Thursday, November 13, 2008

Psychiatry with Islamic Characteristics

What would Foucault say about Psychiatry with Islamic Characteristics?

New Deal with Chinese Characteristics

The "New Deal with Chinese Characteristics" is more ambitious than what Washington has come up with so far, and what Obama is likely to offer in the near future, but is it still too little too late, especially in light of "The Realities of China Today" explained by Martin Hart-Landsberg?
  • "One critical but often overlooked explanation for China's manufacturing competitiveness is that approximately 70% of manufacturing work is done by migrants. Over the last 25 years, some 150-200 million Chinese have moved from the countryside to urban areas in search of employment. Although the great majority of these migrant workers have moved legally, they suffer enormous discrimination. For example, because they remain classified as rural residents under the Chinese registration system, not only must they pay steep fees to register as temporary urban residents, they also have no rights to the public services available to urban born residents (including free or subsidized education, health care, housing and pensions). The same is true for their children, even if they are born in an urban area."

  • "Chinese wages as a share of GDP have fallen from approximately 53% of Gross Domestic Product in 1992 to less than 40% in 2006. Private consumption as a percent of GDP has also declined, falling from approximately 47% to 36% over the same period."

  • ". . . [T]he region's export/GDP ratio grew from 24% in 1980 to 55% in 2005. By comparison, the world average in 2005 was only 28.5%."

  • Between 1992-3 and 2004-5, the East Asian share of China's final goods exports declined from 49.5% to 26.5%, while the OECD share (excluding Japan and Korea) increased from 29.3% to 50.1%.

  • According to various estimates cited by the Asian Development Bank, it appears that the percentage of Asian exports consumed within Asia ranges from a high of 22% to a low of only 11%.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Masters of the Universe

"The focus now has become the nine US banks which are receiving $125bn of public money. They have spent or reserved $108bn for employee pay and bonuses in the first nine months of 2008, nearly the same as last year" (emphasis added, Aline van Duyn, "'Masters of the Universe' Need to Wake Up to the Real World" Financial Times, 31 October 2008).