“I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote from one of my heroes, President Lincoln. I think it’s an important message for all of us today, and I’m sure you want to hear me read Lincoln speeches in my Austrian accent. Remember, today, the campaign is behind us. We aren’t enemies. We are neighbors. We are friends. We are all Americans, and we have a lot of work to do” (Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2016)
Well, ladies and gentleman the super-power called the United States of America, is a dying dinosaur that Michael Moore or even Jay-Z doesn’t have the power to change. Today was a shock for many, even for me as the American Electorate decided to elect a Demagogue of ill-rhetoric towards certain ethnic groups like the Latin-American, Women and so-on. Donald Trump in his power and commander-in-chief will remarkably create havoc.
All of this is well known, but what the United States’ citizens didn’t think about when they voted against the establishment on protest against the D.C. power-structure they voted for a man with certain traits that can put certain pieces of the Government into shambles. So before I start; for those of you who don’t know, here is the definition of a banana republic!
“It was coined in a 1904 book of fiction by O. Henry, an American writer. Henry (whose real name was William Sydney Porter) was on the run from Texan authorities, who had charged him with embezzlement” (…) “His phrase neatly conjures up the image of a tropical, agrarian country. But its real meaning is sharper: it refers to the fruit companies from the United States that came to exert extraordinary influence over the politics of Honduras and its neighbours. By the end of the 19th century, Americans had grown sick of trying to grow fruit in their own chilly country. It was sweeter and cheaper by far to import it instead from the warmer climes of Central America, where bananas and other fruit grow quickly. Giants such as the United Fruit Company—an ancestor of Chiquita—moved in and built roads, ports and railways in return for land. In 1911 the Cuyamel Fruit Company, another American firm (which was later bought by United), supplied the weapons for a coup against the government of Honduras, and prospered under the newly installed president. In 1954 America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) backed a coup against the government of Guatemala, which had threatened the interests of United. (Historians still debate whether the CIA’s motive was to protect United or, as many now believe, to nip Communism in the bud.) Hence the real meaning of a “banana republic”: a country in which foreign enterprises push the government around” (The Economist, 2013).
Why do I believe this, it’s because of all his sort-of promises over the months. There is all kind of activities that proves the clear indications of a Banana Republic on the rise. The Americans might think otherwise, that is because there are blind on how the state really is.
“The United States recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 104.17 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2015. Government Debt to GDP in the United States averaged 61.94 percent from 1940 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 121.70 percent in 1946 and a record low of 31.70 percent in 1974. Government Debt to GDP in the United States is reported by the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt” (Trading Economics).
So the average debt level or ratio is staggering already. This is not tackled because the creditors accept the debt levels are raising, just as seen with the numbers from Trading Economics are showing during 30 years the percentage has gone up over 70 %, which should be frightening to any economy. When you have that level of debt, you should be able to have a heavy tax-base to collect and pay the debt.
Taxing under Trump:
“US taxes are low relative to those in other developed countries. In 2012, US taxes at all levels of government represented 24 percent of GDP, compared with an average of 34 percent of GDP for the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)” (…) “The United States collects relatively less revenue dedicated to retirement, disability, and other social security programs—22 percent of total tax revenue—than the 26 percent OECD average” (…) “Property taxes provided more than twice as large a share of US tax revenue—12 percent in 2012—than the OECD average of 5 percent. Almost all revenue from taxes on property in the United States is collected by state and local governments” (…) “The United States relies less on taxes on goods and services (including both general consumption taxes and taxes on specific goods and services) than any other OECD country, collecting 18 percent of tax revenue this way compared with 33 percent for the OECD. The value-added tax (VAT)—a type of general consumption tax collected in stages—is the main source of consumption tax revenue, employed worldwide in 160 countries including all 34 OECD member countries except the United States. Most consumption tax revenue in the United States is collected by state and local governments” (Hoo & Toder, 2006).
So when the Federal and Republic itself has such a giant debt ratio, the taxes should be high and should be to the levels of actually having the ability to pay it back. As they do not even have VAT on goods that is very normal world-wide, but apparently isn’t a thing in the United States. This proves the mismanagement of potential tax-base that the Government need to succeed to pay their debt. This is before the Election yesterday.
