus finally makes off for parts unknown, or pretty much wrecked.

There are very few among us who can afford to miss work and paychecks, and not only that, but those crazy preppers for once are 100% correct (why they don't concentrate on food primarily, is a mystery) in that everything we eat comes from somewhere else typically.

The extraordinary plum of the USD being the worlds' reserve currency looks to be in trouble too, and in a weakened state of things, might just turn into any other fiat monetary instrument.

The internet will change as well, with much of the world stuck in place, i'd expect traffic on here to explode, in that I can't think of a better time waster.

There's also the aspect of the Coronavirus hangover even after it departs, survivors won't let loose of their newfound way of living so easy.

periol , March 11, 2020 at 12:03 pm

I will never forget reading the Wikileak where the US state department was strong-arming an African government on behalf of Shell Oil. It drove home for me the reality that governments and corporations both serve their wealthy elite masters, and don't even pretend to serve the people they ostensibly represent.

That made me realize it's always been this way.

I was in high school when NAFTA went through. I remember reading all the dire warnings from people opposed, and all the glowing thoughts from those in favor. Now, in hindsight, it has been much worse for everyone except the wealthy. The dire warnings weren't dire enough.

Coronavirus isn't a black swan. People have been predicting a pandemic would strike a blow to globalization for a long time. The companies suffering from their short-sightedness FULLY DESERVE what they're getting. I'm sure hoping the fallout hits the corporate landscape hard . Let's see some naked capitalism in action.

Massinissa , March 11, 2020 at 8:39 pm

Your comment reminds me of Smedley Butler's 'War is a Racket' from about 100 years ago. It was true then and its true now. And I'm talking about government practices in general, not just war: You could take 'War' out of the title and replace it with anything else the american government does these days and it would still hold true.

Stratos , March 11, 2020 at 1:31 pm

"The companies suffering from their short-sightedness FULLY DESERVE what they're getting."

They do indeed. That is why they are lobbying the White House for bailout economic assistance funds. It would be a real stinker if they are bailed out with tax dollars and the average citizen is forced to pick up their own medical and time-off-the-job tabs.

[Mar 11, 2020] Fatalism, neolibralism and the USA society

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul Bogdanich , Mar 11 2020 21:09 utc | 83

I should have clarified, I'm an American living in the United States. That said, it bothers me. The absolute lack of any detectable level of courage or fortitude in the face of diversity (hard times) is just stunning. Old people die. Everyone dies over time. Viruses like the flu or SARS, or COVID-19 accelerate that process from time to time. It's just what viruses do. There is no cure for either death or viruses. If you want the biblical "Ye shall surely die."

The worst estimates of "excess deaths" in the U.S. is currently 480,000. Let's call it 605,000. 605,000 out of a population of 310 million is a death rate of 0.2%. Point two percent. If this was a deer heard and the managers were assured that the virus did no other damage and that the point two percent would be overwhelmingly composed of the aged and infirm they would consider intentionally introducing the virus to other herds that were too large.

The panic and cowardice is doing more damage than the disease. The level of fear and panic and the lack of dignity about a life process that you know or should have known was coming for as long as you were sentient is just appalling. The whole society is pusillanimous. There's just no other conclusion. It's outrageous compared to the whole of human history. No other generation in history panicked so much over so little.

/div>

Paul Bogdanich@111

America society is not organized to deal with crisis on its own soil at a community based level due to globalization and the warfare economy that you are well aware of.

First, the closing down of schools is a good example as the increase in poverty among the 99% has resulted in schools having to take on providing food to a large segment of children. It is even worse for the children who are homeless in America while millions of dollars a day go to overseas wars. In New York City along there are about 110,000 homeless children. America has no means to deliver such food aid to children except through school attendance! Even worse is that most of this food is ultraprocessed junk and food like substances as required by the corporate food industry.

Second, most workers must continue to show up even if sick or they face going bankrupt and are already deep in debt to the banks. This creates another petri dish for transmission of the virus which is otherwise going to happen due to a lack of food supplies, except in Mormon and similar communities.

Third, About half of Americans have one or more serious medical conditions, most of which are due to either bad diet (hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) or drug use (alcohol, tobacco, or hard drugs).

Fourth, Americans are generally sedentary and cocooned indoors leading to vitamin/hormone D3 deficiencies and toxic organics exposure in home products.

Fifth, we have a sick care system in the US that tries to maximize revenue flow to medical corporations through excess drug distribution and other symptom treatments (think snake oil salesmen in the old west). Once again, prevention via better diet is the correct but unprofitable choice. See books such as "food fix" and "The Hacking of the American Mind" for further details.

Sixth, oil people who will die generally have deficient immune systems which make them susceptible to secondary infections and lung inflammation responses. Strategies to improve immune response are not profitable compared to vaccines and thus lots of old people will die.

Seventh, as hospitals rapidly fill up with patient with coronavirus secondary infections anyone with injuries or disease conditions (e,g, gall bladder and appendix infections will have a much higher chance of dying). As some 97% of prescription drugs are imported from China there will be dramatic shortages.

Eighth, even with calling out the national guard, there will be a large increase in crime as America has over million gang members who are generally well organized. Pity those who cannot defend themselves.

Ninth, collapse of the food and other essential services distribution over several months will contribute to violence and perhaps starvation, especially among pets and farm animals.

Tenth, since most political leaders in the US attended the AIPAC and CPAP conferences, where they were exposed to infected individuals, they will have a much higher infection rate, especially since they tend to be old and in bad health. The collapse of government decision makers will lead to local communities having to sink or swim.

You are correct about the lack of courage in Americans. More importantly, response to a crisis is 80% mental Americans generally are unwilling to give up their comfort and conformity mindset.

Do not know why anyone would want to serve in the US military. Seems like you now recognize your mistake.

Paul Bogdanich@111

America society is not organized to deal with crisis on its own soil at a community based level due to globalization and the warfare economy that you are well aware of.

First, the closing down of schools is a good example as the increase in poverty among the 99% has resulted in schools having to take on providing food to a large segment of children. It is even worse for the children who are homeless in America while millions of dollars a day go to overseas wars. In New York City along there are about 110,000 homeless children. America has no means to deliver such food aid to children except through school attendance! Even worse is that most of this food is ultraprocessed junk and food like substances as required by the corporate food industry.

Second, most workers must continue to show up even if sick or they face going bankrupt and are already deep in debt to the banks. This creates another petri dish for transmission of the virus which is otherwise going to happen due to a lack of food supplies, except in Mormon and similar communities.

Third, About half of Americans have one or more serious medical conditions, most of which are due to either bad diet (hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) or drug use (alcohol, tobacco, or hard drugs).

Fourth, Americans are generally sedentary and cocooned indoors leading to vitamin/hormone D3 deficiencies and toxic organics exposure in home products.

Fifth, we have a sick care system in the US that tries to maximize revenue flow to medical corporations through excess drug distribution and other symptom treatments (think snake oil salesmen in the old west). Once again, prevention via better diet is the correct but unprofitable choice. See books such as "food fix" and "The Hacking of the American Mind" for further details.

Sixth, oil people who will die generally have deficient immune systems which make them susceptible to secondary infections and lung inflammation responses. Strategies to improve immune response are not profitable compared to vaccines and thus lots of old people will die.

Seventh, as hospitals rapidly fill up with patient with coronavirus secondary infections anyone with injuries or disease conditions (e,g, gall bladder and appendix infections will have a much higher chance of dying). As some 97% of prescription drugs are imported from China there will be dramatic shortages.

Eighth, even with calling out the national guard, there will be a large increase in crime as America has over million gang members who are generally well organized. Pity those who cannot defend themselves.

Ninth, collapse of the food and other essential services distribution over several months will contribute to violence and perhaps starvation, especially among pets and farm animals.

Tenth, since most political leaders in the US attended the AIPAC and CPAP conferences, where they were exposed to infected individuals, they will have a much higher infection rate, especially since they tend to be old and in bad health. The collapse of government decision makers will lead to local communities having to sink or swim.

You are correct about the lack of courage in Americans. More importantly, response to a crisis is 80% mental Americans generally are unwilling to give up their comfort and conformity mindset.

Do not know why anyone would want to serve in the US military. Seems like you now recognize your mistake. /div

[Mar 11, 2020] Another big bonus is that the virus will primarily kill old people, which means that European governments can pay out less retirement pensions and welfare benefits in the future. Neoliberal economics is the big winner here.

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

occupatio , Mar 11 2020 23:01 utc | 132

Italy's economy will be crushed, but the bankers will still get their money. In fact, it's another opportunity to impose further 'austerity' on Italy (as neoliberal economics abhors spending on government services), and to force Italy to take out more loans from Germany and France.

Another big bonus is that the virus will primarily kill old people, which means that European governments can pay out less retirement pensions and welfare benefits in the future. Neoliberal economics is the big winner here.

[Mar 11, 2020] Experts warn flaws in US neoliberalized health system doom its readiness

Mar 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

The epidemic that has so far spread to half of US states, infecting over 1,000 Americans and killing 31...

At least 10 states have declared emergencies as of Wednesday, and disease experts are throwing up their hands, urging the administration to take real-life events more seriously.

...Centers for Disease Control director Robert Redfield agreed that critical regions of the US are beyond the reach of containment, sliding into the " mitigation " stage, and blamed the botched rollout of test kits to local health workers.

The availability of accurate tests for Covid-19 has become a major sore spot, with official reassurances colliding with uncooperative reality in full view of the public. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar insisted on Tuesday that " millions " of tests were available, even as the CDC urged healthcare providers to save tests for symptomatic patients already hospitalized and " medically fragile individuals ."

In at least one case , federal officials warned a Seattle lab against testing flu swab samples for coronavirus in January, before the epidemic was widely reported, losing critical response time – mirroring the " crime " the Trump administration has tried to pin on China.

And some have warned that the US' inability to handle an outbreak is more dire than either side realizes. During a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday, a Republican congressman from Washington, the first Covid-19 hotspot to flare up in the US, demanded to know why his constituents were unable to get their test results while his fellow congressmen had no problem getting tested just days after coming into contact with an infected person at a DC political conference. A CDC representative admitted " there's not enough equipment. There's not enough people. There's not enough internal capacity. There's no surge capacity ." To conserve tests, the CDC has told healthcare providers to " use their judgment " and consider " epidemiologic factors " before using up a valuable resource.

Existing flaws in the US healthcare system have exacerbated the testing problem. The CDC has refused to set up standalone testing centers, placing COVID-19 screening out of the reach of the many Americans who don't have primary-care physicians and rely on walk-in clinics and emergency rooms for their healthcare. Just 8,500 Americans had been tested as of Monday, according to the CDC, and federal officials told reporters some 75,000 tests had been sent out to public health laboratories on top of one million sent to hospitals and other sites. The real-life infected numbers in the country are thus likely much higher than what is being reported.

Control measures have varied wildly across local governments and institutions and even within cities. Over 1,000 schools have closed nationwide, and cities and counties from Santa Clara, California to Westchester, New York have banned large gatherings. The National Institutes of Health's Anthony Fauci called on others to follow suit during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, announcing " we would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. " Asked if " the worst " was yet to come, Fauci answered unequivocally: " bottom line, it's going to get worse. "

Even as new Covid-19 cases in China dwindle to near zero and cases in Italy, Germany, and other European countries surge, the US has not stepped up screenings of passengers from those countries at airports accordingly. Instead, the administration has continued to congratulate itself on " saving lives " by halting flights from China weeks ago.

[Mar 11, 2020] COVID-19 puts neoliberalism on its knee

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 11 2020 14:25 utc | 100

COVID-19 puts neoliberalism on its knees:

Germany abandons "zero deficit" policy

[Mar 11, 2020] Six Quick Points About Coronavirus and Poverty in the US by Bill Quigley

Mar 11, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org

... ... ...

One. Thirty-four million workers do not have a single day of paid sick leave. Even though most of the developed world gives its workers paid sick leave there is no federal law requiring it for workers. Thirty seven percent of private industry workers do not have paid sick leave including nearly half of the lowest paid quarter of workers. That means 34 million working people have no paid sick leave at all. As with all inequality, this group of people is disproportionately women and people of color. More than half of Latinx workers, approximately 15 million workers , are unable to earn a single sick day. Nearly 40 percent of African American workers, more than 7 million people , are in jobs where they cannot earn a single paid sick day.

