United States

"The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and moneyed incorporations and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling...I hope we shall...crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country. I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies." Thomas Jefferson
in the United States deepening polarization has, among other things, weakened democratic debate and increased the confidence of far right movements." World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2018
The writing on the wall is that agreements made with the United States are not worth the paper on which they are written, because the current American president can — anytime, without due cause — call them into question without offering a realistic alternative. DW Editorial

Top 10 Signs the U.S. Is the Most Corrupt Nation in the World (2/22/2018)

Trump turning US into 'world champion of extreme inequality', UN envoy warns (12/15/2017))

Susan Rice: When America No Longer Is a Global Force for Good (12/20/2017)

Thom Hartmann: The America I Knew Has Almost Disappeared (10/15/2017)

America Held Hostage (9/28/2017)

The Myth of American Exceptionalism (7/27/2017)

U.S. Upheaval Begins (1/20/2017)

"Western European nations granted themselves important accommodations such as affordable universal healthcare, tuition-free higher education, bountiful private pensions, powerful job protection laws, four weeks or more paid vacations, accommodating public transit, paid family sick leave, paid maternity leave, and free child care. People in the United States today, with the exception of some of those protected by labor unions, have permitted the wealthy class to deny them these benefits, allowing their taxes, for example, to be spent on what is, by far, the world's biggest military budget and an ultra-invasive national surveillance system that allows the government to violate their privacy. People in Europe insist that their taxes be spent to enrich the health, education and well-being of the entire population, not just those with extreme wealth. so there is less grumbling." Ralph Nader: Breaking Through Power p15
No matter how severe the U.S.’ decline becomes, neocons and the Tea Party continue to espouse their belief in “American exceptionalism.” But in many respects, the U.S. of 2015 is far from exceptional. The U.S. is not exceptional when it comes to civil liberties (no country in the world incarcerates, per capita, more of its people than the U.S.) or healthcare (WHO ranks the U.S. #37 in terms of healthcare). Nor is the U.S. a leader in terms of life expectancy: according to the WHO, overall life expectancy in the U.S. in 2013 was 79 compared to 83 in Switzerland and Japan, 82 in Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and Canada and 81 in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Austria and Finland." Alternet 3/25/2015)
Europeans understand, as it seems Americans do not, the intimate connection between a country’s domestic and foreign policies. They often trace America’s reckless conduct abroad to its refusal to put its own house in order. They’ve watched the United States unravel its flimsy safety net, fail to replace its decaying infrastructure, disempower most of its organized labor, diminish its schools, bring its national legislature to a standstill, and create the greatest degree of economic and social inequality in almost a century. They understand why Americans, who have ever less personal security and next to no social welfare system, are becoming more anxious and fearful. They understand as well why so many Americans have lost trust in a government that has done so little new for them over the past three decades or more, except for Obama’s endlessly embattled health care effort, which seems to most Europeans a pathetically modest proposal. Ann Jones

I have some bad news for you: You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by a wide margin. Lance Freeman

“ in the eyes of much of the world, in fact, the prime rogue state today is the United States. ” Robert Jarvis

"TeleSur" - An international poll found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as “the biggest threat to world peace today,” far ahead of second-place Pakistan, with no one else even close. (1/17/2015) or (10/21/2014)

A rich country with millions of poor people. A country that prides itself on being the land of opportunity, but in which a child’s prospects are more dependent on the income and education of his or her parents than in other advanced countries. A country that believes in fair play, but in which the richest often pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than those less well off. A country in which children every day pledge allegiance to the flag, asserting that there is “justice for all,” but in which, increasingly, there is only justice for those who can afford it. These are the contradictions that the United States is gradually and painfully struggling to come to terms with as it begins to comprehend the enormity of the inequalities that mark its society—inequities that are greater than in any other advanced country. Joseph Stiglitz

A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg


PRONUNCIATION: (kak-i-STOK-ruh-see, kah-ki-)

MEANING: noun: Government by the least qualified or worst persons.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek kakistos (worst), superlative of kakos (bad) + -cracy (rule). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate), which also gave us poppycock, cacophony, cacology, and cacography. Earliest documented use: 1829.

