Category Archives: South Korea

A Look at the Chinese Model of Communism – Market Socialism

You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained and that it is headed for crash. They based this on a comparison to other  Communist countries, but their economies fell behind far before China’s did. China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union and they strated stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years, so they are freaking out.

Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.

“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist country.”

Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.

Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government  corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.

45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which they use to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.

There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.

I did a lot of research on China recently and the party is literally everywhere you look and every time you turn around. And the party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the village.

Also party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always running around the country spending lots of money on public works or on fixing various environmental problems and issues. A lot of the dissertations coming out the universities are on how to deal with this or that societal problem or issue. So instead of leaving it up to the private sector to fix the problems in society and create public works, the government does all of that.

There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes there is corruption and government abuse of this or that, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with the people by giving them as much as they want and doing as much for them as possible.

It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because they have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want  to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.

The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China in spades. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.

Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin. In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.

Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse. This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, they still need to cover everyone. They got away from that when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed. The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days.

A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party.  The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”

The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.

China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.

Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.

The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.

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The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.

Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.

I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).

As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.

I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.

So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)

You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?

Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.

A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.

So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”

The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.

The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.

Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.

Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.

And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.

I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.

The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.

So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.

Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.

The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.

Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.

I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.

Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.

The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.

The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?

The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.

Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.

After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.

As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.

After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.

The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

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Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.

The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.

The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.

Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.

Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?

Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.

I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.

In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.

A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.

The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.

Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?

Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.

The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.

I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.

In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.

A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?

The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.

She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?

The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.

Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.

The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.

Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

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Two, Three, Many My Lais!

Here.

My Lai wasn’t the only such massacre conducted in the Vietnam War by US  troops. There were many more, but the number of killed in each incident was typically fewer. Numbers were often 10-20, but ranged from five to 30 all the way up to 100. Most took place between 1966-1968.

In fact, there were 19 Allied massacres in My Lai’s province alone in the first three months of 1968. A number of them were conducted by ROK South Korean troops.

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Fake News: North Korea Has an ICBM that Can Hit the US

Here.

Bottom line – the whole thing is a massive lie, apparently based on false analysis of the rockets fired. The rockets fired were “fake ICBM’s” – made to seem like ICBM’s but not real ICBM’s because the only way they got their extreme altitude and possible range was by putting a very light dummy warhead on the tip. With a normal 600-1,000 pound atom bomb warhead that would be needed for such a flight, the missile would not have gone as far as it did. And even if they were able to get a warhead of the 600-1,000 pounds needed to hit the US, the Hwangsong-14 could not have carried it – they would need to build a new and better rocket.

However, they could certainly hit South Korea, Japan and Guam with a nuclear missile. That’s not even under debate.

You must understand that the government always lies to us about the capabilities of the states it deems enemies.

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No Conservatives Allowed on This Website!

We have had a few conservatives posting here in the past few days. These are US-style conservatives, which are the worst kind of all. US-style conservatives are absolutely banned from posting here in any way, shape or form.

Conservatism means different things in different countries, so conservatives from much of the rest of the world (except Latin America and the UK) can continue to post. Even Canadian conservatives can continue to post, as I do not mind them. It’s not conservatism itself that is so awful. Almost every country on Earth has people who call themselves conservatives, and there are conservative parties in almost every country on Earth. But being a conservative just about anywhere outside of the Americas is more or less an acceptable position for me. I probably won’t like their politics much, but I could at least look at them and say that this is an opposition I could live with.

US conservatives and their brethren in the UK, Latin America, the Philippines, Nepal and and Indonesia are quite a different beast.

I have to think hard about conservatives in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These fools had such a bad experience with Communism that they went 180 degrees in the other direction. I would have to see the positions of these conservative parties in those countries to see whether they would be OK or not.

Just to give you an example, Vladimir Putin is considered to be a right-winger, and his party United Russia advocates a politics called Russian Conservatism. Looking at the party’s platform, this is not only a conservatism that I could live with but one I might even vote for!

Conservatives in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and most other places in Asia are acceptable. The conservatives in the Stans, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia can be rather awful, particularly in the nationalist sense, but I will not ban them.

I dislike Indian conservatives, but I will not ban them.

Conservatives from the Muslim World are all acceptable. In the Muslim World, conservatism just means religious and sometimes nationalist. I can live with that. Even the ones in Iran are orders of magnitude better than the US type.

Conservatives in the Arab World are acceptable. They are mostly just religious people.

Turkish conservatives are awful, but I will not ban them. They are just religious and a particularly awful type of nationalist.

African conservatives are OK.

Conservatives in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany,  the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania are sometimes good, sometimes pretty bad, but they are all acceptable here. Conservatism in Europe mostly means nationalism. I am actually rather fond of the conservative running Hungary, Orban. LePen conservatives leave something to be desired, but they are acceptable. They’re mostly just nationalists. Hell, I might even vote for Marine LePen! If it was down to LePen versus Macron, I would absolutely support LePen!

Conservatives from Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines are not OK. These are an “everything for the rich elite, nothing for anybody else” type of conservative. Some of them even hide under the labels of Socialist or even Communist.

The word conservative has no real inherent meaning. It means whatever people say it means.

Anyway, the conservatives in the US are pure garbage and recently they have become out and out fascists after moving in that direction for a long time. And a particularly horrible type of fascist at that, a Latin American/Filipino/Indonesian style fascist. I will not allow any US conservatives to post on this board. You all are lucky I even let you lurk here. That’s an idle threat as I can’t ban lurkers, but if they all stopped lurking, I would not mind frankly.

You all really ought to go back to the gutters you crawled out of.

PS This especially applies to Libertarians, the very worst of all the US conservative vermin. We shoot Libertarians on sight here, so you better watch out.

*This applies only to economic conservatives. If you are not an economic conservative, and your conservatism is only of the social variety or you are only conservative on race, religion, guns, law and order, respect for tradition, American nationalism, the military, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity issues, you can stay. I’m not crazy about some social conservatives, but I can live with them. I will probably even let patriotards post as long as they are not economic conservatives.

I am an American nationalist myself. I just don’t like patriotards. Of course, I very much dislike and even hate the country as it is right now, but I sure don’t want to make it worse! I have to live here too you now, and it might as well be as pleasant as possible as long I stay here.

I want what’s best for my country. I don’t want to harm this country or screw it over. That will be bad for me! And believe it or not, most US patriotards do not want what is best for the country! I have dreams of a greater and better America. It’s not impossible, but we will have to undergo some serious cultural changes. One of the reasons I am so against illegal immigration is because it is ruining my country and making this place even worse. Also illegal immigration is terrible for US workers and I am for the workers. I am against H-1B visas for the same reason – they are wrecking my country. IT workers are workers too, so they are my comrades. I want what is best for America and American workers.

I cannot live with economic conservatives. I like cancer way more than I like US conservatives. Cancer is much more decent and respectable.

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MOAB’s Are WMD’s

Look, let’s face it.  MOAB’s are WMD’s.

WMD’s are outlawed because they are not fair. War is supposed to be at least somewhat fair, as in a fair fight. And to some extent, a fair fight between equals. That’s why you see these situations like in Syria of standoffs going on for two years in some cities and towns. Because that war is being fought so fairly that the SAA cannot even conquer that town or city because ISIS or Al Qaeda is on such an equal footing. That’s the way it is supposed to be!

We are getting to the point with these insane MOAB’s and whatnot where we can drop one bomb that will blow up a whole town or village. That’s fair? What’s left to do? Make a bomb that blows up a whole city?

And guess what? If we can make a MOAB, others can too. It’s not a nuclear weapon. Gee, I wonder what would happen if our troops got hit by a MOAB? We are getting to the point where wars are so destructive that they should not even be fought anymore and perhaps should just be outlawed altogether.

But MOAB’s should surely be banned. Napalm, white phosphorus and cluster bombs are banned, but people keep using the latter two anyway. Not only are they used, but the US uses them enthusiastically, and when (((our allies))) start running out of cluster bombs, we rush delivery huge quantities of them to (((our pals))). Land mines are also banned, but our noble country refuses to sign the treaty because we use thousands of them along the DMZ between North and South Korea.

It was rather sexual, wasn’t it, guys? So tell me, did you get an erection when that weapon ejaculated, I mean orgasmed, I mean exploded? That’s what’s really going on here, isn’t it boys?

What sort of people are we? We drop a bomb on a country, and the whole damn US stands up and cheers like they’re at a baseball game. Screw America. You sick fucks.

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Alt Left on Donald Trump: Oppose Completely

Below is a list of Donald Trump’s positions on many issues taken from his Wikipedia site. Each position is marked Yes, No, or Neutral depending on whether or not I agree with it. Note that I am conflating my opinions on Trump’s positions with the Alt Left’s, but that’s not so strange.

The results were:

No:      282

Yes:     97

Neutral: 9

So the Alt Left opposes Trump on 282 issues, supports him on 97 issues and is neutral on nine issues.

