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WSJ: Chinese leaders are allowing strikes to avoid “wholesale rebellion.” FT: Eurozone suffers from small country syndrome. Time: due to the economic crisis, the US is losing influence to China’s “cash offensive.”
China’s labor concessions marks a turning point
Willy Lam, a professor of China studies at Akita International University in Japan, writes in the Wall Street Journal that China’s concessions to workers represents a turning point in the nation’s economic development. He writes that there are signs that Chinese authorities will not allow prolonged labor unrest and will only make so many concessions. But he argues that China’s workers have shown they are bold, capable of organizing and unlikely to allow the status quo.
QUOTE: Unless China's Communist Party leadership is willing to make fundamental changes to how the economic and political pie is allocated, it risks a wholesale rebellion that could tear asunder the country's already tenuous social fabric.
US needs short-term growth, long-term discipline
Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in the Washington Post that US Congress and policymakers avoided another depression in 2008-2009 by giving the economy a stimulus. Now, as the economy faces further problems, they should not resort to austerity measures. Larry Summers, President Obama's top economic adviser, told Dionne that the United States cannot deal with its deficit problem until the economy sees growth. Once jobs are created, the United States must show long-term fiscal responsibility.
QUOTE: In the parlance of political consultants, it "muddles the message" to argue that we need to tilt toward growth now and fiscal discipline in the long run. But it happens to be the right policy.
Small-country syndrome threatens eurozone
Columnist Wolfgang Münchau writes in the Financial Times that small European countries are hurting the eurozone. He argues that these governments implement austerity programs without considering how their policies will affect other countries.
QUOTE: The European Union is a tyranny of small countries, and this has served it well. But the small-country syndrome is counterproductive when it comes to macroeconomics.
China restructures its industries to become even stronger
Ang Yuen Yuen, a professor of international affairs at Columbia University, writes in Beirut’s Daily Star that workers’ demands for higher wages and a decline in foreign demand for exports has threatened China’s manufacturing industry. However, the author argues that these changes may be a “blessing in disguise” as they have forced a restructuring of China’s labor-intensive industries.
QUOTE: When China’s labor-intensive industries emerge from their metamorphosis, we should expect to see firms that are larger, that invest more in product innovation and design, and that hold more sway over business and trade policies. So “Made in China” is not losing international dominance yet. It is merely taking on a new – and possibly more formidable – shape.
Put Americans back to work
Cynthia Tucker writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer that Americans are more concerned about unemployment than the national deficit. And yet, she argues, American politicians are focused on cutting spending because they see Europe’s economic crisis and do not want to face a similar problem on their soil. Tucker argues that the best way to reduce the federal deficit is to get taxpayers back to work.
QUOTE: An estimated 20 percent or so of the current federal deficit, according to the Center for American Progress, was brought on by the recession; when taxpayers lose their jobs and businesses go bankrupt, they don't pay taxes. A recovery would boost the federal treasury.
South Korea must embrace further liberalization
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that South Korea is pursuing the wrong monetary policy. It states that the country’s biggest capital problem is too little liberalization, and it should enact policies to allow greater competition and trade.
QUOTE: Rather than further distorting markets already swollen by excess dollars, policy makers should look for opportunities to make their economies more resilient in the face of global shocks.
US must reduce entitlement programs to boost global security
Walter Andrusyszyn, a former director for central and northern Europe at the National Security Council,writes in the Christian Science Monitor that the United States’ debt threatens the country’s national security as well as global stability. He writes that European nations are now worried about relying on the United States for security when the country has become economically and militarily weaker.
QUOTE: Strong growth not only restores jobs and balance sheets; it revitalizes the security infrastructure, giving new leverage to diplomacy. But strong growth is not possible without first reducing the tax and debt burdens of unsustainable entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
ASEAN must confront Myanmar over nuclear ambitions
Journalist Kavi Chongkittavorn writes in the China Post that ASEAN and the United States must pressure Myanmar to respond to claims that it has nuclear ambitions. The piece argues that Myanmar is unlikely to tell the truth about a nuclear program, but ASEAN must force the issue as its reputation and desire to promote peace, stability and economic strength in the region is at stake.
QUOTE: Sooner [rather] than later, ASEAN must take up Burma's nuclear plan and other global issues to iron out differences in order to forge common views and positions.
American pessimism jeopardizes the nation’s recovery
Columnist Robert J. Samuelson writes in Newsweek that Americans are pessimistic that the economy is on track for a full recovery. He writes that fears about the economy can make the situation worse as companies might refuse to hire and consumers might refuse to spend. If that happens, it could cause a “double-dip” recession.
QUOTE: Not since World War II has an economic recovery been so hobbled by poor confidence. Every recession leaves a legacy of anxiety and uncertainty. But the present residue is exceptional, because the recession was savage and—more important—its origins (housing bubble, financial crisis) were unfamiliar.
Financial crisis undermines America’s soft power
Journalist Peter Beinart writes in Time that the financial crisis has weakened the United States’ soft power around the world. He argues that America’s attraction has always been its political and economic model. Now that its economy shows weakness, other nations are less likely to want to follow America’s lead. Instead, President Obama’s foreign policy goals are being undermined by China’s “cash offensive.”
QUOTE: A decade ago, poor governments hungry for trade and aid had no choice but to show up in Washington, where they received lectures about how to make their economies resemble America's. Now they can get twice the money and half the moralizing in Beijing.