USAGE: “We must weigh our votes carefully. Else we are in danger of turning America’s time-tested democracy into a kakistocracy.” Dan Warner; The Best Man for the Job Is Not as Easy as it Sounds; The News Press (Fort Myers, Florida); Jan 17, 2016. © 1994-2016 Wordsmith.org

"...Systemic risk in the financial system can be remedied by the taxpayer, but no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed. That it must be destroyed is close to an institutional imperative. Business leaders who are conducting propaganda campaigns to convince the population that anthropogenic global warming is a liberal hoax understand full well how grave is the threat, but they must maximize short-term profit and market share. If they don't, someone else will. This vicious cycle could well turn out to be lethal. To see how grave the danger is, simply have a look at the new Congress in the U.S., propelled into power by business funding and propaganda. Almost all are climate deniers. They have already begun to cut funding for measures that might mitigate environmental catastrophe. Worse, some are true believers; for example, the new head of a subcommittee on the environment who explained that global warming cannot be a problem because God promised Noah that there will not be another flood." Noam Chomsky

And today, JFK's great concerns seem more relevant than ever: the dangers of nuclear proliferation, the notion that empire is inconsistent with a republic and that corporate domination of our democracy at home is the partner of imperial policies abroad. He understood the perils to our Constitution from a national-security state and mistrusted zealots and ideologues. He thought other nations ought to fight their own civil wars and choose their own governments and not ask the U.S. to do it for them. Yet the world he imagined and fought for has receded so far below the horizon that it's no longer even part of the permissible narrative inside the Beltway or in the mainstream press. Critics who endeavor to debate the survival of American democracy within the national-security state risk marginalization as crackpots and kooks. His greatest, most heroic aspirations for a peaceful, demilitarized foreign policy are the forbidden­ debates of the modern political era. RFK Jr in the December 5th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.

"What does seem clearer today is that the rise of the national security state and the triumphalism of the corporate sector (along with the much publicized growth of great wealth and striking inequality in the country) has been accompanied by a decided diminution in the power of the government to function domestically and of the imperial state to impose its will anywhere on Earth. " Tom Engelhardt

"The Betrayal of the American Dream" is the story of how a small number of people in power have deliberately put in place policies that have enriched themselves while cutting the ground out from underneath America’s greatest asset — its middle class. (Barlett and Steele)

Facing the challenges of a world on edge - from Japan to the Greater Middle East, from a shaky global economic system to weather that has become anything but entertainment - the United States looks increasingly incapable of coping. It no longer invests in its young, plans effectively for the future, or sets off on new paths. It literally can't do. And this is not just a domestic crisis, but part of imperial decline. The United State of Fear: Tom Englehardt p 185

Any vision for America going forward must be articulated as part of a global vision. As this global recession has so forcefully reminded us, we all intertwined. The world today faces at least six key economic challenges, some of which are interrelated. Their persistence and depth is testimony to the difficulties that our economic and political system has in addressing problems at the global scale. We simply don't have effective institutions to help identify the problems and formulate a vision of how they might be resolved, let alone to take appropriate concrete actions. (Joseph E. Stiglitz from his book, Freefall, pg 188)