Two. Low wage workers and people without a paid sick day have to continue to work to survive. Studies prove people without paid sick days are more likely to go to work sick than workers who have paid sick leave. And workers without paid sick days are much more likely to seek care from emergency rooms than those with paid sick leave.

Three. About 30 million people in the US do not have health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation . Nearly half say they cannot afford it . They are unlikely to seek medical treatment for flu like symptoms or seek screening because they cannot afford it.

Four. Staying home is not an option for the homeless. There are about 550,000 homeless people in the US, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless . Homeless people have rates of diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS at rates three to six times that of the general population, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Shelters often provide close living arrangements and opportunities to clean hands and clothes and utensils are minimal for those on the street. Homeless people have higher rates of infectious, acute and chronic diseases like tuberculosis.

[Mar 11, 2020] Sugar and Spice and Everything Vice the Empire's Sin City of London

Mar 11, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

... ... ...

The 2008 crisis put in the spotlight the psychopathic level of greed, vice, apathy and short-sightedness from those who wanted to play into the City of London and Wall Street casino houses. Get rich quick and don't care who you screw in the process, after all, at the end of the day you're either a winner or a loser.

Since the general public tends to consist of decent people, there is a widespread difficulty in comprehending how entire economies of countries have been hijacked by these piranhas. That we have hit such a level of crime that even people's hard earned pensions, education, health-care, housing etc. are all being gambled away LEGALLY.

Looking upon investment bankers today, one is reminded of those sad addicts in the casino who are ruined and lose everything, except the difference is, they are given the option to sell their neighbour's family into slavery to pay off their debt.

It is no secret that much of the "finance" that goes through the City of London and Wall Street is dirty and yet despite this recognition, there appears to be an inability to address it and that at this point we are told that if we tried to address it by breaking up and regulating the "Too Big to Fail" banks, then the whole economy would come tumbling down.

That is, the world is so evidently run by criminal activity that at this point we have become dependent on its dirty money to keep afloat the world economy.

Faced with the onrushing collapse of the financial system, the greatest Ivy League trained minds of the world have run into a dead end: the bailouts into the banking system that began this past September have prevented a chain reaction meltdown for a few months, but as the liquidity runs out so too will the ideas on where the money justifying bank bailouts will come from.

With these dead ends, we have seen the lightbulb go off in the minds of a large strata of economists who have been making the case in recent years that valuable revenue can yet be generated from one more untapped stream: the decriminalisation and legalisation of vice.

Hell, the major banks have already been doing this covertly as a matter of practice for generations so why not just come out of the closet and make it official? This is where the money is at. This is where the job market is at. So let us not "bite the hand that feeds us"!

But is this truly the case? Is there really no qualitative difference how the money is generated and how it is spent as long as there is an adequate money flow?

Well it is never a good sign when beside the richest you can also find the poorest just a stone's throw away. And right beside the largest financial center in the world, the City of London, there lies the poorest borough in all of London: Tower Hamlets with a 39% poverty rate and an average family income amounting to less than £ 13, 000/year .

A City within a City

" Hell is a city much like London "

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Although Wall Street has contributed greatly to this sad situation, this banking hub of America is best understood as the spawn of the City of London.

The City of London is over 800 years old, it is arguably older than England herself, a nd for over 400 years it has been the financial center of the world.

During the medieval period the City of London, otherwise known as the Square Mile or simply the City, was divided into 25 ancient wards headed each by an alderman. This continues today . In addition, there existed the ominously titled City of London Corporation, or simply the Corporation, which is the municipal governing body of the City. This also still continues today .

Though the Corporation's origins cannot be specifically dated, since there was never a "surviving" charter found establishing its "legal" basis, it has kept its functions to this day based on the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John in 1215, which states that " the City of London shall have/enjoy its ancient liberties ". In other words, the legal function of the Corporation has never been questioned, reviewed, re-evaluated EVER but rather it has been left to legally function as in accordance with their "ancient liberties", which is a very grey description of function if you ask me. In other words, they are free to do as they deem fit.

And it gets worst. The Corporation is not actually under the jurisdiction of the British government. That is, the British government presently does not have the authority to undermine how the Corporation of the City chooses to govern the largest financial center in the world . The City has a separate voting system that allows for, well, corporations to vote in how their separate "government" should run. It also has its own private police force and system of private courts.

The Corporation is not just limited to functioning within the City. The City Remembrancer, which sounds more like a warped version of the ghost of Christmas past, has the role of acting as a channel of communication between the Corporation and the Sovereign (the Queen), the Royal Household and Parliament. The Remembrancer thus acts as a "reminder", some would even say "enforcer", of the will of the Corporation. This position has been held by Paul Double since 2003, it is not clear who bestows this non-elected position.

Mr. Double has the right to act as an official lobbyist in the House of Commons, and sits to the right of the Speaker's chair, with the purpose of scrutinising and influencing any legislation he deems affects the interests of the Corporation. He also appears to have the right to review any piece of legislation as it is being drafted and can even comment on it affecting its final outcome. He is the only non-elected person allowed into the House of Commons.

According to the official City of London website , the reason why the City has a separate voting system is because:

"The City is the only area in the country in which the number of workers significantly outnumbers the residents and therefore, to be truly representative of its population, offers a vote to City organisations so they can have their say on the way the City is run."

However, the workers have absolutely no say. The City's organisations they work for have a certain size vote based on the number of workers they employ, but they do not consult these workers, and many of them are not even aware that such elections take place.

If you feel like you have just walked through Alice's Looking Glass, you're not alone, but what appears to be an absurd level of madness is what has been running the largest financial center in the world since the 1600s, under the machinations of the British Empire.

Therefore the question is, if the City of London has kept its "ancient liberties" and has upheld its global financial power, is the British Empire truly gone?

Offshore Banking: Adam Smith's Invisible Hand?

Contrary to popular naïve belief, the empire on which the sun never sets (some say " because God wouldn't trust them in the dark ") never went away .

After WWII, colonisation was meant to be done away with, and many thought, so too with the British Empire. Countries were reclaiming their sovereignty, governments were being set up by the people, the system of looting and pillaging had come to an end.

It is a nice story, but could not be further from the truth.

In the 1950s, to "adapt" to the changing global financial climate, the City of London set up what are called "secrecy jurisdictions". These were to operate within the last remnants of Britain's small territories/colonies. Of Britain's 14 oversea territories, 7 are bona fide tax havens or "secrecy jurisdictions". A separate international financial market was also created to facilitate the flow of this offshore money, the Eurodollar market. Since this market has its banks outside of the UK and U.S., they are not under the jurisdiction of either country.

By 1997, nearly 90% of all international loans were made through this market.

What is often misunderstood is that the City of London's offshore finances are not contained in a system of banking secrecy but rather of trusts. The difference being that a trust ultimately plays with the concept of ownership. The idea is that you hand over your assets to a trustee and at that point, legally those assets are no longer yours anymore and you are not responsible for accounting for them. Your connection to said assets is completely hidden.

In addition, within Britain's offshore jurisdictions, there is no qualification required for who can become a trustee: anyone can set up a trust and anyone can become a trustee. There is also no registry of trusts in these territories. Thus, the only ones who know about this arrangement are the trustee and the settler.

John Christensen, an investigative economist, estimates that this capital that legally belongs to nobody could amount to as high as $50 trillion within these British territories. Not only is this not being taxed, but a significant portion of it has been stolen from sectors of the real economy.

So how does this affect "formerly" colonised countries?

There lies the rub for most developing nations. According to John Christensen, the combined external debts of Sub-Saharan African countries was $177 billion in 2008. However, the wealth that these countries' elites moved offshore, between 1970-2008, is estimated at $944 billion, 5X their foreign debt. This is not only dirty money, this is also STOLEN money from the resources and productivity of these economies. Thus, as Christensen states, "Far from being a net debtor to the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor" to offshore finance.

Put in this context, the so-called "backwardness" of Africa is not due to its incapability to produce, but rather that it has been experiencing uninterrupted looting since these regions were first colonised.

These African countries then need to borrow money, which is happily given to them at high interest rates, and accrues a level of debt that could never be repaid. These countries are thus looted twice over, leaving no money left to invest in their future, let alone to put food on the table.

Offshore havens are what make this sort of activity "legal" and rampant.

And it doesn't stop there. Worldwide, it is estimated that developing countries lose $1 trillion every year in capital flight and tax evasion. Most of this wealth goes back into the UK and U.S. through these offshore havens, and allows their currencies to stay strong whilst developing nations' currencies are kept weak.

However, developing nations are not the only ones to have suffered from this system of looting. The very economies of the UK and U.S. have also been gutted. In the 1960s and onward, the UK and U.S., to compensate for the increase in money flow out of their countries decided that it was a good idea to open their domestic markets to the trillions of dollars passing through its offshore havens.

However, such banks are not interested in putting their money into industry and manufacturing, they put their money into real estate speculation, financial speculation and foreign currency trade. And thus the financialization of British and American economies resulted, and the real jobs coming from the real economy decreased or disappeared.

Although many economists try to claim differently, the desperation has boiled over and movements like the yellow vests are reflections of the true consequences of these economic policies.

We have reached a point now where every western first world country is struggling with a much higher unemployment rate and a lower standard of living than 40 years ago. Along with increased poverty has followed increased drug use, increased suicide and increased crime.

A Stable Economy based on Freedom or Slavery?

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) report in 2017 , the UK has by far the highest rate of drug overdose in all of Europe at 31% followed by Germany at 15%. That is, the UK consists of 1/3 drug overdoses that occur in all of Europe.

The average family income in the UK is presently £28, 400. The poverty rate within the UK is ~20%.

The average family income of what was once the epicentre of world industrialisation, Detroit, has an average family income of $26, 249. The poverty rate of Detroit is ~34.5%.

What is the solution?

Reverse Margaret Thatcher's 1986 Big Bang deregulation of the banking system that destroyed the separation of commercial banking, investment banking, trusts and insurance for starters. A similar restoration of Glass-Steagall in the USA should follow suit, not only to break up the "Too Big to Fail" banking system but to restore the authority of nation states over private finance once more. IF these emergency measures were done before the markets collapse (and they will collapse), then the industrial-infrastructure revival throughout trans-Atlantic nations can still occur.

Let us end here by hearkening to the words of Clement Attlee, UK Prime Minister from 1945-1951:

" Over and over again we have seen that there is another power than that which has its seat at Westminster. The City of London, a convenient term for a collection of financial interests, is able to assert itself against the government of the country. Those who control money can pursue a policy at home and abroad contrary to that which is being decided by the people. "

[Mar 11, 2020] A cool article about the impossibility of separating capitalism from mafia-style banditism:

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 10 2020 18:54 utc | 10

To complete the SC's double-header, here's a cool article about the impossibility of separating capitalism from mafia-style banditism:

Sugar and Spice and Everything Vice: the Empire's Sin City of London

Extra points for the headline.

[Mar 11, 2020] Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump triumph by George Monbiot

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy ..."
"... He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands. ..."
"... Democracy, by contrast, "is not an ultimate or absolute value". In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take. He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. ..."
"... Bill Clinton and Tony Blair did not possess a narrative of their own. Rather than develop a new political story, they thought it was sufficient to triangulate . In other words, they extracted a few elements of what their parties had once believed, mixed them with elements of what their opponents believed, and developed from this unlikely combination a "third way" ..."
"... It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek's triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair's expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act , which had regulated the financial sector. ..."
"... The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism's crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek's "independent"; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. ..."
"... Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity. ..."
"... Hayek softened his opposition to monopolies and hardened his opposition to trade unions. He lambasted progressive taxation and attempts by the state to raise the general welfare of citizens. He insisted that there is "an overwhelming case against a free health service for all" and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel prize for economics . ..."
"... By the time Thatcher slammed his book on the table, a lively network of thinktanks, lobbyists and academics promoting Hayek's doctrines had been established on both sides of the Atlantic, abundantly financed by some of the world's richest people and businesses , including DuPont, General Electric, the Coors brewing company, Charles Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Lawrence Fertig, the William Volker Fund and the Earhart Foundation. Using psychology and linguistics to brilliant effect, the thinkers these people sponsored found the words and arguments required to turn Hayek's anthem to the elite into a plausible political programme. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek . Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism . It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone.

