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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "India vs. China vs. Egypt": King Kong vs. Godzilla vs. Mothra

Consider: The United States, with more than $16.4 trillion in debt, continues to borrow from a repressive regime in China, while funding Egypt's military to the tune of $1.3 billion each year. The US, of course, is attempting to isolate Iran as it proceeds pell-mell with its nuclear weapons development program, so it should come as no surprise that yesterday, Egyptian president Morsi ("the Jews are descendants of apes and pigs") hosted Iranian president Ahmadinejad ("Israel must be wiped off the map") in Cairo, representing the first visit by an Iranian leader to Egypt in decades. In parallel, Obama is attempting to paint the transition of Egypt from the Mubarak regime to a government headed by the extremist Muslim Brotherhood as a success: "You know, when it comes to Egypt, I think, had it not been for the leadership we showed, you might have seen a different outcome there" (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57565734/obama-and-clinton-the-60-minutes-interview/?pageNum=5).

What does any of the above have to do with the price of tea in China?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "India vs. China vs. Egypt" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/opinion/friedman-india-vs-china-vs-egypt.html?_r=0), Thomas Friedman, still dilly-dallying in New Delhi, would compare the futures of India, China and Egypt. In this regard, Friedman writes:

"'India today has 560 million young people under the age of 25 and 225 million between the ages of 10 and 19,' explained Shashi Tharoor, India’s minister of state for human resource development. 'So for the next 40 years we should have a youthful working-age population' at a time when China and the broad industrialized world is aging. According to Tharoor, the average age in China today is around 38, whereas in India it’s around 28. In 20 years, that gap will be much larger. So this could be a huge demographic dividend — 'provided that we can educate our youth — offering vocational training to some and university to others to equip them to take advantage of what the 21st-century global economy offers,' said Tharoor. 'If we get it right, India becomes the workhorse of the world. If we get it wrong, there is nothing worse than unemployable, frustrated' youth."

Indeed, China is headed for an iceberg. China has sought to check population growth with its one-child per family policy; however, will China's youth ultimately be able to support a growing percentage of seniors? And then there is also the question concerning the ultimate value of the debt denominated in dollars owed to China by the US, should America's budget deficit continue to go unchecked in the decades to come.

Egypt, now with less than $15 billion in foreign reserves, poverty, illiteracy, daily rioting, discrimination against women most of whom have had their genitals mutilated, oppression of its Christian Coptic minority, and a population that is growing beyond the country's means, is headed for disaster.

"India vs. China vs. Egypt"? My bet is on India, but I am far more concerned with events in the US and the absence of a cogent economic policy.

Meanwhile, this has given me the inspiration to begin writing yet another failed screenplay: "King Kong vs. Godzilla vs. Mothra." Who do you think wins in the end? Yeah, I know, who cares? I also have more pressing problems at home.

2 comments:

  1. So, Friedman is sitting in his mansion and babbling. I would babble too ... No, actually not. I am decent.

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  2. "Workhorse"....very nice. It may come as a surprise to Friedman and his fellow goons that the entire chessboard may change and there won't be any workhorses. There may be only citizens of the planet and Israel as a beacon of light (once it gets its own game right).

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