The right wing think tanks have been having a ball denouncing dreadful things like fiscal stimuli which saved a good hundred thousand odd jobs in Australia. Meanwhile New Matilda carries a story about life in Ladakh:
Sun-drenched images of rural life in Ladakh in the 1970s where Himalayan villagers in traditional clothing sow and winnow before sharing joyous meals with their extended families are all very evocative. But what relevance can this view of life in an exotic locale during a much earlier era possibly have for our highly urbanised modern world? A great deal, according to Helena Norberg-Hodge, whose documentary The Economics of Happiness, has been showing around Australia.
Globalisation is bad, and what you need to do is buy local food. No matter that if you buy food from Mildura it is local food for people in Mildura. No matter that there might be a reason, like season, varieties or quality that might mean that you want to buy a pineapple from Queensland and Kiwifruit from Tassie and not the other way round.
From San Francisco, where all the food for public facilities — hospitals, schools, even prisons — is now sourced locally, to places as far apart as Ogawamachi in Japan and Lewes in England, where each town’s own currency can be used to buy goods and services from local providers, more and more people are appreciating the benefits of keeping money at home.
Dear oh dear.
Prosperity through autarky.
No mention of the billion odd people that globalisation is lifting out of poverty. No mention that Oxfam is one of the leading advertisers on the New Matilda website – in this case advertising pineapples which, when exported, earn the poor people who grow them some income.
Maybe Ladakh is the only place ever in the history of the world where people wouldn’t prefer to trade and become richer . . . but I doubt it.