Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The human "gattling metaphor gun"

From an interview (really):
"And so I’ve kind of developed an answer that to me India and China are both two six-lane superhighways. And everyone’s going really fast.

Now China’s a six-lane superhighway — perfectly paved roads, perfect sidewalks, streetlamps on a lot of these highways. Just one problem. Off in the distance there’s a speed bump called political reform. And when 1.3 billion people going 80 miles an hour hit a speed bump, one of two things happens: your car jumps up in the air, slams down, everyone says, You O.K.? You O.K.? I’m O.K., drives on; the other thing that happens, car jumps up in the air, slams down and all the wheels fall off. And what will happen in China’s case? I have no idea. All I know is I’m rooting for the first scenario.

Now India’s also a six-lane superhighway — cracked cement, half the sidewalks aren’t finished and three-quarters of the streetlights don’t work. But off in the distance it looks like it smoothes out into a perfect six-lane superhighway. "

KOPPEL. Because?

FRIEDMAN. The question with India: Is that a mirage or is that the oasis? So those are the two big questions I have —

Particular gems in bold. The interview is also with Joe Stiglitz, whom Friedman (rightly) interrupts a number of times to deliver a flat smackdown. More to follow from this treasure trove of Friedmanisms.

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