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TM, ®, Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.


Articles on the USA published after 2018
The Greatest Humiliation in US History?
History repeats itself and so do facial expressions
Rapists and Murderers
Beyond Dementia: how a Young Upstart took advantage of a Senile Moron
The Truth about Trump's Tariffs
Unhappy America: Suicide rates up in every state
The New New New World Order
Why Kill the Iran Deal Now
How the USA spends your tax money
The #neveragain Movement Misses the Point
The Trump Scandals
The Trump Wars
Congratulations NRA on another well-executed massacre
One year into the Trump-Russia collusion scandal
Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation
What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns?
Articles on the USA published before 2018


  • (July 2018) The Greatest Humiliation in US History?.

    Putin and Trump met in Finland. Putin treated Trump like the governor of a Russian colony, but, more importantly, Trump behaved like the governor of a Russian colony.


  • (July 2018) History repeats itself and so do facial expressions.

  • (June 2018) Rapists and Murderers.

    "Vladimir" Trump, the man who loves only brutal dictators like Putin and Kim who have murdered thousands of people (sometimes including members of their own family), has repeatedly called for zero tolerance on illegal immigration calling the Hispanic immigrants "rapists and murderers". I am shocked that relatively few people stood up and told the nation what many of us know: illegal immigrants from Latin America are the hardest working people that i have seen in my life after the Chinese. They don't have time to be rapists and murderers because they work very hard every day (except sunday, when they go to mass). Within a couple of years, they run their little family business. They serve the community and they pay taxes. Those are the illegal immigrants that we know. Trump seems to know a different kind, and that could be because he employed illegal immigrants of a different kind at his shady businesses. Now he thinks that all Hispanics are crooks like he, his family and his friends are.
    I wish the same could be said of white Christians. Pretty much all serial killers and all school shooters are white Christians. They indeed are rapists and murderers. (See What is wrong with White Anglosaxon Christians?)
    But back to the illegal immigrants. The reason they are illegal is that Congress (widely dominated by Trump's party for the last generation) never passed immigration reform. That negligence (sabotage?) has had two tragic consequences: 1. Many immigrants in search of a job or fleeing conflicts had to enter illegally because there just wasn't any reasonable way to enter legally; and 2. (Yes, there is a second consequence) Many legal immigrants who had higher education and valuable skills were discouraged from staying. How many bright engineers are willing to wait three years in line to get a green card when they can get a highly paid job in Europe or Canada or Australia or Singapore? Not many. None of my Swiss, Scandinavian, German, Singaporean friends has remained in the USA. They all moved to countries that are friendlier to immigrants. This is a complete reversal of what was happening one century ago. Sure enough you can see the effects on science: who invented the Artificial Intelligence that we use today? Hinton, LeCun, Bengio, Schmidhuber, DeepMind, etc. None of them was working in the USA (Canada, Germany, Britain, etc). The top robotics scientists are also foreign-born. Sure, Google and Stanford can attract them to Silicon Valley, and thus the world can still think that the USA is leading in A.I., but the truth is that the USA is sending away all the top scientists and then only places like Silicon Valley have the money to bring them back. Over the last year the teams that won the most important competitions in A.I. are all Chinese. Most of them studied in the USA, but the USA made it very difficult for them to stay. (Then, of course, after sending them back to China under threat of deportation, Fox News and Trump will accuse them of being "spies" who stole US technology).
    Once you create the impression that you are a country hostile to immigrants the damage is done: you won't discourage the refugees coming from warzones or extreme poverty but you easily discourage the ones who have valuable skills desired by many other countries.
    But back to the illegal immigrants. Every study shows that they are less likely to commit violent crimes, less likely to divorce, and less likely to have debts. In other words, they build strong family ties and they save money. I guess this has become un-American in the age of Trump (a man who filed bankruptcies six times and got married three times plus extramarital affairs).
    Note that not a single Islamic terrorist ever entered the USA from Mexico: if that border is so unprotected clearly at least one Al Qaeda or ISIS terrorist must have entered from it? Surprise: there isn't a single case of an Islamic terrorist entering from Mexico. Why? Because Mexico, unlike the USA, actually does a very good job of screening immigrants, whether legal or illegal. Anybody coming from Mexico has been de facto screened by a much more efficient country, the country of Mexico. It is true that Mexico lets families flow through all the way to the US border, but it is also true that Mexico is virtually impregnable to terrorists, and so de facto it has protected the USA from terrorist attacks. We wish we could say the same of the cities of the USA that allowed 19 Al Qaeda terrorists to travel around the USA in 2001.
    There is no question that illegal immigrants are illegal and no country should tolerate illegal acts, but it is wildly misleading to call it "criminal" as if looking for a job were morally equivalent to killing 17 people at the Parkland high school. There is a big difference between these two crimes, and any country in the world would be more concerned about school shootings than about job seekers (alas, there is only one country that has the problem of mass shootings, the USA). You can't bring back to life those 17 high-school kids, that's an irreversible crime; but you can easily make the illegal immigrants legal if you give them a way to become legal. So the two "crimes" are wildly different in nature, scope, effect and remedy.
