The engineer of Reaganomics comes to Ukraine: What now?

From Fort Russ

By: Yevgeniy Pasishnichenko –

Translated for Fort Russ by: Paul Siebert –

The engineer of Reaganomics comes to Ukraine: what should we expect?   The regime of Pinochet in Chile gives us some clues …

People not only in “independent” Ukraine, but around the world laugh at the outright impotence of the current regime, which is not capable of managing the country. A few days ago a new figure was added to the large group of “foreign Ukrainians”, who in fact, are running the country. Now an American economist Arthur Laffer has been appointed as an advisor to the ex-American Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Ann Yaresko. What can we expect from him?

Author of the theory of “supply-side economics” will oversee Ukraine’s taxation. In his days “the newly appointed Ukrainian” was economic advisor to the US President Ronald Reagan and the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This news requires time for serious reflection. But something can be said now.

People are already making jokes about the foreigners in Ukraine: 1. Saakashvili is frolicking in Odessa; 2. Abromavic has saddled the trade; 3. Kvitashvili promises European medical treatment for everyone; 4. Natalie Ann Yaresko counts Ukrainian money … And now Laffer is beginning to collect Ukraine’s taxes.

Arthur Betz Laffer is an interesting person. He was born on August 14, 1940 in Youngstown, Ohio. Laffer earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University (1962) and an M.B.A. (1965) and a Ph.D. in Economics (1971) from Stanford University. In 1971 he became a Doctor of Philosophy with a degree in “economics”. Until mid-1980s he worked as a tenured professor of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago and the Marshall School of Business. In 2008, he was named a Distinguished University Professor of Economics by Mercer University in Georgia. Laffer became well known during the reign of Reagan, when he became a member of the presidential council on economic policy.

His name is associated with, a very sad for ordinary Americans, era of Reaganomics – an economic policy of the American government based on constant “credit stimulation”, reduction of social expenditures (they increased significantly only in the defense industry) and taxes, reduction of the state influence on the economy and deregulation of financial markets.

All this led to serious problems. In seven years the National debt of the United States tripled, soaring to 2.8 trillion dollars. Social stratification increased dramatically during the Reagan era. The number of Americans living below the poverty line increased to nearly 32 million. Homeless became a real scourge in the major cities …

The theory of Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago, revered by the current advisor to the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, brought a lot of troubles to many countries. An example of what can result from realization of this theory into practice is the situation in Chile, when in 1973 President Salvador Allende was overthrown with the help of the CIA and dictator General Pinochet came to power.

In order to “reform” the country’s economy Pinochet summoned the so called “Chicago boys” from the United States – 30 Chileans who studied economics at the University of Chicago, in which Laffer was playing an important role and who developed a “special program”. What came of it?

At first, they managed to lowered inflation and at the same time caused a rise in unemployment from 9.1 to 18.7 percent. In just one year (from 1974 to 1975) the GDP of Chile fell by 12.9 per cent. It was the most severe since the 30s depression in the country. In 1976 there was a slight increase in economic indicators, which was called the “Chilean economic miracle”. But the final result turned out to be a grim one. The economy of once prosperous country still cannot overcome the effects of this “miracle.”

From 1973 to 1987 the main indicator of living standards (GDP per capita) in Chile fell by 6.4 percent. People became totally impoverished. An average worker in 1989 was living worse than in 1970. Half of the population was below the poverty line and one third of Chileans were in a desperate situation. The UN began to speak openly about the humanitarian catastrophe.

Around Santiago and other large cities mega slums sprung up. They were the camps of the hungry. Life in them was maintained only due to free soup kitchens organized by international volunteers. By 1988, the number of Chileans who did not have permanent housing had grown from 27 to 40 percent. There was an enormous income inequality between the rich and the poor. Representatives of seventy-nine richest households were receiving nearly 47 percent of the national income! ..

In Ukraine the situation for 75-year-old American is a convenient one. In 24 years of independence the country has developed an oligarchic economy, in which several dozen families own 86 percent of the national wealth. There are horizontal ties, logistics, methods of budget’s milking, embezzlement, fusion of big business and power. Everything seems to be good, but the taxation is a mess. At the request of the Ukrainian government Laffer has come to the country to “restore order” and “to harmonize the situation” in this field.
The Ukrainian oligarchic authorities (that is the proper name to call them, because even the president is an oligarch) have no motivation to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. They are interested only in their own well-being. Hence the merger of the state and big business. This is the true cause of the corrupt nature of Ukraine’s economy. The tax system of Ukraine is working to preserve the budgetary trough in the interests of domestic billionaires and transnational profiteers. 
However, sometimes the system experiences malfunctions with subsequent unrest, strikes, demonstrations, Maidan. It seems so that Laffer was invited to Kiev to repair the already functioning mechanism for robbing the people, including by international financial corporations. It is impossible to expect something different from the engineer of Reaganomics.

Book — Operation Gladio: The Untold Story of the Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia

Review of Paul L. Williams Book

Posted on Global Research, May 13, 2015
The Washington Book Review 26 February 2015

by Arif Jamal

After the Second World War ended, The Vatican, the CIA, the ex-Nazis, and the Sicilian/American Mafia forged an alliance to fight the Cold War against the former Soviet Union and the rising pro-Soviet governments in Europe and the rest of the world.

