• 1st S’pore Job Fair In Johor Bahru Attracts Over 2,000 Applicants Due To Attractive Salaries
    Ethan Oh- 27 Nov 2023, 11:39 am

    Johor Bahru Holds 1st Singapore Job Fair, Attracts Over 2,000 Applicants

    Singapore has long attracted numerous Malaysians for work — 900,000 were reportedly working here in 2022. Perhaps due to this, Johor Bahru (JB) hosted its first-ever Singapore Job Fair.

    Held on Sunday (26 Nov), over 2,000 job seekers showed up at the venue to look for potential employment.

    The job fair included eight different categories of work, including catering and office work.

    Most of the job seekers saw the attractiveness of Singapore’s higher salaries as a main draw.

    Singapore Job Fair attracts thousands in JB

    China Press reported on the ‘Singapore Job Fair 2023’, which took place on Sunday (26 Nov) at a hotel in JB from 8am to 9pm.

    At least 2,000 people showed up by the morning, forming long queues that snaked across the lobby.


    Source: China Press
    At the fair, jobseekers could explore eight categories of work, ranging from catering and warehouse work to office jobs and employment in the beauty industry.

    Many of the applicants highlighted the attractive salaries Singapore provided as a big draw.


    Source: China Press
    “My current salary is RM4,500 (around S$1,290),” one of the interviewed seekers said. “I’m looking for a start of S$3,000.”

    A 22-year-old woman hoped to get a Singapore job while she was still young. She emphasised the rising costs in Malaysia and the 3.5 to 1 exchange rate between the two nations’ currencies.

    According to China Press, salaries for service staff and truck drivers start from S$2,000. Others such as bartenders could have attractive starting pay of S$2,500 a month.

    Salaries & experience main draws at event

    Despite the common perception, money isn’t the only reason why Malaysians are willing to cross the Causeway for work.


    Source: China Press
    A 39-year-old warehouse worker said his current salary was RM5,000 (S$1,433). He had worked at the small company for 12 years and sought to expand his horizons.

    “Although there are many other jobseekers here, I’m confident in my working experience,” he said.

    Of course, he noted that he sought at least S$3,000 in pay, which would be far higher than his current income.


    Source: China Press
    Meanwhile, a 21-year-old barista reportedly showed up to look at the vacancies in the Singapore job market but decided to get more experience locally before crossing borders.

    In spite of the competition, he felt assured in his chances as the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry in Singapore holds many openings.

    Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at [email protected].

    Featured image adapted from China Press and China Press.

    Get more stories like this.

    Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

    https://mustsharenews.com/singapore-job-fair-jb/
    1st S’pore Job Fair In Johor Bahru Attracts Over 2,000 Applicants Due To Attractive Salaries Ethan Oh- 27 Nov 2023, 11:39 am Johor Bahru Holds 1st Singapore Job Fair, Attracts Over 2,000 Applicants Singapore has long attracted numerous Malaysians for work — 900,000 were reportedly working here in 2022. Perhaps due to this, Johor Bahru (JB) hosted its first-ever Singapore Job Fair. Held on Sunday (26 Nov), over 2,000 job seekers showed up at the venue to look for potential employment. The job fair included eight different categories of work, including catering and office work. Most of the job seekers saw the attractiveness of Singapore’s higher salaries as a main draw. Singapore Job Fair attracts thousands in JB China Press reported on the ‘Singapore Job Fair 2023’, which took place on Sunday (26 Nov) at a hotel in JB from 8am to 9pm. At least 2,000 people showed up by the morning, forming long queues that snaked across the lobby. Source: China Press At the fair, jobseekers could explore eight categories of work, ranging from catering and warehouse work to office jobs and employment in the beauty industry. Many of the applicants highlighted the attractive salaries Singapore provided as a big draw. Source: China Press “My current salary is RM4,500 (around S$1,290),” one of the interviewed seekers said. “I’m looking for a start of S$3,000.” A 22-year-old woman hoped to get a Singapore job while she was still young. She emphasised the rising costs in Malaysia and the 3.5 to 1 exchange rate between the two nations’ currencies. According to China Press, salaries for service staff and truck drivers start from S$2,000. Others such as bartenders could have attractive starting pay of S$2,500 a month. Salaries & experience main draws at event Despite the common perception, money isn’t the only reason why Malaysians are willing to cross the Causeway for work. Source: China Press A 39-year-old warehouse worker said his current salary was RM5,000 (S$1,433). He had worked at the small company for 12 years and sought to expand his horizons. “Although there are many other jobseekers here, I’m confident in my working experience,” he said. Of course, he noted that he sought at least S$3,000 in pay, which would be far higher than his current income. Source: China Press Meanwhile, a 21-year-old barista reportedly showed up to look at the vacancies in the Singapore job market but decided to get more experience locally before crossing borders. In spite of the competition, he felt assured in his chances as the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry in Singapore holds many openings. Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at [email protected]. Featured image adapted from China Press and China Press. Get more stories like this. Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news. https://mustsharenews.com/singapore-job-fair-jb/
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    1st S'pore Job Fair In Johor Bahru Attracts Over 2,000 Applicants Due To Attractive Salaries
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  • The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated
    SHARE | PRINT | EMAIL
    Vaccines are a complicated area, which is because the immune system is immensely complicated. Targeted vaccines have ancillary effects, and it is not possible to predict what they are.

    Professor Peter Aaby’s group has done ground-breaking research on the effects of vaccines in randomized trials and in field studies. His team discovered that all live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality whereas some non-live vaccines increase total mortality. There are also gender differences, and the sequence of vaccinations is important. It is best to end with a live vaccine.

    My rule of thumb is that if a vaccine is part of the official vaccination program in some countries and not in others of similar standing, it is not important to get vaccinated. An example is the rotavirus vaccine against diarrhoea, which is not on the childhood program in Denmark even though we had a strong lobby group promoting it.

    The Measles Vaccines
    The measles vaccines are a good example that live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality much more than what is possible based on their targeted effect, in this case on preventing measles. In a randomised trial in Bissau, for example, children vaccinated against measles at age 6 months had 70 percent lower mortality than unvaccinated children, and this reduction was not due to prevention of measles infection. The WHO has estimated that there were 128,000 measles deaths globally in 2021, mostly among unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children under the age of 5 years.

    If we do not vaccinate our children against measles, it will lead to many deaths and cases of severe brain damage that could have been avoided. We have a joint responsibility towards each other to ensure we get vaccinated because herd immunity is important. Measles is highly contagious, and to prevent the occurrence of measles epidemics, vaccinating about 95 percent of the population is necessary.

    Annual Influenza Jabs are not Needed
    People all over the world, particularly the elderly, are being nudged by the authorities to get an annual vaccination against influenza, but it is not at all obvious that this is a good idea. In fact, there are several reasons to be skeptical.

    First, the preventive effect is small. Twenty-nine people would need to be vaccinated to avoid one case of influenza-like illness and 71 people to avoid one case of influenza, and the vaccination does not reduce hospital admissions or days off work.

    Second, as the virus mutates quite rapidly, the effect obtained by vaccination will likely be smaller than in the randomized trials.

    Third, the vaccine has negative effects on the immune system. Canadian researchers showed in four different studies that people who received a seasonal influenza vaccine in 2008 had an increased risk of getting infected with another strain in 2009.

    Fourth, all vaccines cause harms, which can potentially be serious. Pandemrix, one of the influenza vaccines used during the 2009-2010 pandemic, caused narcolepsy in children and adolescents with a certain tissue type. Up to several years after vaccination of children and adolescents, people may suddenly start falling asleep while engaging in their normal activities, and there is no cure.

    Fifth, we should always consider the likelihood of getting infected without vaccination. Influenza pandemics are uncommon and rarely involve large portions of the population. In any given year, the likelihood of acquiring influenza if unvaccinated is therefore very small. I never had an influenza vaccination, and my wife, a professor in clinical microbiology, never had one, and together, we have perhaps had influenza twice for 135 years. But we don’t know. When people say they have influenza, it usually just means an influenza-like illness of which there are many, which vaccination does not protect against.

    Some fundamentalists, particularly in the United States and Australia, have mandated influenza vaccination of healthcare workers to protect patients. This violation of informed consent is deeply troubling and unethical. Moreover, a large review about vaccination of healthcare workers caring for elderly people did not find an effect on laboratory-proven influenza, lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation, death due to lower respiratory tract illness, or all-cause mortality.

    A researcher mentioned that, “to focus exclusively on the risk posed by unvaccinated workers – treating them as outcasts or, worse, terminating their employment – while overlooking the risk posed by vaccinated workers, potentially jeopardizes patients.” Indeed. Vaccination may provide staff with a false sense of security that might reduce their level of handwashing and potentially increase, rather than decrease, the risk of infecting patients.

    HPV Vaccines: Not a Simple Issue
    When the HPV vaccines were suspected of causing serious neurological harms – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and chronic fatigue syndrome – the European Drug Agency cleared the vaccines. However, they did not investigate the issues themselves but let the manufacturers do it for them.

    My research group examined the clinical study reports submitted to the European Medicines Agency and found a significant increase in serious neurological harms. This was surprising because almost everyone in the control groups had been treated with a hepatitis vaccine or a strongly immunogenic adjuvant, which might also cause harms, making it difficult to detect the harms of the HPV vaccines.

    The Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias. The authors overlooked several adverse events and failed to mention that some of the included trials did not report serious adverse events for the whole trial period. For example, three Gardasil trials with a total of 21,441 girls or women with up to four years follow-up only reported serious adverse events occurring within 14 days post-vaccination even though it takes years in many patients before serious neurological harms get diagnosed.

    The Cochrane authors found more deaths in the HPV vaccine groups than in the comparator groups, and the death rate was significantly increased in women above age 25, risk ratio 2.36 (95 percent confidence interval 1.10 to 5.03). They considered this a chance occurrence since there was no pattern in the causes of death or in the time between vaccine administration and death.

    However, deaths are often miscoded. For example, traumatic head injury and drowning in a bathtub have been described, and this could have been caused by a syncope or near syncope, which is a recognized vaccine harm that can occur at any time. The serious neurological harms seem to be caused by an autoimmune reaction.

    The drug companies, EMA and Cochrane called the trials placebo-controlled, which they weren’t. I find it shocking that vaccines are not tested against placebo or no treatment because this makes it impossible to ever know with certainty what the rare but serious harms are. There is no good reason why vaccines – which are preventative drugs – are not tested in the same rigorous way as other drugs.

    EMA declared that the adjuvants used in the vaccines to boost the immune response are safe, but the five references provided in support of this view were either non-accessible or irrelevant. Furthermore, nothing is safe if it is active. GlaxoSmithKline has stated that its aluminum-based comparator might cause harms, and the clinical study reports show that this is also the case for Merck’s adjuvant.

    The decision-making is not straightforward. The official propaganda has made women believe that cervical cancer is a major threat to their lives, but this cancer only contributes 0.5 percent of all deaths. Thus, very few women can benefit from the HPV vaccines, and since they do not protect against all HPV types, regular screening is still recommended even for women who are vaccinated. As the precursors to cancer are very slow-growing, women can avoid getting cervical cancer if they go to screening. This is more effective than getting vaccinated, but it comes with a price, e.g. conization for cancer precursors increases the risk of preterm birth.

    COVID-19 Vaccines: A Mess
    The story of the COVID-19 vaccines is officially touted as one of success but what stands out is a story of massive deceit and lack of scientific evidence behind many of the recommendations.

    The randomized trials that led to emergency approval of the vaccines showed that only one of 50 severe cases of COVID-19 occurred in the vaccine groups. This makes it likely that the vaccines have saved lives, and meta-analyses of the trials showed that the adenovirus vector vaccines, but not the mRNA vaccines, decreased total mortality significantly.

    The hype has been extreme, however. Among those that have claimed 100 percent efficacy of the vaccines are the FDA, US presidential advisor Anthony Fauci, the Australian government, Science Magazine, Reuters, CNN, US National Public Radio, The Hill, Sky News, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The efficacy is closer to 50 percent and many people, including me, have become infected despite having received two or more doses of the vaccine.

    Officials, including US President Joe Biden, once claimed that the vaccines were 100 percent protective against transmission to other people, but now it is widely acknowledged that there is no evidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission.

    The information on the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is particularly misleading. The CDC uses industry jargon when claiming that the vaccines are “safe and effective.” It states that “Adults and children may have some side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These side effects typically resolve after a few days.  Serious side effects are rare but may occur.”

    The link to serious side effects does not lead to any mention of what those are. But we know that the vaccines kill some people, e.g. because they can cause myocarditis, most commonly in young males, and thromboses.

    The CDC recommends “everyone ages 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness.” However, children tolerate the infection very well and it is likely harmful to vaccine children against COVID-19. Moreover, boosters may be harmful at any age but this is not popular information either. Facebook censored research and an interview with top vaccine researcher Professor Christine Stabell Benn even though the European Medicines Agency was also worried that COVID-19 vaccine boosters might be “overloading people’s immune systems and leading to fatigue.”

    Facebook also censored research that showed that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines could weaken the immune response and make cells of the immune system “lazy” when it comes to fighting off viral and bacterial infections. Facebook called this research “false information.”

    The Cochrane Collaboration, which has the logo “Trusted information,” did not provide trusted information. The Cochrane authors used industry jargon in the title of their review, “Efficacy and safety of COVID‐19 vaccines,” even though I convinced Cochrane many years ago that we should talk about benefits and harms of the interventions we study, in agreement with the CONSORT guidelines for good reporting of harms in trials, which I coauthored in 2004.

    The Cochrane authors concluded that there is little or no difference in serious adverse events compared to placebo whereas Peter Doshi and colleagues who reanalysed the pivotal mRNA trials found that one additional serious adverse event occurred for every 800 people vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. Their article, published four months before the Cochrane review, was not cited in it.

    When I studied the pivotal randomised trials, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and in the Lancet, I found that essential data on serious and severe harms were missing (see also my freely available book, The Chinese virus: killed millions and scientific freedom).

    Doshi et al.’s criticism of the Cochrane review, which is published within the review itself, is so substantial that it is fair to call the Cochrane review a politically expedient garbage in, garbage out exercise.

    There can be no doubt that the COVID-19 vaccines are much overused and partly to the wrong people. Now that most of us have had the infection, recommending booster after booster seems to be a particularly bad idea.

    Childhood Vaccines
    The childhood vaccination programs differ a lot from country to country. In the US, 17 vaccines are recommended, in Denmark only 10.

    Since vaccinations can weaken the immune system and since some non-live vaccines increase total mortality, it is reasonable to ask if the many vaccinations in the US could result in net harm.

    It is very important to study this possibility, but I am only aware of two researchers who have done it. They did several studies and found that those nations that require more vaccines for their infants have higher infant mortality, neonatal mortality, and under age five mortality. I find this an alarm signal that should lead to other studies as a matter of urgency.

    Censorship
    Censorship is detrimental for scientific debate and scientific advances, and it is harmful for the patients. But for vaccines, it is all over the place.

    Peter Aaby, one of the world’s top vaccine researchers, lectured about vaccines at the opening symposium for my Institute for Scientific Freedom in March 2019. In early November 2021, YouTube removed the video of his lecture. Everything he said was correct and important for people who want to understand what vaccines do. We appealed this outrageous act of censorship, but to no avail, and I therefore uploaded his lecture on my own website.

    In February 2022, a US lawyer wrote a 3-page letter to Susan Wojcicki, Chief Operating Officer, Legal Support, YouTube, asking her to restore Professor Aaby’s video about the beneficial and harmful effects of vaccines so that a healthy conversation surrounding medical science could continue. The lawyer received an automated message saying that the video had violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines, adding that “If you think a Community Guidelines strike was applied to your account in error, you can appeal it.” The lawyer appealed and received no reply.

    In July 2022, Christine Stabel Benn uploaded a videocast with Peter Aaby on YouTube about his research in Africa, which mainly addressed his discovery of the beneficial non-specific effects of measles vaccines. But Aaby also mentioned his interactions with the WHO related to the introduction of a high-titre measles vaccine, which he and his colleagues’ studies had shown increased mortality in girls.

    Initially, the WHO did not react, but when American colleagues confirmed Aaby’s findings in Haiti, the high-titre vaccine was withdrawn. It has been estimated that this vaccine would have cost around 0.5 million lives per year in Africa alone. It is an important lesson that a highly beneficial vaccine that has saved millions of lives can kill millions if used in too high doses. But YouTube quickly removed the videocast due to “inappropriate content.” Censorship kills. It is as simple as that.

    In September 2022, I was interviewed by enGrama in Spain for an hour about organised crime in psychiatry and the drug industry. I spoke about COVID-19 for 5 minutes, which made YouTube instantly eliminate the whole interview. This was utterly ridiculous. What I said was true, but YouTube even refused to allow the interviewers to download their own video. Later, they succeeded to reproduce it via the YouTube Studio and it is now up again, but without the forbidden 5 minutes. I have described verbatim what they were about.

