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Globalization and Sovietization of America
What President Trump should do
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In his election campaign Donald Trump has identified several key themes that defined American malaise. He pointed to capital flight, bad trade deals, illegal immigration, and corruption of the government and of the press. What is missing in Trump’s diagnosis though is an explanation of this crisis. What are the causes of American decline or as Ross Pero used to say: Let’s look under the hood.

Most of the challenges America faces today have to do with two processes we call Globalization and Sovietization. By Globalization we mean a process of externalizing American business thanks to the doctrine of Free trade which has been up to now the Gospel of the establishment. By Sovietization we mean a process of slow expansion of the role of the government in economy, education, business, military, press, virtually any and every aspect of politics and society.

Let us start with Globalization. Dani Rodrick (The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy) has argued that it is impossible to have democracy and globalization at the same time. Democracy is inevitably going to clash with the demands of Globalization as they are opposite. Globalization requires entrepreneurs to search cheaper means of production worldwide. In practice, this means moving capital out of the USA. For fifty years economists have been preaching Free trade, meaning that free unimpeded, no tariffs trade is good for America. And it was in the 1950s, 60s and 1970s that American products were cheaper or better than those overseas. Beginning with the 1970s, the process reversed. Globalization enriched the capitalists and impoverished the rest of Americans. To put it in Marxist terms the interests of American society to survive and prosper came into contradiction with the interests of capitalism as a system of production and with the capitalists as a class who has no homeland, and for whom homeland is where it is easier to make money.

American capitalism from its very beginning was based on the assumption that what was good for business was good for America. Until 1929 it more or less worked. The robber barons were robbing other entrepreneurs and workers but at least they reinvested their ill gained profits in America. The crash of 1929 showed that the interests of Big Banks clashed with the interest of American society with devastating results. The decades after WWII have seen a slow and steady erosion of American superiority in technology and productivity and slow and steady flight of capital from the USA. Globalization has been undermining America. From the point of view of Global prosperity if it is cheaper to produce in China, production should relocate to China. From the point of view of American worker, this is treason, a policy destroying the United States as an industrial power, as a nation, and as a community of citizens. Donald Trump is the first top ranking politician who has realized this simple fact. The vote for Donald Trump has been a protest against Globalization, immigration, open borders, capital flight, multiculturalism, liberalism and all the values American Liberal establishment has been preaching for 60 years that are killing the USA.

Donald Trump wants to arrest the assault of Globalization on America. He promised to reduce taxes, and to attract business back to the USA. However, reduced taxes are only one ingredient in incentives. For businesses to stay or come back to the US, companies must have educated labor force, steady supply of talented, well-educated young people, excellent schools, and safe neighborhoods, among other things. As of now most of these preconditions are missing.

To fight Globalization Donald Trump announced in his agenda to drop or renegotiate NAFTA and TPP. That is a step in the right direction. However, this will not be easy. There are powerful vested interests in making money overseas that will put up great resistance to America first policy. They have powerful lobbies and votes in the Congress and it is by far not certain if Trump will succeed in overcoming their opposition.

Another step along these lines of fighting Globalization is the proposed building of the Wall on Mexican border. That too may or may not work. Powerful agricultural interests in California have a vested interest in easy and cheap labor force made up of illegal migrants. If their supply is cut off they are going to hike up the prices on agricultural goods that may lead to inflation or higher consumer prices for the American workers. But still, the wall, the trade deals and an end to capital flight are comparably easy tasks compared to more serious and structural problems of American society we call Sovietization. Let us turn to those.

Americans almost automatically are conditioned to think that they live in a country of free private enterprise. They take it for granted that America is a country of capitalism meaning private ownership of the means of production, to use a Marxist term. In fact, we should realize that huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control. That is what we call Sovietization of American economy and society. Look at the two largest items of the American budget: the Military, Social Security and Medicare Medicaid. These three are government run, government owned, totally Socialist top down bureaucratic structures that taken together account for more than half of the US government expenditure.

The Military: Americans are told they have a best military in the world. In fact, it is not the best but the most expensive one in the world. According to the National priorities Project, in fiscal 2015 the military spending amounted to 54% of the discretionary spending in the amount of 598.5 billion dollars. Of those almost 200 billion dollars goes for operations and maintenance, 135 billion for military personnel and 90 billion for procurement (see Here is How the US Military Spends its Billions)

American military industrial complex spends more that the next seven runners up combined. It is a Sovietized, bureaucratic structure that exists and thrives on internal deals behind closed doors, procurement process closed to public scrutiny, wasted funds on consultants, kickbacks, and outrageous prices for military hardware. Specific investigations of fraud do not surface too often. Yet for example, DoD Inspector General reported:

material internal control weakness… that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, and impair the prevention of and identification of fraud, waste and abuse. Source: “FY 2010 DoD Agencywide Agency Financial Report (vid. p.32)” (PDF). US Department of Defense. Retrieved 7 January 2011, cited in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States#cite_note-20

Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million? The answer is that the Congress operates on a principle that any price the military asks is good enough. The entire system of military procurement has to be scrapped. It is a source of billions of stolen and wasted dollars. The Pentagon budget of half a trillion a year is a drain on the economy that is unsustainable, and what you get is not worth the money. The military industrial complex in America does not deliver the best equipment or security it is supposed to.(on this see: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/cutting-waste-isnt-enough-curb-pentagon-spending-18640)

Donald Trump was the first to his credit who raised the issue: Do we need all these bases overseas? Do they really enhance American security? Or are they a waste of money for the benefit of other countries who take America for a free ride. Why indeed should the US pay for the defense of Japan? Is Japan a poor country that cannot afford to defend itself? Defense commitments like those expose America to unnecessary confrontations and risk of war over issues that have nothing to do with America’s interests. Is it worth it to fight China over some uninhabitable islands that Japan claims? (See discussion: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/should-the-us-continue-guarantee-the-security-wealthy-states-17720 )

Similarly, Trump is the first one to raise the question: What is the purpose of NATO? ( see discussion of NATO utility: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/will-president-trump-renegotiate-the-nato-treaty-18647) Yes the Liberal pro-Clinton media answer is: to defend Europe from Russian aggression. But really what aggression? If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia? Were we not ready to go to nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba? If we would not have accepted such a regime in Mexico, why do we complain that the Russians took action against the new regime in Ukraine. Oh yes, they took Crimea. But the population there is Russian, and until 1954 it was Russian territory and after Ukrainian independence the Russians did not raise the issue of Crimea as Ukrainian territory and paid rent for their naval base there The Russians took it over only when a hostile regime clamoring for NATO membership settled in Kiev. Does that constitute Russian aggression or actually Russian limited response to a hostile act? (see on this Steven Cohen: http://eastwestaccord.com/podcast-stephen-f-cohen-talks-russia-israel-middle-east-diplomacy-steele-unger/) As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev. (see Vlad Brovkin: On Russian Assertiveness in Foreign Policy. (http://eastwestaccord.com/?s=brovkin&submit=Search )

With a little bit of patience and good will a compromise is possible on Ukraine through Minsk accords. Moreover, Ukraine is not in NATO and as long as it is not admitted to NATO, a deal with the Russians on Ukraine is feasible. Just like so many other pro-American governments, Ukraine wants to milk Uncle Sam for what it is worth. They expect to be paid for being anti/Russian. (See discussion on need of enemy: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/does-america-need-enemy-18106) Would it not be a better policy to let Ukraine know that they are on their own: no more subsidies, no more payments? Mend your relations with Russia yourselves. Then peace would immediately prevail.

If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians. Europe is strong enough, rich enough and united enough to take care of its defense without American assistance. (See discussion of Trumps agenda: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/course-correction-18062 )

So, if Trump restructures procurement mess, reduces the number of military bases overseas, and invests in high tech research and development for the military on the basis of real competition, hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved and the defense capability of the country would increase.

Socialized sector of economy:

The sad reality is that the Sovietized system is engulfing more and more Americans. We are a country of government dependents. According to one study:

The percentage of Americans now receiving means tested program now stands at 35% . When you add pensions, unemployment, Social Security, the percentage of Americans relying on government for part or all of their subsistence is 49.5% of the American population.(See Kevin Boyd, Independent Journal Review )

If we add to this number Americans who work for the government and the number who work for government subcontractors we have the majority of work force. Everywhere, the government steps in, it creates a system of dependency and abuse. The second largest expenditure of the US government after defense is Social Security, Medicare Medicaid. In 2014 Social security outlays were 24% whereas Medicare and Medicaid combined another 23% of the national budget.( http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-financing-fact-sheet/ ) with fifty five million Americans receiving benefits. According to the University of Berkeley study: states and the federal government spent $152.8 billion a year on food stamps, health insurance, and cash assistance programs.( http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/whos-on-welfare-9-shocking-stats-about-public-assistance.html/?a=viewall ) . We have the most expensive Medical care in the world, and by far not the best.

Moreover, the system of dependency generates wide scale abuse. I know some real estate agents whose favorite customers are single mothers on welfare because the government pays their rent. He can charge a slightly higher than the market price as the government will pay up. The rationale is: rip off the government. When the government pays, no one counts how much it costs, be it the military, education, or welfare.

All of those Socialist Sovietized governmental, top down bureaucratic institutions, basically distribute public funds. The widely held liberal view that the needy need public assistance covers up the underlying premise that there should not be the needy who need public assistance. Moreover, the public assistance generates a system of governmental power over the people. They are no longer free to be in charge of their lives. They are dependent on the Big Bother for their livelihood. Is that the kind of America our founding Fathers wanted?

Aside from 55 million on some form of government assistance there are millions who are federal and state employees, 22 million to be exact. (see Terence P. Jeffrey here: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/21955000-12329000-government-employees-outnumber-manufacturing)

The exact number of Federal and State government employees has been calculated and researched. Here is the data to be exact as of 2005:

By 2005 the Federal government employed 14,6 million people: 1.9. million civil servants, 770,000 postal workers, 1.44 million uniformed service personnel, 7.6 million contractors, and 2.9 million grantees. https://markstoval.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/how-many-people-work-for-government/

Millions are actually paid by the government but technically are private sector employees. According to one study: ^ Federal agencies spent over 500 billion for contracted products and services in 2012 according to federal data.^ (https://www.cbo.gov/publication/49931 ) In the last ten years the study shows the government bailed out companies and banks significantly expanded the numbers of those who are paid by the government:

a further 4.7 million employees dependent on taxpayer funding since 2005, bringing the total true size of the federal government to just under 20 million employees. https://markstoval.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/how-many-people-work-for-government/

This data shows that the United States of America is already now a country where the majority of the labor force is paid by the government in one way or another. Comrade Stalin used the expression Commanding Heights. He meant that the most important sectors of the economy are under firm control of the ruling party, such as defense industry, police, army, security institutions, agriculture, and education. Well we have arrived to Stalin’s favorite system, all of those in America today are under firm control of the Big Brother government.

