Tom friedman blows

Discussion in 'Politics' started by thadjock, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. thadjock

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    has anybody else been following this douche bag's career? ever notice how he writes a book, proclaims it the difinitive work on a modern phenomenon, then pimps the hell out of it on every talk show.

    and then after it's been initially praised for being the most insightful writing on the subject, time proves his theories to be tragically wrong (economic globalization) . lucky for him, he's always got a new book coming out to pimp and distract us all from dwelling on his last dumbass failure? now his latest incarnation is as an enviromentalist, check back in 6 mos to see how wrong he is on that issue too.

    what's the trophy for the "international media whore" award look like?
     
  2. ElDorado77

    ElDorado77 New Member

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    politics is a business these days my friend.
     
  3. Thorpedo

    Thorpedo New Member

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    He pisses me off royally because he seems like someone who should know better. The world is not flat, tom.
     
  4. thadjock

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    in interviews he comes off as a condescending asshole like he's explaining fractions to a 4th grader . when history proves he's the fukin dumbass.
     
  5. sargon20

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    How is he different than any other political writer trying to market a book?
     
  6. exwhyzee

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    I value his perspectives. Are they gospel? No. But he does provide periodic insights that challenge my perception of world events and trends. His stock value rises and falls depending on the drama du jour and his particular take/discussion of it.

    No one has a corner on making sense of the world, but at least Friedman tries to give a broad context and direction. He is one voice of many that I like to hear. Hopefully, somewhere in the middle, is the truth. :tongue:
     
  7. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Friedman is an apologist for globalization. His shtick is to tell us how globalization brings wonderful economic prosperity to the developing world without addressing the economic, political, or environmental effects on the vast majority of people. He ignores the problem that for every job created in the developing world, one or more is lost in the developed world. He sees reduced costs and proclaims them good because economic prosperity in the western paradigm will bring happiness to the world.

    Friedman's the Candide of the business school darlings and nothing reinforced this for me more when I saw him ogle a golf course in the deserts of the UAE for his The Lexus and the Olive Tree TV series. In typically old-school imperialist manner, he walks about this lush green golf course in Dubai proclaiming how marvelous this is, how such cultural intermeshing must be a great thing as it symbolizes how money and desire can bring us our dreams. He ignores the environmental impact and the resource investment required to keep this golf course going, but more importantly fails to understand what a golf course in Dubai means to the people of Dubai who aren't zipping about in Italian supercars. He completely misses the cultural impact of a western sporting venue to the vast majority of people in the country who question if all of these things (the World Islands, the al Burj, etc) make any sense, if they aren't all follies built for a very select few and what will happen to they, the littlle people, when the oil runs out.

    Friedman also completely neglects to focus on what development in these countries means to the legions of unemployed, uninsured, and underemployed back in the western world who are angry that companies from their own countries, in concert with the enabling of their respective governments, are shutting down factories, closing offices, and reducing economic opportunities among the people who used to have. People who have never had something tend not to be so vocal or angry as people who have had but no longer do. The backlash, the unintended consequences, are completely off Friedman's radar. I saw him going from new office to new office in Mumbai talking to thoroughly westernized and dressed Indian managers of call centers. He marveled at how cheap it was, even given the tolls and training, to establish call centers in Mumbai, doing everything but jumping up and down and waving a flag at how this increased economic prosperity in Mumbai will surely lift all ships. Again, he neglected to address the effect that this outsourcing has had. Customers of these companies are very frustrated that the English skills of these people aren't remotely good enough to make communication easy, coloquialisms go completely missed, and that many of them are just reading from a problem-solving flow chart. If your problem isn't chartable, you don't get a resolution to your problem. Managers of these centers universally have no authority to do anything more than reiterate what the customer service rep has just told the customer.

