Saturday, June 29, 2019

Big Winner Of China US Trade Truce: Huawei

Friday, June 28, 2019

US, China, Milky Way, Andromeda

This so-called US-China trade war I compare to the future projected collision between the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies. This clash is political. At some level, it was inevitable. It had to happen. And there is no going back. We will end up at some new equilibrium. Both powers will change in the process. The world itself will change. I think the primary casualty will be the nation-state itself. There will be no Milky Way left. There will be no Andromeda left. Something new will form.

The WTO is only as strong as its two largest trading partners will let it be. And there the train has already left the station. This tussle necessarily asks for fundamental reform of the WTO. But the US will not be the sole power shaping that new form. This tussle creates an opportunity for many powers who are represented in the G20 grouping to flex their muscle and wake up to the fact that they do have a seat at the table.

The elephant in the room, though, is technology. The US demands Huawei deliver on issues where the US technology giants themselves have a poor record. Privacy and security issues plague the tech sector like plastic waste in the Pacific. Here I propose the creation of a T100, a grouping of the top 100 technology firms of the world measured by market cap that meet on the sidelines of G20 and take the lead on issues of privacy and security. Trump asking Huawei to offer ironclad guarantees on security is like that emperor who demanded a flooded river to stop, just stop. Huawei alone can't do it any more than Google and Facebook have been able to. The CIA has got to be the top stealth organization when it comes to cyber snooping. I would not be surprised if the Chinese are a close second. They both take advantage of the security flaws in hardware and software that are extremely hard to patch.

5G is way more monumental than any road, or bridge, or port, or rail China can build with its Belt And Road Initiative. 5G is that infrastructure that will finally level the playing field for the Global South. Trump cannot be allowed to stand in the way of 5G deployment. On the other hand, take stock of all the privacy and security issues the world has had to encounter over the past 25 years and multiply that by 100. Much faster internet, much more ubiquitous internet will mean greater challenges for privacy and security. Here the T100 needs to take the lead. There are technological solutions. There are common standards to agree on. There is also room for law enforcement. But no nation state is at the center of this debate.

There is no way out for China from this trade war than through some major structural reforms which, by the way, would be good for the Chinese economy. Some of the structural reforms that are being demanded will make sure state funds do not go to state-owned enterprises that are losing money on massive scales. Such moves will make China more efficient and more competitive.

The US will also see structural changes. The 2020 election will see the rise of the Social Democrat. The US will likely go for Medicare For All. The US will become more like China on education and health.

And there's the all-important Clean Energy. On that, the two powers must fully cooperate. The problem is too big for any one of them to go solo.

In the clash of the two powers, that at some level was inevitable, both will fundamentally change and will become more like each other. But when the dust settles both will have become unrecognizable from their current vantage points.

The Trump Base

The 2016 election saw a large swathe of working-class whites gravitate to Donald Trump. These people used to be reliable Democrats. And it is hard to argue the only source of support has been racism. There are serious economic anxieties.

The 2016 mandate was that the US was tired of playing the world's policeman. For one, it is too expensive. The US spends something like 700 billion dollars every year on defense. For a fraction of that amount, it could solve the housing crisis, the education crisis, and the health crisis. It could make a serious dent in its infrastructure woes.

Trump questioned NATO. And people were aghast. But he was only responding to his mandate. Perhaps NATO is indeed a Cold War relic. Whether that is the case or not, a lot of Americans seem to think it is too expensive.

Globalization worked. Trade has worked. A lower-middle-class American today can go to her local Walmart and purchase stuff that Queen Victoria of England could only have dreamed of at the height of British power. There have been immense rises in productivity.

I wholeheartedly supported the idea of Trump holding summit level talks with the North Korean leader. I support the same between Trump and the Supreme Leader of Iran. Why not? Trying to reason things out in person is the basic democratic impulse. It is the most human thing to do.

Or, hey, how about video conferencing?

It is important to take Trump out of the picture and see that something happened in 2016. The US as a country is trying to readjust. The US feels like its defense treaty with Germany and Japan are no longer sustainable. They cost too much money. And perhaps they do. New arrangements have to be sought.

Maybe we are looking at a scenario where Japan gets an army again.

Peace on the peninsula would help. North Korea wants a peace treaty. That peace treaty would guarantee that the US will not invade North Korea. That North Korea wants such an assurance speaks to the paranoia of the regime. But that peace treaty is a small price to pay for peace. Normalized relations between the two Koreas would have cascading influences. We will very likely see a Germany repeat. And Japan will have many fewer security concerns.

The 2016 mandate has to be seen as a call for a new world order where the US plays a less central, a less expensive role. Some of the things Trump wants on trade can only be achieved if the dollar is no longer the global currency. Perhaps it is time for something like Libra, a currency resting on the Bitcoin technology that is pegged to a basket of the five major currencies of the world.

Trump spotted the well of anger in 2016. I don't think he has the solutions. The solutions he offers are misguided at best.

Take intellectual property law as an example. It makes no sense for the US Congress to pass intellectual property law and then impose that on the rest of the world. The US Congress is not the Congress for the whole world. A global parliament needs to shape something like that.

There are a lot of people who are happy someone is finally standing up to China. There are a lot of people who are very happy someone is finally standing up to the US. Both powers should take note.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Warren In The Lead

Right now if I had to bet who the Democratic nominee is going to be, I'd say that would be Elizabeth Warren. She is surging. She owns the wealth tax idea. Kamala and Pete are also doing remarkably well. There can be only one president at a time. But there's also Vice President, there's Secretary Of Urban Affairs. Andrew Yang similarly owns the Universal Basic Income idea. I'd love to see a two women ticket.

As for Trump, right now looks like every Dem can push him out, even Cory Booker, who is not even qualifying for the first debates (I think).

The beauty of so many people running is, if there is a healthy debate on ideas, they will all go on to shape the party platform.

President: Elizabeth Warren
Vice President: Kamala Harris
UN Ambassador: Tulsi Gabbard
Secretary of Urban Affairs: Pete Buttigieg
Secretary of Labor: Andrew Yang

2020: As Yet Unclear
The US Economy Is In Trouble
DC And Puerto Rico Statehood, And Still 50 States
Young And Progressive
Real Donald Jerry Seinfeld Trump?
Andrew Yang: The Only One With A Solution
A Bad Scenario For Trump
The Possible Outline Of A Deal Between Xi And Trump In June
Mueller Drops A Bomb
2020: The Year Of The Social Democrat
Andrew Yang: Universal Basic Income, Elizabeth Warren: Wealth Tax

Trump Set to Live-Tweet Democratic Debates Interacting in real time on Twitter would make Mr. Trump’s presence more tangible by directly inserting himself into the political conversation unfolding on stage. His posts could provide instant responses as well as insights into which attacks he feels most acutely.