    Incidentally, any US citizen who wants to invoke ethical principles should first and foremost ponder why these immigrants are willing to risk everything to cross the US border. It is certainly true that their regimes failed them, but in many cases the US government has been an accomplice to those regime's corruption if not the very cause. It is despicable that the USA now refuses to take in more Syrian refugees given that all the trouble in that region started with an inept invasion of Iraq by the USA. ISIS did not exist and Al Qaeda was limited to Afghanistan before the Republican Party of the USA decided to install a new order there. The same party is in power now. It should at least feel responsible (if not guilty) for the new mess that has replaced the previous one. People who live there are not sure at all what was better: Saddam Hussein or ISIS? The Taliban or an endless civil war? Ditto in Central America, that has been destabilized by a drug war largely caused by the USA: the USA is the top destination of drugs and therefore, indirectly, the USA is the top financier of the druglords, and probably their top supplier of guns. The families of Honduras and parts of Mexico live in terror. The druglords are among the most brutal criminals in history, ready to torure, decapitate and burn anybody. You would flee just like these families flee. And yes you would take your children with you. The USA is partly responsible for the drug war that is destroying those societies. Simply building walls (and concentration camps for children) is not the ethical way to solve problems that have been caused by the ineptitude and/or corruption and of US governments.
    Besides the ethical reasons (that seem to matter less and less for US citizens who vote scumbags like Trump in power), there are practical and economic reasons to allow more immigrants in. The classic one is that the USA is a country of immigrants, and immigrants from Fermi (nuclear power) to Von Braun (spaceships) turned the USA from a group of poor colonies (whose greatest achievement had been the bloodiest civil war in history) into the world's superpower. But there are new important reasons to allow more people in, and many more. To start with, the only way that the USA can match China's GPD is by increasing its population. China is actually a bit smaller than the USA, but it has four times the US population (1.3 billion to 0.3 billion). It is an unfair race: inevitably, China's economy will quickly pass the USA's economy, and the gap will only grow over time. The day when the average Chinese becomes as wealthy as the average US citizen, China will have an economy four times bigger. That day the USA will be as powerful versus China as Japan is today versus the USA. In other words, the USA will be a greatly diminished power, or, better, not a power at all. If the USA wants to compete with China, it has to find a way to populate its immense empty spaces, and immigration is the natural way to do so. In fact, it has been precisely the way it worked until recently: the western territories were colonized by waves and waves of immigrants (Europeans, Chinese, Japanese and Mexicans).
    Another reason to rapidly increase the population is simply the shortage of labor. The average household is paying a huge price for the scarcity of handymen, plumbers, electricians, car mechanics and so on. There are also jobs that no US citizen wants to do, like cleaning streets or picking up garbage. Those are actually essential services. The last thing we need is immigration based on merit: we certainly can use scientists and engineers, but we desperately need people willing to provide the essential services of a city, which, unfortunately, tend to fetch a very low pay but that, fortunately, don't require a lot of schooling. Those are ideal jobs for poor immigrants, willing to work for salaries that are lower than the average.
    The demographic problem is compounded by the fact that the US population is rapidly aging. Without immigration the US population will rapidly become too old to take care of itself. Most immigrants are young and can balance this trend. Last but not least, someone will have to take care of those millions of US citizens in their 80s, 90s, 100s... The USA does not have enough nurses to take care of its aging population. Given a much higher demand for nurses than the supply of nurses, only the very rich can afford the rates of the 24-hour at-home nursing services. Illegal immigrants have been crucial to keep alive tens of thousands of elderly people who cannot afford assistance services at regular rates (not to mention to allow young couples an evening to the movies: many babysitters are "au pairs" who overstay or cheat on their visa).
    The barrier to immigration is one cause of the skyrocketing cost of living in the USA. We have to pay higher and higher prices for basic services (and wait longer and longer to get the service done) because of labor shortages in many areas, from plumbing to haircuts. While my state was discussing whether to give illegal immigrants a driver license, i was in a long line at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The line is chronically long because our state doesn't have the money to hire more people and open more branches. Ironically, a simple solution would be to hire thousands of illegal immigrants. A few of us would have to practice our Spanish, but that's infinitely better than standing in line for hours. Therefore even government offices could use a few thousands "illegal" immigrants (who would therefore become legal, and not only legal but also indispensable).
    The price of legalizing "illegal" immigrants (people who want to work in this country), or, better, of allowing more immigrants into the country, is negligible compared with the advantage in making services more affordable for millions of families, higher GDP, and higher tax revenues.
    So the truth about the illegal immigrants is that they could be the solution to several pressing problems. Today they are a problem. Tomorrow they could be the solutions to other, more important, problems. The transition from today to tomorrow may not be trivial (obviously we are not excited at the idea of rewarding the foreigners who broke the law over the thousands or millions of foreigners who did not break the law and are still in their country, waiting for a lawful way to emigrate to the USA), but it is silly to simply deport them without first checking if they could be useful, and it is demented to call them "rapists and murderers".
    Maybe they came simply because there was a demand, not because they enjoy walking thousands of kms and risking their lives. Maybe there is a demand, maybe an increasing demand that is costing US citizens a lot more, a cost that could be eliminated if the USA simply made it easy for millions of immigrants to enter (or remain) legally.
    And, if we really have to be racist, let's at least target the group that deserves it: the serial killers and the school shooters are almost all white Christian males, and mostly with an Anglosaxon last name. If you really have to be racist, at least target the right group: white Christians. Maybe start with the evangelicals, who do not deserve US citizenship, nor protection under US laws, since they explicitly state that their priority is to be loyal to someone else (a fictional god) before the US constitution.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (June 2018) Beyond Dementia: how a Young Upstart took advantage of a Senile Moron.

