Guest Post: Capital Exploits Labor: The U.S.-China Trade And Beyond

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Capital Exploits Labor: the U.S.-China Trade and Beyond

In a classic Marxist set-up, Capital is free to exploit labor because labor is in surplus.

The fundamental dynamics of the U.S.-China trade partnership--certainly the biggest economic story of this generation--boil down to "capital exploits labor." I am well aware that this sort of quasi-Marxist analysis is supposed to be passe in the era where young nerds can start billion-dollar enterprises in a garage or dorm room. Capitalism is a priori "win-win," as all those workers in China are getting ahead while our youth launch $50 million IPOs of social networking Web 2.0 companies.

But if you scrape away the high-gloss propaganda and myth-making, then the fundamental dynamic is definitely Marxist: American capital jettisoned American labor as a costly hassle in favor of cheap, no-hassle Chinese labor.

Since Capital's best buddy in the whole world is the Central State and its proxies, i.e. the Federal Reserve, then the Central State and the central bank (the Fed) smoothed over the exploitation and furthered the consumer economy by inflating a credit-housing bubble. Since 60% of American households own a home, this enabled the increasingly impoverished "middle class" to borrow trillions of dollars in "free" money that could be spent--surprise!--on the new imports from China that filled the shelves of big box global retailers everywhere.

Allow me to illustrate this dynamic by deconstructing two recent stories in the Mainstream Financial Media: 'Superjobs': Why You Work More, Enjoy It Less (WSJ.com) Businesses expect a lot more out of their employees these days...

Taco Bell and the Golden Age of Drive-Thru Operational innovations at restaurants like Taco Bell rival those at any factory in the world.

The first piece describes in clinical fashion how U.S. capital is ruthlessly exploiting labor, demanding more work for little to no additional pay. The underlying dynamic here is purely Marxist: capital encourages over-supply of labor, which then drives the value of labor down. Competition for the few jobs available makes desperate wage-earners willing to put up with exploitation and insecurity because the options of escaping the cycle of centralized Corporate value extraction are insecure and risky.

Global Corporate America fosters a surplus of labor in the U.S. via three mechanisms:

1. vast illegal immigration which keeps labor costs down in low-skill corporate workhouses such as slaughterhouses, fast-food outlets, etc.

2. H1-B visas for high-tech workers (now falling out of favor as those positions are better filled directly in India and China).

3. ship production, software coding and back-office functions to China, and to a lesser degree, to India and elsewhere in east Asia.

The unemployment rate among PhDs is roughly 50%. So much for "winning" by becoming ever more educated. The number of slots in academia is shrinking, and the total number of research positions is relatively inelastic. For more on academia's "plantation economy," please read Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education (The Nation).

With labor in surplus, capital is free to demand whatever it needs to boost all-important profits. The propaganda machines in HR (human resources) spray-paint slogans everywhere ("you're really really valuable to us, Super-Duper Team Member!") but everyone knows the reality: everybody is dispensible, and everyone but the CIO at a hot startup a few months from an IPO is a corporate serf a paycheck away from being booted out of the castle into abject poverty.

As a result of this exploitation--known as "wage abritrage"-- corporate profits (which boost the wealth of the top 10% who owns the vast majority of stocks and mutual funds) are extremely plump and juicy:


In the second piece, BusinessWeek breathlessly assures us that we have thousands of highly efficient factories running 24/7 in the U.S.--fast food outlets. Yes, all 6,000 Taco Bells are miniature factories pumping out "product" in vast quantities. The fast food "industry" revenues are $168 billion a year, and the workers, we're told, are paid $1.25 above minimum wage--woo-hoo, love you, Corporate America!--which means that the full-time employee makes $16,500 a year.

$16K a year doesn't go very far in urban America, but there is no pressure on Corporate America to raise wages.

I realize that I am an outsider, and biased against global corporate power regardless of the nominal country of origin (down with Canal+!), but I still found it noteworthy that BusinessWeek could run thousands of words of glowing praise for the profitable efficiency of the fast food "industry" without noting that it isn't an industry at all--it's just a consumerist fantasy (fast and cheap meals that require no effort or discipline) that produces "food" of low value that pushes the consumer into ill-health with overloads of salt, sugar, and low-grade fat.

