Time for another LinkSwarm!
Posts Tagged ‘China’
Another Friday roundup of random news:
This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:
The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.
The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.
Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.
Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”
In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.
Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…
Today was dedicated to exercise and fiction, so here’s a quick LinkSwarm:
Still trying to get back in the swing of things, so here’s a LinkSwarm for a lazy Friday:
Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.
As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.
“Chinese broadcasters have axed two-thirds of popular TV shows in line with a government directive to curb “excessive entertainment,” according to local media reports.”
“Air time will be filled instead with extended news bulletins and ‘programs that promote traditional virtues and socialist core values.’”
I don’t think you want to do that, sunshine. People like their TV, and they need something to distract them from China’s imploding economy, general unrest, specific unrest among the Muslim population, unequal sex ratios, Communist Party suppression of dissent, and the endemic corruption. You want to give them more circuses, not less. Do they really think that The Happy Socialist Progress Hour is an acceptable substitute for a popular drama or comedy, or can they just not afford circuses anymore?
And if they can no longer afford the circuses, how soon will it be before they can no longer afford the bread?
We’ve lost one of the great heroes of the 20th century.
Vaclav Havel, a man who was (in chronological order) an important playwright, a hero of the struggle against communism, and founding President of the Czech Republic, is dead at 75.
Of the three, Havel’s role in the struggle against communism was far and away the most important. In a country in which the state’s (and in turn Moscow’s) imprimatur was necessary for a playwright to make a living, Havel refused to buckle under or avoid criticizing the great evil that was communism. In the wake of Prague Spring, his works were banned and he was repeatedly imprisoned, but he kept speaking out, finally helping lead the Velvet Revolution and, after the fall of Communism, setting the stage for the “Velvet Divorce,” in which the Czech Republic and Slovakia split peacefully into two separate nations, even though he opposed it.
Havel, unlike Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho and Barack Obama, never won a Nobel Peace Prize, despite doing more for peace, justice and freedom than the vast majority of winners.
Understand that there are people as noble, brave and truthful as Havel sitting in jail in Cuba and China this very moment, many of whom who have been beaten and tortured for speaking truth to power. And Havel, in and out of power, never stopped fighting for the victims of communism, as shown by this video:
A smattering of news on this and that:
I think it’s safe to say that Ted Cruz now has David Dewhurst’s attention.
First came the Chupacabra ad, then news of the National Review cover. Then yesterday, the Cruz campaign noted that Dewhurst floated the idea of a wage tax (i.e., a thinly disguised income tax) back in 2005.
Today the Dewhurst campaign stepped down from the Ivory Tower to punch back, calling attention to a story that Cruz, in his career as a private appellate lawyer, represented a Chinese firm in a patent dispute with an American firm, and to an interview with Laura Ingraham in which he expressed opposition to a Senate bill that seeks sanctions against China for currency manipulation. (A complete transcript of the Ingraham show appearance can be found here.)
Here’s the exact language from Steven Cheung of Dewhurst for Texas:
The day after Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka reported on Ted Cruz acting as legal counsel to a Chinese company accused of patent infringement against an American inventor, Cruz again showed his true colors by again defending China’s interests on the Laura Ingraham Show. To check out our latest video that has highlights, please click here.
By standing on the same side as President Barack Obama, a fellow elitist, Harvard attorney with zero business experience, Cruz and Obama strongly oppose a bill that would curb China’s predatory trade and currency practices in a time when they are taking over ownership of the American economy.
“It’s about holding China accountable for what China is doing that is completely without integrity and subverting the principles of free trade,” said Ingraham. Moments later, Ingraham correctly declared, “Obama’s with you on this bill!”
At a time when millions of Americans are without jobs, why does Ted Cruz consistently put the needs of China before America?
To my mind, this is fairly weak sauce by the Dewhurst campaign, and the tone is overreaching. Representing clients is what lawyers do, and it’s not like Cruz is working pro bono for convicted terrorists.
And I happen to be on Cruz’s side on the China bill, as are (as far as I can tell) the vast majority of conservitive commentators and economists. Sure, China manilpulates it’s currency…but so do we, Europe, and just about everyone else. Protectionism is still loser economics, and starting a trade war in the midst of a recession is not a great idea.
Whether these criticisms will play with Republican primary voters is another question. Tom Leppert’s been using the lawyer line of attack on Cruz without any notable effect for months now, but China bashing is seldom unpopular; it’s also, as far as I can tell, seldom an effective wedge issue, either.
But it’s interesting to note that the gloves have finally come off for the Dewhurst campaign. I don’t think his soi distant Ivory Tower approach was going to tide him over until he could carpet-bomb the primary with big direct mail and ad buys. Despite Dewhurst’s status as presumptive frontrunner, Cruz continues to make noise and rack up conservative endorsements both locally and nationally.
The Dewhurst campaign seems to have finally realized they have a fight on their hands.