Corporate World https://podur.org/taxonomy/term/11 en Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine https://podur.org/node/566 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Naomi Klein&#039;s Shock Doctrine</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justin Podur</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/21/2007 - 13:53</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <a id="comment-3065"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1194305710"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span> on Mon, 11/05/2007 - 18:35</p> <a href="/comment/3065#comment-3065" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/3065#comment-3065" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Nice Review</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I wasn't sure how much new stuff Klein had to say but I'll be reading it soon (usually I wait for the paperback edition).</p> <p>By the way, <a href="http://www.lefteyeonbooks.org/?q=node/73">another interesting review</a> by Steven Sherman. His comments on Klein's attachment to Keynes and the implications for those desiring utopia I'll be keeping in mind (which are also in line from my reading of No Logo).</p> <p>Haha, you changed the look of the website but kept the captchas. At least add 'Stop' (to "The Killing Train" banner) so visitors don't get freaked out.</p> <p>- Suy</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=3065&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="6Wh9uwaT35Lrhw5EcxTGF8h_GnAoQQPX67sqTM8WyWA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Despite not being a dispassionate reviewer, I wrote this review of <a href="http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=13&amp;ItemID=14095">Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine</a>. In case you didn't know, I'm not entirely without positive bias. And even with high expectations, the book really impressed. It seems to be doing quite well without my recommendation, but I would like to add my recommendation to the many that are out there. Hope you like the review.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">Americas (South &amp; North)</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Sun, 21 Oct 2007 17:53:42 +0000 Justin Podur 566 at https://podur.org Free Software https://podur.org/node/471 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Free Software</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justin Podur</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 12/18/2005 - 19:29</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <a id="comment-507"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1135649695"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">joe emersbegrer (not verified)</span> on Mon, 12/26/2005 - 21:14</p> <a href="/comment/507#comment-507" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/507#comment-507" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Just read this. Very</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Just read this. Very intresting stuff. I think the ramifications of Stallman's work push towards a rejection of capiltalism, not only the neoliberal version. That hasn't quite happened with Stallman but he seems very sincere and well intentioned. I get the impression that eventually he will.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=507&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="dDTY4e2kvX-aLhRXXEJm2Xz3O8kkoXh4I4PFIEPXJ1I"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-508"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1135810482"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steph (not verified)</span> on Wed, 12/28/2005 - 17:54</p> <a href="/comment/508#comment-508" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/508#comment-508" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Having read Stallman for</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Having read Stallman for more than a decade, I would advise you not to hold your breath on him changing his mind. He's always been very consistent throughout.</p> <p>I think the main point that a lot of people fail to take note about Stallman is that, unlike many who keep "talking" about what to do, Stallman went right to work and did what he tought was right.</p> <p>To be honest, I signed on the zmag, and started browsing and got disinterested rather quickly about people "talking" about participatory economy.</p> <p>Noami Klein had to go to south america to find actual real example of what can be done (The Take). Down there, they did it because they had no choice. In north america, life's rather good, so people aren't going to risk much. So "talk" is the way to go. I think it's all the more impressive that Stallman did what he did, because he could have gone on making a fair amount of money.</p> <p>Talking about his view of capitalism is missing the point by a mile and a half wrt to the guy.</p> <p>PS. no offense intended to anyone. I'm not any better.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=508&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="knnBA4L8F8tpbKR6Z7aDuQshccNytp1V9RbbWKc39NI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-509"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1135874233"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">joe emersberger (not verified)</span> on Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:37</p> <a href="/comment/509#comment-509" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/509#comment-509" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">I think his work is valuable</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I think his work is valuable and pushes in the direct of rejecting capitalism - as does public health care and various other reforms. I think that is true whether or not any particular individual who works for a reform becomes more radical.I'm sure his work is valuable for other reasons too - again like other reforms.</p> <p>I'm not sure about your point that us comfortable people talk too much and don't do enough.<br /> I guess it depends on how you distinguish between "talking" and "doing". I would agree though that our comfort level tends to lull us into not doing enough - however you define "doing".</p> <p>Why is the News Standard struggling to survive?