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What would it take for Russia to be #1?


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#761 GIJOE

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 04:12 PM

I have not read that piece yet as i have been up to my butt in work...
fellow American,


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#762 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:04 PM

A very interesting article...;)

"Wars, conflict, its all business. One murder makes a villain. Millions a hero. Numbers sanctify."
-Charlie Chaplin

Arms and the Man
By PETER LANDESMAN
Source: NYT Magazine, Aug. 17

Victor Bout, by most accounts the world's largest arms trafficker, had agreed to meet me in the lounge of the Renaissance Hotel in Moscow, a monolithic post-Soviet structure populated by third-tier prostitutes and men in dark suits. Bout's older brother, Sergei, waited with me, as did Richard Chichakli, a Syrian-born naturalized American citizen who lives in Dallas. Sergei helps run Bout's many air-cargo companies. Chichakli, an accountant, calls himself a former business associate of Bout and his ''friend and brother.''

As we waited, Chichakli tried to discourage me from pressing Bout about his connections, suggesting that there were some things I didn't want to know. ''They'll put you on your knees before they execute you,'' he said. Then he nodded toward the doorway. ''Here he comes. Does he look like the world's largest arms dealer to you?''

Bout, who is 36, six feet tall and somewhat expansive in girth, nimbly made his way through the crowded lounge. He didn't shake my hand as much as grip it, with a firm nod. Icy blue eyes like chips of glass punctuated a baby face. We sat on one of the lounge's dingy couches, and he placed a thick folder of papers on his lap.

''Look, here is the biggest arms dealer in the world,'' Chichakli said, half mocking me and half mocking Bout. Bout opened his blazer. ''I don't see any guns,'' he said with a shrug. Then Sergei raised his arms. ''None here either.'' (Both spoke excellent English.) ''Maybe I should start an arms-trafficking university and teach a course on U.N. sanctions busting,'' Victor Bout said. The brothers looked at each other and laughed.

No one in the lounge seemed to be paying attention to Bout. Behind us sat four Israeli men who may or may not have been listening. Chichakli, who says he speaks Hebrew, said they were waiting for a phone call to confirm a deal for diamonds.

Bout leaned forward. ''I woke up after Sept. 11 and found I was second only to Osama.'' He put his hand on the papers. The truth, he said, was much bigger than his personal story. ''My clients, the governments,'' he began. Then, ''I keep my mouth shut.''

Later he said, ''If I told you everything I'd get the red hole right here.'' He pointed to the middle of his forehead.

The world of the arms trafficker often feels like the script of a bad Hollywood thriller come to life. At times you are tempted to laugh at the B-movie dialogue and cloak-and-dagger intrigue. But the political and financial stakes are high. And, as a Western intelligence agent in Moscow told me, this isn't celluloid, and the dangers are of a much more complicated sort.

(snip)

Most people think that controlling arms shipments is merely a matter of international diplomacy. That may have been true during the cold war, when traffickers were often subcontractors of the superpowers, feeding the proxy conflicts Washington and Moscow wanted fought. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the exclusive club of arms brokers metastasized. Some brokers still work at the behest of governments and intelligence agencies. But most are now entrepreneurial freelancers who sell weapons without regard for ideology, allegiance or consequence. They have only one goal in mind: profit.

(snip)

O.K., he said, the point isn't whether or not he delivers weapons; the point is, what's wrong with it? ''Illegal weapons?'' he said. ''What does that mean? If rebels control an airport and a city, and they give you clearance to land, what's illegal about that?'' After all, he said, rebels become governments, which have a right to defend themselves. What Bout didn't say was that the people receiving the weapons are often under U.N. arms embargo. Or they are rebels slaughtering their way into power.

''The problem is the system,'' Bout argued. ''Arms is no different than pharmaceuticals. Actually, pharmaceuticals can be more dangerous than arms.''

Sergei was nodding in agreement. I said that coming from the mouth of a self-professed ecologist, humanist and admirer of Pygmies, that sounded at best like a cold rationalization. ''Look, killing isn't about weapons,'' Bout replied impatiently. ''It's about the humans who use them.''

Bout fell silent. His wit and his insider's perspective on international geopolitics suddenly coalesced into the cynical visage of a drug dealer peddling crack in a schoolyard. He was just a businessman selling his wares. Who was he to be the arbiter of good and evil?

