Links for 2009-06-29

  • China Crosses the Rubicon | Korea Times – Project Syndicate – La Cina come potenza stabilizzatrice: «China’s newfound assertiveness, rather than creating fear, should be seen as establishing the necessary conditions for comprehensive negotiations about the very basis of peaceful coexistence and stability in Asia: respect for all sides’ vital interests. In recent years, such an approach ran counter to America’s foreign-policy predisposition of favouring universalist doctrines over a careful balancing of national interests. With the Obama administration embracing realism as its diplomatic lodestar, China may have found a willing interlocutor»;
  • The recession and pay: The quiet Americans | The Economist – «Higher inflation in the early 1980s and 1990s meant employers could simply freeze wages or raise them more slowly than prices to achieve real cuts in pay. This still dented employees’ standard of living but without the humiliation of a smaller paycheck. Now inflation is lower (in fact, negative because of a big drop in fuel costs). So, in the absence of big increases in productivity, wage cuts may be less avoidable. With households carrying big debts, falling incomes could heighten financial stress and, at worst, initiate a cycle of wage and price deflation»;
  • Zakaria: It’s Not 1989 in Iran | – «Over the past eight years, the Bush administration’s veiled threats to attack Iran allowed the mullahs to drum up support. (Every Iranian dissident, from Akbar Ganji to Shirin Ebadi, has noted that talk of airstrikes on Iran strengthened the regime.) And it is worth remembering that the United States still funds guerrilla outfits and opposition groups that are trying to topple the Islamic Republic. Most of these are tiny groups with no chance of success, funded largely to appease right-wing congressmen. But the Tehran government is able to portray this as an ongoing anti–Iranian campaign»;

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