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Thread: East-european "economic success"?

  1. #1
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    East-european "economic success"?

    "Yet there can indeed be few more rotten lies than those told about high growth rates in the former Communist bloc..."

    http://www.sandersresearch.com/Sanders/ ... NewsID=956
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

  2. #2
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    lol

    What a crock of unmittigated bull. Sorry Scorpio, but this is blithering nonsense, and it would take the powers of believing-anything-as-long-as-it-suits-your-prejudices of Mordan to swollow any of it. I can't find a single point in that entire article that isn't comically retarded, so I'm not even going to dignify any of them by explaining how stratospherically stupid they are. Enournous leaps of logic based on personal hunches based on blatantly ridiculous anecdotal evidence ("Every London professional couple now has a nanny from Eastern Europe –" Haha, proof indeed! ) is not journalism.

    And then I spotted the author's name, and that just topped it off for me, though I'll let you do your own Googling on that one.

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    Laughland is a tool.

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    Wow...at first glance I thought there might be some substance to this. No. Just regionalist bigotry and general idiocy. On the other hand, the World Bank will publish anything to make itself look good (same with the IMF) and "prove" how much it has "helped" poor countries become the economic tigers that Laughland speaks of. In reality, the IMF/WB does nothing but hijack economies and drive entire nations into the dirt while a few fat cats in the US and Europe count the money.

    But I digress...Laughland is indeed a tool.
    "I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick."
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    While the subject matter of the article is clearly highly contentious, I have no idea why scotcher finds it "comically retarded", or indeed why Lindzi thinks "Laughland is a tool". Anyone care to enlighten me?

    By the way, I wonder if any Russians reading this would like to guess the correct pronunciation of the name "Laughland"
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    Comically retarded:

    If the fantastical growth rates published by the World Bank for Poland (5%) and the Baltic States (8% in the case of Latvia[1]) were even remotely true, then jobless workers from France and the other supposedly sclerotic economies of Western Europe would be streaming Eastwards in search of employment. In fact, of course, the opposite is the case. Masses of Eastern Europeans have flooded into the rich economies of Western Europe...
    That's the entire crux of his whole article, right there. Argument and counter-argument. That's what is comicaly retarded. He's suggesting that figures on Eastern European growth, that's growth, the speed at which an economy grows, must all be lies, because the general trend of migration is from East to West in search of a better life. That is pure cross-logic. The rate at which someting grows tells you absolutely nothing about it's size. If the ecomomy of France was 20* that of Poland the day Poland joined the EU, it will take a long, long time, even with high growth rates and a stagnant economy in France, before it's GDP, and consequently standard of living, matches France's.

    So, either Laughland is a moron, or he's being intentionally disingenuous, and since I know who he is, I'm pretty sure it's the latter. More of that later.

    He then goes on to claim that

    It was precisely this mass migration from East to West which caused two founder members of the European Union, France and the Netherlands, to vote against the constitution last week.
    Really? And you asked them did you? All of them? Well, thanks for explaining on their behalf, that was good of you

    The rest of his "evidence" , especially the section in bullet-points, is just as laughable. He's basically saying "I know because a bloke down the pub told me, so it must be true".

    Right, so on to Laughland himself then eh?

    John Laughland is a trustee of www.oscewatch.org and an associate of www.sandersresearch.com
    Right, so lets take a look at oscewatch, since you've already seen the level of content on sandersresearch.

    The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.

    The British Helsinki Human Rights Group is a charity (Nr. 1041472) registered under UK law. It does not receive funding from any government and is dependent on voluntary donations. Its purpose is educational - to provide original research information to a broad range of people interested in human rights issues in the OSCE area. As a matter of principle the Group only publishes reports from first-hand observers, so all of its reports are unique.
    Sounds reasonable, yes? You might even vaguely think you've heard of this British Helsinki Human Rights Group before, yes? Well, you haven't, you've heard of the British Helsinki Subcommittee of the Parliamentarian Human Rights Group, which is the UK government's own member committee of the umbrella organisation The International Helsinki Foundation For Human Rights. Check out the very first thing they say on that page:

    PLEASE NOTE that the so called British Helsinki Group is NOT affiliated with the IHF
    Do you see where I'm going with this? You got it, the The British Helsinki Human Rights Group exists not to monitor human rights in EurAsia at all, but to discredit those organisations who do. They act as a miss-information agency, creating and distributing pure propaganda on behalf of whichever government asks for their help. Usually it's tinpot leaders of former Soviet states they help out, they're particularly fond of Lukashenko for example, but they'll certainly branch out and lend a hand to the likes of Iran if the need arises (or, more likely, if the money is right). Their name is just a clever cover, it allows them to sound authoritive and muddy the good name of their 'enemy' at the same time! Genius!

    And Laughland himself? Laughland is the BHHRG. That's what he is, what he does. He's nothing but a word-whore, a disgrace to journalism, and it is to The Gaurdian's eternal shame that, in their eagerness and desperation to publish anything vaguely anti-American, they got duped into publishing him, thereby giving him much needed legitimacy (Google's first two hits on his name link to his two Gaurdian articles).

    But, don't take my word for it, have a search through his site and make your own mind up. That's what I did.