<br /> There is an emample of progressives putting great effort and sacrifice into creating progressive news reporting - not just opinion. I assume that would qualify as "doing" rather than just "talking" by almost anyone's definition.</p> <p>Are progrssives really too stingly to divert $5 towards such a valuable project? Might the problem not be that progressive don't talk enough about alternatives to generate interst is supporting them - that instead we tend to talk endlessly about the corporate media's deceptions.</p> <p>Is the problem too much talk, or too much that doesn't inspire action?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=509&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="XHnLtFylFiN30Hx66KGQXwqBmSYhkG0s7o0Jo2GfDjs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-510"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1135957618"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steph (not verified)</span> on Fri, 12/30/2005 - 10:46</p> <a href="/comment/510#comment-510" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/510#comment-510" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">&gt; I think his work is</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>&gt; I think his work is valuable and pushes in the direct of rejecting capitalism</p> <p>Not so clear. IBM has invested quite a lot in free software. They didn't do so to put themselves out of business.</p> <p>Behind the facade of the Apple computer is an operating system called BSD. It's free software.</p> <p>In both cases, free software has enhanced rather than diminished the viability of the companies.</p> <p>&gt; I guess it depends on how you distinguish between "talking" and "doing".</p> <p>My point is that stallman didn't spend all his days trying to convince the software companies to change. There wouldn't be much free software today if he had spent a lot of time marching down the street demanding change. Rather than demand, he instead put in practice what he had in mind, and those who wanted to join, did so. The free software community was very small when he started, but he started "doing" from the word go (i.e. he started writting software immediately).</p> <p>It's great, and it's REQUIRED to have good reporting/journalism to cover what's going on in the world, but that remains "talking".</p> <p>How long have people been talking about participatory economy? How long has it been put in practice? In the case of Free Software, the "talking" and "doing" started about at the same time.</p> <p>Anyways, enough talking from me.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=510&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mcPvw7yHwiGNdfGFl8sDD53KVF0OpO3QaonnKG630-Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>As I mentioned earlier, I interviewed Richard Stallman earlier this month. Just published the interview and set up a forum (linked at the bottom of the interview) where folks can introduce themselves if they'd like to help begin the exploration on possibly converting ZNet to free software.</p> <p>The whole discussion and Stallman's work was of great interest to me, with implications that go beyond software that I would like to explore if I get the chance. Meanwhile, <a href="http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=13&amp;ItemID=9350">take a look at the interview!</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 19 Dec 2005 00:29:41 +0000 Justin Podur 471 at https://podur.org Walgreens https://podur.org/node/418 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Walgreens</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justin Podur</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 06/24/2005 - 06:15</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <a id="comment-381"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1122585976"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Eric (not verified)</span> on Thu, 07/28/2005 - 17:26</p> <a href="/comment/381#comment-381" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/381#comment-381" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">If you read the story it</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>If you read the story it wasn't pharmacists, it was management. It was eleven store managers out of 4700. I wouldn't take every lawsuit you read as truth either.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=381&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="uAVC-GNNQRIhqa5gUrHz_xfx5w_2fURvAZXRWCzCVO0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-382"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1122636574"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">justin (not verified)</span> on Fri, 07/29/2005 - 07:29</p> <a href="/comment/382#comment-382" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/382#comment-382" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">I got an email from one of</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I got an email from one of the pharmacists, who I corresponded with over a few weeks... I certainly didn't go hunting for it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=382&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="cwwQuYPU1SyNZlx3_7bKmZJVvoFrsq7ZDFur94GwNrg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-383"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1142551303"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ritchie (not verified)</span> on Thu, 03/16/2006 - 18:21</p> <a href="/comment/383#comment-383" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/383#comment-383" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">I SAY TAKE WALGREENS TO THE</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I SAY TAKE WALGREENS TO THE CLEANERS AND MAKE THOSE FUCKERS PAY!