by Mike Meyer
America is now paying a very high price for having succumbed to ignorance and fear. Allowing a rapid descent into fascism and insanity led by a petty tyrant who is dysfunctional and increasingly irrational is never a good idea. That has been obvious from the very beginning of Trump’s showy but clueless quest for his biggest prize.
While there is really nothing further to be said on the sad example of a dangerously rich psychopath squandering his inheritance and stumbling farther and farther into debt and crime, the results of that massive mistake are now reshaping the planet. The only thing worth continued, active discussion is the inability of anyone in 2016 or 2017 to do anything about the error. But that is another topic.
Effective national leadership at that point could have halted the process and prevented the disasters that are now rapidly becoming irreversible. But that leadership did not appear and the continued frantic efforts to deny, deflect, and coverup the illegal processes that were always at the base of this disaster are only surpassed by the general population’s single minded fixation on anything else. Just don’t look and it will all go away. Sadly true.
Moving into the third year of this failure, even the near total incompetence of the Trump cohort combined with the stunning, generic stupidity of the rank and file of the corrupt Republican Party has failed to prevent a dangerous and accelerating chain reaction that can no longer be ignored. There is really no point in mentioning the human suffering that has been growing because that is traditionally ignored unless white people, normally safe in their suburbs, become collateral damage.
And that occasional collateral damage can usually be neatly reversed as the fault of the POC population. Of course those groups, plus immigrant and refugee populations, are bearing the great brunt of the inhuman and morally squalid actions of Trump’s random collection of idiots and criminals. But now, the sheer size of the stupid acts made by or encouraged by Trump and unable to be prevented by what rational staff remains in Washington, are seriously intruding on the nation’s whites and their mindless but troubled slumber. Collateral damage will now be the their daily reality.
I’m not going to focus on the short term economic implications, the percentage of the American population in poverty despite the arrival of steady growth in income for the industrialized nations, illustrates that clearly. That only a tiny percentage of the American population is gaining from that is all that matters as the national media is only concerned with those people. The mass of the population is for back page stories and human interest filler.
Success! Things are going wonderfully. How smart we were to elect a mentally crippled criminal supported by a corrupt party with no policies except greed and power by any means. You may have noticed that the shaky shouts of victory, orchestrated at great expense by Trump’s minions, have faded to almost nothing except from the most ignorant parroting old ‘news’. That’s because America’s century long run of technological leadership, already long in the tooth and fading, is now being completely sabotaged by Donald in an ongoing series of juvenile fits. And no one dares say ‘stop’.
The billions having to be pumped into Trumpistan to keep the soybean framers afloat is mentioned only in passing but the rumblings of reality are growing ugle. Donald’s continued quest to out do himself to prove his manhood is bringing hardship on America in general and on American business very directly. The planetary income growth is expected to be short lived and was not domestic to begin with. Tariffs and trade wars are the favorite toys of petty tyrants who must, continuously, prove their manhood without regard for the damage to their economies.
The real disaster, however, is the loss of America’s leadership in technology and, specifically, information and communication technology. Anyone directly involved in the technology that is both driving the new world evolving around us and is the new standard of value in that world knows what America’s strengths have been and how far they have already declined.
The losses that are, probably already unstoppable, will never be recovered. In the new world based on technical information and communication changes come very fast and failure can be very quick. When you are holding your position on the basis of decades of past success and organizational knowledge with an aging population of domestic scientists and engineers, you should work to maintain your position at all costs as long as possible. You don’t throw it away by allowing an idiot to run your country.
Let’s look at this in a bit more detail. I say this having spent over forty years in data, information, and communication technology while spending the same amount of time in higher education. I have watched the rise, peak, and accelerating decline of American technological leadership. It is with great sadness that I am watching it killed for an equal combination of mindless greed and psychopathic idiocy.
The American educational system, once the wonder of the world, has been gutted by the very people now delivering the final death blow to our leadership. As is well understood by the majority in this country the end began with Ronnie Reagan who played on racism and ignorance for the benefit of already aging and twisted manipulators dedicated to their own wealth and their personal superiority.
This delivered an already hard pressed working (once middle) class who had been fed nationalist propaganda for generations on fear of communism and the corruption of the white, European bloodline. This was the source for the infamous ‘dog whistling’ that is now openly supported white supremacy and full fascist despotism. No more need for dog whistles.
The Trump family revels in this without even understanding what it is. The ‘intelligent’ Republican Party leadership knows what it is but doesn’t care. The Republican rank and file standing behind this disaster are at the same level or perhaps a little slower than the Trump family. At this stage I expect many of them need remedial training on wiping their own asses. Their only strengths are baseless outrage and specious victimhood.
Ronnie Reagan and his self styled oligarchs, by playing on the antiquated religious ugliness native to America’s population, were able to cut funding for education, that had made America actually great, in order to ensure control. Feed them shit and keep them dumb. It worked wonderfully particularly with expanded cable coverage allowed the likes of Rush Limbaugh, fitting right in with the messages delivered every Sunday to the rural and extended suburbs’ aging population.
