Monday, February 16, 2009

Shopping - the answer to the economic problem.


In shopping malls in Indonesia, just over 70% 0f visitors don't actually buy anything.

(Culture Shock Jakarta by Derek Bacon and Terry Collins - 2007)

The majority of the population of Indonesia earn very little.

The elite are fabulously rich.

It's not so different from the USA and parts of Europe.

In Indonesia the military is all powerful, and it is they who keep down wages and who preserve the feudal system.

In the USA, it is the Pentagon and the CIA who pull the strings and who make sure that the ordinary citizens work hard for relatively low wages.

If wages rise, the shopping malls sell more goods and the factories prosper.

Indonesia, like the USA and EU, has a large internal market.

So, the recipe for improving the economy is:

1. Close down the military.

2. Raise the minimum wage.

3. Make sure the rich pay their taxes.

4. Spend more on infrastructure.



Video: Rich and Poor in Indonesia

On 29 January 2009, we read An anatomy of Asian economic woes: Troubled tigers; from The Economist

In Asia wage incomes have fallen relative to GDP.

In China the share of wages dropped from 53% in 1998 to 40% in 2007.

According to The Economist, "a raft of government policies will have to change to lift households’ share of national income."

In Asia, a lack of free medical care and lack of free schooling means that people have to save a high proportion of their income.

"Higher public spending on health, education and welfare support could encourage households to save less and spend more."

In the USA, the same applies.

"The recent news that China plans to spend 850 billion yuan ($125 billion) over the next three years to provide basic health care for at least 90% of the population by 2011 is therefore welcome."


Bush and Blair brought poverty to their own countries.

And to the world.

The secret policy of certain western governments is:

1. Help the super-rich to get richer.

2. Keep down the wages of the poor.

THE USA

With George W Bush as president, the number of Americans living in severe poverty has increased dramatically.

Nearly 16 million Americans now live on an individual income of less than $5,000 (£2,500) a year or a family income of less than $10,000 (£5,000). (news.independent.co.uk)

The number of Americans living in extreme poverty has grown by 26% since 2000.

In the USA, poverty as a whole has worsened and the number of severe poor is growing 56% faster than the overall segment of the population characterised as poor - about 37 million people. (news.independent.co.uk)

BRITAIN

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation ( Wealth inequality 'at 40-year high' ) :

1. Britain is becoming a segregated society.

2. The gap between rich and poor has reached its highest level for more than 40 years.

3. During the past 15 years there has been an increase in the number of households living below the poverty line.

4. Households below the poverty line now account for more than half of all families in parts of some cities.

5. In parts of some cities more than half of all households are now "breadline poor" - enough to live on but no access to opportunities enjoyed by the rest of society.

6. Households in already wealthy areas have tended to become disproportionately wealthier.

7. Many rich people now live in areas segregated from the rest of society.

In the Calton district of Glasgow, male life expectancy is 53.9 years, almost ten years fewer than in Bangladesh.

However, life in Bangladesh can be worse than in Britain.

BANGLADESH

Large western companies like Tesco like to get cheap clothing from Bangladesh.

Tesco's chief executive Terry Leahy is a special adviser to the British government on business matters.

The Guardian (High price paid for cheap UK clothes ) explained on 15 July 2007:

1. Workers at factories supplying clothes to Asda (Walmart), Tesco and Primark told the Guardian that they were paid well below the £22 a month considered by experts to be the minimum living wage.

2. Mahbubur, 20, a machine operator, earns £16 a month, but he said apprentices or helpers in his factory earn only £9. His basic hours are 8am to 8pm, six days a week, but overtime, sometimes through the night, is compulsory.

What are we to think of Tesco, Walmart and similar companies?

Paul Collins, of War on Want, said: "These companies are driving down prices and pushing up profits and their workers are paying the real price in terrible pay and conditions." ( Brown is urged to act over 4p-an-hour sweatshop pay )


HAITI

The following comes from Babylon :

"Wal-Mart?"

"Most baseballs are made in Haiti by American companies. The factory girls get about $1.40 a day. They get injured arms and eyes."

"Is it only baseballs?"

"The Americans control the bauxite, sugar and sisal. It's like Cuba before Castro."

"Is it always slave wages?"

"You know Walt Disney?"

"Fun people."

"They have contractors here who make Micky Mouse clothes. The factory girls get 8 pence an hour. You can't live on that. Then Wal-mart sells the Pocahontas pyjamas for $11-97."

"The Americans supported Baby Doc? But didn't he get thrown out?"

"And replaced by military dictatorship," said Jean, smiling.

"What about the radical priest Aristide? Didn't he win an election?"

"Very popular man among the poor! But 9 months after he came to power he was toppled."

"By whom?"

"The army chief, Cedras, took over. These generals had been trained in the USA and were in the pay of the CIA."

"Then later Aristide was allowed back into Haiti."

"Yes. But FRAPH, a group financed by the CIA, started a lot of violence to destabilise Aristide."

"FRAPH?"

"They were mainly made up of Tonton Macoutes. The Macoutes have always given Aristide a hard time. In 1988 Macoutes hacked to death scores of people in a church, while trying to kill Aristide."

"And the Macoutes have ensured that there is chaos in Haiti. What are the Americans up to?"

"The super rich, of whom there are many in Haiti, want a return to dictatorship. That might suit the fascists who run America. A socialist priest might try to make Walt Disney's people pay higher wages."

"Don't the Americans care about poverty?"