Education:

Look at our universities. It used to be that in 1975 I paid 3000 dollars for tuition per year at Georgetown. Today it is more than ten times the amount. Why? Because the universities have hiked up tuition fees over the years as they were receiving ever larger government and private foundation grants. According to the data for 2011, the Federal Government paid 40 billion for research and development to universities. See on this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/27/universities-government-money_n_3165186.html

So much so, that many universities cannot live without those grants, as more than 60% of their R&D funding comes from the Big Brother. The more money they get, the more they need. It has created a system of dependency, milking the government and private foundations for ever more money. What is wrong with the Universities being dependent on government money? The answer is obvious: The casualty is Academic independence. If we value Academic freedom as a value in its own right, we should not have a system of government control over Higher Education.

As the Universities hiked up the tuition fees, the government held out a helping hand offering students’ loans. That led to an ever worse indebtedness problem and total Sovietization of American Higher education: ^Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers.^ see: https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/) There is nothing private about our education anymore. Universities are totally dependent on government handouts; the students are totally dependent on student loans. The Sovietized bureaucracy thrives on processing all these money flows. The result is that we have the most expensive education in the industrialized world.

Our high schools are even worse. Check out the scores of high schools kids in Singapore and America will come across as a third world country. Several studies compared the skills of American High School graduates to those in other countries. They were way behind in math. But in technology category that measured:

things like using email, buying and returning items online, using a drop-down menu, naming a file on a computer or sending a text message…. The U.S. came in last place — right below Poland. (see: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/10/469831485/americas-high-school-graduates-look-like-other-countries-high-school-dropouts )

The problem is the same as elsewhere, bureaucratization, dependency, urban decay, poor financing, unqualified teachers, no competition, in a word Sovietization.

Mr. Trump, please get rid of Socialized Sovietized sectors of the economy as soon as you can. Drain the swamp in Washington: ban the lobbyists, make it a crime to lobby for private interest in a public place, restructure procurement, introduce real competition, restore capitalism, phase out any government subsidies to Universities, force them to compete for students, force hospitals to compete for patients. Cut cut cut expenditure everywhere possible, including welfare.

One of the most disgusting features of the Soviet system was the mass surveillance of the population by the KGB. Letters were opened, radio broadcast jammed, informers were listening in on private conversations and denouncing neighbors to the KGB. Could we have ever imagined in our worst dreams that a system of mass surveillance would be created and perfected in the USA. (see discussion on this in: Surveillance State, in http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/surveillance-state

What is even worse, is that the American public does not seem to be concerned that much. If in the Soviet Union, intellectuals and common folks were making jokes and ridiculed the Big Brother, today in America no one is seriously worried. No one is ready to fight for their freedom to read, write, say and think whatever they please without the NSA surveillance. Whether President Trump will defend individual liberty I do not know. The only hopeful sign is that he constantly attacks various Security agencies for their conspiring with Clinton, distorting facts and basically servicing the establishment.

To de-Sovietize America you will need to make what may be called a revolution. Perhaps Bernie was right after all. You will have a real fight with the establishment and their subsidized, Sovietized media, and their foundations and members of Congress. If you succeed you may indeed come down in History as the President who saved America from self-destruction. If you fail, decline will continue with catastrophic consequences.

 

Dr. Brovkin is a historian, formerly a Harvard Professor of History. He has published several books and numerous articles on Russian History and Politics. Currently, Dr. Brovkin works and lives in Marrakech, Morocco.

 
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  1. This is a bit too much, Volodya. Maybe you should’ve taken one subject – globalization, for example – and stop there.

    This is an interesting question: is it possible to contain neoliberal globalization by building walls, rejecting ‘trade’ agreement, and so on. I get the feeling that a direct attack may not work. Water will find a way, as they say. With a direct attack against globalization, what you’re likely to face is major capital flight.

    You might be able to make neoliberal globalization work for you (for your population, that is), like Germany and the Scandinavians do, but that’s a struggle, constant struggle. And it’s a competition; it will have to be done at the expense of other nations (see Greece, Portugal, Central (eastern) Europe). And having an anti-neoliberal president is not enough; this would require a major change, almost a U turn, in the whole governing philosophy. Forget the sanctity of ‘free market’, start worshiping the new god: national interest

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  2. The Sheeple Have Spoken! Hon, it’s not YOUR America, it’s OUR America. The best they could do is to repeat a line from a TV show.

    Notice that since Trump won, the transgender movement to let men dressed as women use the girl’s bathroom has, uhh, petered out?

  3. What an INTERESTING article ! So much that is right, so much that is wrong. An article you can get your teeth into.
    On globalisation: pretty spot-on (although I believe he exaggerates the US weakness in what he calls “preconditions”: there are still many well educated Americans, still good neighborhoods (yes, sure it could be a lot better). He’s against NAFTA & other neoliberal Trade self indulgences.
    But then we come to his concept of “Sovietization” of the US. Perhaps it’s mere semantics, but I find the concept… incoherent…& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: “huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control”
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can’t see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)
    Of course, the author is correct on the US military-industrial complex: it is a sump of crime & corruption. Yet he seems not to grasp that the problem is regulative capture. How is the Fiasco of the F35 & MacDonald Douglas merely an issue for the Legislature alone…& how does this circus resemble the Soviet Union, beyond the fact that BOTH systems (like most systems) are capable of gross negligence & corruption ?
    I like what the author says about NATO, Japan, bases etc. Although he’s a little naive if he thinks NATO for instance is about “protecting” Europe. Yes, that’s a part of it: but primarily NATO etc exist as a tool/mask behind which the US can exert it’s imperial ambitions …against friend & for alike.
    The author does go off against welfare…well that’s to be expected: sadly I don’t think he quite gets the connection between globalisation & welfare….He also legitimately goes after tertiary education, but seems to be (again) confused as to cause & effect.
    The author is completely spot on with his sovietization analogy when he comes to the US security state. Only difference between the Soviets & the US on security totalitarianism ? The US is much better at it (of course the US has technological advantages unimaginable to the Soviets)

    • Replies: @Randal
    I agree with you that it's a fascinating piece, and I also agree with many of the points you agree with.

    But then we come to his concept of “Sovietization” of the US. Perhaps it’s mere semantics, but I find the concept… incoherent…& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: “huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control”
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can’t see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)
     
    I think part of the problem here might be a mistaken focus on "the government" as an independent actor, when in reality it is just a mechanism whereby the rulers (whether they are a dictator, a political party or an oligarchy or whatever), and those with sufficient clout to influence them, get things done the way they want to see them done.

    As such there is really not much difference between the government directly employing the people who do things (state socialism), and the government paying money to companies to get the same things done. Either way, those who use the government to get things done, get to say what gets done and how. There are differences of nuance, in terms of organisational strengths and weaknesses, degrees of corruption and of efficiency, but fundamentally it's all big government.

    A more interesting question might be - how really different are these big government variants from the small government systems, in which the rulers pay people directly to get things done the way they want them to be done?
    , @Che Guava
    Seems a pretty silly article.

    Particularly with the faith in DT.

    Sure, as a non-US person, I wanted to see him elected, as the lesser evil in terms of war, also, out of sympathy for USA people, better for the integrity of your place.

    As he announced his appointments, it seems just a joke on many points.

    We will all have to wait and see, but this article is wildly optimistic, without reason.
  4. An excellent article. The points that resonated the most were:

    For businesses to stay or come back to the US, companies must have educated labor force, steady supply of talented, well-educated young people, excellent schools, and safe neighborhoods, among other things. As of now most of these preconditions are missing.

    This is an enormously difficult problem that will take years to resolve, and it will need a rethink of education from the ground up + the political will to fight the heart of Cultural Bolshevism and the inevitable 24/7 Media assault.

    Drain the swamp in Washington: ban the lobbyists, make it a crime to lobby for private interest in a public place, restructure procurement, introduce real competition, restore capitalism, phase out any government subsidies to Universities, force them to compete for students, force hospitals to compete for patients. Cut cut cut expenditure everywhere possible, including welfare.

    Banning lobbyists should be possible but draining the rest of the swamp looks really complicated. Each area would need to be examined from the ground up from a value for money – efficiency viewpoint. It doesn’t matter which philosophy each one is run on – good value healthcare is desirable whichever system produces it.

    Could we have ever imagined in our worst dreams that a system of mass surveillance would be created and perfected in the USA. (see discussion on this in: Surveillance State, in http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/surveillance-state

    This one should be easy. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy so just shut down the NSA. Also shut down the vast CIA mafia (it didn’t exist prior to 1947) and the expensive and useless FED (controlling the money supply isn’t the business of a group of private banks – an office in the Treasury could easily match the money supply to economic activity).

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    This one should be easy. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy so just shut down the NSA. Also shut down the vast CIA mafia (it didn’t exist prior to 1947) and the expensive and useless FED (controlling the money supply isn’t the business of a group of private banks – an office in the Treasury could easily match the money supply to economic activity).
     
    From Unz, I have learned that the US actually has a four-part government: the "Deep State" part which has no clear oversight from any of the other three branches.
  5. I don’t think it’s globalisation which is causing the hollowing out of American industry. It is the fact that America’s competitors can print infinite amounts of national currency with which they then purchase US dollars, in order to prevent the revaluation of these national currencies which would otherwise follow from, and in future weigh against, the accumulation of trade surpluses vis-a-vis the US.

    The fiat currency system allows national governments to remove the equilibrating mechanism – currency movements driven by real economic flows – that would otherwise make the system work in the interests of all players, not just the capital-owning class.

    It hasn’t helped that the US’ capital-owning class has, until now, refused to allow the US’ political class to fix the problem by imposing penalties on countries that manipulate their exchange rates in this way.

    Let’s see if Trump will stand up to these interests.

    No fixing the corrupt fiat currency system = no ‘Make America Great Again’.

    • Replies: @anon
    "America’s competitors can print infinite amounts of national currency with which they then purchase US dollars, in order to prevent the revaluation of these national currencies which would otherwise follow from, and in future weigh against, the accumulation of trade surpluses vis-a-vis the US."

    Which school or college taught you economics? Who was your macroeconomics/monetary theory professor? If printing currency is the panacea, why are Zimbabwe, Venezuela so poor?
  6. @Miro23
    An excellent article. The points that resonated the most were:

    For businesses to stay or come back to the US, companies must have educated labor force, steady supply of talented, well-educated young people, excellent schools, and safe neighborhoods, among other things. As of now most of these preconditions are missing.
     
    This is an enormously difficult problem that will take years to resolve, and it will need a rethink of education from the ground up + the political will to fight the heart of Cultural Bolshevism and the inevitable 24/7 Media assault.

    Drain the swamp in Washington: ban the lobbyists, make it a crime to lobby for private interest in a public place, restructure procurement, introduce real competition, restore capitalism, phase out any government subsidies to Universities, force them to compete for students, force hospitals to compete for patients. Cut cut cut expenditure everywhere possible, including welfare.
     
    Banning lobbyists should be possible but draining the rest of the swamp looks really complicated. Each area would need to be examined from the ground up from a value for money - efficiency viewpoint. It doesn't matter which philosophy each one is run on - good value healthcare is desirable whichever system produces it.

