Saturday, April 4, 2009

Assumptions of Living - Good and Bad

One approach taken in the writing of this blog is finding different ideas on the Internet and see how they can be connected. Sometimes it is obvious, but other times there is just a sense of connection. I found two such sources of interest at TED.

The two TED talks were Why we think it's OK to cheat and steal (sometimes) - Dan Ariely (2009) and Celebrating work -- all kinds of work - Mike Rowe (2008).

Both speak to our tendency of holding assumptions of how moral we are ourselves , how we perceive others and how those others deal with life, both good and the bad. What helped make the connection was Mike Rowe's tying his observations of the everyday lives of working people to the Aristotelian theory of tragedy. Dan Ariely takes that idea from the level of the individual to the level of community reminding me of the words from Julius Caesar.

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves...

The Life and Death of Julies Caesar

Monday, March 30, 2009

China's New and Growing Role at the World Economic Table

The G20 meeting in London is set for 2 April 2009. One of the relative new and now major participants will be the People's Republic of China. Whatever happens to the World Economy, and therefore to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, will depend to a great extent upon China.

One of my news sources is the China Daily. I took a look over the last couple of weeks to see what they were putting out as news worthy in terms of world economics.

To a great extent they pull what they want from the same sources as we do. Which can mean that their information is as conflicted as ours is, depending upon who is talking.

China Daily (Xinhua) Updated: 2009-03-19 23:07
IMF: World economy to shrink in 2009, first time in 60 years
WASHINGTON - The world economy is expected to contract in 2009 for the first time in 60 years as advanced economies will shrink sharply, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

In the analysis, the IMF called on G20 governments to take steps to relieve their financial systems of distressed assets and free up credit.

"Turning around global growth will depend critically on more concerted policy actions to stabilize financial conditions as well as sustained strong policy support to bolster demand," the IMF said.
For a different perspective

China Daily (Agencies) Updated: 2009-03-18 16:46
ECB chief: Growth may resume in 2010

PARIS - European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said Wednesday that economic growth could resume next year, although 2009 will be "very, very difficult." "2010 could be the year of a moderate resumption of growth, but that depends on us," he said on France's Europe-1 radio.

He said an economic recovery depends on the confidence of governments, businesses and consumers. "The essential problem is not to make predictions in an uncertain world, it is to find confidence again," Trichet said.
That seems to be saying that our only problem is that we have a bad attitude. Others have written about the Europeans refusal to follow President Obama's economic strategy. China seems to be willing to participate with the IMF, but on its own terms. It seems that China now as a far greater ability to set its own terms than it did in the last century.

By Zheng Lifei (China Daily) Updated: 2009-03-28 08:42
Vice Premier: China will aid IMF bond scheme
China is ready to buy bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if the multilateral financial institution's quota-based contributions fall short of immediate needs, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan wrote in a Friday article for the London Times newspaper.

In an article titled "G20 must look beyond the needs of the top 20", Wang said the IMF should set the scale of contributions by per-capita GDP rather than the size of a country's foreign exchange reserves.

"It is neither realistic nor fair to set the scale of contribution simply by the size of foreign exchange reserves," he wrote, "China is ready to play an active part in exploring ways to raise resources and will contribute to this effort within its ability. We hold that the IMF should mobilize resources through the quota-based system as well as voluntary contributions, striking a balance between the rights and obligations of the contributing countries."

Links to Related China Daily Articles