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I'll pitch in here with Venezuela. Short answer is that it seems to be a proper army (unlike Iraq) that is well trained and equipped (S300).
Yes, USA is strangling Venezuela, making it somewhat lose it's ability for sustained resistance, but even as such Venezuela packs too much of a punch, it would be a costly endeavor for the US and would probably not be a successful operation.
On the other hand you have the less than ideal state of the US military, navy especially. The US is currently not able to deploy in such a scale needed to enforce regime change in the time needed (several weeks) that Venezuela would't notice and prepare.
Also US regional vassals, most notably Columbia have a paper army incapable of real support and would get shredded against a determined (galvanized by being attacked) enemy. Also such an attack would have to come from Columbia which would not by any measure have domestic popular support for any such recklessness.
Finally the US is still hoping that the fifth column, or their puppet president Guido will amount to something. The elites are showing more faith in this guy than almost anything domestically.
Basically the US isn't crushing Venezuela right now because it cannot do it.
Thanks, Mr. Azanjac. That makes a lot of sense. But what would prevent the US from doing a Soleimani-type assassination, just as an example, or a Syria-style missile attack on important infrastructure, in Venezuela on the usual fabricated pretext as a means to heat up the internal chaos? I would think that, if the US goal is to take over Venezuelan oil, these destabilization projects will escalate, which we have seen with the ramming of the patrol boat and the recently foiled plot. Maybe you already answered this question, but how much of Venezuela would the US need to control to get Big Oil in there taking things over? I only ask because it seems to me the US is in truly desperate need for some type of asset-rich country to chew up and digest, and they only control a third of Syria, which gives them essentially full control of the oil assets there, such as they are.
I honestly don't know what prevents them from another terrorist style Soleimani assassination. There should be plenty of reasons like common sense but that's the first thing out the door.
I guess primarily they still wish to preserve SOME form of legitimacy in the coup that they wish that happens. If they outright kill the guy it's gonna be really hard to spin in in any grassroots fashion.
The other, and more realistic reason (not exclusive for the first) is that the US simply can't do it. Keep in mind that Soleimani was murdered in Iraq, where the US has one hell of a presence (almost full occupation) and free access to airspace, bases, just full out infrastructure. In Venezuela it has none of that. And Soleimani got killed outside of his own country, so they would only hope for doing it in another country but I don't see Maduro going to any of their hardcore vassal states (Columbia, Canada, Bolivia nowdays) where such ations can be organized.
Regarding missile attacks those happened only after staged chemical attacks. Hard to get a white helmets style Al Qaida front setup in a sovereign state. That has been the US playbook, sure they can just outright bomb a country without even the false pretext, and there are those in favor of such actions, but that would backfire as much as the Soleimani hit did. Even they know that. Also it's very important to stress that Venezuela has S300 fully functional.
Lastly the US really doesn't need any more oil (especially now). It is happy so far with starving those who do have it by imposing sanctions. It's all about the Monroe doctrine and having South america be it's back yard where they dominate absolutely, and the US has a ton of these nasty tricks to subvert sovereign nations. They spring up from time to time (actually all the time if left on their own) and the US sees its job to squash those countries. So far it's business as usual for the US, they expect this to work with enough time and Venezuela doesn't yet cause them any real reason to go full operation >sovereign country< freedom.
What assets Venezuela has that USA can benefit from? Oil? What is the oil price today?
> Also, really, how long would it take to relocate important industries to the US?
I think it is a preposterous question. The real quesiton how you gonna relocate the markets for in-USA industries?
Okay, you hired mexicans or turkeys or chineses, they built you a new shiny factory, it even produced some glamourous box, and...
....and that box is gathering dust in Walmart, because next shelf to it there is the same box made-in-Far-East at half the price!
What you gonna do about THAT ? ...and it will be going all while USD is kept overpriced.