We oppose Trump on 77% of the issues, support him on 25% of the issues and are neutral on 2% of the issues. That’s pretty bad. I do not see how the Alt Left can support Donald Trump at all based  on this survey. I suppose you could support him on accelerationist grounds, but that’s about it. No Alt Left person should support Trump, and the movement must oppose and renounce him thoroughly. The way I see it is that Trump is one of the enemies of the Alt Left. I realize that one Alt Left faction, the Left Wing of the Alt Right, went heavily for Trump, but they are being renounced by a number of Alt Leftists for various reasons. Personally I renounce them simply based on their support for Trump. If this faction ever wants to stop supporting Trump maybe I will see about revoking that renunciation.

It would be nice to do a similar survey of Hillary Clinton to see the Alt Left’s position on her positions on the issues, but that will take a lot of time and I am not sure if I am up for it.

On August 8, 2016, Trump outlined a new economic plan that involved significant income tax cuts at all levels of income. NO

He proposed to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, and replace the rates ranging from 10% to 39.6% with 12%, 25% and 33%. NO

He proposed to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. NO

He proposed to repeal the estate tax, which applies to inheritance for estates valued at $5.45 million for individuals and $10.9 million for couples, or roughly the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans. NO

Trump also said he would eliminate the carried interest loophole. YES

Trump’s plan would also “eliminate the alternative minimum tax and the 3.8 percent net investment income tax, which was levied on high-income households to help fund Medicare expansion under the Affordable Care Act.” NO

An analysis by Lily L. Batchelder of New York University School of Law estimated that Trump’s new tax plan would cost more than $5 trillion over ten years and would raise taxes for lower and middle income families with children. NO

According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump’s economic plan would raise taxes on many families. NO

For instance, families with head-of-household filing status making between $20,000 and $200,000, including many single parents, would pay more under Trump’s plan than under current tax law. NO

However, in the September 2016 presidential debate, Trump said that using loopholes to avoid paying income taxes in the 1970s “makes me smart.” NO

Last fall Mr. Trump suggested that he would break with Republican orthodoxy by raising taxes on the wealthy. But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.” NO

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026.[72] In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. YES

Unlike his rivals in the 2016 Republican primary race, Trump opposes cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits. YES

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decision-making and take power away from the Federal Reserve. NO

Trump favors returning to the gold standard. NO

Trump supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion emergency bailout fund that rescued banks after the sub-prime mortgage crisis. YES

In May 2016, Trump said that if elected president he would dismantle “nearly all” of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a financial regulation package enacted after the financial crisis. NO

Trump promised to roll back existing regulations and impose a moratorium on new regulations, with a specific focus on undoing environmental rules that he said curtail job creation. NO

In October 2016, Trump proposed to eliminate as many as 70 percent of federal agency regulations. NO

However, In May 2016 Trump’s campaign co-chair, Sam Clovis stated that the ideas being prepared by the campaign included getting government out of student lending; requiring colleges to share in risk of loans; discouraging borrowing by liberal arts majors; and moving the Office of Civil Rights from the Education Department to Justice Department. NO

In an October 2016 speech, Trump said that he favored having student loans repayment capped at 12.5 percent of borrowers’ income, with forgiveness of any remaining debt after fifteen years of payments. YES

Trump has criticized the federal government for earning a profit from federal student loans. YES

The campaign does opposes Hillary Clinton’s proposal for debt-free public higher education, Bernie Sanders’s plan for free public higher education and President Obama’s proposals for a state-federal partnership to make community college free for new high school graduates, citing federal budget concerns. NO

Trump supports investment in American infrastructure to help create jobs.He wrote in his 2015 book Crippled America that “Our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems – our nation’s entire infrastructure is crumbling, and we aren’t doing anything about it.” Trump noted that infrastructure improvements would stimulate economic growth while acknowledging “on the federal level, this is going to be an expensive investment, no question about that.”In an October 2015 interview with the Guardian, Trump stated: “We have to spend money on mass transit. We have to fix our airports, fix our roads also in addition to mass transit, but we have to spend a lot of money.” YES

Trump said: “We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people. If we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems—our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had—we would’ve been a lot better off.” YES

Trump has expressed support for high-speed rail, calling the U.S.’s current rail network inferior to foreign countries’ systems. YES

When Trump was asked on Fox & Friends about supporting Russia’s idea on a Bering Strait tunnel project, he replied: “I wouldn’t be opposed to any idea that can create jobs.” YES

Asked if the federal government should set a floor (a national minimum wage), Trump replied: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. NO

In February 2016, Trump said on a radio program: “My position on unions is fine, but I like right to work. My position on right to work is 100 percent.” NO

Trump has frequently spoken in favor of deregulation, and if elected president is viewed as likely to oversee an Occupational Safety and Health Administration that conducts “less enforcement and practically no rulemaking” on issues of workplace safety and health. NO

Trump first addressed childcare costs on August 8, 2016, where he said he would “[allow] parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes.” NO

According to a report by the RAND Corporation, Trump’s proposed health-care policies would result in 19.7 million more people without insurance and widen the federal deficit by $33.1 billion in 2018. NO! Way to go, morans!

As the 2016 campaign unfolded, Trump stated that he favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) – which Trump refers to as a “complete disaster”- and replacing it with a “free-market system.” NO

Trump’s campaign has insisted that the candidate has “never supported socialized medicine.” NO

In March 2016, Trump reversed himself, saying that “Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.” NO

In March 2016 Trump released his health care plan, which called for allowing health-insurance companies to compete across state lines and for making Medicaid into a block grant system for the states. NO

He also called for elimination of the individual mandate for health insurance, for allowing health insurance premiums to be deducted on tax returns. NO

…and for international competition in the drug market. YES

Trump acknowledged that mental health care in the U.S. is often inadequate but offered no immediate solution to the problem, instead stating that “there are promising reforms being developed in Congress.” NO

Trump also emphasized the removal of market entry barriers for drug providers and improved access to imported medication corresponding to safety standards. NO

Though he characterized the Canadian health-care system as “catastrophic in certain ways” in October 2016. NO

Trump identifies himself as a “free trader.” NO

…but has been widely identified as a “protectionist” YES

Trump has described supporters of international trade as “blood suckers.” YES

According to the New York Times, since at least the 1980s, Trump has advanced mercantilist views, “describing trade as a zero-sum game in which countries lose by paying for imports.” YES

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has decried the U.S.-China trade imbalance—calling it “the greatest theft in the history of the world”—and regularly advocates tariffs. YES

In a 60 Minutes interview in September 2015, Trump condemned the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that if elected president, “We will either renegotiate it, or we will break it.” YES

In January 2016, Trump proposed a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States to give “American workers a level playing field.” YES

Trump has vowed to label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office. YES

Trump has pledged “swift, robust and unequivocal” action against Chinese piracy, counterfeit American goods, and theft of U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property; and has condemned China’s “illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.” YES

In a May 2016 speech, Trump responded to concerns regarding a potential trade war with “We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?” YES

Trump has vowed to impose tariffs – in the range of 15 to 35 percent – on companies that move their operations to Mexico. He has specifically criticized the Ford Motor Co., Carrier Corporation, and Mondelez International. YES

Trump has pledged a 35% tariff on “every car, every truck and every part manufactured in [Ford’s Mexico plant] that comes across the border.” YES

n August 2015, in response to Oreo maker Mondelez International’s announcement that it would move manufacturing to Mexico, Trump said that he would boycott Oreos. YES

Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying “The deal is insanity. That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen … We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a back door for China.”Trump has asserted that the TPP will “be even worse than… NAFTA… We will lose jobs, we will lose employment, we will lose taxes, we will lose everything. We will lose our country.” YES

Trump has called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a “disaster”. YES

When informed that tariffs in the range of 15 to 35 percent would be contrary to the rules of the WTO, he answered “even better. Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out.” YES

Trump has also expressed support for a variety of “limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas,” including a “pause” on granting green cards, which Trump says will “allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages.” YES

Trump’s proposals regarding H-1B visas have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign, but as of late July 2016, he appears to oppose to the H-1B visa program. YES

Trump opposes birthright citizenship (the legal principle set forth by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that all persons born on U.S. soil are citizens). Trump has asserted that the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to children of illegal immigrants (whom Trump refers to as “anchor babies”). YES

The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. YES

The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. YES

Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. NO

In addition to his proposals to construct a border wall (see below), Trump has called for tripling the number of Border Patrol agents. NO

Trump has repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, and has said that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs. NO

Experts also note that on federally protected wilderness areas and Native American reservations, the Department of Homeland Security may have only limited construction authority, and a wall could cause environmental damage. NO

Trump has proposed the mass deportation of illegal immigrants.During his first town hall campaign meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, Trump said that if he were to win the election, then on “day 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast.” YES

Trump has proposed a “Deportation Force” to carry out this plan, modeled after the 1950s-era “Operation Wetback” program during the Eisenhower administration. YES

However, on August 31, 2016, Trump reiterated that all illegal immigrants are “subject to deportation” and all those seeking legalization would have to go home and re-enter the country legally. NO