    The short summary is this. Kim keeps getting everything he wants: he got the nuclear weapons, as he wanted; he got the long-range missiles, as he wanted; he got recognition from the US president, as he wanted; he got a meeting with the US president, as he wanted; and now he got the suspension of US military exercises in Korea, as he wanted. Trump conceded everything without getting anything in return. Everything that he claimed during the (rambling) one-hour press conference is a fraction of what previous presidents achieved in 1994 and 2006, and a fraction of what his own team was trying to achieve. Basically, he got absolutely no concession from Kim. Kim simply restated what his grandfather and his father always said: a commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula, but that has always meant that the USA should withdraw and leave the North Korean dictatorship thriving on.
    During his (rambling) press conference Trump admitted his concessions, that start with granting the dictator of a tiny country such monumental honor of meeting with the most powerful man in the world, granting the North Korean regime an international legitimacy that North Korea never had before, followed by something that North Korea always demanded, the suspension of military exercises with South Korea; and then he expressed (rambled on) a lot of wishful thinking that hopefully this time giving North Korea what it wanted will lead to better relations. He (Trump) repeated what North Korea has always said: that the military exercises with South Korea are "provocative" actions. Basically, Trump said that North Korea has always been right and the USA always wrong. The radical left-wing liberals of the world can rejoyce: they've always been right that it was the USA to provoke North Korea, not the other way around.
    Of course, these are big wins for Kim. Back home he will be treated like a big winner. See it the way his people will see it (and, actually, the whole world will see it): North Korea's young dictator Kim defied the USA and sped up his program of nuclear and missile tests, and then coerced the USA to sit down at the negotiating table, accepting North Korea as an equal power, and has obtained recognition of its legitimacy and security guarantees. It even obtained the the USA cancels the "provocative" games with South Korea as North Korea has demanded for decades.
    Trump rambled on for one hour about his "historic" meeting. It was indeed historic how a president of the USA (or, for that matter, a leader of any power in history) got swindled by a young thug. He got absolutely nothing about North Korea freezing its nuclear program or its long-range missile program, not even a pledge to halt the nuclear tests; nothing about destroying the bombs and missiles that it already built and that can strike the USA, and nothing about allowing international inspectors to the nuclear sites, The US public should be terrified that the USA has been cheated by North Korea, and even more terrified that Trump doesn't seem to realize how he was cheated by this young thug.
    Incidentally, it was shocking to watch the commentators on Fox News praise this (embarrassing) meeting and praise the (insignificant) outcome. Fox News and the other radical right-wing media have always considered as treason the very idea of meeting with North Korea's dictator. They crucified Obama when he said publicly that he was willing to do so. They backed the Republican Party in 1994 when the Republican Party, having finally won the majority in Congress, killed Bill Clinton's plan to start negotiations with North Korea (which at the time didn't have nuclear weapons yet). Within a few weeks Fox News has completely changed the narrative depicting a meeting with North Korea's president as a honorable, corageous and even smart action. Imagine if Obama ever said of dictator Kim: "His people love him". Well, that's precisely what Trump said the following day, lavishing praise on the dictator who presides over the number-one terror regime in the world. It was surreal to watch radical right-wing commentator Sean Hannity rave about the Singapore meeting over bombastic patriotic music just like the Pravda of the Soviet Union used to do (and also like the media of Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy used to do). Basically, now Fox News endorses the views held for decades by communists, and by left-wing commentators like Noam Chomsky: these always argued that the USA was "provoking" North Korea and that the US president should negotiate with the communist dictator. One has to wonder who is paying these Fox News commentators for swinging so radically from the radical right to the radical left in such a radically short time.
    "Vladimir" Trump really wanted the meeting with North Korea's dictator Jong-un Kim (the last name is Kim, not Jong-un). It was probably a mix of ego and of strategy. He desperately needs a story in foreign policy that is not just "I am delivering everything Putin ever wanted to achieve" and he desperately needs distractions from the investigation in his collusion with Russia.
    But it was during Trump's presidency that North Korea achieved the capability to strike the USA with nuclear weapons. You'd expect Trump to be at least a little worried and upset about this legacy of his.
    Instead Trump keeps proving, time and again, that he is only good at destroying. He has already destroyed the Atlantic alliance and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), not to mention the friendship with Canada, and is set to deliver more destruction to his master Putin. Trump the destroyer is just unable to build anything.
    And he proves, time and again, that values don't matter to him. He hardly understands that this Kim just killed his uncle and his brother, and that millions of people are enslaved in North Korea.
    It wasn't difficult to predict what the (very rational and very smart) Kim wanted from Trump. See my past predictions: The North Korean Crisis: A Tale of Two Madmen (or just one?) and Is North Korea about to Dump China for the USA?.
    But the way Kim outsmarted and ridiculed Trump was unexpected even by the standards of Trump actions. He is beyond treason: he is simply mentally incapable.
    The whole world sees who the winner of this match was. It wasn't even a match. It was the equivalent of a young smart dude stealing the wallet from an old senile rambling dotard. And the senile dotard is still telling everyone that the thief was right to steal his wallet, and that refusing to give the wallet to the thief would be a "provocative" act.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (June 2018) Unhappy America: Suicide rates are up in every state.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (June 2018) The Truth about Trump's Tariffs.
    The radical right-wing media take anything that "Vladimir" Trump says as absolute truth without any fact-checking (just like the Pravda used to do in the Soviet Union and just like Russia Today does with anything that Putin says). It takes a few minutes of research to find out that "Vladimir" Trump lied and that the facts are different, sometimes wildly different.
    "Vladimir" Trump has lied about (just to mention the main ones):
    • Barack Obama's birthplace
    • Which side he himself supported on the Iraq War
    • The size of his inauguration crowd (rolling my eyes)
    • Voter fraud
    • A terrorist attack in Sweden (that never happened)
    • Mexican immigrants
    • The border wall (whose construction has NOT started, and Mexico will certainly NOT pay for it)
    • The sanctions on China (he withdrew them)
    • The number of job created since he took office (the economy created 3.9 million jobs in Obama's last 18 months and only 3.3 million jobs during Trump's first 18 months)
    • Hillary Clinton (no, she had not committed a crime, unlike "Vladimir" Trump, and no she will not be "locked up")
    • The trade deficits (The USA, which still is the world's third largest exporter, enjoys a trade surplus with Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Britain and some other 90 countries)
    • The hush money paid by his attorney to porn star Stormy Daniels
    • Cheating on his wives
    • The "13 angry democrats" conspiracy theory (to start with, Robert Mueller is a life-long Republican)
    • And of course the whole Russia investigation (that so far has proven false all of his statements except, so far, the denial that a video exists of him having an orgy with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel)
    So no surprise that everything he said about trade with the European Union was false. The European Union actually has the exact same average tariffs of the USA: 1.6% (source: World Bank). Japan has an even lower average, at 1.4%. Canada has the lowest of any country in the world: 0.8%. On the other hand, Russia has one of the highest among major nations, 3.4%. But notoriously "Vladimir" Trump doesn't care about how Russia hurts the USA.
    There is also the simple fact that trade deficits calculate only the goods that are sent back and forth the border. Those goods account for about 10% of the US economy and that's the old declining economy that only third-world countries try to protect. The economy of the future is service, and mostly online. Progress and prosperity also largely depend on the flow of capital. The US is a net beneficiary of the flow of capitals in the world. If the USA stops buying German cars and Canadian steel, those countries might make it harder for their investors to send money to the USA. Europe and China are the main contributors to venture capital in the USA. That's the money that drives Silicon Valley, possibly the only field in which the USA is still the world's leading country.
    Finally, someone should mention that the USA has a national debt of 21 trillion dollars (check it out). It skyrocketed after Trump became president, and it is likely to increase a lot more after his tax cuts for the rich. How does the USA cope with the largest debt in the world? It still prints money, a lot of money, and expects the world to still buy dollars. It also issues a lot of bonds, and it expects the world to buy them. The biggest buyers? China and Europe. Punishing your main creditors with tariffs doesn't seem like a good strategy for the long term.
    If trade imbalance were a good reason to slap tariffs on a country's products, surely Israel would pay a price for its huge trade imbalance with the USA? The USA imports two dollars of goods for every dollar that Israel imports of US goods. And if the imports of steel were the main reason for the tariffs, surely Russia would be punished too, wouldn't it? The USA imports the same amount of steel from China and Russia, but "Vladimir" Trump wants to punish only China, not Russia.
    So... if the tariffs were NOT the real reason for starting a trade war with the USA's traditional allies of Canada, Japan and Europe, what was the real reason for "Vladimir" Trump to attack them? All you have to do is to read Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (June 2018) The New New New World Order.