    The worse the economy gets, the more Friedman's happy flat world of global integration becomes precarious. Industrialized democracies have growing populations at all strata of society who are increasingly dissatisfied with the globalization economic model. Back when it was just the blue and pink collar jobs that were being outsourced, there was relatively little opposition as years of decimation of organized labor in the industrial world has greatly weakened the political power of the lower classes. As more and more jobs, now including many college-required jobs are outsourced, the bulk of the wealth holders are becoming angry and looking for their government to take action. Unlike the lower paid workers, these classes have economic and political clout though arguably not as much as they think given that the percentage of national wealth throughout the industrialized world is increasingly held by the very rich. If this trend continues, Mr. Friedman cannot help but find some very angry people who want to maintain their standard of living and will demand government action to make it happen. This is particularly true in the United States where the level of social welfare is shockingly poor compared to Europe.

    I'd love Friedman to interview a middle aged couple with two kids hoping to go to college but who won't make it on scholarships. In our economy college is increasingly necessary just to provide basic necessities for a family yet underemployment is such a growing problem that the real income of these families after adjustment for price and monetary inflation, is actually declining. College costs, along with other such necessities as health care, food, and energy, are increasing faster than inflation too which means every year, fewer and fewer students will be able to attend college. They will be stuck in low-paying jobs, with no or few medical benefits, no pension, unable to maintain their standard of living, and any ideas of retirement or college for their kids will be dashed.

    This situation cannot be maintained and history shows this situation results in serious social upheaval up to, and including, overthrow of government and armed conflict. I have visions of legions of poor people rioting in TriBeCa or on Fifth Avenue, breaking into the homes of the very rich and plundering them, killing or imprisoning political leaders, and establishing a new reign of terror.

    They will find the very rich will not be at home. They'll all be in Dubai playing golf in the desert.
     
  8. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Eh, the peanuts in Friedman's shit has more where-with-all than 98%+ of the wanna-be blather in these parts..., he ain't perfect, and there are better social targets to prey on, IMHO... what next, let's blast the precociousness of Steven Levitt on his takes on economics/social economics and Malcolm Gladwell's simpleton rhetoric on consumer social sciences, then Mark Steyn on his naivity regarding the realities of Islamic fundamentalism?
     
  9. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    P.S. Thomas Friedman blows, thadjock swallows.


    I assume that's a compliment.
     
  10. thadjock

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    thx jason

    i knew i couldn't be the only one that sees this guy as a poser, u hit the nail on the head
     
  11. D_Diesel Oyl

    D_Diesel Oyl New Member

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    You are so right Thad - I saw him speak in Washington DC. He went on and on about how Americans need to conserve energy, change the way we do things, etc.

    Then I do some net searches on him - he lives in an 11,000 sq ft house. WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT. What a bullshit hypocrite!
     
  12. JustAsking

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    I'm down with this thread. Friedman is an asshole. He writes books full of observations about things that have been obvious for quite a while, in a way that oversimplifies everything. His books sell to the vast majority of those in the business world who remain clueless about the changes that are happening around them.

    But I am not sure who is the bigger asshole, Friedman or Ben Stein?

    que es el más idiota?​
     
  13. pym

    pym New Member

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  14. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Well put.
     
  15. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Looks a bit like the "political shit storm raising" award.
     
  16. Phil Ayesho

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    Wow-
    I think some of you guys are being pretty harsh on him.

    I think his books reflect a fairly contemporary series of insights as to how the world is seen by economic optimists. They tell only one side of the story... but that does not mean the side they present is particularly incorrect.

    As one who has traveled in the countries affect by globalization, I can tell you that globalization is the ONLY positive good to come out of capitalism.

    Sure, there's environmental impact... but the plain fact of the matter is that you can not provide cleaner drinking water (fundamental to any advanced civilization) nor gainfully employ vast numbers of poor people without producing some kind of impact.

    When folks around 30 in China smile at you, you see ridges in their teeth... this ought to tell any intelligent person that this entire generation was literally starving when they were 5.
    From the perspective of the guys who used to get ALL the benefit of world resources, yes- it looks like we are losing ground.

    That's because we are.
    As the rest of the world begins to enjoy such a thing as an economy, 20% of the world's population will no longer be able to count on 60% of its resources.
    Period.