According to analysts, Trump’s mass-deportation plan would encounter legal and logistical difficulties, since U.S. immigration courts already face large backlogs. NO

However, in a major speech on August 31, Trump laid out a 10-step plan reaffirming his hardline positions, including the deportation of “anyone who has entered the United States illegally,” with priority given to undocumented immigrants who have committed significant crimes and those who have overstayed visas. He also repeated his proposal for a deportation task force. According to a Washington Post analysis, if Trump’s criteria for immediate deportation as of September 2016 are met, the number of individuals prioritized for removal by ICE agents would range between about 5.0 and 6.5 million. YES

In August 2016, Trump suggested that “extreme views” would be grounds to be thrown out of the U.S., saying he would deport Seddique Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen (the gunman in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting), who has expressed support for the Taliban. NO

Specifically, Trump stated, “When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.” Trump later referred to the reformulation as “extreme vetting”. YES

Trump has proposed making it more difficult for asylum-seekers and refugees to enter the United States… YES

…and making the e-Verify system mandatory for employers. YES

Trump has on several occasions expressed opposition to allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. – saying they could be the “ultimate Trojan horse” – and has proposed deporting back to Syria refugees settled in the U.S. By September 2015, Trump had expressed support for taking in some Syrian refugees and praised Germany’s decision to take in Syrian refugees. YES

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump stated “I’m pro-life and I’ve been pro-life a long time” and acknowledged that he had “evolved” on the issue. NO

In August 2015, Trump said that he supported a government shutdown over federal funding for Planned Parenthood. NO

In an interview later that month, Trump acknowledged that there must be “some form” of punishment for women if abortion were made illegal in the U.S. Trump issued a statement later that day reversing his position from earlier by saying, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.” NO

Trump has said that abortion should be legal in cases involving “rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.” NO

In May 2016, when asked if he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump stated: “Well, they’ll be pro-life. And we’ll see about overturning, but I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.” In the same interview, Trump stated of the anti-abortion cause: “I will protect it, and the biggest way you can protect is through the Supreme Court.” The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, praised Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees as “exceptionally strong,” while the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America called the candidates on the list “a woman’s worst nightmare.” NO

Short of overturning Roe v. Wade, Trump has pledged to sign legislation from Congress banning abortion at the 20-week mark (Roe v. Wade protects a woman’s right to an abortion before a fetus is viable, which anti-abortion activists have argued is at the 20-week mark). NO

Trump chose leading anti-abortion advocate Marjorie Dannenfelser, who opposes abortion even in cases of rape and has said that contraception increases the rate of abortion, to lead his campaign’s “Pro-Life Coalition.” NO

Trump has on several occasions suggested that Christians are being discriminated against, for instance, stating that “Christianity is under tremendous siege.” NO

He has vowed to end an IRS rule that prohibits tax-exempted non-profits from campaigning on behalf of candidates, believing the rule undermines Christian influence in U.S. politics. NO

Trump has suggested that he is being audited by the IRS “maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.” NO

He has suggested that he would have an easier time getting a ban on Christian immigrants passed than one on Muslims. NO

Trump has been critical of department stores that do not greet their customers with “Merry Christmas” anymore, stating that things will change if he gets elected president: “I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that.” NO

Trump has said that if elected, he would loosen defamation laws so that when journalists write “purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” NO

In a 1989 interview with Larry King, Trump stated: “The problem with our society is the victim has absolutely no rights and the criminal has unbelievable rights” and that “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.” NO

In 2016, Trump decried the fact that Ahmad Khan Rahami, a U.S. citizen charged in connection with the bombings in New York and New Jersey, would be provided with medical treatment and the right to counsel, calling this “sad.” NO

At the second presidential debate, which took place in October 2016, Trump said that if he was “in charge of the law of our country,” rival presidential contender Hillary Clinton would “be in jail. In the same debate, Trump also pledged that if elected, he would direct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the remark “chilling” and said: “Trump thinks that the presidency is like some banana republic dictatorship where you can lock up your political opponents.” The remark was viewed as part of “a litany of statements [Trump] has made during the campaign that many legal specialists have portrayed as a threat to the rule of law.” Later that October, Trump spoke fondly of the “Lock her up” chants at his rally, saying “Lock her up is right.” He also said that Clinton’s legal representatives “have to go to jail”. NO

In August 2016, Trump said that he “would be fine” with trying U.S. citizens accused of terrorism in military tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. NO

Trump has offered qualified support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which aims to protect those who oppose same-sex marriage based on their religious beliefs from action by the federal government, such as revocation of tax-exempt status, grants, loans, benefits, or employment. Trump said, “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signatures and enactment.” NO

In July 2016, Trump expressed support for North Carolina House Bill 2, which eliminates anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people… NO

…and legislates that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. NEUTRAL

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump stated in response to the murder of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd that he wanted a more “tolerant society” and he would “absolutely” support hate crime legislation on the basis of their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. NO

Trump is the first Republican nominee to mention the LGBT community in a GOP nomination address, saying in his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016: “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” YES

In an October 1999 appearance on Meet the Press, Trump said gays openly serving in the military was “not something that would disturb me.” YES

Regarding whether gay couples should have the same access the same benefits as married couples, Trump said that his “attitude on it has not been fully formed.” The Advocate, an American LGBT-interest magazine, characterized Trump’s Supreme Court picks as “LGBT-unfriendly,” noting that “not all have ruled in LGBT rights cases, but those who have are largely unsympathetic, and some have the backing of anti-LGBT activists. NO

Trump signed a pledge in July 2016 that he would work to combat both legal pornography and illegal pornography, such as child pornography. In the pledge, he promised to “give serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture and the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in the digital age.” NO

Trump has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and accuses President Obama of “dividing America.” NO

Trump has said that if elected president, he might direct his Attorney General to look into the Black Lives Matter movement. NO

When asked if he believes there to be a racial divide in America, Trump answered, “Sadly, there would seem to be…and it’s probably not been much worse at any time.” NEUTRAL

When asked if he believes police treat African Americans differently than whites, Trump answered, “It could be.” NEUTRAL

Trump describes the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as “tough to watch” and criticized the “terrible, disgusting performance” by police. NO

Trump said that he could relate to the systemic bias African Americans faced against whites, saying, “even against me the system is rigged when I ran … for president. NO

When asked if he could understand the experience of being African American, Trump replied, “I would like to say yes, but you really can’t unless you are African American. You can’t truly understand what’s going on unless you are African American. I would like to say yes, however.” NEUTRAL

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” NO

On November 21, Trump expanded on his stance, saying that he would order “surveillance of certain mosques” to combat “Islamic extremism” after the Paris attacks. YES

Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001. NO

On National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Trump says that he “tends to err on the side of security” over privacy. Trump supports bringing back now-expired provisions of the Patriot Act to allow for the NSA to collect and store bulk telephone metadata. Trump said: “I assume that when I pick up my telephone, people are listening to my conversations anyway.” NO

In February 2016, Trump urged his supporters to boycott Apple Inc. unless the company agrees to build a custom backdoor for the FBI to unlock the password-protected iPhone connected to one of the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, a move that Apple argues would threaten the security and privacy of its users.[386] Trump himself still uses his iPhone to send out tweets. NO

Trump opposes same-day voter registration… NO

…supports voter identification laws… NO

…asserted that Obama won in 2012 due to voter fraud… NO

…has charged that the election system will be rigged against him in the 2016 race… NO

…and has equivocated on whether he would accept the outcome of the 2016 election. NO

In the September 2016 presidential debate, when asked if he would honor the outcome of the election, Trump said that he “absolutely” would. Four days later, Trump appeared to have reconsidered his statement from the debate, saying “We’re going to have to see. We’re going to see what happens. We’re going to have to see.”In early- and mid-October 2016, Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged, alleging media coordination with the Clinton campaign, citing Saturday Night Live as an example of the aforementioned rigged media, and alleging that “The election is absolutely being rigged… at many polling places” even though no polling places had opened. NO

That same month, Trump asserted that the federal government was allowing illegal immigrants to come into the U.S. so they can vote. NO

Trump has claimed that “dead people voted for President Obama” and that “dead voters… helped get President Obama elected.” On election night 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about Obama’s victory, saying, among other things, “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!” NO

In August 2015, Trump said he would support women in combat roles “because they’re really into it and some of them are really, really good. YES

While Trump has repeatedly expressed support for “the idea of campaign finance reform…” YES

…He has not outlined specifics of his actual views on campaign-finance regulation. For example, Trump has not said whether he favors public financing of elections or caps on expenditures of campaigns, outside groups, and individuals. NEUTRAL

According to Chris Christie (leader of Trump’s White House transition team), Trump would, if elected President, seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Obama…NO

…and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers. NO

Trump has provided “little detail regarding his positions on disability-related policies,” and his campaign website makes no mention of disabled people. As of June 1, 2016, Trump had not responded to the issue questionnaire of the nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility. NEUTRAL

Trump attracted criticism for mocking the physical disability of New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis. NO

In an interview with the Washington Post in March 2016, Trump said that though he didn’t yet have a position on statehood, it would be something that “I don’t think I’d be inclined to do”. NO

He also said that “having representation would be okay…” YES

Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. On school choice he’s commented, “Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition – the American way. NO

Trump has blasted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, calling it a “total disaster”. Trump has asserted that Common Core is “education through Washington D.C.”, a claim which Politifact and other journalists have rated “false”, since the adoption and implementation of Common Core is a state choice, not a federal one. NO

Trump has stated that Ben Carson will be “very much involved in education” under a Trump presidency. NO

Carson rejects the theory of evolution…NO

…believes that “home-schoolers do the best, private schoolers next best, charter schoolers next best, and public schoolers worst”… NO

…and wants to “take the federal bureaucracy out of education. NO

Trump has proposed redirecting $20 billion in existing federal spending to block grants to states to give poor children vouchers to attend a school of their family’s choice (including a charter school, private school, or online school). Trump did not explain where the $20 billion in the federal budget would come from. Trump stated that “Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice and charter laws.” NO

Trump has called eminent domain “wonderful” and repeatedly asked the government to invoke it on his behalf during past development projects. YES

In October 2015, Trump stated that “you have to be careful with” paid family leave as it could impact keeping “our country very competitive”. NO

In September 2016, Trump posted a list on his web site of regulations that he would eliminate. The list included what it called the “FDA Food Police” and mentioned the Food and Drug Administration’s rules governing “farm and food production hygiene” and “food temperatures”. The factsheet provided by Trump mirrored a May report by the conservative Heritage Foundation. NO

According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump has not addressed the gender pay gap in his 2016 presidential bid (as of July 2016). NEUTRAL

“Trump’s past statements on women in the workplace have included calling pregnancy “an inconvenience.” NO

…telling a voter in New Hampshire last year that women will receive the same pay as men “if they do as good a job.” NO

Colman McCarthy of the Washington Post wrote in 1993 that in testimony given that year to the House Natural Resources subcommittee on Native American Affairs, Trump “devoted much of his testimony to bad-mouthing Indians and their casinos,” asserted that “organized crime is rampant on Indian reservations” and that “if it continues, it will be the biggest scandal ever.” Trump offered no evidence in support of his claim, and testimony from the FBI’s organized crime division, the Justice Department’s criminal division, and the IRS’s criminal investigation division did not support Trump’s assertion. Representative George Miller, a Democrat who was the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee at the time, stated: “In my 19 years in Congress, I’ve never heard more irresponsible testimony.” NO

Trump bankrolled in 2000 a set of anti-Indian gaming ads in upstate New York that featured “a dark photograph showing hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia,” a warning that “violent criminals were coming to town,” and an accusation that the St. Regis Mohawks had a “record of criminal activity.” The ad—aimed at stopping the construction of a casino in the Catskills that might hurt Trump’s own Atlantic City casinos was viewed as “incendiary” and racially charged, and at the time local tribal leaders, in response, bought a newspaper ad of their own to denounce the “smear” and “racist and inflammatory rhetoric” of the earlier ad. NO

The ads attracted the attention of the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying because they failed to disclose Trump’s sponsorship as required by state lobbying rules. Trump acknowledged that he sponsored the ads and reached a settlement with the state in which he and his associates agreed to issue a public apology and pay $250,000 (the largest civil penalty ever levied by the commission) for evading state disclosure rules. NO

In 2015, Trump defended the controversial team name and mascot of the Washington Redskins, saying that the NFL team should not change its name and he did not find the term to be offensive. The “Change the Mascot” campaign, led by the Oneida Indian Nation and National Congress of American Indians, condemned Trump’s stance. NEUTRAL

While campaigning in 2016, Trump has repeatedly belittled Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts by calling her “Pocahontas” (a reference to Warren’s claim, based on family lore, of Native American ancestry, which she has been unable to document). Trump’s comments were criticized by a number of public figures as racist and inappropriate. Gyasi Ross of the Blackfeet Nation, a Native American activist and author, criticized Trump’s “badgering of Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas'” as “simply the continuation of his pattern of racist bullying. NO

Trump has espoused Barack Obama citizenship (“birther”) conspiracy theories over time. NO

He falsely accused Hillary Clinton of having started the “Birther” movement. NO

Trump has been critical of the ways in which veterans are treated in the United States, saying “the vets are horribly treated in this country… they are living in hell.” YES

In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas. YES

Trump’s proposed plan for reforming the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs includes provisions for allowing veterans to obtain care at any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare, increasing funding for PTSD and suicide prevention services, and providing ob/gyn services at every VA hospital. Trump’s plan calls for greater privatization of veterans’ care. YES

Trump’s plan makes no reference directly to letting veterans get health care outside the VA system but Trump adviser Sam Clovis in May said the candidate was looking into such plans. NO

Trump’s plan calls “for legislation making it easier to fire underperforming employees…NEUTRAL

…increasing mental-health resources and adding a White House hotline so veterans can bypass the VA and bring problems directly to the president.” YES

Trump opposes the current G.I. Bill. NO

Trump skipped a televised Republican debate in January 2016 to host a rally to raise money for veterans. In early February, the Wall Street Journal reported that many veterans’ groups began to get their checks only after the Journal asked the Trump campaign why they had not. NO

In April, the Journal reported that the funds had yet to be fully distributed. NO

Trump caused a stir in July 2015 when he charged that Senator John McCain with having “done nothing to help the vets…” NO

Trump added that McCain is “not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” NO

At a rally on August 9, 2016, Trump accused his opponent of wanting to “essentially abolish the Second Amendment…” NO

By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” NO

Trump supports barring people on the government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons, saying in 2015: “If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.” YES

In January 2016, Trump said: “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, and – you have to – and on military bases… My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.” NO

n May 2016, Trump made ambiguous comments on guns in classrooms, saying: “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms.” NO

In June 2016, Trump stated that, “it would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight” to see Omar Mateen shot in the head by an armed patron in the Pulse nightclub shooting, reiterating his stance that more people should be armed in public places. NO

Trump has asserted that the presence of more guns in schools and public places could have stopped mass shootings such as those in Paris, San Bernardino, California, and Umpqua Community College. NO

On the campaign trail, Trump has praised the National Rifle Association (NRA),[493] and received the group’s endorsement after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee. NO

Trump has described himself as a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment. NO

Trump has said that concealed carry “is a right, not a privilege.” NO

He has called for an overhaul of the current federal background check system, arguing that “Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system.” YES

…while campaigning for the presidency in 2015 and 2016 has called for the expansion of gun rights. NO

…rump has proposed eliminating prohibitions on assault weapons, military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines (which Trump described as “scary sounding phrases” used by gun control advocates “to confuse people”)…NO

…as well as making concealed carry permits valid nationwide, rather than on the current state-to-state basis. NO

According to the New York Times, many of Trump’s statements on legal topics are “extemporaneous and resist conventional legal analysis,” with some appearing “to betray ignorance of fundamental legal concepts.” NO

Trump has stated that he wants to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court with “a person of similar views and principles”. He has released a list of eleven potential picks to replace Scalia. The jurists are widely considered to be conservative. All are white, and eight of the eleven are men. The list includes five out of the eight individuals recommended by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.Trump had previously insisted that he would seek guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation when it came to picking Supreme Court candidates. NO

Several of the judges listed by Trump have questioned abortion rights. NO

Trump has claimed that he “would probably appoint” justices to the Supreme Court who “would look very seriously” at the Hillary Clinton email controversy “because it’s a criminal activity.” NO

Trump has criticized Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, as a “nightmare for conservatives,” citing Roberts’ vote in the 2015 decision in King v. Burwell, which upheld provisions of the Affordable Care Act. NO

He has also blamed Roberts for the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. NO

In February 2016, Trump called on the Senate to stop Obama from filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. NO

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight shows that, under the assumption that Scalia’s vacant seat on the Court will not be filled, and taking account of the advanced age of three of the sitting justices, that a Trump presidency would move the Supreme Court “rightward toward its most conservative position in recent memory”. NO

Trump has long advocated for capital punishment in the United States. NO

In May 1989, shortly after the Central Park jogger case received widespread media attention, Trump purchased a full-page ad in four New York City newspapers with the title “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!” NO

Five defendants (the “Central Park Five”) were wrongfully convicted in the case and were subsequently exonerated. By October 2016, Trump still maintained that “Central Park Five” were guilty.  NO

In December 2015, in a speech accepting the endorsement of the New England Police Benevolent Association, Trump said that “One of the first things I do [if elected President] in terms of executive order if I win will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that … anybody killing a police officer—death penalty. It’s going to happen, O.K.?” NO

However, under the current U.S. legal system, these prosecutions usually take place in state court under state law, and the president has no authority over such cases.Furthermore, 19 states have abolished the death penalty, and mandatory death sentences are unconstitutional, as held by the Supreme Court in Woodson v. North Carolina (1976). NO

Trump has stated that he would be “tough on crime” and criticized Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s criminal justice reform proposals. NO

