Showing posts with label 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2019. Show all posts

Friday, December 13, 2019

Britain's Vote

Has the economic theory on trade been debunked by political process? I don't think that is the case. Trade leads to rises in productivity, but if the new riches are not widely shared, then the people will revolt. I think that is the message.

The UK is in a political funk. 52% of the voters voted for remain parties. And yet the results show a sweeping victory for the "Get Brexit Done" party. The country could use political reforms. But I don't see them coming.

If Brexit will happen, Scotland will break away. Northern Ireland might also. Europe is the "country" they might choose.

I think Boris Johnson and Donald Trump attempting a trade deal will be quite a horror show. The National Health Service will be part of the discussion. That will cause a lot of churn.

Socialism makes people uncomfortable. People clearly did not like the idea of someone like Corbyn coming anywhere close to 10 Downing Street. I think the vote was more about that than Brexit. Although clarity of message always helps. BoJo had great clarity. Corbyn was all over the map on the message. Was he for Brexit? Against? Was he for a second referendum?

This is a democratic downsizing of Britain. People are choosing this.

Plenty of Brits of South Asian origin are next in line for power. BoJo was London Mayor. So is Sadiq. BoJo's cabinet colleagues are several Indians. England + Wales might end up with a brown Prime Minister before 2030. That is one extrapolation.

It is still not computing. A hard Brexit will bring all sorts of horrors. I think, despite this vote, the negotiations with Europe will simply continue. A hard Brexit will form bread lines in England.

Britain's Brexit and the US-China trade war both point out the need for WTO reform. They don't suggest ending trade.

Most people lining up to replace Corbyn are women. I think that is positive.

There are those who are saying Labour lost this election, as well as the next one. One can't be so sure about that. Now BoJo has to deliver. That is the hard part. A clean Brexit is a fantasy, not a smart option. Britain has never been an island.

As for ideology, it is not that the market does not work. The market is not being allowed to work. Crony capitalism, bought capitalism is causing market distortions. It is not that democracy does not work. Democracy is not being allowed to work. A centrist leader who understands the implications of the impending fourth industrial revolution could build a counterweight. I have no idea who that is, or if someone of that description is waiting in the wings even.

In the US that might be a Pete-Yang ticket.

In the meantime, the world flirts with a willful global recession. You can badger trade for only so long before it has been too long.

What does Britain know and understand that France and Germany do not? All three are similar size economies.

U.K. Election Result Starts Clock on Brexit Talks With E.U. Few expect the negotiations on the country’s future trade and security relationship with the bloc to be quick or easy........... European leaders on Friday welcomed the clarity of the British election result, since they, too, want to “get Brexit done.” But Boris Johnson’s substantial majority will only start the clock on new negotiations about Britain’s future trading and security relationship with the European Union. ....... Few except Mr. Johnson expect the talks to be quick or easy. They can be quick, Brussels argues, if Britain agrees to keep its regulations and tariffs the same or very close to those of the bloc.......... But European leaders, in Brussels for the last day of a summit meeting, remain unsure whether Mr. Johnson, with his resounding mandate to ratify his Brexit deal by the end of January, will stick to his campaign pledge to finish any trade negotiation with the European Union by the end of 2020, or whether he will choose next summer to seek a year’s delay for longer talks.........

So long as the two sides are negotiating, Britain will be in a “transition” period, with its relationship with the European Union essentially unchanged, even if it will legally have ceased to be a member.

...... Brussels, in its conclusions on Brexit, is demanding a future relationship that “will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations and ensure a level playing field.” That is Brussels-speak for British regulations and rules that do not diverge too far from Europe’s........ But if Mr. Johnson wants a free hand to make trade deals with the United States and other countries and to position Britain as more of a low-tax, light-regulation economy, Brussels will demand a tougher set of trade restrictions, unwilling to have a large competitor so close with significantly more favorable conditions for business and finance........ Mr. Johnson may favor a hard deadline, but that will put Britain, which will soon be negotiating from outside rather than inside the European Union, into a weaker position ......

The risk is that a quick trade negotiation, considered almost a contradiction in terms by trade experts, could fail, bringing Britain and Brussels back to the prospect of a “no deal” Brexit.

...... Many British businesspeople — and presumably some of the new Conservative Party members of Parliament from the industrial north of England — will want to be able to trade with Brussels with as little friction and paperwork as possible. That would mean closer alignment to the European Union than harder-line Brexiters advocate........ Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of Ireland, has managed his key goal: preventing the restoration of a hard border on the island with Northern Ireland. But he also wants to preserve close ties in a future relationship, he said on Friday — “a trade deal or trade deal plus” — to “ensure that we still have a tariff-free trade between Britain and the E.U. and a set of minimum standards.” ........ Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary insisted that the less-affluent countries of Central Europe must get generous financial guarantees. “We cannot allow Brussels bureaucrats to have poor people and poor countries to pay the costs of the fight against climate change,” he said.

