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FT: Currency changes will not end US-China trade disputes. NYT: US must become a voice for open trade. WashPost: Americans are angry over leaders' lack of seriousness on joblessness.
Wage increases force a shift in China’s development phase
J.C. De Swaan, a Princeton University lecturer in the economics department, writes in the Wall Street Journal that China will see a shift in its development phase as higher value-added sectors will develop in wealthier parts of the country. Low-wage manufacturing jobs will move to inland parts of China that had been left out of the country’s growth.
QUOTE: The concern for China going forward will be less about losing low-end manufacturing jobs, many of which will migrate to its underdeveloped inland provinces, than matching new opportunities with skilled talent in its coastal areas.
US should make more practical economic decisions
Columnist David Brooks writes in the New York Times that economists who are pushing for more government spending and stimulus programs fail to recognize that increases in debt erodes consumers’ confidence. He argues that the US government must be careful to be practical and not cause too much debt or too much austerity and possibly stagnation.
QUOTE: This year, don’t engage in reckless new borrowing or reckless new cutting. Focus on the fundamentals. Cut programs that don’t enhance productivity. Spend more on those that do.
Currency revaluation will not end trade disputes between China and US
Columnist Alan Beattie writes in the Financial Times that even if China allows its currency to rise significantly, the United States will still face challenges regarding trade and investment in its relationship with China.
QUOTE: What China sees as legitimate tools to promote its economic development are regarded in Washington as abuses of state and market power, and it is becoming painfully obvious that the US lacks the power to correct them.
South Korea sees widening gap between rich and poor
Journalist Donald Kirk writes in the Asia Times that South Korea’s economy is not as successful as leaders make it out to seem. He argues that the gap between the rich and poor is widening, and a new wealthy class is controlling the country like a so-called aristocracy.
QUOTE: Bypassing such nettlesome questions as wage distribution and economic equality, analysts prefer to focus on South Korea's status as a "middle power" between global giants near and far and smaller powers in the region.
US must become a voice for open international trade
An editorial in the New York Times argues that President Obama must do more to fight a trend of protectionism around the world. It argues that the United States must become a voice for open international trade.
QUOTE: It must press harder for the completion of the stalled round of global trade talks started nine years ago in Doha, Qatar, and to undo the myriad protectionist measures that governments around the globe — including our own — have adopted since the financial crash.
Japan should not raise national consumption tax
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that Japan should not raise the national consumption tax as the economy needs consumers to spend more. The new prime minister should instead focus on stimulating growth.
QUOTE: Japanese with long memories know the country prospered after World War II when taxation as a share of GDP was much lower than it is now. The country's malaise has coincided with two decades of government overspending financed by borrowing and tax increases.
Americans are angry over their leaders’ lack of action on joblessness
Columnist Eugene Robinson writes in the Washington Post that Americans are angry because their political leaders are not taking the nation’s unemployment problem seriously enough. He argues that the party that does so will win in the next elections.
QUOTE: The debate among economists about whether or not this will prove to be a "double-dip" recession is beside the point. For most people, this feels more like one long, uninterrupted dip -- with no end in sight.
Australia’s new government faces pressure over foreign policy
Fergus Hanson, director of the Lowy Institute Poll Project, writes in the Australian that Australia’s new prime minister faces a public with serious concerns over the government’s foreign policy goals, including climate change, relations with the US, Japanese whaling and Chinese investment.
QUOTE: Polling shows a large majority of Australians believe China's growth has been good for Australia. But they are worried about the future. Almost half say it is likely that our single largest trading partner will also become a military threat to us in the next 20 years and 57 per cent say the government is allowing too much Chinese investment.
BP’s CEO shows lack of leadership during crisis
Tom Bower, an investigative historian, broadcaster and journalist, writes in the Daily Beast that BP CEO Tony Hayward is trying his hardest to rescue his company and reputation, but his efforts to save his job may prove futile. Hayward’s critics argue he does not understand politics and has been a poor leader in a time of crisis.
QUOTE: He is simply a decent geologist who enjoys sailing. His fate has become irrelevant to BP’s future.
American fears of China are overblown
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, University of California at Irvine professor, writes in the Christian Science Monitor that Americans should not be as anxious as they are about China’s rise. He argues that the United States has had similar fears about other countries that proved unnecessary, countries in South and East Asia should be more concerned about China’s actions than the West, and China’s leaders share similar concerns as Americans.
QUOTE: We worry about resurgent Chinese nationalism, but so do they. China's leaders know that once on the streets, protesters who begin criticizing foreigners often start railing against domestic authorities. This limits Beijing's use of nationalism.