As i see it, you have two options, as in "required condition" (but not neccesarily sufficient one)
1. USSR way: make USD non-convertible and set very strict controls at floodgates, keep cracking down on any foreign trade except for goverment-vetted bare minimum. (competitiveness was not the primary reason of it, but one of it was)
2. Capitalistic way: let USD crash until its true value found and production in USA becomes competitive with ones in China and Vietnam.
Even this might be not enough, but those are required for even trying.
Both options however would be infringing one way or another on the priviliged American style of life.
Basically America should be honestly turned into the second world or the third world for some hope (but no waranties) to emerge.
Now, with Trump's crack-down on mexicans Americans got a load of vacant working places in farmers fields - did they took those? Or were they way too exceptional for such a boring and lowly work?
Will Trump and GOPs dare to use Covid excuse to kill American Ponzi economy, before it collapse on its own?
> Wouldn't that need to be a multi-generational project because you can;t turn baristas into machinists over night?
First of all those baristas would have to accept that their salary - as measured in Wallmart off the shelf goods - had shrunk many times. And that they are out for survival in Wild Wild West, where making one's own 2-3 persons business - and finding any niche for it, just any - is not a fashion but a chance at survival.
Did you read Gone With The Wind?
North's invasion killed South's economy.
Then Scarlett, never having much of a culture anyway, not being that refined lady, just luckily sees a demand and uses new slave labor to kick-start her new business, one very few in the whole city.
In those "holy 1990s" me and dad survived by buying 40kg cement bags, moving them into a shack (last 30 meters by hands and a cart), and then splitting them into 1kg bags (by kid's scoop), sealing them with makeshift hot wire, and then hiring our mate with a small truck to race around Moscow stores and selling them those.
Cement dust all around, primitive work, radio for entertainment.
> at the very sight of your average run-of-the-mill CNC machine
The fuck! i would had seen CNC machine a priviliged work, clean and interesting and rewarding!
But sadly there was no market for most anything CNC machines could do.
So that is it, when your nextdoor Americans will start outcompeting illegals in job market, then there will be a chance for USA to start it all over again.
Good thing, it will not be "multi-generational". Like it was shown in Gone With The Wind, BTW.
Those "who will not fit the market will just die off" (c), sooner or later.
In gang on gang shootouts, or of alcoholism or of homelessness, that varies.
Those who did fit - will go on.
10-20 years will suffice.
Wow, Mr. Arioch. That's an amazing post. Thanks for all that. It's a great deal to think about. I especially like the reference to Gone With The Wind. I will watch it now with new eyes, thanks to you. Take care, brother.
I did not watch the movie. For all the beauty of Vivienne Lei, she is never 16yo girl. This kept knocking me out of "willing suspension of disbelief" every time i tried.
And every movie is neccesarily shorter than book, they add visuals but they always shorten both time required for consumption and inner thoughts, etc.
So, i can not say to which extent those ideas were left in the movie. In the book they are spelled out, and you can find the book online and read at your own pace page after page
Thanks, Mr. Arioch, as always. Very moved by your story of the home-based cement business.
It was not at home, it was a corner in some hangar. Not the aviation kind of hangar, just some half-cylinder metallic construction. Like this: https://lstkgood.ru/angar-m...
Most of it was rented by some furniture shop, it was half-depot half exhibition. And few small spots were leased to different riffrafs. We rented a farthest corner, like 5x5 metres or a bit more, separated it by hanging some PVC "canvases" and worked there on weekends, or in lucky times up to 4 days a week.
You, generally, got it right.
Thanks, Mr. Smoothie.
Economic self-sufficiency which is also a foundation of REAL national security starts from industry. No industry--no American nation. Simple as that.
The very idea of an American nation has all but been destroyed. The very people who built the US have been vilified and many within this group have gone along with it. The problem is beyond material. America is suffering from a psycho-social ailment. It is at least 2 or 3 different cultures within the borders of one country. Even if industries were brought back what purpose would they serve? Hedonism, self-worship, and consumerism are the new trinity of many within the elite and a great many in the so called middle class. I doubt economic self-sufficiency is possible let alone long-suffering given the absence of purpose and meaning in people's lives. The secular reigns supreme over the sacred.
