jerryking + donald_trump   244

Opinion | The World-Shaking News That You’re Missing
Nov. 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

** “Has China Won? by  Kishore Mahbubani

A new wall — a digital Berlin Wall — had begun to be erected between China and America. And the only thing left to be determined, a Chinese business executive remarked to me, “is how high this wall will be,” and which countries will choose to be on which side.

This new wall, separating a U.S.-led technology and trade zone from a Chinese-led one, will have implications as vast as the wall bisecting Berlin did. Because the peace, prosperity and accelerations in technology and globalization that have so benefited the world over the past 40 years were due, in part, to the interweaving of the U.S. and Chinese economies.

The messy, ad hoc decoupling of these two economies, driven by miscalculations by leaders on both sides, will surely disrupt those trends and the costs could be huge. We might want to talk about that.

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gave a speech here a year ago trying to kick-start that discussion. “For 40 years,” Paulson noted, “the U.S.-China relationship has been characterized by the integration of four things: goods, capital, technology and people. And over these 40 years, economic integration between the two countries was supposed to mitigate security competition. But an intellectually honest appraisal must now admit both that this hasn’t happened and that the reverse is taking place.” That reversal is happening for two reasons. First, because the U.S. is — rightly — no longer willing to accept China’s unfair trade practices. Second, because, now that China is a technology powerhouse — and technological products all have both economic and military applications........“after 40 years of integration, a surprising number of political and thought leaders on both sides advocate policies that could forcibly de-integrate the two countries across all four of these baskets.” the digital Berlin Wall took a big step up on May 17, when Trump blacklisted China’s Huawei.......Lots of Chinese tech companies are now thinking: We will never, ever, ever leave ourselves again in a situation where we are totally dependent on America for key components. Time to double down on making our own......similarly, U.S. manufacturers are thinking twice about building their next factory in China or solely depending on a supply chain from there.....this is the sound of two giant economies starting to decouple.....the State Department has been restricting visas for Chinese graduate students studying in sensitive fields — like aviation, robotics and advanced manufacturing ....
What to do?
Friedman is worried that by imposing more and more export and visa controls we will be cutting ourselves off from the access we need to the global investment pools, customers and collaborative scientists and engineers to maintain our technological lead.

I still believe that the most open systems win — they get all the signals of change first, they attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers/innovators and they enrich and are enriched by the most global flows of talent, ideas and capital. That used to be us.....

China is our economic competitor, economic partner, source of talent and capital, geopolitical rival, collaborator and serial rule-breaker. It is not our enemy or our friend.

The only effective way to manage a relationship this complex is:
1) with an all-of-government approach. You can’t have the Justice Department doing one thing, the Pentagon another, the Treasury another, the trade negotiators another, the State Department another and the president tweeting another. And
2), we need as many Pacific and European allies as possible so it’s “The Whole World Versus China”
blacklists  books  China  China_rising  co-ordinated_approaches  decoupling  Donald_Trump  dual-use  economic_disengagement  economic_integration  espionage  future  Hank_Paulson  Huawei  miscalculations  new_tech_Cold_War  open_borders  security_&_intelligence  seismic_shifts  self-sufficiency  signals  students  supply_chains  technology  Tom_Friedman  undermining_of_trust  U.S.-China_relations  visa_students  walled_gardens  Xi_Jinping 
14 days ago by jerryking
Unsettling precedents for today’s world
November 26, 2019 | | Financial Times | Martin Wolf.

** Destined for War, Harvard’s Graham Allison
**  The Rise and the Fall of the Great Powers, by Paul Kennedy

Martin Wolf focuses on the three eras of conflict of the past 120 years. 
(1) the cold war (1948-1989) between a liberal democratic west, led by the US, and the communist Soviet Union, a transformed version of the pre-first world war Russian empire. This was a great power conflict between the chief victors of the second world war.....The cold war ended in peaceful triumph. 

