The Dubai Towers.
Dubai, a province of the United Arab Emirates, has been described as the ideal dream world of neo-liberalism, the place where capitalism is allowed to flourish without the least impediment by government regulation. Those who celebrate corporate capitalism certainly love Dubai, and wish the rest of the world could follow its example.
Take Donna Wiesner Keene, a fellow of the Independent Women’s Forum, a rightwing anti-feminist think tank. Recently in a letter to the New York Times she wrote: “Madrick’s statement, quoted by the reviewer, that ‘there really is no example of small government among rich nations,’ is unsupported nonsense. Think Dubai, free and rich.”
Matthew Yglesias has already pointed out that Dubai is better described as a petrodictatorship rather than a free country. Even under the recently departed Bush administration, the U.S. State Department has been critical of Dubai’s human rights record.
And today the New York Times ran an eye-opening report on what life is like in the capitalist utopia of Dubai. The article can be found here.
Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Sofia, a 34-year-old Frenchwoman, moved here a year ago to take a job in advertising, so confident about Dubai’s fast-growing economy that she bought an apartment for almost $300,000 with a 15-year mortgage.
Now, like many of the foreign workers who make up 90 percent of the population here, she has been laid off and faces the prospect of being forced to leave this Persian Gulf city — or worse.
“I’m really scared of what could happen, because I bought property here,” said Sofia, who asked that her last name be withheld because she is still hunting for a new job. “If I can’t pay it off, I was told I could end up in debtors’ prison.”