Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fleeing the Clutches of the U.S. Empire

As the United States attempts to influence keys sectors of the globe, those areas of influence are turning into wastelands, as people flee to freer lands. This weekend's WSJ has two instructive examples.

First, in Europe, where banksters are attempting, through US-controlled institutions such as the IMF, to impose heavy regulation and taxes on the people, the most productive people are leaving. WSJ reports:
Economic distress is driving tens of thousands of skilled professionals from Europe, and many are being lured to thriving former European colonies in Latin America and Africa, reversing well-worn migration patterns... The exodus is raising concern about a potential long-term cost of the economic crisis—a talent drain that could hinder the euro zone's weakest economies as they struggle to climb out of recession....

The toll is mounting in Spain and Portugal, countries losing skilled workers to their former colonies. More people are emigrating from Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia and Cyprus than are moving to those countries, and in Greece officials worry that a similar trend is taking hold there...

Last year, with unemployment topping 20%, Spain became a net exporter of people for the first time since 1990, according to Spain's National Statistics Institute. Some 55,626 more people left the country in the first nine months of last year than arrived, the institute said.

Spaniards are scattering to better-off European countries and beyond, particularly to Latin America. Of the estimated 37,000 Spanish citizens who left the country in 2010, nearly 60% emigrated to countries outside the European Union...

At least 100,000 of Portugal's 11 million citizens moved abroad in 2011, after a decade of anemic growth and rising debt in Western Europe's poorest nation. In Africa, Angola's burgeoning economy has absorbed 70,000 Portuguese since 2003, according to the government-backed Emigration Observatory in Lisbon.

The number of Portuguese in Brazil on work-related visas shot up by 52,000 in the 18 months through June 2011.
Likewise, the cocaine growers are leaving the area where the Empire pushed down its thumb. From WSJ:
Once concentrated in Colombia, a close U.S. ally in combating drugs, the cocaine business is migrating to nations such as Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, where populist leaders are either ambivalent about cooperating with U.S. antidrug efforts or openly hostile to them.

Since 2000, cultivation of coca leaves—cocaine's raw material—plunged 65% in Colombia, to 141,000 acres in 2010, according to United Nations figures. In the same period, cultivation surged more than 40% in Peru, to 151,000 acres, and more than doubled in Bolivia, to 77,000 acres.

More important, Bolivia and Peru are now making street-ready cocaine, whereas they once mostly supplied raw ingredients for processing in Colombia. In 2010, Peru may have passed Colombia as the world's biggest producer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Between 2009 and 2010, Peru's potential to produce cocaine grew 44%, to 325 metric tons. In 2010, Colombia's potential production was 270 metric tons.

Meanwhile, Venezuela and Ecuador are rising as smuggling hubs...

The trend underscores the ability of drug cartels to search out friendlier operating environments amid changes in Latin American politics. In recent years, Venezuela's stridently anti-U.S. leader Hugo Chavez shrank the U.S. DEA's presence there, while Bolivian President Evo Morales, himself a longtime coca grower, expelled the agency altogether....  
Ironically, the shift is partly a by-product of a drug-war success story, Plan Colombia. In a little over a decade, the U.S. spent nearly $8 billion to back Colombia's efforts to eradicate coca fields, arrest traffickers and battle drug-funded guerrilla armies such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Colombian cocaine production declined, the murder rate plunged and the FARC is on the run.

But traffickers adjusted. Cartels moved south across the Ecuadorean border to set up new storage facilities and pioneer new smuggling routes from Ecuador's Pacific coast. Colombia's neighbor to the east, Venezuela, is now the departure point for half of the cocaine going to Europe by sea.

"Colombia is leaving behind its old image of the failed state in the hands of drug traffickers," Gen. Oscar Naranjo, Colombia's top police official, said at a Bogota news conference last year. "But evidently…that has produced a balloon effect."

The "balloon effect" is the idea that drug activity squeezed out of one neighborhood or region will simply bulge into another, like air in a balloon. For example, Mexico's bolder efforts to confront drug gangs—which ship cocaine made in South America to the U.S.—are pushing gangs to the weaker states of Central America.

In South America, the balloon effect has coincided with another phenomenon: The rise of a generation of populist leaders who view U.S. antidrug efforts as a version of the "Yankee imperialism" they disdain.

Both Venezuela's Mr. Chavez and Bolivia's Mr. Morales built support among mostly poor populations as staunchly anti-U.S. leaders. They describe the drug war as a facade for a strategy to control the region's politics and natural resources, especially oil.

Mr. Chavez and other leaders say they are fighting drug trafficking. But in Venezuela, thwarting U.S. drug efforts appears to be a cause for promotion. In 2008, the U.S. declared Venezuelan Gen. Henry Rangel Silva a drug "kingpin." This month, Mr. Chavez named Gen. Rangel defense minister.

In Bolivia, Mr. Morales, a 52-year-old Aymara Indian who took office in 2006, has spent a lifetime opposing the U.S. drug war. As the head of his country's coca growers, he built a political movement by demonstrating against the drug police. The marches he led on the capital La Paz brought down a pro-U.S. president and paved the way for his election.

Once in office, Mr. Morales named coca growers to key law-enforcement posts, including drug czar, and has asked the legislature to expand the area for legal coca growing to almost 50,000 acres—five times the amount needed to supply Indians with chewable coca for traditional purposes.
Bottom line: Wherever the Empire presses down its thumb, it results in creating a barren land, which simply results in the development of freer environments elsewhere. People will flee to those less regulated regions.

Indeed, the Empire may be successful in imposing more taxes on the eurozone, but the only ones left to tax will be the sick, the elderly, the lazy and the insane. Good luck with increased revenue generation  with higher taxes on them.

This is why the banksters and elitists keep pushing for a one world government, so that there will be no place to flee. But, in the end, controlling the world drains lots of assets, and an empire always becomes bureaucratic. The U.S. Empire will be no different. It may control wide swaths for awhile. And the Empire will do what needs to be done to keep control in those areas, even if it gets brutal and ugly, but in the end the pockets of freedom will bet the creative sectors that will prosper and grow..


  1. The State not only drives away the best and the brightest. It then has the chutzpah to think it can "produce" their replacements.

    Many times I read how the U.S. government is supposed to "grow" the number of engineers & scientists in the U.S; as if the State is some kind of farmer that merely needs to water the soil.

    The inevitable result is to turn those industries into zombie industries.

    Brilliance comes from a free mind...not a State-indoctrinated one.

  2. Great article, Bob. Perked me up.