(2) the interwar years. This was an interregnum in which the attempt to restore the pre-first world war order failed, the US withdrew from Europe and a huge financial and economic crisis, emanating originally from the US, ravaged the world economy. It was a time of civil strife, populism, nationalism, communism, fascism and national socialism. The 1930s are an abiding lesson in the possibility of democratic collapse once elites fail. They are also a lesson of what happens when great countries fall into the hands of power-hungry lunatics.....the interwar period ended in a catastrophic war.

(3) the decisive period 1870-1914 saw a rebalancing of economic power. In 1880, the UK generated 23 per cent of global manufacturing output. By 1913, this had fallen to 14 per cent. Over the same period, Germany’s share rose from 9 per cent to 15 per cent. This shift in the European balance led to a catastrophic Thucydidean war between the UK, an anxious status quo power, especially once the Germans started building a modern fleet, and Germany, a resentful rising one. Meanwhile, US industrial output went from 15 to 32 per cent of the world’s, while China fell into irrelevance. Thereupon, US action (in the 20th century’s big conflicts) and inaction (in the interwar years) determined the outcomes.....The pre-1914 period ended in a catastrophic war.

Today’s era is a mixture of all three of these. It is marked by a conflict of political systems and ideology between two superpowers, as in the cold war, by a post-financial crisis decline of confidence in democratic politics and market economics as well as by the rise of populism, nationalism and authoritarianism, as in the 1930s, and, most significantly, by a dramatic shift in relative economic power, with the rise of China, as with the US before 1914. For the first time since then, the US faces a power with an economic potential exceeding its own.....what lessons are to be learned from the eras above?
(A) One lesson is that one is that quality of leadership matters!!!!
Xi Jinping’s capacities and intentions are clear enough: he is devoted to party dominance over a resurgent China. But the political system of the western world and especially the US and UK, the two powers that dragged the world through the 1930s, is failing. US President Donald Trump’s erratic leadership recalls that of Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm. Without better leadership, the west and so the wider world are in deep trouble.

(B) Another lesson is the overriding importance of avoiding war.
(C) the most important conclusion is that avoiding yet another catastrophe is insufficient.......Our fates are too deeply intertwined for that. A positive-sum vision of relations between the west, China and the rest has to become dominant if we are to manage the economic, security and environmental challenges we face.
'30s  books  China  China_rising  Cold_War  Donald_Trump  geopolitics  Graham_Allison  history  Martin_Wolf  rising_powers  superpowers  thought-provoking  U.S.  U.S.-China_relations  WWII  Xi_Jinping 
15 days ago by jerryking
Opinion | The Four Lessons of Impeachment - The New York Times
By Susan E. Rice
Ms. Rice, a former national security adviser, is a contributing opinion writer.

Nov. 22, 2019
Susan_Rice  Donald_Trump  White_House  impeachment  APNSA  values 
16 days ago by jerryking
Opinion | Mike Pompeo: Last in His Class at West Point in Integrity
Nov. 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

....Pompeo has just violated one of the cardinal rules of American military ethics and command: You look out for your soldiers, you don’t leave your wounded on the battlefield and you certainly don’t stand mute when you know a junior officer is being railroaded by a more senior commander, if not outright shot in her back.........Pompeo instead let his ambassador to Ukraine — who depended on him for protection — be stabbed in her back with a Twitter knife, wielded by the president, rather than tell Trump: “Sorry, Mr. President, if you fire her, I will resign. Because to do otherwise would be unjust and against my values and character — and because I would lose the loyalty of all my diplomats if I silently went along with such a travesty of justice against a distinguished 33-year veteran of the foreign service.”............“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” — Mark 8:36......As two now retired, longtime State Department diplomats, Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, wrote on CNN.com on Saturday, “At the very least, Pompeo enabled the smear campaign to go unchallenged, acquiesced in the Giuliani back-channel effort with Ukraine and failed to say a word in defense of Bill Taylor, George Kent or Marie Yovanovitch. These are breathtaking acts of craven political cowardice and beneath the dignity of any secretary of state.”