    Could we have ever imagined in our worst dreams that a system of mass surveillance would be created and perfected in the USA. (see discussion on this in: Surveillance State, in http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/surveillance-state
     
    This one should be easy. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy so just shut down the NSA. Also shut down the vast CIA mafia (it didn't exist prior to 1947) and the expensive and useless FED (controlling the money supply isn't the business of a group of private banks - an office in the Treasury could easily match the money supply to economic activity).

    This one should be easy. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy so just shut down the NSA. Also shut down the vast CIA mafia (it didn’t exist prior to 1947) and the expensive and useless FED (controlling the money supply isn’t the business of a group of private banks – an office in the Treasury could easily match the money supply to economic activity).

    From Unz, I have learned that the US actually has a four-part government: the “Deep State” part which has no clear oversight from any of the other three branches.

  7. Telling that he leaves out the negative impact of 3rd world immigration.

    He is another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli laws which ban all non-Jew immigration into “that shitty little country” but then demands massive immigration into the US & Europe.

    • Replies: @Anon
    He doesn't say anything about immigration other than that Trump voters are against it. He also says nothing about Israel.

    Did you read the piece? Do you have anything to offer besides ad hominem?
    , @Eileen Kuch
    You're absolutely right, Wally. The author of this article did, indeed, leave out the negative impact of massive 3rd World immigration. He is, indeed, another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli law which ban all non-Jewish immigration into that "shitty little country", but demands massive immigration into the US and Europe.
    The author's also wrong on the Sovietization issue when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. These two programs are NOT welfare programs, but insurance programs private-sector workers have paid into since FDR signed Social Security into law in 1935 and LBJ did the same with Medicare 30 years later.
    Donald Trump has pledged to protect both of these programs from privitization and outright theft; and this means no cuts aka theft of Social Security and Medicare payments, since these payments have been EARNED by those seniors collecting them through taxes paid into them all through their working years.
    Welfare's an entirely different program, and that is definitely part of the Sovietization of the US. People on welfare have NEVER earned a penny of it their entire lives, which means they've never worked a day in their lives.
  8. Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million?

    This is apples and oranges, but the criticism is partially germane. Much of the trouble with military procurement is they won’t finalize specs and leave them alone during development. The F-35, as just one example, repeatedly had the specs changed. Anyone that deals with Engineering and construction is well aware that’s the road to overruns, and it happens with almost every military procurement project.

    Having sad that, a large part of the cost differential is a result of the two aircraft being built by two different economies. Things of that nature will simply cost less, in absolute terms, in Russia than it will here.

    If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia?

    Hilarious. Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them. The Russian Army is now smaller than the Ukrainian Army, and they are willing to fight. In spite of repeatedly violating the Minsk agreement, the Russians haven’t gotten any further.

    There are also economic reasons why Russia hasn’t gotten any further. Things are about to get far worse for Putin than they are now. Russia still hasn’t kept their promises to the Crimeans on pensions and other things, with Crimeans being reduced to circumstances far worse than before the Russian invasion. Add in the fact that Crimea is now a prison camp, and you get a situation that is far, far worse than what they had in 2013.

    The Ukrainian Government and Putin’s regime had a decent relationship until Putin got on his Soviet revanchism kick. He showed that the protesters on the Maidan were right about Russia, and Putin has stupidly gone on confirming that judgment. If Kyiv is now “virulently hostile” then you need to look at Putin, instead of blaming the victim. The business about Mexico is simply a red herring. The business with Cuba, as know quite well now, was an existential threat because of Castro’s nuttiness. Even Khrushchev couldn’t bear Castro and ordered the missiles out before Castro got really stupid. The comparison, in both situations, utterly fails as an excuse.

    As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev.

    [snip]

    If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians.

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar. Eastern Europeans, who lived under the Russian thumb for many years are quite reasonable in their concerns on the issue. Putin even has Belarus and several of “stans” worried. Given Putin’s actions, his well known statements on the fall of the Soviet Union, and his current moves to reorganize the Russian Government along Soviet lines, shows that they are correct to worry.

    If you really want to meet some Neo-Nazis, Moscow, and Russia in general, is a far better place to do it. Russia is filthy with skinheads, and even the Russian Orthodox Church has gotten into the act, opening training camps for people wanting to go the Donbas “to defend Russians” and those camps prominently display Nazi symbols. By comparison, Ukraine has very few skin heads, and the Swastikas you see around are quite rare. The government sanctions none of it, while Putin’s regime encourages it. The idea that Kyiv’s regime is a neo-Nazi is simply a Putinist lie.

    The author needs to get past Putinist propaganda about Ukraine and Europe.

    • Troll: Mao Cheng Ji
    • Replies: @Randal

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar.
     
    I can understand why Mao Cheng Ji classes you as a "troll" when you come out with assertions that are obviously the reverse of the truth like that, or that are self-evidently stupid, like:

    Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them.
     
    But you clearly aren't just a troll, because you argue coherently and knowledgably, and talk sense on many points other than those connected with US-uber-alles aspects of foreign affairs.

    Why the desperate need to pretend that US foreign policy isn't sheer stupidity administered by an idiocracy, and that all the self-evidently propagandist lies of the US regime and interventionists (Russia as aggressor, when it has been pushed back and back and back for years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia as an incompetently run dying economy, when it's actually coping pretty well with major adversity including the legacy of Soviet rule and collapse, the disastrous oil price war and - last and least - US sphere sanctions, etc) should be treated as though they might have anything more than a minimal basis in reality?

    Do you really expect to persuade anybody even minimally alert of these evident falsehoods?
    , @RobinG
    This is the longest thing QM has written. Needless to say, I won't be reading,
    , @NoseytheDuke
    What colour is the sky on planet Quartermaster? Just curious...
    , @vlad brovkin
    It is not apples and oranges. F15 actually performs at superior to Su35. Read professional comparisons.
    Your ideas on Ukrainian army are simply laughable.
  9. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Wally
    Telling that he leaves out the negative impact of 3rd world immigration.

    He is another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli laws which ban all non-Jew immigration into "that shitty little country" but then demands massive immigration into the US & Europe.

    He doesn’t say anything about immigration other than that Trump voters are against it. He also says nothing about Israel.

    Did you read the piece? Do you have anything to offer besides ad hominem?

    • Replies: @Wally
    I said:

    He is another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli laws which ban all non-Jew immigration into "that shitty little country" but then demands massive immigration into the US & Europe.
     
    and anon says:

    "He doesn’t say anything about immigration other than that Trump voters are against it. He also says nothing about Israel."

    IOW, my points are spot on. Catch up, please.

    Only to a hasbarist is pointing out the facts considered ad hominem.

  10. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    To put it in Marxist terms the interests of American society to survive and prosper came into contradiction with the interests of capitalism as a system of production and with the capitalists as a class who has no homeland, and for whom homeland is where it is easier to make money.

    Another add-on contradiction, comrade, is that the selfsame capitalist class expect their host nation to defend their interests whenever threatened abroad. This entails using the resources derived from the masses to enforce this protection including using the little people as cannon fodder when deemed useful.

    Donald Trump is the first top ranking politician who has realized this simple fact.

    Come now, do you really believe that all these politicians who have gone to these world-class schools don’t know this? They simply don’t care. They’re working on behalf of the .1% who are their benefactors and who will make them rich. They did not go into politics to take vows of poverty. They just realize the need to placate the masses with speeches written by professional speechwriters, that’s all.
    Insofar as Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid goes, those are the most democratic institutions of all. It’s money spent on ourselves, internally, with money being cycled in and out at the grassroots level. Doctors, nurses, home-care providers, etc etc, all local people get a piece of the action unlike military spending which siphons money upwards to the upper classes.
    I’d rather be employed in a government job than unemployed in the private sector. That’s not the kind of “freedom” I’m searching for comrade.

  11. @animalogic
    What an INTERESTING article ! So much that is right, so much that is wrong. An article you can get your teeth into.
    On globalisation: pretty spot-on (although I believe he exaggerates the US weakness in what he calls "preconditions": there are still many well educated Americans, still good neighborhoods (yes, sure it could be a lot better). He's against NAFTA & other neoliberal Trade self indulgences.
    But then we come to his concept of "Sovietization" of the US. Perhaps it's mere semantics, but I find the concept... incoherent...& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: "huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control"
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can't see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)
    Of course, the author is correct on the US military-industrial complex: it is a sump of crime & corruption. Yet he seems not to grasp that the problem is regulative capture. How is the Fiasco of the F35 & MacDonald Douglas merely an issue for the Legislature alone...& how does this circus resemble the Soviet Union, beyond the fact that BOTH systems (like most systems) are capable of gross negligence & corruption ?
    I like what the author says about NATO, Japan, bases etc. Although he's a little naive if he thinks NATO for instance is about "protecting" Europe. Yes, that's a part of it: but primarily NATO etc exist as a tool/mask behind which the US can exert it's imperial ambitions ...against friend & for alike.
    The author does go off against welfare...well that's to be expected: sadly I don't think he quite gets the connection between globalisation & welfare....He also legitimately goes after tertiary education, but seems to be (again) confused as to cause & effect.
    The author is completely spot on with his sovietization analogy when he comes to the US security state. Only difference between the Soviets & the US on security totalitarianism ? The US is much better at it (of course the US has technological advantages unimaginable to the Soviets)

    I agree with you that it’s a fascinating piece, and I also agree with many of the points you agree with.

    But then we come to his concept of “Sovietization” of the US. Perhaps it’s mere semantics, but I find the concept… incoherent…& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: “huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control”
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can’t see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)

    I think part of the problem here might be a mistaken focus on “the government” as an independent actor, when in reality it is just a mechanism whereby the rulers (whether they are a dictator, a political party or an oligarchy or whatever), and those with sufficient clout to influence them, get things done the way they want to see them done.

    As such there is really not much difference between the government directly employing the people who do things (state socialism), and the government paying money to companies to get the same things done. Either way, those who use the government to get things done, get to say what gets done and how. There are differences of nuance, in terms of organisational strengths and weaknesses, degrees of corruption and of efficiency, but fundamentally it’s all big government.

    A more interesting question might be – how really different are these big government variants from the small government systems, in which the rulers pay people directly to get things done the way they want them to be done?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    exactly, which is why the only sensible solution is for government to focus on not allowing too much power to accumulate - libertarian socialism
    , @vlad brovkin
    It is not just a matter of big government small government. It is a matter of dependency on government, mentality of dependency on government, control by the government on top og inefficiency, bureaucracy, corruption based on conviction that we are number one. That is Sovietization.
  12. @Quartermaster

    Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million?
     
    This is apples and oranges, but the criticism is partially germane. Much of the trouble with military procurement is they won’t finalize specs and leave them alone during development. The F-35, as just one example, repeatedly had the specs changed. Anyone that deals with Engineering and construction is well aware that’s the road to overruns, and it happens with almost every military procurement project.

