China has overestimated Trump’s desperation to do a deal

https://www.ft.com/content/f2e3e93a-72d4-11e9-bf5c-6eeb837566c5

For anyone who has negotiated with either Donald Trump or the Chinese Communist party, the collapse of US-China trade talks thanks to last-minute brinkmanship will come as no surprise.

At noon Beijing time on Friday — midnight Thursday in Washington — the US increased tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent after it accused China of “reneging” on earlier promises at the eleventh hour.

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The fight to keep ideas open to all

The “commons of the mind” must be preserved, says James Boyle of Duke Law School, on the 50th anniversary of “The tragedy of the commons”

https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/12/12/the-fight-to-keep-ideas-open-to-all?fsrc=gp_en?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/thefighttokeepideasopentoallopenvoices

“THE ONLY way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed.” This ominous sentence comes not from China’s one-child policy but from one of the 20th century’s most influential—and misunderstood—essays in economics. “The tragedy of the commons”, by Garrett Hardin, marks its 50th anniversary on December 13th.

The article, published in the journal Science, was a neo-Malthusian jeremiad about uncontrolled population growth. But it is remembered for the image that the title conjures up and for the anecdotes that Hardin used. The idea behind it is as simple as it is profound: a resource freely available to all will be used inefficiently. An actual common will inevitably be overgrazed. Who would restrict their cattle if other herders may not follow suit? 

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Key pointers from “The Great Man” Theory Debunked

Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-09/hitler-trump-great-man-theory-debunked

The “Great Man Theory” [Link] tells us that history can be largely explained by the impact of great leaders.

Herbert Spencer [Link] forcefully disagreed with the “Great Man Theory.” He believed that great leaders were merely products of their social environment. 

One of the significant shortcomings of many political philosophers is their ignorance of human nature.

Donald Trump, He’s a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base.

I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump.

China is building a large, new embassy at the mouth of the Panama Canal visible to every ship “as they enter a waterway that once symbolized the global influence of the United States.”

China is replacing U.S. influence in Latin America.

The elites are running out the clock in order to loot as much as they can before it hits the fan.

We dirt people will continue to suffer from stagnant wage growth while the so-called increase in national wealth goes to a tiny minority. [link]

It is said that every few generations, money returns to its rightful owners. That is what’s happening now.

or 5,000 years, China was a world superpower with only a short, two-century hiatus that is now ending as China again emerges as an economic superpower. Such a massive shift in wealth cannot be attributed to either leadership or the people below. It is a painful reversion to the mean. All the finger-pointing and wailing and gnashing of teeth … not even bombastic Trump and his tariffs can stem the tide and make Amerika great again as money continues to flow back to its rightful owners.

The USA is a declining, bankrupt, warmongering police state and most of its indoctrinated citizens think they live in a free, peaceful country.

China is a corrupt police state, but most of its citizens know it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. The future awaits.

Survival of the Richest

The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Source: https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1

Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk — about half my annual professor’s salary — all to deliver some insight on the subject of “the future of technology.”

I’ve never liked talking about the future. The Q&A sessions always end up more like parlor games, where I’m asked to opine on the latest technology buzzwords as if they were ticker symbols for potential investments: blockchain, 3D printing, CRISPR. The audiences are rarely interested in learning about these technologies or their potential impacts beyond the binary choice of whether or not to invest in them. But money talks, so I took the gig.

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Macroeconomics – 11. The Economics of Developing Countries

  1. What are some of the most important characteristics of developing countries?
  2. Describe the Malthusian trap associated with population growth.
  3. Explain the demographic transition view of population growth.
  4. What is the so-called “brain drain?”
  5. What is the Catch-22 of capital formation for many developing countries?
  6. Illustrate the vicious circle of poverty.
  7. Regarding strategies of economic development, describe and assess three major strategic choices faced by developing countries.
  8. List nine ways for developing countries to enhance economic growth.