Mike Pompeo: Last in his class at West Point on ethics in leadership.........Reporters and columnists need to ask Pompeo every chance they get: “What moral code are you operating by that would justify such behavior?’’.....it’s now clear that Pompeo had not taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution. He took an oath to defend and protect Donald J. Trump and Pompeo’s own future political career — above all else — and that’s exactly what he’s been doing. Shame on him.
character_traits  conspiracies  cowardice  diplomacy  disinformation  Donald_Trump  ethics  integrity  leadership  Michael_Pompeo  political_expediency  scriptures  Tom_Friedman  Ukraine  U.S._State_Department  U.S.foreign_policy  values  West_Point 
22 days ago by jerryking
The U.S. is sinking. Maybe it's time for Canada to jump ship.
Oct 30, 2019 | Macleans.ca | by Scott Gilmore.

Things are not going well for American foreign policy. At the geopolitical level, tectonic shifts in world power are leading to a relative decline in American dominance.......Institutionally, the U.S. State Department is in utter disarray......Donald Trump is steering from one collision to another.....we can speculate whether the U.S. decline is an inevitable result of historical political and demographic trends. Or whether it's entirely due to Donald Trump.....whether incompetence or fate, there is no question the American ship of state is leaking badly. The question we should now be asking ourselves, as Canadians, is whether we should help bail or build our own raft.....The instinctive answer is to grab a bucket......In the halls of Global Affairs Canada, the orthodoxy is that we sink or swim with Washington, and therefore, when the Trump circus finally leaves town, we should undoubtedly be there to help rebuild American prestige and influence wherever we can.

But—what if we didn’t? What if we simply boarded our own raft, or paddled over to another ally? What if we decided to “Trump-proof” Canada? What if we consciously and ambitiously began to build a new foreign policy alignment in anticipation of the next American wreck?.....Who else supports human rights, a rules-based international system and strong Western institutions like NATO? The obvious answer is the EU......we are far more likely to achieve our common goals of multilateralism and the rule of law if we join forces more closely. As Canada’s diplomats begin to brief Canada’s next government on the menu of foreign policy options, it would be nice to think that there is a tiny footnote that points out this one small but true idea—when it comes to Washington, there are other options.
America_in_Decline?  Canada  Canadian  crossborder  beyondtheU.S.  Donald_Trump  EU  foreign_policy  generating_strategic_options  geopolitics  Global_Affairs_Canada  imperial_overstretch  international_system  middle-powers  multilateralism  retreats  rules-based  rule_of_law  Scott_Gilmore  seismic_shifts  Trump-proofing  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S._State_Department  Washington_D.C. 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained - The New York Times
The White House uses a web of computer systems to store delicate information.CreditCreditAl Drago for The New York Times
By Charlie Savage, Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman
Oct. 1, 2019
classified_information  code_words  covert_operations  Donald_Trump  memorialization  NSC  secrets  security_&_intelligence  transcripts  Ukraine  White_House 
9 weeks ago by jerryking
Whistle-Blower Is a C.I.A. Officer Who Was Detailed to the White House
Sept. 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Julian E. Barnes.

Agents, officers and analysts from the military, intelligence and law enforcement communities routinely work at the White House. Often, they work on the National Security Council or help manage secure communications, like calls between the president and foreign leaders.

The C.I.A. officer did not work on the communications team that handles calls with foreign leaders, according to the people familiar with his identity. He learned about Mr. Trump’s conduct “in the course of official interagency business,” according to the complaint, which was dotted with footnotes about machinations in Kiev and reinforced with public comments by senior Ukrainian officials.

Officials regularly shared information to “inform policymaking and analysis,” the complaint said. The complaint raises the prospect that the whistle-blower was not detailed to the White House either during the events in question or when he learned about them......The call with Mr. Zelensky was originally thought to be a routine matter, the complaint said, and the White House did not restrict it, meaning a number of officials and note takers listened.

But the whistle-blower said that afterward, White House officials “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call,” putting them in a highly classified system meant for discussing covert actions. One White House official called that an abuse because the transcript contained no classified material.

Notes and rough transcripts of White House calls are typically stored on a computer system that allows senior officials in different departments and agencies to access them, to better coordinate policy.

Some White House colleagues told the whistle-blower that they were concerned they had witnessed “the president abuse his office for personal gain,” according to the complaint.

His complaint went beyond the call. During his time at the White House, the whistle-blower became deeply unnerved about how he believed Mr. Trump was broadly seeking to pressure the Ukrainian government to conduct investigations that could benefit him politically.

“Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the president’s 2020 re-election bid,” the complaint said of Mr. Trump.

After the call, multiple officials told the whistle-blower that future talks between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky would depend on whether the Ukranians would “play ball” on the investigations he sought.

The whistle-blower, who lodged his concerns with the inspector general for the intelligence community, has identified at least a half-dozen government officials — including several who work for the White House — who he believes can substantiate his claims. The inspector general has interviewed some of them and found the whistle-blower’s claims credible.
Campaign_2020  CIA  Donald_Trump  impeachment  intelligence_analysts  Joe_Biden  policymaking  security_&_intelligence  Ukraine  whistleblowing  White_House 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
Donald Trump wants people to ‘go back’; here is what happens when they do
July 23, 2019 | Financial Times |Melissa Tandiwe Myambo.

Some researchers believe that the US pays an economic price when it loses heritage migrants and return migrants — those who come to the US for a time and then return to their home countries. Indian-born and Indian heritage migrants from Silicon Valley to India helped sow the success of Bangalore’s IT industry.

China’s economic insurgency has been boosted by its huge diaspora. Evidence from Georgia and the Philippines shows that when emigrants return, or their children do, they bring capital, skills and entrepreneurial ambition.
............Heritage migration can also end up harming the US in another way. The Department of Homeland Security warns that the process can radicalise would-be terrorists, who may then return to the west to carry out violent attacks.
..........People become heritage migrants when they are made to feel that they do not belong in the country in which they grew up. Some would-be terrorists are an extreme version who express their anger at exclusion in a violent and deadly fashion.
........When Mr Trump tells people to “go back” to their countries and then follows that up with campaign rallies at which his supporters chant “send her back” about naturalised American citizen and sitting member of congress Ilhan Omar, he is creating a hostile environment. That almost certainly bolsters many Americans’ feelings of alienation.

Some of them may indeed leave and we may all come to regret that.
9/11  alienation  Diaspora  Donald_Trump  heritage_migration  non-whites  stereotypes 
july 2019 by jerryking
Donald Trump’s race-baiting strategy to secure second term
July 17, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

Telling US-born Democrats to go back to the countries they came from is a departure even by Mr Trump’s standards. In 2016 he attacked immigrants, chiefly Muslim and Mexican, as a threat to national security. Now he is portraying opinionated non-white citizens as un-American. Their citizenship is performance-based.

To Mr Trump, whites are automatically American. Others only qualify if they support his idea of what it is to be American. By any measure, this is textbook racism.

But there is method behind Mr Trump’s nastiness. His goal is to force Democrats to unite behind the so-called “Squad” of four non-white congresswomen, whose radicalism is not popular in the US heartlands. Most Americans are not socialist. Nor do they support paying reparations for slavery, or open borders. Most would probably be suspicious of a Green New Deal that aimed to abolish fossil fuels by 2030. These are the kinds of radical ideas Mr Trump wants to force Democrats to support.
Campaign_2020  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  GOP  nativism  non-whites  racism  race-baiting  whites 
july 2019 by jerryking
US declining interest in history presents risk to democracy
May 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