70% of the fast "food" served is via the drive-through window, which suggests that an overworked, stressed out, focused on getting through the next two hours American is opting to shut the kids up and stave off hunger by pulling into the drive-through lane and loading up on a "meal" that they know is bad for them but they have no time to make a real meal at home (or so they've been brainwashed by thousands of hours of adverts).

If Taco Bell is the "manufacturer/factory of the New America," then I think we need a peaceful revolution, and soon. The toadies and sycophants of the financial media are pleased to worship 1) CEOs 2) profits 3) efficiencies 4) globalized "growth" as long as its owned by global corporations and of course, everyone's favorite, 5) innovation, because "innovation" drives profits!

Elsewhere in the latest issue, BusinessWeek breathlessly cooed over digital game company Electronic Arts latest "innovation," which was selling a digital parrot for $10 a pop that sits on your digital warrior's shoulder.

Excuse me while I raise my glass to American "innovation." If pumping out fast food garbage (hello, 60% obesity rates, is there any connection?) is the new American "factory" and "innovation" is selling kids with access to Mom's credit card a $10 digital parrot (and what does the parrot say? "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out, brawk!") for their hyper-violent fantasy wargame, then this nation is well and truly doomed.

To reap a fat profit, you need to sell the stuff being imported from the American-owned factories in China. Since wages have been flat for decades, that posed a problem, as consumers were tapped out. Never fear, capital's best buddy rode to the rescue, inflating a stupendous credit-housing bubble that enabled the working stiff to speculate "like the big boys" with free money and limitless leverage, all supported by lies (liar loans) and the misrepresentation of risk.

Wall Street reaped tens of billions in profits originating and packaging the debt loaded onto the middle class debt donkeys--not just mortgages, but auto loans, student loans and even credit card debt.

But now, at long last, capital's doting partner, the Federal Reserve, has run into a spot of bother: the only way to keep profits rising is to crash the dollar, and doing that has squeezed the purchasing power of the debt donkeys. By exporting inflation to China and the rest of the world, the Fed has engineered massive profits for U.S. corporations (when profits earned overseas are stated in dollars, presto, a 10% increase) but it has also forced China into raising prices and fueled an oil and import-driven inflation in the U.S. which has caused millions of insolvent households living paycheck to paycheck to cut back on their consumption.

China has its own problems, namely runaway domestic inflation (thanks, Federal Reserve) and finding places to dump its excess dollars. It was a wonderfully beneficial trade for awhile: we print paper money, and you give us tangible goods for the paper. Thank you very much, and we can offer you some terrific low-yield Treasuries to recycle your growing stash of dollars.

The Fed's inflation games are sinking the value of the dollar, and the Chinese are not amused. They are trying to buy tangible resources with their ocean of depreciating dollars, and even sinking to buying Spanish debt.

They have another problem: as capital's return in China slips, it will exit China just as fast as it exited the U.S.

There is a grand irony in that dynamic: a supposedly Communist country trying to run a central-command quasi-capitalist economy will find that Marx had a point after all. Not that the leadership is at risk themselves; the ChiCom offspring already have homes in Vancouver B.C. and Los Angeles and citizenship/green cards, and the family fortune is safely invested in Switzerland and North America.

The "story" is that the Chinese consumer is about to step up spending, and as a result, "you gotta be in China to profit from all the trillions in new consumer spending." The reality is that the Chinese middle class is already spending like drunken sailors and their 900 million rural compatriots already own TVs and other cheap consumer goods.

The reality is that Capital has already skimmed the big, fat easy profits, and it's looking elsewhere as labor costs and pesky regulations rise in China. The truth is American and European corporations have already earned out their investments in China, and shipping the factories from China to Vietnam is not much different than crating the factory up in the U.S. and shipping it to China.

There is a theory that the Fed's "master plan" is to sink the dollar to the point that the low-income states in the U.S. will be the lowest-cost manufacturing base in the world.

At $16,500 a year for full-time workers pushed to maximum production, they might be getting close.

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Clueless Economist's picture

We need a $4 Trillion Stimulus to save or create millions of shovel-ready jobs.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

We need cold turkey balanced budget and a collapse into anarchy. And a lot more prayer.

TruthInSunshine's picture
by Clueless Economist
on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 11:31
#1263275

We need a $4 Trillion Stimulus to save or create millions of shovel-ready jobs.

Paul Krugman, your god, John Maynard Keynes, would frown upon you if he were alive to hear you utter such trivial numbers. 40 trillion is what Keynes would call for.

