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Harvey Disaster Made by Wall Street

September 1, 2017

The catastrophe in Texas is a man-made disaster accomplished by the criminal negligence of this nation’s elected officials, who have continued to support Wall Street’s speculative economy and imperial ambitions while arguing that the nation cannot afford to rebuild and replace its ancient and broken-down economic infrastructure. For the third time since 2005, major American cities have been flooded and their people devastated, because the plans for new infrastructure to protect the people, requiring tens of billions in investments, have been ignored and turned down. Hurricane Harvey now looms as the worst national disaster in our nation’s history and it is a disaster which did not have to happen.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people and wreaked $130 billion in economic losses. Only then, slowly, new flood-control and seagate infrastructure was built—at last—for New Orleans, at a fraction of the human and monetary costs of the damage inflicted by the storm. How many unnecessary deaths and suffering could this project have averted?

Four years later, the American Society of Civil Engineers met in Manhattan to discuss several storm surge barrier options for the New York City region. The estimate for the largest of these was $9 billion. The government decided to do nothing. Then, in 2012 Superstorm Sandy killed more than 100 people and caused $65 billion in economic losses. New York area residents now are going through a "Summer of Hell" as the 100-year-old regional transportation system, flooded and damaged five years ago, also was not repaired or replaced at the necessary pace.

The staggering economic and human suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Texas and Louisiana Gulf region are not yet known, and will grow in magnitude as the water recedes; but, what has been known for many years, is that Texas Gulf cities are flood-prone, and have repeatedly flooded. Yet, no flood control or storm protection infrastructure has been built since the end of World War II. Plans for a new system for the Houston area had been drafted, but their $25 billion cost was deemed "too high" a price tag for our Wall Street–dominated agencies and elected officials. Now, hundreds of billions of dollars, and priceless human lives, are lost.

All of these disasters, and others in the recent period, could have been averted for a fraction of their eventual cost in lost wealth, let alone in lost lives. The media insist to Americans that each city's disaster is caused by its particular economic habits, its choice of location, its squabbling jurisdictions, its ignoring of climate change, or its being close to water! This is nonsense. Wall Street, which has been bailed out repeatedly to the tune of trillions of dollars, with nothing but increased impoverishment of the American people to show for it, must no longer be allowed to dictate the economic policy of the United States of America.

"The nation calls for action, and action now!" in President Franklin Roosevelt's words. During his presidency, and through the 1940s, the new infrastructure to prevent such "natural disasters"—such as the Tennessee Valley Authority—was funded by national credit, as through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Works Progress Authority.

Hurricane Harvey drowning cities in East Texas should be the national alarm which ends 70 years in which the country has been without any such national credit institutions.

A Sea-Change is Required

Lyndon LaRouche on August 30 called for a "sea change" in policy "right now." He called for the immediate creation of a national credit institution for new, high-technology infrastructure, like that employed by Franklin Roosevelt when the vast majority of our current infrastructure was built. There is no alternative to creating a national credit institution, like that employed by Alexander Hamilton and in accord with our Constitution, to fund the necessary trillions in new infrastructure investment.

There must also be action on reinstating Glass-Steagall banking separation right now, as a new financial crisis looms and Wall Street speculation continues to prevent actual productive investment. Allowing Wall Street to eliminate the Glass-Steagall Act in the 1990s led to a crash that caused $10 trillion in lost wealth, mass unemployment, and untold loss and shortening of human lives.

LaRouche insists that his "Four Economic Laws to Save the Nation" must be implemented right now if this country is to recover from Hurricane Harvey and prevent similar disasters stemming from our rotting physical economy now ticking like a time bomb:

  • Re-institute Glass-Steagall: break up Wall Street and its power;
  • Create national credit institutions based on FDR's Reconstruction Finance Corporation and Alexander Hamilton's national banks;
  • Invest the credit in new infrastructure with frontier technologies, including high-speed rail, fourth-generation fission and fusion power technologies, and modern storm protection and water management systems;
  • Adopt a fusion-driver "crash program": let a great expansion of NASA space exploration provide a driver for productivity and productive employment.

A New Paradigm Takes Hold

China's Belt and Road Initiative, an international program of new rail "land-bridges" and great projects of infrastructural development, offers immediate cooperation for the credit and the building of a new infrastructure in the United States. This initiative is now moving on great projects they have long identified as absolutely essential, such as the Kra Canal in Southeast Asia and the revival of Lake Chad in sub-Saharan Africa, projects long championed by Lyndon LaRouche and his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

Helga and Lyndon LaRouche are leading a national mobilization focused on moving President Trump to immediately bring America into the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative of worldwide building of new infrastructure. That "win-win" initiative, and the United States joining in its worldwide projects and also building its own new infrastructure, means the revival of the United States as an industrial power.