DEMOCRATS CAN BOTH IMPEACH TRUMP AND WIN 2020 More Americans than not want to impeach Trump. That figure has only increased since the Mueller report was released and Special Counselor Mueller's subsequent statement. That suggests that the more evidence that comes out against Trump—which would happen during an investigation—the more popular impeachment becomes. ..... a higher proportion of Americans today support impeachment than when Congress began impeachment inquiries into Richard Nixon. That number steadily rose over the course of Nixon's public impeachment inquiry, until Nixon resigned to avoid an impeachment vote. ...... people of color overwhelmingly want to begin impeachment inquiries into Trump. ..... 59 percent of people of color agree with impeaching Trump while just 31 percent of white people do. ...... Democratic lawmakers increasingly rely on people of color to show up at the polls to remain in office, but following an unfortunately familiar pattern, then ignore the views of the very people responsible for voting them into office......... Avoiding a head-on confrontation didn't work for "Little Marco," and it's a bad strategy for Democrats. ..... In the same way that Medicare for All is a bold, principled position that Republicans actually like, supporting the constitution steadfastly is a principled position, though I'm not sure "bold." Just look at this Saturday's event in deep-Red Battle Creek, Michigan—a town represented by the only Republican in Congress on the record for impeachment...... Avoidance and delays aren't neutral; they send a very clear message. And that message is that the president is above the law and that the Democratic party is unprepared or unwilling to challenge that fact.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Two Paths for the American Left
Inside Donald Trump's Florida obsession

Monday, June 17, 2019

2020: As Yet Unclear

The picture for 2020 is hardly clear. But I for one am happy there are so many Democrats running for president. Let there be a fierce contest of ideas. Let the contestants refrain from personal attacks. Expect the president to be rattled that for now people are paying much less attention to him. Expect him to throw temper tantrums to shift attention away from the contesting Dems to himself. Expect him to make pointed personal attacks.

Elizabeth Warren is the only person in the Democratic field who might go toe to toe with Trump on attacks. When they go low, you go high, yes. But going silent is not going high. Not fighting is not going high. Warren will deliver fierce rebuttals when it is time.

There were entire stretches in the Fall of 2016 when Hillary was missing in action. For weeks she utterly refused to defend the Clinton Foundation to which she had attached her own name earlier that year. If you can't even defend something like the Clinton Foundation, what can you defend? Unless there is an evolution to a more enlightened political culture, the rules of the game are you fight back.

Nancy Pelosi is doing the Hillary thing right now. She is like, we need to investigate. What do you think Mueller was doing? He completed his work. He investigated.

Obama's contribution to Hillary's defeat in 2016 was that he refused to fight Mitch McConnell on the Supreme Court justice question. The Senate owes a presidential nominee for the Supreme Court a yes or no vote. So says the constitution. Obama refused to defend the US constitution.

Trump inviting any and all foreign governments to hand him dirt on his 2020 political opponents is the kind of behavior you enable when you don't bring him to book on his 2016 behavior. He likewise asked Russia if "you are listening" in 2016. It was not a hidden act. It was from the pulpit. Had he done so in a private meeting with the Russian ambassador, would that have been collusion? Russia responded. And Russia got duped. Russia thought Trump will end the US sanctions in February 2017. Just like there were people who thought Trump will build a wall on the Mexico border, Trump will bring back all the lost manufacturing jobs. Duped and duped.

If you believe a bullshitter, shame on you. Shame on the bullshitter maybe later, but first shame on you.

The many 2020 polls are telling a pretty clear story Sen. Bernie Sanders has plateaued, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is surging ...... Biden’s and Sanders’s support have flagged, Warren is on the rise, with Buttigieg and Harris a cut above the rest of the field.......some erosion for Biden and Sanders, while others like Warren and Buttigieg are growing in voters’ estimation. ...... the polling for Trump continues to look bad. ....... he’s underwater in the key battleground states that were key to his victory last time. His approval rating is still low. His internal polling keeps leaking and keeps looking terrible. And while head-to-head polling is of limited value this early in the game, he appears to be losing to every Democratic candidate in a potential 2020 matchup.

Elizabeth Warren Is Completely Serious About income inequality. About corporate power. About corrupt politics. And about being America’s next president. ...... and canisters of tea. She drinks many cups a day ...... propagate policy proposals that she has been thinking about for decades ....... We’ve moved the Overton window” — the range of ideas deemed to merit serious consideration — “on how we think about taxes. And I think, I think we’re about to move it on child care.”....... Her plan, announced in January, would raise $2.75 trillion in revenue over 10 years through a 2 percent tax on assets over $50 million and a higher rate for billionaires. Warren wants to use some of that money to pay for universal child care on a sliding scale....... (she tries to record six miles a day on her Fitbit), and sometimes she comes across as a little frenetic, like a darting bird. ........ For her entire career, Warren’s singular focus has been the growing fragility of America’s middle class. She made the unusual choice as a law professor to concentrate relentlessly on data, and the data that alarms her shows corporate profits creeping up over the last 40 years while employees’ share of the pie shrinks. ........... in the 1980s, politicians began reworking the rules for the market to the specifications of corporations that effectively owned the politicians. ....... the wealthiest top 0.1 percent of Americans now own nearly as much as the bottom 90 percent. ....... On the trail, she says “I have a plan for that” so often that it has turned into a T-shirt slogan. Warren has plans (about 20 so far, detailed and multipart) for making housing and child care affordable, forgiving college-loan debt, tackling the opioid crisis, protecting public lands, manufacturing green products, cracking down on lobbying in Washington and giving workers a voice in selecting corporate board members.

Her grand overarching ambition is to end America’s second Gilded Age.

