Sunday, July 23, 2017

Paul Richard Huard — FACT: Viet Cong Commandos Sank an American Aircraft Carrier

Bet you didn't know this.

Here's why.
Not surprisingly, North Vietnam celebrated the sinking of Card, considering it a propaganda victory of the first rank. The U.S. government refused to even acknowledge the vessel’s sinking, telling the public the carrier had only been damaged.
Paul Richard Huard | military historian, free-lance journalist, and contributor to War Is Boring

Bill Mitchell – Germany fails to honour its part of the Greek bailout deal

In this blog – The fiscal role of the KfW – Part 1 – I recounted how the government-owned German development bank, KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) – interacts with the German Finance Ministry to allow its fiscal balance to move into surplus without the commensurate level of fiscal drag that would normally be associated with that degree of fiscal withdrawal. The intent of the blog was to show how the Germans cleverly use their state-owned development bank to advance ideological positions not available to other states that have either privatised these type of institutions or never created them in the first place. It is ironic given the Germans insistence that countries like Greece privatise everything in sight. Today’s blog returns to the KfW, in part, because new information has emerged where we learn that the Greek crisis has allowed the German Ministry of Finance to run surpluses without melting their economy down. The KfW’s role in that regard is undoubted. It has been a source of bailout funds for Greece, on behalf of the German government, and has been pocketing handy profits ever since. This information shows that the popular claims that German taxpayers are bailing out Greece are clearly false and just political verbiage. Further, despite the understanding that the Member States (bailout partners) would remit any profits made on asset holdings associated with the Greek bailout, the Germans have reneged on that deal, in part, because it has channeled those profits through the KfW, which it claims is at hands length to the government, despite being 100 per cent government-owned.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Germany fails to honour its part of the Greek bailout deal
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Peter Cooper — Short & Simple 10 – Spending Independently of Income

It was mentioned (in part 2) that a currency-issuing government issues its currency in the act of spending. An implication of this is that a currency-issuing government does not need income in order to spend. We have also noted (in parts 5 and 9) that a household or business can spend independently of current income. They can do this either by drawing down past savings or through borrowing.
Short & Simple 10 – Spending Independently of Income
Peter Cooper

Steve Roth — Two Big Questions About the Job Guarantee: God, Devil, and the Details

More blather about the JG.

Answer to question 1: It's a job guarantee. It's advertised as a job offer for those willing and able to work that don't have a job offer from private sector employers in their area. To get the wage you have to show up and do the job you signed you for. What is so hard to understand about that?

Answer to question 2: These issues need to be articulated clearly and formulated into a legislative bill. The initial bill will likely be debated in the House and Senate and modified based on hearings, debate and lobbying. Just like every other policy proposal that becomes law.

Saudi Arabia turning off US oil tap

Wayne Madsen — The End of the ‘New American Century’ Pronounced by the Pentagon

Is the US military quietly signaling a historical turn of events comparable to Britain's decision to abandon empire? One item doesn't tell the whole story but it is indicative that it is being discussed at high levels.

Strategic Culture Foundation
The End of the ‘New American Century’ Pronounced by the Pentagon
Wayne Madsen

Lord Keynes — The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 4: A Summary

Chapter 4 of Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009) is called the “Consequences of Agriculture.”
The effects of agriculture accelerated human evolution and selective pressures in the following ways:
Interesting tidbit:
Yet another cognitive trait that may have been selected for in farmers is the ability to defer gratification (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 114). This was an extremely important type of behaviour on which farming is based, and needed for sowing of crops or breeding of animals, when those plants or animals can be eaten in the present. Farmers with personality traits such as delayed gratification, patience, a work ethic, self-control, and long-term planning would have survived to produce more offspring (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 114). Curiously, this would also have bred more selfish people in contrast to hunter gatherers (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 115).
The would bear out Rousseau's assumption over Hobbes.