This is the taxes planned under Trump: “According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, the plan would reduce federal revenue by between $4.4 trillion and $5.9 trillion on a static basis. The amount depends on the nature of a key business policy provision” (…) “After accounting for the larger economy and the broader tax base, the plan would reduce revenues by between $2.6 trillion and $3.9 trillion after accounting for the larger economy, depending on the nature of a key policy provision” (…) “On a static basis, the Trump tax plan would increase the after-tax incomes of taxpayers in every income group. The bottom 80 percent of taxpayers (those in the bottom four quintiles) would see an increase in after-tax income between 0.8 percent and 1.9 percent, under both policy assumptions. Taxpayers in the top quintile would see a 4.4 percent increase in after-tax income under the higher-rate assumption, or 8.7 percent under the lower-rate assumption. Those in the top decile would see a 5.4 percent increase in after-tax income under the higher-rate assumption, or 9.3 percent under the lower-rate assumption. Finally, taxpayers in the top 1 percent would see the largest increase in after-tax income on a static basis, driven by both the lower top marginal tax rate and the lower corporate income tax. Under the higher-rate assumption this increase would be 10.2 percent, and under the lower-rate assumption this increase would be 16.0 percent” (Cole, 2016).
So when the government are axing it income, while the economy running on a deficit your making no-sense. Your continue to spend on deficit while cutting taxes; the taxed ones are the ones who voted for Trump, the bottom 80% will get higher taxes, while corporations and 1% riches will get less. So the richer will get richer. A real proof of a Banana Republic where the solidarity towards the ones who needs so. They who voted for him is the ones that will pay on his tax-plan, which is ironic.
This is on the direct economic sense, now on health care. Here he proves again he will hurt the ones who voted for him, the poor and what is left of the working-class:
“The policies would cause almost 21 million people to lose their insurance coverage, as the replacement health care policies would only cover 5 percent of the 22 million individuals who would lose coverage upon the repeal of Obamacare. This would almost double the number of Americans without health insurance” (…) “The largest component of this estimate comes from the “repeal.” The campaign website proposes to “completely repeal Obamacare,” which we assume to mean repealing the Affordable Care Act’s regulations, subsidies, Medicaid expansion, Medicare savings, and tax increases. Although repealing the coverage provisions would save about $1.1 trillion, based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates (adjusted for recent legislation and changes in the budget window), repealing the legislation’s tax increases and Medicare cuts would cost a combined $1.6 trillion. In total, this means repeal would cost $480 billion – or $260 billion including the economic benefits of repeal” (Committee for a responsible Federal Budget, 2016).
So the Trump Administration are planning to hurt their own, the ones that has gotten through the Obamacare gotten some sorts of subsidized medical insurance, something he wants to repeal and will even make sure to cost the state more. So the educated minds will know that people has to carry insurance on their own while the state pays more to abolish the Obamacare. The 21 million individuals will regret questioning the medical treatment through Obamacare, as the Federal State will add more money. So the people are getting higher tax for the same 80% who losing their health insurance. Do the American citizens prefer punishing themselves?
As with the true implications of NAFTA:
“Customs duties reductions led to increases in trade with the other two countries of 11% in Canada, 41% in the United States, and 118% in Mexico, for the period between 1993 and 2011.5 In terms of value, American trade with Canada and Mexico increased from US$481 billion in 1993 to US$1.1 trillion in 2015. While Donald Trump claims that Americans “don’t make anything anymore,” implying that NAFTA is to blame, the American manufacturing sector has increased production by 58% since the deal came into effect” (Bedard, 2016).
So the results of NAFTA are apparently different in reality than what comes across when coming to Trump, so the reality hasn’t mattered. He wants to dissolve or change the rules and regulations, this will make it harder to export and import products between Canada and Mexico into the United States. The United States need free-movement of products and industrial products to be able to have the Corporate Capitalism that drives the USA.
So with lower taxes in general, a higher cost of health-care without concern for the 21 million without health insurance. They now are getting more problems with exporting and importing the needed products and raw-material has been possible and even at longest part of the NAFTA agreement has been positive to the US. So the regulation and cooperation with neighbours will be harder because of barriers that will be created with abolishing the NAFTA.
This is still all economic implications… then you have the gun-control, the war-lord aspects and the other social policies mixed with the economic aspect that turns the ones giant and great nation into tatters, if the President Donald Trump gets to do as he pleases without questions.
