Politeía Digest

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Posts Tagged ‘Global

The Economist: For richer, for poorer

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Growing inequality is one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges of our time. But it is not inevitable. In 1889, AT the height of America’s first Gilded Age, George Vanderbilt II, grandson of the original railway magnate, set out to build a country estate in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. He hired the most prominent architect of the time, toured the chateaux of the Loire for inspiration, laid a railway to bring in limestone from Indiana and employed more than 1,000 labourers. Six years later “Biltmore” was completed. With 250 rooms spread over 175,000 square feet (16,000 square metres), the mansion was 300 times bigger than the average dwelling of its day. It had central heating, an indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley, lifts and an intercom system at a time when most American homes had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Theophyle

October 15, 2012 at 8:16 am

NYT: The New World

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By Frank Jacobs and Parag Khanna

IT has been just over 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the last great additions to the world’s list of independent nations. As Russia’s satellite republics staggered onto the global stage, one could be forgiven for thinking that this was it: the end of history, the final major release of static energy in a system now moving very close to equilibrium. A few have joined the club since — Eritrea, East Timor, the former Yugoslavian states, among others — but by the beginning of the 21st century, the world map seemed pretty much complete.

Now, though, we appear on the brink of yet another nation-state baby boom. This time, the new countries will not be the product of a single political change or conflict, as was the post-Soviet proliferation, nor will they be confined to a specific region. If anything, they are linked by a single, undeniable fact: history chews up borders with the same purposeless determination that geology does, as seaside villas slide off eroding coastal cliffs. Here is a map of what could possibly be the world’s newest international borders. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

September 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

The Economist: Dithering in the dark

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Quantifying the effect of political uncertainty on the global economy

Europe teeters at the edge of an economic abyss, its fate in the hands of political leaders at odds over how to solve the continent’s twin debt and bank crises. America may be pushed over a “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year by political dysfunction. And even China, although unlikely to take a deep dive, is hostage to the will and ability of its government to stimulate growth. More than at any point in recent history, the global economy’s fate is tied to the capriciousness of policymakers. How much does such uncertainty cost?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that it costs a lot. Customers of Cisco Systems, the world’s biggest maker of internet gear, are taking longer to make decisions, according to John Chambers, the company’s boss. Their orders tend to be smaller than before, and to require more in-house approvals. They say they are planning to buy more stuff later this year, reported Mr Chambers recently, but “then in the very next breath they say it depends on what happens on a global and macro scale.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

June 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

Egypt’s military ruler orders parliament dissolved

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In line with court ruling, Field Marshal Tantawi says no MP should be allowed to enter building. [Muslim] Brotherhood: Coup against democratic process.

Egypt’s military ruler has ordered the dissolution of parliament, an official said, in line with a court ruling which Islamists who dominate the assembly condemn as a coup by the generals who took charge when Hosni Mubarak was ousted. The Supreme Constitutional Court declared the lower house election invalid on Thursday, dissolving a body seen as one of the few substantive gains from a messy and often bloody transition to democracy overseen by the army. An official in the speaker of parliament’s office told Reuters on Saturday that a letter had been sent a day earlier by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi ordering parliament dissolved and saying no member should be allowed to enter the building. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

June 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

Wealth Year 2015

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Asia’s rise is the economic event of our age. Should it proceed as it has over the last few decades, it will bring the two centuries of global domination by Europe and,   subsequently, its giant North American offshoot to an end.” Martin Wolf, 2003

The projected wealth of China in 2015 could mean it producing 27% of all the wealth in the world, if the economic trends established between 1975 and 2002 continue for another 13 years. In year 1 of the current era China produced 26% of the wealth in the world, but very slowly declined to generating only 5% of the world total in 1960. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

November 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

Debt Worries Roil Markets

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By Tom Lauricella, Matthew Phillips and E.S. Browning

Worries about government debt rocked capital markets on both sides of the Atlantic Monday, as fears that the Greek crisis will spread combined with concerns at the standoff over the U.S. debt ceiling.

The selloff started in Europe, hitting bonds and stocks in countries regarded as vulnerable to contagion from Greece, and spread to the U.S. where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at its lowest level since late June after a wild session. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

July 19, 2011 at 7:43 am

The return of rationing

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The difficult decisions needed in an age of austerity

Policymakers must juggle three priorities when offering a public service: coverage, cost and choice. They almost always have to sacrifice at least one of the three. As austerity bites, this equation is going to lead to very tricky decisions.

Health is an area where the trilemma clearly applies. Britain’s National Health Service offers universal coverage but as a result has to limit patient choice in order to control the costs. The American health system historically gave a high priority to patient choice at the price of ballooning costs and the exclusion of the uninsured from the system. Having increased coverage, the Obama reforms will have to restrict choice if they are to control costs. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

June 29, 2011 at 10:46 am