And America manufactures financial instruments and decay.
When you are talking millions and billions of people, it's not culture or politics, it's physics and biology.
We exist in this tension between energy and form, desire and judgement. The heart driving and the head steering.
As the executive and regulatory function of society, government is analogous to the central nervous system, while money and banking, as the value distribution system, is analogous to blood and the circulation system.
Chinese society, with roots going back four thousand years, recognizes the ways in which a community has to function as a larger organism. While the US, with roots going back a few hundred years and knowing only growth, cannot see the networks are as important as the nodes inhabiting them. We all have rights, but responsibilities are for suckers.
So our government is little more than a slush fund for the biggest thieves and the banks are run by, for and of the bankers.
The problem is that while money is a social contract enabling large societies to function, we have come to see it as a commodity to mine from society. Markets need money to circulate, while we see it as signal to extract and store. Blood is a medium, fat is a store. Contrary to what economics teaches, they are not interchangeable.
Since the asset is backed by the debt, storing the asset requires generating debt, from students to government. The elephant in the room is the capital markets couldn't function, without the government borrowing up trillions in surplus investment money. The wars are just a burn pit, so more can be borrowed. Which explains why they are so monumentally inept and no one is held responsible.
Eventually the whole towering pile of bullshit is going to come tumbling down and people are going to wonder why. They should have been paying attention. You can't cancel history, but history can cancel you.
A fine, fine piece, Mr. Auerback. I have three observations. 1. Do we all read Moon of Alabama? 2. I agree with your assessment and I was one who was jumping up and down back in the early '90s demanding that Bill Gates be reined in. Gates is not and never was some sort of tech guru. His products for the most part were/are crap. The only thing that Gates could do was structure a monopoly that the US refused to put a stop to that has left the computer world in terrible shape and taken years to get innovation reignited. 3. I must also confess that this whole thing is hilarious as far as I am concerned. The US is supposed to be the epitome of the capitalist economic model. The government doesn't intervene in the economy to help business or the citizenry. But we know that's crap. They intervene in the economy on the side of business all the time but never on the side of the people. As you point out, it looks as if China has broken the code and the US has failed miserably.
It would have been helpful how exactly (specific actions) China is trying to solve the three mountains that oppress its population !
Excellent article, spot on. Adam Curtis covered some of this ground in his documentary
films 'The Trap,' and 'The Mayfair Set.' On You Tube. 1973 was experienced as some sort
of turning point by me. Before then and during the Vietnam war, jobs were plentiful, and
those lucky enough to get unionized jobs in factories were doing quite well. Little brother
may have been getting a bit too greedy with each new contract while refusing to organize
those who needed it most like nursing home aides changing the diapers of grandpa's of
those union workers who thought that was just fine. McGovern then dropped unions from
the Democratic party in favor of college educated para-professionals. The AFL-CIO was kept
on as a special interest group. Thereafter union employees began to identify with the
Republic party. Beginning in 1973, a two tier system developed: general labor were offered
low wages and nowhere else to go, while individuals in better wage jobs began to make
more and more, creating the great divide we see today. And then US capitalists began chasing
after profits to be made by very cheap labor in China, Mexico, and South Asia and SE Asia.
Deregulation saw the collapse and bailout of Savings and Loan Associations, followed by
the Enron scandal. Clinton gave power to the financial sector, before Obama finished it off
in 2008, giving political control over the economy to investment bankers & Wall St. Politicians
don't control anything anymore, rather they are vassals who vote as lobbyists who pay them
tell them to vote. Democracy is pure sham and farce. Collapse sooner or later is inexorable.