Andrew W. Marshall (born 1921) is the director of the United States Department of Defense‘s Office of Net Assessment. Appointed to the position in 1973 by United States President Richard Nixon, Marshall has been re-appointed by every president that followed.
Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad (Nastaliq: زلمی خلیلزاد – Zalmay Khalīlzād) (born: 22 March 1951) is an American counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and president of Khalilzad Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. He has been involved with U.S. policy makers at the White House, State Department and Pentagon since the mid-1980s, and was the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. Khalilzad’s previous assignments in the Administration include U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.
From 1985 to 1989, Khalilzad served in President Ronald Reagan‘s Administration as a senior State Department official advising on the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Iran–Iraq War. During this time he was a member of the policy planning staff and the State Department’s Special Advisor on Afghanistan to Undersecretary of State Michael H. Armacost. In this role he developed and guided the international program to promote the merits of a Mujahideen-led Afghanistan to oust the Soviet occupation. From 1990-1992, Khalilzad served under President George H. W. Bush in the Defense Department as Deputy Undersecretary for Policy Planning.
Between 1993 and 2000, Khalilzad was the Director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure at the RAND Corporation. During this time, he helped found RAND’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies as well as “Strategic Appraisal,” a periodic RAND publication. He also authored several influential monographs, including “The United States and a Rising China” and “From Containment to Global Leadership? America and the World After the Cold War.” While at RAND, Khalilzad also had a brief stint consulting for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which at the time was conducting a risk analysis for Unocal, now part of Chevron, for a proposed 1,400 km (890 mile), $2-billion, 622 m³/s (22,000 ft³/s) Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and further proceeding to Pakistan. As one of the original members of Project for the New American Century, Khalilzad was a signatory of the letter to President Bill Clinton sent on January 26, 1998, which called for him to accept the aim of “removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power” using “a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts.”
In 2001, President George W. Bush asked Khalilzad to head the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and Khalilzad briefly served as Counselor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In May 2001, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice announced Khalilzad’s appointment as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs at the National Security Council. In December 2002 the President appointed Khalilzad to the position of Ambassador at Large for Free Iraqis with the task of coordinating “preparations for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.”
2440 pages of CIA, State Department, and Congressional documents covering Iraq.
(from a wikipedia entry about US economics – )
Subsidies considered excessive, unwarranted, wasteful, unfair, inefficient, or bought by lobbying are often called corporate welfare. The label of corporate welfare is often used to decry projects advertised as benefiting the general welfare that spend a disproportionate amount of funds on large corporations, and often in uncompetitive, or anti-competitive ways. For instance, in the United States, agricultural subsidies are usually portrayed as helping honest, hardworking independent farmers stay afloat. However, the majority of income gained from commodity support programs actually goes to large agribusiness corporations such as Archer Daniels Midland, as they own a considerably larger percentage of production.
According to the Cato Institute, the U.S. federal government spent $92 billion on corporate welfare during fiscal year 2006. Recipients included Boeing, Xerox, IBM, Motorola, Dow Chemical, and General Electric.
Alan Peters and Peter Fisher have estimated that state and local governments provide $40-50 billion annually in economic development incentives, which many critics characterize as corporate welfare.
Some economists consider the recent bank bailouts in the United States to be corporate welfare. U.S. politicians have contended that zero-interest loans from the Federal Reserve to financial institions during the global financial crisis were a hidden, backdoor form of corporate welfare.
The Republicans bailed out the banks and established the most grandiose, crony-based government funded set of industries, security contractor industries, huge agri-businesses that put small farms out of business, horse farms and horse breeder farms, military industry contractors and sub-contractors such that no one could compete with any of them with a level playing field or enter the field at all, in many cases – since those same subsidies, grants and incentives were not available to them.
– my note
The term corporate welfare is widely used to describe the bestowal of favorable treatment to particular corporations by the government. One of the most commonly raised forms of criticism are statements that the capitalist political economy toward large corporations allows them to “privatize profits and socialize losses.” The argument has been raised and cited on many occasions.
