“As Communist writer Bertolt Brecht offered after East German workers rose against their Moscow-backed masters in 1953, perhaps the Egyptian government should dismiss the people and elect a new one,” David P. Goldman, aka, “Spengler” writes at his PJM column:
Don’t laugh. Mexico did this after the debt crisis of the early 1980s: it dismissed the fifth of its population that moved to the United States. China has dismissed its rural population and recreated a new urban population, by 2020 shifting the equivalent of twice the American population from countryside to city.
Egypt’s problem is that it has no practical way of acting on Brecht’s advice. The Egyptian people are dying; the question is whether they will die slower or faster. I prefer slower, so I am pleased by this turn of events.
Starvation is the unstated subject of yesterday’s military coup. For the past several months, the bottom half of Egypt’s population has had little to eat besides government-subsidized bread, and now the bread supply is threatened by a shortage of imported wheat. Despite $8 billion of aid from Qatar and smidgens from Libya, Turkey, and others, Egypt is struggling to meet a financing gap of perhaps $20 billion a year, made worse by the collapse of its major cash earner — the tourist industry. Malnutrition is epidemic in the form of extreme protein deficiency in a country where 40% of the adult population is already “stunted” by poor diet, according to the World Food Program. It is not that hard to get 14 million people into the streets if there is nothing to eat at home.
Nearly half of Egyptians are illiterate. Seventy percent of them live on the land, yet the country imports half its food. Its only cash-earning industry, namely tourism, is in ruins. Sixty years of military dictatorship has left it with college graduates unfit for the world market, and a few t-shirt factories turning Asian polyester into cut-rate exports. It cannot feed itself and it cannot earn enough to feed itself, as I have explained in a series of recent articles. Someone has to subsidize them, or a lot of them will starve. Unlike Mexico, Egypt can’t ship its rural poor to industrial nations in the north.
Update: Why can’t we get 14 million people into the streets to proclaim that Obama is an idiot like the Egyptians did? Over at ZeroHedge, Jim Quinn posts pictures of the banners in the mass demonstrations. They are inspiring. One read: “Obama you jerk, Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians, so how come they can guarantee you the security of Israel. Hey Obama, your deal with the Muslim Brotherhood is unsuccessful. Obama you idiot, Keep in mind that Egypt is not Muslim brotherhoods and if you don’t believe that go and see what’s happening in Tahrir Square now.” Another reads, “Obama, your bitch is our dictator.” A picture of Hillary Clinton read, “Hayzaboon [ogre] go home.” Many banners simply read, “Obama supports terrorism.” Others were too harsh to mention in a family site. Happy 4th of July!
Read the whole thing.