By Paul Craig Roberts
June 14, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – It must be wonderful being Vladimir Putin and being the most powerful person on earth. And not even have to say so yourself. The US Democratic Party is saying it for Putin along with the entirety of the Western presstitute media and the CIA and FBI also. The Russian media doesn’t have to brag about Putin’s power. Megyn Kelly, the Western presstitutes, and Western leaders are doing it for them: Putin is so powerful that he is able to place in office his choice for the President of the United States.
I mean, Wow! What power! Americans are simply out of the game. Americans, despite a massive intelligence budget and 16 separate intelligence services plus those of its NATO vassals, are no match whatsoever for Vladimir Putin.
I mean, really! What is the CIA for? What is the NSA for? What are the rest of them for? Americans would do better to close down these incompetent, but expensive, “intelligence services” and pay the money to Putin as a bribe not to select our president. Maybe the CIA should get down on its knees and beg Putin to stop electing the President of the United States. I mean, how humuiliating. I can hardly stand it. I thought we are the “world’s sole superpower, the uni-power, the exceptional, indispensable people.” It turns out that we are a nothing people, ruled by the President of Russia.
When the Democrats, CIA, and media decided to launch their PR campaign against Trump, they didn’t realize how inconsequential it would make the United States appear by putting American democracy into Putin’s pocket. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They were fixated on making sure Trump did not endanger the massive military/security complex budget by restoring normal relations with Russia.
There is no sign that American leadership in any area is actually capable of thought. Consider Wall Street and corporate leadership. To boost share prices Wall Street forced all corporations to desert their home country and move the production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to where labor and regulatory costs were lower. The lower costs raised profits and share prices. Wall Street threatened resistant corporations with takeovers of the companies if they refused to move abroad in order to increase their profits.
Neither Wall Street nor corporate boards and CEOs were smart enough to understand that moving jobs offshore also moved US consumer incomes and purchasing power offshore. In other words, the financial and business leadership were too stupid to comprehend that without the incomes from high value-added, high productivity US jobs, the American consumer would not have the discretionary income to continue in his role as the economy’s driver.
The Federal Reserve caught on to Wall Street’s mistake. To rectify the mistake, the Fed expanded credit, allowing a buildup in consumer debt to keep the economy going on credit purchases. However, once consumer debt is high relative to income, the ability to buy more stuff departs. In other words, credit expansion is not a permanent fix for the lack of consumer income growth.
A country whose financial and business leadership is too stupid to understand that a population increasingly employed in part-time minimum wage jobs is not a big spending population is a country whose leadership has failed.
It is strictly impossible to boost profits by offshoring jobs without also offshoring US consumer incomes. Therefore, the profits from offshoring are temporary. Once enough jobs have been moved offshore that aggregate demand is stymied, the domestic market stagnates and then declines.
As I have demonstrated so many times for so many years, as has John Williams (shadowstats.com), the jobs reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are nonsense. The jobs in the alleged recovery from June 2009 are largely low income domestic service jobs and the product of the theoretical birth/death model. The alleged recovery from the 2007-08 financial crisis is the first recovery in history in which the labor force participation rate declined. Labor force participation rates decline when the economy offers scant job opportunities, not when employment opportunities are rising.
What we know about US jobs is that the jobs are increasingly part-time minimum wage jobs. According to a presstitute news report that might or might not be true, there are only 12 counties in the entirety of the United States in which a person can rent a one-bedroom home on a minimum wage income. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/08/minimum-wage-affordable-housing-rentals-study
In response to this report, a professor at Virginia Tech suggested that the government offer increased rental assistance and boost programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which invests in affordable housing.
In other words, taxpayers are to pick up the costs to Americans of US corporations deserting the US labor force. Those Americans who still have middle class incomes will be taxed to cover the lost incomes that the offshoring corporations and Wall Street have snatched away from American workers who can no longer earn enough to pay for their own housing.
In other words, capitalism has reached the point in its descent that it cannot exist without public subsidies for the people dispossessed by capitalism.
On a number of occasions I have written about how many costs of production are imposed on third parties, such as the environment. A significant percentage of the profits of capitalist corporations comes from the political and legal ability of the corporations to impose their costs of production on third parties. In other words, capitalism makes money because it can impose its costs of production on the environment and on people who do not share in the profits. I have provided many examples of this, especially in the area of real estate development. The developer is able to shift a large part of his costs to others.
This cost shifting has now reached the level of inducing Armaggedon. There is an effort to impeach Trump and put the warmonger VP Pence in the presidency. As Trump campaigned on restoring normal relations with Russia, a defeat of the attempt to reduce tensions would reinforce the recent conclusion of the Russian military high command that Washington is planning a first strike nuclear attack on Russia.
This is the risk that the entire world faces due to the dependence of the power and profit of the US military/security complex on war and enemies.
In other words, there is only one remaining rationale for the existence of the United States of America — the interests of the military/security complex — and these interests require a powerful enemy whether real or orchestrated.
Former CIA official John Stockwell wrote: “It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.” The hatred and distrust of Russia that the West is currently being force-fed reflects Stockwell’s revelation, as does the orchestrated hatred and distrust of Muslims that has supported Washington’s destruction in whole or part of seven countries and trillions of dollars in new US war debt.
Globalism, that is, labor arbitrage across national boundaries, and financialization, the diversion of consumers’ incomes into interest and fees to banks, have wrecked the US economy. The “opportunity society” has vanished. Children have poorer economic prospects than their parents. The offshoring of manufacturing and professional service jobs such as IT and software engineering has collapsed the growth of aggregate demand in the US. The Federal Reserve’s credit expansion was only a temporary reprieve.
Formerly prosperous areas are in ruins. States’ budgets and pension systems are failing. There is no payoff to a university education. Americans’ economic prospects have been erased by globalism. Getting ahead requires connections as it did in the aristocratic systems. The high concentration of income and wealth has negated democracy. The government is only accountable to the rich.
American political and business leadership not only destroyed the image of US sovereignty by placing American democracy in Putin’s pocket, but also destroyed the formerly vibrant American economy, once the envy of the world.
Where can Americans find leadership? Certainly not in the Democratic Party, nor in the Republican Party, nor in the media, nor in the corporate community. How then does the US compete with Russia and China, two countries with good leadership? Is war the only answer to the question?
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.