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<nettime> French-Fried Friedman
Ivo Skoric on Mon, 6 Jun 2005 06:54:47 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> French-Fried Friedman


I enjoyed this good and fully deserved piece of Friedman-bashing. 
Down with the world where "human advances are measured not by our 
willingness to crawl lower and lower to buy ourselves a job from Bill 
Gates, or by counting the number of Gap outlets in Delhi" and all 
those who advocate it! 

Greg Palast wrote: "It's not the implicit racism of Friedman's statement
which is most irksome, it's his ghastly glee that "a world of benefits
they [Western Europeans] have known for 50 years is coming apart,"
because the French and other Europeans "are trying to preserve a 35 hour
work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour
day." He forgot to add, "and where Indian families are ready to sell
their children into sexual slavery to survive." Now, THERE'S a standard
to reach for."

Now, Greg forgot to add that they (Indian families) are ready to sell 
even their babies to oil-rich Middle Easterners fully protected by 
the might of US military (which annual budget equals Indian GDP) to 
serve as camel jockey slaves as young as 4 years old....
http://www.camelraces.com/

This is a sick world. And I am tired of various Friedmans who try to 
tell us that it is RIGHT to be so.

ivo

On 4 Jun 2005 at 18:42, Miroslav Visic wrote:

I didn't say for nothing that Tommy friedman is a winner of Pulitzer
Prize for hate speech...


/Published on Friday, June 3, 2005 by CommonDreams.org /
*French-Fried Friedman, Nouvelle Globalizer *
*by Greg Palast*

Vicente Fox got a well-deserved boot in the derriere for saying Mexicans
come to America for taking jobs "not even Blacks want to do."

But Thomas Friedman earns plaudits and Pulitzers for his column which
today announces that East Indians are taking jobs the French are too
lazy to do ["A Race to the Top," New York Times, June 3]. His fit of
racial profiling was motivated by his pique over France's rejection of
the globalizers' charter for corporate dominance known as the European
Constitution.

It's not the implicit racism of Friedman's statement which is most
irksome, it's his ghastly glee that "a world of benefits they [Western
Europeans] have known for 50 years is coming apart," because the French
and other Europeans "are trying to preserve a 35 hour work week in a
world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day."

He forgot to add, "and where Indian families are ready to sell their
children into sexual slavery to survive." Now, THERE'S a standard to
reach for.

In his endless series of pukey peons to globalization, Friedman promises
that free trade, an end of regulation, slashing government welfare and
privatization of industry will lead to an economic nirvana.

Yet, all he and his globalization clique can point to as the free
market's accomplishment is the murderous competition between workers
across borders to cut their wages for the chance to work in the new
digital sweatshops.

Friedman praises the New India, freed of the shackles of Old India's
socialist welfare state. I've seen the New India: half a billion people
in dirt huts supporting a tiny minority's right to shop in
air-conditioned malls. It is a Fritz Lang film in Hindi.

There is, of course, a hopeful, growing India where the much-heralded
cyber work is based. But, Mr. Friedman, please note these brains for
hire are found in Karnataka and Kerala, states whose cussed adherence to
social welfare makes them more French than France and nothing like
Thatcherized dog-eat-dog Britain or Reaganized America.

The computer wizards of Bangalore (in Karnataka) and Kerala are the
products of fully funded state education systems where, unlike the USA,
no child is left behind. A huge apparatus of state-owned or
state-controlled industries, redistributionist tax systems, subsidies of
necessities from electricity to food, tight government regulation and
affirmative action programs for the lower castes are what has created
these comfortable refuges for Oracle and Microsoft.

And the successful Indian states, unlike the dreadful free-market Uttar
Pradesh, have labor unions so tough they make the French CGT look like a
luncheon club of baguette biters.

A few years ago, I dropped in on a fishing village in Kerala in Southern
India. Most fisherman worked from motorless dug-out log boats. Their
language is Malayalam, but a large banner slung between two coconut
trees announced in English, "WordPerfect applications class today."
After they brought in the catch, the locals practiced programming on
cardboard replicas of keyboards.

What made this all possible was not capitalist competitive drive (there
was no corporate "entrepreneur" in sight), but the state's investment in
universal education and the village's commitment to development of
opportunity, not of a lucky few, but for the entire community. The
village was 100% literate, 100% unionized, and 100% committed to sharing
resources through a sophisticated credit union finance operation.

This was the communal welfare state at it's best. Microsoft did not
build the schools for programmers -- the corporation only harvested what
the socialist communities sowed.

The economist Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for predicting
that Southern India, with it's strong communalist social welfare state,
would lead the economic advance of South Asia -- and do so without the
Thatcherite sleight-of-hand of pretending that riches for the few
equates to progress for the many.

When I asked the fisherman on their way to programming lessons what the
West could do to encourage their efforts, they did not suggest
privatizing Kerala's social security system. Rather -- and this was
before the Seattle demonstrations of 1999 brought the World Trade
Organization to the West's attention -- they called for the abolition of
the WTO and greater protection for their wooden fishing fleet against
the foreign factory boats marauding in their waters. With protective
trade barriers, they could do as the US did for a hundred years: build
up local resources and industry that creates the infrastructure of
growth.

And the programmers themselves do not dream, Mr. Friedman, of stealing
work from indolent Frenchmen or slothful Seattle geeks. Indians are not
in love with the new method of brain-drain by satellite. They would hope
for the opportunity to write code in their own languages for their own
industries.

Friedman ends with the typical globalizer's warning that, "it's a bad
time for France and friends to lose their appetite for hard work," or
they will lose their jobs to Indians and Chinese willing to work for
noodles. What Friedman means is that the French should give up their
taste for old age pensions, universal health care, top-quality public
education, protection of their skies and waters and all those things we
used to call advances but now, according to the Friedman world order,
stand in the way of progress.

It is too bad that the Times' opinion columns have not been outsourced
to India. Were it so, a Keralite might explain to Friedman that human
advances are measured not by our willingness to crawl lower and lower to
buy ourselves a job from Bill Gates, or by counting the number of Gap
outlets in Delhi, but by our success in protecting and nurturing
liberte, egalite and fraternite among all humanity.

/Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452285674/commondreams-
20/ref
=3Dnosim> which contains his investigation of globalization, "Sell the
Lexus, Burn the Olive Tree." Subscribe to Palast's columns at
www.GregPalast.com <http://www.GregPalast.com/>. /

-- 
________________________________________________________
"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got" - Janis Joplin  


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