REVIEW: Revolution in the Red States Charlie LeDuff shows how it was the failure of globalisation – not Russian meddling – that propelled Donald Trump to the US presidency

Tony Sutton

If you’re one of those sophisticated urbanites who still believe Donald Trump was elected to the US presidency by sheeplike flocks of Red State “deplorables” brainwashed by an army of Russian trolls spreading lies on social media and hacking Saint Hillary’s email, you’d better take a peak through the pages of Charlie LeDuff’s new book, Sh*tshow!: The Country’s Collapsing … and the Ratings Are Great.

LeDuff spent three years travelling the US with a two-man film crew, chronicling the desperation of workers, frustrated by the insincerities of sharp-suited, slack-mouthed career politicians, who were too occupied with nosing their way through the troughs of corporate America to offer hope to their weary constituents.

Is it any wonder, then, that anyone – even a tie-flapping Orange Oaf – who entered the political area spraying words of support to the workers who were shafted by corporate America, would gain their support. That simple phrase Make America Great Again has a remarkable resonance to a family struggling to make ends meet on half the income it enjoyed 10 years ago.

Taking up the cudgels on behalf of those who suffered under globalisation and, particularly, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), LeDuff recalls then-US President Bill Clinton declaring that it “… means jobs. American jobs. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t support this agreement,” when he introduced NAFTA in 1994.

Fine words, but what followed?

Workers in the US heartland found themselves waving goodbye to the well-paying unionised jobs that had lifted their families into middle-class comfort as their cynical employers upped sticks and joined the south-bound trek towards corporate nirvana. Yes, Mexican workers benefitted, sort of – the Yankee insurgents gave them jobs on barely-regulated assembly plants in maquiladoras close to the border, at hourly rates that would barely lift them out of their own poverty.

That corporate asset-stripping, writes LeDuff, is what led to the massive election upset of 1977 that saw the drowning of a complacent political status quo beneath a tsunami of Red State rage. And it was that pent-up anger – not slick-fingered Russian spies – that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency.

Sh*tshow! was conceived when LeDuff, a reporter at a Detroit local TV station, met Fox News boss Roger Ailes, at the company’s New York HQ to push for a national TV news segment called The Americans. He wanted to showcase ordinary people who were “trying to get by as the country and their way of life was disintegrating around them.”

Ailes agreed, but warned that, “he didn’t want stories that would cost him money or advertisers or instigate phone calls from the country club or The Boss [Rupert Murdoch]”.

“In the end”, writes LeDuff, “news isn’t really about keeping the public informed or holding the powerful to account. It’s about cash money. The First Amendment is a fine thing, but the Founding Fathers didn’t think to leave the media a revenue stream. That’s why the industry pushes as many stories as it does about doped-up starlets, foil-hat crackpots, and cats, so many cats. … Money made the 24-hour news cycle spin round. That’s what I’d learned in my years as a newspaperman.”

What follows in Sh*tshow! is a chronology of working class misery and disaster as LeDuff and his crew traversing a country that is “bankrupt and on high boil”, finding tales that show how globalisation has generated a deep distrust of a government that has abandoned and cheated its long-suffering citizens.

These travels take us from LeDuff’s hometown of Detroit, to Nevada, where he records the unwinding of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy’s doomed quest to wrest control of federal grazing land; to Southern “right-to-work” states, where foreign auto behemoths feast on cheap non-union labour; and to icy North Dakota, a magnet for unemployed men in search of black gold at squalid fracking sites, seeking “good-paying jobs where a man could pull down a hundred grand in a year”. Jobs that don’t exist . . .

Along the way, he calls into more blighted communities, including Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, where white cops took the lives of unarmed black youths, their ill-considered decisions leading to massive social unrest.


Detroit, the subject of LeDuff’s previous book, Detroit: An American Autopsy, is now undergoing a much-vaunted downtown renaissance after decades of corporate betrayal, political cronyism, and the worst urban destruction ever seen in modern-day US.

However, LeDuff takes a broad sweep of the city, taking in the still-forgotten suburbs, whose residents – mainly black – struggle in slums ignored by snake-oil selling urban developers and elected officials. Theirs is a blighted world of shattered homes, poor policing and lack of basic services: in one instance an area’s water has been shut off by local government, forcing residents to trek to an abandoned building where the authorities forgot to cut the supply.

Then, up river in Flint, LeDuff finds the decaying birthplace of General Motors, an industrial carcass that was left to rot by the motor industry and its suppliers as they fled to Mexico.