On Aug. 26, Helga Zepp-LaRouche addressed a Manhattan conference on the infrastructure emergency in the United States, making the following proposal:

"Just think what enormous potential is opening up if the United States would cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative," Zepp-LaRouche told the conference. "I think it is really important to imagine a completely different system. If the United States would now do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did—a New Deal, Glass-Steagall, cooperate with China—the United States could experience an industrial revolution bigger than any time in its own history. People just have to imagine that we are right now at the end of a system, a system which cannot be saved. We need to replace it with a completely new system, and most people have just a hard time to imagine that, but there are examples of such changes. For example, the Marshall Plan in Europe was such an example, and the Meiji Restoration in Japan was such an example—what Roosevelt did with the New Deal; so people have to just think that such a dramatic change is absolutely possible today."

LaRouchePAC has taken the responsibility to drive President Trump and the Congress into this action. But this is also the responsibility of all Americans that think of themselves as citizens: those who have been actively supporting the President, or supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders; those who supported no one, out of disgust at the manipulation, and continued manipulation of the election, but who have wanted a drastic change in the deindustrialization and Wall Street speculation policy ruling the country; those who know people killed, or made homeless and impoverished by Wall Street’s induced "natural disasters." All must now act and make their voices heard.

Because, watching what is happening, again, to great American cities, leads anyone sane to the same conclusion: there is no alternative.

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SUPPORTING MATERIAL


Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Bring the United States into the New Paradigm Now!

The following is an edited version of a dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche that took place at a special LaRouche PAC Manhattan Meeting on August 26, 2017. That conference, which included presentations by Mrs. LaRouche as well as a panel of experts, dealt with the necessity for the immediate implementation of Lyndon LaRouche’s Four Laws.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Ladies and gentlemen in New York, I’m very happy to be able to address you, because this gives me the opportunity to emphasize from my own perspective why I think that this is the most dramatic moment in history—in our lifetimes. If this goes in the right direction, then we could be in a completely New Paradigm, in a new set of relations among nations in a very short period of time. And if it goes in the wrong way, we would be quickly back on the course of the confrontation with Russia and China, which we had with the previous administration. Given all the crisis spots and drama points of the situation, this could lead to World War III and the extinction of civilization.

I think between these two possibilities, the tension could not be bigger, and obviously the place where this is fought out is the United States. Now, there is a coup in process, and I think we better go back to the article which appeared in the British paper the Spectator on the 21st of January, where they—under the headline “Assassination, Coup, or Impeachment?”—discussed the need to get rid of President Trump, this only one day after his inauguration. It was quite amazing that from minute one, the trans-Atlantic establishment reacted to the election of the President with shock, with unacceptance, with a complete demonstration of disrespect which I have never seen portrayed against an American President. Now remember, that the people who put themselves in the moral high seat, so to speak, these are the same elites who have no problem with the wars declared by Bush and Obama, wars which were based on lies, which have cost literally millions of lives in the Middle East and elsewhere. They had no problem with the drone killing; they had no problem with the civilian casualties of these drones, calling them “collateral damage.” They put their blind eye on the suffering of the people in the United States, who Hillary Clinton called so despicably “the deplorables.” They had no sympathy for the lack of development in the Middle East or in Africa, which has had the result for millions of people fleeing from these areas.

Now these liberals, who are now attacking Trump in such an arrogant way, are the self-proclaimed defenders of human rights, of democracy, of western values, and they have declared war on the Presidency of President Trump. What is the crime of President Trump in their eyes? He promised to improve the relationship with Russia; he subsequently established a very good relationship with President Xi Jinping of China. He pledged, and is in part implementing it, to end the interventionist wars; he promised to return to the American system of economy, of Alexander Hamilton, of Henry C. Carey and Lincoln, and to create jobs in that tradition. And he promised to fight the horrible drug epidemic going on in the United States right now. All of these policies, however, were a threat and are a threat to the idea of a unipolar world which the neo-cons had tried to establish in collusion with the British after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was their policies which promoted color revolution, regime change, interventionist wars—and this is on the record. Victoria Nuland, obviously in cohesion with her boss, Hillary Clinton, admitted that the State Department of the Obama administration spent $5 billion in the Ukraine alone to cause regime change. Remember, the narrative about the Ukraine—namely that Putin would have changed the borders by force—is a complete lie, because it was the regime change policy to which Russia reacted. It was that narrative which has been one of the key reasons for the demonization of President Putin in Russia.

