Thursday , June 17 2021
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EconoSpeak

The Econospeak blog, which succeeded MaxSpeak (co-founded by Barkley Rosser, a Professor of Economics at James Madison University and Max Sawicky, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute) is a multi-author blog . Self-described as “annals of the economically incorrect”, this frequently updated blog analyzes daily news from an economic perspective, but requires a strong economics background.

The Zhou Enlai Paradox

A bit over a half century ago when Henry Kissinger was organizing Richard Nixon's visit to China, he was largely interacting on this matter with Zhou Enlai (Chou-Enlai in Wade-Giles transliteration). He reported that during their negotiations he asked Zhou what he thought of the French Revolution.  Zhou replied that "It is too soon to tell." This has since been taken as deep insight by Zhou on a deep historical issue, which indeed is still debated, at least in parts of the West. More recent...

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The Cornwall Paradox

 The County of Cornwall has been in the news as the site of the G7 summit, just ended. In today's Washington Post an article "In Cornwall, a jarring contrast of power and poverty," by Karla Adam and Loveday Morris, a paradox of this visit is highlighted and brought out, indeed, that Cornwall is one of the poorest places in Great Britain, indeed in Northern Europe more generally, but that it is drawing much attention and some money, if not necessarily what it most needs.  A deep part of this...

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Global Polls

OK, so I think the nations surveyed are biased, but I have now seen two polls with roughly similar polls.  So Pew, with a larger base and solid credibility has that among foreign nations polls in their nations data set showed an improvement in favorability rating for the POTUS have gone from 17% to 75% give or take a few percents. OTOH, the attitude towards the US among whichever nations Pew polled had the attitude towards the US only rising from 34% to 62%.  Most commentary has this as...

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Treasury Secretary Yellen Achieves A Victory

 This is her getting the G-7 finance ministers to agree to a minimum 15% corporate tax. It is easy to sneer at this. Some of the nations involved may not pass it. There are many problems with details, such as whether the tax would be on gross or net income.  There are a lot of nations not in on this agreement, including especially large China.But currently many large corporations are paying zero anywhere, with this reflecting their ability to shift earnings around from nation to nation. ...

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#TangPing (“lying flat”)

China's new 'tang ping' trend aims to highlight pressures of work culture(from BBC)Young people in China exhausted by a culture of hard work with seemingly little reward are highlighting the need for a lifestyle change by "lying flat".The new trend, known as "tang ping", is described as an antidote to society's pressures to find jobs and perform well while working long shifts.China has a shrinking labour market and young people often work more hours.The term "tang ping" is believed to have...

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The War On Anthony Fauci

 This title may seem a bit over the top, but for those not paying attention to the Trump media bubble they may not realize how completely out of control and over the top this has become.  It is topped off by Trump himself going after Dr. Anthony Fauci big time in his speech to the NC GOP earlier this evening for having urged people to wear masks and for supposedly covering up the supposed lab source of the coronavirus in Wuhan. But this follows what has become an almost all the time attack...

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My Latest Book

Heck, I might as well brag here when I have the opportunity, and I do.  So, just a couple of days ago my latest book came out from Springer Nature.  It is called Foundations and Applications of Complexity Economics.  I am not going to go on about it or its contents other than to note that I have published on this general topic before on numerous occasions, with my last book out on it a decade ago in 2011, also from Springer.  Anyway, it feels good to actually get those hard copies in your...

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Do Languages Get Simpler When They Get More Complicated?

 Oh, a minor diversion from the usual political economy stuff that goes up here.  This is triggered by an article in last week's The Economist on the nearly dead San language, Nluu.  It has only two living fully fluent speakers alive, both in their 80s.  The San languages are among the world's most ancient, although arguably reflecting a simpler world than the one we live in, although certainly with many complications we know nothing of.  But the point that caught my attention was that it...

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The Trumpification of Xi Jinping

 The Peoples' Republic of China (PRC) has achieved great outcomes over the last several decades, especially after the late Deng Xiaoping took effective control of the nation from Maoist holdovers.  He set a model of indirect and collective leadership in contrast with Mao Zedong who ruled nearly absolutely for nearly three decades, while building and enforcing a cult of personality dedicated to himself. Of the top three positions in the nation, he held only one: Chair of the Military...

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Larry Summers Doubles Down On His Inflation Prediction

 But somehow becomes vaguer about exactly how this is going to happen and show up, but he wants the Fed to stop it in its track, goshdarnit.  This is in a column appearing in the Washington Post, May 25, "The inflation risk is real."Well, he does start out by saying that the economic recovery from the pandemic is a good thing, as is of course the the receeding of the pandemic itself, with the US doing well compared to "other industrial countries."  The fiscal and monetary policies supporting...

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