We should consider it with the implication on the policies and the foreign affairs. The US Government would lose with their plans on playing hardball with NATO and others. With the Muslims ban and deportation, also the Latin-American population that has been singled out; these groups can hurt the economy and also the basic workforce who does the needed services needed in society. That these will be sent out because of their ethnicity and faith will also prove that the United States isn’t the leaders of free-world, but another tyranny under President Trump. The fear and loathing of the Republican President Trump! That will do like the Americans did during Second World-War when Japanese for being so we’re detained into camps, or if he pleases send them packing.
This racial laws and deportations will hurt the economy and make sure the state becomes a Banana Republic; What is special is that the United States will have a free-flow of guns, ammunition, but will make it harder to import goods and also export goods with worse deals, have lesser taxes, still high debt yield and add expenses on health-care while the citizens has to cover themselves. This while the US President hasn’t a plan to help lower-classes as the minimum-pay or salaries increase for the 80% who still get added tax, also pay more for health care. The US Electorate got all reasons for feeling foolish if they even read this.
Bananas and Banana Company we’re President William Howard Taft did what he could to save the companies. Now the new President might try to replicate this, but he forgets the needed international community and production as the needed bolts, tools and manufacturing are inter-connected. That is something that the modern day President Trump needs.
Side Note – International Partnerships:
So if he builds walls, gets into whiny bitch mode and becomes a fully-blown attack paranoid mode, than the international partners will not accept being constantly bullied. I am sure that Philippines C-I-C President Rodigro Duterte will be tossed around for another power or human being. Neither will Russian President Vladimir Putin and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not accept it. So the price of him being brash and irresponsible thin-skinned versus the ones that questions his actions or words, isn’t really suitable with the trading partners and allies that the U.S. still needs. The US doesn’t live in a vacuum and not the only one with a giant defence and has much money to spend like on AGOA and others.
So congratulation on becoming a Banana-Republic, ready to become muffled with after playing king-pin… for decades; as your economic prospects under the Trump Administration and regime doesn’t look healthy. Peace.
Bedard, Mathieu – ‘NAFTA: DONALD TRUMP’S CRITICISMS ARE UNFOUNDED’ (07.2016) link: http://www.iedm.org/files/lepoint1016_en.pdf
Committee for a responsible Federal Budget – ‘Analysis of Donald Trump’s Health Care Plan’ (09.05.2016) link: http://crfb.org/blogs/analysis-donald-trumps-health-care-plan
Cole, Alan – ‘Details and Analysis of the Donald Trump Tax Reform Plan, September 2016’ (19.09.2016) link: http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald-trump-tax-reform-plan-september-2016
Hoo, Sonya & Toder, Eric – ‘The U.S. Tax Burden Is Low Relative to Other OECD Countries’ (08.05. 2006) link: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/us-tax-burden-low-relative-other-oecd-countries
The Economist – ‘Where did banana republics get their name?’ (21.11.2013) link: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/11/economist-explains-16
Trading Economics – ‘United States Government Debt to GDP 1940-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar’ link: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp
It’s been a weird timeline for this American Presidential Election, the months upon months with madness and craziness. The undetermined now have either looked to many times at Friends, Game of Thrones or even browsed quickly at Fox and CNN; still not able to make a decision who to cast their vote for un Tuesday 8th November 2016.
There been Primary race in the major parties, the Republican Party with the wildest and biggest amount of candidates, where 16 candidates went in and tried. Some familiar faces other local heroes trying to figure out how to become a National Candidate. The ones standing out was Jeb Bush, who had to become JEB! Because his family name isn’t ringing out with joy as it did before Bill Clinton, those we’re the days. Than you had Marco Rubio, the Florida man who robotic answers made the automatic telephone answer-machine obsolete for little while. Than you had Ted Cruz, the Texan who with coded language tried to sound friendly, but just seemed interested in his own career over policy; you had John Kasich from Ohio who seemed sincere and like a fellow from the Mitt Romney and John McCain wing of the Republican Party, but he went hard and continued without any tally of results.
Than you had the Democratic Party where there we’re fewer candidates and there was more or less two candidates that had a significant amounts of people behind them. You had the Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, I am sure the man is a decent and kind fellow, but he didn’t grab attention or attraction as the competitors owned the field. The one that we’re close and can still make difference is Bernie Sanders the Senator of Vermont. In the Primaries he we’re a real threat and showed how he could garn popularity with Millennials and get small donations from people and not the giant multi-national corporations. Not building a super-PAC, but still making sense of policies, political framework and how to build society. He still one 22 states in the Primaries and we’re a serious contender with a strong message. Should be remembering his fight against the internal-system and electoral machine from his competitor who had loyalist in the Central leadership of the Democratic National Committee.