    I was convinced – and still am – that the pandemic was caused by a laboratory leak in Wuhan and that the virus was manufactured there; that repeated vaccinations could weaken the immune response; and that the vaccines can cause serious harm, even death. All of which is considered taboo by social media.

    In September 2023, I launched an evidence-based podcast channel, Broken Medical Science, in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Janus Bang. To avoid censorship, we have our own server but also publish the episodes on social media. I interviewed Professor Martin Kulldorff, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, about “The harmful effects of lockdowns, facemask mandates, censorship, and scientific dishonesty,” and Christine Stabell Benn about “Vaccines, a complicated area. Some decrease total mortality, some increase it, and COVID-19 vaccines are overused.”

    Within 7 minutes after we uploaded these episodes on YouTube, they got this label: “COVID-19 vaccine. Learn about vaccine progress from the WHO.” But some of the WHO’s information was questionable, which we addressed in our newsletter:

    What are the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19?

    One should always ask what the benefits and harms are, of any intervention. The vaccines have killed some people because of myocarditis and thromboses.

    Getting vaccinated could save your life. COVID-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives.

    What is the evidence for this? The vaccines are not particularly effective because the virus mutates.

    Consider continuing to practice protective and preventive behaviours such as keeping a distance, wearing a mask in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

    The randomized trials have not found any effect of face masks.

    Even if you have had COVID-19, the WHO still recommends that you get vaccinated after infection because vaccination enhances your protection against severe outcomes of future COVID-19 infection, and you may be protected for longer. Furthermore, hybrid immunity resulting from vaccine and infection may provide superior protection against existing variants of concern.

    This has not been documented, and many researchers doubt that it is correct.

    To ensure optimal protection, it is important to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters recommended to you by your health authority.

    It has not been documented that boosters are beneficial, and the European Medicines Agency has warned that boosters may be harmful, as they may weaken the immune system.

    In both cases, within a couple of hours, YouTube removed the link to the WHO, with no explanation. We speculate that perhaps YouTube is worried about their reputation. I had interviewed two of the most knowledgeable people in the world about vaccines who, to some extent, contradicted the WHO’s recommendations, based on solid science.

    It is time to change the paradigm about vaccines, and to study them more thoroughly – and their combinations – before they are possibly allowed onto the market.

    A Final Word about Censorship
    My deputy director, PhD Maryanne Demasi, and I have been unable to publish our systematic review of serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines in a medical journal. This is not because I don’t know how to do research and publish it in good journals. I have published over 100 papers in “the big five” (BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine and New England Journal of Medicine) and my scientific works have been cited over 190,000 times.


    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Dr. Peter Gøtzsche co-founded the Cochrane Collaboration, once considered the world’s preeminent independent medical research organization. In 2010 Gøtzsche was named Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen. Gøtzsche has published more than 97 papers in the “big five” medical journals (JAMA, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal, and Annals of Internal Medicine). Gøtzsche has also authored books on medical issues including Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. Following many years of being an outspoken critic of the corruption of science by pharmaceutical companies, Gøtzsche’s membership on the governing board of Cochrane was terminated by its Board of Trustees in September, 2018. Four board resigned in protest.


    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-immune-system-and-vaccines-are-complicated/
    The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated ⋆ Brownstone Institute The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated SHARE | PRINT | EMAIL Vaccines are a complicated area, which is because the immune system is immensely complicated. Targeted vaccines have ancillary effects, and it is not possible to predict what they are. Professor Peter Aaby’s group has done ground-breaking research on the effects of vaccines in randomized trials and in field studies. His team discovered that all live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality whereas some non-live vaccines increase total mortality. There are also gender differences, and the sequence of vaccinations is important. It is best to end with a live vaccine. My rule of thumb is that if a vaccine is part of the official vaccination program in some countries and not in others of similar standing, it is not important to get vaccinated. An example is the rotavirus vaccine against diarrhoea, which is not on the childhood program in Denmark even though we had a strong lobby group promoting it. The Measles Vaccines The measles vaccines are a good example that live, attenuated vaccines decrease total mortality much more than what is possible based on their targeted effect, in this case on preventing measles. In a randomised trial in Bissau, for example, children vaccinated against measles at age 6 months had 70 percent lower mortality than unvaccinated children, and this reduction was not due to prevention of measles infection. The WHO has estimated that there were 128,000 measles deaths globally in 2021, mostly among unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children under the age of 5 years. If we do not vaccinate our children against measles, it will lead to many deaths and cases of severe brain damage that could have been avoided. We have a joint responsibility towards each other to ensure we get vaccinated because herd immunity is important. Measles is highly contagious, and to prevent the occurrence of measles epidemics, vaccinating about 95 percent of the population is necessary. Annual Influenza Jabs are not Needed People all over the world, particularly the elderly, are being nudged by the authorities to get an annual vaccination against influenza, but it is not at all obvious that this is a good idea. In fact, there are several reasons to be skeptical. First, the preventive effect is small. Twenty-nine people would need to be vaccinated to avoid one case of influenza-like illness and 71 people to avoid one case of influenza, and the vaccination does not reduce hospital admissions or days off work. Second, as the virus mutates quite rapidly, the effect obtained by vaccination will likely be smaller than in the randomized trials. Third, the vaccine has negative effects on the immune system. Canadian researchers showed in four different studies that people who received a seasonal influenza vaccine in 2008 had an increased risk of getting infected with another strain in 2009. Fourth, all vaccines cause harms, which can potentially be serious. Pandemrix, one of the influenza vaccines used during the 2009-2010 pandemic, caused narcolepsy in children and adolescents with a certain tissue type. Up to several years after vaccination of children and adolescents, people may suddenly start falling asleep while engaging in their normal activities, and there is no cure. Fifth, we should always consider the likelihood of getting infected without vaccination. Influenza pandemics are uncommon and rarely involve large portions of the population. In any given year, the likelihood of acquiring influenza if unvaccinated is therefore very small. I never had an influenza vaccination, and my wife, a professor in clinical microbiology, never had one, and together, we have perhaps had influenza twice for 135 years. But we don’t know. When people say they have influenza, it usually just means an influenza-like illness of which there are many, which vaccination does not protect against. Some fundamentalists, particularly in the United States and Australia, have mandated influenza vaccination of healthcare workers to protect patients. This violation of informed consent is deeply troubling and unethical. Moreover, a large review about vaccination of healthcare workers caring for elderly people did not find an effect on laboratory-proven influenza, lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation, death due to lower respiratory tract illness, or all-cause mortality. A researcher mentioned that, “to focus exclusively on the risk posed by unvaccinated workers – treating them as outcasts or, worse, terminating their employment – while overlooking the risk posed by vaccinated workers, potentially jeopardizes patients.” Indeed. Vaccination may provide staff with a false sense of security that might reduce their level of handwashing and potentially increase, rather than decrease, the risk of infecting patients. HPV Vaccines: Not a Simple Issue When the HPV vaccines were suspected of causing serious neurological harms – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and chronic fatigue syndrome – the European Drug Agency cleared the vaccines. However, they did not investigate the issues themselves but let the manufacturers do it for them. My research group examined the clinical study reports submitted to the European Medicines Agency and found a significant increase in serious neurological harms. This was surprising because almost everyone in the control groups had been treated with a hepatitis vaccine or a strongly immunogenic adjuvant, which might also cause harms, making it difficult to detect the harms of the HPV vaccines. The Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias. The authors overlooked several adverse events and failed to mention that some of the included trials did not report serious adverse events for the whole trial period. For example, three Gardasil trials with a total of 21,441 girls or women with up to four years follow-up only reported serious adverse events occurring within 14 days post-vaccination even though it takes years in many patients before serious neurological harms get diagnosed. The Cochrane authors found more deaths in the HPV vaccine groups than in the comparator groups, and the death rate was significantly increased in women above age 25, risk ratio 2.36 (95 percent confidence interval 1.10 to 5.03). They considered this a chance occurrence since there was no pattern in the causes of death or in the time between vaccine administration and death. However, deaths are often miscoded. For example, traumatic head injury and drowning in a bathtub have been described, and this could have been caused by a syncope or near syncope, which is a recognized vaccine harm that can occur at any time. The serious neurological harms seem to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. The drug companies, EMA and Cochrane called the trials placebo-controlled, which they weren’t. I find it shocking that vaccines are not tested against placebo or no treatment because this makes it impossible to ever know with certainty what the rare but serious harms are. There is no good reason why vaccines – which are preventative drugs – are not tested in the same rigorous way as other drugs. EMA declared that the adjuvants used in the vaccines to boost the immune response are safe, but the five references provided in support of this view were either non-accessible or irrelevant. Furthermore, nothing is safe if it is active. GlaxoSmithKline has stated that its aluminum-based comparator might cause harms, and the clinical study reports show that this is also the case for Merck’s adjuvant. The decision-making is not straightforward. The official propaganda has made women believe that cervical cancer is a major threat to their lives, but this cancer only contributes 0.5 percent of all deaths. Thus, very few women can benefit from the HPV vaccines, and since they do not protect against all HPV types, regular screening is still recommended even for women who are vaccinated. As the precursors to cancer are very slow-growing, women can avoid getting cervical cancer if they go to screening. This is more effective than getting vaccinated, but it comes with a price, e.g. conization for cancer precursors increases the risk of preterm birth. COVID-19 Vaccines: A Mess The story of the COVID-19 vaccines is officially touted as one of success but what stands out is a story of massive deceit and lack of scientific evidence behind many of the recommendations. The randomized trials that led to emergency approval of the vaccines showed that only one of 50 severe cases of COVID-19 occurred in the vaccine groups. This makes it likely that the vaccines have saved lives, and meta-analyses of the trials showed that the adenovirus vector vaccines, but not the mRNA vaccines, decreased total mortality significantly. The hype has been extreme, however. Among those that have claimed 100 percent efficacy of the vaccines are the FDA, US presidential advisor Anthony Fauci, the Australian government, Science Magazine, Reuters, CNN, US National Public Radio, The Hill, Sky News, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The efficacy is closer to 50 percent and many people, including me, have become infected despite having received two or more doses of the vaccine. Officials, including US President Joe Biden, once claimed that the vaccines were 100 percent protective against transmission to other people, but now it is widely acknowledged that there is no evidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission. The information on the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is particularly misleading. The CDC uses industry jargon when claiming that the vaccines are “safe and effective.” It states that “Adults and children may have some side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These side effects typically resolve after a few days.  Serious side effects are rare but may occur.” The link to serious side effects does not lead to any mention of what those are. But we know that the vaccines kill some people, e.g. because they can cause myocarditis, most commonly in young males, and thromboses. The CDC recommends “everyone ages 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness.” However, children tolerate the infection very well and it is likely harmful to vaccine children against COVID-19. Moreover, boosters may be harmful at any age but this is not popular information either. Facebook censored research and an interview with top vaccine researcher Professor Christine Stabell Benn even though the European Medicines Agency was also worried that COVID-19 vaccine boosters might be “overloading people’s immune systems and leading to fatigue.” Facebook also censored research that showed that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines could weaken the immune response and make cells of the immune system “lazy” when it comes to fighting off viral and bacterial infections. Facebook called this research “false information.” The Cochrane Collaboration, which has the logo “Trusted information,” did not provide trusted information. The Cochrane authors used industry jargon in the title of their review, “Efficacy and safety of COVID‐19 vaccines,” even though I convinced Cochrane many years ago that we should talk about benefits and harms of the interventions we study, in agreement with the CONSORT guidelines for good reporting of harms in trials, which I coauthored in 2004. The Cochrane authors concluded that there is little or no difference in serious adverse events compared to placebo whereas Peter Doshi and colleagues who reanalysed the pivotal mRNA trials found that one additional serious adverse event occurred for every 800 people vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. Their article, published four months before the Cochrane review, was not cited in it. When I studied the pivotal randomised trials, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and in the Lancet, I found that essential data on serious and severe harms were missing (see also my freely available book, The Chinese virus: killed millions and scientific freedom). Doshi et al.’s criticism of the Cochrane review, which is published within the review itself, is so substantial that it is fair to call the Cochrane review a politically expedient garbage in, garbage out exercise. There can be no doubt that the COVID-19 vaccines are much overused and partly to the wrong people. Now that most of us have had the infection, recommending booster after booster seems to be a particularly bad idea. Childhood Vaccines The childhood vaccination programs differ a lot from country to country. In the US, 17 vaccines are recommended, in Denmark only 10. Since vaccinations can weaken the immune system and since some non-live vaccines increase total mortality, it is reasonable to ask if the many vaccinations in the US could result in net harm. It is very important to study this possibility, but I am only aware of two researchers who have done it. They did several studies and found that those nations that require more vaccines for their infants have higher infant mortality, neonatal mortality, and under age five mortality. I find this an alarm signal that should lead to other studies as a matter of urgency. Censorship Censorship is detrimental for scientific debate and scientific advances, and it is harmful for the patients. But for vaccines, it is all over the place. Peter Aaby, one of the world’s top vaccine researchers, lectured about vaccines at the opening symposium for my Institute for Scientific Freedom in March 2019. In early November 2021, YouTube removed the video of his lecture. Everything he said was correct and important for people who want to understand what vaccines do. We appealed this outrageous act of censorship, but to no avail, and I therefore uploaded his lecture on my own website. In February 2022, a US lawyer wrote a 3-page letter to Susan Wojcicki, Chief Operating Officer, Legal Support, YouTube, asking her to restore Professor Aaby’s video about the beneficial and harmful effects of vaccines so that a healthy conversation surrounding medical science could continue. The lawyer received an automated message saying that the video had violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines, adding that “If you think a Community Guidelines strike was applied to your account in error, you can appeal it.” The lawyer appealed and received no reply. In July 2022, Christine Stabel Benn uploaded a videocast with Peter Aaby on YouTube about his research in Africa, which mainly addressed his discovery of the beneficial non-specific effects of measles vaccines. But Aaby also mentioned his interactions with the WHO related to the introduction of a high-titre measles vaccine, which he and his colleagues’ studies had shown increased mortality in girls. Initially, the WHO did not react, but when American colleagues confirmed Aaby’s findings in Haiti, the high-titre vaccine was withdrawn. It has been estimated that this vaccine would have cost around 0.5 million lives per year in Africa alone. It is an important lesson that a highly beneficial vaccine that has saved millions of lives can kill millions if used in too high doses. But YouTube quickly removed the videocast due to “inappropriate content.” Censorship kills. It is as simple as that. In September 2022, I was interviewed by enGrama in Spain for an hour about organised crime in psychiatry and the drug industry. I spoke about COVID-19 for 5 minutes, which made YouTube instantly eliminate the whole interview. This was utterly ridiculous. What I said was true, but YouTube even refused to allow the interviewers to download their own video. Later, they succeeded to reproduce it via the YouTube Studio and it is now up again, but without the forbidden 5 minutes. I have described verbatim what they were about. I was convinced – and still am – that the pandemic was caused by a laboratory leak in Wuhan and that the virus was manufactured there; that repeated vaccinations could weaken the immune response; and that the vaccines can cause serious harm, even death. All of which is considered taboo by social media. In September 2023, I launched an evidence-based podcast channel, Broken Medical Science, in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Janus Bang. To avoid censorship, we have our own server but also publish the episodes on social media. I interviewed Professor Martin Kulldorff, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, about “The harmful effects of lockdowns, facemask mandates, censorship, and scientific dishonesty,” and Christine Stabell Benn about “Vaccines, a complicated area. Some decrease total mortality, some increase it, and COVID-19 vaccines are overused.” Within 7 minutes after we uploaded these episodes on YouTube, they got this label: “COVID-19 vaccine. Learn about vaccine progress from the WHO.” But some of the WHO’s information was questionable, which we addressed in our newsletter: What are the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19? One should always ask what the benefits and harms are, of any intervention. The vaccines have killed some people because of myocarditis and thromboses. Getting vaccinated could save your life. COVID-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives. What is the evidence for this? The vaccines are not particularly effective because the virus mutates. Consider continuing to practice protective and preventive behaviours such as keeping a distance, wearing a mask in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces. The randomized trials have not found any effect of face masks. Even if you have had COVID-19, the WHO still recommends that you get vaccinated after infection because vaccination enhances your protection against severe outcomes of future COVID-19 infection, and you may be protected for longer. Furthermore, hybrid immunity resulting from vaccine and infection may provide superior protection against existing variants of concern. This has not been documented, and many researchers doubt that it is correct. To ensure optimal protection, it is important to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters recommended to you by your health authority. It has not been documented that boosters are beneficial, and the European Medicines Agency has warned that boosters may be harmful, as they may weaken the immune system. In both cases, within a couple of hours, YouTube removed the link to the WHO, with no explanation. We speculate that perhaps YouTube is worried about their reputation. I had interviewed two of the most knowledgeable people in the world about vaccines who, to some extent, contradicted the WHO’s recommendations, based on solid science. It is time to change the paradigm about vaccines, and to study them more thoroughly – and their combinations – before they are possibly allowed onto the market. A Final Word about Censorship My deputy director, PhD Maryanne Demasi, and I have been unable to publish our systematic review of serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines in a medical journal. This is not because I don’t know how to do research and publish it in good journals. I have published over 100 papers in “the big five” (BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine and New England Journal of Medicine) and my scientific works have been cited over 190,000 times. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Dr. Peter Gøtzsche co-founded the Cochrane Collaboration, once considered the world’s preeminent independent medical research organization. In 2010 Gøtzsche was named Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen. Gøtzsche has published more than 97 papers in the “big five” medical journals (JAMA, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal, and Annals of Internal Medicine). Gøtzsche has also authored books on medical issues including Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. Following many years of being an outspoken critic of the corruption of science by pharmaceutical companies, Gøtzsche’s membership on the governing board of Cochrane was terminated by its Board of Trustees in September, 2018. Four board resigned in protest. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-immune-system-and-vaccines-are-complicated/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The Immune System and Vaccines are Complicated ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    Vaccines are a complicated area, which is because the immune system is immensely complicated. Targeted vaccines have ancillary effects, and it is not possible to predict what they are.
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  • In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, remote opportunities have become increasingly prevalent, and one sector that has experienced significant growth is remote live chat jobs. These positions, often in customer service or sales, allow individuals to connect with customers or clients in real-time from the comfort of their own homes. In this review article, we will delve into the world of remote live chat jobs in the USA, exploring the advantages and challenges associated with this burgeoning employment trend.