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=383&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="3T4gBhxxO9nGYc5wB2Oa8b0EbeONQXqJfPjfTd40WIQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-384"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1170611054"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">employee (Walgreens) (not verified)</span> on Sun, 02/04/2007 - 12:44</p> <a href="/comment/384#comment-384" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/384#comment-384" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Walgreens have been</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Walgreens have been discriminating against African Americans for many years; They treat Blacks like slaves and work them like slaves; They treat the low income areas different than the high-income areas even the landscape is different in the high income areas, The Black Pharmaists are treated like slaves by Pharmacy Supervisor Carole Hardin-Oliver, and others but she is the worst,Hayden Holloway has retired, Both are Walgreens KKK.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=384&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="27b5xiidiFEIex5f8hAwvaRGh4PviXxZ0c4o5F9i0hQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Quick story I got in the email. <a href="http://www.sptimes.com/2005/06/21/Business/Walgreens_suit_cites_.shtml">African American pharmacists at Walgreens have launched a class action lawsuit</a> against that corporation for racial discrimination. <a href="http://blog.zmag.org/index.php/weblog/entry/886000_black_people_died_unnecessarily_in_the_worlds_wealthiest_country_fro/">I've blogged elsewhere</a> about Black Americans and health care. It is among the deadliest impacts of racism in the US, though it is not usually understood that way. It is also one of the easiest to fix - universal health care would do nicely. Of course, it is harder to campaign for such a thing when the notion of 'undeserving poor' is so deeply ingrained into the culture, and when 'undeserving poor' is actually code for 'Black', and relies on racism, that makes it still harder. This lawsuit shows some of the connections as well: corporate power, the health care industry, and racism, all coming together.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:15:26 +0000 Justin Podur 418 at https://podur.org Costs, Human Tolls https://podur.org/node/322 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Costs, Human Tolls</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">C.P. Pandya</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 12/28/2004 - 05:20</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Everytime I refresh my browser window, the death toll from the tsunami grows by a couple of thousand. The New York Times reports that at least a third of the dead are children. Even as we mourn, it is easy to detach ourselves from the reality of a number as large as 44,000. It is hard to imagine, and mourn individually, each life lost in such a short span of time. That this number could have been lower if detection systems had been in place for the impoverished countries affected by the tsunami, is shameful. As I mentioned in yesterday's comments section of Justin's blog on the tsunami, such warning systems have been made available for the U.S. Canada, Japan and even parts of South America. No such early warning systems existed for the countries and regions in the Indian Ocean, which sits atop a particularly volatile area of the sea floor. </p> <p>It is a cruel irony that just about two months ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. won great merit from the U.S. Department of Commerce for a tsunami detection system is had devised. The detection system, according to the scientists involved in the project, could be developed and implemented for<a href="http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2004/nov04/noaa04-r526.html "> a cost of about $10 million. </a></p> <p>So as nations and organizations from around the world rush money to the areas ravaged by Sunday's tsunami - I can't help but think of the $10 million that was needed months ago to prevent possibly thousands of the deaths that occurred on Sunday. </p> <p>While information about the costs and history behind the implementation of detection systems is proving hard to handily come by, there is plenty of information about the costs and benefits of this grave natural disaster on business and industry...</p> <p>The year 2004 was an expensive one for the global property-casualty insurance industry. According to <a href="http://www.swissre.com/">Swiss RE </a>, the world's largest insurer, before Sunday's tsunami, natural and man-made catastrophes caused $105 billion in economic losses worldwide in 2004. So it is with disgust I report that the insurance industry breathed a sigh of relief and said that the massive loss of life and damage over the weekend won't affect the industry too much. The countries affected by the tsunami were too poor to afford insurance, so the people and the governments of these countries will have to foot the bill for reconstruction and relief on their own. (Most of the aid being given now is rightly for humanitarian needs, not infrastructure). Yesterday, the share prices of insurers remained steady and in some cases inched up slightly as investors reacted to the news. Such is the industry, I know, but there is something very sadistic about it all. </p> <p>And I don't know what to make of this next bit of news. A small company named <a href="http://www.taylordevices.com/tayd.htm">Taylor Devices </a>saw its stock price skyrocket 172% on Monday in reaction to the tsunami. The company makes earthquake protection equipment and it says that everytime a natural disaster occurs, its stock price goes up as investors anticipate increased demand for its products. However, the 49-year-old company hasn't seen steady increases in demand. In fact, revenue over the last several years has remained largely the same despite all the natural disasters that have occurred, meaning more governments, organizations or companies are not actually buying more earthquake protection equipment. Instead, speculative investors are just making a quick buck off of human loss and suffering. </p> <p>But this is all unimportant, relatively speaking. What is important is that anyone who is in a position to do so, must help those affected. Many charities are accepting donations, and many immigrant organizations are accepting clothes to send overseas. As Justin said, any leads on how to help are much-appreciated.