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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Naomi Klein gets a whiff of something...

(Watch as I shamelessly provoke Kleintards to get people to read my blog)

Naomi Klein is the hotter Noam Chomsky. She writes big thinky books on big thinky subjects to make people who aren't thinky feel smart. Here's a helpful formula to explain her latest work The Shock Doctrine:
socialism ---> 'shock' ---> ((Milton Friedman + neoliberalism) (y) / University of Chicago) = Chilean dissidents thrown off helicopters

let y = quantity of underpants gnomes required for this to make sense
You see, a 'shock' happens, (you know, 'anything') which evil Milton and friends then use to push their neoliberal agenda because they hate people with jobs, especially good ones. While Klein was researching this book, Friedman even went ahead and pussed out and died, obviously to avoid having to answer her scathing criticisms.


[above]: coward

So yea, Klein and her fans like to pretend her arguments aren't taken seriously because she speaks uncomfortable truths or whatever, but as progressive econonerds Brad DeLong and Dani Rodrik have tried to hint politely, she just doesn't seem to know shit about economics or finance, which her educational background seems to verify. I can't imagine why anyone would seek out authoritative analysis on evolution from a creationist, which is the same reason why no one cares what she says about financial crises in developing countries, much less her remedies. Rodrik highlights this bizarre passage from a profile in The New Yorker:

Some things are very hard to understand

For instance, how Naomi Klein was able to feel good about Argentina in 2002:

The only time she has ever felt a whiff of utopia was in Buenos Aires, in 2002, when the political system had virtually disintegrated—during the time that she and Lewis were filming “The Take.” “That moment in Argentina was an incredible time because a vacuum opened up,” she says. “They had thrown out four Presidents in two weeks, and they had no idea what to do. Every institution was in crisis. The politicians were hiding in their homes. When they came out, housewives attacked them with brooms. And, walking around Buenos Aires at night, there were meetings on every other street corner. Every plaza where there was a streetlight, people were meeting under it and talking about what to do about the external debt, I swear to God. Groups of one hundred or five hundred people. And organizing buying groceries together because they could get cheaper prices, setting up barters because the currency was worthless. It was the most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen.”

This is also about the time in Buenos Aires when people started picking through trash for food, which presumably they gathered to talk about later, for solidarity, which was inspiring. (?)

But, as everyone who reads Naomi Klein already knows, Argentines kicked out their evil political leaders, the peso was replaced with Hershey kisses, and workers took over idle factories, managing to churn out enough rainbow gumdrops to pay off the debt forever yay!

Except that, oh hey, no. Argentina is still dysfunctional. Despite a massive spurt of growth since the 2001 meltdown, thanks to the commodity boom and Hugo Chavez's generosity (retarditude), Argentina will struggle to pay its debts in the coming years, which is even more amazing still since its been virtually locked out of capital markets since the default. Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, the wife of the last president, just nationalized everyone's pensions, which she will of course use prudently to pay debts she couldn't otherwise. Fernandez has roughly 15% of all the makeup in Argentina on her face at any given time.

....anyway, the point of all this is why wont Naomi Klein go out with me?

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