Friday, November 21, 2008

State capitalism ascendant

Apparently when a new president enters the Oval Office and eases his butt into the big chair for the first time, on his desk is a copy of something called a "Global Trend Report" prepared by the National Intelligence Council, a sort of crystal ball for the CIA et al. Now, the NIC is no ordinary think-tank with a bone to pick. They answer to the Director of National Intelligence, and their job is to assess trends, not hopes or dreams, in as unbiased a way as possible. The prez and the chief spooks need the real stuff, whatever they try to sell us.

According to NIC Chairman Thomas Finger, this year's Global Trend Report predicts that in 2025 the US will no longer sit atop the world, and "state capitalism of the kind they have in Russia and China will be ascendant." This is like the polar opposite of the report they turned in last time around.

The so-called "Western model," they now say, hasn't worked out so well for most of the world. Imagine that!

Now, after we all say, "I told you so" (1-2-3 ... "I told you so!"), let's all say the next part again: Social Monetary Fund.

Course there's always the prison call center model.


Ricky Baldwin said...

Lawrence emailed me this:

Hi Ricky
I really like your blog, but I'm unable to leave any comment for some reason .. some cookie entanglement, I imagine .. anyway heres my comment, pasted here:

Who can say how far we will have to fall before the situation can stabilize and resemble a real economy based on goods and services rather than speculation and debt creation.

Do you read Robert Reich's blog?

I read it more for the comments, its quite informative

and this idea of a shorter work week is interesting as well ...

keep up the blog, I like it

Lawrence in Prague

Ricky Baldwin said...

Thanks, Lawrence!

How far do we have to fall...? ...*Into* debt to escape debt? It's ironic, but there's truth in it. It's only because of this crisis is so severe that so many people are willing to listen to more radical ideas, of course.

Trouble is, as someone once said, when times get desperate, people reach for whatever ideas are lying around.

So the intellectual job of the left, in addition to helping provide the "heat from below", is to make sure there are good, humane, forward-looking ideas "lying around."