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America Cannot be Great Again
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Interviewed by Spiegel in 2005, Lee Kuan Yew observed, “The social contract that led to workers sitting on the boards of companies and everybody being happy rested on this condition: I work hard, I restore Germany’s prosperity, and you, the state, you have to look after me. I’m entitled to go to Baden Baden for spa recuperation one month every year. This old system was gone in the blink of an eye when two to three billion people joined the race—one billion in China, one billion in India and over half-a-billion in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.”

Though American workers never could demand a one-month vacation a year, they enjoyed increasing pays and benefits from the end of WWII to the 80’s. If hard working, even a high school drop out could buy a house, car and send his kids to college. What Yew said applied to all of the West, and its decline can be traced to the entrance of China, in particular, into the commercial fray. Free from the self-imposed shackles of hard-core Communism, China has gutted entire Western industries, since these cannot compete with China’s low waged workforce. Other Asian countries, India, Pakistan and Vietnam, etc, have also forced the shut down of many American factories.

Call it what you will, Globalism, Neo-Liberalism or just plain Capitalism, the open market rewards only those who can offer any product at the lowest price, thus we have this often cited “race to the bottom” in terms of wages. Donald Trump didn’t just outsourced, he in-sourced cheap, immigrant labor. Had he not, his businesses wouldn’t be able to compete.

Having made his billions, Trump is proposing a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, which means a \$199 iPod will cost \$288.55, and a \$90 pair of Nike will be bumped to \$130.50. Moving factories back to the US will create jobs yet push prices to the sky. To stay competitive, then, American companies will be forced to pay American workers what their Chinese counterparts make a month, \$202.45. That’s the reality of a global market that workers everywhere, from Mexico to Bangladesh, must deal with.

Even with its competitive edge, China is unable to sell as much as before, for its exports have dropped 25.4% year-to-year, as of February. China has announced plans to lay off 1.8 million steel and coal workers, and that’s just the beginning of its own decline.

Our ruling elites know the global economy is keeling, and that’s why they’re preparing for war. When there’s less to go around, only the most vicious will eat. Most Americans don’t realize they’ve been living way beyond their means for decades. With record debts, the US is in fact the poorest country on earth, but this is not evident since we have a global goon squad called the United States military. Keeping nearly the entire world in line, we can demand goods with our fiat money. Even Bernie Sanders knows this, and that’s why he’s basically a support-the-troops and anti-Russia kind of guy.

Sanders’ base are mostly comfortable whites who pretend to be anti-racist while staying as far away from all minorities as possible. They also mock and despise poor whites. While heavily invested in Capitalism, many pretend to be Socialists, while their spoiled children pose as Communists. Sander’s supporters are those who voted for Obama twice without feeling any remorse, for all they care about is appearing to do what’s right.

Woman in Camden Test City, 2009

Woman in Camden Test City, 2009

Though the US can’t win wars, it’s adept at wrecking countries. With unprecedented spying, we also know what’s in every politician’s closet, so any career can be torpedoed at will. This also raises the question of why Trump is still left standing if he’s such a threat to the establishment? The casino business isn’t the cleanest, and just about everyone has his Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton or Pee-Wee Herman lapses. If there are no scandals to be dug up, they can be fabricated. Our press is not shy about telling lies.

What we have isn’t democracy but relentless mind control, then phony elections. Just about none of our national “representatives” represent us. With our corporate media, two deeply corrupt parties, “super delegates” and unaccountable voting machines, our elections are basically rigged.

Trump, Sanders and Clinton are simply trotted out to absorb people’s anger and passion. The military banking complex will continue to do what it wants to do. It doesn’t matter if Clinton or Trump is our next President, American living standards will only nosedive further, with only our super corrupt ruling elites thriving. Behind walls monitored by drones and combat vets, they will chuckle as we try to lob Molotov cocktails onto the fringes of their golf courses.

You can’t have a campaign based on measured expectations, so instead of “TOGETHER WE GO DOWN,” “IT WON’T BE SO BAD” and “HOPEFULLY A SOFT LANDING,” we have “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” “A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY,” “REBUILD THE AMERICAN DREAM” and “UNLEASH THE AMERICAN DREAM,” etc.

I’m all for voting if the mechanism isn’t broken. What we have isn’t so much voting as the appearance of voting. As witless citizens cheer, scream and froth at the mouth for or against a clay idol, everything is playing out according to a master script.

As is, our voting is an endorsement of mass murder and financial corruption, which all winning candidates facilitate.

Ironies pile on. A billionaire narcissist infamous for flaunting his wealth, with a fortune made on emptying suckers’ wallets, is posing as a populist. The Donald’s groveling before AIPAC should wake up his witless followers, but it won’t, since they’re so desperate for a messiah. Meanwhile, a “socialist,” i.e. an internationalist, can only win primaries in the whitest states.

Soon, Sanders will drop out and tell his base to support Hillary! People conveniently forget that war mongering Kerry once ran as an anti-war candidate. Obama, too, posed as anti-war and anti-torture. It is beyond sick, this farce.

The election carnival keeps us sniping at each other, instead of seeing who our true enemies are. It also erroneously proves to the world that America is a democracy.

Not long after one idiotic election’s over, it’s time to be mesmerized by another. Though it’s the worst reality TV ever, we keep watching.

Even with competent and honest leadership, our future will be most difficult, but since we’re repeatedly railroaded into “electing” one huckster after another, it sure looks like we’ll be up Hillary Creek without a trump card.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Free Trade, Globalism 
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  1. If an iPod is worth \$199, it’s worth \$288. I think that’s about what I paid for my first iPod Classic, which unfortunately isn’t available any more.

    But they won’t be that high. They’ll be ten to fifteen percent higher, because they will rapidly inshore.

    iPods won’t create a lot of jobs, but having the mass of low tech stuff at Walmart tariffed will.

    • Replies: @SteveM
    , @Tom Welsh
  2. Jmaie says:

    I’ve seen sources reporting average wages in China anywhere from \$650-\$800/month, perhaps the OP’s information is older? Either way, the rest of the piece is spot on.

  3. attonn says:

    This article is too optimistic.

    • Agree: gruff
    • Replies: @gruff
  4. Gene Su says:

    I think the only way to make America “great” again is to declare bankruptcy. If we can’t import IPods and other goods, we’ll just have to start saving our money and making our own stuff again.
    Then again, like I said in a previous post, we can end up like a lot of other declining societies just waiting to be overrun.

  5. You have confused Sanders’ supporters with Clinton supporters. Sanders’ group has rejected the corporate controlled Democratic party and neo-con Clinton. Sanders lost support when he backed away from his anti-open borders policy. As a result, many Dems will vote for Trump rather than Clinton.

    My recent blog post matches your theme:

    Mar 24, 2016 – Trump Threatens Change

    This stunning article in the “Stars and Stripes” was mostly ignored by our corporate media, who hates Trump and tells us he is crazy, dangerous, and lacks experience and knowledge. Read part and judge for yourself:

    “In spite of unrest abroad, especially in the Middle East, Trump insisted that the United States must look inward and steer its resources toward rebuilding domestic infrastructure.
    “I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said. “I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have \$19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty. I just think we have to rebuild our country.”


    He added: “I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’re blown up. We build another one, we get blown up. We rebuild it three times and yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn. We have no money for education because we can’t build in our own country. At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves?’ So, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities.”

    Trump cast China as a leading economic and geopolitical rival and said the United States should toughen its trade alliances to better compete. “China has got unbelievable ambitions,” Trump said. “China feels very invincible. We have rebuilt China. They have drained so much money out of our country that they’ve rebuilt China. Without us, you wouldn’t see the airports and the roadways and the bridges. The George Washington Bridge [in New York], that’s like a trinket compared to the bridges that they build in China. We don’t build anymore. We had our day.”