In fact, you called for the U.S. to print the equivalent number of dollars matching the U.S. debt, and to pay off all creditors with that tidy sum, declaring that this would amount to a Keynesian 'Mission Accomplished!' and get us back to prosperity.

JW n FL's picture

Synthetic Tops in Commodities Provided by the CFTC to the detriment of Americans and Betterment of “People’s Republic of China”!

 

Every time the CFTC releases its Margin Hike Press Release after hours here in the United States.. China gets to front run the Fucking Dip!

 

It is not bad enough that the idiots who back test blindly will cause artificial drag on the market with the Synthetic Peaks that have been provided to them, the algo’s can NOT even grasp the concept and for the most part the people who are programming are going to favor the numerically correct solution based on the larger law of averages..

 

But an American Commission, that is supposed to protect Americans.. is empowering China to once again have the upper hand?

 

What the FUCK?

 

Our Government has given China enough freebies for the week! And last week and pretty much going forward for-fucking-ever!

 

I hate stupid people! I hate the stupid Government that allows 50,000 jobs to go to China a MONTH! Now China gets to front run the downward pressure in Metals which benefits CHINA! Which is a foreign Power! More than the Americans it is supposed to help in the long run!!

 

TREASON! IS FUCKING TREASON!!

 

Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic Bill to End tax Breaks for Moving U.S. Jobs Offshore! 50,000 Manufacturing Jobs a Month since 2001 have LEFT! The United States for China! http://goo.gl/6qhnK

 

How much more are we going to have to give China? When is enough stupidity enough? This Country is FUCKED! And no one gives a shit! Everyone wants to pray for the rapture or live the lie of the Treasury! And where in the FUCK are the people charged with securing the national Security of the Country? Those mother fuckers are the First ones that should be hung for treason.. going back 30 – 40 years!

SilverRhino's picture

And those shovel ready jobs will be paying $20 a burger when it's all said and done.

financeguru500's picture

I think the bigger issue no one considers is the fact that the U.S. has exported all of the advanced technological production to a communist country that is considered a potential threat. Note the amount of news covering the buildup of Chinese military and advancements in stealth aircraft.

Consider how much faster advancements will come along with the Chinese reverse engineering the technology they are building in factories for U.S. and Japanese companies.

So far the main thing people argue when comparing the U.S. military to the Chinese military is that the U.S. is more advanced technologically. But for how much longer?

trav7777's picture

Until China starts innovating and stops counterfeiting, never

TruthInSunshine's picture

OT.

Macy's, the falling into disrepair, garage sale-like atmosphere retailer, has joined The Bernank/Dudley/Geithner/Obama 2012 Re-election/Re-appointment committee.

NOTW777's picture

how happy must cnbc be for this raj case - they can ignore the market today

next up more obama islam speeches - expect more apologies

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870386420457631568004052680...

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

How would an extraterrestrial see the situation?

Christianity:

1.No ultimatums. Rape and murder your kids, and then be born again. All fixed!

2.Protect life in the womb by all means. Once the spawn pops out, determine worth by checking beliefs, color of eyes, color of skin, intelligence, work ethic. Not up to snuff? Let 'em bleed out and/or starve.

3. Somewhat tolerant of heretics and infidels. Some might say apologetic?

Islam:

1. Lots of ultimatums. Few if any exceptions. You fuck-up? your condemned to eternal damnation and are snuffed in this life too.

2. Snuff all infidels and heretics with no exceptions.

3. Treats human life consistently --it's all more or less worthless.

In strict religious terms, you tell me which system is more efficient and which is subordinate and should be apologizing?

 

Marty Rothbard's picture

Islam places great importance on conversion to Islam.  That's what they want, not "snuffing" people.  The Koran also demands that money be of gold, and silver, much like our constitution.  Maybe the US Congress could learn a thing, or two, from the Prophet.

alexanderstollznow's picture

wow, even Chinese domestic inflation is the fault of the Fed!  is there anything the Fed is not responsible for? 

Robslob's picture

wow, even Chinese domestic inflation is the fault of the Fed!  is there anything the Fed is not responsible for"

Yes:

1) Peace

2) Happiness

3) Value


Don Quixotic's picture

I agree. No one ever told the chinese to trade goods and labor for FRN's. If they requested PM delivery, would they be turned down? Probably not. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the other producer countries would likely follow suit.