On that, he was technically correct. He was different from a drug pusher in one crucial way: what he was doing might be repugnant and contributing to savagery, but it didn't necessarily make him a criminal. There is simply not a lot of law -- American, international or otherwise -- on arms trafficking. Since the mid-1990's, not one U.N. arms embargo has resulted in the conviction of an arms trafficker. The U.N. has no power to arrest. Interpol depends on the cooperation of local authorities. Astonishingly, despite having the toughest arms-trafficking laws in the world, the U.S. has not prosecuted a single case of arms trafficking. This is true partly by design. ''Governments create rules that allow arms deals to happen,'' said Lisa Misol, an arms researcher for Human Rights Watch. ''And traffickers rely on the fact that countries don't consider arms shipments originating somewhere else their problem.''

In other words, the most repugnant kind of commerce is usually not illegal. And if arms trafficking is not illegal, how can it be stopped? Why should it be stopped? When confronted by images of child soldiers in Liberia, the question seems naive, if not specious. But when it comes to weapons sales, the notion of ''national interest'' becomes a hall of mirrors. The top arms manufacturers -- and the U.S. sells more weapons than the rest of the world combined -- have a vested interest in keeping their product on the move, legally or otherwise. And aren't there also simply times when a government decides it's in its best interest, and its citizens' best interest, to let traffickers traffic? Governments are reluctant to restrain arms traffickers who might serve their own geopolitical or national-security interests in the future. ''It's the disposal problem,'' said Jonathan Winer. ''What do you do with people after you've trained them to be killers, traffickers, smugglers and criminals in the cause of a just war? Ask Manuel Noriega. He'd know.''

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#763 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:06 PM

<SAY SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT THE U S PLEASE ANYTHING THERE MUST ME SOMETHING ONE THING ANYTHING YOU CAN SAY POSITIVE ABOUT THE GREATEST DEMOCRATIC NATION OF ALL TIME>

It could be worse...;)

It could be like Cuba, China or Saudi Arabia.

Does it make you happy?:confused:
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#764 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:37 PM

OK, we ain't lying here, and the cards are on the table. What we are proposing here goes above and beyond what any system can offer. For example, here you'll see some obvious shortcoming of the Swiss system: poverty. Nevertheless it's lower than America's 12.5% poverty rate.:confused:

I would like to emphasize though that it's mostly associated with immigration (which is seldom a solution), and that we are proposing here the Swiss system in its political dimension. The Scandinavian model indeed offers major protection, particularly for women and children.

If anything, I would probably suggest that the same political decentralization they enjoy becomes an economic decentralization, to include the whole economic spectrum from the maquiladora (?) to the cooperatives for people like Maria...;)


Poverty: A New Swiss Discovery
Life in Switzerland ain't necessarily a box of chocolates

By HELENA BACHMANN/GENEVA

When Maria Diaz emigrated from Portugal to Switzerland 11 years ago, she was hoping to find a better world for herself and her infant daughter. But she soon discovered that life in Switzerland wasn't a box of chocolates. The 32-year-old Geneva office cleaner and single mom has been struggling to make ends meet on
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#765 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:28 PM

<SAY SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT THE U S PLEASE ANYTHING THERE MUST ME SOMETHING ONE THING ANYTHING YOU CAN SAY POSITIVE ABOUT THE GREATEST DEMOCRATIC NATION OF ALL TIME>

G I JOE, we could paint a pretty picture, but why lie?

Even more worrysome is the fact that the American model is sold--or enforced--abroad...:confused:

Factories Move Abroad, as Does U.S. Power
By LOUIS UCHITELLE

MANUFACTURING is slowly disappearing in the United States. That does not mean we should rush to preserve the remaining factories as historic landmarks. America will still be a manufacturing power in our grandchildren's lifetime, but that status is gradually eroding.

Why does this matter? Well, the essence of a great world power is its edge in producing not services but manufactured products that other people want ? Boeing's airliners, for example, Intel's semiconductors and Caterpillar's earth-moving equipment. To the extent this output passes to foreign manufacturers, or even to Americans operating abroad, we lose the means to buy what we, in turn, want from others.

More than half of the manufactured goods that Americans buy are made abroad, up from 31 percent in 1987. If we continue on our path of ceasing to make merchandise that others want to buy from us, the danger is that these imports will be unaffordable for our descendants.

For that to happen, "you have to assume that manufacturing will continue to disappear," said David Heuther, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers. He does not make that assumption himself. He contends that America's high-tech advantage and its ingenuity will sustain the nation's manufacturing base.

Maybe. Right now, however, the exodus continues, at a stepped-up pace, government data show. The proportion of the work force employed in manufacturing has fallen to 11 percent from 30 percent in the mid-1960's. Two of the 19 percentage points disappeared in just the last 28 months. On another level, manufacturing's share of real gross domestic product ? representing all the goods and services produced in the United States ? has edged down, even including in the count the output of foreign manufacturers operating here. The share of real G.D.P. has dropped to between 16 and 17 percent, from 18 to 19 percent in the 1950's.

