Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meanwhile back in the economy

I just got back from a great trip to Rome, full of new friends, constant beauty, thoughts of decline via stupid leaders - centuries full of them - and thoughts of endurance and triumph. But I'll write about Rome somewhere other than here.

Back in my office at U Lyon 2 there's a mountain of household goods left by our students gone back to California. Anyone need a rose-colored yoga mat? Who had the pillowcovers that are the same as mine at Place Bellecour? Where have all of you gone?

There's so much financial crapola to catch up with. I'm going to have to switch to the University budget side for a while, which is pure Hoover-time. But I ran into this piece about layoffs in Bahrain. People there seem to think that there are issues beside saving employers money.
"For four years I worked honestly for the bank and I considered it my second home", says Narjis Ahmed al Haddad, a former call centre administrator at Gulf International, who was attending a trade union meeting about the lay-offs a week ago. "But they terminated our jobs in one moment, so of course, you'll be angry".

"I still cannot comprehend that I don't have a job any more," says Mona al Kooheji, who worked as a secretary in the structured finance division.

"We have a lot of things set up for our futures, for our children, which is completely finished."
Wow. Your plans - you the employee's - are a factor! Why didn't we think of that in the USA?

The main factor is cultural: we got retrained by Pol Pot to see ourselves as "disposable Americans." Or maybe it was Rush Limbaugh and Phil Gramm, I can't remember. Give up your plans for the good of the firm. . .

All we need is the total reconstruction of economics so that it is measured by social and individual goals. The good news is that other cultures never stopped doing this - or at least knowing how.

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