Why We Need Tester and Obama, Part 2: Math

I’m quite bad at finishing a series of blog posts – a Part 1 doesn’t always indicate the future existence of a Part 2. But this is any important one, and I’m spreading it out on purpose because Part 3 is awaiting critical developments.

So, why do we still need Tester and Obama? It’s pretty clear that our local Republicans have gone off the deep end, but on a national level, are Democrats any better that the GOP? And if they are better, can we expect any benefit for Montana? The answer is most certainly, yes, and not just because they might give us better judges.

Why? Because it is nearly inevitable that in the next six years, some more effort will have to be put in to controlling the national debt, as it has now surpassed our GDP. If the economy continues to grow, the time will come to reduce deficits to ensure that they remain manageable. As sovereign debt becomes less and less trustworthy, the need to do so will be felt more acutely. How we do that is a key consideration. And lets face the math – it will come either through higher taxes, or lower spending.

There is almost no doubt that Montanans in general will benefit from using higher taxes rather than lower spending. Why? Because as this helpful chart informs us, Montana, between 1990 and 2009, received from the Feds (minus taxes paid) the equivalent of almost two years worth of our GDP. That is enormous, and unsurprising. Montana has a sparse population but large infrastructure needs, and as long as people and goods need to go from Minnesota to Washington (two states contributing more to the national budget than they take), it will be in their best interest to subsidize our infrastructure.

But what that means is that budget cuts will affect Montana disproportionately, while tax cuts will have a disproportionately small effect. Obviously, the depth of that difference would be determined by where the taxes were raised or spending cut, but on average the effect of spending cuts would be about 47% greater than the effect of a tax hikes.

And finally, should Montana just bite the bullet because ultimately spending must come down? No. The British were kind enough to try that out for us, cutting top-rate taxes and slashing spending. No need for us to repeat the mistake. (There’s also little reason to believe that progressive voters need to repeat the British electoral mistake – punish the moderate incumbents by moving left and giving an election to the right wing).

I’m loyal to Obama and Tester partly because the stimulus they pushed got me a job, menial but certainly better than nothing, and then helped me get another. The evidence from Europe suggests that this is not merely a personal loyalty; there is evidence that stimulus was much better policy than austerity. That anyone can argue that there is no reason to support the party that pushed that crucial difference is beyond me.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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  • PW, we can’t spend our way out of over spending. That has never worked. There is no reason to expect success this time.

    • http://www.factcheck.org/2011/07/fiscal-factcheck/

      Check it out, Craig. The deficit has been caused by multiple factors – there has been an increase in spending (though mostly short-term, or else defense and security related), as well as sharp drop in revenue. One, or the other, or both will have to change. Obama has brought down spending since 2009. It’s time revenues went up in the same way.

      And as far as spending our way out of spending never working – actually, it kind of has. We have rarely actually cut non-defense spending as a proportion of GDP, and yet we haven’t always been in a deficit. So, there have definitely been times when we have continued to spend and yet ended up with a surplus anyway. Now, I would like to see a time when cutting non-defense spending has led to an improved economy and fiscal situation. It may have happened, but I’m not familiar with it. Has it?

  • So, you are saying those other guys in other states have deeper pockets than we Montanans, and filled with filthy lucre, so let’s keep the same guys in control that helped get us in this fix, and prevented us from getting out of the hole by growth of the economy, thereby insuring that we Montanans will continue to live high on the hog. And you call this scheme “math.” It sounds to me a little like the guy who is selling widgets for less than it costs to make them and claiming that he will come out OK on volume, perhaps combined with a little protection racket, a la The Chicago Way.

    • “So, you are saying those other guys in other states have deeper pockets than we Montanans, and filled with filthy lucre”

      Well, that statement is true – Montana is 44th in GDP per capita, so it only makes sense that if a budget gap has to be closed, more of the weight should fall on other states.

      “so let’s keep the same guys in control that helped get us in this fix, and prevented us from getting out of the hole by growth of the economy”

      First off, we don’t really have a choice in this race – both the candidates fall in the category of ‘guys in control’. Fortunately, we are coming out of this fix, and it’s not because of Denny. The economy is in fact growing, even if it’s not growing as quickly as you’d like. If you want to find an economy that is actually in a hole and not growing, there’s plenty to look to – the Eurozone, Japan, the UK. The US comes out pretty good in that comparison.