Non Passaran's picture

What delivery?

Anyone can use their FRNs to buy PMs on the market.

topcallingtroll's picture

Chinese inflation is the result of an intentionally suppressed currency and refusal to allow normal market forces to balance national accounts.

Marty Rothbard's picture

Actually, it is the result of pegging their currency to an intentionally supressed currency, the dollar, and the fact that, for the moment, commodities are priced in dollars.

TruthInSunshine's picture
by alexanderstollznow
on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 11:44
#1263318

wow, even Chinese domestic inflation is the fault of the Fed!  is there anything the Fed is not responsible for?

 

The 'Fed' is a parasitic, devil-worshipping (they kneel to Moloch), international cult, and they've been responsible for the genocide of millions, including the assassination of world leaders resisting fractional reserve and non-gold backed currency, to include numerous American Presidents.

Their front men appear as genteel academics, but they have jackals and ruthless mercernaries working on their big team, with tentacles in every recess of the global stream of commerce, banking, industry and military circles.

 

Henry Hub's picture

That's funny, I thought that everything was the fault of John Maynard Keynes ( including the Fed)

RagnarDanneskjold's picture

It's not Marxist to behave as Marx warned against. However, your problem is neither Marxism nor capitalism, but Ricardo. Free trade works when there are comparative advantages, the economists of the 18th Century, and today as well, have not explained what happens when a workforce with 10 times the population (China, India and other emerging markets) suddenly compete for your market.

The U.S. can handle Japan and Korea "gaming" the free trade system because their population limits their productive capacity. They end up as extensions of the U.S. economy. China has the capability to take every single industry out of the U.S., as does India. The assumption in the free trade models is that the U.S. and other countries with hollowed out industries can "do something else." When the auto industry was sapped by Japan, those workers could transition into other industries over time. Japan couldn't take out PCs, autos, airlines, construction equipment, etc. They picked a few key industries and made concerted efforts. China, India & Co. are taking jobs fast and all over the place, and China's target industry is "all of them."

Yes, the elite are happy to sell out and the free-market economists are happy to call you a fool for pointing out this isn't working well for American (and elsewhere) workers. That damn selfishness ruins everything from Marx to one-way free trade.

topcallingtroll's picture

Free trade never works if it isnt free.

Suppressed currencies, barriers to labor, capital, and trade flows make a mockery of.our current system.

RagnarDanneskjold's picture

For sure, but the system can still be gamed with tax laws and other incentives. In any event, the choice is to either force open half the globe's markets or restrict incoming trade with domestic policy. Which one is easiest to achieve? I don't see free trade economists signing up en masse for military duty...

BruntFCA's picture

Good point, however you also miss something crucial.

A key point of D Ricardo's principle of comparative advantages, is that *capital is relatively immobile* . Now in the 18thC when he wrote it, it was. However, in the 21st C why would you seek comparative advantage in USA when you can get absaloute advantage by shipping everything, lock, stock and barrell to China?

The comparative advantage theory continuously spouted by globalists is way out of date. Moreover, work by mathematician Ralph Gomory dissproves comparative advantage, *even with immobile capital*. You can read an intersting article about CA theory here.

http://www.vdare.com/roberts/071211_offshoring.htm

SoNH80's picture

Western workers trying to compete with Chinese slave (laogai)/quasi-slave (Apple iPad factory) labor = accelerating treadmill

Bob Sacamano's picture

Hope he is not participating in any of this exploitation by buying products from these companies. 

Look forward to seeing how the company he starts works. 

topcallingtroll's picture

Good analysis.

Surplus labor is a temporary problem in a free market. We need to remove all employment barriers so all people are incented to work up to their marginal level of productivity, whatever that might be.

And china does take it up the poop chute in the end. He who lives by the manipulated.currency shall die by the manipulated currency of bangladesh, vietnam, laos, etc.

There are many examples of labor exploiting capital. I will be damned if i am going to rent a trenching tool when my three mexicans are cheaper and do a better job.

weinerdog43's picture

Unfortunately, your analysis stinks. 

No, even Henry Ford saw that you have to pay people enough to afford your product.  When you're in a race to the bottom, eventually you won't have any paying customers. 

