Friedman drives me crazy. His newest nonsense is Average Is Over:
Thomas Friedman, Average Is Over via NYTimes.com
In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.
Ok, try the thought experiment: everyone who is now average ‘finds their unique value contribution that makes them stand out’. But if they all do, they can’t stand out. So what he is saying is crazy.
Or else it is a trick. Friedman may be implicly accepting the unstated: that most people won’t find their inner uniqueness, and will become obsoleted by cheap Chinese labor or automation. And the moral of the story is one of personal failure: the unemployed have failed because they lack the inability to rise to the challenge posed by the new world order.
But, as usual, Freidman does not touch on the fact that the economic system that we live in is not preordained: it is a system of laws and international policies that have benefited those that own and run the machinery tended by cheap Chinese labor and robots. The rentiers and corporations are pounding the world into dust to make trillions for themselves. And apologists like Friedman tell us it is our incapacity to work hard, our inability to learn the skills or summon the pluck to train ourselves in the necessary skills needed for the new world order, they tell us it is us: we are to blame for being cast aside. We are too average in a world where average is over.
We have a system in which the government extracts less from the rich than ever before, when fiscal austerity is leading to cutbacks in primary and secondary education, where college is increasingly unaffordable, and where the millions with college degrees cannot find work. A world where corporations are sitting on trillions in profits but are unwilling to hire. Nonetheless, he tells us it is all our fault.
Friedman never stops blaming the victim. He’s just a sycophant, hoping to sell more books to the oligarchs.
I love a BLT with extra bacon the morning after having one too many, but new evidence shows that bacon is also great for stopping chronic nosebleeds:
Marc Abrahams, Pork, the surprise remedy for a nosebleed
A new medical study recommends a method called “nasal packing with strips of cured pork” as an effective way to treat uncontrollable nosebleeds.
Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, at Detroit Medical Centre in Michigan, treated a girl who had a rare hereditary disorder that brings prolongued bleeding. Publishing in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, they pack the essential details into two sentences:
“Cured salted pork crafted as a nasal tampon and packed within the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly, effectively, and without sequelae … To our knowledge, this represents the first description of nasal packing with strips of cured pork for treatment of life-threatening hemorrhage in a patient with Glanzmann thrombasthenia.”
They acknowledge a long tradition of using pork to treat general epistaxis, ie nosebleed. The technique fell into disuse, they speculate, because “packing with salt pork was fraught with bacterial and parasitic complications. As newer synthetic hemostatic agents and surgical techniques evolved, the use of packing with salt pork diminished.”
- Theodore Parker
Often misattributed to Martin Luther King, who often quoted this.
These guys are so out of touch with the reality that the American people are going through that it is really quite amazing. We are seeing a middle class collapsing. We are seeing poverty increasing. We’re seeing a nation in which the rich are getting richer and we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country.
Do they have one word to say about this issue?
We have 50 million people without any health insurance. We are the only country, major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to every man, woman, and child as a right. Do you know what their solution is? Cut Medicare cut Medicaid. You got Social Security, the most successful government program in the history of our country. A program which has not resulted in one penny of deficit for this country, and you know what they want to do? They want to cut Medicaid. They want to cut Social Security. They want to privatize these important programs.
These guys are way, way out of touch from where the American people are, and I think when you look at them issue by issue, tax breaks for the rich, cut Social Security, more money on defense spending, they are literally a fringe element in American society.
Last but not least, you’ve got virtually every scientist in this world who studies the issue who tells us global warming is a huge, huge problem. We’ve got to move in a very aggressive way to break our dependence on fossil fuel, move to sustainable energy, energy efficiency. These guys don’t even acknowledge the reality of global warming.” —Senator Bernie Sanders, describing the GOP candidates on Real Time with Bill Maher (via mamaatheist)
- Ryan Lizzer, Barack Obama, Post-Partisan, Meets Washington Gridlock via The New Yorker
The GOP has little self-awareness: they talk about the Democrats, but seldom reflect on their rapid movement to the right ove the past decades. To hear them say it, they are standing where they always stood, and those liberal Democrats are trying to turn America into a social state. But it is the Republicans’ precipitous slide into right wing fanaticism that is the defining trend in the ideological polarization of Americ politics.