Too Many Hamburgers?

Posted by , 22nd September 2010

Chinese crowdThomas L. Friedman

Friedman praises China’s progress and infrastructure not because he wants America to emulate their system but because he is worried about America. He wants us to invest in our future and quit abusing our system. Toxic partisanship and a money-corrupted political class are keeping America from getting things done so that it can remain powerful. We should look at China’s successes objectively and look at ways to cooperate with them while also finding a way to pull ourselves together and find a way to get things done.

Friedman is a New York Times columnist.

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Time to stand up to China on trade

Posted by , 16th September 2010

Chinese marketHarold Meyerson

American business has become dependent on China even though China continually violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules by heavily subsidizing certain industries and manipulating its currency. Consequently, Chinese exports are underpriced and China controls the global market for strategic industries such as green energy. The Obama administration has not taken any measures (such as placing tariffs on underpriced Chinese imports) to deal with this problem. Last Thursday the United Steel Workers filed a lengthy complaint with US trade officials detailing China’s WTO violations. Lawmakers would do well to heed the Steel Workers’ complaint. Conservatives who fear government control at home ought to see that government control in the form of a Chinese manufacturing monopoly is just as great a threat to the American economy.

Meyerson is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing mainly about politics.

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Japanese Obsessions

Cohen looks at the obsession in Japan with retreating into a private world fueled by technology.

Posted by , 15th December 2009

Japan technologyRoger Cohen

He credits the nation’s wealth, postmodernism, conformism, and despair as the reasons for this. The Japanese term is “otaku”, referring to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and video games. Cohen admits that fantasy, escapism, and the cyberworld are part of many other cultures, but in no other nation have they fused with such intensity.

Cohen is a New York Times columnist.

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Europe needs action, not quiet consensus

The European Union must either develop the capacity to drive and shape the global agenda or accept that the process will be driven by America and Asia.

Posted by , 1st December 2009

Peter Mandelson

european_unionEurope’s strength will be determined by how well it competes economically with the rest of the world, and for this reason Mandelson says the distribution of the big economic portfolios in the next European Commission are critically important. The choices of José Manuel Barroso, the Commission president, will carry much weight in defining the direction of EU policy. The new commissioners will have to be much more than quiet consensus-builders because there is little to recommend European consensus for its own sake.

Lord Mandelson is secretary of state for business.

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Opinion summaries provided by Opinion Source, an organization with which Safe Democracy is associated

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China’s Energy Priorities

Posted by , 26th November 2009

Oxford Analytica

Coal ChinaThe disproportionately heavy dependence on coal in China is unique among major economies and has made China the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. With coal reserves estimated to last only 50 years and in an attempt to combat environmental and ecological damage, recent years have seen increasing emphasis placed on developing indigenous renewable energy sources. China is reportedly now the world’s leading renewable energy producer. On energy security and environmental grounds, maintaining the momentum of rapid renewable energy production growth will continue to be a high strategic development priority. China’s resource endowment, its proven technological capability, and the commercial opportunities afforded by further expansion seem guaranteed to assure the fulfillment of this priority goal.

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Deficits and the Chinese Challenge

Even though America’s increasing economic vulnerability to China is widely acknowledged, policymakers and experts continue to underestimate the full ramifications of this relationship, says Karabell.

Posted by , 14th October 2009

Zachary Karabell

China-USAThe dollar’s sharp drop over the past few weeks has led to considerable anxiety about the status of the US as the dominant force in the global economy. Closely related to this fear is worry about the rise of China, which is the largest creditor to a heavily indebted US government. Noting that debt can become a real liability for a superpower, Karabell recalls what happened to postwar Britain. Having supported the British for decades and become its banker and manufacturer during two wars, the US fully supplanted the British Empire at the end of World War II. By 2030–if not sooner–China is likely to surpass the US in the size of its economy. Trajectories can change, but the recent implosion of the American financial system has only accelerated China’s rise. To assume we will always be the dominant nation on the world stage is a recipe for becoming Britain.

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Corruption, an open secret in the Philippines

The World Bank is on trial as frightened investors flee the country

Posted by , 25th February 2009

gloriaymarido1.jpgA recent World Bank report accuses many high-ranking officials in the Philippines of collusion. The government’s response demonstrates how everyone gets away with corruption in the country. Could this be at the root of the country’s competitiveness?


The Philippines: still grappling with English

The problem with trying to teach in a foreign language

Posted by , 21st January 2009

ninosfilipinos.jpgFilipino students’ scores on the annual international student performance tests in math and science are some of the lowest in the world. Some education policy experts believe that the trouble lies in the language being used for instruction: English.


Asia will not wait for Obama

The region is going to speed up its internal transformation

Posted by , 11th December 2008

hujintao2.jpgAsia-Pacific is the region in which the United States’ ability to face up to its greatest geopolitical challenge will be made clear; it is there where the desire to strengthen a multipolar order expected to weaken the hegemonic American condition can be most intensely felt.