Monday, October 09, 2006

David Sirota Unmasks Thomas Friedman For What He Is Yet Again

"Today, your column starts out by invoking your Judaism, which is disgusting unto itself – please, I beg you, stop invoking a religion based on social justice to package your propaganda that trumpets the evisceration of the social safety net and the economic persecution of American and foreign workers.

You quickly move on to say "I've always believed in free trade, accompanied by better pension and health care safety nets." Of course, you offer us no explanation for what you mean, but then, that's likely the point: there is no explanation, because as economists on both sides of the ideological spectrum agree, the kind of free trade that you "have always believed in" forces American workers to compete with slave labor, and thus has accelerated the slashing of workers pensions and health care benefits, even as corporate profits and worker productivity skyrocket. Perhaps we are to read from your line that you believe in all of that, but that you believe the solution is just to have everyone's jobs be outsourced, and incomes be replaced with welfare. We, the readers, can't be sure.

Then you go on to say "I'm not a free trader anymore. I'm now a radical free trader." Why? Not because of hard data on stagnating wages, increased poverty, higher economic inequality - no, using that to make conclusions wouldn't be the Friedman way. No, you are a "radical free trader" now (as if you weren't before) because on a few of your junkets, you picked up a few interesting anecdotes that help you keep shilling for Big Money interests. At one point, you cheer on how your CEO buddies are really excited to outsource more American jobs. At another point, you provide us an anecdote of a businessman in Nebraska, and write breathlessly: "Midwest Indians publishing Arabic brochures for Nebraskans importing from Koreans for customers in Kuwait." Oh, how Friedmanesque. Like your colleague Paul Krugman today, you could have just as easily written about Wal-Mart's Arkansas white corporate executives exploiting Chinese slave labor to sell dry goods to now-unemployed people in Toledo. But no, only the little people think about that."

Read the rest of it here.

Thomas Friedman is as nutty as any of the extremists currently occupying the White House, except that Friedman's religion is "free trade" and the mythical "free market", and when it comes to his religion he is a fundamentalist fanatic also.

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