This, at any rate, is how it was originally conceived. But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy . Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap.

He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands.

Democracy, by contrast, "is not an ultimate or absolute value". In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take. He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.

The ultra rich are "scouts", "experimenting with new styles of living", who blaze the trails that the rest of society will follow. The progress of society depends on the liberty of these "independents" to gain as much money as they want and spend it how they wish. All that is good and useful, therefore, arises from inequality. There should be no connection between merit and reward, no distinction made between earned and unearned income, and no limit to the rents they can charge.

Inherited wealth is more socially useful than earned wealth: "the idle rich", who don't have to work for their money, can devote themselves to influencing "fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs". Even when they seem to be spending money on nothing but "aimless display", they are in fact acting as society's vanguard.

Thatcherism and Reaganism were not ideologies in their own right: they were just two faces of neoliberalism. Their massive tax cuts for the rich, crushing of trade unions, reduction in public housing, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services were all proposed by Hayek and his disciples. But the real triumph of this network was not its capture of the right, but its colonisation of parties that once stood for everything Hayek detested.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair did not possess a narrative of their own. Rather than develop a new political story, they thought it was sufficient to triangulate . In other words, they extracted a few elements of what their parties had once believed, mixed them with elements of what their opponents believed, and developed from this unlikely combination a "third way" .

It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek's triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair's expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act , which had regulated the financial sector. For all his grace and touch, Barack Obama, who didn't possess a narrative either (except "hope"), was slowly reeled in by those who owned the means of persuasion.

As I warned in April, the result is first disempowerment then disenfranchisement. If the dominant ideology stops governments from changing social outcomes, they can no longer respond to the needs of the electorate. Politics becomes irrelevant to people's lives; debate is reduced to the jabber of a remote elite. The disenfranchised turn instead to a virulent anti-politics in which facts and arguments are replaced by slogans, symbols and sensation. The man who sank Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency was not Donald Trump. It was her husband.

The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism's crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek's "independent"; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, -> -> beginning with the agreement to limit global warming .

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It's too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish . The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity.

Hayek softened his opposition to monopolies and hardened his opposition to trade unions. He lambasted progressive taxation and attempts by the state to raise the general welfare of citizens. He insisted that there is "an overwhelming case against a free health service for all" and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel prize for economics .

By the time Thatcher slammed his book on the table, a lively network of thinktanks, lobbyists and academics promoting Hayek's doctrines had been established on both sides of the Atlantic, abundantly financed by some of the world's richest people and businesses , including DuPont, General Electric, the Coors brewing company, Charles Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Lawrence Fertig, the William Volker Fund and the Earhart Foundation. Using psychology and linguistics to brilliant effect, the thinkers these people sponsored found the words and arguments required to turn Hayek's anthem to the elite into a plausible political programme.


ianfraser3 , 16 Nov 2016 17:54

EF Schumacher quoted "seek first the kingdom of God" in his epilogue of "Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered". This was written in the early 1970s before the neoliberal project bit in the USA and the UK. The book is laced with warnings about the effects of the imposition of neoliberalism on society, people and the planet. The predictions have largely come true. New politics and economics needed, by leaders who place at the heart of their approach the premise, and fact, that humans are "by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish". It is about reclaiming our humanity from a project that treats people as just another commodity.
LionelKent -> greven , 16 Nov 2016 14:59
And persistent. J.K. Galbraith viewed the rightwing mind as predominantly concerned with figuring out a way to justify the shift of wealth from the immense majority to an elite at the top. I for one regret acutely that he did not (as far as I know) write a volume on his belief in progressive taxation.
courtsfurnishing -> Harryonthehill , 16 Nov 2016 10:05
Millions see no benefit from the wealth generated by these 'entrepreneurs', that is the nub of the matter. 'Trickle-down' economics is the biggest lie of my lifetime: (DOB 1951).
User237167 , 16 Nov 2016 08:40
Albert Einstein said, "capitalism is evil" in his famous dictum called, "Why Socialism" in 1949. He also called communism, "evil", so don't jump to conclusions, comrades. ;)

His reasoning was it distorts a human beings longing for the social aspect. I believe George references this in his statement about people being "unselfish". This is noted by both science and philosophy.

Einstein noted that historically, the conqueror would establish the new order, and since 1949, Western Imperialism has continued on with the predatory phase of acquiring and implementing democracy/capitalism. This needs to end. As we've learned rapidly, capitalism isn't sustainable. We are literally overheating the earth which sustains us. Very unwise.

Einstein wrote, "Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society."

Personally, I'm glad George and others are working on a new economic and social construct for us "human beings". It's time we leave the predatory phase of "us versus them", and construct a new society which works for the good of our now, global society.

zavaell -> LECKJ3000 , 16 Nov 2016 06:28
The problem is that both you and Monbiot fail to mention that your "the spontaneous order of the market" does not recognize externalities and climate change is outside Hayek's thinking - he never wrote about sustainability or the limits on resources, let alone the consequences of burning fossil fuels. There is no beauty in what he wrote - it was a cold, mechanical model that assumed certain human behaviour but not others. Look at today's money-makers - they are nearly all climate change deniers and we have to have government to reign them in.
aLERNO , 16 Nov 2016 04:52
Good, short and concise article. But the FIRST NEOLIBERAL MILESTONE WAS THE 1973 COUP D'ETAT IN CHILE, which not surprisingly also deposed the first democratically-elected socialist government.
willpodmore , 16 Nov 2016 04:10
Neoliberalism is the theory of capitalism in decline. A failed system that cannot produce growth or rising living standards for the majority. A system run by the IMF, the EU and other undemocratic bodies. And Mr Monbiot says we should stay in the neoliberal EU!
FunkyJunkie -> JVRTRL , 16 Nov 2016 03:23
here here, all the Austrians and those of central European descent (Friedman) are paranoid about the ascent of government and unfortunately it both colours their views and distorts their thinking. A recent reading of Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom" confirmed my view that there was a lot of weak logic and quite poor intellectual thinking overall applied, tho in its day it would have resonated.
MGEvans -> marxmarv , 16 Nov 2016 03:10
You owe me five bucks mate.
accipiter15 , 16 Nov 2016 02:34
A great article and explanation of the influence of Hayek on Thatcher. Unfortunately this country is still suffering the consequences of her tenure and Osborne was also a proponent of her policies and look where we are as a consequence. The referendum gave the people the opportunity to vent their anger and if we had PR I suspect we would have a greater turn-out and nearly always have some sort of coalition where nothing gets done that is too hurtful to the population. As for Trump, again his election is an expression of anger and desperation. However, the American voting system is as unfair as our own - again this has probably been the cause of the low turn-out. Why should people vote when they do not get fair representation - it is a waste of time and not democratic. I doubt that Trump is Keynsian I suspect he doesn't have an economic theory at all. I just hope that the current economic thinking prevailing currently in this country, which is still overshadowed by Thatcher and the free market, with no controls over the city casino soon collapses and we can start from a fairer and more inclusive base!
JVRTRL -> Keypointist , 16 Nov 2016 02:15
The system that Clinton developed was an inheritance from George H.W. Bush, Reagan (to a large degree), Carter, with another large assist from Nixon and the Powell Memo.

Bill Clinton didn't do it by himself. The GOP did it with him hand-in-hand, with the only resistance coming from a minority within the Democratic party.

Trump's victory was due to many factors. A large part of it was Hillary Clinton's campaign and the candidate. Part of it was the effectiveness of the GOP massive resistance strategy during the Obama years, wherein they pursued a course of obstruction in an effort to slow the rate of the economic recovery (e.g. as evidence of the bad faith, they are resurrecting a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Obama originally proposed in 2012, and now that they have full control, all the talk about "deficits" goes out the window).

Obama and the Democratic party also bear responsibility for not recognizing the full scope of the financial collapse in 2008-2009, passing a stimulus package that was about $1 trillion short of spending needed to accelerate the recovery by the 2010 mid-terms, combined with a weak financial regulation law (which the GOP is going to destroy), an overly complicated health care law -- classic technocratic, neoliberal incremental policy -- and the failure of the Obama administration to hold Wall Street accountable for criminal misconduct relating to the financial crisis. Obama's decision to push unpopular trade agreements didn't help either. As part of the post-mortem, the decision to continuing pushing the TPP may have cost Clinton in the rust belt states that went for Trump. The agreement was unpopular, and her shift on the policy didn't come across as credible. People noticed as well that Obama was trying to pass the measure through the lame-duck session of Congress post-election. With Trump's election, the TPP is done too.

VoltefarcedePfeffel , 15 Nov 2016 21:11
Another nasty neoliberal policy of Reagan and Thatcher, was to close all the mental hospitals, and to sweeten the pill to sell to the voters, they called it Care in the Community, except by the time those hospitals closed and the people who had to relay on those institutions, they found out and are still finding out that there is very little care in the community left any more, thanks to Thatcher's disintegration of the ethos community spirit. In their neoliberal mantra of thinking, you are on your own now, tough, move on, because you are hopeless and non productive, hence you are a burden to taxpayers. Its been that way of thinking for over thirty years, and now the latest group targeted, are the sick and disabled, victims of the neoliberal made banking crash and its neoliberal inspired austerity, imposed of those least able to fight back or defend themselves i.e. vulnerable people again!
TanTan -> crystaltips2 , 15 Nov 2016 20:10

If you claim that the only benefit of private enterprise is its taxability, as you did, then why not cut out the middle man and argue for full state-directed capitalism?


Because it is plainly obvious that private enterprise is not directed toward the public good (and by definition). As we have both agreed, it needs to have the right regulations and framework to give it some direction in that regard. What "the radical left" are pointing out is that the idea of private enterprise is now completely out of control, to the point where voters are disenfranchised because private enterprise has more say over what the government does than the people. Which is clearly a problem.

As for the rest, it's the usual practice of gathering every positive metric available and somehow attributing it to neoliberalism, no matter how tenuous the threads, and as always with zero rigour. Supposedly capitalism alone doubled life expectancy, supports billions of extra lives, invented the railways, and provides the drugs and equipment that keep us alive. As though public education, vaccines, antibiotics, and massive availability of energy has nothing to do with those things.

As for this computer being the invention of capitalism, who knows, but I suppose if one were to believe that everything was invented and created by capitalism and monetary motives then one might believe that. Energy allotments referred to the limit of our usage of readily available fossil fuels which you remain blissfully unaware of.

Children have already been educated to agree with you, in no small part due to a fear of the communist regimes at the time, but at the expense of critical thinking. Questioning the system even when it has plainly been undermined to its core is quickly labelled "radical" regardless of the normalcy of the query. I don't know what you could possibly think left-wing motives could be, but your own motives are plain to see when you immediately lump people who care about the planet in with communist idealogues. If rampant capitalism was going to solve our problems I'm all for it, but it will take a miracle to reverse the damage it has already done, and only a fool would trust it any further.

marxmarv -> hyp Alx , 15 Nov 2016 19:48
Then we can put the entire Washington Consensus to bed and never have to hear any of these awful names we've been hearing on our tellies for the past 30 years. Giant meteors at the hotel where Soros is holding his neoliberal huddle would be nice.
marxmarv -> grittygran , 15 Nov 2016 19:24
Liberalism itself is, to an extent, based on judgment and ritual humiliation, as shown by a few moments spent flipping through <I>The New Republic and other chronicles of their bourgeois aspirations. Whatever this brave new world without neoliberalism shall be, there are parts of this totalizing ideology called liberalism that taking with us seems to lead only to this same drama a few generations hence. Perhaps liberalism itself is toxic to political economy, under the theory that what it has brought is exactly what it brings, and that its influence may be better preserved in social libertinism than economic libertinism.
marxmarv -> greven , 15 Nov 2016 18:52
Communism didn't collapse, so much as neoliberalism took its scalp. Context matters here, and the West can't pretend it wasn't torturing, raping and murdering to make that happen.
yorkslass -> JGreen42 , 15 Nov 2016 18:32

A vote for Trump, Boris, Farage and Aaron Banks is a vote against neoliberal ism? Seriously?

