Thinking Little

When this:

“There’s a crisis of western capitalism, which has gone geriatric. The dynamic capitalism, with its energy, innovation and sheer greed for growth has moved east.”

— Meghnad Desai, emeritus professor LSE

is the good news, it’s easy to get a little despondent. Even my terminally optimistic friends (…) seem to think that we need to bounce off the bottom… admittedly before then resuming our glorious ascent toward becoming beings of light.

It’s a shame Tainter is such a dull read.

“The advantage of the Anglo-Saxon model is clear. It encourages innovation, it is versatile, and it promotes individual freedom,” says Mr Yao. “But its disadvantages are equally clear. It is very fluid, it is cruel to employees, and it brings large destructive forces when economic downturns come.” He favours a Nordic system of high taxes, relative equality and less boom and bust. But in Asia, only Japan and South Korea come anywhere close to that model.

Another reason to watch my current favorite TED talk:

China has built a machine to produce fast growth in a poor country. But there is no guarantee its system will be able to match western living standards without a radical overhaul.

There is very little question in my mind that the planet lacks the resources to support the chinese population at current western standards of living. The uncomfortable truth is that it won’t just be them rising, it’ll be us sinking to meet them somewhere in the middle. Or war.

All this, and more, can be found in the FTs ‘Capitalism in crisis’ series. Which to be honest is rather disappointing, amounting to a lot of hand-wringing, and not really daring to think anything radical. Years from now people will still be putting down challenges to western democracy and capitalism with the same tired old Churchill quote…

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Wise words...

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