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March 01, 2006



"The idea is that Kaesong’s seductive, corrupting power will be the harbinger of North Korea’s gradual reform toward prosperity, and perhaps even a relative degree of political liberalization. It’s a new variation on an old idea, although it was catchier in the original German: Arbeit Macht Frei."

Really, there is no comparison between the two ideas -- the first is Friedman's notion that a degree of economic freedom may lead to political freedom, the second a concentration camp slogan. Wait till the Great Leader dies, then all that remains is the clear idea that freedom brings wealth.

P. Froward

It's a good thing they didn't put "Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily" over the gate at Auschwitz. Because then Joshua would call you a Nazi if you had all your teeth.

Mick H

Well OK, the Arbeit Macht Frei comparison isn't entirely apposite. Nazi comparisons very rarely are. I just liked the implied disgust at the whole enterprise. This is slave labour, after all, and a long way from anything resembling economic freedom. The North Korean workers are being screwed by the South Korean companies, and again by their party bosses.


Exactly what they do in Cuba with all those joint ventures.

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