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 28 Dec 2004 10:20:09 +0000 C.P. Pandya 322 at https://podur.org Four More Years https://podur.org/node/277 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Four More Years</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">C.P. Pandya</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/10/2004 - 10:19</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <a id="comment-90"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1100124316"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">emersberger (not verified)</span> on Wed, 11/10/2004 - 17:05</p> <a href="/comment/90#comment-90" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/90#comment-90" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">&quot;Why millions of people in</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>"Why millions of people in the U.S. can't make the logical transition ...If anyone has an explanation, I'm a willing convert to the 'don't blame the people' crowd."</p> <p>The people are to blame- the people who voted for Bush. </p> <p>Support for Bush is based on a lack of compassion and a lack of knowledge. The proportion of each depends on people's circumstances which in turn determine how difficulk their shortcomings are to forgive. Lack of compassion is often linked to racism.</p> <p>So much for the people's shortcomings. What about our own? What prevents the Left for being more effective? We can make a long list of things that are against us, so let me put it this way: What prevents us from making optimal use of the resources and freedoms we have? Must we not evaluate our own level of compassion and understanding?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=90&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="L5w7YaH867IatdhD94XUquimyOPMjg8nkRTGCG-VrAE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-91"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1100127241"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">justin (not verified)</span> on Wed, 11/10/2004 - 17:54</p> <a href="/comment/91#comment-91" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/91#comment-91" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">&quot;So much for the people&#039;s</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>"So much for the people's shortcomings. What about our own? What prevents the Left for being more effective? We can make a long list of things that are against us, so let me put it this way: What prevents us from making optimal use of the resources and freedoms we have? Must we not evaluate our own level of compassion and understanding?"</p> <p>I like that, Joe. I think if there's any time for some serious illusion-free hard thinking about who we are and why we are so ineffective, it's now. I was really disappointed by how quickly and reflexively the little sectlets that make up the 'left' started turning on each other. We could all have benefited from a hard look at the ineffectiveness of each of our individual groups, at each of us as individuals, and us as a collective grouping. So much easier not to do that, though.</p> <p>Anyway there's not much stuff out there, but I got something out of Biju Mathew's work in Samar Magazine (www.samarmagazine.org). He's done 3 editorials in the past 3 issues, and talks about our unwillingness to go beyond the 'comfort zone'. He doesn't have all the answers or get us to where we need to be - but his criticisms certainly describe my experience (I certainly control my level of commitment and I also work in what he calls 'safe' organizations) and some of my frustrations (with 'the politics of self-absorption').</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=91&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="6W6JJI7CbOFKfe2jD4MJ5Hf3dywwYzm9p1DzC2RvxRU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-92"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1100151163"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Luciano Silva (not verified)</span> on Thu, 11/11/2004 - 00:32</p> <a href="/comment/92#comment-92" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/92#comment-92" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Reading through these</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Reading through these comments, i find myself as an outsider to American politics but nevertheless well versed, I am noticing that there is no difference between Republicans or Democrats. We can look at Clinton's 4 years in power where he laid much of the groundwork for Bush's policies as subtle and covert behaviour whereas the Bush administration offering blatant open hostilities. The lesser of two evils in American politics is your present choice. There needs to be a third or fourth alternative to voters and a choice that holds true to good values within and outside the USA.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=92&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="e-0hVHMaDUMQVMQcXGArf60QGHuDwa-4R-Wqb322i4c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-93"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1100168328"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">C.P. Pandya (not verified)</span> on Thu, 11/11/2004 - 05:18</p> <a href="/comment/93#comment-93" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/93#comment-93" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Joe, I don&#039;t think it&#039;s</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Joe, I don't think it's enough to say "So much for the people's shortcomings." An analysis of why a plurality of registered voters voted the way they did must happen in concert with an honest analysis of the "left's" shortcomings. The "left's" shortcomings are very much tied to the rise of conservatism in the U.S. (some might argue there isn't a rise, but a vocal majority - 51% - would be loath to disagree with that idea). It's like an inverse relationship on a graph...as cohesion and action in the "left" falls, social conservatism rises, other things equal. </p> <p>I think the "left" is disconnected with what life is actually like in much of America. Many people who call themselves "leftists" have retreated from the very America they think needs fixing. Not wanting to work the corporate jobs or take part in the electoral process because of their fundamental flaws, many among us have enclosed ourselves in "safe spaces" such as small cooperatives and communities where the reality of working class life in America is something we read about, not experience. How can we make a difference in a process we refuse to belong to? Getting out of these "safe spaces" is key I think.