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    Pretty much that, yes. He seems to follow this formula of applying solid evidence...to support things that evidence doesn't support. There's some kind of swirling lack of logic to much of his work.

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    I'd have thunk

    By the way, I wonder if any Russians reading this would like to guess the correct pronunciation of the name "Laughland
    I'd just say it the way it spells - lafland

    scotcher, I'd have thought that simply calling your opponent names was a purely Russian way of conducting a debate.
    While Laughland streatches things in his article, cites speculation as fact (the thing about why Holand and France voted no), or makes statements that are not exactly true (stating that high growth figures for some of the east european economies are all lies), the article does have at least one thing going for it; it calls attention to one important fact about Eastern Europe that tends to be conveniently ignored by the mainstream media as they revel in their optimism about those high growth rates in eastern europe, namely the starting point of their growth.
    Poland is said to have achieved the pre 1989 GDP leve, but is that level really a match for the west european economies? don't think so. As you pointed out most of those countries, still have years, possibly decades of such fast paced growth under the best of circumstances before they can finally catch up with their western counterparts. And nobody can guarantee that they will ever do that. Because usually what happens in economies is that periods of growth are followed by periods of stagnation so that an 8% growth in GDP in the first half of the current fiscal year doesn't really say much about what's fixing to happen in the same period next year, GDP may keep growing at the same rate or it may grow at a lower rate or it may even plummet for one reason or another.
    Now if you're deep in s.h.i.t to start with, news that you've managed to shovel 10 thousand tons of that s.h.i.t out of your pit may sound very good indeed, until you remember that there's 50 billion more tons of it to shovel. Unfortunately that's the condition of the majority of the former eastern bloc countries at the moment, which certainly includes all the CIS countries. In Russia there too were reports of phenomenal GDP and per capita income growth in 2003, but how many people actually benefited from that growth? I think only a handful here and there, in any case inflation was still soaring at a much higher rate.
    So the thing is not that we're being told lies by the mainstream media, it's that we're not being told the whole truth. While it may be true that the baltic economies are booming it's never mentioned that there's a huge difference between a booming economy and a genuienly wealthy economy so that an average person will still be much better off in a stagnating West Germany than in a booming Estonia.
    Also anecdotal evidence is evidence nonetheless, while statistics have their limitations in how adequately they can present the real state of affairs. My understanding is quite a few of the macroeconomic statistics are averages and as such, say in the case of the per capita income, they may give a rather distorted picture if cited in total isolation which is often the case. Say in Russia where a bunch of oligarchs make billions per year, you take that figure add it to what the rest of the population make, divide it by the total number of people living there, you'll get a nice decent figure by the local standards and then there will be all these dirt poor teachers staring at these optimistic newspaper reports and asking where the f did they take all those figures from?

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    Re: I'd have thunk

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    By the way, I wonder if any Russians reading this would like to guess the correct pronunciation of the name "Laughland
    I'd just say it the way it spells - lafland

    scotcher, I'd have thought that simply calling your opponent names was a purely Russian way of conducting a debate.
    Naa. It's more like "purely Western way" of conducting a debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    While Laughland streatches things in his article, cites speculation as fact (the thing about why Holand and France voted no), or makes statements that are not exactly true (stating that high growth figures for some of the east european economies are all lies), the article does have at least one thing going for it; it calls attention to one important fact about Eastern Europe that tends to be conveniently ignored by the mainstream media as they revel in their optimism about those high growth rates in eastern europe, namely the starting point of their growth.
    Mostly agreed.

    BTW, everybody can blame Laughland for some conclusions based on his personal observations -- but why? Remember, he's journalist, not statistician. Although, you don't need to be journalist to have a pair of eyes and try to use them. If you see just around you a lot of things contradicting to official claims, it's a worthy reason to think these claims are untrue.
    And, besides his own observations, there's a charts nobody wants to comment. Like this:

    http://www.sandersresearch.com/sanders/ ... oyment.jpg

    This is not his personal speculations -- this is statistics.

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    Poland is said to have achieved the pre 1989 GDP level...
    What an awesome achievement!
    After 15 years of intense "reforming', they (finally) manage to undo the harm of these "reforms"? Great work, Poland.

    So the thing is not that we're being told lies by the mainstream media, it's that we're not being told the whole truth. While it may be true that the baltic economies are booming it's never mentioned that there's a huge difference between a booming economy and a genuienly wealthy economy so that an average person will still be much better off in a stagnating West Germany than in a booming Estonia.
    USSR in 70's was "stagnating" too. With 7-8% of GDP growth annually.

    Also anecdotal evidence is evidence nonetheless, while statistics have their limitations in how adequately they can present the real state of affairs. My understanding is quite a few of the macroeconomic statistics are averages and as such, say in the case of the per capita income, they may give a rather distorted picture if cited in total isolation which is often the case. Say in Russia where a bunch of oligarchs make billions per year, you take that figure add it to what the rest of the population make, divide it by the total number of people living there, you'll get a nice decent figure by the local standards and then there will be all these dirt poor teachers staring at these optimistic newspaper reports and asking where the f did they take all those figures from?
    "There are a three degrees of lies: just a lies, arrogant lies, and official statistics."
    So, again: sometimes it's better to believe your own eyes.
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

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