Given manufacturing's importance in maintaining our status as a world power, the downward trends are alarming. The public, nevertheless, focuses only occasionally on the dismantling. It does so when lots of people are suddenly hurt, as they were in the early 1980's, when an onslaught of high-quality foreign imports coincided with a severe recession. The combination forced plant closings and layoffs on a scale not experienced since the Depression.

"Rust belt" and "deindustrialization" were coined in the bitter debate that surrounded that frightening national experience. Those were the years when wage inequality became too persistent to ignore. Blame fell partly on the destruction of factory jobs, and the relatively high wages earned by those workers.

Two decades later, the shrinking manufacturing sector is again a source of public agitation, this time because so many American manufacturers are decamping to China and India, where they employ increasingly skilled but inexpensive workers to make merchandise that is then shipped back to the United States, swelling imports and subtracting jobs at home.

What's to be done? Many economists bank on the marketplace for a solution. They note that the growing volume of imported merchandise would not be possible without loans from abroad to buy these goods. As this debt balloons, foreigners will lose confidence in the United States as a place to put their money, these economists reason. As foreigners retreat, their demand for dollars to lend to America will drop off, and so will the dollar's value.


HAT will make imported manufactured goods prohibitively expensive, while merchandise exported from the United States will fall in price, when sold in yen or euros. Responding to this price incentive, manufacturers will rebuild in America, says George A. Akerlof, a Nobel laureate who is an economist at the University of California at Berkeley. "Manufacturing has to come back," he said. No other sector is likely to be as responsive to dollar devaluation.

For Mr. Akerlof, retooling is the easy part. Other experts disagree. Too many products are no longer manufactured here, they argue, and the skill to make them has disappeared. Resurrecting that skill is difficult. Dollar devaluation does not easily overcome that barrier. Nor does it easily woo back American companies that have invested huge sums in large, modern facilities abroad. Getting them to abandon those facilities and rebuild in the United States might require an outsized 60 percent devaluation of the dollar as an incentive, says Daniel Luria, an economist at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center in Plymouth.

The fallout would be painful. The Nissan Maxima, made in Japan, that I bought in 2000 for $25,000 would cost at least $40,000 to replace. That's over my head.

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#766 GIJOE

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 08:00 PM

DonQ


LIE TO ME PLEASE LIE TO ME.......

G I JOE
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#767 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 08:09 PM

< LIE TO ME PLEASE LIE TO ME.......>

OK, there's a bright future for America...;)

Batteries Not Included
By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

Klaatu barada nikto. I couldn't help but flash on the 50's sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still," watching New York and other cities plunged into sweaty darkness when the 50's equipment on the power grid gave out.

That's the movie where Michael Rennie, as the superior alien, and his silver robot, Gort, land their spaceship on the Washington Mall. Mr. Rennie ends up shutting down electricity on earth ? suspending elevators midskyscraper, turning off TV midshow ? to get skeptical earthlings to listen to his message. (Stop fighting among yourselves or we'll destroy your puny little planet.)

New York took on a retro tone Thursday, gamely going back to batteries, relying on ice blocks to cool food and transistor radios to hear news. Without a blow-dryer, the usually sleek CNN anchor Paula Zahn was relegated to bedhead waves.

TV reporters offered New Yorkers tips. Be careful that your candles don't tip over. But unplugged Gothamites, busy using cigarette lighters to find their way out of subways, had no TV's on which to hear the tips. (Except the paranoid rich, who partied in Westchester with backup generators. Once, private jets were chic; now you must have private juice.)

Residents of Iraq and India, interviewed on television, seemed shocked to learn that the most technologically advanced nation had an electrical support system so rickety it is "third world," as Bill Richardson put it. (Indians call their underperforming electricity "bijli," rhymes with "Gigli.") Steamed Iraqis offered us tips, including: Sleep on the roof and take showers. As in showdenfreude?

Thursday reminded us of the tenuousness of our romance with technology; we spend our days using a thicket of high-tech equipment without a clue about how it actually works or what to do when it doesn't.

We have BlackBerrys that are also telephones and Palm Pilots that are also cameras and cellphones that also send text-message mash notes. We take it on faith that the power will come on when we switch on computers to send e-mail around the world instantaneously from our air-conditioned, well-lit, cable-TV-equipped, key-coded, A.T.M.-financed worlds, without ever knowing that our power might be originating in Canada ? eh? ? or looping eerily around Lake Erie.

Now comes news that our foamy lattes are steamed by the antiquated, overloaded system at Niagara Mohawk? I thought we'd already seen the Last of the Mohicans.

It was disturbing that the experts were having so much trouble figuring out what happened, resorting to mumbo jumbo about "forensic analyses" and "cascading outages" while lapsing into border bashing about which country's lightning or power surges were to blame.

