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The 5th Circle of Economic Hell

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But this is exactly what Bush and Paulson and their fellow “conservatives” intend. This is the magic of “globalization” that the Heraldic voices of Thomas Friedman and others eulogize as inevitable. Globalization means liberating capital from all obligations to national well being, freeing it to pursue only the highest returns it can find, no matter where they may lie. That means seeking out the lowest paid labor and shifting all possible jobs there. That is China. Or India.

The U.S. worker and the U.S. economy will be left to their own devices. All social safety net systems must be dismantled for, given the colossal debt, they can no longer be afforded. These include welfare, unemployment and disability insurance, pensions, health care, Medicare, Social Security, job retraining, and eventually, education. The U.S. is a high cost economy in a world where, when capital is perfectly mobile, low cost wins. If capital is to be honored, then the U.S. must be ballasted, abandoned, in the way the British economy was in the aftermath of World War II. It will be milked of its remaining assets—that is what the huge run-up in debt is intended to do—and then thrown away.

The only government programs of substance that will be maintained will be police and military systems. The Patriot Act, with its massive recissions of civil liberties, is not so much directed at foreign terrorists as it is at future domestic dissidents, citizens who dare confront these putative inevitabilities with demands for democratic (as opposed to capitalist) recourses. The military, of course, is needed to carry out the nakedly colonial expropriations such as Iraq that remain the last hope of America to compete in the world: by controlling the oil, the substance without which no industrial civilization can operate.
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From Henry Paulson and the Five Circles of Economic Hell by Robert Freeman. Mr. Freeman succinctly captures the self-evident, which must make him one of the few honest economic voices worth listening to right now.

Almost nine months ago I wrote a very long article, in several chapters, about the mindset of our global leaders. I was going to launch my new website by posting it. Well, nine months is a long time to wait, and my new website is no closer to actualization. Hence, though slightly dated, I will start posting it in installments this weekend.