Few people are aware of the scale of the protests in Brazil. Signs such as these are common:
“We shouldn’t be spending public money on stadiums. We don’t want the Cup. We want education, hospitals, a better life for our children.”
The mainstream media calls these protests against corruption, but Dave Zirin, writing in Common Dreams, has this to say:
This isn’t a movement against [corruption in] sports. It’s against the use of sports as a neoliberal Trojan horse. It’s a movement against sports as a cudgel of austerity.
From being the head of McKinsey’s global operations to ignominy, Rajat Gupta’s motivations
“You have to watch out for it, because the more you have it, you get used to comforts, and you get used to, you know, big houses and vacation homes and going and doing whatever you want, and so it is very seductive. However much you say that you will not fall into the trap of it, you do fall into the trap of it.”
The Indian Supreme Court’s decision to allow Indian makers of generic drugs to continue making copycat versions of the drug Gleevec (manufactured by Novartis) is lauded by Richard Stallman who has this to say:
Novartis responded to the decision by threatening to arbitrarily withhold other drugs from India, causing sick people there to die. Presumably these will be drugs which are in fact patented, drugs not affected by this decision. That shows this is not a self-protective reaction, but a murderous threat. In the absence of free exploitation treaties such as the WTO, India would respond to the threat by making those drugs locally. Novartis’ death threats are mere bluster, unless the WTO gives them force; and that reveals the murderous nature of the WTO. As for the pretense that the abuse of medical patents is “necessary” for the sake of research, we already know this is bogus. The big pharma companies spend more on advertising and corrupting doctors than on research, and little of their research goes into life-saving drugs anyway. Patents on drugs should be banned except in the wealthiest countries. There is a very simple solution: get rid of the WTO. It undermines democracy and it does harm to people in many other ways
Another splendid blog I’ve just come across today. This post explores the question “Is Banking Unusually Corrupt, & If So, Why? Expect more links as I devour what these giants (Gary Becker & Richard Posner) have to offer.