Friday, December 27, 2002

Well, that obviously hasn't panned out. I did get as far as reviewing everything Quiggin had written in on the subject in both the posts and the comments, and it didn't really amount to as much of a substantive challange to the "American Triumphalist" opinion as I had originally believed. Therefore, if I do find the time, I will instead address those subjects that he did raise.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

I have been meaning to write a short essay on the coming crisis in Europe, but, as with so many other things, haven't found the time to do a decent job of it. This essay from The American Enterprise by Karl Zinmeister seemed to obviate any need to do so. He made most of the same points I would have, and the article seemed to possess a wealth of data that I would never have had time to locate, even if I knew to look for all of it.

I subsequently found this critique (via USS Clueless) which, while I had reservations on several points, seemed well reasoned and rather devastating to Mr Zinmeister's puported data, and by extention to his arguments. Zinmeister's response to the criticisms was, to be charitable, disappointing.

There are few things more irritating than to see someone arguing - poorly! - in favor of position you hold. When you combine that with intellectual dishonesty, it compounds the problem. Therefore, in a follow up post, I will attempt to formulate a more credible reply.

Several months back I read a story on China which made the (to me) startling statement that their economy would surpass ours within the next 20-25 years. I thought that was idiotic, but I have since seen other statements by experts on the issue which tended to support it.

It is with that background that I read this welcome bit of contradictory information:

TNR (requires registration)


But what if they're wrong? Look closely at the Chinese economy, and you'll find a far less rosy situation than that portrayed in most of the business press. The country's growth rates are vastly overstated, the result of cooked books and massive deficit spending. Companies selling to the Chinese market--foreign and domestic alike--are struggling just to break even. The economy is plagued by persistent deflation and a useless banking system. "Businesspeople have created a lemming effect," says Graeme Maxton, a specialist on China's auto industry. "They have convinced themselves they have to be in China or their competitors will overtake them, so they ignore economic fundamentals." The Chinese economic miracle, in other words, is largely a house of cards. And, when it falls, the consequences could be catastrophic.


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

It's been a while. I think I will be posting over the next few weeks.