    Pros:

    Flexibility and Work-Life Balance:
    One of the most appealing aspects of remote live chat jobs is the flexibility they offer. Employees can often set their own schedules within certain parameters, allowing for a better work-life balance. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who value autonomy and seek to avoid the traditional 9-to-5 grind.

    Reduced Commute Stress:
    Commuting can be a major source of stress for many workers. Remote live chat jobs eliminate this burden entirely, freeing up valuable time and reducing the environmental impact associated with daily travel.

    Geographical Independence:
    With remote live chat jobs, location becomes less of a barrier. Talented individuals from various parts of the country can contribute to a company's success without the need to relocate. This opens up opportunities for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

    Cost Savings:
    Both employers and employees can enjoy cost savings associated with remote work. Companies can reduce expenses related to office space, while employees save money on commuting, work attire, and meals.

    Increased Job Opportunities:
    The proliferation of remote work has expanded the job market, providing more opportunities for those who may have faced limitations due to geographical constraints or personal circumstances.

    Cons:

    Isolation and Lack of Social Interaction:
    While remote work offers independence, it can also lead to feelings of isolation. The absence of face-to-face interaction may impact team cohesion and employee morale.

    Communication Challenges:
    Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Remote live chat jobs heavily rely on digital communication tools, and misinterpretations or delays in response time can occur, potentially affecting customer satisfaction.

    Potential for Distractions:
    Working from home presents its own set of distractions, ranging from household chores to family interruptions. Maintaining focus and productivity can be a challenge without a structured office environment.

    Technology Hurdles:
    Dependence on technology means that technical issues can disrupt workflow. Internet outages, software glitches, or hardware malfunctions can pose challenges for individuals working in remote live chat positions.

    Security Concerns:
    Handling sensitive customer information requires robust cybersecurity measures. Remote work introduces additional security risks, and companies must invest in secure platforms to protect both customer data and the integrity of their operations.

    In conclusion, remote live chat jobs in the USA offer a myriad of benefits, from flexibility and cost savings to increased job opportunities. However, it is crucial for both employers and employees to navigate and address the associated challenges, such as communication hurdles and potential feelings of isolation. As the workforce continues to evolve, finding a balance between the advantages and drawbacks of remote live chat jobs will be key to harnessing the full potential of this employment trend.

    CLICK HERE-- https://subratajajabar.systeme.io/livechatjobs



    In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, remote opportunities have become increasingly prevalent, and one sector that has experienced significant growth is remote live chat jobs. These positions, often in customer service or sales, allow individuals to connect with customers or clients in real-time from the comfort of their own homes. In this review article, we will delve into the world of remote live chat jobs in the USA, exploring the advantages and challenges associated with this burgeoning employment trend. Pros: Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: One of the most appealing aspects of remote live chat jobs is the flexibility they offer. Employees can often set their own schedules within certain parameters, allowing for a better work-life balance. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who value autonomy and seek to avoid the traditional 9-to-5 grind. Reduced Commute Stress: Commuting can be a major source of stress for many workers. Remote live chat jobs eliminate this burden entirely, freeing up valuable time and reducing the environmental impact associated with daily travel. Geographical Independence: With remote live chat jobs, location becomes less of a barrier. Talented individuals from various parts of the country can contribute to a company's success without the need to relocate. This opens up opportunities for a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Cost Savings: Both employers and employees can enjoy cost savings associated with remote work. Companies can reduce expenses related to office space, while employees save money on commuting, work attire, and meals. Increased Job Opportunities: The proliferation of remote work has expanded the job market, providing more opportunities for those who may have faced limitations due to geographical constraints or personal circumstances. Cons: Isolation and Lack of Social Interaction: While remote work offers independence, it can also lead to feelings of isolation. The absence of face-to-face interaction may impact team cohesion and employee morale. Communication Challenges: Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Remote live chat jobs heavily rely on digital communication tools, and misinterpretations or delays in response time can occur, potentially affecting customer satisfaction. Potential for Distractions: Working from home presents its own set of distractions, ranging from household chores to family interruptions. Maintaining focus and productivity can be a challenge without a structured office environment. Technology Hurdles: Dependence on technology means that technical issues can disrupt workflow. Internet outages, software glitches, or hardware malfunctions can pose challenges for individuals working in remote live chat positions. Security Concerns: Handling sensitive customer information requires robust cybersecurity measures. Remote work introduces additional security risks, and companies must invest in secure platforms to protect both customer data and the integrity of their operations. In conclusion, remote live chat jobs in the USA offer a myriad of benefits, from flexibility and cost savings to increased job opportunities. However, it is crucial for both employers and employees to navigate and address the associated challenges, such as communication hurdles and potential feelings of isolation. As the workforce continues to evolve, finding a balance between the advantages and drawbacks of remote live chat jobs will be key to harnessing the full potential of this employment trend. CLICK HERE-- https://subratajajabar.systeme.io/livechatjobs
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  • Chris Hedges: The Enemy From Within
    April 30, 2023

    You Are What They Eat – by Mr. Fish
    By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

    America is a stratocracy, a form of government dominated by the military. It is axiomatic among the two ruling parties that there must be a constant preparation for war. The war machine’s massive budgets are sacrosanct. Its billions of dollars in waste and fraud are ignored. Its military fiascos in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East have disappeared into the vast cavern of historical amnesia. This amnesia, which means there is never accountability, licenses the war machine to economically disembowel the country and drive the Empire into one self-defeating conflict after another. The militarists win every election. They cannot lose. It is impossible to vote against them. The war state is a Götterdämmerung, as Dwight Macdonald writes, “without the gods.”

    Since the end of the Second World War, the federal government has spent more than half its tax dollars on past, current and future military operations. It is the largest single sustaining activity of the government. Military systems are sold before they are produced with guarantees that huge cost overruns will be covered. Foreign aid is contingent on buying U.S. weapons. Egypt, which receives some $1.3 billion in foreign military financing, is required to devote it to buying and maintaining U.S. weapons systems. Israel has received $158 billion in bilateral assistance from the U.S. since 1949, almost all of it since 1971 in the form of military aid, with most of it going towards arms purchases from U.S. weapons manufacturers. The American public funds the research, development and building of weapons systems and then buys these same weapons systems on behalf of foreign governments. It is a circular system of corporate welfare.

    Between October 2021 and September 2022, the U.S. spent $877 billion on the military, that’s more than the next 10 countries, including China, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom combined. These huge military expenditures, along with the rising costs of a for-profit healthcare system, have driven the U.S. national debt to over $31 trillion, nearly $5 trillion more than the U.S.’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This imbalance is not sustainable, especially once the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency. As of January 2023, the U.S. spent a record $213 billion servicing the interest on its national debt.

    The public, bombarded with war propaganda, cheers on their self-immolation. It revels in the despicable beauty of our military prowess. It speaks in the thought-terminating clichés spewed out by mass culture and mass media. It imbibes the illusion of omnipotence and wallows in self-adulation.

    Support our Independent Journalism — Donate Today!

    The intoxication of war is a plague. It imparts an emotional high that is impervious to logic, reason or fact. No nation is immune. The gravest mistake made by European socialists on the eve of the First World War was the belief that the working classes of France, Germany, Italy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russia and Great Britain would not be divided into antagonistic tribes because of disputes between imperialist governments. They would not, the socialists assured themselves, sign on for the suicidal slaughter of millions of working men in the trenches. Instead, nearly every socialist leader walked away from their anti-war platform to back their nation’s entry into the war. The handful who did not, such as Rosa Luxemburg, were sent to prison.

    A society dominated by militarists distorts its social, cultural, economic and political institutions to serve the interests of the war industry. The essence of the military is masked with subterfuges — using the military to carry out humanitarian relief missions, evacuating civilians in danger, as we see in the Sudan, defining military aggression as “humanitarian intervention” or a way to protect democracy and liberty, or lauding the military as carrying out a vital civic function by teaching leadership, responsibility, ethics and skills to young recruits. The true face of the military — industrial slaughter — is hidden.

    The mantra of the militarized state is national security. If every discussion begins with a question of national security, every answer includes force or the threat of force. The preoccupation with internal and external threats divides the world into friend and foe, good and evil. Militarized societies are fertile ground for demagogues. Militarists, like demagogues, see other nations and cultures in their own image – threatening and aggressive. They seek only domination.

    It was not in our national interest to wage war for two decades across the Middle East. It is not in our national interest to go to war with Russia or China. But militarists need war the way a vampire needs blood.

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev and later Vladimir Putin lobbied to be integrated into western economic and military alliances. An alliance that included Russia would have nullified the calls to expand NATO — which the U.S. had promised it would not do beyond the borders of a unified Germany — and have made it impossible to convince countries in eastern and central Europe to spend billions on U.S. military hardware. Moscow’s requests were rebuffed. Russia was made the enemy, whether it wanted to be or not. None of this made us more secure. Washington’s decision to interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs by backing a coup in 2014 triggered a civil war and Russia’s subsequent invasion.

    But for those who profit from war, antagonizing Russia, like antagonizing China, is a good business model. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin saw their stock prices increase by 40 percent and 37 percent respectively as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

    A war with China, now an industrial giant, would disrupt the global supply chain with devastating effects on the U.S. and global economy. Apple produces 90 percent of its products in China. U.S. trade with China was $690.6 billion last year. In 2004, U.S. manufacturing output was more than twice China’s. China’s output is now nearly double that of the United States. China produces the largest number of ships, steel and smartphones in the world. It dominates the global production of chemicals, metals, heavy industrial equipment and electronics. It is the world’s largest rare earth mineral exporter, its greatest reserve holder and is responsible for 80 percent of its refining worldwide. Rare earth minerals are essential to the manufacture of computer chips, smartphones, television screens, medical equipment, fluorescent light bulbs, cars, wind turbines, smart bombs, fighter jets and satellite communications.

    War with China would result in massive shortages of a variety of goods and resources, some vital to the war industry, paralyzing U.S. businesses. Inflation and unemployment would rocket upwards. Rationing would be implemented. The global stock exchanges, at least in the short term, would be shut down. It would trigger a global depression. If the U.S. Navy was able to block oil shipments to China and disrupt its sea lanes, the conflict could potentially become nuclear.

    In “NATO 2030: Unified for a New Era,” the military alliance sees the future as a battle for hegemony with rival states, especially China. It calls for the preparation of prolonged global conflict. In October 2022, Air Force General Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, presented his “Mobility Manifesto” to a packed military conference. During this unhinged fearmongering diatribe, Minihan argued that if the U.S. does not dramatically escalate its preparations for a war with China, America’s children will find themselves “subservient to a rules based order that benefits only one country [China].”

    According to the New York Times, the Marine Corps is training units for beach assaults, where the Pentagon believes the first battles with China may occur, across “the first island chain” that includes, “Okinawa and Taiwan down to Malaysia as well as the South China Sea and disputed islands in the Spratlys and the Paracels.”.

    Militarists drain funds from social and infrastructure programs. They pour money into research and development of weapons systems and neglect renewable energy technologies. Bridges, roads, electrical grids and levees collapse. Schools decay. Domestic manufacturing declines. The public is impoverished. The harsh forms of control the militarists test and perfect abroad migrate back to the homeland. Militarized Police. Militarized drones. Surveillance. Vast prison complexes. Suspension of basic civil liberties. Censorship.

    Those such as Julian Assange, who challenge the stratocracy, who expose its crimes and suicidal folly, are ruthlessly persecuted. But the war state harbors within it the seeds of its own destruction. It will cannibalize the nation until it collapses. Before then, it will lash out, like a blinded cyclops, seeking to restore its diminishing power through indiscriminate violence. The tragedy is not that the U.S. war state will self-destruct. The tragedy is that we will take down so many innocents with us.

    NOTE TO SCHEERPOST READERS FROM CHRIS HEDGES: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at chrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.


    Chris Hedges

    Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

    He was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges, who holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, is the author of the bestsellers American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He writes an online column for the website ScheerPost. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto.

    https://scheerpost.com/2023/04/30/chris-hedges-the-enemy-from-within/
    Chris Hedges: The Enemy From Within April 30, 2023 You Are What They Eat – by Mr. Fish By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost America is a stratocracy, a form of government dominated by the military. It is axiomatic among the two ruling parties that there must be a constant preparation for war. The war machine’s massive budgets are sacrosanct. Its billions of dollars in waste and fraud are ignored. Its military fiascos in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East have disappeared into the vast cavern of historical amnesia. This amnesia, which means there is never accountability, licenses the war machine to economically disembowel the country and drive the Empire into one self-defeating conflict after another. The militarists win every election. They cannot lose. It is impossible to vote against them. The war state is a Götterdämmerung, as Dwight Macdonald writes, “without the gods.” Since the end of the Second World War, the federal government has spent more than half its tax dollars on past, current and future military operations. It is the largest single sustaining activity of the government. Military systems are sold before they are produced with guarantees that huge cost overruns will be covered. Foreign aid is contingent on buying U.S. weapons. Egypt, which receives some $1.3 billion in foreign military financing, is required to devote it to buying and maintaining U.S. weapons systems. Israel has received $158 billion in bilateral assistance from the U.S. since 1949, almost all of it since 1971 in the form of military aid, with most of it going towards arms purchases from U.S. weapons manufacturers. The American public funds the research, development and building of weapons systems and then buys these same weapons systems on behalf of foreign governments. It is a circular system of corporate welfare. Between October 2021 and September 2022, the U.S. spent $877 billion on the military, that’s more than the next 10 countries, including China, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom combined. These huge military expenditures, along with the rising costs of a for-profit healthcare system, have driven the U.S. national debt to over $31 trillion, nearly $5 trillion more than the U.S.’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This imbalance is not sustainable, especially once the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency. As of January 2023, the U.S. spent a record $213 billion servicing the interest on its national debt. The public, bombarded with war propaganda, cheers on their self-immolation. It revels in the despicable beauty of our military prowess. It speaks in the thought-terminating clichés spewed out by mass culture and mass media. It imbibes the illusion of omnipotence and wallows in self-adulation. Support our Independent Journalism — Donate Today! The intoxication of war is a plague. It imparts an emotional high that is impervious to logic, reason or fact. No nation is immune. The gravest mistake made by European socialists on the eve of the First World War was the belief that the working classes of France, Germany, Italy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russia and Great Britain would not be divided into antagonistic tribes because of disputes between imperialist governments. They would not, the socialists assured themselves, sign on for the suicidal slaughter of millions of working men in the trenches. Instead, nearly every socialist leader walked away from their anti-war platform to back their nation’s entry into the war. The handful who did not, such as Rosa Luxemburg, were sent to prison. A society dominated by militarists distorts its social, cultural, economic and political institutions to serve the interests of the war industry. The essence of the military is masked with subterfuges — using the military to carry out humanitarian relief missions, evacuating civilians in danger, as we see in the Sudan, defining military aggression as “humanitarian intervention” or a way to protect democracy and liberty, or lauding the military as carrying out a vital civic function by teaching leadership, responsibility, ethics and skills to young recruits. The true face of the military — industrial slaughter — is hidden. The mantra of the militarized state is national security. If every discussion begins with a question of national security, every answer includes force or the threat of force. The preoccupation with internal and external threats divides the world into friend and foe, good and evil. Militarized societies are fertile ground for demagogues. Militarists, like demagogues, see other nations and cultures in their own image – threatening and aggressive. They seek only domination. It was not in our national interest to wage war for two decades across the Middle East. It is not in our national interest to go to war with Russia or China. But militarists need war the way a vampire needs blood. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev and later Vladimir Putin lobbied to be integrated into western economic and military alliances. An alliance that included Russia would have nullified the calls to expand NATO — which the U.S. had promised it would not do beyond the borders of a unified Germany — and have made it impossible to convince countries in eastern and central Europe to spend billions on U.S. military hardware. Moscow’s requests were rebuffed. Russia was made the enemy, whether it wanted to be or not. None of this made us more secure. Washington’s decision to interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs by backing a coup in 2014 triggered a civil war and Russia’s subsequent invasion. But for those who profit from war, antagonizing Russia, like antagonizing China, is a good business model. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin saw their stock prices increase by 40 percent and 37 percent respectively as a result of the Ukraine conflict. A war with China, now an industrial giant, would disrupt the global supply chain with devastating effects on the U.S. and global economy. Apple produces 90 percent of its products in China. U.S. trade with China was $690.6 billion last year. In 2004, U.S. manufacturing output was more than twice China’s. China’s output is now nearly double that of the United States. China produces the largest number of ships, steel and smartphones in the world. It dominates the global production of chemicals, metals, heavy industrial equipment and electronics. It is the world’s largest rare earth mineral exporter, its greatest reserve holder and is responsible for 80 percent of its refining worldwide. Rare earth minerals are essential to the manufacture of computer chips, smartphones, television screens, medical equipment, fluorescent light bulbs, cars, wind turbines, smart bombs, fighter jets and satellite communications. War with China would result in massive shortages of a variety of goods and resources, some vital to the war industry, paralyzing U.S. businesses. Inflation and unemployment would rocket upwards. Rationing would be implemented. The global stock exchanges, at least in the short term, would be shut down. It would trigger a global depression. If the U.S. Navy was able to block oil shipments to China and disrupt its sea lanes, the conflict could potentially become nuclear. In “NATO 2030: Unified for a New Era,” the military alliance sees the future as a battle for hegemony with rival states, especially China. It calls for the preparation of prolonged global conflict. In October 2022, Air Force General Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, presented his “Mobility Manifesto” to a packed military conference. During this unhinged fearmongering diatribe, Minihan argued that if the U.S. does not dramatically escalate its preparations for a war with China, America’s children will find themselves “subservient to a rules based order that benefits only one country [China].” According to the New York Times, the Marine Corps is training units for beach assaults, where the Pentagon believes the first battles with China may occur, across “the first island chain” that includes, “Okinawa and Taiwan down to Malaysia as well as the South China Sea and disputed islands in the Spratlys and the Paracels.”. Militarists drain funds from social and infrastructure programs. They pour money into research and development of weapons systems and neglect renewable energy technologies. Bridges, roads, electrical grids and levees collapse. Schools decay. Domestic manufacturing declines. The public is impoverished. The harsh forms of control the militarists test and perfect abroad migrate back to the homeland. Militarized Police. Militarized drones. Surveillance. Vast prison complexes. Suspension of basic civil liberties. Censorship. Those such as Julian Assange, who challenge the stratocracy, who expose its crimes and suicidal folly, are ruthlessly persecuted. But the war state harbors within it the seeds of its own destruction. It will cannibalize the nation until it collapses. Before then, it will lash out, like a blinded cyclops, seeking to restore its diminishing power through indiscriminate violence. The tragedy is not that the U.S. war state will self-destruct. The tragedy is that we will take down so many innocents with us. NOTE TO SCHEERPOST READERS FROM CHRIS HEDGES: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at chrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report. Chris Hedges Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report. He was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges, who holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, is the author of the bestsellers American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He writes an online column for the website ScheerPost. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto. https://scheerpost.com/2023/04/30/chris-hedges-the-enemy-from-within/
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  • THE RESULTS OF COLLEGE AND EMPLOYMENT COVID VACCINE MANDATES
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  • Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
    [email protected] October 26, 2023 Gaza, hamas, justice, occupation, resistance, terrorist, zionism
    Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
    One of thousands of buildings in Gaza that were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the last two weeks. (photo)
    The current situation in Gaza and Israel did not come out of the blue. Read critical background left out of breaking news alerts…


