September 12, 2007
Gary Younge on Naomi Klein
A little difficult to tease out here exactly what is meant as it's rather rambling.
However, what I think is being said is that the failure of FEMA, a bureaucratic and Federally funded organisation, to help in the immediate moments after Katrina, plus its further failure to do very much about the long term rebuilding, shows the iniquity of the free market.
A somewhat odd argument really.
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Its an all too common argument.
Another one I've come across in relation to Naomi Klein is that in Iraq a free market forced upon the Iraqis by the US troops has failed.
The other place its always used is in US Health Care - the government meddling to encourage businesses to give their employees medical insurance has led to expensive individual medical insurance.
But that is a free market apparently, so the state must step in even more.
Posted by: Tristan Mills | Sep 12, 2007 1:29:01 PM
Particularly as the purpose of FEMA has as much to do with helping people as the Ministry of Truth does with Truth.
Posted by: jameshigham | Sep 12, 2007 3:04:07 PM
There's a lot of this is in the series of extracts from Klein's book that The Guardian has been running this week.
The beauty of the argument is this. The left has always been embarassed when failures of government are pointed out, compared to market-based provision.
But in Klein's world, this just provides ever more examples of how evil big business is. Because, not content with being evil, exploitative and, well just plain evil itself, it also corrupts government so that government will deliberately screw things up in order to advance the privatisation agenda.
Every market failure is an argument against the free market, now every government failure is an argument against the free market too.
Fortunately, even left-wingers who actually know a bit about the countries she's writing about think she's just making it up as she goes along (as she does with economics).
See this: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jonathan_fenby/2007/09/the_tiananmen_square_peg.html
And this too:
That last one is a former editor of the New Statesman. It's terrible how far the corrupting tentalces of big business can spread...
Posted by: Erasmus | Sep 12, 2007 7:40:08 PM