Confirmed Prejudices

Nothing like having one's prejudices confirmed.  A few years ago, the wife and I stopped over in Oman on the way to India and took a taxi tour of the place. The whole city struck me as surreal: the palatial buildings, the omnipresent pictures of the sultan, the oblivious white people, the blue-overall-clad underclass of South Asians and the craziness of the locals. Johann Hari went to Dubai, and he wrote up his experience:
"The thing you have to understand about Dubai is – nothing is what it seems," Karen says at last. "Nothing. This isn't a city, it's a con-job. They lure you in telling you it's one thing – a modern kind of place – but beneath the surface it's a medieval dictatorship."
Meanwhile, to confirm another prejudice comes this article about lobbying. The next time some one tells me that lobbying is a first-amendment right, I can now point to data that proves that it may be free speech, but it's really just bribery:
we use audited corporate tax disclosures relating to a tax holiday on repatriated earnings created by the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 to examine the return on lobbying. We find firms lobbying for this provision have a return in excess of $220 for every $1 spent on lobbying

No comments:

Post a Comment