I'd also love to hear how the working Joe is exploiting our poor, poor capital class.

goldsaver's picture

Capital ( raw resources, equipment, buildings and money) can no more exploit labor than gold could exploit jewelers or wheat could exploit bakers. It is a mindless argument. Capital is necessary in order for labor to, well, labor. Without machines, factories, etc laborers would have to go back to domestic production of the 17th century. And even then, the peasant worker had to invest in his capital (tools, anvils, looms) in order to produce.

Now, if you mean the Financial sector leeches that ride along the shoulders of those who produce (laborers and industrialist alike) by moving pixels around a computer screen and demanding interest for their "production" of counterfeit debt dollars... yeah, they exploit everyone.... until they don't.

falak pema's picture

The Oligarchy game plan since Reagan/Bush/Clinton days that set it up : Use international labour arbitrage to shift production base around the globe changing the venue of production on same criteria every twenty so years. What they didn't anticipate was that it worked so well, so fast, and the greed asset spiral, generated and invested in FIRE economy, would bubble and back fire so fast. That's like the last shot in the Mankiewicz film : There was a crooked man!...Just that title...

bob_dabolina's picture

Silver is getting hog slammed.

falak pema's picture

so do silver bears and silver bugs ride the roller coaster up and down together?

Or is this the road to hell and deadly deflation? ( That'll be the day IMHO! We're not yet there).

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

just algos chasing the latest alpha asset --crude.

Zing's picture

I almost always really enjoy a CHS article.  One of the best macro-commentators out there.

imapopulistnow's picture

And the progressives will make things better?  Not a chance.

falak pema's picture

not US progressives. But the world will pull the rug under the US's feet one day...Then there will be a paradigm change...and 'progress' may mean something else...if the new, new Oligarchy is from third world and less fat and greedy...But that is crystal ball gazing... and hopium!

swamp's picture

The world IS pulling the rug out from under the US's feet, now. It's in progress, now.

weinerdog43's picture

"And the progressives will make things better?  Not a chance."

Exactly.  Who needs clean air or water?  5 day work week?  Bah, humbug!  Get those 8 year olds back in mines! 

goldsaver's picture

You Sir, are an idiot.

So your argument is that only progressives want clean air and water. Interesting. That form of argument is called "argument by intimidation". "You couldn't possibly oppose my views since that would make you worst than Hitler!". Without actually refuting the point, you attempted to intimidate the target of your vile. If we are to look at countries where progressive government cotrols have been enacted (East Germany, North Korea, Soviet Russia, Brazil, Mexico) You will find that the air and the water is polluted to the point of been physically poisonous.

The 5 day work week did not come about from progressive policies. THe 5 day work week was made possible by the improvements in productivity brought along by the industrial revolution. Factory owners could reduce the work week to 5 days in order to save the cost of labor while increasing production. It is called efficiency, you moron.

About the 8 year old in the mines... Child labor came along not as a way to exploit children, but as a way for children not to DIE of starvation. If you would bother to read some Locke, you will find that British families in the 1800s could not afford to feed more than 2 children. Since there was no birth control, life expectancy of children under 5 was 25%. Child labor, provided by factories, was a way for those children to STAY ALIVE!. Latter, improvements in efficiency and technology, allowed parents to make more money (production was improved due to efficiency and jobs became more specialised) allowing the parents to feed their children and making it possible for children to not work.

 

God, I hate voluntary ignorance!!!

NP40's picture

The 40 hour work week came about because of the good hearted nature of robber barons ? Perhaps, you'd like to invite your amoeba sized brain back into the same time zone as the rest of your extremeties ? In the late 1800's, workers struck for a 40 hour work week in Bay View, WI. The governor of WI. at that time called in the National Guard who killed 7 strikers and wounded numerous others, including women and children. The outrage sparked wildcat strikes nationwide leading to the 40 hour work week.

Your idiocy in referencing child labor doesn't even warrant comment. Have you studied history under the scholar Glenn Beck ?

sellstop's picture

Thank you.

Regulations came about because people demanded them. There was a time when govt. was responsive to the will of the voters.

The lack of trans-generational memory means we have to do the hardships all over again.

gh

goinsouth's picture

It had to happen.  ZeroHedge's critique of the status quo inevitably goes to the best source for a critique of Late Stage Capitalism: Marx.

If you'd like to read another fine synopsis of our poltical/economic situation, and how similar the Obama Administration is to the Weimar Republic (again, could have read i on ZH), check out Global Capital and 21st Century Fascism."

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/201142612714539672....