    Having sad that, a large part of the cost differential is a result of the two aircraft being built by two different economies. Things of that nature will simply cost less, in absolute terms, in Russia than it will here.


    If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia?
     
    Hilarious. Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them. The Russian Army is now smaller than the Ukrainian Army, and they are willing to fight. In spite of repeatedly violating the Minsk agreement, the Russians haven’t gotten any further.

    There are also economic reasons why Russia hasn’t gotten any further. Things are about to get far worse for Putin than they are now. Russia still hasn’t kept their promises to the Crimeans on pensions and other things, with Crimeans being reduced to circumstances far worse than before the Russian invasion. Add in the fact that Crimea is now a prison camp, and you get a situation that is far, far worse than what they had in 2013.

    The Ukrainian Government and Putin’s regime had a decent relationship until Putin got on his Soviet revanchism kick. He showed that the protesters on the Maidan were right about Russia, and Putin has stupidly gone on confirming that judgment. If Kyiv is now “virulently hostile” then you need to look at Putin, instead of blaming the victim. The business about Mexico is simply a red herring. The business with Cuba, as know quite well now, was an existential threat because of Castro's nuttiness. Even Khrushchev couldn't bear Castro and ordered the missiles out before Castro got really stupid. The comparison, in both situations, utterly fails as an excuse.


    As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev.

    [snip]

    If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians.
     

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar. Eastern Europeans, who lived under the Russian thumb for many years are quite reasonable in their concerns on the issue. Putin even has Belarus and several of “stans” worried. Given Putin’s actions, his well known statements on the fall of the Soviet Union, and his current moves to reorganize the Russian Government along Soviet lines, shows that they are correct to worry.

    If you really want to meet some Neo-Nazis, Moscow, and Russia in general, is a far better place to do it. Russia is filthy with skinheads, and even the Russian Orthodox Church has gotten into the act, opening training camps for people wanting to go the Donbas “to defend Russians” and those camps prominently display Nazi symbols. By comparison, Ukraine has very few skin heads, and the Swastikas you see around are quite rare. The government sanctions none of it, while Putin’s regime encourages it. The idea that Kyiv's regime is a neo-Nazi is simply a Putinist lie.

    The author needs to get past Putinist propaganda about Ukraine and Europe.

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar.

    I can understand why Mao Cheng Ji classes you as a “troll” when you come out with assertions that are obviously the reverse of the truth like that, or that are self-evidently stupid, like:

    Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them.

    But you clearly aren’t just a troll, because you argue coherently and knowledgably, and talk sense on many points other than those connected with US-uber-alles aspects of foreign affairs.

    Why the desperate need to pretend that US foreign policy isn’t sheer stupidity administered by an idiocracy, and that all the self-evidently propagandist lies of the US regime and interventionists (Russia as aggressor, when it has been pushed back and back and back for years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia as an incompetently run dying economy, when it’s actually coping pretty well with major adversity including the legacy of Soviet rule and collapse, the disastrous oil price war and – last and least – US sphere sanctions, etc) should be treated as though they might have anything more than a minimal basis in reality?

    Do you really expect to persuade anybody even minimally alert of these evident falsehoods?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    But sir, the Russians are the true Nazi Commies. We have always been at war with them. We will always be at war with them. After all, being merely a gas station masquerading as a country, they are the greatest threat to world.
  13. @Randal

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar.
     
    I can understand why Mao Cheng Ji classes you as a "troll" when you come out with assertions that are obviously the reverse of the truth like that, or that are self-evidently stupid, like:

    Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them.
     
    But you clearly aren't just a troll, because you argue coherently and knowledgably, and talk sense on many points other than those connected with US-uber-alles aspects of foreign affairs.

    Why the desperate need to pretend that US foreign policy isn't sheer stupidity administered by an idiocracy, and that all the self-evidently propagandist lies of the US regime and interventionists (Russia as aggressor, when it has been pushed back and back and back for years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia as an incompetently run dying economy, when it's actually coping pretty well with major adversity including the legacy of Soviet rule and collapse, the disastrous oil price war and - last and least - US sphere sanctions, etc) should be treated as though they might have anything more than a minimal basis in reality?

    Do you really expect to persuade anybody even minimally alert of these evident falsehoods?

    But sir, the Russians are the true Nazi Commies. We have always been at war with them. We will always be at war with them. After all, being merely a gas station masquerading as a country, they are the greatest threat to world.

  14. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Stebbing Heuer
    I don't think it's globalisation which is causing the hollowing out of American industry. It is the fact that America's competitors can print infinite amounts of national currency with which they then purchase US dollars, in order to prevent the revaluation of these national currencies which would otherwise follow from, and in future weigh against, the accumulation of trade surpluses vis-a-vis the US.

    The fiat currency system allows national governments to remove the equilibrating mechanism - currency movements driven by real economic flows - that would otherwise make the system work in the interests of all players, not just the capital-owning class.

    It hasn't helped that the US' capital-owning class has, until now, refused to allow the US' political class to fix the problem by imposing penalties on countries that manipulate their exchange rates in this way.

    Let's see if Trump will stand up to these interests.

    No fixing the corrupt fiat currency system = no 'Make America Great Again'.

    “America’s competitors can print infinite amounts of national currency with which they then purchase US dollars, in order to prevent the revaluation of these national currencies which would otherwise follow from, and in future weigh against, the accumulation of trade surpluses vis-a-vis the US.”

    Which school or college taught you economics? Who was your macroeconomics/monetary theory professor? If printing currency is the panacea, why are Zimbabwe, Venezuela so poor?

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    I never said printing currency was a panacea.

    I said that mercantilist countries print currency in order to buy US dollars and thus prevent the appreciation of their own currencies which their trade surpluses would otherwise encourage.
  15. It’s kind of strange to hear about “Sovetization” of American higher education from the person with Russian first and last names. That person knows for sure that back in the USSR education of any level was 100% free for the students. Moreover, the USSR government paid “stipendia” (some money) to the students who were good at studying. United States cannot afford the TRUE “Sovetization” of education. No ifs. No buts. Period.

  16. His absolute first priority should be the verbal exposure and disempowerment of marxist :

    PROFESSORS

    In all fields, as they manage to lend a marxist twist to every study area medicine and engineering included.
    They are the perfidious MFs who will bring down the nation and render it’s constiution void, as they are pushing out millions of brain-washed young folk out into society year after year and at one point in time all elections will be won by them, and we know which party they support.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    • Replies: @edNels
    What do you mean by the derogative Marxist?

    PROFESSORS

    In all fields, as they manage to lend a marxist twist to every study area medicine and engineering included.
    They are the perfidious MFs who will bring down the nation and render it’s ...]
     

    constiution void
     
    Define 50 words or less. _____________________________.

    Oh another thing: What were you before the 40 years as card carrying Mensa member, Brain Dead? Or: Were you a menus member in the first place?

    Don't answer: It's a trick question!

    And another, can you describe the word derivation of the word: Jazz?

    I wouldn't advise that either, too unChristmas like.

    But you have it about right on the Professors, (sinecures) as culprits in the lowering of academic standers, though, I would rather call 'em imposters in Liberal drag, or Witches. That was standard Catchall disparagement, at one time when Heretic lost it's umph.

    No, I was kiddin' but this piece of rambling disjointed nonsense article is apparently ( to my thinking) a self centered attempt to toady to the Neocon/lib Atlanticist knuckle dragging set, before the author, maybe immigrates to the the accending Russia, a place that has free education. He may have a chance to get a better education late in life. But, better hurry before the pendulum swings back again, things happen so fast now!

    In his second paragraph Brovkin states:

    Globalization and Sovietization. By Globalization we mean a process of externalizing American business thanks to the doctrine of Free trade ...]
     
    One of the most pernicious aspects of contemporary big business is Externalization, which has nothing much to do with Offshoring per se other than Externalization (read: exportation/gobalization ) of Costs pertaining to doing business of infrastructure development, and a little side deal: Costs of solving problems like waste disposal and pollution off onto the citizens or residents of the different locations, nations etc. and let the taxpayers etc. bare those costs, escaping costs is called externalizing.

    So, nice little Conflation of two problems, one is worst than the other because it is clearly a criminal act and too embarrassing to talk about, while the other, less embarrassing, because it is all ''Heratio Alger'' crap, who fights that, Offshoreing to gain cheaper labor!
    Combing or mixing terms, is shell game. Now, does he mean witches, heretics, or the hard to read old anachronistic German economist Marx?

    He must be one of Frank Lunztes budds... Conflation is a key tool of disception. Puts an ambitions fella on the fast track for a PHd maybe.
  17. Forgive, but I’m confused here.

    You complain about too much Government intervention in the lives of the US Citizens and the Private sector, yet you also demand the government intervene more harshly in the private sector which contradicts your earlier claim there is too much government at work.

    Really, every single issue you being up and pardon me if I am wrong, seem to be the root cause of the private sector treating the US government and through that, the tax payers as a money making machine.

    People are on Medicare and Mediaid because the private sector has jacked up drug prices and treatment costs to the point that no one but the top earners in the US can afford them without state intervention. The path to stop this would be enforcing government mandated prices which is too much government.

    You whine about the Russian military vs US military spending, but the Russian weapon manufactures are government owned unlike the US ones. Do you want the US government to nationalize the Military Industrial complex to lower prices as much as Russia does? Would that not bee too much Government at work?

    Jobs are lost because government lets them become lost, they don’t intervene into the ongoing affairs of the private sector, yet to stop this would require the government to act against the wishes of the private sector in favor of the working class.

    I’m sorry, but you seem to be demanding that the US government should step in and stop the US government from doing what’s currently doing.

    • Replies: @Wally
    Government intervention in healthcare has driven up the costs, not down.

    You seem to have missed that.
  18. @anon
    "America’s competitors can print infinite amounts of national currency with which they then purchase US dollars, in order to prevent the revaluation of these national currencies which would otherwise follow from, and in future weigh against, the accumulation of trade surpluses vis-a-vis the US."

    Which school or college taught you economics? Who was your macroeconomics/monetary theory professor? If printing currency is the panacea, why are Zimbabwe, Venezuela so poor?

    I never said printing currency was a panacea.

    I said that mercantilist countries print currency in order to buy US dollars and thus prevent the appreciation of their own currencies which their trade surpluses would otherwise encourage.

  19. @Anon
    He doesn't say anything about immigration other than that Trump voters are against it. He also says nothing about Israel.

    Did you read the piece? Do you have anything to offer besides ad hominem?

    I said:

    He is another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli laws which ban all non-Jew immigration into “that shitty little country” but then demands massive immigration into the US & Europe.

    and anon says:

    “He doesn’t say anything about immigration other than that Trump voters are against it. He also says nothing about Israel.”

    IOW, my points are spot on. Catch up, please.

    Only to a hasbarist is pointing out the facts considered ad hominem.

  20. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    This is an excellent article, but could do with considerable editing.

    Such sentences as this

    It used to be that in 1975 I paid 3000 dollars for tuition per year at Georgetown.

    should not appear in published work. Cannot Mr. Brovkin find someone to do this sort of editing in future?