Holy Enron! Who knew, until 21 plants shut down in three minutes, that they worked on the discredited domino theory? Who knew our grid was more stressed than we are?

When the blackout began, President Bush said he thought the grid needed to be modernized, "and have said so all along." The White House and Congress have been warned repeatedly by engineers that the tattered links needed to be fixed fast.

You would think that the first White House team from the energy bidness ? the Houston Oilers, as they were dubbed during the campaign ? would have jumped all over that.

But all Dick Cheney's secret meetings with unnamed energy officials were, sadly, not about saving us from this day. The White House has been too busy ensuring that Halliburton has no competitors for rebuilding Iraq to worry about rebuilding our own threadbare grid.

Tom Ridge would have been better off fixating on this weakness than playing with his color swatches.

Washington is a welter of blame. Democrats fingered the Republicans for catering to the oil industry; Republicans fingered the Democrats for being cowed by the environmental community. The only illumination in the blackout was this: Pols have been holding the energy bill hostage to their special interests.

Just when we're feeling vulnerable to terrorists ? does anybody believe our ports are secure? ? we learn we're also vulnerable to the very system meant to protect us.

This has got to be giving terrorists ideas as they watch from their caves. Osama may be plotting on his laptop right now, tapping into the cascading effect of an army of new terrorists signing up every time we kill or arrest a terrorist.

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#768 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 08:24 PM

Another lion has passed...:mad:

Notice how Idi Amin lived under the protection of other lions. Are all lions basically accomplices? In other words, is, say, an American lion closer to an African lion than to an American little animal?

There's this quixotic judge;) called Baltasar Garzon on the hunt for some lions. You think he can carry through on *all* of them?

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Idi Amin, a Brutal Dictator of Uganda, Dies at 80
By MICHAEL T. KAUFMAN

Idi Amin, whose eight-year reign of terror in Uganda encompassed widespread killing, torture and dispossession of multitudes and left the country pauperized, died yesterday in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, where he had lived for years in exile. He was believed to have been about 78 years old, though some reports said he was as old as 80.

Mr. Amin had been hospitalized and on life support since mid-July. He died from multiple organ failure, Reuters reported.

For much of the 1970's, the beefy, sadistic and telegenic despot had reveled in the spotlight of world attention as he flaunted his tyrannical power, hurled outlandish insults at world leaders and staged pompous displays of majesty.

By contrast, his later years were spent in enforced isolation as the Saudi Arabian authorities made sure he maintained a low profile. Mr. Amin, a convert to Islam, his four wives and more than 30 children fled Uganda just ahead of an invading force of Ugandan exiles and Tanzanian troops that overthrew his government. They went first to Libya, and eventually to Saudi Arabia.

By the time he had escaped with his life, the devastation he had wreaked lay fully exposed in the scarred ruins of Uganda. The number of people he caused to be killed has been tabulated by exiles and international human rights groups as close to 300,000 out of a total population of 12 million.

Those murdered were mostly anonymous people: farmers, students, clerks and shopkeepers who were shot or forced to bludgeon one another to death by members of death squads, including the chillingly named Public Safety Unit and the State Research Bureau. Along with the military police, these forces numbering 18,000 men were recruited largely from Mr. Amin's home region. They often chose their victims because they wanted their money, houses or women, or because the tribal groups the victims belonged to were marked for humiliation.

But there were also many hundreds of prominent men and women among the dead. Their killings were public affairs carried out in ways that were meant to attract attention, terrorize the living and convey the message that it was Mr. Amin who wanted them killed. They included cabinet ministers, Supreme Court judges, diplomats, university rectors, educators, prominent Catholic and Anglican churchmen, hospital directors, surgeons, bankers, tribal leaders and business executives.

In addition to Ugandans, the dead also included some foreigners, among them Dora Bloch, a 73-year-old woman. She was dragged from a Kampala hospital and killed in 1976 after Israeli commandoes raided Entebbe Airport to rescue 100 other Israelis who along with her had been taken as hostages from a hijacked Air France plane.

As an awareness of spreading horror and suffering filtered out of Uganda, Mr. Amin began to address the criticism, choosing words that intentionally added insult to injury. He declared that Hitler had been right to kill six million Jews. Having already called Julius Nyerere, then the president of Tanzania, a coward, an old woman and a prostitute, he announced that he loved Mr. Nyerere and "would have married him if he had been a woman." He called Kenneth Kaunda, then the president of Zambia, an "imperialist puppet and bootlicker" and Henry A. Kissinger "a murderer and a spy." He said he expected Queen Elizabeth to send him " her 25-year-old knickers" in celebration of the silver anniversary of her coronation.