Trump found a 42% that has held for four years.He probably has added a few points among Blacks, Latinos and some Asian-Americans.
I tend to think these people, three generations worth, are equipped to fulfill production jobs. They like to work. They have some skills. They even have learned some things in the military that are valuable. They show up for work. If paid a living wage and some benefits, they buy homes and cars and obey all the local laws.
The other half is into your new trinity. About 37% or so. A lot of Gen X. They want their life streamed to them.
The ones in the middle of these have money or have all the welfare they need.
I noticed in your various postings that you have a sort of contempt for programmers. Can you please elaborate on the matter?
I am a software engineer and I can assure you that I am not offended by what you write, I just want to know the experiences that make you come to this conclusion.
As you know, you need someone to write the code for Facebook and "automatic stock brokers" but also for the chip that controls your washing machine to avionics and spacecraft. Though I do agree with you, "products" like Facebook are over-hyped to say the least and iPhones are simply newer tools for communication.
I can only speak from my experience which is a bit limited as I come from a small country which until recently had a hard time getting on the latest "trends" (I miss those days) and I am of an age where when we were teenagers being a farmer, working at bakeries making bread or in construction, roadworks etc was not only allowed but you were frowned upon if you did not work during the summer holidays.
In the early 2000s I took a post-grad course in "E-commerce Engineering" which was offered by the Electronic Engineering department of the university instead of the Computing department. The reason I chose it was a chat with the Dean of the EE department, where he told me the name was simply what marketing suggested as they had to attract students and that the curriculum was every bit of engineering as they could muster. And it was - I learned about satellites and their orbits / bands / ranges. I learned how to design the infrastructure for cellular communications for a big city and to calculate the interference between frequencies for neighbouring towers. I learned how to calculate losses from long-range cable transmission based on the material of the cable and it's shielding and the geometry of the installation. About quantum encryption and how it works from the physics point of view. Lots and lots of maths involved; looking back I had to solve 1000 times more equations than lines of code I wrote during the course. But it was worth it :)
In my view, if a programmer has his eyes open and is open minded, the first time her will work on a banking project will understand the term "money out of thin air".
I will agree with you on the subject of heavy industry, as you keep describing it.Not all countries have the means to do it for sure, and personally I would love to write software for avionics. Or for any useful machine for that matter, I get along better with them :)
I noticed in your various postings that you have a sort of contempt for programmers.
I absolutely DO NOT have contempt for programmers, what I have a contempt for is for a corporate FB, Amazon, Microsoft etc. "culture" based upon programmers who are fully involved in a promotion of social agenda based on their, most of the time highly limited and perverted view of the society. Enough to take at Bill gates. That--I do have a contempt for. I am also a professional witness to a "self-licking ice cream cone" paradigm emanating from this corporate structure and attached social agenda, but I absolutely appreciate the work serious programmers do in order to run modern civilization.
But Bill Gates is NOT programmer :-D
Apologies Smoothie, should have used a better word instead of contempt.
Other than that, fully agree on the social agenda and corporations. And if you want to see perversion, try talking to a US educated psychologist.
And a topic for a future discussion...the use of computerization in more and more...lets say traditional aspects of warfare.I am not talking about AI here, just the trend to add more and more computers in a limited space. One can understand the need for serious signal processing in an AD complex, however what happened to the simplicity of tanks for example. Compare the interior of a T-80 with Leclerc for example.
Often I wonder if modern soldiers are trained to function with "master switch off"
It is practically impossible for the US to recover as a manufacturing nation. The skills are gone, the education and training has gone, the culture will not accept it, and anyway it would be massively more expensive than buying superior goods at a cheaper price - think cars, for example. The US is massively behind the curve; I read recently that China has more robots producing stuff than the rest of the world combined. And what robots are working in the US have likely been put in by Daimler or BMW - and be Chinese made robots.