Due to the heroic forensic investigation of the VIPS (the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity), which proved the fact that there was no Russian hacking but there was leaking from the inside, Russia-gate is sort of on the back burner right now, and it may go nowhere—in large part because the Schiller Institute distributed the findings of the VIPS internationally.

So now you are looking at the next phase of the coup, which started or escalated in Charlottesville, a city which was called the center of resistance against Trump by its mayor, Signer, from day one. So what happened was you had a violent demonstration, the KKK and the white supremacists on the one side, and the anti-fa on the other side—in a typical gang-countergang fashion, which was obviously allowed by the mayor and a police force that did not even keep these two groupings apart; they clashed. For everybody who remembers the role of the FBI in the Civil Rights movement, it was clearly a moment of déjà vu, of remembering how these gang-countergang violent escalations are controlled.

Obviously it is not Charlottesville, it is not the gangs and countergangs on the ground—but behind that is Wall Street, the neo-con operators who are orchestrating what has been called correctly a “Maidan II,” in reference to the coup against the elected government of Kiev. Obviously, a third force is moving, controlling both sides. This situation has created such chaos that, for example, the official paper of the Chinese government, the Global Times, compared what is going on in the United States right now to the Cultural Revolution of China which lasted from 1966–74. This was a period which the present Chinese people and government look back on as probably the darkest moment in the history of China. Under the rule of the Gang of Four and the Red Guards, you had a reign of terror. People were taken out of their beds in the night; any intellectual was attacked. People were really living in horror. That is the climate which is really in danger of developing in the United States. I was absolutely reminded of the last days of the Weimar republic, where the Nazis and the communists were also fighting it out in the streets. That is what led to the rise of Adolf Hitler. It is obvious that this whole scenario is threatening to tear the United States apart.

Financial Breakdown and the Remedy

Let me add one more dimension to this picture. The same financial system that the neo-cons are trying to preserve is about to collapse. The deregulation of the trans-Atlantic financial sector after the repeal—first of Bretton Woods in 1971, and then Glass-Steagall in 1999—led to these incredible excesses in speculation and then to the the financial crash of 2007–2008. Ten years later, the situation is much worse than it was then. All the so-called instruments of the central banks have been used up—quantitative easing, pumping of money, negative interest rates; all of these policies have increased the state debt, the corporate debt, the student debt, the auto debt, and all of these crises could erupt at any moment, triggered by any one incident: a collapse of a large number of corporate firms, the Italian banking crisis, or any other derivative failure. Everyday, $5 trillion of currency are floating around the globe; $5 trillion every day.

There are many crises. For example, the level three derivatives; these are the derivatives which cannot be sold because they are toxic. They are sitting there like a complete bomb in the system. The magazine Der Spiegel had an article warning of the next crash a couple of days ago. The former Italian economic minister Tremonti said the next crash is absolutely about to happen. So, it is very clear that if this would happen in an uncontrolled way, what would such a financial crash do to the already extremely explosive situation in the United States? Under those circumstances, a civil war and a plunge into complete chaos is absolutely thinkable.

There is a remedy available, and the solution is already in place. About four years ago, President Xi Jinping initiated, very much in cohesion with our own efforts of the Schiller Institute, a policy he called the New Silk Road. This has become, in four years, the largest infrastructure program in history. It is already—some people say, twelve times, others say twenty times, as big as the Marshall Plan. And it has an unbelievable number of projects in progress: six large economic corridors in different parts of Eurasia, seventy countries are cooperating fully with China, and at the Belt and Road Forum in May there were 110 countries represented. Silk Road cooperation has gained enormous attraction in Latin America but also in Europe, despite the relative opposition of the European Union. The 16+1, that is the Central and Eastern European countries, are fully cooperating, and so are Italy, Portugal, and even France.