    by Kathryn Shihadah

    On Oct 7, the resistance group Hamas did not invade a peace-loving country. To Israelis, it may have felt tranquil and carefree – they were dancing, raising families on tree-lined streets, planning vacations abroad. Palestinians are pretty much invisible, locked as they are behind high concrete walls and electrified, fortified, barbed wire barriers.

    Israelis have never experienced the kind of invasion they got that day. The roles are usually reversed. This time some Palestinians were killing, kidnapping, and causing panic, trauma, and unconscionable violence. Usually it is some Israeli soldiers and settlers that perpetrate such acts.

    The Israelis’ experience – and that of their loved ones – is real and significant.

    But many of us are dismissing Gazans’ experience out of hand.

    If we believe in equality, in the presence of the imago dei in everyone, we ought to be troubled by this. Are Israeli sins forgivable, but Palestinian sins somehow unforgivable?

    We ought to make sure we have true and accurate information, and are responding to it responsibly. If we detect any bigotry in our perspective, we must work diligently to weed it out.

    What you didn’t know you didn’t know

    History did not begin on October 7, 2023. If it had, Hamas militants would have no pertinent reason for the rage they displayed. Their only excuse would be hatred for Jews.

    We must acknowledge that each of the young Gazan fighters has experienced a lifetime under a brutal Israeli blockade and multiple major Israeli operations – it’s a stretch to call them “wars,” as the weaponry and the casualty figures were so lopsided (for example, in the 2008-2009 hostilities, 9 Israelis were killed, vs 1,400 Gazans; in 2012, 6 Israelis vs 174 Gazans; in 2014, 72 Israelis vs 2,200 Gazans). These experiences shaped every Gazan (Israeli journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy recognize the significance of this fact).

    Each fighter in Gaza likely grew up not just fearful and angry, but hungry, malnourished, growth-stunted, and anxious. He has likely seen dead bodies, amputated limbs, and blood. He has likely lost loved ones and played in the shells of bombed-out houses.

    The violence against him has not stopped long enough for him to get PTSD. There has been no “post” to his trauma.

    (We must also recognize that the United States and Israel helped create and sustain Hamas, and one day decided that Hamas was now the enemy.)

    Hamas fighters, like all young people in Gaza, struggle to hold onto hope for the future. Israel’s brutal blockade, plus its destruction of factories, shops, and other businesses, has left an unemployment rate hovering around 45%.

    How to restore hope? Not by committing murder, but by winning freedom. That is what every Palestinian wants. Not revenge, not the eradication of Jews. Freedom and hope.

    How to achieve freedom?

    Obviously, killing hundreds of Israelis is not moral or productive, and will not lead to freedom – at least, not directly.

    Similarly, bombing Gaza to rubble is not the way for Israel to gain security. That has been proven again and again, at great cost to Palestinians.

    These are irrational actions on both sides, horrible acts.

    For years, Palestinians have tried rational, peaceful methods of achieving justice: they have petitioned the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. They have held thousands of peaceful protests. In the ICC and ICJ, the United States always exercises veto power in Israel’s favor. When it comes to peaceful protests, Israeli soldiers shoot to kill.

    (The UN Security Council voted on a resolution Wednesday, October 18, merely calling for Israel to pause its bombing to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza – the United States vetoed it. That is not contributing to anything but carnage.)

    When Palestinians are quiet, the world forgets them, leaving them to Israel’s whims; when they protest peacefully, they are killed. Only when they make a lot of noise does the world finally wake up. October 7th was about as noisy as it gets – and millions are now rallying for a ceasefire and Palestinian rights. The international community carries some of the blame for allowing Israel to oppress Palestinians to the breaking point.

    That is to say that while each individual member of Hamas is responsible for his own actions – and some or many may have committed atrocities – Israel’s policies of brutal starvation, suffocation, and airstrikes, pushed them into a corner. Israel must own up to that. American foreign policy allowed it, and we must own up to that. The current situation is by no stretch of the imagination all Hamas’ fault.

    In every war, individuals commit atrocities that are inexcusable. The members of Hamas had just broken out of the world’s largest prison, where they had been brutalized every day by Israel. Violent retribution on the part of some should not surprise us.

    It is also worth noting that at least some of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas were treated well and with respect – so well that some Israelis wished the truth hadn’t been made public. It is understood that they were not captured to be killed, but to be bargaining chips for the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners wrongly held by Israel.

    One possible culpability loophole for us everyday folks: if you are one of the millions who know nothing about Palestinians except the October 7 massacre, realize this: our mainstream media has for years been working to keep you in the dark (see this, this, and this, for example).

    Zionism

    So. Why did they do it? Do Hamas militants have a deep, inbred hatred of Jews?

    The one thing most Palestinians know for sure about Jews is that they come in two types: those who embrace Zionism and those who don’t.

    The people who took over the Palestinian homeland in 1948 and sent 700,000 Palestinians to refugee camps – those were Zionists. The people who, ever since, have dropped bombs, withheld human rights, and stripped Palestinians of their humanity – those are Zionists. Palestinians hate Zionism. Not Judaism. Not Jews (in fact, in the decades before Israel was born, the majority of Jews were against the very idea of a Jewish state; many were anti-Zionist).

    Palestinians are highly intelligent, highly educated – and their education did not include being “taught to hate Jews.” They didn’t need to be taught to hate their occupier – each boy and girl from Gaza to the West Bank, from East Jerusalem to Israel, figured out all by themselves that the ones shooting their family members and withholding blankets and baby food are despicable.

    Nor is the distinction between “Jew” and “Zionist” too hard for Palestinians to comprehend.

    (For some Israel apologists, including but not limited to Jonathan Greenblatt, the distinction between Jew and Zionist is lost. Wait…does that mean Palestinians are smarter than Zionists?)

    October Seventh

    The whole world is aware of Hamas’ October 7th attack – its brutality is already legendary. People who should know better are publicly calling them “animals” and “barbarians.” “These are not human beings! They killed babies, raped women.”

    Look, several thousand militants entered Israel that day. If they were all animals, killing babies and raping women, there would have been a lot more victims (I have yet to see actual evidence of a rapes of Israeli women that day – if you have, please share it with me). Governments lie during wars, and this appears to be one of those times (that said, there is documentation of Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women (and men, and children) that stretch from Israel’s founding to the present).

    Members of Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza absolutely have a cruel streak. Would anyone expect them not to?

    Israel and its self-proclaimed “most moral army in the world” reinforce their cruel streak with one of the most powerful militaries in the world and (apparently) complete exemption from international law.

    Key questions

    Palestinians really have two choices: resist and be labeled “terrorist/subhuman,” or sit quietly and let Israel starve and shoot and humiliate them. There are no good options. (Most can not afford to emigrate, nor do they want to leave their homeland.)

    Here are the questions we must grapple with.

    Do Palestinians have the right to be free of Israeli occupation?

    Do they have the right to self-determination?

    Do they have the right to a dignified life?

    These are yes/no questions. They are unrelated to Hamas. Do Palestinians have these rights?

    If you are grieved by the loss of Israeli life – in spite of Israel’s many sins – but Palestinian casualties still do not move you, what you are feeling is probably not righteous anger, but prejudice.

    Cleanse your palette of judgmentalism toward two million people for the faults of a few, for being born Palestinian, for desiring a better life.

    Understand that legitimate grievances, left to fester, will beget hostility and violence.

    Discern the difference between recognizing these grievances and approving the violence.

    Acknowledge that America has been complicit in the carnage we’ve witnessed in the past weeks.

    As long as we cheer for Israel – or stay silent about the slaughter of Palestinians – we are part of the problem.

    Palestinians are people, and that’s the bottom line.

    Kathryn Shihadah is an editor and staff writer for If Americans Knew. This is reposted from Patheos – Grace Colored Glasses – Kathy’s blog on Patheos, an online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality. She also occasionally blogs at Palestine Home.

    RELATED READING:

    Gaza-Israel: Latest news and statistics (ongoing updates)
    Sec’y Blinken (indirectly) calls Israel’s treatment of Gazans “barbaric”
    It’s not just Gaza – Israel is also killing scores in the West Bank
    Palestinian-American child killed in Illinois: this is what media reports left out
    In Gaza, she now inhabits a solitary space between life and death
    VIDEOS:

    WATCH: What was happening in Gaza BEFORE the Hamas attack that the media didn’t tell you
    Congress gives 29 standing ovations for president of foreign nation that harms the US
    Joe Biden: Career Defender of Israel’s Crimes and Impunity
    Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
    Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org



    https://israelpalestinenews.org/how-to-make-sense-of-the-palestinian-call-for-freedom-and-justice-gaza/
    Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war [email protected] October 26, 2023 Gaza, hamas, justice, occupation, resistance, terrorist, zionism Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war One of thousands of buildings in Gaza that were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the last two weeks. (photo) The current situation in Gaza and Israel did not come out of the blue. Read critical background left out of breaking news alerts… by Kathryn Shihadah On Oct 7, the resistance group Hamas did not invade a peace-loving country. To Israelis, it may have felt tranquil and carefree – they were dancing, raising families on tree-lined streets, planning vacations abroad. Palestinians are pretty much invisible, locked as they are behind high concrete walls and electrified, fortified, barbed wire barriers. Israelis have never experienced the kind of invasion they got that day. The roles are usually reversed. This time some Palestinians were killing, kidnapping, and causing panic, trauma, and unconscionable violence. Usually it is some Israeli soldiers and settlers that perpetrate such acts. The Israelis’ experience – and that of their loved ones – is real and significant. But many of us are dismissing Gazans’ experience out of hand. If we believe in equality, in the presence of the imago dei in everyone, we ought to be troubled by this. Are Israeli sins forgivable, but Palestinian sins somehow unforgivable? We ought to make sure we have true and accurate information, and are responding to it responsibly. If we detect any bigotry in our perspective, we must work diligently to weed it out. What you didn’t know you didn’t know History did not begin on October 7, 2023. If it had, Hamas militants would have no pertinent reason for the rage they displayed. Their only excuse would be hatred for Jews. We must acknowledge that each of the young Gazan fighters has experienced a lifetime under a brutal Israeli blockade and multiple major Israeli operations – it’s a stretch to call them “wars,” as the weaponry and the casualty figures were so lopsided (for example, in the 2008-2009 hostilities, 9 Israelis were killed, vs 1,400 Gazans; in 2012, 6 Israelis vs 174 Gazans; in 2014, 72 Israelis vs 2,200 Gazans). These experiences shaped every Gazan (Israeli journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy recognize the significance of this fact). Each fighter in Gaza likely grew up not just fearful and angry, but hungry, malnourished, growth-stunted, and anxious. He has likely seen dead bodies, amputated limbs, and blood. He has likely lost loved ones and played in the shells of bombed-out houses. The violence against him has not stopped long enough for him to get PTSD. There has been no “post” to his trauma. (We must also recognize that the United States and Israel helped create and sustain Hamas, and one day decided that Hamas was now the enemy.) Hamas fighters, like all young people in Gaza, struggle to hold onto hope for the future. Israel’s brutal blockade, plus its destruction of factories, shops, and other businesses, has left an unemployment rate hovering around 45%. How to restore hope? Not by committing murder, but by winning freedom. That is what every Palestinian wants. Not revenge, not the eradication of Jews. Freedom and hope. How to achieve freedom? Obviously, killing hundreds of Israelis is not moral or productive, and will not lead to freedom – at least, not directly. Similarly, bombing Gaza to rubble is not the way for Israel to gain security. That has been proven again and again, at great cost to Palestinians. These are irrational actions on both sides, horrible acts. For years, Palestinians have tried rational, peaceful methods of achieving justice: they have petitioned the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. They have held thousands of peaceful protests. In the ICC and ICJ, the United States always exercises veto power in Israel’s favor. When it comes to peaceful protests, Israeli soldiers shoot to kill. (The UN Security Council voted on a resolution Wednesday, October 18, merely calling for Israel to pause its bombing to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza – the United States vetoed it. That is not contributing to anything but carnage.) When Palestinians are quiet, the world forgets them, leaving them to Israel’s whims; when they protest peacefully, they are killed. Only when they make a lot of noise does the world finally wake up. October 7th was about as noisy as it gets – and millions are now rallying for a ceasefire and Palestinian rights. The international community carries some of the blame for allowing Israel to oppress Palestinians to the breaking point. That is to say that while each individual member of Hamas is responsible for his own actions – and some or many may have committed atrocities – Israel’s policies of brutal starvation, suffocation, and airstrikes, pushed them into a corner. Israel must own up to that. American foreign policy allowed it, and we must own up to that. The current situation is by no stretch of the imagination all Hamas’ fault. In every war, individuals commit atrocities that are inexcusable. The members of Hamas had just broken out of the world’s largest prison, where they had been brutalized every day by Israel. Violent retribution on the part of some should not surprise us. It is also worth noting that at least some of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas were treated well and with respect – so well that some Israelis wished the truth hadn’t been made public. It is understood that they were not captured to be killed, but to be bargaining chips for the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners wrongly held by Israel. One possible culpability loophole for us everyday folks: if you are one of the millions who know nothing about Palestinians except the October 7 massacre, realize this: our mainstream media has for years been working to keep you in the dark (see this, this, and this, for example). Zionism So. Why did they do it? Do Hamas militants have a deep, inbred hatred of Jews? The one thing most Palestinians know for sure about Jews is that they come in two types: those who embrace Zionism and those who don’t. The people who took over the Palestinian homeland in 1948 and sent 700,000 Palestinians to refugee camps – those were Zionists. The people who, ever since, have dropped bombs, withheld human rights, and stripped Palestinians of their humanity – those are Zionists. Palestinians hate Zionism. Not Judaism. Not Jews (in fact, in the decades before Israel was born, the majority of Jews were against the very idea of a Jewish state; many were anti-Zionist). Palestinians are highly intelligent, highly educated – and their education did not include being “taught to hate Jews.” They didn’t need to be taught to hate their occupier – each boy and girl from Gaza to the West Bank, from East Jerusalem to Israel, figured out all by themselves that the ones shooting their family members and withholding blankets and baby food are despicable. Nor is the distinction between “Jew” and “Zionist” too hard for Palestinians to comprehend. (For some Israel apologists, including but not limited to Jonathan Greenblatt, the distinction between Jew and Zionist is lost. Wait…does that mean Palestinians are smarter than Zionists?) October Seventh The whole world is aware of Hamas’ October 7th attack – its brutality is already legendary. People who should know better are publicly calling them “animals” and “barbarians.” “These are not human beings! They killed babies, raped women.” Look, several thousand militants entered Israel that day. If they were all animals, killing babies and raping women, there would have been a lot more victims (I have yet to see actual evidence of a rapes of Israeli women that day – if you have, please share it with me). Governments lie during wars, and this appears to be one of those times (that said, there is documentation of Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women (and men, and children) that stretch from Israel’s founding to the present). Members of Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza absolutely have a cruel streak. Would anyone expect them not to? Israel and its self-proclaimed “most moral army in the world” reinforce their cruel streak with one of the most powerful militaries in the world and (apparently) complete exemption from international law. Key questions Palestinians really have two choices: resist and be labeled “terrorist/subhuman,” or sit quietly and let Israel starve and shoot and humiliate them. There are no good options. (Most can not afford to emigrate, nor do they want to leave their homeland.) Here are the questions we must grapple with. Do Palestinians have the right to be free of Israeli occupation? Do they have the right to self-determination? Do they have the right to a dignified life? These are yes/no questions. They are unrelated to Hamas. Do Palestinians have these rights? If you are grieved by the loss of Israeli life – in spite of Israel’s many sins – but Palestinian casualties still do not move you, what you are feeling is probably not righteous anger, but prejudice. Cleanse your palette of judgmentalism toward two million people for the faults of a few, for being born Palestinian, for desiring a better life. Understand that legitimate grievances, left to fester, will beget hostility and violence. Discern the difference between recognizing these grievances and approving the violence. Acknowledge that America has been complicit in the carnage we’ve witnessed in the past weeks. As long as we cheer for Israel – or stay silent about the slaughter of Palestinians – we are part of the problem. Palestinians are people, and that’s the bottom line. Kathryn Shihadah is an editor and staff writer for If Americans Knew. This is reposted from Patheos – Grace Colored Glasses – Kathy’s blog on Patheos, an online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality. She also occasionally blogs at Palestine Home. RELATED READING: Gaza-Israel: Latest news and statistics (ongoing updates) Sec’y Blinken (indirectly) calls Israel’s treatment of Gazans “barbaric” It’s not just Gaza – Israel is also killing scores in the West Bank Palestinian-American child killed in Illinois: this is what media reports left out In Gaza, she now inhabits a solitary space between life and death VIDEOS: WATCH: What was happening in Gaza BEFORE the Hamas attack that the media didn’t tell you Congress gives 29 standing ovations for president of foreign nation that harms the US Joe Biden: Career Defender of Israel’s Crimes and Impunity Hover over each bar for exact numbers. Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org https://israelpalestinenews.org/how-to-make-sense-of-the-palestinian-call-for-freedom-and-justice-gaza/
    ISRAELPALESTINENEWS.ORG
    Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
    The current situation in Gaza and Israel did not come out of the blue. Read critical background left out of breaking news alerts...
    0 Comments 0 Shares 5665 Views
  • The Age of Megathreats
    Nouriel RoubiniNov 4, 2022
    op_roubini3_Getty Images_worlddisaster Getty Images
    NEW YORK – Severe megathreats are imperiling our future – not just our jobs, incomes, wealth, and the global economy, but also the relative peace, prosperity, and progress achieved over the past 75 years. Many of these threats were not even on our radar during the prosperous post-World War II era. I grew up in the Middle East and Europe from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, and I never worried about climate change potentially destroying the planet. Most of us had barely even heard of the problem, and greenhouse-gas emissions were still relatively low, compared to where they would soon be.

