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2022-07-31 History IV

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

All the history chapters prior lead to my theory of America and why it is gonna collapse.

Hype vs. Hyperbole - I lived in Asia for around 30 years. If you aren't the elite class in most of these countries you tend to spend all your time thinking about how to get to America. Latinos pay coyotes, go into indentured servitude and walk across the most inhospitable desert around to get here. They suffer being caged at the border for the "chance" they could get in. Not to mention Cubans who make rafts out of soda bottles for a 90 mile crossing into Florida. The Chinese get packed into the bilge of decrepit freighters to come here.

Even white folks come here in droves - it's just a lot easier for them because they look like the ruling class and get a lot of white privilege.

So why? America is largely denigrated overseas, hated by many. I was sitting in a sidewalk bar in Singapore with a buddy from Australia and a totally plastered Dutchman comes to our table and lights into me about how the whole world is fucked up because of America and I personally must be an asshole because all Americans are assholes. I replied, as usual, "You are right America is fucked up That's why I live here." My buddy was floored. "Does that happen a lot? I would have kicked his arse..." - "Dude. If I wanted to fight I could get into a fight every single night. Everyone hates America right now." Then Obama got elected (seriously cheers erupted in the bar I was in when the results were announced) and Americans were cool again and drunk Dutchmen would buy me beers... at least for one election cycle..."

Why? It's the same reason Pilgrims got in boats, expecting half to die either on-route or though disease, starvation or Indian scalpings. "There is a place you can go, the journey is hard, but when you get their you are "free" to practice religion the way you want, live the way you want and be unmolested (largely) from kings and government.

You make people fight other people's through promise of riches (Vikings), being paid (Frank and Mongol mercenaries), because you are indentured to the land baron (England), for God (whichever God you happen to be brainwashed into) or to maintain the status quo (defend the homeland - Long live the King and England) or to overthrow an occupier (Scotland - You can't take away my "FREEDOM!")

Freedom? - Scottish highlanders fought to get rid of England because the Englanders didn't wear skirts - LOL... Of course it's more complicated than that. But really, Scots would be free of England's king only to be ruled by some Scottish king asshole.

Freedom. Now that's something worth fighting for. All you gotta do is make everyone believe they are free and who won't fight for their freedom? But unlike 1800, today you can't just head west to Arizona, plant some stakes in the "territory" and live free. Arguably Canada is probably one of the nicest places to live. Scandinavian countries score high as well.

See there is no "freedom." To have a society you have to have rules or you have Lord of the Flies Anarchy set in. Cattle barons in the developing west. Train robbers, Father rapers sitting on the group W bench!

But America freedom has this entrepreneurial aspect to it. Anyone in America can "make it." If you have the secret sauce, hit the one good idea, get lucky or whatever you can be rich in America. You can launch from the serf class to the noble class, seemingly at will. You can also get elected and become part of the ruling class. You don't need to be a distant cousin of some other noble or king. You can jump classes. We stare at the tv non-stop and everyone from Obama & AOC, to the Kardashians & Oprah, to Gates & Zuckerberg, to OJ & Kobe, J-Lo & Madonna - pick an industry, you can make it in America!

One of the great downfalls of England, IMO, is simply that if you didn't go to the right school you can't be "upper class" and therefor couldn't become a minister or a leader in the military or a captain of industry. It's a little different today but I know a ton of "professionals" from England. Very few working class. Almost all of them started as upper class or at least upper-middle class - and I met like no one of color in the professional ranks - all whitebread protestants. And when you promote based on class and not merit you are gonna have dumbasses running your businesses and armies.

Government by the people and for the people?

I do not purport to be a scholar of the federalist papers or the constitution, but I have a brain and I can read. There are billions of on line forums where you can debate what the founders were really after for your whole life.

I do know that the founders were all landed white men of the ruling class who owned slaves, had biases and so on. They were classically educated and studied Greek, Roman and British forms of government. They knew they did not want a monarch or ruler for life. They well intentioned wanted to put the power of the government in the hands of the people. They did not want parties. They wanted the states to have complete autonomy except in the areas of interstate trade, foreign treaties and waging wars.