Fifty years ago, Harry Truman replaced the old republic with a national-security state whose sole purpose Is to wage perpetual wars, hot, cold, and tepid. Exact date of replacement? February 27, 1947. Place: White House Cabinet Room. Cast: Truman, Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, a handful of congressional leaders. Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg told Truman that he could have his militarized economy only if he first "scared the hell out of the American people” that the Russians were coming. Truman obliged. The perpetual war began. Representative government of, by, and for the people Is now a faded memory. Only corporate America enjoys representation by the Congresses and presidents that it pays for In an arrangement where no one Is entirely accountable because those who have bought the government also own the media. Now, with the revolt of the Praetorian Guard at the Pentagon, we are entering a new and dangerous phase, Although we regularly stigmatize other societies as rogue states, we ourselves have become the largest rogue state of all. We honor no treaties. We spurn International courts, We strike unilaterally wherever we choose. We give orders, to the United Nations but do not pay our dues. We complain of terrorism, yet our empire is now the greatest terrorist of all. We bomb, invade, subvert other states. Although We the People of the United States are the sole source of legitimate authority in this land, we are no longer represented In Congress Assembled. Our Congress has been hijacked by corporate America and its enforcer, the imperial military machine. We the unrepresented People of the United States are as much victims of this militarized government as the Panamanians, Iraqis, or Somalians. We have allowed our institutions to be taken over In the name of a globalized American empire that is totally alien In concept to an our founders had in mind. I suspect that it is far too !late in the day for us to restore the republic that we lost a half-century ago. from Gore Vidal's book Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.
What stands out is nearly every index [of social well-being] the United States is rated at the bottom among developed countries." Steven Hill: Europe's Promise
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." Mark Twain
To our great shame, America now has • the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children; • the greatest inequality of incomes; • the lowest social mobility; • the lowest score on the UN’s index of “material well-being of children”; • the worst score on the UN’s Gender Inequality Index; • the highest expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP, yet all this money accompanied by the highest infant mortality rate, the highest prevalence of mental health problems, the highest obesity rate, the highest percentage of people going without health care due to cost, the highest consumption of antidepressants per capita, and the shortest life expectancy at birth; • the next-to-lowest score for student performance in math and middling performance in science and reading; • the highest homicide rate; • the largest prison population in absolute terms and per capita; • the highest carbon dioxide emissions and the highest water consumption per capita; • the lowest score on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index (except for Belgium) and the largest ecological footprint per capita (except for Denmark); • the lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of national income (except for Japan and Italy); • the highest military spending both in total and as a percentage of GDP; and • the largest international arms sales. Our politicians are constantly invoking America’s superiority and exceptionalism. True, the data is piling up to confirm that we’re Number One, but in exactly the way we don’t want to be—at the bottom. From Orion Magazine.

Why Corruption Matters (11/28/2016)

The Death of the American Dream (5/8/2016)

Beached America (2/18/2016)

Deconstructing America's 'Deep State' (2/12/2016)

2015: The Year of Lying Dangerously (12/23/2015)

Confidence in U.S. Institutions Still Below Historical Norms (2015 Gallup Poll)

Things That Can and Cannot Be Said: A Conversation Between John Cusack and Arundhati Roy (11/16/2015)

The New American Order: 1% Elections, The Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government, and the Demobilization of "We the People" (3/15/2015)

“The Iranian Threat” Who Is the Gravest Danger to World Peace? (8/20/2015)

Just How ‘Socially Advanced’ Is the U.S.? You Might Be Surprised (4/10/2015)

7 of the Biggest Reasons America Is Screwed, Why the wealthy and the right always prevail (3/25/2015)

The US is Number one -- But in What ? (10/13/2014)

The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra And 9/11: (Oct 5, 2014)

America's Real Foreign Policy (7/1/2014)

Study concludes US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy (4/14/2014)

Human Rights Watch: the US (2013)

Thug State U.S.A. (2/20/2014)

the World Is Terrified of America -- We're the Biggest Threat (2/5/2014)

Womp! This Country Was Named The Greatest Threat To World Peace (1/23/2014)

Washington Has Discredited America (12/19/2013)

Top 10 Ways the US Is the Most Corrupt Country in the World (12/03/2013)

Aldous Huxley: The Prophet Of Our Brave New Digital Dystopia (11/23/2013)

The Happiest Country on Earth (10/24/2013)


The American Exceptionalism Sweepstakes (9/26/2013)

Taking Exception to Exceptionalism (9/18/2013)

