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Monday Morning Linkage – Xmas Eve 2012 Edition

December 24, 2012

Now that your holiday shopping is (hopefully) all done, relax, and enjoy these thoughts on our global capitalist society…

Development/capitalism and its discontents…

  • Ever the drum-major for capitalism, the World Bank’s End Poverty in South Asia blog tells us the miraculous story of how Japanese consumers helped bring elephants back to an Indian forest.
  • The Private Sector Development blog discusses the role of angel investors in the developing world. [So venture capitalists call themselves angels now?]
  • Margaret Wente argues that consumerism is good for the soul, while buying a scarf that cost more than her first car.
  • But in case you’re still feeling bad about trying to bring on the shopocalypse with your credit cards, Nicholas Oulton defends GDP as a measure of well being.
  •  I assume the new Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan would disagree with apologies for consumerism.  The Bhutanese do seem happier or at least more spiritually grounded than all of us… but they also live in one of the most beautiful kingdoms on Earth.
  • Of course, we can’t all move to a Shangri-la and global capitalism is not going to collapse under its own contradictions anytime soon — so those discontented with global capitalism need a better plan B.  On this last point, Doug Henwood’s interview with Sasha Lilley on “Catastrophism” (podcast)  at the Left Business Observer is worth a listen.
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Vikash is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. His main areas of academic interest are (post-) globalization, economic development, and economic freedom, with a regional focus on South Asia