    Trump praised George Shultz, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, as a model and was harshly critical of the current secretary of state, John Kerry. He questioned the United States’ continued involvement in NATO and, on the subject of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, charged that America’s allies are “not doing anything.”

    “Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we’re doing all of the lifting,” Trump said. “They’re not doing anything. And I say: ‘Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of Ukraine, why aren’t they dealing? Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war with Russia.’ ”

    Trump declared U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” Trump said, adding later, “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”
    Trump sounded a similar note in discussing the U.S. presence in the Pacific. He questioned the value of massive military investments in Asia and wondered aloud whether the United States still was capable of being an effective peacekeeping force there.

    “South Korea is very rich, great industrial country, and yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do,” Trump said. “We’re constantly sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games — we’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.”Asked whether the United States benefits from its involvement in the region, Trump replied, “Personally, I don’t think so.” He added, “I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country, and we are a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation.”

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  6. gruff says:

    Dinh’s pollyannaish attitude blinds him to the harsh realities.

  7. bomag says:

    There are plenty of genuine problems to carp about, but we need to offer better alternatives.

    If the world insists on filling itself with desperate people, those with capital will arbitrage labor costs down to an infinitesimally small level. What can the average guy do about a billion people in China; a billion people in India; a half billion in Eastern Europe et al? Not much.

  8. Alfa158 says:

    Linh, Apple no longer makes iPods, in China or anywhere else, people now listen to music stored on their phones. You might want to update your example, this is the sort niggling detail that has snarky leftist trolls sneering that us stoopid h8ting h8ters are out of touch troglodytes who don’t even know the iPod is gone. I’m half expecting “Truth” or one of their ilk to jump on this.
    To you your point though I don’t think most of us even want to make America great anymore, and don’t expect any politician to do it. We just want leaders who will at least refrain from grinding us into the dirt.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    So I guess it is hopeless? I take it this is your last article or a dying declaration? No point in continuing to pontificate if you believe the game is over. See ya!

  10. The decline began long before China’s inclination and capacity to produce consumer goods became even a minor issue. The abolition of sensible tariffs and mass growth of imports set the stage for structural decline. Add to that the squandering of resources on the MIC and NASA then throw in Ronnie’s corporate tax cuts and removal of regulations to keep the crooks in line….

    China came well after Japan and Germany anyway as far as imports go.

  11. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    The idea that capitalism requires a race to the bottom in prices isn’t quite true. You can charge more if you offer better quality, and have a reputation for that.

    Instead of American companies paying workers Chinese wages, they can pay American wages and offer higher quality. Paying 20% more for something isn’t a bad deal if it lasts twice as long.

    • Replies: @Truth
    , @anonymous
  12. Discard says:

    “IT WON’T BE SO BAD”. I like it. Just as long as We don’t have to put up with Them. Nothing wrong with a family of six in a 1200 sq ft house and one car for long trips. Local schools that teach useful things, no TV or cell phones, and honest police. Decent bus service, clean water and functioning sewers, and cheap college for the ten percent who actually have any business being there. None of that requires great wealth.

  13. Vraja D says: • Website

    Well, things can get worse or better. The only way they can get better is with laws that secure a living wage; affordable housing; affordable health care; and with a safety net that can take care of the needy; etc. Of course the oligarchy will fight that just like they have been fighting it ever since The New Deal. But we should realize that there is only one way out of the downward spiral modern capitalist society finds itself in. There is either a government mandate to care for the needs of “the people” or the capitalist system will destroy society. This is because capitalism only works in a free market in smallish settings. Once you go over a certain size what to speak of global, there is no way to stop the race to the bottom without government mandates.

  14. Oh. Another “above the fray” and “I see through it all” writer.

    I never tire of seeing people who have got everything all figured out but who are nevertheless incapable of offering any proof of their assertions.

  15. anon • Disclaimer says:

    None of this is true.

    Globalists so dominate the media that their propaganda saturates the culture but it’s all self-serving lies.

    1) “This old system was gone in the blink of an eye when two to three billion people joined the race”


    The vast bulk of globalization has been western corporations moving their production overseas to *export* back to the US; it’s not internal development for the domestic economy.

    That’s why China is trapped with low wages – if they let them rise so they can enjoy a middle class economy the corporations will off-shore from China somewhere cheaper.

    2) “Free from the self-imposed shackles of hard-core Communism, China has gutted entire Western industries, since these cannot compete with China’s low waged workforce. Other Asian countries, India, Pakistan and Vietnam, etc, have also forced the shut down of many American factories.”


    The “free trade” agreements allowed US corporations to off-shore with no penalty and thus to make *bigger* profits when they exported back to the US. Before this happened they made a profit in the US just not as big and that gap allowed a middle class economy.

    (Even then it wasn’t so much the corporations as the banking mafia making hostile takeovers easier that forced them to off-shore.)

    3) “the open market rewards only those who can offer any product at the lowest price”

    So close the market.

    4) “Trump is proposing a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, which means a \$199 iPod will cost \$288.55, and a \$90 pair of Nike will be bumped to \$130.50. Moving factories back to the US will create jobs yet push prices to the sky. To stay competitive, then, American companies will be forced to pay American workers what their Chinese counterparts make a month, \$202.45. That’s the reality of a global market that workers everywhere, from Mexico to Bangladesh, must deal with.”

    This is the crux of the nonsense propaganda we are fed.

    \$199 is the price the debt-subsidized West will pay *not* the price of eastern production + markup.

    This is the heart of the whole scam. If the iPod was priced at cost of eastern production + markup it would cost – i don’t know exactly – but maybe \$60, \$40 even.

    It’s a SCAM. The corporations off-shore so they can pay eastern production costs but *still* charge western prices.

    iPods in the states would still sell for \$199 but that would maybe \$140 production costs and \$59 markup instead of \$40 production costs and \$159 markup.

    It’s all lies.

  16. There is no real possibility of the US taking lessons from other countries on very roughly approximating democracy even if Americans weren’t so overwhelmingly insular. But on any definition of democracy it is laughable to regard the US as better so described than as a plutocracy, tempered – just a little now – by meritocracy, and flavoured by the rhetoric of democracy.

    For a moderately large and diverse population Australia’s governments probably work about as democratically as any despite the inevitable problem of total subjective estimations of entitlement adding up to about 150 per cent of all there is.

    It would probably be good for the US to switch to the Westminster form of government which is near universal within the British Commonwealth. A government would survive just as long as it could command a majority in Congress – presumably elected for 4 years instead of two, with or without the possibility of truncated terms.

    It won’t happen but it could work.

    Unfortunately, to make it work properly (instead of huge amounts of money and dishonest advertising being directed to just getting people to bother to vote) voting – if only appearing to – needs to be made compulsory. But who would push for that knowing that it would swamp the votes of educated middle class whites by the votes of all the ethnic underclasses – including white trailer trash? It wouldn’t mean that more than 85 to 93 per cent voted but that would mean radical change.

    Another valuable feature of Australian systems is preferential voting. That is what the UK calls, and has rejected as, the Alternative Vote. (That is not to be confused with proportional representation so beloved of nerds who know SFA about political behaviour). If nothing else a system which means that the elected MP is at least ahead with more than 50 per cent of the Two Party Preferred vote once all but two candidates have been eliminated means that the dubious legitimacy of UK governments elected with less than 40 per cent of the votes cast – and those only a large fraction of all those who might have voted – is eliminated.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @iffen
  17. @Wizard of Oz

    The edit function was parsimonious when I tried to add to the explanation of the preferential system that it means all formal votes are counted and when two candidates are left after the successive redistribution of preferences as those with the least votes are successively eliminated the winner is the candidate with 50 per cent plus at least one.

  18. Instead of making America great again, I’d settle for pretty good, less violent internally, less agressive externally, and the mass of working-age people voluntarily working in jobs that help them extract and keep most of the value of the human capital they have along with the ability to furtherdevelop their human capital to their own abilities and heart’s desire. Yeah, I guess I’ve become a dreamer.

