What Changes Needed for the US

19 Comments

Start with a quote from Matt Stoller (2011)
Change needs to happen—and it will happen, either through good leadership or through collapse.

The US has choices, most other countries dont.

With all the chaos and rioting there are no specific goals to make the US equitable, specially for the lower rungs of society.  My thoughts of specific goals.

What should be done immediately

a) Give aid to direct individuals
This includes free testing and health care

b) Debt Jubilee, i.e. forgiveness of debt.
Rent, Mortgage forgiveness based on income/job.
NOT a deferral with a huge amount coming due in the future

Electoral Process

The President, Congress and Senators need to be more answerable to the public.  The way the current system works, public votes and President, Congress and elected officials do the bidding of their paymasters, the big money  Multinationals and Military Industrialist.  This change is imperative for a proper functioning democracy.

So

a) No lobbyists, period.  Caught lobbying or accepting lobby, at least a few years in Jail.
Lobbying is legalized bribery and corruption.

b) Campaign Finance: I would prefer only a govt funding, equal to all contestants.
Or only donations by individuals with cap on amount.

c) Two term limit for Senators

Finance Specific*

a) Let Too Big to Fail companies/banks go bust if they are not profitable ,
instead of propping them up with more and more trillion dollar handouts.

b) Stop derivatives being used for speculation/betting.
Can be used as hedge against asset on the books.
If the asset is sold, the derivative needs to be unwound.

c) Share buybacks be made illegal.

I dont think USD 6 Trillion injection into financial markets will solve the Covid19 pandemic or the chaos in the US.

To put the 6 Trillion into perspective.  US GDP is USD 19 Trillion.  Public debt is  USD 18 trillion Interest public debt USD 479 billion/0.5 Trillion (10% of Budget)

*Some suggestions by VijayVan

Manufacturing

Its not about cutting costs per se. Think the Henry Ford saying, workers should be able to buy what is produced. For that the US must first throw out Free Trade and embrace protectionist. Start Manufacturing and give Price protection to what is manufactured.   Same for Oil, the US is self sufficient.

But all of this means ditching the Petro dollar, and the global monetary power that comes with it.  So very unlikely those changes will be by choice.

Society:

A push for polices that re vitalize small towns with self reliant economies.   Not just a suburban enclave dependent on commuters working in a nearby big city.  Coupled with small or medium manufacturing.  i.e. Supply chain is mainly within the US.

Maybe even a partial break up of Big Ag and land distribution (100 acres or so) specifically for Agriculture.  I think subsidies for small scale farmers is fine.  Much better that trillion dollar bail outs for Big Ags.

Wars

The US will have to make some serious decisions about being the global policeman, and conducting wars. (I doubt will happen without change in Campaign Finance/Electoral Process).  The US Might has turned to “might happen”. Trillions on war, has not made the US safe.  Never ending Wars and nary a benefit except debt and death.
This does not mean disbanding the military.  Any country needs to defend itself against invasions.  The choice is wars of aggression in distant lands or developing the economy.

US Spending on wars Iraq War: +1 Trillion Afghan War: 1 Trillion  Military: 500 billion/year

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19 Replies to “What Changes Needed for the US”

  1. Public debt is 26 trillion of dollars. Military budget (2020) is 721 billion of dollars.

  2. The following points make no sense:

    1) Debt Jubilee, i.e. forgiveness of debt.
    Rent, Mortgage forgiveness based on income/job.
    NOT a deferral with a huge amount coming due in the future.

    Why would any private individual be given mortgage forgiveness despite their own poor financial planning? You can never bail out bad habits.

    2) Two term limit for Senators.

    3) For that the US must first throw out Free Trade and embrace protectionist. Start Manufacturing and give Price protection to what is manufactured.

    All proponents of this idea should make it work in one smaller comparable country. Just one, anyone be it Sweden, New Zealand, Qatar or S. Korea. Protectionism doesn’t work it is especially perverse on large scales. But I think all of us already know that.

    4) But all of this means ditching the Petro dollar, and the global monetary power that comes with it.
    Whaaat? Countries the world over would kill to have this power.

    5) A push for polices that re vitalize small towns with self reliant economies.

    Also a Gandhi style Khadi-gramodyog per town.

    6)Maybe even a partial break up of Big Ag and land distribution (100 acres or so) specifically for Agriculture.

    Hahahaha! Comrade now I see where you are coming from.