    From the perspective of those in the developing world... Life has NEVER been better.
    ( or at least it felt that way up until the recent republican disaster)
    The Chinese, as a poeple are optimistic, because they have the ability to look forward to a better tomorrow, for the first time in their history.

    Nothing is more infuriating than parochial Americans boycotting Nike because they employ children in Asia.
    It takes a staggering ignorance to imagine that, if these kids weren't working for Nike, that they would be playing soccer in the park with their friends.

    They don't have a park. they don't have schools.
    They don't have enough to fucking eat.
    And they don't have the luxury of having their children being idle.

    People in that world have children for no other reason than free labor for the support of the family.
    And if they weren't working for Nike, indoors, they would be out in the rice paddy doing stoop labor in the sun.

    I have seen where all our dollars are going in terms of foreign goods... and let me tell you, the money Americans spent on Nike shoes was the MOST this country has ever done for the poor people of this world. You buying cheap foreign goods does more to improve their lives than ALL the US economic aid and humanitarian donations put together.

    Everything you guys want to bitch about globalization is bullshit.

    What went wrong is the 25 year run of de-regulation and resulting greed fest of our corporate elites in offshoring OUR jobs faster than our economy was creating New jobs.
    What failed was our "government is the problem" mindset the caused us to utterly ignore the idea that people playing around with billions of dollars might need as much policing as people playing around with hundreds of dollars. If not vastly more policing.

    and Face it- none of you guys wants a job sewing sneakers together.



    The fact is that people do not have the luxury to worry about the climate until their children's bellies are full.
    Until they can afford education for them... until their affluence makes them invest more, in fewer children.
    The guy in Brazil clear cutting rain-forest is NOT going to give a shit about global warming unless he has the option of NOT having to cut down forest to feed his family.

    And that means a job. In a factory.


    Globalization IS GOOD for humanity as a whole.
    It reduces war, it reduces human suffering.

    And really... even out of work, No one in the west has the slightest conception of real suffering.

    Sorry if the rest of the world's karma ran over your dogma... but you don't get to keep using more than your fair share of the world's resources at the expense of others living in abject hell.


    Yes globalization and capitalism has severe impact. It both pollutes the world, and improves people's lives.
    We are in a race to see if we can improve world affluence to the point where all of the world's people can afford enough education, and live in sufficient plenty, to afford the luxury of thinking about their responsibility to the wider world.
    To see if we can raise global consciousness fast enough to undo the damage caused in the effort.


    However- I would point out that it is the WEST who is the real fuckups in this story.
    We already HAVE the education, the affluence, and the luxury to care about the global picture...
    But that didn't slow the sale of SUVs... that did not get our government serious about global warming, nor have we taken our concern for global issues and put it to work SOLVING the problems of green energy and Not burning oil faster than we can find it.

    The solution is INTELLIGENT governance. Regulation of globalization and business, and heavy government investment in the technologies that will give us all better jobs in the future, so we won't mind having our shoes made in Indonesia.

    The solution is to have the West focus their educational and scientific prowess on coming up with green technologies, so that the thrid world has a path to industrialization that is NOT dependent on oil.

    We are not going to stop it short of the collapse of civilization.

    So we must adapt to it or perish.

    We need to become the world exporter of ideas and techniques that PREVENT ecological catastrophe.

    Because, really, no shit....
    us telling the third world they CAN'T have a better life is just not gonna fly.
    We have to figure out a way to give them a better life without it ruining the world for us all.
     
  17. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Phil, here you go ... gettin' logical and tepid and all. I disagree a bit, but good to see your meetings at "bold type anonymous" "underlining anonymous" and "font fetish anonymous" is going well.

    "Nothing is more infuriating than parochial Americans boycotting Nike because they employ children in Asia.
    It takes a staggering ignorance to imagine that, if these kids weren't working for Nike, that they would be playing soccer in the park with their friends."

    Such a Republican sensible neo-con statement... shame on you ;-)
     
  18. Phil Ayesho

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    Face, you think me a liberal...