    Moreover, after the US-Soviet détente and US President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in the early 1970s, I never really worried about another war among great powers, let alone a nuclear one. The term “pandemic” didn’t register in my consciousness, either, because the last major one had been in 1918. And I didn’t fathom that artificial intelligence might someday destroy most jobs and render Homo sapiens obsolete, because those were the years of the long “AI winter.”

    Similarly, terms like “deglobalization” and “trade war” had no purchase during this period. Trade liberalization had been in full swing since the Great Depression, and it would soon lead to the hyper-globalization that began in the 1990s. Debt crises posed no threat, because private and public debt-to-GDP ratios were low in advanced economies and emerging markets, and growth was robust. No one had to worry about the massive build-up of implicit debt, in the form of unfunded liabilities from pay-as-you-go social security and health-care systems. The supply of young workers was rising, the share of the elderly was still low, and robust, mostly unrestricted immigration from the Global South to the North would continue to prop up the labor market in advanced economies.

    Against this backdrop, economic cycles were contained, and recessions were short and shallow, except for during the stagflationary decade of the 1970s; but even then, there were no debt crises in advanced economies, because debt ratios were low. The kind of financial cycles that lead to crises were contained not just in advanced economies but even in emerging markets, owing to the low leverage, low risk-taking, solid financial regulation, capital controls, and various forms of financial repression that prevailed during this period. The advanced economies were strong liberal democracies that were free of extreme partisan polarization. Populism and authoritarianism were confined to a benighted cohort of poorer countries.

    Goodbye to All That

    Fast-forward from this relatively “golden” period between 1945 and 1985 to late 2022, and you will immediately notice that we are awash in new, extreme megathreats that were not previously on anyone’s mind. The world has entered what I call a geopolitical depression, with (at least) four dangerous revisionist powers – China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea – challenging the economic, financial, security, and geopolitical order that the United States and its allies created after WWII.

    There is a sharply rising risk not only of war among great powers but of a nuclear conflict. In the coming year, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine could escalate into an unconventional conflict that directly involves NATO. And Israel – and perhaps the US – may decide to launch strikes against Iran, which is on its way to building a nuclear bomb.


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    With Chinese President Xi Jinping further consolidating his authoritarian rule, and with the US tightening its trade restrictions against China, the new Sino-American cold war is getting colder by the day. Worse, it could all too easily turn hot over the status of Taiwan, which Xi is committed to reuniting with the mainland, and which US President Joe Biden is apparently committed to defending. Meanwhile, nuclear-armed North Korea has once again been seeking attention by firing rockets over Japan and South Korea.

    Cyberwarfare occurs daily between these revisionist powers and the West, and many other countries have adopted a non-aligned posture toward Western-led sanctions regimes. From our contingent vantage point in the middle of all these events, we don’t yet know if World War III has already begun in Ukraine. That determination will be left to future historians – if there are any.

    Even discounting the threat of nuclear Armageddon, the risk of an environmental Apocalypse is becoming increasingly serious, especially given that most of the talk about net-zero and ESG (environment, social, and governance) investing is just greenwashing – or greenwishing. The new greenflation is already in full swing, because it turns out that amassing the metals needed for the energy transition requires a lot of expensive energy.

    There is also a growing risk of new pandemics that would be worse than biblical plagues, owing to the link between environmental destruction and zoonotic diseases. Wildlife, carrying dangerous pathogens, are coming into closer and more frequent contact with humans and livestock. That is why we have experienced more frequent and virulent pandemics and epidemics (HIV, SARS, MERS, swine flu, bird flu, Zika, Ebola, COVID-19) since the early 1980s. All the evidence suggests that this problem will become even worse in the future. Indeed, owing to the melting of Siberian permafrost, we may soon be confronting dangerous viruses and bacteria that have been locked away for millennia.

    Moreover, geopolitical conflicts and national-security concerns are fueling trade, financial, and technology wars, and accelerating the deglobalization process. The return of protectionism and the Sino-American decoupling will leave the global economy, supply chains, and markets more balkanized and fragmented. The buzzwords “friend-shoring” and “secure and fair trade” have replaced “offshoring” and “free trade.”

    But on the domestic front, advances in AI, robotics, and automation will destroy more and more jobs, even if policymakers build higher protectionist walls in an effort to fight the last war. By both restricting immigration and demanding more domestic production, aging advanced economies will create a stronger incentive for companies to adopt labor-saving technologies. While routine jobs are obviously at risk, so, too, are any cognitive jobs that can be unbundled into discrete tasks, and even many creative jobs. AI language models like GPT-3 can already write better than most humans and will almost certainly displace many jobs and sources of income. In due course, some scientists believe that Homo sapiens will be rendered entirely obsolete by the rise of artificial general intelligence or machine super-intelligence – though this is a highly contentious subject of debate.

    Thus, over time, economic malaise will deepen, inequality will rise even further, and more white- and blue-collar workers will be left behind.

    Hard Choices, Hard Landings

    The macroeconomic situation is no better. For the first time since the 1970s, we are facing high inflation and the prospect of a recession – stagflation. The increased inflation in advanced economies wasn’t “transitory.” It is persistent, driven by a combination of bad policies – excessively loose monetary, fiscal, and credit policies that were kept in place for too long – and bad luck. No one could have anticipated how much the initial COVID-19 shock would curtail the supply of goods and labor and create bottlenecks in global supply chains. The same goes for Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which caused a sharp spike in energy, food, fertilizers, industrial metals, and other commodities. Meanwhile, China has continued its “zero-COVID” policy, which is creating additional supply bottlenecks.

    While both demand and supply factors were in the mix, it is now widely recognized that the supply factors have played an increasingly decisive role. This matters for the economic outlook, because supply-driven inflation is stagflationary and thus increases the risk that monetary-policy tightening will produce a hard landing (increased unemployment and potentially a recession).

    What will follow from the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks’ current tightening? Until recently, most central banks and most of Wall Street belonged to “Team Soft Landing.” But the consensus has rapidly shifted, with even Fed Chair Jerome Powell recognizing that a recession is possible, that a soft landing will be “very challenging,” and that everyone should prepare for some “pain” ahead. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s model shows a high probability of a hard landing, and the Bank of England has expressed similar views about the United Kingdom. Several prominent Wall Street institutions have also now made a recession their baseline scenario (the most likely outcome if all other variables are held constant).

    History, too, points to deeper problems ahead. For the past 60 years in the US, whenever inflation has been above 5% (it is above 8% today), and unemployment has been below 5% (it is now 3.5%), any attempt by the Fed to bring inflation down toward its 2% target has caused a recession. Thus, a hard landing is much more likely than a soft landing, both in the US and across most other advanced economies.

    Sticky Stagflation

    In addition to the short-term factors, negative supply shocks and demand factors in the medium term will cause inflation to persist. On the supply side, I count eleven negative supply shocks that will reduce potential growth and increase the costs of production. Among these is the backlash against hyper-globalization, which has been gaining momentum and creating opportunities for populist, nativist, and protectionist politicians, and growing public anger over stark income and wealth inequalities, which is leading to more policies to support workers and the “left behind.” However well-intentioned, such measures will contribute to a dangerous wage-price spiral.

    Other sources of persistent inflation include rising protectionism (from both the left and the right), which has restricted trade, impeded the movement of capital, and heightened political resistance to immigration, which in turn has put additional upward pressure on wages. National-security and strategic considerations have further restricted flows of technology, data, and talent, and new labor and environmental standards, as important as they may be, are hampering both trade and new construction.

    This balkanization of the global economy is deeply stagflationary, and it is coinciding with demographic aging, not just in developed countries but also in large emerging economies such as China. Because young people tend to produce and save more, whereas older people spend down their savings and require many more expensive services in health care and other sectors, this trend, too, will lead to higher prices and slower growth.

    Today’s geopolitical turmoil further complicates matters. The disruptions to trade and the spike in commodity prices following Russia’s invasion were not just a one-off phenomenon. The same threats to harvests and food shipments that arose in 2022 may well persist in 2023. Moreover, if China does finally end its zero-COVID policy and begin to restart its economy, a surge in demand for many commodities will add to the global inflationary pressures. There is also no end in sight for Sino-Western decoupling, which is accelerating across all dimensions of trade (goods, services, capital, labor, technology, data, and information). And, of course, Iran, North Korea, and other strategic rivals to the West could soon contribute in their own ways to the global havoc.

    Now that the US dollar has been fully weaponized for strategic and national-security purposes, its position as the main global reserve currency could eventually begin to decline, and a weaker dollar would of course add to inflationary pressures in the US. More broadly, a frictionless world trading system requires a frictionless financial system. But sweeping primary and secondary sanctions have thrown sand in what was once a well-oiled machine, massively increasing the transaction costs of trade.

    On top of it all, climate change, too, will create persistent stagflationary pressures. Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other disasters are increasingly disrupting economic activity and threatening harvests (thus driving up food prices). At the same time, demands for decarbonization have led to underinvestment in fossil-fuel capacity before investment in renewables has reached the point where they can make up the difference. Today’s large energy-price spikes were inevitable.

    The increased likelihood of future pandemics also represents a persistent source of stagflation, especially considering how little has been done to prevent or prepare for the next one. The next contagious outbreak will lend further momentum to protectionist policies as countries rush to close borders and hoard critical supplies of food, medicines, and other essential goods.

    Finally, cyberwarfare remains an underappreciated threat to economic activity and even public safety. Firms and governments will either face more stagflationary disruptions to production, or they will have to spend a fortune on cybersecurity. Either way, costs will rise.

    The Worst of All Possible Economies

    When the recession comes, it will not be short and shallow but long and severe. Not only are we facing persistent short- and medium-term negative supply shocks, but we are also heading into the mother of all debt crises, owing to soaring private and public debt ratios over the last few decades. Low debt ratios spared us from that outcome in the 1970s. And though we certainly had debt crises following the 2008 crash – the result of excessive household, bank, and government debt – we also had deflation. It was a demand shock and a credit crunch that could be met with massive monetary, fiscal, and credit easing.

    Today, we are experiencing the worst elements of both the 1970s and 2008. Multiple, persistent negative supply shocks have coincided with debt ratios that are even higher than they were during the global financial crisis. These inflationary pressures are forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy even though we are heading into a recession. That makes the current situation fundamentally different from both the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 crisis. Everyone should be preparing for what may come to be remembered as the Great Stagflationary Debt Crisis.

    While central banks have been at pains to sound more hawkish, we should be skeptical of their professed willingness to fight inflation at any cost. Once they find themselves in a debt trap, they will have to blink. With debt ratios so high, fighting inflation will cause an economic and financial crash that will be deemed politically unacceptable. Major central banks will feel as though they have no choice but to backpedal, and inflation, the debasement of fiat currencies, boom-bust cycles, and financial crises will become even more severe and frequent.

    The inevitability of central banks wimping out was recently on display in the United Kingdom. Faced with the market reaction to the Truss government’s reckless fiscal stimulus, the BOE had to launch an emergency quantitative-easing (QE) program to buy up government bonds. That sad episode confirmed that in the UK, as in many other countries, monetary policy is increasingly subject to fiscal capture.

    Recall that a similar turnaround occurred in 2019, when the Fed, after previously signaling continued rate hikes and quantitative-tightening, stopped its QT program and started pursuing a mix of backdoor QE and policy-rate cuts at the first sign of mild financial pressures and a growth slowdown. Central banks will talk tough; but, in a world of excessive debt and risks of an economic and financial crash, there is good reason to doubt their willingness to do “whatever it takes” to return inflation to its target rate.

    With governments unable to reduce high debts and deficits by spending less or raising revenues, those that can borrow in their own currency will increasingly resort to the “inflation tax”: relying on unexpected price growth to wipe out long-term nominal liabilities at fixed interest rates.

    How will financial markets and prices of equities and bonds perform in the face of rising inflation and the return of stagflation? It is likely that, as in the stagflation of the 1970s, both components of any traditional asset portfolio will suffer, potentially incurring massive losses. Inflation is bad for bond portfolios, which will take losses as yields increase and prices fall, as well as for equities, whose valuations are hurt by rising interest rates.

    For the first time in decades, a 60/40 portfolio of equities and bonds suffered massive losses in 2022, because bond yields have surged while equities have gone into a bear market. By 1982, at the peak of the stagflation decade, the average S&P 500 firm’s price-to-earnings ratio was down to eight; today, it is closer to 20, which suggests that the bear market could end up being even more protracted and severe. Investors will need to find assets to hedge against inflation, political and geopolitical risks, and environmental damage: these include short-term government bonds and inflation-indexed bonds, gold and other precious metals, and real estate that is resilient to environmental damage.

