The global 1% and their 2% think they have been pretty clever. CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA saw tens of trillions of dollars in fraud from our government coffers and people's pockets. That was our pensions, retirement 401Ks, our home equity, our Social Security and Medicare Trusts---- and now they are coming after our public real estate and buildings.
THE GRINCH WHO LOOTED WHOVILLE DID LESS DAMAGE.
Of course these global few percent do not actually have all those assets---they are simply claiming they do. Since these few decades were nothing but illegal and unconstitutional actions WE THE PEOPLE can claw back all that loot. That is what we elected a major Democratic Congress and Obama to do----only they were the 1% Wall Street players.
The MASTER PLAN of US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones is to create manufacturing and service economies geared to designer product for just those global 1% and their 2%----keeping the wealth tightly sequestered----they don't need the 99% of global citizens participating. This is why we see this mess of economic development that has failed economic policy written all over the place. They do not want to create healthy US city economies. Please stop thinking anyone can break into a global market with a startup---the policies are geared towards the same global corporations taking control of ANY startup that may be successful.
200 cities 85 countries 400,000 entrepreneurs
90% of Startups Fail: Here Are 4 Expert Tips to Improve Your Odds
Nitya Timalsina | 3 months ago
Failure is a part of life and as a resilient entrepreneur, you probably understand that better than anyone. But startup failure is a different story because watching a business you have poured your heart and soul into collapse is devastating or even debilitating. With ninety percent of startups guaranteed to fail, you need to learn what it takes to establish a successful business before investing too much time or money.
Success is never guaranteed but the following tips, inspired by the Startup Genome Report, will give your startup its best chance:
1. Define the problem and understand your customers
“Most successful founders are driven by impact rather than experience or money.” - Startup Genome Report
Success takes time and even “overnight success” is the result of hard work and perseverance. If you want your startup to succeed, believe in its purpose. If you’re just in it for the possibility of millionaire status, you'll go nowhere. Take these steps to define a relevant problem and ultimately solve it:
- Be specific. Be personal. Specify and understand the real-world problem you are trying to solve. Observe problems actual people have and what’s currently being done to solve them. Create products that people “need” rather than just “want”. Instead of chasing ideas, solve problems.
- Be honest. Be brutally honest with yourself and your team. Brainstorm everything that could possibly go wrong. Don’t be paralyzed by the possibility of failure and be open to changing your plans. Even if you have already started a business, reevaluate your goals and pivot if that’s what makes sense.
- Be bold. Instead of spending hours at the desk, get out there and validate your idea by interviewing customers. Do everything possible to understand:
- How important is the problem you are trying to address?
- Will people (whom you have actually talked to) actually pay to solve it?
2. Assess the market and be open to changing plans
“Startups that pivot once or twice times raise 2.5x more money, have 3.6x better user growth, and are 52% less likely to scale prematurely than startups that pivot more than 2 times or not at all.”
After defining the problem and connecting with potential customers (i.e. the people you’re solving the problem for), analyze the market as a whole:
- Who are your competitors and how does your solution differ from existing solutions?
- Is the market large enough to sustain growth?
- Is the market expanding or shrinking?
- Are there any barriers to entry?
- Is your business flexible and able to pivot if needed?
3. Assemble a great team and learn constantly
As John Maxwell said, teamwork makes the dream work. Having a reliable and committed team is the most important part of a successful business. Sure, solo founders can be successful too but usually take much longer to do so.
“Solo founders take 3.6x longer to reach scale stage compared to a founding team of 2 and they are 2.3x less likely to pivot.”
- Establish a balanced team to help you brainstorm quickly, strategize brilliantly, and scale effectively. Founders often hesitate to delegate tasks but even if you are a ‘jack of all trades’, find team members you can consistently rely on.
- A great team is incomplete without a great mentor. Take the time to nurture lasting relationships with advisors. Overall, coachable founders are infinitely more desirable to investors and more successful:
4. Scale wisely and avoid burnout
“Premature scaling is the most common reason for startups to perform worse. They tend to lose the battle early on by getting ahead of themselves.”
Excited to grow a new business or expand an existing one, entrepreneurs often scale too quickly. Then, they run out of resources or burn out. They realize, unfortunately too late, that they weren’t prepared.
To avoid burnout, pace yourself. Startups that scale too quickly fail the fastest:
“Startups need 2-3 times longer to validate their market than most founders expect. This underestimation creates the pressure to scale prematurely.”
Before scaling, do the following:
- Analyze and understand market trends. Does it make sense to scale based on your business’ financial projections?
- Engage customers. Have you addressed their compliments and complaints? It is most important to satisfy existing customers.
- Maintain a solid business plan. Find concrete data to prove that expansion makes sense. Scale gradually and remain aware.
- Always be open to feedback.
- If you are seeking investment, understand what investors are looking for and move forward accordingly.
As the article above stated 90% of startups fail-----so too have most foreign economic zones around the world. Below you see just one----you see these same article written for India, Asian nations, Latin American nations already tied to 1% Wall Street global neo-liberalism.
FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES ARE A FAILED POLICY
We already know neo-liberal economics is a failed policy so why are WE THE PEOPLE allowing these structures to continue? When we say that TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT is not about trade policy---it is about restructuring the national governance around the world including our US governance to a ONE WORLD GOVERNANCE with little concerns over economic stability. Every policy installed during Obama was ONE WORLD governance and almost nothing to do with creating a healthy, sustainable economy. This is far-right wing Reagan neo-liberalism partnered with far-right Bush neo-conservatism so don't blame this on left-leaning economic policy----the FDR social economic benefit policies of last century created the most thriving economy and quality of life in world history.
Economics and Globalization
Mexico's Special Economic Zones: White Elephants?
Mexico will create its first Mexican SEZ in the Pacific port of Lázaro Cárdenas, on the border of the states of Michoacán and Guerrero, and the other three will follow at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Veracruz and Oaxaca states), Puerto Chiapas (Chiapas), and the Coatzacoalcos Corridor /Ciudad del Carmen (Campeche). The goal is to have at least one “anchor firm” operating in each SEZ by 2018, the last year of the current administration.
Mexico’s SEZ policy is inspired by the relative success of China. An SEZ is a geographically delimited area designed to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by providing tax incentives, trade facilities, duty-free customs benefits, infrastructure development prerogatives, and easier regulatory processes. The SEZs that were created in China during the eighties (Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou in Guangdong Province) became economically successful, now accounting for as much as 22% of national gross domestic product, 46% of FDI, and 60% of the total exports of the country. China’s SEZs also generate about 30 million jobs (Zeng 2015).
Yet, even if China has managed to succeed, Mexico’s bet on SEZ as a model to create economic development is quite a risky bet.
The success of similar models of development around the world is mixed (Farole 2011b). Investment does not always arrive in the amounts that are expected (as in Haiti) or arrives only to leave after some years of production (the Dominican Republic). Even in instances where attracting foreign investment was possible, most SEZs have failed to create a proper economic climate that provides tangible benefits to local communities in the form of fair wages and income equality (Farole et al 2014). Only a small number of SEZs have managed to properly develop local industries able to link their production with FDI companies (Honduras). As World Bank experts have pointed out (Farole et al 2014), even in the case of China, many SEZs originally designed with good intentions ended up promoting enclave economies where investment flows with a race-to-the-bottom fiscal and wage logic, and employment is created under the claim that a low-paid-job is better than no job at all.
If the Mexican government wants to use the SEZ as a model to develop its poorest states, it must understand that the odds are against it. And thus, it must be the most proactive in holding a serious, creative and honest debate about how to turn Mexican SEZs into real engines of development for all Mexicans, not just for the few that will be able to invest in large scale.
There are five important topics that must be addressed to make a success out of Mexico’s SEZ model:
1. Select a socially responsible SEZs administration. Each of Mexico’s SEZs will be administered by an “integral administrator” (IA), a private firm or parastatal in charge of developing, regulating, administering, constructing and maintaining the zone during an assigned period of up to 40 years. IAs will be picked via competing offers from different bidders and will have enormous influence inside the zone, from setting the rules of operation and the guidelines to avoid accidents, to profit from renting the use of the zone and the services it will provide to investors. As a result, the selection of IAs may well be one of the most critical public bids that Mexico will conduct in its recent history. The IA must be selected not only because of its capacity to operate but because of its ambitious social goals. Criteria such as bringing the highest possible net economic benefits to Mexico, in terms of human and social investments, job creation, and demonstration effect, must be critical to evaluate who the best IA bidder is. Once selected, strong mechanisms to create checks and balances for IAs must be implemented, particularly mechanisms that allow legitimately independent worker and community representation.
2. Define success as local development, not as foreign investment. Mexico’s government has defined the SEZs’ goal in terms of developing regional value chains and expanding local public services, but not how to achieve that. In places where foreign direct investment has managed to create healthy and strong local business communities, the government has generally had considerable influence over the process (Zeng 2011, The World Bank 2015). The government must be proactive in incentivizing “matchmaking” between foreign investors and local firms (Farole &Akinci 2011). It must also help locals secure proper land tenure and access temporary protection and training to create profitable local business. In Taiwan and South Korea (both examples of success), governments were aggressive in pursuing policy interventions that developed backward linkages with local firms. It is important to realize that developing the broader local community is a requirement for long-term SEZ survival because, as cases like India and Bangladesh have shown, when the communities surrounding a SEZ are disenfranchised and poor, popular uprisings against the project become common (Farole et al 2014).
3. Avoid industries that reinforce competitiveness via low-paid-jobs. World Bank experts have recognized that most SEZ initiatives tend to create low-skill wage-earning jobs (Farole & Akinci 2011, Farole et al 2014). Mexico deserves better and the only way to achieve this is by creating the conditions to attract industries that require skilled workers. Adapting education curricula and requiring companies to provide training and courses for their employees is one way to do it. Teaching English is also critical (lack of language skills is one of the main inhibitors for upper mobility inside multinationals). Another way to avoid race-to-the-bottom wages is to regulate, as Honduras has successfully done, so that at least 85% of the total wages are given to local workers.