The military-industrial complex in the United States is often described as an example of crony capitalism in an industry. Connections with The Pentagon and lobbyists in Washington are described by critics as more important than actual competition, due to the political and secretive nature of defense contracts. In the Airbus-Boeing WTO dispute, Airbus (which receives outright subsidies from European governments) has stated Boeing receives similar subsidies, which are hidden as inefficient defense contracts. In another example, Bechtel, claiming that it should have had a chance to bid for certain contracts, said Halliburton had received no-bid contracts due to having cronies in the Bush administration.
(also from the same entry on wikipedia – )
More direct government involvement can lead to specific areas of crony capitalism, even if the economy as a whole may be healthy. Governments will, often in good faith, establish government agencies to regulate an industry. However, the members of an industry have a very strong interest in the actions of a regulatory body, while the rest of the citizenry are only lightly affected. As a result, it is not uncommon for current industry players to gain control of the “watchdog” and use it against competitors. This phenomenon is known as regulatory capture.
A famous early example in the United States would be the Interstate Commerce Commission, which was established in 1887 to regulate the railroad “robber barons“; instead, it quickly became controlled by the railroads, which set up a permit system that was used to deny access to new entrants and functionally legalized price fixing.
(further from another wikipedia entry – )
Economist Dean Baker expressed similar views in his book The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer, in which he pointed out several different policy areas in which government intervention is essential to preserving and enhancing wealth in the hands of a few.
Also Noam Chomsky has criticized the way in which free market principles have been applied. He has argued that the wealthy use free-market rhetoric to justify imposing greater economic risk upon the lower classes, while being insulated from the rigours of the market by the political and economic advantages that such wealth affords. He remarked, “the free market is socialism for the rich—[free] markets for the poor and state protection for the rich.”
Arguments along a similar line were raised in connection with the financial turmoil in 2008. With regard to the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ron Blackwell, chief economist of AFL-CIO, used the expression “Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor” to characterize the system. In September 2008, the US Senator from Vermont, Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders said regarding the bailout of the U.S. financial system: “This is the most extreme example that I can recall of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor”. The same month, economist Nouriel Roubini stated: “It is pathetic that Congress did not consult any of the many professional economists that have presented […] alternative plans that were more fair and efficient and less costly ways to resolve this crisis. This is again a case of privatizing the gains and socializing the losses; a bailout and socialism for the rich, the well-connected and Wall Street”.
Crony capitalism in practice
In its lightest form, crony capitalism consists of collusion among market players. While perhaps lightly competing against each other, they will present a unified front to the government in requesting subsidies or aid (sometimes called a trade association or industry trade group). Newcomers to a market may find it difficult to find loans or acquire shelf space to sell their product; in technological fields, they may be accused of infringing on patents that the established competitors never invoke against each other. Distribution networks will refuse to aid the entrant. That said, there will still be competitors who “crack” the system when the legal barriers are light, especially where the old guard has become inefficient and is failing to meet the needs of the market. Of course, some of these upstarts may then join with the established networks to help deter any other new competitors.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in an April 29, 1938 message to Congress warned that the growth of private power could lead to fascism:
The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
From the same message:
The Growing Concentration of Economic Power. Statistics of the Bureau of Internal Revenue reveal the following amazing figures for 1935: “Ownership of corporate assets: Of all corporations reporting from every part of the Nation, one-tenth of 1 percent of them owned 52 percent of the assets of all of them.”
Critics of the notion of the confluence of corporate power and de facto fascism included President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who nevertheless brought attention to the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” in his 1961 Farewell Address to the Nation, and stressed “the need to maintain balance in and among national programs — balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage.”
Some authors also discuss modern American corporatism.
Just a thought –
Sometime, when you’ve nothing better to do –
In 1727, Benjamin Franklin, then 21, created the Junto, a group of “like minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community.” The Junto was a discussion group for issues of the day; it subsequently gave rise to many organizations in Philadelphia.