In a new book, Paul L. Williams offers new and disturbing evidence to expose what he calls the unholy alliance. Operation Gladio is likely to be a controversial book and may even be contested by several quarters. However, it would be difficult to reject the evidence author Paul L. Williams has provided.

The story started as early as 1942 with the formation of the Vatican Bank. The same year ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) recruited Lucky Luciano, a pre-eminent drug lord. The Swiss director of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Allen Dulles came to the conclusion, “We’re fighting the wrong enemy.” Schutzstaffel (SS) sent Dulles a message through the Vatican that the Nazi government wanted to establish a separate peace with the United States; they wanted to fight the Soviets. Dulles met Prince Max von Hohenlohe in Bern. Hohenlohe found Dulles in agreement with him. Later, Dulles also met other Nazi officials to forge the new alliance. Chief of Special Intelligence for the OSS in China Col. Paul E Helliwell thought of another unholy alliance between the US intelligence community and organized crime groups. Consequently, the US intelligence agencies got drug lord Lucky Luciano released from jail, allowed him to build his narcotic empire, and simply watched the flow of drugs into the largely black ghettos of New York and Washington. The unholy alliance of the American spies and criminals was replicated everywhere, from Laos and Burma to Marseilles and Panama.

After Richard Nixon became president in 1969, the strategy of tension gained more impetus.  National Adviser Henry Kissinger issued orders to Licio Gelli to carry out terror attacks and coup attempts. The United States and the Vatican channeled millions of dollars for these operations. Most of the money was raised in questionable ways. The first major attack in Europe took place on December 12, 1969 when a bomb went off in the lobby of Banca Nazionale Dell’ Agricoltura in Milan, Italy. Seventeen people died in the explosion. Within an hour, three bombs exploded in Rome. According to official figures, 14,591 acts of violence with a political motivation took place between January 1, 1969 and December 31, 1987. In these terror attacks, 491 people died and 1,181 were injured. A large number of terror attacks took place in other European countries from 1965 to 1981. After a series of assassination attempts to kill French President De Gaulle failed, he denounced “the secret warfare of the Pentagon” and expelled the European headquarters of NATO.

In the Latin America, the CIA and the Vatican launched Operation Condor as the Latin American version of the Operation Gladio. The label was applied very liberally by the US intelligence agencies that “any government risked being so labeled if it advocated nationalization of private industry (particularly foreign-owned corporations), radical land reform, autarkic trade policies, acceptance of soviet aid, or an anti-American foreign policy.” The CIA and the Vatican started Operation Condor in the early 1970s when Opus Dei elicited support from Chilean bishops for the overthrow of the government of President Allende. The Catholic group was closely working with the CIA-funded organizations such as the Fatherland and Liberty, which was later turned into the dreaded Chilean secret police. “In 1971, the CIA began shelling out millions to the Chilean Institute for General Studies (IGS), an Opus Dei think tank, for the planning of the revolution.” Many members of the IGS joined the government after the coup. Hernan Cubillos became the foreign minister. He was the founder of Que Pasa, an OPUS Dei magazine, and publisher of El Mercurio, the largest newspaper in Santiago which was subsidized by the CIA.

Williams shows that the Vatican was fully involved in Operation Condor. The Pope was fully behind the purging of the left wing clerics; leaders of the military junta were devout Catholics. The Vatican did not abandon General Pinochet even when he was arrested in Britain for the murder of thousands of Chileans. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano wrote to the British government on behalf of the Pope to demand his release. Under Pinochet, hundreds of thousands Chileans had disappeared while more than four thousands had died. More than fifty thousand Chileans were tortured in the name of Catholic god. CIA’s dirty war was perpetuated in many Latin American countries with the help and blessing of the Vatican.

Williams quotes FBI whistle blower Sibel Edmonds who said,

“Between 1996 and 2002, we, the United States, planned, financed, and helped execute every major terrorist incident by Chechen rebels (and the Mujahideen) against Russia. Between 1996 and 20002, we, the United States, planned, financed, and helped execute every single uprising and terror related scheme in Xinjiang (aka East Turkistan and Uyhurstan). Between 1996 and 2002, we, the United States, planned and carried out at least two assassination schemes against pro-Russian officials in Azerbaijan.”

Operation Gladio is a highly well-researched book with some 1,100 endnotes and footnotes. This work is highly rich in details. It is an estimable scholarly and intellectual accomplishment which is unrivaled. His scholarly work fills a major lacuna in the study of the US foreign policy which was left by scholars such as Alfred McCoy, Peter Dale Scot, Martin A. Lee, Dale Yallop, and Sibel Edmonds.

Reviewed by Arif Jamal

Paul L. Williams is a journalist and author of The Vatican Exposed, Crescent Moon Rising, The Day of Islam, Osama’s revenge, and the Al-Qaeda Connection. He has written articles for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Counter-Terrorist, NewsMax, and National Review. He is the winner of three first-place Keystone Press Awards for journalism. He has also served as a consultant for the FBI and as an adjunct professor of Humanities at the University of Scranton and Wilkes University.

Copyright Arif Jamal, The Washington Book Review, 2015

Reposted under Fair Use Rules.