Breakdown of U.S. Cities: Case Study Seattle
Seattle Is Dying: Shut Down Dope, Inc.
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The only thing I can equate it to is that we are running a concentration camp without barbed wire, up to and including the medical experiment of poisoning these people with drugs.
June 27—This quote, from former Seattle Police Officer Todd Wiebke, is featured in a documentary produced by Seattle-based KOMO News called “Seattle is Dying.” The documentary has been viewed over 4 million times and has struck a nerve among not only residents of Seattle, but people all over the country and even from around the world. Todd Wiebke’s quote above hits on one of the core themes of the documentary—the crisis of homelessness in Seattle, and many other cities in the United States, is fueled by drug addiction. Drug addiction is of course not limited to the homeless population, and is expanding in all sectors of society, but it is symptomatic of a phenomenon expressed as an increasingly popular phrase of today: diseases of despair.
While drug addiction may be a cause of homelessness for some people, it is not the direct cause for the majority. However, all the reasons for homelessness are symptomatic of the root cause of these diseases of despair—the despair of losing a national mission, of losing a sense of progress as represented by cultural optimism defined by scientific and creative endeavor. The assassination of John F. Kennedy and the takedown of the space program is certainly one of the defining points leading to the present cultural degradation. That assassination was followed by turning our backs on a physical approach to the economy and moving towards a financialization of the economy under the policies of globalization, and the cultural revolution we experienced of the rock-sex-drugs counterculture explosion.
The takedown of the advanced manufacturing and scientific orientation of the economy of the West Coast, which had been defined by the great projects of President Franklin Roosevelt, and the aerospace sector rising to the challenge of the Apollo Project, were then followed by the growth of the information technology sector. This IT sector is part of the “everything bubble,” and is hyper focused on quickening the pace of delivery of consumer goods and advertising to surround all parts of your existence. But it is also part of the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex, which is responsible for the endless war policy of the neocons and neolibs, and is also a part of the surveillance state to enforce group think and cultural stupidity through social media, and other means. At the center of the British financial system is the international drug trade, which provides the cash flow to prop up the speculative financial bubble—all guided by the British Empire, running the policy from the top.
Edgar Allen Poe’s Mask of the Red Death
Perhaps the lackeys of the British Empire and the operatives of the modern day British East India company and its opium trade think that they are immune to the results of their policy of Dope, Inc. But just as Edgar Allen Poe wrote in The Mask of the Red Death, the plague will find them too. As our fellow human beings live amid trash piles on the West Coast, surrounded by human excrement, disease has found a petri dish to thrive. There are now apps to report and document human feces on the streets of San Francisco, since there is so much of it. Not surprisingly, in these conditions, diseases that had been nearly eradicated—such as tuberculosis and typhus—are making a resurgence. Some have even claimed that bubonic plague is appearing on the streets of Los Angeles.
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flickr: David Lee, CC BY-SA 2.0
Just one of many homeless encampments in downtown Seattle, March 2018.
Lyndon LaRouche has outlined the relationship between the economic health and the physical health of a society. He has defined the metric of “potential relative population density” to determine the carrying capacity of a society, for both culturally creative societies and those societies that turn their back on reason and embrace drugs and the latest cult beliefs, like environmentalism. When the potential population density falls below its current level, the ensuing collapse can take the form of poverty, disease, and death.
This dark age decay on the streets of the United States is certainly noticeable to those who have not become desensitized to it, but it is especially notable to foreign visitors who may not expect this on the streets of the nation considered “the leader of the free world.” According to Michael Snyder via the Economic Collapse blog, an official of the United Nations, Leilani Farha, who had previously served as the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing for four years, said that the homeless crisis in San Francisco was comparable to the conditions in the slums of Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jakarta, and Manila.
These appalling conditions on the streets of the West Coast, occur in the middle of great “wealth” being generated in the information technology sector, especially in San Francisco and Seattle. Salaries in companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, or Google far surpass the earnings of those working in construction or the service economy. This is one of the key factors driving up real estate prices, beyond the previously seen and now ongoing factor of financial speculation.
Seattle is now third in the nation in terms of the homeless population, coming in at 12,000, trailing behind Los Angeles and New York. The homeless population surged in 2018 in the city of Los Angeles by 16% to 26,000, with 25% of those counted for the first time, and 50% of them citing financial stress as the cause, which of course includes rising housing costs. Among homeless people interviewed by KOMO News on the streets of Seattle, 70% responded that they could only afford $500 for rent—in King County (which includes Seattle), the average rent for a one bedroom apartment is $1580. Research by real estate database company Zillow indicates that for every 5% increase in the price of rent, another 258 people go homeless in Seattle.
The Role of IT Firms in the Collapse
The information technology (IT) firms also play a role in the economic collapse that will only worsen. The FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) are often cited as one of the potential triggers of a looming stock market meltdown, and are part of the inflation of the “everything” bubble through their role in stock buybacks and other financial manipulation. But perhaps their more fundamental role in the collapse has to do with the actual type of business activities they are involved in. In general, much of the work of these IT firms is hyper-focused on consumer goods and advertisements, where developers are paid handsomely to write code for pop-up ads on your cell phone that try to sell you the shoes you bought three days ago. Or they are taking advantage of the lax rules in our present surveillance state: they are profiling every detail of your life for the purposes of marketing strategies, often directed at you personally.
Perhaps more insidiously, they are becoming an increasing part of the “military industrial intelligence complex,” which has brought us an unending series of wars, resulting in trillions of dollars of our nation’s resources wasted and, more importantly, many hundreds of thousands dead since 9/11, as well as the consolidation of a surveillance/police state that attempts to control what people think and do.
Take the case of Amazon as an example of the unsustainable nature of the growth of these companies. Amazon does not depend on its retail operation for its income, and is able to undercut just about anyone in terms of price, destroying small, medium, and large businesses along the way, as they further consolidate control over the entire retail market’s logistics and supply chain, as well as knowledge about the shopping habits of consumers. They then offset retail losses with the profits they make with Amazon Web Services (AWS), supplying cloud data management for a whole range of commercial and government entities. AWS was awarded a $600 million contract to run the cloud system of the Central Intelligence Agency, and they are also finalists along with Microsoft in vying for the multi-billion dollar contract (or more, since it is an “indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity” contract) called the Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative (JEDI) Contract, which will provide cloud services for the Pentagon. These profits provided by the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex to Amazon, offset their intentional losses in their retail sector, as part of their strategy to wipe out all of their competitors.
Profit or Progress?
Some call this “innovation.” Yet, while their stock prices rise, nothing has been added to the real economy— gig economy delivery drivers or Amazon trucks still deliver the (mostly imported) goods driving combustion engine vehicles driving on dilapidated roads, which reflect the overall collapse of our national infrastructure, as a reflection of the lowering of our potential relative population density. Moreover, “innovation” by these IT firms is also defined by introducing robotics and artificial intelligence to replace human labor in the economy. In a healthy economy, such automation would be an important step—freeing the labor force from manual labor, or menial number-crunching would be critical to allowing workers to be more involved in creative thinking to improve the productive power of labor through higher modes of energy flux density, such as moving to a higher platform of infrastructure after achieving a breakthrough on fusion energy, or breakthroughs that come from space exploration—and these endeavors can benefit from the currently misapplied skills of these IT professionals.
While the financial hardship of living through this bubble economy is cited as the leading cause of homelessness, a City of Seattle report reports that 13% of the homeless population cited drug addiction and alcoholism as the cause, and 50% of the homeless claim to be chronically addicted to drugs or alcohol or both. A shocking one-third of the deaths in this aptly described concentration camp are due to overdoses. How many deaths come from rising HIV rates through sharing needles, or infectious endocarditis, which requires a heart valve replacement procedure, costing somewhere near $150,000? As part of a broken criminal system, and a totally overwhelmed rehabilitation system, people are cycled in and out of jail with nowhere to go, except to the methadone clinics that are located near some of the largest homeless encampments—or maybe it is the other way around.
We now need a reversal of that “cultural revolution” of the 1960s, and a move to a new paradigm outlined by Lyndon LaRouche and his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, to end the cultural decay of drug addiction, and the economic collapse brought on by the financialization of the economy.
Central to the LaRouche “new paradigm” is his call for a “Four Powers” agreement between the United States, China, Russia, and India, as well as the call for his “Four Laws,” which would orient the economy to the frontiers of scientific and technological advancement in space and fusion research. Trump has proposed Project Artemis, which would define a new generation by their great mission to return to the Moon in five years and then move on to Mars, and would certainly be the pinnacle example of cooperation among the nations of the “Four Powers” to end the British Empire and their geopolitical manipulations.
Only through this orientation can provide truly useful employment—for those currently employed and those without work—creating a future for those who will be part of the Artemis Generation, once this financial system and its police state apparatus crumble.