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Response to former9thward (Reply #35)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 11:28 AM

37. Oh, you aren't "on the left" then?

What's wrong with being like the Scandinavian countries, where everyone studies English and another major language (French, German, Spanish), but where people use their national languages among themselves in everyday life?

Malaysia has three major language groups, and they all study English, but they still use their ethnic languages (Malay, Chinese, Indian languages such as Tamil) within their own groups.

Switzerland has four official languages, of which most people speak at least two, and English as well, but they still speak their native languages, often in a highly unusual dialect form, among themselves.

In China, the schools teach Mandarin, but even educated people use their local dialect when talking to a fellow local.

Learning another language does not have to mean giving up your old one. That was what happened to the Native Americans. Forcing English upon them and punishing them for speaking their home language really helped their economic development, didn't it? The psychological damage caused by taking Native American children away from their parents at an early age and telling them that they were ignorant savages for speaking Ojibwe or Navaho or whatever was immense.

I happen to favor protectionism because I have seen the damage caused by de-industrialization of the developed countries on the one hand and exploitation in sweatshops and dumping of U.S. agricultural surpluses on the other.

No country has ever traded its way to EQUITABLE prosperity except by violating the rules of the corporate "free" trade oligarchy and the greedheads who use the open markets of Third World countries as an excuse to ignore fair treatment of workers and environmental responsibility.

The early United States, Japan, Korea, Taiwan--none of them allowed no-holds-barred "free" trade. They all set down strict rules for any foreigners who wanted to invest in their country.

Corporate oligarchic "free" trade shills like to tout "the rising middle classes" of China and India. Yeah, right. Maybe large in absolute numbers, but still a tiny portion of the population. For the world's poorest people, and for the poor of China and India, "free" trade has meant nothing but deadly working conditions and higher consumer prices amid stagnant or falling incomes.

I've read all the "free" trade propaganda. I subscribed to The Economist for two years, and I finally let it lapse because their one-note emphasis on "free" trade as the cure for whatever ails a country--even as they admitted that "free" trade would cause huge problems for the majority of the population--was getting sickening.

Have YOU read The Shock Doctrine? "Leftist propaganda," you probably think. Whatever. At least it shows some compassion for ordinary people and gives actual instances in which the conventional wisdom of the Friedmanite economists grievously harmed ordinary people.

I've noticed, by the way, that touting alleged benefits to poor people is a favorite ploy of conservatives when they want to institute one of their greedhead policies, whether it's abolishing the minimum wage, privatizing the schools, privatizing Social Security, abolishing unions, or opposing mass transit.

I'm not buying. And you still didn't answer my question. Are you or are you not monolingual?

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