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October 04, 2007

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While visiting New York a few weeks back, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University. During the Q/A Ahmadinejad denied that homosexuals exist in Iran, saying, "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country."

Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen (as Mahmoud), Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine and the crew of Saturday Night Live have responded via music video and really highlight the value that tolerance plays in terms of creating a social context for creativity and economic growth. Such as one finds in New York, the Bay Area, London, Austin, Toronto, etc.

posted by David

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Comments

Robert

The idea that tolerance toward homosexuals is necessary for economic growth can easily be disproved by looking at America's competitors. Japan, Germany, China, India as well as the nations of Southeast Asia that hold the majority of American government debt are in general not tolerant of homosexuals. The most important elements related to economic growth are inherent racial and cultural characteristics. For example, in America wealth, and fame are valued regardless of how this wealth and fame are achieved legally, or illegally, and regardless if the "famous" person has any real skills such as Paris Hilton. In India your profession is related to your social status. Engineers and scientists have a higher social status than others that may have more money. I remember reading an article recently regarding Japan about housewife day traders where it is looked down upon to make money even large amounts of money through stock trading rather than through "real work". In Canada racial difference between French and Anglo Saxons can explain the reason why French cities like Montreal have less visible minorities than Anglo Saxon dominated cities. Anglo Saxons appear to be more tolerant of racial minorities versus the French. The French tend to value their unique "French Culture" more than Anglo Saxons value any specific Anglo Saxon culture.

Stan

That was fun and ridiculous. And I think that tolerance generally clearly leads to greater creativity and innovation. Open societies throughout history have typically been able to sustain advances longer than closed societies.

Michael Wells

Robert,

I'd guess India & China are at least 40 years behind the US economically and probably in many social attitudes. But as they grow, tolerance will be necessary for them to develop new creative industries. In Rise and elsewhere Richard is saying that what's necessary for a creative economy is openness and acceptance of difference and that gays are an indicator species, as it were.

Keep in mind that in both societies the driving forces of their economies are concentrated in a few cities, where gays are probably more accepted than the rural conservative regions. My guess is that Bengalore or Beijing today are about where San Francisco and New York were in the early 1960's. (Remember that Stonewall was a gay bar that the NY police raided for immoral behavior in 1969).

I found these in 2 minutes on Google:

Bangalore
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060305/asp/look/story_5921550.asp

Indian Internet dating and Pune
http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=932dccc46270d92bd18c86c541742f38

Shanghai
http://gaytravel.about.com/od/nightlife/qt/Shanghai_bars.htm

Beijing
http://gaytravel.about.com/od/nightlife/qt/Beijing_Dest.htm

Germany? Give me a break. Gays in the military. Sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination is illegal. Legal recognition of same sex partnerships now and majorities poll in favor of same sex marriage.

Robert

TO: Michael Wells

First of all none of the articles you site support the idea of any substantial tolerance of homosexuals in the Indian and Chinese societies in general. In one of the articles regarding India the so called "gay hotline" is currently getting around 10 phone calls per day out of a city of 6 million in Bangalore. All you have to do is look at Japan to see that widespread tolerance toward homosexuals and even foreigners by the general population is not needed to build a prosperous modern society. Japan's creative exports include top selling video games, cartoon Anime, and increasingly movies (mostly horror movies) that actually sell in western countries including America and are all made largely by Japanese citizens. As for Germany, perhaps I was thinking more of the former East Germany than West Germany.
Secondly, America may be ahead of China and India now but in case you haven't noticed the American dollar is rapidly declining in value because of the 800 billion dollar American trade deficit and slowing American economy. The dollar could collapse overnight and the American economy could be on par with the Indian and Chinese economy very soon. Foreign creditors would pull out their money and the Federal Reserve would be forced to monetize the deficit causing massive inflation in the American economy. Engineering and science related jobs at all levels including high level research are moving to China and India as well with nothing comparable for replacement thus weakening the overall American economy. What I see is that social liberals want to use Florida's ideas to promote gay marriage because "tolerance" toward gays is "needed for economic development" which is incorrect. I also see globalists and free traders using Florida's work to justify the massive export of American jobs with no government plan to help replace them with comparable jobs because there is going to be a "new Creative economy" that will come along and provide new jobs somewhere in the future within the context of the free market which is also incorrect. I have to point out that China did not get all these American jobs by accident but China had a government plan of investment, tax credits, etc. in order to win these jobs in the world market. Watch out for the end of this year and early next year for the start of a big crisis.

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