‘No ifs, no buts’: Johnson vows to get Brexit done after sweeping election win

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

History In Fast Forward Motion Right Now

I am a news junkie. I read much news most days. I have been reading a long time. These days it feels to me like so much is happening so fast in so many different parts of the world. It feels like history is in fast forward motion right now. If my observation is accurate, I think that means we are about to see some major developments on the global stage. And it is not this or that country, this or that part of the globe. It is in most parts of the globe. Something major is afoot. 2020 could be one of those years that really stand out.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Xi Jinping Should Act

Xi Jinping, the president of China, will act, or he will find himself in the dustbins of history.

He is the only person who can act. It's not Carrie Lam. It is not the Chinese Politburo. It is Xi.

For as long as Xi does not act, he is an emperor who is walking naked.

Xi should accept the five demands in Hong Kong. And Xi should pledge political reform for all of China.

Xi Jinping does not have unlimited time. It is best he acts before October 1. Or he and his party might already be in the dustbins of history by the New Year.

Xi calls Deng Xiaoping's reforms the second revolution. China has done remarkable work over the past four decades digging millions out of poverty. Hundreds of millions. Xi should launch the third revolution. The third revolution has to be about political reforms.

Political reforms in China need not be about copying the political system in the United States. There is plenty of dissatisfaction in the United States. Money is too decisive a force in the US. People first run in the money primary. Voters don't really have much of a choice. That is why an overwhelming majority in the US can want universal health care and not get it.

Capitalism is in crisis. The wealth inequality is unsustainable and getting wider.

Face it. Communism is in crisis. It was never meant to be anti-people. It was never meant to be undemocratic.

Xi could grant universal suffrage for Hong Kong, but install the kind of campaign finance reform that progressives in the US only dream about. Xi could shape this tide. Or he could sit on his hands and wait until he is washed away. He could be washed away in a few short months.

Accept the five demands for Hong Kong now, and give a major speech on October 1 in Beijing to launch political reforms for all of China.

Inaction is not an option.

If I were to write a speech for Xi, it would look like this.

October 1, Beijing:

Two weeks ago, I convened a meeting of the politburo, and we decided to accept the five demands of the Hong Kong street protests. These idealistic young people in Hong Kong are full of energy and enthusiasm. They stand to rejuvenate not only Hong Kong but China at large.

There was a real danger things might go out of hand. We have managed to avoid that. We are here to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of this republic. And people across China, people in Hong Kong, young and old, are cheering.

In accepting the five demands, we have not imported a political system from anywhere. China does not believe in political exports and imports. It is for each country to decide its own political system. When Hong Kong rejoined China in 1997, we agreed to one country, two systems. Foreign Direct Investment that has been indispensable to our economic growth has come by way of Hong Kong in large measure. And the Chinese mainland is thankful.

Us accepting the five demands has been us respecting the political evolution of Hong Kong. The political arrangement that worked for them was no longer enough. It was time for something new.

For over a year now, the US and China have slapped tariffs on each other's exports. There is no winning side. Our economy has slowed down. Their economy has slowed down. I call on the G20 to launch a new round of reforms for the World Trade Organization. Some structural reforms that the US seeks in the Chinese economy are similar to some reforms we have sought for our own economy for years. Those reforms are necessary if we are to see the best allocation of our large but limited financial resources. If we are to avoid the middle-income trap, we must reform. If we are to see the next stage of economic growth, we must reform. If we are to move from a large manufacturing base to a high tech economy, we must reform.

Reform is not easy. It is like pulling teeth. There is pain. But reform is necessary. We have to take the necessary steps.

The founding of the republic in Mao's leadership was our first revolution. Economic reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping were our second revolution. Instead of saying capital has no place, we changed tack and started saying capital does have some place, a major place actually. And it has worked. Is there any country in the history of the world that has lifted more people out of poverty than China?

It will soon be time for our third revolution. On this 70th anniversary of the founding of our republic, I invite citizens across China, and members of this party to start a conversation. If we were to usher political reforms, what would they look like? We will hold this conversation for a few years and then start making changes as necessary.

We must be vigilant, though. We can not simply copy what is already not working in some other countries. We Marxists take the scientific approach. We collect data. We study and analyze. We experiment. We debate and discuss. And I believe Hong Kong has showed the way. Deng started in Guangdong what was unthinkable in China only a few decades before that. Hong Kong is the Guandong for political reforms. We will see how things play out in Hong Kong for a few years. We will then take some of the political reforms to the Hong Kong Bay Area at-large, and then eventually to the rest of China.

I am open to the idea of a directly elected president for China. But I am not open to the idea of a handful of rich people buying out political leaders. We must make sure power stays with the people. Capital does not get to hijack power.

Let the conversation begin.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hong Kong Protests: The World Should Not Watch A Possible Massacre

The political solution is one country, two systems. That is what Beijing accepted when it reclaimed the territory of Hong Kong.

The protests are so large scale. They represent the sentiment of the people in Hong Kong.

This is not about changing the political system in China. This is about keeping the political system in Hong Kong. Beijing should not have problems with that.

More than 10 weeks of protests with the Hong Kong airport shut down --- that is enough. The message is loud and clear and it needs to be heard.

The agreement of one country, two systems was between Britain and Beijing. Britain has a moral responsibility to speak up.