    The Moment of Truth

    In any case, these megathreats will further contribute to rising income and wealth inequality, which has already been putting severe pressure on liberal democracies (as those left behind revolt against elites), and fueling the rise of radical and aggressive populist regimes. One can find right-wing manifestations of this trend in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, the US (under Donald Trump), post-Brexit Britain, and many other countries; and left-wing manifestations in Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and now Brazil (which has just replaced a right-wing populist with a left-wing one).

    And, of course, Xi’s authoritarian stranglehold has given the lie to the old idea that Western engagement with a fast-growing China would ineluctably lead that country to open itself up even more to markets and, eventually, to democratic processes. Under Xi, China shows every sign of becoming more closed off, and more aggressive on geopolitical, security, and economic matters.

    How did it come to this? Part of the problem is that we have long had our heads stuck in the sand. Now, we need to make up for lost time. Without decisive action, we will be heading into a period that is less like the four decades after WWII than like the three decades between 1914 and 1945. That period gave us World War I; the Spanish flu pandemic; the 1929 Wall Street crash; the Great Depression; massive trade and currency wars; inflation, hyperinflation, and deflation; financial and debt crises, leading to massive meltdowns and defaults; and the rise of authoritarian militarist regimes in Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and elsewhere, culminating in WWII and the Holocaust.

    In this new world, the relative peace, prosperity, and rising global welfare that we have taken for granted will be gone; most of it already is. If we don’t stop the multi-track slow-motion train wreck that is threatening the global economy and our planet at large, we will be lucky to have only a repeat of the stagflationary 1970s. Far more likely is an echo of the 1930s and the 1940s, only now with all the massive disruptions from climate change added to the mix.

    Avoiding a dystopian scenario will not be easy. While there are potential solutions to each megathreat, most are costly in the short run and will deliver benefits only over the long run. Many also require technological innovations that are not yet available or in place, starting with those needed to halt or reverse climate change. Complicating matters further, today’s megathreats are interconnected, and therefore best addressed in a systematic and coherent fashion. Domestic leadership, in both the private and public sector, and international cooperation among great powers is necessary to prevent the coming Apocalypse.

    Yet there are many domestic and international obstacles standing in the way of policies that would allow for a less dystopian (though still contested and conflictual) future. Thus, while a less bleak scenario is obviously desirable, a clear-headed analysis indicates that dystopia is much more likely than a happier outcome. The years and decades ahead will be marked by a stagflationary debt crisis and related megathreats – war, pandemics, climate change, disruptive AI, and deglobalization – all of which will be bad for jobs, economies, markets, peace, and prosperity.
    The Age of Megathreats Nouriel RoubiniNov 4, 2022 op_roubini3_Getty Images_worlddisaster Getty Images NEW YORK – Severe megathreats are imperiling our future – not just our jobs, incomes, wealth, and the global economy, but also the relative peace, prosperity, and progress achieved over the past 75 years. Many of these threats were not even on our radar during the prosperous post-World War II era. I grew up in the Middle East and Europe from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, and I never worried about climate change potentially destroying the planet. Most of us had barely even heard of the problem, and greenhouse-gas emissions were still relatively low, compared to where they would soon be. Moreover, after the US-Soviet détente and US President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in the early 1970s, I never really worried about another war among great powers, let alone a nuclear one. The term “pandemic” didn’t register in my consciousness, either, because the last major one had been in 1918. And I didn’t fathom that artificial intelligence might someday destroy most jobs and render Homo sapiens obsolete, because those were the years of the long “AI winter.” Similarly, terms like “deglobalization” and “trade war” had no purchase during this period. Trade liberalization had been in full swing since the Great Depression, and it would soon lead to the hyper-globalization that began in the 1990s. Debt crises posed no threat, because private and public debt-to-GDP ratios were low in advanced economies and emerging markets, and growth was robust. No one had to worry about the massive build-up of implicit debt, in the form of unfunded liabilities from pay-as-you-go social security and health-care systems. The supply of young workers was rising, the share of the elderly was still low, and robust, mostly unrestricted immigration from the Global South to the North would continue to prop up the labor market in advanced economies. Against this backdrop, economic cycles were contained, and recessions were short and shallow, except for during the stagflationary decade of the 1970s; but even then, there were no debt crises in advanced economies, because debt ratios were low. The kind of financial cycles that lead to crises were contained not just in advanced economies but even in emerging markets, owing to the low leverage, low risk-taking, solid financial regulation, capital controls, and various forms of financial repression that prevailed during this period. The advanced economies were strong liberal democracies that were free of extreme partisan polarization. Populism and authoritarianism were confined to a benighted cohort of poorer countries. Goodbye to All That Fast-forward from this relatively “golden” period between 1945 and 1985 to late 2022, and you will immediately notice that we are awash in new, extreme megathreats that were not previously on anyone’s mind. The world has entered what I call a geopolitical depression, with (at least) four dangerous revisionist powers – China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea – challenging the economic, financial, security, and geopolitical order that the United States and its allies created after WWII. There is a sharply rising risk not only of war among great powers but of a nuclear conflict. In the coming year, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine could escalate into an unconventional conflict that directly involves NATO. And Israel – and perhaps the US – may decide to launch strikes against Iran, which is on its way to building a nuclear bomb. Subscribe to PS Digital now to read all the latest insights from Nouriel Roubini. Digital subscribers enjoy access to every PS commentary, including those by Nouriel Roubini, plus our entire On Point suite of subscriber-exclusive content, including Longer Reads, Insider Interviews, Big Picture/Big Question, and Say More. For a limited time, save $15 with the code ROUBINI15. Subscribe Now With Chinese President Xi Jinping further consolidating his authoritarian rule, and with the US tightening its trade restrictions against China, the new Sino-American cold war is getting colder by the day. Worse, it could all too easily turn hot over the status of Taiwan, which Xi is committed to reuniting with the mainland, and which US President Joe Biden is apparently committed to defending. Meanwhile, nuclear-armed North Korea has once again been seeking attention by firing rockets over Japan and South Korea. Cyberwarfare occurs daily between these revisionist powers and the West, and many other countries have adopted a non-aligned posture toward Western-led sanctions regimes. From our contingent vantage point in the middle of all these events, we don’t yet know if World War III has already begun in Ukraine. That determination will be left to future historians – if there are any. Even discounting the threat of nuclear Armageddon, the risk of an environmental Apocalypse is becoming increasingly serious, especially given that most of the talk about net-zero and ESG (environment, social, and governance) investing is just greenwashing – or greenwishing. The new greenflation is already in full swing, because it turns out that amassing the metals needed for the energy transition requires a lot of expensive energy. There is also a growing risk of new pandemics that would be worse than biblical plagues, owing to the link between environmental destruction and zoonotic diseases. Wildlife, carrying dangerous pathogens, are coming into closer and more frequent contact with humans and livestock. That is why we have experienced more frequent and virulent pandemics and epidemics (HIV, SARS, MERS, swine flu, bird flu, Zika, Ebola, COVID-19) since the early 1980s. All the evidence suggests that this problem will become even worse in the future. Indeed, owing to the melting of Siberian permafrost, we may soon be confronting dangerous viruses and bacteria that have been locked away for millennia. Moreover, geopolitical conflicts and national-security concerns are fueling trade, financial, and technology wars, and accelerating the deglobalization process. The return of protectionism and the Sino-American decoupling will leave the global economy, supply chains, and markets more balkanized and fragmented. The buzzwords “friend-shoring” and “secure and fair trade” have replaced “offshoring” and “free trade.” But on the domestic front, advances in AI, robotics, and automation will destroy more and more jobs, even if policymakers build higher protectionist walls in an effort to fight the last war. By both restricting immigration and demanding more domestic production, aging advanced economies will create a stronger incentive for companies to adopt labor-saving technologies. While routine jobs are obviously at risk, so, too, are any cognitive jobs that can be unbundled into discrete tasks, and even many creative jobs. AI language models like GPT-3 can already write better than most humans and will almost certainly displace many jobs and sources of income. In due course, some scientists believe that Homo sapiens will be rendered entirely obsolete by the rise of artificial general intelligence or machine super-intelligence – though this is a highly contentious subject of debate. Thus, over time, economic malaise will deepen, inequality will rise even further, and more white- and blue-collar workers will be left behind. Hard Choices, Hard Landings The macroeconomic situation is no better. For the first time since the 1970s, we are facing high inflation and the prospect of a recession – stagflation. The increased inflation in advanced economies wasn’t “transitory.” It is persistent, driven by a combination of bad policies – excessively loose monetary, fiscal, and credit policies that were kept in place for too long – and bad luck. No one could have anticipated how much the initial COVID-19 shock would curtail the supply of goods and labor and create bottlenecks in global supply chains. The same goes for Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which caused a sharp spike in energy, food, fertilizers, industrial metals, and other commodities. Meanwhile, China has continued its “zero-COVID” policy, which is creating additional supply bottlenecks. While both demand and supply factors were in the mix, it is now widely recognized that the supply factors have played an increasingly decisive role. This matters for the economic outlook, because supply-driven inflation is stagflationary and thus increases the risk that monetary-policy tightening will produce a hard landing (increased unemployment and potentially a recession). What will follow from the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks’ current tightening? Until recently, most central banks and most of Wall Street belonged to “Team Soft Landing.” But the consensus has rapidly shifted, with even Fed Chair Jerome Powell recognizing that a recession is possible, that a soft landing will be “very challenging,” and that everyone should prepare for some “pain” ahead. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s model shows a high probability of a hard landing, and the Bank of England has expressed similar views about the United Kingdom. Several prominent Wall Street institutions have also now made a recession their baseline scenario (the most likely outcome if all other variables are held constant). History, too, points to deeper problems ahead. For the past 60 years in the US, whenever inflation has been above 5% (it is above 8% today), and unemployment has been below 5% (it is now 3.5%), any attempt by the Fed to bring inflation down toward its 2% target has caused a recession. Thus, a hard landing is much more likely than a soft landing, both in the US and across most other advanced economies. Sticky Stagflation In addition to the short-term factors, negative supply shocks and demand factors in the medium term will cause inflation to persist. On the supply side, I count eleven negative supply shocks that will reduce potential growth and increase the costs of production. Among these is the backlash against hyper-globalization, which has been gaining momentum and creating opportunities for populist, nativist, and protectionist politicians, and growing public anger over stark income and wealth inequalities, which is leading to more policies to support workers and the “left behind.” However well-intentioned, such measures will contribute to a dangerous wage-price spiral. Other sources of persistent inflation include rising protectionism (from both the left and the right), which has restricted trade, impeded the movement of capital, and heightened political resistance to immigration, which in turn has put additional upward pressure on wages. National-security and strategic considerations have further restricted flows of technology, data, and talent, and new labor and environmental standards, as important as they may be, are hampering both trade and new construction. This balkanization of the global economy is deeply stagflationary, and it is coinciding with demographic aging, not just in developed countries but also in large emerging economies such as China. Because young people tend to produce and save more, whereas older people spend down their savings and require many more expensive services in health care and other sectors, this trend, too, will lead to higher prices and slower growth. Today’s geopolitical turmoil further complicates matters. The disruptions to trade and the spike in commodity prices following Russia’s invasion were not just a one-off phenomenon. The same threats to harvests and food shipments that arose in 2022 may well persist in 2023. Moreover, if China does finally end its zero-COVID policy and begin to restart its economy, a surge in demand for many commodities will add to the global inflationary pressures. There is also no end in sight for Sino-Western decoupling, which is accelerating across all dimensions of trade (goods, services, capital, labor, technology, data, and information). And, of course, Iran, North Korea, and other strategic rivals to the West could soon contribute in their own ways to the global havoc. Now that the US dollar has been fully weaponized for strategic and national-security purposes, its position as the main global reserve currency could eventually begin to decline, and a weaker dollar would of course add to inflationary pressures in the US. More broadly, a frictionless world trading system requires a frictionless financial system. But sweeping primary and secondary sanctions have thrown sand in what was once a well-oiled machine, massively increasing the transaction costs of trade. On top of it all, climate change, too, will create persistent stagflationary pressures. Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other disasters are increasingly disrupting economic activity and threatening harvests (thus driving up food prices). At the same time, demands for decarbonization have led to underinvestment in fossil-fuel capacity before investment in renewables has reached the point where they can make up the difference. Today’s large energy-price spikes were inevitable. The increased likelihood of future pandemics also represents a persistent source of stagflation, especially considering how little has been done to prevent or prepare for the next one. The next contagious outbreak will lend further momentum to protectionist policies as countries rush to close borders and hoard critical supplies of food, medicines, and other essential goods. Finally, cyberwarfare remains an underappreciated threat to economic activity and even public safety. Firms and governments will either face more stagflationary disruptions to production, or they will have to spend a fortune on cybersecurity. Either way, costs will rise. The Worst of All Possible Economies When the recession comes, it will not be short and shallow but long and severe. Not only are we facing persistent short- and medium-term negative supply shocks, but we are also heading into the mother of all debt crises, owing to soaring private and public debt ratios over the last few decades. Low debt ratios spared us from that outcome in the 1970s. And though we certainly had debt crises following the 2008 crash – the result of excessive household, bank, and government debt – we also had deflation. It was a demand shock and a credit crunch that could be met with massive monetary, fiscal, and credit easing. Today, we are experiencing the worst elements of both the 1970s and 2008. Multiple, persistent negative supply shocks have coincided with debt ratios that are even higher than they were during the global financial crisis. These inflationary pressures are forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy even though we are heading into a recession. That makes the current situation fundamentally different from both the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 crisis. Everyone should be preparing for what may come to be remembered as the Great Stagflationary Debt Crisis. While central banks have been at pains to sound more hawkish, we should be skeptical of their professed willingness to fight inflation at any cost. Once they find themselves in a debt trap, they will have to blink. With debt ratios so high, fighting inflation will cause an economic and financial crash that will be deemed politically unacceptable. Major central banks will feel as though they have no choice but to backpedal, and inflation, the debasement of fiat currencies, boom-bust cycles, and financial crises will become even more severe and frequent. The inevitability of central banks wimping out was recently on display in the United Kingdom. Faced with the market reaction to the Truss government’s reckless fiscal stimulus, the BOE had to launch an emergency quantitative-easing (QE) program to buy up government bonds. That sad episode confirmed that in the UK, as in many other countries, monetary policy is increasingly subject to fiscal capture. Recall that a similar turnaround occurred in 2019, when the Fed, after previously signaling continued rate hikes and quantitative-tightening, stopped its QT program and started pursuing a mix of backdoor QE and policy-rate cuts at the first sign of mild financial pressures and a growth slowdown. Central banks will talk tough; but, in a world of excessive debt and risks of an economic and financial crash, there is good reason to doubt their willingness to do “whatever it takes” to return inflation to its target rate. With governments unable to reduce high debts and deficits by spending less or raising revenues, those that can borrow in their own currency will increasingly resort to the “inflation tax”: relying on unexpected price growth to wipe out long-term nominal liabilities at fixed interest rates. How will financial markets and prices of equities and bonds perform in the face of rising inflation and the return of stagflation? It is likely that, as in the stagflation of the 1970s, both components of any traditional asset portfolio will suffer, potentially incurring massive losses. Inflation is bad for bond portfolios, which will take losses as yields increase and prices fall, as well as for equities, whose valuations are hurt by rising interest rates. For the first time in decades, a 60/40 portfolio of equities and bonds suffered massive losses in 2022, because bond yields have surged while equities have gone into a bear market. By 1982, at the peak of the stagflation decade, the average S&P 500 firm’s price-to-earnings ratio was down to eight; today, it is closer to 20, which suggests that the bear market could end up being even more protracted and severe. Investors will need to find assets to hedge against inflation, political and geopolitical risks, and environmental damage: these include short-term government bonds and inflation-indexed bonds, gold and other precious metals, and real estate that is resilient to environmental damage. The Moment of Truth In any case, these megathreats will further contribute to rising income and wealth inequality, which has already been putting severe pressure on liberal democracies (as those left behind revolt against elites), and fueling the rise of radical and aggressive populist regimes. One can find right-wing manifestations of this trend in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, the US (under Donald Trump), post-Brexit Britain, and many other countries; and left-wing manifestations in Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and now Brazil (which has just replaced a right-wing populist with a left-wing one). And, of course, Xi’s authoritarian stranglehold has given the lie to the old idea that Western engagement with a fast-growing China would ineluctably lead that country to open itself up even more to markets and, eventually, to democratic processes. Under Xi, China shows every sign of becoming more closed off, and more aggressive on geopolitical, security, and economic matters. How did it come to this? Part of the problem is that we have long had our heads stuck in the sand. Now, we need to make up for lost time. Without decisive action, we will be heading into a period that is less like the four decades after WWII than like the three decades between 1914 and 1945. That period gave us World War I; the Spanish flu pandemic; the 1929 Wall Street crash; the Great Depression; massive trade and currency wars; inflation, hyperinflation, and deflation; financial and debt crises, leading to massive meltdowns and defaults; and the rise of authoritarian militarist regimes in Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and elsewhere, culminating in WWII and the Holocaust. In this new world, the relative peace, prosperity, and rising global welfare that we have taken for granted will be gone; most of it already is. If we don’t stop the multi-track slow-motion train wreck that is threatening the global economy and our planet at large, we will be lucky to have only a repeat of the stagflationary 1970s. Far more likely is an echo of the 1930s and the 1940s, only now with all the massive disruptions from climate change added to the mix. Avoiding a dystopian scenario will not be easy. While there are potential solutions to each megathreat, most are costly in the short run and will deliver benefits only over the long run. Many also require technological innovations that are not yet available or in place, starting with those needed to halt or reverse climate change. Complicating matters further, today’s megathreats are interconnected, and therefore best addressed in a systematic and coherent fashion. Domestic leadership, in both the private and public sector, and international cooperation among great powers is necessary to prevent the coming Apocalypse. Yet there are many domestic and international obstacles standing in the way of policies that would allow for a less dystopian (though still contested and conflictual) future. Thus, while a less bleak scenario is obviously desirable, a clear-headed analysis indicates that dystopia is much more likely than a happier outcome. The years and decades ahead will be marked by a stagflationary debt crisis and related megathreats – war, pandemics, climate change, disruptive AI, and deglobalization – all of which will be bad for jobs, economies, markets, peace, and prosperity.
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  • The Age of Megathreats
    Nouriel RoubiniNov 4, 2022
    op_roubini3_Getty Images_worlddisaster Getty Images
    NEW YORK – Severe megathreats are imperiling our future – not just our jobs, incomes, wealth, and the global economy, but also the relative peace, prosperity, and progress achieved over the past 75 years. Many of these threats were not even on our radar during the prosperous post-World War II era. I grew up in the Middle East and Europe from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, and I never worried about climate change potentially destroying the planet. Most of us had barely even heard of the problem, and greenhouse-gas emissions were still relatively low, compared to where they would soon be.

