Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 27, 2020

A Significant Decline Is Coming For The U.S.

by Passer by

In response to several comments in the last open thread (slightly edited).

Actually there is even some real, and not only relative, decline for the US, for example US life expectancy is dropping. This is a pretty bad sign for a developed country. Same for the UK by the way.

On the issue of China gaining during the Covid crisis, they gained in raw power, for example gained in GDP relatively to the US. And they gained in debt levels too, relatively, as US debt levels exploded due to the crisis. Now you have V-shaped recovery in China and poor, W-shaped double dip recovery in the US. With far more debt added.

Of course there is the issue of public relations and soft power. On the one hand the US blamed China for the pandemic, but on the other hand it embarrassed itself due to its poor performance in containing the pandemic, compared to other countries. And the US lost points around the world due to rejecting WHO right in the middle of the pandemic. Europe and developing countries did not like that at all. Don't forget that Covid also weakened the US military, they have problems with it, including on ships and overseas bases, and even broke the biggest US exercise planned in Europe for the last 30 years. And the pandemic in the US is still raging, its not fixed at all and death rates are increasing again.

Here for example, the futurologists from Pardee Canter that that China gained during the crisis, in raw capabilities. Future research and relative power between countries is their specialty:

Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer use IFs (International Futures) to explore the long-term impact of COVID-19 in China in this Duck Of Minerva blog post" "Where broad measures of material capabilities are concerned, the picture is clear: COVID-19 is closing the gap in relative capabilities for the U.S. and China and accelerating the U.S.-China transition. Through multiple long-term forecast scenarios using the International Futures tool, Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer explain on the Duck of Minerva blog that China is likely to gain approximately one percent of global power relative to the U.S. by 2030 due to the economic and mortality impacts of COVID-19. This share of global power is similar to the relative capabilities of Turkey today.

On the issue of the USD, Stephen Roach also says that there will be a significant decline in the medium term. And the argument is pretty logical - if the US share in the global economy is declining (and it will be declining at least up to year 2060), and if the level of US debts is reaching all time high levels, then the USD will decline. I agree with that argument. It is fully logical.

On the chip/semiconductor issue. David Goldman is skeptical that the US will be able to stop China on this:

The chip ban gives the world an enormous incentive to circumvent the US
Basically Huawei still has advanced suppliers, from South Korea and Japan. And some of them are refusing to yield. The problem for the US is that China is the world's biggest semiconductor market and biggest chip importer on the world, which gives enormous initiative for private businesses to circumvent US made equipment in order to export to China. Then also China is stashing large quantities of chips. By 2025, it should be able to replace foreign production with homegrown. So these bans are lose lose situation for both the US and China - yes, this will cause come costs to China up to 2025. But it will also lead to US companies, such as Qualcomm, to lose the Chinese chip market, which is the largest in the world, and there is nothing to replace it.

These are hundreds of billions of losses for the US due to gradually losing the most lucrative market. Thus, in relative terms, China does not lose from these games, as the US will pay a large price just as China. It is lose-lose situation, but in relative terms the same. US loses just as China loses. And do not forget that China warned that a full US attack on Huawei will lead to Boeing being kicked from the country, which is becoming the biggest aviation market in the world, and will lead to hundreds of billions of losses for that company too, and will probably burry it under Airbus. China needs lots of planes up to 2028, when they will replace them with their own, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Elevating Airbus over Boeing, which already has big troubles, will be a significant hit for the US aerospace industry.

So China has cards to play too. On the issue of the US getting some countries to ban Huawei, it is again lose - lose situation - that is both the US and some of its allies will lose due to using more expensive 5G equipment and will lose more time to build their networks. So China loses, and US and some allies lose, but in relative terms things remain the same between them power-wise, as they both lose. Do not forget that Germany said that it will continue to use Huawei equipment, and this is the biggest economy in Europe:

Germany's three major telecommunications operators Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica have been actively promoting 5G in recent years. They implement the "supplier diversification" strategy and use Huawei equipment in their networks among other vendors. Peter Altmaier, German minister of economy, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on July 11 that Germany would not exclude Huawei from the country's 5G network rollout. "There can only be an exclusion if national security is demonstrably at risk. However, we will strengthen our security measures, regardless of which country the products come from," said Altmaier. "There is no change in Germany's position," a spokesperson of the country's Interior Ministry told local broadcaster ARD on July 16.

So we can say that probably half of Europe will be using Huawei. Still, as you said, a large part of the world will exclude it. Maybe half of world's GDP. Unfortunately things are not perfect. One bright spot in that is that Huawei is betting on emerging markets, and emerging markets have higher growth rates than western markets - that is, they will matter more in the future.

I would agree that the US is harming China, but the damage is not large IMO, as these are mostly lose lose situations where relative power stays the same. And with time, there will be significant damages for the US too, such as losing the biggest chip and aviation markets and the empowerment of Boeing competitors such as Airbus.

So its not too bad in China. Thus, after mentioning all of this, I do not think that Pompeo is smelling blood and moving for the jugular, its not such a situation as China is not that vulnerable, it is more likely to be US elite anger due to the US weakening and China gains during the Covid-19 crisis.

On Hong Kong China had no options. It was a lose-lose situation. If they allowed everything to stay as it is there would be constant color revolution there and they will be constantly in the media. Maybe it is better to stop this once and for all. They hoped that the Covid crisis will give them cover to do this. It did not work very well.

Unfortunately it is right that the Trump strategy of bullying works many times. Supposedly there should be costs for the US in soft power and world opinion, but we are not seeing them. I guess most of the world is too cowardly and prefers to go with the flow. They will abandon the US only after the US lost anyway. Well, it is not an easy situation. Still, the US reactions are very strong and hateful precisely because things are still not good for it and its decline is continuing, regardless of some tactical victories, where in some cases it is a lose lose situation anyway.

The data shows a significant decline incoming for the US.

  • 2019 China 1,27 times bigger in GDP/PPP
  • 2030 China 1,8 times bigger in GDP/PPP
  • US debt to GDP 2019 80%
  • US debt to GDP 2030 125%
  • US debt to GDP 2050 230 %
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will be depleted by 2021, the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund by the beginning of 2024, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund in the 2020s, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) Multi-Employer fund at some point in the mid-2020s, and the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund by 2031. We estimate the theoretically combined Social Security OASDI Trust fund will run out of reserves by 2031.
  • Military budget (before Covid estimates, Trump budget) 2019 3,2 % of GDP - 2030 2,5 % of GDP (Could drop to 2,3 % of GDP due to Covid)
  • Civilian discretionary spending (before Covid estimates) 2019 3,2 % of GDP - 2030 1.8 % of GDP (drop to all time low) (Could drop further due to Covid)

That is not to mention the big divide in US society, and the ongoing Covid crisis, which is still not fixed in the US. But is largely fixed in China. Do you see the decline now? They have a big, big reason to be worried. A significant decline is coming for the US.

Posted by b on July 27, 2020 at 17:53 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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thanks for highlighting 'passer by's post b... i agree with them for the most part... it reminds me of a game of chess where pieces are being removed from the board.. it is a lose- lose, but ultimately, it is a bigger loss for the usa down the road... for whatever reason the usa can't see that the financial sanctions, bullying and etc, only go so far and others work around this as we see with russia, iran, venezuala and china in particular...

the one comment i would view differently then passer by is this one - "Unfortunately it is right that the Trump strategy of bullying works many times. Supposedly there should be costs for the US in soft power and world opinion, but we are not seeing them." i think the usa is losing it's position in terms of soft power and world opinion but you won't be reading about it in the western msm.. that is going to come out later after the emergence of a new reality is very clear for all to see... the trump strategy is really more of the same and it is like a medicine that loses it's power over time and becomes ineffective - sort of like antibiotics...