In January 2016, Trump said that along with veterans, “the most mistreated people in this country are police.” NO

Trump supports the use of “stop and frisk” tactics, of the kind once used in New York City. NO

In 2000, Trump also rejected as elitist and naive the arguments of criminal justice reformers that the U.S. criminal justice system puts too many criminals in jail. NO

Trump is in favor of at least one mandatory sentence, where using a gun to commit a crime results in a five-year sentence. NO

Trump has on several occasions asserted that crime is rising in the United States. Trump’s assertion that crime is rising is false; in fact, both violent crime and property crime have been consistently declining in the U.S. since the early 1990s.[540] Trump’s claim that “inner-city crime is reaching record levels” received a “pants-on-fire” rating from PolitiFactNO

On November 22, 2015, Trump retweeted a graphic with purported statistics—cited to a nonexistent group—which claimed that African Americans were responsible for 81% of the homicides of White Americans and that police were responsible for 1% of black homicides compared to 4% of white homicides. Trump’s retweet earned PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating and was called “grossly inaccurate” by FactCheck.org the next day. PolitiFact wrote: “Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the exact opposite is true.” NO

Blacks were responsible for 15% of white homicides according to FBI data for 2014. The breakdown of the racial differences in police killings in Trump’s retweet was also inaccurate. Based on the percentages, the number of whites killed by police would be almost 4 times greater than the number of blacks. Data from the Washington Post for 2009 to 2013 showed a ratio of 1.5 white deaths by police for each black death. A separate estimate by Peter Moskos, associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice attributed 10% of white homicides to police and 4% to police for blacks. When asked about the statistics, Trump maintained that the statistics came “from sources that are very credible. NO

In his campaign for the presidency in 2015 and 2016, however, Trump adopted “drug warrior” positions and has sought advice on the issue from William J. Bennett, who served as the U.S. first “drug czar” in the 1980s “and has remained a proponent of harsh 1980s-style drug war tactics.” NO

Trump has voiced his opposition to video game violence. After it was reported that the Sandy Hook shooter frequently played violent video games, Trump tweeted, “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!” NO

Trump said that he would push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, so that members of the House of Representatives could serve for a maximum of six years and Senators for a maximum of twelve years. NO

Trump also pledged to re-institute a ban on executive branch officials from lobbying for five years after leaving government service. YES

…and said that he supported Congress instituting a similar five-year lobbying ban of its own, applicable to former members and staffYES

A 2016 report in Scientific American graded Trump and three other top presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein—on science policy, based on their responses to a twenty-question ScienceDebate.org survey. Trump “came in last on all counts” in grading, with scientists and researchers faulting him for a lack of knowledge or appreciation of scientific issues. NO

Trump is opposed to net neutrality, asserting that it is “Obama’s attack on the Internet” and saying that it “will target the conservative media.” NO

The Free Press Action Fund, a group of tech policy activists, rated Trump the worst 2016 presidential candidate for “citizens’ digital lives,” citing his positions opposing reforming the Patriot Act, favoring Internet censorship, and opposing net neutrality. NO

In 2014, after a New York physician returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and showed symptoms of the disease, Trump tweeted that if the doctor had Ebola, “Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!” When the doctor was later confirmed to have developed Ebola in New York, Trump tweeted that it was “Obama’s fault” and “I have been saying for weeks for President Obama to stop the flights from West Africa. So simple, but he refused. A TOTAL incompetent!” NO

Trump also criticized President Obama’s decision to send 3,000 U.S. troops to affected regions to help combat the outbreak. NO

As Dr. Kent Brantly returned to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted that U.S. doctors who went abroad to treat Ebola were “great” but “must suffer the consequences” if they became infected and insisted that “the U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our ‘borders.'” NO

When an Ebola patient was scheduled to come to the U.S. for treatment, Trump tweeted, “now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!” NO

On August 11, 2016, Trump said that he was in favor of Congress setting aside money to combat the Zika virus. YES

Trump believes that childhood vaccinations are related to autism, a hypothesis which has been repeatedly debunked. NO

In May 2016, Trump asked U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota – described by Reuters as “one of America’s most ardent drilling advocates and climate change skeptics” -to draft Trump’s energy policy. NO

According to Reuters, four sources close to Trump’s campaign say that Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma oil and gas mogul Harold Hamm as energy secretary if elected President. According to Reuters, Hamm would be the first-ever U.S. Secretary of Energy “drawn directly from the oil and gas industry.” Hamm has called for expanded drilling, criticized environmental regulations for limiting oil production, and called for less dependence on Middle Eastern oil producers. NO

On May 2016, Trump said that he could solve the water crisis in CaliforniaNO

He declared that “there is no drought,” a statement which the Associated Press noted is incorrect. NO

Trump accused California state officials of denying farmers of water so they can send it out to sea “to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish.” NO

Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate changeNO

He has said that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive..” NO

Trump criticized President Obama’s description of climate change as “the greatest threat to future generations” for being “naive” and “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.” NO

According to a report by the Sierra Club, Trump would, if elected President, be the only head of state in the world to contend that climate change is a hoax. NO

In May 2016, during his presidential campaign, Trump issued an energy plan focused on promoting fossil fuels and weakening environmental regulation. NO

Trump promised to “rescind” in his first 100 days in office a variety of Environmental Protection Agency regulations established during the Obama administration to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, which contribute to a warming global climate. NO

Trump has specifically pledged to revoke the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule, which he characterizes as two “job-destroying Obama executive actions.” NO

Trump has said “we’re practically not allowed to use coal any more,” a statement rated “mostly false” by PolitiFact. Trump has criticized the Obama administration’s coal policies, describing the administration’s moves to phase out the use of coal-fired power plants are “stupid.” NO

Trump has criticized the Obama administration for prohibiting “coal production on federal land”…Trump has vowed to revive the U.S. coal economy. NO

Trump wrote in his 2011 book that he opposed a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions. NO

At a rally in May 2016, “Trump implied that the regulations on hairspray and coal mining are both unwarranted” and incorrectly asserted that hairspray use in a “sealed” apartment prevents the spray’s ozone-depleting substances from reaching the atmosphere. NO

Trump pledged in his May 2016 speech on energy policy to “cancel the Paris climate agreement” adopted at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (in which 170 countries committed to reductions in carbon emissions)…A U.S. move to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as Trump proposes is viewed as likely to unravel the agreement; according to Reuters, such a move would spell “potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming. NO

In Trump’s May 2016 speech on energy policy, he declared that if elected president, he would “stop all payment of U.S. tax dollars to global warming.” This would be a reversal of the U.S. pledge to commit funds to developing countries to assist in climate change mitigation and could undermine the willingness of other countries to take action against climate change.programs.” NO

In his May 2016 speech on energy policy, Trump stated : “Under my presidency, we will accomplish complete American energy independence. We will become totally independent of the need to import energy from the oil cartel or any nation hostile to our interest.” The New York Times reported that “experts say that such remarks display a basic ignorance of the workings of the global oil markets.” NO

In January 2016, Trump vowed “tremendous cutting” of the budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if elected. NO

Trump has charged that the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abuses the Endangered Species Act to restrict oil and gas exploration.” NO

In 2011, Trump said that would permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern AlaskaNO

In July 2016, Trump suggested that he was in favor of state and local bans on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), saying, “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it. I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, they don’t want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that’s up to them… if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that.” NO

Trump has promised to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed project to bring Canadian petroleum to the U.S. NO

Trump has financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66 who are both directly involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is a campaign donor for Donald Trump. NO

In his 2015 book Crippled America, Trump is highly critical of the “big push” to develop renewable energy, arguing that the push is based on a mistaken belief that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. NO

Despite criticizing wind farms in the past (calling them “ugly”)…Trump has criticized wind energy for being expensive and for not working without “massive subsidies”. He added, “windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. One of the most beautiful, one of the most treasured birds — and they’re killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens. NO

Trump has said that he does not oppose the wind production tax credit, saying: “I’m okay with subsidies, to an extent.” NO

In his official platform, Trump claims that he will reduce bureaucracy which would then lead to greater innovation. NO

His platform mentions “renewable energies”, including “nuclear, wind and solar energy” in that regard but adds that he would not support those “to the exclusion of other energy”. NO

Trump supports a higher ethanol mandate (the amount of ethanol required by federal regulation to be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply)…Trump vowed to protect the government’s Renewable Fuel Standard and the corn-based ethanol. NO

In October 2016, the Humane Society denounced Trump’s campaign, saying that a “Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere” and that he has “a team of advisors and financial supporters tied in with trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries” NO

In a New York Times interview in July 2016, Trump “repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms,” with the nation’s “roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent against adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders” being “quickly reduced to questions of economic benefit to the United States.” NO

Two of the advisors on the list “view Islamic Sharia law within the U.S. as a dire threat. NO

One of the advisors “has accused the State Department’s top official for Ukraine and Russia, Victoria Nuland, of “fomenting” the 2014 revolution that overthrew Ukraine’s government.” YES

