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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #100 on: November 25, 2013, 11:01:25 PM »
My impression is that you live in the past. Everything you say might have been completely true in the past, it no longer is. For instance, the only reasons that the US deploy so many soldiers in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, are oil, pipelines and heroin. Only an empire that wants to sustain itself would do that. It's wrong and it's not going to work.

The American Dream has turned into a nightmare of consumption and slavery.

I'm sorry, that's how I look at it. But I know a lot of great American individuals that still hold and exemplify the values from the past. But a great many don't, even if they think they do (misplaced patriotism/nationalism, etc).

Don't you live in Austria? Invite an empire back there and I'm sure the Russians will agree to that situation.

I live in the present and learn from the past. Try it!

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #101 on: November 25, 2013, 11:04:00 PM »
Don't you live in Austria? Invite an empire back there and I'm sure the Russians will agree to that situation.

Sure, but the question is: will YOUR empire allow it?

As long as I get to keep my McDonald's, I don't give a flying...  :P
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #102 on: November 25, 2013, 11:17:06 PM »
Don't you live in Austria? Invite an empire back there and I'm sure the Russians will agree to that situation.

Sure, but the question is: will YOUR empire allow it?

As long as I get to keep my McDonald's, I don't give a flying...  :P

KFC over in China doesn't make an empire. Try a dictionary!

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #103 on: November 26, 2013, 02:27:16 AM »
A dictionary over in China makes an empire?  ;D
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

johnm33

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #104 on: November 26, 2013, 08:15:07 PM »
This http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0025995 is a much better source for the 'global transnational network' [linked to at the mail above] which I think usurped American democracy, and still holds Americans enthralled, and is the real empire builder. America merely being it's captive, and enforcer. I still can't find the follow-up study which narrows the control down to a number of individuals, and since I have neither german, french, italian or romanche can,t make any attempt on the original at Zurich uni.
 The individuals who control this network, i imagine, expend their efforts ensuring their continued joint supremacy, or in fierce competition with one another. They are certainly large enough as a group to have their own consensus reality, and unless somehow that bubble is popped we can be sure BAU continues until it's halted by a random event so big it derails the whole shebang.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #105 on: November 26, 2013, 08:54:57 PM »
A dictionary over in China makes an empire?  ;D


A dictionary anywhere makes an empire, just like imagination can.

Did Iran once have an empire or did changing their name stop that?

I'd say America once tried to create an empire around the Spanish American war times, but gave up the idea following WWII, like many wise countries did, such as the UK and France. The main reason for WWII was Germany, Italy and Japan felt left out in hogging our world. Once the war was over, only the USSR tried to hog it. Yes, America occupied former enemy territory, rebuilt it and left. That isn't the behavior of an empire.

It's outdated, but I remember reading John Gunther's Inside Africa as a child and that man had insights to the future that were unbelievable. When my history teacher took a friend and me up to Philadelphia to buy books on the weekend, I remember spending a good portion of my hard earned cash buying a recent hard copy of his book Procession.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gunther

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #106 on: November 26, 2013, 10:26:38 PM »
Nice catch, john. A key sentence from the conclusion: "A relevant additional fact at this point is that of the core are financial intermediaries."
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #107 on: November 29, 2013, 12:54:29 AM »
Here's a recent piece on the Warsaw negotiations and related maters (linked from SkS) that has some quotable quotes on the general issues discussed here:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/20194-understanding-warsaw-capitalism-climate-change-neocolonialism

I particularly like the lead quote:

"The old Imperialism levied tribute; the new Imperialism lends money at interest."

    The War of Steel and Gold: A Study of the Armed Peace
, Henry Noel Brailsford, 1914


This may go some way in explaining differences of perception about what is and is not an empire.

And another great quote, this time from the inimitable Vandana Shiva:

"Growth" measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities


And the quote by the famous economist, Joseph Stiglitz, followed by commentary by the author of the article, Chris Williams (in my bold):

Stiglitz, whose job was to promote the efficiency of markets as means to satisfy people's needs and enforce the neoliberal order, notes with regard to the operation of the market:

    "Having a bounteous supply [of food] within a country does not ensure that the citizens of that country are well fed. ... [F]amines are not necessarily caused by a lack of supply, but by a failure to get the food that exists to the people who need it. This was true in the Bengal famine of 1943 and in the Irish potato famine a century earlier: Ireland, controlled by its British masters, was exporting food even as its citizens died of starvation."

If we can't expect the system to feed people, even when food is available, what chance is there that it will close down the most powerful industry the world has ever known to help save the biosphere?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 01:08:05 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #108 on: November 29, 2013, 01:09:56 AM »
People giving back land aren't creating empires, so figure it out!

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #109 on: November 29, 2013, 01:24:29 AM »
Two more quotes from the above-cited article:

founder and Chairman of the elite World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab highlighted the point made earlier about the incompatibility of capitalism with human happiness and planetary stability: The "biggest challenge we have today is the incapability of the system of global governance to take the necessary time and devote the necessary attention to construct our future."

If we are to save our world, it will not be enough to chip away at the walls; the people of the world must take a hammer to the entire foundation.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #110 on: November 29, 2013, 02:00:41 AM »
Just move!


ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #112 on: November 29, 2013, 02:55:56 AM »
USA for Africa - We are the World

ggelsrinc

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #113 on: November 29, 2013, 03:32:43 AM »
Let's start in Africa and march, just like the past! Governments aren't that much of an obstruction.

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #114 on: November 29, 2013, 09:19:54 AM »
Let's start in Africa and march, just like the past! Governments aren't that much of an obstruction.

Let's first ask the CIA for permission.  ;) ;D

Just kidding, just kidding...
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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #115 on: November 29, 2013, 09:40:54 AM »
Let's start in Africa and march, just like the past! Governments aren't that much of an obstruction.

Let's first ask the CIA for permission.  ;) ;D

Just kidding, just kidding...

If you're American - that's what the second amendment (right to bear arms) is for...

The rest of us I suppose just have to start revolutions without the comfort of a convenient conscience soothing justification...

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #116 on: December 01, 2013, 06:00:20 PM »
With all of the items in the news the last few days about the US and China playing dodge plane over the South China Sea I thought I would present a few other items of interest.

For those who are not paying attention to the US relationship with our "friends" in the Philippines.  Formal control of the giant US bases at Subic Bay (formerly the largest US base outside the US) and Clark Air Base was ceded in the early 1990's.  There has been a lot of talk the last couple of years about the US regaining formal access to these facilities.   Philippine public opinion might not tolerate that due to the sentiments regarding formal colonial control in the past, but that does not mean it can't be worked out between governments.  For instance it turns out that the US has what constitutes an informal lease arrangement for the bases already.

Over the last few years the use of Subic Bay by the US Navy has grown to the point that on average a US naval vessel is in port almost continuously to the tune of near 100 vessels a year getting repairs, supplies and providing shore leave for sailors (the ships/subs actually arrive in groups not singly).  Meanwhile over at Clark some 100+ US military aircraft land and are serviced a month.

The Philippine government is spending some 1.8 billion to refurbish Subic and Clark as well.  This can only be for servicing US assets as the Philippines does not have forces which require such structures.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/14/us-usa-asia-military-idUSBRE8AD05Y20121114

Additionally a brand new naval facility is also going to be built at Oyster Bay some 340 miles from Manila facing the Spratly Islands (disputed with China).  This facility will provide ports for frigates of the Philippine Navy which were just given to them by the US.  It will also provide informal facilities for US forces in a less public setting than Subic or Clark.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/10/01/13/philippine-islet-symbolizes-us-pivot-asia

What is going on in Guam with the expansion of US bases (btw Guam and its other islands are US territory just like Puerto Rico - i.e. obtained during the Spanish-American war by taking colonies away from Spain).

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Leevin-Camacho/3963

And of all our race He has marked the American people as his chosen nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world. This is the divine mission of America, and it holds for us all the profit, all the glory, all the happiness possible to man. Senator Albert J. Beveridge, 1900


What follows is a very interesting article on the political fight in the US circa 1900 over colonizing the Philippines (there was opposition to doing so - they lost).  Note the use of propaganda to influence US public opinion.

Note for our former American Marines the development of the beloved M1911 45 cal auto was in response to the difficulty US Marines and Soldiers were having killing various Philippine opponents to US colonialism (especially the Moro tribesmen).  A weapon ironically born to suppress those fighting for their freedom.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/selling-empire-american-propaganda-and-war-in-the-philippines/5355055?print=1
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johnm33

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #117 on: December 04, 2013, 11:40:51 PM »
I had a sort of picture of the Spanish -American war but have never got around to taking a closer look at what happened in the Philippines. There was a prophetic statement made by IIRC an American general when talking about Democracy in Cuba, along the lines of, 'sure they can have democracy but we'll pick the candidates, so they can vote for whoever they please but it will always be our man' . Looks to me they introduced that same system in the USA and here in the UK, we're like turkeys being allowed to vote on Christmas [thanksgiving], where Christmas is a given but we can vote for how warm the sheds are or who gets the biggest portion, or even on what time the feast starts, but Christmas well TINA. 

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #118 on: December 08, 2013, 05:55:04 PM »
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #119 on: December 09, 2013, 05:55:11 PM »
If you still think that Assad used chemical weapons on the rebels in defiance of all common sense and that Obama was not playing his role of Empire in Chief read this.

What is described as going on in the Intel community over the Assad matter is exactly what I experienced when I was still working there during the Bush administrations manufacturing the Iraq war.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/12/hersh-on-obamas-lies-about-syrian-chemical-weapons.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ritter

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #120 on: December 09, 2013, 07:09:27 PM »
But he has a Nobel Peace Prize.