      “It sounds to me a little like the guy who is selling widgets for less than it costs to make them and claiming that he will come out OK on volume, perhaps combined with a little protection racket, a la The Chicago Way.”

      Your analogy is imperfect, at best – I explained already why it is rational that Montana get more money than it contributes. We are the fourth largest state, but also a poor one in nominal terms. Which do you suppose would have a bigger negative effect, taxing Donald Trump a few million dollars a year, or quit repairing I-90 for a while?

      • Yes, I see your point PW but doesn’t it make you uncomfortable to live in that kind of J Wellington Wimpy world and recommend it to others too. This is, to me anyway, a worrisome view of your fellow citizens.

        • No, it doesn’t worry me, for two reasons. For one thing, international comparisons make it clear that greater investment in infrastructure is important, whereas tax levels make little difference in economic growth. For another, I think it’s plenty acceptable to vote in a way that will benefit ones own state.

  • The deficit and debt were not an issue prior to the Democratic victory in 2008 and will not likely be an issue if Democrats do not win in 2012. That’s just politics. The question is, did Democrats play politics by yielding to deficit/debt hawks, or did they have an agenda that was not sensitive to this ploy.

    It appears that they speak Republican duckspeak, always paying homage to debt/deficit, always looking for ways to trim it, threatening social programs, but not war, playing cat and mouse. There’s plenty of room for aggressive leadership there, but we get none.

    Stimulus happens in recession no matter who is in power. That’s hardly a reason to vote for one party over the other. They just kow to do that because they know it works. Both parties, no matter rhetoric. We got checks in the mail from Bush in 2001 or so, stimulus.

    There might be something to better judges, kissing your girl through a screen door, hardly a matter for make any progressive wave an Obama sign. And who is to say that he’ll hold true to that? Sotomayor seems OK, Kagan questionable. Are you assuming lower level judicial appointments to be progressive, or do you have evidence?

    All of your reasoning leading to your predetermined destination, that voting Democrat makes a difference, is as far as I can tell making making mountainouot molehills. You appear to magnify insignificant things, having nothing of substance that stands on its own, and plenty of negative information that makes party choice at that level irrelevant.

    • “They just kow to do that because they know it works.”

      Not necessarily. During the early 2000’s the US fell into a small recession, and Bush’s response was to… wait for it… cut taxes and increase defense spending. Conservatives in Britain likewise attempted to cut taxes on high earners and slash spending in an effort to limit deficit spending and stay out of a recession. Why would you assume that American Republicans would have been more fiscally liberal than Conservatives in Britain, if we had let them have their way? Effective stimulus is not a given.

      • Neoclassical economics dominates both parties, and tax cuts as stimulus is accepted by both, though in varying degrees. Obama says he let the Bush tax cuts stand because of a need to extend unemployment benefits, but that was probably just framing, as his economic advisors attended the same schools as Bush’s and believe that those cuts for the wealthy are important in the trickle-down scheme of things.

        The stimulus via infrastructure is over now. Tax cuts continue. Obama is also using a dangerous ploy, the 2% payroll tax holiday, which is more effective stimulus because it affects spending people, but also defunds Social Security. Will he later say SS needs reform due to lack of funding?

        I find this ploy alarming, as it appears to be just another in the ongoing attacks on SS going back to the early 80’s, but far more dangerous coming from a Democrat.

        All in all, tax cuts as stimulus is religion, and both parties practice it, and both appear to be attacking SS, one by full-frontal assault, the other more by misdirection. The verdict, D vs R? Democrats appear more dangerous.

        • “Neoclassical economics dominates both parties, and tax cuts as stimulus is accepted by both, though in varying degrees.”

          I’m not as worried about how to continue the stimulus, as I am with what we’ll do when stimulus becomes a lower priority than deficit reduction. Republicans here and conservatives internationally have shown their desire to use this crisis to make the cuts they want to make. Democrats could have done that, easily, at the height of the TEA party phenomenon. They didn’t. And there’s no reason to believe they will. But I’m willing to put a friendly wager on your Social Security claim (I still regret not wagering on Libya, Syria, and Iran).

          • No wagers, as I don’t know the future. (I must emphasize, one more time, that with Syria and Iran, things are yet to play out, and that Libya is now blacked out, so that you are not privy to ground zero information, and so have no basis for claiming I am wrong about civilian deaths, humanitarian goals, or democratic impulses behind those F16’s). But with the tax holiday, why not reimburse SS from the GF? It’s quite simple.

