Blaming China Won’t Help the Economy

Posted by , 27th September 2010

Chinese marketAnatole Kaletsky
9/27/2010

Asian nations are interested in American politics because Asian leaders believe that the era of American hegemony is ending and polarized politics symbolizes its inability to adapt to global capitalism after the financial crisis. Kaletsky says Chinese economic policy is now serving as a model for other Asian countries. Japan recently chose to follow China in its currency valuation at the cost of irritating America. Instead of obsessing over China’s currency manipulation, America must understand that the rules of global capitalism have been changed for good since Lehman Brothers collapsed. The market is not always right. Sometimes it can be trusted and sometimes government intervention in needed. Kaletsky looks at other world market models and says if we continue to opt for nostalgia and ideology when it comes to economics, “the new model of capitalism will probably be made in China, like so much else in the world these days.”

Kaletsky, the chief economist of a Hong Kong-based investment advisory firm, is the author of “Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis.”

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How to Grow Out of the Deficit

Posted by , 27th September 2010

Edward Lazear
9/27/2010

one-dollar-billsLimiting spending increases to inflation minus 1% would balance the budget in less than a decade, writes Lazear. The inflation-minus-one rule would allow us to grow our way out of our fiscal problems without taxing a higher proportion of GDP. Eventually the deficit would vanish and with taxes remaining at historic levels, there would be no impediment to economic growth. Calling for a rigid rule may seem wishful thinking, but the alternative is a dangerous false choice between high deficits and high taxes. Failing to take a stand now, Lazear argues, will condemn subsequent generations to lower living standards and fewer opportunities.

Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2009, is a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow.

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Too Many Hamburgers?

Posted by , 22nd September 2010

Chinese crowdThomas L. Friedman
9/22/2010

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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Obama’s legacy: Mourning in America

Posted by , 22nd September 2010

Ronald ReaganKathleen Parker
9/22/2010

A new electoral ad, “Mourning in America,” plays smartly off Reagan’s classic “Morning in America” ad. Rather than continue to raise the volume on partisan shouting, the ad taps into the fundamental sadness of a nation stressed and broken by the difficulties of the past few years. Financial crises and the increasingly combative tone over health care, immigration, and other legislative issues have left Americans uncertain and spiritually exhausted. The ad seeks to place responsibility for the current malaise squarely at the feet of the president.

Parker started her column in 1987 when she was a staff writer for The Orlando Sentinel.

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The Recession and the Housing Drag

Posted by , 21st September 2010

Mortimer Zuckerman
Houses9/21/2010

Zuckerman considers how American families are confronting the decline in the value of their homes and the broader effects of this on the economy. It is not too difficult to understand why demand for housing has declined and will not revive anytime soon given that home ownership is no longer seen as the great, long-term buildup in equity value. This is a disturbing development for those who believe that housing is going to lead America to an economic recovery as it did during the Great Depression and every recession since. Zuckerman argues that the more the government tries to prevent prices from finding an equilibrium, the longer it will take for the economy to begin growing again.

Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of US News & World Report.

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The Perils of a Schizophrenic Euro Zone

Posted by , 20th September 2010

Euro notesMarco Annunziata
9/20/2010

Annunziata says policy makers’ mixed signals are fueling volatility in sovereign-debt markets. EU leaders have two choices. They can accept that whenever a member country is in trouble it will be rescued without a debt restructuring, in which case they should impose tight and enforceable fiscal rules to keep members in line and avoid moral hazard. Or they can adopt a sovereign-debt restructuring mechanism and let markets play their disciplining role by pricing sovereign-credit risk in an environment of greater transparency and predictability. Postponing this choice will keep the pressure high on countries like Greece, requiring ever stronger efforts to improve fiscal balances and bolster potential growth. It will also delay the repricing of sovereign risk that is an essential component of the sought-after stabilization in financial markets.

Annunziata is chief economist at UniCredit.

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An old-school trick: Put country first

Posted by , 17th September 2010

Lee HamiltonDavid Ignatius
9/16/2010

Ignatius recounts an interview with retired Congressman Lee Hamilton. At 79 the Indiana Democrat remembers a time in American politics when making the country work took precedence over partisan interests and political loyalties. The problem, Hamilton says, is not partisan politics; it’s the bitter, angry spirit that accompanies them today. To rise above America’s political turmoil, Hamilton advises putting the interests of the country first and focusing on what works to make America successful.

Ignatius is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing on global politics, economics and international affairs.

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Who’s the Con Man?

Posted by , 16th September 2010

ObamaMaureen Dowd
9/15/2010

Newt Gingrich has embraced his party’s lunacy, Dowd says. She shares some of his comments with the media that smear the president, saying he is a socialist and likening his behavior to Kenyan anti-colonialism. She also notes Gingrich’s un-Christian behavior despite his conversion to Catholicism. Finally, she looks at the writings and rantings of Dinesh D’Souz, which she says is fear-mongering akin to what the Bush administration used to get us into Iraq. Both D’Souz and Gingrich are using insinuation, half-truths, and dishonest reasoning to discredit the president, which would be funny if it weren’t so scary.

Dowd 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
9/15/2010

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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