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U.S. in Crossroad

I remember in early 1960s, I read a book of short stories of science fiction from Eastern Europe in which one portrayed the future of mankind as one bloated capitalist lamenting that he owned everything with robots manufacturing products which no one can afford to buy, in fact the planet is dying with him as the last one. I also read the Michael Lewis book “The Big Short”, in which few have any idea of the coming mortgage failures which triggered the 07-08 financial crisis.
This January the stock markets in U.S. are in turmoil. It’s estimated more than $2 trillion in wealth were lost. This also comes as a complete surprise to all experts. Some economists and market analysts blamed it on China, Chinese stock market, oil price drop, while others consider it normal and totally unreasonable, that is clueless. And the confusion extends to politics. On one hand Donald Trump dominating the Republican polls, with him wanting to impose 45% tariffs on Chinese imports, build a wall to keep out Mexicans and Muslims. On the other hand Bernie Sanders threatening to impose socialism policies on Wall Street and the polls have him leading Hillary Clinton on the Democrats. With Iowa Caucus 10 days away, how do we connect the dots to make any sense?
Marx in his analysis of Capital foretold the struggle between capital and labor, the spreading chasm between rich and poor, the income inequality, globalization, extraction of surplus value from labor and nature to the detriment of both, and eventually the lack of investment opportunities and diminishing return with profit as motive. Now that his predictions seem to all come to pass one by one. Wages for U.S. workers have been stagnant for the last 40 years. Supreme Court is about to deal a crippling blow to government labor unions by making union due check off no longer mandatory in those few states that allow them. People are angry and turn both to right and left. Despite some positive responses to $15 minimum wages in some cities, I suspect U.S. may be turned to billionaires ruling directly rather than proxy as Trump triumphs.

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  1. ltlee1
    January 24th, 2016 at 19:28 | #1

    The US will have its fourth turning. Probably soon. The book “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous…Dec 29, 1997 by William Strauss and Neil Howe” was written 18 years ago is intriguing. The authors explained cycles of history based on US demography. You can download a review from the following page.

    http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol7/iss2/17

    Other books dwelling on the upcoming economic crash based on US history and demography are
    “The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America–and What We Can Do to Stop It”
    “The Demographic Cliff: How to Survive and Prosper During the Great Deflation Ahead”

  2. N.M.Cheung
    February 10th, 2016 at 08:27 | #2

    Well New Hampshire has spoken, Sanders and Trump won. Now U.S. establishment is in a panic, with middle under squeeze from left and right. While Supreme Court is dealing setbacks to Obama on his authority in climate change and immigration. Given the setup in Supreme Court, I think the most important job for the next president is the appointments for Supreme Court. Young and liberals are in euphoria in Clinton’s defeat. My political philosophy is more toward Sanders, but having experienced McGovern’s defeat in ’68, I suspect they will be in disillusion come November even if they manage to unseat Clinton, not to mention the darkness when the next Supreme Court vacancies occur.

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