.........“Teddy Roosevelt.” Warren admires Roosevelt for his efforts to break up the giant corporations of his day — Standard Oil and railroad holding companies — in the name of increasing competition. ......... trustbusting was helpful, not hostile, to the functioning of the market and the government. ....... if you get the structures right, then the markets start to work to produce value across the board, not just sucking it all up to the top.” ...... Far too often, Democrats have been unwilling to get out there and fight.” ........ and sharp criticism from the Cherokee Nation, who faulted her for confusing the issue of tribal membership with blood lines. ........ Sanders has been leading Warren in the polls, but his support remains flat, while her numbers have been rising, even besting his in a few polls in mid-June........ (Warren also favors ending the filibuster in the Senate.) Warren wants to prevent companies that offer an online marketplace and have annual revenue of $25 billion or more from owning other companies that sell products on that platform. In other words, Amazon could no longer sell shoes and diapers and promote them over everyone else’s shoes and diapers — giving a small business a fair chance to break in......... Income rose along with union membership, and 70 percent of the increase went to the bottom 90 percent. That shared prosperity built, in Warren’s telling, “the greatest middle class the world had ever known.”......Warren criticizes government as “a tool for the wealthy and well connected,” while asking voters to believe that she can remake it to help solve their problems ...... Workers often turn on other workers rather than their bosses and the shadowy forces behind them. ...... Oklahoma, the childhood home that shaped her and where her three brothers still live and her family’s roots are multigenerational. If you include Texas, where Warren lived in her early 20s and for most of her 30s, she spent three formative decades far from the Northeast....... In 1981, she added a bankruptcy class and discovered a question that she wanted to answer empirically: Why were personal bankruptcy rates rising even when the economy was on the upswing?......... At first, Warren accepted the assumption that people were causing their own financial ruin....... Warren, Westbrook and Sullivan found that 90 percent of consumer bankruptcies were due to a job loss, a medical problem or the breakup of a family through divorce or the death of a spouse.......The banks and lenders paid people to go to the hearings, wrote campaign checks and employed an army of lobbyists. People who went bankrupt often didn’t want to draw attention to themselves, and by definition, they had no money to fight back. ....... Warren wanted feminism to be wider in scope and centered on economic injustice. She urged students to take business-law classes....... Her main point was that a family’s additional income, when a second parent went to work, was eaten up by the cost of housing, and by child care, education and health insurance. ......

Warren is framing child care as a collective good, like public schools or roads and bridges.

....... Warren called out Timothy Geithner, Obama’s Treasury secretary, for focusing on bailing out banks rather than small businesses and homeowners. ....... Stewart leaned forward and told Warren she had made him feel better than he had in months. “I don’t know what it is that you just did right there, but for a second that was like financial chicken soup for me,” he said. ....... Warren was an unusual political phenomenon by then: a policy wonk who was also a force and a symbol. ......

“You built a factory out there?” Warren said, defending raising taxes on the wealthy. “Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

........ among white voters, perceived racial or global threats explained their shift toward Trump better than financial concerns did. ...... the period from 1935 to 1980, she’s talking about a time of greater economic equality — but also a period when people of color were excluded from the benefits of government policies that buoyed the white middle class ....... the federal agency created during the New Deal drew red lines around mostly black neighborhoods on maps to deny mortgage loans to people who lived in them. ......Redlining contributed to the racial wealth gap, and that had consequences Warren saw in her bankruptcy studies — black families were more vulnerable to financial collapse. Their vulnerability was further heightened by subprime and predatory lending. ...... “Realize that into the 1960s in America, the federal government was subsidizing the purchase of homes for white families and discriminating against black families.” ...... she supported a “national full-blown conversation” about reparations for slavery and Jim Crow....... “Today in America — because of housing discrimination, because of employment discrimination — we live in a world where the average white family has $100 and the average black family has about $5.” ...... She talked about women expressing to her their distress about sexual harassment and assault. “Well, yeah,” Warren said. “No kidding that a woman might be angry about that. Women have a right to be angry about being treated badly.” ....... by waging trade wars that hurt farm states and manufacturing regions more than the rest of the country, Trump has punished his base economically ..... “She’s lecturing,” he said. “There’s a lot of resistance, because people feel like she’s talking down to them.” ......... a double bind for professional women: To command respect, they have to prove that they’re experts, but once they do, they’re often seen as less likable. ....... the two candidates who defeated Berlusconi treated him as “an ordinary opponent,” focusing on policy issues rather than his character. ....... He now thinks that Warren is positioned to mount that kind of challenge. “I think so,” he said, “if she does not fall for his provocations.” ........

The US Economy Is In Trouble

The numbers are rosy. The unemployment rate is officially the lowest it has been in 50 years. The stock market is riding high. The growth rate last year was approaching 4% and even now is fairly solid. What could go wrong? Those numbers hide the fragility.

The unemployment numbers are so low because a lot of people have simply stopped looking for work. The actual unemployment rate in the US might be more like 12% or 15%. Nobody really knows. The numbers for low employment are structurally cooked.

The stock market is riding high just like in 2007 the real estate market was riding high. This is the sugar high from stock buyback programs. The super rich, flush with cash, finding no productive use for the money, are simply buying back stocks. The corporate interests are in this vicious cycle. That is further exacerbating inequality.

It feels like the US and the world simply kicked the can further down the road when 2008 happened. No lasting solution was put into place.

The US deficit and debt are real problems. In the depth of 2009, Obama struggled to put together a trillion dollar stimulus package. I think he asked for more but got only 700 billion. These days the US runs a trillion dollar deficit as a matter of fact. What was thought of a big deficit in 2009 these days is simply routine. A massive budget deficit has become business as usual.

The debt is so big and getting bigger, it is not even talked about. It has been archived in the denial file.

No, I am not talking about Trump. He never was the solution. A lot of people who have stopped looking for work were people who thought Trump was it. And then they realized they have been duped. And in shame, they stopped simply looking for work. It is not a good feeling to realize you have been duped.

I am talking about economic theorists and political theorists and thinkers in general. Where are the economic theorists at? Abstract thinkers like Paul Krugman and Raghuram Rajan do show up in the mainstream media. But I don't see them offering solutions. The very paradigm needs to shift. Big thoughts are needed. The band-aid remedies are as misleading as Trump's demagoguery. There is a poverty of imagination.

Maybe it is time to delink the global economy from the dollar. Just like there was a time to delink the dollar from gold. The place of the dollar in the global economy is the very reason why the US runs such large deficits and debts. And those large deficits and debts come up with a price paid for by ordinary Americans. The current arrangement is not a healthy arrangement perhaps. For a national currency to also serve as the global currency is perhaps too much of a burden on that national currency.

Perhaps the WTO needs a new round of negotiations. Trade is a good thing. There is sound economic theory behind trade, still largely undisputed. But maybe the WTO cannot act holier than thou about the resulting inequality. People are not abstract. People are real. Trade perhaps can no longer be delinked from the inequality it creates. Rises in productivity are good. But the resulting inequality is existential. There is a need for a redesign. People are hurting for lack of jobs in the US. People are hurting for jobs in India. Neither the ruling party nor the opposition party, in either case, seem to have any real solutions. In such a scenario the very democracy will get questioned given enough time.