However, like Trump, Flynn has been a critic of the U.S.’s military involvement in Iraq and Libya as well as its support for the Syrian opposition, and has advocated for closer ties with Russia. YES

Previously when asked about who he was consulting with on foreign policy during an interview on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe, Trump responded with “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” NO

Some of Trump’s foreign policy ideas have been met with opposition by the GOP foreign policy establishment. YES

The Economist Intelligence Unit placed a Trump victory in the presidential election fifth in their list of ten global risks for 2016, citing his foreign policy positions which increase the risk of trade war, him being used as a potent recruitment tool for jihadi group and weakened efforts to contain Russia’s expansionist tendencies. YES

Trump stated in a December 2015 Republican primary debate that “Our military is a disaster,” and in a July 2016 radio appearance described the U.S. military as “depleted and in horrible shape.” NO

In July 2016, retired U.S. Marine Corps General John R. Allen, who supports Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton gave a forceful speech against Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Trump responded by calling the four-star military leader “a failed general” and saying that he had never met him. YES

Trump has stated on a number of occasions that if elected president, he “would increase [spending] on the military.”Trump claims that the U.S. military will be “funded beautifully” if elected President. While Trump has not offered specifics on defense spending under a Trump presidency, he has repeatedly called for a U.S. military buildup and has criticized President Obama’s military spending strategy.Trump has criticized the decline in the numbers of active-duty armed forces, Navy ships and Air Force planes since the end of the Cold WarNO

Trump has pledged to rein in wasteful spending in the military. LIE!

Trump has stated his intention to provide presidential leadership with strong diplomacy to restore “respect” for the United States around the world and he supports a robust national defense. YES

Trump has stated, “We Americans are laughed at around the world for losing a hundred and fifty billion dollars year after year, for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped off the face of the earth in about 15 minutes if it weren’t for us. Our ‘allies’ are making billions screwing us.” Trump has called for allied countries, including Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea to pay the United States for helping protect their nations. YES

In an interview, Trump stated “You have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. … When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” When pressed on what “take out” meant, Trump said the U.S. should “wipe out their homes” and “where they came from.” NO 

Later, in August 2011, Trump criticized the Obama administration for not helping former Mubarak keep power, citing Mubarak’s positive relationship with Israel and the negative effect that Mubarak’s removal would have on other allies’ faith in the United States. In 2012, Trump reiterated his criticisms of the Obama administration’s handling of Mubarak and asserted that “Egypt is now our enemy” and that “Israel is in trouble.” NO

In September 2016, Trump described the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as a “fantastic guy”, praising his handling of the 2013 anti-Morsi uprising that led to the removal of then-president Mohamed Morsi from power. Trump said that there was a “good feeling between [them]”. NO

In June 2016, Trump maintained that “Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons.” NO

Trump opposes the international nuclear agreement with Iran (negotiated with the U.S. and five other world powers) that was made in 2015, calling it “terrible” and saying that the Obama administration negotiated the agreement “from desperation.” NO

Trump opposed the sanctions relief in the agreement, saying: “We’re giving them billions of dollars in this deal, which we shouldn’t have given them. We should have kept the money.” NO

Trump has claimed that “when those restrictions expire (in the Iran nuclear deal), Iran will have an industrial-size military nuclear capability ready to go…” NO

Trump was critical of State Department officials as they negotiated the Iran deal, saying that “It’s a one-day deal. This whole thing should have taken a day.” NO

In July 2015, when explaining his opposition to the Iran agreement, Trump cited four American prisoners being held prisoner in the country. NO

In September 2015, Trump told CNN that he believed the agreement would compel the U.S. to side with Iran in the event of war: “There’s something in the Iran deal that people I don’t think really understand or know about, and nobody’s able to explain it, that if somebody attacks Iran, we have to come to their defense. So if Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads […] that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.” NO

According to Trump, nuclear weapons, not global warming, is the world’s biggest problem. NO

Trump said that any deal with Iran should stipulate that inspectors have 24-hour-a-day access immediately to all nuclear sites and made reference to U.S. nationals imprisoned the country. NO

In the September 2016 Presidential Debate, Trump said that the Iran deal should have contained provisions that Iran “do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places.” NO

In October 2016, it was reported that despite Trump’s denouncement of Iran as a “big enemy” and assertions that donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation charity amounted to evidence of corruption, the Trump Organization did business with one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks from 1998 to 2003. NO

Trump’s positions on defeating ISIL have frequently changed throughout his presidential campaign. Trump has claimed that he would “bomb the hell” out of Iraqi oil fields controlled by ISIL. NO

In the aftermath of the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, which were committed by ISIL, Trump reiterated his statements about ISIL from November 12, 2015, when he stated he would “bomb the shit out of ’em” and said “I’d blow up the [oil] pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, and you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there in two months… and I’d take the oil.” NO

Trump said in an interview with Anderson Cooper “There is no Iraq. Their leaders are corrupt.” NO

In 2015, when asked how he would deal with Iraq’s condemnation of strikes on their oil fields, Trump replied that Iraq is a corrupt country that is not deserving of his respect. NO

Trump said he “got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes’, we were stable mates, we did well that night.” NO

Trump said he approved of Russia’s intervention in Syria, stating: “If Putin wants to knock the hell out of ISIS, I’m all for it 100 percent and I can’t understand how anybody would be against that … He’s going in and we can go in and everybody should go in.” During his speech at the Oklahoma State Fair, Trump accused his opponents of wanting to “start World War III over Syria.” YES

Trump stated in November 2015, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” NO

In June 2016, Trump stated that he “[likes] the idea of using NATO and also neighbors that aren’t in NATO” to “take [ISIL] out” and that “it’s very possible that we should use NATO” to fight ISIL. YES

Jonathan Russell, head of policy for the anti-radicalization think tank Quilliam, warned that Trump’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric” helps ISIL’s narrative, saying “Trump will contribute to Islamist radicalization. NO

In the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting (June 2016), Trump accused the Obama administration has actively “supported” the Islamic extremist group that became ISIL. NO

In August 2016, Trump repeatedly and falsely asserted that President Obama was the “founder” of ISIL. YES

Trump responded to Hewitt’s attempt to reframe Trump’s comment as one that said Obama’s foreign policy created the conditions in Iraq and Syria that allowed ISIL to thrive, by saying “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do….He was the founder. The way he got out of Iraq — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?” NO

Regarding the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, Trump said in a July 2016 interview, “I give great credit to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] for being able to turn that around.” When asked if Erdoğan was exploiting the coup attempt to purge his political enemies, Trump did not call for the Turkish leader to observe the rule of law, or offer other cautions for restraint. NO

Trump stated in the July 2016 interview that he believed he could persuade Erdoğan to step up efforts against ISIL. NO

When asked how he would solve the problem of Turkish attacks on Kurds who are fighting ISIL, Trump said “Meetings.” NO

On September 11, 2002, when asked by radio talk-show host Howard Stern if he supported an invasion of Iraq, Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” NO

On March 21, 2003, one day into the Iraq War, Trump was interviewed by Fox NewsNeil Cavuto. Trump said that the war appeared to be “a tremendous success from a military standpoint”, and expressed hope that it would continue to be so. NO

Later that week he publicly called the war a “mess”. Later, Trump publicly and explicitly criticized the war in an interview published in Esquire in August 2004, sixteen months after the invasion. Trump said: “Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in,” criticized the George W. Bush administration’s handling of the war, dismissed the idea of Iraq becoming functionally democratic, and predicted that “Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he’ll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn’t have.” YES

Trump has been highly critical of the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, stating that “Israel has been totally mistreated.” NO

Trump lent his personal jet to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani so that the latter could show solidarity for terror victims in Israel in 2001…NO

..and he was the grand marshal of the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York in 2004. NO

Speaking in 2006, Trump said that Israel was one of his favorite countries, adding: “I know that you’ve been through a lot recently… I believe Israel is a great country.” NO

Trump released a video endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli electionsNO

In 2015, when Trump won the Liberty Award at the Second Annual Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala in honor of his positive contributions to Israel–United States relations, he stated: “We love Israel, we will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent, it will be there forever”. NO

In December 2015, Trump told the Associated Press that an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord would depend very much upon Israel, remarking: “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to,” come to a peace accord. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal – whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.” YES

…a day later, Trump postponed his visit to Israel until “a later date after I become President of the U.S.”, stating that he did not want to put Netanyahu “under pressure”. NO

Trump said that he would not take sides in any Israeli-Palestinian agreement in order to be a neutral negotiator in the peace talks…LIE

…despite also adding that he is “totally pro-Israel”. NO

At a press conference in March 2016, Trump said that as president, he would require nations to re-compensate for the foreign aid that they have received. YES

When specifically asked whether his previously stated stance on charging U.S allies for defense spending would extend to Israel, he replied, “I think Israel would do that also. There are many countries that can pay, and they can pay big-league.” However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on that position of aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.” NO

However, immediately after the press conference, Trump reversed himself on that position of aid to Israel, adding, “They [Israel] help us greatly.” NO

Trump has said on more than one occasion that if elected president he will move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he described as the “eternal capital of the Jewish people”… NO

Trump has vowed that as president he will veto a UN imposed Israel-Palestine peace agreement, stating: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.” NO

He added that “The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable.” NO

Trump has criticized the Palestinian Authority for the absence of peace, saying: “the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …[and they] have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred… They have to stop the teaching of children to aspire to grow up as terrorists, which is a real problem. Of course, the recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is also a major sticking point, with the current Palestinian leadership repeatedly refusing to meet that basic condition.” NO

However, Trump breaks with long-standing bipartisan U.S. policy, by supporting continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, saying that Israel ‘has to keep going’ and that ‘there shouldn’t be a pause’ with the settlement construction. If elected, Trump’s seemingly broad support of Israeli settlement development would constitute a significant shift in US policy, as previous US administrations, Republican and Democrat, have described such West Bank construction as illegal. NO

Meeting with Netanyahu in September 2016, Trump’s statement said “under a Trump administration, [we] will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” NO

In 2009, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi rented space through intermediaries on Trump’s Seven Springs estate in the suburb of Bedford, New York. (Gaddafi rented Trump’s land to camp in a “Bedouin-style” tent while in the U.S. to attend the UN General Assembly.) The situation created controversy when the tents were raised on the property, and Trump forced Gaddafi off the property saying that he was unaware of the arrangement. In 2011, Trump told Fox News that he had “screwed” Gaddafi on the deal, touting the affair as evidence of foreign-policy experience. NO

Trump was a strong supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, arguing “fervently” on a number of occasions that U.S. military intervention was necessary to advert humanitarian disaster in Libya and warning that it would be “a major, major black eye for this country [the U.S.]” if it failed to depose Gaddafi. In a February 2011 video blog, Trump said: “I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage … Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick.” Trump made similar comments in a March 2011 appearance on Piers MorganNO

In 2011, Trump also advocated U.S. seizure of Libyan oil. NO

While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump reversed his earlier position, stating on several occasions that the U.S. would be “so much better off” or “100% better off” if Gaddafi remained in charge of Libya. YES

In June 2016, Trump again reversed course, saying on CBSFace the Nation that he would have supported “surgical” bombing, against Gaddafi in particular. NO

In December 2015, Trump said that the days of the Saudi Royal Family buying off American politicians will end if he is elected President. YES

In February 2016, Trump blamed Saudi Arabia for the September 11 attacks, saying: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi – take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.” YES

Trump has called for Saudi Arabia to pay for the costs of American troops stationed there: “They should pay us. … The primary reason we’re with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now we don’t need the oil so much …” YES

Regarding the Chinese, Trump stated in 2011, “I don’t think they’re friends. I think they’re enemies.” NO

In 2011, Trump stated that he would “send [China] a bill for the value of the secrets that they’ve stolen,” referring to alleged Chinese theft of U.S. stealth technology. YES

Trump has criticized China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization, alleging that it caused job losses in the United States. YES

Trump has been critical of Chinese intellectual property theft, alleging that “they [the Chinese] are stealing billions and billions of dollars of our intellectual property.” YES

Trump has spoken favorably of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and of closer alliance with IndiaNO

…has said that he would be willing to meet North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un, saying that he would have “no problem” doing so. YES

Trump described Kim as a “maniac” but also claimed that Kim deserves “credit” for being able to overcome his rivals in order to succeed his father. YES

Trump has advocated placing greater pressure on China, including through restrictions on trade, to rein in its ally North Korea in the wake of the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test, saying that China has “total control” over North Korea and the U.S. has “tremendous” economic power over China. NO

He also argued that the Iran nuclear deal should have included a component about Iran-North Korea relations. NO

In September 2016, Trump expressed his opposition to the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba achieved in July 2015. NO

Trump said that he would only restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba if the Cuban regime met his demands to restore political freedoms and free political prisoners. NO

In February 2016, Trump said that he opposed the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows any Cuban who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country legally and apply for residency. YES

On the first day of his presidential campaign for the 2000 election, Trump held an event in Miami where he vowed to maintain the embargo on Cuba and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. However, according to reporting by Newsweek in September 2016, Trump had conducted business in Cuba in violation of the embargo seven months before his vow. NO

In a July 2016 interview, Trump said of the European Union, “the reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the United States.” YES

Trump has been critical of German chancellor Angela Merkel and her handling of the European migrant crisis, saying “Everyone thought she was a really great leader, and now she’s turned out to be this catastrophic leader. And she’ll be out if they don’t have a revolution.” YES

In July 2016, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated that he was concerned about what he sees as Trump’s contradictory promises to “make America strong again” while simultaneously reducing involvement overseas. Steinmeier said that Trump’s proposed policies “would be dangerous not only for the United States, but for Europe and the rest of the world as well”. YES

In regards to British voters voting to leave the European Union, Trump stated, “I think it’s a great thing that happened… Basically they took back their country. That’s a good thing.” YES

One reason that Trump was enthusiastic about the outcome of the vote was that it lowered the value of the British pound, which was good for business at his golf course in ScotlandNO

In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump argued that European countries used NATO as a pathway to place the burden of international responsibility on the United States while “their conflicts are not worth American lives. Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually.” YES

In a July 2016 interview, Trump “explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies,” questioning whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members. YES

In a July 2016 interview, Trump stated that he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions on Russia that were imposed after Russia began aiding self-proclaimed separatist republics in eastern Ukraine seeking to undermine the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government. YES

He added that Russia could help the United States in fighting ISIS terror organization. YES

Also in July 2016 Trump referred to a recent leak of Democratic National Committee email leaks, thought to be connected to a cyberattack widely thought to have been carried out by Russian intelligence services. Trump stated that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” NO

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin over a series of years, developing what CNN called a “long-established track record of…fondness for the autocratic Russian leader.” YES

In response to a question in October 2015 about the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown and the U.S. intelligence community’s “confident” assessment that pro-Russian separatists shot it down, Trump responded, “Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.” YES

Trump has stated that the U.S. should open fire on Russian planes if Russia rejects calls to stop the approaches. NO

Trump criticized former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as not having “a firm enough hand” controlling Russia… YES

…mentioning China for effectively handling the situation during the Tiananmen Square massacre, saying: “they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.” NO

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014, Trump stated that Putin was taking “the heart and soul” of Ukraine because he believed Crimea was “where all the money is” and went on to predict “the rest of Ukraine will fall, and it’s predicted to fall fairly quickly.” Later that month, Trump stated that the Russian takeover of Crimea “should never have happened.” NO

In July 2015 Trump opposed U.S. involvement in the Ukrainian crisis (in a rally in July 2016 he implied that this could have led to World War III), describing Crimea as “Europe’s problem.” YES

In July 2016, Trump stated that he would “look into” recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. YES

In August 2015 Trump stated he “did not care” about Ukrainian membership in NATO, saying that both membership and non-membership would be “great.” NO

Speaking to the Yalta European Strategy conference in September 2015, Trump criticized Germany and other European countries for not doing enough to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, saying, Ukrainians are “not being treated right.” NO

Trump has expressed support for South Korea and Japan having nuclear weapons if they would be unwilling to pay the United States for security. NO

In March 2016, Anderson Cooper asked, “Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?” Trump answered: “Saudi Arabia, absolutely.” NO

Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, calling it “probably the most dangerous country” in the world, and claiming that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons posed a “serious problem.” YES

He has advocated improving relations with India as a supposed “check” to Pakistan. NO

Trump said in a December 2015 rally, “We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.” NO

Trump said that the Internet should be shut off to countries that have a majority of their territory controlled by terrorist organizations. NO

In his announcement speech, Trump said that the U.S.’s control is getting weaker and that its nuclear arsenal is old and does not work… NO

During 2016, Trump has called for the resumption of waterboarding, and has repeatedly expressed support for the use of torture by the U.S. for the purpose of trying to get information from terrorists, if Congress allows it. NO

On one occasion, Trump has called waterboarding “your minimal form of torture”; on another occasion he has said, “Nobody knows if it’s torture”. NO

On the effectiveness of torture, Trump has said: “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work – torture works”… NO

Trump referred to those who “came up with this international law” as “eggheads“… NO

At a Republican primary debate in March 2016, when asked whether the U.S. military would obey orders to torture in violation of international law, Trump stated: “Frankly, when I say they’ll do as I tell them, they’ll do as I tell them”. NO

In October 2013, Trump wrote in a Twitter message that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden “is a spy who should be executed… NO

On November 19, 2015, a week after the November 2015 Paris attacks, when asked if he would implement a database system to track Muslims in the United States, Trump said: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” NO

Trump justified his proposals by repeatedly saying that he recalled “thousands and thousands of people … cheering” in Jersey City, New Jersey, when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001NO

In 1999 Trump proposed a massive one-time “net worth tax” on the rich to wipe out the national debt. YES

But then he unveiled a tax plan that would, in fact, lavish huge tax cuts on the rich. And it would also, according to non-partisan analyses, cause deficits to explode, adding around $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade.” NO

In 2011 Trump called for a balanced budget amendment… NO

Economist Mark Zandi estimated that if Trump’s tax cuts and spending increases were fully implemented as proposed, the national debt trajectory would worsen considerably, with debt held by the public rising from 76% GDP in 2016 to 135% GDP in 2026, considerably above a current policy baseline that rises to 86% GDP in 2026. If only some of Trump’s policies were implemented under an alternative scenario of more moderate changes, the debt figure would rise to 111% GDP by 2026. In May 2016, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget placed the 2026 debt figure under Trump’s policies between 111% GDP and 141% GDP, versus 86% under the current policy baseline. NO

In two interviews in May 2016, Trump suggested that he would “refinance” the U.S. federal debt as a means to relieve the debt. Trump said that he would not seek to renegotiate the bonds, but rather would seek to buy the bonds back at a discount. NO

Trump has called for allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit, something currently prohibited by law. YES

Trump supports proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve’s decisionmaking and take power away from the Federal Reserve. NO

He reiterated the critique of the Federal Reserve as an arm of the Democratic Party… NO

In September 2016, Trump said: “We reject the pessimism that says our standard of living can no longer rise, and that all that’s left to do is divide up and redistribute our shrinking resources.” NO

Economist Mark Zandi wrote in June 2016 that due to the sizable income tax cuts, “[t]he tax code under Mr. Trump’s plan will thus be much less progressive than the current tax code.” NO

In August 2015, in a televised interview, Trump said “Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country.” NO

On November 10, 2015, speaking at a Republican debate, Trump said he opposed increasing the U.S. minimum wage, saying that doing so would hurt America’s economic competitiveness. At the same debate, Trump said in response to a question about the minimum wage and the economy as a whole: “…taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.” NO

Trump has expressed support for adopting English-style defamation laws in the U.S.; under UK law, it is easier for plaintiffs to sue newspapers and other media outlets. NO

Trump has called for police to arrest those who protest at his rallies, saying that fear of an “arrest mark” that would “ruin the rest of their lives” would be a deterrent and that then “we’re not going to have any more protesters, folks.” NO

On the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016, Trump has frequently “railed against” the press, referring to the media as “the most dishonest people” and “absolute scum.” The Trump campaign has barred reporters (from Politico,The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, and Univision, among others) from its campaign events, “often in the wake of critical coverage.” In October 2016, NBC News reportedly held off on airing a video of Trump making lewd and disparaging remarks about women due to concerns that Trump would sue the network. NO

In a February 2000 interview with The Advocate, Trump said he supported amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include the category of sexual orientation and supported federal hate crime legislation that would cover sexual orientation. YES

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Biggest Lie of Them All – China is a Free Market Capitalist Country

On a historical level socialism is failed massively, if you look at all the innovative companies (MIT Tech Review does a yearly list) almost all the companies are Chinese, or American

Ok your crazy argument is that the continent of Europe is a gigantic failed economy due to too much socialism. Have you ever been to Europe? How many Europeans would agree with you?

The problem with this argument is that China is massively more socialist than Europe.

Do you realize that 45% of the Chinese economy is state-owned? Do you realize that all Chinese firms are officially owned by their workers? Do you realize that the workers get a check every month for the gross income of the firm, which is then heavily subtracted from to continue running the enterprise? Do you realize that many Chinese firms are owned by municipalities which compete with firms from other cities? Do you realize that homelessness is illegal in China? Do you realize that education is free through the university level in China? Do you realize that the state spends an incredible amount of money and investment in infrastructure? Do you realize that the Chinese state is now spending vast sums of money to improve the rural areas?

Do you realize that those lists of the biggest and best Chinese companies always include many state firms? Do you realize that all land in China is owned by the Chinese government? Do you realize that China has a planned market socialist economy, with heavy emphasis on economic planning and state guidance of the economy similar to South Korea and Japan, two other misnamed free market capitalist countries.

Japan’s economy is not neoliberal at all. The commanding heights of the economy is owned by the state. The economy is heavily planned. The state itself is all wrapped up in my of those firms as is the case in South Korea. I am not sure what the Japanese economy resembles but one can make a good case that the Japanese economy is similar to the German  economy under Nazism. The Nazis were terrible people,  but they were pretty good at economics.

I’m looking for the laissez faire free market capitalism in any of this? I don’t see it.

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North Korean Update

EPGAH: What was that bit about North Korea? They invaded South Korea, they massacred and kidnapped South Koreans, and in general, they deserved to be reduced to rubble and cowering.

If it hadn’t been for China’s interference–who didn’t want a thriving democracy at their border, rather than a country who would rather be illegal immigrant slaves than starve in their own country–there wouldn’t be a North Korea anymore, just a unified thriving Korea.

Why does North Korea get a pass, and why is there deafening silence over all the bad guys Russia and China became butt buddies with (And still are, like Kim Jong) and/or gave guns&bombs to?

Your average North Korean really hates the US and regards us as a deadly enemy and that first paragraph would be exhibit #1 for that attitude. I would not get your hopes up about a US invasion of North Korea being an easy win.

I do not know if it is fair to say that North Korea attacked South Korea. They had been attacking each other back and forth across the line for some time. Who started that back and forth is the subject of a good debate. The best evidence shows that the “North Korean invasion” that started the war was actually a case of two large armies attacking each other at about the same time. It is true that the North overran much of the South though.

Nobody is actually starving in North Korea anymore is how I see it. If you go there, you won’t see any starving people. Most people will look pretty well fed. But you might see a few middle aged men who seem far too thin for their age. That may be due to what they went through in the past. If you go to the rural areas, there are trucks full of smiling field workers everywhere, people pushing carts or with horses on all the roads and the fields full of happy workers. The rural villages look very respectable by 3rd World standards. If you go at harvest season, you will see fields full of harvested crops, in particular corn.

There are day care centers in many places that are open 24 hours a day so workers working any shift can drop their kids off.

North Korean industry is better than you might think. They have made a knockoff of a Mercedes Benz that looks and reportedly drives almost exactly like the real thing. I doubt if many could afford one though. Workers in factories are treated very well, much better than their counterparts in most capitalist countries.

The cities are full of workers too. Everywhere you go in Pyongyang, you see men working on the streets or on construction. You also see truckloads of working men going to wherever. They’re definitely pretty busy in North Korea.

The nights are a bit weird as they are short on electricity due to the oil problem. You will see tall buildings everywhere in Pyongyang at night with most of the lights out. The streets are not well lit up either. Nevertheless, there are some people out and about often, especially teenagers and young people, including girls and young women. They don’t seem to be worried about the lack of lighting. You even see people with their stands out selling things at night in the poorly-lighted streets. There are lone women out there manning their street stands on very dark streets after dark. They don’t seem to be worried about crime. I would gather based on the behavior of people out in these poorly lit streets that the crime rate must be awfully low.

And you will see people chatting and texting away on cellphones everywhere you go in Pyongyang. There’s an Internet, but it is mostly a North Korean intranet. Smuggled in South Korean soap opera tapes are very popular and many people watch them. Not much is done about this. Things are loosening up so much that they are having a mini-STD epidemic because so many married women are now having affairs. No one much cares about that either.

The price of oil went up 10X overnight with the fall of the USSR. I ask you how would the US fare if the price of gasoline suddenly went from 2.50 to 25.00? You think everything would be just fine. As a result of that, the heavily mechanized agriculture in the rural areas nearly came to a halt and many factories simply shut down and were not able to function anymore. That’s one reason that they wanted those nuclear power plants.

In the far north, there is a lot of gold mining going on, mostly illegally due to new finds of gold. I think a lot of it is hydraulic mining. The situation is pretty out of control and the state can’t get a handle on the mining. So instead they are just letting any North Korean who wants to go up there and mine gold, however, the state very much wants a hefty portion of your proceeds in tax. Still, gold miners are quite happy to keep at it as even with the tax, you make a lot more mining gold than being an ordinary worker.

They are allowing some business, and they even have a few rich people now. A few people have a net worth of over $100,000 in North Korea now, which qualifies as very rich. This was unheard of before.

The border in the north is actually somewhat open. They catch people going across all the time but not much is done to them as so many people are doing it. Guards on both sides of the border are easily bribed and it is not extremely difficult to get across other than some large rivers that are in the way. There is even a fair amount of cross-border traffic going on, as many North Koreans who cross the border to China do not stay in China but instead travel back and forth periodically.

Considering that North Korea is probably the most sanctioned country on Earth (quote from George Bush) with new sanctions being put on all the time, it is amazing that they economy even runs at all. They are locked out of the vast majority of the world’s banking system via SWIFT bans and although they are very rich in minerals, they are unable to export nearly all of their minerals. Their only real trade is with China. They do a lot of illegal arms trading though as it is one of the only ways they can make money.

Of course the treatment of dissidents is utterly appalling.

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