Uh-oh! The World ISN’T Flat!

Allow me to share some of my boring, sleepy-time viewing with you…

Meet Ha-Joon Chang, a Cambridge economics professor who turns Tom (aka “the moustache of wisdom”) Friedman’s now widespread orthodoxy about the miraculous panacea of globalization on its head.

If you can manage to get over Chang’s rather annoying idiomatic verbal tics and the awfully poor audio quality of this presentation, you may well be delighted by his sparkling wit, delightfully irreverent sense of humour and the scholarly insight that he employs to effortlessly dismantle the “conventional wisdom” of neo-liberal thinking when it comes to the issue of free trade and protectionism in particular.

The main thrust of Chang’s thesis as set out in his book Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism largely concerns itself with the iniquitous relationship between so-called first-world nations and developing countries, but it takes on a brilliant new relevance in light of the current economic crisis and the sudden resurgence of protectionism in America. After listening to this presentation, it made the World Economic Forum “debate” on this issue at Davos seem quite absurdly ridiculous (there’s a curious appearance by Howard Dean in the Q+A… no surprise however that his question about labour rights got blown off by the panel)

Why Bother?

Maginalized Inaction Dinofuck

Can someone please explain the “popularity” of “Marginalized Action Dinosaur” to me because I’m quite mystified by the fact that he/she/it consistently ranks ahead of me. It’s a hideously malformed, mentally retarded site with almost absolutely no comments. And yet… #20 on the hit parade.

Go figure.

p.s. For what it’s worth, I average 50-60,000 hits per month. MAD less than a tenth of that. So what gives? I really should stop wasting my time…


Three-Wheeled Ankle-Biter

Well, that’s what you are, apparently, if you don’t back the official Liberal party line of supporting the Conservatives’ catastrophically reckless, ill-conceived, thoroughly cynical, politically-motivated orgy of desperately misguided spending, empty promises, short-sighted freebies, and whack-doodle tax credits.

That the Liberals’ decision to support the harebrained mess of a “Conservative” budget for their own expedient, self-serving objectives polled favourably amongst respondents in a Decima poll likely won’t bring much comfort or solace (let alone financial relief) to those unable to access EI benefits as a result of the complete failure to address the issue, nor will it assist pensioners desperately scraping along that have seen their meager savings steadily eroded by virtue of the incompetence and monstrous greed of professional financiers, or other marginalized and vulnerable segments of society living hand-to-mouth that are on the “bleeding edge” of the recession (a fact that just a scant few months ago the government adamantly denied even existed).

But never mind that. Michael Ignatieff’s decision to prop up the hapless and soon-to-be-bankrupt Harper government was the right “popular” thing to do. Huzzah!