Even these chaps realise that money is made from the 'little guy' and if the little guy is deprived of a reasonable income and the opportunity to spend it as he/she wills, then the 'big guys' eventually lose out as well.

The strategy adopted by all the corporative elites has been to import labour from countries which care about health and education for the masses and whose residents are happy to take low wages and UK government top ups in the form of tax credits and child benefits. After all, the wage differentials ensure they can educate their own children privately in their home countries and they can return home at any time for private health care when necessary.

The leaders of the EU have done all they can to ensure a more even distribution of wealth amongst member states. But in fact it suits no one except their wealthy cronies, who can pick and choose where they pay their taxes (or not). Migrants don't want it - they are happy to earn relatively high wages elsewhere and spend it in their own relatively impoverished home countries; and the native population of the wealthier countries don't want their own standards of living eroded by unfair competition from migrants.

The system is unsustainable long term and everyone knows it. If they weren't aware of what was happening before the Cameron negotiations, they certainly were when they saw the reaction, and the greed, of the Polish Minister in particular. Brexit happened becasue of Cameron's failure.

The Trump triumph is more difficult to understand. He seems to have picked up on Farage's rhetoric and applied it to the US (particularly in regard to Mexican migrants undercutting local wages and the apparent need for fences along the borders). I am not convinced however that the US as a federal superstate faces the same problems as the EU - which is currently a hybrid intergovernmental organisation / federal superstate, or rather in transition from the former to the latter. However if the US is the exemplar or the model into which the EU is morphing then it is best to stop the process right now.

CherryHill -> sadsaddo , 15 Nov 2016 18:15
This is the real scam regarding the NHS:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/15/revealed-temp-agencies-avoidance-scheme-costs-taxpayers-hundreds-of-millions

People can't be expected to work like this. No wonder we have trouble recruiting NHS staff. Who wants to be 'employed' by a two-person company? Shocking.

Also, somebody – and I don't care who it is – needs to get on top of the tax evasion and, now, National Insurance evasion by these companies. Billions are being lost. And to think you're quibbling about the cost of a few imaginary women having babies.

User781652 -> Trouthunter , 15 Nov 2016 17:03
Bernie Sanders, writing in the Boston Globe less than a month before the US election, mentioned 'one family (the Waltons) having more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of our population'. Does anyone know who this family is, as I have never heard of them? Those who think it is the famous family from the American TV series of the same name need not reply.
undercoverguyzer -> Dave_P , 15 Nov 2016 16:57
Well the rich did make a secret of it. Neoliberalism is the pattern that connects policies that roll back state social support and roll out pro-market 'solutions' with pseudoscientific economic explanations. The rich funded the considerable network of think tanks that took the neoliberal agenda to governments as the new truth, and the cover story was that there would be growth that lifts all boats. It hasn't happened. Instead we have inequality and stalled growth, but the new medicine 'austerity', continues to be neoliberal.

[Mar 11, 2020] Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics - what's the difference - Renegade Inc

Mar 11, 2020 | renegadeinc.com

Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what's the difference? By Claire Connelly Economics & Finance | Loading Bookmark to dashboard

Neoliberalism and neo-classical economics are often terms that are used interchangeably by various economists and financial writers, but actually, there are important differences between the two. We've had some requests from readers to make that distinction more obvious, so here goes

Neo-classical economic theory puts 'man' as a rational human being at the heart of the economic system, extrapolating the functions of the economy based on optimised behaviour of rational, well-informed individuals trading with one in another in what is effectively a barter system (which as I'm sure we all know by now, never actually existed ). It is based on the general equilibrium model pioneered by late 19th century economist Leon Walras , of the Lausanne School. Ironically, neoclassical economics guarantees full employment because it models a system with no frictions or inconveniences like trade unions, minimum wage laws or imperfect information. Also false.

It also guarantees that society will find an optimal allocation of resources on its own, so long as markets are competitive, and there are no externalities, like pollution, which go unaccounted for.

Neoclassicists are concerned about monopoly power, neoliberals are not. Neoclassicists believe it merits government intervention and regulation. Neoliberals, do not.

It is possible to be a neoclassical without being a neoliberal.

The most important thing to understand is that neoliberalism is a post-war political movement that grew out of the Mont Pelerin Society , a thought collective that formed a consensus not to put the market at the centre of the state, but to take it over completely. Its entire objective is to co-opt economics and subvert the public interest to suit the needs of powerful capitalist institutions and the politicians, economists, financiers, philosophers, bankers, think-tanks and media organisations that support them.

Neoliberalism is associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and was pioneered by economist Milton Friedman & Friedrich Hayeck, but as the economic historian, Philip Mirowski points out, this is a deliberate deception to trick people into thinking it is concerned about market equilibrium.

It is the doctrine by which white collar crime has been allowed to prosper unprosecuted while governments of wealthy nations like the US and UK have abdicated their responsibility for employment, health care, education and the general well-being of the populations they are supposedly elected to serve. In their minds, government exists only to maintain property rights, defend capitalists and maintain price stability, (which apparently doesn't count as intervention when it works in the favour of the wealthy).

We are what we eat, well, in free market terms anyway
Whilst 90% of the US media (film, TV and radio) is controlled by only 6 companies.

Unlike neoclassicists and neoliberals, heterodox economists and other post-Keynesians, reject the notion of general equilibrium. They believe the economy evolves through non-equilibrium states over time. Heterodox economists believe governments need to introduce instability-thwarting mechanisms to stabilise the economy, maintain full employment, and retain social equity.

"Free-market economists may want you to believe that the correct boundaries of the market can be scientifically determined, but this is incorrect," writes institutional economist, Ha-Joon Chang, in his book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/J7m9wfFnH6o

"If the boundaries of what you are studying cannot be scientifically determined, what you are doing is not a science," writes the Cambridge University economist.

"Recognising that the boundaries of the market are ambiguous and cannot be determined in an objective way lets us realise that economics is not a science like physics or chemistry, but a political exercise."

In other words, a strong economy requires constant time, attention, assessment, and when it is called for, intervention. The rules will not always be the same, nor the causes. But it helps to start with an understanding of the role and purpose of government spending and taxation .

Further Listening

Listen to this interview economic historian Philip Mirowski who delves into the further nuances of these economic mindsets.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cf2YQ-1wvrc?feature=oembed

Claire Connelly Claire Connelly Claire Connelly is the lead writer of Renegade Inc. An award-winning freelance journalist, speaker, and founder of subscription journalism experiment, Hello Humans.

Specialising in economics, technology and policy, Connelly is working on her first book due out in 2018.

With more than a decade of experience under her belt, Claire has written for leading publications including The Australian Financial Review, The Saturday Paper, ABC, SBS, Crikey, New Matilda, VICE & others. She is the co-host of The Week In Start-Ups Australia, and features regularly as a commentator on TV and radio shows including Radio National's Download This Show, ABC's The Drum, Ten's The Project, and more. Claire Connelly Latest posts by Claire Connelly ( see all )

Posted in Economics & Finance Tagged Economic Policy , Free Market , laissez-faire , Mont Perin Society , Neoclassical Economics , Neoliberalism 15 thoughts on "Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what's the difference?"
  1. Pingback: Renegade Inc: Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what's the difference? – Brave New Europe
  2. Tom Woods says: March 19, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    What were Hayek's contributions to capital theory? Just wondering. I have never encountered a single person who speaks of "neoliberalism" (a term we ourselves never use to describe what we believe) who has read a single word of Hayek's economic work. Or who even knows who Ludwig von Mises is.

    (Whenever the two economists mentioned are Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, I know I'm dealing with somebody who hasn't read anything.) Reply

    1. Dave says: March 19, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      But of course you have read everything and know all, right Tom ? What specifically is wrong with this account ? If you can't dispute anything within the piece why do you attempt to dismiss it out of hand by implying without a shred of evidence what someone has or hasn't read ? How could you possibly know what someone has read or hasn't ? Reply

    2. David Blobaum says: March 19, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      (Whenever someone disqualifies someone else based on assumption I know I'm dealing with bruised ego) Reply

    3. John Giles says: March 20, 2018 at 6:13 am

      What actually is "capital theory", Tom. Why don't you use the term 'neoliberalism?
      Why do you think Claire hasn't heard of Mises and why would it be important anyway? Mises and the Austrian School are part of the problem that the article refers to. Reply

  3. Alan Luchetti says: March 20, 2018 at 12:13 am

    "(Whenever the two economists mentioned are Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, I know I'm dealing with somebody who hasn't read anything.)"

    I think you meant "dealing to".

    And why so ignorant of Hayek on capital theory? 😉 Reply

  4. Hoobert Herver says: March 20, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Sorry. I just don't believe even smart people can manage markets. That's the nature of markets: they are individual. If you haven't read Von Mises or Hayek, you're missing out on the thinking of two very smart people. It is hard for me to embrace the idea that – because a market doesn't seem to function as a person might want it to – persons should be given authority to govern those markets in a way that suits them. That, in itself, distorts the market. Reply

  5. Bob Kaufman says: March 21, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I am responding to an article by you in today's The Automatic Earth about the vengeance of capitalism. I could not get the response area to work so that is why I am coming to you this way.

    You write eloquently and I see the creation of increasing suffering due to a form of capitalism and class privilege in America and globally. I have read and listened to Keen, Hudson and Kelton. From my review they all approach the ability of a nation that controls their own currency as an ability to create an unlimited amount of money to use to reduce human suffering with no discussion of the ultimate end game if we continue to do so.

    There is a lot of suffering now and because of climate change, increasing usurping of jobs by technology and global resource depletion and more a lot more suffering may be coming our way.

    How much money are they (and you) thinking of creating?

    What are the implications of creating money at a much more rapid pace than we have been with no upper limits in sight?

    What are the upper limits of money creation? How would we know?

    Our present system of capitalism and privilege is like a drug. It feels good at the start but kills us in the end,

    I am fearful that an addiction to the unlimited or substantial and on going use of money created from thin air will do the same.

    What say you?

    PS: Please accept with compassion all the typos that are probably in this note. Reply

    1. Dave says: March 28, 2018 at 4:46 am

      You keep forgetting that having the ability to create money also gives you the ability to destroy that same money. What is collected in tax revenue is destroyed. More money is issued to create infrastructure. The deficit in a country that can create it's own currency is really just a ratio of what is collected(destroyed) and what is created(spent).
      Now ask yourself what happens when you quit destroying money and keep right on creating it Reply

  6. Youri says: March 23, 2018 at 12:40 am

    great article Claire! love your articles at New Matilda by the way, and enjoyed your interview at Redacted Tonight and love Renegade INC at RT 🙂 Reply

  7. Cliff Cobb says: March 26, 2018 at 6:38 am

    The aim of distinguishing neoclassical and neolilberal is of merit. The interview with Mirowski makes clear, however, that that are numerous strands of neoliberalism that overlap with each other, with some drawing on neoclassical arguments, and others having a different starting point. But it is not clear to me that all of them agree on the market fundamentalism, which is generally regarded as the defining characteristic of neoliberalism. Was Joseph Schumpeter a neoliberal? His ideas about entrepreneurship have probably done more to make monopoly respectable than the parallel work of von Mises. Schumpeter's thought has entered the mainstream in the U.S. via Peter Drucker, who thought the modern corporation was the engine of all forms of human progress. In Germany, Ordo-liberalism was another form of neoliberalism that called for a strong state. Was this self-contradiction? What I find frustrating in most discussions on the Left of these thinkers is the inability or unwillingness to recognize the ***partial*** validity of their ideas. On the particular subject of government interference to protect against monopoly power, it was Gabriel Kolko, a socialist, who first showed in 1962 that Progressives were responsible for the national monopolies that emerged around 1900. Even now, progressives fail to comprehend the many ways in which regulation benefits big business and stifles small business. Designing regulations that do more social and environmental good than harm is much harder than most progressives seem to recognize. Analyzing the sociology and politics of neoliberal organizations, as Mirowski does, gets us no closer to finding way to create effective government programs that do not simultaneously feed the leviathan of an expansive state. I would very much like to know which heterodox economists are actually addressing the tough problems we face rather than defining the boundaries between neoclassical thought and their own domain.. Reply

  8. Chris Auld says: May 30, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    There are a very large number of errors in this piece. Fundamentally, what is described as "neoclassical economics" is actually just one model, Walras' circa 1870 general equilibrium model. If one defines neoclassical economics as equivalent to that one model, then there has never been a single neoclassical economist, as absolutely no one limits attention to that one model.

