The Worst of All Possible Worlds?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Longterm harm caused by US policies at home and abroad are far removed from a Panglossian best of all possible worlds view.
What's going on has echoes of Orwell's dystopian 1984.
Both right wings of the US war party wage forever wars against invented enemies.
Mass surveillance, controlling the message, and countering resistance are what police state rule is all about, how the US operates domestically, what it wants imposed on other nations worldwide.
The disparity between super-wealth and growing poverty in the US is greater than any time since the 19th century gilded age.
The nation's economic policy elevates all yachts to unprecedented levels while protracted main street Depression harms ordinary Americans with nothing ongoing to change things.
Countless millions of US households face unacceptable choices between paying rent or servicing mortgages, seeking increasingly unaffordable medical care when needed, heating homes in winter, and feeding family members.
The struggle to survive in the US gets harder because of indifference toward public health and welfare by its ruling class.
A massive disconnect exists between soaring equity prices and dismal main street economic conditions gone largely unaddressed — Depression conditions exceeding the worst of the 1930s.
Before economic collapse, economist David Rosenberg explained fundamental structural weakness in the US economy, saying:
There's been a decade of "very little productivity growth, very little capital spending, a recession in nonresidential construction."
Consumer spending that accounts for around 70% of GDP alone "ke(pt) the glue together" — the underpinning it provided now gone from economic collapse producing record-high unemployment.
As for the roaring bull market in recent weeks, it's from "financial engineering," an ocean of liquidity fueling speculation, a "Potemkin bull market."
Economic fragility is so profound that things are unable to keep from cratering further if interest rate rise to low 1930s levels.
Likely to remain at near-zero for the foreseeable future in the US "tells you that we have a very weak longterm economic outlook," Rosenberg explained, adding:
There's no precedent for shutting down the US and global economy for a considerable time that caused record-high unemployment and GDP collapse.
Rosenberg expects a 40 - 50% Q II decline, followed by a Q III bounce off the bottom, calling it "a square root sort of a recovery."
"There'll be some activity. But there is no return to normality" for an unknown period of time ahead.
"We're not going to get a perpetual increase in production and hiring and get the unemployment rate back down without demand."
"There's no playbook" to explain how things got to the present dismal state.
Millions of US jobs have been "eliminated permanently." Ones available are "low skilled, low value-added" ones.
"We don't produce anything anymore. (We're) a society and economy (based on financialization), entertainment and leisure and restaurants and retail."
Long ago industrial America with high-pay/good benefits jobs is largely gone, offshored to low-wage countries by corporate America with acquiescence from Washington.
Given unprecedented things going on, Rosenberg said "the confidence intervals around any (economic) forecast are as wide as I've ever seen, and in 35 years in this business, I've seen a lot."
Economist John Williams calls the US economic system "bankrupt."
Unlimited amounts of money are being spent "to prevent an immediate (house of cards) collapse," adding:
"We have about 40 million unemployed (in the US) which is about a 40% unemployment rate and not 13% claimed by the government."
US inflation as it was calculated pre-1990 is around "9 per cent," not the phony official number.
Along with protracted main street Depression, no end of it in prospect, US anti-China, anti-Russia, anti-Iran, anti-Venezuela, anti-North Korea, anti-other nations free from its control risks possible global war ahead by accident or design — no matter which wing of the one-party state is in power.
US rage to control other nations, their resources and populations makes the unthinkable possible.
Aware of the threat posed by Washington, Russia's updated nuclear containment policy includes use of these weapons if its homeland is attacked by a foreign power, stating:
"The Russian Federation views nuclear weapons solely as a means of deterrence whose employment is a last resort and forced measure, and (after) taking all necessary efforts for reducing the nuclear threat and preventing the escalation of inter-state relations that can provoke military, including nuclear, conflicts."
Moscow's nuclear deterrence policy sent a message to Washington that harsh retaliation will follow a Pentagon attack on its territory if occurs.
China is preparing for possible confrontation with the US. So is Iran.
Weeks earlier, Trump regime war secretary Mark Esper said an "era of great power competition…means we need to focus more on high intensity warfare going forward."
"(O)ur long-term challenges are China, No. 1, and Russia, No. 2."
"(W)hat we see happening out there is a China that continues to grow its military strength, its economic power, its commercial activity, and it's doing so, in many ways, illicitly, or it's using the international rules-based order against us to continue this growth, to acquire technology, and to do the things that really undermine (US-led Western) sovereign (and) the rule of law (sic)."
Esper barely stopped short of a declaration of war. China and Russia won't subordinate their sovereign rights to US interests.
Nor will Iran, Venezuela or North Korea. Nor should any nation.
Washington's permanent war policy risks eventual use of thermo-nukes able to destroy planet earth and all its life forms if used in enough numbers.
All sovereign independent nations on the US target list for regime change threaten no one.
Yet preemptive US war on them is possible because imperial USA tolerates no challengers to its rage for absolute control.
War is never the answer. Yet time and again it's the US option of choice to advance its imperium — an agenda posing an unprecedented threat to everyone everywhere.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
"How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War"
"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"