    Trump barely showed up at the G7 Summit and did little more than ask that Russia be readmitted in the club (it was expelled after it invaded Ukraine). Trump wants Russia to sit down with the Western powers. Not China, that will soon be the world's largest economy, and not India, another juggernaut with a much bigger economy than Russia. Trump wants Russia only. Then Trump left for his meeting with North Korea's dictator Kim Jung-un, who is getting much more attention from the US president than any of the NATO allies (allies which, incidentally, have economies that are hundreds of times bigger than North Korea's).
    A few days earlier, Trump slapped sanctions against European companies (and it is no coincidence that some of the German companies punished by Trump are the ones that, under sanctions imposed by the European Union to punish Russia, stopped trading with Russia) as well as Japanese and Canadian companies. When he became president, his first major decision was to scrap the TPP that would have created the largest economic alliance in history ever.
    Meanwhile, China is hosting the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Mostly ignored by US media, this meeting is attended by Russia's president Putin, India's prime minister Modi, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani, Pakistan's president, etc.
    The growing gap between the USA and its traditional allies is not only the making of a senile scumbag who became president by accident. One can sense palpable hostility towards Europe and Japan on pretty much any Fox News panel (Fox News is the president's mouthpiece but also the main source of opinionated news for Republican voters). The anti-European pro-Russian front may not represent the majority of the US population, but it holds the power.
    The largest economy in the world is the economy of the European Union. Very soon, the largest economy in the world will be China, which already controls world trade more than anyone else.
    See if you can find the Russian economy in this chart of the largest economies in the world:

    But Trump wants Russia in the G7 (G8), and doesn't seem to think that China and India (2.5 billion people) matter.
    The reason the USA was the most powerful country in the world was not just its large arsenal of nuclear weapons (Russia actually has more) but the fact that the USA was allied with the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh largest economies in the world (Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada). In other words, it wasn't the USA against its enemies, but the "West" against its enemies. Japan was not defeated by the USA: it was defeated by the USA, Britain and (pre-communist) China. Hitler was not defeated by the USA: it was defeated by Britain, the Soviet Union and the USA (and several national antifascist movements). The Soviet Union was contained not by the USA but by NATO, which means the USA, Britain, France, and many other countries. Communist China was contained not by the USA but by the USA, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The USA's real strength lay in its ability to form these alliances, an ability which in turn was due to the appeal of the capitalist democratic model of the USA, and that was strengthened more by trade than by ideology.
    That is why Putin's main goal all these years has been to split the Western alliance: the USA loses 80% of its power if it's left alone in the world; in fact, the USA becomes a little bit like Russia, a nuclear power that has virtually no friends and therefore is left to count its atomic bombs while the rest of the world thrives on. Trump is delivering what Putin wanted: dismantling the alliances of the USA. Trump delivered Syria to Putin and now delivers the dismantling of the Western institutions to Putin.
    Europe and East Asia have to wake up to the fact that the USA is hopelessly unstable and unreliable, and more vulnerable to Russian manipulations than any developing country.
    After killing the TPP, Trump is now making the G7 obsolete and irrelevant while Xi is making the Shanghai Cooperation Group more and more relevant. There aren't many choices. Europe is more aligned with China than with the USA, both on trade and on foreign policy. So are Japan and South Korea. The sensible course of action is to create a Europe-Iran-India-China-Far East axis to counterbalance the three nuclear madmen: Putin, Trump and Netanyahu.
    It will be a very dangerous world, a world in which the (mostly) non-nuclear alliance gets richer and happier while the nuclear alliance sinks in scandals, corruption, nepotism, incompetence and warmongering. The nuclear alliance will be tempted to use its only valuable resource: its weapons. That's what the three militaristic powers of the 1930s ended up doing (Hitler's Germany, Japan and Mussolini's Italy).
    There is a slim chance that the US electorate votes against Trump's party and therefore greatly reins in Trump's pro-Russian drive, but even that won't change the fact that the USA is a country that cannot be trusted, with an electoral system that borders on grotesque. You never know which crazy idiot is going to be elected next. We thought that it couldn't get any worse than George W Bush. Now you may think that it cannot get any worse than Donald Trump. But the US electoral system is so out of control (electoral college, gerrymandering, irrational senate representation, and so on, further compounded by foreign-funded lobbying, Christian fundamentalism, and a deluge of fake news by radical-right wing media) that even a serial killer could be elected.

    Trump about Canada's democratically elected prime minister Justin Trudeau: "very dishonest and weak" (June 2018).

    Trump about North Korea's dictator Jong-un Kim (who, among many other things, murdered his uncle and his half-brother): "It's a great honor to be with you" (three days later).

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (May 2018) Why Kill the Iran Deal Now
    Trump was reportedly counselled against abandoning the Iranian nuclear deal by secretary of state Rex Tillerson, national security advisor HR McMaster and secretary of defence James Mattis. Opinion polls showed a vast majority of citizens in favor of staying in the deal. But Trump preferred to obey Netanyahu's orders and withdraw. (See The USA is a banana republic). Israel wants a war with Iran for its own reasons: it correctly views Iran as the only country that could potentially become a regional rival, as it was in the old days. See The biggest scam in the Middle East: Israel's war on Iran Netanyahu is paranoid about Iran because he has reasons to be. Since 2001 it has been obvious to any external objective observer that the USA and Iran have enemies in common: Iran was the only country to fight the Taliban before 2001 and Iran was the country that fought a long and bloody war against Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. When the USA attacked those two, the USA was simply following in the footsteps of Iran. No wonder therefore that Iran became the main beneficiary of George W Bush's wars. Bush removed Iran's most dangerous neighbor (Saddam Hussein) and Iran's most serious long-term threat (the Taliban, another Sunni fanatical movement that views Shiites as mortal enemies). When ISIS took over most of Syria and a piece of Iraq, the first country to send soldiers was Iran. Iran fought ISIS for real, while US allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia helped ISIS with money and weapons. No wonder that eventually Iran, under a new president, decided to sit down with the USA and try to negotiate some kind of agreement about its nuclear program. Netanyahu might be honestly worried about Iran's nuclear program (and of course he avoids mentioning that Iran must be worried about Israel's much more advanced nuclear program) but he is probably also worried about the possibility that the USA and Iran become buddies again. Before the revolution that ousted the shah and installed the current Shiite theocracy, Iran was the USA's most reliable ally in the region. When Iran fell, Israel took its place. Israel has made a fortune out of that Shiite revolution in Iran. (See How Israel was born and became a power).