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    The author possibly meant to add the following…

    It used to be that education was affordable, in 1975 I paid 3000 dollars for tuition per year at Georgetown.

    It was hardly a huge omission. I thought the author succeeded in raising some valid points.
    , @Alden
    He's not a native English speaker. So what. I find it interesting that so many foreigners and recent immigrants articles about what's wrong with the USA and how to fix it appear so often on UNZ
    The author wrote that the USA work force needs to be more skilled and educated.

    Actually we have millions of skilled, educated very competent workers. But they are White men and by the laws of affirmative action neither government, government contractors, education nor the private sector can hire White men.

    So our most productive population is banned from millions of jobs while the government at every level enforces affirmative action.
  21. @Johnny.
    Forgive, but I'm confused here.

    You complain about too much Government intervention in the lives of the US Citizens and the Private sector, yet you also demand the government intervene more harshly in the private sector which contradicts your earlier claim there is too much government at work.

    Really, every single issue you being up and pardon me if I am wrong, seem to be the root cause of the private sector treating the US government and through that, the tax payers as a money making machine.

    People are on Medicare and Mediaid because the private sector has jacked up drug prices and treatment costs to the point that no one but the top earners in the US can afford them without state intervention. The path to stop this would be enforcing government mandated prices which is too much government.

    You whine about the Russian military vs US military spending, but the Russian weapon manufactures are government owned unlike the US ones. Do you want the US government to nationalize the Military Industrial complex to lower prices as much as Russia does? Would that not bee too much Government at work?

    Jobs are lost because government lets them become lost, they don't intervene into the ongoing affairs of the private sector, yet to stop this would require the government to act against the wishes of the private sector in favor of the working class.

    I'm sorry, but you seem to be demanding that the US government should step in and stop the US government from doing what's currently doing.

    Government intervention in healthcare has driven up the costs, not down.

    You seem to have missed that.

    • Replies: @Johnny
    What is there to miss. Pharmaceutical companies raise prices on products to increase profits, government steps in to cover the increases prices to avoid seeing an increase in the number of dead people and pharmaceutical companies respond to public altruism by jacking up prices even more until only the top ten percent can afford it without insurance.

    Do the same math for hospitals. Company buys hospital and increases prices for treatment to improve profits, thus cutting off the poorest from affording treatment. Government steps in to saves lives and Hospitals jacks up prices more to milk the government dry of funds.

    Insurance companies having to pay more due to increase prices on treatment and medicine respond by increasing their own prices to cover costs and generate more profits for shareholders and CEOs.
  22. For American business to come back, American workers must be willing to work for 2 dollars a day. I don’t think so. On the other hand, globalization has been good for the American consumers with cheap imported consumer goods. Do the average American consumers have the means to pay for a 300 dollars pair of sneaker if it was made in the US? Hypocrites!

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Sneakers made in China or Pakistan regularly sell for $150 or more, that's a result of branding hype and corporate greed. Sneakers could be made in the US, sold for $50 and still turn a profit. Things might change when Americans learn what Lincoln stated about buying domestic goods and getting the goods and the money rather than just the goods alone when buying foreign made.
    , @Stonehands

    Do the average American consumers have the means to pay for a 300 dollars pair of sneaker if it was made in the US? Hypocrites!
     
    Perhaps if the sneaks were 300 bucks, we wouldn't be a morbidly obese consumer nightmare- nation rampaging through the aisles of Chinamart on our hover scooters...
    , @Alden
    Those $300 to $500 sneakers are made in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc
    It's just a matter of marketing. Someone seems able to afford them.
  23. @Quartermaster

    Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million?
     
    This is apples and oranges, but the criticism is partially germane. Much of the trouble with military procurement is they won’t finalize specs and leave them alone during development. The F-35, as just one example, repeatedly had the specs changed. Anyone that deals with Engineering and construction is well aware that’s the road to overruns, and it happens with almost every military procurement project.

    Having sad that, a large part of the cost differential is a result of the two aircraft being built by two different economies. Things of that nature will simply cost less, in absolute terms, in Russia than it will here.


    If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia?
     
    Hilarious. Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them. The Russian Army is now smaller than the Ukrainian Army, and they are willing to fight. In spite of repeatedly violating the Minsk agreement, the Russians haven’t gotten any further.

    There are also economic reasons why Russia hasn’t gotten any further. Things are about to get far worse for Putin than they are now. Russia still hasn’t kept their promises to the Crimeans on pensions and other things, with Crimeans being reduced to circumstances far worse than before the Russian invasion. Add in the fact that Crimea is now a prison camp, and you get a situation that is far, far worse than what they had in 2013.

    The Ukrainian Government and Putin’s regime had a decent relationship until Putin got on his Soviet revanchism kick. He showed that the protesters on the Maidan were right about Russia, and Putin has stupidly gone on confirming that judgment. If Kyiv is now “virulently hostile” then you need to look at Putin, instead of blaming the victim. The business about Mexico is simply a red herring. The business with Cuba, as know quite well now, was an existential threat because of Castro's nuttiness. Even Khrushchev couldn't bear Castro and ordered the missiles out before Castro got really stupid. The comparison, in both situations, utterly fails as an excuse.


    As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev.

    [snip]

    If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians.
     

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar. Eastern Europeans, who lived under the Russian thumb for many years are quite reasonable in their concerns on the issue. Putin even has Belarus and several of “stans” worried. Given Putin’s actions, his well known statements on the fall of the Soviet Union, and his current moves to reorganize the Russian Government along Soviet lines, shows that they are correct to worry.

    If you really want to meet some Neo-Nazis, Moscow, and Russia in general, is a far better place to do it. Russia is filthy with skinheads, and even the Russian Orthodox Church has gotten into the act, opening training camps for people wanting to go the Donbas “to defend Russians” and those camps prominently display Nazi symbols. By comparison, Ukraine has very few skin heads, and the Swastikas you see around are quite rare. The government sanctions none of it, while Putin’s regime encourages it. The idea that Kyiv's regime is a neo-Nazi is simply a Putinist lie.

    The author needs to get past Putinist propaganda about Ukraine and Europe.

    This is the longest thing QM has written. Needless to say, I won’t be reading,

  24. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Wally
    I said:

    He is another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli laws which ban all non-Jew immigration into "that shitty little country" but then demands massive immigration into the US & Europe.
     
    and anon says:

    "He doesn’t say anything about immigration other than that Trump voters are against it. He also says nothing about Israel."

    IOW, my points are spot on. Catch up, please.

    Only to a hasbarist is pointing out the facts considered ad hominem.

    You’re an idiot.

  25. “Check out the scores of high schools kids in Singapore and America will come across as a third world country. Several studies compared the skills of American High School graduates to those in other countries”

    Our country is turning into a third world. Reread “The Bell Curve” for an inside view of Nature vs Nurture.

    Soon we will be like Brazil or South Africa.

    BTW

    “United Nations data showing that the African population is rising from 200 million in 1950 to a projected 4.2 billion in 2100, an increase of 2000%. These projections foresee 40% of the world’s population and about half its children being African by the end of this century, which naturally would lead to an African majority for the world early in the 22nd Century. It would also wipe out the habitats of the world most iconic wildlife, eliminate its second largest rain forest, and no doubt wreak havoc on the climate that progressives love to fret about”

    This is the real existential threat for humanity.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " Check out the scores of high school kids in Singapore and America will come across as a third world country".

    Well fact is that the US education has been totally under control of the Democrats, the favorite US party of Europeans, for the last fifty years, and these incompetent insane fools have turned it into a marxist indoctrination system, therefore no wonder most US kids come out of it ignorant and clueless.

    The Germans for example endlessly rip the US Republicans, and they claim that US students are the most uneducated world-wide, and at the same time they worship BO and the US democrats, the very same scoundrels who have demolished the US school system.

    Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years, and pro jazz artist.
  26. @Quartermaster

    Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million?
     
    This is apples and oranges, but the criticism is partially germane. Much of the trouble with military procurement is they won’t finalize specs and leave them alone during development. The F-35, as just one example, repeatedly had the specs changed. Anyone that deals with Engineering and construction is well aware that’s the road to overruns, and it happens with almost every military procurement project.

    Having sad that, a large part of the cost differential is a result of the two aircraft being built by two different economies. Things of that nature will simply cost less, in absolute terms, in Russia than it will here.


    If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia?
     
    Hilarious. Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them. The Russian Army is now smaller than the Ukrainian Army, and they are willing to fight. In spite of repeatedly violating the Minsk agreement, the Russians haven’t gotten any further.

    There are also economic reasons why Russia hasn’t gotten any further. Things are about to get far worse for Putin than they are now. Russia still hasn’t kept their promises to the Crimeans on pensions and other things, with Crimeans being reduced to circumstances far worse than before the Russian invasion. Add in the fact that Crimea is now a prison camp, and you get a situation that is far, far worse than what they had in 2013.

    The Ukrainian Government and Putin’s regime had a decent relationship until Putin got on his Soviet revanchism kick. He showed that the protesters on the Maidan were right about Russia, and Putin has stupidly gone on confirming that judgment. If Kyiv is now “virulently hostile” then you need to look at Putin, instead of blaming the victim. The business about Mexico is simply a red herring. The business with Cuba, as know quite well now, was an existential threat because of Castro's nuttiness. Even Khrushchev couldn't bear Castro and ordered the missiles out before Castro got really stupid. The comparison, in both situations, utterly fails as an excuse.


    As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev.

    [snip]

    If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians.
     

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar. Eastern Europeans, who lived under the Russian thumb for many years are quite reasonable in their concerns on the issue. Putin even has Belarus and several of “stans” worried. Given Putin’s actions, his well known statements on the fall of the Soviet Union, and his current moves to reorganize the Russian Government along Soviet lines, shows that they are correct to worry.

    If you really want to meet some Neo-Nazis, Moscow, and Russia in general, is a far better place to do it. Russia is filthy with skinheads, and even the Russian Orthodox Church has gotten into the act, opening training camps for people wanting to go the Donbas “to defend Russians” and those camps prominently display Nazi symbols. By comparison, Ukraine has very few skin heads, and the Swastikas you see around are quite rare. The government sanctions none of it, while Putin’s regime encourages it. The idea that Kyiv's regime is a neo-Nazi is simply a Putinist lie.

    The author needs to get past Putinist propaganda about Ukraine and Europe.

    What colour is the sky on planet Quartermaster? Just curious…

  27. @Anon
    This is an excellent article, but could do with considerable editing.

    Such sentences as this


    It used to be that in 1975 I paid 3000 dollars for tuition per year at Georgetown.
     
    should not appear in published work. Cannot Mr. Brovkin find someone to do this sort of editing in future?

    The author possibly meant to add the following…

    It used to be that education was affordable, in 1975 I paid 3000 dollars for tuition per year at Georgetown.

    It was hardly a huge omission. I thought the author succeeded in raising some valid points.