LeDuff surmises that there must have been a run on Kool-Aid in the city, “because everyone residing at the Kirkwood mobile home park [is} wearing teeth stained red.” When he asks, “What’s with the Kool-Aid”? he’s told the tap water looks and tastes like crap, since the city switched from its Detroit source and started to take drinking water from the toxic Flint River.

Officials assured the people it was okay, but you still couldn’t drink the water without sugar in it. It made you gag.”

It turned out that not only did the water taste like crap, it was also poisoning the residents, lead leeching from the old pipes.

Behind the trailer park was “one square mile of post-industrial nothingness”, the former site of Delphi, the largest auto-parts manufacturer in the world, before it hightailed it to Mexico, leaving 50,000 workers in the lurch. That same company now employs more than 50,000 Mexican workers, “in hellholes like Reynosa”.

Throughout his journey, LeDuff finds a disenfranchised and disillusioned workforce, its anger stoked by technological change, globalisation and plain, old fashioned corporate greed.

The wanton destruction of the auto industry in Detroit and Michigan and the offshoring of jobs still rankle, but the task of the remaining union officials is overwhelming, LeDuff finds, as he travels to the cynically named “right-to-work” states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi.

There, autoworkers at shining new plants are not required to join the union or contribute to their funds in order to take advantage of union-negotiated benefits, thereby depriving the organisations of the bulk of their funding.

“This region – the Sun Belt, they called it – was considered the new Detroit for foreign automakers”, he writes, explaining why the Union of Auto Workers (UAW) found it hard to organise and try to restore the income of underpaid workers.

Despite the UAW spending $5-million on a campaign to organise workers at the Volkswagen assembly plant, the rank and file voted to reject the union, sending the carpetbaggers back to north. It was a huge defeat. Chattanooga was supposed to be the first domino. Then Mercedes, the crown jewel, would fall. It was supposed to be easy.… And still the union lost, leaving Tennessee only one of four non-union VW plants in the world, the others being in Russia and China.”

Union bosses, he adds, blamed their organising defeat on outside agitators bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers,

…whose billboards had propped up showing a decimated Packard automobile factory wit the caption, ‘Detroit. Brought to you by the UAW’.”

But that’s not all they faced:

The Chamber of Commerce, US senators, and even Tennessee’s governor fought tooth and nail to keep the UAW out, threatening to pull the company’s tax subsidies, spreading rumours around town that any future work … would go to Mexico.”

Against those odds, it’s easy to understand why job-scared workers decided not to join the union – a job in the hand is better than one that might soon fly away to Mexico.

Welcome to Globalistan, USA.


In the summer of 2014, LeDuff travelled to Ferguson, Missouri, where 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black man, had been shot by a white policeman. There, he found a nation at war with itself – black against white, all against the government, and all against the media.

Except, that is, for the guys who saved the lives of LeDuff and his camera-wielding colleague Matt when they were attacked while filming a night-time mob looting and burning stores on Ferguson’s West Florrisant Avenue, “a mayhem of Molotov cocktails and masked marauders swiping meat and hair extensions, liquor and premium-brand cigarettes”.

Undeterred, the crew returned to Ferguson later in the year to hear the grand jury decision not to charge the cop who’d killed Michael Brown.

The shit, as expected, hit the fan again. Once more, LeDuff and his two-man crew were in the midst of the action, while the network media stars had long gone, their carefully-prepared temporary sets having been trampled and torn and torched.

Later, returning to his hotel, LeDuff turned on the TV and listened to the platitudes tumbling from the co-presenters’ lips:

Their set was blue. Their makeup thick. Their clothing immaculate. There was no telling where in the world they were broadcasting from, but it surely wasn’t Ferguson. Still, that did not prevent them from commenting on the evening’s mayhem as if they had been here … What the world heard from them was that this was simply another case of a white cop killing a young, unarmed black man and the looters and arsonists were simply voicing their historical discontentment and here was another case of the abject failure of the American experience.

I watched them and wept.


In the midst of this chaos and confusion came the presidential election campaign, where a bizarre procession of slick candidates, whose sole skill seemed be spewing bullshit from all orifices simultaneously without soiling their $1,000 suits, mingled with the freshly-coiffed “stars” of the network media to decide which of the Republican candidates would lose the race against the soon-to-be-anointed first lady president, Hillary C.

Not for a moment did the pundits or the election fixers think the rank outsider – an orange-haired hotel-mogul-cum-minor-TV-star – would capture the hearts and votes of that long-ignored Red State mass of voters, who sat eyes glued to Fox News, quaffing Bud Lites, praying for a saviour.