4. Promote anchor firms that are complex, not simple and exploitative. The purpose of Mexico’s government is “to secure investment from at least one 'anchor' firm per SEZ by 2018,” but the more important goal should surely be to secure investment from a strategic 'anchor' firm rather than setting an arbitrary date due to the electoral cycle. The selection of an anchor firm cannot be rushed. It is critical that Mexico takes time to attract complex industries, not just the first industry that decides to invest. By complex, I mean industries with large possibilities of knowledge spillovers into the regions. Industries that tend to promote simple exploitative activities may seem appealing in the short term, particularly if results want to be shown for the 2018 electoral process, but will end up having quite undesirable economic consequences in the long term. Mexico must be proactive in identifying the economic path it wants to follow.
5. Avoid the “Mushroom Effect,” meaning the rapid creation of many SEZs that compete with each other (Zeng 2015). Competition is healthy for innovation and growth but it needs to come with the right timing. Too much competition, too early may impede the consolidation of Mexico’s SEZs. It is important to make sure that one or two zones are working properly before scaling-up. Furthermore, a period of incubation may be required otherwise some SEZs may end up competing between themselves, and even with the north of the country. As of today, five Mexican states are responsible for 55% of Mexico’s total export (Chih, Coah, NL, BC and Tamp). SEZs must attract new investors not just those that are already located in those five states.
To avoid turning the SEZ initiatives into white elephants, Mexico must realize what the literature has shown for SEZ cases around the world: that reducing taxes and providing cheap labor is not enough to attract FDI (Farole 2011a, 2011b, Falore & Akinci 2011, Farole et al 2014, Zeng 2011, 2015). On the contrary, research has been pretty conclusive in showing that what makes a SEZ successful is not fiscal prerogatives, but a broader healthy environment to do business (Farole et al 2014). Variables like infrastructure, human capital availability connectivity and energy cost are more determinant of investment attraction than fiscal prerogatives and low wages. Mexico must create “smart incentives” such as rule of law, high quality of human capital, strong government/private partnerships, general investment climate reforms, sector-wide incentives and value-chain support. It won’t be easy.
Harney, Alexandra (2008). 'Getting Over China' in The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage. Penguin. p. 352.
Farole, T. (2011a). Special economic zones in Africa: comparing performance and learning from global experiences. World Bank Publications.
Farole, T. (2011b). Special economic zones: What have we learned?. World Bank-Economic Premise, (64), 1-5.
Farole, T., Camp; Akinci, G. (2011). Special economic zones: progress, emerging challenges, and future directions. World Bank Publications.
Farole T., Norman M. & Kilroy A. (2014). Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Cities: Opportunities for mutual benefit in South Africa. World Bank RAS to National Treasury CSP.
FIAS (Foreign Investment Advisory Service). 2008. Special Economic Zones: Performance, Lessons Learned, and Implications for Zone Development. Washington, DC: FIAS.
The Economist (2015) “Special Economic Zones. Not so special” The Economist April, 4th, 2015
World Bank (2015). Management models for Special Economic Zones: Draft note to the Government of Mexico. World Bank Group.
Zeng, D. Z. (2011). How do special economic zones and industrial clusters drive China’s rapid development?. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol.
Zeng, D. Z. (2015). Global experiences with special economic zones: focus on China and Africa. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, (7240).
 The first SEZ was opened in Shannon, Ireland, in 1959 yet, it was not until 1970s that East Asia and Latin America countries started designing SEZ to attract investment in labor-intensive manufacturing from multinational corporations (Farole & Akinci 2011). As of today, estimates point to the existence of 4,000 SEZs that account for more than $200USD thousand millions in global exports and directly employ at least 40 million workers (FIAS 2008, The Economist 2015).
 The word success must be taken with care. Studies have shown that working conditions in some SEZs are poor, unregulated, unsafe and unhealthy, and also point to important environmental damage (Harney 2008).
 Recent studies from The World Bank has concluded that there is no evidence that privately managed SEZ perform better than publicly owned. Actually, some of biggest SEZ successes are government managed such as China, Singapore, the UAE, and Malaysia (Farole 2011a, 2011b).
 In the current draft legislation, the selection of worker representatives may be influenced by bosses. The Technical Committees, for example, can theoretically include a worker and an executive representative from the same company --a direct chain of command creating conflict of interest. Regulations must specify that worker representatives are not employees of firms whose executives sit at the Technical Committee.
 The effectiveness of such linkages may depend in part on treating sales by domestic firms to SEZ firms as exports (Farole et al 2014). Currently, Mexico’s SEZ will exempt the VAT to all companies, except if they sell their goods inside the Mexican markets. Clearly, this may inhibit the development of local markets in favor of only export-oriented industries.
If you noticed the article above about failed Foreign Economic Zone policies was written by a WOODROW WILSON think tank----with the same ideals of MANIFEST DESTINY captured in an article on Baltimore Development----it's manifest destiny. Woodrow Wilson is a favorite of our very, very, very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and it captures what drove these few decades. It has nothing to do with religion----there is no moral value in lying, cheating, stealing, mass injustice to gain extreme wealth and power----the global 1% simply PRETEND this is the goal.
BALTIMORE IS GROUND ZERO FOR PRETENDING POLICIES ARE SOCIALLY PROGRESSIVE WHILE SHOW ME THE MONEY TAKES THE CITY IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.
Again, these 1% and their 2% are not the talented citizens---they have no ability to succeed on level playing ground. They are simply that 5% being sociopaths constantly scrapping for more money and we need to get them out of our governance.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Manifest Destiny (disambiguation).