Trump is but the American Boris Johnson who argues for a "hard Brexit." That hard Brexit will turn Britain into the new Greece. But Boris Johnson trades in anger. He does not care. Those who trade in anger and feast on that anger simply want more people angrier. The best case scenario is self-destruction. A bad scenario is large scale destruction. The world avoided a Great Depression in 2008. This time it might be harder to do the same. Back then the leaders were at least talking. This time that "talk" is missing. Irrationality holds sway.

Elizabeth Warren is the only one with a plan. Her wealth tax is that plan. She has not yet linked that to the idea of a Universal Basic Income. Andrew Yang talks about UBI. But that UBI does not stand on sound financial footing yet. He has not linked it to some kind of a wealth tax. Not yet. But even the wealth tax is mere tinkering. It is sound tinkering. It is a start. But a real solution is a much more ambitious redesign. Where are the thinkers at?

Should there be a 2008 style meltdown, and you never know with Trump playing with fire, the US central bank has little to no option left. When the interest rate is already near zero, how do you further cut it? My thought is the Fed will be forced to do a UBI, a quantitative easing for the people. It will be forced to issue new money and simply give it to every American in the form of a direct deposit each month. The Fed will have nowhere else to go. There is no room for interest rate cuts. The banks are already flush with cash, as are the corporations. So it is not lack of cash that is hurting the economy. There is no room for quantitative easing for the banks. The only option left is a quantitative easing for the people.

But that can only go for a few years. A real UBI will have to be designed and implemented as a conscious choice made by elected leaders. The crisis might force the introduction. But there will be a need for a conscious second act.

भारत पाकिस्तान वार्ता तीन तह पर करिए

जब सोवियत संघ अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पर कब्ज़ा बना कर बैठा हुवा था और वो बात अमेरिका को पसंद नहीं था तो अमेरिकी ख़ुफ़िया एजेंसी सीआईए (CIA) ने बिन लादेन को रूस के विरुद्ध प्रयोग किया था। वही बिन लादेन बाद में हेडेक बन गया था अमरीका के लिए। हाल में फिर से सीआईए (CIA) ने आईसस (ISIS) को सीरिया में प्रयोग करने का प्रयास किया था।

जगजाहिर है पाकिस्तान की ख़ुफ़िया एजेंसी आईएसआई (ISI) कुछ आतंकवादी समुह को काश्मीर में प्रयोग करने के प्रयास मे रहती है। लेकिन पाकिस्तान के भितर जितने आतंकवादी समुह हैं सब के सब पाकिस्तान सेना के बटालियन के तरह हैं ये कहना गलत होगा। जब मुसर्रफ पाकिस्तान के तानाशाह थे तब एक ही हप्ते में दो दो बार उन पर जान लेवा हमला हुवा था। आये दिन समाचारे छपती है कि पाकिस्तान के भितर आतंकवादी समुह ने अटैक बोल दिया। सेना पर अटैक होती रहती है। आतंकवाद से पाकिस्तान खुद परेशान है।

जब मोदी नवाज से बातचीत कर रहे थे तो बात बिगाड़ने के लिए क्रॉस बॉर्डर स्ट्राइक करा दिया गया। किसने कराया? पाकिस्तान के सेना ने?

पाकिस्तान की अर्थतंत्र बहुत कमजोर अवस्था में है।

वार्ता दोस्तों के बीच नहीं दुश्मनों के बीच ही तो होती है। शान्ति वार्ता आप दुश्मन के साथ नहीं करेंगे तो क्या दोश्त के साथ करेंगे? मोदी और पुतिन के बीच दोस्ती है। उन दोनों के बीच शान्ति वार्ता की जरुरत नहीं है।

वार्ता नहीं शिखर वार्ता करें। और तीन चरणों में तीन तह पर करें। सिर्फ प्रधान मंत्री का प्रधान मंत्री से बात हो उससे शायद काम नहीं चलेगा। प्रधान मंत्री का प्रधान मंत्री से, सेनापति का सेनापति से, और पाकिस्तान की ख़ुफ़िया एजेंसी के प्रमुख का भारतके ख़ुफ़िया एजेंसी के प्रमुख के साथ।

शिखर वार्ता एक दो तीन करिए। एक काठमाण्डु में। दो ढाका में। तीन कोलंबो में। नेबरहुड फर्स्ट भी हो जाएगा लगे हाथ।

جب سوویت یونین افغانستان پر قبضہ کررہا تھا اور امریکہ پسند نہیں کرتے، امریکی انٹیلیجنس ایجنسی سی آئی اے نے اسامہ بن لادن کو روس کے خلاف استعمال کیا تھا. اسی طرح اسامہ بن لادن کو امریکہ کے لئے ایک ہیڈیک بن گیا. حال ہی میں، سی آئی اے نے شام میں آئی ایس آئی کا استعمال کرنے کی کوشش کی.

یہ معلوم ہے کہ پاکستان کی انٹیلی جنس ایجنسی آئی ایس آئی کشمیر میں کچھ دہشت گردی کے گروہوں کو استعمال کرنے کی کوشش میں رہتا ہے. لیکن یہ کہنا غلط ہے کہ پاکستان میں دہشت گردی کے تمام گروپ پاکستان کے بٹالین کی طرح ہیں. جب مشرف پاکستان کا ڈیکٹر تھا، تو وہ ایک قسط میں دو مرتبہ یا دو بار حملہ کیا گیا تھا. یہ دنوں سے واضح ہے کہ پاکستان کے دہشت گرد گروہ دہشت گردوں کی طرف سے حملہ کیا گیا تھا. فوج پر حملہ ہو رہا ہے. پاکستان خود دہشت گردی کی طرف سے پریشان ہے.

جب مودی نواز شریف سے بات کررہے تھے، تو اس معاملے کو خراب کرنے کے لئے سرحد پار سرحد پر حملہ کیا گیا تھا. کس نے کیا پاکستان کی فوج؟

پاکستان کی معیشت بہت کمزور ہے.

دوستوں کے درمیان بات چیت، دشمنوں کے درمیان نہیں ہوتا. دشمن کے ساتھ امن مذاکرات نہیں کریں گے، پھر آپ دشمن کے ساتھ کیا کریں گے؟ مودی اور پوتین کے درمیان دوستی ہے. ان کے درمیان امن مذاکرات کی کوئی ضرورت نہیں ہے.