“Watching the unspooling of America from the street corners and the corner bars, listening to the people’s desire for something new, I was not surprised by the rise of President Donald Trump”, writes LeDuff. “He and the travelling circus seals of media dovetailed spectacularly into our shitshow and we used them as side props for all they were worth.”

He gleefully recounts the Republican Convention in Cleveland in July 2016, where he mingled with 15,000 media, who seemed:

…blissfully unaware of the depths of the discord in American life bubbling outside the protective envelope. Inside the perimeter, they wandered aimlessly in their expensive suits. Brown shoes seem to be the style of the moment for the male political media.

A couple of agents from the Secret Service and I stood at the bottom of the escalator of the media centre, admiring the footwear. The colours ranged from saddle tan to walnut, khaki, camel, cappuccino, cognac, caramel, burnished brown, dark burgundy brown, tobacco, tan, cafe, and beach sand…

“I guess they must get paid pretty well in TV,” one agent surmised.

“They’re not getting paid for originality,” said the other.

Then, in another telling vignette, LeDuff recalls Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s words on a 
radio talk show after the Baltimore riots over the death of Freddie Gray in the back of a police paddy wagon.

Our fainthearted senator confessed: ‘I came through Baltimore on the train last night. I’m glad the train didn’t stop’. … Not only did Paul not get off the train, but he apparently didn’t even look out the window long enough to realise the train had pulled into Baltimore Penn Station. And somewhere in that lay the problem.

The train that the clueless senator rode makes its regular run between the twin towers of power: Wall Street and Washington. On the way, it logs short stops in crumbling cities of the Ghetto Belt – Newark, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Wilmington; Delaware. And, yes, Baltimore. But nobody with power ever seems to visit these places.”

There you have it. Clueless senators. Clueless media. Shattered communities. Fearful voters. All the ingredients for an electoral Revolution of the Red States. Who needs Russian meddling to sway the result?

Shitshow! by Charlie LeDuff was published by PenguinRandomHouse and is available through Amazon. It was previously reviewed for OffGuardian by James McEnteer, you can read his thoughts on it here.
This review originally appeared in Issue 166 of the free online magazine ColdType , of which Tony Sutton is editor and publisher. Contact him via e-mail or visit their website.


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Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Jul 8, 2019 3:22 PM

The Orange One’s mantra – “Make America Great Again!” is of course simply the most recent nonsense incarnation of Obama’s PR mantras – “Hope and Change” & “Change You Can Believe In.” As I understand it both political parties are busy using focus groups at this very moment trying to come up with some “great” new “hopey changey” slogans for the next election cycle.

So far it appears that those Americans still contemplating support for one of the two political parties have dramatically lowered their expectations going forward. The two most popular focus group “2020 political mantras for our brain-dead” populace to date are = “Make America Ok again,” and “I only Wish I could Hold Out Hope for Change.”

Of course the neocons are busy within the padded rooms of their own think tanks working on policy slogans that would work for both political parties to use once they are in office and need to actually “rule” the country. The current favorites being: “Hey, Let’s Go Bomb Somebody So we Don’t Have To Think About It.” And, in post-modern homage to the classic Vietnam film “Apocalypse Now” they are partial to – “I Love the Smell of Neoliberalism in the Morning!” – since it works on so many levels.

Jul 7, 2019 1:57 PM

In spite of the shit show described here, LeDuff, like every other journalist who has made ass hole Trump legitimate by assuming he won an election, does not recognize the failure of the most important American institution: the electoral system. Trump didn’t win because the people were disgusted with globalization. Trump won because the election was fraudulent: the vote count is phony. The vote count cannot be re-counted. There is no way to prove Trump won 63m votes. This faith based electoral system goes unquestioned by journalists who prefer to examine lofty concepts like “globalization” to explain Trump’s win rather than humble and boring facts like the manifold means of election fraud. The majority of Americans did not elect this raving jerk. This was done by journalists with their eyes and minds shut tight.

Jul 7, 2019 3:44 PM
Reply to  jadan

Trump won the election under the existing system. If you don’t like the system, change it. There are arguments for and against the electoral college versus the popular vote. Those were the rules candidates had to accept and fought under. If the electoral system didn’t exist, Trump’s campaign would have been conducted differently. Maybe he would have still won. Either you believe in democracy, or you don’t.