Conversely, this would speak in favor of Hobbes.
Farming allowed the creation of more advanced state-based societies that developed systems of law and order and punishments. Many such societies have imposed the death penalty for socially-harmful behaviour, as in crimes like murder, violence, and so on. In a stable society over time, this would likely kill off more aggressive individuals (usually men) and leave that society with a gene pool favouring less aggressive and less violent individuals (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 111–112). Some have argued that the high levels of social conformity in East Asian societies are not just a cultural phenomenal, but the result of long-run genetic changes influencing personality arising from the thousands of years of how these state-based societies in East Asia have operated. This raises the interesting possibility that highly developed state societies have “tamed” human beings in certain ways, not just culturally but also genetically (Cochran and Harpending 2009: 112–113), and that in modern agricultural societies (which have had agricultural and state systems for thousands of years), the average man today might be less aggressive and less violent than the average man 2,000 years ago, or 10,000 or 20,000 years ago. People from state-based, agricultural societies – with thousands of years of history – probably have different cognitive traits, on average, as compared with people in hunter-gatherer societies not subject to the same kind of long-term evolutionary change.
Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 4: A Summary
Lord Keynes

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Nathan Tankus — No, UBI Criticisms Are Not Implicitly Premised On The Idea the Racial Wealth Gap is Good (Sigh)

Nathan Tankus rips up UBI advocate Matt Bruenig and takes a shot or two at Matt Yglesias.

Go JG!

Tankus Notes
Nathan Tankus

Jason Ditz — CIA Chief Warns of WikiLeaks Plotting to “Take Down America Any Way They Can”

The CIA Director conflates the US Deep State and ruling elite with America.

Message for Mike Pompeo: Americans are fed up with endless war. This is all about "taking our country back."

The US Deep State, including the military and military-industrial complex, realize that the US can only present a credible threat in bullying its "adversaries" (read all that refusal to be the American elites' bitch) if the American people are behind more war. This requires the construction and control of a consensus reality by controlling the narrative. Wikileaks is a threat to that.

CIA Chief Warns of WikiLeaks Plotting to “Take Down America Any Way They Can”
Jason Ditz

See also

The witch-hunt and smear campaign continue.
"Smears against the Green Party for participating in elections are nothing new, but raising the smears to the level of McCarthyism is a recent wrinkle," said Scott McLarty, media director for the Green Party, in an interview with The Hill.
Sputnik International
Jill Stein Comes Under Trump Jr.-Russia Probe Scrutiny

Fort Russ — Fake news alert!

The Hill this time.

Fort Russ
Fake news alert!
Izvestia - translated by Inessa Sinchougova

Izvestiya means "news" in Russian.
[Izvestia is] a Russian daily newspaper founded in 1917 as the official organ of the Soviet government. It continued to be published independently after the collapse of communist rule and the break-up of the Soviet Union. — Oxford Living Dictionaries — English

Aric Jenkins — You Should Update Your Apple Devices Immediately to Fix a Major Security Flaw

Public service message

Fortune — Cybersecurity
You Should Update Your Apple Devices Immediately to Fix a Major Security Flaw
Aric Jenkins

Lord Keynes — The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 3: A Summary

Chapter 3 of Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009) is called the “Agriculture: The Big Change,” and examines the evolutionary impact of the agricultural revolution and urban life.
Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 3: A Summary
Lord Keynes

Ivan Eland — Trump’s Slide into Endless-War Syndrome

I am not sure that "slide" is the correct word. I would call it more a push than a slide.

"Ivan." Isn't that a Russian name? (Just kidding.)

Consortium News
Trump’s Slide into Endless-War Syndrome
Ivan Eland | Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute

Kerry McDonald — How Schooling Crushes Creativity

In 2006, educator and author Ken Robinson gave a TED Talk called, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” At over 45 million views, it remains the most viewed talk in TED’s history.
Robinson’s premise is simple: our current education system strips young people of their natural creativity and curiosity by shaping them into a one-dimensional academic mold.
This mold may work for some of us, particularly, as he states, if we want to become university professors; but for many of us, our innate abilities and sprouting passions are at best ignored and at worst destroyed by modern schooling.…
Robinson echoes the concerns of many educators who believe that our current forced schooling model erodes children’s vibrant creativity and forces them to suppress their self-educative instincts....
Compelling research shows that when children are allowed to learn naturally, without top-down instruction and coercion, the learning is deeper and much more creative than when children are passively taught.
Like American philosopher and educator John Dewey said many decades ago. It was called "progressive education" by then as an alternative to education by rote, which is now called "teaching the test."

Progressive education involves emphasizing learning over teaching, discovery over schooling, and group (team) learning over individual instruction.

Then objective is learning for life rather than credentialing.

