Tim Longhurst's Blog

China’s mix of authoritarianism and capitalism with Naomi Klein

August 13th, 2008 · 7 Comments

China’s leaders might be called the “Communist Party”, but if Beijing is anything to go by, this nation is a celebration of a capitalism. So this is what happens when you mix market-minded capitalism with the heavy handed control of authoritarianism?

In the video below, Naomi Klein attempts to answer this question. She suggests that the millions of landless, homeless peasants act as the ‘Mexicans of China’, providing the unpleasant manual labour at a price that makes large scale projects possible. Also, the government can put money ahead of people by ensuring relaxed environmental/labour laws and barely policing the ones they’ve got. It’s the kind of thinking that’s made China the economic envy of many in the West, and the perfect partner for some of the world’s most successful businesses. Is the Chinese government providing the ultimate cocoon of capitalism, with the Olympics a crowning award from global capitalism’s heavyweights (ie. Olympic sponsors)?

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Category: Things that make you go hmmm

Kiva – back an entrepreneur of the South

July 1st, 2007 · 2 Comments

My cousin Mark sent me the link to Kiva.org and has decided that if he could work for any organisation in the world, it would be them, or google.org.

Here’s Kiva’s positive self-talk…

“Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses
in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can
“sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great
strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the
loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from
the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan
money back.”

Ready to back an entrepreneur?

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Category: Peace between people

Global Justice is not “anti-globalisation” – renaming a movement

November 17th, 2006 · No Comments

Members of the Global Justice Movement should insist that journalists refrain from labeling them “anti-globalisation” protestors.

How can people from international networks advocating a world that works for everyone be labeled “anti-globalisation”? It doesn’t make sense.

For more info on the Global Justice Movement’s advocacy at the G20 in Melbourne, check out indymedia.

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Category: Peace between people

World Cup of Generosity – Norway defeats Sweden in close contest

July 5th, 2006 · 1 Comment

norwayThe Kingdom of Norway’s 5 million residents are celebrating tonight as they embrace their title of Most Generous Rich Nation.

“I’m so excited!” 22 year old Didrik Opstvedt exclaimed, “There are so many deserving people all over the world, and knowing my government is leading the charge to make the world a more caring place is a real buzz!

For every $100 Norway brings in as income, 93 cents is set aside for the world’s poorest people. This figure surpasses that of runner-up, Sweden, which gives 92 cents.

Through the United Nations, the world’s 22 richest nations have set a series of ambitious targets for the world. By 2015, these nations aim to reduce the suffering of the world’s poorest people, the targets are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Five nations have surpassed the .7% aid target required to achieve the MDG, with another

Swedish Prime Minister, Göran Persson, congratulated Norway on their generosity. “We are generous”, the PM said, “but currently, we are being outdone by our friend and neighbour. Congratulations!”

World’s Eight Most Generous Rich Nations (Percentage of GDP put towards the UN Millennium Development Goals)
Norway 0.93
Sweden 0.92
Luxembourg 0.87
Netherlands 0.82
Denmark 0.81
Belgium 0.53
Austria 0.52
United Kingdom 0.48

Rounding out the League of Sixteen:
Finland 0.47
France 0.47
Switzerland 0.44
Ireland 0.41
Germany 0.35
Canada 0.34
Spain 0.29
Italy 0.29

Failed to Qualify:
Japan 0.28
New Zealand 0.27
Australia 0.25
Greece 0.24
United States 0.22
Portugal 0.21

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Category: Peace between people

Vision for a fairer world: the Millennium Development Goals

July 5th, 2006 · No Comments

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are a list of targets that aim to make life better for the worlds most ripped-off people. This is what they are:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty
Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The goals have been endorsed by 149 world leaders, including Australia’s John Howard. Naturally, ‘Nice idea!’ is a lot easier to say than ‘Here’s the money!’…

Australia is lucky enough to be one of the world’s 22 “rich nations”, of these, only 3 give less.

While most nations in the “Rich 22″ have commited to putting aside 70 cents for every $100 they bring in (some are doing even better than that), Australia is currenty only giving 25 cents. Our stated aim is 36 cents (source). What a cheap, cheap country this is.

TABLE FROM UN MILLENNIUM PROJECT
(*) Indicates countries that have NOT set a timetable for 0.7%.
(t) Indicates countries even tighter than Australia

 

Country Aid as % of
GNI
Country Aid as % of
GNI
Austria 0.52 Luxembourg 0.87
Canada (*) 0.34 New Zealand 0.27
Finland 0.47 Portugal (t) 0.21
Germany 0.35 Sweden 0.92
Ireland 0.41 United Kingdom 0.48

Remember this next time you hear about Australia’s recent tax cuts to
high-income earners – that’s money that could have given a leg-up to
some of the world’s unluckiest citizens.

To read more about the the MDG, check out the UN Millennium Project. To learn about how you can help make sure Australia pulls its weight on this important issue, check out Australia’s Make Poverty History site.

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Category: Peace between people