"Did the Americans care about the children they murdered in Indo China? America is run by billionaire fascists pretending to be Christians and democrats. The Haitian death squads in 1991, after Aristide had been kicked out, were led by Toto Constant. Now Constant, who lives in New York, claims he worked for the CIA."

~~


Monday, February 09, 2009

Playing the Moslem card.

American-trained General Yudhoyono, who has done little to tackle corruption, may use Islam to stay in power. One of Yudhoyono's relatives, Aulia Pohan, has been charged with corruption which cost the state 100 billion rupiah.

In Indonesia bribes are paid for almost everything in life.

Indonesians pay bribes for passing an exam, getting into the police force or being promoted within the army.

Corruption classes

One recent study found that almost 50% of encounters with the police involved a bribe.

In Indonesian courts the average bribe is 102.4 million rupiah.

Police Top Corruption List

Transparency International ranks Indonesia in 143rd place in the world - just a few places ahead of Zimbabwe.

The Transparency International Indonesia corruption report for 2008 ranks Indonesian towns according to the perceptions businessmen have of the extent to which local governments fight against corruption and made it easier to start and do business (Research: Kupang most Indonesian corrupt city):

Yogyakarta (score 6.4 out of 10) least corrupt.

Banda Aceh (6.4)

Jakarta (4.46)

Cirebon (3.8)

Bandung (3.8) most corrupt


Some suspect that Indonesia's Islamist PKS party is linked to the CIA.

Who really carried out the Bali Bombings? Well, you can't trust the military or the police or the courts.

Some politicians are playing a game where they pretend that Islamism will make people more honest.

More than 50 regencies in 16 of 32 provinces throughout Indonesia have passed laws influenced by sharia.

The Padang administration, in Sumatra, issued a law requiring all schoolgirls, regardless of their religion, to wear the headscarf.

Most Indonesians are still very liberal and moderate.

Indonesia's largest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has publicly denounced the implementation of sharia laws.

(Intellasia News Services -- Sharia-based law spreads ahead of election.)

Megawati is a nationalist. The CIA toppled her father. The Bali Bombing weakened her government and helped the pro-American General Yudhoyono into power.

There are to be elections in Indonesia this year.

The elite hope to use Islam in order to stay in power.

The present president is the Yudhoyono, who is an American-trained former Suharto general.

He was helped into power by the Bali Bomb, which made his predecessor look weak.

Yudhoyono appears to be using Islamism to stay in power.

He is expected to ally with Moslem parties.

Yudhoyono may form a coalition with most if not all of the country's Islamic parties in order to win a majority vote against the secular PDIP which is allied with the secular Golkar Party

PDIP is the party of Sukarno's daughter, Megawati.

Golkar is the party of former president Suharto.

The USA supports Yudhoyono and prefers him to the nationalist Megawati.

The PKS party in indonesia is a Moslem party and it is suspected of being linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and hence to the CIA and its friends.


'My Friend the Fanatic - Travels with an Indonesian Islamist' tells the story of Indian journalist Sadanand Dhume's journey across Indonesia in 2004. ( My Friend the Fanatic )

Patung, at Indonesia Matters, has written an excellent review of the book.

The book suggests that, in Indonesia, fanatical Islam may have become a stronger force than globalisation.

The 'Fanatic' is Herry Nurdi who reportedly worries about Christian evangelists, Mossad, Zionists, freemasons and George Bush.



Dhume tells us that 'fanatics' like Nurdi do not like Yudhoyono, the former Suharto general who became Indonesia's president in 2004.

Herry believes that the American-trained Yudhoyono is backed by America.

Herry prefers General Wiranto, whose wife has worn full Islamic dress, including the headscarf.

Herry comes across as someone who is quite likeable but somewhat poorly educated and somewhat naive, especially about people like Wiranto.

Herry seems not to have considered that members of the rich elite promote Islamisation in order to keep themselves in power.

(Wiranto was once seen as secular and very close to the Pentagon. Reportedly he masterminded the East Timor rampage - Foreign Policy In Focus Global Affairs Commentary Paul ...)

http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au/cartoon_56.html / http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au/cartoon_56.html

Dhume refers in his book to 'the cheaply earned moral smugness of the jilbab' (headscarf) .... 'shorthand in my mind for some education and little imagination.'

Patung, in his review, writes:

"The impression one gets is of people spending so much of their energy building more and more mosques, then walking to the mosques, going through the prescribed motions in them, and walking back from them, many times a day.

"Meanwhile the peoples of comparable nations like Vietnam, China and India are said to be beavering away learning science and building factories."

Patung writes:

"The overall message of the book is that Islamist political and cultural forces are gaining the upper hand in Indonesia, most starkly seen in the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Justice Party (PKS) ... still a fairly minor party."

(The Muslim Brotherhood reportedly has links to the CIA, something which the 'Fanatic' would not know. aangirfan: The Muslim Brotherhood and the CIA in Indonesia; the ... / aangirfan: The use of the Muslim Brotherhood by MI6 and the CIA in ... )

Patung writes that the influence of the PKS may be exaggerated:

"It is said that South Sulawesi is a 'stronghold' of the PKS.

"However it would be far more accurate to say that the province is a stronghold of Golkar (Suharto's party).

"...But a minor complaint... It is a highly well written and entertaining read, My Friend the Fanatic is more than recommended."

Read other reviews of the book at Dhume’s website, http://www.sadananddhume.com/.

The use of militant Moslems in Russia, China, India & Indonesia.

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