    The body of research most actual economists would describe as "neoclassical economics" encompasses an enormous body of work which posits that some social phenomena can be understood as emergent results of individual, intentional behavior. That research includes literally thousands of papers studying the phenomena the author wrongly believes are simply excluded by assumption, such as unemployment, unions, minimum wage laws, and imperfect information. There is an entire field, Public Economics, devoted to the study of "the role and purpose of government spending and taxation."

    The idea that government can and should "introduce instability-thwarting mechanisms to stabilize the economy, maintain full employment, and retain social equity" is also, contrary to the article's assumptions, very much part of mainstream, neoclassical thought, and has been for almost a century.

    After having implicitly defined mainstream economics as solely the study of a single 1870 model, the article then also misrepresents heterodox economics. Notably, the Marxian economist (less than 1% of all economists) such as Chang do not "reject the notion of general equilibrium". Marxian analysis is explicitly grounded in general equilibrium, both in Marx's work and in modern neo-Marxian form, and can be expressed in the same analytical framework as the Walrasian model (see for example: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1911113?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents ).

    The article is correct that neoliberalism is a strain of political thought, and not economics at all: they're not even the same type of thing, much the same thing. That's all the article ought to say -- it gets everything about what economists think, and what neoclassical economics is, really, really wrong.

    Chris Auld
    Department of Economics
    University of Victoria Reply

    1. Steven says: May 31, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Chris, your criticism is so misleading.

      Most though not all mainstream economics is neoclassical economics.

      Neoclassical economics is based on marginalism, or optimising behaviour, expected utility theory, and either implicit or explicit general equilibrium analysis. The economy, in the absence of frictions, would behave like a stable equilibrium system. In a macroeconomic sense, this is the basis of all versions of the neoclassical synthesis, including second generation dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models.

      These models all have Walrasian and Wicksellian roots. They all assume optimising behaviour. They always adopt the ergodic hypothesis and these days adopt rational expectations formation. Not only that, they have all been constructed in defiance of what we know about the history and nature of money; they all ignore ontological uncertainty, in the Keynesian sense; they all exclude genuinely endogenous financial instability and crisis; they are biased towards an essentially technological explanation of income distribution; they all incorporate a natural or non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment; they all exhibit long run money neutrality; they all incorporate an efficient markets approach to financial markets.

      There are of course elements of what some would regard these days as mainstream economics which don't fit under the neoclassical banner. However, for the most part, mainstream = neoclassicism.

      The greatest divide between neoclassical economics and genuine (i.e. not 'new') institutional economics, is the F-twist of Milton Friedman – the notion that unrealistic axiomatic foundations in some sense don't matter, and neither does an approach which does not naturally incorporate realistic institutions.

      Of course, economists using a neoclassical frame have things to say about unemployment, minimum wages, etc. But, as Hyman Minsky put it, "The game of policy making is rigged; the theory used determines the questions that are asked and the options that are presented. The prince is constrained by the theory of his intellectuals."

      You accuse the author of errors, and I think you are ungenerous – and, more importantly – incorrect. My advice to you is to read Steve Keen's best-seller 'Debunking Economics'. You could even read my 'Economics for Sustainable Prosperity'. If you read these two books, you will be much more aware of the limitations of neoclassical economics, and the rich insights available from the many economists who have worked, and who are working today, outside the neoclassical frame. Reply

  9. Claire says: May 31, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I highly recommend reading this short piece by Professor Steven Keen:

    http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2009/05/30/why-neoclassical-economics-is-dead/ .

    Or this piece by Lars Syll: https://larspsyll.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/what-is-wrong-with-neoclassical-economics/ .

    Perhaps you will find them useful in understanding why it's questionable that neoclassical economics has anything useful to say about financial stability.

    Kind regards,

    Claire Reply

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[Mar 10, 2020] Mr. Market Loses It Over Coronavirus Risk Oil Tanks, S P Futures Trades Halted on Limit Down Overnight, Gold Jumps naked cap

Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Mr. Market has finally digested that the world isn't prepared for coronavirus and the US is particularly poorly set up to cope, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives.

At a minimum, the market rout may force the Administration to go into overdrive on real world responses, but I doubt it has the capacity. For starters, Pence is badly cast as a crisis manager. But as we'll discuss briefly, the US has such hollowed out capacity on the medical front that a better response would have needed to start weeks ago to have much hope of blunting outcomes.

The US' best hope is that hotter weather will slow the infection rate, but that's not coming soon enough to rescue the Eastern corridor or the West Coast from San Francisco Bay north from serious propagation till at least mid May (and San Francisco doesn't get all that hot except when the weather gets freaky).

... ... ...

A Bloomberg story described how the prospect of low oil prices weighs directly on stocks

While the energy sector is now the third smallest in the S&P 500, a change from a decade ago when the industry made up 11% of the benchmark, tumbling oil prices is yet another risk for traders to contemplate.

"If WTI falls into the low $30s and stays there, it's going to cause lay-offs in the oil patch and stresses in the high yield market -- like it did when oil fell dramatically in 2015," said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

Real World Situation Ugly

The US is still in Keystone Kops mode. We don't have remotely enough coronavirus tests being done. We have no idea when we will have enough test kits ready. No one is even talking about how to implement a system like the drive by tests in South Korea which is not only efficient but even more important, greatly reduces risks to patients and doctors versus having to show up in a waiting room. We have lots of ad hoc measures, like conferences cancelled, businesses ordering travel bans, some schools halting classes (most recently Columbia University ).

But too many people are operating on a business as usual basis, including Congress. An estimated 2/3 of its members attended the AIPAC conference, where two a participants tested positive for coronavirus (oddly, the press has taken little note). An attendee at CPAC, a large conference for conservatives, also tested positive for coronavirus, but only two Congresscritters are self-quaranting .

Readers Monty and Leroy R posted a link to an account from a surgeon in Bergamo on how a hospital in one of the badly-hit areas is holding up . I strongly urge reading it in full (Leroy also linked to the original in Italian ). Key sections:

I myself looked with some amazement at the reorganization of the entire hospital in the previous week
I still remember my night shift a week ago spent without any rest, waiting for a call from the microbiology department. I was waiting for the results of a swab taken from the first suspect case in our hospital

Well, the situation is now nothing short of dramatic The war has literally exploded and battles are uninterrupted day and night. One after the other, these unfortunate people come to the emergency room. They have far from the complications of a flu. Let's stop saying it's a bad flu. In my two years working in Bergamo, I have learned that the people here do not come to the emergency room for no reason. They did well this time too. They followed all the recommendations given: a week or ten days at home with a fever without going out to prevent contagion, but now they can't take it anymore. They don't breathe enough, they need oxygen .

Now, however, that need for beds in all its drama has arrived. One after another, the departments that had been emptied are filling up at an impressive rate. The display boards with the names of the sicks, of different colors depending on the department they belong to, are now all red and instead of the surgical procedure, there is the diagnosis, which is always the same: bilateral interstitial pneumonia

I can also assure you that when you see young people who end up intubated in the ICU, pronated or worse, in ECMO (a machine for the worst cases, which extracts the blood, re-oxygenates it and returns it to the body, waiting for the lungs to hopefully heal), all this confidence for your young age goes away And there are no more surgeons, urologists, orthopedists, we are only doctors who suddenly become part of a single team to face this tsunami that has overwhelmed us.

The cases multiply, up to a rate of 15-20 hospitalizations a day all for the same reason. The results of the swabs now come one after the other: positive, positive, positive. Suddenly the emergency room is collapsing. Emergency provisions are issued: help is needed in the emergency room. A quick meeting to learn how the to use to emergency room EHR and a few minutes later I'm already downstairs, next to the warriors on the war front. The screen of the PC with the chief complaint is always the same: fever and respiratory difficulty, fever and cough, respiratory insufficiency etc Exams, radiology always with the same sentence: bilateral interstitial pneumonia. All needs to be hospitalized. Some already needs to be intubated, and goes to the ICU. For others, however, it is late. ICU is full, and when ICUs are full, more are created. Each ventilator is like gold: those in the operating rooms that have now suspended their non-urgent activity are used and the OR become a an ICU that did not exist before. I found it amazing, or at least I can speak for Humanitas Gavazzeni (where I work), how it was possible to put in place in such a short time a deployment and a reorganization of resources so finely designed to prepare for a disaster of this magnitude .Nurses with tears in their eyes because we are unable to save everyone and the vital signs of several patients at the same time reveal an already marked destiny. There are no more shifts, schedules.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has another fine piece on the coronavirus outbreak. He flags that the UK is very poorly situated to handle it, with only 1/6 the ICU beds per capita of South Korea. As an aside, the US has 10x as many per capital as the UK but read the Bergamo piece again. The entire hospital has been turned into a coronavirus ward. Lord only knows what happens to accident victims .are some hospitals in each region being set aside for regular emergency care?

Here is AEP's take on Italy and the implications :

Data from China suggest a death rate of 15pc for infected cases over the age of 80. It is 8pc for those in their seventies, and 3.6pc in their sixties (or 5.4pc for men). No elected government in any Western democracy will survive if it lets such carnage unfold .

Unfortunately, the early figures from Italy seem to be tracking Hubei's epidemiology with a horrible consistency. The death rate for all ages is near 5pc. While there may be large numbers of undetected infections – distorting ratios – Italy has tested widely, much more than Germany or France.

For whatever reason, the Italian system seems unable to save them. The death rate is six times the reported rate in Korea, even adjusting for age structures. Is it because the Italian strain has mutated into a more lethal form (we don't yet have the sequence data) or because Europeans are genetically more vulnerable?

Is it because Italy's nitrogen dioxide pollution is the worst in Europe (the UK is bad too), leading to chronic lung inflammation? Is it the chaotic administration that led to a catalogue of errors in the hotspot of Codogno? If you think Britain's NHS has been starved of funds, spare a thought for Italy, Portugal, Spain, or Greece .

The US is about to face its grim reckoning. It has the best health care in the rich world – and the worst. Pandemics exploit the worst.

Let's tease out AEP's line of thought. The US is sorely wanting in operational capacity despite being able to provide top flight care for certain types of ailments.

US hospitals are now overwhelmingly run by MBAs. It's difficult to conceive of them being able to execute the sort of rapid reordering of space and duties described in Bergamo. It's not simply that the top brass is too removed from the practice of medicine to have the right reflexes. Unless ordered to do so, they will also be loath to devote enough resources to tackling the disease. When a crisis hits, they won't be allowed to charge (in their minds) for coronavirus services. They'll want to preserve as much hospital capacity for "normal" full ticket services as possible. They might rationalize that by arguing that they don't want to risk more of their staff's health than necessary.

But even worse, remember that most hospitals no longer control much their staffing. They've outsourced specialist practices like emergency room doctors .and those have been bought up by private equity. If you think private equity won't exploit this crisis for their gain, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

One possible silver lining to this probable tragedy is if the US medical system performs as badly as it appears likely to is that it might finally end the delusion that there's a lot (aside from individual doctors and nurses) in the current system worth saving. The broad public needs to make sure that their crisis does not go to waste.

[Mar 10, 2020] Since advent of neo-liberal economics and the fifty plus year assault on the government sector, they have a partisan employment service instead of classic bureaucracy

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 10 2020 6:41 utc | 111

dltravers #103
The response is reasonably good considering the size of the bureaucracy they have to move. ... Let us hope both sides put aside the nonsense for a while and get it together.