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=93&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jSSJZA9F2si5kqcFfY_811OYMZeobxOKsObObe_ACHM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-94"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1100189811"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">justin (not verified)</span> on Thu, 11/11/2004 - 11:16</p> <a href="/comment/94#comment-94" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/94#comment-94" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">&quot;I think the &quot;left&quot; is</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>"I think the "left" is disconnected with what life is actually like in much of America. Many people who call themselves "leftists" have retreated from the very America they think needs fixing. Not wanting to work the corporate jobs or take part in the electoral process because of their fundamental flaws, many among us have enclosed ourselves in "safe spaces" such as small cooperatives and communities where the reality of working class life in America is something we read about, not experience. How can we make a difference in a process we refuse to belong to? Getting out of these "safe spaces" is key I think."</p> <p>That's actually a very interesting thought. I had always thought the reverse was true. It's the *lack* of sustaining infrastructure in which people can sort of survive and build a decent life while continuing to be engaged, critical, challenge power, win gains - that's why we're so unsuccessful. In the absence of such infrastructure, people drift away precisely because they have to make a living at some point, if they're lucky in some kind of lightweight academic job, which then distances them, as you say, from working people and communities. If they aren't in the academic or at least professional sector, then they have more difficult jobs that are more demanding of their time and energy, and the kinds of left organizations as exist either demand unlimited time and energy or they demand very passive, limited participation, which makes the left very unwelcoming to working people.</p> <p>I think it's the weakness of left institutions and organizations. But that's not an answer, that's a question: why are they so weak? And to the degree that they make it more difficult for people to be engaged with normal life in America, how should they change?</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=94&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ol1xzV6aqwLVHhjNWHhqXfrwgOyPTLPi6CWI9X3RYVE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-95"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1100215716"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">emersberger (not verified)</span> on Thu, 11/11/2004 - 18:28</p> <a href="/comment/95#comment-95" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/95#comment-95" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Justin: I read the</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Justin: I read the editorials by Biju Mathew. Certain lines really hit me between the eyes. For example "To be political outside of organization, at best serves to marginally strengthening movements and at worst deals with a personal desire to political correctness.." </p> <p>Basically he calls upon people to be less selfish and join mass movements and coalitions even if there aren't perfect. Fine, but I don't think I am atypical in that sectarian issues don't keep me from getting more involved. As for selfishness that's relative but I'll admit to some. But how do I justify time away from family? If I wanted to become an Evangelical I wouldn't have to sacrifce my family of social life. I'd enhance it significantly. But to become a more committed Leftist or unionist I would. Is my selfishness the whole problem? I don't think so.</p> <p>I really think that goes a long way towards explaining why Left institutions are so weak.</p> <p>C.P. Pandya: That is especially true for people outside the "safe places". I know quite a few Evagelicals who work in very unsafe placs.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=95&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="Hbydflre5-H5wZvoxxhvJbrTbsUKOlJdx2g9Q62aN00"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For the record, I'm in the "partially blame the people" category as far as last week's depressing election results are concerned.</p> <p>You really have to wonder how millions of people could conceivably vote against their economic interests, particularly when those economic interests are in such apparent, grave danger. Middle Americans don't need a flashy news channel to distort facts and figures about the state of healthcare and retirement in the U.S. (although this does happen). They need only look at their dwindling paychecks and their debt-laden credit card bills to see their financial truth. So, as people continue to debate about who and what to blame or not to blame in the wake of George Bush's 51% majority vote mandate to destroy the livelihoods of the people of America (and the lives of people overseas) for four more years, consider this:</p> <p>The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that over the past two years, companies have become emboldened by federal court rulings to sue retired union workers in order to skirt their responsibility for paying retirees' health benefits. Did you get that?! Companies are asking judges to rule that companies have the right to renege their contractual obligation to unionized workers to pay for their medical bills after retirement. And most times, the judges are complying and the companies are winning - or as they say in Corporate World, they are successfully "engaging in annualized cost savings that would be accretive to earnings." </p> <p>How can a company just sue random employees? There is a method to the madness. Instead of just simply ending or cutting back on retired workers' health benefits, companies are taking a (ahem) proactive approach and handing employees law suit papers so that the companies can decide the jurisdictions in which the subsequent cases will be tried. Essentially, companies are trying to beat employees to the courtroom punch. While these cases are being tried in corporate-friendly jurisdictions, retirees are stuck footing the bills of their frozen benefit accounts. In many instances, according to the article, financially overwhelmed retirees drop out of the company-sponsored health retirement plans or they retirees die. Either way, the company bringing the suit comes out on top. </p> <p>Of course, companies couldn't get away with this type of chicanery without the complicity of the government. As reported in the Journal, when asked what workers can do when they are sued by the company they labored for for most of their adult lives, a Labor Department official said it didn't have an answer because retired workers "aren't our constituents anymore."