The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

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12/04/12 (23:07)

The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

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Lo siento por quienes no sepan ingles, pero este articulo creo que es muy interesante.

The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

The breakdown of the United States’ socio-economic and socio-political tissue is a phenomenon that started some forty years ago. In previous GEAB issues, we emphasized the importance of the breakdown of the 1970s turning point in the US dynamic: end of the fixed link between the Dollar and gold, defeat in the Vietnam War, "impeachment" of President Nixon, the last period of great inventions / US scientific adventures (the conquest of space, Internet...), etc...

Comparison of the development of US investments in equipment and software and employment growth (1960-2011) - Source: ZeroHedge, 11/2011
Comparison of the development of US investments in equipment and software and employment growth (1960-2011) - Source: ZeroHedge, 11/2011

One particular aspect seems strategically important and crucial to the coming period: the collapse of the education system (1). In simple terms, LEAP/E2020 estimates that the change in the 1970s to an education system based on student assessment via multiple choice questions, from primary school to university, has generated a far-reaching and lasting weakening of the education of US generations under the age of 40 today. At the same time, it has accentuated the establishment of a two-speed education system, alienating the country's social elite from the middle class even further, because of the rising costs of access to quality education. Finally, the all-out marketing (2), combined with online or home education, has dealt a fatal blow to any consistency or general requirement for quality in the US education system (3).

In general, without being responsible for the situation, those less than forty years old in the United States are much less well educated and less socially integrated (4) than their elders. This has consequences, of course, on their "employability", their ability to act in a world where globalization is everywhere and requires varied knowledge (such as languages, history and geography, for example), their ability to relay, in practice, talk of the country’s re-industrialization, or the need to address the country’s scientific (5) and technological challenges (6), even the country’s military capabilities (7).

It also generates a decline in the quality of democratic life and political discourse because the citizen is less able to distinguish between lies and truth, between information and spin, between competence and demagoguery (8).The Republican primaries for the 2012 presidential election is a case study on the subject as Marc Pitzke outlined in the Spiegel of 01/12/2011 with the headline about the competing candidates: “a club of liars, demagogues and ignorants”. It is unlikely that such a "club" would have constituted the candidates for the primary of one of the two parties thirty or forty years ago. The breakdown of the country’s democratic and political fabric is well under way, particularly because of this generational "dumbing-down of education" started in the 1970s.

This development, coupled with the very unequal impact of the current depression which, like any crisis, affects the weakest the most rapidly, increases the fragmentation of the United States’ population’s identity. The illusion that the election of a black president in the United States would help the integration of African-Americans was quickly dissipated. And instead, the crisis shows that Blacks and Latinos are most affected (9). If African-Americans seem to be starting a return to their "historical territories" in the South of the country (10), Latinos in turn continue to take control of the entire South-West of the United States. In this area, there is now a real war, brought by drug traffickers. On both sides of the US-Mexico border, killing, corruption, trafficking is growing, strengthening each other’s identity reflexes, and pushing for the adoption of increasingly severe laws against illegal immigrants.

The decrease in the number of available jobs thus generates a real war for "jobs" between different communities. If the socio-political fabric is breaking up, it’s also due to the collapse in the quality of the country's infrastructure (11): bridges, roads, railways, airports, dikes, dams, nuclear power plants, pipelines... need more than USD 2 trillion just to be repaired (without any new investment) (12). But everyone knows that such funding is impossible to get from a locked-down Congress and from a high deficit budget. This isn’t new either, but as with anything, the passage of time doesn’t help, quite the contrary.

Sale of new one family homes in the US (1960-2011) (in thousands) - Sources: FRED / US Dept of Commerce, 11/2011
Sale of new one family homes in the US (1960-2011) (in thousands) - Sources: FRED / US Dept of Commerce, 11/2011

Since 2006 LEAP/E2020 has highlighted this dire infrastructure situation and its very serious medium-term consequences for the country’s economy and social fabric. Six years have passed and in 2016 it will be ten years: long enough for bridges in poor condition to collapse or leaking pipelines to eventually explode. People tend to get used to the poor state of things thinking, little by little, that it's their normal state... until the day they break completely. As regards infrastructure, we believe that the period 2012-2016 will see such a development.

Inter-community tensions, breakdown of social cohesion, political demagoguery, massive "dumbing-down of education", lack of jobs, rapid rise in poverty (13),... it all leads to a very predictable development that marked the 2011 "Black Friday; sales: the pictures not only showed the whole world an aberrant level of violence on what’s supposed to be a day of sales (dead, gun shots, fist fights, riots...) (14) , but Black Friday 2011 is especially remarkable for a product that has experienced the largest increase in sales compared to 2010 (+32% (15)): firearms.

What could such a phenomenon be the sign of in a country that already has more than 200 million firearms in circulation? LEAP/E2020 believes that this is one more sign that the American public is preparing for the worst, and preparing for it more and more (16). In terms of collective psychology, there are self-sustaining phenomena. The fear of a development in the crisis towards violence is also fuelled by budget cuts in the police and the feeling that the increase in the number of poor will constitute a growing threat to the wealthy (17).

We have already discussed the social impact that will generate the new series of bank failures in 2012. Thus, from 2013, we believe that uncontrolled violence will break out because of all the constraints set out in this anticipation. Incidentally, that will be one of the arguments used to search for a "savior" able to restore law and order: a general-sheriff.

Finally, we won’t examine the geopolitical situation of the United States for this period here. We have already, in GEAB N°59, anticipated the US military withdrawal from continental Europe for 2017, adding more analyses on the progression of US military presence in the world. Remember that we do not anticipate a major conflict initiated by the United States for the period in question. In fact, the country no longer has the political, fiscal, diplomatic, and soon military means, to embark on such an adventure. As we do not expect direct aggression against the United States from another country, this option seems irrelevant to us for anticipating the events of the 2012-2016 period.

This will not prevent "clashes", sometimes violent, taking place between the United States and countries like Iran (18), China, Russia... but they will likely be infra-conflicting in nature (software and hardware attacks, spying, sabotage...). The current attempt by the Obama administration to trigger a mini Cold War with China (19) will fail for two reasons:

. it is only meant for an electoral aim of giving credibility to Obama’s stature as a statesman a year from the elections (20)
. it’s the fact of a penniless country who “threatens his banker” (a banker who is better armed), which can’t go very far.

Comparison between Venezuelan oil exports to the US and China (MBD) - Source: Wall Street Journal, 11/2011
Comparison between Venezuelan oil exports to the US and China (MBD) - Source: Wall Street Journal, 11/2011

Last but not least, we consider that 2013/2015 will be a period that is likely to see the constitutional order of the United States upset by events. Internal tensions in the country, outside pressures and the degree of distrust even hatred of the different communities between each other (ethnic, social, religious...) will make the unfolding of the process created more than two hundred years by the country’s Founding Fathers all the more difficult. Like the United Kingdom and France, the United States’ political structure and institutional system are amongst the oldest in operation. Far from being a term guarantee it is, in a time of great historical transition, rather a major handicap, as the bearer of obsolescence (21).

Moreover, for about two years, the debate on the country's Constitution in the United States has opened. It was previously a taboo subject: the Constitution, the sacred text, was not questionable unless being an "anti-American". Today, whether to return to the spirit of the founders or the letter of the text, both considered lost (an argument particularly of the TP), or conversely to adapt it to the twenty first century (a more leftist argument, an OWS trend), the debate exists. And in private conversations, this topic, unthinkable only three or four years ago, is authorized.

In the medium and long term, it’s a good thing to allow the country to evolve and adapt (22), but in the short term, it reflects the growing confusion of public opinion and the always increasingly dangerous fragility of the ruling elite. This combination is traditionally conducive to a calling into question of the institutional order, once there are severe shocks to the collective psyche. And, as we anticipate, it’s not shocks we’re going to be short of in the next five years; in an ungovernable and insolvent country.

Antoine
en respuesta
a Feinmann
13/04/12 (00:24)

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

Ho sento pels que no sàpiguen català, però és cert que l'article és molt interessant.

ok:
sembla existir gran correlació entre inversió en equips i programari i l'ocupació, si bé es produeix cert gap a partir del 2010.
la venda d'habitatges es desploma a partir de 2005.
venezuela disminueix les seves vendes de petroli a usa i ven més a xinesa.

que canvis geoestratègics intueixes?

Galmier
en respuesta
a Antoine
15/04/12 (02:38)

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

Ich hoffe das was die article sage werde nur fiction und hoffe ich auch das die USA reparieren alleine sein problem, weil ich glaube schon das ein neus war werde villeicht die letze.

Para los que no saben alemán, traduzco:

"Espero que lo que el articulo predice más arriba, sea sólo ficción y espero también que los Estados unidos sean capaces de resolver su problema por si solo, pues creo que una nueva guerra será probablemente la última."

Antoine
en respuesta
a Galmier
15/04/12 (02:45)

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

Tutaj śpią, jutro jest inny dzień, przynajmniej dla mnie

para los que no sepan polaco yo no traduzco

Galmier
en respuesta
a Antoine
15/04/12 (03:11)
X

Tutaj śpią, jutro jest inny dzień, przynajmniej dla mnie

para los que no sepan polaco yo no traduzco

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

Na gut, kein problem. Es war schon zeit. Zwei lange nacht as dein alt es ist zu viel.

Para los que no sepan alemán, vuelvo a traducir:

"Bueno, no hay problema, ya era tiempo. Dos largas noches a tu edad es demasiado"

Antoine
en respuesta
a Galmier
15/04/12 (03:25)

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

ch stand auf und ich verstehe nicht, das Gespräch, aber gut:
さて、さて、あなたは正しい、我々は小走りそんなに悪くないよ

Galmier
en respuesta
a Antoine
15/04/12 (13:28)

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

y yo menos entiendo chino.......
saludos

Antoine
en respuesta
a Galmier
15/04/12 (13:32)

Re: The future of the USA - 2012-2016 (Part 3) - The breakdown of the US socio-political fabric

es que esa gente habla muy raro, pero habrá que ir haciendo un esfuerzo para empezar a acatar sus ordenes.

pero estos no eran comunistas?

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