  19. Yay, yet another journalist piles on Trump in the most asinine manner. What a radical, brave hero this journalist is.

  20. I think Dave Pinsen’s (11) and Discard’s (12) comments are spot on.
    I live in a small town on the S. African coast and it does me fine. OK my kids are done with, educated and familying and we don’t have much outlay. I cancelled the garbage TV and send missed calls to my kids if I want to talk to them. The land line suffices me locally. TV and the fridge made people obese. You didn’t see many fat people in the 50’s. I ask suppliers if the stuff is made in China before I buy,and if so, I ask if they have anything made in SA. I don’t listen to music any more, I play it. Our municipality water is s–t because they can’t afford the filtation system so we drink rain water, and it’s ok. The country’s stuffed thanks to outside interference over recent decades but when it comes down to it, who needs government. After 40 years in Joburg, i’ve seen it all. I’ts self reliance time.

  21. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    Forget an economic revival, it ain’t going to happen, not with an infrastructure that is making this country look and operate like a 3rd world county.

    We won’t be able to have that healthy economy until the infrastructure is repaired and updated, to the tune of at least four TRILLION dollars.

    All that money wasted invading and destroying Iraq, Libya and now Syria could of rebuilt the USA, but that wouldn’t have made those TBTF banks as rich as endless wars.

  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Yes, too many immigrants, that is true. Deport them all!

    America haters must go as well. Heh!

  23. bach says:

    Free from the self-imposed shackles of hard-core Communism, China has gutted entire Western industries, since these cannot compete with China’s low waged workforce. Other Asian countries, India, Pakistan and Vietnam, etc, have also forced the shut down of many American factories.

    Actually, this is a myth. China didn’t gut Western industries. The West gutted it themselves tempted by short term profits and the financialization of their economies that rewarded paper pushing over paper making.

  24. Truth says:

    “You might want to update your example, this is the sort niggling detail that has snarky leftist trolls sneering that us stoopid h8ting h8ters are out of touch troglodytes who don’t even know the iPod is gone. I’m half expecting “Truth” or one of their ilk to jump on this”

    You did an excellent job, Ole’ Bean.

    Good article there, Dinh. At least though, the global elites have provided a little sugar with their cyanide-laced election pill this year; entertainment.

  25. Truth says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “Instead of American companies paying workers Chinese wages, they can pay American wages and offer higher quality. Paying 20% more for something isn’t a bad deal if it lasts twice as long.”

    IF they know, or remember, how to make things. The truth is that even before China took over,20-25 years or so, American-manufactured products were Hund Scheiss.

    • Replies: @Eric Novak
  26. How can anyone intimate that it doesn’t matter who wins the election?

    Do we get Daddy Warbucks and become a nation of Lil Orphan Annies, only with no Sandy?

    Do we get the Snow Queen / Witch with Heart of Ice and become Narnia, only with no lions in sight?

    Do we get lovable old Uncle Billy and become one big Bailey Building and Loan set for ruination by Mr. Potter’s reserve bank?

    Do we get a man whose very name evokes the cross, whose kind eyes have melted every heart in Utah?

    These things do matter.

    Make America great again! Write it in chalk on every sidewalk in the land!

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  27. Not to mention – who do you want to see posing in the buff on a bearskin rug — Bill Clinton already? Ugh

  28. SteveM says:
    @Former Darfur

    Former Dafur is correct. Apple and Nike manufacturing margins are enormous. I think it costs Nike 6 or 8 bucks for a pair of shoes that sell for \$100. Their huge cost drivers are in marketing and advertising. If the manufacturing cost was doubled by in-sourcing, the retail cost increase required to maintain margins would be negligible.

    Here’s another example. Men’s polo shirts. A Macy’s store brand shirt is 20 bucks. Tommy Hilfiger is \$38, Ralph Lauren is \$62, Lacoste is \$69. All of those shirts are simple cable stitch cotton made in a developing country. So the actual manufacturing cost is close to the Macy’s price.

    Standardized and automated production methods have commodified a huge percentage of consumer goods. GM and Mercedes use the same kind of robotic production lines. Yet Americans overpay for tons of crap by paying inflated prices for brand labels. They could simply purchase value instead, saving a ton of money with no discernible reduction in their standard of living.

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
  29. Corvinus says:

    “To you your point though I don’t think most of us even want to make America great anymore, and don’t expect any politician to do it.”

    Thank you for your honesty. Exactly why those who lament about America’s problems but won’t become actively involved in politics is the reason why you will be “grinded into dirt”. Patriots act. Will you take charge rather than be a bloviating white constantly harping how elitists have the upper hand?

  30. Corvinus says:

    “iPods in the states would still sell for \$199 but that would maybe \$140 production costs and \$59 markup instead of \$40 production costs and \$159 markup.”

    Math is hard. Companies in America seek to make the most profit. That is capitalism at its finest. Why would a company want to earn \$59 when they could make \$159? Moreover, those production costs in the United States do not remain constant, they fluctuate. Thus, companies would continue to raise the price for their goods in your scenario.

    No, companies have the liberty to choose where they want to locate their business. There is no scam involved.

  31. Tom Welsh says:
    @Former Darfur

    In 1971 I bought a plain vanilla cassette recorder with my first pay cheque. (All of it). Allowing for inflation, it cost about \$1,500 in today’s money.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
  32. Tom Welsh says:
    @Olde Virginian

    Yes, it really does make a huge difference who wins the election. Beelzebub, Lucifer, Mephistopheles or Satan – all vastly different.

  33. iffen says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    flavoured by the rhetoric of democracy

    An impartial study and observation of the electoral process, especially this cycle, will show that impediments to the free exercise of suffrage in the US are sufficient to invalidate the claim that we have a “democracy”.

  34. utu says:

    “why Trump is still left standing if he’s such a threat to the establishment” – I keep asking it myself.

  35. I hate this kind of Pollyannaish article. Can’t we have a little more gloom and doom occasionally?

  36. Parbes says:

    “…we have a global goon squad called the United States military.”

    Not entirely true! More and more, the REAL global goon squad of the U.S. is international Islamic jihadi proxies of various stripes (continuously renamed, rebranded, reshuffled, shape-shifted, and pretend-fought for the sake of plausible deniability), rather than the formal uniformed U.S. military. This is a process that has been going on for several decades, but has become especially evident during the last few years.

  37. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Whatever happens I certainly hope we don’t get into any trade wars. To be totally honest about it, we’re dependent on China for very much of what we purchase and they provide it to us at a reasonably low cost. Millions of Americans earn \$10-12-16 per hour and have to have low cost goods available at the big box stores in order to get by. Were prices to jump much higher a lot of people just wouldn’t be able to make it. Is there any proposal to hike wages alongside of any price hikes? Things like making shoes and shirts are best left just the way they are; the Chinese are doing Americans a favor by helping us purchase consumer items at reasonable costs.
    The composition of the American public isn’t what it used to be. We’re not getting peasants from Europe anymore to work in the factories and mills we used to have. It’d be hard to staff factories with people sitting at machines all day cranking out lower value added items. Even were Apple to bring production home they’d probably arrange to have most of it automated so that the impact on domestic employment would be negligible. The emphasis should be on keeping bigger ticket items domestic and not allowing companies like Boeing to transfer manufacturing knowledge to other countries.

  38. Dwright says:

    Reminds me of a lot of newcomers to the cancer party , how they are going to beat this thing, wage war, blah blah. Some do survive but the inevitable happens most of the time.

    I have to get the most insightful and truthful article on America’s future from one named Linh Dinh?

    • Replies: @colm
  39. The US can still use its peace dividend, which it has never cashed in. A policy to eventually cut military spending by 80% or so, closing nearly every base abroad, etc., would actually improve American security and would help the government’s bottom line immensely. It would allow drastic reductions in personal taxes which would boost the economy.