</p> <p>Four more years! Four more years! Instead of the working class rallying together to defeat the economic war being waged upon it, people are voting based on their hatred for gays and women's right to choose. Why millions of people in the U.S. can't make the logical transition from understanding they are increasingly sinking into poverty when they don't have to, to asking why and because of whom - is beyond me. If anyone has an explanation, I'm a willing convert to the "don't blame the people" crowd.</p> <p>I'm not saying people deserve this treatment. I'm merely saying that the people who voted Bush into office are not as naive and misinformed (in cases of economic security) as we are making them out to be. So, if so many can look at their bank accounts and feel the pains in their bodies, and can make judgments about values, then why can't they say 'enough be enough?' So far, this practice of companies suing retirees to avoid paying medical bills is not widespread but the practice is gaining momentum, and fast.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 10 Nov 2004 15:19:28 +0000 C.P. Pandya 277 at https://podur.org Profitable Private Armies https://podur.org/node/252 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Profitable Private Armies</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">C.P. Pandya</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/14/2004 - 06:59</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A few days back, Gary Jackson, the president of the one of the world's largest private armies, Blackwater USA, said that since the U.S. invasion of Iraq (and the country's ensuing descent into chaos), the mercenary firm's <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&amp;slug=Blackwater%20Growth">business has grown over 600%. </a></p> <p>Readers surely remember Blackwater from many months ago when four of the firm's foot soldiers were killed in Falluja - an act deliberately misconstrued in the media as the killing of civilians and not armed mercenaries. The siege of the city that followed, and the collective punishment endured by its residents, must have really helped business. </p> <p>In an eerie commentary on what is still to come in Iraq and around the world, Jackson said: "This is a billion-dollar industry," Jackson said. "And Blackwater has only scratched the surface of it."</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Oct 2004 10:59:31 +0000 C.P. Pandya 252 at https://podur.org Outsource the NBA! https://podur.org/node/235 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Outsource the NBA!</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">C.P. Pandya</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 10/02/2004 - 12:00</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <a id="comment-55"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1096932670"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pranjal (not verified)</span> on Mon, 10/04/2004 - 19:31</p> <a href="/comment/55#comment-55" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/55#comment-55" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Thanks for this comment,</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thanks for this comment, Justin. It's the same all over the Mekong region with these dams... Thailand has done a lot of cracking down on anti-dam activists, and of course China made sure of little-to-no opposition to the Three Gorges mammoth. I just heard from my Thai friends that the regime in Burma is going to start a new phase of dam building: starting in the ethnic minority Shan states, of course.</p> <p>Yes, some outsourcing of activists (in other words solidarity) is definitely needed...</p> <p>Nice blog, by the way.</p> <p>pranjal</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=55&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="OyaawYTpBpmKJ7jw5DtLL8rjasH4FeWTSwghGoJxP1o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> <a id="comment-56"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="comment js-comment by-anonymous"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1096932740"></mark> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/index.php/user/0" class="profile"> </article> <p class="comment__submitted">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Pranjal (not verified)</span> on Mon, 10/04/2004 - 19:32</p> <a href="/comment/56#comment-56" hreflang="en">Permalink</a> </footer> <div class="content"> <h3><a href="/comment/56#comment-56" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Sorry, just realized this</a></h3> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Sorry, just realized this post was from CP Pandya... thanks to you!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=56&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="V1Qu_29upv6yDqy15gnEIfgDsb3NNBTcwTZyVhh4JBc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> </article> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>While I realize the brave and hard-working people of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement) are stretched thin in their struggles against the building of destructive dams along India's rivers, I can't help but wish that some of their strength, organizing skills and experience could be outsourced to Laos, where thousands of people there are about to be swept away in the name of development...