Macroeconomics – 10. Exchange Rates, The Balance of Payments, and Trade Deficits

  1. What is the basic trade identity equation?
  2. What are the three major components of the Current Account? Which is the biggest?
  3. Define an exchange rate.
  4. Explain the three major reasons why exchange rates change.
  5. Describe the gold standard. When and why did it collapse?
  6. Explain the gold specie flow mechanism.
  7. What was the major difference between the gold standard and the Bretton Woods system? When and why did Bretton Woods collapse?
  8. Describe the current international monetary system.
  9. What is an exchange-rate intervention?
  10. What are the three major causes of the chronic trade deficits of the United States?
  11. Illustrate the multiplier link.
  12. Suppose that America wants to reduce its trade deficit with Japan. What might the United States encourage Japan to do?
  13. Illustrate the monetary link.
  14. Explain some of the difficulties of coordinating macroeconomic policies between countries.
  15. Illustrate the benefits of global coordination.

Macroeconomics – 9. International Trade and Protectionism

  1. Explain the theory of absolute advantage.
  2. Explain the theory of comparative advantage.
  3. What is the difference between a tariff and a quota?
  4. Illustrate the deadweight loss of a tariff versus a quota.
  5. Why, from a political perspective, are quotas often preferred to tariffs?
  6. Briefly summarize the six major arguments in support of protectionism.
  7. When does dumping occur?
  8. Provide several examples of non-tariff barriers to trade.
  9. What is the GATT?
  10. What is NAFTA?
  11. Describe the European Union.

Macroeconomics – 8. Budget Deficits and the Public Debt

  1. Write the formula for a budget deficit.
  2. What is the difference between government debt and a budget deficit or surplus?
  3. Why do economists like to compare the debt to the size of the nations’ gross domestic product or GOP?
  4. What is the difference between the real and nominal budget deficit?
  5. Suppose the nominal deficit is $100 billion, inflation is 10 percent, and total debt is $5 trillion. What is the real deficit?
  6. What is the difference between the structural and the cyclical or passive deficit?
  7. Define automatic stabilizers and provide three examples.
  8. Suppose the gross domestic product is $10 trillion, the budget deficit is $100 billion, and the unemployment rate is seven percent, or one percent above the assumed full employment rate. Suppose further that the marginal tax rate is 30%. Which portion of the $100 billion deficit is structural and which portion is cyclical?
  9. What is the central idea behind rational expectations theory?
  10. What is the central policy implication of rational expectations theory?
  11. Why is it important to estimating correctly the natural rate of unemployment important?
  12. What are the three main ways of financing a budget deficit?
  13. Why does the balanced budget multiplier have a value of one?
  14. Use the Keynesian model to illustrate crowding out.
  15. What is the primary problem with the “print money” option of financing the deficit?
  16. Summarize the major arguments, pro and con in the budget deficit debate.

Macroeconomics – 7. Economic Growth and Productivity

  1. Define economic growth.
  2. What are the four supply factors of growth?
  3. What two other factors are important in economic growth?
  4. Use PPF analysis to contrast Adam Smith’s golden age of growth versus Thomas Malthus’ doomsday.
  5. Explain the basic underlying principle of the Neoclassical growth model and provide examples.
  6. Why does capital deepening not lead to a proportional increase in output?
  7. What happens to worker wages and the return on capital as a result of capital deepening?
  8. Explain why capital deepening in the absence of technological change leads to economic stagnation.
  9. Define, and provide examples of, technological change.
  10. Use the concept of the aggregate production function to illustrate the differing roles that capital deepening and technological change play in economic growth.
  11. Which factors of growth have been the most instrumental in increasing labor productivity?
  12. According to economist Edward Denison,  what has been the most important source of economic growth in the US?
  13. Explain the relationship between productivity and wages.
  14. Is more growth always good?
  15. How might the government use public policy to stimulate growth? Discuss both Demand-side and Supply-side options.