Prior to the 2016 election, some Democrats and the MSM believed that Trump might win the popular vote and lose the electoral college. Those people trumpeted the merits of the electoral college when they expected it to work to their advantage.

You obviously despise Trump and you’re not alone in that. I am not a great fan of his, to put it mildly, although Clinton would probably have been EVEN worse, the most corrupt, dishonest and mendacious candidate in all US political history.

We see the same contempt for democracy when the elites and the Deep State fail to convince the population at large to support their agenda.
Trump’s election is deemed illegitimate because his supporters are deplorable and irredeemable, all 63 million of them.
The Brexit referendum result should be ignored because those who voted for it are old, ignorant, uneducated, bigoted and racist, all 17 million of them.
And of course any election that produces the “wrong” result is invalid and illegitimate, obviously stolen by the evil Putin and his dreaded bots.

Electronic voting systems, hanging chads and the like, are problematic on many grounds. There is no better system than the ballot paper and pencil.

On another point, many people voted who were not entitled to. There may well be as many as 30 million illegal immigrants in America. Many of these people voted, and were encouraged and enabled to do so by Democrats.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 7, 2019 8:02 PM
Reply to  mark

Thank you, mark. I’m sick and tired of these elitists who–especially when we’re getting ready to overthrow some foreign government–drone on an on and on about the sanctity of democracy and majority rule; but then, the minute they lose the popular vote, instantly start whining about ‘the tyranny of the majority’ and ‘evil populism’.

Jul 8, 2019 3:43 AM
Reply to  mark

Whatever is is right. This seems to be the gist of your observations, most of which are irrelevant to the point I make. You blandly embrace the nullification of your vote, and by extension, your political self. Your posturing is brainless. If you can’t prove that all votes were counted as cast, then like the largest part of the American population, you’re a fool, not to mention no friend of democracy.

Jul 8, 2019 4:23 AM
Reply to  jadan

No, just don’t reject the result of democratic elections and referendums when you don’t like the result. Don’t riot, don’t conduct smear campaigns, don’t abuse the judicial system to harass and persecute opponents, don’t concoct ludicrous fantasies about foreign conspiracies to explain away failure. Work out what went wrong and fix it. Find some credible candidates and some policies that meet the needs of ordinary people instead of relying on vacuous platitudes and slick PR campaigns.

Change whatever you dislike about the electoral system. Bring back paper ballots if you want.

That is the gist of my observations. But don’t take any notice of me, I’m just a brainless fool.

Jul 7, 2019 8:57 AM

Can anyone tell me why American goods are so expensive? Apple products and washing machines immediately come to mind. All Americans appear to buy the same home produced washing machine for about $1200 while Apple products are produced abroad but cost about 4 times their Chinese equivalent.
My point is, their industrial decline goes far deeper than the loss of unionised labour and globalism.

Jul 7, 2019 11:23 AM
Reply to  lundiel

I can tell you why ‘American’ goods have, or are about to take a 25% price hike …Trump’s tariffs on ‘China’. Tariffs are import duties, the majority of which will be passed on the the American consumer.

Which, though it may seem counterintuitive, was admitted by Trump’s aides – Larry Kudlow and Shaun Spicer …before they both retracted, of course.

49% of the companies manufacturing ‘American’ goods in the Pearl River Delta in China are American. Many of the others – Foxconn (South Korean) being a good example – manufacture sub-assemblies for ‘American’ goods, including Apple (which has a strategic business partnership with Foxconn). Apple and Foxconn are the best example of a global alliance that has come to dominate the tech market.

With the cost of manufacturing and the conflict supply chains nailed down to negligible (on a per item basis) – the major element of the exchange value is R&D for patentable technology …and the subsequent legacy patenting and intellectual property rights to maintain a competitive advantage. In other words, its mostly in the software – particularly in high end iconic goods …where you pay for the status value as well.

Which is the problem with tech. Once created – the software is infinitely reproducible for virtually free. The manufacturing cost is negligible …welcome to knock off China – where everyone can afford an iPhone equivalent …so long as they don’t mind it not being branded an iPhone.


[The real reason for the largely phoney Trade War are the military applications of 5G, cybersecurity, and AI ‘fintech’ – not just the cover story of Apple’s loss of market to Xiaomi and OnePlus …though there is the element of truth in that].

