tv Cross Talk RT July 22, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT
we know don't forget to tune in a break in the set with host abby martin is coming up at the top of the hour meghan lopez. many americans still have the almost cult like belief that america is the greatest nation on earth for the past thirty years the us has been in decline relative to other countries yet during this time washington continues to fight wars abroad and egypt is a nation building is america becoming a third world country. i would rather ask questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on r.t.
question more. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lengthly you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harmon welcome to the big picture. you know the resume. is a. glowing welcome to crossfire all things are considered on peter lavelle many americans
still have the almost cult like believe that america is the greatest nation on earth. but objective facts belies this exaggerated patriotism for the past thirty years the us has been in decline relative to other countries yet during this time washington continues to fight wars abroad and engages in nation building is america becoming a third world country. to cross-talk america in decline i'm joined by george samuel in new york he is a fellow of the global policy institute of london metropolitan university and in washington we cross to charles blair he is the senior fellow on state and non-state threats at the federation of american scientists all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it george is the united states becoming a third world country the topic of this program. well the certain features of it the do resemble that of a third world country i mean obviously the united states is
a giant global military superpower that controls vast military alliances and if the tentacles of which extend into every continent but domestically it does indeed resemble that of a third world country. the income inequality is staggering and it continues to rise. the levels of poverty are also continue to rise around or over a staggering level. life expectancy in the united states is really very low compared to that of comparable industrialized states. and the legal and political system is such that if skin is skewered in such a way that those who are rich and powerful essentially walk free they have no culpability for any of their. deeds while the poor get locked up so the united states has the largest per capita prison population in the world and
yet the worst criminals walk free so in those areas it does indeed resemble a third world country. detroit just declared bankruptcy what does that tell you about what's going on in the us economy right now. well i think it's important that you you cannot just aggregate take the u.s. out of the question i think over all the planet all you have to do is look at a population growth map a chart that shows population growth and you can see quite obviously where the world is headed i think the united states is in a relatively good position right now historically the u.s. is is an archetype it's an archetype of renewal whether that's deserved or not currently it will remain that way it will continue to get in terms of demographics a young vibrant population if we perceive intelligent immigration policies and in terms of our legal system and our political system say have said out of what you
may but britain pardon me brazil china india. the bric other bric states are still doing a lot of foreign investment in the united states it's a safe place for other countries to invest and in terms of our legal and our educational system. it's the it favors the sort of innovation that is necessary if the world is going to get out of the crisis that it's in right now in terms of the environment so certainly the united states is facing some very serious problems but these are global issues and i think the conversation needs to look needs to address the global milieu as well as just the u.s. right now so i would say that right now the u.s. is not on the verge of becoming a third world power i think the globe the globally overall things are not looking good but the only hope really that the world has right now is in the u.s. and that means immigration of people from other countries and solving the problems that are facing us all globally scientifically. george it seems like a lot of the recent problems the world faces comes from the united states the
financial crisis for example where yes the deregulated casino style capitalism was an american construction and it was exported explicitly by the united states and has led to a series of economic and financial crises now is a problem with the story but the innovation is that it's hard to see how any of this innovation has benefited. anyone in the united states i mean if one looks at these monthly jobs that is the x. it's clear that the the rises in the in jobs are taking place in all of the very unskilled areas we have in the service sectors as a rising people working in retail rising people working in health services rising to be the rising numbers the waiters and waitresses and bartenders there is been a steady decline of people in the high tech and the industries and in the
manufacturing industries so clearly that this is the area where people are getting jobs now i imagine that when the next financial collapse because and it will it's obviously going to be quite soon even those people in those service sectors were at the moment holding on to their jobs they're going to be knocked out because i think the you know the manufacturing industry in and i'd say it's already been decimated so i think the next area will be the service sector they're the ones we're going to be kicked out after the next financial crisis chill so to speak a bit about the middle class because i grew up believing the middle class was the pillar of america but it's been poor word of the last thirty years. yeah let me first of all just briefly address this ties in your question as well what george was saying you know if you look at the population of athens at its peak historically under para cli's in the fifth century b.c.
