American development economist, Jeffery Sachs is considered by many as the doyen of “the dismal science”, if not, then among the best international minds in the field. So, when Sachs speaks the rest of the social sciences, rather the academic, financial political worlds listens.

His resume includes special adviser to the UN Secretary-General, director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor at Columbia University, and author of many books on sustainable development, including The Price of Civilisation, in which he wrote: “That America is in crisis is plain to see… The nation than until recently was widely considered as the world’s superpower, the “new Rome”, and the “indispensable country” has become the epicentre of financial instability, political paralysis, and even business immorality”.

In a recently-circulated video Sachs told an audience at the Vatican, that he had undertaken a world tour, meeting leaders and policymakers, to warn them of “American thuggery, and its complete lawlessness” on the world stage, and that his country’s behaviour would only get worse if US president, Donald Trump gets re-elected next month.

He warned that as America declines as the dominant world power multilateralism is under threat. America, however remains strong militarily, with 8,000 military bases around the world, and 14 shooting wars, but it is yet to realise that military might cannot solve political problems.

He said the Trump administration had blocked every multilateral agreement, even creating a so-called US-China trade war, which in reality is not a trade war, but an American war on China, because of that country’s technological capability, and advances in artificial intelligence, and areas of security.

The American “grand strategy today is still based on that country’s “primacy” in the world, but the world no longer works that way, he said. So, America has displayed “thuggery” in Iraq, and continues to bully its relationships with other countries. It is now “a dangerous country”, which would be moreso under a re-elected Trump.

America accounts for only 4.2 per cent of the world’s population, and 15 per cent of productive output, but it seeks to decide for the other 96 per cent. He urged world leaders to stay strong, and not to yield to “America’s bullying or pressure”. “They threaten everybody; its lawlessness is against everybody. It is complete lawlessness. It is an abuse of our laws every day,” he said.

It is a point that CNN anchor, Fareed Zakaria has made years earlier when he wrote of America’s decline as the dominant world power and the arrival of “The Post-American world”.

Keith Subero

via e-mail

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I think more than enough time has passed for us to discuss national issues based on appreciating the facts, rather than just promoting divisiveness and ignorance.

Please allow me to comment on three things, perhaps insignificant, but nevertheless, three things that caught my eye over the last few days. But first, a preamble.

In this Covid-19 period, there is very little for elderly people like myself to do, so we wait eagerly for the news, through the dailies, and of course, on TV.

To be honest, today’s reports can be rather depressing, except of course, the good news about a 94.5 per cent success rate of a vaccine against his dreaded virus.

To be honest, it’s the 5.5 per cent balance that troubles me. You know, it’s like those liquids that kill 99 per cent of household germs; who measures the 1 per cent? Anyway, better than nothing.

I CRY SHAME on the United National Congress (UNC) for causing the defeat of the Anti-Gang Bill in the House of Representatives. The UNC leadership will pay a heavy political price with the non-aligned voters for withholding their support for the UNC.

IT always escapes my logic, both from a practical sense and a political sense as to why the Opposition chooses to adopt as its strategy, the non-support of anti-crime bills.

I would think it’s just good politics to be hard on crime.

The history of the trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago would be totally incomplete and unfinished if the life and times of Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler are not the DNA of such a history. Butler was accredited as being the “Chief Servant of the Lord”. He believed that man’s purpose in life was the fulfilment of God’s purpose and as such, he owed no obligation to anybody or anything but to God..

THE negative responses from residents who are expecting to be dislocated by the Government’s East Port of Spain development plan suggest the need for meaningful dialogue and consultation with affected communities and the wider national community.

The fact that such consultation appears not to have been built into the plan is a worrying indicator. In this day and age, community engagement is a critical and standard aspect of public planning, especially for heritage areas, such as Piccadilly, and others, like Sea Lots in this case, where residents developed entire communities out of waste land.