    Q: How do you deal with mice in the Kremlin?
    A: Put up a sign saying “collective farm”. Then half the mice will starve, and the rest will run away.

    btw do economically left leaning people have similarly hard views about Russian and Chinese military intervention/budgets?

  3. You can forget about cutting the military budget. Neocons will oppose any effort to cut the military budget tooth and nail. Neocons want a strong military to defend Israel against her enemies. The trillions spent on war is not about keeping the US safe. It is about keeping Israel safe.

    As the godfather of the neoconservative movement Irving Kristol put it in 1973, “Jews don’t like big military budgets….But it is now in the interest of Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States……..American Jews who care about the survival of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel. “

    1. This is just myth-making. Modern day Israel can beat the Arabs and Persians with one arm tied behind it’s back. Have you seen the engineering papers that come out of Technion or Tel Aviv? They are a really talented people and can hold their own for quite long (much longer than ’13 days’ before nuking others). Have you seen their weapons, radars and missiles? They can completely annihilate middle east in war on their own.

      1. Is that why US killed Soleimani? Freedom of speech in the US is a joke. People who bring up Jewish power in the US in the public square are silenced with the accusation of anti-semitism.

        1. It’s not that Israel couldn’t have done it itself. If Netanyahu wanted Solemani would have been dead and Iran could not have done jack shit about it. Check these assassinations out:

          “The killing of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Wednesday joins a series of assassinations that left five Iranian scientists and experts dead in the past two years. These were central “knowledge bases” in the Islamic republic’s military nuclear program and their assassination disrupted the quest for an Iranian bomb.”
          https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4174792,00.html

          In the recent past there have been many more such actions. Israel is not self destructive, immature, myopic or docile like India. It can and does act on its interests with or without support of the US/Europe/Saudi.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/11/secret-war-iran-timeline-attacks

        2. Keep digging.

          You are just proving my point about BP being very attractive to Right wing crazies.

    2. This comment is bordering on the antisemitic and “Jews run the US” conspiracy.

      Boy, Brown Pundits is really attracting Right Wing nut jobs of all kinds these days. I wonder why?

      1. Golly gee whiz Thou soundest like Thou Art from 1950’s Hardy Boys, of Franklin W. Dixon, name and fame.
        Nice name Thine Moniker, by the way: very non-threatening {friendly actually} 2 da Panth of SriNanakDev Mahraj Patsahib, janamsthan~Birthplace, immortal SriPakistan. Shukria-Dhanvad~Danks

        1. My “moniker” happens to be the name I was given at birth.

          As for the rest of your comment, I have no idea what you are on about.

  4. I think Israel is the beneficiary of US security umbrella and large military budget not the cause of it.

    Also I don’t see a “proper” war in the Middle East as long as both Israel and Arab states are on one side (with USA). The only outlier is Iran and Syria. Perhaps if any of the states moved out of USA orbit towards China/Russia then there is a possibility

    1. Understanding Jewish Power
      Who has helped create a war-addicted America?

      It does not take a genius to figure out that the United States is deeply involved in a series of seemingly endless wars pitting it against predominantly Muslim nations even though Washington has no vital interests at stake in places like Syria, Libya and Iraq. Who is driving the process and benefiting? Israel is clearly the intended beneficiary of a coordinated effort mounted by more than 600 Jewish organizations in the U.S. that have at least as part of their programs the promotion and protection of Israel. Ironically, organizations that promote the interests of a foreign government are supposed to be registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) but not a single pro-Israel organization has ever done so nor even been seriously challenged on the issue, a tribute to their power in dealing with the federal government.

      Those who are in the drivers’ seat of the Israel promotion process are what some would describe as the Israel Lobby but which I would prefer to call a subset of the Jewish Lobby, which in itself is supported by something I would designate Jewish Power, an aggregate of Jewish money, control over key aspects of the media and entertainment industries plus easy access to corrupted politicians desirous of positive press and campaign donations. This penetration and control of the public discourse has resulted in the creation of what I would refer to as the official “Israel narrative,” in which Israel, which claims perpetual victimhood, is reflexively referred to as “the only democracy in the Middle East” and “Washington’s closest ally and friend,” assertions that are completely false but which have been aggressively and successfully promoted to shape how Americans view the Israeli-Arab conflict. Palestinians resisting the Israeli occupation are invariably described as “terrorists” both in the U.S. and Israel.