            I guess that as a Democrat you take what you can get. Failure to lead or aggressively pursue a progressive agenda is a given, so that seeing them not actively pursuing the agenda of the “other” party pleases you.

            The two parties serve different functions, and that of Democrats is to squeeze out any progressive impulses from our politics. The best description I have read calls it the “ratchet” function. Republicans push us further and further to the point where the public says enough!, and then Democrats take office and prevent backsliding.

            If Romney wins, the Wall Street, or M-I-C agenda is front and center once more. If Obama wins, it’s still the driving force, but goes underground.

  • I believe in the Republican Party. Just not this one. But it is dying. Literally. It is made up of old straight white men and they will all be dead within 30 years. We need to start now if we want it to live.

  • The major problem with your post is that you make the same mistake others have made when looking at the ways to fix the deficit problem. You state “lets face the math – it will come either through higher taxes, or lower spending.” This either/or mentality is quite literally part of the problem.

    Most economists agree that to resolve the issue, it will take a number of things happening together to significantly effect the current hemorrage of funds. First, revenue will have to be increased – primarily through a restructuring of taxes. Taxes themselves do not have to increase but the exceptions and loopholes would have to go away – more the upper part of the tax bracket than the lower part. Other avenues for revenue generation have to be considered as well.

    It will also take some restructuring of how we spent that revenue. I am not a rapid supporter of austerity, but I think there are lots of oppurtunities for spending reductions – starting with the way we subsidize corporate operations like energy and oil. That a company like GE can make tens of billions of dollars and pay nothing in taxes is just short of criminal in my opinion.

    We also have to be realistic about certain programs like Medicare/Medicaid. That program is inherently broken and needs to be seriously reworked. I recognise the need to provide medical care to the elderly and poor (hell, I recognise the need to provide medical care to everyone) but the current system will bankrupt our country as sure as the sun rises in the east. It was never intended to deal with the exponencial increase in actual health care costs. Until we address that, we cannot address the way Medicare/Medicaid works.

    This is not a simply problem and the solutions to the problem will not be simple. What WON’T work is our legislators making pledges to special interest lobbiests like Grover Nordquest instead of faithfully representing their electorate.

    • Interesting! Not a word about the War Department and our never-ending military aggression in your comment. The budget problem, if it is even a problem, can be fixed there, I. That five-sided building.

      It’s that simple. But neither party wants to dance to that music. It’s so much easier to go after Medicare recipients than weapons manufacturers.

      • You are correct in that I didn’t mention any specifics in my comment, Mark, but you were stupid enough to miss the point. I will answer your own personal delusions though.

        Yes, we spent an ungoldly amount of money on the wars in the Middle East and yes, we are still spending more each day. You are a complete moron if you believe that ending that spending will single handedly solve the deficit or the budget crisis. Medicare/Medicaid is unsustainable in it’s current iteration. Spending outside of the Military is unsustainable in the current iteration. I agree that no one wants to dance to the tune of your myopic and paranoid fantasies but it is what it is.

  • So I’m stupid, delusional, moronic, myopic and paranoid. Remind me to avoid upsetting you – you’ll really let go! but I suspect now you are out of insult words, having used them up in one comment, so let’s proceed.

    It’s not just the wars, but 700 or 800 bases, unimaginable hardware, and waste and fraud. We can’t begin to count the money they cannot account for. That’s not all of our problem, but “most” works for me.

    Medicare is a problem, not the program, but the idea that it is tied to the incredibly expensive and inefficient private health care system, and subject to private waste, fraud and abuse. We need national health care but that problem cannot be solved, as we had our shot in ’09, and the Democrats blew it.

  • Oh, I haven’t even begun insulting you, Mark. I just tend to refrain from doing so on other people’s blog. I was tempted to completely ignore your comments here but the stupidity was too great for me to pass on that.

    I know this example will go over your head but I will give it a shot. Ignoring your left handed insult to the fact that I served in the Navy for the better part of a decade, let me relate to you a story that occured during that time.

    It is an ignored fact that most cities that house military bases – especially naval bases – tend to have a Love/Hate relationship with those bases. One of the worst is Norfolk Virginia. While I was waiting for my Nuclear Power Class to start (in those days, a nuke went to “A” school in one place and then went to Nuclear Power School in Orlando Florida), I was temporarily stationed on an LKA in Norfolk. This was during one of the more “Hate” periods in that specific situation. While I was stationed there, there were a series of assaults, robberies and even a couple of homicides of naval guys in the district surrounding the base. This ring of businesses had been a bone of contention between the Base Commander and the City of Norfolk for decades. Further, there was a lot of anti-Navy sentiment in the City. You would routinely see signs like “Sailors and Dog, Keep off the grass”.

