Category Archives: BRICS

Einstein today

We should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

Above, two extracts from an article by Albert Einstein written in 1949. In this, you can enjoy the greatness of a complete thinker, gifted with the ability to decompose the complexity of the society and give back a consistent theory of it. What would be his analysis of our society/ies? Is it possible to re-think socialism nowadays, really inspired by solidarity among human beings? Where do we locate the Chinese model in this debate?

China’s growth – the trade-off investments vs consumption and Japanese lessons

Martin Wolf on the Financial Times  provides an analysis about how China’s growth could slow down and, eventually, end in a bump because of the investments-led growth strategy. There are signals that the investments are lowering their returns and the consumption is growing too slowly in order to fill up the gap. Among the other arguments given by the author, there are the ‘middle-income trap’ and the size of China. I need some expert macro-economist telling me whether the parallelism with Japan is too rash. It is worth for a deep reading!

When will China overtake USA, truly?

Yao Yang on Project Syndicate about the issues emerging when comparing China’s and US’ economies in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). Complex concepts, tough explained so neatly. Enjoy it!

Rodrik on Egypt, Tunisia and China

Suggested by my friend and blogger Edgar Salgado, an article by Dani Rodrik, The Poverty of Dictatorship, on the events in Tunisia and Egypt. How do they relate with the situation in China? I believe that a direct parallelism is hard to do – Rodrik states clearly that – but social scientists cannot hold to play forecasting the future…By the way, it seems to me China is more dynamic than its reputation suggests. I have studied in UK and met Chinese students that are coming back to their much loved country, to contribute to change it, just like I would like to change in better my Italy. I warmly welcome comments by Chinese fellows, please tell me I’m getting it wrong…

Middle East crisis…a signal for China?

What are the popular revolutions in the Arab World teaching the elites of the world? I would say, that people cannot live forever in chains, without seeing hope for the future (a guts answer). Also, that in economic crisis times autocratic regimes are under high threat of rebellion, and that the opportunity cost of the revolt lowers significantly during downturns (a kind of economic answer). Scholars did not forecast the overturning current events (Mariz Tadros on IDS’ blog). A key-question now is “Who’s next?”. In China the Arab crisis did not find a lot of space on the media, not surprisingly (The Economist). Moreover, China is growing and people’s living standards are improving impressively. However, I believe that Chinese political elites are observing at the Arab revolutions with an interested eye…how should they react when China entered in a descending economic phase – with richer and more educated citizens?

In favour of microfinance (by the Indian Express)

On the Indian Express on Microfinance. Among the authors Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Erica Field, Dean Karlan, Asim Khwaja, and Rohini Pande (J-Pal affiliates. Microfinance needs regulation, but in which direction?

The article

Dependency on oil: will China and Israel really quit?

An article by the Economist: full article

The topic is very charming. However, a major question remains unanswered: How to produce all that amount of electricity?