</p> <p>Construction of the $1.3 billion Nam Theun 2 dam in Laos - the biggest in the nation's history - is fast underway. A development consortium of state-owned Electricite de France, the Lao government and two Thai companies are already clearing land on the Nakai Plateau in the Lao jungle. A pilot resettlement village is being developed so that the 6,000 plus people who will be displaced by the dam can learn to live there, crowded together, growing unsustainable crops. As for the over 200,000 people who use the Xe Bang Fai river to eat, drink water and bathe - well, noone talks about what will happen to them once the NT2 is built. </p> <p>The Lao government has even set up a flashy Web site for foreign investors to browse through. The site, deftly named <a href="http://www.poweringprogress.org">Powering Progress</a>, is fully equipped with video clips featuring the voice over of a man with a heavy British accent telling viewers that Laos is "a window to the future" for development in Asia. A little over 35% of all the dams being built in Asia right now are in Laos - a country of 6 million that is about the size of the American state of Utah. Image that, given all the world knows about the destructive and unproductive effect large-scale dams have on a developing nation's ecology and population - the beleagured people of this small landlocked nation are being inundated by them. Behold the power of progress. </p> <p><a href="http://www.irn.org/programs/mekong/namtheun.html">The International Rivers Network </a>has documented the effects of other dam projects in Laos and the government's inadequate responses to resettling the internally displaced and staving off the epidemics of malaria and malnutrition that sweep through the regions where dams have been built.</p> <p>The construction of the TN2 dam is particularly distressing because of the global implications it has: the World Bank sees this as its ticket back into the arena of financing these destructive projects. Following the 2000 World Commission on Dams report, which damningly proved the disastrous effects of big dams in the developing world, the bank and other international, debt-producing, lending institutions have been loath to finance large projects. Securing funds to the Lao government for TN2 would open up the flood gates, if you will, ushering in a new wave of money and interest into the dam-building industry.</p> <p>This is just another project in economic development that is strikingly destructive to the people it is supposed to benefit. I can only ask in this instance the same questions I ask whenever foreign investors plunder a nation with the complicity of its government, which in turn touts the benefits of said plunder to its people (and to other foreign investors): Development for who? and for what?</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Sat, 02 Oct 2004 16:00:31 +0000 C.P. Pandya 235 at https://podur.org A Pillar Of Corporate Life (C.P. Pandya) https://podur.org/node/197 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Pillar Of Corporate Life (C.P. Pandya)</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justin Podur</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/15/2004 - 18:10</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>One can never accuse Riggs Bank of lacking a global perspective. Indeed, the American financial institution’s expansive scope of malfeasance makes it an international player on the corrupt corporate scene. With dubious deals in Saudi Arabia, Chile and Equatorial Guinea, Riggs’ underhanded schemes span three continents – what an equal opportunity brigand. Where to begin?</p> <p>A recent Senate inquiry into the bank’s dealings in Chile alleges that Riggs helped U.S. dictatorial darling Augusto Pinochet <a href="http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/95940/1/.html">hide millions of dollars </a>in the Washington, DC-based bank’s coffers between 1994 and 2002. The millions of dollars were apparently transferred from his London account into Riggs’ at the same time Pinochet’s henchmen were claiming the dictator didn’t have enough money to pay for legal fees and fines. Mind you, throughout the years Riggs serviced Pinochet, he was under a world-wide court order to keep his assets frozen and was being (finally) investigated for the countless human rights abuses he inflicted on the Chilean population. Riggs, of course, didn’t have a problem with that - his millions fattened their balance sheet. The Senate panel concluded that Riggs “appeared to take active steps to hide the Pinochet relationship from bank examiners." Now that shows a bank’s commitment to its clients, no?</p> <p>Now onto Equatorial Guinea, where <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52711-2004Jul15.html">Riggs helped facilitate</a>, through over 60 different accounts, the exchange of huge monetary gifts between U.S. oil companies such as Exxon and Marathon and the country’s first family. Exploitation of the country’s vast oil, petroleum, timber, manganese, uranium, titanium and iron ore resources couldn’t have been easier. Riggs carried between $400 million and $700 million from the government of Equatorial Guinea on its balance sheet during a time when, according to the Senate panel, there was “evidence suggesting the bank was handling the proceeds of foreign corruption.” Something about up to $700 million being in Riggs’ account from a country, which in 2001 took in $200 million in revenue (as recorded on its budget), just doesn’t add up. </p> <p>Finally, for kicks, let’s rehash the recent past and mention Riggs’ <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/05/13/riggs.bank.fined.ap/">$25 million fine </a>after it was found at the heart of a Saudi Arabian money-laundering scheme. </p> <p>Here are some interesting tidbits about this exemplary financial institution: Riggs is colloquially known as the bank of U.S. presidents; its chief, billionaire Joe Allbritton, is a long-time Bush family friend; and the bank has been at U.S. government’s beck and call for over a hundred of years, check out <a href="http://www.riggsbank.com/Discover_Riggs/timeline.html">the timeline</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 15 Jul 2004 22:10:05 +0000 Justin Podur 197 at https://podur.org A Fine Balance (C.P. Pandya) https://podur.org/node/184 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">A Fine Balance (C.P. Pandya)</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justin Podur</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/08/2004 - 09:04</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>India's new government continues to walk a political and economic tightrope, eagerly welcoming in foreign investors while promising to financially help the very population hurt by the liberalization program. On Thursday, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram unveiled a new budget that allows foreign direct investors to carry unprecedented stakes in Indian companies, but also pledges a significant amount of money to India's poor.