Globalization’s Geopolical Future February 18, 2013Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News.
Tags: China, EU, Geopolitics, India, United States
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Essay by a prescient Geo-strategist, whose work I follow.
Today’s globalization is suffering a populist blowback on a nearly global scale. Indeed, the only places not suffering such blowback are Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, frontiers where globalization’s widespread wealth creation is still resulting in very positive outcomes. Just about everywhere else, whether in the old West, the rising East or the Arab world, we’re seeing a build-up of social anger at globalization’s inequities and excesses that is stunning in its scope and persistence. In short, the world seems destined to either re-balkanize itself over these tensions or enter into a lengthy progressive era that corrects these imbalances and cleans up these corrupting trends.
Here’s where the value of the trans-Atlantic bond comes back in. For, remember, the old West has already processed the very same sort of mega-cycle back at the turn of the 20th century, when the world’s first version of a middle class initially came into its own as a potent political force. In that scary millenarian maelstrom, as today, terrorists, revolutionaries and radical fundamentalists abounded. In the end, both extremes of the ideological spectrum reached their catastrophically evil expression in the form of Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.
But not everybody in that old West got it wrong. Indeed, America and, to a lesser extent, Britain got it spectacularly right. Their shared Progressive Era was a classic example of co-evolution, in that both sides of “the pond” fed off each other’s experiments and successes — the women’s suffrage movement, social welfare, modern police departments, sanitation, mass transit, labor reforms, food and drug safety — while learning from their mistakes. But through it all, an economic landscape was substantially re-graded, leveled out, as it were, in a “fair deal” to the workingman that tamed all that raging populist anger. The leadership that was seen during the Progressive Era, embodied by the career of Theodore Roosevelt, is the same sort of leadership that America, and the world, needs today.Getting back to my “C-I-A” world of tomorrow, these three superpowers — two in the making, one actual — are currently in a race to see which can process its own domestic populist rage faster and more effectively.
Europe Most Generous, Asia Stingiest For Paid Days Off October 14, 2012Posted by tkcollier in Business, Lifestyle, philosophy & politics.
Tags: Asia, Business, Employee Benefits, Europe, Holidays, United States
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- Workers in UK and Poland have most generous statutory employee holiday entitlements
- Employees in the USA, Canada, Philippines, China and Thailand have the least generous
- Colombia has greatest number of public holidays; Mexico the least
- UK employees have access to a highest amount of potential holiday (36 days per year) but in reality fare worse than other European employees
According to Mercer Consulting, holiday entitlement is often more complex since actual holiday provisions often depends on company contracts and the number and treatment of public holidays. In the UK, for example, employees are entitled to 28 days holiday. With the UK also holding 8 public holidays each year, this suggests that employees in the UK could be on holiday for 36 days, or 10%, of each year. This would be one of the highest entitlements of all 62 countries. The reality is that companies are allowed to include the 8 public holidays as part of the 28 day entitlement so UK employees actually have fewer days’ holidays than their peers in the rest of Europe where, in general, the practice is for European employees to take public holidays in addition to their statutory entitlement. Employees in the Asia-Pac region have comparatively low levels of statutory entitlement but public holidays are taken in addition to this rather than as part of it. However, the levels of holiday entitlement in Asia-Pac are still below those of Western Europe. Employee holiday entitlements around the world.
How Our 1% Compares August 25, 2012Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
Tags: 1%, China, Economy & Business, United States
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It’s right out of 1880s America:
In China, less than 1% of households control more than 70% of private financial wealth.
In the US today, we’re talking somewhere between 40 and 45 percent.
Globally, says, John Bussey in the WSJ, the number is “nearly 40%,” so America’s not much off the norm.
The Empire Strikes Back August 11, 2012Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics.
Tags: China, European Union, Geopolitics, History, United States
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Yale Prof. Charles Hill sees two very different kinds of challenges to the liberal, state-based world order. One, the aggressive kind, is exemplified by China. The other, very different, can be seen in the European Union.
“The way the world through almost all of history has been ordered is through empires. The empire was the normal unit of rule. So it was the Chinese empire, the Mughal empire, the Persian empire, and the Roman empire, the Mayan empire.”
What changed this was the Thirty Years War in Europe in the 17th century. “That was a war between the Holy Roman Empire and states, and states were new. They had come forward in northern Italy in the Renaissance and now they were taking hold in what we think of as a state-sized entity. The Netherlands and Sweden and France were among these. . . . France was both an empire and a state—and the key was when [Cardinal] Richelieu took France to the side of the states, which was shocking because France was Catholic and the empire was Catholic and the states were Protestant.”