Unfortunately they don't have a bureaucracy. Since neo-liberal economics and the fifty plus year assault on the government sector, they have a partisan employment service instead. Little skill or intelligence, a century of wisdom erased, no capacity to act and totally ossified in manoeuvrability.

To trust in any meaningful bureaucracy to motivate, let alone move, you would have to look for a state that values human rights, trusts its citizens and scientists and administrators and refrains from denigrating public medicine and health services.

Good luck finding that effective and resourced public medicine in the USA right now.

... ... ...

[Mar 10, 2020] Italian healthcare system vs the USa healthcare

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Andrea , Mar 9 2020 22:27 utc | 69

Everyone here talking badly about our national health system while we have one of the healthiest and oldest population in the world. Nothing it's collapsing here and we are doing our best, something that I'm not sure can be said about other Nations.
We have many positives because here, in Italy, we test a lot of people and for free. How much does it cost to be tested in US? Are you sure that a very expensive health care system, like the one in US, can handle this virus better than our free for all health care system?
In a couple of months you'll get the answer, don't worry.
Good luck to everyone from Italy.
Andrea

[Mar 10, 2020] Should big corporations get another bailout then

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

SteveR , Mar 9 2020 20:16 utc | 39

Likklemore@32

"Should big corporations get another bailout then ."

Of course corporations will be made whole again just like in 2008. Yet they will continue spouting that Medicare for All is an evil socialist program - the very thing that would allow all people to get taken care of and at least helping contain the spread. The Democrat leadership in the House is now looking at a $350 billion corporate bailout ( how will they pay for it) - yet are viciously against Medicare for All and Bernie. A new Yale Study shows Medicare for All will prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths and will save $450 billion - each and every year. And of course Trump also would like to cut health programs and social security. Trump and Pelosi are both on the same donor team - it is like professional wrestling working for the wealthiest against the workers.

[Mar 10, 2020] In certain European countries private hospitals are already deriving their Covid-19 cases to the public system

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

H.Schmatz , Mar 9 2020 22:11 utc | 61

I am seeing how irresponsible people at certain blogs where they have themselves as oustanding intelligent people, probably only thinking in ther shares´ value, are spreading disinfo in the same sense of that twitted by Trump.

Laissez faire will not work. In certain European countries private hospitals are already deriving their Covid-19 cases to the public system ( of course the government should act asap on this taking extraordinary measures to force them absorbe their clients or even requsition their beds for a public health emergency as it is this one ). This only will accelerate the rate of lack of ICU beds and respirators.

There are already Twitter threads by health personel as the one linked by b, estimating the exponential grow will easily come of this epidemics.
A Spanish doctor in Madrid was already saying that the time will come where triage will be needed to prioritice who accedes to the respirators/ICU beds once the health system overwhelmed...I only hope those irresponsibly denying this is a global pandemic emergency and spreading disinfo through their media to be the first discarded by triage, as they are only making things worse, along with guarantor of their tax cut Trump. I bet them there will be a respirator for Trump, but for them, that is in the air.

In Madrid, after the huge demonstrations of Women´s Day yesterday, new cases have jumped to the rate of Italy. Today all schools and universities closed in the same city. Heads shoukd be already rolling.

Then, we are not counting on the possibility that thing here will not go so orderly than in China. In Italy, to the public health crisis, they add a probably public order one, with several revolts in jails because of restriction of visits...
Just some hours ago some dozens of inmates of a prison in Foggia were running free in the streets taking advantage to commit crimes as they go out robbing cars and menacing commercial activity...

https://twitter.com/Matteo_LT/status/1236982039439646720

Probably as a result, already the whole Italy closed, there is no more red zones, prohibited to move throughout the peninsula. 60 million people.

For those irresponsibly claiming from the same blogs that this will cease with the good weather, people are reporting from Argentina where today there was around a hot summer day, that there are increasing cases there.

Harvarad University and the WHO have already discarded this epidemics will behave like the estational flu..

Coronavirus 'highly sensitive' to high temperatures, but don't bank on summer killing it off, studies say


[Mar 10, 2020] Virus spread and umpaid sick leave

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Mar 9 2020 22:16 utc | 63

Dear B,

In the hospitality industry in Australia, paid sick leave is available to full-time and part-time employees. The man employed at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Hobart (in Tasmania) was likely employed as a casual. He is known to be a student in his 20s and is currently in isolation at hospital.

From FYA.org.au: If You're Young and Work In Hospitality, You Need To Read This.

"... Don't come to work sick. You will spread your gross germs around, make everyone else sick (including customers!) and you'll be pretty useless anyway. Australians recognise that it's in all our best interests if you STAY THE HECK HOME while you're unwell, and that's why you've got the option of paid sick leave if you're employed on a full time or part time basis.

If you're employed on a casual basis, you're entitled to unpaid sick leave. You are supposed to subsist during your illness on all the lavish savings you've accrued from your extra four-bucks-fifty-five-an-hour in casual loading. This is clearly problematic, and a lot of young casuals are forced to attend work sick out of economic necessity ..."

It is likely that many if not most COVID-19 cases in several countries so far have also been spread by people working in health, hospitality and other related service industries where most workers are on casual or temporary contracts with either unpaid sick leave or no sick leave.

[Mar 10, 2020] Japan to punish reselling of masks for profit with year in prison, 1 million fine -- or both

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 10 2020 11:41 utc | 122

Japan to punish reselling of masks for profit with year in prison, ¥1 million fine -- or both

I thought these "totalitarian" measures were only possible in China...

Shizuoka politician apologizes for making ¥8.8 million selling pricey virus masks

I thought this kind of local level corruption and cronyism only happened in the "degenerated" ranks of the CCP...

--//--

More circumstancial evidence the South Koran government is cooking the numbers:

Government's 'self-praise' in virus fight taking flak

"The number of tests is large because the nation has a large number of people suspected to have caught coronavirus. However, the government is declaring a victory by turning it the other way around," Hong said on his Facebook.

All the evidence indicates South Korea is just following the capitalist modus operandi of chasing the rabbit: it is only testing the people who are already showing symptoms. There's no evidence those containers with fast food tests are working on a significant scale: there are a lot of factors that make a random individual in South Korea to stop in one of them to get itself tested; just making them freely available is not enough. Besides, just because an individual who stopped by the container tested negative, it doesn't mean it won't get infected after, as it will go back to its daily routine (because capitalism can't stop, it needs to keep its wheel spinning).

I don't trust the capitalist numbers around the world for one simple fact: they don't have the means to test everybody and to stop their own economies in order to preserve the non-infected from being infected in the near future. An illustrative example of this can be observed in the Czech Republic, which went from just five cases on March 3rd (three on March 1st) to 40 on March 10th - one of the new infected having just arrived from Italy. Those numbers indicate Czech Republic did absolutely nothing to stop the epidemic, and that they probably have much more than those 40 - they just haven't tested enough.

[Mar 10, 2020] The USA is particularly poorly set up to cope with COVID-19 epidemics, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives

Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Wafer Army , March 9, 2020 at 5:29 am

The glue appears at the start of the article:

"the US is particularly poorly set up to cope, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives."

Basically, it is expected that Europe manages the crisis less badly.

Eustache de Saint Pierre , March 9, 2020 at 12:18 pm

It has been interesting watching Dr. John Campbell's growing realisation & some shock that everything is not well with the US healthcare system & he has received some abuse but also support from Americans for his growing criticism.

His listing as requested of his 2 degrees & Phd, never mind his long front line experience & his books I think shut some up for perhaps thinking that he was only a nurse, but perhaps he shouda gone to NakedCapitalism.

[Mar 10, 2020] Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us by Paul Verhaeghe

Highly recommended!
Neoliberalism destroys solidarity; as the result it destroys both the society and individuals
Notable quotes:
"... Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatisation have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you're reading this sceptically, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others. ..."
"... On top of all this, you are flexible and impulsive, always on the lookout for new stimuli and challenges. In practice, this leads to risky behaviour, but never mind, it won't be you who has to pick up the pieces. The source of inspiration for this list? The psychopathy checklist by Robert Hare , the best-known specialist on psychopathy today. ..."
"... the financial crisis illustrated at a macro-social level (for example, in the conflicts between eurozone countries) what a neoliberal meritocracy does to people. Solidarity becomes an expensive luxury and makes way for temporary alliances, the main preoccupation always being to extract more profit from the situation than your competition. Social ties with colleagues weaken, as does emotional commitment to the enterprise or organisation. ..."
"... Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace. This is a typical symptom of the impotent venting their frustration on the weak – in psychology it's known as displaced aggression. There is a buried sense of fear, ranging from performance anxiety to a broader social fear of the threatening other. ..."
"... Constant evaluations at work cause a decline in autonomy and a growing dependence on external, often shifting, norms ..."
"... More important, though, is the serious damage to people's self-respect. Self-respect largely depends on the recognition that we receive from the other, as thinkers from Hegel to Lacan have shown. Sennett comes to a similar conclusion when he sees the main question for employees these days as being "Who needs me?" For a growing group of people, the answer is: no one. ..."
"... A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goal. ..."
"... the paradox of our era as: "Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless." ..."
Sep 29, 2014 | www.theguardian.com

An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities

'We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited.'

We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatisation have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you're reading this sceptically, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.

There are certain ideal characteristics needed to make a career today. The first is articulateness, the aim being to win over as many people as possible. Contact can be superficial, but since this applies to most human interaction nowadays, this won't really be noticed.

It's important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you've got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That's why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.

On top of all this, you are flexible and impulsive, always on the lookout for new stimuli and challenges. In practice, this leads to risky behaviour, but never mind, it won't be you who has to pick up the pieces. The source of inspiration for this list? The psychopathy checklist by Robert Hare , the best-known specialist on psychopathy today.

This description is, of course, a caricature taken to extremes. Nevertheless, the financial crisis illustrated at a macro-social level (for example, in the conflicts between eurozone countries) what a neoliberal meritocracy does to people. Solidarity becomes an expensive luxury and makes way for temporary alliances, the main preoccupation always being to extract more profit from the situation than your competition. Social ties with colleagues weaken, as does emotional commitment to the enterprise or organisation.

Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace. This is a typical symptom of the impotent venting their frustration on the weak – in psychology it's known as displaced aggression. There is a buried sense of fear, ranging from performance anxiety to a broader social fear of the threatening other.

Constant evaluations at work cause a decline in autonomy and a growing dependence on external, often shifting, norms. This results in what the sociologist Richard Sennett has aptly described as the "infantilisation of the workers". Adults display childish outbursts of temper and are jealous about trivialities ("She got a new office chair and I didn't"), tell white lies, resort to deceit, delight in the downfall of others and cherish petty feelings of revenge. This is the consequence of a system that prevents people from thinking independently and that fails to treat employees as adults.

More important, though, is the serious damage to people's self-respect. Self-respect largely depends on the recognition that we receive from the other, as thinkers from Hegel to Lacan have shown. Sennett comes to a similar conclusion when he sees the main question for employees these days as being "Who needs me?" For a growing group of people, the answer is: no one.

Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens. An increasing number of people fail, feeling humiliated, guilty and ashamed. We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system.

A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goal. For those who believe in the fairytale of unrestricted choice, self-government and self-management are the pre-eminent political messages, especially if they appear to promise freedom. Along with the idea of the perfectible individual, the freedom we perceive ourselves as having in the west is the greatest untruth of this day and age.

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: "Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless." We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like. We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference. Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.

Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, "make" something of ourselves. You don't need to look far for examples. A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master's degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?

There are constant laments about the so-called loss of norms and values in our culture. Yet our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity. So they cannot be lost, only changed. And that is precisely what has happened: a changed economy reflects changed ethics and brings about changed identity. The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us.