So now with this, there are two candidates left: Donald J. Trump from the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party. Other candidates are Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarians. Jill Stein at one point thought Wi-Fi was a treat to kids and said she deserves the Bernie Sanders votes. Also that she is the one to vote for instead of lesser of two evils (Trump and Clinton). Gary Johnson will be remembered for not being able to answer on MSNBC Morning Joe, what Aleppo and who Aleppo is. So the Foreign Affairs hasn’t been key importance for the Libertarians as they are focused on spliffs, little state, more personal freedom and a strong army. Something that would enforce the undoubted republicans to vote for Johnson as a protest this year; might be might be not, but he might gain more than normally.
Now that we’re days before the polls, the ballots casted and final tallies in all the states, the 270 Electoral Votes and the whole Electoral College is secured. We still have the final race to the finish line. Initially this race is between Trump and Clinton.
Trump, he is rare character of orange hatred, patriotism and notorious chauvinism and racism. As an outsider it’s weird that Republicans went for this man and accept this. This blended with his attitude and his brash words against anybody; his nonchalant of fluid morality towards others. While he can crucify fellow peers for their maladministration’s and wrong doings, he will never ever accept that he has done the same and crossed the line. His flabbergasting rhetoric on immigration, woman and media has been out of this world. Sounding more like a power-hungry dictator than a man whose plan is to restructure America. His personality and decisions has cared more about getting more spotlight than making sure that his vision comes clear. If he believes the words he says and if any significant plan of any kind has if he gets into office can be unsure of. Seemingly it seems more important with the title and winning than actually making a difference. Together with his brawls and attacks on peers, fellow Republican Senators, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others shows the inability of even working together with his own. Trump has to own the spotlight and be KING. If not it doesn’t matter. AS long as he is King, even if the Palace is bailing out, the golden letters with his name is fading and his stars are built with giant walls around them. Still, the thing that matters to Trump isn’t working-class families in Wisconsin or Michigan; it’s his ego and his reputation.
Then it’s Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Presidential Candidate who has been doing this before and lost to Barrack Obama, back in the day and has been a Senator for New York and Secretary of State at one point. She has been flogged in public, by certain stations been named so reckless and destructive at one point the only missing flaw per today: is that was the main reason behind World War III. Not that she has a perfect record, but when you been in public light and in office all your life you got to have some bad apples and made mistakes. Hillary Clinton carries them and even answered for why she has changed opinion. Trump would say, “Where did you get that? That wasn’t me? Do you have the tape?” He would deflect it. Not that Hillary hasn’t had enough trouble, for instance with the internal releases of E-Mail’s leaks from WikiLeaks, Guccifer and DCLeaks. They have leaked information through the cycle that has showed how the Campaign Team and Clinton Foundation have not been ethical correct or been correct. They have used methods and used money in questionable ways, even fraudulent. That is a fact and not fiction. That she can’t trust the American Public to show gratitude for her service is clear as she couldn’t even ask for silence and relaxation as she had pneumonia during the Campaigns. Than the Republican media nearly said she had AIDS and dying; by the way called her deceiving for it as well. That proves how hard they tackle her grievances. Instead of asking why she was sick and why she didn’t want to release the information, the American Media went into a frenzy attacking her personality. Which shows what kind of Corporate case of misjudgement and attitude towards her.
With this all in mind, with the statements and character flaws that are in play together with the public sphere, the electoral laws in the 50 states and with the decades of elitism. In this day and age, in this time and with the coming problems together with ones we are piling up today, what kind of leadership does the United States of America need?
Do they need a hot-headed, non-sequential policy based and self-promoting snake-oil salesman on the top of the food-chain in nation and serve them with some form dignity, if that dignity is believable. That will only be believable if he uses as much time on the golf-course as George W. Bush, Donald Trump can only be functioning if he tries to have camps with Sheiks to donate funds to US if he serves them halal-parties at Camp David. I cannot see him making sense of public policy like Barrack Obama or even the former War-Lord Dick Cheney; at least he could be able to make sense of the statements coming out of his mouth.