In other comments he offered to become king of Scotland and lead his Celtic subjects to independence from Britain. He forced white residents of Kampala to carry him on a throne and kneel before him as photographers captured the moment for the world to see. He also ejected Peace Corps volunteers and the United States marines who had guarded the American Embassy in Kampala.

Mr. Amin's flagrant brutality, coupled with his seemingly erratic behavior and calculating insults, aroused disgust but also fascination far beyond Uganda's borders. Some African nationalists cheered his insults of Europeans. Radical Arabs, led by Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, actively courted him as an ally, and for a time so did the Soviet Union. But there were others who questioned his sanity. Harold Wilson, the leader of the British Labor Party, called him "mentally unbalanced." Mr. Kaunda described him as "a madman, a buffoon."

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#769 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 09:07 PM

Oh my goodness, another book to my reading list...:confused:

'Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets,' by Robert Kuttner

Amazon.com
Everything For Sale is an erudite reprieve from the deluge of books written in praise of free markets. Robert Kuttner fires back with a book that documents relevant, real-world examples of market failure and makes the case for intelligent intervention to attain more desirable outcomes. His exhaustive litany of successful (some, even cherished) government interventions in the market--from National Public Radio to the Internet--creates a persuasive case for a mixed program of political and market-based approaches in the shaping of public policy. When Kuttner pushes his argument for a culture with less commercial emphasis, his preferences exhibit an anti-market bias. But overall, his argument is clear and compelling, exposing blind adherence to market outcomes as largely arbitrary, ideological, and often, an affront to democracy. Academic economists who ignore the political desires of the people in order to protect the purity of their mathematical models draw Kuttner's fire in particular. He writes about ideas and economic details with great verve and ability. Kuttner's book is certain to be a touchstone of debate, if not reform, among public policy makers.

From Publishers Weekly
Challenging the prevailing conservative doctrine that an unregulated, self-correcting, free-market economy is the ideal, Kuttner (The End of Laissez-Faire) argues that in a humane society, whole realms of activity necessarily depart from pure market principles because market norms drive out nonmarket norms?civility, commitment to the public good, personal economic security and liberty. In the workplace, a growing tendency to treat human labor purely as a commodity has led to an increasing polarization of wages, erosion of standards of fairness and greater worker insecurity, he maintains. Overreliance on market mechanisms is ruining the health care system, contends Kuttner, a contributing columnist to Business Week, because of enormous hidden costs engendered by opportunism, fragmentation, underinvestment in public health and prevention, and inefficient use of home care and nursing care. Arguing that deregulation of financial markets leads to offsetting inefficiencies, he casts a skeptical eye on hostile takeovers, junk bonds and derivatives and advocates "stakeholder capitalism" to make shareholders more accountable to employees. In a benchmark for future debate, Kuttner brings, clear, pragmatic thinking to complex, thorny issues, reclaiming a middle ground between champions of laissez-faire capitalism and statism.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
In this thorough, scholarly approach to current economics relative to the political scene, journalist Kuttner (End of Laissez-Faire, LJ 2/15/91), who writes columns for BusinessWeek and the Washington Post, examines in great detail the free-market economy. The free market he intends is that envisioned by libertarian thought, with less government intervention and deregulation. Kuttner offers comparisons with the mixed economy of previous decades back to the Roosevelt era. He demonstrates how government regulation, intervention, and other actions have affected the economy in the past and how they still do. The serious student of economic history and policy will glean from his work many thought-provoking and controversial ideas that reveal how the free market has changed in the areas of labor, healthcare, sports, and business practices, to name a few. Kuttner's research has produced a well-written tome that certainly has a place on the shelves of academic and large public libraries.?Steven J. Mayover, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The New York Times Book Review, Nicholas Lemann
If you're ever challenged to name "just one thing" the United States Government has ever done right, you'll be fully prepared to answer after reading Everything for Sale. . . . Demonstrating an impressive mastery of a vast range of material, Mr. Kuttner lays out the case for the market's insufficiency in field after field: employment, medicine, banking, securities, telecommunications, electric power.