But the largest change in the strategic situation, as the result of the New Silk Road, has arrived in Africa, where China has built many, many projects: a railroad from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, another from Rwanda to Kenya, which is in progress, many industry parks, hydropower projects. And the largest infrastructure project in history is now agreed upon by the Chinese government and the Italian government: the development of the Transaqua project, which is the idea to bring water from the tributaries of the Congo River to Lake Chad. This will give irrigation to twelve countries, will give inland shipping; it will change the whole agriculture situation. And this is being promoted by the same Chinese firm which already built the Three Gorges Dam.
This is very, very important, because the biggest Achilles heel, in my view, of President Trump is the fact that all these maneuvers against him have made it virtually impossible for him to deliver on his promise to create jobs and build infrastructure worth $1 trillion. Now some jobs have obviously been created, but it has not led to the total change which FDR was able to implement with Glass-Steagall and the New Deal, and that kind of big change is absolutely necessary. That is what we are trying to put on the table, and maybe the crisis in New York can be the trigger point to cause that change to happen.

Win-Win: an End to Geopolitics

Now infrastructure normally has a life expectancy, depending on the category, of anywhere between twenty and fifty years, and most of the infrastructure of New York is already about 100 years. As a result, you have trains derailing, you have fires in the subways, and absolute chaos. Now, compare that to China. China has already built, by the end of last year, more than 20,000 km of fast train systems. You can only see such fast train systems in China, not in the United States or Europe. By the year 2020, China wants to have all major cities connected by fast train systems, and they have now a fantastic project, which I think is of the highest interest for New York. It’s the idea to take the entire region of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province, which is about 130 million people, and completely modernize it by building a new city outside of that, to make the pressures of infrastructure in Beijing and around it much better. Now such an approach could be taken for New York, for example, because, I don’t think you will solve the problem of New York infrastructure by just repairing this little piece and that little piece. But you need a complete grand design. Now China has offered to invest $1.4 trillion of U.S. treasuries in American infrastructure, and just a few weeks ago there was a meeting in New York, where the Chinese ambassador to Washington, Ambassador Cui, reminded people that looking back in history, there were sixteen examples where one country was economically surpassing the leading country. In twelve cases it led to war, and in four cases, the emerging country just took over the role of the old leading country. Ambassador Cui said that China does not want either of those, but wants to propose a completely new paradigm of win-win cooperation, and what President Xi Jinping always calls a community for the shared future of mankind.

Now, many people are reluctant to accept these Chinese offers, and they think what China is doing is just pursuing its own interest or just trying to replace Anglo-American imperialism with Chinese imperialism, e.g., to take over the raw materials of the world. But, I think this is a wrong conception, because we can not stay in the geometry of geopolitics, of the idea that you have a legitimate interest of one country or a group of countries against another group of countries, or even worse, of maintaining a unipolar position, where you will not allow any other country to become stronger—well, China has 1.4 billion, India has more than 1.3 billion people. The idea that that the United States will be the unipolar world forever is just not realistic. We have to find a different approach.

The problem is that many think-tanks, and especially the mainstream media, look at this like looking into a mirror. They see in the mirror what is in their own face, namely evil intentions, geopolitical games, imperialist domination, manipulating the rules to your own benefit, promoting color revolution. So they have these policies and they just see the mirror of their own evil thinking. It is quite interesting, that the German magazine Der Spiegel, which is the German word for “mirror,” has exactly that name.

What China is proposing is a completely new paradigm—a win-win cooperation, which is based on very clear principles of non-interference into the internal affairs of other countries, respect for the sovereignty, the interest, of the other. People have to grapple with that concept, but what we are talking about is a completely new paradigm, a completely new idea that you have to put the interest of mankind first, and then comes the interest of any individual country. Now that method was developed for the first time by Nicholas of Cusa, a great thinker of the 15th Century who developed a method of thinking of the coincidence of opposites—the idea that the human creative reason is able to formulate a level where the one is of a higher magnitude, of a higher order, than the many, and that you can, on the basis of reason, find that level of interest where the conflicts of the many are solved on a higher plateau.

Now, this method of thinking is not just a philosophical conception, but it was the basis for the Peace of Westphalia, and it is presently the effort of replacing military solutions with diplomatic solutions. Fortunately, this is already happening in various parts of the world, despite back and forth and disturbances. For example, one very good example where this method is working, is Syria, where because of President Trump’s collaboration with Putin, there is a ceasefire in almost all of Syria right now, and you have right now—you had in the last couple of days—a very large industrial fair in Damascus with high-level delegations from China, from India, from Japan, and the reconstruction of Syria is now on the table. Six hundred thousand Syrian refugees have already moved back, and there is hope that many more can return to their homes. In Afghanistan, despite the very unfortunate announcement of President Trump that he will send more troops to Afghanistan, there are already other initiatives. For example, the Afghan government has just invited India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, the United States, and China to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and that must be the solution.

