Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The return of the Economist

A blog on the Economist (http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/02/decline_pakistan) does not even make a pretence at being objective or following the rules of debate.

"So, on a first visit to Islamabad and Lahore in nearly five years, my initial response was to think how the relentless tide of such reporting obscures another truth about the country: how pleasant it can be;"

Why is the truth of Islamabad and Lahore extrapolated to the whole country?

"The economy is lurching along on IMF-provided crutches, just a few months from the next crisis. Most people also agree about some of the basic reforms needed—in particular a broadening of the tax base. But the political parties want to make sure that it is the other parties whose voters’ pockets will suffer from the broadening. So reform is deadlocked."

Ah, the ability to accurately predict economic crises. Surely our journalist is needed at our banks and financial institutions!

Incidentally, is this a vieled attack on democracy? Especially nefarious when a journalist accuses all political parties, the entire polity of a country, of being selfish and short-sighted, even to the detriment of the people who elected them. Especially without revealing any substance to the accusation and without being more specific. Especially in a country with a history of dictatorships, with limits on basic human rights following martial law. How does the journalist know this truth? People he met in Islamabad and Lahore? Why not then attribute it to a source or a study? Or assert that this is what the journalist himself or herself has thought through.

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