  28. @Lester
    For American business to come back, American workers must be willing to work for 2 dollars a day. I don't think so. On the other hand, globalization has been good for the American consumers with cheap imported consumer goods. Do the average American consumers have the means to pay for a 300 dollars pair of sneaker if it was made in the US? Hypocrites!

    Sneakers made in China or Pakistan regularly sell for $150 or more, that’s a result of branding hype and corporate greed. Sneakers could be made in the US, sold for $50 and still turn a profit. Things might change when Americans learn what Lincoln stated about buying domestic goods and getting the goods and the money rather than just the goods alone when buying foreign made.

  29. @Lester
    For American business to come back, American workers must be willing to work for 2 dollars a day. I don't think so. On the other hand, globalization has been good for the American consumers with cheap imported consumer goods. Do the average American consumers have the means to pay for a 300 dollars pair of sneaker if it was made in the US? Hypocrites!

    Do the average American consumers have the means to pay for a 300 dollars pair of sneaker if it was made in the US? Hypocrites!

    Perhaps if the sneaks were 300 bucks, we wouldn’t be a morbidly obese consumer nightmare- nation rampaging through the aisles of Chinamart on our hover scooters…

  30. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Was Aleppo the Stalingrad against GLOB empire?

    In Stalingrad, the Soviets won the first decisive victory that sent a clear message that the Russian Motherland was alive and in the fight. What the Nazis called the ‘fall of Stalingrad’ was a great victory for Russia and beginning of the roll back against Nazi invaders.

    Hopefully, the liberation of Aleppo will serve the same purpose.

    Assad is no saint, but just like Soviets had every right to roll back the Nazis, the Syrian government and its allies have every right drive back the evil power of the GLOB that made a mess of so much of MENA.

  31. Good article, but have some disagreements.

    Is America declining? It is still the richest country in the world by size of its economy. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world, top in innovation, its military is dominant over any competitor, and it can bring any resource rich country excepting Russia under its control, etc.

    It’s true others are catching up such as China growing at higher rate than the US. But, that is normal for poor countries to grow faster. China, India, Indonesia will grow faster than the US even without trading with the US. All they need is political stability and avoiding stupid ideas such as central planning. Why do Americans get nervous about that? If you are in your twenties and your brother is a teen he is going to grow faster. It is ok.

    I guess for countries that may not be ok. The British went into WWI because they became nervous about Germany catching up to them. Do we want that type of war again? Let poor countries grow, they will eventually slow down too.

    I think the main reason for unhappiness in the US is propaganda, and uncertainty. The uncertainty is due to technology, but it is hard to blame technology. It is emotionally satisfying to blame a human being, some body: Mexicans, Muslims, China, Japan, Ms. Clinton, just somebody.

    The American military system is expensive not because it is public but because it is private. Government pays private companies to make toys. In Russia the ‘companies’ that produce stuff are public, government owned. The same goes for health care. In the US the cost is high becuase the providers are private. In the UK where the payer and the provider are public the cost is lower and the results better than in the US.

    Sure if you are looking for some government things people receive you can find it everywhere. Even Romney and Trump do get somethings from the government in the form of services. Street lights for example, and perhaps hundreds of things. They will deny it though out of pride, ignorance, or ideology. But, it is true.

    Actually as a percentage of GDP American government expenditure is one of the lowest among the OECD countries. No Sovietization really. But in the US it’s a tradition too to be antigovernment, even many of the poor partake in the ritual of condemning government. It seems to me the problem is not the size of the government, it is how it inserts itself in the community.

    Good point on the surveillance problem. Is that not partly a technology problem too? There are digital companies now that spy on anyone in the world for governments for a fee. Many dictators hire them to spy on their opponents anywhere in the world. Eventually there must be a binding international agreement to protect the privacy of all the citizens of the world. The role of the US is indispensable. But first they have to feel optimistic again and stop complaining too much.

  32. Nonsense, The underlying theme in this essay is the relationship between government and private industry – the US government is owned and controlled by private industry, especially the finance, military, and health industries. We do not live in a democracy but plutocracy. The change didn’t come in 1929 but in 1946, not for what we did but what we failed to do: deconstruct the military industry. Then we created permanent large scale intelligence agencies which have specific corporate interests rather than broader political interests as their motivating force. Almost every conflict or war in which we have engaged since then has been based on these economic interests. And, this set the stage for the slow process of our change into a pseudo democracy. The only thing that saves us from complete collapse into totalitarianism is the competing corporate and aristocratic interests of those that rule the nation.

    Close overseas bases and build up the military? Please Mr. Brovkin, answer me that riddle, how exactly will Trump realistically do that, ie where exactly would you put this even “better” military? The US doesn’t actually have any external individual threat. Instead of threatening us directly, we have moved to threatening our “interests” as reason for war (which we are perpetually in).

    The problem with the cost of higher education is specifically student loans. The grants are something else entirely. If the huge, profitable student loan industry didn’t exist, colleges would have had to keep costs down or no one would be able to pay the tuition. I just stayed at rutgers (a public university mind you), in a student dorm, which had stainless steel appliances, nice living room, and 2 bathroom/showers in a 3bdrm suite. I say the room was about a 4 star hotel. Compare that to my room 30 years ago with 8 3 bdrm suites sharing common bathroom facilities. University should be about education not these incredible campuses (I have visited dozens as part of my job).

    Trump “drain the swamp” oh please! Is this actually written by a retired Harvard professor? How did he keep his job being so completely ignorant? Trump is not going to drain anything – he is the most corrupt individual we have ever elected to that office. The only difference between who would be in the cabinet in his administration and Hillary’s is which former Goldman-Sacs rep would run the Treasury dept. His plan to eliminate estate taxes will only exacerbate any attempt at solution.

    My solution (not that it has a hope in hell). First, large progressive income tax. It is impossible to even have the semblance of democracy when the uber wealthy control every aspect of our lives. Also, this progressive income tax should be applied to businesses and corporations as well. Small/medium size businesses innovate and create the core of a free market which in turn is the core of a democracy – they should pay very little tax. Too much wealth corrupts any system and leads to aristocracy. Surely as a history professor, you can see that truth. Government regulation should be focused on preventing the over accumulation of wealth and power (and protecting our common environment). Over a certain level wealth loses its motivating potential and also stagnates within an economy (and I would argue stagnates the economy itself). The tax money should be spent on infrastructure which benefits and fertilizes the growth of small to medium size businesses. As for foreign policy. If we suddenly care about democracy, we could very simply have open trade agreements only with other democratic nations which respect the environment, human rights, and operate according to set standards. Maybe these agreements would be multi-tiered to give nations interested in entering,the means to do so in certain steps.

    Chances of Trump doing any of this? Nil. His sole goal is to use the office of the Presidency to accumulate as much wealth for him and his family as possible. This has been his soul motivation (spelling intended) his entire mentally ill life.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Thanks Bernie. Maybe we could go back to the good old days when tax rates were high but nobody but the working poor paid anywhere near those rates because there were so many cut-outs and tax deductions to get people to "invest" rather than just spend and enjoy their money.

    We could have 5 times deductions for valuable investments like race horse syndicates again.

  33. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Randal
    I agree with you that it's a fascinating piece, and I also agree with many of the points you agree with.

    But then we come to his concept of “Sovietization” of the US. Perhaps it’s mere semantics, but I find the concept… incoherent…& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: “huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control”
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can’t see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)
     
    I think part of the problem here might be a mistaken focus on "the government" as an independent actor, when in reality it is just a mechanism whereby the rulers (whether they are a dictator, a political party or an oligarchy or whatever), and those with sufficient clout to influence them, get things done the way they want to see them done.

    As such there is really not much difference between the government directly employing the people who do things (state socialism), and the government paying money to companies to get the same things done. Either way, those who use the government to get things done, get to say what gets done and how. There are differences of nuance, in terms of organisational strengths and weaknesses, degrees of corruption and of efficiency, but fundamentally it's all big government.

    A more interesting question might be - how really different are these big government variants from the small government systems, in which the rulers pay people directly to get things done the way they want them to be done?

    exactly, which is why the only sensible solution is for government to focus on not allowing too much power to accumulate – libertarian socialism

  34. @Anon
    This is an excellent article, but could do with considerable editing.

    Such sentences as this


    It used to be that in 1975 I paid 3000 dollars for tuition per year at Georgetown.
     
    should not appear in published work. Cannot Mr. Brovkin find someone to do this sort of editing in future?

    He’s not a native English speaker. So what. I find it interesting that so many foreigners and recent immigrants articles about what’s wrong with the USA and how to fix it appear so often on UNZ
    The author wrote that the USA work force needs to be more skilled and educated.

    Actually we have millions of skilled, educated very competent workers. But they are White men and by the laws of affirmative action neither government, government contractors, education nor the private sector can hire White men.

    So our most productive population is banned from millions of jobs while the government at every level enforces affirmative action.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Precisely. If I were to publish an article in Spanish, professionally, I would have it proofread by a native speaker. The other non-native speakers who write for Unz either do this or write English with native fluency.
    I suggest that Mr. Brovkin have his articles proofread in future by a native English speaker, if he wishes to appear professional.
  35. @Lester
    For American business to come back, American workers must be willing to work for 2 dollars a day. I don't think so. On the other hand, globalization has been good for the American consumers with cheap imported consumer goods. Do the average American consumers have the means to pay for a 300 dollars pair of sneaker if it was made in the US? Hypocrites!

    Those $300 to $500 sneakers are made in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc
    It’s just a matter of marketing. Someone seems able to afford them.

  36. @europeasant
    "Check out the scores of high schools kids in Singapore and America will come across as a third world country. Several studies compared the skills of American High School graduates to those in other countries"

    Our country is turning into a third world. Reread "The Bell Curve" for an inside view of Nature vs Nurture.

    Soon we will be like Brazil or South Africa.

    BTW

    "United Nations data showing that the African population is rising from 200 million in 1950 to a projected 4.2 billion in 2100, an increase of 2000%. These projections foresee 40% of the world’s population and about half its children being African by the end of this century, which naturally would lead to an African majority for the world early in the 22nd Century. It would also wipe out the habitats of the world most iconic wildlife, eliminate its second largest rain forest, and no doubt wreak havoc on the climate that progressives love to fret about"

    This is the real existential threat for humanity.

    ” Check out the scores of high school kids in Singapore and America will come across as a third world country”.

    Well fact is that the US education has been totally under control of the Democrats, the favorite US party of Europeans, for the last fifty years, and these incompetent insane fools have turned it into a marxist indoctrination system, therefore no wonder most US kids come out of it ignorant and clueless.

    The Germans for example endlessly rip the US Republicans, and they claim that US students are the most uneducated world-wide, and at the same time they worship BO and the US democrats, the very same scoundrels who have demolished the US school system.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years, and pro jazz artist.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Only a fool maintains the partisan nonsense of Republicans = Good, Democrats = Bad. There is abundant evidence that they are two factions of the same party, The Money Party (to paraphrase Gore Vidal). Stick to playing jazz.
  37. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Alden
    He's not a native English speaker. So what. I find it interesting that so many foreigners and recent immigrants articles about what's wrong with the USA and how to fix it appear so often on UNZ
    The author wrote that the USA work force needs to be more skilled and educated.

