“I expect my government to lie to me. I’m comfortable with that.”Lewis Black
Vietnam ruined this country and continues to do so today. The fake news Washington Post is in the middle of a series entitled “Lessons Learned” about a long-concealed Pentagon study of the same name about the Afghan War, longest in the nation’s history.
Bottom line: 18-plus years of freakin’ lyin’ from Presidents Bush the Lesser, Barack the Accommodatrix and The Trump Who Stole Christmas. (Get the NYTimes cartoon of Czar Donaldov as the Grinch. Please. You’ll want to make Christmas cards.)
I heard a commentary on NPR Monday evening where some guy stated that the best economists at some megabank predict only a one in five chance of falling into recession by mid-2020. I guess that’s correct because it’s already here. The big boys who get paid to keep stock prices up always say somesuch before Wall Street’s house of cards collapses.
If you want to know whassup, just read Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in the Times and Robert Barone in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Corporate earnings are slumping, a serious red flag of recession. Actually, as I noted early last year and have been proven correct, the U.S. started on a downhill slide in the third quarter of 2018. Europe is now in full-blown recession and the American stock market, manipulated by high-speed computerized trading, bears no relationship to reality on the ground.
Monday brought news of the death of former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, 92. Appointed by President Carter to break the back of inflation, he did so by tightening interest and available money and thus caused a double-dip recession in 1978-80. King Ronald the Vague turned into a triple-dip before Volcker loosened the reins in 1982 leading to what the late Louis Rukeyser accurately predicted as the decade of the common stock.
None of the Volcker obits I’ve seen thus far note the cause of the rampant inflation of 50 years ago: Vietnam. NevadaLabor.com is the only online repository I know of economist Pierre Rinfret’s 1966 Look Magazine interview which accurately predicted what befell Carter and Volcker.
Military spending is “the equivalent of throwing dollars into the ocean,” Rinfret said, adding that warbucks are the very definition of inflationary fuel.
Tanks may create one-shot jobs for Pentagon contractors, but don’t produce anything. Spend the same resources building tractors and they will plow returns back into the economy for decades to come.
I’ve written about this more times than I can count. Yes, before we cut the Pentagon in half, we need substantial re-training and redirection of the economy because so many communities, Nevada among the worst, are so addicted to the drug addiction of military money. Inflation remains problematic, just under-reported by the feds. When all else fails, cook the books. Kinda like…
The “Lessons Learned” report apparently reveals that the architects of the Afghan War, their successors and underlings have long been aware of what the Soviets learned when Afghanistan became their Vietnam. It’s a quagmire with no solution.
Seventy-four Afghani men, women and children died every day last August. We have wasted the lives of 2,400 soldiers and it’s our own damned fault. Thanks to Rep. Charlie Wilson of Texas, we supplied Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Osama bin Laden and the Mujahadeen. (See the 2007 Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts film “Charlie Wilson’s War.”)
The Russians left Afghanistan soon afterward. The late Mr. Wilson hisself admitted that kicking out the Russians and leaving a power vacuum was a serious mistake. Which led to the Taliban taking over the country and bin Laden using it as a staging area for 9/11. (The thuggish Taliban accomplished what no one else, including us, could: peace. The country has been at constant war for decades and at least the bastards were able to calm things down for a few years. And they seriously curtailed opium production until we brought it back.)
Combined with Bush the Lesser’s phony war in Iraq, we’re roughly on the flipside of a trillion dollars down the hellhole. The cancer spreads while the Satan and Vladimir Putin laugh in their vodka.
And so millions of U.S. children go to bed hungry every night. UNR students can’t afford enough to eat. The homeless populate the parklands of Sparks and Reno and no one but this raggedy writer has proposed a workable solution. (See “Reno City Council Passes Rent Control” July 17, 2019.)
All this institutionalized oppression has left the country in serious disarray. The stage is set for the rise of new Franklin Roosevelt because Great Depression2 looms. Best evidence: Every retail sales insert in last Sunday’s Reno Kazoo-Journal offered huge discounts up to 80 percent before Christmas. I haven’t seen that since the mid-1970s, which led to the election of Jimmy Carter which led to Mr. Volcker. RC Willey has resorted to giving away hot dogs!
The only silver lining: As a rule of thumb, when the economy slides in the second quarter of a presidential election year, the party in power gets ousted. Which will again prove the cycles of history correct that Trump is a mere aberration, as predicted in the 2-19-2016 Barbwire.
I’m taking bar bets. Meanwhile, buy gold.
ADIOS, BROTHER. Just before presstime came word that former Teamsters Local 533 principal officer Paul Tea has passed away. He was employed by Yellow Freight. Monitor NevadaLabor.com for information. Requiescat in pace.
Happy High Holly Days to you and yours.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor. com and Rentvolution.org/Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.