“My view is that every major modern war has been waged against this international system. That is, the empire strikes back. World War I is a war of empires which comes to its culmination point when a state gets into it. That’s the United States.” And then we get something very interesting added: “That’s Woodrow Wilson and [the promotion of] democracy.”
“World War II, and I think this is uncomprehended although it’s perfectly clear, . . . World War II is a war of empires against the state system. It’s Hitler’s Third Reich. It’s Imperial Japan.” The Axis goal “is to establish an empire. The Nazi empire would be Europe going eastward into the Slavic lands. The Japanese empire in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, as they called it.”
What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? August 1, 2012Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Humor, Life, Lifestyle.
Tags: Humor, Tourists, travel, United States
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This American Life, talking to refugees who’d moved to the U.S., mostly from conflict zones, found that the foreigners were shocked by a number of things that Americans might consider routine: public displays of affection, high obesity rates, families shipping their elderly parents off to nursing homes, dog-owners kissing their pets,Christmas lights and widespread gun ownership.
The U.S. can be such a jarringly strange place for many foreign visitors that travel guidebooks detail everything from the dangers of talking politics to tips on respecting Americans’ famously guarded personal space. But what do those visitors find when they actually get here? This American Life spoke to a relatively narrow slice of foreign arrivals, but a thread on public question site Quora, jumping off from the radio segment, asks web users from around the globe to chime in with what surprised them about America. Click on the link.
See How Fast “The West Was Won” July 21, 2012Posted by tkcollier in Life.
Tags: History, Indians, Native Americans, United States
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By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.
Click the map to see it happen.
Trends In The Spread of Civilization May 3, 2012Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
Tags: China, European Union, Financial Crisis, South America, United States
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In his latest book, Civilization, The West and the Rest, the economic and financial historian Niall Ferguson argues that Western civilization’s rise to global dominance over the past 500 years was due mainly to six killer apps, as he calls them: competition, science, rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic.
While “the Rest” lacked these concepts, they might not for much longer, as emerging markets are quickly catching up. Someday, they could even surpass the West. (On May 22 and 29, PBS will air a program based on Civilization.)
What made the West unusual was that risk takers were not only rewarded but honored, whether in science, exploration, or in trade. Spreading across the Atlantic from Europe is an anti-risk culture that manifests itself in two ways. One is the welfare state, designed to remove risk from your life by guaranteeing you an income from the cradle to the grave. That’s great because it means that nobody is starving in the streets for want of work. But it isn’t great if you create poverty traps and disincentives, so that people in the bottom quintile never work, which is the case in much of Europe.
The other way in which the anti-risk culture manifests itself is with the manic regulatory mentality that tries to prescribe rules for every eventuality, including the tiny, tiny risk that an asteroid will hit this building. Regulations that protect from every eventuality end up being paralyzing because the more things are proscribed, the more the ordinary entrepreneur has to be afraid that if he doesn’t comply, he will get sued.
Latin America’s blind love with China may be over September 9, 2011Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Geopolitics.
Tags: China, Environment, Latin America, United States
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Barbosa, who served as ambassador to Washington during the Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva government and now heads the foreign trade council of Brazil’s powerful FIESP industrialists federation, said Brazilian executives working for Chinese firms are also complaining about “long work days, frequent overtime, teleconferences in the wee hours, and production goals that are unrealistic and non-negotiable.”
As a result, 42 percent of Brazilian executives working for Chinese firms quit their jobs in their first year, he said, quoting a story in the daily Folha de Sao Paulo. Barbosa concluded that China’s business practices “should be followed with attention” by government authorities, labor unions and business associations.
Almost simultaneously, a new study by the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), “Overview of Latin America’s insertion in the world economy,” shows that 87 percent of Latin America’s exports to Asia — mainly China — are raw materials, while only 13 percent are manufactured goods.
By comparison, 60 percent of Latin America’s exports to the United States are manufactured goods, and the remaining 40 percent raw materials, the study says.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/07/2395293/latin-americas-blind-love-with.html#ixzz1XT8lszI6
Citing an article in The Economist on China’s investments in Africa, Barbosa says that China “is destroying parks and forests in search of mineral and agricultural resources, and routinely violates the most elementary labor laws. Roads and Hospitals built by the Chinese are badly finished, among other things because their construction companies pay bribes to local officials.”
Global Aging November 20, 2010Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, health, Lifestyle.
Tags: Aging, Children, China, Geopolitics, Latin America, United States
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Worldwide, there is a 50 percent chance that the population will be falling by 2070, according to a recent study published in Nature. By 2150, according to one U.N. projection, the global population could be half what it is today.
