Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[BRIEF NOTE] What's Up With Timothy Garton Ash?

I don't understand Timothy Garton Ash's article in The Guardian advocating a renovation of Europe. One paragraph is particularly responsible.

If I were Chinese I'd be laughing all the way to the bank. After the European centuries, from about 1500 to 1945, and the American century, from 1945 until some time in the first half of this one, the Asian century dawns on the horizon. As Tom Friedman of the New York Times acidly observes, while Europe is trying to achieve the 35-hour week, India is inventing the 35-hour day. Whatever our "knowledge-based" advantage, no economy can compete successfully on such terms. Things must change, if they are to remain the same.

I won't slam the author for quoting the increasingly superficial Friedman beyond noting that using a post-brain eater Friedman quote in a non-ironic sense automatically qualifies him for demerit points. I do wonder what Ash is doing by completely ignoring the factor of productivity. Is he really saying that Chinese and Indians don't want to lead the leisurely lifestyles of First Worlders? And what is his "Asian century" going to be, pray tell? It's so incoherent that it's embarrassing.
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