American Progress, an 1872 painting by John Gast, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Here Columbia, a personification of the United States, leads civilization westward with American settlers. She brings light from the East into the darkness of the West, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west; she holds a book that "represents learning and knowledge" as well. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the evolving forms of transportation.
In the 19th century, manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
- The special virtues of the American people and their institutions
- The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America
- An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty
There is nothing moral involved in manifest destiny. This ideal is captured by that IVY LEAGUE divinity giving shelter to those 5% to the 1% clergy. It is all simply extreme wealth and extreme global corporate power. These citizens are not Christian---Muslim-----Buddhist-----Jewish----they are a criminal cartel.
This is a long article but please glance to see how the global 1% have used religion to advance empire-building---it is not Christian------JESUS SAID---THROW THE MONEY-LENDERS OUT OF THE TEMPLE!
The Religious Origins of Manifest Destiny
Donald M. Scott
Professor of History
Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
©National Humanities Center
In 1845, an unsigned article in a popular American journal, a long standing Jacksonian publication, the Democratic Review, issued an unmistakable call for American expansionism. Focusing mainly on bringing the Republic of Texas into the union, it declared that expansion represented “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” Thus a powerful American slogan was born. “Manifest Destiny” became first and foremost a call and justification for an American form of imperialism, and neatly summarized the goals of the Mexican War. It claimed that America had a destiny, manifest, i.e., self-evident, from God to occupy the North American continent south of Canada (it also claimed the right to the Oregon territory including the Canadian portion). “Manifest Destiny” was also clearly a racial doctrine of white supremacy that granted no native American or nonwhite claims to any permanent possession of the lands on the North American continent and justified white American expropriation of Indian lands. (“Manifest Destiny” was also a key slogan deployed in the United States’ imperial ventures in the 1890s and early years of the twentieth century that led to U.S. possession or control of Hawaii and the Philippine Islands.)
But Manifest Destiny was not simply a cloak for American imperialism and a justification for America’s territorial ambitions. It also was firmly anchored in a long standing and deep sense of a special and unique American Destiny, the belief that in the words of historian Conrad Cherry, “America is a nation called to a special destiny by God.” The notion that there was some providential purpose to the European discovery and eventual conquest of the land masses “discovered” by Christopher Columbus was present from the beginning. Both the Spanish and the French monarchs authorized and financed exploration of the “New World” because, among other things, they considered it their divinely appointed mission to spread Christianity to the New World by converting the natives to Christianity. Coming later to the venture, the British and especially the New England Puritans carried with them a demanding sense of Providential purpose.
John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, gave the clearest and most far-reaching statement of the idea that God had charged the English settlers in New England with a special and unique Providential mission. “On Boarde the Arrabella, on the Attlantick Ocean, Anno 1630,” Winthrop delivered the blueprint for what Perry Miller has dubbed an “errand into the wilderness” which set the framework for most of the later versions of the idea that “America had been providentially chosen for a special destiny.” Winthrop delivered his lay sermon just before he and his fellow passengers disembarked on the shore of Boston harbor, the place, Winthrop proposed, to which God had called them to build up a model Bible commonwealth for Protestants in England and elsewhere to emulate. “Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into Covenant with him for this work, we have taken out a commission,” he declared, adding “if the Lord shall please to hear us and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath he ratified this Covenant and sealed our Commission and will expect a strict performance of the Articles contained in it.” He went on to specify more full what fidelity to this commission entailed: the people of New England must “follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities for the supply of others necessities.” But it is near the close of the speech that he coined the phrase that has been invoked again and again (most recently by President Ronald Reagan) to express the idea of America’s providential uniqueness and destiny. If we are faithful to our mission, “we shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when tens of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when he shall make us a praise and a glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations: the lord make it like New England, for we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people upon us.”
In the decades following Winthrop’s speech most New England divines preached less about New England’s divine mission, than issue deep, laments—Jeremiads, subsequent historians have called them—about how far New Englanders had fallen from fulfilling the requirements of their Covenant with God and how all the woes and turmoil that had befallen them—Prince Phillip’s war, the loss of New England’s charter, the witchcraft phenomenon, droughts and dreadful winters, etc.—were the signs and result of God’s wrath over their failings. However, in the midst of what subsequently came to be referred to as “the Great Awakening” (but at the time was considered an extra-ordinary outpouring of God’s saving grace) that spread across New England and the other British colonies in the 1740s, the idea that God had chosen America for a special destiny was resurrected in a new form. In the midst of the Awakening, the great New England theologian and revivalist, Jonathan Edwards wrote that “the latter day glory” in short, the Millennium, the “end times” that would bring the second coming of Christ to earth and spread of the King of God across the world, would begin in America. “It is not likely that this work of God’s spirit [the revivals] so extraordinary and wonderful,” Edwards asserted, “is the dawning, or at least a prelude of that glorious work of God, so often foretold in scripture, which in the progress and issue of it, shall renew the world of mankind.”
