The main contradiction of the modern era, and indeed of all human history, is not between capitalism and socialism, and not even between authoritarianism and democracy, but between individualism and collectivism, between public and personal interests. Countries that are getting ahead in the economic race allow themselves the luxury of individualism, prioritizing human rights, which ultimately undermines their political and economic power and causes their decline and the rise of more collectivist civilizations. It is literally the story that is as old, as the world itself…
Industrial policy – or the promotion of particular investments, technologies, industries, regions and enterprises – has been practiced by a variety of governments to try to accelerate economic growth and transformation.
‘Ethno-populism’ has emerged and spread in recent decades in response to the mixed consequences of neoliberal globalization. It appropriates nationalist rhetoric for narrow ethnic, religious, cultural or other communal ends, typically with a chauvinist, jingoist rejection of selected Others as politically expedient.
In recent decades, many contemporary macroeconomic and financial problems have been blamed on ‘soft budget constraints’ (SBCs), with the term becoming quite popular in the economics lexicon, financial media and political discourse.
GDP has been increasingly challenged on many grounds as a measure of economic and social progress. Clearly, GDP does not take account of other dimensions of wellbeing, natural resource depletion or environmental damage.
The world economic contraction so far this year is largely due to measures, especially at the national or local level, to contain or prevent Covid-19 contagion, particularly those restricting business operations, thus reducing economic activity, output, incomes and spending.
In public health discussions, it is generally recognized that the social returns to health care investments are greater than the private returns, and much of such investments should be financed by the state.
It is now clear that most East Asian government responses to novel coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreaks have been effective. In Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, the number infected have remained relatively low despite their proximity and vulnerability, while containment in China and South Korea has been impressive.
One mercantilist view is that exchange rate undervaluation – e.g., via accumulation of foreign exchange reserves in China’s case – is ‘industrial policy’ to promote export-led growth, benefiting producers of exports while discouraging imports.
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 14%. Since then, its growth rate has declined by more than half to 6.6% in 2018. The five-year moving average growth rate is at its lowest since reforms began in 1978, although annual growth briefly fell lower during 1989, the year of the Tian An Men incident.
Any balanced assessment of the so-called Chinese economic miracle
will recognize that it was extremely successful, not only during the reform period from 1979, but also since Liberation in 1949 despite the setbacks of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
Economic recovery efforts since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis have mainly depended on unconventional monetary policies. As fears rise of yet another international financial crisis, there are growing concerns about the increased possibility of large-scale military conflict.
Although initially obscured by The Economist, among others, the sudden and unprecedented increase in Russian adult male mortality during 1992-1994 is no longer denied. Instead, the debate is now over why?
Having advocated ‘shock therapy’, a ‘big bang’, ‘sudden’ or rapid post-Soviet transition, Jeffrey Sachs and others have claimed that the sudden collapse in Russian adult male life expectancy was due to a sudden increase in alcohol consumption, playing into popular foreign images of vodka-binging Russian men.
Even before the imposition of new sanctions on Russia by Donald Trump and the ongoing fuss over Russian hackers undermining US democracy, Russian-American relations had deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s. Why?
The steep upsurge in mortality and sudden fall in life expectancy in Russia in the early 1990s were the highest ever registered anywhere in recorded human history in the absence of catastrophes, such as wars, plague or famine. The shock economic reforms in the former Soviet economies after 1991 precipitated this unprecedented increase in mortality, shortening life expectancy, especially among middle-aged males
The transition to market economy and democracy in the Russian Federation in the early 1990s dramatically increased mortality and shortened life expectancy. The steep upsurge in mortality and the decline in life expectancy in Russia are the largest ever recorded anywhere in peacetime in the absence of catastrophes such as war, plague or famine.
Wide-ranging economic reforms following the demise of the Soviet Union at the end of December 1991 mainly resulted in economic collapse in most successor states. By the mid-1990s, output had fallen by about half compared to 1989
Why do some countries grow faster than others? How do we engineer an economic miracle? Some economists believe that manufacturing growth is like cooking a good dish—all the needed ingredients should be in the right proportion; if only one is under- or overrepresented, the ‘chemistry of growth’ will be sub-optimal. Rapid economic growth can only happen if several necessary conditions are met at the same time.
Since the 1980s, the world has been moving once again to the greatest level of national level income inequalities observed in recorded human history. A study by the Credit Suisse Research Institute suggested that the income share of the rich has increased at the expense of the ‘middle class’ in most of the world.