Wednesday Water Cooler Reads
Asia’s Public Sector Needs A Dose Of Thatcherism
Francis Yeoh of the Financial Times says that many Asian nations need to adopt the philosophy of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to realize “their full economic potential.”
While Asia has experienced unprecedented growth, large segments of their populations have not benefitted. To extend prosperity to these forgotten populations, he writes “Asian nations must free public utilities from the clutches of the governments that control them – often simply for political or ideological reasons.”
In fact, as noted in The Japan Times, the economic slowdown in China already is having an impact in the region.
He argues that without an injection of innovation into its public sector, these gains cannot be sustained.
“The current system is simply not sustainable. Shorter-term investors have the same fascination with India. But, again, without vital infrastructure and utilities competitively priced, India’s growth is not sustainable. That is why, across Asia, key services should be opened up to private competition.”
A Coming Clash Of Civilizations?
The controversy over a Russian law barring the distribution of “homosexual propaganda” to minors is not likely to be an isolated event, says Reuters columnist John Lloyd. Rather, he views the issue of gay rights as a sign of the coming clash of civilizations across the globe.
“It’s over-simple to say that there’s a liberal camp of light and a reactionary camp of darkness. There’s an important and very large middle ground” between those who seek “greater understanding on the part of the masses accustomed, for religious or other reasons,” and those who see “homosexuality as an abomination and gays as fair game for insults, beatings and even murder,” he writes.
Millionaires Making A Difference
The New York Times magazine profiles tech mogul Scott Harrison, one of a group of millionaires who are devoting their time and pouring their money into charitable causes across the globe. Harrison, who founded charity: water, and Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, are just two of the business leaders following the example set by Bill Gates to use their net worth to improve the lives of impoverished communities throughout Africa.