Psychology Work & careers Economics Economic policy

See also

[Mar 10, 2020] Neoliberalism the ideology at the root of all our problems by George Monbiot

Highly recommended!
Under neoliberalism inequality is recast as virtuous. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve: Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations and redefines citizens as consumers
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you'll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is? ..."
"... Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness , the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump . ..."
"... Inequality is recast as virtuous. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve. ..."
"... Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning. ..."
"... We internalise and reproduce its creeds. The rich persuade themselves that they acquired their wealth through merit, ignoring the advantages – such as education, inheritance and class – that may have helped to secure it. The poor begin to blame themselves for their failures, even when they can do little to change their circumstances. ..."
"... Never mind structural unemployment: if you don't have a job it's because you are unenterprising. Never mind the impossible costs of housing: if your credit card is maxed out, you're feckless and improvident. Never mind that your children no longer have a school playing field: if they get fat, it's your fault. In a world governed by competition, those who fall behind become defined and self-defined as losers. ..."
"... Among the results, as Paul Verhaeghe documents in his book What About Me? are epidemics of self-harm, eating disorders, depression, loneliness, performance anxiety and social phobia. ..."
"... It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice should have been promoted with the slogan 'there is no alternative' ..."
"... Where neoliberal policies cannot be imposed domestically, they are imposed internationally, through trade treaties incorporating " investor-state dispute settlement ": offshore tribunals in which corporations can press for the removal of social and environmental protections. When parliaments have voted to restrict sales of cigarettes , protect water supplies from mining companies, freeze energy bills or prevent pharmaceutical firms from ripping off the state, corporations have sued, often successfully. Democracy is reduced to theatre. ..."
"... Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket, but it rapidly became one ..."
"... Another paradox of neoliberalism is that universal competition relies upon universal quantification and comparison. The result is that workers, job-seekers and public services of every kind are subject to a pettifogging, stifling regime of assessment and monitoring, designed to identify the winners and punish the losers. The doctrine that Von Mises proposed would free us from the bureaucratic nightmare of central planning has instead created one. ..."
"... When you pay an inflated price for a train ticket, only part of the fare compensates the operators for the money they spend on fuel, wages, rolling stock and other outlays. The rest reflects the fact that they have you over a barrel . ..."
"... Those who own and run the UK's privatised or semi-privatised services make stupendous fortunes by investing little and charging much. In Russia and India, oligarchs acquired state assets through firesales. In Mexico, Carlos Slim was granted control of almost all landline and mobile phone services and soon became the world's richest man. ..."
"... Financialisation, as Andrew Sayer notes in Why We Can't Afford the Rich , has had a similar impact. "Like rent," he argues, "interest is ... unearned income that accrues without any effort". ..."
"... Chris Hedges remarks that "fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the 'losers' who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment". When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation . To the admirers of Trump, for example, facts and arguments appear irrelevant. ..."
"... Like communism, neoliberalism is the God that failed. But the zombie doctrine staggers on, and one of the reasons is its anonymity. Or rather, a cluster of anonymities. ..."
"... The invisible doctrine of the invisible hand is promoted by invisible backers. Slowly, very slowly, we have begun to discover the names of a few of them. We find that the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has argued forcefully in the media against the further regulation of the tobacco industry, has been secretly funded by British American Tobacco since 1963. We discover that Charles and David Koch , two of the richest men in the world, founded the institute that set up the Tea Party movement . We find that Charles Koch, in establishing one of his thinktanks, noted that "in order to avoid undesirable criticism, how the organisation is controlled and directed should not be widely advertised". ..."
"... The anonymity of neoliberalism is fiercely guarded. ..."
"... Neoliberalism's triumph also reflects the failure of the left. When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in 1929, Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was ... nothing. This is why the zombie walks. The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years. ..."
"... What the history of both Keynesianism and neoliberalism show is that it's not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to develop an economic Apollo programme, a conscious attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st century. ..."
Apr 16, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative? @GeorgeMonbiot

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you'll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness , the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump . But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?

Inequality is recast as virtuous. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.

So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin's theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.

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

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

We internalise and reproduce its creeds. The rich persuade themselves that they acquired their wealth through merit, ignoring the advantages – such as education, inheritance and class – that may have helped to secure it. The poor begin to blame themselves for their failures, even when they can do little to change their circumstances.

Never mind structural unemployment: if you don't have a job it's because you are unenterprising. Never mind the impossible costs of housing: if your credit card is maxed out, you're feckless and improvident. Never mind that your children no longer have a school playing field: if they get fat, it's your fault. In a world governed by competition, those who fall behind become defined and self-defined as losers.

See also Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us by Paul Verhaeghe, Sep 24, 2014

Among the results, as Paul Verhaeghe documents in his book What About Me? are epidemics of self-harm, eating disorders, depression, loneliness, performance anxiety and social phobia. Perhaps it's unsurprising that Britain, in which neoliberal ideology has been most rigorously applied, is the loneliness capital of Europe . We are all neoliberals now.

***

The term neoliberalism was coined at a meeting in Paris in 1938. Among the delegates were two men who came to define the ideology, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Both exiles from Austria, they saw social democracy, exemplified by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and the gradual development of Britain's welfare state, as manifestations of a collectivism that occupied the same spectrum as nazism and communism.

In The Road to Serfdom , published in 1944, Hayek argued that government planning, by crushing individualism, would lead inexorably to totalitarian control. Like Mises's book Bureaucracy , The Road to Serfdom was widely read. It came to the attention of some very wealthy people, who saw in the philosophy an opportunity to free themselves from regulation and tax. When, in 1947, Hayek founded the first organisation that would spread the doctrine of neoliberalism – the Mont Pelerin Society – it was supported financially by millionaires and their foundations.

With their help, he began to create what Daniel Stedman Jones describes in Masters of the Universe as "a kind of neoliberal international": a transatlantic network of academics, businessmen, journalists and activists. The movement's rich backers funded a series of thinktanks which would refine and promote the ideology. Among them were the American Enterprise Institute , the Heritage Foundation , the Cato Institute , the Institute of Economic Affairs , the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute . They also financed academic positions and departments, particularly at the universities of Chicago and Virginia.

As it evolved, neoliberalism became more strident. Hayek's view that governments should regulate competition to prevent monopolies from forming gave way – among American apostles such as Milton Friedman – to the belief that monopoly power could be seen as a reward for efficiency.

Something else happened during this transition: the movement lost its name. In 1951, Friedman was happy to describe himself as a neoliberal . But soon after that, the term began to disappear. Stranger still, even as the ideology became crisper and the movement more coherent, the lost name was not replaced by any common alternative.

At first, despite its lavish funding, neoliberalism remained at the margins. The postwar consensus was almost universal: John Maynard Keynes 's economic prescriptions were widely applied, full employment and the relief of poverty were common goals in the US and much of western Europe, top rates of tax were high and governments sought social outcomes without embarrassment, developing new public services and safety nets.

But in the 1970s, when Keynesian policies began to fall apart and economic crises struck on both sides of the Atlantic, neoliberal ideas began to enter the mainstream. As Friedman remarked, "when the time came that you had to change ... there was an alternative ready there to be picked up". With the help of sympathetic journalists and political advisers, elements of neoliberalism, especially its prescriptions for monetary policy, were adopted by Jimmy Carter's administration in the US and Jim Callaghan's government in Britain.

It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice should have been promoted with the slogan 'there is no alternative'

After Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan took power, the rest of the package soon followed: massive tax cuts for the rich, the crushing of trade unions, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services. Through the IMF, the World Bank, the Maastricht treaty and the World Trade Organisation, neoliberal policies were imposed – often without democratic consent – on much of the world. Most remarkable was its adoption among parties that once belonged to the left: Labour and the Democrats, for example. As Stedman Jones notes, "it is hard to think of another utopia to have been as fully realised."

***

It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice and freedom should have been promoted with the slogan "there is no alternative". But, as Hayek remarked on a visit to Pinochet's Chile – one of the first nations in which the programme was comprehensively applied – "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism". The freedom that neoliberalism offers, which sounds so beguiling when expressed in general terms, turns out to mean freedom for the pike, not for the minnows.

Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining means the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers , endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Naomi Klein documented that neoliberals advocated the use of crises to impose unpopular policies while people were distracted. Photograph: Anya Chibis/The Guardian

As Naomi Klein documents in The Shock Doctrine , neoliberal theorists advocated the use of crises to impose unpopular policies while people were distracted: for example, in the aftermath of Pinochet's coup, the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, which Friedman described as "an opportunity to radically reform the educational system" in New Orleans .

Where neoliberal policies cannot be imposed domestically, they are imposed internationally, through trade treaties incorporating " investor-state dispute settlement ": offshore tribunals in which corporations can press for the removal of social and environmental protections. When parliaments have voted to restrict sales of cigarettes , protect water supplies from mining companies, freeze energy bills or prevent pharmaceutical firms from ripping off the state, corporations have sued, often successfully. Democracy is reduced to theatre.

Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket, but it rapidly became one

Another paradox of neoliberalism is that universal competition relies upon universal quantification and comparison. The result is that workers, job-seekers and public services of every kind are subject to a pettifogging, stifling regime of assessment and monitoring, designed to identify the winners and punish the losers. The doctrine that Von Mises proposed would free us from the bureaucratic nightmare of central planning has instead created one.

Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket, but it rapidly became one. Economic growth has been markedly slower in the neoliberal era (since 1980 in Britain and the US) than it was in the preceding decades; but not for the very rich. Inequality in the distribution of both income and wealth, after 60 years of decline, rose rapidly in this era, due to the smashing of trade unions, tax reductions, rising rents, privatisation and deregulation.

The privatisation or marketisation of public services such as energy, water, trains, health, education, roads and prisons has enabled corporations to set up tollbooths in front of essential assets and charge rent, either to citizens or to government, for their use. Rent is another term for unearned income. When you pay an inflated price for a train ticket, only part of the fare compensates the operators for the money they spend on fuel, wages, rolling stock and other outlays. The rest reflects the fact that they have you over a barrel .

In Mexico, Carlos Slim was granted control of almost all phone services and soon became the world's richest man. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

Those who own and run the UK's privatised or semi-privatised services make stupendous fortunes by investing little and charging much. In Russia and India, oligarchs acquired state assets through firesales. In Mexico, Carlos Slim was granted control of almost all landline and mobile phone services and soon became the world's richest man.

Financialisation, as Andrew Sayer notes in Why We Can't Afford the Rich , has had a similar impact. "Like rent," he argues, "interest is ... unearned income that accrues without any effort". As the poor become poorer and the rich become richer, the rich acquire increasing control over another crucial asset: money. Interest payments, overwhelmingly, are a transfer of money from the poor to the rich. As property prices and the withdrawal of state funding load people with debt (think of the switch from student grants to student loans), the banks and their executives clean up.

Sayer argues that the past four decades have been characterised by a transfer of wealth not only from the poor to the rich, but within the ranks of the wealthy: from those who make their money by producing new goods or services to those who make their money by controlling existing assets and harvesting rent, interest or capital gains. Earned income has been supplanted by unearned income.

Neoliberal policies are everywhere beset by market failures. Not only are the banks too big to fail, but so are the corporations now charged with delivering public services. As Tony Judt pointed out in Ill Fares the Land , Hayek forgot that vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk.

The greater the failure, the more extreme the ideology becomes. Governments use neoliberal crises as both excuse and opportunity to cut taxes, privatise remaining public services, rip holes in the social safety net, deregulate corporations and re-regulate citizens. The self-hating state now sinks its teeth into every organ of the public sector.

Perhaps the most dangerous impact of neoliberalism is not the economic crises it has caused, but the political crisis. As the domain of the state is reduced, our ability to change the course of our lives through voting also contracts. Instead, neoliberal theory asserts, people can exercise choice through spending. But some have more to spend than others: in the great consumer or shareholder democracy, votes are not equally distributed. The result is a disempowerment of the poor and middle. As parties of the right and former left adopt similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turns to disenfranchisement. Large numbers of people have been shed from politics.

Chris Hedges remarks that "fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the 'losers' who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment". When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation . To the admirers of Trump, for example, facts and arguments appear irrelevant.

Judt explained that when the thick mesh of interactions between people and the state has been reduced to nothing but authority and obedience, the only remaining force that binds us is state power. The totalitarianism Hayek feared is more likely to emerge when governments, having lost the moral authority that arises from the delivery of public services, are reduced to "cajoling, threatening and ultimately coercing people to obey them".