(and I had hope he was an honest man)


Laurent

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #121 on: December 10, 2013, 11:12:35 AM »
http://www.openculture.com/2013/12/what-the-classroom-didnt-teach-me-about-the-american-empire.html
I wonder what our french soldiers are doing in central Africa...bringing peace...so beautiful !

johnm33

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #122 on: December 10, 2013, 07:33:55 PM »
Long read, but explains the predicament we're all in, Americans included. http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2011/02/democracy-born-chains

johnm33

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #123 on: December 13, 2013, 10:47:44 AM »
Poised on the edge of a cascade of disasters the culprits still plan the next move in their plan for world empire. http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/12/02/the-secret-trade-agreement-about-to-complete-the-corporate-takeover-of-democracy/

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #124 on: December 13, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
JohnM


Delivered into the bloodless hands of the corporate persons.
I almost hope that the climate gets us before the corporations[size=78%]
Terry[/size]

ritter

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #125 on: December 13, 2013, 06:39:04 PM »
JohnM


Delivered into the bloodless hands of the corporate persons.
I almost hope that the climate gets us before the corporations[size=78%]
Terry[/size]


No you don't. It's possible to rebel against corporations (if we ever got our act together). Not so much the climate.  ;)

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #126 on: December 16, 2013, 04:46:27 PM »
Here is an activity that goes on in America that might surprise our non-US readers and perhaps a few of our sleepy American ones.

The US has a program of long standing (from 1916) to train pre-adults to be soldiers and feed the recruiting branches of the US military.  Does this kind of program exist in any other country?

JROTC - Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps

This training program is for high school students starting in the 9th grade.

I am a graduate of this program as was my father.  Where we attended HS (Wyoming in the 1930's and 1969 for me).  For both of us this training was MANDATORY for all boys.

...The U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was conceived as part of the National Defense Act of 1916 in the midst of World War I. In the aftermath of that war, however, only six high schools took up the military’s offer of equipment and instructors. A senior version of ROTC, was made compulsory on many state college and university campuses, despite the then-controversial question of whether the government could compel students to take military training....


This program declined significantly during the Vietnam War and largely disappeared from high schools and shrank significantly at the University level.  But when the US switched to an all volunteer military (a GIGANTIC MISTAKE btw)  it became necessary to boost recruiting efforts and the programs expanded greatly.

... Yet former Defense Secretary William Cohen, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in 2000, named JROTC “one of the best recruiting devices that we could have.”

With that unacknowledged mission in hand, the Pentagon pushed for a goal first advanced in 1991 by Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: the establishment of 3,500 JROTC units to “uplift” students in high schools nationwide.  The plan was to expand into “educationally and economically deprived areas.”  The shoddy schools of the inner cities, the rust belt, the deep South, and Texas became rich hunting grounds.  By the start of 2013, the Army alone was recycling 4,000 retired officers to run its programs in 1,731 high schools. All together, Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine JROTC units now flourish in 3,402 high schools nationwide — 65% of them in the South — with a total enrollment of 557,129 kids.
...


... Civic groups have raised a number of other objections to JROTC, ranging from discriminatory practices — against gays, immigrants, and Muslims, for example — to dangerous ones, such as bringing guns into schools (of all places).  Some units even set up shooting ranges where automatic rifles and live ammunition are used.  JROTC embellishes the dangerous mystique of such weapons, making them objects to covet, embrace, and jump at the chance to use....


This was our HS with the rifle range in the basement of the HS.  I spent hours in there shooting.  Often completely unsupervised.  Our unit won the US HS JROTC National Championship in shooting.  At our outdoor range we shot M-16's and occasionally 30 and 50 caliber machine guns.  To our disappointment we were not taught to throw grenades or use mortars.  Our instructor was a retired army sergeant major with 2 combat tours in Vietnam.  He did not mess around and we were pretty ready when he was done with us.  He assumed we were headed to Vietnam (as did we) and he explicitly stated that he was trying to make sure we survived.  Real military training not just on shooting, but on patrolling, concealment, and other survival skills.  This training later paid great dividends for many of us.

If many of you wonder why the US is so militaristic you might contemplate the effect of such training during your youth.  I note from the figures above that 557,000 youth are in the current programs.  That is likely more than are in the entire military of any European country.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/americas-child-soldiers-jrotc-militarizing-america.html#comment-1726365

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #127 on: December 16, 2013, 07:43:18 PM »
Here is an activity that goes on in America that might surprise our non-US readers and perhaps a few of our sleepy American ones.

The US has a program of long standing (from 1916) to train pre-adults to be soldiers and feed the recruiting branches of the US military.  Does this kind of program exist in any other country?

Yes, the UK has the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) where school age children (13-18) of both genders get to play soldier (or navy or air force). Great fun - run around shooting and even flying in light aircraft (in the RAF section) - less fun - drill and more drill. It's a blatant recruiting tool and only generally operates in private schools (to which children from sufficiently poor families used to be able to go under the government "assisted places" scheme - now finished - probably just as well, chuck poor children from families that can't afford new clothing into an environment full of rich kids wearing designer labels and it's a recipe for hostility to say the least.

The schools mostly don't do too much shooting on site (though some have small ranges) - that's usually done on army bases. The weapons are stored on the school premises in a strong room which I think has an alarm to the local police station if broken into, and don't believe the schools store 5.56 ammo (I only know of .22 being on site, and being fired from a modified weapon). Still - if SHTF and you need a rifle...

It's ironic for a country as tight and dictatorial on gun control as the UK is that they'll let school kids shoot live ammo from GP rifles (NATO 5.56 round, a training version of the SA-80 I believe) and yet have them grow up in a country that prohibits them from going anywhere near anything like it.

