Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Greedy Twenty?

The G20 meeting has had a good press, although it produced no new vision for the world economy. The leaders of the world's 20 largest economies said hardly anything about the suffering of people in the dozens of small economies with abysmally low national income. Americans and Europeans are currently consuming several times their fair share of the planet's sustainable resources, while half of Asia and most of Africa receive only a fraction of their share. Only a transfer of wealth and income from rich to poor can remedy the situation, yet the top twenty think only of maintaining or resuming their growth.

A better view of Rahm Emanuel, Obama's White House Chief of Staff, from James Zogby, President of the Arab-American Institute: he points out that Emanuel was the architect of the signing of the Oslo Agreement on the White House lawn in 1993. He is well liked by Arab-American members of Congress, and his talent for fixing things there will be much needed in pushing through the new Administration's programme. Remember Lyndon Johnson, derided as a 'wheeler-dealer' when Kennedy picked him for V.P. in 1960? After Kennedy's death, it was he who managed to push the civil rights legislation through Congress, without which we would not have President-elect Obama. In fact Johnson would be remembered as one of America's greatest presidents if he had not inherited the Vietnam War.

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