Posted by: james | Jul 27 2020 18:10 utc | 1

There is a serious insurrection underway in the US, and it is between the children of the white elites. This insurrection has completely coopted Black Lives Matter, and BLM and its issues have faded into irrelevancy. The struggle among the white elites exemplifies Peter Turchin of excess elite production and the ensuing turmoil as elitistis struggle among themselves for power.

Most of the rioters are maoists, and when the winners take over the US will have a maoist dictatorship, complete with a Mao-communist and Green economy. If Russia and China merely stand aside, they will come to dominate the world.

Posted by: bob sykes | Jul 27 2020 18:20 utc | 2

Quibble on the significance of US dollar; from the cited article "Roach is calling for the dollar to soon decline 35% against its major rivals". That would take the EURUSD back to its 2008 high. Not something that changes the balance of power.

But I think the rest of the story is true.

Certainly in the US we have everything we need to reverse our decline, build a better life for everyone living here, and stop trying to "compete" by sabotaging everyone else. Sadly zero sign of this being a priority on either side of the mainstream political spectrum.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 27 2020 18:26 utc | 3

Where does anyone get these numbers about military spend as a % of gdp? Have you listened to Katherine Austin Fitts on Corbett Report?

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 18:27 utc | 4

UK life expectancy decline is pretty much down to bad diet and a growing number of fat and diabetic people. Plus those of us and our parents, who had rationing, organic and good diets prior to 1960 are starting to die off.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jul 27 2020 18:27 utc | 5

Covid19 winners / losers as I mentioned an expert who writes for a financial publication made a reasonable list
Winner: Germany - will the rest of the EU notice that Germany has one of the closest relationships to China and that the countries closest to the U.S. are losers? (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Brazil, Mexico)

--------------------------------------------------
Covid19 is starting to gut Iran again, I hope China (or Russia) step in to help them more ... https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/daily-covid-deaths-per-million-7-day-average?country=USA~IRN

--------------------------------------------------
Trump has quit on Covid19 and is pretending to take it serious. I think the narrative of, 'a vaccine will be ready soon in the meantime compare it to automobile accidents' is still more or less the playbook. I'm not saying it is going to work, I just don't see anything serious going on other than posturing.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 27 2020 18:32 utc | 6

In other words the western oligarchs will lose out to the eastern oligarchs in the Great Trade War under the cover of a fake pandemic.

Or perhaps the global oligarchs in general just want the world to follow more in the Chinese model where the population is more agreeable to total surveillance, social credit scores and even more out right fascistic government/corp model under the cover of a fake pandemic.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 18:34 utc | 7

Re: James #1,

With respect to "bullying works", in international diplomacy it usually does since weaker powers have more to lose in a direct diplomatic crisis with a larger power. This is not to say that they won't push back, but they will be far more strategic in where they do. In essence, weaker powers have fewer "red lines" but they will still enforce those, while greater powers have more "red lines", because they have more power to squander on fundamentally insignificant issues. However, weaker states will still remember being abused and oppressed, so when the worms turns while they won't be the first to jump ship, they will be more than eager to pile on and extract some juicy retribution once it is clear they will not be singled out. I suspect the Germany will be the bellwether, when (if) Germany breaks from the US on a key aspect on the transatlantic relationship that will be the signal for others to start jumping ship. If Nordstream 2 go through, then there will be a break within 5 years; if Nordstream is killed, then the break might be delayed for 5 years or more but there will still be a break when the US pushes Germany to support the next major US regime change war in the Middle East.

Posted by: Kadath | Jul 27 2020 18:46 utc | 8

Well... Canadian analyst, David Prince, seems to think that currency is key, and the shift to the Euro from the USD is significant. "I've always felt that if you want to see where the big shifts are happening, it's at the currency level," he remarks.

We live on the same continent with this train wreck so, perhaps, have a vested interest in this topic.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/investors-move-away-from-the-u-s-dollar-as-uncertainty-ramps-up-in-america-david-prince~2001753

On Roach's comments, when a Yale University senior fellow and former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman tells you that the USD is about to drop precipitously, you can bet he's working behind the scenes to make that exact event happen. Of course it's logical. He's part of the creation of the chain of logic.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 27 2020 18:48 utc | 9

On Roach's comments, when a Yale University senior fellow and former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman tells you that the USD is about to drop precipitously, you can bet he's working behind the scenes to make that exact event happen. Of course it's logical. He's part of the creation of the chain of logic.
Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 27 2020 18:48 utc | 9

Bingo! Engineered collapse under the guise of a fake pandemic.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 18:51 utc | 10

Nice review. Recall Global Times reported China's GDP rose 3.2% in 2Q versus a 5-9% drop for Outlaw US Empire. Also recall the need to deal with Real GDP, not the falsified numbers provided by USG that count negatives as positives. The following are Shadowstats "Economic Headlines":

"Second-quarter 2020 Real New Orders for Durable Goods plunged an annualized 55% (-55%), down 22% (-22%) year-to-year / June Cass Freight Index® continued bottom-bouncing, running counter to the 'recovered' Retail Sales / June Building Permits and Housing Starts saw some rebound in the month having collapsed respectively at annualized rates of 56% (-56%) and 76% (-76%) in the quarter / Not-credible inflation-adjusted headline June Retail Sales recovered pre-Pandemic levels in a stronger than expected real 6.9% monthly gain (nominal sales gain of 7.5% held just shy of recovery) / Contracting for the third consecutive quarter, second-quarter real Retail Sales fell at a 24.2% (-24.2%) annualized pace / On top of downside revisions, June Industrial Production gained 5.4% in the month, fell 10.8% (-10.8%) year-to-year, with Second-Quarter 2020 activity collapsing at a 42.6% (-42.6%) annualized pace, following a first quarter drop of 6.8% (-6.8%)."

From the sidebar comment of 23 July:

"Reporting of Deepest-Ever GDP Decline Looms on July 30th • Annualized 49.1% (-49.1%) Quarterly Plunge in Household Survey Employed Was Consistent With a Real Second-Quarter 2020 GDP Annualized Collapse of 50% (-50%) and Year-to-Year Drop of 16.1% (-16.1%) • Potential Third-Quarter 2020 GDP Annualized 20% Rebound Still Would Be Down 12.7% (-12.7%) Year-to-Year, Rivaling Great Depression Depths and Post-World War II Readjustment."

Although it's yet to be updated for 2Q figures, here's the GDP chart, which in Real Terms is worse than the blue line depicts

So, contrary to JR's assertions, the Outlaw US Empire is in economic freefall. And unless the eviction moratorium is extended nationally, a massive crisis awaits as noted by the article I linked to in the Week in Review thread. Add the fact that most of China's ASEAN trade partners have recovered from COVID while BRI Eurasian projects continue, China's economy will continue to grow, which is where its focus is at as reiterated almost daily by China's media and reported here.

As for the US Dollar, this William Pesek item reviews the many times it was predicted to drown but didn't, although this time may be different:

"More recently, Stephen Roach of Yale University has hit the speaking circuit to argue that the 'TINA defense' – 'there is no alternative' – is no longer operative.

“'If TINA is the dollar’s only hope, look out below,' Roach wrote in a recent Bloomberg column. 'America’s saving and current-account problems are about to come into play with a vengeance. And the rest of the world is starting to look less bad.

"'Yes, a weaker dollar would boost US competitiveness, but only for a while. Notwithstanding the hubris of American exceptionalism, no leading nation has ever devalued its way to sustained prosperity.""

There're others cited by Pesek who provide decent reasoning for downgrading the dollar which he balances against past history, thus leading to this conclusion:

"Yet the risk of a reckoning is rising along with awareness of how the Trump era is exacerbating all of America’s imbalances, and creating new ones few could have predicted."