Those who predict a coming Asian Century have not come to terms with the region’s approaching era of hyper-aging. Asia will also be plagued by a chronic shortage of women in the coming decades, which could leave the most populous region on Earth with the same skewed sex ratios as the early American West. Due to selective abortion, China has about 16 percent more boys than girls, which many predict will lead to instability as tens of millions of “unmarriageable” men find other outlets for their excess libido. India has nearly the same sex-ratio imbalance and also a substantial difference in birth rates between its southern (mostly Hindu) states and its northern (more heavily Muslim) states, which could contribute to ethnic tension.
Birth rates are falling dramatically across Latin America, especially in Mexico, suggesting a tidal shift in migration patterns. Consider what happened with Puerto Rico, where birth rates have also plunged: Immigration to the mainland United States has all but stopped despite an open border and the lure of a considerably higher standard of living on the continent. In the not-so-distant future, the United States may well find itself competing for immigrants rather than building walls to keep them out.
China Grows Protectionist Alienating Business Supporters July 20, 2010Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
Tags: China, Economy & Business, Euorpe, Geopolitics, United States
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In some ways, I do think the Chinese government has been pretty stupid over the past year in executing its “Pissing Off As Many Countries As Possible” strategy. China rankled the Europeans over its climate change diplomacy at Copenhagen. For all of Beijing’s bluster, it failed to alter U.S. policies on Tibet and Taiwan. It backed down on the Google controversy. It overestimated the power that comes with holding U.S. debt. It alienated South Korea and Japan over its handling of the Cheonan incident, leading to joint naval exercises with the United States — exactly what China didn’t want. It’s growing more isolated within the G-20. And, increasingly, no one trusts its economic data.
This doesn’t sound like a government that has executed a brilliant grand strategy. It sounds like a country that’s benefiting from important structural trends, while frittering away its geopolitical advantages. Alienating key supporters in the country’s primary export markets — and even if Chinese consumption is rising, exports still matter an awful lot to the Chinese economy — seems counterproductive to China’s long-term strategic and economic interests.
Business Jobs, Not Government Jobs, Create Wealth July 18, 2010Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
Tags: Economy & Business, Europe, Finacial Crisis, United States
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In the two decades of the 1980s and 1990s, the United States created 73 million new private sector jobs—while simultaneously losing some 44 million jobs in the process of adjusting its economy to international competition. That was a net gain of some 29 million jobs. A stunning 55 percent of the total workforce at the end of these two decades was in a new job, some two-thirds of them in industries that paid more than the average wage. By contrast, continental Europe, with a larger economy and workforce, created an estimated 4 million jobs in the same period, most of which were in the public sector (and the cost of which they are beginning to regret).
Over the years, the transformation of American industry has been nothing short of phenomenal. U.S. companies replaced large, mass-produced consumer products with sophisticated goods derived from intellectual output and knowledge-based interests, the fastest-growing segment of the world’s economy. Management was assisted by a level of labor flexibility that is the envy of both Europe and Asia. Europe struggles with the legacy of the steam age in the form of craft, union, and management demarcations that limit management’s role. In Asia, management is often stifled by large, oligopolistic networks and government mandates.
Wiil China Develop Like US or Japan Did? March 25, 2010Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
Tags: China, Geopolitics, Japan, United States
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Is China like the US in 1890? Or is it more like Japan in 1980? If the parallel with America is right, China is likely to be the dominant power of the next century. If the Japanese comparison is more accurate, then the Chinese challenge to American hegemony could prove ephemeral.
The current mood in the US certainly feels like an exaggerated version of the “declinism” that set in towards the end of the 1980s, when the US was transfixed by the rise of Japan. A recent Pew opinion survey showed that a majority of Americans now believe that the Chinese economy is larger than that of the US. This is plain wrong. At the time the poll was taken, the Chinese economy was around half the size of America’s.
It was this kind of scare that took hold in the late 1980s. Japanese investors provoked angst by buying the Rockefeller Centre in New York – and it was Japan that was the world’s largest creditor nation. (more…)
3 SuperRegions – The GeoPoltical Future? March 5, 2008Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
Tags: China, EU, Russia, United States
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Russia a key component of China – India Development | 2point6billion.com
Russia is now showing off its Asian face rather than it’s European one, for the first time in 150 years, with the strategic development of Asia now residing partially within the Kremlin as Moscow looks East to it’s long term allies, with the riches of energy yet without the burden of massive populations to carry, and ready made markets in China and India. The era of Superpowers is over. The era of “Superregions” has just begun, and Russia, China and India just booked the last place at a table with dining partners the U.S. and the EU.
The average growth rate of trade between the three nations has increased at a consistent level of 35% each year over the past five years; and all concerned view this as ‘just the start.’