They also set up a number of safeguards against foreign influence. They did not want our government being perverted by undue influence.

It was impractical if not impossible for all the people to travel to Washington to vote - one man, one vote. They also did not want any state to have undue influence over other states - so we got saddled with a cumbersome electoral college system. We also have senators and congressfolks who are supposed to represent the will of the people in making our laws. And we put the power of interpreting those (federal) laws in the hands of a very few people.

In statistics there is something called sample size & power. Basically for a population Y you need to sample X in order to be sure you have the "median" or average answer. To represent 350 million people there are 100 senators, 535 congressfolks and 9 supremes.

In order to get a valid sample among 330m people you need 2400+ respondents. With the amount of money involved in the economy business can easily buy 100 senators and 530 odd congressfolk.

2400 congressfolk would obviously be unwieldy (and probably would end up in a 1200/1200 bipolar tie - LOL) but, hey, we have the inter-freaking-net. I can directly vote on local propositions. Why can't I vote on "everything that matters." My congressfolk and senators can form law and debate law and inform their constituents how to vote, but the constituents vote directly just like local referendum.

Never gonna happen - So we have a ruling class basically making up the rules for all of us - The Baron class.

The Supremes should be "different." They are trained lawyers and all they are doing is interpreting a law against a standard, right? Not in my opinion.

Clearly every supreme is affected by their own bias. They are also pulled from anywhere. What if there were 1 supreme for each state? In the case of a tie, tie goes to the runner - i.e. whatever the status quo is stands. We have way too much power in the hands of these 9 farts and they definitely are not representing the will of the people. There sould be term limits on supremes of like 10 years. They can run over and over but they need a referendum every 10 years

President can still nominate, congress can recommend but the people of the state get to confirm the selection on a simple up/down vote.

Never gonna happen - The supremes are influenced by party and religion - it's broken.

We have perverted a decent system of government through influence and money. Debate it all day long but business and (mostly) white religion runs America. Buying influence in congress by donations to campaigns. Look at any congressfolk's net worth at first election vs. second and beyond - This money ain't coming from a family trust.

The framers did not see that perverted influence on the government could come from within.

OK - enough of "my" background on our political system - basically it is no longer working for the people and the people are getting more and ore pissed off - First sign of empire collapse is civil unrest. Not among the poor but among the middle classes - who actually are educated and vote.

The young America spent some time getting rid of the French and British and was opportunistic in getting rid of the Spanish while acquiring some of their territories but the US was a reluctant occupier. It was important to have a forward base in Asia - the Philippines, control of the Panama canal and Guam as a mid ocean stepping stone.

Rather than occupy foreign lands with governor's and government, the US placed bases and left the locals to run the countries.

Maintaining an occupying force is super expensive. In fact there is diminishing return on the good(s) one gets vs. the cost of occupation. Eventually the middle and upper middle classes are taxed heavily to support a government overseas and the military to defend it.

This is largely what happened to the Romans. They could not afford to police all the territory they had and it was easier to let stuff go than to fight endless wars in far away places. Then when you aren't drawing all those taxes and resources your middle class is burdened with more taxes and/or the economy shrinks and you eventually whiter away.

Great Britain had far flung bricks and mortar everywhere and relatively weak military presence. They also had very few natural resources at home. Once they got into WWII with Germany, almost losing the battle of Britain, they were in big trouble. The UK had already issued a ton of war bonds to finance WWI and in WWII they were a little more creative encouraging the population to save and then borrowing from the banks. This debt basically had the UK in handcuffs throughout WWII and beyond. They also incurred huge debt through the lend lease programs with the US. When Japan go into the war the empire was basically over and the UK probably didn't recover until after the boom boom 90's. Additionally once foreign territories were lost and/or disrupted the resources needed to wage war were scarce.

The US has vast natural resources and in the mid 20th century would have been all but impossible to invade or isolate. It's clear that the US' ability to produce vast amounts of war machinery never left the outcome of WWII in doubt. The game board could play in a few different ways but ultimately the US could not lose.

