The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Myth of the American Free Market

An excellent article by David Sirota on the myth of the American free market. People should know by now that we have never been "free market capitalists". We are and have always been "what's best for the American economy and will put up whatever protectionist barriers and tariffs we want to" capitalists. We only push for free markets and rapid market liberalization in developing countries and those in debt before we go in and squash them even further into debt. But that's just the cynical extremist inside me talking, Sirota actually has a very detailed and thorough discussion on the subject. It is worth your time to read.

Flattening the Great Education Myth & the Free Market Fundamentalists
David Sirota

Partisan War Syndrome rages across the progressive blogosphere. Wall Street Democrats hide their corporate fealty by declaring a new era of "The Common Good," claiming as their own a term their arch enemy, Noam Chomsky, coined years ago. Democratic lawmakers cheer about bringing a "change" to Washington, talk up important efforts to better-fund education, then quietly begin reassuring K Street that all will be the same when it comes to structural economic issues.
And lost in the din is the most important question: will free market fundamentalism finally be openly challenged?

That is the question I pose in today's San Francisco Chronicle in an op-ed entitled "Flattening the Great Education Myth." The piece describes a recent community meeting here in Helena, Montana and how local officials, hamstrung by a national trade policy that undermines their communities, are forced to focus exclusively on education as the way to build the economy. But, as the hard data shows, we cannot simply educate our way out of the problems associated with a globalization policy whereby our economy is regulated exclusively to enhance multinational corporate profits - and not to enhance ordinary people's lives.

Read more: LINK

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't Know Much Geography

Don't Know Much Geography
From a New York Times report on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's departing thoughts on Iraq:

Another option calls for redeploying American troops from "vulnerable positions" in Baghdad and other cities to safer areas in Iraq or Kuwait, where they would act as a "quick reaction force." That idea is similar to a plan suggested by Representative John P. Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, a plan that the White House has soundly rebuffed.

Which country does the Times think Okinawa is in, Iraq or in Kuwait?

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