...and the perps get away with it.
Mr. G serves up a real treat here. I've often wondered what planet Friedman is hailing from. Here's an excerpt exemplifying and instance where Tommy F's adulation of China's dictatorial statism is based on an "theoretical" event which he himself manufactured—in other words, it's patent nonsense:
For instance, Friedman particularly loves the fact that China’s State Council banned plastic bags. “Bam! Just like that — 1.3 billion people, theoretically, will stop using thin plastic bags,” he writes in Hot, Flat, and Crowded. “Millions of barrels of petroleum will be saved, and mountains of garbage avoided.” It’s as if Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson had been morons for not decreeing an annual Tyranny Day when all the work can get done. Regardless, as usual, “theoretically” means “not in reality.” China never did any such thing. It simply required that stores charge customers for bags. They do the same thing at my local Safeway, yet plastic bags continue to lurk, threatening all we hold dear. More to the point, it is either deranged or dishonest to suggest that China — with its ever-growing tally of coal factories, poisoned rivers, corrupt regulators, etc. — is some great steward of the environment. It may or may not be leading in the manufacture of green technologies — though don’t take Friedman’s word for it; he rarely sources his too-good-to-check claims — but it is also burning fossil fuels faster than any other country.
One doesn’t have to read Dostoevsky to know this sort of thing is hardly new — the envy for authoritarian regimes that can force the wheel of history in the right direction; the contempt for the messiness of democracy; the conviction that all good things go together and that certain enlightened and visionary revolutionaries can apply their intellects to any problem, can pick the lock of History and start over at Year Zero. This all-consuming passion for a unified theory of everything and the indomitable conviction that you are right has consumed many a brilliant mind.
Friedman doesn’t want America to become a totalitarian country — at least not for more than 24 hours. Whenever he goes too far in that rhetorical direction he pulls back a few paragraphs later, but his to-be-sures about how America is still better become less convincing every time, more pro-forma and cutesy. He is possessed by his own prophecy, consumed by his clairvoyance about the One Right Way. Half-measures succumb to the mental furnace; the case for democratic deliberation cannot withstand the heat. Everything fuels the fire in Tom’s mind.
People should go to jail for this, hopefully they will. But one must admit that the system worked as intended; a cancer patient was eliminated from the system.
A man of 22 died in agony of dehydration after three days in a leading teaching hospital.
Kane Gorny was so desperate for a drink that he rang police to beg for their help.
They arrived on the ward only to be told by doctors that everything was under control.
The next day his mother Rita Cronin found him delirious and he died within hours.
She said nurses had failed to give him vital drugs which controlled fluid levels in his body. 'He was totally dependent on the nurses to help him and they totally betrayed him.'