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Entries in New Core (7)

11:09AM

The coming global progressive era will focus on healthcare

 

WSJ story on Kremlin ordered crackdown on smoking rates, right after China "plans 'harsh' anti-smoking rules.

This is the reality:  with globalization and development comes heightened smoking rates, which in turn triggers massive healthcare costs.

Then there's the secondary reality that Old Core North America, sick of smoking a while ago, sent Big Tobacco packing (globally) and that led to those companies going heavy into emerging markets, spreading their . . . whatever.  So Big Tobacco is going to be given its second great historical "boot," which will push it into even more emerging markets and the merry chase continues - much like with anti-globalization terror networks (another great purveyor of death).

What does NorthAm Core turn to now as its own progressive era kicks in?  Bloomberg has already given you the clue with the mega soda pop ban.  It's obesity. 

We'll see that crusade shift to New Core in about a decade.

11:50AM

Chart of the day: Filling in the gaps on emerging economies = economic dynamic of century

It is THE amazing achievement of US grand strategy that we've created the conditions by which the chart of the direct left unfolds. If ANYBODY tells you that globalization is bad or unfair or says similar things about US "empire" since WWII, then simply show them the slide on the left, because it knocks those lies right out of the ballpark.

Or to be more succinct: the US-created and -enabled globalization process never replicated the dynamics of colonialism - i.e., kept the poor down. It did the exact opposite. The rest is just whiny bullshit propagated by little minds who refuse to accept it. We built a world order that enabled the rise of a global middle class, which means near-universal democracy is in the works (there will remain bedroom communities for the nonviolent rejectionists - we'll just ask them to put orange reflector signs on their buggies).

Further down, you see the legacy gaps in capabilities that will be invariably filled in over the coming 2-3 decades. That's when the resource constraints push the world into resource utilization of an entirely different caliber, but that too will be a good thing.

12:04AM

Chart of the Day: The Wild East is counterfeit central

Economist story:  global seizures of fake drugs way up, and Asia leads the way--by a ways.

No great surprise with LATAM not far behind.

The recently settled frontier economies are naturally environments where counterfeiters shine--the proverbial snake-oil salesman of the American Wild West.

The Economist's warning:  fake drugs have always bedeviled developing countries, but now, because of the new and expanding connectivity between Old and New Core (my terminology), such vulnerabilities are being exported to our neck of the woods.

I will readily admit to this vulnerability:  when we buy Xyzal through a Canadian online pharmacy, sometimes it comes from Britain, sometimes from Mumbai, sometimes from South Africa or Brazil.

As for those drugs made here in America?  A safe bet is that half the ingredients likewise come from New Core economies.

12:01AM

Chart of the day: Worst traffic woes found mostly in New Core economies

Bloomberg Businessweek blurb on global traffic (image blow-up below).

The numbers suggest a profound shifting of woes from Old Core to New.

The US adds 2% more cars from 2003 to 2007, while China adds 113%, for example, so the traffic-suffering indices presented here show America's worst case, NYC, coming nowhere near the complaint level of your average New Core capital, whose woes are only going to get dramatically worse in coming years.

12:01AM

WPR Feature: A Divided 'Rest' Leaves America the Enduring Superpower 

Reports of the imminent death of U.S. hegemony in world affairs go at least as far back as the Nixon administration, and to date, they have all disappointed. While challengers have risen and fallen, none have managed to make themselves full-spectrum superpowers capable of both diplomatic leadership and global military reach, in combination with indisputable economic heft and soft-power appeal. 

Now, with the "rise of the rest" -- concentrated in, but not limited to, the so-called BRIC package of Brazil, Russia, India and China -- we are presented with the argument of a collective challenge to American world leadership. Let me count down 10 good reasons why that notion will likewise prove disappointing.

Read the rest of the feature article (posted 7/13) at World Politics Review.

12:04AM

Obama popular abroad where it really counts: New Core pillars

NYT story on global poll (Pew) that indicates Obama is popular abroad, with a particular strength in New Core pillars like Russia and China but a growing weakness in the Middle East.

Frankly, this is more than enough improvement in US standing abroad. Given what is going on in the Middle East and will continue to go on there for years as globalization's embrace deepens, we will never be popular there because of our bodyguarding role (to include our support for Israel). 

But it's absolutely crucial that the image-mending and bridge-building continue with the rising great powers--China especially as its own arrogance and hubris balloons in coming years (an inevitable cost of all that success).  I know it's not easy to play the humble card right now, but it will pay off over time in ways that our own past assertiveness never could.

So no complaints on this score.

I continue to give Obama high grades on the realignment--my theme in "Great Powers."  I nonetheless remain ambivalent if we need 4 or 8 years of this.  His success works against a second term, in my mind, even as I appreciate it greatly.

12:06AM

The rise of the "democratic rest"

Excellent piece by Daniel Kliman in World Politics Review (by way of WPR's weekly article roundup).

Much ink has been spilled discussing the nuclear fuel swap deal that Brazil and Turkey brokered with Iran last week. The pundits have focused on whether the deal will resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, or whether Tehran is simply playing for time, as well as what the deal says about the growing prominence of Brazil and Turkey. Yet the real meaning of the nuclear deal has gone largely overlooked: The dominant trend of the early 21st century is the rise of democratic powers to positions of regional and even global influence.

Of course, the most prominent rising power, China, is no democracy. But in this, China is the great outlier. All of today's other rising powers feature representative governance, as a cursory look around the world makes readily apparent.

Amen, brother!

Rest of piece explores India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa.

Why we should be optimistic:

As these five democracies rapidly emerge as full-fledged powers with far-flung influence, their rise is cause for optimism about the future. Why? To be sure, shared values do not guarantee a complete congruence of interests. The United States, Europe, and Japan will not always see eye to eye with these arriviste democracies, as is already evidenced by differences over climate change, trade, and Iran. However, the fact that an overwhelming majority of rising powers are democracies has strongly positive implications for the nature of the global order that is coming into existence.

First, most of the new players in this global order will behave predictably. Democratic governance is premised on internal checks and balances . . .

Democracies may shift course, but they do so slowly, and within relatively confined boundaries . . 

Second, democracies can rise without producing a global order riven by fear and hostility, because of the domestic transparency made possible by democratic institutions. In democracies, the media can extract information from government authorities and convey that information to the world. Although unable to disclose classified information, officials representing a democracy can still engage in open, far-ranging conversations with their foreign counterparts. This domestic transparency enables outsiders to readily discern a democracy's intentions . . .

Third, a world of rising democracies is a world ripe with opportunities for access, meaning the ability to intervene inside another state's policymaking process . . ..

Again, excellent piece.

What I would add:  don't be surprised to witness the most ambitious and inventive foreign policy coming out of these states.  Because they're not single-party dictatorships, they're more risk tolerant.  China's Communist Party can't afford any screw-ups, because the resulting throw-the-bums out mentality frightens it too much to act boldly.  Not the same weakness for democracies, which means, counterintuitively for many, they will drive us nuttier than that stale, unimaginative thinking from Beijing--to wit, the Iran nuke deal.