What's certain--a great many US citizens are going to experience incredible financial pain for a considerable length of time, which may or may not alter the basic political situation within the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 18:54 utc | 11

Also, on the subject of currency, a reminder that UK does not use the USD or the Euro, but the Pound Sterling, so sweeping them into talks of US decline or European growth based on currency is likely inaccurate.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 27 2020 18:59 utc | 12

With all respect for the honest attention and detailed data analysis that goes into these, umm, assesments and communications...
The covid action is finished.
The attack was immediately contained, and neutralized.
The Eastern Alliance has not been deterred or defeated, and the Western Block is currently eating its own shit.
Frankly, they and their collaborators deserve it.
Will peace now be made, or will the obvious provocateurs make another push for whatever they thought they would gain by this (and other acts of aggression and terrorism)?

Posted by: Josh | Jul 27 2020 19:01 utc | 13

2019 China 1,27 times bigger in GDP/PPP

Absolutely false numbers since actual Chinese economy is much larger than American one. With or w/o PPP adjustments. I would go out on a limb here and state that at this stage in 2020 real size of Chinese economy is about 2.5-3 times larger than that of the US. In other words--it already dwarfs US economy.

Military budget (before Covid estimates, Trump budget) 2019 3,2 % of GDP - 2030 2,5 % of GDP (Could drop to 2,3 % of GDP due to Covid)

These are also meaningless numbers since they do not account for actual military capability, especially when based on a fraudulent US GDP numbers. Within last 10 years China built surface fleet which in terms of hulls (and "freshness") rivals that of the US. US economy would have it bottom falling off if it tried to accomplish a similar task.

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Jul 27 2020 19:01 utc | 14

@ 8 kadath... thanks... i see it much the same as you which is why i conclude that although it is a lose-lose in the short term, it works out differently in the long term... germany is a good country to focus on with nordstream... i can't see it working out long term for the usa at this point.. short term it might seem even, but longer term the one with the longer range vision which seems to be china here - is in the ascendancy... these are more bumps on the road to it's leadership into the later part of the 21st century.. @ 11 karlof1's post seems to back this up as well..

Posted by: james | Jul 27 2020 19:04 utc | 15

The engineered collapse is being called the "Great Reset" by many outlets already. The covid nonsense is just a cover for it. Instead of Saudi Arabian terrorist it is a basically a harmless coronavirus. Just in the days immediately following 911 the "terrorist'' threat was so overhyped that security theater was employed everywhere. Now sanitation theater is the new act in town.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 19:10 utc | 16

Where does anyone get these numbers about military spend as a % of gdp? Have you listened to Katherine Austin Fitts on Corbett Report?
Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 18:27 utc | 4

If you could dig through the linked Committee for a Responsible Federal Budge links for me. I'd appreicate it a lot. ;)
http://www.crfb.org/blogs/major-trust-funds-headed-insolvency-within-11-years

Long time not heard anything from Katherine. You feel I should check both her and Corbert on Gates, I suppose?

Posted by: blum | Jul 27 2020 19:11 utc | 17

You're missing an elephant in the room.
Dr.Mark Skidmore confirmed by Catherine Austin Fitts discovered it by monitoring UST rollovers.
The US national debt is not the claimed $26.5trn, its somewhere between $90-$126trn from the rollover volume.
How that fraud was committed is still being investigated,could be as simple as duplicated UST issues with the same cuspids,but it puts a whole different complexion on USD viability.

Posted by: winston2 | Jul 27 2020 19:22 utc | 18

Article discussing political fallout from info provided @11.

Andrei @14--

Good to see your comment. Lots of anecdotal evidence nationwide about store closures and many vacancies in business centers, particularly within economic engines of NYC and elsewhere along the East Coast. IMO, lots of self-censorship by business media while the reality reported by Shadowstats goes ignored. As for losing the status of #1 economy, that was always going to occur once China or India became a moderately developed economy. It just happened that China is far more efficient politically which allowed it to become #1. And until India improves politically, it will continue to lag behind numerous smaller nations. Too bad there isn't a place where one can bet on the great likelihood that the Outlaw US Empire will outperform all nations in the production of Bullshit and Lies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 19:24 utc | 19

Are We Heading for a Historic Economic Collapse? Why the U.S. GDP Could Fall by 40%.

"The most horrific number I’ve seen is J.P. Morgan economists’ estimate that U.S. gross domestic product is collapsing at a 40% annual rate, a revision from their previous calculation of 25%. It has been said that economists use decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor. These numbers are nothing to joke about."
https://www.barrons.com/articles/is-the-economy-going-to-crash-because-of-coronavirus-how-quickly-will-the-economy-revive-51586560301

If JP Morgan, Gold Sacks and other major asset managers are betting on this 'bear' you can be damn certain that they are doing everything in their power to make it a reality. They will shakedown every gutless, spineless politician/health official/scientist they can find to ensure their profits keep rolling in.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 19:25 utc | 20

Yes, the conclusion we must take from this crisis is that the USA (and most of the West, if not all the West) is now declining in absolute terms, not only in relative ones. That's what makes this 2020 crisis special for the time period analyzed.

Relative decline is nothing special for the Americans. During the High Cold War itself (1945-1969), the USA itself declined relatively to Japan, which simply grew even more. You can even talk about a relative decline in relation to Germany during the same period, at least in some areas. The difference lied in the fact that Germany and Japan were minuscule countries under full military control and were fellow capitalist nations. When necessity came, the USA simply ordered both countries to value their currencies in relation to the USD and decades of geopolitical gain evaporated in five years. This is not the case with China.

But what fascinates me more is the flux of History. The USSR was better than China in almost every single relevant aspect in the 1950s-1960s, but it lost the Cold War because it had the bad luck to face the capitalist powers at their historical best. China, being much inferior, is being able to gain terrain over the capitalist powers for more than 40 years and counting for the simple fact they were able to survive and live to see capitalism in its decline.

That's why Putin correctly stated the end of the USSR was the biggest catastrophe of the 20th Century. If it could survive for mere 17 years more, it would've lived to face capitalism on all fours, after the 2008 meltdown, and get a second chance.

Posted by: vk | Jul 27 2020 19:35 utc | 21

China, being much inferior, is being able to gain terrain over the capitalist powers for more than 40 years and counting for the simple fact they were able to survive and live to see capitalism in its decline.
Posted by: vk | Jul 27 2020 19:35 utc | 21

I would say it was that China began opening itself up more to capitalist oligarchs and intergrating itself into the world economy beginning with the Nixon years. In particular the western oligarchs shipping their manufacturing base to china. That cheap Chinese labor was too hard to pass up.

The engine of capitalism is cheap labor, slave labor if possible.

Now China has a decent size consumerist/middle class which gives it the leverage along with the manufacturing. It not magic


Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 19:56 utc | 22

Andrei @ 14

Exactly so. Anyone can massage those data points to say anything they want. And that is precisely what's being done by the USG. Since admitting that they are in decline is a non starter for them, these types of numbers are always trotted out. That isn't to say though, that everybody isn't massaging their numbers as well to cast them in a shining light for whomever the audience for which it is intended.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Jul 27 2020 20:03 utc | 23

I cannot take seriously any analysis that suggests another crippled fiat currency will somehow supplant the USD. The Euro? That is laughable. Cleanest dirty shirt analogy still holds true. Look at Japan over the past 30 years of debt accumulation to see how long this can go on. The yuan is no better given China's own debt frenzy since 2008. The only economy that is structured to weather the next 20 years of decline is Russia with abundant land, ample hydrocarbons, a functioning domestic industrial/agricultural base, effective military deterrence, little debt and ample gold reserves. Putin is is far from perfect but he's done an incredible job preparing his country for what comes next.

All fiat is set for a dramatic decline against real assets. You need only look at all fiat currencies dropping against the price of gold which is a surrogate for all hard asset prices. Dirty fiat shirts one and all.

https://shorturl.at/bizM0

You can also just search for the Kitco Gold-Currency Price page if you do not wish to click on the shortened link (but I confirmed destination on checkshorturl).