The CCF is where they pitch their "officer" recruitment from - as obviously the children of more affluent families deserve that bit more privilege during their service. In the poor neighbourhoods they catch them a bit later, just after school (16-18+), and try to harvest them on the basis that in those areas the army is the only prospect those people have for anything resembling a career (and pretty much the only employer that will take some of those people). Hell, I almost thought about it at one point - at a time when refuse collection was looking like "at least something"...

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #128 on: December 17, 2013, 03:02:29 AM »
JimD
They had something similar in Canada when I was a kid. Every boy was required to march in uniform one day per week & I do recall shooting with aged bolt action rifles. There was some sort of voluntary summer program that went along with it where they took kids out & trained them for a few weeks (with pay). Those that were into it could continue through high school & possibly on through university.
My one memorable experience was being made to do 10 pushups in a mud puddle for some infraction, the "officer" was 3 grades ahead of me, but I was big for my age and forced him to do 20 pushups for me in a larger puddle. Taught me I wasn't cut out for the military. Not sure what he learned.
Terry

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #129 on: December 19, 2013, 05:37:47 PM »
NSA (and our allies) spying and its purpose. 

Listen to the video testimony from Greenwald.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/12/18-2
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #130 on: December 21, 2013, 04:20:28 PM »
A very good article on how the middle class core of the US is being hollowed out in order to shift wealth to the wealthy and to keep wages low to remain hyper competitive in the global market.  Serfdom anyone?

This process will eventually (in my opinion) gut the foundation of the American Empire.  But we will see who is right as the folks in charge are fully committed.

http://prospect.org/article/40-year-slump
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

SATire

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #131 on: December 21, 2013, 08:22:27 PM »
A very good article on how the middle class core of the US is being hollowed out in order to shift wealth to the wealthy and to keep wages low to remain hyper competitive in the global market.  Serfdom anyone?

This process will eventually (in my opinion) gut the foundation of the American Empire.  But we will see who is right as the folks in charge are fully committed.
I agree - that could gut an American Empire. It just makes no sense to compete e.g. with China by reducing wages.

We tried a bit of that in Germany 15 years ago to boost competiveness also in low wage jobs. We have to pay for that now - because it just results in less wealth, less fairness und thus less life quality. The only benefit was    an increasing economic imbalance - soaring excess of exports. That exess-money was spend in american houses loans or in southern European government bonds and was finaly partly lost.

With low wages you just work more and get less. You will loose the profits to some individuals. In total, it makes the world for you and others worse.

A better way (at least for us European poeple - I do not want to advise Americans, because I am from abroad) would be to:
1) get population growth to zero.
2) then you may permit economic growth of zero
3) learn to life sustainable and to concentrate on quality instead of quantity. That makes life better - look at the Japanese and how good life there is after so many "lost years". (I can compare that places only from short business trips - personally I would rank Japan first in quality of life and Scandinavia second. USA and Southern Europe somewhere behind Singapore and last as well as least China due to pollution and cheating)

JimD

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #132 on: January 08, 2014, 08:38:48 PM »
The breath and structure of US Special Operations Forces around the world

....A review of open source information reveals that in 2012 and 2013, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) were likely deployed to -- or training, advising, or operating with the personnel of -- more than 100 foreign countries.   And that’s probably an undercount.  In 2011, then-SOCOM spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that Special Operations personnel were annually sent to 120 countries around the world. They were in, that is, about 60% of the nations on the planet. ....


....In the post-9/11 era, the command has grown steadily.  With about 33,000 personnel in 2001, it is reportedly on track to reach 72,000 in 2014.  (About half this number are called, in the jargon of the trade, “badged operators” -- SEALs, Rangers, Special Operations Aviators, Green Berets -- while the rest are support personnel.)  Funding for the command has also jumped exponentially as SOCOM’s baseline budget tripled from $2.3 billion to $6.9 billion between 2001 and 2013.  If you add in supplemental funding, it had actually more than quadrupled to $10.4 billion.

Not surprisingly, personnel deployments abroad skyrocketed from 4,900 “man-years” -- as the command puts it -- in 2001 to 11,500 in 2013.  About 11,000 special operators are now working abroad at any one time and on any given day they are in 70 to 80 countries, though the New York Times reported that, according to statistics provided to them by SOCOM, during one week in March 2013 that number reached 92.
....


http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175790/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #133 on: January 11, 2014, 05:00:54 PM »
Further evidence of the deep hollowing out of American technological prowess and how it will dramatically weaken the US military capabilities and also the ability of America to compete in future years.  This ripples through the economy in that it reduces the numbers of highly skilled high paying blue collar and engineering jobs.  This, of course, ripples back to the young and discourages focusing on education as they perceive the prospects of a future of good paying jobs not to be there.

Boeing used to be one of the premier companies in the US in terms of its technical capabilities and the positive trade revenues it generated from the world market.  It is also one of the key companies supporting the US defense (or offense as the case may be) industry.  Much of that has been outsourced to Asia.   These trends in many industries which used to be dominated by the US dramatically weaken future US abilities to manage the global community.  Eventually they will create the opportunity for concerted action by groups of other countries to opposed US interests. 

