…2014, the hapless empire, little venice and human rights?…

…The Brigade of Bumblers is on a roll as it revels in the derision its infantile, churlish but dangerous policies provoke…

Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Putin of Russia must be rolling on the floor in laughter (ROFL?) at the churlish ineptitude of the Sole Superpower, none of whose officials seem to want to take just one day off from exposing themselves in print or in the electronic media.

The continuing chaos, always chaos, in the Ukraine from the now comical but increasingly expensive overthrow of the Ukrainian government is curiously insufficient to keep the brigade busy. The bunch has now ‘pivoted’ to one country where its supported coup in 2002  had collapsed, and for which there has been no hint of embarrassment. Failure is no deterrent as the brigade, to garner more votes in upcoming elections than its corporate rival, has hit upon another ‘brilliant’ idea. Read the rest of this entry »


…venezuela and that chile model…

…but we start with Prof William Black in Ecuador…

There he also was interviewed on Ecuadoran TV, Gama. That interview dealt with the social and economic policies of President Rafael Correa. Prof Black’s views put into context the obsession of the corporate US with reining in, undermining, disrupting, such policies that have been more successful in improving the quality of life for all Ecuador’s citizens, not just that of its oligarchs. [Honduras, anyone?]

Over at the new economic perspectives blog, we find that interview. And the advantage is the English translation. NEP’s Bill Black on GamaTV in Ecuador

And, as we know, Ecuador did really have its share of US-inspired  ‘protests’, especially from one entity funded by USAID. The effort then to oust the democratically elected President had failed. But we turn to Venezuela, that Moby Dick. Read the rest of this entry »


…an awful lot of coffee in brazil – that was then…

…well, not quite that much — times have changed since those days when countries of the ‘backyard’ were treated as mere plantations ‘fated’ to produce mainly primary products and to extract their natural resources for export to the industrialized, ‘advanced’ countries. Even many a new ‘Carmen Mirandas’ is a professional… 

If we remember, the US has spied on the President of Brazil, her citizens, the country’s institutions and businesses. And in response the President of the US has treated that revelation dismissively, as a minor event, with no apology to the country, its people or its leader. Such comportment from one still so inexperienced, even if President of the US, only ensures the acceleration of a process that has been taking place for more than a decade, and not only in Brazil.

A post from Mark Weisbrot of CEPR over at nacla sets out the reality in straightforward and simple fashion. In this post, Washington and São Paulo: Spying and a Fading Friendship, we appreciate better the blatant disrespect and other more egregious indignities inflicted on the region by the United States, which, as recently as 2013, would casually refer to the region as its ‘backyard’.

We sketch a pattern as we highlight snippets that invite a full exploration of Weisbrot’s article, Read the rest of this entry »


…so nafta, 20 years (and a tad) after…

…Ross Perot, cleverly ridiculed, had it right. Well, almost right. And that ‘almost’ is very significant – that ‘giant sucking sound’ was of jobs leaving not just the US but also Mexico, since the passage of Nafta on 1 Jan 1994. But no bother, business is good for those who planned it that way – snakes and ladders, all snakes for the unwashed and all ladders for the exceptionals…

We highlight two articles. One is from Mark Weisbrot of CEPR with NAFTA: 20 Years of Regret for Mexico Mexico’s economic growth stalled since the ‘free trade’ deal was signed with the US, and its poverty rate is about the same.

Again, if we remember Ross Perot’s statement about jobs and other nice things flowing, cue the mariachi band, South of the Border Down Mexico Way, we discover from Weisbrot this little nugget of truth,

But what about Mexico? Didn’t Mexico at least benefit from the agreement? Well if we look at the past 20 years, it’s not a pretty picture. The most basic measure of economic progress, especially for a developing country like Mexico, is the growth of income (or GDP) per person. Out of 20 Latin American countries (South and Central America plus Mexico), Mexico ranks 18, with growth of less than 1% annually since 1994. It is, of course, possible to argue that Mexico would have done even worse without NAFTA, but then the question would be, why?

In late November 2013 Dean Baker, also of CEPR, had taken a look at the wages aspect of Nafta. So, then, what wondrous benefits from this agreement among Canada, the US and Mexico! Read the rest of this entry »