Thursday, January 14, 2010So I wasn't as sanguine as Brazen Hussy about this year, but so far it's going well enough. Yes, it's cold. But we got to go see a friend of ours get married in a place (the only place, it seems) where it was warm. It looks like a project I've been trying to finish at work is...this...close....to being done. And BH's employment prospects are looking up. So far, so good.
Of course, there's always politics to annoy me. I've tried to disengage a bit after my disgust with the Senate health care bill, and the fact that the final bill is likely to strongly resemble it (or be identical, should Coakley lose in Massachusetts - boy is THAT a bad sign for this year's elections). It looks like the national economy is going to putter along for the rest of the year, with no real gains in employment - which worries me about the long-term effect on state budgets, and hence on university budgets.
For those who missed it, apparently Google is thinking about pulling out of China. Evidently the Chinese government may have been hacking into Google's system to go after political opponents. What shocks me about our relationship with China is how naive so many people are. China is still ruled by a ruthless oligarchy, only now it's an oligarchy in charge of an increasingly wealthy and powerful country. For years neoliberals have argued that capitalism in China will ultimately lead to democracy. Of course, there is precious little historical evidence for this theory, and China's actions over the last few decades don't show even incremental moves towards democratic government. Further, China's mercantilist economic policies are undermining the economies of every other nation on earth - poor and rich - in particular the first world democratic nation I happen to live in. So far, so bad.
BH had a great line when I mentioned this issue to her this morning: Rather than "if we trade with China, maybe they'll become more democratic", the scenario could be "if we trade with China, maybe we'll become more totalitarian." Not that there's any evidence that democracy in THIS country is eroding. No sir.