The US imposed taxes to fund the civil war and a few other skirmishes. It wasn't until WWI the 16th amendment and WWII that the burden really began to weigh heavy on the population.

Not only did they start collecting income tax there was a "victory tax" of 5% from 1942-1944 (which was replaced with different tax). WWI cost the US about $30b dollars. In addition to personal income taxes the US raised about $185b in War Bonds to fund WWII. By the end of the war the US was spending about 40% of GDP on the military.

Of course no one dropped taxes after the war and the government became addicted to taxation.

The canary in the coal mine that wars are expensive. In today's dollars:

WWII - $4 Trillion

Iraq - $1 Trillion

Afghanistan - $1 Trillion

It's one thing to look at defense spending in "peace time" but kick in a major conflict and even the mighty US economy can be put on its knees, at the expense of taxation on the population. i.e. the middle class. This is what happened to Spain.

Post WWII the US enjoyed a king of the hill status. They were the only superpower and life was great in the 50's and 60's. The US had ample opportunity to take territory in a classic sense but chose to "invade by influence" - exporting US goods, culture and military bases. It became the new way to build an empire.

It is unprecedented in history that so many allies allow so many US bases on their dirt. The US is everywhere - hoping that mere presence is deterrent enough to avoid invasion or conflict. The US population is very attuned to the cost of war in terms of dollars and boy's lives. American's will not tolerate losses like were suffered in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

The cold war reinforced how the new game was played among superpowers. Stemming the tide of communism was fought in proxy wars in places like Korea, Vietnam, Cuba and Granada and later in the middle east. But over the last 50 years the US has demonstrated time and time again that they are terrible at "checkbook influence." Over and over again we have backed the wrong insurgent dictator/despot in dozens of countries and have failed to set up a US style democracy anywhere in the past 50 years. The Philippines came close with Aquino and People Power but guess what? They have a Marcos as their leader - LOL.

American kids don't fight for king, they don't fight for God (although he is on our side) and they don't fight for money (mercenaries). Those concepts don't work today. American kids fight for patriotism and "Freedom" - project our culture - Hooahhh! It's been a easy sell - We are the greatest nation, we won WWII, we are the protectors of freedom at home and abroad. Baloney...

We perverted the call to arms of, "We are fighting for freedom" - Not only did we convince ourselves that freedom starts at home - there is no conflict in the world where I can't convince the populace that going there and fighting for someone else's freedom protects our freedom at home. Or that our "job" is to go to war and set other peoples free - even if they don't want our style of freedom.

It's always been about power and control. Projecting our style of democracy because it is good for business and what's good for business is good for America. The problem is business is short cited and has no 50 year plan.

In the meantime, US business has permeated everywhere. The recent pandemic illuminated the lack of US manufacturing infrastructure - we've moved it to low cost poles. In the interest of "free trade" we have been allowed to ship 100s of 1000s of jobs overseas turning the continental US into largely a service economy. There is a huge income disparity and more and more of the cost of government is falling on the backs of the remaining middle class.

In the 1970's we got a wake up call on dependency on foreign oil and the handcuffs that OPEC could put is in. The boom-boom 80's and 90's in tech and the boomer-consumer masked underlying erosion of the infrastructure - the US doesn't even make computer chips ay more. No problem, we can all go to college (accumulating $1 trillion in student debt) and be knowledge workers!

The boom-boom years also brought out the worst in us as individuals and as a culture. We are no longer the welcome place for the poor, tired, huddled masses. "I'm alright Jack, keep your hands of of my stack." - Greed - The original tribal motivation. I have the opportunity to accumulate the most so screw everyone else. Envy - I see someone with more than me so I can take it at gun point. Sloth - A population that is distracted and placated by and endless stream of media while educational standards erode for the lower classes.

The richest country in the world cannot/will not provide health care for the masses. #1 cause of bankruptcy in American is medical debt - 62%. In the meantime bridges are collapsing and roads are in ruins.

