Saturday, March 11, 2006

Friedman bashing

Some interesting points in an article in Daily Reckoning on "our favourite" NYT columnist Thomas Friedman. Lot of references to Bangalore. The author is Bill Bonner who is the founder and editor of The Daily Reckoning. He is also the author, with Addison Wiggin, of The Wall Street Journal best seller Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century (John Wiley & Sons).
Some excerpts:  
"Among the things Mr. Friedman seems to lack is a feeling for verb tenses. He goes to Bangalore and notices that it is backward. His conclusion is that it will always be so. "Is" is forever in Friedman's mind. "Will be" has no place. It is as if he looked at the stock market in 1982. "Stocks are cheap," he might have said. "Stocks elsewhere are expensive," he might have added, without it ever occurring to him that they might change places. 
"And yet, why else would anyone outsource work from Baltimore to Bangalore unless Bangalore was relatively, though not necessarily permanently, cheaper? Let us imagine that Bangalore had no electricity blackouts or pollution or beggars. Let us imagine that it was like Beverly Hills or Boca Raton. We might just as well imagine that stocks were expensive in 1982. Of course, if they had been, there never would have been the bull market of 1982 to 2000. It is only because they were cheap in the past that they had the potential to be expensive in the future. And it is only because Bangalore is a Third World hellhole that it is cheap enough to take work away from overpaid Americans 10,000 miles away. 
"Whether it will, neither Friedman nor we can know."
Read on here, there is a lot about Friedman's writing style.


  1. hey, in his book "the world is flat", Friedman fills 30% of his book in praising bangalore! well..

  2. ** Vishupriya:
    True, that's the reason, I put it up there on my blog...

  3. Friedman is a writer paid for by the IT industry to glorify the IT honchos. I personally feel he is one huge truck of bullshit.