FEE — Foundation for Economic Education
How Schooling Crushes Creativity
Asif Aziz

Seema Sengupta — Radical thinking needed if India is to avoid water collapse

In India, polluted and dried-up rivers, poor storage infrastructure, contaminated groundwater and shrinking aquifers – to name but a handful of problems – have turned the country’s water woes into a hydra-headed monster. With 76 million people – approximately 5% of the country’s total population – living without access to safe drinking water, many experts believe India faces a looming internal water war that will jeopardize all of its ambitious developmental projects, from “Make in India” to building smart cities....
Asia Times
Radical thinking needed if India is to avoid water collapse
Seema Sengupta


New Delhi is running out of water

Branko Milanovic — Multi-party kleptocracies rather than illiberal democracies

As long a we're calling a spade a spade, tt seems to me that Western liberal democracies are also "multi-party kleptocracies" in that a single, homogeneous elite always wins. 

It's only question of which faction of the elite gains the greatest spoils. 

Like the "illiberal democracies." this is the illusion of democracy and free choice, but in the end the result is the same. The ruling elite walks away the spoils because they control the levers of power and own the wealth.

And it will be so as long as bourgeois liberalism in the form of neo-feudalism and predatory capitalism persist.

Global Inequality
Multi-party kleptocracies rather than illiberal democracies
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Brian Davey — Mismodelling human beings – “rational economic men” in love, politics and everyday life

This chapter explores the assumptions about human nature on which mainstream economics is based. The description of “rational economic man” ignores most psychological and psychotherapy understandings of people. — Brian Davey, Credo: Economic beliefs in a world in crisis, Chapter 9
Key to the conceptual confidence trick are assumptions about what people in general are like. It is all based on an implicit modelling of human beings. Certain types of behaviour (the type that allows economists to model people and markets) are called “rational”. Now, you might think that this description of people is meant by economists to be applicable only to economic and market activities. Certainly this was the point of view of one of the founders of the famous Chicago school of economics, Frank Knight. Although committed to the alleged virtues of the market, Knight was not naive about how far you could take economic analysis. In his book Risk, Uncertainty and Profit he concluded that economics only applied to the satisfaction of wants, and that this business of satisfying wants by no means accounted for all of human activity. Indeed Knight questioned how far one could go with a “scienti c treatment” of human activity and wrote of his own views:
In his views on this subject the writer is very much an irrationalist. In his view the whole interpretation of life as activity directed towards securing anything considered as really wanted, is highly artificial and unreal. (Backhouse, 2002, p. 204)
Some contemporary economists of the Chicago school don’t see it this way. If people are calculating their individual self interest in their economic dealings why should one assume that they do not do the same thing in their political, their social and their interpersonal dealings? Should we not also assume that government ocials are calculating their interests too? At the very least, why should contact between business and government not lead to a cosy relationship, particularly if people can leave government posts and get lucrative jobs with industry? What about bribes and kickbacks from business for special favours? 
As I argued earlier, we can take the idea from Anaïs Nin that we do not see things as they are – we see things as we are. There is likely to be a loop in which a theory which describes how people are assumed to be, when powerfully propagated in textbooks as “social science”, will have an influence on how people behave. With economics we have a theory which argues that if people just look after their own interest that’s OK because “an invisible hand” described by wizard intellectuals delivers an approximation to an optimal allocation of resources. Under the influence of a view like this, concern about what is in a wider interest is not likely to blossom. It is unlikely to figure as a motivation or concern. As individualists people will look no further than themselves. They do not need to look further than themselves because the “invisible hand” will do the rest.
It is quite logical to believe that if people are actually like this then their attitude to the community and to the state will be framed in the same terms. Such people, customers of the state, rather than citizens and members of communities, will then have an interest in getting the best deal from the state to pursue their own individual agendas.…
This is an interesting post and the book is a free download.

Frank Knight assumed that utility maximization applied only to economic behavior, while Gary Becker extended that assumption to human behavior in general. This assumption that humans act in their self-interest to gain maximum satisfaction "naturally" or "by nature" rests on the assumption of methodological individualism, which in turn presumes an assumption of ontological individualism.

Extreme individualism contradicts the longstanding assumption that humans are social animals dating at least to Aristotle's Politics.* The assumption of sociality that has greater biological and psychological evidence than the assumption that humans are chiefly individualistic in interests, motivation, decision making and behavior, and act independently of other factors and influences.