Leading preachers of the Second Great Awakening that swept across the United States over much of the first half of the nineteenth century, such as Lyman Beecher (father of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher) and Charles Grandison Finney, reasserted the claim that America would be the site of the millennium and that the Awakening was its sure sign. They, however, gave their idea of the millennium a particular American twist. Just as Winthrop tied the idea of New England’s providential mission to the character of the Christian commonwealth they were charged to establish, so too did millennialists like Beecher describe the society that would bring forth the millennium as the American republic, thus conjoining the coming of the millennium with the spread and triumph of American liberty and democracy. In his 1832 tract, The Plea for the West, Beecher stated that at first he had thought Edwards’ prediction “chimerical,” but now thought that “all providential developments since, and all the existing signs of the times, lend corroboration to it. But if it is by the march of revolution and civil liberty, that the way of the Lord is to be prepared, where shall the central energy be found, and from what nation shall the renovating power go forth?” Beecher’s answer was clear: this nation is, in the providence of God, “destined to lead the way in the moral and political emancipation of the world.” The relation between God and nation, in this millennialist formulation, is both subtle and somewhat ambiguous. The fusion between God’s will and the nation’s democratic character gives divine sanction to the United States’ secular arrangements of liberty and democracy. At the same time, it makes the nation, itself, an instrument in the coming of the millennium. Moreover, especially in situations of conflict, the claim that God was on one’s side often involved demonizing the enemy. For Beecher, the demonic enemy or “other” was a Roman Catholic conspiracy to spread “Romanism” across the American west.
It was the Mormons, however, who gave the fullest expression to the idea of America as the site of the millennium. The prophesies and Book of Mormon delivered to Joseph Smith and his subsequent organization of the Mormon Church marked the beginning of “the end times” as the formal name of the new religion, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” makes unmistakably clear. After violent persecution in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, Brigham Young led the Mormons into the wilderness of Utah and there established a new city upon a hill, a new Zion which as Conrad Cherry put it “was the Holy City in the wilderness [that] was for Young the gathering place for the Saints from which they would radiate influences that would turn the entire American continent, and eventually the world into God’s Zion.”
The idea that God had chosen the British colonies for a special destiny received a major reformulation with the American Revolution and the establishment of the United States as a new and unique, independent nation, a Novus Ordo Seclorum—a new secular order. The clergy, especially the Calvinistic New England clergy, was very much a Patriot clergy that probably played a greater role in mobilizing support for the revolution than the innumerable anti-British pamphlets produced between 1765 and 1776. For the most part, their advocacy of the patriot cause was cast in familiar form of the Jeremiad: sermons insisted that God had visited the injustices and tyrannies Parliament and Crown employed to “reduce” the colonists to “slavery,” because of the awful sinfulness into which they had fallen. God required repentance and a new fidelity to “the Sacred Cause of Liberty.” By 1789, with the adoption of the Constitution and the inauguration of George Washington as president, the new nation itself was invested with a special meaning and mission. Americans did not consider their new nation to be simply another nation among nations, but a providentially blessed entity charged to develop and maintain itself as the beacon of liberty and democracy to the world.
As is well known, not only was the United States remarkably diverse religiously, its new Constitution, with the first amendment of the Bill of Rights, also established a clear separation of church and state, expressly forbidding the institution of an established Church. It was formally a secular nation—though at the same time a deeply religious society—sustained by Divine will, whose citizens were expected to subscribe to its founding principals with religious like devotion. In effect, what emerged was a sacralized notion of the new nation and the development of what various scholars have termed a powerful “Civil Religion,” a particular form of cultural nationalism to which all “true” Americans, whether native or immigrant born and whatever their personal religious beliefs and affiliations, were expected to adhere. In this sense the United States can be considered a “creedal” society, unified less by geographical boundaries which continually shifted, and more by a set of specified doctrines inscribed in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, to which all citizens of the nation gave their allegiance. The new democratic republic, proclaimed as unique, had been ordained by God and endowed with a special mission to be the new “city upon a hill” to shine the beacon of liberty upon the world—and, at times if deemed necessary, to spread its form of democracy by force of arms to other parts of the world. Quickly were the revolutionary leaders, especially George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, elevated into Founding Fathers, and the Declaration and Constitution turned into almost sacred relics. Essential to the story, of course, was the apotheosis of “the god-like” Washington into an American Moses who led his people out of bondage into a land of liberty. Thus was the new nation and, to some extent, its people, “chosen.” “While such familiar language as ‘promised land’ and ‘city upon a hill’ are only biblical allusions,” as religious historian John Wilson has put it, “the master image or figure which frames and sets their true content, is the type of Israel as God’s chosen people. Thus the apparently secularized expressions [of these phrases] have a deeper resonance which locates the origins of the American mission very precisely even when they are not explicitly elaborated.”
Such are the basic outlines of the idea of America’s “chosenness” and providential destiny and mission that not only underlay the invocation of the nation’s “Manifest Destiny” as the rationale for the United States to extend its boundaries to the Pacific Ocean. It is also the constellation of ideas that has informed American nationalism and its actions at home and abroad to this day. As noted, it was explicitly used it to justify the Spanish American War and its accompanying imperialist goals. President Woodrow Wilson invoked it to call Americans to fight to make the world “safe for democracy,” as did President Franklin Roosevelt, when in World War II he rallied the American public behind the war against Fascist and Nazi Europeans and imperial Japan. It was also a mainstay of the Cold War: in fact, the phrase “under God” was only added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 at the height of the Cold War. The sense of American uniqueness and mission also underlay John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. And President George W. Bush, considering himself to be an agent of divine will, has defended his policies in Iraq by invoking the idea that it is America’s duty and destiny to conquer terrorism and to secure democracy for Iraq and help spread it to other nations of the Middle East.