Boeing Goes to Pieces

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/boeing-goes-to-pieces/

At a welcoming banquet in Japan in the 1980s, Ford Motor chairman Philip Caldwell received a memorably double-edged compliment. “There is no secret about how we learned to do what we do, Mr. Caldwell,” said the head of Toyota Motor, Eiji Toyoda. “We learned it at the Rouge.”

Toyoda was referring to Ford’s fabled River Rouge production complex in Dearborn, Michigan. In the early days of Japan’s rise, Ford and other American auto companies had been famously helpful to information-gathering Japanese engineers. Know-how gleaned at the Rouge evidently proved particularly valuable.

Similar stories can be told about the complacency of other U.S. industries in the face of emerging Japanese competition. Where Japanese industrial “targeting” is concerned, America never seems to learn.

Now another industry is being targeted—America’s last remaining crown jewel, aerospace. The Boeing Company in particular has long been in Japan’s crosshairs. Yet, in what amounts to one of the most outrageous sellouts in modern business history, the U.S. industry is consciously cooperating in its own demise. Swayed by stock options, top U.S. aerospace executives are increasingly prioritizing short-term profits over the long-term health of their industry.

Japan is arguably already the world’s largest aerospace player. Certainly it is the ultimate source of a vastly larger share of the industry’s most sophisticated parts and materials than a reading of the English-language press would suggest. And given that Boeing now subsumes most of the erstwhile independent companies that put Neil Armstrong on the moon, its eclipse constitutes a major part of a larger story of American decline.
....


...
Japan’s competitive advantage is its deep expertise in machining, its know-how with advanced materials, and its capital goods. Where you are looking for very high-quality engineering, and labor that maintains its capabilities over long periods, the Japanese are superior.
 This sort of work has been abandoned in the United States because the Japanese are there to do it. They have tremendous expertise in precision engineering using complex materials—materials that have to be dealt with in a particular way such as getting the weight down to a minimum. They will low-ball their prices to get work because they know they will keep it.

The problem for a systems integrator is that technological progress is very rapid. “Once you fall behind in advanced manufacturing, the costs of catch-up are just too great, and a chief executive aiming to maintain quarterly earnings cannot afford to incur them,”
...


....The Boeing story strongly suggests that America’s defense base has eroded. It is further evidence of a trend identified in a little-noticed 2005 report by the Defense Science Board. The board’s focus was mainly on the electronics market, and it found that even among suppliers who mainly or solely served the U.S. defense industry hollowing out had reached shocking levels. According to the report:


There is no longer a diverse base of U.S. integrated circuit fabricators capable of meeting trusted and classified chip needs. From a U.S. national security view, the potential effects of this restructuring are so perverse and far reaching and have such opportunities for mischief that, had the United States not significantly contributed to this migration, it would have been considered a major triumph of an adversary nation’s strategy to undermine U.S. military capabilities.
...


If the Japanese decided it was in their interests not to supply the US military with the components they control in the bottom two areas alone the US Air Force would be crippled in a reasonably short amount of time. 

Jet engines. Both Pratt & Whitney and GE Aviation now rely heavily on Japan for engine components. A key supplier is Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries (IHI), a little-known Tokyo-based corporation that today ranks as one of the world’s most advanced aerospace players. (In common with several other leading Japanese aerospace companies, IHI got its start in shipbuilding. Hence the seemingly incongruous reference to “heavy industries” in its name.)

Avionics. This is the term of art for a huge panoply of sensors, controls, flight-deck instruments and displays, and communications equipment essential to modern aviation. The field used to be the preserve of U.S. companies like Honeywell, Hughes, and Raytheon but increasingly the serious manufacturing is done in Japan by corporations like Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba. The Japanese have also assumed leadership in critical avionics materials. An example is gallium arsenide, a superfast semiconducting material vital in advanced computer chips. Japanese companies like Hitachi Cable and Furukawa Electric dominate the supply of gallium arsenide.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #134 on: January 11, 2014, 07:17:28 PM »
If the Japanese decided it was in their interests not to supply the US military with the components they control in the bottom two areas alone the US Air Force would be crippled in a reasonably short amount of time. 

That's an interesting factor to keep in mind when considering the probability of the US fighting China if they attack Japan as per their treaty. It doesn't assure it, but certainly it gives the US a significant dependency there to try to maintain.

I daresay the same is true of oil too though - mostly - even if the US were to produce enough for consumption from fracking, how long would that last?

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #135 on: January 12, 2014, 04:35:02 PM »
Further evidence of the rot.  Check out these BLS projections on future jobs in the US.  If there is a better piece of evidence on how we have shipped our future prosperity overseas with globalization I don't know what it is.  Think how much weaker the US is going to be in 10 years.

Jobs of 2020.

...The chart below shows what we are talking about: it lays out the job categories for the 20 occupations with with the highest projected numeric change in employment. Alas, of the Top 10 highest growing jobs, 9 out of 10 will pay less than $35,000 a year.


http://www.businessinsider.com/us-job-market-news-2014-1
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #136 on: January 12, 2014, 06:16:02 PM »
I would like to call your attention today to an excellent article in Der Speigel commemerating and discussing the causes, beginnings and effects of World War I.

