I didn’t see The Newsroom last night but the rant of the anchor is worth a read. A Business Insider article (cited below) also lists 25 other facts, some of which won’t surprise but taken as a whole, the effect is quite disturbing. It will be interesting to see if there’s any effect on the mainlanders and how they see the reality around them.
A few of the more “telling” facts:
“There are 21 countries better than America in freedom from corruption, according to Heritage.org.”
“The U.S. was ranked 24th in perceived honesty, according to Transparency.org.”
“The U.S. ranks 47th in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. So much for freedom of the press.”
“The U.S. ranks 20th in international trade, according to the Doing Business rankings compiled by The World Bank.”
“How well is our economy growing? The U.S. GDP growth rate is ranked 169th out of 216 countries, according to the CIA World Factbook.”
“The U.S. is ranked 192nd, dead last, in the net trade of goods and services, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Here’s The Brutal Monologue On Why America Stinks From Aaron Sorkin’s New Show
25 More Signs That America Is Not The Greatest Country On Earth
Also worth noting that there’s something like 40 countries with a higher proportion of foreign-born population than the US. This includes a bunch of Gulf states with high proportions of guest workers having no entitlement to permanent settlement, but it also includes migration destinations both rich and poor which have lots of foreigners settling down, like Belize, Canada, Switzerland, Antigua, and Singapore.
Here’s the “America’s not the greatest country” clip from “The Newsroom”:
It is truly a race to the bottom and the Swiss are catching up:
Nervous Investors Fill Swiss Safes With Cash, Gold
@NYT: Who exactly is Switzerland in “Switzerland says safe deposit boxes cannot be used….”?
After my attempt to live there a few years back, I can only concur with all of this. However, Americans will never accept these realities, as they’ve been indoctrinated by state-sponsored schools for far too long. And most of them don’t travel outside their borders.
full clip from Newsroom…
Yet #1 in self-esteem:
Contract to allow simplified FBI access to Swiss Police Database ready for Completion
It isn’t just about FATCA! The US government is snarfing up everybody in the world’s private data. OWG is coming and it will be like 1984. Here is an excerpt from the article:
In the 1980s, a commodities trader named Marc Rich left the US to build his trading business in Switzerland. Although he renounced his US citizenship and had violated no Swiss laws, an American prosecutor, Rudi Giuliani, who was building a political name for himself, pursued Marc Rich relentlessly, even planning to have him kidnapped off the street in Switzerland. Marc Rich succeeded in building what has become the largest commodities trading companies in the world, Glencore, and inadvertently helped establish one of the pillars of the Swiss economy, commodities trading. Although officially pardoned by President Clinton for the indictments in the US, Marc Rich has chosen not to return to the homeland out of fear that American authorities will prosecute for other alleged activities.
In 2007 the Swiss Weltwoche published two articles based on interviews with Marc Rich describing his ordeals. The links are attached (in German):
The author of the Weltwoche articles, Daniel Ammann, also wrote a book on Marc Rich called “King of Oil”, available in English and German, for those who might have an interest. Here’s a discussion of the book, also in German:
– The book apparently concludes the following, based on this article, which might be worth noting:
“… the USA had and has few concerns to enforce its laws and legal opinions abroad. It is also clear that there is no reason to be fearful of the arrogant American authorities.”
Well, I for one won’t be lionizing Marc Rich, who is a darling of Clinton, who pardoned him; MSNBC says this, which gets at the heart of the matter:
So perhaps his expatriation is on the same level as someone like Bobby Fischer–interesting for our purposes because the United States asserts jurisdiction over him because he is an American citizen; yet hardly the example of a person that is a model for the persecuted Brocker–we are not rich people who make money off circumventing US law, but through hard work that is heavily and sufficiently taxed in the countries that we live in.
Hi all – sorry I’ve been a stranger lately but life is crazy busy right now.
I believe that Aaron Sorkin’s writers might find our situation both timely and relevant. The Newsroom’s timeline begins in 2010, soon after the birth of FATCA, so it wouldn’t be a stretch at all to incorporate America’s jihad on its own expats into the story. The trick would be to get them to look beyond simple left/right, Democrat/Republican perspectives (as most of us here at Isaac Brock have quickly learned to do) and to deal with the larger dynamics at play. I really hope this show has some legs – it could get very interesting.
Apparently there are several countries who rank lower on the failed state map:
Canada ranks better for example: as a most stable country.
From Zero Hedge, Chile Is Latest Country To Launch Renminbi Swaps And Settlement:
I thought I would add to this discussion something I recently listened to that comes from a more Global perspective.
It is fairly short, but there are some interesting comments about Canada here which might interest many of you…
In A Leaderless World, Who Wins?
Ian Bremmer calls his big idea “G-Zero.” Here’s how he described it in an essay last year:
On this show, Planet Money takes a world tour with Bremmer to find out who thrives and who struggles in a G-Zero world.
Bottom line… Canada thrives!
Have a listen. It is only 15 minutes.
I just listened to the Planet Money podcast. The prognostication firm ‘Eurasia Group’ really intrigued me, so I checked out their “Top Risks for 2012”
I see they have a sense of humour:
Just isn’t happening. And if it does, well, sorry.”
LOL! Between them and the CDC, we’ve got that and zombie apocalypse covered. What is the world coming to?
I haven’t scoured their website, but I can find no mention of FATCA. Either they didn’t know about it when they we making their predictions or don’t find the ‘neutron bomb of the global financial system’ to be that much of a negative factor in 2012. I’ll keep looking, maybe even drop them an email asking about it.
That is a good idea. Think I will drop them a line this morning too..
BTW, I really recommend Planet Money as a regular podcast. They do two a week, and although they have failed to do anything on FATCA, if the subject ever gets coverage on NPR, it will start there. You might email them also, and ask them to investigate into the systemic risk issues. I hate to be the only one asking, as I become the ether nut that can be ignored for more pressing issues. Getting attention from journalist usually takes multiple attacks for more than one source, as there are a lot of economic stories to cover, and FATCA probably is not on their radar…
Excellent that NPR has finally covered this. If they thought you were a nut, they probably don’t anymore! I just fired off a letter to Ms Lloyd at Eurasia Group re FATCA. I’ll let you know if I hear back from her 🙂