raising the bar

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Fri Sep 4 21:38:01 PDT 1998

> . . .
> MBS: >Better to do for the poor nations what the U.S. did for Western
> Europe after WWII: lend or give them money to buy our stuff. Or prior to
> that, forgive or reschedule debt some of these nations owe which drains
> their people of purchasing power.<
> In addition to what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky have to say about these
> matters (thanks, Louis!), it would be _nice_ if the U.S. gave aid to the
> poor countries (including Russia). But "nice" isn't the watchword in

I had referred specifically to providing credits and cash to poor nations, and LP and JD are trying to wrap Pax Americana around my neck, with Howard Zinn no less.

Nobody has responded convincingly to Brad's numbers, in my view. But even if he's wrong and Chomsky is right, that does not refute the value of the policy *I* referred to. Not John Foster Dulles' policy. It's simple: debt relief, cash and credits for you to buy our exports.

As for "nice" not being our watchword, this implies there is no point motivating any positive public policy. This is quite consistent with LP's posture, where we only demand things we know won't be forthcoming ("Trust us, fellas. We're looking out for you!"), but sounds discordant coming from JD. If we don't raise these points, how do we expect a more congenial political environment to develop? What are people supposed to look forward to?

> . . .
> corporations. (Max, have you examined the Peace Corps recently? It's all
> about teaching the "natives" about business and the American Way.)
> . . .

No, but if that was the worst thing they ever did I wouldn't worry.

> . . .

Everybody may have forgotten by now that the point of my original post was to ask what else, besides pushing down interest rates, was worth motivating. (Don't forget I'm working day and night to save capitalism.) Marty Hart-Landsberg seemed to me to ask the same question on PEN-L.

There has been some mumbling about maybe Malaysia will do all right, but on the whole, so far I've gotten jack. Can't even get Brad to come out for lower interest rates, though I thought his explanation of their rationale was useful. The Tobin Tax is worth talking about and has been. Is that all there is?


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