Not surprisingly, however, it remained for Abraham Lincoln to provide the most complex but nonetheless clear statement of the idea that America has a sacred duty to itself and to the world to preserve and protect liberty and democracy. In 1837, as a young man of 28, Lincoln gave an address to the Springfield, Illinois Lyceum. It was a time of great social and political turmoil. Illinois was riven with violence over the question of the abolition of slavery. In Alton, Illinois an anti-abolitionist mob recently had murdered the abolitionist editor, Elijah Lovejoy, destroyed his printing press and burned his office and house. In this atmosphere of intense political strife, Lincoln used his Lyceum address to call his fellow Illinoisans (and Americans) to turn to the basic democratic and liberal tenets the American national creed—the American Civil Religion—and embrace them and hold them as deeply as they held their private religious beliefs. Only such a common national faith, he argued, could provide the real and lasting foundation that would hold the sprawling, diverse, and conflict-ridden nation together.
During the Civil War Lincoln found these beliefs sharply challenged and at the same time gave them their most eloquent and powerful expression. Lincoln had always kept his questing and often skeptical spirituality closely guarded, but as the war ground relentlessly on, his beliefs and speeches took on not a sectarian but a deeply Old Testament tone. The cadence and words of his Gettysburg Address accentuate his message: the Union, “the last best hope of earth,” was fighting for the sacred cause of liberty. “It is for the living,” he declared, “to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last true measure of devotion . . . that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom . . . and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
In his brief second inaugural address, delivered only six weeks before his assassination, Lincoln explored the relationship between American freedom and Divine Will. He knew that nations often, if not always, claimed God or the Gods for their side. So, acknowledging that “neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained,” Lincoln addressed the fact that both North and South invoked God as their partisan: “Both read the same Bible and Pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.” But he made it unmistakably clear that though he did not and could not really know God’s Will, he did know that God intended to end slavery, no matter what it took. Lincoln powerfully invoked a Jeremiad like vision of an all powerful and deeply offended God that would reign “woe” down upon those by peoples through ‘whom the offense cometh.’ “If we suppose that American slavery is one of those offences,” he declared, “which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God ascribe to Him?” “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray,” Lincoln continued, “that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled up by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said, . . . so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’” Here it all is: the idea that the United States represents “the last best hope” that—the belief that an all powerful, not fully comprehendible God, governs the affairs of humankind, and that this God held the whole nation, not just the South, accountable for the existence of slavery in its midst, for the violation of its appointed mission. Finally, unlike most proponents of the idea that “America is a nation called to a special destiny by God,” he refrains from claiming God as the agent of Northern victory, even though as the second inaugural makes clear he had come to believe the Almighty was the ultimate agent of “the mighty scourge of war” that He had visited upon the nation for the sin of slavery.
Guiding Student Discussion
At first glance, it may seem rather difficult to engage students in a discussion of religion and Manifest Destiny. I usually do not like to start with contemporary issues and perspectives or with the students’ beliefs, but on this topic I have found it to be effective. Teaching strategies will obviously depend on the particular composition of your classes. In a classroom in Queens, New York (the most diverse political jurisdiction in the country) well over half its students or their parents are likely to be born outside of the United States and at least half will adhere to faiths other than Christianity. Clearly a very different student population than a teacher in Troy, Ohio, for example, might face. Perhaps the best initial strategy is to open up the issues the topic raises: questions of nationalism and cultural unity; questions of the relationship between belief in an all powerful, superintending God and the actions of nations; questions of what happens when nations claim an expansive mission and justify this with a claim to Divine favor?
You might begin by asking your students if they think that the various peoples of the United States with all their ethnic, religious, and racial diversity subscribe to anything that might be called “a common faith” and what beliefs it consists of and how it operates as a faith, does it seem to require some kind of belief in God. You could ask how many of them participate in various rituals of America’s supposed Civil Religion, e.g. Fourth of July, Memorial Day, the Pledge of Allegiance. At this point a particularly astute student might point out that the stars and stripes of the flag only refer to the original 13 and the present 50 states of the union and that the flag doesn’t seem to have any religious references at all. Do they consider the United States to be unique in its basic values of liberty and democracy and to have a “mission” to preserve and promote them? Do many or any of them believe that God does play a role in the action and fate of nations? What have been various consequences when the United States (and other nations) claims a special providence and mission from God?
This discussion should lead into a more historically oriented discussion that can best be conducted through the use of key primary documents. Winthrop’s speech on the Arbella, the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address work especially well. Conrad Cherry, God’s New Israel: Religious Interpretations of American Destiny, is a superb anthology with three centuries of primary documents on religious interpretations of American destiny. The introductions to the various sections and documents are also especially helpful.
