Sunday, March 18, 2012

The 1% Whisperer on Poor Countries: It's Their Fault

The graphic comes courtesy of the Planet Monkeys. Thanks!

 Seems like the stupider you are, the more willing your are to shill for the uber-wealthy, the more you praise exploitation and income inequality, the more you attack social welfare programs and ignore war spending, then the more likely you are to get air-time on NPR.

So, of course, I was suspicious when on Friday afternoon, Mr. Davidson, the intrepid "journalist" who always seems to put his mouth where the money is, emerged from his Planet O' Money to sing the praises of a book which Davidson claims answers a question that has supposedly stymied economists for "centuries": "Why are some nations rich, while others are poor?"

The book, Why Nations Fail, actually appears to have some very interesting things to say about "extractive institutions," which anyone - except for a total Wall Street sycophant - might think would apply to dynamics in the US, especially given that the finance industry essentially controls the US government.  Furthermore, anyone with the even the slightest historical sense would look at some of the poorest nations in the world and have to admit that European and US colonialism/imperialism has "blessed" them with just those vile "extractive institutions" which guarantee endemic poverty.  Apparently Mr. Davidson is bereft of any such historical awareness, since the role of Europe and the US in imposing misery on Africa and Central and South America respectively is never mentioned.

So just what does NPR's 1% lovin' Planet Monkey have to say about the book?  Here it is:
"The key difference between rich countries and poor ones is the degree to which a country has institutions that keep a small elite from grabbing all the wealth." (I wonder where one could find "a small elite...grabbing all the wealth"?)

And Davidson continues,

"This can seem discouraging but their message does offer hope. Poverty is not the inevitable result of bad geography, bad culture, bad history. It's the result of us: of the ways that people choose to organize their societies. And that means we can change things." (Seems like I recall someone else selling HOPE and CHANGE under the banner of not looking backwards.)

Yes we can!


gDog said...

Yeah, Davidson has no shame. Economists are clueless is a good premise, but Davidson is even more so, if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

Er.. Can anyone else explain how Robert Fisk (a REAL journalist -- you know, someone who's actually trying to find out what's going on --- rather than a sycophabtic panderer to power) was on Warren Olney's to the point last night? He was able to deliver several intelligent thought provoking comments about WAR, US arrogant attitudes thereto. He talked past his military opponent and wasn't cut off rather than Olney claiming 'we're out of time'.
What does this signify? At long last a critic like Fisk after 10-11 years of stupid, criminal, murderous war in Afghanistan. Is someone getting that the US populace is also getting to the end of it's rope -- or is it the monkeys at the typewriter syndrome?

Charlottesville, VA

gDog said...

Thanks, Rob. The To The Point program you refer to was pretty awful (as usual). The kind of stuff General Warlove would love. Generals and Sergeants...

"Apparently deranged." "On a rampage." "Perpetrating an act of madness." But not, terrorist, sir, no sir!

"General Bramms, let me go back to you..." - WO

"The Marines are still pretty stoked about doing their job." - General Bramms

"Keep your humanity. We care about our soldier, but not about his victims. We don't see the other people as human beings. Can you name a single Iraqi killed since 2003?" - Fisk

"We're going to have to leave it at that." -WO

Uh huh. I won't be tuning in to get the Enterprise Institutes clean up on this.

Anonymous said...

who got to Ira Glass first - China or Apple? "Substancial fabrications" on a program running on 1% Radio? I am SHOCKED, shocked to hear that.

Norris is playing The Race Card on 1% Radio. Must be pretty outrageous if Michelle (no anger please) Norris has taken note of a black youth being killed by a vigilante outside a gated community. She has no expressed opinion of course but I am smelling a "beer summit" here. Maybe Zimmerman, Trayvon's mother and Obama can sit down over a beer and solve this whole deal. Oh wait, Obama didn't know this kid in a hoodie with a pack of Skittles in his hand so . . .

Davidson is looking to get a real job with a living wage after he jumps ship at NPR.


Winston Smith said...

great post!

let's cut to the bone:

the not-so-United States is a fantasy, always has been, always will be.

which is to say:

1) there is no “progress”.

there is only privilege and comfort for a few at the expense of the many.

as Vandana Shiva has shrewdly observed:

“The poor are not those who have been ‘left behind’; they are the ones who have been robbed”

see: Two Myths That Keep the World Poor

2) there is no “growth”.

there is only rearranging of existing matter from certain states to other states: from resource to product to waste (matter cannot be created or destroyed).

see: Conservation of Mass

3) "progress" and "growth" mean — by definition — that the few who enjoy their delusion must take from the many who pay the price.

“progress” and “growth” are the rationalized delusion of imperial mythology.

a house of cards which is falling down.

entropy’s a b*$#h!

4) all this having been expressed, the literal impossibility of “progress” and “growth” (within the context of the nightmare of the amerikan dream) is different from the betterment of human existence.

it is theoretically possible for billions to live reasonably well at a certain level of ecological footprint:

“The world population, currently at seven billion, is well beyond Earth’s ability to sustain. By 2050, with a projected population of 10 billion people and without a change in consumption patterns, the cumulative use of natural resources will amount to the productivity of up to 27 planet Earths, the study found.

“Sustaining the current seven billion people on the planet requires a major shift in resource use. At present, the average U.S. citizen’s ecological footprint is about 10 hectares, while a Haitian’s is less than one. The planet could sustain us if everyone’s footprint averaged two ha…”
- Data Shows All of Earth’s Systems in Rapid Decline

it’s just not remotely likely to happen (and that’s putting it mildly).

i certainly experience no evidence (none whatsoever) that it’s going to happen any time soon.


and good luck, we’re going to need it.


i don’t want a job, a car and a house
i don’t want to Occupy the past
i want a Revolution
a new way of being


hope this comment passes the filter

larry, dfh said...

Well, it looks like

SF-0 staffer got the boot for deviating from the Israel-uber-alles doctrine.

gDog said...

@Larry, What a tangled business that turns out to be. The reporter Price formerly of the Baltimore Sun who says Sunni Khalid flipped him the bird through a window at the WYPR-FM studios...was himself fired from the Baltimore Sun for being too cozy with Catholic Relief Services in Africa and Mexico.

Looks like the world of journalism is a tough row to hoe. However, the Internet Chronicle has more...and you can learn about Giorgio Tsoukalos' is it I never heard of Giorgio Tsoukalos? What a sheltered like I live...

gDog said...


gDog said...

Harry Shearer has apologized for the Talking Computer's fabrications about Christmas from last Christmas' Le Show. The talking computer then reveals that Le Show's mission statement was copy and pasted from Wendy's, doing a global search and replace for the word "food," replacing it with radio.

I hope Ira Glass realizes how badly his nuts have been tweaked.