This revolution is being webcast live. China should not think there is a military solution to this. There has not been a police solution. Obviously. What are you going to do that the Hong Kong police has not already done? Any attempt by the Chinese military to try to mow down the protesters out in the streets is going to infect the Chinese mainland. China could see large scale protests inside China itself. 1989 will have come to China.

Or, it could negotiate with the protesters. Accept their demands. They want the CEO of Hong Kong - or whatever her title is - out. Well, let her go. They want the extradition bill scrapped. Well, scrap it. They want the chief executive of Hong Kong to be directly elected by the people of Hong Kong. Well, do it already. They want all members of the Hong Kong legislature directly elected by the people. I say, why not? They want the one country, two systems to be permanent. Make it permanent.

Carrie Lam does not have the authority to accept or reject these demands. The Hong Kong protest leaders seek to negotiate with Xi Jinping.

Accept the demands or prepare for the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party inside China itself. Should that happen, finally the unification with Taiwan can happen. Taiwan is proof Chinese people can prosper without a communist party running the show. Maybe what China needs is to get rid of the communist party to avoid the middle-income trap. You don't want to get trapped.

The Chinese constitution actually has provisions for things like free speech and other parties besides the communist party. But the fact on the ground is otherwise.

A 25% tariff on 100% of Chinese exports to the United States will bring 1989 to China. Hong Kong is leading the way. If there is a military crackdown in Hong Kong, the rest of the world should follow the US lead and also slap tariffs on Chinese exports. You might only have to do it for a few short weeks.

The world can not watch idly by. No massacre can be allowed to happen. When the people revolt like they are revolting in Hong Kong, they are always right.

A 1989 will create a federal China. Tibet will become the Arunachal Pradesh of China.

Military intervention in Hong Kong will be the death knell for the Chinese Communist Party in China. 30 years after 1989, the winds are blowing again.

There are protests also in Moscow.

The Hong Kong protesters are not organized enough. Become one organization with an elected central committee and leadership. Elect one person to be your leader and spokesperson. Basically, form one political party.

So far the protest organizers have focused on organizing the protests themselves. And they have done a fabulous job. The scale of the protests is incomparable to anything in recent history anywhere. But the organization has to go one level up. It has to become political. Five million people need to form one democratic political organization. It can be done quickly through digital tools.

These protests are like New Year's Eve in Times Square, only much, much larger, and much more sustained. One year I stood for 10 hours near Times Square. This has been going on for 10 weeks.

Ordinary citizens in the 100 biggest cities of the world all need to gather in their own cities to express solidarity with the people of Hong Kong. The governments of the world need to speak up against any possible military interventions before they happen.

There are Chinese in Hong Kong. But then there are also Chinese in London, and New York City, and Sydney. They should form the nucleus around which the non-Chinese should also congregate. One solidarity protest gathering on a Saturday or Sunday will send a strong signal to the leaders of the world. The Chinese diaspora needs to wake up.

Freedom is truly an internal matter. It is a matter of the heart.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

विपक्ष की अहं भुमिका कन्हैया कुमार अकेले अदा कर रहे हैं

लोकतंत्र में विपक्ष की अहं भुमिका होती है और इस चुनाव में वो रोल कन्हैया कुमार अकेले अदा कर रहे हैं। बेगुसराय तो वो जित जाएंगे। और चुँकि वो अकेले हैं तो इसका मतलब निकलता है कि मोदी फिर से सत्ता में आएंगे। लेकिन चुनाव के बाद कन्हैया देशव्यापी दौड़ाहे पर जाते है कि नहीं, संगठन विस्तार करते हैं कि नहीं, इससे बहुत फर्क पड़ सकता है। भारत में कन्हैया का चुनाव जितना अमरिका में पिछले साल अलेक्सांद्रिया ओकाजिओ कोर्टेज का चुनाव जितने जैसा हो सकता है। चुनाव मोदी जित जाएँ लेकिन मीडिया कन्हैया के वाहवाही में लग जाए, ऐसी नौबत आ सकती है।

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Modi's 2019: Contested And Won Already

Friday, March 10, 2017

Modi Is On A Roll

Modi is on a roll. अमरिका भी इसी तरह १०० डॉलर का नोट वापस ले ले तो दुनिया में जितने ड्रगलोर्डस हैं सब एक ही झटके में समाप्त। The most popular politician in the world is about to get even more popular.

If BJP wins Uttar Pradesh, get ready for more Modi crackdowns
As various exit polls showed on Thursday, the BJP can form a government in Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and, most importantly, Uttar Pradesh. ...... The BJP victory in Uttar Pardesh and other states will mean popular endorsement of demonetisation. This can embolden PM Modi and encourage him to take more such sudden and extreme steps. ...... victories in recent Assembly elections can encourage him to begin his next crackdown, and this could be on benami properties. ...... An idea that has been associated a lot with PM Modi's radical reforms is a banking transaction tax replacing the income tax entirely or partly. ....... Another measures he has spoken a lot about are holding Assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously and state financing of elections.
पाँच साल में दो चुनाव काफी है। लोकल, राज्य और केंद्र सब मिला के पाँच साल में दो चुनाव।