America today has found a less bloodthirsty way of erasing its memory by losing interest in its past. From an already low base, the number of American students majoring in history has dropped by more than a third since 2008. Barely one in two hundred American undergraduates now specialise in history......Donald Trump is a fitting leader for such times. He had to be told who Andrew Jackson was.....He also seems to think that Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave and 19th century abolitionist, is among us still.....But America’s 45th president can hardly be blamed for history’s unpopularity. Culpability for that precedes Mr Trump and is spread evenly between liberals, conservatives, faculty and parents........Courses on intellectual, diplomatic and political history are being replaced at some of America’s best universities by culture studies that highlight grievances at the expense of breadth.......Then there is the drumbeat of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Most US states now mandate tests only in maths and English, at the expense of history and civic education...... In a recent survey, only 26 per cent of Americans could identify all three branches of government. More than half could not name a single justice on the US Supreme Court.....
the biggest culprit is the widespread belief that “soft skills” — such as philosophy and English, which are both in similar decline to history — do not lead to well-paid jobs.....folk prejudice against history is hard to shake. In an ever more algorithmic world, people believe that humanities are irrelevant. The spread of automation should put a greater premium on qualities that computers lack, such as intuitive intelligence, management skills and critical reasoning. Properly taught that is what a humanities education provides.......People ought to be able to grasp the basic features of their democracy. [Abiding] Faith in a historic theory only fuels a false sense of certainty....What may work for individual careers poses a collective risk to US democracy. The demise of strong civics coincides with waning voter turnout, a decline in joining associations, fewer citizen’s initiatives — and other qualities once associated with American vigour......There is no scientific metric for gullibility. Nor can we quantitatively prove that civic ignorance imposes a political cost on society. These are questions of judgment. But if America’s origins tell us anything it is that a well-informed citizenry creates a stronger society.
=============================================
here is what robots can't do -- create art, deep meaning, move our souls, help us to understand and thus operate in the world, inspire deeper thought, care for one another, help the environment where we live.......The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand.
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algorithms  automation  citizen_engagement  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  democracy  Donald_Trump  Edward_Luce  empathy  engaged_citizenry  false_sense_of_certainty  foundational  historians  history  historical_amnesia  humanities  ignorance  political_literacy  sense-making  soft_skills  STEM  threats  U.S.  vulnerabilities 
may 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | There’s a Bigger Prize Than Impeachment - The New York Times
By Joe Lockhart
Mr. Lockhart served as White House press secretary from 1998 to 2000.

April 22, 2019
Campaign_2020  Donald_Trump  GOP  impeachment  machiavellian 
april 2019 by jerryking
A preacher for Trump’s America: Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel
APRIL 18, 2019 | Financial Times | Edward Luce in Houston.

Optimism, hope, destiny, harvest, bounty — these are Lakewood’s buzzwords. Prosperity too. Words that are rarely heard include guilt, shame, sin, penance and hell. Lakewood is not the kind of church that troubles your conscience.....the market share of US churches run by celebrity prosperity preachers such as Osteen, Creflo Dollar (sic), Kenneth Copeland and Paula White keeps growing. Three out of four of the largest megachurches in America subscribe to the prosperity gospel. Formal religion in the US has been waning for years. Almost a quarter of Americans now profess to having none. Among the Christian brands, only “non-denominational charismatics” — a scholarly term for the prosperity preachers — are expanding.......About the only book that Trump is known to have read from cover to cover is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, the grandfather of the prosperity gospel. It has sold five million copies since it was published in 1952. His message is that the more you give to God, the more he will give back in return......The prosperity gospel is all about harvesting the seed. The more money you plant in God’s church, the greater your heavenly bounty. Wealth is a mark of God’s benevolence. Poverty is a sign of godlessness...........The more you consider Lakewood’s business model, the more it seems like a vehicle to redistribute money upwards — towards heaven, perhaps — rather than to those who most need it. Like all religious charities, Lakewood is exempt from taxes. All donations to it are tax deductible. It has never been audited by the IRS......On the left, the prosperity gospel is attacked for encouraging reckless spending by those who can least afford it. Among Lakewood’s night classes is Own Your Dream Home. Leaps of financial faith fit into Osteen’s view that God will always underwrite true believers.
.......Some of the home repossessions in the 2008 crash were blamed on irresponsible advice from the prosperity churches, which are concentrated in the Sun Belt. In her book Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, Kate Bowler says the churches have created a “deification and ritualisation” of the American dream.......people who are depressed should shun the company of other depressed people.... Addicts must steer clear of other addicts. The poor should avoid others who are poor.......“If you’re struggling in your finances, get around blessed people, generous people, people who are well off,” Osteen advises. Misery loves company, he says. Avoid miserable people.........Osteen’s idea of whether God would have hesitated before creating the universe. “He didn’t check with accounting and say, ‘I am about to create the stars, galaxies and planets,’” says Osteen. He just went ahead and did it. All that is holding the rest of us back is a lack of self-belief: “God spoke worlds into creation,”
........The more one listens to Osteen, the harder it is to shut out Trump. Their mutual guru, Norman Vincent Peale...Believe in yourself like others believe in their product, was Peale's message. “Stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding,” wrote Peale. “Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade.”
.........People often ask why so many blue-collar Americans still support Trump in spite of his failure to transform their economic prospects. They might need to widen their aperture. To many Americans, Trump’s wealth and power are proof of God’s favour. That alone is a reason to support him.
abundance  blue-collar  books  churches  Christianity  Donald_Trump  economic_downturn  Edward_Luce  Joel_Osteen  leaps_of_faith  mega-churches  pastors  positive_thinking  prosperity_gospel  religion  the_American_Dream  self-belief  tithing 
april 2019 by jerryking
Why America cannot fly alone
March 13, 2019 | Financial Times | by Edward Luce.