    The situation exploded after a few navy guys ended up dead and the City Police were reluctant to investigate the deaths. The Commander of the base came up with a kind of unique solution. He closed the base. No one in, no one out.

    First to complain were the military contractors and civilian service personnel. They didn’t get paid if they didn’t work. Next came the owners of the businesses in the so called “Red Light District”. Within a week, business owners from all over the city were clammering at City Hall to get the base reopened.

    After two weeks, many businesses in Norfolk were actually hurting. No one considered just how much money filtered into the local economy from the Base and it’s personnel. In three weeks, the Mayor of Norfolk was frantic and went so far as to contact the Vice Admiral of the Navy. The base remained closed.

    What fixed the problem was that the City of Norfolk pledged to clean up the “Red Light District” and the signs disappeared from lawns. After a month, the Base Commander reopened the base.

    I can’t speak to what Norfolk is like now because it was my one and only time in that city. I will say that for the rest of the time I was there, the sailors were treated with respect and courtesy and there were no more homicides that went uninvestigated.

    It is easy for you to claim that the Military is useless, expensive and the only problem with our budget. The facts do not support you, but you will claim in none the less. You never served in the military. You have never been to some of the dark places in the world that would like nothing better than to see the United States of America blotted off the face of the earth. Our military exists for a reason and I am here to tell you, that reason is a damn valid one.

    • Thanks for laying off the insults on someone else’s blog. I’m curious what other words you have in reserve, as I’ve never known you to know a lot of them.

      One hell of an anecdote! Suppose now that the people housed at a naval base were instead employed building pyramids. Same difference except that the planet is a bit safer place for children and other living things.

      The US has always been naturally defended by two oceans. I won’t say we don’t need a military, but I would venture a guess that we have ten times more military than we need to protect our shores. The rest is for aggression, control of resources that belong to other peoples.

      Wall Street sees something it wants, first go the missionaries, then the marines. If there are no business interests at stakes, there are none of you guys in those dark places. Stop pretending it’s for us.

      • Mark, you have no idea what you are talking about. I have been to some of those dark places and there were no business interests there – just people who needed saving or bad guys needed watching (and sometimes, killing). You are an idiot with no knowledge of the subject at hand.

  • Mark, what you think about the military is moot. You have no knowledge of what the military actually does, what is needed to meet the threats to our safety or what it costs to operate the military. You are, in short, blowing smoke out your butt.

    As expected, you missed the point. The point is so basic, a 9th grader would have gotten it. I would have kind of expected an accountant to have gotten it, but I never underestimate your ability to be stupid.

    The point is that a vast majority of the money that goes to the military supports our damn economy. Let me educate you (if that is possible).

    The American Economy is not strong because people have money. In fact, it isn’t money that fuels either the economy or progress. It is the USE of money – the movement of money from 0ne place to another – that drives the economy. The example I just gave you illustrates that. It also invalidates most of your deluded veiwpoints about the military. Nothing can change your absurd idea about how little we need a strong military. That is so ingrained in your mythological reasoning that it will never change.

    Investment in our military personnel is not only smart because it makes us safer, it also fuels the economy just like any other job sector. In fact, for the relative small wages we pay our military, we see larger than expected returns because we – as a country – have become exceptionally good at milking every dime we can get from military personnel. Moreover, the military complex (where we really do need to focus some attention on) moves insane amounts of money around – providing jobs, goods, services and, yes, kickbacks to policitians. This all FUELS the economy in various ways. While I would be the first person to advocate for a more effecient procurement system (I once recieved a decent bonus because I identified a contracter supplying a 14 cent part for over 12 thousand dollars), I do NOT, in any way, believe that we should significantly downsize our military. In fact, I believe that we have dangerously downsized parts of the military too much and not focused on some of the areas we really should have focused on. That will have to be a discussion for another time and it is besides the basic point. You fail econ 101 miserably. You need to go back to school or up your medication….

  • So you’re afraid. So you think the m,tray is saving villages by destroying them. his I know about soldiers: you are ipdeeply indoctrinated, and compartmentalized. That’s why I don’t rely on soldiers for information.

    Enough of this nonsense.