Posted by: sad canuck | Jul 27 2020 20:29 utc | 24

It’s no longer the grand chess board in Eurasia. It is now a whack-a-mole policy.
The hydra’s head (BRI) that is flowing out of the dragon will be popping up here and there. Wherever it does, it has to be whacked like a mole. There is so much whacking (no pun intended) that can be done before the empire exhausts itself. In a logistics game, the empire will always lose, to the local actor with enough resources to devour it.
We’ve also seen that other local actors /empire lackeys (I’m looking at you India) can’t be much help stopping the hydra either.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jul 27 2020 20:41 utc | 25

Life "expectancy" in the US? What a f'ing joke.

Lets take a look shall we? Presuming longer living also parallels better quality of life, living standards and Gross National Happiness at the very least.

Do you think Life Expectancy, Quality of Life and Gross National Happiness increased in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from 1945-1979? Korea from 1949-1955, Iraq 1980-present, Afghanistan 1979-present? How about Syria, Libya, Yemen, Indonesia, Balkan States, Central and South America, Phillipines just to name a few more?

What has been the result of US political/military dominance meddling in other Nations Life Expectancy? Death and Suffering for millions- what a great accomplishment.

Dominance! Ooooh isn't that a sexy word? To Dominate your "power and influence over others". Just what exactly does the US "dominate" in? Pure abuse and not much else.

GOP declares it time for the lazy (mostly mandated) unemployed to stop sucking on the Govts tit and get back to work. Thirty million useless eaters need to get back to serving their corporate masters, er I mean jobs.

Republicans (while they destroy the Economy and lives) say Covid is all in your mind so lets get "back to normal". Democrats (while they too destory the Economy and lives) want more Covid restrictions, benefits for unemployed and more War of course.

Ahhh the sound of 30 million pitchforks being sharpened. Can you hear it?

How about a conversation on what EXACTLY the US has brought to the World in its pursuit for Dominance and Life expectancy?

Just as MAGA can never make great again what never was- The U.S. has been in perpetual Decline spiritually, emotionally and mentally.


Posted by: CitizenX | Jul 27 2020 20:42 utc | 26

b published only one comment in a conversation.

It started with this comment of mine:

"USA/Empire in decline" due to decadence of "late-stage capitalism" is a misleading meme. There may be some truth to it, but it is exaggerated - much as "Erdogan is turning east!" exaggerated Erdogan's preference for Russia. USA/Empire has adjusted quickly and that has been 'greeced' by more payoffs to oligarchs (tax cuts, etc.), immense propaganda, and a more divisive politics to keep the rubes entertained.

In in the course of the conversation with 'Passer by', I clarified my point:

... my original point was that USA decline has not been great enough to significantly constrain their response to the challenge posed by Russia and China. Anyone hoping that systemic weakening will hobble USA/Empire's ability to respond will have to wait a decade, or two, or three.

To which 'Passer by' responded:

Ok, on that point, based on the data i posted, i would say that the US Empire will be in no position to try to subjugate the world after 2030.

So I think Passer by and I largely agree. There is decline, and while it has been mostly relative it is also accelerating - but that hasn't significantly constrained USA/Empire's response to the upstarts. USA have at least 10 years to make their play for dominance. "Empire in decline"> is misleading because it exaggerates the impact that the decline will have wrt the conflict.

<> <> <> <> <>

IMO the effort to address the challenge from Russia and China started in 2014* and during that time they have planned a strategy (which included the election of a nationalist US President) and turned to meet the challenge (no small task). In 2020 we are just seeing the fruits of that labor wrt China. IMO the conflict will continue to deepen. And I believe that they are serious about winning the conflict, they are not simply 'negotiating' a better deal from China as a second-rate power.

* Note: karlof1 believes that the key year is 2010 when the doctrine of full-spectrum dominance was made official US policy. I point to 2014 because that's when it became clear that US strategy wrt bringing Russia into the Western fold had failed as evidenced by Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 20:43 utc | 27

@22 "Now China has a decent size consumerist/middle class ....."

So the slaves didn't do too badly after all.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 20:47 utc | 28

I also disagree with the comparison between USA and China gdp and other statistics.

China is not simply competing against USA but against the Empire: 5 eyes, NATO, Euro poodles, Israel and the Gulf States and others like Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, India.

Anyone that is minimizing the conflict and the advantages of one side vs another is doing a disservice.

Cold War I lasted 40 years.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 20:48 utc | 29

I don't know much about 5G, but I've got a friend who does. And about a year, year and a half ago he told me that there is no alternative to Huawei for 5G. Huawei is the only company that can implement 5G from top to bottom, if you exclude them you got to buy from multiple vendors, because no other single vendor can provide the full spectrum of 5G technology. This means the countries that ban Huawei will likely be technologically inferior, or late to the market with their offers. So, this is not a choice between Huawei and no Huawei, this is a choice between 5G and subpar 5G. Granted things may have changed in the meantime, but anyway, not many people know this.

Posted by: Tod | Jul 27 2020 20:49 utc | 30

- The US will see a "Decline" ?? Not worse ?? This is the under-statement of the century.
- My view is that the US will end up in the gutter. And there it will meet up with its eternal rival called China. Keep that even China also has large amounts of debts !!!
- Anyone who has used his eyes and had fed his braincells with good solid information knows the US has been in decline for - at least - a decade or more.
- Anyone who knows in what corner of the financial one needs to look can see how the US financial system is "detriorating" for - at least - a decade.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jul 27 2020 20:49 utc | 31

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 20:47 utc | 28
The slave owners did, the slaves just die.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 20:52 utc | 32

@32 Have you been to China?

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 20:55 utc | 33

sad canuck @24

The issue is not one that you can take seriously or not take seriously. The euro is currently what many investors are dumping the dollars to buy. I agree that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and maybe even those investors do not believe it makes much sense either, but they cannot think of anything better to do with their money. In fact, the investors not knowing what else to do is probably why the forex and equity markets have not crashed yet.

Don't worry. There will be plenty of shocks and reversals in those markets going forward, and rubles will get more attention as that exciting instability with the dollar and euro loses its attraction. Few people have come to grips with the fact that the old order is already over, for all intents and purposes. Most people still think all they have to do is hang tough and things will go back to how they were. It takes time for consciousness to catch up with conditions when conditions change radically.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 20:57 utc | 34

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 20:47 utc | 28

Foxconn is a classic example. China may lead the world in chip manufacturing however some workers rather commit suicide than just quit, go figure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_suicides

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:00 utc | 35

dh @33: "Have you been to China?"

The poster's response translates as "No!"

The poster is otherwise quite knowledgeable about China. He knows all that can be learned about the place by watching mass media on TV from his parents' basement.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 21:07 utc | 36

karlof1 @Jul27 18:54 #11

So, contrary to JR's assertions, the Outlaw US Empire is in economic freefall.

No, that's not "contrary to JR's assertions."

Just the other day, we exchanged comments about this in which I wrote:

"I think it's pretty clear that the looming economic depression will be blamed on China.

A couple hundred thousand dead from the pandemic is something live-in-the-moment Americans/Westerners can shrug off. But widespread financial hardship will make their blood boil. And that hatred will be directed at China, giving a pass to the corrupt US/Western elites that are at the heart of the problem."


Trump has said the economy was 'perfect' before the 'China Virus'.

I've also said that it's likely that Trump will try to seize China assets - notably $1 trillion Treasury Bonds - to compensate for pandemic losses. That would go a long way toward reducing the 'free fall' while striking at China. (Note: There's some question as to how much of that $1 trillion of bonds is unencumbered).

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 21:08 utc | 37

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 21:07 utc | 36
Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 20:55 utc | 33

Have any of you been to Antartica? Mt. Everest? The Amazon? Machu Picchu? Sonoran Desert?


Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:12 utc | 38

CitizenX @ 26
Agree with your tone and content.
Particularly the third from last paragraph. I think people are missing by choice the growing ground-swell of public opinion US wide as this blog shows, a multi-faceted detereation of US political morals and legality.
Combined with a world wide growing awareness of how deranged American leaders now are.
Haterd consumes itself as dose greed.
My ear to the ground tells me, the protests at present are growing some in full sight some not.
This is not buseness as usual. Then return to normal. The mood now is ——- let’s settle this thing once and for all, let’s get the job done.
So my personal opinion ? we will see a US regime chainge faster than a lot here predict. Much faster.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27 2020 21:13 utc | 39

Look at Japan over the past 30 years of debt accumulation to see how long this can go on.
...
All fiat is set for a dramatic decline against real assets.

Posted by: sad canuck | Jul 27 2020 20:29 utc | 24

So you kinda contradicted yourself right there.

I don't like fiat but I also understand the problems with commodity currency.

Look at fiat like a mortgage. As long as you can back up your loan with the promise of future production, its all fine and dandy. For Japan its OK because they are still making stuff people want to buy, same goes for China, plus its growing so there really isn't a problem except for people who betted on the wrong side.

Note I said "promise of future production" there's an element of trust there. For the longest time US has the world's trust, its the post war production powerhouse with bombs and guns and the eagerness to use it. but some of that is rapidly changing in front of our eyes. Will you trust someone to pay back an accelerating debt account when the same person's future production is also declining?

All you're going to get in the future is a bankrupt who is willing to punch their creditor because violence is all they have left.

Future and trust is the central problem we should be taking about. Talks of fiat and gold and crypto etc are all just variations of the same.

So put it this way. Fiat and non fiat currencies should be 2 sides of the same coin. Fiats keeps commodity from going out of line and commodity keeps fiats honest. The problem comes when politics is added to the balance.

As always, when you mix politics with another discipline be it economics, medicine etc politics always wins, with less than optional results.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:15 utc | 40

@35 I'm not familiar with the Foxcomm case or if it's typical. I've been to Shenzhen a few times and it seems to be booming. Assembly line jobs are never a lot of fun and no doubt wages are low by Western standards but I don't know how many workers are driven to suicide.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:15 utc | 41

@32 Have you been to China?

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 20:55 utc | 33

Probably not but O's head is sure full of western stock footage of China in the 60s, probably still thinks people go to work in bicycles in their thousands.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:18 utc | 42

@38 Antartica no. But I was in Iquitos and I've been to Macchu Piccu. Why do you ask?

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:18 utc | 43

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:18 utc | 43

I have been to all those places as well except for Everest and Antartica, and by those visits did you get a complete picture of everything going on there. Do you live in China?

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:24 utc | 44

Overall gist makes sense but trying to apply logic to the usd and finance in general is a waste of energy.

Posted by: Rae | Jul 27 2020 21:26 utc | 45

Foxconn is a classic example...

...

and by those visits did you get a complete picture of everything going on there. Do you live in China?

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:24 utc | 44

Care to comment on the USPS suicides?

Your specs are a wee bit rosy, should get them checked out?

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:27 utc | 46

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:18 utc | 43

Even if you do, it doesn't change the fact that the western manufacturing base was sent to China for its cheap labor cost and that labor disputes arose in China due to the fact they were so underpaid.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:29 utc | 47

@44 I can't say I got a complete picture of any place I've been really. Who does? No I don't live in China......just visited there a few times.....I speak a bit of Mandarin and I have Chinese friends.

It was your post at 22 that struck me. You say China has a thriving middle class but you seem to think they live in slavery. I'm not sure how that computes.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:32 utc | 48

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:27 utc | 46
Care to comment on this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Chinese_labour_unrest

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:33 utc | 49

@ 47 Well I kind of suspected it wasn't pure altruism that lead Western business to China. Labour disputes are inevitable if people don't get what they consider a fair wage. A very healthy reaction IMO.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:39 utc | 50

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:32 utc | 48

It is a comment on the stratification of their society and where they are in economic development. The same happened in the US from the use of slavery, to low wage workers in shitty work conditions which isn't totally gone see (Big Ag and mining) that leads to a middle class where workers demanded better pay and better conditions.

Again it doesn't change the fact that capitalism runs on cheap labor thus the multi nationals hopscotch the world looking for it. Everyone once in a while they get busted for running these sweatshops but that is the nature of the beast.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:43 utc | 51

Now you're just trolling.

So underpay by whose standards? Yours? Woopi-doo there's a thing called market forces.

None of the workers are held there at gunpoint. They can quit. And tens of thousands more apply, do you know why? Because they're are being paid better than other alternatives available to them given their skill set at the time.

No one wakes up wanting to go to Foxconn and put your iPhone together if they can be a rocket scientist instead. Doubly so just so you could diss them with the same freaking product 5000 miles away.

Fk me I'm sick of these same strawman arguments. Next she'll say the organs of the suicide are being sold off to pay for the 1 month notice to Foxconn....

Some people...

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:43 utc | 52

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:33 utc | 49

So the west never had labour disputes? Got it!

Sheesh its all rainbows and unicorns where you are? Why are you here? Wrong link?

I happen to think contructive antagonism is the way forward, its sign of health. Rainbows and unicorns? You're delusional.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:48 utc | 53

Passer by is correct, no doubt, thanks to incompetent leadership in the US, but this economic horse race doesn't matter.

What matters above all is that nations should hold it together, "it" being sustainable, survivable support systems capable of providing for mass populations.We have failed that test here in our encounter with this pandemic. We have failed to develop a sustainable financial system. We have failed to meet any sort of environmental goals. We don't even have environmental goals! Our electoral system doesn't work, either, proof being the election of this idiot atavistic rich boy. If anyone thinks the election of Trump reflects the will of the majority of Americans, they are part of the problem.

China is in deep trouble. The CCP's greatest challenge is simply to hold "it" together. The Party has to perform economic miracles or the country will collapse. Those groups not satisfied with life in the PRC have no outlet for their voices to be heard. They cannot protest. They are under the strict control of an increasingly sophisticated but tiny elitist clique that is only 6.5% of the total population. This clique will not relinquish power and permit more democratic expression. On the contrary, more and more suppression of dissidence of any sort will happen. The social scoring system is an especially insidious program of social control. China's collectivism has turned the country into an ant hill. It is extremely productive, but people are not ants.

Passer by is looking at the world through a keyhole.

Posted by: jadan | Jul 27 2020 21:50 utc | 54

Wrong JR @27!!!!!

I've always cited the publication Joint Vision 2010 as the founding document for the #1 policy goal of Full Spectrum Dominance and its publication date--1996!!!!!!! That was then superseded by Joint Vision 2020 which was published in 2000. And there was a third policy doccument published shortly after Joint Vision 2010, Concept for Future Operations. Expanding Joint Vision 2010. All three can be found via this page.

I know it's probably too much to ask, but in the future, please cite me correctly or don't cite me at all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 21:50 utc | 55

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:39 utc | 50

Yes it is and China eventually if they follow the footsteps of their US counterparts and keep demanding higher pay and better conditions, the multi-nationals will simply pack up shop and move on to some other place. Perhaps India, or Eastern Europe, who knows just as long they find a group of people who are willing to work for less and don't mind their environment poisoned.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:51 utc | 56

@51 You have a talent for stating the obvious. Try to come up with something new.

Many of these 'sweatshops' as you like to call them are small family run businesses employing family members and part of the supply chain. I don't think you know much about how things work in China.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:54 utc | 57

So the west never had labour disputes? Got it!
Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 21:48 utc | 53

I never said that and that is the actual straw man.


You are just arguing with yourself and your phantom enemies. Like a dumb drunk at the end of the bar.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:56 utc | 58

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 21:54 utc | 57

Now you are being delusional.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:57 utc | 59

@56 So now you're complaining that wages are too high in China and they have priced themselves out of the market. Who do you think those businessmen are setting up in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines? Middle class Chinese that's who. They have plenty of spare money to invest. Oh those evil multi-nationals.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 22:03 utc | 60

@Tod 30

And about a year, year and a half ago he told me that there is no alternative to Huawei for 5G. Huawei is the only company that can implement 5G from top to bottom, if you exclude them you got to buy from multiple vendors, because no other single vendor can provide the full spectrum of 5G technology...

