Sunday, December 04, 2011
Sunday reading: The Lost City of Rangoon, Christmas-mad China, mad-as-a-hatter GOP
The weekend Financial Times is always a great read, but this weeks edition is particularly rich, with Thant Myint-U's Forgotten Treasures, a fascinating report on the time-capsule colonial architecture of Rangoon. now Yangon, a remnant fantasy world that could disappear as fast as it's being rediscovered as Myanmar emerges from its long isolation. Elsewhere, we find out that Christmas is becoming a really big deal in China, with the city of Yiwu, self-billed as the "Christmas ornament capital of the world", now claiming over 600 companies manufacturing holiday decorations. And in Republicans respond to anger over inequality, we read about the New Feudalists' plan to derail public outrage over increasing U.S. inequality by offering legislation to cut $9 billion over the next decade by closing loopholes that the reliably hallucinatory Newt Gingrich describes as an Obama conspiracy to give food stamps to millionaires. Apparently, this will distract us from the fact that, over the same coming decade, the cost of the GOP's obsession to extend Bush tax cuts largely benefiting those same millionaires will come in at a somewhat larger $3.7 trillion.