    • Mark! Perfect timing. I just bought “People Over Profits”. So, I’m reading Chomsky (not for the first time, but I could use a refresher). But what he and you never recognize is this – whatever our military does, and whatever it does in the interest of business, the net effect is a wealthier, more peaceful world with much higher standards of human development than the world that preceded the existence of the CIA and modern DoD.

      Moreover, those benefits are not equally distributed. The areas with the most US troops, North East Asia and Western Europe, have also been the most peaceful. Western Europe has been nearly completely at peace since we stationed troops there, same with Japan. Between the Hungarian uprising, Prague Spring, military rule in Poland, and counter-insurgency in Lithuania, the same cannot be said for areas occupied by the Soviet Union.

      Latin America had less US direct involvement, though plenty of covert action. The result? Not substantially different than Latin America prior to the the establishment of the CIA, or for that matter different than Latin America before the Roosevelt corollary. Yes, we supported military leaders and autocrats. But an actually examination of Latin American history will reveal that this is not substantially different than the pattern the persisted before US intervention. And the current situation in Latin America, though imperfect, is a vast improvement, and the exceedingly destructive wars (some of the worst in history as a proportion of populations killed) that dominated the 19th century have gotten quite a bit less prevalent.

      The regions with the least US involvement? Africa, and China and Eastern Europe pre-1970, as well as India pre-1991. What do these places have in common? Economic stagnation, civil unrest, pollution, starvation in the working classes – all of the things Chomsky blames the Washington consensus for.

      • That’s one big paint brush you use there, and generalizations so large as to make the entire paragraph pointless – and I mean precisely that – you made not one cogent point. But you’re a very smart guy and I take you seriously and do not mean to put you down for doing a blurb that illustrates your conclusions without all of the preceding thought. That’s pretty much standard blog fare.

        So let’s have this as an ongoing discussion? I have actual work to do today. But you are one of the few voices I have encountered on the bogs by which I feel deeply challenged to justify my world view. Problem is that it’s not something we can flesh out in a few snippy paragraphs.

        • If Chomsky is the extent of your knowledge concerning the military, you are both living in a fantasy world. You really should get out more and see the real world rather than the world according to Chomsky.

          • Chomsky is not the key to understanding the military; he is the key to understanding Mark and how he looks at the world. I personally respect the unique experience I imagine comes with military experience – unfortunately, when I was at a point in my life where that seemed feasible, George W. Bush was president.

            • Ah… Thank you for pointing that out, Polish. I had not considered that possibility. As far as the military experience, it can (and often is) a life changer for most people. Some change for the worse, but for most, military service can have a definitely positive change in their lives. One of the benefits is getting the oppurtunity to see more of the world than the insular viewpoints we are exposed to in the States.

      • OK – I re-read this several times today, and attempted a reply and tossed it. Can’t be done! Your assertions are so broad that all I can say is that everything you say is assertion without evidence, often assuming to correlation is causation. I went so far as to list the wars the western European states have been involved in since the end of the war, interventions, but it’s pointless. Those countries were so drained in 1945 that only the US could step forward to take the mantle of colonial master. The world order had to be maintained, with smaller countries like Vietnam devastated for stepping out of line. Your dichotomy between US and Western Europe is a false one. The US simply assumed the role of the old European states.

        Your assertion more generally is that colonialism, neocolonialism, outright occupation are beneficial for the occupied/colonized. That’s imperialist hubris in the extreme. Take just one example, India, where more people died from famines under the British than ever in Mao’s China … there have been no famines since the British left. The Brits, generally, assume that they left India better than they found it, and as always with hubris, there’s not reaching that mindset.

        It’s really too much, and then you close by saying that Africa and China are suffering due to lack of attention by the US, and I think man, you’ve got to be joking. Anyway, don’t forget, the US elected to ignore Africa after the war, leaving it to the Europeans, and only recently set up a central command for the continent, and so the wars are starting there, Libya the first major one.

        Too much, way too much. Pick a country, any country, but don’t sit there and assume that there is anything of value in your comment, which basically says “I’m right, you’re wrong, and here are my existential reasons why.”

        • Alright, Mark, I’ll pick a country. I pick Brazil. It’s a country I know a thing or two about, though I’ve never been there. John Perkins has, however, spent quite a bit of time there.