The vast scholarly literature that bears on this subject is less a debate than a range of works on different periods and from different disciplines and perspectives. An indispensable source and the best place to begin is Conrad Cherry, God’s New Israel: Religious Interpretations of American Destiny (1998). On Manifest Destiny itself, two older books, Albert K. Weinberg, Manifest Destiny (1958) and Frederick Merk, Manifest Destiny and Mission in America (1963) remain useful. But see also Sam Haynes and Christopher Morris, eds. Manifest Destiny and Empire (1977). Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness (1956) remains an essential source for the Puritan sense of mission. The concept of “Civil Religion” was introduced into American scholarship by Robert N. Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” Daedalus, Winter 1967. Sidney E. Mead, “The Nation With the Soul of a Church,” Church History, Sept. 1967, is a beautifully written and illuminating article. See also John Wilson, Public Religion in American Culture (1979) and Martin Marty, ed. Civil Religion, Church and State (1992). See also Nathan Hatch, The Sacred Cause of Liberty: Republican Thought and the Millennium in Revolutionary New England (1977); Earnest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial Role (1968); and H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America (1959). On particular topics, Jan Shipps, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (1985) and James H. Moorhead, Yankee Protestants and the Civil War, 1860-1869 (1979), are particularly useful.
Donald Scott was a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 1985-86. He has taught at the University of Chicago, North Carolina State University, Brown University, the New School, and is currently Dean of Social Science and Professor of History at Queens College / City University of New York. He is the author of From Office to Profession: The New England Ministry, 1750-1850 (1978); America's Families: A Documentary History (1982, with Bernard Wishy); The Pursuit of Liberty (1996, with R. J. Wilson, et al.); and he is the co-editor of The Mythmaking Frame of Mind: Social Imagination and American Culture (1993). He is currently at work on a book entitled Theatres of the Mind: Knowledge and Democracy in 19th-Century America.
When I try to educate labor union members about the corruption of national labor union leaders tied to global Wall Street and Clinton neo-liberals those members would say----OUR PENSIONS AND RETIREMENTS ARE DOING FINE. These citizens believe Wall Street when it says---just leave those investments in the market as the economy busts and they will grow again. Well, that was not the plan in 2009 when Congress and Obama passed and pushed the FED and Wall Street policies to create this coming economic crash from bond market fraud----and yes, it is fraud because it was deliberate, willful, and with malice placing of the public in harm's way.
If we read about China's stock market, a mirror of Wall Street the 1% and their 2% are feeding from the same economy built to simply fleece the poor. That was CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----a few percentage of people only knowing how to fleece the poor. The Chinese media speaks of China's major investment group being citizens who don't even have high school degrees. In other words----these folks couldn't invest wisely no matter how hard they tried----all this is coming from social structures built in the US allowed to become corrupt.
The right-wing think tanks are now telling us how all this left-leaning social capitalism was a failure----when it was the most successful economic model in world history. It's failure lied with the takeover of our government by the right-wing policies of PROFIT OVER PEOPLE ANYWAY YOU WANT.
THESE ARE MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE'S POLICIES ----WE GO OUT THE DOOR IN THE MORNING WITH OUR HANDS UP SHOUTING 'DON'T LOOT' TO WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND THEIR POLS.
Market crash robs $2.3 trillion from investors
Matt Krantz , USA TODAY 7:22 p.m. EST January 15, 2016(Photo: EPA)
The stock market rout is starting to get really expensive — destroying $2.3 trillion from the market's top last year and $1.5 trillion in net wealth just this year.
The giant companies that predominantly populate the Standard & Poor's 500 have fallen an average of 8.9% this year — which, when translated into dollars, is real money. Real big money. The S&P 500 is down 8% this year already — including another 2.2% Friday — in what's been the worst start to a year ever. Since the market peak on May 21, 2015, the market has declined 11.7%.
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Stock Market and Investment News - USATODAY.com
The biggest wealth destroyers in the S&P 500 from the high have been gadget maker Apple (AAPL), pipeline company Kinder Morgan (KMI) and corporate software company Oracle (ORCL) — crushing $218 billion, $63.5 billion and $49.8 billion in market value, respectively, from the May 21, 2015, top.
S&P 500 STOCKS THAT DESTROYED THE MOST SHAREHOLDER WEALTH FROM THE MAY 21, 2015, TOP
Company, Symbol, % lost from high, $ market value erased from the high ($ billions)
Apple, AAPL, -26%, -$218
Kinder Morgan, KMI, -69.5%, -$63.5
Oracle, ORCL, -22.8%, -$49.8
Walmart, WMT, -18.7%, -$47.3
Berkshire Hathaway, BRKA, -12.7%, -$45.6
Source: S&P Capital IQ, USA TODAY
This year, most of the money is being shredded by the giant companies that many U.S. investors loaded up on during the bull, including gadget maker Apple, online retailer Amazon.com (AMZN) and online advertising firm Alphabet (GOOGL).
When it comes to destroying market value, Apple is in a class of its own. The company has erased a staggering $44.7 billion in investor wealth this year following its 7.7% decline this year to close Friday at $97.05 a share. More than $200 billion in market value has been erased by just this one stock from the market high — which is more than a vast majority of big companies are worth.
Apple stock destroys $218B: How low can it go?
Red hot retailer Amazon is down a whopping 16% this year — after more than doubling in value in 2015. That means investors in Amazon are down $49 billion this year. Google's parent, Alphabet, is also taking the shredder to investors' money — cutting its market value 8.8% this year by $47.2 billion.
When you see how much money is being erased by the biggest companies — you can see why this sell-off is getting uncomfortable ... and expensive.