    It must have been alarming for Netanyahu to know that Iraq was about to have free democratic elections. Netanyahu knows well the danger of letting the Arabs vote. Israel is painfully aware that the three major parties are all close to Iran. Just like Israel never recognized the elections in Gaza (won fair and square by Hamas), Israel has no intention of accepting the results of the elections in Iraq (or, for that matter, anywhere else). The Iraqis voted and, sure enough, former militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr won, beating both the party of militia leader Hadi al-Amiri and the party of Iraq's prime minister Haidar al-Abadi. Iran's influence on Iraq is likely to increase.

    Alas, Israel was much happier having ISIS behead thousands of innocents than having Iran defeat ISIS and expand its influence on the region.

    There were others, besides Israel, who were plotting to install a president willing to attack Iran. In August 2016 Donald Trump's son Donald Jr met at Trump Tower with George Nader, an intermediary representing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with a plan to destabilize Iran, and with Joel Zamel, an Israeli hacker specializing in social-media campaigns with a multimillion-dollar plan to help elect Trump. Nader eventually paid for Zamel's pro-Trump social-media campaign. (See this New York Times article). It doesn't take a conspiracy theory to figure out what happened: Trump promised to destabilize Iran in return for help to get elected.

    There are also other reasons for why Trump decided to kill the Iranian nuclear deal now.

    One simple reason is precisely because of peace with North Korea. It is no coincidence that the decision to pull out of the Iranian deal came right after North Korea signaled the intention to make peace with the USA. The USA's foreign policy is driven by the military industrial complex (read: Lockheed, Boeing, etc). The military industrial complex is terrified that peace with North Korea would dry up contracts for new expensive military equipment. From the Vietnam war to the Iraqi war, the USA has fought all of its wars as business opportunities for these cynical firms. They need wars in order to manufacture their expensive missiles and bombers. If the North Korean crisis is ending, they desperately need a new crisis.

    A more complex reason lies in Trump's ties with Russia (see Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation). Trump's focus on Iran is odd given that that Russia is not complying with a more important nuclear treaty: Russia has deployed nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. Trump's crusade against Iran, a country that has complied with its nuclear deal, distracts the public from the fact that Russia is not complying with a more important nuclear deal (Iran cannot strike the USA, Russia can).

    Canceling the nuclear deal with Iran also contributes to the US split with powerful and important allies (Britain, Germany, France, etc) that Russia loves to exploit. It is unlikely that the European Union, India and China will reimpose sanctions on Iran given that Iran has not violated the agreement. China is now Iran's largest trading partner. Its trade with Iran jumped 30% in the first six months of 2017. China has extended credits to Iran totaling some $35 billion. Trump's renewal of sanctions on Iran will create new tensions with all of these countries, thereby further isolating the USA.

    Meanwhile, Russia will reap the benefits of the certain spike in oil prices: oil is Russia's main export, and any political crisis in the Middle East is likely to send prices surging, thereby making Russia richer. The Business Insider estimates that Russia's revenues from oil could reach $44 billion.

    Trump has just engineered a new economic boom in Russia.

    TM, ®, Text copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (april 2018) How the USA spends your tax money.
    April is tax season in the USA, so it is worth reminding US taxpayers why the government needs their money.
    The USA spends more on its military than the next seven seven nations combined, including Russia and China. If one calculates all the money spent by the USA on its military since the start of the endless Afghanistan war, the USA has spent more than half a trillion dollars each and every year on its military. Yes, that's "trillion": more than the entire GPD of most countries of the world. Trump has just signed an increase in military spending that will bring the yearly expenditure to $756 billion (not my opinion, but Trump's own number). This can only happen if: a) the USA spends less on its own infrastructure (forget the high-speed trains of Asia and Europe, and forget the free health care of Scandinavia and Canada), or b) the USA increases taxes, one way or another (e.g. by eliminating the various deductions, including the popular mortgage deduction), or c) the USA borrows even more money than today from countries like China (which would make it even harder to accuse them of "unfair trade" when in fact they keep the USA from going bankrupt).
    Some may think that this money is well spent because it protects US citizens. Certainly not abroad. The list of countries where US citizens better not travel is increasing every year, and it now includes pretty much every Islamic country. US citizens and businesses abroad are routinely protected by armies of security guards because the number of "terrorists" who would love to blow them up is increasing by the day. The time may come when Europe, China, and countless developing countries will tire of assigning security guards to every US business and tour group, not to mention restaurants and hotels that cater to US citizens.
    That's what your money has achieved in the 25 years since the end of the Cold War.
    Your tax money has also helped the USA prop up the totalitarian Islamic regime of Saudi Arabia, a nation that still considers women as inferior humans, as well as Israel, a nation that has repeatedly violated international law and relies on US weapons to keep violating it.
    Admittedly, your tax money has also helped to defend Japan, Taiwan and South Korea against China and North Korea, although it is not clear how you benefit from that fact.
    Meanwhile, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China have become much modern countries than the USA. When you travel to these Asian countries, or, for that matter, to northern Europe, you feel like you landed on another planet.
    The world knows this because their tourists frequently travel to the USA and return home puzzled by how far behind the USA has fallen. Now they also begin to worry that the country with the largest number of nuclear weapons and the largest military budget in the world is rapidly becoming one of the most backwards with one of the least educated publics, which doesn't sound like a recipe for peace and prosperity.
    TM, ®, Text copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (march 2018) The #neveragain Movement Misses the Point A big crowd convened on Washington for the "March For Our Lives" event. Those are mostly young people protesting against a political class that ignores their most fundamental right: the right to live. The political class, bribed by the NRA, is de facto an accomplice to the massacre of tens of thousands of US citizens, something that no terrorist organization can even dream of.