The US does not have a head of the Federal Aviation Administration.

It took about 72 hours for reality to close in on Donald Trump. One by one, the world’s regulators — led by China, swiftly followed by the EU — grounded Boeing’s 737 Max planes following two disastrous crashes. Under pressure from Mr Trump, America’s FAA held out. When Canada joined, America’s isolation was almost complete. Mr Trump’s stance offers a unique example of the world spurning America’s lead on airline safety. His reversal is a “teachable moment”.... on the realities of a fast-changing world. Why? The biggest factor is falling global trust in US institutional probity. Mr Trump’s budget this week proposed a cut to the FAA in spite of the fact that its air traffic control system remains years behind many of its counterparts. Moreover, the FAA lacks a chief.......The FAA has been flying without a pilot, so to speak, for more than a year. Little surprise America’s partners have lost trust in its direction.......More than halfway through Mr Trump’s term, one in seven US ambassadorships are still unfilled, including South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The same applies to key state department vacancies at home. Such is the level of demoralisation that William Burns, the former deputy secretary of state, talks of America’s “unilateral diplomatic disarmament”. US diplomats increasingly lack the resources — and trust — to do the patient work of persuading other countries to fall in with America...Recent examples of America failing to co-opt a single ally include its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, pulling out of the Paris climate change accord and asking others to fill America’s soon to be empty shoes in Syria....many countries, including Britain and Germany, have rejected Mr Trump’s strictures on Huawei........Trump appears to be signalling that US courts are no longer independent of political whim. ....the most teachable aspect of the Boeing 737 controversy is the reality of the global economy. When China and the EU agree to the same regulatory standard, the US has little choice but to fall in line.......Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which previous US administrations negotiated, the US and its allies aimed to set the global standards for China. .....By the yardstick of might, the US is still the world’s heavyweight. But it works well only when combined with right. US regulatory leadership on drugs approval, technology, environmental standards and much else besides is falling behind. In spite of the US having the world’s leading technology companies, Europe is setting internet privacy standards.
aviation_safety  airline_safety  Boeing  budget_cuts  Canada  China  cutbacks  Edward_Luce  FAA  fast-changing  institutional_integrity  regulators  regulatory_standards  TPP  unilateralism  Donald_Trump  EU  airline_crashes  teachable_moments 
march 2019 by jerryking
Can Trump Handle a Foreign Crisis?
Feb. 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Peggy Noonan.

He’ll face one eventually, and there’s good reason to worry the administration will be unprepared.