This has played out over forty years. American education has been locked into a system designed to encourage higher education in order to shovel huge amounts of debt on the very students who need to build our future. By allowing the insidious conquest of America by, so called, conservatives, who were actually out to lock in only their own wealth, these people were allowed to punish all students and prevent any future cultural revolutions that drove identity and civil rights in the 1960s and early ‘70s. Debt forced generations of students to go for money desperately with no time for cultural change. We’re are paying a huge price for this, now, also.
Ironically this vindictive viciousness fostered the worthless fixation on financial services from the 1980s on that allowed massive transfer of assets to the descendants of the billionaire elite that took control of America in the name of capitalism and greed. Science and engineering and thought on the philosophy of cultural evolution were not things that created wealth for the elite. This is slow death for a modern culture which we are now achieving.
By the second decade of the 21st century the level of debt was driving students, who had been denied even the option of bankruptcy by the monsters behind this country, to suicide, divorce, immigration and risky exile. No one talks about this.
The weakness of public education has left generations unable to work at even minimal high school levels as they enter, socially required, higher education. The programs open to them for any reasonable success are now technical and or industrial, even though we know that is automating rapidly, and soft business skills that promise a job at some level. Liberal arts and “thought” disciplines are a guarantee of life time minimum wage or a place in the teaching gig economy at less than minimum wage. You may not realize that another result of planned destruction means that over 50% of American university courses are taught by ‘gig’ adjunct faculty. Many college departments have no faculty except an overworked department chair managing a temporary workforce. This is predatory capitalism at work in education.
Through no fault of their own these students do not go into long term and very difficult science and engineering fields. They are not prepared and cannot afford that just as their parents could not afford that and went into business, finance, and marketing. Make no mistake, our last two, now, three generations, put their talents to work building financial mechanisms to impoverish the population through interest on debt and selling information extracting ‘services’. Information is money. They great majority did not and do not do advanced technology.
Let’s add another component to this grand schema of self destruction and delusion. The nearly incomprehensible paradigmatic force of information technology with supporting planetary communication, raised America’s great research universities to planetary dominance with federal funding and management. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration made America great and a world economic leader.
This was the other half of the monstrous oligarchy’s mechanism for moving tax dollars to their privates accounts at stupendous rates for decades. Long identified as the Military Industrial Complex this was always the Military Industrial University Complex. The internet was a major product of this complex.
Because this was used to siphon money from America’s citizens and the control of this was completely authoritarian the source of these great advances was hidden and presented as the product of capitalist enterprises. Without this long term and great public investment we would still be using black rotary phones that were the peak of private capitalist enterprise development. Incidentally if you are too young to remember that was the standard for some fifty years.
Please note that these capitalists self styled oligarchs are not terribly bright. They evolved under federal government management and squeeze the maximum out of their systems that they have inherited to exploit. As a result they are short term thinkers and, as a result, are prone to longer term disasters by failing to adequately plan for the future, let alone, for the common good. They actually actively work to deny that the common good, in many senses the Commons, is of any value. Free education is part of a human society’s Commons.
The result of all of the above is that for years America’s great universities have educated, often at foreign government expense, the last three generations of research scientists and computer engineers. American students are few in these ranks and have been few for the last three generations. The leadership of the world leading American companies is normally foreign with technology leadership either Indian, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. The high technology workforce is also predominantly from these countries plus Europe and the Middle East.
It should now be understandable why the absolutely worst thing that can be done by America is to force China and the world to replace American technology as rapidly as possible. It is happening anyway but now it will happen quickly and there is no recourse and no replacement.
The attacks on Chinese companies particularly and Huawei specifically, will need to be reversed immediately to prevent the permanent loss of America’s strength in technology. While the immediate result of Donald’s ill conceived tariff and trade hissy fit will be damage to Huawei and the Chinese economy it will only accelerate China’s movement away from American technology. The implications of this are staggering.
Most of the planet uses Huawei phones and datacom equipment. 5G technology is a great leap into the future of information technology and Huawei is the leader with the power of the Chinese government behind their pricing just as the American government was behind decades of development in American ‘private enterprise’. The irony is that Huawei is in the great tradition of America when it was great. I’m certain it will come out as the big winner at America’s total expense.
And now we have another hissy fit with tariffs threatened on Mexico as America’s largest industrial trade partner. This will destroy the interlocked supply chains that keep America supplied with commodities and toys. It is simply a broadening and worsening of the disaster that will destroy America for decades.
Interestingly this was done over ‘immigration’. The populations fleeing Central America are refugees, not immigrants, and are directly the result of American policies and meddling in those countries economies and governments. But, yet another irony of Trumpian stupidity, the fastest growing immigration group is the movement of Americans to Mexico to escape the growing disaster.
How soon this group will change from US immigrants to refugees is an open question that will be answered in the next two years.