We can all question if the Hillary Clinton, the moderate, Wall-Street infused and money hungry Politician is the right one as well. She isn’t demoralising or counter-aggressive. She has posted herself as Progressive, but that isn’t true. Hillary is so moderate that she can fall in-between certain wings of Republican Party and Democratic Party. Bi-Partisanship will be thing under wings for sure. Her real stance on matters is something we can wonder as the leaks showed that much of groundwork and policies made by her team not by her own making. They have all been suggestion by close aides and surrogates while she has been on the road reading from a teleprompter. The last piece should Trump do to, he sound like Drunk Uncle so often… how can the Drunk Uncle all of sudden become the Command-in-Chief; it’s not funny. Especially for an outsider to see how degraded the democratic process has become in the US as they get this guy to counter a Political Opponent the way he does. That Clinton becomes Crooked Hillary and it’s been the sticker from Trump. The pathetic smear campaign to weaken her, instead of looking at facts… facts and fiction has been nearly the same, Clinton has gotten tainted with old sins, and sins she couldn’t commit and couldn’t even do. She created ISIS, she killed somebody while Bill Clinton was in Office, she had Alien intervention in her body, and she has a deadly infection and so on. Clinton has been targeted for the machine she has created.
It’s true she has gotten wealthy on Wall Street money and used a weird company in Cincinnati on an estate that got 250,000 LLC’s on the compound. That is true and that isn’t something she should have. Her husband been a con and a man-whore at some point, but that isn’t her fault; that’s the sins of Bill and he has to carry.
Trump on the other hand has used mafia to build his tower, not paid taxes for decades, not cared for paying employees and contractors, stifled monies from even campaign pollsters during his Presidential Campaign, reckless behaviour of litigations, sued for fraud countless times, used donations to his Foundations to buy private luxurious merchandize, running a University and enrolling students without proper State Educational Licences and so on. That is without cherry-picking his marriages, his womanizing and his acts of fidelity and forged public persona.
So that a man who has that towards the other one, shows how simple it should be to pick; but the United States population seems to be drawn by the scandals of the FBI and others who carries into weight without having any significant records of forcing through new investigations. The public perception with the constant leaks has hurt Clinton and that deservedly, but still the other guy isn’t really a catch. The Clinton mistake is systematic and organic, the Trump mistakes is deceiving and inappropriate.
I wonder if the United States wants to become a laughing stock and not be the man who helps out with their armies and their structures. With Trump as President should the United Nation Headquarters still be there; when you have a man who wishes to deteriorate the foreign affairs, the relationship between trading-partners and allies in the NATO. Does the United States wanted to be so internally focused in the image of Trump that they will be internal focused and only thinking of his best, not the great American Best. That comes in second fiddle kind of like Ariana Grande comes second to Beyoncé.
South African citizens across the land are speaking out and taking action to express their dissatisfaction. The Nelson Mandela Foundation supports the demand to hold to account those responsible for compromising our democratic state and looting its resources.
Twenty years since Nelson Mandela signed South Africa’s Constitution into law and as the third anniversary of his passing approaches, it is painful for us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation to bear witness to the wheels coming off the vehicle of our state.
We have seen a weakening of critical institutions such as the South African Revenue Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and law enforcement bodies due to political meddling for private interests.
We are reaping the results of a political trend of personalising matters of state around a single individual leader. This in a constitutional democracy is to be deplored.
The ability and commitment of the Head of State to be a ‘constitutional being’, is one of the wheels of our state. The unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Republic in the matter of President Zuma and the use of state resources on a private residence was one such test. It is increasingly a national consensus that he has failed the test.
As this particular wheel rolls away, other critical institutions of state break off to follow it. The legislative, business, and public service sectors of the country are severely affected, compromising the ability of the state to serve the people. A battle now rages to keep SARS attached to the vehicle of state. What public discourse has described as ‘state capture’ by private and political interests is, we believe, a real threat to the Republic.
Another wheel is an accessible and well-functioning education system. Arguably this wheel has never been fully attached, but the failures of the last two decades threaten that it rolls away. Schools, in our view, particularly those in townships and rural areas, have largely been captured to political interests and have deteriorated to unimaginable levels. And now universities are being brought to their knees as they lurch from crisis to crisis while a semblance of normality is enforced under what are effectively states of emergency. This is not sustainable for any education system. The potential collapse of universities will damage our democracy to its core.
We call on the governing party to take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle of state be protected and placed in safe and capable hands. And we join the call for a national convention of stakeholders to begin to reimagine South Africa’s future beyond the unsustainable stresses of the moment.
Written Press Statement by the Nelson Mandela Foundation