    And there’s yet another unplayed card available – legalizing drugs. (I should disclaim that I am a “social conservative” who thinks that even the ‘softest’ drug marijuana is harmful both to one’s body and soul.) But it seems to me that in the US, legalization is the best bad choice available. This would result in enormous savings throughout the economy from the drug war. Not to speak of the great social benefits to the underclasses, especially Black and Hispanic, that would come from the end of violence, gangs, and incarceration.

    Unlike the poor Greeks or Spaniards, the US still has cards to play. What’s shocking is that it refuses to do so, and this refusal is expediting its decline.

  40. @anon

    You seem to be ignoring the effects of price competition, albeit not perfect competition, between producers. Apple is not charging what it would charge or cutting back on R & D as it would if it wasn’t for Google, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, Lenovo etc.

    Also inconsistent with your version of the facts is what I read today in the latest edition of The Economist. It said that American corporations were making much bigger profits in the domestic market than in foreign markets.

  41. How is Donald Trump not the personification of all we Americans hold dear? First and foremost he is a celebrity: this trumps all else in our fair land. He’s filthy rich: that’s second only to celebrity. He’s male. Required gender for any serious consideration. He’s white: ’nuff said.

    He is US.

    So what’s the problem?
    Why do we even question his desire to run the place? Who else is as qualified as the truest of true Americans?
    To deny The Donald is to gainsay Americanism; our very uniqueness. It’s almost unpatriotic! (more)

    • Replies: @SecretaryNS
  42. utu says:

    Trump position on Iran? Trump talk at AIPAC? Are there any believers left in Trump’s isolationism or that will be Trump standing up to neocons on wars for Israel?

    And Trump building a huge wall, right? If he was serious about illegal immigrants, the enforcement of existing laws prohibiting employment of illegals would suffice. Did he ever mention penalizing business owners for hiring illegals? Or passing a law with stiffer penalties? Would he penalize himself and his friends? All this talk about the Wall and banning muslims is just a psy-op to justify actions of Israel. The only outcome of Trump?

    Abandon all hope. Very good article Mr. Dinh.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  43. Agent76 says:

    March 21, 2016 American Democracy Struggles To Recover From Betrayal

    Some Americans are catching on, shedding their unawareness. I am not confident that Sanders or Trump could bring change. In The Deep State (2016), Mike Lofgren concludes that powerful private interest groups, such as the military/security complex and the financial sector, have hijacked democracy. Still, voters’ interest in Sanders and Trump, despite the beating they receive in the media, is a positive sign. Many voters now understand that the political establishment represents the One Percent, not them.

    • Replies: @KarlinTalksSense
  44. @Agent76

    It’s funny that we’re seeing books written in 2016 about what was officially created in 1947 via the National Security Act. Truman was a simple-minded haberdasher and in the shadows of WW2 he signed the bill officially creating the Deep State.

    • Replies: @KarlinTalksSense
  45. @KarlinTalksSense

    Hindsight is 20/20 as it is said, but if you look at what were likely the two worst Presidential acts in United States history, they were both performed by Harry Truman:

    1) Signed National Security Act in 1947, created unaccountable Deep State
    2) Recognized Israel 1948, created unaccountable Rogue State

    Nobody could have torpedoed the republic envisioned by the founders more than Truman did in those two acts.

    So now you have an unqualified idiot, who became President because FDR dropped dead, changing the course of United States and global history for decades and possibly centuries.

    And this is why I drink.

    • Replies: @Marcus
    , @utu
  46. mtn cur says:

    I repeat my comment on another column, on this site; it’s time to form investment clubs to buy class I farmland instead of buying funds controlled by the vampire class. Then people can at least feed their kids unless their little prince or princess calls the cops to claim that having to hoe the corn is child abuse. While they are dangerously mistaken, I begin to understand the goofs who own Barret .50 sniper rifles and laser range finders. If they study their triggernometry, they might even be able to shoot down a few drones, although the two legged drones are a more deserving target’

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  47. @Corvinus

    No, companies have the liberty to choose where they want to locate their business. There is no scam involved.

    And nations have the right to decide at what rate imported goods will be taxed. If Acme Inc. wants to import goods into the US from Outer Bumfreakistan the American people have every right to impose a tax upon those goods.

  48. BobX [AKA "Bob who~says it can if it chooses to"] says:

    Lihn spouts nonsense, of course it can. Will it? That all depends on the choices we make. We still are the largest consumer market by a good margin. Our debt as a percentage of GDP is too high. Entitlements are way too much of our federal spending. We have made bad choices with respect to foreign wars. We have had average tariffs in the low single digits since the mid-seventies. I have great respect for Lee Kuan Yew, but the notion that the rise of the rest leads inevitably to the decline of the West and the US specifically is specious. Bad US policy is much more to blame for our woes than any decision made by other nations. It is time for the pendulum to swing to some good old fashioned US mercantilism and isolationism, all things in moderation of course. Lihn spouts a 45% tariff he plucks from somewhere with no acknowledgement it is put out as a negotiating position. Reagan rattled the protectionist saber in steel and trade partners headed the message and brought their auto assembly plants here.

    I have included a link below to a teardown cost estimate for an iphone 6S You will note what a small fraction of that is labor done in China. I have also included a link to Apple’s new Liam tear down robot. It is much more what a US iphone plant would/will look like, not just moving a Foxcon line here. It is important we restore more manufacturing here for knock on and security reasons, but it will never go back to the days of mass manufacturing employment. Manufacturing employment is on the same curve as farm employment before it only over a much shorter time frame. Just as we all have more calories available to us we will have more manufactured goods available.

    How we adjust to the different need for labor remains to be seen. I would suggest predominantly returning to single earner families would be a good place to start. Tax policy can help with this.

  49. Marcus says:

    He also started the trend of undeclared (and therefore ill-defined) wars as international law police actions with the Korean War and tried to overturn the 1924 immigration quotas (failing but setting stage for 1965).

  50. @utu

    Podhoretz over at Commentary came out and said that Trump’s AIPAC speech showed he was going to abandon Israel to her just deserts.

  51. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    None of this is true.

    Well said.

    The basic contention of this article is complete bollocks. And if anyone needs proof of that fact, consider the following.

    An earthquake, tsunami, cataclysmic volcanic eruption, meteorite strike, whatever, wipes out all the continents except North America. What happens? Will Americans thenceforth live without shirts and shoes, computers and car parts, because the offshore sweatshops, and design studios, and IT mills that the global corporations use now have ceased to exist? Obviously not. American entrepreneurs would quickly reconstruct the domestic engineering, garment-making, software writing, and design shops that were off-shored, and America would once again be a land of abundance, prosperity, and native ingenuity.

    The only downside to the transformation is that IBM, Apple, Microsoft, GM, GE, etc., will have to pay their stinking workers American wages, not coolie wages, which in turn will mean two things:

    First, corporate profits as a share of total income will decline, and second, because workers again have good wages, demand for goods and services will increase leading to a huge economic expansion.

    • Replies: @anon
  52. This also raises the question of why Trump is still left standing if he’s such a threat to the establishment?

    Because Hellary needs somebody to run against that would scare the sh*t out of even more people than she does. I really think Trump may be a plant.

    • Replies: @utu
  53. utu says:

    “have an unqualified idiot, who became President because FDR dropped dead” – for exactly these reasons Truman was selected and former VP was dropped. Certainly the Deep State knew that they can count on Harry. And Harry knew he could count on Zionist. He got “plata o plomo” message when letters with explosives were sent to White House. He obviously opted for “plata” -according to Gore Vidal Truman received the suitcase full of cash while on the train during his campaign.

    • Replies: @KarlinTalksSense
    , @Wade
  54. @bomag

    What can the average guy do about a billion people in China; a billion people in India; a half billion in Eastern Europe et al?

    Get together with other average guys and build a wall around their nation. Police it aggressively. Continue his traditional way of life inside the walled nation.

  55. AG says:

    It is human nature that people united together to fight common enemy. Rebel armies united to overthrow central power only lead to fighting among each other after common enemy gone. Ideological enemies like communist and capitalist can united together to fight NAZI because internationalists both global capitalist and communist faced the threat of nationalist NAZI. Average people can be manipulated to believe what is main threat by elites. Manipulation is called politics. Politics is the job of salesmen job. Good salesmen are good politicians in general to persuade every one buying into their belief.

    In USA, elites from both right and left need to direct concern of common folk away from elites themselves to different target. Immigrants and foreigners are perfect target to create this united concern. As long as the target present, it great unifying factor for ethnic unity and concern. If the country really became ethnic pure nation for some reason, the common folk target would be elites themselves. No wonder high tax rate on rich and incredible welfare for poor are only achieved in ethnic pure country.

    You think elites are dumb? If they were, they would not be elites.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @utu
  56. America (the united states of) will never be the seat of a global empire again. But there is no reason that it cannot be a “great” place to live and work. Linh Dinh says everything is broken therefore everything will always be broken. Maybe Linh Dinh should stop hanging around in bars.

  57. woodNfish says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Pretty cynical article and especially the total BS about Trump. Trump is not a politician and has never run for or held political office, so all the BS about him being a fascist and new Hitler are nonsense, and the lies that say he has no experience and is ignorant are just that – lies.

    Trump has dealt with many foreign leaders, both private and government to build his global business. He understands business and the destructive effect of government over regulation, which is why he has said he will abolish the EPA. People immediately began saying, “Bbut the EPA only has a budget of \$45 million – that won’t get rid of our debt!” They are just repeating the lie that the EPAs budget is the only thing that matters and ignore the trillions of dollars in economic damage it does to our economy every year. The same is true of the rest of our federal mafia. The damage it has done to our economy, our security and our infrastructure far outweighs the size of its budget.

    Start cutting back the government, regulation, and taxation and we may have a chance of regaining as a productive and healthy economy. It will still be difficult for Trump to fix 70 years of destruction by our criminal class of leaders, but no other candidate will change it at all.

    • Replies: @henry king
  58. @utu

    Undoubtedly Truman is a pivotal figure in US history, along with Allen Dulles. If Truman officially authorized the Deep State, Dulles is the man who built it, Constitution be damned.

    Somehow they both get swept under the rug in a typical American public school education, where students learn that homosexuality is normal, and how to put condoms on bananas.

    • Replies: @KarlinTalksSense
  59. woodNfish says:
    @mtn cur

    If you don’t take out the leadership nothing will change. Why do you think our military plans decapitation strategies?

  60. @SteveM

    Nike paid Michael Jordan many multiples more than their entire factory workforce in Indonesia.

  61. utu says:

    “No wonder high tax rate on rich and incredible welfare for poor are only achieved in ethnic pure country.” – Exactly.

  62. macilrae says:

    Linh Dinh – this is an excellent piece of writing. The facts you state are incontrovertible.

    Western society is caught in an inextricable bind: after ‘cheering, screaming and frothing at the mouth’ at Trump’s anti-China rhetoric, the ‘witless citizens’ head down to Walmart to stock up for the weekend.

    Ultimatelly, the only hope lies in the innate cowardice of your typical tough-talking neocon – if the situation vis-a-vis Russia or China does get ratcheted up to a nuclear confrontation, he is likely to be the one who blinks first.

  63. utu says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    ” I really think Trump may be a plant.” – It is possible but what if the plant began to belief in his own BS and mission. For narcissist like Trump it is very likely. Perhaps it was Bill Clinton that egged Trump on. Trump accomplished his mission, i..e, made GOP impotent in this election but his big ego and narcissistic delusion keeps him going. Now the Golem threatens its creators.

  64. Astorian says:

    Nice to see that there’s at least one anti-semitic nut job on the Unz boards who’s still sane enough to see that Trump is a fraud.

  65. @Robert Magill

    This is one of the finest websites in existence, but I wish it wasn’t stricken with mildly-talented bores hawking their shitty blogs in the comments section. Ah well. This side of paradise, and all.

  66. anon • Disclaimer says:

    You’re an idiot.

  67. anon • Disclaimer says:

    leading to a huge economic expansion

    Yes, most ppl don’t realise how quickly the economy could be turned round just by doing the opposite of what the banking mafia say.

    • Replies: @utu
  68. Jeff says:

    I’d agree with Linh on all of the big picture items/arguments that he raises.

    The main dynamic here from my perspective seems to be the 0.1% just keeps getting richer and it is as the expense of everybody else. I don’t know that it’s a zero sum game, but if not, it is to some degree.

    It’s also going to have to get a whole lot worse before it gets better, and at this point I’m skeptical that it’ll “get better” within my lifetime.

    I don’t know what can be done about it on a large scale. On an individual scale, the best solution is to join the 0.1% (sarcasm).

    With Argentina’s new president giving in to the the global banker’s demands, I’d say there is one less country that stands a chance of not being run just for the benefit of the oligarchs…

  69. DaveE says:

    Secession is the only way out. The Founders knew it, they saw it coming 200+ years away.

    Even if we did have a POTUS candidate smarter than a turd and more honest than Bernie Madoff (or any other Bernie) what difference would it make? Even if a great man like Hitler came along, the same old rat-scum would take us to war to eliminate him, like they always do. And that still leaves behind the massive crime apparatus they have worked so hard to install.

    Killing this weed won’t happen by pecking at the leaves.

    Get busy folks. Uprooting governments and fighting for the new government is not for the faint hearted or lazy, but we really don’t have any choice other than accepting the Hell on Earth they have planned for us lowly Goyim.

  70. @KarlinTalksSense

    Let’s review the top 10 most significant Americans in our history, for good or ill:

    1) Washington (Military legend, President, patriot)
    2) Jefferson (scholar, ambassador, author, President, patriot)
    3) Woodrow Wilson (father of the Federal Reserve)
    4) Allen Dulles (father of the national security state)
    5) Madison (Constitution author, President)
    6) Lincoln (President, likely globalist banker stooge, responsible for hundreds of thousands of American deaths and mutilations)
    7) JFK (Martyr who died at the hands of the Deep State)
    8) Truman (simple-minded stooge, pivotal in destroying America)
    9) FDR (overthrew the American republic)
    10) Theodore Roosevelt (for his fraudulent role electing Wilson)

  71. Wade says:

    Truman is figure I don’t know a whole lot about. Where are you getting your info and analysis? Are there any good books that you can recommend?

    • Replies: @utu
  72. There is little doubt that the US of A is in serious trouble. However, the idea the we can never be great again is fallacious. Take a look at the aftermath of the Northern War of Aggression? Who would have believed that the US could come back from that? We had basically destroyed every bit of wealth in the country, yet we overcame and rebuilt a better country.

    The Great Depression followed by WWII once again destroyed nearly all our wealth. The people were living on peanuts compared with today. It’s simply not even close! What came after was the rise of the middle class and an explosion of prosperity while making massive cuts to our government.

    I don’t know if this will happen in my lifetime or not, however I see it coming eventually. The US of A is going to crash in a very big way. The rats will flee the sinking ship and it will once again be up to us Americans to rebuild from scratch and we will do it!

    Will we have houses full of cheap trinkets from China? Probably not, but do we really need all this cheap junk? Have we sold our nation out for Beads and Baubles? No we don’t need all this cheap junk and yes we have sold out for this. It doesn’t have to be this way and after the crash it will not be this way. Necessity is the mother of invention and us Americans are a very inventive group. The heyday of packing our homes with an endless supply of endless trinkets is coming to an end. Good!