Reading was a great pastime of the Junto, but books were rare and expensive. The members created a library, initially assembled from their own books. This did not suffice, however. Franklin then conceived the idea of a subscription library, which would pool the funds of the members to buy books for all to read. This was the birth of the Library Company of Philadelphia: its charter was composed by Franklin in 1731. In 1732, Franklin hired the first American librarian, Louis Timothee. Originally, the books were kept in the homes of the first librarians, but in 1739 the collection was moved to the second floor of the State House of Pennsylvania, now known as Independence Hall. In 1791, a new building was built specifically for the library. The Library Company is now a great scholarly and research library with 500,000 rare books, pamphlets, and broadsides, more than 160,000 manuscripts, and 75,000 graphic items.
Upon Denham’s death, Franklin returned to his former trade. In 1728, Franklin had set up a printing house in partnership with Hugh Meredith and the following year became the publisher of a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette. The Gazette gave Franklin a forum for agitation about a variety of local reforms and initiatives through printed essays and observations. Over time, his commentary, and his adroit cultivation of a positive image as an industrious and intellectual young man, earned him a great deal of social respect. But even after Franklin had achieved fame as a scientist and statesman, he habitually signed his letters with the unpretentious ‘B. Franklin, Printer.’
The Bill of Rights is the name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of legislative articles and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791, through the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States.
The Bill of Rights is a series of limitations on the power of the United States federal government, protecting the natural rights of liberty and property including freedom of speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association, as well as the right to keep and bear arms. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by a grand jury for any capital or “infamous crime”, guarantees a speedy, public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights reserves for the people any rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution and reserves all powers not specifically granted to the federal government to the people or the States. Most of these restrictions on the federal government were later applied to the states by a series of legal decisions applying the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The Bill was influenced by George Mason‘s 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as Magna Carta (1215).
The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. One of the first fourteen copies of the Bill of Rights is on public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
My Note –
Because if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Maybe it is time to take a look at what America stands for and make good on it – across the board, both with our own people and those of other nations around the world.
Just a thought.
It is rather hard to imagine doing anything of value in the United States when the game is rigged.
Our nation has agreed to the principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights for all of this time, including now. I don’t recall any of us having a vote to change those principles and doctrines to something else – not thirty years ago, not five years ago and not yesterday nor today. So, therefore these things have been our law the whole time – and these aren’t matters that are buried fifty elements down on some back page of our Constitution. They are placed at its first page as the most important thing from which all the rest is derived and secondary. These are in effect, our national principles upon which we have all agreed – not something else.
And, when those funds were taken from our Treasury and sent to places as diverse and brutal to people from Egypt to even states and systems in the United States that have brutalized our people – it was illegal. It was against the very Constitution which places any power in the hands of anyone in our state or federal government or its agencies.
That was a “no-no” to say the least. And, now the price of this foolishness, is that we have put sophisticated weapons of destruction in the hands of whatever horrific regime has been in power for thirty years and whatever comes next. Brilliant is not the word I would use to describe that. And, at the same time it has thieved money from every single American alive today in opportunities, resources and moneys from their paychecks which could have been spent more effectively for their own needs.
It is wrong.
And, the people who participated in it – knew it was wrong and in violation of our Constitution when they were doing it.
$3.5 million dollars a day being given to Egypt every single day for over thirty years – what did they think they were doing?
(sometimes more and that doesn’t include a vast array of other financial resources being given from our tax dollars to the Egyptian government for an infinite variety of excuses.)
Times how many other governments and nations and programs and militaries and police states and police secret brutality guards and how many other things that not one American citizen would have agreed to take money from their paychecks and sponsor?
I noticed this just now on one of my documents – how is it that these folks knew this and yet, bankers, Wall Street groups and our government have said there was no way they could’ve known what was coming?
Financial crisis of early 21st Century
According to their Report to Policyholders 2007, in early 2007 the company’s managers became concerned about the state of credit markets, so in February 2007 “based on our belief that the markets were acting irrationally” New York Life decided to move much of its cash flow into safer investments such as US Treasury bonds. “By August 2007, the credit market problems we had feared were front page news,” the Report notes.