Has the United States of America become nothing but a banana republic? Washington’s Blog asserts as much:

Experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve have said the U.S. has become a third world banana republic (and see this and this).

Are they right?

Well, let’s look at Wikipedia’s description of the four factors which make a country a banana republic.

Profits Privatized and Debts Socialized

The first feature of a banana republic as “A collusion between the overweening state and certain favored monopolistic concerns, whereby the profits can be privatized and the debts socialized.”

Devalued Paper Currency

The second characteristic of a banana republic is “Devalued paper currency in the international community.”

Politicians Use Time in Office to Maximize Their Own Gains

The third characteristic of a banana republic is:

Kleptocracy — those in positions of influence use their time in office to maximize their own gains, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it.

Corruption Remains Unchecked, Politicians Are Only for Show

And the fourth characteristic of a banana republic is:

There must be no principle of accountability within the government so that the political corruption by which the banana republic operates is left unchecked. The members of the national legislature will be (a) largely for sale and (b) consulted only for ceremonial and rubber-stamp purposes some time after all the truly important decisions have already been made elsewhere.

You can read his full analysis of each point here and additional analysis by Political Calculations here.

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