Current Political System Incapable of Meeting Social, Economic, Environmental Challenges (Gar Alperovitz 8/2/2013)

How to Be a Rogue Superpower: A Manual for the Twenty-First Century (7/18/2013)

Let's Be Brazil (6/24/2013)

Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America (6/13/2013)

American Exceptionalism: Alibi of a Nation (Mike Lofgren 6/11/2013)

How to Destroy the Future (6/4/2013)

Infrastructure Report Card: D+ (3/2013)

How much of the U.S. will be habitable in 50 Years ? (12/11/2012)

State of the Union: James Howard Kunstler (2/11/2013)

Why It's Legal When the US Does it: Noam Chomsky (2/3/2013)


8 Striking Parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire (12/26/2012)

A Hostile Takeover of our Country (10/26/2012)

Broken Shards of my heart: The US in Decline (6/9/2012)

Last Words to an america in decline (5/6/2012)

Public Vastly Overestimates U.S. Foreign Aid

The US Has Gone Mad

America 2.0: From Private Greed To Public Service

America's Exploding Pipe Dream (10/29/2011)

America's Lost Decade (9/17/2011)

America's Tragic Decline ...(8/8/2011)

American Exceptionalism's Hypocrisy (6/5/2011)

Senator Al Franken At Netroots (6/18/2011) video about 20 minutes.

9 Countries That Do It Better: Why Does Europe Take Better Care Of Its People Than America ?(6/15/2011)

As the Country Falls Apart, It's Time for Our Revolution (11/10/2010)

US Is Becoming an "Underdeveloping Nation" (9/22/2010)

...we have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of the population.... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.... We should cease to talk about vague and -- for the Far East -- unreal objectives, such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. George Kennan in his 1948 Biography (pages 104-105)

America: Hooked on War and Getting Poorer (7/15/2010) See  the page on empire.Campaign For America's Future

Oliver Stone: The US Has Launched Military Interventions and Political Coups Fifty-Five Times in Latin America (6/26/2010)

The American Century is so Over (5/27/2010)

The Grim Truth (4/8/2010)

The Economic Elite vs The People of the United States.

"There is a feeling today among too many Americans that we might not make it. Not that the end is near, or that doom is around the corner, but that a distinctly American feeling of inevitability, of greatness—culturally, economically, politically—is gone. That we have become Britain. Or Rome. Or Greece. A generation ago Ronald Reagan rallied the nation to deny a similar charge: Jimmy Carter’s worry that our nation had fallen into a state of “malaise.” I was one of those so rallied, and I still believe that Reagan was right. But the feeling I am talking about today is different: not that we, as a people , have lost anything of our potential, but that we, as a republic , have. That our capacity for governing—the product, in part, of a Constitution we have revered for more than two centuries—has come to an end. That the thing that we were once most proud of—this, our republic—is the one thing that we have all learned to ignore. Government is an embarrassment. It has lost the capacity to make the most essential decisions. And slowly it begins to dawn upon us: a ship that can’t be steered is a ship that will sink." Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It: Lawrence Lessig (links). Free pdf download.

"...what seperates successful states from failed ones is whether their governing institutions are inclusive or extractive. Extractive states,...are controlled by ruling elites whose objective is to extract as much wealth as they can from the rest of society and to maintain their own hold on power." (Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson)

* Studies show that Congress does not do what people, when polled, would prefer. Instead it usually accedes to the wishes of the wealthy funders, who mostly do not agree with the wishes of the general population. This is written into law in the form of a budget, which reflects priorities, but not the ones most people would support. Congress is no longer acountable to the people, instead it does the wishes of the funders.

The US is a wholly owned subsidiary of trans-national corporations and it has become an oligarchy.

In recent discussion of the US budget, partisans, meeting in secret without any public oversight do not agree on much of anything. The result was across the board cuts  in Federal spending, a further weakening of the economy, and largely accelerated our race to the bottom. For decades Republicans have done their best to cut social programs (entitlements), while putting even more resources into 'defense', and serving their corporate masters with tax cuts for the wealthy.