The Western intellectual tradition has viewed "rationality" as the distinguishing characteristic of humanity and since its inception in ancient Greece, the Western intellectual tradition has also viewed rationality as moral and pro-social.

Radical (Jacobin) and reactionary (liberal) individualism are innovations that developed in reaction to overbearing government as a residual of the feudalism system that was an obstacle to rising capitalism. This was also a reaction of the Protestant Reformation to the Church's dogmatism and monopoly on knowledge asa means of social control. While these forms of individualism are "rational" in terms of the historical dialectic, given conditions prevailing at the beginning of the modern period, they are neither intrinsic to humanity as indicative of "human nature," nor naturalistic in terms of the course of human development and history.

Emphasis on individualism ignores the broad and deep social and economic influence of culture and institutions, for instance. Conventional economics excludes institutionalism as heterodox, for example, and ignores economic sociology.

Radical and reactionary individualism are pernicious assumptions both socially and also personally, for they are separative. Rather than resulting in spontaneous natural order, pursuit of self-interest primarily leads to egotism and social dysfunction. Extreme liberalism is opposed by both traditionalism and socialism for this reason. Freedom without responsibility confuses liberty with license.

Mismodelling human beings – “rational economic men” in love, politics and everyday life
Brian Davey
* From these things therefore it is clear that the city-state is a natural growth, and that man is by nature a political animal, and a man that is by nature and not merely by fortune citiless is either low in the scale of humanity or above it (like the “ clanless, lawless, hearthless” man reviled by Homer,1 for one by nature unsocial is also ‘a lover of war’) inasmuch as he is solitary, like an isolated piece at draughts. And why man is a political animal in a greater measure than any bee or any gregarious animal is clear. For nature, as we declare, does nothing without purpose; and man alone of the animals possesses speech. The mere voice, it is true, can indicate pain and pleasure, and therefore is possessed by the other animals as well (for their nature has been developed so far as to have sensations of what is painful and pleasant and to indicate those sensations to one another), but speech is designed to indicate the advantageous and the harmful, and therefore also the right and the wrong; for it is the special property of man in distinction from the other animals that he alone has perception of good and bad and right and wrong and the other moral qualities, and it is partnership in these things that makes a household and a city-state.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lord Keynes — The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 2: A Summary

Chapter 2 of Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution(2009) is called “The Neanderthal Within,” and examines the possibility that early humans outside of Africa interbred with Neanderthals, and how this affected human evolution....
Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 2: A Summary
Lord Keynes

Shashi Reddy — A computer was asked to predict which start-ups would be successful. The results were astonishing.

Clickbait title, but an interesting article anyway.
In 2009, Ira Sager of Businessweek magazine set a challenge for Quid AI's CEO Bob Goodson: programme a computer to pick 50 unheard of companies that are set to rock the world.
The domain of picking “start-up winners” was - and largely still is - dominated by a belief held by the venture capital (VC) industry that machines do not play a role in the identification of winners. Ironically, the VC world, having fuelled the creation of computing, is one of the last areas of business to introduce computing to decision-making. 
Nearly eight years later, the magazine revisited the list to see how “Goodson plus the machine” had performed. The results surprised even Goodson: Evernote, Spotify, Etsy, Zynga, Palantir, Cloudera, OPOWER – the list goes on. The list featured not only names widely known to the public and leaders of industries, but also high performers such as Ibibo, which had eight employees in 2009 when selected and now has $2 billion annual sales as the top hotel booking site in India. Twenty percent of the companies chosen had reached billion-dollar valuations.
To contextualize these results, Bloomberg Businessweek turned to one of the leading “fund of funds” in the US, which has been investing in VC funds since the 1980s and has one of the richest data sets available on actual company performance and for benchmarking VC portfolio performance.
The fund of funds was not named for compliance reasons, but its research showed that, had the 50 companies been a VC portfolio, it would have been the second-best-performing fund of all time. Only one fund has ever chosen better, which did most of its investments in the late 1990s and rode the dotcom bubble successfully. Of course, in this hypothetical portfolio, one could choose any company, whereas VCs often need to compete to invest.
Recently, Bloomberg asked Goodson to repeat the feat. Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at the methodology behind the new list, and also broader trends set to flourish in the market....
World Economic Forum
A computer was asked to predict which start-ups would be successful. The results were astonishing.
Shashi Reddy | Chief of Staff, Quid

