Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Take comfort when a democratic dictator is worse than a fascist one – the world we live in ~

If one reads the opinion piece of Paul Krugman in the New York Times of 11th June 2018, one would believe that POTUS Donald Trump, can get away with anything he does or says, because the Republican Congress is either impotent or shell shocked and stays that way, allowing him to do as he pleases. Up until they are ousted from their dominant role at elections, the USA is an Autocracy. One never thought one would hear a respected journalist saying such a thing in 2018, but hey he has said it, and explained himself lucidly. Read the attached link:

When I initially picked the article, I thought the quisling he was referring to was Kim of Korea, but no it was the enablers of POTUS himself.

When he says that the Republican Party is irredeemably corrupt, you have a problem when in comparison, Sri Lanka seems so normal today. He says that Trump exhibits performative cruelty towards racial minorities effectively the point of view of his base, that Republicans don’t want to risk reminding them of the fundamental American values on which the Country was founded, at stake here, for fear of losing their elections. He says that the Republican Lawmakers are immobilized by a combination of venality and cowardice, when they should be aware that a de facto foreign agent sits in the Oval Office. These are harsh words, but were applicable under past MR administration or a future Pohottuwa Administration to describe the legislators who back MR then and now.

A paragraph out of this link I take verbatim here below which could have applied to MR, when no one dared cross him. Can we say that of the present Sirisena/Wickremasinghe schizophrenic administration? NO NO NO. Isn’t that a relief? YES. The electorate has a short memory, of what it used to be!

“Remember when people used to imagine that Trump would be restrained by officials who would put some check on his worst impulses? Maybe that happened for a few months, but at this point he’s entirely surrounded by sycophants who will tell him whatever he wants to hear”.

It is time that people with common sense draw a line in the sand, and decide what is good for democracy? The ability to criticize one’s leaders ad nauseam that we do today, or never be allowed to say anything for fear of the GULAG that North Korea, now Trump being paired with his brother from another mother (Kim) is compared with. 

Strong stuff here, but worth considering here in SL~ when pundits are looking at the alternatives in store in 2020. Surprise surprise, the next US Presidential Election also is on November 3rd 2020 and no surprises, President Trump will be seeking re-election then. Consider the world view then, not different to Sri Lanka either.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully in the USA there are elections every 4 years for a President and the damage he can do is limited. I hope that Sri Lanka does not abandon democracy, as people will also have a chance to throw out the dictators as they once did.

The point here is that the US has checks and balances to make sure there is a level playing field if those entrusted with those checks actually do their duty.

In Sri Lanka even the Presidential Commissions set up to ensure checks and balances don't operate in the way it was meant to be, and there is a clamor to get rid of the 80+ people sitting on those commissions.

It is the moral duty of this lazy and incompetent government to set up sufficiently fool proof Commissions who can have an overseeing authority over excesses that elected politicians indulge in. After all in a situation they are in opposition they will have to rely on those same commissions for redress, when they suffer political repression as they inevitably will in a new Pohottuwa Administration. It is their fault if they don't do what was promised and basic for a functioning democracy.

Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

Sorry I forgot to say that Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning economist and is a Professor of Economics currently teaching. So what he says does carry weight in case someone was wondering who he is.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting conundrum.

We have the most unlikeliest of people heading the USA. He is doing everything in an unorthodox manner that appears to upset the established order.

I disagree with the Krugman who is an old fashioned liberal democrat in his economic thinking.

However much we may dislike the man, and even the promises he made, he was elected on those promises, and he intends keeping them, even though the consequence to USA may be negative.

That is a refreshing turn of events, where a leader actually keeps his promises.

Due to the unsurpassed economic clout that the USA has, what all these tariffs and protections will do, is to allow higher wages for the middle class in the US, which due to severe competition from China and the rest have not been able to have wage increases for their companies to prosper, they will now see a real wage increase, and that will transfer perversely into more robot intensive industry, as there will be no foreign labor to fill the vacancies and the only answer being increased use of robot technology allied withe 3d printing.

Sri Lanka with a severe labor shortage has no option either, but to begin using robots, and CCTV to reduce dependence on security guards that are harder and harder to find.

At the same time the lay abouts who are sitting for fares in three wheelers will realize they have no skills and will soon be on the road with no work, only then will they understand that by taking the easy route they have carved out their own demise to starvation.

In the end only hard work pays as there is enough work if you want to actually make an effort

Trump calls everyone's bluff and he wins - so far

Anonymous said...

Your democratic dictator oxymoron fits Trump perfectly, if only because his following don't accept the common rules of engagement. They know they have been cheated by the system, they follow a person who says they have been cheated, and who is promising them a piece of the action, when he talks sense to them.

They don't understand his sense as being utter economic nonsense, but then why should the US be the least protectionist country anyway?

The US is maxed out. There is a severe labor shortage and Trump has closed the doors on immigrants and worse he is expelling them.

People in the US are hard working, so they will now work longer hours and maybe do two jobs and also engage in labor saving technology and will be the pioneers in automation to prepare for the lack of labor.

All this will make the economy more efficient, and when after a few years of tariffs their partners agree to give access to the US exporters free of duty, their economic prowess of efficiency will make the economy wealthy, in much the same way Switzerland has managed.

Its currrency with all the trade surpluses will rise, and automatically make the people better off, all part of a sensible plan, only possible because the economy is humming and not just thanks to the Trump tax cuts, which allowed companies such as Apple to bring back their earnings from overseas, further spurring investment in more productivity at home.

On another point with the Giga factory coming on stream, importing countries who impose tariffs on this import, will only suffer, as this is an energy substitute, as these batteries are essential for solar power to be stored.

However people diss the USA, they certainly have a great future, greater than even China, as the quality of life will improve, allowing their workforce to work shorter hours as part of this process