Late Night Bollywood: Global Recession Edition

Before I get to the movie masala… Three stories from today, which tell a larger story.

First, a follow-up to Dakinikat’s “Women of Egypt” thread the other day. Listen to this woman protester at Tahrir Square:

“Because we have had it, and it’s either they answer our demands or we’re not leaving this square no matter what.”

Second, Dean Baker, via Huffpo: “Debts Should be Honored, Except When the Money Is Owed to Working People“:

Let’s see if we can find a pattern here. When families take out a mortgage in the middle of a housing bubble, which may have been misrepresented at the time of sale, the homeowner has an obligation to repay the money to the bank. When people take on credit card debt, they absolutely have an obligation to repay the bank — even if it means changing the rules after the fact.

However, when the government signs a contract with workers, it doesn’t have to pay the workers’ pensions if it proves to be inconvenient. Of course, we may also throw in the fact that when the flood of bad mortgage loans issued by the banks threatened to push them into bankruptcy, the Treasury and the Fed give them trillions of dollars of loans at below market interest rates.

There certainly seems to be a pattern here. The story has nothing to do with preferences for the market or government intervention. The picture here is very simple: The rules get changed whenever it is necessary to make sure that money flows upward from ordinary workers to the rich. In 21st century America, upward redistribution seems to be the guiding principle.

And, last but not least, Think Progress: “Income Inequality In The U.S. Is Worse Than In Egypt“:

As Yasser El-Shimy, former diplomatic attaché at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote in Foreign Policy, “income inequality has reached levels not before seen in Egypt’s modern history.”But Egypt still bests quite a few countries when it comes to income inequality, including the United States:

According to the CIA World Fact Book, the U.S. is ranked as the 42nd most unequal country in the world, with a Gini Coefficient of 45.

In contrast:

– Tunisia is ranked the 62nd most unequal country, with a Gini Coefficient of 40.

– Yemen is ranked 76th most unequal, with a Gini Coefficient of 37.7.

And Egypt is ranked as the 90th most unequal country, with a Gini Coefficient of around 34.4.

On a less dreary note, here’s a clip I’ve been meaning to share with you from a Bollywood movie that came out a couple months ago. I tried everywhere to dig up a trailer or a smaller clip with subtitles to no avail. So below is the first 15 minutes or so of the movie. Some background — the movie is called Phas Gaye Re Obama (literally “Obama is Stuck). It’s a comedy about a millionaire Indian American who loses everything in the recession and under threat of foreclosure goes back to India to sell some ancestral property for whatever bit of money he can. There, various gangsters, who are also struggling due to the recession and not being able to force money out of people who don’t have any, are waiting to kidnap him–as inspired by sitting in their village and watching Obama preach “Yes We Can.” They think they can get a pretty penny for the ransom as they have no clue the big millionaire businessman from America has come home with empty pockets. Hijinks ensue from there of course. If it all sounds zany, it is. I’m probably not explaining this in a way that will make complete sense unless you’ve seen the movie, so just see for yourself — once you click play, there should be a CC on the bottom bar with the volume and other controls — click on that CC for the subtitles!

The first 15 minutes:

If you’re really interested, you can follow from Part 1 to 2 to 3 etc. if you click over to youtube… here’s the end where poor millionaire and the gangsters have their happy ending and say their goodbyes and have some choice words for Obama! Oh and there’s a Bollywood song and dance number as the credits roll 🙂 Here you go:

24 Comments on “Late Night Bollywood: Global Recession Edition”

  1. dakinikat says:

    For some reason, I always get this vision of you coming home in a good mood and rocking out with bollywood hits!!

  2. dakinikat says:

    Here’s something worth watching:

    Aung San Suu Kyi (virtually) at Davos

    Instead, Miss Suu Kyi’s remarks dwelt on the economic hardships that her people have been experiencing, and her own sense of isolation during her years under house arrest. She pointed out how far Myanmar has fallen behind other countries, and how economic integration with the rest of the world is now necessary. Before the junta, when the independent country was still called Burma, its prospects for trade and prosperity looked as rich as any in South-East Asia.

    Intriguingly, Miss Suu Kyi asked for more investment in technology and infrastructure, but said that investors “should pay close attention to the costs and collateral damage of our development, whether environmental or social.” Furthermore, she urged “those who have invested or who are thinking of investing in Burma to put a premium on respect for law, on environmental and social factors, on the rights of workers, on job creation and on the promotion of technological skills.”

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Wonk, just for you!

    Fozzie: Hey, why don’t you join us?
    Gonzo: Where are you going?
    Fozzie: We’re following our dream!
    Gonzo: Really? I have a dream, too!
    Fozzie: Oh?
    Gonzo: But you’ll think it’s stupid.
    Fozzie: No we won’t, tell us, tell us!
    Gonzo: Well, I want to go to Bombay, India and become a movie star.
    Fozzie: You don’t go to Bombay to become a movie star! You go where we’re going: Hollywood.
    Gonzo: Sure, if you want to do it the *easy* way.
    Fozzie: [to Kermit] We’ve picked up a weirdo…

    • LOL, The Great Gonzo! Thanks, you made me smile. Now you reminded me of this bit of silliness… kinda Bollywoodesque now that I think about it…

      The Muppet Caper — Miss Piggy’s Fantasy:

      • Woman Voter says:

        OK, here is a joke from the youth on Twitter:

        Americans vs. Canadians

        The following is the transcript of an ACTUAL radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations, of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in Oct. 1995. Reprinted in the Memorial University campus newspaper.
        Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision..

        Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

        Americans: This is the captain of a US Navy ship, I say again, divert YOUR course.

        Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.


        Canadians: THIS IS A LIGHTHOUSE. Your call.

        😆 Don’t know if it is for real, but it is funny.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    I loved that interview with the Egyptian woman. She was great! Thanks, Wonk.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Jnoubiyeh 1:09am via Web

    Nothing can overcome a people unified in their struggle for freedom. #Egypt #Jan25

  6. Before the revolutions were tweeted this would seem too sappy, but under the circumstances…

    RT @WorldPeace2Day: RT @abdulmalik_: If the dove is a symbol of peace, the #Twitter Bird is a symbol of freedom #jan25 #egypt

  7. Woman Voter says:

    Watching Al Jazeera Live Stream. Just had coffee so I can stay awake and watch the Million Person March Live.

  8. RT @Dima_Khatib revolution in #Egypt isn’t an Islamist, radical, fundamental or monster revolution. It’s just people seeking freedom. #jan25

  9. CNN’s Ben Wedeman:

    RT @bencnn: #Egypt changed beyond recognition #Jan25. It will not go back to what it was before. The sooner EVERYONE realises that, the better for all.

  10. AJ’s Evan Hill

    “evanchill: Morning in Cairo. Crowd steadily filtering into Tahrir. Not big yet, but getting that way. Maybe 2,000+ #jan25


    Mubarak’s Grip on Power is Shaken

    CAIRO — The government of Egypt’s authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak, shook Monday night, as the Egyptian Army declared that it would not use force against protesters demanding his ouster and, in an apparent response, Mr. Mubarak’s most trusted adviser offered to talk with the opposition.