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Home Topics in Depth Economics "How to Make America Great Again with Other People’s Money" – Dimitri Orlov

  • Koko (4516 posts)
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    "How to Make America Great Again with Other People’s Money" – Dimitri Orlov

    I  think this is meant to be humorous, but he does make some interesting observations:


    “How to Make America Great Again with Other People’s Money”–Foreign Affairs & Economics

    Dimitry Orlov–Tuesday, January 03, 2017
    Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American engineer and a writer on subjects related to “potential economic, ecological and political decline and collapse in the United States,” something he has called “permanent crisis”.[1] Orlov believes collapse will be the result of huge military budgets, government deficits, an unresponsive political system and declining oil production.[2]In 2005 and 2006 Orlov wrote a number of articles comparing the collapse-preparedness of the U.S. and the Soviet Union published on small Peak Oil related sites.[4] Orlov’s article “Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US” was very popular at EnergyBulletin.Net


    What President-elect Trump needs is a shovel-ready project to redirect meaningful amounts of imperial loot toward the homeland—enough to make some number of shiny baubles and fancy gewgaws to hand out to people as symbols of rekindled greatness. The problem is, what is there left to loot? The global debt to GDP ratio is somewhere around 300%, and one bankrupt nation robbing another bankrupt nation does not meaningful booty make. The non-bankrupt nations, which have low debt and plentiful reserves of foreign currency and gold—Russia and China—are not exactly soft targets. Attack Russia, and you end up on your back not remembering what just happened. Attack China, and you get a decade of extremely expensive acupuncture of the extremely painful kind. Iran might seem like a softer target, and Trump did make some belligerent noises in its general direction, but the Persians are very tricky too, and have been perfecting the art of being tricky for close to 26 centuries now. Plus China, Russia and Iran understand this game extremely well and are now all holding hands, daring the US to try anything fresh. Against them, Tump’s team would be as babes in the woods.

    And so, by a process of elimination, we arrive at the only obvious choice: the Persian Gulf monarchies, with Saudi Arabia as the big prize. Of course, Saudi Arabia is a US protectorate, and owes its existence to a deal struck in 1945 by King Abdulaziz ibn Saud and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But that’s no problem: the antebellum south was America’s through and through but that didn’t prevent the north from attacking it. All it would take is a dramatic foreign policy change announcement: “Saudi Arabia not good. President Trump very disappointed.”

    Why such a policy change? Because it’s very necessary, and time is of the essence. Saudi Arabia still has plentiful financial reserves, but they are quickly dwindling as the country burns through its wealth in an effort to maintain its population of useless eaters in relative comfort. It has plentiful oil reserves (although of gradually decreasing quality and net energy due to high water cuts and other problems) but it is also burning through them faster than would be optimal. You see, Saudi Arabia is a crude oil pusher, but it also is a crude oil addict, and it has gradually been using more and more. This is known as the Export Land Effect: oil-producing countries tend to invest their oil revenues in economic growth, and this drives up energy consumption. Destroying the Saudi economy while preserving its oil industry would liberate quite a lot of oil for export again.

    What makes this project shovel-ready is that Saudi Arabia is a very soft target. First of all, it is stocked with imbeciles. People there marry their first cousins all the time, and after a few generations of such inbreeding one’s IQ can be counted on one’s fingers and toes—if one can still count that high. The Saudi educational system doesn’t help either: it’s focused largely on rote learning of the Koran and related texts, with precisely zero emphasis on critical, independent thinking and the sort of strong-minded rebelliousness that makes countries hard to conquer and control. The economy is almost completely dependent on foreign labor, since the Saudis themselves don’t like to work too much, and this pool of foreign labor can be easily spooked and sent packing. Lastly, the Saudis are miserably weak militarily, as has been shown during their ongoing failure to make any headway in Yemen (besides causing a humanitarian crisis). All of their weapons systems are US-made and can be disabled in short order by cutting off the flow of contractors, consultants and spare parts. (Unlike Russian-made stuff, which can operate autonomously for decades and can usually be fixed with a hammer and a screwdriver, American weaponry tends to be high-touch and finicky.)

    But what could serve as the rationale for such a drastic change? Well, there has been this item on the American agenda for quite some time now, called “the war on terror.” Bush W. started it, and Obama continued it nolens-volens during his ridiculous caretaker presidency. Trump could of course declare it “a disaster” and abandon it, or he could point out something simple: the actual locus of global terrorism is not in any of the countries attacked to date, but is, in fact, in Saudi Arabia. From there its vicious, totalitarian Wahhabi ideology spreads far and wide, and it has supported and continues to support terrorists in numerous places, including among the Chechens in Russia and the Uyghurs in China, Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS in Syria and Iraq and in numerous other places around the world. Thus, it should be easy to get the Russians and the Chinese on board with the plan to neutralize the Saudis, while the Iranians would not just agree to go along with it but would also do a bit of dancing in the streets.

    Continued at:


    id-entity, Mom Cat, arendt and 1 otherSageBlue like this

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  • bemildred (5825 posts)
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    1. Dmitry is not the first guy I've seen make this suggestion.

    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
  • arendt (1432 posts)
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    2. Orlov is both accurate and funny

    He has noted that Russia managed to survive the economic collapse of the 1990s because the people were still close enough to reality to be able to fend for themselves (grow their own food, fix their own cars, etc.); but he predicts that when the US hits the same kind of trouble (which looks to be any day now), we will not fare as well. Americans have been dumbed down to the point where they are pretty bad at fending for themselves.

    In any case, I always look to Orlov and James Kuntsler for the dystopian slant that resonates with my Irish sense of despair.


    • arendt (1432 posts)
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      3. Oops. Just paraphrased your first paragraph. Duh. Sorry. n/t

      • Koko (4516 posts)
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        4. No problem..!

        I thought Orlov made great points in that article as wicked as he might seem to some people.  And, I’ve also been a fan of Kuntzler for many years.  He’s getting push back for supposedly his “Peak Oil” prognostications but I don’t think he was wrong.  We wouldn’t see fracking all over the planet (particularly USA) for lower quality oil which icludes the costs of environmental and human damage if the Saudi’s still had an endless supply of high quality crude along with the other countries who are tapping out because there’s nothing worthwhile left in the ground to extract.

        And, like you, I also have an Irish strain.  So I know exactly what you mean.

        In any case, I always look to Orlov and James Kuntsler for the dystopian slant that resonates with my Irish sense of despair.