          John Perkins wrote “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”. I never read that book because it was out of stock when I wanted it. I bought “The Secret History of the American Empire”, also by him. And what does he write? Well I don’t have the page number because the book isn’t in front of me, but he says essentially that a member of Lula da Silva’s inner circle admitted to him that every party in Brazil, including the Socialists and Communists, is controlled in one way or another by the US. So, we can assume that for as much as he may have acted like a Kirchner or a Chavez, Lula was in our pocket.

          Do we then have to take the blame for favelas, for police brutality, and income inequality? Perhaps to an extent, but police brutality and income inequality have existed in Brazil since before independence, and the favelas are in many ways an improvement over the rural poverty their denizens are attempting to escape. But then shouldn’t the US, through it’s shadow empire, also get credit for the remarkable achievements of the Brazilian state. They are self sufficient in oil, not the sort of thing a neoliberal likes to see in a foreign state; Petrobras is the largest corporation headquartered in the Southern hemisphere, and by most accounts is the most socially and environmentally conscious oil company in the world. Again, why would the neo-liberal order create something like that?

          In the last two decades, the poverty rate in Brazil has been cut in half; 54% of the population is now in the middle class, and over two million moved into that class in the last year. Compare that to Venezuela, which has in the same amount of time suffered a shrinkage of the middle class despite a much more ready source of foreign currency for imports and a higher GDP per capita.

          Now, has the US influence in Brazil been universally positive? Certainly not. But it has been pervasive, and since the Cardoso government, a good relationship with the US has gone hand in hand with economic growth, expansion of the middle class, increased literacy, and longer life expectancy.

          • I read both books at some time … The US does not control events, but seeks to influence them in every way possible. But when there is a breakaway, as there has been generally in Latin America these last two decades, it’s a bit disingenuous to credit the advances to the US. stain, read Open Veins … More tomorrow.

            • There’s been a breakaway, now, Mark? Why (more accurately, how) would Brazil ‘break away’ from the US at precisely the time when the US was at it’s strongest (the mid-nineties)? And must I go back to find your previous prediction that the US has neo-liberals ‘in the wings’, waiting to take over these left wing governments?

              Or is it more likely that precisely because the US is the only truly great power today, there is no reason for us to fear either wing, left or right, of Latin American politics? In Brazil, at least, this seems to be the case. Cardoso had strong links to the US, and while da Silva was supposedly rather independent, he nonetheless never strayed too far from friendship with the US, and the indication in the book, at least, is that he was much closer to US policy than he let on. Moreover, the foundations of Brazilian wealth, Petrobras, the auto industry,etc., were laid down and nurtured when the US maintained tight control over Brazilian politics,

        • “Your assertion more generally is that colonialism, neocolonialism, outright occupation are beneficial for the occupied/colonized.”

          Where? Where is this assertion? My assertion was that US involvement, and particularly US military involvement, does not correlate and thus certainly is not the cause of poverty or instability. I will say though that colonialism, imperialism, neocolonialism, etc, are also not the cause, or at least not the unique cause, of civil instability, economic turmoil, etc. If it were, there would be an appreciable difference between, say, Ethiopia and Kenya, in Ethiopia’s favor.

          As to China suffering from lack of US attention…no, I’m not kidding. China’s HDI since 1972 has grown incredibly quickly, while prior to 1972 the same pattern of famine and mass poverty persisted as it had since the beginning of Chinese written history. This is precisely the period Chomsky identifies as China experiencing re-integration into the American system. Indeed, since 1970 (which is essentially when the Eastern Bloc started to lose it’s economic clout), only three countries have NOT increased their HDI. Therefore, it would seem that if colonialism is bad (I’m not familiar enough with the history of colonialism to dispute that point), the last half-century of American global dominance has been qualitatively different that European colonialism, which makes the term neo-colonialism singularly misleading.

  • Oops: not spellchecked, dammit. I’m watching s documentary now about our military industrial complex, ” Ethos'” and our propaganda system (which owns your mind), and future surveillance plans that will allow government to simply cut off access to money and ceedit for anyone who protests. This is what you are unknowingly part of … Fascism.

    This is the spellchecked version of what I wrote above:

    So you’re afraid. So you think the military is saving villages by destroying them. This I know about soldiers: you are deeply indoctrinated, and compartmentalized. That’s why I don’t rely on soldiers for information.

    Enough of this nonsense.

    • When faced with absolute evidence of your idiocy, you retreat to your paranoia. Can’t say I am surprised. You stay stupid, Mark. It fits you.

      • “Absolute evidence?” You relayed an anecdote, fer chrissakes. What is it with you Kaileys, presuming such gravitas?

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