Gold News

A Stumbling Empire

The US is staggering towards its comeuppance...

WE ATTENDED a delightful garden party in Washington, writes Bill Bonner in his Daily Reckoning.

Everybody had an idea. Some smart. Some stupid.

These were bright, well-educated people. Many had gone to Harvard or Yale. Many held high positions in the government. Others were successful lawyers, businessmen, or entrepreneurs. Some thought the key challenge of the 21st century is protecting the environment. Some thought energy scarcity was the most important thing. Still others were worried about saving the European experiment.

What held this diverse group together? Why was your editor invited?

"We all hate the empire," said an attendee. "It's the only thing that we agree on."

One gave a little talk, explaining how America's imperial spending endangers the Rooseveltian social welfare state. After you pay for so many drones and waterboards there is no money left for a New Deal or a Great Society, he pointed out.

Another was concerned that we were all becoming slaves in our own country:

"The constitution has been suspended. Habeus corpus denied. The president seems to take pride in approving the 'kill list' personally, just like Richard Nixon chose the bombing targets...or Josef Stalin selected those to be purged. Future historians will have their work cut out for them, explaining how Barack Obama, who promised to bring the Pentagon under control, then became the biggest pusher of America's imperial wars..."

Another was worried because the nation was going broke:

"I don't care what you say. You can't spend money like this without going broke.

"And the logic of it is completely ridiculous. The neo-cons say we need to project American power in order to protect American power. They say, for example, that we need bases in the Mideast...and we needed to go to war with order to protect the vital flow of oil to the US. So they ended up spending something like $3 trillion in order to protect about $350 billion worth of oil imports. That is the kind of math that puts you in the poorhouse."

Or worse.

It's the kind of logic that sends you to hell. Japan's "co-prosperity sphere" was based on the same imperial reasoning. In order to maintain its power, Japan had to control the flow of energy and raw materials to the home islands. That meant it had to build up its military machine. Then, it needed more support its military machine!

And so...the US swaggers to its ultimate comeuppance.

"The US has set a dangerous course," said another guest. "It is one thing to walk softly with a big stick in your hand. It is quite another to use it to stir up a hornet's nest. Then, the big stick doesn't do you any good. The bees sting you.

"The US has a big stick — the biggest, most expensive military in the world. But you can't hit bees with a stick. And they are learning how to attack us. They can make drones — which are cheap — too. They are learning how to conduct internet warfare too — which is also cheap. The big stick doesn't help. You can take your big stick and whack a foreign government, but while you've got your trillion-Dollar military machine swinging its big stick, some small group launches a small, next-generation drone attack and takes out your aircraft carriers. It spends $1 spend $100 billion. You go broke. And you're dead too.

"Same thing with this Internet war that the Obama administration launched. You can swing your big stick, but you can't hit a computer virus with it. When one of these groups...and it could be funded by Russia or China, for all we know...comes up with a 'killer app' virus, life as we know it in the US comes to a stop. And then the big stick stops swinging too...because it depends on the US economy.

"It's really sad the way this has evolved. Back at 9/11 there were probably only a tiny group of real fanatics who wanted to do harm to the US. Everyone was on our side. Everyone wanted to put the terrorists out of business.

"Now, the US has been killing innocent people...and the world doesn't like it. I don't blame them. And I'm afraid the next time there's a 9/11, millions of people all over the world will cheer..."

Thinking of Buying Gold?...

New York Times best-selling finance author Bill Bonner founded The Agora, a worldwide community for private researchers and publishers, in 1979. Financial analysts within the group exposed and predicted some of the world's biggest shifts since, starting with the fall of the Soviet Union back in the late 1980s, to the collapse of the Dot Com (2000) and then mortgage finance (2008) bubbles, and the election of President Trump (2016). Sharing his personal thoughts and opinions each day from 1999 in the globally successful Daily Reckoning and then his Diary of a Rogue Economist, Bonner now makes his views and ideas available alongside analysis from a small hand-picked team of specialists through Bonner Private Research.

See full archive of Bill Bonner articles

Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News.

Follow Us

Facebook Youtube Twitter LinkedIn



Market Fundamentals