Wednesday, February 15, 2012

US in state of self-inflicted decline: Chomsky

legendary American academic Noam Chomsky (file photo).

Source: Press TV

Renowned American academic Noam Chomsky condemns the concentration of wealth in the United States in the hands of the 1 percent, which he refers to as the “self-inflicted” American decline.

“The (US) policies are a failure for the large majority, the 99% in the imagery of the Occupy movements - and for the country, which has declined and will continue to do so under these policies,” Chomsky wrote in his article titled 'Losing' the world: American decline in perspective, part 1.”

From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the US economy, as planners, whether private or state, shifted production off shores, partly due to the “declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing,” then82-year-old senior academic noted.

He went on to say, “these decisions initiated a vicious cycle in which wealth became highly concentrated (dramatically so in the top 0.1% of the population), yielding concentration of political power, hence legislation to carry the cycle further: taxation and other fiscal policies, deregulation, changes in the rules of corporate governance allowing huge gains for executives, and so on.”

Whereas Chomsky maintained that “for the majority, real wages largely stagnated, and people were able to get by only by sharply increased workloads (far beyond Europe), unsustainable debt… creating paper wealth that inevitably disappeared when they burst (and the perpetrators were bailed out by the taxpayer).”

Meanwhile, the political system in the US has been increasingly torn up, he said, as “both parties are driven deeper into corporate pockets with the escalating cost of elections.”

This is “a serious problem for working people and the middle classes, and a real disaster for the most oppressed, African Americans, who have never escaped the legacy of slavery and its ugly aftermath,” Chomsky concluded.

Chomsky’s comments come against the backdrop of months of Occupy protests in the United States. The Occupy protests owe their inspiration to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, which began when a group of demonstrators gathered in New York's financial district on September 17, 2011 to protest against the excessive influence of big corporations on the US policies and the high-level corruption in the country.

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