</p> <p>Among the notable points in the budget: </p> <p>On the farming side, Chidambaram said the government has established an 80 billion rupee ($1.7 billion) fund to develop the rural infrastructure. Also, the government will provide food subsidies for the year worth 252 billion rupees ($5.5 billion). (Given India's infamously lousy food and subsidy distribution program, skepticism is more than appropriate).</p> <p>On the other hand, foreign investors can now own up to 74 percent of equity in Indian telecommunications companies, up significantly from the current 49 percent. Also, the cap on foreign equity in insurance companies was raised to 49 percent from 26 percent and foreign investors can now increase their equity stakes in civilian aviation companies to 49 percent from 40 percent. </p> <p>How long can this balancing act work? The Indian government has preached fiscal conservatism, which has at its heart a hatred for spending on social programs, in order to lure Western investment. The larger the fiscal deficit gets, the more antsy investors will get. India's stated dedication to liberalization will require it to coddle and encourage foreign investors to continue pouring money into India's government coffers. What happens when there is so much American, British and other international money in India that the scales of attention tip towards investors at the expense of farmers?<br /> A senior official in India's finance ministry <a href="http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&amp;c=StoryFT&amp;cid=1087373586131">very tellingly described </a>the issue being played out in India right now: "This will be a 'talk left, act right' government."</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 08 Jul 2004 13:04:46 +0000 Justin Podur 184 at https://podur.org AIDS and Trade (C.P. Pandya) https://podur.org/node/181 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">AIDS and Trade (C.P. Pandya)</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Justin Podur</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/06/2004 - 08:27</span> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-blog field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This latest report on "corporate villainy" (as Justin Podur has so flatteringly subheaded my blogging efforts) comes under the auspices of government collusion. And its messenger is none other than the bastion of capitalism itself, The Wall Street Journal. A look at two stories in Tuesday's Journal teases the reader to make some fairly obvious connections. Since the paper isn't available free online (remember, "bastion of capitalism"), allow me to summarize. </p> <p>A new UNAIDS report estimates that nearly 5 million people were newly infected with HIV last year, marking the largest spike in the last 20 years. The official (and therefore underestimated) number of people with HIV now totals well over 40 million, and researchers say the greatest hope for curbing this growth is to offer low-cost generic vaccines. Preventative measures such as antiviral therapy and education could avert 29 million of the 45 million new infections projected to occur between 2002 and 2010, UNAIDS estimates.</p> <p>Given this startling piece of news, it seems only appropriate that the Journal ran a story with the following headline on its front page Tuesday: "In New Trade Pacts, U.S. Seeks To Limit Reach of Generic Drugs"</p> <p>Of course! As AIDS researchers beseech the world community to lower trade protections and offer low-cost generic drugs to people around the world, the U.S. is protecting the drug lobby and making it harder for HIV-infected people to get access to life-sustaining medicine. </p> <p>As the Journal reports, the U.S. is seeking, through new agreements, to stop its trade partners from approving applications for generic drugs for five years if those drugs rely on test data compiled by a designer drug maker (the type of company, let us remember, which has the insitutional and monetary support to conduct costly research with the ease not shared by smaller companies in poorer countries). This allows big pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. fives years to exclusively market and sell their high-priced medicine within countries whose citizens need urgent, affordable medicine to continue living. As the saying goes: profit over people. </p> <p>Without generic versions of designer U.S. drugs, poorer countries must sit with their hands tied, waiting for these exclusivity agreements to run out before generics are made available. The U.S. government has gone to great lengths to protect the likes of Pfizer, Abbott Labs and Bristol-Myers. In fact, the industry's main lobby group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, routinely gives the U.S. trade representative a "watch list" of countries in potential violation of trade pacts that protect patents on designer drugs. Countries appearing on the "priority" section of this list face possible trade sanctions for trying to work around technicalities to offer low-cost treatments to the sick. </p> <p>Pfizer had revenue of $49.19 billion in 2003, Bristol-Myers had 2003 sales of $20.89 billion and Abbott had revenue of $19.68 billion in 2003. One can see why these behemoth companies would need the bullying U.S. to protect them from patent-hungry countries whose annual GDPs are but a fraction of these sales figures. </p> <p>By slapping a country's hand as it tries to reach for a much-needed AIDS vaccine, any talk from the U.S. about wanting, in earnest, to fight the spread of AIDS is at best, mockery.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Corporate World</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 06 Jul 2004 12:27:11 +0000 Justin Podur 181 at https://podur.org