August 7th, 2003

breaking bad

road to rio

Bob Hope did a commerical for GLAAD, criticising violence against gay people, in 1988.

(via Eschaton)

Here is a longer, and sympathetic, deconstruction of Bob Hope's legacy.

I know there are issues in relation to his politics (to say the least) but I thought it was interesting to give an alternative view. I have always found him quite funny, though I gather he gets on most people's nerves, which is fair enough.
breaking bad

Boring economics

I don't think private ownership is preferable to nationalisation as a means of supporting mass services and national infrastructures. For a long time I was in a tiny intimidated minority on this point. However this year this point of view seems to be catching on, as I have mentioned before in this blog.

The World Bank have produced a report of research into some of the problems that have arisen from the international imposition of privatisation on a variety of national economies, discussed here.

We are likely to see less resources flowing to the infrastructure
sectors under public provision, everything else being equal. The real issue is not public
infrastructure versus private infrastructure. Put this way, it is more simple: the argument
is about less infrastructure versus more.

(from the report, I think he means 'fewer' resources, not 'less')

The Globe and Mail (Canada) article argues:

While the era of mass privatizations, best symbolized by Margaret Thatcher of Britain, may have run its course, no one is suggesting we are entering a new age of public ownership. What the experience to date does teach us is that there are limits to what the private sector can and should do.

I disagree. I think public ownership, supported this time round by democratic and participatory structures, has got to come back.