    The problem with this march and with the whole #neveragain movement is that it misses the point. Were the USA a democratic country, there wouldn't need to be any such march. The thing to protest against is not that the NRA is free to terrorize the nation (and its children in particular). The thing to protest again is that the people are not represented properly in Congress and especially in the White House. The president of the USA is a man who lost the election by three million votes. There is no other country where the person who loses the election becomes president. The mother of all problems is the "electoral college", the silly way in which the USA picks its leader. Two of the last three presidents were elected despite the fact that they lost the election. Both got a tiny minority of the votes of young people. Both will die soon but after shaping the world that young people will have to live in for several more decades. Remove the silly rule that the president is elected by a weird technicality, make the USA a truly democratic (and great) nation, and then no gun-loving politician would ever be elected, because the majority of the country is in favor of gun control.

    The anger that drives these young people (potential future victims of the NRA) will NOT translate into a wave of change in Congress. The reason is very simple: after in 2010 the Tea Party (the radical right-wing gun fanatics of the Republican Party) won several seats in Congress, they quickly proceeded to redraw the borders of electoral districts so that one of them would always win (a tactic eerily reminiscent of how Putin in Russia and others made sure to win elections forever once they won one). That was Chris Jankowski's RedMap (Registricting Majority Project) project. The latest poll (see it here) shows that Democrats will win about 9% more votes than Republicans, but that means virtually nothing: gerrymandering guarantees that the same defeated gun-friendly politicians (mostly Republicans) will remain in power. Wake up: your vote literally doesn't count, and that's why they don't care about your marches (and your life).

    The other undemocratic rule that favors your enemies is the rule that each state has two senators, regardless of population. There are two senators for California (population 36 million) and two for Alabama (population 5 million): California has 7 times the population of Alabama, which means that someone from California (which includes Stanford, UC Berkeley, CalTech, UCLA, lots of Nobel Prize winners, plus Google, Apple, Facebook, Intel, and the whole of Silicon Valley) is 7 times less represented in the Senate than someone from Alabama (which includes... hmmm i can't come up with any major university, high-tech company or even news media... does Alabama contribute anything at all to the future of humankind other than obesity-causing drinks?). [Yes, i know, politically incorrect joke: but being politically correct all the time ends up causes the death of thousands of people a year, especially in states like Alabama, so it's about time to tell things as they are, especially in states like Alabama,].

    Give California (and New York and Illinois and Boston and Washington DC and Philadelphia and Houston) equal voice as Alabama (and as Rhode Island and as Connecticut) in the senate (e.g., California gets 7 times more senators than Alabama) and most likely the senate will have the votes to change the constitution and remove the unlimited right to bear guns (and to improve many other things that are currently gridlocked in this most undemocratic congress).

    Finally, there's a 2010 decision by the Supreme Court, ironically called "Citizens United", that recognized corporations as "persons", thus opening the doors for all sorts of dark money to influence politics.

    Your vote doesn't count. And that's the real problem. No politician will listen to what you are saying as long as your vote doesn't count.

    TM, ®, Text copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (march 2018) The Trump Scandals moved here.
  • (march 2018) The Trump Wars.
    George W Bush, who became president despite losing the November 2000 elections, ended up starting two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, that, more than a decade later, are still raging and killing innocents at a total cost to the USA of $3 trillion (according to estimates calculated by the economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes) and to Iraq and Afghanistan of untold billions of dollars.

    Now another president who was not elected democratically, "Vladimir" Trump, threatens to start not one but multiple wars. Firstly, Trump wants to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal that was signed by Obama to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. The other countries signing the deal were Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China. It is unlikely that Iran will accept to renounce nuclear weapons in return of nothing. It will probably resume its nuclear program. This will trigger an escalation of tension with Israel (that considers Iran its main enemy) and Saudi Arabia (ditto). Both will try to stop Iran with force. The USA will be drawn into the conflict, one way or another. Britain, France and Germany are strong supporters of the original deal, and for a simple reason: so far it has worked. They are unlikely to side with the USA in a war against Iran. The USA will be even more lonely than it was in the (lost) war against Iraq.