that population is the net population growth of the world every day today the united states adds that population in less than thirty days so what it really is when you're looking at it it's a question of population growth and the challenges that we face so when you're looking at the unemployment or how the service sector is going to get hit during the next putative collapse it really has to say a lot about overpopulation the united states its population has tripled in the last century it's the third most populous country in the world and that's been one of the main challenges for the middle you know but you know there's a united states that want that while the united states is the one percent isn't that's the real challenge and one percent in a lot of poor people go. you can make that argument and i think you can make that argument strongly if you're looking though for solutions to get out of the global problems that we have right now which are due to overpopulation and obviously the effects on the environment which is the number one threat we all face globally
we're going to have to figure out a way to work within the united states because it is the leader in terms of innovation it's not emulation in the u.s. it's innovation because we have an open educational system that allows for that sort of creative kind of work so you we need to somehow i'm not denying that there is a significant disparity between what is going on with the one percent and the rest of the country but we need to work with that one percent and we need to figure out a solution and that's the only way globally we can get out of this mess of the. lives they want the ones resent interested in the hardware the innovation argument is that. is that the companies that do enjoy. assistance from the u.s. government then turn around and shed jobs in the united states and create jobs in. cheap labor countries such as china and in asia and create no jobs in the united
states i mean for instance apple has benefited greatly from u.s. government assistance and subsidies to under turns around and creates manufacturing jobs in china and you go only jobs that it creates in the united states are very low level low paying telemarketing jobs so this is a way that this what we have technological innovation but the those benefits go to the one percent the one percent shareholders one of those companies then your share of says here in the united states and create jobs elsewhere so offshoring and outsourcing go together i mean rising. i don't even come going to the one percent ok reply charles please reply to it let me ask let me ask you george. and i agree with you almost wholly in what you're saying then if we accept that what you said
is the reality of the situation and where the end globally is innovation going to come from what let me ask you where is change going to come from how are we going to solve the environmental issues that currently face the world where is that innovation coming from or going to come from well i don't see that it could come almost anywhere i don't i don't really see that it necessarily has to come from the united states i don't dispute that the united nations system where particularly coming from a university level is a very high. rate i think it will come from the brics countries i think it could come from europe i don't think that it is any reason what to expect that it has to come from the united states our u.s. products are the best in the world i don't see it i mean i think if you look at many consumer products. as good as or better in other countries i mean look at the auto industry are you really going to say that the
auto industry in the united states is superior to the auto industry in europe i don't think so so i see you know the innovation is going to come anywhere i don't at all see that the necessary has to come in the united states in terms i mean in our ages ago in our age of globalization does it really matter where it comes from you can have a good idea in argentina can't you and you can market and you can make an idea doesn't matter what i'm arguing is. sure but where do you where is that rewarded where are people investing china has it's it's ages out you know it's it has its huge demographic challenges in terms of the age of its population we know that russia and europe also have demographic problems the united states demographically is the only country especially with saying immigration policies that is going to be able to generate the sort of people that we need to come up with these ideas the idea that the notion that western europe or that or that once again come up with a solution is that if they. do well i don't mean that you know you share and go hey
george jump in go ahead please do. you know that cup is fine you know if you can say oh the united states innovation so again leave the profits will accrue to these smaller number of shareholders and as peter said you know ok so innovation can come in argentina and investment can take place in argentina as long as argentina has a sufficiently cheap labor force all of the investment can take elsewhere it may well be that the u.s. companies are in charge of that had to remain here then i would have to judge but here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on america in decline state.