In light of where the world finds itself today and where our trajectory seems to be taking us it seems appropriate to review the past once again.  Lest we find a way to repeat it.  The politics of today is rife with the same kinds of complexities, misunderstandings, tensions, miscalculations and rhymes of history.  No matter how hard it is to deal with reality now, it will be infinitely harder if we wait.

...Fischer claimed that Berlin's "grasp for world power" was the main, if not the only, reason for the great massacre. After a heated debate among historians, Fischer's claim became the established view.

But just in time for the centenary, new research has raised fundamental questions about this view of events. Historians are not exonerating Kaiser Wilhelm II, who alternated between public bluster and anxious restraint. But they also stress the failures of Russia (US historian Sean McMeekin), France (German historian Stefan Schmidt), Austria-Hungary (Rauchensteiner) or all the major powers combined (Australian author Christopher Clark).

Two ostensibly solid blocs were pitted against each other: the German and Austro-Hungarian empires on one side, and the so-called Entente, consisting of the French Republic, the Russian Empire and the British monarchy, on the other. Even this constellation shows that in 1914, democracy and human rights were not at issue, but rather capitalism and the planned economy.
...


...A few weeks before the Sarajevo assassination, Europe was on the brink of disaster. The events of 1914 were not unlike events in the euro crisis today, argued historian Clark in his bestseller "The Sleepwalkers." According to Clark, everyone knew that they were playing with fire, and yet everyone tried to exploit the general threat to his own advantage. ...


....The dynamics of the industrial revolution had once brought Europe control over a large portion of the world, and now it was striking back at the old continent. A gigantic killing machine ensured that an average of 6,000 soldiers a day were killed......
...This became especially apparently in the four-and-a-half month Battle of the Somme, in which the British and the French managed to capture only 10 kilometers of German-held territory -- and paid for it with the loss of 600,000 men. Some 300,000 soldiers died at Verdun, and yet the front was relatively unchanged when the battle was over. And some two million Russians died, were wounded or were taken prisoner in the so-called Brusilov Offensive east of Lviv, in which between 50 and 125 kilometers of territory was captured.....
....At Verdun, German gunners fired two million artillery shells in the first eight hours. Today, almost 100 years later, the site of the battle remains a cratered moon landscape, covered with only a light coating of bushes, trees and shrubs.

When the Germans advanced after artillery fire, they were horrified to encounter surviving French soldiers, who continued to fight bitterly......

....One was the extremely large number of casualties. To this day, Aug. 22, 1914 is the bloodiest day in French military history. Some 27,000 soldiers died on that day. By the end of 1914, Germans and Belgians had lost about half of their field armies....

...The war became all-encompassing by 1916. In Germany, France and Austria-Hungary, about 80 percent of men fit for military service were sent to the front or to sea. An entire generation was shaped by the experiences on the battlefield. It included Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, Ludwig Erhard, Adolf Hitler and, after the United States had entered the war, Harry Truman, the later president and founder of NATO....


I would like to note for our American readers the French dead listed above for Aug 22, 1914.  This total of dead for one day exceeds the 5 weeks of Iwo Jima by over 4 times, and D-Day by over 4 times as well, and is 50% of the entire Vietnam War, not to mention 4-5 times the combined total of the Afghan and Iraq wars.  And this was hardly the worst battle of WWI as the Somme, Verdun and Ypres followed.

Reality quite likely has a fate in store for our descendants far in excess of the above.  Yet we continue to play a game of stare down with an implacable foe.  Do we have it in us to find the courage to act while there might still be time?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/world-war-i-continues-to-have-relevance-100-years-later-a-941523.html


...The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,

But, swoll'n with wind and the rank mist they draw,

Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;

Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw

Daily devours apace, and nothing said,

But that two-handed engine at the door

Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more"...



We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #137 on: January 16, 2014, 08:25:17 PM »
Lest anyone is still confused about President Obama being a moderate Republican in sheeps clothing I present the below.

If you have not read about the TPP you should google it and check out a few articles.  It is so bad that I would be surprised if it can get through Congress.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/01/wikileaks-trans-pacific-partnership-environment-chapter-toothless-public-relations-exercise.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #138 on: January 25, 2014, 08:14:59 PM »
More on the TPP trade pact the US is trying to ram down the throats of a number of countries.  This should never be agreed to as it is solely in the US interests.  We will see what happens.

I have written previously about the risks posed to Australia’s sovereignty and consumer welfare from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

If the TPP goes ahead, it will establish a US-style regional regulatory framework that meets the demands of major US export industries, including pharmaceutical and digital.

The draft chapter on intellectual property rights, revealed by WikiLeaks, included a “Christmas wishlist” for pharmaceutical companies, including the proposal to extend patent protection and strengthen monopolies on clinical data. As part of the deal, the US is reportedly seeking patents for “new forms” of known substances, as well as on new uses on old medicines – a proposal which would lead to “evergreening”, whereby patents can be renewed continuously.

The pact poses a huge risk to Australia’s world class public health system, which faces cost blowouts via reduced access to cheaper generic drugs and reduced rights for the government to regulate medicine prices. It also risks stifling innovation in the event that patent terms are extended too far.