Scaramucci: "No, the national debt does not make the United States insolvent"


TIME ran a piece this week by economist Jim Grant titled “Make America Solvent Again.” The cover exclaimed that in order to pay off our $13.9 trillion national debt, every American needs to chip in $42,998.12. The alarmist headline likely accomplished its goal of selling magazines in grocery store checkout lines, but the underlying premise of the article is inane. 
Let’s start with the definition of insolvency. An entity is insolvent when debts exceed assets. First off, the U.S. government owns hundreds of trillions worth of assets. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) estimated in 2013 that fossil fuel-related assets owned by the federal government are worth more than $150 trillion, more than ten times the national debt. Add in things like land, real estate and military equipment, and the government’s assets are likely well in excess of $200 trillion. In addition, current U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is around $18 trillion, on which the government has taxation authority.

A bit weak (I detect a slight foul odor of libertarianism present...) but not too shabby.  Scaramucci seems unaware of the US federal government's use of Modified Accrual accounting which does not allow Accrual Accounting methods to be used on the left hand side of the accounting, so under present accounting methods, they can't accrue the value of future taxation or hypothetical asset sales...

So unless the Trump people attack the Federal government's inane accounting methodology, the inane assertions about Federal government "debt!" will continue...

David F. Ruccio — Globalization—how did they get it so wrong?

There is perhaps no more cherished an idea within mainstream economics than that everyone benefits from free trade and, more generally, globalization. They represent the solution to the problem of scarcity for the world as a whole, much as free markets are celebrated as the best way of allocating scarce resources within nations. And any exceptions to free markets, whether national or international, need to be criticized and opposed at every turn.
That celebration of capitalist globalization, as Nikil Saval explains, has been the common sense that mainstream economists, both liberal and conservative, have adhered to and disseminated, in their research, teaching, and policy advice, for many decades.
Today, of course, that common sense has been challenged—during the Second Great Depression, in the Brexit vote, during the course of the electoral campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—and economic elites, establishment politicians, and mainstream economists have been quick to issue dire warnings about the perils of disrupting the forces of globalization.
I have my own criticisms of Saval’s discussion of the rise and fall of the idea of globalization, especially his complete overlooking of the long tradition of globalization critics, especially on the Left, who have emphasized the dirty, violent, unequalizing underside of colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism.
However, as a survey of the role of globalization within mainstream economics, Saval’s essay is well worth a careful read....
Occasional Links & Commentary
Globalization—how did they get it so wrong?
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers

And it is not just a male/female thing...

Or do girls with the skill sets that would give them entrance to STEM fields prefer fields that involve working with people over fields that involve working with things?

and "skill sets" are one thing (maybe "aptitude" better here) but then you still have to rigorously TRAIN to get good at something... you need to go hard and get reps...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Peter Cooper — Short & Simple 9 – Spending Determines Income

We understand that, as a rule, total spending must equal total income (this was explained in part 4 of the series). But this raises a question. Is it spending that determines income or, instead, income that determines spending?
Short & Simple 9 – Spending Determines Income
Peter Cooper

Nauman Sadiq — The US takes Rebranded Al-Nusra Front off Terror Watch-lists

Shell games in the snake pit.
According to a recent report by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year.… 
Thus, this rebranding exercise has been going on for quite some time. Al-Julani announced the split from al-Qaeda in a video statement last year. But the persistent efforts of al-Julani’s Gulf-based patrons have borne fruit only in January this year, when al-Nusra Front once again rebranded itself from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which also includes “moderate” jihadists from Zenki Brigade, Ahrar al-Sham and several other militant groups, and thus, the US State Department has finally given a clean chit to the jihadist conglomerate that goes by the name of Tahrir al-Sham to pursue its ambitions of toppling the Assad regime in Syria.

Darius Shahtahmasebi — We Finally Know Who Is Really Behind the Qatar Crisis

Anti-Media has covered some of the geopolitical undertones of this crisis (see here and here), but the UAE’s specific role in this crisis is worth highlighting on its own here. While the UAE is aligned with these other GCC nations in its distaste for Iran and its desire to bring Qatar to its knees, it transpires that the UAE has a hidden agenda of its own.
Qatar hosts the American military’s largest base in the region, al-Udeid, which currently houses over 10,000 American personnel. This is important because the UAE wants this base removed from Qatar and wants to host the American military themselves.
As usual, "follow the money."