    Actually we have millions of skilled, educated very competent workers. But they are White men and by the laws of affirmative action neither government, government contractors, education nor the private sector can hire White men.

    So our most productive population is banned from millions of jobs while the government at every level enforces affirmative action.

    Precisely. If I were to publish an article in Spanish, professionally, I would have it proofread by a native speaker. The other non-native speakers who write for Unz either do this or write English with native fluency.
    I suggest that Mr. Brovkin have his articles proofread in future by a native English speaker, if he wishes to appear professional.

  38. An interesting article that makes some good and necessary points–especially on the subject of globalization; but it also contains a lot of libertarian ideological baggage.

    Look at the two largest items of the American budget: the Military, Social Security and Medicare Medicaid. These three are government run, government owned, totally Socialist top down bureaucratic structures that taken together account for more than half of the US government expenditure.

    Actually, per capita, Medicare and Social Security are more cost-effective than any private-sector health insurance or pension schemes, precisely because the don’t need to turn a profit for any shareholders, and because they are big enough to operate at economies of scale. The proper response, in this case, would be to nationalize the defense sector; that would nicely get rid of all the lobbying, corruption and profiteering.

    Why indeed should the US pay for the defense of Japan? Is Japan a poor country that cannot afford to defend itself?

    Am no fan of US imperialism myself, but here’s how an honest Washington imperialist (if they existed!) would answer the question: Unless we’re willing to tolerate an ‘Asian co-prosperity sphere’, whether run by the Japs or someone else, we’re going to have to hold down East Asia ourselves. To be sure, I don’t care if an Asian power dominates East Asia, but people in Washington certainly do!

    Europe is strong enough, rich enough and united enough to take care of its defense without American assistance.

    A very questionable statement on all counts.

    Why? Because the universities have hiked up tuition fees over the years as they were receiving ever larger government and private foundation grants.

    A bit of a non-sequitor. Receiving more grant money certainly wouldn’t force universities to hike tuition, so there must be some other causal factor the author is ignoring.

    As the Universities hiked up the tuition fees, the government held out a helping hand offering students’ loans. That led to an ever worse indebtedness problem and total Sovietization of American Higher education …

    Actually, replacing Pell Grants, etc., with government-guaranteed private sector loans is just another Washington handout to Wall Street; high finance gets all the profit, while we, the taxpayers, assume all the risk in the event of a default. It’s more parasitical state-corporatism, just like the MIC, Obamacare and all the rest.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    Unless we’re willing to tolerate an ‘Asian co-prosperity sphere’, whether run by the Japs or someone else, we’re going to have to hold down East Asia ourselves.
     
    In the past, during the cold war, which was a competition between two socioeconomic models, it was indeed worthwhile "to tolerate an ‘Asian co-prosperity sphere’", but in the last 25 years the conditions have changed dramatically, and the new, current, imperial approach is that of a 'managed chaos'. There's no reason anymore for maintaining any 'co-prosperity' anywhere (including the mothership - the US), because they got nowhere to go, there's no geopolitical or ideological opposition. And so everything and everyone is a fair game...
  39. @Seamus Padraig
    An interesting article that makes some good and necessary points--especially on the subject of globalization; but it also contains a lot of libertarian ideological baggage.

    Look at the two largest items of the American budget: the Military, Social Security and Medicare Medicaid. These three are government run, government owned, totally Socialist top down bureaucratic structures that taken together account for more than half of the US government expenditure.
     
    Actually, per capita, Medicare and Social Security are more cost-effective than any private-sector health insurance or pension schemes, precisely because the don't need to turn a profit for any shareholders, and because they are big enough to operate at economies of scale. The proper response, in this case, would be to nationalize the defense sector; that would nicely get rid of all the lobbying, corruption and profiteering.

    Why indeed should the US pay for the defense of Japan? Is Japan a poor country that cannot afford to defend itself?
     
    Am no fan of US imperialism myself, but here's how an honest Washington imperialist (if they existed!) would answer the question: Unless we're willing to tolerate an 'Asian co-prosperity sphere', whether run by the Japs or someone else, we're going to have to hold down East Asia ourselves. To be sure, I don't care if an Asian power dominates East Asia, but people in Washington certainly do!

    Europe is strong enough, rich enough and united enough to take care of its defense without American assistance.
     
    A very questionable statement on all counts.

    Why? Because the universities have hiked up tuition fees over the years as they were receiving ever larger government and private foundation grants.
     
    A bit of a non-sequitor. Receiving more grant money certainly wouldn't force universities to hike tuition, so there must be some other causal factor the author is ignoring.

    As the Universities hiked up the tuition fees, the government held out a helping hand offering students’ loans. That led to an ever worse indebtedness problem and total Sovietization of American Higher education ...
     
    Actually, replacing Pell Grants, etc., with government-guaranteed private sector loans is just another Washington handout to Wall Street; high finance gets all the profit, while we, the taxpayers, assume all the risk in the event of a default. It's more parasitical state-corporatism, just like the MIC, Obamacare and all the rest.

    Unless we’re willing to tolerate an ‘Asian co-prosperity sphere’, whether run by the Japs or someone else, we’re going to have to hold down East Asia ourselves.

    In the past, during the cold war, which was a competition between two socioeconomic models, it was indeed worthwhile “to tolerate an ‘Asian co-prosperity sphere’”, but in the last 25 years the conditions have changed dramatically, and the new, current, imperial approach is that of a ‘managed chaos’. There’s no reason anymore for maintaining any ‘co-prosperity’ anywhere (including the mothership – the US), because they got nowhere to go, there’s no geopolitical or ideological opposition. And so everything and everyone is a fair game…

  40. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Great article. Very interesting analysis. Thank you.

  41. @Authenticjazzman
    " Check out the scores of high school kids in Singapore and America will come across as a third world country".

    Well fact is that the US education has been totally under control of the Democrats, the favorite US party of Europeans, for the last fifty years, and these incompetent insane fools have turned it into a marxist indoctrination system, therefore no wonder most US kids come out of it ignorant and clueless.

    The Germans for example endlessly rip the US Republicans, and they claim that US students are the most uneducated world-wide, and at the same time they worship BO and the US democrats, the very same scoundrels who have demolished the US school system.

    Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years, and pro jazz artist.

    Only a fool maintains the partisan nonsense of Republicans = Good, Democrats = Bad. There is abundant evidence that they are two factions of the same party, The Money Party (to paraphrase Gore Vidal). Stick to playing jazz.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " Only a fool maintains the partisan nonsense of Republicans = Good, Democrats=Bad".

    And just where did I ever make such a rediculous claim?

    You are putting words into my mouth, as I am fully aware that there are myriads of scoundrels within the Republican ranks, however there is an invisible deviding line, a demarkation point and that being the fact that Democrats for the most part defend the wrongdoings of their comrads and Republicans for the most part condemn the wrongdoings of their party buddies.
    T Kennedy would have been finished had he been a Republican.

    Plus regarding "Moneygrubbing" : Democrats win here with a knockout.

    And as far as "Keep playing jazz" goes : I fully intend to do so, my last gig was saturday past.

    Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" Society member since 1973 and pro jazz artist.

  42. @Wally
    Government intervention in healthcare has driven up the costs, not down.

    You seem to have missed that.

    What is there to miss. Pharmaceutical companies raise prices on products to increase profits, government steps in to cover the increases prices to avoid seeing an increase in the number of dead people and pharmaceutical companies respond to public altruism by jacking up prices even more until only the top ten percent can afford it without insurance.

    Do the same math for hospitals. Company buys hospital and increases prices for treatment to improve profits, thus cutting off the poorest from affording treatment. Government steps in to saves lives and Hospitals jacks up prices more to milk the government dry of funds.

    Insurance companies having to pay more due to increase prices on treatment and medicine respond by increasing their own prices to cover costs and generate more profits for shareholders and CEOs.

  43. @NoseytheDuke
    Only a fool maintains the partisan nonsense of Republicans = Good, Democrats = Bad. There is abundant evidence that they are two factions of the same party, The Money Party (to paraphrase Gore Vidal). Stick to playing jazz.

    ” Only a fool maintains the partisan nonsense of Republicans = Good, Democrats=Bad”.

    And just where did I ever make such a rediculous claim?

    You are putting words into my mouth, as I am fully aware that there are myriads of scoundrels within the Republican ranks, however there is an invisible deviding line, a demarkation point and that being the fact that Democrats for the most part defend the wrongdoings of their comrads and Republicans for the most part condemn the wrongdoings of their party buddies.
    T Kennedy would have been finished had he been a Republican.

    Plus regarding “Moneygrubbing” : Democrats win here with a knockout.

    And as far as “Keep playing jazz” goes : I fully intend to do so, my last gig was saturday past.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” Society member since 1973 and pro jazz artist.

  44. Dec 6, 2016 EX-Elite World Bank Member Exposes The COMING Economic Collapse

  45. @animalogic
    What an INTERESTING article ! So much that is right, so much that is wrong. An article you can get your teeth into.
    On globalisation: pretty spot-on (although I believe he exaggerates the US weakness in what he calls "preconditions": there are still many well educated Americans, still good neighborhoods (yes, sure it could be a lot better). He's against NAFTA & other neoliberal Trade self indulgences.
    But then we come to his concept of "Sovietization" of the US. Perhaps it's mere semantics, but I find the concept... incoherent...& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: "huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control"
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can't see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)
    Of course, the author is correct on the US military-industrial complex: it is a sump of crime & corruption. Yet he seems not to grasp that the problem is regulative capture. How is the Fiasco of the F35 & MacDonald Douglas merely an issue for the Legislature alone...& how does this circus resemble the Soviet Union, beyond the fact that BOTH systems (like most systems) are capable of gross negligence & corruption ?
    I like what the author says about NATO, Japan, bases etc. Although he's a little naive if he thinks NATO for instance is about "protecting" Europe. Yes, that's a part of it: but primarily NATO etc exist as a tool/mask behind which the US can exert it's imperial ambitions ...against friend & for alike.
    The author does go off against welfare...well that's to be expected: sadly I don't think he quite gets the connection between globalisation & welfare....He also legitimately goes after tertiary education, but seems to be (again) confused as to cause & effect.
    The author is completely spot on with his sovietization analogy when he comes to the US security state. Only difference between the Soviets & the US on security totalitarianism ? The US is much better at it (of course the US has technological advantages unimaginable to the Soviets)

    Seems a pretty silly article.

    Particularly with the faith in DT.

    Sure, as a non-US person, I wanted to see him elected, as the lesser evil in terms of war, also, out of sympathy for USA people, better for the integrity of your place.

    As he announced his appointments, it seems just a joke on many points.

    We will all have to wait and see, but this article is wildly optimistic, without reason.