If it continues to be the case, it would be a very significant fact, in the way it necessarily shapes the relationship between Huawei and Samsung, and thus between China and Korea in technology and trade. Samsung is a giant in not only telecom, but in microchip manufacturing -- the nearest competitor to Taiwan's TSMC -- and that's the other tech area that is believed to be a vulnerability for China in the near term.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 27 2020 22:05 utc | 61

Those groups not satisfied with life in the PRC have no outlet for their voices to be heard. They cannot protest.

Posted by: jadan | Jul 27 2020 21:50 utc | 54

Is Chinese can't protest then what are the unrest our resident Wikipedia linking expert O was speaking of?

OMG wiki is lying! Shock horror! or are you misinformed?

Would it be a surprise to you than there are many many protests in China at the grass root level everyday?

Yes the party doesn't change but policies often do from these actions. It's just different in how it works.

You speak of CCP trying to "hold it together" this is how.

It ain't perfect and may be foreign to you, but not understanding quantum theory doesn't make the physics wrong.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 22:08 utc | 62

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 18:27 utc | 4

>>Where does anyone get these numbers about military spend as a % of gdp?

Posted by: blum | Jul 27 2020 19:11 utc | 17

>>If you could dig through the linked Committee for a Responsible Federal Budge links for me. I'd appreicate it a lot. ;)

=============================================================

CBO: An Analysis of the President’s 2021 Budget (before Covid 19 estimates)


as a share of GDP, outlays for defense programs would fall under the President’s proposals, from 3.2 percent this year to 2.5 percent in 2030, about 0.3 percentage points lower than the amounts in cBO’s baseline. (The lowest percentage recorded in the past 50 years was 2.9 percent.) Outlays for nondefense discretionary programs as a share of GDP would be much lower under the President’s budget than in the baseline, falling from 3.2 percent this year to 1.8 percent in 2030. (The lowest percentage in the past 50 years was 3.1 percent.)

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-03/56278-CBO-APB-2021.pdf

All times lows for the last 50 years.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 27 2020 22:09 utc | 63

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 22:03 utc | 60

"So now you're complaining that wages are too high in China and they have priced themselves out of the market."

Never said this.


If you are going to deliberately misconstrue what I am saying, then all I can tell you is fuck off if you don't like what I am saying.

I am doing you the courtesy to even respond to your stupidity.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 22:10 utc | 64

@64 Ah here comes the swearing and personal abuse. Getting too hot for you?

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 22:14 utc | 65

I never said that and that is the actual straw man.

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:56 utc | 58

Look at what you said at 49.

Here, on me:
wiki - Amnesia

wiki - Cognitive dissonance

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 22:21 utc | 66

Kudos to Passer By for elevating the 'AmeriKKKa In Decline' meme from wishful thinking to undeniably plausible :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 27 2020 22:22 utc | 67

Nightmare’ conditions at Chinese factories where Hasbro and Disney toys are made


Investigators found there were serious violations at the factories which were endangering workers.

In peak production season, employees were working up to 175 overtime hours per month. Chinese labour law restricts monthly overtime to 36 hours per month, but the report alleged factories would often ask local governments to implement a “comprehensive working hour scheme” to override existing legislation.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/07/nightmare-at-chinese-factories-making-hasbro-and-disney-toys.html

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 22:23 utc | 68

One wonders if China will run into the same problems of the US in the not too distant future?

"The End of Sweatshops? Robotisation and the Making of New Skilled Workers in China"


Over the past four decades China has undergone a process of massive industrialisation that has allowed the country to achieve remarkable economic growth. Because of its large manufacturing capacity based on a seemingly unlimited supply of cheap migrant labour in light industries, China has come to be known as the ‘workshop of the world’. However, since the early 2000s the country’s labour market has experienced a remarkable transition from labour surplus to a shortage of labour, which has led to sustained increases in the wages of ordinary workers. In such a context, since 2015 robotisation has become a driving policy for industrial upgrading for manufacturing in China, with the slogan ‘replacing human workers with industrial robots’ (机器换人) frequently appearing in media reports and official policy documents.

https://madeinchinajournal.com/2020/05/07/the-end-of-sweatshops-robotisation-and-the-making-of-new-skilled-workers-in-china/


Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 22:28 utc | 69

@Posted by: vk | Jul 27 2020 19:35 utc | 21

If the USSR would not had fallen, the working class would be organized in the middle of the second biggest transfer of wealth from them to the oligarchs and financial foragidos, and would not let themselves being starved and slaughtered...

The socialist revolution would then had spread through most of the world, as Che always dreamt and worked so hard sacrifying so much to achieve...( currently reading Aleida March´s memories acquired in Cuba, this suffered woman highlights through the whole book his moral and ethical stature... I did not know he was determinant for the exit of Cuba from IMF and WB, plus the nationalization of US and foreign banks in the island...what for sure costed him his life...As we know here who organized his hunting and killing...guess in zero coma who works for the bankers and hence never lacked anything and lives the comfy life in his mansion...only a champion of greed could kill a champion of generosity...)

As a curiosity, as I fear this man is the great unknown, books ordered by Che from Aleida when campaigning in Congo:

Himnos Triunfales, de Píndaro
Tragedias, de Esquilo
Dramas y tragedias, de Sófocles
Dramas y tragedias, de Eurípides
Comedias Completas, de Aristófanes
Los nueve libros de la historia, de Herodoto
Historia griega, de Jenofonte
Discursos políticos, de Demóstenes
Diálogos, de Platón
La república, de Platón
La política, de Aristóteles ( este especialemente )
Vidas paralelas, de Plutarco
Don Quijote de la Mancha
Teatro completo, de Racine
La divina comedia, de Dante
Orlando furioso, de Ariosto
Fausto, de Goethe
Obras completas, de Shakespeare
Ejercicos de geometría analítica ( del santuario )
....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jul 27 2020 22:31 utc | 70

@O #68

More rainbows and unicorns for you.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 27 2020 22:31 utc | 71

karlof1 @Jul27 21:50 #55

Thank you for clarifying that.

The early date of "full spectrum dominance" (1996 not 2010) suggests to me that the doctrine was related the "end of history" thinking of that time. USA Deep State believed its own propaganda.

It also strengthens my case for the proximate cause for the current conflict originating in 2014 when the US Deep State suddenly realized the threat that Russia and China Alliance posed to their plans for global domination.

Not only had they believed their own propaganda but they had overreached with their attempt to force Russia to capitulate and had been distracted by Israel interests that wanted to use USA for the greater Israel project.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 22:39 utc | 72

bob sykes #2

Bob, you need to get out more often. Try reading, it informs. Block DNC emails might help too.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 22:51 utc | 73

When I wrote my economic analysis paper on China in 1999, it was quite clear that the 21st Century was going to become the Asian Century as the Outlaw US Empire would be eclipsed by Asia's economic dynamism. 20+ years later, my prediction holds true, and it's even stronger now than then with Russia's resurgence. Both outcomes clearly go against the 500+ years of Western Global Hegemony and goads numerous people. For students of history like myself, what's occurring isn't a surprise thanks to the West's adoption of--or should I write forced indoctrination into--the Neoliberal political-economic philosophy, which is akin to that of Feudalism since it benefits the same class as that of the Feudal Era. China too was once Feudal and suffered a massive Civil War that destroyed much of its structure, a conflict known to the West as The Taiping Rebellion that lasted almost 14 years, from 1850-1864. One might say that was the first half of China's overall effort to overthrow Feudalism and Western Imperialism, as the second half began in 1927 and finally concluded in 1949. That amounts to a large % of years for a newbie nation like the USA; but for a nation like China inhabited by humans for over 1.3 million years and with 4,500 years of recorded history, it's really just another Dynastic Rollover--something inconceivable to non-Asians.

