e-Con e-News

The Real Debt Trap, Ambassadorial Hissy Fits, Gabapentin, & Friedman’s Terror


These are pickings from this week’s E-Con E-News [www.eesrilanka.wordpress.com]

The Debt Trap was the title of Cheryl Payer’s popular book published in 1975, subtitled The IMF & the 3rd World. Now the white media, ignoring deeper history and economics, applies the term ‘debt trap’ exclusively to China.

Why doesn’t China expose the true state of debt in the world? How the capitalist financial system really works? The opposition finance critics mention a JP Morgan report on Sri Lanka predicting looming economic doom? Isn’t Morgan a big buyer of SL’s Sovereign Bonds? Isn’t all this a conflict of interest?

All the tizzy, the hissy fits, and this flurry of ambassadorial activity – US, Indian, EU, Germany, Japan – needs to be explained. Is it just to counter China’s supposed influence? Or to prevent Sri Lanka from slipping out of the white grip on our underdevelopment? All of the above?  

Is the failure or the refusal of the media to expose the true state of Sri Lanka’s trade policy. is this because the media is a product of multinationals, like Unilever etc? Germany, for example, likes to complain that SL exports more to Germany than it imports from Germany. But we export raw material to Europe and the US, from which they make enormous profits. While SL imports their expensive machinery and so-called expertise. The differences in the margins are huge. Shouldn’t there be a different type of accounting? And how long can this media stay mulishly innumerate? When yet another minister is next feted by the SL Institute of Marketing or their latest avatar the MarCom Collective, the minister should ask them why the media they control stays so dumbass!

The Wijeya Group’s Daily Mirror & Capital Media’s EconomyNext, which has fully backed the privatization of health, education, and “flexibility” in labor laws – to sack and discipline workers – is suddenly worried about their welfare. Consider this week’s headlines:
1. Covid-19 runs riot as big business hunts profits. 2. Estate Workers’ Lives Matter. 3. 10,000s in the Katunayake FTZ can catch Covid – Workers’ Bodies.
4. Brandix Workers who fainted had water sprinkled on their faces and had to work again

Why such sudden concern? Is it because the parties they back are in opposition now? Capitalist media is not known for such generosity. What happened to their sermons to cut back on social services and privatize? From the Pope to the media, all are crying about poverty. But what is the solution? This they will not divulge. This week ‘celebrated’ the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Indeed ‘Poverty Alleviation’ is a big life-long income-generation project for NGOs, etc. Eradication is just for one day.

A neurophysician is questioning the government’s plan to first manufacture a certain powerful drug locally. He wonders how this drug, Gabapentin, has become so widely prescribed by physicians to begin with. The drug is responsible for 25% of drug-related deaths in certain countries. The question is again, the type of import substitution being planned. Will it really address our industrial needs? The media rarely links the overall drug trade to Big Pharma and the tobacco/alcohol monopolies, and their intimate link to the war industry, which produces instant pain and calls for instant relief, over and over again. Politicians take note: Beware of photo-ops with Hemas. You never know what diseases you may catch.

“I’m terrified”, says Tom Friedman, flawed crusader of globalization, author of The World Is Flat, and other financialist fairytales. He says the US is on the verge of ‘civil’ war. Why are their wars called civil, and everyone else uncivil? It has to do with lots of Black ink and large white erasers.

Friedman doesn’t explain that his tired prescriptions promoting Imperialism or Globalization or Neoliberalism – or whatever brand of capitalism you may call it – is what has brought us to this pass. Their policies have long exacerbated war against the working class.

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