And the population is not happy. They are totally stressed out and there is enough of the population with an insurrectionist mentality to let an attack on the US capitol happen from within.

Culturally and national unity-wise the US is in ruins.

China - The biggest winner since WWII is China. They play the long game. With 1.4 billion population they have a long way to go in terms of growth.

I am not a free trader. I am a protectionist/technologist. In the long run the only way to win is to sell more than you consume. The US has been on a backwards trend for a long time - The US debt grows exponentially. We import way more than we export and have for years and the biggest beneficiary is China.

While we are still cleaning up places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and the Crimea, China is continuing to build their military and promote their regional territorial desires.

Why did China want Honk Kong back? National pride? Hell no. They gained immediate control of Asia's largest financial hub. Their eyes are set squarely on Taiwan. Because Taiwan is a threat? Because of national unity? No way. There is a ton of high technology manufacturing and invention in Taiwan. Even if the US and others pull their businesses out, the local population already has the knowledge. Sure there is a territorial proximity thing but it's a lot more than that.

China also has it's sights on the China sea, the Spratley's and so on. Taiwan will fall and it's only a matter of time.

I don't think China has any long term goals on future Asia expansion - i.e. the Koreas, Thailand/Cambodia, the Malay Peninsula or Australia. I think they learned from our mistakes. When the population is against the occupation then grass roots insurrection follows. The Chinese themselves did it, the Vietnamese did it and it is playing out in a similar fashion in Iran and Afghanistan. Killing people is relatively easy - killing ideas is impossible.

But a fight is coming. China is clearly watching the world reaction to the Crimea. How far can Putin push before the US and NATO put troops on the ground?

Would the US put troops on the ground if China backed a North Korea invasion? Will the US go head to head with China if they started occupying contested areas in the south China sea? The Philippines certainly could do nothing about it?

A proxy war with China is on the horizon. If it gets into a bigger conflict the risk and question is, "Will it go tactical nuclear" and will China and the US target each other's homelands. Most likely it will be a proxy war like a Vietnam or Cuba or Grenada.

Because the continental US is the largest military base on the planet, I am convinced there will be a USA for a long time. But it will look more like England than the current US. The US influence overseas will wane and once the US exits the world stage the middle east will go insane, China will likely gobble up larger parts of Asia and even Europe may get into another shit fight.

So if I were king?

1 - Institute a VAT - make continental manufacturing competitive again while enjoying the current high standard of living

2 - Invest heavily in invention and tech - Free university on an academic scholarship basis.

3 - Reimagine the supreme court with term reconfirmation limits and state by state representation.

4 - Term limits for Senators and congressmen

5 - Eliminate all political funding that is not private citizen donations. i.e. eliminate PACS

6 - Eliminate the complexity of riders on house ad senate bills. Direct voting of key legislation by the population - i.e. each representative shall securely poll the citizen's they represent and vote according to their wishes.

7 - It's probably time to reimagine the electoral college. I fully believe that the states should have equal representative power but gerrymandering is a disease that is disenfranchising the poor and the minority.

8 - Return to a version of the Monroe Doctrine. Our military business should not extend beyond the Americas, the continental US and the Pacific and Atlantic rims. We can't afford to police the world and should not have to. Let the middle east sort itself out, or let Europe get involved, it's their back yard. Let the Europeans deal with Putin. The US is big enough to go head to head with any superpower without help. Any help from others in any conflict since 1980 has been notional at best.

(ETA - Forgot Taxes) - Institute a flat tax on personal and business income. Singapore has a 10% flat tax and scads of money to spend. One of the richest SEA countries with a high standard of living. Accompany this with a balanced budget amendment and limit military spending to a reasonable percentage of GDP, like 2-2.5% except in times of war. The US debt ceiling likewise should be capped based on a percentage of GDP.

Of course none of this is gonna happen but a boy can dream. None if this will go supernova in my lifetime. I'm gonna get out OK but the future? All I can say is expect what you don't expect.

History class is over - LOL...

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Dan Deutsch
Dan Deutsch
01 ago 2022

And this is why I think Biden gets it...

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