The partisan Supreme Court's Citizens United decision solidified this fact: Every Congressman who favors an agenda for people will be facing deep-pocketed 'conservative' opposition. In addition, where Republicans control State legislatures, they have been gerrymandering, systematically making it more difficult to vote: requiring photo id's, restricting early voting, making it more difficult for students to vote, plus their more standard techniques of hacking voting machines, engaging in dirty tricks, or voter caging. Oligarchs provide R's funding. They have been sucessful, the Republican wrecking crew will take over again.

The healthiest industry in the US is for weaponry as a result of the runaway 'defense' budget and the immense profits from war. Since every Congressional district has jobs dependent on war profiteering, there is always an incentive to increase 'defense' spending. There is no particularly credible threat to account for all this weaponry. it generates considerable ill-will around the world, but it is (pay attention Republicans) an immense, extremely unproductive, GOVERNMENT JOBS PROGRAM. The NRA is a front group for a powerful arms industry. What we get for all this spending on weaponry is an out-of-control military-industrial complex, an intrusive government that is strangling civil liberties, and endless war on a world-wide battlefield.

As a result of Republicans dislike of government, all things public are deteriorating and private entities perform former government tasks...but with no accountability, and often in secrecy. (privatized activity is often cloaked in non-disclosure agreements.)

Many of our cities are rotting, our infrastructure is in bad shape, our social safety net is shredded, our rails in sad disrepair, many market choices for automobiles...but no public option.

Government is dysfunctional because many of our elected representatives don't like it and gleefully sabotage it. However, it is the only institution that is capable of addressing the challenges we are facing. Republican brinksmanship is a major cause of the dysfunction.

* Leading economists tell us that austerity is a bad idea now, and that it will further weaken the economy. Republicans, partisan ideologues, know that a bad economy could win them elections, so they have cut at all levels of government and done nothing about massive unemployment. The important result for them is that the other side fails, not that the country thrives.

For their lobbying expenses, corporations benefit from very little tax burden (which they are attempting to completely shed), a military that protects their interests at public expense, a safety net that assures, if they are large, they cannot fail (taxpayers will pick up the tab). The massive military expenses preclude civilization at home. Evidence of this is everywhere: crumbling infrastructure, college debt, blighted cities, unemployment, but those are mostly covered up by corporate media.

Corporations fund the Tea Party to buy political gridlock. The message is designed to promote the corporate agenda: lower taxes, privatization, deregulation, shrinken benefits, labor suppression, and paralysed government. The message is carefully crafted so that people do not realize they are losing their prospects, their wealth, and their freedom. The predator must first fool, then paralyse its prey...but the poisonous propaganda is paid for by the very deep-pocketed.

* The middle class has been sinking since Reagan took office. Workers bargaining rights have been systematically eroded and the minimum wage has lost much of its value. Republicans are intent on destroying any kind of social safety net including Social Security (not much of a problem really), healthcare, sick-time, vacations. pensions, as the great extraction proceeds.

The postal service in the late 1700s, was the only media, and because its important role was recognized, it was written into the Constitution and subsidized for news and opinion. Toay it is on death watch.

US corporate media ; has a strong influence on culture, politicals, citizenship, and education. What it does is sell product but its entertainment always has a message that includes hidden advertising, sanitized history, celebrity gossip that disguises corporate advertising, Right-wing demagogues on talk radio promote a regressive agenda that can only lead to an imperial state defending an empire that robs the people and can destroy the planet.

The Republican party is the party of the 1%.

* Probably the best indicator that someone is a Republican is wether they are regular church attendees. To have beliefs based on faith, lessons of history, informed opinion, or evidence become irrelevent. This is how the Republican agenda can be conveyed by misinformation. Don't be surprised that religion is not just an unholy GOP ally, but is, itself, a large industry and it is a leading perveyor of misinformation. "Religion uses empire, and empire uses religion." (Selina O'Grady)

* Science tells us that global warming is man-made, that the population has exceeded the planets' carrying capacity, and that further additions to carbon emmissions can doom the planet. Republicans, ever ready to claim science a scam, are oblivious.