  46. @JPR
    Nonsense, The underlying theme in this essay is the relationship between government and private industry - the US government is owned and controlled by private industry, especially the finance, military, and health industries. We do not live in a democracy but plutocracy. The change didn't come in 1929 but in 1946, not for what we did but what we failed to do: deconstruct the military industry. Then we created permanent large scale intelligence agencies which have specific corporate interests rather than broader political interests as their motivating force. Almost every conflict or war in which we have engaged since then has been based on these economic interests. And, this set the stage for the slow process of our change into a pseudo democracy. The only thing that saves us from complete collapse into totalitarianism is the competing corporate and aristocratic interests of those that rule the nation.

    Close overseas bases and build up the military? Please Mr. Brovkin, answer me that riddle, how exactly will Trump realistically do that, ie where exactly would you put this even "better" military? The US doesn't actually have any external individual threat. Instead of threatening us directly, we have moved to threatening our "interests" as reason for war (which we are perpetually in).

    The problem with the cost of higher education is specifically student loans. The grants are something else entirely. If the huge, profitable student loan industry didn't exist, colleges would have had to keep costs down or no one would be able to pay the tuition. I just stayed at rutgers (a public university mind you), in a student dorm, which had stainless steel appliances, nice living room, and 2 bathroom/showers in a 3bdrm suite. I say the room was about a 4 star hotel. Compare that to my room 30 years ago with 8 3 bdrm suites sharing common bathroom facilities. University should be about education not these incredible campuses (I have visited dozens as part of my job).

    Trump "drain the swamp" oh please! Is this actually written by a retired Harvard professor? How did he keep his job being so completely ignorant? Trump is not going to drain anything - he is the most corrupt individual we have ever elected to that office. The only difference between who would be in the cabinet in his administration and Hillary's is which former Goldman-Sacs rep would run the Treasury dept. His plan to eliminate estate taxes will only exacerbate any attempt at solution.

    My solution (not that it has a hope in hell). First, large progressive income tax. It is impossible to even have the semblance of democracy when the uber wealthy control every aspect of our lives. Also, this progressive income tax should be applied to businesses and corporations as well. Small/medium size businesses innovate and create the core of a free market which in turn is the core of a democracy - they should pay very little tax. Too much wealth corrupts any system and leads to aristocracy. Surely as a history professor, you can see that truth. Government regulation should be focused on preventing the over accumulation of wealth and power (and protecting our common environment). Over a certain level wealth loses its motivating potential and also stagnates within an economy (and I would argue stagnates the economy itself). The tax money should be spent on infrastructure which benefits and fertilizes the growth of small to medium size businesses. As for foreign policy. If we suddenly care about democracy, we could very simply have open trade agreements only with other democratic nations which respect the environment, human rights, and operate according to set standards. Maybe these agreements would be multi-tiered to give nations interested in entering,the means to do so in certain steps.

    Chances of Trump doing any of this? Nil. His sole goal is to use the office of the Presidency to accumulate as much wealth for him and his family as possible. This has been his soul motivation (spelling intended) his entire mentally ill life.

    Thanks Bernie. Maybe we could go back to the good old days when tax rates were high but nobody but the working poor paid anywhere near those rates because there were so many cut-outs and tax deductions to get people to “invest” rather than just spend and enjoy their money.

    We could have 5 times deductions for valuable investments like race horse syndicates again.

  47. @Authenticjazzman
    His absolute first priority should be the verbal exposure and disempowerment of marxist :

    PROFESSORS

    In all fields, as they manage to lend a marxist twist to every study area medicine and engineering included.
    They are the perfidious MFs who will bring down the nation and render it's constiution void, as they are pushing out millions of brain-washed young folk out into society year after year and at one point in time all elections will be won by them, and we know which party they support.

    Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    What do you mean by the derogative Marxist?

    PROFESSORS

    In all fields, as they manage to lend a marxist twist to every study area medicine and engineering included.
    They are the perfidious MFs who will bring down the nation and render it’s …]

    constiution void

    Define 50 words or less. _____________________________.

    Oh another thing: What were you before the 40 years as card carrying Mensa member, Brain Dead? Or: Were you a menus member in the first place?

    Don’t answer: It’s a trick question!

    And another, can you describe the word derivation of the word: Jazz?

    I wouldn’t advise that either, too unChristmas like.

    But you have it about right on the Professors, (sinecures) as culprits in the lowering of academic standers, though, I would rather call ‘em imposters in Liberal drag, or Witches. That was standard Catchall disparagement, at one time when Heretic lost it’s umph.

    No, I was kiddin’ but this piece of rambling disjointed nonsense article is apparently ( to my thinking) a self centered attempt to toady to the Neocon/lib Atlanticist knuckle dragging set, before the author, maybe immigrates to the the accending Russia, a place that has free education. He may have a chance to get a better education late in life. But, better hurry before the pendulum swings back again, things happen so fast now!

    In his second paragraph Brovkin states:

    Globalization and Sovietization. By Globalization we mean a process of externalizing American business thanks to the doctrine of Free trade …]

    One of the most pernicious aspects of contemporary big business is Externalization, which has nothing much to do with Offshoring per se other than Externalization (read: exportation/gobalization ) of Costs pertaining to doing business of infrastructure development, and a little side deal: Costs of solving problems like waste disposal and pollution off onto the citizens or residents of the different locations, nations etc. and let the taxpayers etc. bare those costs, escaping costs is called externalizing.

    So, nice little Conflation of two problems, one is worst than the other because it is clearly a criminal act and too embarrassing to talk about, while the other, less embarrassing, because it is all ”Heratio Alger” crap, who fights that, Offshoreing to gain cheaper labor!
    Combing or mixing terms, is shell game. Now, does he mean witches, heretics, or the hard to read old anachronistic German economist Marx?

    He must be one of Frank Lunztes budds… Conflation is a key tool of disception. Puts an ambitions fella on the fast track for a PHd maybe.

  48. @Quartermaster

    Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million?
     
    This is apples and oranges, but the criticism is partially germane. Much of the trouble with military procurement is they won’t finalize specs and leave them alone during development. The F-35, as just one example, repeatedly had the specs changed. Anyone that deals with Engineering and construction is well aware that’s the road to overruns, and it happens with almost every military procurement project.

    Having sad that, a large part of the cost differential is a result of the two aircraft being built by two different economies. Things of that nature will simply cost less, in absolute terms, in Russia than it will here.


    If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia?
     
    Hilarious. Russia wasn’t able to get past the line they occupy in the Donbas because the Ukrainian people rose up against them. The Russian Army is now smaller than the Ukrainian Army, and they are willing to fight. In spite of repeatedly violating the Minsk agreement, the Russians haven’t gotten any further.

    There are also economic reasons why Russia hasn’t gotten any further. Things are about to get far worse for Putin than they are now. Russia still hasn’t kept their promises to the Crimeans on pensions and other things, with Crimeans being reduced to circumstances far worse than before the Russian invasion. Add in the fact that Crimea is now a prison camp, and you get a situation that is far, far worse than what they had in 2013.

    The Ukrainian Government and Putin’s regime had a decent relationship until Putin got on his Soviet revanchism kick. He showed that the protesters on the Maidan were right about Russia, and Putin has stupidly gone on confirming that judgment. If Kyiv is now “virulently hostile” then you need to look at Putin, instead of blaming the victim. The business about Mexico is simply a red herring. The business with Cuba, as know quite well now, was an existential threat because of Castro's nuttiness. Even Khrushchev couldn't bear Castro and ordered the missiles out before Castro got really stupid. The comparison, in both situations, utterly fails as an excuse.


    As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev.

    [snip]

    If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians.
     

    Anyone that seriously states that there is no Russian aggression is insane, or a liar. Eastern Europeans, who lived under the Russian thumb for many years are quite reasonable in their concerns on the issue. Putin even has Belarus and several of “stans” worried. Given Putin’s actions, his well known statements on the fall of the Soviet Union, and his current moves to reorganize the Russian Government along Soviet lines, shows that they are correct to worry.

    If you really want to meet some Neo-Nazis, Moscow, and Russia in general, is a far better place to do it. Russia is filthy with skinheads, and even the Russian Orthodox Church has gotten into the act, opening training camps for people wanting to go the Donbas “to defend Russians” and those camps prominently display Nazi symbols. By comparison, Ukraine has very few skin heads, and the Swastikas you see around are quite rare. The government sanctions none of it, while Putin’s regime encourages it. The idea that Kyiv's regime is a neo-Nazi is simply a Putinist lie.

    The author needs to get past Putinist propaganda about Ukraine and Europe.

    It is not apples and oranges. F15 actually performs at superior to Su35. Read professional comparisons.
    Your ideas on Ukrainian army are simply laughable.

  49. @Randal
    I agree with you that it's a fascinating piece, and I also agree with many of the points you agree with.

    But then we come to his concept of “Sovietization” of the US. Perhaps it’s mere semantics, but I find the concept… incoherent…& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
    Example: “huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control”
    This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can’t see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)
     
    I think part of the problem here might be a mistaken focus on "the government" as an independent actor, when in reality it is just a mechanism whereby the rulers (whether they are a dictator, a political party or an oligarchy or whatever), and those with sufficient clout to influence them, get things done the way they want to see them done.

    As such there is really not much difference between the government directly employing the people who do things (state socialism), and the government paying money to companies to get the same things done. Either way, those who use the government to get things done, get to say what gets done and how. There are differences of nuance, in terms of organisational strengths and weaknesses, degrees of corruption and of efficiency, but fundamentally it's all big government.

    A more interesting question might be - how really different are these big government variants from the small government systems, in which the rulers pay people directly to get things done the way they want them to be done?

    It is not just a matter of big government small government. It is a matter of dependency on government, mentality of dependency on government, control by the government on top og inefficiency, bureaucracy, corruption based on conviction that we are number one. That is Sovietization.

  50. @Wally
    Telling that he leaves out the negative impact of 3rd world immigration.

    He is another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli laws which ban all non-Jew immigration into "that shitty little country" but then demands massive immigration into the US & Europe.

    You’re absolutely right, Wally. The author of this article did, indeed, leave out the negative impact of massive 3rd World immigration. He is, indeed, another Israel First Zionist who supports strict Israeli law which ban all non-Jewish immigration into that “shitty little country”, but demands massive immigration into the US and Europe.
    The author’s also wrong on the Sovietization issue when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. These two programs are NOT welfare programs, but insurance programs private-sector workers have paid into since FDR signed Social Security into law in 1935 and LBJ did the same with Medicare 30 years later.
    Donald Trump has pledged to protect both of these programs from privitization and outright theft; and this means no cuts aka theft of Social Security and Medicare payments, since these payments have been EARNED by those seniors collecting them through taxes paid into them all through their working years.
    Welfare’s an entirely different program, and that is definitely part of the Sovietization of the US. People on welfare have NEVER earned a penny of it their entire lives, which means they’ve never worked a day in their lives.

  51. I must take exception to the use of the word “capitalism” in the context globalization. Globalization is defined by “monopoly capitalism.” Precision is important when discussing the NWO.

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