    Secondly, Trump has naively accepted an invitation to meet North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un, a 34-year-old inexperience leader who wasn't even respected in his own country (until he assassinated his uncle and his half-brother) but who can now boast to have established North Korea as one of the powers of the world, a peer of the USA. So far Kim Jong-un got everything he wanted. See The North Korean Crisis: A Tale of Two Madmen (or just one?) . Unlike the irrational and impulsive Trump, Kim has proven to rational and calm: one step at a time, he has turned the tables on both the USA and China, and now can blackmail both. If Trump thinks that Kim will ever accept to destroy his nuclear weapons, he is even more incompetent than we thought. The whole world, not only Kim, has learned the lesson of what happens to dictators who surrender their weapons of mass destruction: Saddam Hussein did it, and he is dead; Qaddafi did it, and he is dead. Trump is going to be humiliated one way or another: either Kim declines to meet with him, or Kim meets with him and then does nothing of what Trump demands. Either way Trump will have only one way to save his face: bomb North Korea and start a war.

    Thirdly, Trump just started a trade war with China, which in itself could be more dangerous than military wars. China is the world's second economy and soon to be the first one. China has built economic alliances that extend from Latin America to Europe and from Africa to Russia at the same time that Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have been the biggest economic alliance in history. For about 70 years the USA has been the world leader in free trade. In fact, it is routinely assumed that the USA forced free trade on the rest of the world: the World Bank, the IMF, etc were all US inventions, that the rest of the world was forced to accept in order to trade with the USA. If the USA, of all countries, reneges on free trade and starts a trade war with China and anyone else, it will have few allies. Trump has been successful in depicting the USA as an importer of goods. The truth is very different. Here are the leading exporters in the world: 1. China 2,098 billion dollars; 2. United States 1,454 billion dollars; 3. Germany 1,339 billion dollars. A trade war is risking the jobs of all the people producing those 1.454 billion dollars of "American" goods, and will cost dearly to all the consumers who buy goods made abroad. Trump tweeted: "Trade wars are good, and easy to win". That's true for his personal business: real estate, casinos, golf courses and so on are not affected as much as the household goods that the middle class buys.

    Finally, there's the rest of the world. Kori Schake, who worked for George W Bush, wrote: "I worry that President Trump could lead to war on the Korean Peninsula or against Iran, or by miscalculation in a number of other places where adversaries misread his intent. The president considers his unpredictability advantageous, when it is more likely to have explosive consequences."

    But don't blame only Trump and his mouthpiece Fox News. A poll by the Pew Center http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/19/iraq-war-continues-to-divide-u-s-public-15-years-after-it-began/ 43% of US citizens still think that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a good idea. These are very likely to side with Trump on any war against North Korea, Iran, China and any other imaginary enemy as long as Fox News demonizes it.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (february 2018) Congratulations NRA on another well-executed massacre.

    See the 2012 article Congratulations NRA: another successful massacre! and its 2015 revision Congratulations NRA on another well-executed massacre and especially The end of the USA , but also What is wrong with White Anglosaxon Christians?
  • (january 2018)
    Trump vs Kim

  • (january 2018)
    One year into the Trump-Russia collusion scandal, Russia has benefited enormously from the decisions made by Trump.
    Coincidence or not, in November 2017 Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed on a conference to decide the borders of postwar Syria, and in December 2017 Egypt granted Russia the right to use its airbases; two events that Trump tacitly approved and that marked the replacement of the USA with Russia as the main power broker in the Middle East. Trump also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, so that the USA can no longer play a role in the peace process, another gift to Russia. This move has brought condemnation on the USA by all traditional allies in the region, including British prime minister Theresa May, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron... but not from Russia's president Putin: the USA is now as isolated as Hitler's Germany was in 1939. Thomas Friedman has written: "In nearly 30 years of covering United States foreign policy, I've never seen a president give up so much to so many for so little, starting with China and Israel." And that's on top of killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade deal, that would have created a 12-nation economic bloc controlling 40% of the world economy led by the USA. No US president has ever given Russia so many gifts. Russia comes out of Trump's first year in office as a world power with much more leverage than the USA, which is now a marginalized regional power. A German minister said that Germany is now more worried about the USA than North Korea...
    Trump's circle has repeatedly attacked the research firm Fusion GPS that prepared the famous "Steele dossier", the dossier that details the collusion between Trump and Putin, a dossier in which so far nobody has found anything false and, in fact, many of its assertions are now proven to be true. Christopher Steele, a well-respected former British secret agent, has never discussed it with the media. Fusion GPS finally responded to Trump's attacks in a New York Times article. We now learn that the FBI already knew of collusions before Fusion GPS provided them with the Steele dossier. I feel vindicated: Fusion suggests that investigators should look into "the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump's businesses". See my lengthy investigation: What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns? where i said the same things one year ago. Quote: "We told Congress that from Manhattan to Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and from Toronto to Panama, we found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering.". And then concludes with the obvious question that Trump never answered: "Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?"
    See my full report here.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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