In reality, China's a conservative nation, culture and society with a several thousand year ethos of Collectivism, although that allowed a significant divergence in social stratification due to the ruling Feudal ways. Those who have read The Good Earth have an excellent grasp on the nature of Chinese Feudalism, which was embodied by the Kuomintang or KMT--as with Feudal lords, KMT leaders were deemed "Gangsters" by US Generals and diplomats during and after WW2. General Marshall wrote in 1947 it was clear to him that the KMT would lose to the CPC, that there was no good reason to throw good money after bad, and it would be best for the USA and the West to accept the fact of a Communist China (all noted by Kolko in his Politics of War). Contemporary China when compared to China as depicted in 1931 by Pearl Buck is one of the most amazing human achievements of all time, and the conservative Chinese government intends to keep it that way through a series of well thought-out plans. That's the reality. It can be accepted and worked with as numerous nations realize, or it be somehow seen as unacceptable and fought against in what will prove to be a losing effort since all China need do is parry the blows and reflect them back upon its opponent using skills it developed over several thousand years. It would be much easier to join China than fight.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 22:59 utc | 74

It's misleading to assess the National Military Capability of various countries in $US terms. The West's M-IC is privately owned and puts shareholder profit before all else. And the owners of the Western M-IC also own the politicians who facilitate and approve the rip-offs.

China and Russia's M-IC are owned and controlled by The People via the government and can therefore get $2+ of value for every $1 invested. For example, one can buy some very nifty twin-engine bizjets for less than half the price USG pays for a flying Batmobile (F-35) - a glorified hot-rod with guns.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 27 2020 23:00 utc | 75

karlof1 #11

Thank you for the data and reality check.

Passer by

Thank you for the research and write up for the thread.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27 2020 23:01 utc | 76

The CHYYNNA.org troll is back, now under the name "O".

New name, same manners.

Posted by: Lurk | Jul 27 2020 23:05 utc | 77

@77 Lurk

It was an interesting thread until somewhere around the 40-50 comment zone - I'm not going back to check when people started arguing with the troll - after that it was useless. But what is clear is how the thread became an exercise in skipping over comments.

Sorry for the good comments that got overshadowed by the crap. This is what trolling does. It's very real, and has a very real result, which is why it's performed.

We try to tell people don't feed 'em, but it doesn't always take.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 27 2020 23:13 utc | 78

@74 karlof1

But in the skipping I did throw a marker down and go back to read your comment - and what a wonderful comment it is. Very dense in information transfer, yet very elegant and readable. Congratulations, as always, on your ability to be relevant to these times - I know you work hard for that - and many thanks.

@75 hoarsewhisperer - that's an excellent point about value versus nominal price. It will be lost on a west that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, but it won't be lost on us, nor indeed on the majority part of this world under heaven.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 27 2020 23:25 utc | 79

O @38: "Have any of you been to Antartica? Mt. Everest? The Amazon? Machu Picchu? Sonoran Desert?"

Actually, yes, I have. That said, I am not pretending to be an authority on those places. Therein lies the difference. You are pretending to be an authority on something you obviously know nothing about. This ignorance of yours is as painfully obvious as if you were to claim that Mt. Everest is a pleasant meadow where men in lederhosen play the alpenhorn.

Your displays of ignorance are embarrassing. It would be best for everyone if you would stop.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 23:26 utc | 80

@78 Normally I would agree. He/she was an obvious troll but they can be useful at times. It enabled me to make one or two carefully worded retorts and helped pass an otherwise dull afternoon. William Gruff and A.L. got a few good licks in too I thought.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 23:27 utc | 81

I get it guys; nothing close to resembling to objectivity must be said concerning the benevolence, wisdom, and totally awesomeness of the PRC they are truly the exceptional nation above all others. The Outlaw US base empire is the only one that lies, steals, and cheats. It is the only place in the world where racial/ethnic/labor/class disputes ever happen. It is the only place where oligarchs have total control of the political system.

Only in the PRC can Big Brother be truly loved for their surveillance systems are only for the benefit of the people. The PRC government would never willfully lie to the people, all insurrections to the PRC government are obvious ploys by her envious enemies in particular the Outlaw US empire. I must never mention that the Outlaw US empire supplied tech to China ever, they bootstrapped themselves from the ground up even when they didn't have boots.

I must never mention that the Maoist Communist party views the ruing Communist party as too 'capitalist'. The PRC government is as one hive mind like this comment board and any dissenters must be squashed immediately. If I have committed a thought crime I must wear the badge of 'Troll' forever and ever. I will now bow to the east every morning and pray that the PRC government will come and liberate the world from our individualism. /s

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 23:36 utc | 82

There is definitely a decline in the USA. Deaths of despair and from the coronavirus are too great to ignore anymore. 150,000 dead and counting are not nothing. The Western Empire has fallen. The U.S. federal government failed. The Imperialists are quarantined at home.

The question is if the 19th century North American Empire from Hawaii to Puerto Rico survives. The Elite have bet it all on a vaccine or patentable treatment to give the Pharmaceutical Industry billions of dollars. However, quick cheap paper monoclonal antigen tests would make testing at home before going to work or school practical.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Sv_pS8MgQ

This would end viral transmission and the pandemic. No drug jackpot for the 10%. Instead public health is ignored as Americans die. The silence is deafening. The protests in the Pacific Northwest are not about slavery. They are about the 90% of Americans being treated as disposable trash.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 27 2020 23:40 utc | 83

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 27 2020 23:26 utc | 80

Thank you thought police for your words of wisdom. Although I never promoted myself as any expert in anything other than cellular and molecular biology. Henceforth I shall stay in my lane as they say. Long live the PRC revolution. /s

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 23:41 utc | 84

@82 Now you're just being childish. Nobody said the PRC are perfect. Actually a lot of Chinese people have become adept at working around it. Go there and see for yourself.

Posted by: dh | Jul 27 2020 23:58 utc | 85

Grieved @79--

Thanks for your very kind reply! FDR made an excellent choice to keep General Marshall stateside while sending Eisenhower overseas as Marshall had vision and wisdom whereas Ike was merely an efficient general and clearly no statesman as his two terms prove. But the ideologues will never accept Marshall's well thought advice, nor will they accept mine. The treadmill of their ways is grinding the nation into the ground, but they don't give a damn as long as they get a Few Dollars More. Many US citizens believe there was a time when the USA could have become a Great Nation--some even believe it did--but both views are mistaken as the current political-economic mess confirms for those willing to look at its extreme ugliness. There's an exit that's actually rather harmless except for the 1%, but that will require great effort to open. IMO, taking a good look at Brazil's situation provides close to a mirror image for those within the Outlaw US Empire having trouble seeing clearly. Too often we forget to look South at the great sewer and its misery US Imperialism's created. It may be getting defeated in Eurasia, but it's winning in Latin America.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2020 23:59 utc | 86

VietnamVet | Jul 27 2020 23:40 utc | 83

150,000 dead and counting are not nothing. The Western Empire has fallen.

No offense VV but I can't help thinking that you (and maybe some others) are talking past the issue.

To be clear, the issue is this: Will the West's decline play a role in the US/Empire's ability and willingness to confront Russia-China? Or is the oft-heard refrain that US/Empire can not 'win' against China (implying that they shouldn't/won't bother trying!) because of its decline (usually attributed to 'late-state capitalism') just wishful thinking?

Virtually everyone here has agreed that the West - especially USA - hasn't fought the virus correctly and with vigor. And virtually everyone agrees that there has been a relative decline in USA/West and in some areas an absolute decline.

IMO what is ignored is that:

  1. from the perspective of the US 'Deep State' or Western power-elite the failure to fight the virus is a net positive if the repercussions are blamed on China (in addition to other 'positives' from their perspective: saving on cost of care to elderly, boosting Big Pharma profits, etc.) -

    In fact, deliberate mistakes and mounting only a token effort (as we've seen) is exactly what we should expect from a craven power-elite that want to further their interests;

  2. the overall decline, while troublesome - especially to the ordinary blokes who get the short end of that decline - is not yet significant enough to prevent USA/Empire from countering the Russia-China 'upstarts' aggressively.