The US may try and break its dependency on China - say to Vietnam or India - but have any of those idiots suggesting this been to Vietnam or India. You see an awful lot of Chinese companies there manufacturing stuff. So changing the Made in China label to Made in Vietnam label changes nothing.
According to latest stats only 16% of Chinese exports go to the US. If this went to zero it would be a short term problem for China, but a massive blow for the US. Its not just the cheap shit that ends up in Walmart, there are few end products that don't have parts made in China, and realistically changing that is impossible. I keep repeating that all China has to do is stop exporting to the US and in a week of so the US would be on its knees. Oh, and its a myth that China is ripping off US IP - maybe in the past, but now the future is out east. Think 5G; its a given that the countries with the best infrastructure will prosper.
A Boydian winner is someone who can adapt and learn to make better and better decisions that gives them a competitive survival advantage. And, the 4 building blocks of competitive advantage for a corporation or nation state are quality, efficiency, innovation and customer/citizen responsiveness. In my opinion China is a few light years ahead of America and Trump is whistling past the hegemony graveyard.
With this elite nothing good is going to happen. So, there must be elites thinking along Andrei lines, but here comes the question of power. To push measures necessary to industrialize those new elite must have power and not in a sense like Trump has or rather not...
Smells like revolutionary coup is needed to safe USA.
With this elite nothing good is going to happen.
Exactly. It is systemic, including cultural and educational.
"revolutionary coup" - oximoron, there aint no such a thing.
There is palace coup, or there is all-the-wrold-upside-down revolution.
The latter is not possible until all the regular americans will be ready for boring manual labor.
When fellow Americans will startt en masse outcompete Mexicans in farmers fields - then there can be some talk of revolutions.
Right of now, what would your new American dictator do exactly, order National Guards to fire chainguns and force ALL the Americans into CWA/PWA labor camps? He won't pull it out today, even if such camps existed.
"rampant drug use"
Since many commentators here live in America and have a pretty good comparison with other places, how would you rank in terms of which one is more harmful to the US:
1) War on drugs - Reagan and Bush senior style
2) Open marijuana use (Colorado, California)
Smothie does often bring up the point that USA is too drugged up, so was the war on drugs the proper course of action?
For what its worth I think that legitimizing that aspect up is overall good, well at least the lesser of the two evils.
Having harsher penalties for drug use would likely work, as it has in some part of the Philippines. Marijuana has all sorts of negative side effects for young people, especially young men. Most important one being lowered testosterone. If the goal is dumb people down and limit the growth of the population than legalized drugs are the way to go as part of a wider plan.
Imagine how huge the US economy would be if Americans got paid for eating the horseshit narratives that the Big Brother BS state crams down their throat.
American's needs to learn how to produce effective citizens of real character and a real work ethic before their economy can ever produce real things instead of "real corporate profits" created with debt.
Modern permissiveness and the new culture of entitlement allows disturbed people to reach adulthood without proper socialization. In a book meant both for the general public and for professionals, bestselling author and psychologist George Simon explains in plain English:
•How most disturbed characters think.
•The habitual behaviors the disturbed use to avoid responsibility and to manipulate, deceive, and exploit others.
•Why victims in relationships with disturbed characters do not get help they need from traditional therapies.
•A straightforward guide to recognizing and understanding all relevant personality types, especially those most likely to undermine relationships.
•A new framework for making sense of the crazy world many find themselves in when there's a disturbed character in their lives.
•Concrete principles that promote responsibility and positive change when engaging disturbed characters.
•Tactics (for both lay persons and therapists) to lessen the chances for victimization and empower those who would otherwise be victims in their relationships with many types of disturbed characters.
Looks like the US government will pay all costs for relocation of US factories out of China.
This leaves all the service corporations there. And under the new trade agreement, the insurance, banking and wealth management service corporations. They ain't going nowhere. They have been trying for 20+ years to get into that market.