S&P 500 STOCKS THAT DESTROYED THE MOST SHAREHOLDER WEALTH THIS YEAR
Company, Symbol, % lost YTD, $ market value erased YTD ($ billions)
Amazon.com, AMZN, -15.5%, -$49.0
Alphabet, GOOGL, -8.8%, -$47.2
Apple, AAPL, -7.7%, -$44.7
Microsoft, MSFT, -8.1%, -$35.8
JPMorgan Chase, JPM, -13.7%, -$33.3
Wells Fargo, WFC, -10.2%, -$28.3
Citigroup, C, -18.1%, -$27.9
Facebook, FB, -9.3%, -$27.9
General Electric, GE, -8.7%, -$25.5
Bank of America, BAC, -14.2%, -$24.9
Source: S&P Capital IQ, USA TODAY
I wasn't the social democratic policies---it wasn't our US labor moving to the middle-class----and it wasn't a failure of our retirement policies of last decade----
IT WAS SYSTEMATIC LOOTING BY FAR-RIGHT 1% WALL STREET EXTREME WEALTH AND EXTREME POWER DRIVEN BY MANIFEST DESTINY----ALL THIS LOOTING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
Retirement Dreams Disappear With 401(k)s60 Minutes: Older Americans' 401(k)s Have Plummeted; Many Fear They Will Never Get To Retire
- 2009 Apr 17
- Correspondent CBSNews
The effects of the current economic crisis have touched everyone. Even if you still have a good job and a paid up mortgage, chances are your monthly 401(k) statement will remind you that you've lost a good chunk of your savings.
Trillions of dollars have evaporated from those accounts that have become the prime source of retirement funds for a majority of American workers, affecting their psyche and their future. If you are still young enough, there's time to rebuild and recover, but if you are in your 50s, 60s or beyond the consequences can be dire, and its drawing attention to the shortcomings of a retirement system that has jeopardized the financial security of tens of millions of people.
It was a gray, chilly morning in midtown Manhattan and a line of unemployed, mostly white-collar workers, stretched for blocks around the Radisson Hotel. More than 1,000 middle managers, stockbrokers, consultants, secretaries and receptionists had come hoping to find a job.
It was called a career fair, but there was no merriment - only a whiff of desperation.
Many of the people at the career fair have been out of work for months and burned through their liquid assets; their future, even bleaker than the present.
Alan Weir, who turns 60 this month, showed 60 Minutes his latest 401(k) statement, which he hadn't had the courage to open up.
"I'm afraid," he told correspondent Steve Kroft.
There's good reason for his trepidation: nearly half of his life savings have vanished in a matter of months.
"It went down again," Weir told Kroft, after opening the statement.
Overall, he said he was down about $140,000.
Asked if he thought he'd ever get that money back, Weir said. "I probably never see it come back. I was looking to retire, probably, when I hit 62. Can't do it now. I'll probably be working until I'm at least 70."
Until she lost her job, Kathleen Coleman had spent nearly 30 years working as an executive assistant on Wall Street. She doesn't have much to show for it.
She told Kroft her 401(k) was worth less now than it was in 2005. "And another one went down almost $40,000. One was 80 - 88,000. And then, and then it went down to 50(k)," she told Kroft, crying.
Coleman is 54 years old and lives alone. "I don't have any children. I've been a career girl all my life. And it's been a great career, and I don't deserve this," she said.
Asked if there had been some "nibbles" - potential job opportunities - she told Kroft, "All the nibbles I've had I get beat out by top models who can type. I have experience and dedication and loyalty, and I can make any boss shine. I can, if you're out there, I'll relocate anywhere for you."
"Psychologically, what does this piece of paper do to you?" Kroft asked.
"Oh, it crushes any rest I may get when I'm 65. I'll have to work for the rest of my life," she replied.
The saddest part of this story is that it is being repeated all over the country. In eastern Pennsylvania, 59-year-old Iris Hontz lost her accounting job and half of her 401(k) investments. She's now back in the workforce as a part-time cashier in a grocery store.
In Dearborn, Mich., Terry and Donna McNally are barely holding on; he lost his sales job in August. The condo they bought 15 years ago is worth less than their mortgage, and 40 percent of his 401(k) retirement savings is gone. Donna is the main provider now, running a daycare center out of their home.
Terry considers himself fortunate to have found part-time work greeting the bereaved at a funeral home and making lattes at Starbucks, where colleagues young enough to be his grandchildren have taken him under their wing.
Asked what the hardest part is, Terry McNally told Kroft, "I'm no longer sitting at a computer or driving in a car to a call. You know, suddenly I'm standing for four to six hours and greeting people or makin' drinks or tryin' to learn the process and the food business thing, which is very difficult."
"It's tough," his wife added. "But I'm proud of him at his age to be doing what he's doing."
"The 401(k) drop was tremendous, is tremendous at this point in time. And that's where the savings was, you know. That's our hurt right now," Terry McNally explained.
"We can't live our vision of our dream of retirement. That's the worst part. Many people can't," Donna McNally said.
That dream, Donna McNally told Kroft, was to have a log cabin in northern Michigan and live a nice quiet life. "And we can't do that," she said.
Neither one of them thought that they might be able to retire. "Can no longer see that day," Terry McNally said.