An American Future
So, I’m peering into my looking glass today, or rather tonight, as the snow eddies down, the first snowfall of winter, and it’s winter I see for America, and for the world.
It’s clear at this point that America is only the shell of a democracy, and instead is run by a self-perpetuating oligopoly whose only law, whose only imperative, is its own survival and aggrandizement, no matter what the cost to America, to American citizens, or to anyone else in the world who is not part of the western elite class. The same is, with America switched to Europe, true of the oligopoly who run Europe.
This is not a stable situation because the economics of it is not stable. In order to bail themselves out they are enforcing austerity policies which are wreaking and will continue to wreak economic havoc in the real physical and social economies of the countries whose policies they control. They are contracting the franchise, the membership of the oligopoly, pushing more and more people out of it, even as they impoverish millions of peoples at the bottom end of the economy.
They have created a two tier system of laws, where important people who commit trillions of dollars of systematic fraud are not prosecuted and where war criminals responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands are winked at, while small people are locked up for the most minor of crimes, where bankruptcy is essentially impossible for the small people, but the big people skate and are given whatever amount of money is necessary to bail them out of any bad decisions they have made.
They have created a surveillance state where they track in real time, without warrants, the movements of citizens through cameras and by tracking credit cards, debit cards and even loyalty cards. Their servants stare at the naked bodies of everyone who wants to travel by air or grope their genitals, inflicting sexual humiliation on the public as a matter of course.
When embarassed, as with Wikileaks leaks of diplomatic communiques, their response is a deranged manhunt combined with a truly Soviet-style screaming of “I can’t hear you” as they try and ban soldiers, the Library of Congress and public servants from reading information everyone has access to. This isn’t just authoritarian, it isn’t just jejeune, it is delusional. Every principal and teacher knows that if you tell people they shouldn’t read something, that will make them want to read it. If they wanted people to think they shouldn’t read these revelations, the reaction should have been muted, “ho, hum, nothing there”, not a deranged attempt to shut down anyone who mirrors the Wikileaks site and threats against anyone who dares read the information.
Meanwhile, in Congress, politicians of both parties, with Obama’s blessing, are set to extend tax cuts. A few months ago the mantra was “deficits, deficits, deficits”, but now deficits don’t matter. This isn’t to argue whether they do or not, simply to note that their real ruling ideology is that governments should only spend money on rich people, and that money spent on the middle class or poor is bad.
It will also, and I guarantee this, not help the economy. The past 30 years, and the past 10 years in particular, have been a huge experiment in tax-cutting, and for ordinary people, the result has been stagnation and now an absolute decline. Because ordinary people do not have pricing power, either as workers for their labor (since there are plenty of people who need jobs) or as consumers (because the oligopolies who sell food, energy, telecom and so on know you must have their services) every single red cent of tax cuts which go to the middle and lower class will be taken away by corporations and the rich. Those corporations and rich will then use that money to either play leveraged financial games or to offshore jobs to low cost, low regulation domiciles. Not only do tax cuts not do any good, they accelerate the loss of US jobs. No, this isn’t what you’ve been told, indeed propagandized, for the last thirty years. But how has trickle down economics worked out for you? Are you going to believe your lying eyes, or the talking heads who tell you that tax cuts create jobs?
So the economic situation is going to get worse. That doesn’t mean there won’t be cyclical ups and downs, just that the trend line is down, down, down. And every trend line reaches its end. My guess, at this point, is that the US has only one business cycle left before a Russian style collapse. The rest of the world just does not need to sell you oil for lousy dollars which don’t buy the future and don’t buy anything else, either. At this point what must be gotten from the US are a few capital goods, jetliners (well, from the US or Europe), some software,the very best military equipment and some miscellanea. That’s it. That’s all.
The rest can be bought from other countries. Now, if the next tech revolution was going to happen in the US, they’d have to keep their hands in, but it’s now clear that, no, that isn’t going to happen either. American producers don’t, American consumers can only do so if heavily subsidized by China, and American technology is more and more a joke at anything other than killing people.
The US is going to be cut loose.
The reaction to that will be war. Maybe in Iran, maybe in Korea, maybe in Saudi Arabia. Where doesn’t really matter, but it’s going to happen, because it’s the only card the US will have left and after Obama destroys the Democratic party by gutting Social Security, Veterans benefits and overseeing the cutting of Medicaid, yes, President Teabag is going to get in, whether Obama is primaried or not. And the only way to both provide stimulus and get the resources the US is going to need and no one else will soon want to sell to the US, is going to be war.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. If you can get out, get out. If you can’t get out, but you have children, get them overseas—send them on exchanges, send them to overseas relatives for a year, send them to a foreign university (they’re better and cheaper). Get them out, even if you can’t get out.
The game isn’t over in the US, but the smart money is that the first revolution in the US isn’t going to be a revolution of the left, it’s going to be a nutbar revolution from the right, and it is going to be extraordinarily ugly.
In the meantime, if you have to stay, make sure you’re on good terms with your neighbors, your spouse, your friends and your family. Figure out how to grow food wherever you are and how to reduce your dependence on anything but people you trust. (Don’t trust any corporation.) And, if you can, organize. Organize locally, organize at the State level, organize nationally. Understand the age of compromise is over. It is now too late to save the old system. It’s over. We tried, and we failed. It is beyond “reform”, it is going to flame out, the only question is how many people it will burn to death as it does so.