Globalization and a Four Day Weekend
Back to Reality
Yes, its Monday morning and the traffic is at a standstill, the air is filled with dust and soot, the sidewalks packed with people from all walks of life as they scurry to work....
and I'm back in the office.
It seemed just yesterday when my boss whispered to me those three magic words,
"Four Day Weekend"
Oh how my heart leapt for joy! Tears streamed down my face as I fell on my knees and openly wept!
Yes, I was that happy.
Alas, the four days are over, but it was a weekend well spent (almost!).
It began on a Thursday morning.
It seems strange, surreal even, having to wake up at 8 in the morning on a holiday but that was exactly what I did last Thursday. Looking groggily at my handphone-cum-alarm-clock, I dragged my sorry corpse out of bed and proceeded to get ready for a morning of fun and games, courtesy of a sports day organized by my church.
When I got there (there being the park next to Amcorp), the sun was blazing hot but it didnt stop everyone from having a great time.
As we stood there under the burning sun watching our friends - young and old - trying desperately to coax their out-of-shape, pampered bodies to perform all sorts of athletic feats, one cant help but wonder....
"Man, it sure is hot out here under the sun!"
Ahhh, one day down. Three more days of idyllic bliss to go.
"In the end, it doesnt even matterrrRrRRrRRRr!!!!"
Those were the words which rang in my ears after spending the afternoon at Redbox.
Say, I think I'm getting pretty good at all this screaming stuff (oer!). All I need is a little more practice.
Ok, maybe a LOT more practice.
Okay okay! I promise I'll never attempt to 'karaoke' that song ever again!
Another morning of music practice for the Saturday service, and another night of taking in some groovy live jazz at one of KL's night spots.
Is it sunday already?!? But I was just getting warmed up! Nooooo!!!
Monday and Stigiltz....
Its 7:30 am and I'm at my usual breakfast mamak in KL, engrossed in a copy of 'Globalization and its Discontent' by Joseph Stigiltz.
The author used to be the Chief Economist of the World Bank, Economic Advisor to the Clinton Administration and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics 2001. Needless to say, this guy really knows his stuff and his views on the world economy, globalization, monetary policies and the IMF are very, very interesting (albeit a bit anti-American).
Here are a few good excerpts which I've come across thus far...
"The critics of globalization accuse Western countries of hypocrisy, and the critics are right. The Western countries have pushed poor countries to eliminate trade barriers, but kept up their own barriers, preventing developing countries from exporting their agricultural products and so depriving them of desperately needed export income"After reading a few chapters of this book, I cant help but have an even greater respect for Tun Mahathir for refusing to turn to the IMF for help during the Asian financial crisis in 1997, in spite of the mounting pressure for him to do just that.
"Inflation is not so much as an end in itself, but a means to an end: it is because excessively high inflation often leads to low growth, and low growth leads to high unemployment, that inflation is so frowned upon. But the IMF often seems to confuse means with ends, thereby losing sight of what is ultimately of concern"
Looking at the other countries who have obtained 'help' from IMF, I think we as Malaysians have a lot to be thankful for.
Props to you Tun M.
And one more thing Tun M, if by some chance you happen to be reading this, I think Malaysia could do with a few more holidays scattered throughout the year, dont you agree?
I knew you would.