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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

China Overtakes U.S. as World’s Leading Destination for Foreign Direct Investment

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2021

Date: 25‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Flows into America nearly halved as Covid‑19 dragged on the economy in 2020

China’s ability to quickly control the coronavirus within its borders helped its economy rebound relatively quickly. Tourists take selfies in Shanghai in November.

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year, as the Covid‑19 pandemic amplifies an eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy.

New investments by overseas businesses into the U.S., which for decades held the No. 1 spot, fell 49% in 2020, according to U.N. figures released Sunday, as the country struggled to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and economic output slumped. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Anatole Kaletsky Says More…

Posted by hkarner - 20. Januar 2021

Date: 19‑01‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate Anatole Kaletsky

Anatole Kaletsky is Chief Economist and Co‑Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times of London, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis, which anticipated many of the post‑crisis transformations of the global economy. His 1985 book, Costs of Default, became an influential primer for Latin American and Asian governments negotiating debt defaults and restructurings with banks and the IMF.

This week in Say More, PS talks with Anatole Kaletsky, Chief Economist and Co‑Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics.

Project Syndicate: In 2017, you wrote, “Donald Trump’s presidency is a symptom of an interregnum between economic orders – a period that will result in a new balance between state and market.” Will Joe Biden’s inauguration tomorrow mark the end of this liminal moment?

Anatole Kaletsky: The short answer is yes. Even before it begins, Biden’s presidency appears to be confirming and entrenching a tectonic shift in the balance between market forces and political forces – or, put another way, between collective decisions made on the basis of “one dollar, one vote” and those based on “one person, one vote.”

This shift began after the 2008 global financial crisis discredited the market‑fundamentalist model of capitalism that the United States and Europe had embraced and endorsed since the neoliberal “revolution” in the early 1980s. That ideology had come to dominate the entire world after the Soviet Union’s collapse and the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Where Trump Came From—and Where Trumpism Is Going

Posted by hkarner - 17. Januar 2021

Date: 16‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Gerald F. Seib

A populist movement rooted in worries about globalization and alienation from elites culminated in the storming of the Capitol. What can conservatives salvage from the debris?

The Trump presidency drew on forerunners including Patrick Buchanan, H. Ross Perot and Sarah Palin.

At the outset of the 2016 presidential campaign, Chris Christie, then the governor of New Jersey, sensed a yearning within a changed Republican Party for a populist voice—for a political figure who knew how to speak bluntly for the burgeoning ranks of working‑class voters in the GOP.

So he set out to be that guy: a no‑nonsense everyman from outside Washington who talked about the economic travails of a prototypical 45‑year‑old construction worker, the need to use government aggressively to end the opioid crisis in working America, the virtues of law and order, and the need to “stop the Washington bull.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Rom ging die Freiheit unter. Wie steht es um die Freiheit in den USA?

Posted by hkarner - 17. Januar 2021

Gero Jenner, 16-01-2021

Ihren Aufstieg verdankte die Weltmacht Rom einer frugal lebenden, opferbereiten Bauernschaft, die außer dem Ältesten, der den Hof übernahm, die anderen Söhne in den Heerdienst schickte. Zu Beginn seiner Entwicklung konnte Rom sich eines großen Kinderreichtums rühmen. Der war die demographische Grundlage für seine erstaunliche Expansion. Doch die imperialen Erfolge, zumal der Sieg über Karthago, der den Römern den Norden Afrikas als Kornkammer erschloss, schwächte den italischen Bauernstand. Gegen die ausländische Billigkonkurrenz vermochte sich dieser schon bald nicht mehr zu behaupten. Dagegen verdankten die etwa zweihundert führenden römischen Familien ihre schwindelhafte Reichtümer gerade der Tatsache, dass sie die Versorgungsbasis auf Kosten ihrer Landsleute ausgelagert hatten. Zur gleichen Zeit errichteten sie einen militärisch-industriellen Komplex, um ihre Herrschaft nicht nur in den eroberten Gebieten dauerhaft zu befestigen sondern auch gegenüber den zunehmend entrechteten und ihrer ökonomischen Basis beraubten Massen in Italien selbst, denn aufgrund dieses Verrats der Eliten waren die einst hochgeachteten bäurischen „Proles“ (wörtlich: Nachkommen), welche die demographische Grundlage für den Aufstieg Roms geschaffen hatten, zu besitzlosen „Proleten“ herabgesunken – in anderen Worten, zu überflüssigem Menschenmaterial.

Angesichts dieser sozialen Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Who Profits from the Assault on American Democracy?

Posted by hkarner - 14. Januar 2021

Date: 13‑01‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Nina L. Khrushcheva

Nina L. Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs at The New School, is the co‑author (with Jeffrey Tayler), most recently, of In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones. 