And most of the US corporations manufacturing products don't want to come to the US. They will try to go to Mexico and Vietnam (not enough skilled labor and factory space left in Nam, and the Chinese were the first to outsource to VN.).
The cheap labor is Bangladesh and Myanmar. Both have political issues which rates them far less stable than Vietnam or China.
The question is will Buy American Made be enough to entice Americans to pay 15-20% more for everything they buy at Home Depot, Walmart or from Amazon. I don't think so. First of all, buying American Made used to be about Quality. Think Craftsman. Think Harley-Davidson. American products, brand names, no longer sell quality. The brand name is meaningless to executives and shareholders. Bottom line, quarterly profits are all that matters.
And China knows how to compete with quality where necessary.
The reality is Alibaba may be shipping in products through Canada or Mexico at discount to American Made. It will be very tough to tariff either now that they have the new USMCA deal signed and set for a decade.
Looks like the US government will pay all costs for relocation of US factories out of China.
Let me fix it for you: the US government will print non-existing money for relocation;)) Moreover, while decoupling is understandable, it is not going to be 15-20% more expensive, it will be much more than that. Incidentally, Walmart is a great place to see the difference, especially in pharmacy isles.
Here's an important question to mull over: How many Americans will never work again when the "economy"gets back and the virus is no longer a factor?
The Dems want to just send people checks instead of them working.
The Conservatives want to limit employment and replace people with robots.
Most of the manufacturing that returns will be robotized heavily.
And who is going to pay for those goods produced by these robots? If people have no jobs they have no means to buy those goods. Also, I believe the time of consumption based economy is over. We do not need that much stuff to be just fine.
Who will produce the robots?
Printing press money. Checks sent to people like the PPP checks of $1200. Except it will be permanent.
It's simple. Ask Bernie Sanders. Free Stuff, especially $$$.
I see solution in socialism. Capitalism had had its day and they day was long time ago. Resources and markets left from USSR and eastern block collapse bought some time and then creative accounting and financing but the truth is upon us. Capitalism is unreformable and had fulfilled its role long time ago.
Actually the longer we stick with it the worse it will be.
And America legitimises the voodoo economy, with a typical American acronym. "Non-GAAP" financial reporting.
It's doublespeak for financial book cooking that misleads investors but it's legal tp call it "non GAAP".
Back in 2000 they called it pro forma earnings.
Most of the manufacturing that returns will be robotized heavily.
Not necessarily. Levi's jeans, before they were "shipped" to Mexico, were being sewn same way in the US as they do it Mexico today. Assembly of microelectronics or assembly of the aircraft cannot be robotized by modern means. In the end, machine operations also require supervision, sometimes very serious in numbers. So, it is not as linear as one might think.
Understood. And robots need maintenance, repair, replacements, and reprogramming. That will become a nice new sector for skilled, knowledgeable people. Until robots replace them too.
...which will give birth to new demands and thus new jobs.
There is nothing new in Luddism.
Need a graph from 1945 to the present.
Choose "Max" option and enjoy.
So, is it correct that the DNC had some kind of Obama-era "chi-merica" project to further their globalist, neolib project -- as it became obvious that the US was never going to be able to pull off the unipolar Empire -- into the new century with a sort of US/China alliance, with a substantial US aligned fifth-column (if that's the right phrase) working in China to further the project? Then Trump came in a screwed that all up, trying to pretend to be friendly to Russia, which the DNC promptly scuttled. And now the net result is Russia and China growing relations, which is a very real nightmare for the US, the absolute worst possible outcome for the globalists? Probably I have this all ass-backwards. Also, really, how long would it take to relocate important industries to the US? Wouldn't that need to be a multi-generational project because you can;t turn baristas into machinists over night? Also, what prevents the US from taking over Venezuela right now, militarily, instead of those apparently poorly organized attempts to infiltrate with mercenaries, as was recently revealed?