What's the Matter With Republicans ? They oppose measures to provide a social safety net and in many ways foster divisiveness using religious bigotry, dirty election tactics, racism, homophobia, and the big red scare (often an excuse to suppress labor organizing). While demonstrating xenophobia they also oppose measures to protect civil liberties with the possible exception of the Second Amendment.

* Like other empires, the US no longer responds to its people. To  pay for  the empire, there can be no social programs like healthcare or social security. Union busting, offshoring jobs, and now robotics assures declining wages, but has the side-effect of weak demand...the real reason why the US economy will not recover.

The Republican Party, along with corporate media have sponsored the world's largest military to guard corporate interests, most notably the interests of oil companies, but many others as well. After losing the 'big red scare' which was justification for the world's largest military, Republicans had to find another reason to maintain the military-industrial complex, so they engineered a culture war with the Muslim world. They don't much care who is armed, after all arms are profitable. We now have an arrms race of Americans against their militarized police.

R's are completely oblivious of global challenges. They spurn international law, and attempts to reach international consensus...unless, of course, it is to the advantage of Corporate multinationals. They are tireless in their efforts to undermine the UN. Bear in mind that global problems need to be addressed by global institutions.

Republicans are willfully ignorant about climate change because it might reduce their funders right to pollute. They have a lot in common with Jim Jones.

Republican so called 'conservative' values are about money, not the environment and certainly not people. Their agenda is more about accumulating money than working for the public good. Their economic agenda is counterproductive. Their attitude toward government makes failure a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Republicans are driving a very bad bargain: "we are in the process of destroying a great many things which are real— soil, water, energy, resources, other species, our health — for the sake of something that exists chiefly in our imagination: money." from DeclineOfTheEmpire.com

Recent studies show that Congress responds to the preferences of the wealthy, not the people. The Federal budget is about the reverse of what people, when polled, would want. We have reached new extremes of income inequality and, according to scholar Thomas Piketty, it tends to get worse. The U.S. is now an oligopoly, not a democracy.

None of this is accidental, it is the result of policy. Lawrence Lessig's book, Republic, Lost (free pdf) documents that we have a government that is responsive to the funders, not the people. The Supreme Court has been treasonous in facilitating this fascist coup.

The Court has sided with corporate interests consistently for a long time: It decided that corporations are people, that money is speech, and that the only motive for corporations is profit. A person whose only motive is profit is a sociopath, and so it is with corporations that have set us on a (geologically) fast path to destruction.

Elections clearly are for sale now, media is Corporate, Congress is dysfunctional, the Supreme Court is partisan, the military-industrial complex is powerful, and covert agencies are out of control, the empire is unsustainable, there is no reason to think that the system will self-correct barring massive and unlikely structural change.

No one is exceptional, not even countries.

The Citizens United and McKutcheon rulings will complete our transition to an oligarchy.
Universal surveillance will make Orwell's vision look tame. The environment will collapse.

The Critical Unraveling of U.S. Society

Five Myths About America

American Public Vastly Overestimates Amount of U.S. Foreign Aid (11/29/2010)


Republicans, like the Bush family, were supporters and financiers of Nazi Germany. They nearly accomplished a coup during the Roosevelt administration and they continue to promote policies that lead to fascism: defined as rule by corporations.

History of the National Security State

Shunning Howard Zinn's History


US media, particularly broadcasters, see no obligation to serve the public. Since concentrated media controls almost all information, the US is mostly run by corporations. They have demonstrated the ability to create storms of misinformation that trigger protest mobs. Because most of the economy is corporate, they also can buy the Congress. That is, by definition, Fascism.

About Republican Misinformation.

The Republican Scam all but makes the US ungovernable. Congress is money driven, so decisions are often not the right ones.

