Posts Tagged ‘naomi’

Shock Doctrine Hits Egypt

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

In The Shock Doctrine, journalist Naomi Klein highlights the ways big institutions exploit disaster stricken people and countries when they’re the most vulnerable, shackling entire populations to crippling debts.

Well, this just happened in Egypt. The IMF has given Egypt’s transitional government a $3 Billion dollar loan to help ‘revitalize the economy’.

Unfortunately, this money has just fallen into the corrupt hands leftover from the old regime, meaning the majority of the money will just be embezzled before stimulating the economy or doing the Egyptian people any good.

But that won’t stop the IMF from holding regular Egyptians accountable for the debt. Whatever new regime arises in the coming months, they will be on the hook for this $3 Billion taken on by a few corrupt officials in Cairo.

This is too bad. Now Egypt’s soon-to-arise fledgling democracy, and all the people of Egypt, will be forced to make concessions to a global loan-shark. It’s like they’ve moved from one dictator to another, only the new king is a bank instead of a body.

Unwilling to go out on a down note, let me just say these global dictators, like the mega-banks and the giant corporations, are precisely the forces to be toppled when humanity rises up together on a planetary scale.

Haiti’s Plight

Friday, January 15th, 2010

The plight of the Haitian people has recently made it to the headlines, but they’ve been suffering for a very long time, long before the earthquake rocked their nation.  If there is to be any light in this travesty, perhaps it’s that the world’s attention is focused on Haiti and more people may see how poor the people are, and how corrupt their government is.

Now, not only will the Haitians have to worry about rebuilding in the aftermath, they will also have to contend with groups like The Heritage Foundation exploiting the disaster to push through their unpopular pro-corporate policies. Any savy/ruthless investors who don’t shy away from blood money will see the disaster as having made Haiti ripe for the plucking… what is not already privatized could soon be.  (Read more about this phenomenon in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine)

Prior to the earthquake, Haiti ranked 110th on the Democracy Index and 149th on the Human Development Index. The Democracy Index (DI) and Human Development Index (HDI) are two separate indicators of the state of a Country based on many factors, like quality of life and education and political freedom.

haiti-democracy index

haiti-human development index

Where will Haiti be in a few years from now?  It is hard to say. It depends if mass privatization occurs or not.  If it does, and Naomi Klein and others are right, indicators like the DI and HDI mentioned above should drop over the next few years.  If Milton Friedman is correct and free market reforms raise the standard of living, then these indicators should go up as privatizing creeps in. Time will tell.

One thing we can count on is the rising stock value of which ever companies are positioned to get the lucrative contracts to rebuild Haiti.