Monday, May 19, 2008

Review of Sach's Common Wealth

Review Sachs will (not) like:

Sach’s essential thrust is how to eliminate poverty, indeed a noble goal, and to do so with our most “important responsibility [being] a commitment to know the truth as best we can, truth that is both technical and ethical.” One needs to add complete, for in discussing the global situation in relation to poverty, the distribution of wealth, the unequal relationship between the haves and have-nots, he covers much valid territory but no work on global economics can be fully valid, can fully argue about poverty and its causes, effects, and cures without including to a fairly large degree significant information on two parameters: militarization and corporate power.

[...]Sachs on occasion mentions these various organizations in passing but only the World Bank receives a spot in the index, with four mentions that are nothing more than passing references and have no influence on his arguments. The WTO, OECD, and IMF receive no index listing and only minimal passing mention in the text, an error of such huge proportion for the knowledgeable reader that it essentially destroys his arguments and perspectives however logical and rational they might seem at first.

To ignore the effects that the WTO and IMF have had in restructuring global economies by their imposed rules of engagement (while not necessarily ‘forced’ onto the countries involved, there is much in the way of coercive threats that can be intimated or stated to make ‘compliance’ much easier) with the result of large agricultural losses (consider Haiti and its loss of rice production, similarly in Mexico with its loss of corn production – with other factors involved to be sure) as the involved countries are forced to pay back huge debts at the expense of their own people. That includes the loss of community social services, education, health and welfare, job safety and other factors that Sachs argues for in his presentation.

[...]So this poverty and all the poor youth it creates leads to “state failure”. But now look at the main failed states that are presented: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan…oh my gosh…all the countries that have been invaded, attacked, occupied, and otherwise abused by the United States and earlier imperial powers! For ending the poverty trap he then has the audacity to use Afghanistan as the example, as it “exemplifies the end of the line for desperately poor countries when poverty, overpopulation, and environmental degradation are allowed unchecked for decades.”

For a supposedly intelligent man, this is an incredibly stupid statement!!!

More here.

Red flag on red!

I can't figure out what the Maoists' economic policy would be after they take over power in Nepal. This one is definitely not business friendly- they murdered a local businessman.

Enraged by the abduction, torture and murder of businessman Ram Hari Shrestha, locals, relatives of the victim, members of the business community and sister organizations of various political parties on Saturday demanded formation of a high level probe into Shrestha's death.

They also demanded stringent action against the perpetrators of the heinous crime and asked the CPN (Maoist) leadership to immediately halt their "excesses".

Expressing solidarity against the brutal murder of the capital-based businessman, the sister organizations have also demanded guarantee of people's security, a public
apology from PLA supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal and a pledge from the Maoists to
make public the murdered man's body.

After abducting Shrestha and inflicting extreme torture on him during his captivity of over two weeks, PLA commander at Shaktikhor Kali Bahadur Magar a.k.a. Bibidh admitted that his men had killed the man.

More here