سربراہی اجلاس پر بات مت کرو. اور تین اطراف تین مرحلے پر. وزیراعظم کے وزیراعظم سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے، شاید وہ کام نہیں کریں گے. بھارت کے انٹیلی جنس ایجنسی کے سربراہ کے ساتھ، وزیر اعظم کے وزیر اعظم، کمانڈر کمانڈر آف پاکستان اور سربراہ پاکستان کے سربراہ کے ساتھ.

دو یا تین سربراہ اجلاس کرو ایک کنگھائی میں ڈھاکہ میں دو کولمبو میں تین پڑوسی سب سے پہلے بھی ہاتھ لگے جائیں گے.

भारतको चाहिए कि इमरान से वार्ता करें
Imran Khan Could Bring Peace
Narendra Modi And Imran Khan Should Solve Kashmir And Bag A Joint Nobel

Modi, Imran Khan Spent 9 Hours in the Same Room, But It Wasn't Really 'Pleasant' when Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping, Modi reportedly said that his efforts to initiate peace with Pakistan have been “derailed” as the country was not addressing the need to create an atmosphere “free of terrorism”........ Modi and Khan also stayed about 30 km away from each other in Bishkek, Indian Express reported – Khan was in the Al Archa Presidential Palace of Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov with other SCO leaders, but Modi was at the Orion Hotel...... Another opportunity the leaders had to speak to each other was at a round-table dinner for eight leaders at Frunze restaurant. Even though they were almost facing each other, the Indian Express says, “there was no exchange of pleasantries”. It was clear that the two were giving each other the cold shoulder. ...... Modi hit out at Pakistan by talking about countries allowing and funding terror being held accountable. Khan replied by condemning “State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation” – a reference to Kashmir. ....... While Pakistan had given permission for Modi’s plane to fly over its airspace on the way to Bishkek, the Indian prime minister did not take that route.
PM Modi-Imran Khan exchange pleasantries during SCO Summit in Bishkek

Letter From a Pakistani to an Indian Friend: Can We Please Have a South Asian Union? Relations between our countries must improve, for the sake of the people. We may have nuclear arms, but India and Pakistan can’t feed, clothe and educate millions of their citizens. Tensions between us hinder development in the entire South Asia region. And yes, Pakistan is part of South Asia, not the Middle East. ....... India must stop human rights abuses in Kashmir, one of the world’s most heavily militarised regions, and withdraw troops from Kashmir that many Kashmiris see as occupation. Soldiers are victims too. They don’t choose where to be deployed. As you’ve noted, more soldiers have been killed in Kashmir in the last five years than the previous 15 combined....... The military dictator in the 1980s nurtured militants in the first Afghan war against the ‘godless Communists’ at the behest of the US and Saudi Arabia. The ‘mujahideen’ of those years morphed into the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other groups...... militants have killed over 70,000 Pakistani civilian and 10,000 security personnel since 2001 when the next military dictator tried half-heartedly to reverse earlier policies. ..... Politicians like Modi know that the 24/7 media beast thrives on conflict and will amplify war cries. ..... why can’t we fight over who will first eradicate poverty and illiteracy? ....... India and Pakistan must see Kashmir not as a territorial dispute but as a matter of the lives and aspirations of the people, who must be involved in any dialogue about their future. ...... it’s the land that India’s dominant narrative focuses on. The Kashmiris can go to hell. ....... It made no headlines when on a few days’ notice, hundreds joined the Global StandOut for Peace in South Asia demonstrations against the war hype between India and Pakistan in the first week of March, in some 20 cities from Kolkatta to Karachi, London and Oslo to San Francisco and LA, you in Delhi, me in Boston. It would have gone viral if participants had turned violent....... if historical enemies France and Germany can join a European Union, why can’t India and Pakistan be part of a South Asian Union? Why can’t we have a visa-free region? Let people meet, trade and travel.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The WTO And The Regional Trading Blocs

The WTO has ushered in a new era of prosperity for the planet with a record number of people climbing out of poverty. That part has worked. The WTO has to be treated as a floor on which regional groups of countries can hope to build deeper trade relationships. Countries in the west Pacific are doing exactly that. The continent of Africa has been moving towards a free trade zone of its own. All these add to the WTO.

What makes Trump's tactics different is that they take away from the WTO. He wants to deal with countries one at a time. He thinks he can mete out unequal treatment in the process.

The problem with that approach is you are putting political whim above sound economic theory. The economic theory behind trade is sound. Trade does lead to rises in productivity.

But the WTO has not been designed to narrow income inequality. But that is like saying the Department of Education does not seem to be doing anything about health. Well, it has been designed for education, not health. That is no argument against health.

Trump is trying to go backward in time. He wants to take America and the world to an era without the WTO. That was not a good era. Instead of thinking what the next stage in America's economic growth is, he wants to go back to an era when America's trade with China was minuscule.

The tragedy is, there are plenty of smart people in America who have been thinking about what the next stage of economic growth for America is. But Trump is utterly uncurious.

North Korea: A Permanent Peace Treaty Is Worth Denuclearization

I think North Korea has been clear that it wants a permanent peace treaty with the US with China and Russia as witnesses, and then it will agree to denuclearize. It basically wants an ironclad guarantee that the US will not invade. I don't understand why that offer cannot be taken.

Take the offer, halt the joint military exercises for a halt in North Korean missile tests. China and Russia being witnesses would be great. They are two relevant powers in the region.

And top it off by withdrawing all economic sanctions. Maximize trade and travel between the two Koreas. Offer to blanket the whole country in 5G for free.

It will begin with a trickle. But North Korea will be East Germany sooner rather than later. The two Koreas will unite. Because people will soon enough begin marching with their feet. One just hopes South Korea can integrate North Korea with as few hiccups as possible.

Trump Will Pull A Mexico On China

This is what happens when you elect a reality TV star to the highest office in the land. The guy watches TV all day. He gets his intelligence briefings from the television set.

If you want to understand the China-US trade war, just treat North Korea as a case study. Trump's Mexico stunt was a signal to the Chinese. Look, guys, I need a deal. I can't not have a deal. Give me the cosmetics. I need some headlines.

We are about to enter phase two of the art of the deal. Trump is going to send the most amazing negotiator in the world to the negotiation table. Already a Xi-Trump dinner has been scheduled.