Jul 7, 2019 1:30 PM
Reply to  BigB

I was thinking more in historical terms, this pre-dates Trump by a long time. Americans have always bought top loading washing machines, for example, at a price to the consumer of around $1200. Apparently, they last a long time, but every household has one. I wonder if their profit margins are substantially higher than elsewhere? They’ve always priced with ‘quality’ driving the price, Levi jeans for example. I wonder if Americans have priced themselves out of markets with many consumer goods and conned themselves into thinking they are the best with others. In which case it’s a built-in fault of the economy driving the loss of manufacturing and not solely down to globalism. If you ever watch holiday programmes featuring Florida, the houses all have the same furniture, cheap softwood stained dark brown, it looks awful. I see similarities between how America sees itself and how we saw ourselves before we joined the common market, they tell themselves they make the best stuff when really it’s shit and they have bad management and R&D.
I’m not endorsing globalism or the common market but there is a downside to isolationism.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jul 8, 2019 6:44 AM
Reply to  BigB

There’s an interesting movement going on at the moment called ‘the right to repair’ and its challenging the rental/licensing model of software as applied to things people purchase. This isn’t just about repairing iPhones and the like, one big bone of contention is in the agricultural sector where John Deere machines incorporate proprietary software, locked down with Digitial Rights Management techniques, that prevent anyone except ‘authorized repairmen’ with ‘authorized spare parts’ from repairing these machines. The business model these companies run is effectively that you might have bought the product but you don’t own it, relying on anti-piracy legislation to prevent enterprising individuals reverse engineering the products so they can repair or improve them.

This ties nicely into 5G, of course. Once you have universal connectivity you are then able to control everything you sell through its software. You force the customers to subscribe for ‘upgrades’ because if they don’t then their products become non-functional.

Jul 7, 2019 4:12 PM
Reply to  lundiel

No, I can’t, L. When I lived in America, I was astonished by the high prices and poor quality of basic goods, and lack of choice.
I’m talking here about no frills, nothing fancy, ordinary supermarkets like Walgreen, a lot of the customers black and Hispanic people.
Tin of corned beef – $5.50
Small loaf of not very nice bread – $3-$4.
Small packet of not very nice processed meat or cheese – $3-$4.
SINGLE orange – $1.25.
All prices PLUS sales tax.
This was across the board for most products. The quality was low and there wasn’t much choice.
A lot of Americans I knew couldn’t afford cars and used the bus. Bus services were quite good. A lot of American houses were like wooden shacks.
Maybe this is because of absence of real competition and monopoly crapitalism.
Any of the leading European supermarket chains, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, could wipe the floor with US retailers.
It’s the same story with internet connection services – high prices and low quality.
The US drug and insurance monopolies charge $750 for a pill that costs 10 cents to produce, and $5,000 for an ambulance journey.

Jul 7, 2019 8:28 AM

Reaganomics and Thatcherism – looked good on paper.

Jul 7, 2019 1:31 AM

Sometimes I get the idea that people see Trump as a sort of ‘black swan’ phenomenon…but truth is that Trump is just like the bleeding that tells about the already metastatic cancer that have been growing long-long time before.
Trump simply removed the mask that all preceding politicians used. Now everything is done in plain sight and declared out loud. He just changed the way, the external manifestation…but all we are seeing have been there forever.
In a way, he is better that the Clintos and Obama’s…cause with him you know eveeything is sh*** …with the others you thought it was a clay sculpture….but it was not…

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 6, 2019 11:30 PM

That simple phrase Make America Great Again has a remarkable resonance to a family struggling to make ends meet on half the income it enjoyed 10 years ago.

It was also a fully market-tested slogan when Trump adopted it, having already been successfully used by the Ronald Reagan campaign back in 1980.

That corporate asset-stripping, writes LeDuff, is what led to the massive election upset of 1977 that saw the drowning of a complacent political status quo beneath a tsunami of Red State rage.

Just curious: what election was held in the US in the year 1977? Or was this a misprint?

“Tennessee’s governor fought tooth and nail to keep the UAW out, threatening to pull the company’s tax subsidies, spreading rumours around town that any future work … would go to Mexico.”

This is the hard, cold truth that modern liberals can never quite bring themselves to admit: it is impossible to long maintain a decently paid, unionized labor force when your country has ‘free’ trade and/or open borders. (And as bevin noted above, the US labor unions are a joke anyway, being not much more than useless appendages of the Democratic Party which has sold them down river time and again.)

Jul 7, 2019 3:56 PM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

My error, I’m afraid. 2016 would have been better!!! Thanks for spotting – it’s also corrected at ColdType.net

Jul 6, 2019 7:51 PM

What we need over here is something along these lines….

