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of the agonizing pain that is Ross Gittens' life
Economics Wussy at the Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittens, is
moaning again about the abundance of choice and freedom capitalism
latest word-bilge, Gittens fawns over some godawful "the world is
going to hell" book written by Labor party muppet Lindsay Tanner.
After more than
a decade of A-grade economic performance and rising prosperity, the
question a lot of people are asking is: if we're so rich, why aren't
we happy? Tanner's answer is that developments in the modern world -
not just economic reforms, but changing technology and our move to more
liberated, individualistic lives - are causing our relationships to
- of course - cites no evidence for this.
Humans are social
beings. Our lives have meaning essentially in the context of our relationships
with other human beings. So relationships are central to the wellbeing
of individuals and society as a whole.
Gittens' powers of
sociological insight are a thing of wonder.
Tanner says information
technology is changing the way we relate to each other more dramatically
than we realise. On the face of it, mobile phones and internet emails
greatly increase our contact with friends and relations. That may be
a plus - but there are also negatives.
phone might help me stay in touch, but it also interrupts face-to-face
conversation and personal interaction," Tanner says. "Mobile
phones can seriously detract from the quality - and quantity - of time
we spend with our children."
So? Turn the fucking
thing off, you dickhead.
Here comes the obligatory
whinge about customer service:
the advent of telephone call centres, the great "efficiency"
I think has done most to depersonalise (that is, damage) relationships
between big businesses and their customers.
Yes, it means someone
will be able to take your call when you phone them. What a horrible development.
He goes on to state
the revelatory point that free markets are a result of individualism and
libertarianism. You know, unlike all those collectivist free markets
we've heard so much about.
And he comes his grand
Freedom for the
individual is fine - up to a point. That point is reached when the pursuit
of individualism starts to erode the relationships that provide our
emotional sustenance. It's reached when noble sentiments about individual
freedom degenerate into the mindless pursuit of materialism.
of materialism" - ie. buying a nice home, a car, the yearly holiday,
Xmas presents for your family, and building up retirement savings. Things
which will provide for your future and the future of your family. As a
capitalist-fearing wussy, one shudders at the thought. You greedy bastards
all of you. You should be unemployed at home, reading Heidegger to your
kids and teaching them about an "authentic existence".
It's worth noting
too, that the grossly obese Gittens' idea of "mindless materialism"
doesn't inlcude gorging himself with donuts.
Which I guess explains
the continued popularity of this,
that by now, our crowded lives are gradually shredding our relationships
with each other.
a society in which we have less time for our children, less interaction
with our neighbours, less involvement in the community, and less participation
in collective activities,"
It's taken the
economic rationalists years to twig that the free market system depends
on an elaborate network of community relationships and social trust
in order to function properly.
No, Mr. Economics
Writer, the free market system depends on people being able to spend their
money on what they want, without twats like you telling them what they
should be spending it on.
So rampant individualism
is undermining the very economic system that champions the interests
of the individual. Without an underpinning of social inclusion and economic
co-operation, a market system first becomes a lot more costly to run
(because you can't trust anyone) and ultimately descends into gangster
And we've already
seen what Gittens means by "gangster capitalism": the nightmare
of people being able to choose between different products. Let's recap
said a few weeks ago, when he wrote one of the biggest howlers in
the history of australian journalism;
For a start,
consumers often find the choices they're presented with quite confusing.
You're being asked to compare an apple with
Those vicious "gangster"
capitalists, mercilessly inflicting different fruits upon us.
How has this
unsatisfactory state of our relationships come about? Through neglect.
Tanner says that, since the industrial revolution, it's the material
aspects of human relationships - economics, in other words - that have
dominated politics in the developed countries.
A stunning development that, given that since the industrial revolution,
people have actually gained the ability to vote and earn money.
I guess Gittens and Tanner prefer the love and hugs you only get with
political parties have largely ignored relationship issues, perhaps
assuming they're the responsibility of priests and psychologists.
they assumed these were private matters for individuals and families and
that, just maybe, politicians should keep their bloody noses out
And then we've
had the attitude that we don't want governments engaging in "social
engineering". What's apparent now, however, is that - whether they
think about it or not - government policies do affect relationships.
Ross wants some good old government micro-management of our private lives.
We can have Brian Harradine, Natasha Stott-Despoja, Martin Ferguson and
Bob Katter determining our relationships. Gee, does this sound like fun
that, just as major cabinet decisions are required to be accompanied
by formal assessments of their likely implications for the budget and
for the environment, so they should be accompanied by assessments of
their implications for our relationships.
Yes, and the answer
to those implications is for the government to do a lot less of
everything. That's not the way for Tanner and Gittens though. They
want a Ministry of Cuddles.
It would be no
magic solution, obviously. But at least it might help move our politicians
to a higher level of enlightenment
of course, meaning bigger government.
beats space travel
people dream of riding a motorcycle than going in to space according
to a recent survey conducted for the BBC.
The pole asked 20,000
people the one thing they most wanted to do before they died and more
of them said they wanted to ride a motorcycle than go in to space, climb
Mount Everest, or
visit Disney World.
See? This is what
I've been telling you people all along.
Tyson vs. Foreman: the great fight that never was
fatter & slower, but still packing a punch that could kill elephants:
George Foreman in the 90's
piece over at East
Side Boxing about the reasons a Mike Tyson vs. George Foreman bout
never eventuated back in 1990.
the jolly old fat bald guy, 15 years past his prime really have been a
match for the seemingly invincible Iron Mike? Most laughed at the idea.
Everyone it seems, except Tyson himself.
that Tyson said Foreman was much better than people thought, and was
a dangerous fight for any of the top heavyweights. Goodman proceeded
to explain how Tyson was calling Foreman a big con man, and explained
that the grandpop act was just a front. He said Tyson saw Foreman as
trying to set up the boxing world into thinking he was a pushover, knowing
that he really wasn't. Tyson said Foreman was a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Goodman continued to say that after seeing Tyson's response to King
trying to push him into a fight with Foreman, he had no doubt that Tyson
had fear of Foreman.
It is absolutely
a fact that Mike Tyson was afraid to fight 41-year-old George Foreman--the
same Foreman who Evander Holyfield would fight and beat in April of
1991. I have not a doubt that had Foreman and Tyson fought anytime between
1990 and 1997 that Foreman would have knocked Tyson out inside of three
rounds. Tyson just has nothing to beat Foreman with; his edge in hand
speed would have been a non-factor. He can't beat him by backing away,
and he would have gotten his head handed to him if he brought the fight
to Foreman. In addition, Foreman was bigger, stronger, tougher and hit
harder. Not to mention the fact that Foreman had a better chin and no
fear or doubt, unlike Tyson, who was full of fear and self-doubt.
I haven't a morsel
of a doubt that Tyson just doesn't match up with Foreman, and he knows
it. If Tyson of 1990 was afraid of an old Foreman, think how petrified
he would of been of a prime Foreman, the one who stared down both Joe
Frazier and Muhammad Ali in 1973 and 1974.
agree. Foreman in his prime would have destroyed Tyson within two rounds.
I disagree that the older George would have finished off Iron Mike so
easily, though my money would still be on the old man. His sheer size,
concrete chin and savage hitting power would get Tyson in the end. What
a shame we never saw this.