While US President Donald Trump intentionally and directly incited the recent attack on the Capitol, he does not bear sole responsibility. Every one of his enablers is guilty – including the bankers and politicians who have managed to remain largely in the shadows.

WASHINGTON, DC – Since January 6, when a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol, dozens of rioters have been charged with crimes. Trump, who incited the insurrection, has now been booted from all major social‑media platforms, and faces the prospect of another impeachment trial, while many Republican senators and representatives have faced harsh criticism for backing Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud.

Many of the guiltiest parties, however, are getting off scot‑free. It is no secret, for example, that

Fox News – the most lucrative lever in Rupert Murdoch’s American media machine – helped set the stage for the Capitol insurrection. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists

Posted by hkarner - 13. Januar 2021

Date: 12‑01‑2021

Source: Scientific American By Tanya Lewis

Forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee explains the outgoing president’s pathological appeal and how to wean people from it

The violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building last week, incited by President Donald Trump, serves as the grimmest moment in one of the darkest chapters in the nation’s history. Yet the rioters’ actions—and Trump’s own role in, and response to, them—come as little surprise to many, particularly those who have been studying the president’s mental fitness and the psychology of his most ardent followers since he took office.

One such person is Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine for the past 17 years and president of the World Mental Health Coalition. Lee led a group of psychiatrists, psychologists and other specialists who questioned Trump’s mental fitness for office in a book that she edited called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. In doing so, Lee and her colleagues strongly rejected the American Psychiatric Association’s modification of a 1970s‑era guideline, known as the Goldwater rule, that discouraged psychiatrists from giving a professional opinion about public figures who they have not examined in person. “Whenever the Goldwater rule is mentioned, we should refer back to the Declaration of Geneva, which mandates that physicians speak up against destructive governments,” Lee says. “This declaration was created in response to the experience of Nazism.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Whither America?

Posted by hkarner - 13. Januar 2021

Date: 12‑01‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University, is Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute and a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank. His most recent book is People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent. 

Fortunately, Joe Biden will assume the US presidency on January 20. But, as the shocking events of January 6 showed, it will take more than one person – and more than one presidential term – to overcome America’s longstanding challenges.

NEW YORK – The assault on the US Capitol by President Donald Trump’s supporters, incited by Trump himself, was the predictable outcome of his four‑year‑long assault on democratic institutions, aided and abetted by so many in the Republican Party. And no one can say that Trump had not warned us: he was not committed to a peaceful transition of power. Many who benefited as he slashed taxes for corporations and the rich, rolled back environmental regulations, and appointed business‑friendly judges knew they were making a pact with the devil. Either they believed they could control the extremist forces he unleashed, or they didn’t care. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Return of US Intelligence

Posted by hkarner - 9. Januar 2021

Date: 08‑01‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Kent Harrington

Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst, served as national intelligence officer for East Asia, chief of station in Asia, and the CIA’s director of public affairs.

 For four years, the Trump administration has undermined the credibility and morale of the US intelligence community, leaving President‑elect Joe Biden’s national‑security team with its work cut out for it. The new leadership must remember what the intelligence rank and file never forgot: words and integrity matter.

ATLANTA – Tradition has it that when less‑than‑beloved CIA station chiefs are transferred from their posts abroad, their long‑suffering staff celebrate with a wheels‑up party. If tradition still holds, champagne corks were popping at CIA headquarters when Donald Trump lost his presidential re‑election bid to Joe Biden. It is no secret that America’s intelligence services have been in the crosshairs of one of the most ignorant, paranoid, and antagonistic presidents ever to have held the office. Trump wore his distrust of spies and intelligence analysts on his sleeve, right next to his disregard for US national security. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Remove and Ban Trump Now

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2021

Date: 08‑01‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Jan‑Werner Mueller

Jan‑Werner Mueller, Professor of Politics at Princeton University, is a fellow at the Berlin Institute of Advanced Study and the author of the forthcoming Democracy Rules (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2021). 

Although it is a serious matter to deny individuals their basic civil rights, outgoing US President Donald Trump richly deserves such a punishment. For Republicans to avoid being devoured by the insurrectionist movement they have unleashed, they must support Trump’s impeachment, removal, and permanent exclusion from political life.

BERLIN – A year ago, jurists and pundits were debating whether impeaching an American president is primarily a matter of law or of politics. It is both, of course, and there is nothing wrong with the political part. Under the US Constitution, it is politicians, not courts, who are supposed to judge whether a president has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and, crucially, whether a chief executive poses an ongoing threat to the republic.

With less than two weeks to go before Joe Biden replaces Donald Trump in the White House, the issue has come up again, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi making clear that the president should be removed either by his cabinet, through the 25th Amendment, or by impeachment.

The violent insurrection at the US Capitol, incited by Trump, represents something new and profane in American history. Even though Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, the office of the presidency cannot be made safe in Trump’s hands. He must be impeached (again), removed from office, and barred from holding public office ever again.

