The US has had a poor year to date. The American recovery started to run out of steam in the spring, the second round of Quantitative Easing ended in the first half of the year, and the question of Federal debt has come under the spotlight. The key debt issue was the raising of the Federal debt limit.
The economic case against Europe is well rehearsed. The longer term case against Europe is one of demographics. The population of Europe is ageing, and, if nothing changes to the contrary, the dependency ratio of workers to non-workers is likely to fall to the point where a severe shortfall of workers (and their tax receipts) occurs.
Leaders from Bill Gates to the Pope are worried about the “Crisis of Capitalism,” yet defenders of the American system that almost brought down the world economy are digging in.
Few would disagree with the view that the economies of the world are in turmoil. The news this summer has been dominated by the twin sovereign debt crises of the Eurozone and the US. The case of Europe is well rehearsed. The Eurozone has become a monetary union without an effective mechanism to deliver fiscal co-ordination.
thwaaack! OUCH! thwaaack! OUCH! thwaaack! OUCH!
Many Westerners regard Singapore as a weird tropical tyranny where: 1) You get caned with a bamboo stick for spray-painting graffiti. 2) Chewing gum is prohibited. 3) You get executed via hanging if you're convicted of drug-dealing.
The tiny archipelago-on-the-equator is all that, it's true, but it's also an astonishing model mega-city success, with astute futuristic sensibilities in its environmental, business, educational, infrastructural, and technological policies.
A journalist contacted me about race and racism in South Korea, and I summarized some of my thinking (and prognostications) for him. You may not believe it, but I think some of the most interesting (and potentially positive) things are happening right now with attempts to address race and multiculturalism in South Korea.
I am just returning from a two-day trip to South Korea. My purpose there was to remind communications ministries around the world that while the gadgets may be stylish and entertaining, the technology could be used to improve the lives, productivity and future of countries without the resources of South Korea and South Koreans.