      Jewish Power is a funny thing. If you read the Jewish media or the Israeli press, to include Forward, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Haaretz or the Jerusalem Post, you will find frequent references to it, nearly always seen as completely laudable. Bottom feeder Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard recently boasted that “Jews should not apologize for being so rich, controlling the media or influencing public debate…they have earned it…never apologize for using your strength…”

      For many Jews like Dershowitz, Jewish power is something to be proud of, but they also believe that it should never be noticed or examined by non-Jews. Gentile criticism of Jewish collective behavior is something that must continue to be forbidden, just as the expression “Israeli Lobby” was largely taboo before Walt and Mearsheimer. Israeli partisans regularly engage in the defamation of individuals, including myself, who do not conform to the taboos as anti-Semites or holocaust deniers, labels deliberately used as weapons to end discussion and silence critics whenever necessary.

      So why do I think that we have to start talking about Jewish Power as opposed to the euphemism Israel Lobby? It is because the wars in the Middle East, which have done so much to damage the United States and were at least in part arranged to benefit Israel, have been largely driven by wealthy and powerful Jews. If America goes to war with Iran, as is increasingly likely, it will be all about Israel and it will be arranged by the political and financial services Washington-Wall Street axis, make no mistake.
      https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/understanding-jewish-power/

      1. Sounds like the theories that Jews are the one who pushed to allow unfiltered immigration to Europe and North America to change the demographics as revenge.

  5. Answering some in one comment

    bhimrao

    Something needs to be done in the US.
    It can go real democracy or banana republic proper. It is almost a banana republic at this point, militarized police and defacto economically segregated neighbor hoods and no go zones (favellas) like Camden and Baltimore.

    My basic suggestions were to re establish real democracy, imperatively to limit campaign finance and eliminate lobbying.

    Whatever rosy economic picture portrayed in US, ground reality is the very visible collapse of the US. This is no different from what happened when the Soviet Union broke up or Sri Lanka post 1983.

    Russia and SL came out of decades of partisan politics with the arrival of strong leaders.

    This current chaos in the US will continue. It may halt for sometime and then resume. Much like the post 1983 decades in Sri Lanka. For some life will appear normal, but with that ever present fear of disruption in a matter of hours.

    Why would any private individual be given mortgage forgiveness despite their own poor financial planning? You can never bail out bad habits.

    I understand the implicit pointing of fingers at a certain segment of society.
    However, apparently many of the Asian (South Asian and East Asian) immigrants have no issue with Trillion dollar bail outs of poorly managed big banks and multi nationals.

    Why; not bailing out the big banks will affect most Asian bottom line, their stock portfolio and 401K.

    Within the next year (June 2021), I expect attacks on Asian Businesses and people. Trumps anti Chinese rhetoric will turn on the Oriental looking. South Asian will follow.

    There is a follow up comment, Sri Lankan perspective

    Saurav
    Bhimrao says for quite long (much longer than ’13 days’ before nuking others)
    Also I don’t see a “proper” war in the Middle East as long as both Israel and Arab states are on one side (with USA).

    If Saudi Arabia falls, then the mid East falls to the Shia Block, i.e Iran, Iraq and Syria. All the oil is in Shia lands.

    Bhimrao, sounds like some of my SL immigrant friends. US is has biggest what ever (pun intended). Out here I am observing and thinking really Dont even dare to take on Iran, forget about China.

    Watch this video
    https://www.facebook.com/emma.sirius/videos/10157619032384601/?t=0

    1. Bhimrao, Saurav
      There is always resentment against gains/entitlement of perceived outsider, Hence my observation.

      ========

      Under British rule a very small segment of SL Tamils gained favored status. Mainly Protestant converts they took to education and the professions. By time of Independence they formed 50% of white collar govt jobs, professions and University entrants.

      That segment of SL Tamil was anything but oppressed. They were the oppressors and entitled. Pretty much thought the rest of the population were stupid and not intelligent. If you speak to the older diaspora (60+ and above) they expect SL to become a failed state because they are no longer around to run the place.

      Like I said this small segment of SL Tamils, oppressed their own too. They ruled the north and east in a feudal like society, with caste and class overtones. Many time the SL govt had to step in and ensure equitable laws of SL (Eg Temple entry Crisis).

      In the south majority Sinhalese were treated with contempt. I have personally seen my relatives* who grew up in Jaffna kick and assault Sinhala workers while calling them stupid. By that time in the South there was more awareness of equality and such actions were considered “not done”.

      The resentment against this segment of SL Tamil grew. Riots in 1956, 1977 and finally the big one in 1983. Most of the urban Professionals fled to and were welcomed in Western countries.

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