    How many people would be happy to trade their beads and baubles for a shot at the American Dream? The short answer? Darn near all of us!

  73. @Alfa158

    I still use an iPod, because I keep all my music with me. I use a flip phone that is only a phone.

    Yeah, old school. I drive a pickup with an inline six cylinder engine, hunt with a single shot rifle and play a Telecaster.

  74. annamaria says:

    Painful to read:
    “Just look at what the US actually spends its defense dollars on:
    • It spends it on military bases around the world—hundreds of them. What purpose do they serve? What does their presence achieve? Nobody knows. It’s all part of US military “activity”: assessing and responding to “threats,” most of which are purely theoretical….
    • It spends it on a bunch of aircraft carrier groups. These are very useful for launching attacks on defenseless countries. But it is very important to keep these aircraft carriers outside of conflict zones that may involve China or Russia, or even Iran, because each of these countries has several cost-effective ways to destroy an aircraft carrier: ballistic missiles, supersonic cruise missiles and supersonic torpedoes. The entire aircraft carrier fleet is obsolete, and is another huge waste of money.
    • It spends it on the Aegis integrated naval combat system, which is considered state-of-the-art and has been installed on a number of cruisers and destroyers. There is just one problem: it is trivial to shut down, as Russia has demonstrated…
    • It spends it on disastrous development programs of various kinds. A classic example is Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, a.k.a. “Star Wars”: it never resulted in anything strategically useful. Another good example is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which cost over a trillion dollars to develop. It is supposed to be useful for a lot of different missions, but has turned out to be ineffective for all of them…

    The little bit of money that might eventually get spent on developing useful defense systems runs into a truly insurmountable problem: lack of brains. You see, for generations now the US has been falling behind in science and math, along with almost everything else. There are some excellent universities and institutes in the US that graduate top-notch technical specialists, but they mostly graduate foreigners. At the graduate level in science and engineering, US nationals are a small minority. Now, this doesn’t matter in many technical fields, where it is common practice in the US to hire foreign-born specialists. But defense is special: it requires native talent, or the allegiance, and the morale for doing superior work, simply isn’t there. And so the defense contractors end up being staffed by native-born knuckle-draggers who couldn’t get a job that wasn’t defense-related. In turn, the Department of Defense is staffed by similarly dim bulbs: highly caffeinated fitness freaks who run around looking busy, waiting for their next promotion, never criticizing their superiors, never questioning their orders no matter how idiotic they are, and never thinking too hard.”

  75. DaveE says:
    @Brad Smith

    We are much more than a nation of cheap-trinkets. No no, MUCH more. We are Muscle of Zion, the ones designated to take out Zion’s enemies like Putin, maybe China too if they “misbehave.”

  76. utu says:

    I have learned about Truman (and money from Zionists, I think it was \$2 million cash if I am correct?) by reading essays of Gore Vidal many years ago. The famous photo showing Truman holding newspaper with a headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” may have deeper meaning in the context of Vidal’s info.

    Then I followed the story of James Forrestal. There are things on internet. This all about Israel and its recognition by the US.

    Also somewhere I picked up info that some explosive package was sent by some Zionist faction (Irgun, Stern Gang ?) to White House.

    Probably the most interesting would be to find about all shenanigans involved in dropping of Henry A. Wallace from the ticket and replacing him with Truman when chances of FDR lasting through the fourth term were getting smaller. Why Wallace had to go and why the haberdasher and mason from Independence Missouri was acceptable? This question is probably the question about the Deep State.

    Thing like that you won’t get answered by our presidential historians who are just court historians.

  77. “Even with its competitive edge, China is unable to sell as much as before”

    because nobody has any money you dumb ass!!!


    Henry Ford knew this 100 fucking years ago.

    • Replies: @anon
  78. I take it you won’t be voting for Hillary then, much less voting at all.

    Instead, please waste your vote on Trump and we can see if your apolitical theories are correct over the next 4 years. At least he will be more entertaining than Hillary and we can see if he tries to do what he promised. Hillary only promises to LGBTQRSTUV’s….

    By the way, glossing over the hundreds of billions we lose annually in trade deals, which is money taken out of circulation here, proves that you are full of shit.

    I will gladly pay more for USA made products and have already started my own boycott of all foreign made items (which are mostly horsecrap anyway).

    Anybody who loves America, and quality, will do the same.

  79. “whites who pretend to be anti-racist while staying as far away from all minorities as possible”

    this fucking author is completely out of touch with the America i live in…..fuck him.

    • Replies: @expeedee
  80. Lol so much hate. I agree this country is doomed, but Donald Trump is a populist.

    America was at the height of its power when protectionism was in force. Our domestic market and human capital is not to be discounted

    And the speech before AIPAC. They were just some nice words. He is just more sober than you

  81. OutWest says:

    I’ve run a (very) small American manufacturing business for the past 40 years. We keep scraping and improvising and making stuff. It can be done. However it’s difficult to gain access to distribution. The marketing-driven outfits don’t want to deal with domestic goods. Maybe they’re right. Would you buy a domestically produced product over the Chinese-produced Apple? I thought not. But this is pure marketing mind control as opposed to objective evaluation.

    I suggest that a tie or better should go to the domestic product. That’s not the case. But it’s possible. The long supply line and transportation is a tariff on foreign production. With this small leg up and hard work we can still produce and compete. What’s needed to do so on a macro scale is a whole lot of cumulative micro efforts.

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
    , @woodNfish
  82. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Nobody even WANTS something to last ‘twice as long’.

    People are bored with what they have 10 minutes after they buy it… they want a newer model in a different shade of fushia.

    Planned obsolescence was a scandal back in the 40’s or 50’s, but it’s built into the whole structure of the economy now. Clothes are disposable like toothpicks …and you don’t even have the option of keeping your phone or computer for too long, because it won’t work with new software or be compatible with others after a certain point.

  83. America cannot be great again because its public is wired to be stupid and its government is designed to attract psychopaths.

    Freedom and free markets cannot last long because Mother Nature always takes back her own.

  84. @OutWest

    The US Cost of Government Day was July 6th in 2014.

    The US doesn’t need Five Year Plans, it has Never-ending Regulation and Taxation.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  85. One thing to note is that, it is not universal. That is, the military supply chain is protected. Anyone with a Top Secret security clearance is pretty much guaranteed a high paying job.

    They have created a walled-off economy for themselves and left the rest of the country to twist in the wind.

  86. expeedee says:

    You can tell a racist by his zip code, his close friends and where he sends his kids to school.

  87. “This also raises the question of why Trump is still left standing if he’s such a threat to the establishment?”

    As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, in a liberal society you can’t just deal with troublesome people using violence, since liberal societies claim their popular mandate to govern on the principle of individual autonomy. First you ignore them, then you try to get them sacked or, if they are rich or popular, attack them through the media or courts. The ultra-liberal elites are doing everything they legally can to discredit Trump. Whether they will be tempted to go further (such as rigging elections or having him assassinated) remains to be seen.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  88. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The elites may be preparing for war judging by the never ending rhetoric and scare stories meant to frighten and manipulate the public. Perhaps that’s perceived as the way out, a nice controllable war just in the nick of time. But against who? The Papuans have little to take, for example, and the Russians and Chinese have been gaining in strength so they can defend themselves in the vicinity of their borders. So who’s left? Perhaps this alleged war against ISIS has possibilities. We can pretend to be fighting them all across half of the world, spend a lot on bombs and arms which are expended so new ones have to be ordered continually. Of course we’ll have to also secretly sustain ISIS all along so as to keep the show, and the contracts, going. A permanent war might be what the elites have planned, the benefits of which are an increasing security state at home to keep the rabble in line and a transfer of income scheme from the masses to the higher classes as part of the war racketeering military budget.