From Kirkus Reviews
An exhaustive but tendentious critique of market economics from the liberal commentator who first addressed this issue in The End of Laissez-Faire (1991). In his three-part audit, Business Week columnist Kuttner first provides an overview that effectively damns markets with faint praise. For instance, while commending their role in facilitating commerce, setting prices for goods and services, and allocating resources, he cites a lengthy list of instances in which markets fail to measure up. By way of example, the author notes that there is no good market reason for free public libraries, which most polities rightly value. Sniping away at utopian ideologues who view the market as a panacea for whatever ails society, Kuttner reviews the putative shortcomings of labor, health-care, and capital markets, arguing that intervention is required to avert the sometimes calamitous or undesirable results of overly free enterprise. He does not face up to such unpleasant matters as the fact that the burden of government-mandated benefits has stalled job growth in the European Union, whose mixed economy he much admires. In like vein, the author offers kind words for Japan's bureaucratically guided approach to capitalism without dwelling on that nation's consumers, who are obliged to pay artificially high prices at retail as a result of the system. By contrast, Kuttner includes a wealth of scenarios spelling out ways in which prosperity might be advanced by riding closer herd on competition in any number of private-sector industries (airlines, electric utilities, telecommunications, et al.), giving federal regulatory agencies appreciably greater powers, and implementing economic/trade policies that could enhance the common weal. A ``yes . . . but'' analysis that accentuates the negative aspects of laissez-faire and promotes a decidedly progressive political/socioeconomic agenda. The text has a notably belligerent foreword by Richard C . Leone, president of the Twentieth Century Fund (which sponsored Kuttner's book). (Author tour) -- Copyright L1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Book Description
Zeroing in on such realms as health care and the workplace, the commercialization of sports and the arts, the chaotic deregulation of airlines, S&Ls, and telecommunications, and the buying and selling of public offices, Kuttner shows how markets can fail precisely those whom they are supposed to serve. Asking the crucial question, "What should not be for sale?", Kuttner shows why a society conceived as a grand auction block would not be a democracy worth having.

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#770 GIJOE

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 09:23 PM

Now did that hurt..... you wrote the truth for once, and it must have been painful...

Thomas Jefferson would turn over in his grave if he could read some the vile upchuck that is written on this chat line about the great U S A......

G I JOE
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#771 donquijote

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 09:55 PM

<Now did that hurt..... you wrote the truth for once, and it must have been painful...

Thomas Jefferson would turn over in his grave if he could read some the vile upchuck that is written on this chat line about the great U S A......>

Please clarify. We have been speaking the truth all along...;)

I think Thomas Jefferson would have turned in his grave indeed, but over the latest "Thomas Jefferson Car Sales Marathon"--or whatever--that so often you hear about lately...;)
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#772 GIJOE

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 11:13 PM

The truth is different for all of us.
There is some truth, as i see it in everyone s posts minus a couple of truly twisted souls.
I have one hope above all, and that is that I leave this planet as a better place then I was born into.
The People of Pravda, run a tight ship and we should all give them
a great big hand for giving us all the opportunity to share our views no matter how varied or vitriolic.

THANK YOU PRAVDA

G I JOE
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#773 Bader

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 06:07 AM

DonQ:
everything you have you have posted from the Arms Dealers to
Everything is For Sale ( except Idi A) shows how governments are
not in charge but struggling to "make ends meet" like everyone else. That is, the centre of gravity is global. There is no vacuum
not even globally which means as Roosevelt has said it it happened that way it was because it was planned. (please
don't get absolute anyone),
Amin was a sicko but a true son of this present world. When one gets down to hard reality, people starving in AFrica, especially chideren because the IMF insists their food must be sold to pay
debts ( a paper game of abstraction) then who is Idi but a
red-herring. The IMF example is but a grain of sand in our sick
desert.
The fact that a book like "Everything for Sale" appears after so long and appear enlightening merely shows the crimes the
fourth estate (media) have commited against society and future generations.
It will be interesting to see how the issues regarding the
obscelecence of the US infrastructure (eg power grid etc) are argued regarding how they can be upgraded/costs in the light of
the billions being spent on wars based on lies and rebuilding
to feed the likes of the Carlisle and Halibutons types.
Franklin turning over in his grave indeed.
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#774 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 12:55 PM

donquijote;
//obvious shortcoming of the Swiss system//;
I think that beauty of Geneva Lake doesn
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#775 donquijote

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 04:50 PM

<The truth is different for all of us.
There is some truth, as i see it in everyone s posts minus a couple of truly twisted souls.
I have one hope above all, and that is that I leave this planet as a better place then I was born into.
The People of Pravda, run a tight ship and we should all give them
a great big hand for giving us all the opportunity to share our views no matter how varied or vitriolic.>

Exactly, that's *democracy* at work. We turn to Pravda because somehow we are kept silenced at home. I got dozens of articles which simply wouldn't make it to my local paper.