    Moreover, after the US-Soviet détente and US President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in the early 1970s, I never really worried about another war among great powers, let alone a nuclear one. The term “pandemic” didn’t register in my consciousness, either, because the last major one had been in 1918. And I didn’t fathom that artificial intelligence might someday destroy most jobs and render Homo sapiens obsolete, because those were the years of the long “AI winter.”

    Similarly, terms like “deglobalization” and “trade war” had no purchase during this period. Trade liberalization had been in full swing since the Great Depression, and it would soon lead to the hyper-globalization that began in the 1990s. Debt crises posed no threat, because private and public debt-to-GDP ratios were low in advanced economies and emerging markets, and growth was robust. No one had to worry about the massive build-up of implicit debt, in the form of unfunded liabilities from pay-as-you-go social security and health-care systems. The supply of young workers was rising, the share of the elderly was still low, and robust, mostly unrestricted immigration from the Global South to the North would continue to prop up the labor market in advanced economies.

    Against this backdrop, economic cycles were contained, and recessions were short and shallow, except for during the stagflationary decade of the 1970s; but even then, there were no debt crises in advanced economies, because debt ratios were low. The kind of financial cycles that lead to crises were contained not just in advanced economies but even in emerging markets, owing to the low leverage, low risk-taking, solid financial regulation, capital controls, and various forms of financial repression that prevailed during this period. The advanced economies were strong liberal democracies that were free of extreme partisan polarization. Populism and authoritarianism were confined to a benighted cohort of poorer countries.

    Goodbye to All That

    Fast-forward from this relatively “golden” period between 1945 and 1985 to late 2022, and you will immediately notice that we are awash in new, extreme megathreats that were not previously on anyone’s mind. The world has entered what I call a geopolitical depression, with (at least) four dangerous revisionist powers – China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea – challenging the economic, financial, security, and geopolitical order that the United States and its allies created after WWII.

    There is a sharply rising risk not only of war among great powers but of a nuclear conflict. In the coming year, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine could escalate into an unconventional conflict that directly involves NATO. And Israel – and perhaps the US – may decide to launch strikes against Iran, which is on its way to building a nuclear bomb.


    Subscribe to PS Digital now to read all the latest insights from Nouriel Roubini.

    Digital subscribers enjoy access to every PS commentary, including those by Nouriel Roubini, plus our entire On Point suite of subscriber-exclusive content, including Longer Reads, Insider Interviews, Big Picture/Big Question, and Say More.

    For a limited time, save $15 with the code ROUBINI15.

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    With Chinese President Xi Jinping further consolidating his authoritarian rule, and with the US tightening its trade restrictions against China, the new Sino-American cold war is getting colder by the day. Worse, it could all too easily turn hot over the status of Taiwan, which Xi is committed to reuniting with the mainland, and which US President Joe Biden is apparently committed to defending. Meanwhile, nuclear-armed North Korea has once again been seeking attention by firing rockets over Japan and South Korea.

    Cyberwarfare occurs daily between these revisionist powers and the West, and many other countries have adopted a non-aligned posture toward Western-led sanctions regimes. From our contingent vantage point in the middle of all these events, we don’t yet know if World War III has already begun in Ukraine. That determination will be left to future historians – if there are any.

    Even discounting the threat of nuclear Armageddon, the risk of an environmental Apocalypse is becoming increasingly serious, especially given that most of the talk about net-zero and ESG (environment, social, and governance) investing is just greenwashing – or greenwishing. The new greenflation is already in full swing, because it turns out that amassing the metals needed for the energy transition requires a lot of expensive energy.

    There is also a growing risk of new pandemics that would be worse than biblical plagues, owing to the link between environmental destruction and zoonotic diseases. Wildlife, carrying dangerous pathogens, are coming into closer and more frequent contact with humans and livestock. That is why we have experienced more frequent and virulent pandemics and epidemics (HIV, SARS, MERS, swine flu, bird flu, Zika, Ebola, COVID-19) since the early 1980s. All the evidence suggests that this problem will become even worse in the future. Indeed, owing to the melting of Siberian permafrost, we may soon be confronting dangerous viruses and bacteria that have been locked away for millennia.

    Moreover, geopolitical conflicts and national-security concerns are fueling trade, financial, and technology wars, and accelerating the deglobalization process. The return of protectionism and the Sino-American decoupling will leave the global economy, supply chains, and markets more balkanized and fragmented. The buzzwords “friend-shoring” and “secure and fair trade” have replaced “offshoring” and “free trade.”

    But on the domestic front, advances in AI, robotics, and automation will destroy more and more jobs, even if policymakers build higher protectionist walls in an effort to fight the last war. By both restricting immigration and demanding more domestic production, aging advanced economies will create a stronger incentive for companies to adopt labor-saving technologies. While routine jobs are obviously at risk, so, too, are any cognitive jobs that can be unbundled into discrete tasks, and even many creative jobs. AI language models like GPT-3 can already write better than most humans and will almost certainly displace many jobs and sources of income. In due course, some scientists believe that Homo sapiens will be rendered entirely obsolete by the rise of artificial general intelligence or machine super-intelligence – though this is a highly contentious subject of debate.

    Thus, over time, economic malaise will deepen, inequality will rise even further, and more white- and blue-collar workers will be left behind.

    Hard Choices, Hard Landings

    The macroeconomic situation is no better. For the first time since the 1970s, we are facing high inflation and the prospect of a recession – stagflation. The increased inflation in advanced economies wasn’t “transitory.” It is persistent, driven by a combination of bad policies – excessively loose monetary, fiscal, and credit policies that were kept in place for too long – and bad luck. No one could have anticipated how much the initial COVID-19 shock would curtail the supply of goods and labor and create bottlenecks in global supply chains. The same goes for Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which caused a sharp spike in energy, food, fertilizers, industrial metals, and other commodities. Meanwhile, China has continued its “zero-COVID” policy, which is creating additional supply bottlenecks.

    While both demand and supply factors were in the mix, it is now widely recognized that the supply factors have played an increasingly decisive role. This matters for the economic outlook, because supply-driven inflation is stagflationary and thus increases the risk that monetary-policy tightening will produce a hard landing (increased unemployment and potentially a recession).

    What will follow from the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks’ current tightening? Until recently, most central banks and most of Wall Street belonged to “Team Soft Landing.” But the consensus has rapidly shifted, with even Fed Chair Jerome Powell recognizing that a recession is possible, that a soft landing will be “very challenging,” and that everyone should prepare for some “pain” ahead. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s model shows a high probability of a hard landing, and the Bank of England has expressed similar views about the United Kingdom. Several prominent Wall Street institutions have also now made a recession their baseline scenario (the most likely outcome if all other variables are held constant).

    History, too, points to deeper problems ahead. For the past 60 years in the US, whenever inflation has been above 5% (it is above 8% today), and unemployment has been below 5% (it is now 3.5%), any attempt by the Fed to bring inflation down toward its 2% target has caused a recession. Thus, a hard landing is much more likely than a soft landing, both in the US and across most other advanced economies.

    Sticky Stagflation

    In addition to the short-term factors, negative supply shocks and demand factors in the medium term will cause inflation to persist. On the supply side, I count eleven negative supply shocks that will reduce potential growth and increase the costs of production. Among these is the backlash against hyper-globalization, which has been gaining momentum and creating opportunities for populist, nativist, and protectionist politicians, and growing public anger over stark income and wealth inequalities, which is leading to more policies to support workers and the “left behind.” However well-intentioned, such measures will contribute to a dangerous wage-price spiral.

    Other sources of persistent inflation include rising protectionism (from both the left and the right), which has restricted trade, impeded the movement of capital, and heightened political resistance to immigration, which in turn has put additional upward pressure on wages. National-security and strategic considerations have further restricted flows of technology, data, and talent, and new labor and environmental standards, as important as they may be, are hampering both trade and new construction.

    This balkanization of the global economy is deeply stagflationary, and it is coinciding with demographic aging, not just in developed countries but also in large emerging economies such as China. Because young people tend to produce and save more, whereas older people spend down their savings and require many more expensive services in health care and other sectors, this trend, too, will lead to higher prices and slower growth.

    Today’s geopolitical turmoil further complicates matters. The disruptions to trade and the spike in commodity prices following Russia’s invasion were not just a one-off phenomenon. The same threats to harvests and food shipments that arose in 2022 may well persist in 2023. Moreover, if China does finally end its zero-COVID policy and begin to restart its economy, a surge in demand for many commodities will add to the global inflationary pressures. There is also no end in sight for Sino-Western decoupling, which is accelerating across all dimensions of trade (goods, services, capital, labor, technology, data, and information). And, of course, Iran, North Korea, and other strategic rivals to the West could soon contribute in their own ways to the global havoc.

    Now that the US dollar has been fully weaponized for strategic and national-security purposes, its position as the main global reserve currency could eventually begin to decline, and a weaker dollar would of course add to inflationary pressures in the US. More broadly, a frictionless world trading system requires a frictionless financial system. But sweeping primary and secondary sanctions have thrown sand in what was once a well-oiled machine, massively increasing the transaction costs of trade.

    On top of it all, climate change, too, will create persistent stagflationary pressures. Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other disasters are increasingly disrupting economic activity and threatening harvests (thus driving up food prices). At the same time, demands for decarbonization have led to underinvestment in fossil-fuel capacity before investment in renewables has reached the point where they can make up the difference. Today’s large energy-price spikes were inevitable.

    The increased likelihood of future pandemics also represents a persistent source of stagflation, especially considering how little has been done to prevent or prepare for the next one. The next contagious outbreak will lend further momentum to protectionist policies as countries rush to close borders and hoard critical supplies of food, medicines, and other essential goods.

    Finally, cyberwarfare remains an underappreciated threat to economic activity and even public safety. Firms and governments will either face more stagflationary disruptions to production, or they will have to spend a fortune on cybersecurity. Either way, costs will rise.

    The Worst of All Possible Economies

    When the recession comes, it will not be short and shallow but long and severe. Not only are we facing persistent short- and medium-term negative supply shocks, but we are also heading into the mother of all debt crises, owing to soaring private and public debt ratios over the last few decades. Low debt ratios spared us from that outcome in the 1970s. And though we certainly had debt crises following the 2008 crash – the result of excessive household, bank, and government debt – we also had deflation. It was a demand shock and a credit crunch that could be met with massive monetary, fiscal, and credit easing.

    Today, we are experiencing the worst elements of both the 1970s and 2008. Multiple, persistent negative supply shocks have coincided with debt ratios that are even higher than they were during the global financial crisis. These inflationary pressures are forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy even though we are heading into a recession. That makes the current situation fundamentally different from both the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 crisis. Everyone should be preparing for what may come to be remembered as the Great Stagflationary Debt Crisis.

    While central banks have been at pains to sound more hawkish, we should be skeptical of their professed willingness to fight inflation at any cost. Once they find themselves in a debt trap, they will have to blink. With debt ratios so high, fighting inflation will cause an economic and financial crash that will be deemed politically unacceptable. Major central banks will feel as though they have no choice but to backpedal, and inflation, the debasement of fiat currencies, boom-bust cycles, and financial crises will become even more severe and frequent.

    The inevitability of central banks wimping out was recently on display in the United Kingdom. Faced with the market reaction to the Truss government’s reckless fiscal stimulus, the BOE had to launch an emergency quantitative-easing (QE) program to buy up government bonds. That sad episode confirmed that in the UK, as in many other countries, monetary policy is increasingly subject to fiscal capture.

    Recall that a similar turnaround occurred in 2019, when the Fed, after previously signaling continued rate hikes and quantitative-tightening, stopped its QT program and started pursuing a mix of backdoor QE and policy-rate cuts at the first sign of mild financial pressures and a growth slowdown. Central banks will talk tough; but, in a world of excessive debt and risks of an economic and financial crash, there is good reason to doubt their willingness to do “whatever it takes” to return inflation to its target rate.

    With governments unable to reduce high debts and deficits by spending less or raising revenues, those that can borrow in their own currency will increasingly resort to the “inflation tax”: relying on unexpected price growth to wipe out long-term nominal liabilities at fixed interest rates.

    How will financial markets and prices of equities and bonds perform in the face of rising inflation and the return of stagflation? It is likely that, as in the stagflation of the 1970s, both components of any traditional asset portfolio will suffer, potentially incurring massive losses. Inflation is bad for bond portfolios, which will take losses as yields increase and prices fall, as well as for equities, whose valuations are hurt by rising interest rates.

    For the first time in decades, a 60/40 portfolio of equities and bonds suffered massive losses in 2022, because bond yields have surged while equities have gone into a bear market. By 1982, at the peak of the stagflation decade, the average S&P 500 firm’s price-to-earnings ratio was down to eight; today, it is closer to 20, which suggests that the bear market could end up being even more protracted and severe. Investors will need to find assets to hedge against inflation, political and geopolitical risks, and environmental damage: these include short-term government bonds and inflation-indexed bonds, gold and other precious metals, and real estate that is resilient to environmental damage.

    The Moment of Truth

    In any case, these megathreats will further contribute to rising income and wealth inequality, which has already been putting severe pressure on liberal democracies (as those left behind revolt against elites), and fueling the rise of radical and aggressive populist regimes. One can find right-wing manifestations of this trend in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, the US (under Donald Trump), post-Brexit Britain, and many other countries; and left-wing manifestations in Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and now Brazil (which has just replaced a right-wing populist with a left-wing one).

    And, of course, Xi’s authoritarian stranglehold has given the lie to the old idea that Western engagement with a fast-growing China would ineluctably lead that country to open itself up even more to markets and, eventually, to democratic processes. Under Xi, China shows every sign of becoming more closed off, and more aggressive on geopolitical, security, and economic matters.

    How did it come to this? Part of the problem is that we have long had our heads stuck in the sand. Now, we need to make up for lost time. Without decisive action, we will be heading into a period that is less like the four decades after WWII than like the three decades between 1914 and 1945. That period gave us World War I; the Spanish flu pandemic; the 1929 Wall Street crash; the Great Depression; massive trade and currency wars; inflation, hyperinflation, and deflation; financial and debt crises, leading to massive meltdowns and defaults; and the rise of authoritarian militarist regimes in Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and elsewhere, culminating in WWII and the Holocaust.

    In this new world, the relative peace, prosperity, and rising global welfare that we have taken for granted will be gone; most of it already is. If we don’t stop the multi-track slow-motion train wreck that is threatening the global economy and our planet at large, we will be lucky to have only a repeat of the stagflationary 1970s. Far more likely is an echo of the 1930s and the 1940s, only now with all the massive disruptions from climate change added to the mix.

    Avoiding a dystopian scenario will not be easy. While there are potential solutions to each megathreat, most are costly in the short run and will deliver benefits only over the long run. Many also require technological innovations that are not yet available or in place, starting with those needed to halt or reverse climate change. Complicating matters further, today’s megathreats are interconnected, and therefore best addressed in a systematic and coherent fashion. Domestic leadership, in both the private and public sector, and international cooperation among great powers is necessary to prevent the coming Apocalypse.