Religion is an important tool for Republicans to keep real issues out of the public mind.

Media is key to keeping people ignorant. It is largely responsible for our failed democracy, dysfunctional government, schools. If people are reminded of any history, they would know we are on a rapid path to the bottom and environmental destruction.


The Culture War



War on Drugs


Military/Industrial Complex

The US was the last advanced country standing after WW II. As a result, for a while, it became the leading supplier of product to the world and its currency became the most important. It was predictable that this status would not last in the long run. But its misguided concept of itself as exceptional or a superpower is no longer defensible, it has continued to fund the military at levels that exceed the rest of the world's combined. There is no credible risk to justify that magnitude of expense. Democracy will not be spread with guns and bombs, and it no longer exists in the U.S.

In short, the US has become an empire, it's President a strong-man head of State increasingly unaccountable, the Congress a quaint, (and corrupt) irrelevant appendage of dysfunctional government, and a foreign policy that mostly works at the point of a gun, its industry has migrated to low wage countries, its economy has visibly weakened, the currency is facing competition and corporate war profiteers are running the show, it is controlled by a corporate elite so by definition is fascist.

Its government is corrupt. It has all but bankrupted itself. It no longer serves its people. (See the agenda) It is dysfunctional. Although it will maintain itself by force if necessary, its legitimacy is now questionable.

The Forecast is very bleak.

Reform may be possible, but is highly unlikely.

Follow the links to get an idea. Use feedback to comment or fill in the gaps.


Compare Your Country

The American Dystopia Index

A Government of Wolves

Violence, USA

Pox Americana

The Lost Decade of the Middle Class


What Went Wrong

Five Myths About America

America 2.0

Pox Americana

Seeing America

Americans Who Tell The Truth


Requiem For the American Dream (important: available on Netflix.)

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia


Exceptional America, What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other: Mugambi Jouet

Beyond the Age of Innocence, Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World: Kishore Mahbubani

Losing our way : an intimate portrait of a troubled America: Bob Herbert.

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It: Lawrence Lessig (links)

Manufacturing Hysteria: A History of Scapegoating, Surveillance, and Secrecy in Modern America: Jay Feldman

Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism: Sheldon S. Wolin

Presidential Puppetry: Andrew Kreig

Thermonuclear Monarchy, Choosing Between Democracy and Doom Elaine Scarry

Failed States, Noam Chomsky

America Right or Wrong,An Anatomy of American Nationalism: by Anatol Lieven

The Age of Great Expectations and the Great Void, History After “the End of History”: Andrew Bacevich

Who Stole the American Dream: Hedrick Smith

Hostile Takeover, How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government - and How We Take It Back: David Sirota

Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It: Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman

National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear: David Rothkopf

Failed States: Noam Chomsky

Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America: Charles H. Ferguson

Overseas Interventions of the United States (Wikipedia)

Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United: Zeyphyr Teachout.

Thieves of State, Why Corruption Threatens Global Security: Sarah Chayes

While America Sleeps: Russ Feingold

Why Nations Fail: Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

This Town: Mark Liebovitch

The Betrayal of the American Dream: Donald L Barlett and James B. Steele

America, What Went Wrong: Donald Barlett and james B Steele

Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent: Edward Luce

Pity the Billionaire: Thomas Frank

Dream of a Nation: Tyson Miller

America Besieged: Michael Parenti

Ill Fares the Land: Tony Judt

Dark Ages America, the Final Phase of Empire: Morris Berman

Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War: Joe Bageant (an excerpt)

Who Rules the World ? Noam Chomsky

Zero-Sum World: Gideon Rachman

Every Nation for Itself: Ian Bremmer

No One's World: Charles Kupchan

The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power: George Soros

100 Ways America is Screwing Up the World: John Tirman.

A People's History of American Empire: Howard Zinn

A Man Without A Country: Kurt Vonnegut

Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government: Robert Higgs (free on-line)

That Used To Be Us, How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Get It Back: Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum

See Books for additional Bibliography