The US as Failed State
The Super Rich are Laughing
Paul Craig Roberts
Oct 26, 2009
thank you, Paul, for publication permission :-)
The US has every characteristic
of a failed state.
The US government's current
operating budget is dependent on foreign financing and money
Too politically weak to be
able to advance its interests through diplomacy, the US relies
on terrorism and military aggression.
Costs are out of control, and
priorities are skewed in the interests of rich organized
interest groups at the expense of the vast majority of citizens.
For example, war at all cost, which enriches the armaments industry,
the officer corps and the financial firms that handle the war's
financing, takes precedence over the needs of American citizens.
There is no money to provide the uninsured with health care,
but Pentagon officials have told the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee
in the House that every gallon of gasoline delivered to US troops
in Afghanistan costs American taxpayers $400.
"It is a number that we
were not aware of and it is worrisome," said Rep. John Murtha,
chairman of the subcommittee.
According to reports, the US
Marines in Afghanistan use 800,000 gallons of gasoline per day.
At $400 per gallon, that comes to a $320,000,000 daily
fuel bill for the Marines alone. Only a country totally out of
control would squander resources in this way.
While the US government squanders
$400 per gallon of gasoline in order to kill women and children
in Afghanistan, many millions of Americans have lost their jobs
and their homes and are experiencing the kind of misery that
is the daily life of poor third world peoples. Americans are
living in their cars and in public parks. America's cities, towns,
and states are suffering from the costs of economic dislocations
and the reduction in tax revenues from the economy's decline.
Yet, Obama has sent more troops to Afghanistan, a country half
way around the world that is not a threat to America.
It costs $750,000 per year
for each soldier we have in Afghanistan. The soldiers, who are
at risk of life and limb, are paid a pittance, but all of the
privatized services to the military are rolling in excess profits.
One of the great frauds perpetuated on the American people was
the privatization of services that the US military traditionally
performed for itself. "Our" elected leaders could not
resist any opportunity to create at taxpayers' expense private
wealth that could be recycled to politicians in campaign contributions.
Republicans and Democrats on
the take from the private insurance companies maintain that the
US cannot afford to provide Americans with health care and that
cuts must be made even in Social Security and Medicare. So how
can the US afford bankrupting wars, much less totally pointless
wars that serve no American interest?
The enormous scale of foreign
borrowing and money creation necessary to finance Washington's
wars are sending the dollar to historic lows. The dollar has
even experienced large declines relative to currencies of third
world countries such as Botswana and Brazil. The decline in the
dollar's value reduces the purchasing power of Americans' already
Despite the lowest level of
housing starts in 64 years, the US housing market is flooded
with unsold homes, and financial institutions have a huge and
rising inventory of foreclosed homes not yet on the market.
Industrial production has collapsed
to the level of 1999, wiping out a decade of growth in industrial
The enormous bank reserves
created by the Federal Reserve are not finding their way into
the economy. Instead, the banks are hoarding the reserves as
insurance against the fraudulent derivatives that they purchased
from the gangster Wall Street investment banks.
The regulatory agencies have
been corrupted by private interests. Frontline reports that Alan
Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers blocked Brooksley
Born, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from
regulating derivatives. President Obama rewarded Larry Summers
for his idiocy by appointing him Director of the National Economic
Council. What this means is that profits for Wall Street will
continue to be leeched from the diminishing blood supply of the
An unmistakable sign of third
world despotism is a police force that sees the pubic as the
enemy. Thanks to the federal government, our local police forces
are now militarized and imbued with hostile attitudes toward
the public. SWAT teams have proliferated, and even small towns
now have police forces with the firepower of US Special Forces.
Summons are increasingly delivered by SWAT teams that tyrannize
citizens with broken down doors, a $400 or $500 repair born by
the tyrannized resident. Recently a mayor and his family were
the recipients of incompetence by the town's local SWAT team,
which mistakenly wrecked the mayor's home, terrorized his family,
and killed the family's two friendly Labrador dogs.
If a town's mayor can be treated
in this way, what do you think is the fate of the poor white
or black? Or the idealistic student who protests his government's
In any failed state, the greatest
threat to the population comes from the government and the police.
That is certainly the situation today in the USA. Americans have
no greater enemy than their own government. Washington is controlled
by interest groups that enrich themselves at the expense of the
The one percent that comprise
the superrich are laughing as they say, "let them eat cake."
Oct 22, 2009
Paul Craig Roberts
was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.
He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page
and Contributing Editor of National Review.
M. Stratton he is coauthor of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions.
He can be reached
Paul Craig Roberts. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.