    I am not.
    I am a scientific realist.
    My political positions are those that are supported by factual evidence... not hyperbole, faith, and prejudice.

    And nothing I said was even remotely Neo-Con in nature- neo-con is a movement predicated in the notion that America should dominate the world simply because we can.
    Its an imperialist, fascist movement, no different from the Nazi party in 1938.

    In fact... any intelligent person has to understand that globalization requires that the US become less important in world affairs... and use less of the world's resources.
    We do not really get a choice in that.


    Also, the more rapidly capitalism is harnessed to the process of developing the third world... the more rapidly we bring on the absolute end to capitalism...
    Because capitalism is essentially a massive ponsi scheme.

    Some people alive today will live to see the point where capitalism can no longer function.

    The US is, right at this moment, on the cusp of having to chart its future in a POST GROWTH world.

    As europe has had to do.
    A world in which there is not enough growth to allow the top 5% to carve off staggering wealth... a world where middle men adding a layer of fat profit, and cost, to critical services can no longer be sustained.

    We can, for example, no longer afford to pay 5 times as much for prescription medications than those same medications sell profitably for in Canada and Europe.


    And if we want that transition to go well... to maintain a decent standard of living, we need to start planing and testing new economic models that can work in a post growth world... cause by 2060 world population and development will have peaked, and it will be all downhill from there.
    No more emerging markets to fuel the next layer on the pyramid.


    The notion that government is the problem, or can not provide services as well or as cheaply as private enterprise is simply and provably false.

    I can stick a piece of paper in an envelope, and a man will come and take it from my house, and deliver it to ANY OTHER house in the entire nation, and that will cost me 42 cents.
    The private enterprises that manufactured the trucks the post office buys made a profit.
    the private corporations that developend the mail sorting technology they use made a profit.
    The Airlines that carry that mail in their planes made a profit...

    But this feat of mail delivery only cost me 42 cents because my govenrment does not have to make a profit on this service.

    No other corporation, despite tremendous competitive 'efficiencies' has been able to offer a similar service as inexpensively.
    Fed Ex may be faster... but they ALWAYS cost me more.

    The notion that the government can not just as effectively run health care is spurious idiocy. HMO's HATE medicare specifically because the government refuses to pay their inflated prices.
    And everyone agrees that HMOs are absolute shit for providing care.

    When the consumer CAN NOT defer purchasing, competition does not result in lower prices, it results in price fixing.

    Thus, it is patently immoral to allow corporations to determine their own profit for services that the consumer must buy.

    I Must buy gas just to get to work.
    I must buy electricity.

    And, when I am ill, i have no choice but to purchase medical care.

    Ethically, it is immoral for companies to make one penny of excessive profit from the care of desperate people.

    National health insurance would allow the corporations developing medicines and equipment to profit... it just would not tolerate a 4,000 times markup on an aspirin, just because you got it in a hospital.

    Right now, hospitals are in trouble, doctors having a hard time making a decent living, and patients having a hard time getting care...
    And its because so much money is being sucked out of everyone's pockets by Insurance companies, lawyers, management firms and speculative investors who have nothing whatsoever to do with providing you with care.

    It needs changing.
    And the folks who cry socialism are simply too ethically bankrupt to understand the human values at stake.

    My positions are entirely coherent with an ethical world view.

    I back globalization because it profoundly reduces human suffering. ALL other considerations are moot in the face of this benefit. We merely have to get better at doing it without fucking ourselves and our planet in the process.

    I back national healthcare for exactly the same reasons.
    It would reduce human suffering and lower the cost of medical care across the board.


    Just like the post office... the government not needing to make a profit, and keeping everyone else's profit within reason results in the lowest possible cost.

    Health insurance is SUPPOSED to be about compassionate caring for the percentage of our fellows that will get sick every year.
    It reflects an understanding that ALL of us shall, one day, be the one to get sick.

    What it has become under free market thinking is a scam for sucking money out of the healthy while denying care to the sick.
    In its present form, it's immoral, it's unethical, it's wrong, and it's gotta change.
     
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