As to the Korea crisis, South Korean President Moon has reconstituted the Northern Economic Commission, and in that way signalled that he is intending to go back to the Sunshine Policy of President Kim Dae Jung, which is the idea of collaboration between South Korea and North Korea, together with Russia and China, in the development of North Korea.

A Win-Win Policy for the United States and the Entire World

Now the same approach must be taken for the United States. Just a few days ago, the civil rights leader Andrew Young responded to the events in Charlottesville by making exactly that point. He said the reason for these clashes is not race; the reason is poverty, and therefore, the way to solve this crisis is to create jobs. Now that is the American system of economy. This is what Henry C. Carey was talking about when he talked about a harmony of interests.

Now this is very urgent. Because of the danger of the financial collapse, because of the danger of a social explosion in the United States, what must be put on the table urgently is the Glass-Steagall law of Franklin D. Roosevelt, in combination with the other laws proposed by my husband Lyndon LaRouche, which is Glass-Steagall, a national bank, a credit system, and then a crash program for the development of fusion power and international cooperation in space technology, because you need very urgently a huge jump in the productivity of the economy.

Now the renewal of the New York infrastructure can be the key trigger to put such a change on the agenda, but I think the only way it will function is you have to think about it as part of this global change, of all these development approaches to Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, and many other parts of the world. If this happens, then the United States could participate in the AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank. American corporations could participate in many of the projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese firms and engineers could invest in the United States, and you would have a completely new world in a very short period of time.

Now, global peace and social peace in the United States are part of the same new paradigm, and in both cases, the new name for peace is development. Thank you. [applause]

Following her remarks, Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche engaged in a discussion with the audience. This is the final question and response.

Question: I recently read with a couple of people a paper by Lyndon LaRouche which he dictated from prison, after he was railroaded into prison by Robert Mueller and others, which is In the Garden of Gethsemane, in which he says that only those revolutions that appeal to the divine spark of reason within the individual will succeed. It seemed to me that this represented a different concept of intelligence from what we commonly understand in the culture today. I wanted to ask you if you have any comment on that in the context of getting much more mobilization and public activity from our supporters and friends.

Zepp-LaRouche: The enemy, as you say, has really not a lot of methods. All they can say is the Belt and Road Initiative will collapse because so much credit is financed by Chinese banks, but the difference is very simple. If you look at the enormous amounts of real production, infrastructure, factories, industrial parks, railways, hydropower projects, bridges—the credit invested in the Belt and Road Initiative has resulted in real wealth. If you look at Wall Street and the City of London, on the contrary, what they are investing in is paper, not even paper but electronic figures in the computer. They say the Belt and Road Initiative will collapse because of this credit policy, but the reality is the Belt and Road Initiative is already everywhere. Just because you don’t read it in the media, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I was talking to some people in Europe in the last couple of days in different countries, and they all said, “Your policy is winning. It’s coming. You know you were one important influence. This is your policy.” So, people who’ve known us for a long time know that, and therefore, you should just make sure that many people know about this alternative, because once people know that there is a completely different system, people start to think completely differently, and they become angry that they are being told lies, or the truth is being withheld from them. I think right now the key thing is to be confident that once people know this, then they change. I think we have a tremendous moment, because all it requires is that President Trump would announce something big, like Roosevelt did with the New Deal. I don’t put it beyond President Trump that he can do that. I think President Trump has the character, he has the temperament to surprise his opponents, and I think that we should create an environment in the country to encourage him to do that. We have to increase the pressure on the population for Trump to go for a grand design for the United States, to be bigger than the pressure by Wall Street for him to remain within the box. They want to box him in. They threaten him that if he doesn’t capitulate that they’ll kill him or impeach him. The way to get President Trump out of the box is that a lot of people demand that he keeps his promise of $1 trillion or preferably $8 trillion investment in infrastructure, and I think that you have to have an absolute optimism that this can be done. It’s not Congress. The international environment for it already exists, so all we need to do is to get the American population to demand that Trump does what he proposed, and everything can be solved quickly.

With this mobilization, I think we should aim to find both people in the Democratic Party who are not completely crazy (and I’m convinced that there must be some) and those people in the trade unions and other institutions, and basically use this absolutely unique opportunity. As long as President Trump is in office, that change can be effected. I think if we appeal to this option then people will have the courage, and I think it is the heart, and it’s the passion for humanity, which will make the difference and not the algorithms of Wall Street.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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