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Archive for July 1st, 2005

Crappy boats

crap boat.jpg

Woke to another in Friedman’s series A rising tide lifts all boats, but they ain’t gonna be carnival cruise ships, kay?

According to Friedman, the Celtic Tiger has got Anglomerican DNA, and Rhenish old France and Germany had better listen up…

It is obvious to me that the Irish-British model is the way of the future, and the only question is when Germany and France will face reality: either they become Ireland or they become museums. That is their real choice over the next few years – it’s either the leprechaun way or the Louvre.

Ha! “Leprechaun way or the Louvre!” Ahem…

Anyway, just wanted to refer you to a nice post over at Crooked Timber, where Henry points out the fact that um, Friedman’s got Ireland wrong:

Ireland is not an exemplar of the “Anglo Saxon model.” For evidence, take a look at this recent paper by Lane Kenworthy, which argues convincingly that Ireland doesn’t fit well into either the Anglo-Saxon ‘liberal market economy’ or Rhenish ‘coordinated model economy’ models. Point two: Ireland is an especially poor fit with the Anglo-Saxon model in the area of labour market policy, a fact which rather undercuts the argument Friedman is trying to make. Again, Dr. Kenworthy:

beginning in the late 1980s and continuing throughout the 1990s, [Ireland] has had a highly coordinated system of wage setting (Baccaro and Simoni 2004). In addition, Ireland has higher levels of employment and unemployment protection than other liberal market economies and longer median job tenure (Estevez-Abe et al. 2001, pp. 165, 168, 170).

Mr. Clash of Generalizations doesn’t let his Big Picture Propagandeering get sidetracked by silly old economy things like fact, reality…

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July 1, 2005 at 3:29 pm

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He Cites

Strange moment in Bush’s speech earlier this week:

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden: “This Third World War is raging” in Iraq. “The whole world is watching this war.” He says it will end in “victory and glory or misery and humiliation.”

Obviously, it’s hard to assign agency for a speech like this – it’s not like GWB pecked the thing out on his Powerbook the night before. So we’re working on the level of institutional psychology, of course…

But it’s a marvelously strange passage, isn’t it. From the focus-group, standardized-test-ese of the first sentence. “Some wonder…” The they, das Man – it’s who, ultimately, GWB has always spoken directly to or at. Citizens whose cohesion comes not of self-awareness but distraction, abstraction… Diagonality…

“Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden” – isn’t this how comic book bad guys (bad guys a la OBL himself) talk? “Hear the words and tremble…”

But above all else, how is it acceptable in the mind(s) of the administration and in this context to quote OBL on the significance of the war in Iraq??? Didn’t this strike anyone there as the slightest bit, um, inappropriate? That it bears discursive witness to the common cause shared by these two great antagonists in, artists of, the “war on terror”?

A “Third World War,” just what OBL wanted, is somehow more acceptable to the administration than another Vietnam. Can you imagine Bush quoting his alterego if it had been “A new Vietnam is raging”?

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July 1, 2005 at 1:43 pm

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