Congress has a right, but not a duty, to impeach. Sometimes, lawmakers might simply tolerate certain presidential misdeeds, having concluded that the costs of pursuing further action would outweigh the benefits. But this is not one of those times.1

Just as the act of punishing a public official sends a message about a polity’s moral commitments, so, too, does a failure to punish when it is warranted. By voting to acquit Trump last year, after the House of Representatives impeached him over the Ukraine scandal, Senate Republicans signaled that they were sticking with a career criminal, come what may. Trump enablers like Senator Susan Collins of Maine hoped that those proceedings would teach Trump a lesson. And so they did: Trump learned that there were no consequences for illegally coercing others into doing him favors and rigging elections on his behalf.

Recall Trump’s “perfect” phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the summer of 2019, when he threatened to withhold US military aid unless Ukraine announced an investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter. After getting off scot‑free for that abuse of his office, Trump went on to have another perfect chat in the winter of 2020, when he tried to blackmail Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, into falsifying the result of last November’s election on his behalf. All those Republicans who have condemned the second call should be asking themselves why they condoned the first one.

If there is no punishment for the insurrection at the Capitol, congressional Republicans will again be signaling their own complicity in the crime. The message will be that this, too, is acceptable: a sitting president may indeed incite violence against one of the republic’s three political branches.

Some will worry that a second impeachment and a permanent ban would merely provoke Trump’s “base.” But this argument no longer holds water. No matter what Democrats or half‑way responsible Republicans like Senator Mitt Romney do or don’t do, Trump and his cheerleaders in the right‑wing media will incite the movement anyway.

After all, right‑wing populism is not subject to a reality check; an actual vote count is practically irrelevant for people who see themselves as the only “real Americans” (and therefore the only ones that count). Mobilizing these supposedly “real Americans” against nefarious elites and minorities (who should all go back to their “shit‑hole countries”) has been Trump’s political model from day one, just as his business model as a real‑estate developer was based on flimflam and fraud. Many a MAGA grifter and opportunistic Republican has invested in that political enterprise, and it will take more than a little bit of sedition and a few dead bodies in Washington, DC, for them to start dumping their shares.

The crucial step is not just to remove Trump but to ban him from politics for life. Though this entails a permanent restriction of an individual’s basic political rights, many democracies nonetheless allow for such a possibility. For example, according to the German Basic Law, those who abuse free speech and other fundamental liberties in order to undermine liberal democracy can lose their rights. This provision has never been successfully applied, though, partly because the neo‑Nazis for whom a permanent loss was considered had already been taken out of political circulation by criminal convictions.

To be sure, a permanent ban sits uneasily with a core assumption of democracy: people can change their minds. Contrary to Hillary Clinton’s assertion in her infamous 2016 speech describing Trump’s base as a “basket of deplorables,” no one is utterly “irredeemable.” If you are one of the many people who favors restoring voting rights to convicted felons, how could you justify a ban against someone like Trump? What if Trump were to repent and reinvent himself? Should we not be consistent in refusing to ban anyone permanently?

Never mind that repentance is unlikely. Trump has persistently tried to subvert the democratic process itself. That is not just any high crime or misdemeanor; nor is it comparable to any business dealings before (and during) the presidency for which he could be prosecuted. If someone refuses to play by the rules of the game (especially rules as basic as “the candidate who gets the most votes wins”), it is perfectly reasonable to eject that player.

Would Republicans support such a move? Plenty, like Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, have bet their political fortunes on genuflecting to America’s burgeoning far‑right movement. But others might now be looking for a way out of the Trumpian maw. The storming of the Capitol demonstrated that you cannot have QAnon à la carte; neither Trump nor his Republican collaborators can control the forces they have unleashed. The revolution always devours its own children, and sometimes their fathers, too. If Republicans fail to de‑Trumpify fully and immediately, they will learn that for themselves – but not before things get much, much worse.

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Living and Dying in America in 2021

Posted by hkarner - 28. Dezember 2020

Date: 28‑12‑2020

Source: Project Syndicate by ANNE CASE and ANGUS DEATON

Anne Case is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She is the co‑author of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism (Princeton University Press, 2020). 

Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor Emeritus of Economics and International Affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California. He is the co‑author of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism (Princeton University Press, 2020). 

In addition to killing at least 340,000 people in America alone, COVID‑19 has accelerated economic trends that promise to undermine the lives and livelihoods of less‑educated people in the years ahead. While the pandemic eventually will be brought under control, there is still no end in sight for the epidemic of deaths of despair.

PRINCETON – American capitalism is not serving most Americans. While educated elites live longer and more prosperous lives, less‑educated Americans – two‑thirds of the population – are dying younger and struggling physically, economically, and socially. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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