Thomas Palley

American economist

Thomas Palley (born March 17, 1956) is an American economist who has served as the chief economist for the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is currently Schwartz Economic Growth Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Thomas Palley in 2009


  • American exceptionalism is the most dangerous doctrine in the world, and it has been on full display in the current Ukraine crisis. Worse yet, the loudest advocates have been America’s elite liberal class. The doctrine of exceptionalism holds that the US is inherently different from and superior to other nations. That superiority means the US is subject to a different standard. Its actions are claimed to be benevolent and above international law, and the US is entitled to intervene at will around the world, including building a global network of military bases and garrisons that it would never permit another power to have. In today’s United States, liberals are the most extreme proponents of American exceptionalism. In contrast, Republicans and conservatives are inclined to justify foreign policy by appeal to raw power, with the US doing what it wants because it can.
  • In economic policy the liberal menace operates by putting society in the permanent position of having to choose between “bad” and “worse”. In foreign policy it operates by appeal to moral judgementalism that overlooks US moral failings, violates the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs, and ignores the real-world unviability of policies it recommends for others. The menace has been in full swing over Ukraine. Elite liberal media has been at the forefront of arguing for military confrontation with Russia, continued eastward expansion of NATO, and rejection of any legitimacy to Russia’s position. The menace has been oblivious to the asymmetry regarding US behavior, beginning with the obvious question what is the US doing on Russia’s borders? It has presented a substantially false characterization of Ukrainian society and Ukrainian politics. And it has failed to engage the unsettled history of the region and Russia’s fully justified national security concerns.
    The US has a truth problem. Donald Trump is the posterchild for that problem. However, the Liberal Menace is also part of it. If you are only truthful when it suits you, you are not truthful and you tarnish the standing of truth. The lies, aggression, and militarism of liberal menace foreign policy trickle back into society. If US liberals are serious about fixing our truth problem and stopping the rise of proto-fascism, they should begin with their own views on foreign policy. The Ukraine is a good place to start.
  • The inevitable has happened. Russia has invaded Ukraine. It was inevitable because the US and its NATO partners had backed Russia into a corner from which it could only escape by military means. In effect, Russia confronted a future in which the US would increasingly tighten the noose around its neck by further eastward expansion of NATO, combined with military upgrading by the US of its Eastern European NATO proxies. Accompanying that militarization was the prospect of a ramped-up propaganda war in which western media fanned the flames of public animus against Russia. Side-by-side, US government financed entities (such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the German Marshall Fund) would seek to influence European and Russian politics with the goal of regime change. At this stage, there are two questions. What will be done? And what should be done?
  • The Western media is now focusing attention on Russia’s invasion. Built into that focus is a tacit remaking of history. US Neocons want history to begin with the invasion. All else that went before is to be swept into Orwell’s “memory hole”. That means forgetting the injuries and threats the US has heaped on Russia for thirty years; forgetting how the US helped loot Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall, forgetting the promise made not to expand NATO eastward, forgetting the threat posed by putting missile defense and launch capabilities close to Russia’s borders, and forgetting the fateful 2014 US sponsored coup in Ukraine.
Wikipedia has an article about: