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Way of the Leprechaun?

by Colman Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 01:22:06 PM EST

Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times:

There is a huge debate roiling in Europe today over which economic model to follow: the Franco-German shorter-workweek-six-weeks'-vacation-never-fire-anyone-but-high-unemployment social model or the less protected but more innovative, high-employment Anglo-Saxon model preferred by Britain, Ireland and Eastern Europe. It is obvious to me that the Irish-British model is the way of the future, and the only question is when Germany and France will face reality: either they become Ireland or they become museums. That is their real choice over the next few years - it's either the leprechaun way or the Louvre.

This is the sort of mindless free-market propaganda that turns me into a short chubby caricature of an John Cleese character, but I haven't had the time to calm down and put together a proper response. Luckily for me, Henry Farrell over on Crooked Timber has.

Ireland is not a good example of an Anglo-Saxon anything. Admittedly, it has some good examples of free-market idiots, but we'll get rid of them at the next election.


Display:
Friadman is a prospective member of the Flat Earth Society.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 03:37:23 PM EST
Oh, he's a total pillock, but this is the same crap we get shovelled in every other economic op-ed. It's depressing, and it's a constant drip of conventional wisdom to help shore up the idea that socialism lost and capialism won.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 04:48:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True.

Flat Earth Society was a reference to his latest book, BTW.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 05:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's a leprechaun, exactly?

Is it the Lord of the Rings equivalent of the soldiers of the Dark Side of the Force?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 03:42:12 PM EST
One of the varieties of fairy of Irish folklore. The cuddlier versions have pots of gold and grant wishes which they twist to embarrass or chasten you. The less cuddly versions aren't that nice.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 04:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, to top everything off, that reference is border-line insulting if you're sensitive to such things in an Irish context, as many people are.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 04:44:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Digby was on to this FriedBrain crap on Saturday in a post entitled Everyone Should Hate France.

I made a modest contribution to the hatefest and followed it by a  reference to EuroTrib.

It's true all this focuses on France, not on Ireland, which FlatHead thought was the right kind of country to compare to France and Germany.

Perhaps it's worth noting, first off, that FriedEgg manages to speak of Ireland's economic take-off without once mentioning its membership of the European Union and the attendant benefits. To hear him, the Irish just decided to get fired more easily, which explains why US corporations are investing in Ireland, (which explains all the rest...)

And no mention of history. That the Irish Republic was, forty or so years ago, an agrarian country with next to no industry and a fairly low standard of living, deserted by generations of emigrants and depressed by centuries of English colonialism, and that comparisons between a situation like that and the situation of major industrial powers like France and Germany are, to say the least, shaky, if not useless, is also left unmentioned.

But FlatEarth is ever undeterred. Anything goes. He's a disgrace to what used to be a good newspaper.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 04:15:30 PM EST
Yes, I saw the Digby thread and your comment when I saw a steady stream of visitors coming from over there - thanks.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 05:56:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
has always been very anti-French, as well as anti-Russian. The good folks over at the exile in Moscow did a great series of articles about him and a couple of great pranks against him back in 2000-2001, but you'll have to dig in their archives to find them.

Taibbi (one of the original creators of the exile) wrote a great review of Friedman's last book in the NY Press

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 06:03:15 PM EST
A great quote:


Friedman never forgets to name the company or the brand name; if he had written The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa would have awoken from uneasy dreams in a Sealy Posturepedic.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 06:20:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Friedman is an important American. He is the perfect symbol of our culture of emboldened stupidity. Like George Bush, he's in the reality-making business. In the new flat world, argument is no longer a two-way street for people like the president and the country's most important columnist. You no longer have to worry about actually convincing anyone; the process ends when you make the case.

Things are true because you say they are. The only thing that matters is how sure you sound when you say it.

France is a reality that distracts and contradicts  them. That's why it needs to be bashed permanently.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 06:23:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the great link to Taibbi's review, one of the most elegant and richly deserved hatchet-jobs I've read in years.

Hannah K. O'Luthon
by Hannah K OLuthon on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 09:36:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Friedman eats Cinnabons, then he should be forever exiled from the shores of France for the sin of culinary ignorance. He probably thinks Lucky Charms are delicious nuggets of ethnic cuisine as well. Feh.
by northsylvania on Mon Jul 4th, 2005 at 06:23:43 PM EST
The sad thing is that Friedman used to be a damn good journalist back when he was covering Lebanon and Israel. He still is useful as a source for what some influential people are saying in various parts of the world, if you can be bothered to sort it out from the chaff.
by MarekNYC on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 12:31:29 AM EST
While we're critiquing the Tin-Eared Lysenko of Economics...

I seem to recall there was a pretty devastating review in Pravda also calling attention to Friedman's devastating way with metaphors, his unerring ability to bat zero in the great game of prose style.  but I can't find it now (dammit).  the curse of web surfing is not remembering where the heck you saw that link that led to that amusing book review...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 03:02:09 AM EST
Wasn't that a reprint of the Taibbi piece? (See link in a Jerôme à Paris post above)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 06:04:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neoliberals are funny. They are fascinated with Ireland, they love Ireland of the '90s. But they don't talk about Finland, which is a better example of progress, I think.
by Greco on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 01:26:36 PM EST


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