I likened the hopefulness of the anti-Empire crowd about Western decline to their hopefulness they previously expressed regarding Turkey. "Erdogan is turning east!" proved to be wrong.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 28 2020 0:26 utc | 87

Posted by: bob sykes | Jul 27 2020 18:20 utc | 2 US will have a maoist dictatorship, complete with a Mao-communist and Green economy.

Can't see it. Most of these white teenagers aren't going to ever run anything, let alone the country. The probability of the US going "socialist" in any form is next to zero. Going fascist is far more likely - it fits the US character better. Or I could see the country fracturing into "socialist" and "fascist" which is already happening. Neither side would win that conflict. Both "socialism" and "fascism" are religions, so a religious civil war of that nature would end in collapse, with no one running the country. Works for me. Been expecting a cyberpunk world since the '80s launched the concept.

But again, this is pointless speculation based on nothing but various peoples' impressions and anecdotal evidence. A general decline can be reasonably predicted, but precise predictions are ridiculous.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 0:29 utc | 88

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Jul 27 2020 19:01 utc | 14 Within last 10 years China built surface fleet which in terms of hulls (and "freshness") rivals that of the US. US economy would have it bottom falling off if it tried to accomplish a similar task.

Nice to see you here again. Yes, I mentioned the relative navy building in the previous open thread. China's navy will exceed US capability by 2050 and be on parity by 2030-2040 according to reports I've read. That's just ten years to twenty years from now.

Result: US gets kicked out of the South China Sea and has to share the Pacific, Indian Ocean (as will India with gnashing of teeth) and even the Med with China. China will undoubtedly project naval power all the way to the Med in support of BRI in the Middle East.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 0:37 utc | 89

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 27 2020 23:40 utc | 83

I'm always curious but afraid to ask. Are you proud to be a Vietnam veteran? Which service you enlist or conscripted. How many tour did you do? Finally are you in Stateside or in Vietnam? Thanks

The Selective Service tried to make me enlist but unsuccessful. I got more questions after this..

Disclaimer: I was in Vietnam stopped over for a few days visiting my classmate parent in Cholon after 63' just before the Yanks came and it was a beautiful country the Ngo family were Catholic and corrupted like shit! My classmate parent were Chinese and successful distributor printing ink. Later before the Viet Cong took over Vietnam I came to know the son of the President Air Vietnam.

Posted by: JC | Jul 28 2020 0:42 utc | 90

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 19:25 utc | 20 If JP Morgan, Gold Sacks and other major asset managers are betting on this 'bear' you can be damn certain that they are doing everything in their power to make it a reality. They will shakedown every gutless, spineless politician/health official/scientist they can find to ensure their profits keep rolling in.

As I said in the open thread, the elites know how to make money off an economic collapse. Some might lose a bit if they're not as savvy as the others, but they'll do fine with their *24 trillion* in *cash*. In a collapse, cash is king. They'll buy up everything and own even more than they do now. It's everyone else who will get screwed.

"When you have all the money everyone else is for sale."

Then comes the bitching and moaning from everyone else, then comes the "revolution" - which the elites will own as well. Same old, same old. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." While everyone fantasizes that "this time it will be different" and we'll end up in a "socialist paradise."

One has to laugh at the naivety.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 0:46 utc | 91

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 20:43 utc | 27 There is decline, and while it has been mostly relative it is also accelerating - but that hasn't significantly constrained USA/Empire's response to the upstarts.

I agree. US military power isn't going away in ten years or twenty. China may achieve parity at some point (and can do serious damage now). But that doesn't obviate the fact that, short of nuclear war, the US is still in a position to throw its weight around and will continue to do so until forced back by a (hopefully conventional) military defeat of serious proportions, i.e., not just "give up and go home". And economic woes won't change that as long as the taxpayer can be fleeced - and they will be, for at least a few more decades.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 28 2020 1:12 utc | 92

@ dh... you clearly have too much time on your hands... find a hobby, lol... you're usually good at humour...

Posted by: james | Jul 28 2020 1:17 utc | 93

Posted by: O | Jul 27 2020 21:33 utc | 49

No kidding??! Wikipedia, you say???! Wikipedia...the CIA equivalent of an outlet mall.

No wonder you "think" the way you do.

Posted by: Anonymous from Canad | Jul 28 2020 1:17 utc | 94

@ 62 A.L. "Would it be a surprise to you than there are many many protests in China at the grass root level everyday?"

There are indeed protests all the time, which is the fire under the local Party leaders that keeps them dancing. Usually the protests are against local corruption or mismanagement and are not serious. People can get what they want this way. Each year at the general Party gathering, however, special note is taken of "mass incidents", that is, protests on a larger scale, and overtly political events such as those in the Uighur province of Xinjiang and in Hong Kong. Any protest that challenges the control of the Party is not permitted. The current protests in the US could not happen in China because they challenge political orthodoxy. The Chinese don't just roll over on command for the CCP to scratch their bellies and the Party knows just how volatile the political situation could be if mishandled. China is developing into the ultimate surveillance state. There are lots of Chinese like that little guy that stood down the tank at Tienanmen in 1989. Eventually that guy is going to say: "There is some shit I will not eat!" The Party knows this.

Posted by: jadan | Jul 28 2020 1:30 utc | 95

Several years ago (close to 10) I noted that the US would be bringing back US companies from China, that it would actually subsidize their relocation. It's only logical. I saw China as becoming hostile to US corporations: in light of how things are going today it's the US govt becoming hostile toward US companies in China. Make huge profits and then get free money to return back to the US: and be welcomed as victorious troops arriving back from some glorious war.

It's Musical Chairs. As the music plays more and more chairs are being removed. Capitalism has been the most efficient economic system in which to trigger an economic collapse. WTF did people think would happen with basing economic systems on the impossible, basing on perpetual growth on a finite planet. All of this was readily foreseeable using SIMPLE MATH.

Economies of scale in reverse...

Posted by: Seer | Jul 28 2020 1:40 utc | 96

Posted by: Anonymous from Canad | Jul 28 2020 1:17 utc | 94

I could have used other sources to point the labor disputes that happen on account of low wages and poor conditions , but the thought police has shown me the error of my ways, using objective facts is not allowed in this sanctum of PRC thought leaders. And even though anyone may comment you must have personal hands on experience of the subject matter for your thoughts on said subject to be valid or maybe its just a rule for me. Long Live the PRC Revolution. /s

Posted by: O | Jul 28 2020 1:40 utc | 97

@jadan | Jul 27 2020 21:50 utc | 54

China is in deep trouble. The CCP's greatest challenge is simply to hold "it" together. The Party has to perform economic miracles or the country will collapse.

How do you square your dire prediction of China's collapse with the Edelman trust barometer of 2019 (warning: PDF file), where China scores 88 on the trust index and the US scores 60?

Posted by: Cyril | Jul 28 2020 1:43 utc | 98

Andrei Martyanov provides the best analysis available for those interested new Russian weapon systems and the absolutely inept and unqualified US "expert" military analysts, insane US political "leaders", incompetent ass-kissing US generals, whose corruption and utter incompetence have led the US into the abyss while proclaiming "We're Number 1" and actually believing it.

I completely agree with what he says about the utter bullshit of the numbers, data, etc used to compare the US to all the other "lesser" nations. Everything coming out of Washington is a lie, all the markets are rigged with "unlimited" digital fiat dollars, all the stats are rigged to hide the decline and dissolution of the US economy, it is all a LIE to keep the matrix intact and the useless eaters in line.

I just hope these damn fools do not unleash nuclear war on the world, in the belief that they will "win".

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 28 2020 1:49 utc | 99

O is not a troll. This person is a true blue commie. He's the yellow peril Americans have always feared. Listen to him and learn.

Posted by: jadan | Jul 28 2020 1:50 utc | 100

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