LibCom.org and Zero Hedge have more in common than most realize.

Marley's picture

Sacrilege!

/sarcasm

AR15AU's picture

Was it our labor which was costly? Or was it the EPA? Or was it OSHA? Or was it Affirmative Action? Or was it the IRS?

XPolemic's picture

Nope, labour offshoring began in the late 70's as a reaction to the rising cost and power of the labour movement (unions). As capital moved to where labour was cheaper, it needed to pass through currency exchange mechanisms (banks and financial markets), both on it's journey out to labour, and it's return journey back as profits.

Those who oversaw managing the FX risks became extremely wealthy, and the interbank FX market is now the most liquid, most traded, most hedged, most managed financial market of them all. It runs 24hours a day, 7 days a week.

The first cross currency interest rate swap was in 1981, when IBM entered into currency swap arrangement with the world bank (for accounting reasons). The FX/IR swap market is now 250 trillion (gross), as capital chases cheap labour, and returns to investors in the first world as profits.

But we are slowly coming to the end of the age of financial oligarchs, just as we came to the end of the age of industrial oligarchs when money managers were on the rise. These days, you don't need people to manage money, computers can do 90% of the work just fine. So the rise of the information oligarchs was the signal that the age of financial oligarchs was coming to an end.

Whenever power changes hands it is disruptive, violent, tenous and often chaotic. It is also a long drawn out process, which never seems to end, and then suddenly, everything is different. Assuming civilisation is not destroyed by a solar storm or asteroid some time this year, I would be looking at up and coming technology companies. Remember that in any revolution, the first wave of revolutionaries are almost always disposed of (MS, Apple, Sun, Oracle), to make way for the 'new normal'.

hugolp's picture

Good analysis. I dont see nothing marxists on it.

As a curiosity, class analisys, which most people think is a marxists thing (class warfare, class warfare!) was actually developed by early classic liberals (predecessors of libertarians). Even Marx acknoledges that class analysis was developed by classic liberals before him in some letter to Engels. The early classic liberal philosphers argued that there were two classes, the producers and the exploiters. The producers were the ones working in a free market while the exploiters were the ones favored by government (usually big land owners and industrialists with monopolly rights).

I would like for libertarians and in general for free market people to not be afraid of class analysis and actually embrace it.

goldsaver's picture

Identifying obvious classes of people is not class warfare. Saying "some people are college material while some are not" is not class warfare, only a statement of observable reality.

Class warfare is when some jerk off uses those differences to exploit or give illogical preferences to different classes: "The rich are stealing form the poor", Whites are racist and keep blacks down" "Men keep women for reaching their full potential" "The Jew merchant is the cause of your hunger"

 

BTW, it is clear that some people are producers and others are leeches or moochers. You can not tell me that Ben Bernanke has contributed to civilization and produced more than Bill Gates. Or that a welfare queen is equal in production to a brain surgeon.

Producers are favored by the free market because they provide a value for their efforts. A leech or a mooch does not produce, it only consumes.

the grateful unemployed's picture

just revisited some of Godards agitprop cinema, Tout Va Bien, "Everything is All Right". Though the film is some 40 years old, the French May 68 revolution is a mirror image of what is happening in America right now. The speech the manager of the Sausage factory gives is repeated every day on CNBC. The French government never had the means to completely propagandize the people, hence a workers revolution came about. Simply put, in the modern American equivalent space, it is impossible to "shout them down", as this film attempts to do. 

The only viable solution is to vote with your feet, to either leave the country, (even as the MIC makes every foreign destination live threatening, and the war on drugs makes sleepy villages in Mexico Narco trafficing hell.) We are increasingly stuck here, for better or worse, with no choice other than to go off the grid, sit on a few ounces of gold and wait, while we form pockets of resistance. Information is useless, they have more of it.

This is very much like what the Romans found in Northern Europe. They could defeat the tribes in the battlefield, but they couldn't keep their supply lines open. Eventually the empire collapsed around it (the empire being just a manifestation of power and greed concentrated in one place, Italy is a fine country, with wonderful people, it is not the Roman empire, just as the America empire does not represent its people, and less so each day)

 

We can destroy the empire (think Bernanke/the Corporate Washington Inside Trader Beltway) without destroying ourselves. In fact destroying the empires most viral aspects, would return the soil and our country to us, but only a few people realize this. ZH'er mostly