Tuesday, June 21, 2005

light summer reading

In the midst of the last "easy motoring" summer, all warm breezy days and skittering thunderclouds, I found time to read the following article, spotted on FTD.

The coming trade war and global depression
US President George W Bush defends his free-trade agenda in moralistic terms. "Open trade is not just an economic opportunity, it is a moral imperative," he declared in a May 7, 2001, speech. "Trade creates jobs for the unemployed. When we negotiate for open markets, we're providing new hope for the world's poor. And when we promote open trade, we are promoting political freedom." Such claims remain highly controversial when tested by actual data.

Look; this article is long. Might even seem dull at first blush, but is to the contrary lucid and interesting. It slices right through self-aggrandizing American mythology and doubletalk that gets served up at every Wal-Mart and Burger shack, and manages to do so in a politically neutral way, in the sense that neither Democrats or Republicans are absolved of stupidty by the author.

Further, it paints a clear and independantly verifiable picture of how much trouble the global economy is in right now.

It is a great backgrounder.

After assimilating it, as a thought experiment, the curious might add peak oil into the mix -- just to see if the scales of justice have a breaking point.


At 7:36 PM, June 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite line from the article
"The UN Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG) commit the international community to halving world poverty by 2015, a decade from now. With current trends, that goal is likely to be achievable only through the death of half of the poor by starvation, disease and local conflicts."

Overall and interesting read although the closing line and conclusion came out of left field to me (deadline must have been coming)

At 9:40 PM, June 22, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

"As people facing the hard choice of survival in the present versus well-being in the future, they will always choose survival, and social capitalism will inevitably go the way of absolute monarchism, and make way for humanist socialism. "

Could be a way of saying, things run in cycles. The globalist orgy is almost spent.

"Humanist socialism" is clear enough - that might include basic calorie needs, a roof, health care, and free education. A social contract. Of those, only health care and education need be top notch - for the everything else, a fair market along capitalist lines is par for the course.

I realize that is considered leftist in the USA. In parts of Europe, it is the center.

At 4:28 PM, June 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That people will choose "the now" or their personal self interest over the future and the masses is a given (well...maybe not a given but you'd have to convince me otherwise). That the current socio-economic cycle will reach an end is also a given. That anything remotely positive (humanist socialism) will spring out of it is stretch...which is why the conclusion came out of left field for me.

At 12:32 AM, June 25, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

ah, got it. thanks for clarifying.

I thought you were making a bad pun.

I tend to agree with you. If wishes were fishes, things might be different.


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