Here is what happens when a country’s leaders do have a plan and a direction.
China’s economy is the envy of the world
China’s economy expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter compared to the previous year, showing the rest of the world what’s possible when Covid-19 is brought under control.
China’s economy has now recovered from its historically bad first quarter, when the coronavirus forced the country to shut down. GDP grew a cumulative 0.7% through the first nine months of 2020, the data show.
The International Monetary Fund expects China’s economy to expand by 1.9% in 2020. That compares to contractions of 5.8% in the United States.
The way Beijing handled the initial outbreak of coronavirus late last year has been criticized by some Western politicians.
But China’s stringent lockdown and population tracking policies helped bring the virus under control within its borders. The country also set aside hundreds of billions of dollars for major infrastructure projects to fuel economic growth.
Europe and the United States are now facing another surge of coronavirus cases. The US is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day — up more than 60% since a mid-September dip.
The United States’s economy will remain hamstrung until there’s a dramatic reduction in the number of coronavirus cases.
China, meanwhile, will continue to power ahead.
Economic data for the month of September indicated the country’s recovery is gaining even more strength. Industrial production and retail sales figures were particularly robust.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that China’s economy will grow by 8.2% in 2021, a much faster pace than the United States.
Most recent figures show China’s GDP at about $14 Trillion, while the U.S. GDP is about $20 Trillion, and since 2008, the gap has been closing.
In the United States our leadership began, and continues to this day, with denial of facts, based only on reelection efforts and not on reality.
The bluster of “Make America Great, Again” was not backed by actual lawmaking.
A leader does not make a nation great by:
- Widening the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
- Giving the rich huge tax breaks, while doing little for the rest.
- Demeaning, threatening, and diminish the influence of, a free press.
- Hiring criminals and incompetents to dismantle consumer-protection agencies.
- Pardoning criminals who are friends of the government leader.
- Reduce healthcare and healthcare insurance for the poor and middle-income.
- Establishing nepotism as an approved government function.
- Demanding that the President’s personal businesses be rewarded by the government
- Continually disseminating and encouraging false information
- Gutting laws that protect consumers from criminal banks and business owners.
- Denying climate change and discouraging efforts to fight it.
- Arbitrarily ending treaties with allies and enemies, fomenting distrust of Ameria.
- Denying the dangers of COVID and discouraging the use of masks and other COVID-fighting efforts.
- Encouraging the use of polluting and global-warming carbon-based fuels.
- Discouraging anti-pollution efforts.
- Discouraging efforts to expand renewable energy availability.
- Discouraging the immigration of consumers and workers who would help grow the economy.
- Failing to encourage or acknowledge science, technological advancement, and education.
- Failing to encourage the arts.
- Failing to encourage small business.
- Failing to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure.
- Encouraging bigotry and such bigoted movements as QAnon, white supremacists, and Nazis.
- Idolizing ruthless dictators, while condemning leaders of free nations and former allies.
- Never taking responsibility for problems while always taking unwarranted credit for good news.
- Repeatedly committing acts of personal immorality.
- Punishing whistleblowers who reveal the truth about illegal acts.
- Punishing those who do not exhibit greater loyalty to the leader than to the nation.
- Bullying and spitefulness as national agendas.
- Being led by a psychopath.
The fact is, our once-great country is a mess. Our once-respected and admired nation, now is condemned, mocked, and denounced worldwide, even by former allies.
We have no national policy for anything other than what is best personally for the President. We have drifted inexorably toward fascism. One political party, the Republicans, has lost all sense of its history, its identity or its direction:
What Does the Republican Party Stand For?
January 1, 2020 at 1:03 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 527 Comments
Stuart Stevens: “In a long-forgotten era — say, four years ago — such a question would have elicited a very different answer. Though there was disagreement over specific issues, most Republicans would have said the party stood for some basic principles: fiscal sanity, free trade, strong on Russia, and that character and personal responsibility count.
Today it’s not that the Republican Party has forgotten these issues and values; instead, it actively opposes all of them.”
“Republicans are now officially the character doesn’t count party, the personal responsibility just proves you have failed to blame the other guy party, the deficit doesn’t matter party, the Russia is our ally party, and the I’m-right-and-you-are-human-scum party.
Yes, it’s President Trump’s party now, but it stands only for what he has just tweeted.”
You, who always have been Republicans, no longer have a political party. The party you love has gone.
You are like baseball fans, still pledging allegiance to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Neither your Dodgers nor your Republican party still exists. You can stop yearning for your lovely, childhood sweetheart. She married another man, moved somewhere far away, and looks and acts like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Meanwhile, China, despite its despicable, dictatorial leadership, at least has leadership. Its focus is not solely on what will enrich the leader. Despite many horrifying failings regarding personal freedoms, China’s focus is on (ironically) making China great again.
Unless America takes a dramatic reversal of the twenty-nine points listed above, China will become the world’s dominant nation, democracy will be a lost experiment, and it will happen within your lifetime.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
2 thoughts on “A tale of two countries: China and America. What happens when there is no plan and no direction.”
As coronavirus cases rise, red-state governors resist measures to slow the spread, preach ‘personal responsibility’
A FALL SURGE of COVID-19 is well underway, according to health experts. But as cases rise around the country, many Republican governors are resisting imposing restrictions. THE WASHINGTON POST
With cases surging to new highs and hospital capacity running low, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum teared up describing a state “caught in the middle of a covid storm.”
To weather it, he said at a news conference last week, people would need to keep their distance, wear masks and avoid gatherings. But the one thing North Dakota did not need were legal limits on reckless behavior.
“It’s not a job for government,” Burgum (R) declared.
The novel coronavirus is hammering middle America this fall, with records shattered daily in states that had escaped the worst of the pandemic this spring and summer. Case numbers also are rising again in other states where the virus was thought to be under control after months of widespread illness.
Yet even as health authorities in small cities and rural towns plead for help in tamping down deadly outbreaks, many Republican governors are resisting new measures to stop the spread. Some are even loosening rules already on the books.
Instead, they preach the mantra of “personal responsibility,” insisting that government interventions such as mask mandates or business restrictions are either unnecessary or harmful, and that people should be trusted to make their own decisions about how to keep themselves — and each other — healthy.
An overreliance on personal responsibility, health officials say, is one of the reasons America’s struggle with the coronavirus has been so destructive, with more than 8 million cases and at least 219,000 people dead. And they maintain it is unlikely to be the solution now — especially as Republican leaders from President Trump on down send misleading messages and model dangerous behavior.
Federal judge strikes down Trump rule that could have cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans
By Tami Luhby, CNN, October 18, 2020
(CNN)A federal judge Sunday struck down a Trump administration rule that could have stripped food stamps from nearly 700,000 people, saying the US Department of Agriculture has been “icily silent” about how many Americans would have been denied benefits had the changes been in effect during the pandemic.
“The final rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving states scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the US District Court in Washington, DC, wrote in a 67-page ruling, saying the agency has not adequately explained how the rule comports with federal statutes nor how it “makes sense.”
A movie to watch:
‘Totally Under Control’
A gripping account of Trump’s failure
By Justin Chang Los Angeles Times
The last thing we see in “Totally Under Control” is a title card noting that President Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus.
This will, of course, not come as news, let alone a spoiler, to anyone. In the whiplash-inducing days since that diagnosis, the public and the media have struggled to keep up with every jaw-dropping new development — a stint at Walter Reed, an imbecilic joyride, a dramatic return-home video that should have been titled “Triumph of the Ill” — even as an extraordinary outbreak has surged through the White House and the upper echelons of Republican leadership.
And so it is hardly the fault of this breathless, incisive and thoroughly infuriating movie that it already feels a touch out of date. How could it not? Even Alex Gibney, nonfiction cinema’s most prolific issue chaser, could hardly be expected to keep up with the dizzying downward spiral of a nation in the grip of an unshakable illness.
And that illness, with apologies to Susan Sontag, is not the coronavirus so much as Trumpism itself. With calm, excoriating precision, the movie argues that the administration’s calamitous non-response ensured that a formidable viral threat would become a debilitating one, marked by a devastating economic collapse and the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans and counting.
“Totally Under Control” is both a slow-motion tragedy and a sickening rush; it compresses roughly nine months of steadily mounting tension and chaotic freefall into two hours. That’s a pretty concentrated dose of outrage, and maybe a redundant one for anyone who’s been following the news.
But even with the occasional repetitions and oversights that come with ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling, there is something bracing about seeing the bigger picture laid out as clearly and forcefully as it is here.
Gibney, who directed the film with Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan, has a bloodhound’s nose for corruption and failure, as well as a knack for streamlining news reports, data points and interviews into a coherent blow-by-blow narrative.
The pandemic has nonetheless necessitated some adjustments to his method. For safety reasons, many of the doctors, health experts, journalists and government officials interviewed here were recorded using a portable “COVID cam.” Others were filmed by the director of photography, Ben Bloodwell, from behind an elaborate camera setup that suggests a pathogen-proof version of Errol Morris’ Interrotron.
If the tide of talking heads conjures the air of a high-def Zoom session with the boring bits cut out, that’s more than fitting — an extension of the endless video conference that so many of our lives have become.
And it didn’t have to come to this, as one subject after another reminds us. The arrival of a deadly airborne virus capable of asymptomatic transmission may have caught the nation off-guard when the first American coronavirus case was reported in Washington state in January. A testing program delayed by flawed diagnostic kits and reams of bureaucratic red tape didn’t help matters.
But the efforts still might have fared better had the U.S. heeded the most important lesson from a nation like South Korea and its successful containment efforts: Let scientists, not politicians, drive the nation’s pandemic response.
Instead, the Trump administration, reluctant to impose tough lockdown measures in a booming economy and eager to differentiate itself from the pro-science Obama White House, took the opposite tack. Key figures like Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a leader on the CDC’s response to COVID-19, were sidelined for publicizing the seriousness of the virus and the havoc it would soon wreak on every aspect of American life.
Dr. Rick Bright, whose continual sounding of the alarm fell on deaf ears, ultimately turned whistleblower and met with immediate retaliation: His revelation that the Trump administration was peddling drugs like hydroxychloroquine for political reasons cost him his position as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. (He was moved into a narrower job at the National Institutes of Health, from which he just resigned earlier this week.)
These are just a few of the personal stories that collectively reflect a dispiriting pattern of indifference, negligence and outright obstruction within the executive branch. All the president’s sycophants are dutifully trotted out here, among them Alex Azar, the slickly vacuous Health and Human Services secretary, who was ultimately supplanted by a similarly upbeat Vice President Mike Pence as chair of the White House’s coronavirus task force.
Minor villains like Dr. Robert Redfield and Dr. Deborah Birx get their due, as does the deftly heroic resistance of Dr. Anthony Fauci, even as his entreaties toward caution and alarm are repeatedly soft-pedaled by his colleagues.
One of the cruelest effects of the film’s swift, unblinking reportage is that it allows you to envision a (somewhat) happier alternate timeline. We are reminded that sane, functional governments learn from their past mistakes, as South Korea did following a 2015 MERS outbreak, and as the Obama administration did in response to H1N1 and Ebola. (Beth Cameron, a former member of the White House National Security Council, points to a detailed pandemic playbook that Trump inherited from Obama and then ignored.)
A medical supply executive who voted for Trump in 2016 expresses shock that wearing masks could ever have become a political issue, as seen in a few early clips of supermarket tantrums.
The hypocrisy of the Trump administration’s charge — that Democrats have politicized the coronavirus — is not lost on the movie, even as it shows the pandemic’s human toll to be politically indiscriminate. That toll is measured here in images of endangered employees working in crowded meat-packing plants and tourists trapped aboard disease-ridden cruise ships.
Virginia physician Dr. Taison Bell speaks about the virus’ disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black people. Bell and other doctors also recount the early shortage of personal protective equipment for front-line healthcare workers — a crisis that the Trump administration actively fueled by turning the race for supplies into a competitive interstate lottery.
That mercenary response may have been rooted in bedrock Republican principles of free-market capitalism and limited government, but it was further exacerbated by a singular combination of presidential ignorance, mendacity, spite and ego. Trump is shown here to be what he has always been, an aggressive spewer of lies and banalities, from his insistence that the virus would eventually “just disappear” to the “totally under control” assurances that give the movie its title.
His contempt for science is on full display, as is his ongoing trivialization of the virus’ impact, even as we’re reminded, from his taped interviews with the journalist Bob Woodward, that he was far more aware of the deadly consequences than he let on.
As a cinematic indictment of a Republican president up for reelection, “Totally Under Control” can’t help but sound an echo of the now 16-year-old “Fahrenheit 9/11,” with the obvious caveat that Trump is not George W. Bush, and Gibney, Hillinger and Harutyunyan are a far cry from Michael Moore.
There are no cheap shots or in-person ambushes here; the polemics are sober, restrained and all the more authoritative for it. But the activist intent is the same.
If the documentary doesn’t end with a “Vote for Biden” placard, consider it a sign of its respect for your intelligence. It trusts you to do the right thing precisely because those in power will not.
Running time: 2:03
Available: Now on VOD platforms and Tuesday on Hulu
LikeLiked by 1 person