VPRO, the only Dutch television producing social motivated documentaries. Called #dreamlandamerica it has covered Youngstown Ohio and in the second part covers Chinese moving into suburbean Los Angeles. As climate change will have a large effect on migration of peoples, so does the rise of China as economic power change the outlook of some Californian towns. Similar events happened suring the 1970s and 1980s with Japanes capital investing in the West coast of America.

I watched the first part about Youngstown, quite interesting. In program an interview with George Packer, author of book “The Unwinding.”

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

Here is the second part with most of the conversation in English, however the Chinese part has undertitling in Dutch.

Mei Guo: “The Beautiful Country”

Additional info:
Booker and Jones – two South Side Youngstown kids
How Arcadia is remaking itself as a magnet for Chinese money | The Los Angeles Times – Dec. 2014 |
America and Americans: A Chinese Perspective by Zhao Qizheng, Minister of Information

More below the fold …

The New America: Economy, Advertising, Organized Money, Silicon Valley (2013)

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America is a 2013 non-fiction book by American journalist George Packer. The book uses biographies of individual Americans as a means of discussing important forces in American history from 1978 to 2012, including the subprime mortgage crisis, the decline of American manufacturing, and the influence of money on politics.

The Unwinding includes lengthy profiles of five subjects: a Youngstown, Ohio factory worker turned community organizer, a biodiesel entrepreneur from North Carolina, a Washington lobbyist and Congressional staffer, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel, and people involved in the distressed housing market in Tampa, Florida. Interspersed with these longer accounts are ten briefer biographical sketches of famous Americans such as the rapper Jay-Z, the politician Newt Gingrich, and the restaurateur and food activist Alice Waters.

In an interview with PBS NewsHour, Packer defined the book’s theme as the unraveling of

“a contract that said if you work hard, if you essentially are a good citizen, there will be a place for you, not only an economic place, you will have a secure life, your kids will have a chance to have a better life, but you will sort of be recognized as part of the national fabric.”

The Unwinding follows the decline of a number of American institutions that Packer believes underpinned this contract, including locally-owned businesses, unions, and public schools. According to Packer, the “void” left by the decline of these institutions “was filled by the default force in American life, organized money.”

GWOT: Name Calling | The New Yorker – Aug. 2005 | by George Packer

In June, a Marine lieutenant general, Wallace Gregson, floated the new thinking in a speech: “This is no more a war on terrorism than the Second World War was a war on submarines,” he said. “The decisive terrain in this war is the vast majority of people who are not directly involved but whose support, willing or coerced, is necessary to insurgent operations around the world.” On July 12th, Donald Rumsfeld used the new language in a press conference, repeating the word “extremist” or variations of it eleven times. On July 23rd, two top White House officials followed up with an Op-Ed in the Times: “At its root, the struggle is an ideological contest, a war of ideas that engages all of us, public servant and private citizen, regardless of nationality.” The President’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, once said of war planning for Iraq, “You don’t introduce new products in August,” but the rebranding of the war formerly known as G.W.O.T. has all the earmarks of a full-blown summer marketing campaign. What’s going on here?

Something serious, in fact–almost unprecedented. The Administration is admitting that its strategy since September 11th has failed, without really admitting it. The single-minded emphasis on hunting down terrorists has failed (“Hearts and minds are more important than capturing and killing people,” Gregson said). The use of military force as the country’s primary and, at times, only response has failed, and has stretched the Army and the Marines to the breaking point. Unilateralism has failed. “It’s not a military project alone, and the United States cannot do it by itself alone,” Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy and a leading advocate of going it alone with military force, said on his way out the Pentagon door and into private life (good luck, fellas!). The overwhelmingly American character of the war has failed, isolating moderate Muslims–who, in the end, are the only hope for political change–or driving them closer to the radicals. Loading the entire burden of the war onto the backs of American soldiers, while telling the rest of the citizenry to go about its business, has failed, even as public relations: in a recent Gallup poll, only thirty-four per cent of Americans said that we are winning the war on terrorism. The phrase has outlived its enormous political usefulness.

BooMan archive search: George Packer and a comment here and here.

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