September 27, 2004

Looking Out the Window, Counting Aerials

David W Young writes...

I'm really not quite sure why conservatives hate New York Times columnist Paul Krugman so much. Is it because he's good at self-promotion? Or just because he's good?

Anyway, in my New Zealand Listener column on business this week, I channel Krugman. Actually that's a grandiose overstatement. Let's say I channel Krugman's dog... my article has whiffs of Krugman, but is definitely much dumber than the real thing.

Krugman loves to argue that 'a company is not a country'; being a successful businessman doesn't give you the credentials to run a nation's economy. (Here's Krugman making that argument far more coherently.)

In the article I mention the North Korean official news agency website, to which I am addicted. Unfortunately in recent months they have dropped the publication of inspiring anecdotes about the Leader, but you can still access the gems through the archives. Here's an example:
One day in April Juche 68 (1979), an issue of
introducing a new process for better food of people, especially children, was
raised at a conference. Officials were hesitant about building the new process
for financial reasons. At that time, Kim Jong Il told them to start the project
without delay, saying that even the national safe should be emptied for the
happy life of the people, that nothing should be spared for their sake and that
this was the calculation method of the Workers' Party of Korea.

While on a journey by train for personal guidance to Jagang
Province in January 1998, he looked out of the window, counted the number of
houses and the number of aerials installed on the roofs and found that the
numbers are not equal. He took measures for equally distributing television sets
to local people.

One day in December last year, he told officials
what makes him pleased and happy. He said that when he hears that people are
well off, his fatigue disappears at once and he feels strong even after working
without sleep and meals. The people's pleasure and happiness are what makes him
pleased and happy, he added. His popular traits are a source of the Korean
people's absolute worship, loyalty and devotion to him.

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