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The Collapsing US Economy And The End of The World

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In a recent column, "Can The World Survive Washington's Hubris," I promised to examine whether the US economy will collapse before Washington in its pursuit of world hegemony brings us into military confrontation with Russia and China. This is likely to be an ongoing subject on this site, so this column will not be the final word.

Washington has been at war since October, 2001, when President George W. Bush concocted an excuse to order the US invasion of Afghanistan. This war took a back seat when Bush concocted another excuse to order the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a war that went on without significant success for eight years and has left Iraq in chaos with dozens more killed and wounded every day, a new strong man in place of the illegally executed former strongman, and the likelihood of the ongoing violence becoming civil war.

Upon his election, President Obama foolishly sent more troops to Afghanistan and renewed the intensity of that war, now in its 11th year, to no successful effect.

These two wars have been expensive. According to estimates by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, when all costs are counted the Iraq invasion cost US taxpayers $3 trillion dollars. Ditto for the Afghan war. In other words, the two gratuitous wars doubled the US public debt. This is the reason there is no money for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the environment, and the social safety net.

Americans got nothing out of the wars, but as the war debt will never be paid off, US citizens and their descendants will have to pay interest on $6,000 billion of war debt in perpetuity.

Not content with these wars, the Bush/Obama regime is conducting military operations in violation of international law in Pakistan, Yemen, and Africa, organized the overthrow by armed conflict of the government in Libya, is currently working to overthrow the Syrian government, and continues to marshall military forces against Iran.

Finding the Muslim adversaries Washington created insufficient for its energies and budget, Washington has encircled Russia with military bases and has begun the encirclement of China. Washington has announced that the bulk of its naval forces will be shifted to the Pacific over the next few years, and Washington is working to re-establish its naval base in the Philippines, construct a new one on a South Korean island, acquire a naval base in Viet Nam, and air and troop bases elsewhere in Asia.

In Thailand Washington is attempting to purchase with the usual bribes an air base used in the Vietnam war. There is opposition as the country does not wish to be drawn into Washington's orchestrated conflict with China. Downplaying the real reason for the airbase, Washington, according to Thai newspapers, told the Thai government that the base was needed for "humanitarian missions." This didn't fly, so Washington had NASA ask for the air base in order to conduct "weather experiments." Whether this ruse is sufficient cover remains to be seen.

US Marines have been sent to Australia and elsewhere in Asia.

To corral China and Russia (and Iran) is a massive undertaking for a country that is financially busted. With wars and bankster bailouts, Bush and Obama have doubled the US national debt while failing to address the disintegration of the US economy and rising hardships of US citizens.

The charts below are courtesy of www.shadowstats.com

The annual US budget deficit is adding to the accumulated debt at about $1.5 trillion per year with no prospect of declining. The financial system is broken and requires ongoing bailouts. The economy is busted and has been unable to create high-paying jobs, indeed any jobs. Despite years of population growth, payroll employment as of mid-2012 is the same as in 2005 and substantially below 2008. Yet, the government and financial presstitute media tell us that we have a recovery.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in 2011 was only 1 million more than in 2002. As it takes about 150,000 new jobs each month to stay even with population growth, that leaves a decade-long job deficit of 15 million jobs.

The US unemployment and inflation rates are far higher than reported. In previous columns I have explained, based on statistician John Williams' work (shadowstats.com), the reasons that the government's headline numbers are serious understatements. The headline (U3) unemployment rate of 8.2% counts no discouraged workers who have given up on finding a job. The government has a second unemployment rate (U6), seldom reported, which includes short-term discouraged workers. That rate is 15%. When the long-term discouraged workers are added in, the current US unemployment rate is 22%, a number closer to the unemployment rate of the Great Depression than to the unemployment rates of postwar recessions.

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http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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Kedep up the great work.Thank you.... by bogi666 on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 12:35:22 PM
As always........This article was in today's paper... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 1:07:31 PM
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the link under 'Article'... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 2:51:48 PM
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Very possibly no one. However, I cannot for t... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jul 9, 2012 at 1:53:43 PM
I'll certainly vote for his ass, he's the only one... by SwamperTom on Monday, Jul 9, 2012 at 3:37:51 PM
Thanks for the great articles. I read everything y... by Janet Gaudiello on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 3:29:53 PM
Great article.  Everyone I talk to agrees wit... by Ernie Messerschmidt on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 4:02:21 PM
As a a Socialist I find it very disconcerting tha... by Jack Heart on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 4:33:08 PM
Could someone please point me to specific articles... by Roland Michel Tremblay on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 4:42:12 PM
Well Roland we can start by putting the criminals... by Jack Heart on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 4:51:56 PM
First we citizens of the United States need to fac... by Patricia Gray on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 9:41:36 PM
And anybody on here who supports Mr.Roberts needs... by Jack Heart on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 4:47:35 PM
Obama has been aggressively pushing for even more ... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 6:46:33 PM
I cannot doubt even though it is terribly difficul... by Walter J Smith on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 7:28:32 PM
The article above represents a studied overview of... by Ray Tapajna on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 7:36:17 PM
I used to think that Rick Perry, Governor of Texas... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 9:22:24 PM
The only flaw is that Mr. Roberts like most people... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Jul 8, 2012 at 9:30:04 PM
Uhh wasn't the takeover of Afghanistan so that the... by SwamperTom on Monday, Jul 9, 2012 at 9:47:59 AM
The following are 70 facts that Barack Obama does... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Jul 9, 2012 at 8:21:46 AM
As has happened so often in the past, in so many d... by Norman Harman on Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012 at 4:23:03 PM