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welcome back to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing whether the us is becoming a third world country. you know charles earlier in the program you mentioned ancient greece and it made me think about empires and it seems to me that the u.s. empire it has these bases all over the world but you have bridges collapsing you don't have good airports embarrassing airports i would say by international standards so you spending the money on empire but not spending money at home it seems to be repeating other empires that have fallen. sure and at the beginning when you were talking about the the myth that the united states will always be at the top that really is very interesting because all great empires to be allowed way
yeah that's what i would prefer to call the united states they all think they they never foresee the fact that they're going to eventually crumble and you look at great britain at the turn of the century that was the largest empire in world history and look where they are now so things can change very rapidly and i think that's one of the problems that the u.s. public has is it perceives an indefinite. had demonic state for the united states and doesn't really understand it other countries china iran that have large populations in our natural e geographically predisposed to be demonic for that area naturally want to exert their power in that area and that's an area where the united states has really had a rough time and i think george was alluding to that earlier and you were as well in terms of foreign bases in the far difficulties of extricating ourselves from areas of the world that we really should not be in and so really it's a really good bye to the north you know you know george i mean if the if the united states has left the rest of the world alone and focused on itself we could probably
turn things around maybe that's the only maybe i can see. that's absolutely right peter and we can see that this vase amount of resources that has been devoted towards the military and that we're not just talking about the amount that goes to the pentagon but the amount that goes on the vast intelligence operators homeland security and. all of the news all the wars of the united states have been waging all of which were basically financed off the books when you think of all of that money that has been devoted to this with a largely for the promotion of u.s. style capitalism at the same time there's been no improvement then in fact there's been a deterioration in the standard of living of most americans and i think this is really what we mean by the american empire this is an empire that benefits entirely the giant corporations so and it and even these corporations that. that have done so
well out of the present server pay no taxes if then they care there is a chance of it alex services that we get they can fail either exactly so that there's always a bailout no taxes bail out and all of the benefits of all these wars accrue to them in the meantime the. ordinary people pay their taxes and get us through that very regressive system and they are the ones who have to pay for these ridiculous was one which they benefit nothing if that you see that in changing ever in our lifetime or the american empire will just collapse and it would be disastrous for the entire world i'm very hard on american empire but i would want to see it collapse overnight where we would be the thing is that globally the whether it collapses or not isn't really everybody should be concerned a lot of people take sort of some pleasure out of seeing a perceived decline in america. but that's
a decline for the world it's symptomatic of what does go is going on globally. obviously there needs to be a radical paradigm shift. if we're going to proceed as a species at the level of population that we have right now any economy that is based on consumption is inherently flawed and we're beginning to see that in spades right now charles was living how is that really what we're such a rich could come from you know i'm sorry to keep bringing up the one percent but they're not interested in that they're disinterested in profits that's all they are they're not interested in the paradigm ok the paradigm shift. well i think sure i think there's a couple ways personally i think that history is changed by black swans by unforeseen events i think that's what drives history but i think that the united states in the world we're so interconnected now it's so fragile we have no redundancy in terms of our communication etc that even the slightest glitch you
know as let's say a small radiological attack could pummel the stock market could plunge the entire global economy into a deep recession and you could see a very sharp drop off in global population if you could not ensure food distribution and this could happen within just a couple months then you would see then you could out of the rubble of that you could begin to see. maybe new ideas coming in and humanity heading in the right direction away from consumerism and towards a more enlightened it's interesting because it is absolutely george you know china and russia other countries are trying to cut their ties as much as they can with the u.s. they don't want their contains into anymore ok so this is something that's in play but you still have this huge american military that wants to enforce the status quo this is the crux of the progress of the problem yeah that's right i mean i do agree with something that charles said that i think the change will come about through
some terrible crisis we had when we had four or five years ago when we had the gigantic financial collapse it looked like this would bring in change with a new president and people out on the street ready to hang the bankers on the capitalists but nothing very much changed but that doesn't mean that the next rises which may well be worse than the previous one that the next i says will not bring about a drastic change same with the iraq war the iraq war was a gigantic debacle on the other hand. again managed to overcome this but the next time it may not be the next time the american going to reckless foreign policy will get will get the country involved in some very nasty war from which recovery will not be as easy so i do think that if we are going to get change it won't be through the normal workings of the american political system because