The roller coaster ride will end up in much of the same old, same old. And Trump would like to thank the farmers in Iowa for putting him on TV.

A Bad Scenario For Trump
The Possible Outline Of A Deal Between Xi And Trump In June
Trump And Xi Should Cut A Deal In Japan
Mueller Drops A Bomb
A Sanders-Warren Ticket
Donald Trump Is Messing Up A Good Thing
5G Challenges US Hegemony
Brexit, Aexit, And Trump
Understanding China (2)
Trade War Commentaries
Trade War: Intellectual Property
Trade War Endgame: Other Scenarios
Trade War Endgame Scenarios: Look At Canada, And North Korea For Hints
The US And The Chinese Economies Are Super Well-Connected
Trade War Endgame Scenarios

Trump threatens new tariffs over a deal that Mexico says doesn’t exist According to Mexico, the two countries didn't agree to much of anything new.
AP: Donald Trump’s Deputies ‘Surprised’ by His Win on Mexico and Migration

भारतको चाहिए कि इमरान से वार्ता करें

पाकिस्तान के भितर कई ऐसे आतंकवादी संगठन हैं जो भारत के भितर घुसपैठ का प्रयास करते रहते हैं। ये सच बात है। उनमें से सभी नहीं लेकिन कुछ ऐसे संगठन भी हैं जिसको पाकिस्तानकी ख़ुफ़िया एजेंसी आईएसआई (ISI) पनाह देती है। लेकिन इसका मतलब ये नहीं निकाला जा सकता कि पाकिस्तानके प्रधान मंत्री के सीधा कमांड के अंदर वे काम करते हैं। पाकिस्तान की जो सियासत है वो थोड़ी अजीब सी है। The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing वाली बात है। गरीब देश है। पिछड़ा हुवा देश है। आप यूट्यूब पर जा के देख लो। पाकिस्तान के टीवी पर जो विज्ञापन आते हैं उनका क्वालिटी देख लो। लो क्वालिटी होता है। तो पाकिस्तान में जो राज्य व्यवस्था है वो दुरुस्त नहीं है। मान लो पाकिस्तान एक तांगा हो और उसको तीन घोड़े तीन तरफ घिंच रहे हो। जनमत प्राप्त प्रधान मंत्री आगे जाने के प्रयास में हो। सेना कभी लेफ्ट कभी राइट करती हो। ख़ुफ़िया एजेंसी आईएसआई (ISI) तांगे को पिछे की ओर घसीट रही हो।

अमेरिका के एक सरकारी दफ्तर में जाओ। ड्राइविंग लाइसेंस लेने ही चले जाओ। रफ़्तार में काम हो जाता है। नेपाल भारत में बिजली का बिल देने जाओ। आप पैसे देने आये हो। फिर भी काम नहीं होता है। दफ्तर में लोग ऐसे बात करेंगे कि आप पैसे देने नहीं लेने आये हो। पाकिस्तान की राज्य व्यवस्था उससे भी दो कदम पिछे है। तो आप पाकिस्तान के प्रधान मंत्री पर शर्त डालें कि पहले अपने ब्यूरोक्रेसी को चुस्त दुरुस्त करें, लंदन वाशिंगटन जैसी एफिशिएंसी और कमांड लाबें नहीं तो बात ही नहीं करेंगे ये तो मुनासिब बात नहीं है।

पाकिस्तान के भितर कई ऐसे आतंकवादी संगठन हैं जो भारत पर भी धावा बोलते हैं और पाकिस्तान के अंदर भी विध्वंश मचाते हैं। आये दिन पाकिस्तान सेना पर ही अटैक। तो आप शर्त डालेंगे कि पहले आतंकवाद समाप्त करो फिर वार्ता हो सकती है ये तो बेतुकी बात हो गयी। अगर पाकिस्तान के प्रधान मंत्री के पास ये ताकत होती कि वो आतंकवाद समाप्त कर सकते तो वो क्या पहले पाकिस्तान के भितर समाप्त नहीं करते? आतंकवाद की बात छोडो। क्या आप मुंबई के भितर अपराध को समाप्त कर सकते हो? न्युन तो कर सकते हो। लेकिन क्या पुर्ण रूप से समाप्त कर सकते हो? अगर पाकिस्तान के प्रधान मंत्री शर्त डालें कि आप मुंबई के भितर अपराध को समाप्त करो तब ही वार्ता हो सकती है तो वार्ता होगी क्या?

आतंकवादी को मच्छर मानो। तो मच्छर के पिछे सारा दिन मत भागो। तालाब किधर है? पता करो। तो तालाब तो है काश्मीर। काश्मीर समस्या को समाधान कर दो। तालाब नदी बन जाएगी फिर आतंकवादी संगठन सबको मौका बहुत कम मिलेगा।

काश्मीर समस्या का समाधान क्या है? क्या काश्मीर भारतको मिलना चाहिए? पाकिस्तानको? क्या काश्मीर को अलग देश बना दिया जाए? नहीं। समस्या समाधान न करने के वो तीन तरिके हैं। समस्या का समाधान है लाइन ऑफ़ कण्ट्रोल को परमानेंट बॉर्डर बना दो। हो गया समाधान। उसके बाद बॉर्डर को धीरे धीरे डीमिलिटराइज़ करो। ट्रेड और ट्रांजिट धीरे धीरे बढ़ाओ। जिस तरह एक पंजाब इधर भी है और उधर भी उसी तरह एक कश्मीर ईंधर भी रहेगा और उधर भी।

इतना करने पर आतंकवाद का समस्या समाप्त तो नहीं होगा लेकिन बहुत हद तक समाधान हो जाएगा।

इमरान को पाकिस्तान सेना के तरफ से जो सम्मान प्राप्त है वो न भुट्टो बाप बेटी को प्राप्त था, न नवाज को। तो ये अच्छा मौका है। पाकिस्तान के साथ सफल वार्ता करने से भारत को बहुत फायदा है। अगर आप पाकिस्तान और भारत के बीच के लाइन ऑफ़ कण्ट्रोल को परमानेंट बॉर्डर बना देते हैं तो आपके हाथो में एक सफल फोर्मुला आ जाता है। वही फोर्मुला आप चीन भारत के बीच के बॉर्डर तक भी ले जा सकते हैं। जो कि दुनिया का सबसे लम्बा विवादित बॉर्डर है।

मैं तो कहुंगा वार्ता ही नहीं शिखर वार्ता करिए। जिस तरह रेगन और गोर्बाचेव करते थे। शिखर वार्ता एक। शिखर वार्ता दो। शिखर वार्ता तीन।