<THANK YOU PRAVDA>

Pravda rocks indeed...;)
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#776 donquijote

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 12:32 AM

//obvious shortcoming of the Swiss system//;
<I think that beauty of Geneva Lake doesn-t allow you to see the full picture of Swiss.>

Howdy Woj
I know it isn't perfect but the competition, save for Scandinavia, is so much worse.:confused:

I give it the following ratings:
Thirld World Countries: 0 to 1
USA: 3
Europe: 5
Scandinavia and the Switzerland: 7
What we can aim for: 10

Switzerland would be particularly attractive for countries with diverse cultures or for countries where there's an emphasis on individualism, like the USA. It would be difficult to make America to swallow a 50% tax rate such as Scandinavia, but so much easier to adopt the Swiss system, where taxation is about the same. Another advantage of the Swiss is their neutrality. If only America adopted such policies...;)

However, I would add to Switzerland a mixed economy, with some communes emphasizing the coops...

PS: What would be your favorite system?

Hail, Switzerland!
December 13, 2001

by Joe Sobran

Whenever I hear someone brag that America is "the
greatest country on earth," I want to ask, "Have you ever
been to Switzerland?"

Well, I have. I spent a whole week there once. Very
dull. No war, no international crisis, no crime, none of
the things that give life its savor for red-blooded
people like us. Nobody even knew who the president of the
country was. The Swiss have never even had a great
president. Their national hero is still that guy with the
crossbow. Their national pastime is yodeling.

I don't intend the blasphemous suggestion that
Switzerland is the Greatest Country on Earth, but it has
a fair claim to be the sanest. It has had less history
over the last thousand years than most African countries
have had in the last generation. You know the old Chinese
curse: "May you live in interesting times." The Swiss
have no memory of interesting times. They have a proud
history of not making history.

Switzerland sat out two world wars, for which it is
resented by the sort of people who think war is a duty.
The Swiss seem to feel that the rest of the world can
enjoy mutual slaughter perfectly well without them. They
have never joined the United Nations, NATO, or the
European Union. They are content to hunker down within
their sheltering Alps, while Americans will cross two
oceans, simultaneously if necessary, to get into a good
war. Nor do they have troops, battleships, submarines,
and military bases around the world. And no nukes.

In short, the Swiss are what all right-thinking
people have learned to call "isolationists." They have
stubbornly maintained their independence. As a result, an
awful lot of Swiss didn't die violent deaths in the
twentieth century.

Oh, by the way, the Swiss aren't afflicted by
terrorism. Osama bin Laden has probably never heard of
Switzerland, unless he stashes his money there. It may
not be the Greatest Country on Earth, but nobody calls it
the Great Satan, either.

Not that the Swiss aren't ready to defend
themselves. The men are required by law to serve in the
militia and to keep firearms in their homes. But when
they say "defense," they mean defense -- not empire, not
New World Order, not "global leadership."

They have a federal system of government, and in
Switzerland "federal" still, oddly enough, means
"decentralized." Each canton treasures its independence.
The national president has little power, little
opportunity to achieve "greatness." The Swiss franc is
one of the world's most stable currencies. Swiss banks
are the world's most secure vaults.

Naturally, a country like that, free, peaceful, and
prosperous, isn't going to be left alone. A few years ago
there was an outcry against Switzerland as a repository
of "Nazi gold," which turned out to be a scam, an attempt
to blackmail the Swiss. They were given a choice between
coughing up billions or facing international opprobrium
and sanctions. It later transpired that the Nazi gold was
mythical, the accusations a cynical smear campaign.

Independence is always hated by centralizers and
internationalists. The papacy is hated because the Pope,
unlike politicians and journalists, can't be bought or
bullied. Switzerland is hated because it remains aloof
from the "international community." I'd offer other
shining examples of resistance to the pressures of
internationalism, if I could think of any.

Switzerland has enjoyed the kind of history
Americans once hoped for. But while America has been
drawn back into the quarrels of the Old World its people
had hoped to escape, Switzerland has in effect managed to
secede from that world's strife without leaving the
continent. If you want excitement in Switzerland, you
just have to roll your own; the state won't provide it
for you. You can sum it up by saying Switzerland is a
country that has lost more lives in skiing accidents than
in war.

The story of Switzerland is the greatest political
success story of the modern world, yet we never hear
about it. Why not? Because it puts all other states to
shame. Most rulers want to Americanize their countries;
but if they really cared about their people's welfare --
lives, liberty, property, and all that -- they would try
to Swissify. It's a sign of the times that I am forced to
coin this indispensable verb.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read this column on-line at
"http://www.sobran.com/columns/011213.shtml".

To subscribe to the Sobran columns, see
http://www.sobran.com/e-mail.shtml or
http://www.griffnews.com for details and samples
or call 800-513-5053 or write fran@griffnews.com.
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#777 donquijote

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 01:25 AM

< You ask "how can one remain passive". A good analogy would be--
you are being held up on the street by an armed robber, there is a gun at your head. The smart thing to do is to remain passive and get even later. >

Howdy Nozog
I get the point indeed but... not only do the little animals stay passive because of fear but also because they may see it as a struggle between two lions... This world is mostly ruled by lions of one sort or another and most violent revolutions--except Gandhi's nonviolence--have ended with a lion taking over. So is it any wonder that they remain skeptical?

