Is it possible for a nation to rapidly modernize, joining the fully developed first world in just one generation?
The answer to that is clearly, “Yes,” but it comes with a lot of conditions and warnings. China, in its drive to be a great power and assume its rightful place in the world almost immediately, is paying attention to none of them.
That’s a harsh assessment, and it’s not quite correct. But there are far, far too many issues with the rapid rise of China that are not being dealt with appropriately. More importantly, given one quarter of the planet’s population, how this proceeds is going to affect everyone, everywhere.
In a world connecting in new ways, it logically follows that some nations are working with great clarity and unity to make use of these connections for political goals. It is also reasonable that new tools for connecting the methods and message of these tools can be found to increase understanding and transparency for this process.
The book War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft by Robert D. Blackwill is important for many reasons, primarily in how it describes how economics can be used to move forward the political goals of developing nations. It is, however, very dense and at times difficult to follow. It is also, as its title suggests, centered on the Industrial National model of a previous generation.
Thank goodness the most relevant parts of this have been brought forward in a fabulous youtube production that is less of a TED talk and more of a quick graduate class.
By the time you read this, the big news is likely to be jobs. It hasn’t been a hot topic since the election, and most of what was said during that strange period wasn’t exactly true. The big job gains for February, along with a large round-up for January, make it impossible to ignore.
The economy has definitely turned around.
It’s all over but the shouting, of which there will be a lot. There is little doubt that Republicans will claim credit for a big turnaround in 2017, which will be utter crap. This has been a long time in the making and things have not been actually bad for a long time. Nevermind. Positive news will feed on itself and everyone will be happier.
But there is one final twist to the very good news – it’s really in the adjustment.
GDP is 1%. That’s terrible. Our country is dying at 1% GDP.
Donald Trump, Third Debate
One of the great things about debating political points today is that anyone who actually knows what’s going on has no idea where to start. Trump was referring to the real (inflation adjusted) growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was lagging at the start of the year. But with a new number for the third quarter of 2016 showing a net 3.2% growth you have to wonder – What is this guy talking about?
The short version is that it bounces around all over the place. The long answer takes a lot of graphs. Welcome to Barataria, land of the long answer. Prepare for some hand waving.
When the summer livin’ is easy, I enjoy sitting out on the porch with a few tunes. Today’s lazing soundtrack was “Three Views of a Secret” by Jaco Pastorius as I went over some old posts to see if anything needed revisiting. And this piece from July 2011 popped out as a debate that is still raging – but with some resolution. It seemed to fit the tension that always builds in a Jaco piece.
Economists, as noted before, have widely divergent views about the economic situation and what should be done about it. But the experiments that have been running through various economies are teaching us all a little bit along the way as to who may be right. It’s worth revisiting.