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The frugal superpower

Newsweek: China must learn from America's mistakes. NYT: Obama misses the true legacies of the Iraq war. Economist: Don't rely on central banks to be economic saviors.

America is fast becoming the ‘frugal superpower’

Columnist Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times that the United States can no longer afford to be an effective world leader and has become a “frugal superpower.” This will lead to domestic as well as foreign policy cuts and have a ripple effect around the world.

QUOTE: US power has been the key force maintaining global stability, and providing global governance, for the last 70 years. That role will not disappear, but it will almost certainly shrink.

China must learn from America’s mistakes

Author Eleanor Clift writes in Newsweek that as China grows and develops, it should learn from America’s mistakes and make every effort not to repeat them. She writes that China must address its energy needs in a sustainable way and improve its education system to encourage creative thinking.

QUOTE: The Chinese have to look no further than America to see what will happen if they don’t curb their energy appetite and address the growing gap between rich and poor.

A common currency threatens Europe’s economy

Nicole Gelinas, the Searle Freedom Trust fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a chartered financial analyst, writes in the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal that a common currency may be hurting Europe’s economy. Efforts to sustain the euro as Europe faces economic problems threaten the continent’s competitiveness and future investments.

QUOTE: The euro’s plight should serve as a reminder that in currencies, as in other markets, free competition strengthens nations by keeping them flexible and accountable. Rigid cooperation intensifies mistakes.

Tony Blair’s memoir reignites debate on his leadership

George Parker writes in the Financial Times that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s memoir has “reawakened” the country to the contradictions surrounding his leadership. The memoir has also demonstrated Blair’s need to redeem himself in the eyes of the public.

QUOTE: His friends say he hopes the book will help to normalize relations with his home country, addressing his relentlessly negative image in the media.

Obama misses the true legacies of the Iraq war

Columnist Frank Rich writes in the New York Times that as President Barack Obama marked the end of U.S. combat missions in Iraq, he neglected to acknowledge the legacy of anger and grief left behind by the war.

QUOTE: We can’t afford to forget now that the single biggest legacy of the Iraq war at home was to codify the illusion that Americans can have it all at no cost.

Japan should reject challenger

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that Japan’s Democratic Party of Japan should reject Ichiro Ozawa, who is challenging Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The piece states that he has no clear policy and may be seeking the position merely to acquire more power.

QUOTE: [Ozawa] may destroy what remains of the trust that voters put in the DPJ when it ended 55 years of one-party rule last year. For the good of Japanese democracy, not to mention its own future, the DPJ must reject Mr Ozawa and all that he stands for.

China must work on its image

William Choong writes in the Straits Times that China sees itself as benign, but other Asian nations often do not share this view. He argues that this disconnect is disconcerting and that China must work on its image.

QUOTE: China needs to at least recognize concerns voiced by some of its Asian neighbors about its military build-up, instead of burying such concerns under lofty rhetoric about China's “peaceful rise.” Beijing should explain in detail what the acquisitions of, say, nuclear-armed submarines, and even an aircraft carrier, are for.

India should handle China strategically

Rory Medcalf, director of the international security program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, writes in the Wall Street Journal that India must respond to China’s aggressiveness with calm and clearheaded policies. He argues that India’s quickness to overreact can only hurt relations.

QUOTE: New Delhi must act calmly but firmly in response to the latest challenges. China relations should be governed in part by the notion that discretion is the better part of valor.

Don’t rely on central banks to be economic saviors

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that central banks cannot be held responsible for rescuing the global economy. In the United States, for example, Americans put too much reliance on the Federal Reserve to prop up the economy.

QUOTE: Central banks cannot cut short-term rates any further. And in many places the recovery is sluggish for a reason that also renders central banks less effective: economies are deleveraging as households, in particular, rebuild their savings and pay down debt.

Obama likely to propose new measures to boost America’s weak economy

An editorial in the Daily Beast examines various new economic policies that Obama may unveil this week. These include tax breaks, new infrastructure spending and tax rebates.

QUOTE: Obama may pledge new infrastructure spending, one of the most efficient and direct ways for government to add workers to payrolls. He also plans to ask Congress to permanently extend a research-and-development tax credit, according to the aides.