Beast Banner October 5 - 19, 2006
ISSUE #108
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Features

ArrowWelcome to the Monkey House
On Safari at “The Chapel” in Getzville

Ian Murphy

ArrowI, Left Gatekeeper
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read like Shakespeare
Matt Taibbi

ArrowGet on Board
A farewell to Habeas Corpus in one act.

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Madness of King Us
Think we're turning a corner? Think again

Donnie Dobovitch

ArrowSexual Predators
What can you do?

ArrowHow the Media Lies About China
"Try harder," American worker – and Thomas Friedman thinks everything will be fine
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowPig Roast
Tom Reynolds is done. Let’s all stick forks in him.
Allan Uthman

ArrowBEAST Staff Aids Non-Millionaire
“Relief for Reynolds” Campaign a Modest Success
Josh Bunting

ArrowCaring is Hard Work!
A selection of transcripts from our neighborhood canvass in the 26th district.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Incredibly Full of Shit Asshole

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Jackass Number Two, The Guardian, Flyboys, All the King's Men, School for Scoundrels, Fearless

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Partisan Bickering, A Bold Challenge, Crocodile Punter, Reynolds R.I.P. and more

How the American Media Lies About China
"Try harder," American worker – and Thomas Friedman thinks everything will be fine
Matt Taibbi

"Protectionism conveniently shifts the blame for trade-related hardships to foreigners, which is easier than adapting homegrown business practices to make America more competitive."
-- New York Times editorial, "Curing the Debt Addiction," Oct. 2

China - Double happiness?Well, that makes sense. According to The New York Times, what we need to do to compete with China economically is adopt commensurate "homegrown business practices" that will enhance our performance.

What do they have in mind? Eliminating the freedom of speech? Outlawing free trade associations? Legalizing child labor? Eliminating all environmental regulations and letting workers roll around in hazardous chemicals for fifteen hours a day for ten cents an hour? Ending all forms of corporate transparency? Come to think of it, we could solve our juvenile delinquency program and our trade competitiveness problem at the same time -- let's just lock up our high school dropouts in toy factories, get those little bastards making radioactive Lego sets six days a week for a buck a shift. Imagine the profits! Who'd be laughing then, Yunagjiang City?

Remember Roger and Me? Remember those two rich old white ladies on the golf course who waxed poetic on the first tee about the despair of laid-off auto workers in Flint, Michigan, talking about how people just need to "try harder" and "keep at it" or whatever to overcome their problems? Well, that same bullshit is on display here in the Times and in a lot of other places lately. In fact, "When it comes to China, we just need to try harder" has to be among the most pervasive and universally-held lies in the American press these days, right up there with, "In elections, any candidate, no matter how poor, has a chance" and "The networks are just giving the people the news they want."

One of the biggest purveyors of this dreck is arch-capitalist spokesmodel Thomas Friedman, who has spent the last ten years trying to talk himself into the position that having to compete with Chinese and Indian industrial slaves is somehow a good thing for America. Nothing makes Friedman happier than being able to appear before a bunch of old ladies in some cobweb-strewn Midwestern library or Jaycees hall and deliver his favorite faux-homespun platitude about the new global economy, a clunky tale about advice he often gives to his daughters. "Girls," his story goes, "when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, 'Tom, finish your dinner. People in China . . . are starving.' My advice to you now: 'Girls, finish your homework, people in China . . . are starving for your jobs.' "

(An aside here: Can you imagine being the offspring of Thomas Friedman? Here you are, just a kid, playing with your dollhouse and your coloring books . . . and here comes Daddy in his mustache and his Windsor knot and his Blackberry, fresh from work, warning you that if you don't quit your playing, Communist factory workers will leave you in the poorhouse? What a great guy -- loves his kids so much, he throws 'em in the globalization thresher while they're still little! Thanks, Dad!)

Conservative commentators go to great lengths to assure Americans that the rise of China is actually a good thing. Townhall.com chairman Doug Wilson wrote a great "How we can compete with China" column a few months ago in which he proposed four steps America could take to correct the trade imbalance. The first three of these steps were a school voucher program, tax cuts (so that there will be more capital available for investment), and immigration reform measures that would allow foreign students to stay and work after they complete their education. The fourth step? Attitude reform. "The American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well," he writes. "As Newt Gingrich says, 'We can win the future.' A positive vision for a better America is critical to our future."

This, too, sounds like good advice for taking on a country that pays its workers pennies an hour, pollutes indiscriminately and arrests any labor leaders who dare to stick their heads above ground -- think positive! You can do it, America! Just put yer nose to the ol' grindstone, and things will work out. Didn't you all see Rudy?

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