Lord Keynes — The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 1: A Summary

Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009) is a truly extraordinary book that every person on the Left should read. In essence, Cochran and Harpending challenge the notion that human evolution stopped around 50,000 years ago....
Social Democracy For The 21St Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective
The 10,000 Year Explosion, Chapter 1: A Summary
Lord Keynes

Alastair Crooke — A Syrian Cordon Sanitaire: Is Israel huffing & puffing, or is it serious ?

Alastair Crooke also writing at SST now.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
A Syrian Cordon Sanitaire: Is Israel huffing & puffing, or is it serious?
Alastair CrookeSee also

Did Trump Get it Right by Accident?
Publius Tacitus

Caleb Maupin — Oil, Qatar, China & The Global Conflict

Backgrounder on conditions in geopolitics and geostrategy. It's much broader than oil, Qatar and China as the title suggests.

It's difficult to see how this unfolding dynamic doesn’t lead to war as competing political systems and economic interests continue on a collision course.

There is no way to disentangle social structures, political systems and economic interests of societies. They are different facets of the same structure.

Oil, Qatar, China & The Global Conflict
Caleb Maupin

Grete Mauthner — America’s Propaganda Central is Going to Cash in Big

A bipartisan initiative led by senators Rob Portman and Chris Murphy has authorized 160 million dollars over two years to fight state actors through a little-known agency office housed at the State Department called the Global Engagement Center....
America’s state propaganda agency Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) released a report about the range of its last year’s activities.…
The report states that in 2016 the agency would cooperate with all sorts of investigators, directors and journalists for them to promote US foreign policy and national security interests “through independent journalism”.
The target audience of such instances of “independent journalism” can be found in Russia, across the entire post-Soviet space, China, Iran, Cuba, along with a number of other regions. The BBG would broadcast its propaganda manifests in national languages of the countries it has been operating in, while adding programs in the languages of national minorities living in the above mentioned regions. By the end of 2016, the total number of employees of BBG reached 2,940.
In mid-June, the [US State Department's] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor would release a tender that would demand the contenders to present the bureau with considerable capabilities for “independent and objective media coverage” across the Baltic States, in order to promote the “values of democracy and human rights” and wage information wars. Under the conditions of the tender, it is emphasized that the media should create competitive modern content on actively developing digital platforms, while targeting the Russian-speaking audience in those states. The tender will provide the agency that would get an upper hand with a sum ranging from 1.5 million to 3 million dollars, however it would be forced to closely coordinate its activities with US embassies in the Baltic countries. In addition, the agency that is to win the grant should get registered with the NSPA – NATO Support and Procurement Agency.
Last month it has also become known that the Broadcasting Board of Governors remains in control of such propaganda stations as Radio Liberty and Voice of America demanded the US Congress to allocate a total of 22 million dollars on its operations in spite of the fact that public interest towards above mentioned stations has been declining due to all sorts of unfounded public statements that they have been making. In total the Board has demanded US president to allocate over 685 million dollars on its operations for the year 2018. It’s curious that Washington is spending almost as much money on spreading propaganda in Russia as it spends on similar activities in China....
Simultaneously, US propagandist rail against Chinese government sponsored Confucian Institutes in US universities and Russian government sponsored RT operating in the English-speaking world.

Let's get some perspective here. The US is way out front in funding and carrying on information war and stratcomm than it's putative "adversaries."

America’s Propaganda Central is Going to Cash in Big
Grete Mauthner

Alastair Crooke — How Trump Defines the Future

President Trump has defined the future as a battle between old-style nationalism and neoliberal globalism, a challenge that the West’s elites mock at their own peril, as ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke describes.
As the world globalizes, there is a dialectic going on over which factors should predominate — international v. national, sovereign v. subject, unipolar v. multipolar, liberal v. traditional, capitalism v. democracy, etc.

Alstaire Crooke observes that this is no longer largely a difference between power blocs — East and West, or North and South — but rather involves fierce in-house political disputes among contending factions and vying political constituencies within countries.

The outcome is uncertain and it is already involving considerable conflict domestically and internationally. 

Presently, the world is realigning geopolitically and geostrategically as countries rethink their future and lay track for a path to it. As a result the world is becoming more precarious.

Consortium News
How Trump Defines the Future
Alastair Crooke | founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, and former British diplomat and senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy