The Phaserl


USA 2017-2020: An Ungovernable Nation?

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

The only way to govern successfully is to actually solve the underlying systemic problems, but doing that requires overthrowing a corrupt, self-serving elite.

Regardless of who wins the presidency, a much larger question looms: will the U.S. be ungovernable 2017-2020? There are multiple sources of the question.

One is of course the remarkable unpopularity of the two candidates for the presidency. For all the reasons that are tiresomely familiar, whomever wins the presidency will remain deeply unpopular with roughly 40% of the adult populace.

Though we can’t say “never,” let’s say it’s “extremely unlikely” that fans of Hillary Clinton will cotton to Donald Trump, or vice versa: both candidates have been public figures for decades, and it is highly unlikely that the usual “I will serve all the people” speech given by the new president will change many minds.

It’s not too difficult to foresee not just gridlock, but angry gridlock. Neither candidate can count on even the slightest shreds of goodwill from the other party, and with bi-partisanship already dead on arrival, precisely how much governance can any deeply reviled president offer the nation?

Whether pundits like it or not, one issue that will not go away after the election is the dominance of the nation’s financial and political elite: the top .01%. As many of us in the alternative media, and to a lesser but still significant degree, in the mainstream media have been noting, the dominance of the elite class of financiers and politicos has increased in the 21st century.

I have described this in a number of ways: the state-cartel model, neofeudalism (with the bottom 95% being either debt-serfs or dependents on state bread and circuses), or the neocolonialial-financialization model: The E.U., Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model (May 24, 2012).

Simon Johnson, co-author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown and White House Burning: Our National Debt and Why It Matters to You, described this as The Quiet Coup in a seminal 2009 essay:

“The finance industry has effectively captured our government–a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.”

Regardless of who they vote for, an increasing number of Americans are coming to understand that their oppressors are not foreign “terrorists” but homegrown elites who have become wealthier and thus more powerful in the past seven years of “prosperity.”

As I have shown many times, the top 5% of households have done very very well in the past few decades, and the bottom 95% have at best clung on and at worst seen the purchasing power of their earnings plummet.

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