***

Like communism, neoliberalism is the God that failed. But the zombie doctrine staggers on, and one of the reasons is its anonymity. Or rather, a cluster of anonymities.

The invisible doctrine of the invisible hand is promoted by invisible backers. Slowly, very slowly, we have begun to discover the names of a few of them. We find that the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has argued forcefully in the media against the further regulation of the tobacco industry, has been secretly funded by British American Tobacco since 1963. We discover that Charles and David Koch , two of the richest men in the world, founded the institute that set up the Tea Party movement . We find that Charles Koch, in establishing one of his thinktanks, noted that "in order to avoid undesirable criticism, how the organisation is controlled and directed should not be widely advertised".

The nouveau riche were once disparaged by those who had inherited their money. Today, the relationship has been reversed

The words used by neoliberalism often conceal more than they elucidate. "The market" sounds like a natural system that might bear upon us equally, like gravity or atmospheric pressure. But it is fraught with power relations. What "the market wants" tends to mean what corporations and their bosses want. "Investment", as Sayer notes, means two quite different things. One is the funding of productive and socially useful activities, the other is the purchase of existing assets to milk them for rent, interest, dividends and capital gains. Using the same word for different activities "camouflages the sources of wealth", leading us to confuse wealth extraction with wealth creation.

A century ago, the nouveau riche were disparaged by those who had inherited their money. Entrepreneurs sought social acceptance by passing themselves off as rentiers. Today, the relationship has been reversed: the rentiers and inheritors style themselves entre preneurs. They claim to have earned their unearned income.

These anonymities and confusions mesh with the namelessness and placelessness of modern capitalism: the franchise model which ensures that workers do not know for whom they toil ; the companies registered through a network of offshore secrecy regimes so complex that even the police cannot discover the beneficial owners ; the tax arrangements that bamboozle governments; the financial products no one understands.

The anonymity of neoliberalism is fiercely guarded. Those who are influenced by Hayek, Mises and Friedman tend to reject the term, maintaining – with some justice – that it is used today only pejoratively . But they offer us no substitute. Some describe themselves as classical liberals or libertarians, but these descriptions are both misleading and curiously self-effacing, as they suggest that there is nothing novel about The Road to Serfdom , Bureaucracy or Friedman's classic work, Capitalism and Freedom .

***

For all that, there is something admirable about the neoliberal project, at least in its early stages. It was a distinctive, innovative philosophy promoted by a coherent network of thinkers and activists with a clear plan of action. It was patient and persistent. The Road to Serfdom became the path to power.

Neoliberalism, Locke and the Green party | Letters Read more

Neoliberalism's triumph also reflects the failure of the left. When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in 1929, Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was ... nothing. This is why the zombie walks. The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years.

Every invocation of Lord Keynes is an admission of failure. To propose Keynesian solutions to the crises of the 21st century is to ignore three obvious problems. It is hard to mobilise people around old ideas; the flaws exposed in the 70s have not gone away; and, most importantly, they have nothing to say about our gravest predicament: the environmental crisis. Keynesianism works by stimulating consumer demand to promote economic growth. Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction.

What the history of both Keynesianism and neoliberalism show is that it's not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to develop an economic Apollo programme, a conscious attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st century.

George Monbiot's How Did We Get into This Mess? is published this month by Verso. To order a copy for £12.99 (RRP £16.99) ) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

Topics Economics

[Mar 10, 2020] The Bankruptcy of the American Left by Chris Hedges

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Corporate capitalism is supranational . It owes no loyalty to any nation-state. It uses the projection of military power by the United States to protect and advance its economic interests but at the same time cannibalizes the U.S., dismantling its democratic institutions, allowing its infrastructure to decay and deindustrializing its factory centers to ship manufacturing abroad to regions where workers are treated as serfs. ..."
"... Resistance to this global cabal of corporate oligarchs must also be supranational. It must build alliances with workers around the globe. It must defy the liberal institutions, including the Democratic Party, which betray workers. It is this betrayal that has given rise to fascist and protofascist movements in Europe and other countries ..."
"... Capitalism, at its core, is about the commodification of human beings and the natural world for exploitation and profit. To increase profit, it constantly seeks to reduce the cost of labor and demolish the regulations and laws that protect the common good. But as capitalism ravages the social fabric, it damages, like any parasite, the host that allows it to exist. It unleashes dark, uncontrollable yearnings among an enraged population that threaten capitalism itself. ..."
"... "We live in a global economy, highly interconnected," North went on. "A globalized process of production, financial system. The ruling class has an international policy. They organize themselves on an international scale. The labor movement has remained organized on a national basis. It has been completely incapable of answering this [ruling-class policy]. Therefore, it falls behind various national protectionist programs. The trade unions support Trump." ..."
"... "How many times can you turn on a mainstream news like CNN and expect to hear the word 'capitalism' discussed? Bernie [Sanders] did one thing. He called himself a democratic socialist , which was a bit transformational simply in terms of rhetoric. He's saying there's something other than capitalism that we ought to be talking about." ..."
"... When feminism was turned into that kind of leaning in, it created an identity politics that legitimizes the very system that needs to be critiqued. The early feminists were overtly socialists. As was [Martin Luther] King. But all that got erased." ..."
"... "The left became a kind of grab bag of discrete, siloed identity movements," Derber said. "This is very connected to moral purity. You're concerned about your advancement within the existing system. You're competing against others within the existing system. Everyone else has privilege. You're just concerned about getting your fair share." ..."
"... "Identity politics is to a large degree a right-wing discourse," Derber said. "It focuses on tribalism tied in modern times to nationalism, which is always militaristic. When you break the left into these siloed identity politics, which are not contextualized, you easily get into this dogmatic fundamentalism. The identity politics of the left reproduces the worse sociopathic features of the system as a whole. It's scary." ..."
Feb 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

There will be no economic or political justice for the poor, people of color, women or workers within the framework of global, corporate capitalism. Corporate capitalism, which uses identity politics , multiculturalism and racial justice to masquerade as politics, will never halt the rising social inequality, unchecked militarism, evisceration of civil liberties and omnipotence of the organs of security and surveillance. Corporate capitalism cannot be reformed, despite its continually rebranding itself. The longer the self-identified left and liberal class seek to work within a system that the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls " inverted totalitarianism ," the more the noose will be tightened around our necks. If we do not rise up to bring government and financial systems under public control -- which includes nationalizing banks, the fossil fuel industry and the arms industry -- we will continue to be victims.

Corporate capitalism is supranational . It owes no loyalty to any nation-state. It uses the projection of military power by the United States to protect and advance its economic interests but at the same time cannibalizes the U.S., dismantling its democratic institutions, allowing its infrastructure to decay and deindustrializing its factory centers to ship manufacturing abroad to regions where workers are treated as serfs.

Resistance to this global cabal of corporate oligarchs must also be supranational. It must build alliances with workers around the globe. It must defy the liberal institutions, including the Democratic Party, which betray workers. It is this betrayal that has given rise to fascist and protofascist movements in Europe and other countries. Donald Trump would never have been elected but for this betrayal. We will build a global movement powerful enough to bring down corporate capitalism or witness the rise of a new, supranational totalitarianism.

The left, seduced by the culture wars and identity politics, largely ignores the primacy of capitalism and the class struggle. As long as unregulated capitalism reigns supreme, all social, economic, cultural and political change will be cosmetic. Capitalism, at its core, is about the commodification of human beings and the natural world for exploitation and profit. To increase profit, it constantly seeks to reduce the cost of labor and demolish the regulations and laws that protect the common good. But as capitalism ravages the social fabric, it damages, like any parasite, the host that allows it to exist. It unleashes dark, uncontrollable yearnings among an enraged population that threaten capitalism itself.

"This is a crisis of global dimensions," David North , the national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States, told me when we spoke in New York. "It is a crisis that dominates every element of American politics. The response that we're seeing, the astonishing changes in the state of the government, in the decay of political life, the astonishingly low level of political and intellectual discourse, is in a certain sense an expression of the bewilderment of the ruling elite to what it's going through."

"We can expect a monumental explosion of class struggle in the United States," he said. "I think this country is a social powder keg. There is an anger that exists over working conditions and social inequality. However [much] they may be confused on many questions, workers in this country have a deep belief in democratic rights. We totally reject the narrative that the working class is racist. I think this has been the narrative pushed by the pseudo-left, middle-class groups who are drunk on identity politics, which have a vested interest in constantly distracting people from the essential class differences that exist in the society. Dividing everyone up on the basis of race, gender, sexual preference fails to address the major problem."

North argues, correctly, that capitalism by its nature lurches from crisis to crisis. This makes our current predicament similar to past crises.

"All the unanswered questions of the 20th century -- the basic problem of the nation-state system, the reactionary character of private ownership with the means of production, corporate power, all of these issues which led to the first and Second world wars -- are with us again, and add to that fascism," he said.

"We live in a global economy, highly interconnected," North went on. "A globalized process of production, financial system. The ruling class has an international policy. They organize themselves on an international scale. The labor movement has remained organized on a national basis. It has been completely incapable of answering this [ruling-class policy]. Therefore, it falls behind various national protectionist programs. The trade unions support Trump."

The sociologist Charles Derber , whom I also spoke with in New York, agrees.

"We don't really have a left because we don't have conversations about capitalism," Derber said. "How many times can you turn on a mainstream news like CNN and expect to hear the word 'capitalism' discussed? Bernie [Sanders] did one thing. He called himself a democratic socialist , which was a bit transformational simply in terms of rhetoric. He's saying there's something other than capitalism that we ought to be talking about."

"As the [capitalist] system universalizes and becomes more and more intersectional, we need intersectional resistance," Derber said. "At the end of the 1960s, when I was getting my own political education, the universalizing dimensions of the left, which was growing in the '60s, fell apart. The women began to feel their issues were not being addressed. They were treated badly by white males, student leaders. Blacks, Panthers, began to feel the whites could not speak for race issues. They developed separate organizations. The upshot was the left lost its universalizing character. It no longer dealt with the intersection of all these issues within the context of a militarized, capitalist, hegemonic American empire. It treated politics as siloed group identity problems. Women had glass ceilings. Same with blacks. Same with gays."

The loss of this intersectionality was deadly. Instead of focusing on the plight of all of the oppressed, oppressed groups began to seek representation for their own members within capitalist structures.

"Let's take a modern version of this," Derber said. " Sheryl Sandberg , the COO of Facebook, she did a third-wave feminism thing. She said 'lean in.' It captures this identity politics that has become toxic on the left. What does 'lean in' mean? It means women should lean in and go as far as they can in the corporation. They should become, as she has, a major, wealthy executive of a leading corporation. When feminism was turned into that kind of leaning in, it created an identity politics that legitimizes the very system that needs to be critiqued. The early feminists were overtly socialists. As was [Martin Luther] King. But all that got erased."

"The left became a kind of grab bag of discrete, siloed identity movements," Derber said. "This is very connected to moral purity. You're concerned about your advancement within the existing system. You're competing against others within the existing system. Everyone else has privilege. You're just concerned about getting your fair share."

"People in movements are products of the system they're fighting," he continued. "We're all raised in a capitalistic, individualistic, egoistic culture, so it's not surprising. And it has to be consciously recognized and struggled against. Everybody in movements has been brought up in systems they're repulsed by. This has created a structural transformation of the left. The left offers no broad critique of the political economy of capitalism. It's largely an identity-politics party. It focuses on reforms for blacks and women and so forth. But it doesn't offer a contextual analysis within capitalism."

Derber, like North, argues that the left's myopic, siloed politics paved the way for right-wing, nativist, protofascist movements around the globe as well as the ascendancy of Trump.

"When you bring politics down to simply about helping your group get a piece of the pie, you lose that systemic analysis," he said. "You're fragmented. You don't have natural connections or solidarity with other groups. You don't see the larger systemic context. By saying I want, as a gay person, to fight in the military, in a funny way you're legitimating the American empire. If you were living in Nazi Germany, would you say I want the right of a gay person to