  89. The Republic died somewhere around 1933 … we’ve gone straight to the full-Byzantine mode, circa 1000 AD.

    • Replies: @Marcus
  90. woodNfish says:

    Would you buy a domestically produced product over the Chinese-produced Apple?

    That’s kind of a red-herring isn’t it, outwest? We (the US) don’t produce many consumer products anymore except in small, special cases. (example: We design products here, but they are manufactured overseas. There is really no way to buy a US made equivelent, although many of the components are American designed. One of them, Qualcom, is a US company and the leader in GSM chips. We are leaders in many products that we manufacture overseas. We used to manufacture the finest semiconductor manufacturing equipment here, but that has gone offshore too.

    How much of that will change with trade agreements that don’t sell off our ingenuity and tax policy that doesn’t drive our manufacturing offshore is hard to say, but Trumpp lnows more about business and how it works and how regulation and taxation effect trade and business decisions than any other candidate. Maybe he can make it more favorable to us. He certainly can’t be worse than the traitors we have fucking us over now.

    • Replies: @OutWest
  91. woodNfish says:
    @unpc downunder

    They aren’t “liberals”, they are leftists. Stop helping them use PC to hide behind positive sounding words like “liberal” whose root is “liberty”. Leftists don’t believe in liberty. Call them what they are; leftists, regressive, racist, fascists and socialists, but not liberal, and not progressive.

  92. marwan says:

    I know the whole thing is crooked and real wages have been going down for decades . Yet and still the collapse has been predicted for just as long and it seems even further away now than ever .

    I work in a bad area where probably 60% +of the residents are on SSI or straight up welfare . Yet Tim Hortons , McDonalds , Wendy’s , Burger King and even Starbucks are all represented and always busy . If I stop in gas station to buy gas , there is line of people playing the lottery , buying Newport 100s , blunt wraps , bags of candy and chips and soda . There is a guy selling weed outside of all gas stations and no shortage of buyers .

    Yes I realize the Gov is giving them free stuff but if they can continue printing money at will , why should it stop ? It hasn’t yet . Everyone in America that wants a roof over their head and food in the belly and booze and cigs and a few extra spending bucks can have it .

    As far as the USA bombing and killing . Yes they do. So does every other country with the means to do so . Our media may not report it for whatever reason but China has been killing non stop in Tibet and Xinyang and have in the past carried out depredations in Vietnam and etc. Russia shredded Chechnya and Afghanistan . Indonesia shredded Papua and continues to do so . &c. &c.

    • Replies: @anon
  93. @anonymous

    “Nobody even WANTS something to last ‘twice as long’.”

    I make a nice living off preppers, and they’re a big market right now. The people who like quality are out there.

  94. @Corvinus

    “Why would a company want to earn \$59 when they could make \$159?”

    Because they would be making a healthy and sustainable profit anyway by making their goods in the US, providing Americans with jobs and R & D, and because they love their nation more than they desire more money (as they are wealthy anyway). What is the point of being successful and wealthy but forced to live in gated communities surrounded by the desperate poor?

    Friedrich List pointed out (well over a century and a half ago) that goods made overseas extract wealth from the economy whilst putting a minimal amount back. After him Henry Ford stated that if workers weren’t paid enough they would be able to afford to be come consumers.

    It really couldn’t be any simpler but I’m not surprised at all that you don’t get it at all.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  95. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    sniping at each other, instead of seeing who our true enemies are

    You’re referring to the 10-ft. tall lizard people, right

  96. anon • Disclaimer says:


    I think not being able to understand the obvious fact that wages = revenue boils down to individual levels of greed vs empathy.

    It’s not that the banking mafia are more greedy than the average person; it’s they have less empathy.

  97. @bomag

    The problem ought to sort itself out. As bottom-level industries move into impoverished areas, such areas become wealthier and wages rise. This is what is happening in China and many other places, such as Cambodia. Obviously industry will seek out alternative cheap labour but in the long run the whole world will be wealthier than it was before global trade. Which it is.
    I think the problem for western countries is that the left-hand end of the bell curve has no suitable jobs. Globalisation has highlighted and worsened this situation. The only solutions I can see around the corner are sci-fi and frightening.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  98. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Yet and still the collapse has been predicted for just as long and it seems even further away now than ever .

    The “collapse” is the debt. When US debt hits the upper limit – which it did recently (as Chinese growth is dependent on accepting US debt) – the great unraveling begins.

    It’ll hit (is hitting) the countries supplying China with raw materials first.

  99. @Nikolai Vladivostok

    By sorting itself out you must mean that the advanced nations must be willing to lower their standards of living to accommodate the rise of those nations at the bottom so that international capital can play the poorest against the poor. Isn’t the “free” market great?

    As for the world being wealthier, it seems that current debt levels have escaped your notice. Half the people we see driving around looking as if they’re successful are actually just a pay check or two from being flat broke, style over substance incarnate.

    Take a look at the labels on the foods on your supermarket shelves and you’ll notice an ever increasing amount of imported goods where they used to be domestically produced. Was it Kissinger who said. “When you control food you control the people”? That seems a strange kind of wealth to me when food supplies are not secure, non-wealth even, bordering on dependency and all for increased profits.

    • Replies: @anon
  100. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The banking mafia are blind to wages = revenue.

    It can’t “sort itself out” while that remains true.

  101. Marcus says:
    @The Alarmist

    At least Byzantine politics were entertaining (or byzantine you could say), with constant coups, assassinations, powerful mistresses, etc.

  102. marylou says:

    from the article in the Wash. post.

    The Republican establishment began losing its party to Donald Trump on May 24, 2000, at 5:41 p.m., on the floor of the House of Representatives.

    Urged on by their presidential standard-bearer, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and by nearly all of the business lobbyists who represented the core of the party’s donor class, three-quarters of House Republicans voted to extend the status of permanent normal trade relations to China. They were more than enough, when added to a minority of Democrats, to secure passage of a bill that would sail through the Senate and be signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

    The legislation, a top Republican priority, held the promise of greater economic prosperity for Americans. But few could predict that it would cause a series of economic and political earthquakes that has helped put the GOP in the difficult spot it is in today: with the most anti-trade Republican candidate in modern history, Trump, moving closer to clinching the party’s nomination

  103. OutWest says:

    Operative word “would”, i.e. conditional. First you have to think it.

    My opinion is that we are relentlessly herded by mind-control marketing. Maybe it’s too much to suggest that we’re capable of discriminating analysis and rationale decision making. But then my kids will tell you I’m hopelessly not with it.

  104. @Truth

    Right. That’s why Anerican consumers were complaining about American power tools bursting into flames, American ceiling fans electrocuting installers, and American drywall killing homeowners with carcinogenic off-gassing.

    • Replies: @Truth
  105. utu says:

    “Yes, most ppl don’t realise how quickly the economy could be turned round just by doing the opposite of what the banking mafia say.”

    Do you think that 1933-1938 recovery in Germany could serve as an example for the truth of your statement?

  106. J.Ross says:

    I find it interesting that you are so cynical about America and so creduluous about one-way tightly controlled globalizational mercantilism. There’s nothing real about market realities that depend on one-sided negotiations, ignoring the popular will and pooling the savings of every worker in China. A system that depends on all of that constantly working well at its strongest is a flimsy system.
    I made the mistake of reciting the market realities mantra to a women who helped prepare a maquiladora for Ford in the NAFTA era. They were inferior in every way, and the company and both governments were happy to shift every goalpost to make it work. This Friedman fever dream of brown serfs who can out-America Americans has never had any substance to it. It is true that Americans have abandoned their own virtues and been hypnotized by hostile foreigners who want to erase any possibility of a middle class from the human record. We are starting to wake and we are doing so before they took our guns.

    • Replies: @utu
  107. annamaria says:

    “…it has Never-ending Regulation and Taxation.”
    Both are highly selective. See the triumph of Monsanto and the apotheosis of the Wall Street.

