Innovation/Global Crisis Blog

You’ve Just Gotta Laugh!

By Shlomo Maital

  The latest issue of The Economist has three separate items that, unintentionally, bring a smile or even a belly laugh.

   Here they are.

   1.  China Eats America’s Lunch – Literally.    China has been eating America’s lunch for years.  By dominating manufacturing, China has taken away well-paying jobs from middle-class Americans, who now work at Wal-Mart for near-minimum wage.  Now, fittingly, China is LITERALLY eating America’s lunch.  A factory in rural Georgia, U.S., Georgia Chopsticks, is making 2 million chopsticks a day out of poplar and sweet-gum wood and exporting them to China.   (p. 53).  The company hopes to employ 150 people.   America is saying, eat our lunch China and…here, let us give you the tools with which to do it.

    2. Having achieved a Guinness Book of Records astronomical inflation rate, 230,000,000 per cent (that’s not a typo),  Zimbabwe ended it by abandoning its own worthless currency and adopting the dollar.  Now, Zimbabwe is worried, lest America’s irresponsible Fed print excessive amounts of money and destabilize Zimbabwe.  A Zimbabwean newspaper, Newsday, wondered on Aug. 10 whether “it was time for Zimbabwe to ditch the dollar, lest it import America’s macroeconomic recklessness.”  Pot calling the kettle black?  Well – who’s the pot anyway?  Can America learn fiscal and monetary responsibility from Zimbabwe?  Apparently, yes.  (p. 57).   

   3.  A special police unit in Stockholm Sweden handles protests in a unique way.  They have no weapons, no water cannons, no tear gas.  They are known as Dialogue Police.  They engage in philosophic dialogue with protesters, discussing the Manichean Ethic,  relativist morality, deontological intuitionism and utilitarianism.  My hunch is, they lull protesters to sleep.  (P. 45). This has huge possibilities. How about Lullaby Police, who sing protesters to sleep?  How about Economist Police, who teach segments of Econ 101, guaranteed to anesthetize an elephant?    

    Global crisis?  That’s a laugh.