The US is also seeking to insert an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause into the agreement, which could give authority to major corporations to challenge laws made by governments in the national interest in international courts of arbitration. So effectively, US companies would be allowed to sue the Australian Government under international law – a move that is being pursued by Philip Morris against Australia on plain packaging and graphic warnings for cigarettes.....


http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/01/us-trade-shocker-one-step-closer-to-reality/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #139 on: January 27, 2014, 06:16:25 PM »
A powerful article.

The Two Faces of Empire
Melville Knew Them, We Still Live With Them
By Greg Grandin

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175798/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #140 on: January 29, 2014, 05:12:48 PM »
Very interesting take on the US Asian strategic pivot.  The author describes it as a sing of weakness vice strength.

The Empire’s New Asian Clothes – America’s Strategic Rebalance As Covert Retreat

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/01/empires-new-asian-clothes-americas-strategic-rebalance-covert-retreat.html

Yves here. This article provides perspective on Obama’s unseemly anxiety to push through the toxic trade deal known as the TransPacific Partnership. We’ve chronicled at some length how this is not in fact a “trade” deal but is designed to make the world safer and more profitable for US multinationals by strengthening intellectual property protections (helping Big Pharma, Hollywood, and technology firms) while providing for enhancement of the rights of foreign investors to bring cases against governments in secret arbitration panels for measures that would reduce expected profits. The effect of these investor provisions is to allow foreign companies to challenge labor protections and environmental and product safety regulations, facilitating a race to the bottom.

Fortunately, word about the implications of this pact and its sister, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is getting out. Not only is there large-scale opposition among House Democrats, but today, conservative Republicans announced their opposition to what they call “Obamatrade,” even as Obama plans to make another push for the TPP in his State of the Union address this evening.

But another reason for the TPP is that it is a crucial part of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” strategy. One of its aims is to isolate China by creating a trade bloc that excludes the Middle Kingdom. The article below helps explain why using non-military means to reinforce the US hegemony is even more important now.


In a future update of The Devil’s Dictionary, the famed Ambrose Bierce dissection of the linguistic hypocrisies of modern life, a single word will accompany the entry for “Pacific pivot”: retreat.

It might seem a strange way to characterize the Obama administration’s energetic attempt to reorient its foreign and military policy toward Asia. After all, the president’s team has insisted that the Pacific pivot will be a forceful reassertion of American power in a strategic part of the world and a deliberate reassurance to our allies that we have their backs vis-à-vis China.

Indeed, sometimes the pivot seems like little less than a panacea for all that ails U.S. foreign policy. Upset about the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan? Then just light out for more pacific waters.  Worried that our adversaries are all melting away and the Pentagon has lost its raison d’être? Then how about going toe to toe with China, the only conceivable future superpower on the horizon these days. And if you’re concerned about the state of the U.S. economy, then the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the regional free-trade deal Washington is trying to negotiate, might be just the shot in the arm that U.S. corporations crave.
.....
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #141 on: February 01, 2014, 11:22:28 PM »
Fanning the Fires of Chaos in the Ukraine

What is the Real Price of Starting Another Cold War?

In the late 1980s, the leaders of the west promised Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev that they would not expand eastward if the Soviet Union pulled out of Eastern Europe and ended the Cold War.  That promise was not kept.  A triumphal West stuck it to the Soviet Union’s  greatly weakened Russian successor, by incorporating the former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO and the EU.  But that was not enough to sate the lust of the neo-liberal triumphalists in search of a new imperium.  Their next move tried to incorporate the Caucasus country of Georgia — a country more a part of Central Asia than of Europe — into the West’s sphere of influence.  That turned out to be a bridge too far; the Russians intervened militarily to put a stop to the lunacy.

But events in the Ukraine suggest that stop may have been viewed as a temporary speed bump on the pathway to rolling back Russia’s geography to the years of Ivan the Terrible....

...Ukraine may be descending into chaos, and some triumphalists in the west are again tempted to meddle and fan the fires of chaos and revolution, perhaps with a near-term aim of a partitioning the Ukraine along its historic Orthodox-Catholic fault line.  Seaumas Milne describes the chaotic state of play in Ukraine in this commentary in the Guardian.  In so doing, Milne shows how the west is fueling revanchist fascism.  Note the familiar role being played again by meddlers like Nato Secretary General Anders Rasmussen and Senator John McCain.


http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/31/what-is-the-real-price-of-starting-another-cold-war/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #142 on: February 07, 2014, 08:11:53 PM »
Ian welsh on the similar failure mechanisms of the USSR and the US.   

http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-fall-of-the-ussr/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #143 on: February 08, 2014, 08:19:38 PM »
Interesting view of  how the USSR elite got to the point of deciding to try a new system, then they made the mistake of asking the US for advice. I don't know if it was the treasury, the CIA the Fed or GS that ended up in the chair. The upshot though was a series of deals were brokered, with well placed apparatchiks, to buy the resources they controlled at modestly inflated values with roubles. Everyone was sworn to secrecy on pain of cancellation of the deal, and since the apparatchiks were blinded by greed all went as planned. A parallel set of deals were brokered to buy newly printed roubles for US dollars, again secrecy was demanded and was kept. Suitcases full of $1000 bills were used to buy truckloads of roubles. Roubles delivered deals signed and over the weekend 78 or was it 87 % of the active USSR economy ended up in the hands of IIRC 27 chosen individuals, which again IIRC rapidly reduced to 19. This was probably the most audacious coup of the 'Empire' in the 20th century, not so good for the Ruskies though.
There was a report on this closer to the time in the Sunday Times ,uk, and later a redacted version in New Scientist.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 11:40:34 AM by johnm33 »