  108. utu says:

    @ J. Ross: “Americans have abandoned their own virtues and been hypnotized by hostile foreigners ”

    @OutWest: “My opinion is that we are relentlessly herded by mind-control marketing.”

    Eventually, Westerners, Americans, Whites will succumb to it and will believe their own inferiority.

  109. Corvinus says:

    “Because they would be making a healthy and sustainable profit anyway by making their goods in the US, providing Americans with jobs and R & D, and because they love their nation more than they desire more money (as they are wealthy anyway).”

    What fantasy world do you like in? Businesses want large, healthy, sustainable profits, and they are able to secure it, unfortunately, overseas. The Robber Baron age of the late 1800’s proved that the free market would not work for employees. Laws were passed to reign in corporate greed. Now, we can certainly argue to what extent are current business laws prohibiting American companies from choosing to move their base of operations outside American borders. But 120 years of union activities proved overall to be beneficial to American society.

    “What is the point of being successful and wealthy but forced to live in gated communities surrounded by the desperate poor?”

    Because I’m rich, bitch.

    “It really couldn’t be any simpler but I’m not surprised at all that you don’t get it at all.”

    If it was that simple, American companies would be here, paying taxes, paying workers, and being citizens. Except business ethics has little to do with morality.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  110. @Corvinus

    There was a time when many American business owners cared about the American nation but now too many are just using American companies to loot for themselves and get out. The shareholders get shafted and the US economy was once able to repair itself but no longer, those days have gone and with it the American way of life.

    I would disagree that businesses are able to obtain large, healthy and sustainable profits overseas, large profits yes, temporarily but not healthily nor sustainably.

  111. anon • Disclaimer says:


    the economy is pozzed – nothing “natural” about it at all

  112. @utu

    Do you think that 1933-1938 recovery in Germany could serve as an example for the truth of your statement?

    At least the Germans still had their factories; they didn’t have to re-industrialize from scratch. That’s what the US will have to do in order to shake off our dependence on imports.

  113. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Brad Smith

    The key will be another space race to extract extraterrestrial resources and begin moving human populations outward. A sino us space race or a war or both will be the engine that drives the future.

  114. KA says:

    Please clap. America is great.Aren’t we ? Please clap.

    On another level that clap attracting effort still continues. After supporting every attempt of the government to get ISIS up and running amok ,FOX is now trying to claim the mantle of being last man standing against the terrorism and being a victor . This is why the whole segment is devoted to showcase the army brass pondering ,analyzing ,and assuring the Americans waiting to clap of the success of what is being done over Syria.
    Only a morally depraved charlatan can behave like an obvious turncoat after Russia has upended the game . In front of the TV and in the centers of the town-hall meetings across the country America is being created great again and again .

  115. @Tom Welsh

    Yes, and it was still probably Japanese made.

    Electronics were expensive then, relatively speaking. Japanese TVs and stereos weren’t much cheaper than American ones, but they had more features and better measured performance. And they were often better looking.

    But you couldn’t get replacement parts. That was part a consequence of distribution chains and the way Japanese manufacturing worked, and part deliberate. They would only sell parts to certain distributors who would only sell to certain repair facilities, and they would make a full run of a model in one go and then recycle the tooling. Once they ran out that was it. They would use house numbered transistors and ICs, and only they would have any docs on them.

    And the plethora of different models with incompatible parts was also a market control tactic. Certain models would only go to certain chains or distributors. Panasonic and Sony had certain models just for K-Mart, certain ones that were only sold in the northeast and others that went to California. And each country got an entirely different catalog of stuff.

    Cassette recorders also involved royalty payments to Philips in the Netherlands, which they passed on two or three times over to the consumer.

  116. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    nailed it, nice post

    the over cynicism surrounding those who are still against trump are foolish pawns

    hitler rebuilt germany with this type of thinking in 2 years flat. think of that

  117. Not all Socialism is international. There is also a nationalist flavor not associated with the NDSAP. Sanders isn’t one of them though, he is far more a social democrat and could run as a moderate or mainstream conservative in Europe.

    As far Trump goes, four issues with him are the winners. No gun control, build a wall. deport illegals , screw the GOPe

    The later is the only one that merits any discussion, simply the GOPe has had tons of support from its base and basically has shafted us time and time again. It understandable given that country clubbers , religious conservatives and populists don’t belong in the same party but you know TWO PARTY SYSTEM as Kang and Kodos might say

    A bug chunk, maybe half the base is tired of being screwed by RINOS and as much as a 3rd of the base simply would rather burn the system than deal with it.

    Trump for all his flaws is the proof of concept and all outcomes involving him are the win

    #1 Cruz wins and does most of his agenda anyway — a win

    #2 Trump Wins gets elected as above- a win

    #3 The election is stolen for Cruz No need to worry about democracy any more.

    #4 Hillary wins. Same

    #5 Trump wins and shafts us. Same

    Every single condition is a victory condition.

    About the only “lose” condition would be for Bernie to win, implement what he promises . if he gets the revenue it would delay the end of the Republic, show social democracy to work and jam things up.

    Even that though is just another decade at most

    As far as great again, in its current form? Of course not.

    But some new polity, homogeneous and moral after a evolution or collapse might. New Rome is no more but New Byzantium lives on if you will.

    The US is no more immune to history than the USSR and no is no more a legitimate long term foundation for a nation than the USSR was. A nation is a family related by blood and history and the US isn’t one. Its a proposition nation made mostly of nonsense and held together by laziness, fear and sometimes force.

  118. @Chris Mallory

    Psst! I got some tea here, fresh from the Indies (by way of Deptford). The real deal, none of yer hooky Dutchman stuff .. just don’t tell the Revenue, could lead to any amount of bother, mark me words.

  119. @Brad Smith

    The Civil War didn’t do much harm to the industrial plant, labor pool, physical environment, or money of the North. War debt, sure, but easily the resources to pay it off fast through rapid growth, not to mention the frontier still to be peopled and exploited. Even having turned the agrarian wealth of the South to dust, America was in pretty competitive shape in 1865.

    Similarly the Depression didn’t physically dismantle the industrial plant or even rust it out, and there was still plenty of money in the country, and World War 2 certainly did not destroy America’s wealth. American industry benefited enormously from it, spread that wealth to the working class through massive resurgence in employment [at least during the war- there was of course some fallback in the first postwar years], and drove major innovation in technology. America was much richer from the war and, along with Canada on its margins, probably the only place in the world to benefit economically from the war. The easy prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s were based on this bubble while everybody else recovered.

    That’s how you could get such an explosion of prosperity and the unprecedented rise of a middle class that included manufacturing workers and others with no post-secondary education owing houses and cars and being able to have 3+ kids and live in prospering places like California. And although it involved some downsizing of government from the wartime peak, the US government was still enormous after WW2 and vastly larger and played a larger role in everyday life than at any time prior to the Depression.

    Hey, it even provided huge taxpayer-funded subsidy to returning soldiers to get postsecondary education, launch themselves into careers their fathers could never have had, and pay for and staff an increase in the universities to achieve all that, thus also educating the next generation beyond what would have been possible and providing academic jobs for the bookish ones, who in a previous generation could never have had such a future.

    There’s a lot to be said against the growth of government and the areas of its growth since the 1960s, but the big government of the 1940s and 1950s contributed to prosperity at least as much as taxation retarded it.

    • Replies: @iffen
  120. @utu

    Sure albeit it turned out to be the autarkic equivalent of debt-fuelled smoke and mirrors, driven in large part by the buildup of military hardware and funneled into the pockets of the German MIC oligarchy, and then had to be paid for by a war that funded itself only through the plunder of an entire continent.

    The German 1933-8 economy is actually more analogous to the US economy now.

  121. colm says:

    Linh can always fly back to Saigon where he will do well teaching English.

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