वार्ता विरोधी लोग दोनों तरफ हैं और दोनों तरफ वो अपनी अपनी रोटी सेकने का काम करते रहते हैं। भारत हाथ हथियार ख़रीदे तो बहुतो को फायदा हो जाता है। पाकिस्तान में भी वही बात है। फॉलो द मनी।

रिस्क तो है। दोनों तरफ है। तो रिस्क तो लेना पड़ता है। बगैर रिस्क लिए आपके हाथों नोबेल शांति पुरस्कार नहीं आने हैं। मोदी और इमरान वार्ता करके काश्मीर समस्या समाधान कर लें और शांति पुरस्कार ले लें।

लेकिन बात शांति पुरस्कार की नहीं है। बात गरीबी की है। जितने गरीब लोग भारत में हैं उतने अफ्रीका में नहीं। पाकिस्तान से सम्बन्ध नार्मल हो जाती है तो भारतको गरीबी के विरुद्ध लड़ने में आसानी हो जाएगी।

कहा जाता है, You don't make peace with friends, you make peace with enemies.

Imran Khan follows PM Modi's footsteps, asks countrymen to pay taxes Pakistan PM Imran Khan seems to be following Narendra Modi by asking his countrymen to pay their taxes and declare all "benami properties"
Imran Khan writes to Narendra Modi, offers talks to resolve all disputes
Modi 'nauseated' Imran, but would Rajiv have, too? how Khan was “nauseated” when he was suddenly asked to shake hands with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at a public event in 2006. ..... “When Imran saw Modi, a feeling of nausea hit him as he took his seat on the panel. It was overpowering and worsened when, to his dismay, he noticed Modi sprinting towards him… The Gujarat Chief Minister stood right in front of him, and Imran tried to look away, but Modi wasn’t deterred. He took Imran’s hands and shook them warmly….” ...... Imran’s fears on being seen and photographed with Modi are similar to the kind of fears other secular politicians harbour when they have to break bread with Modi. Nitish Kumar came close to damaging his alliance with the BJP when Modi published a picture of him and Nitish together at an opposition rally. Nitish was offended enough to return Modi’s cheque for flood relief in Bihar....... When Anna Hazare talked about the achievements of Modi in Gujarat, there was a secular outcry against him. To redeem himself, Hazare had to go to Gujarat to proclaim that it was one of the most corrupt states. Clearly, when it comes to Modi, you have to feign disgust. ........ When Amitabh Bachchan was chosen as Gujarat Tourism’s brand ambassador, he was criticised as though he had personally supervised all the 2002 killings in Gujarat........ Imran Khan, Nitish Kumar, Anna Hazare and Ghulam Vastanvi can be forgiven for treating Modi as a pariah because they have their own constituencies to cater to. Imran Khan had no option but to be “nauseated” by Modi because a photograph flashed back home of him shaking hands with Modi could have damaged his career – not that it was going anywhere at that point of time......... India’s secular mafia have perpetrated a labelling system whereby any good word for Modi is like signing your political death warrant or sending in your resignation from the Good People’s Club. You will them be lumped with the Sangh parivar and labelled for life. You become a fascist. A card-carrying member of murderous Hindu mobs........ This is hypocrisy and illiberalism at its worst. For what it is worth, let me state upfront that what Modi did in 2002 (or did not do, ie, protect the minorities) was no worse than what Rajiv Gandhi did (or did not do) 18 years earlier.

Imran Khan Could Bring Peace
Narendra Modi And Imran Khan Should Solve Kashmir And Bag A Joint Nobel

Friday, June 07, 2019

DC And Puerto Rico Statehood, And Still 50 States

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Young And Progressive

57 percent of millennials call themselves consistently liberal or mostly liberal. Only 12 percent call themselves consistently conservative or mostly conservative. This is the most important statistic in American politics right now.
Recent surveys of Generation Z voters (those born after 1996) find that, if anything, they are even more liberal than millennials........ Only 16 percent of the Silent Generation is minority, but 44 percent of the millennial generation is. If you are a millennial in California, Texas, Florida, Arizona or New Jersey, ethnic minorities make up more than half of your age cohort. In just over two decades, America will be a majority-minority country....... Seventy-nine percent of millennials think immigration is good for America. Sixty-one percent think racial diversity is good for America...... They are much more sympathetic to those who identify as transgender. They are much more likely than other groups to say that racial discrimination is the main barrier to black progress. ....... conservative intellectuals seem hellbent on taking their 12 percent share among the young and turning it to 3.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Real Donald Jerry Seinfeld Trump?

We look for grand strategy. There is none. People accuse Trump of lying: "Four lies in one tweet!" Trump is not a liar, but a bullshitter. A bullshitter is such a habitual liar, he does not know, he does not care he is lying. If you know Trump, he is a joke. If you don't know him, he is a fascist. Hitler was a joke in 1920s Germany. He was considered a clown.

Trump won 2016 by spending very little money. As late as August he was way behind in the polls.

It is funny until it is not funny. Real lives are at stake.

A fascist intimidation of Mueller and Pelosi is on full public display. Ken Starr did pronounce Bill Clinton guilty and recommend impeachment to the Congress. Mueller's logic that he cannot pronounce guilt was not applied in his statement to the media. He could not prosecute, but he could pronounce guilt. But he was intimidated. He made it clear he has no desire to appear before Congress. He does not want to be at the receiving end of fascist harangues. A guy who was the top law enforcement officer of the country is running intimidated. That shows Trump is not funny. He is dangerous.

Pelosi's intimidation is on full public display. The moment Hillary lost the election in 2016 is when she fainted on TV. And she fainted a few days after Trump said in a debate with her about rape in the military: "Whichever genius came up with the idea of women serving in the military!"

That is extreme emotional intelligence but going in the dark direction. He swatted every Republican competitor in the race with a phrase or two. There was Little Marco. Bush was a shame to his family.

He did the same to the voters. You are angry? Let me tap into that.

That fountain of anger has stayed with him. Step back and look objectively. Is he not doing everything he can to push the US economy and the global economy into a Grand Depression? There is a cliff and he knows it. Once he manages to push the global economy into a Great Depression, it might take anyone a decade to turn things around. But the point is, if more people are going to be angrier, his support base is going to expand. That is what he is counting on. Yes, there is a strategy. Those who say Trump has no strategy are in denial.

Fascist intimidation is working. Pelosi has until October. After that, the presidential campaign sucks up all the oxygen in the room.

The country is in meltdown mode. Steve Bannon and Donald Trump both are looking for a "hard Brexit" for America. Britain wants a divorce with Europe. America wants a divorce with the world.

Are we moving towards a WTO minus the United States? Will that be as harmless as a Trans-Pacific Partnership minus the US? Experts tell us trading blocs are no solution. They were a feature of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

These are dangerous times. This trade war is not a China-US war. It affects every country. Every country needs to speak up.

Andrew Yang: The Only One With A Solution
In The News (3)
In The News (2)
A Bad Scenario For Trump
In The News (1)
The Possible Outline Of A Deal Between Xi And Trump In June
Will The Trade War Force A New Equilibrium?

CIA admits role in 1953 Iranian coup The CIA has publicly admitted for the first time that it was behind the notorious 1953 coup against Iran's democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, in documents that also show how the British government tried to block the release of information about its own involvement in his overthrow...... Britain, and in particular Sir Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, regarded Mosaddeq as a serious threat to its strategic and economic interests after the Iranian leader nationalised the British Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, latterly known as BP. But the UK needed US support. The Eisenhower administration in Washington was easily persuaded....... Mosaddeq's overthrow, still given as a reason for the Iranian mistrust of British and American politicians, consolidated the Shah's rule for the next 26 years until the 1979 Islamic revolution. It was aimed at making sure the Iranian monarchy would safeguard the west's oil interests in the country....... One document describes Mosaddeq as one of the "most mercurial, maddening, adroit and provocative leaders with whom they [the US and Britain] had ever dealt". The document says Mosaddeq "found the British evil, not incomprehensible" and "he and millions of Iranians believed that for centuries Britain had manipulated their country for British ends". Another document refers to conducting a "war of nerves" against Mossadeq.....

Mosaddeq epitomised a unique "anti-colonial" figure who was also committed to democratic values and human rights

..... there was never really a fair compromise offered to Mosaddeq, what they wanted Mosaddeq to do is to give up oil nationalisation and if he'd given that of course then the national movement would have been meaningless....... The basic facts are widely known to every school child in Iran

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Andrew Yang: The Only One With A Solution

Andrew Yang for President 2020 - YouTube

Andrew Yang is the only one with a solution. That solution is the Universal Basic Income. America is at the cusp of enormous rises in technology-driven productivity. But tech is agnostic. The political process has to rise up to the challenge.

China is trying its best to avoid what is known as the middle-income trap. When Nixon went to meet Mao in China, China was a country of farmers who could barely feed themselves. Today it is a large manufacturing country. It is called the factory of the world. But wages have risen, and China has lost some of its competitive advantages. And so China has to move to the next level or stagnate. The next level is high tech and the service sector.

Instead of America trying to get back its manufacturing base that even China has begun to lose, America has to assess what the next step for the American economy is.

The US made a huge mistake after the internet took off. It did not invest in health and education like it needed to. The US education system is still something that was designed for Henry Ford. A knowledge economy asks for paradigm shifts in education. France seems to have a pretty good system for health care. But not even universal health will solve the problem.

Universal Basic Income has to be the first and most important step. Everything else has to be built on top of that. And Andrew Yang is the only one talking about it.

Andrew Yang Recalls Getting Beat Up For Being The ‘Skinny Asian Kid’ his experiences as one of the lone Asian Americans growing up in his upstate New York town. ..... Yang said that, during his childhood, the prevailing cultural references to Asians were limited to “Long Duk Dong” of “Sixteen Candles” and the line from the movie “Platoon”: “That’s the way the gook laughs.” ...... while the disputes happened sporadically throughout his elementary school and junior high school years, Yang doesn’t recall teachers getting involved much. Bharara, who said he had similar experiences with bullying, also felt little support from teachers and staff. ..... The pair agreed that the experiences shaped how they operate within the world today. ..... “I felt myself to be that marginalized Asian kid throughout my entire life,” Yang said. “Whenever there’s a gathering of people, when I notice someone who’s out of place, I would naturally gravitate towards them.”

2020 Democrat Andrew Yang thinks the key to his success is standing next to Joe Biden at debates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is making a name for herself in the 2020 campaign by cranking out policies. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile, are hoping you know their names already. ..... Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), meanwhile, is more concerned that the person she's standing next to is "maybe going to be really tall"

Inside Andrew Yang's Outsider Campaign There’s nothing like an Andrew Yang campaign event. Nowhere else will fans show up wearing hats with MATH written across the top (“Make America Think Harder”). ...... an outside-the-box style that comes across as refreshing to voters who crave an outsider candidate. ...... Yang is vying to become the first Asian-American nominee of a major party. And while he remains a rounding error in the polls, his modest momentum reflects the enduring hunger for unconventional candidates. If his campaign can catch fire, he’d be further evidence that it’s no longer necessary to spend time serving in elected office or even to be conventionally good at retail politics. What matters, Yang suggests, is to think differently than Washington does. ...... “the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math” ....... Yang, 44, was born in New York to two immigrants from Taiwan. He graduated from high school in Exeter, N.H., in 1992, got an undergraduate degree from Brown and went to law school at Columbia, which he graduated from in 1999. ...... Then he ran a tutoring company that was acquired by test-prep giant Kaplan in 2009 for an undisclosed amount. (On the trail, Yang refers to it as a “modest fortune.”) ........ Along the way, Yang married and had two kids, including an autistic son. ...... Yang’s path led him in early 2017 to the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, where he sat down to lunch with Andy Stern, the former president of Service Employees International Union. He’d read Stern’s book, Raising the Floor, which focuses on universal basic income and closes with the idea of someone running for president on the issue. Yang wanted to try it. ..... If your government teacher ever asked you to invent policy from scratch for a school assignment, the results might look something like his: imaginative, interesting and a little bit out there. ..... The first major moment of Yang’s campaign came after his appearance on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, where he first introduced himself to a large audience. After that he started gaining traction on Twitter and Reddit, largely for his universal basic income proposal....... while he can draw crowds in the thousands, Yang’s base is online. .... On Twitter, his follower count is more than 282,000 ....... “I think it’s because young people unfortunately have come of age in an era of institutional failure and erosion,” Yang says, “and so when they sense that someone is speaking in an institutional voice, they kind of tune out.”.... Yang’s theory of the case is that once people get to know him through the debates, they will realize his ceiling is “much higher than most other candidates” and begin to coalesce around him. He often says that people tell him he’s what they hoped for when they voted for Trump.