whoever will be elected next time around will probably be just very similar to. george your brother if you resist one of these crises are you wearing out your mark willacy or some geopolitical graces that could well bring bring about a drastic change to georgia brought up democracy charles jimmy carter just recently said that the united states no longer has a functioning democracy how do you reflect upon that statement i don't want to get cold but it depends on how you define democracy and i think he's thinking about it being a mine in america where money and money in lobbying i think that's really what he's getting at you can buy elections pretty easily if you have enough money sure so what do you think about that in u. . yeah i think that the united states was founded on excellent principles that it can return to given enough of a paradigm shift we have the foundation for it but i certainly agree that people think only in terms of their own generation and that's the entire problem we're not
thinking in terms of future generations of sustainability and we have a culture of consumption where that's rewarded so if you look at the even you know nonproliferation seemingly good industry makes a lot of money off of nonproliferation and the you know the u.s. is one of the if not the most it's one of the largest arms manufacturers and sellers in the world lot of people make money off of that but if you talk to people that are involved in sort of green technology use or are trying to reduce the negative impact the united states has and if you ask them about their four one k. plan because we no longer have pensions they're usually pretty blind as to the companies that they're invested in and most people are actually in the united states even people that would support i think what george and i are talking about here and you i would assume. are invested in companies like lockheed martin northrop grumman companies that make a lot of money off of selling war and that's part of the illusion the
malays that america is under it's willfully an educated scientifically and in terms of where it's money is actually going you know what and what it's you know what you know george the one percent likes the fact that americans are not very educated ok you know it's really to their advantage ok really you know give them empire you know bread and circuses like the romans ok really it's the really true head yeah. that's exactly right so every four years and now increasingly every two years we go to these highly contentious elections in which nothing whatsoever changes. so we have these endless food fights but everything remains. mentally the same there's no challenge to the. status quo in terms of the control by banks controlled by the political system so some minor changes on the symbolic issues in which
politicians argue about whether it's a gun control or ga ga i think i think you about it's even worse they could see been worse it's about who which is where you know the because the control of the economy by the by the financial elite that just gets left alone georgia is even worse the candidates are likeability that's what's important is their likability yes. exactly i mean literally he has a right to go ahead with presidents like obama and bush let me. you know becomes their personalities and their people and people go that well i like this guy so i just but i'll tell you anything let's let john banding that we're almost out of time trying to. think that we could agree on a number of these issues but innovation comes from countries if you look historically that are not under a tremendous amount of pressure then you emulate if you're going to innovate you have to have resource extraction capabilities and you have to have a large population and resources the united states right now is the only country if
there is a paradigm shift if we can somehow restructure the way that we view the world in our relationship to it i am convinced and i think that it's been shown historically that the united states is where that change is going to take place and we need to invest in science in the united states and we need to realize that we need to focus on solutions and the best place for solutions is going to be the u.s. i agree with everything else and i think there is d.m. hope that we're going to get out of this crisis without a major drop in population globally but even after that point the world and the united states will still hold. the symbol of an archetype the archetype of renewal which the united states has had for hundreds and hundreds of years and it will maintain that archetype whether it's deserved or not we can debate but people will continue to look at the united states is a source of renewal of regeneration and potentially of hope all right let me jump in here to georgia me ask you how you can see are you convinced the answer no you got five seconds five seconds go no i am not convinced i think that in history
powell was all right if you are john sorry i was going to get a bunch of answer more would run out of time gentlemen many thanks to my guests today in washington and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are to see you next time and remember. these. old. technology innovations all the developments from around russia we've got the future covered.
i've seen the perception of the cross many times it doesn't matter if there's snow a heat wave or hail stones from people keep on going i don't expect anything just one i told myself i keep on going as long as my heart told me to that's all i want to at the moment. hanson so mind she see i'm carrying these sayings on my shoulder . do you want me to put a man in shared no that's fine a lot of people were so exhausted they could barely walk their feet hurt and some of them strained to who were evacuated three two wanted to keep going i don't know what tomorrow will bring.
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