    Yet there are many domestic and international obstacles standing in the way of policies that would allow for a less dystopian (though still contested and conflictual) future. Thus, while a less bleak scenario is obviously desirable, a clear-headed analysis indicates that dystopia is much more likely than a happier outcome. The years and decades ahead will be marked by a stagflationary debt crisis and related megathreats – war, pandemics, climate change, disruptive AI, and deglobalization – all of which will be bad for jobs, economies, markets, peace, and prosperity.
    The Age of Megathreats Nouriel RoubiniNov 4, 2022 op_roubini3_Getty Images_worlddisaster Getty Images NEW YORK – Severe megathreats are imperiling our future – not just our jobs, incomes, wealth, and the global economy, but also the relative peace, prosperity, and progress achieved over the past 75 years. Many of these threats were not even on our radar during the prosperous post-World War II era. I grew up in the Middle East and Europe from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, and I never worried about climate change potentially destroying the planet. Most of us had barely even heard of the problem, and greenhouse-gas emissions were still relatively low, compared to where they would soon be. Moreover, after the US-Soviet détente and US President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in the early 1970s, I never really worried about another war among great powers, let alone a nuclear one. The term “pandemic” didn’t register in my consciousness, either, because the last major one had been in 1918. And I didn’t fathom that artificial intelligence might someday destroy most jobs and render Homo sapiens obsolete, because those were the years of the long “AI winter.” Similarly, terms like “deglobalization” and “trade war” had no purchase during this period. Trade liberalization had been in full swing since the Great Depression, and it would soon lead to the hyper-globalization that began in the 1990s. Debt crises posed no threat, because private and public debt-to-GDP ratios were low in advanced economies and emerging markets, and growth was robust. No one had to worry about the massive build-up of implicit debt, in the form of unfunded liabilities from pay-as-you-go social security and health-care systems. The supply of young workers was rising, the share of the elderly was still low, and robust, mostly unrestricted immigration from the Global South to the North would continue to prop up the labor market in advanced economies. Against this backdrop, economic cycles were contained, and recessions were short and shallow, except for during the stagflationary decade of the 1970s; but even then, there were no debt crises in advanced economies, because debt ratios were low. The kind of financial cycles that lead to crises were contained not just in advanced economies but even in emerging markets, owing to the low leverage, low risk-taking, solid financial regulation, capital controls, and various forms of financial repression that prevailed during this period. The advanced economies were strong liberal democracies that were free of extreme partisan polarization. Populism and authoritarianism were confined to a benighted cohort of poorer countries. Goodbye to All That Fast-forward from this relatively “golden” period between 1945 and 1985 to late 2022, and you will immediately notice that we are awash in new, extreme megathreats that were not previously on anyone’s mind. The world has entered what I call a geopolitical depression, with (at least) four dangerous revisionist powers – China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea – challenging the economic, financial, security, and geopolitical order that the United States and its allies created after WWII. There is a sharply rising risk not only of war among great powers but of a nuclear conflict. In the coming year, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine could escalate into an unconventional conflict that directly involves NATO. And Israel – and perhaps the US – may decide to launch strikes against Iran, which is on its way to building a nuclear bomb. Subscribe to PS Digital now to read all the latest insights from Nouriel Roubini. Digital subscribers enjoy access to every PS commentary, including those by Nouriel Roubini, plus our entire On Point suite of subscriber-exclusive content, including Longer Reads, Insider Interviews, Big Picture/Big Question, and Say More. For a limited time, save $15 with the code ROUBINI15. Subscribe Now With Chinese President Xi Jinping further consolidating his authoritarian rule, and with the US tightening its trade restrictions against China, the new Sino-American cold war is getting colder by the day. Worse, it could all too easily turn hot over the status of Taiwan, which Xi is committed to reuniting with the mainland, and which US President Joe Biden is apparently committed to defending. Meanwhile, nuclear-armed North Korea has once again been seeking attention by firing rockets over Japan and South Korea. Cyberwarfare occurs daily between these revisionist powers and the West, and many other countries have adopted a non-aligned posture toward Western-led sanctions regimes. From our contingent vantage point in the middle of all these events, we don’t yet know if World War III has already begun in Ukraine. That determination will be left to future historians – if there are any. Even discounting the threat of nuclear Armageddon, the risk of an environmental Apocalypse is becoming increasingly serious, especially given that most of the talk about net-zero and ESG (environment, social, and governance) investing is just greenwashing – or greenwishing. The new greenflation is already in full swing, because it turns out that amassing the metals needed for the energy transition requires a lot of expensive energy. There is also a growing risk of new pandemics that would be worse than biblical plagues, owing to the link between environmental destruction and zoonotic diseases. Wildlife, carrying dangerous pathogens, are coming into closer and more frequent contact with humans and livestock. That is why we have experienced more frequent and virulent pandemics and epidemics (HIV, SARS, MERS, swine flu, bird flu, Zika, Ebola, COVID-19) since the early 1980s. All the evidence suggests that this problem will become even worse in the future. Indeed, owing to the melting of Siberian permafrost, we may soon be confronting dangerous viruses and bacteria that have been locked away for millennia. Moreover, geopolitical conflicts and national-security concerns are fueling trade, financial, and technology wars, and accelerating the deglobalization process. The return of protectionism and the Sino-American decoupling will leave the global economy, supply chains, and markets more balkanized and fragmented. The buzzwords “friend-shoring” and “secure and fair trade” have replaced “offshoring” and “free trade.” But on the domestic front, advances in AI, robotics, and automation will destroy more and more jobs, even if policymakers build higher protectionist walls in an effort to fight the last war. By both restricting immigration and demanding more domestic production, aging advanced economies will create a stronger incentive for companies to adopt labor-saving technologies. While routine jobs are obviously at risk, so, too, are any cognitive jobs that can be unbundled into discrete tasks, and even many creative jobs. AI language models like GPT-3 can already write better than most humans and will almost certainly displace many jobs and sources of income. In due course, some scientists believe that Homo sapiens will be rendered entirely obsolete by the rise of artificial general intelligence or machine super-intelligence – though this is a highly contentious subject of debate. Thus, over time, economic malaise will deepen, inequality will rise even further, and more white- and blue-collar workers will be left behind. Hard Choices, Hard Landings The macroeconomic situation is no better. For the first time since the 1970s, we are facing high inflation and the prospect of a recession – stagflation. The increased inflation in advanced economies wasn’t “transitory.” It is persistent, driven by a combination of bad policies – excessively loose monetary, fiscal, and credit policies that were kept in place for too long – and bad luck. No one could have anticipated how much the initial COVID-19 shock would curtail the supply of goods and labor and create bottlenecks in global supply chains. The same goes for Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, which caused a sharp spike in energy, food, fertilizers, industrial metals, and other commodities. Meanwhile, China has continued its “zero-COVID” policy, which is creating additional supply bottlenecks. While both demand and supply factors were in the mix, it is now widely recognized that the supply factors have played an increasingly decisive role. This matters for the economic outlook, because supply-driven inflation is stagflationary and thus increases the risk that monetary-policy tightening will produce a hard landing (increased unemployment and potentially a recession). What will follow from the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks’ current tightening? Until recently, most central banks and most of Wall Street belonged to “Team Soft Landing.” But the consensus has rapidly shifted, with even Fed Chair Jerome Powell recognizing that a recession is possible, that a soft landing will be “very challenging,” and that everyone should prepare for some “pain” ahead. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s model shows a high probability of a hard landing, and the Bank of England has expressed similar views about the United Kingdom. Several prominent Wall Street institutions have also now made a recession their baseline scenario (the most likely outcome if all other variables are held constant). History, too, points to deeper problems ahead. For the past 60 years in the US, whenever inflation has been above 5% (it is above 8% today), and unemployment has been below 5% (it is now 3.5%), any attempt by the Fed to bring inflation down toward its 2% target has caused a recession. Thus, a hard landing is much more likely than a soft landing, both in the US and across most other advanced economies. Sticky Stagflation In addition to the short-term factors, negative supply shocks and demand factors in the medium term will cause inflation to persist. On the supply side, I count eleven negative supply shocks that will reduce potential growth and increase the costs of production. Among these is the backlash against hyper-globalization, which has been gaining momentum and creating opportunities for populist, nativist, and protectionist politicians, and growing public anger over stark income and wealth inequalities, which is leading to more policies to support workers and the “left behind.” However well-intentioned, such measures will contribute to a dangerous wage-price spiral. Other sources of persistent inflation include rising protectionism (from both the left and the right), which has restricted trade, impeded the movement of capital, and heightened political resistance to immigration, which in turn has put additional upward pressure on wages. National-security and strategic considerations have further restricted flows of technology, data, and talent, and new labor and environmental standards, as important as they may be, are hampering both trade and new construction. This balkanization of the global economy is deeply stagflationary, and it is coinciding with demographic aging, not just in developed countries but also in large emerging economies such as China. Because young people tend to produce and save more, whereas older people spend down their savings and require many more expensive services in health care and other sectors, this trend, too, will lead to higher prices and slower growth. Today’s geopolitical turmoil further complicates matters. The disruptions to trade and the spike in commodity prices following Russia’s invasion were not just a one-off phenomenon. The same threats to harvests and food shipments that arose in 2022 may well persist in 2023. Moreover, if China does finally end its zero-COVID policy and begin to restart its economy, a surge in demand for many commodities will add to the global inflationary pressures. There is also no end in sight for Sino-Western decoupling, which is accelerating across all dimensions of trade (goods, services, capital, labor, technology, data, and information). And, of course, Iran, North Korea, and other strategic rivals to the West could soon contribute in their own ways to the global havoc. Now that the US dollar has been fully weaponized for strategic and national-security purposes, its position as the main global reserve currency could eventually begin to decline, and a weaker dollar would of course add to inflationary pressures in the US. More broadly, a frictionless world trading system requires a frictionless financial system. But sweeping primary and secondary sanctions have thrown sand in what was once a well-oiled machine, massively increasing the transaction costs of trade. On top of it all, climate change, too, will create persistent stagflationary pressures. Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other disasters are increasingly disrupting economic activity and threatening harvests (thus driving up food prices). At the same time, demands for decarbonization have led to underinvestment in fossil-fuel capacity before investment in renewables has reached the point where they can make up the difference. Today’s large energy-price spikes were inevitable. The increased likelihood of future pandemics also represents a persistent source of stagflation, especially considering how little has been done to prevent or prepare for the next one. The next contagious outbreak will lend further momentum to protectionist policies as countries rush to close borders and hoard critical supplies of food, medicines, and other essential goods. Finally, cyberwarfare remains an underappreciated threat to economic activity and even public safety. Firms and governments will either face more stagflationary disruptions to production, or they will have to spend a fortune on cybersecurity. Either way, costs will rise. The Worst of All Possible Economies When the recession comes, it will not be short and shallow but long and severe. Not only are we facing persistent short- and medium-term negative supply shocks, but we are also heading into the mother of all debt crises, owing to soaring private and public debt ratios over the last few decades. Low debt ratios spared us from that outcome in the 1970s. And though we certainly had debt crises following the 2008 crash – the result of excessive household, bank, and government debt – we also had deflation. It was a demand shock and a credit crunch that could be met with massive monetary, fiscal, and credit easing. Today, we are experiencing the worst elements of both the 1970s and 2008. Multiple, persistent negative supply shocks have coincided with debt ratios that are even higher than they were during the global financial crisis. These inflationary pressures are forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy even though we are heading into a recession. That makes the current situation fundamentally different from both the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 crisis. Everyone should be preparing for what may come to be remembered as the Great Stagflationary Debt Crisis. While central banks have been at pains to sound more hawkish, we should be skeptical of their professed willingness to fight inflation at any cost. Once they find themselves in a debt trap, they will have to blink. With debt ratios so high, fighting inflation will cause an economic and financial crash that will be deemed politically unacceptable. Major central banks will feel as though they have no choice but to backpedal, and inflation, the debasement of fiat currencies, boom-bust cycles, and financial crises will become even more severe and frequent. The inevitability of central banks wimping out was recently on display in the United Kingdom. Faced with the market reaction to the Truss government’s reckless fiscal stimulus, the BOE had to launch an emergency quantitative-easing (QE) program to buy up government bonds. That sad episode confirmed that in the UK, as in many other countries, monetary policy is increasingly subject to fiscal capture. Recall that a similar turnaround occurred in 2019, when the Fed, after previously signaling continued rate hikes and quantitative-tightening, stopped its QT program and started pursuing a mix of backdoor QE and policy-rate cuts at the first sign of mild financial pressures and a growth slowdown. Central banks will talk tough; but, in a world of excessive debt and risks of an economic and financial crash, there is good reason to doubt their willingness to do “whatever it takes” to return inflation to its target rate. With governments unable to reduce high debts and deficits by spending less or raising revenues, those that can borrow in their own currency will increasingly resort to the “inflation tax”: relying on unexpected price growth to wipe out long-term nominal liabilities at fixed interest rates. How will financial markets and prices of equities and bonds perform in the face of rising inflation and the return of stagflation? It is likely that, as in the stagflation of the 1970s, both components of any traditional asset portfolio will suffer, potentially incurring massive losses. Inflation is bad for bond portfolios, which will take losses as yields increase and prices fall, as well as for equities, whose valuations are hurt by rising interest rates. For the first time in decades, a 60/40 portfolio of equities and bonds suffered massive losses in 2022, because bond yields have surged while equities have gone into a bear market. By 1982, at the peak of the stagflation decade, the average S&P 500 firm’s price-to-earnings ratio was down to eight; today, it is closer to 20, which suggests that the bear market could end up being even more protracted and severe. Investors will need to find assets to hedge against inflation, political and geopolitical risks, and environmental damage: these include short-term government bonds and inflation-indexed bonds, gold and other precious metals, and real estate that is resilient to environmental damage. The Moment of Truth In any case, these megathreats will further contribute to rising income and wealth inequality, which has already been putting severe pressure on liberal democracies (as those left behind revolt against elites), and fueling the rise of radical and aggressive populist regimes. One can find right-wing manifestations of this trend in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, the US (under Donald Trump), post-Brexit Britain, and many other countries; and left-wing manifestations in Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and now Brazil (which has just replaced a right-wing populist with a left-wing one). And, of course, Xi’s authoritarian stranglehold has given the lie to the old idea that Western engagement with a fast-growing China would ineluctably lead that country to open itself up even more to markets and, eventually, to democratic processes. Under Xi, China shows every sign of becoming more closed off, and more aggressive on geopolitical, security, and economic matters. How did it come to this? Part of the problem is that we have long had our heads stuck in the sand. Now, we need to make up for lost time. Without decisive action, we will be heading into a period that is less like the four decades after WWII than like the three decades between 1914 and 1945. That period gave us World War I; the Spanish flu pandemic; the 1929 Wall Street crash; the Great Depression; massive trade and currency wars; inflation, hyperinflation, and deflation; financial and debt crises, leading to massive meltdowns and defaults; and the rise of authoritarian militarist regimes in Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and elsewhere, culminating in WWII and the Holocaust. In this new world, the relative peace, prosperity, and rising global welfare that we have taken for granted will be gone; most of it already is. If we don’t stop the multi-track slow-motion train wreck that is threatening the global economy and our planet at large, we will be lucky to have only a repeat of the stagflationary 1970s. Far more likely is an echo of the 1930s and the 1940s, only now with all the massive disruptions from climate change added to the mix. Avoiding a dystopian scenario will not be easy. While there are potential solutions to each megathreat, most are costly in the short run and will deliver benefits only over the long run. Many also require technological innovations that are not yet available or in place, starting with those needed to halt or reverse climate change. Complicating matters further, today’s megathreats are interconnected, and therefore best addressed in a systematic and coherent fashion. Domestic leadership, in both the private and public sector, and international cooperation among great powers is necessary to prevent the coming Apocalypse. Yet there are many domestic and international obstacles standing in the way of policies that would allow for a less dystopian (though still contested and conflictual) future. Thus, while a less bleak scenario is obviously desirable, a clear-headed analysis indicates that dystopia is much more likely than a happier outcome. The years and decades ahead will be marked by a stagflationary debt crisis and related megathreats – war, pandemics, climate change, disruptive AI, and deglobalization – all of which will be bad for jobs, economies, markets, peace, and prosperity.
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  • After conducting various meetings in London last week, we had productive follow-up discussions with U.K International Development Minister, Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP, here in Lusaka today, regarding investment opportunities for the mutual benefit of our two countries.

    Our government is committed to promoting economic development in order to attract increased foreign investment, which in turn, will generate employment opportunities for our citizens.

    Hakainde Hichilema,
    President of the Republic of Zambia
    After conducting various meetings in London last week, we had productive follow-up discussions with U.K International Development Minister, Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP, here in Lusaka today, regarding investment opportunities for the mutual benefit of our two countries. Our government is committed to promoting economic development in order to attract increased foreign investment, which in turn, will generate employment opportunities for our citizens. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia
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  • California's recent decision not to pay back some $20 billion borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits during the pandemic will fall on the shoulders of employers, according to experts.
    California's recent decision not to pay back some $20 billion borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits during the pandemic will fall on the shoulders of employers, according to experts.
    WWW.ACTIVISTPOST.COM
    California Defaults On $18.6 Billion In Debt, Saddling Employers With The Expense - Activist Post
    "The state should have taken care of the loans with the COVID money it received from the government in 2021."
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