<The working class is passive because organized attempts to challenge the profiteering class have been smashed by guns, bombs and fire. If people try and take over companies, they will be shot down. If people try and create their own socialist enterprises, they will be raided, shot at and burned. There is no way that an elected official will ever be able to challenge the control of the ruling class, so stop "hoping". Diebold electronic voteing has made your vote even more meaningless. Americans should stay home on election day; it's a total waste of time. If an elected official tries to confront the stupid lion, he or she is dead meat, they will get a bomb in their plane, or a bullet in the head. Are you feeling passive after reading this? So, spend less energy on preaching to the choir and more on what is to be done, and be carefull next time you call someone a couch potato, you may be offending someone.>

Non participation may be the last resort, but other more active things could be done. I'd suggest the following based on my own experience:

1-Get the stories of the lions and the solution in one leaflet and hand it out. The people do get the message: No Lion No Problem!

2- Pray.

Note: Number 2 is absolutely optional and it's not guaranteed to get you any results, but what else can you do?

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#778 donquijote

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 01:48 AM

Interesting analysis of freedom in Russia. Notice the take that "antidemocratic developments" represent a threat to "democracy." Anyways the Russian people--just like any other people--deserve democracy, real democracy...;)

Source: NYT

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev took control of the Communist Party. The developments that followed surpassed all optimistic prognoses. In 1987, the first independent polling firm
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#779 donquijote

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 02:41 AM

<everything you have you have posted from the Arms Dealers to
Everything is For Sale ( except Idi A) shows how governments are
not in charge but struggling to "make ends meet" like everyone else. That is, the centre of gravity is global. There is no vacuum
not even globally which means as Roosevelt has said it it happened that way it was because it was planned. (please
don't get absolute anyone),
Amin was a sicko but a true son of this present world.>

Aloha Bader
True. The jungle we live under may even push some in the borderline to lean toward the lion type. Kill or be killed!

< When one gets down to hard reality, people starving in AFrica, especially chideren because the IMF insists their food must be sold to pay
debts ( a paper game of abstraction) then who is Idi but a
red-herring. The IMF example is but a grain of sand in our sick
desert.>

Well, Idi is the fallen lion, which can handily be used by the voulchers... The thing is always having a scapegoat, but never addressing the real issue: the jungle...

<The fact that a book like "Everything for Sale" appears after so long and appear enlightening merely shows the crimes the
fourth estate (media) have commited against society and future generations.
It will be interesting to see how the issues regarding the
obscelecence of the US infrastructure (eg power grid etc) are argued regarding how they can be upgraded/costs in the light of
the billions being spent on wars based on lies and rebuilding
to feed the likes of the Carlisle and Halibutons types.
Franklin turning over in his grave indeed. >

Amen...;)

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#780 Bader

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 10:28 AM

One could say Tahiti has enjoyed the history Americans once
dreamed of as much as Switzerland.
Switzerland is surrounded by Old and New Europe which both exist and I expect that it has provided a convenient neutral gound
locally in which various interests can meet and unmask. As Hong Kong can provide for China. On the grounds that they were no threat to the powers that be.
I see no comparison with the USA, very much the opposite, was an inevitable world power, predominantly protestant (against old world) and capable of overshadowing all European nations. One of the reasons the remnant of the Old World have created a UE.
Their constitution was a defiant challenge in Lion language, so what else can one expect.
Today what do we see on either side of the Presidents podium,
the Roman fasci and the eagle/orb, exactly like the Nazi.
And their highest Courts are starting to bow to UN law.
There appears to be signs Switz. is also being undermined today.

I thought it rather humerous that the author Joe Sobran made the comment that the centralizers and internationalsts hated the
Vatican because the Pope was independant and untouchable.
The Vatican is centralized and international! Who sports the pagan title Pontiface Maximus ruler of the world?
Who recently made an appeal that the New World also appreciate
and rediscover (re-unite?) the Old World? The Vatican.
Something old-something new, means nothing new.
It has been claimed that one of the objectives of the break up of
Jugoslavia was to break down the Eastern Orthodox Church.
News has also come to hand that Shimon Peres (educated in Catholic schools, was he Polish born Woj1?) has (promised
back about 1994 but denied on exposure) a plan to put the Pope
in Jerusalem (internationalized - here's that word again) with
the Sec Gen. of UN the Mayor. World Gov here we come.
Switzerland is looking better all the time, eh?
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