Monday Morning Headlines
Columnist: Mass Democracy And Capitalism At Odds In Age Of Globalization
Pankaj Mishra argues in Bloomberg News that “mass democracy and capitalism, far from being natural partners, are antagonists in the age of globalization” because they are failing to meet the immediate needs of the people.
“It has become clearer since then that the demands and needs of the majority cannot be fulfilled by the assurances of private wealth-creation. Gross domestic product growth rates, however impressive, have not made up for poor infrastructure, education and health care. And inequality, like corruption and nepotism among the elites, has become more
intolerable,” he writes.
Exacerbating that sense of inequality is the diminishing social cohesion that has resulted in “in a widespread sense of fragmentation and drift” among individuals from Asia to Europe and across class lines.
Arab Nations Split Over Military Takeover In Egypt
Dilip Hiro of Yale Global Online examines the reactions of regional actors to the Egyptian “coup” and finds anything but unity in the Arab peninsula.
What is driving either their support or opposition to the coup which ousted Mohammed Morsi is – unsurprisingly – self-interest. In Turkey and Tunisia both condemned the military’s seizure of power as a coup that threatened democracy and lambasted the hesitancy of Western nations to call it as such.
Conversely, Saudi Arabia rules by absolute monarchy and have long objected to the Muslim Brotherhood’s participation in elections, which it views as a threat to its rule.
“Reactions to Egypt’s coup show that, in the final analysis, what really counts is the acceptance or rejection of the ballot box as the sole source of power. Hereditary rulers prefer secular dictators in the Arab republics rather than popularly elected Islamist presidents. And this makes redundant the thesis gaining currency that what matters most is the age-old Sunni-Shia divide in the Middle East and North Africa,” Hiro concludes.
Should Metropolitan Areas Broaden Their Focus To Global Markets?
For decades it was sufficient for metropolitan areas to experience economic growth by engaging in trade within the United States. But Amy Liu and Joseph Parilla of the Brookings Institution write that a deep recession has resigned that strategy to the dust heap of history.
The authors are clear in stating that this approach needs to be pursued by all metropolitan areas, not just the larger cities. For example, Wichita, Kansas has a population of just 600,000, but it possesses a thriving aerospace manufacturing base that drives 60 percent of its exports.
Increasing their global reach is one of what Brookings identifies as the ten keys to “globally fluent” metro areas. Among the qualities cited by Brookings are:
Culture of Knowledge and Innovation – In an increasingly knowledge-driven world, positive development in the global economy requires high levels of human capital to generate new ideas, methods, products, and technologies.
Opportunity and Appeal to the World – Metro areas that are appealing, open, and opportunity-rich serve as magnets for attracting people and firms from around the world.
International Connectivity – Global relevance requires global reach that efficiently connects people and goods to international markets through well-designed, modern infrastructure.