Jul 6, 2019 7:01 PM

I liked the review but, so far as car plants are concerned, the responsibility of the Unions, particularly the UAW, in bringing about the current situation is not mentioned. It is easy to blame the media and bosses for the loss of votes in new plants but the UAW is more to blame. It is corrupt, undemocratic and eager to sell out its members to maintain its position collecting dues to sustain its bureaucracies.
One reason why workers don’t want the Union is that it knows that it will not only not do as they tell it to but that it will force bad contracts down their throats.
Say what you will about workers voting for Trump but the Union leaderships not only voted for Clinton (a proud member of the anti-union Walmart Board) but made massive contributions to her campaigns. Right now they are organising, similarly for Biden, Harris and any other enemies of the working class and clients of oligarchy that they can put up against the dreaded radicals.

Jul 6, 2019 5:29 PM

The penny has just dropped that since Off G changed format.. it has become AMERICAN!
That’s me done then…

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jul 6, 2019 6:43 PM
Reply to  Maggie

….you know that exactly the same processes are at work in the UK? The main differences between the two countries are that the UK started down this road years before the US did and the US, being much larger, took longer for the changes to be noticed.

I actually disagree with the premise of the book that it was globalization wot did it. Things like NAFTA and the flight of manufacturing to where labor is cheaper started many years ago. I prefer the ‘financialization’ theory, the idea that corporations see business as an exercise in financial manipulation that might coincidentally result in something being manufactured. This fits in nicely with the notion of what capitalism is really about and how it evolves and also explains why businesses like to offload irritating, capital intensive activities such as investment. (Put simply, I reckon that all business eventually trends towards the model set by the IRS or HMRC — the tax authorities — where the only overheads result from collection of the revenue stream.)(Its another name for ‘rentier capitalism’)

(Incidentally, note the nice mental ‘bait and switch’. Apparently unions are both the cause of workers’ problems and their absence is reason why workers are being screwed.)

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata
Jul 7, 2019 2:07 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

David Macaray had cogent things to say about the previous vote at that plant.Apparently,V.W. “coats” came from corporateHQ to pitch: “vote-for-the-union”,to the workers in Tenn.

Jul 7, 2019 11:46 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher


(Over)financialisation is globalisation: they grew and grow in tandem. The ‘offshoring’ and domination of unionised labour were intentional ideological impositions brought in by the US/UK virtually simultaneously. That ideology was gestated in think-tanks following the Mount Pelerin society meeting in 1947. It is essentially a plutocratic ideology, designed by plutocrats, for plutocrats. It is essentially a libertarian fascism or liberal anarchy to its ideological core. NAFTA was merely a later phase of the same ideology.

I’m not sure what you mean about your IRS and HMRC allusion? But the tax model follows and is set by the business model: not the other way around. As Richard Brooks – a former senior tax inspector attests. Legal representatives of the corporations meet the HMRC and tell them how much tax they are going to pay. The unspoken proviso is always, “if not, we’ll take our business elsewhere”.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jul 8, 2019 6:33 AM
Reply to  BigB

The allusion to the IRS (US) or HMRC (UK) as an ideal business model — one that’s all revenue and no product — would be a bit of hyperbole if it wasn’t for the historical practice of monarchs to grant or sell taxation powers to their underlings either as a reward for services rendered or to help boost their treasury. This practice is alive and well today — when government functions are privatized the franchisees invariably get the power to raise revenue through fees and penalties.

Jul 6, 2019 7:46 PM
Reply to  Maggie

What do you mean by that?

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 6, 2019 8:05 PM
Reply to  Maggie

Too American, eh? You mean to tell me that there’s no globalization in the UK? Lucky you!

Jul 6, 2019 4:06 PM

It does not matter what the politicians tell us , the economy is not what is painted for us.Ask anyone in North America that has worked with his or her hands on a real job and you will know what I am saying.
Trump like many others , all of them I might add ,lied and said what the working man/woman wanted to hear .That is why he was elected .Spending outrageous amounts of money on the military while the infrastructure is literally falling apart .Health ,education,roads , buildings etc. all needing serious repair if not complete overhaul while all the elected /selected politicians can do is blame someone else .Russia especially because it is doing so well in spite of the sanctions . Just maybe they should look at what they are doing right instead .They might learn something.

Henry Wilson
Henry Wilson
Jul 6, 2019 3:27 PM

And Obama came out of social work in Detroit what a betrayal

Jul 6, 2019 4:14 PM
Reply to  Henry Wilson

Chicago I believe, not Detroit. Your point stands, however.