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #144 on: February 08, 2014, 08:53:36 PM »
I had an opportunity to speak with Sergei Khrushchev a month or so ago. He said that what brought down his father was his decision to announce a policy whereby the Soviets would respond to any attack with the launch of all the nuclear missiles in their arsenal. This would allow for >90% reduction in military forces and was opposed by everyone in the Soviet Military/Industrial complex.
Nikita's philosophy apparently was that the system that best met the needs and wants of the populace would be the winner rather than the side with the biggest guns.
The world might be a very different place had he been allowed to follow through with his plans.
Both he and his son were very proud of the fact that the system Nikita had built was such that it didn't require the death of the old leader. This was shortly after the assassination of JFK which might have been due to Kennedy's plans for reducing American forces worldwide.
Terry

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #145 on: February 14, 2014, 08:09:55 PM »
Another reason to hate rich people.

Earlier this week a big time Wall Streeter said that the 99% should quit complaining as they were better off than the people in China.  Magnanimous.

Now the moron Tom Perkins who stated the other day that complaints about inequality by the 99% were comparable to what the Jews experienced on Kristallnacht (the 1% being the equivalent of the Jews) has equaled himself in stupidity.   I kid you not.

Now he is quoted as saying that votes should be appropriated based upon wealth.  It is kind of funny that he doesn't already know that is how the system really works and was designed to work.

We would have a lot less of this crap talk and a lot fewer problems going forward if we had just shot 50% of all senior executives of all the Wall Street investment outfits and the big banks in 2008, appropriated all the wealth of all of them and tossed the survivors and their families out in the street.   Maybe that day is coming too.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #146 on: February 14, 2014, 10:24:34 PM »
We would have a lot less of this crap talk and a lot fewer problems going forward if we had just shot 50% of all senior executives of all the Wall Street investment outfits and the big banks in 2008, appropriated all the wealth of all of them and tossed the survivors and their families out in the street.   Maybe that day is coming too.

In a bad mood today, Jim?  :)

I strongly disagree with the shooting part (please don't go there in the future), though I do believe that rich people need to be saved by imposing a cap on how much someone can own or earn. It's very unhealthy to always want more, more, more. I actually feel great pity for very rich people.

There must be a difference between how much people own and earn, because some people must be rewarded more because they are more talented, or work harder. But this difference must never be limitless. The dissension will otherwise kill society.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #147 on: February 15, 2014, 04:33:06 AM »
though I do believe that rich people need to be saved by imposing a cap on how much someone can own or earn. It's very unhealthy to always want more, more, more. I actually feel great pity for very rich people.

There must be a difference between how much people own and earn, because some people must be rewarded more because they are more talented, or work harder. But this difference must never be limitless. The dissension will otherwise kill society.

I actually think abolishing the idea of inheritance might achieve a lot. By all means reward hard work or talent (or even luck...) - but don't let an upper empowered affluent class entrench itself across multiple generations simply because their ancestors were particularly good at running drugs or pillaging other nations or seizing and selling slaves or whatnot...

And in the process, I think the more that one can do even at the smaller level to give everyone a fairer start in life the better. The existing system does not reward talent or hard work or luck so much as it rewards ancestral wealth (even where it was gained abusively and morally reprehensibly). Many people are consigned to the social garbage bin of uselessness or mediocrity who could have had far more potential in better starting circumstances.

Also if you took away the capacity to bequeath wealth when you died - you might slightly diminish some of the incentives to accumulate it. It is after all the movement of wealth that makes a healthy economy, not the hoarding.

An ongoing wealth tax (small percentage) might also help - I'm not exactly in favour of hard limits myself, because firstly it seems very artificial and secondly there will always be someone who wants to break them and someone who will feel the need to control them. If you said you cannot make more than a million whatevers a year - who decides that limit? Who adjusts it for inflation? etc.

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #148 on: February 15, 2014, 02:32:31 PM »
There must be a difference between how much people own and earn, because some people must be rewarded more because they are more talented, or work harder. But this difference must never be limitless. The dissension will otherwise kill society.

There are some claims we cannot have rich people without poor people.
Therefore no middle-class between the two.  Unfortunately 'philosophy' is  OT here imho
Some claim it stems from narcissism - thanks to Greek Mythology
(break all the mirrors and create ripples-waves in standing water).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder
"Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects "one percent" of the population.[better source needed][2][3] First formulated in 1968, it was historically called megalomania, and is severe ego-centrism"

99% vs 1% - my big question is "why hasn't the ballot box provided more equalization?"

Is understanding truly beyond us as a species?

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #149 on: February 15, 2014, 05:16:59 PM »
99% vs 1% - my big question is "why hasn't the ballot box provided more equalization?"

Is understanding truly beyond us as a species?

People are a tribal social hierarchical animal.

Therefore most people need to be led, and few can lead.

That doesn't lend itself to a democratic mode of operation.