Someday this White House will face a sudden, immediate and severe foreign-policy crisis..... past and present officials of this administration are concerned on how the White House would handle a crisis......History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted. Russia moves against a U.S. ally, testing Washington’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; a coordinated cyber action by our adversaries takes down the American grid; China, experiencing political unrest within a background of a slowing economy, decides this is a good time to move on Taiwan; someone bombs Iran’s missile sites; Venezuela explodes in violence during a military crackdown; there’s an accidental launch somewhere..... historian Margaret MacMillan said ....“I think we should never underestimate the sheer role of accident.”....Everything depends on personnel, process and planning. The president and his top advisers have to work closely, with trust and confidence, quickly comprehending the shape of the challenge and its implications. There must be people around him with wisdom, judgment, experience. They must know their jobs and be able to execute them under pressure. Clear lines of communication are key between both individuals and agencies.....keep their eyes on the million moving pieces, military and diplomatic, that comprise a strategy.......During the Berlin airlift, thought at the time to be the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who’d been Army chief of staff during World War II, was asked how worried he was. “I’ve seen worse,” he replied. He had. ......“No administration is ready for its first crisis,” says Richard Haass, who was a member of George H.W. Bush’s NSC and is author of “A World in Disarray.” “What you learn is that the machinery isn’t adequate, or people aren’t ready.” First crises trigger reforms of procedures so that second ones are better handled. ......There is no way, really, to simulate a crisis, because you don’t know what’s coming, and key people are busy doing their regular jobs. And all administrations, up until the point they’re tested, tend to be overconfident. What can they do to be readier? Think, study, talk and plan.....For a modern example of good process, personnel and management, there is the Cuban missile crisis. .....the stakes couldn’t have been higher.......It might be good to have regular situation-room meetings on what-ifs, and how to handle what-ifs, and to have deep contingency planning with intelligence, military and civilian leaders discussing scenarios. “Put yourself in a position,” says Mr. Haass, “where you’re less unread when a crisis does occur.”.......Margaret MacMillan again: People not only get used to peace and think it’s “the normal state of affairs,” they get used to the idea that any crisis can be weathered, because they have been in the past. But that’s no guarantee of anything, is it?
adversaries  chance  contingency_planning  crisis  Donald_Trump  U.S.foreign_policy  JFK  Margaret_MacMillan  overconfidence  Richard_Haass  security_&_intelligence  unexpected  White_House  unprepared  accidents  Cuban_Missile_Crisis  luck  Peggy_Noonan  preparation  readiness  George_Marshall  normality  unforeseen 
february 2019 by jerryking
Canada must reassess its approach to China - if not, we may get steamrolled by the world’s new juggernaut - The Globe and Mail
JONATHAN MANTHORPE
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JANUARY 30, 2019

.....The current CCP regime will not last forever. Dynasties never do, and the historical record in China is that they all die violently. This will likely happen to the CCP, but it’s not a good bet that it will happen anytime soon. Thus, Canada and all other countries having to engage with China while maintaining their own liberal-democratic institutions face some harsh realities. If Canada wishes to preserve its values and its standards of living based on trade in a world dominated by China, if it wishes to expand its influence as a global middle power, present and future governments in Ottawa need to prepare the ground. They need to cement political, economic social, and security ties within NATO and the G7, along with other like-minded countries [JCK: that is, "strategic alliances"]. Canadian politicians need to assume a much tougher and more self-assured attitude toward Beijing than is now the case.
arbitrariness  authoritarianism  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  Chinese_Communist_Party  Donald_Trump  dynasties  editorials  extradition  fascism  hostage_diplomacy  isolationism  Meng_Wanzhou  never_forever  rule_of_law  strategic_alliances  U.S.  Xi_Jinping 
january 2019 by jerryking
Trump’s new nationalism has cut Canada loose – and our vulnerability is on full display - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE MARTIN PUBLIC AFFAIRS COLUMNIST
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

There is still some hope, as Canada’s Ambassador to China John McCallum said on Wednesday, that the United States might not go ahead with its extradition request for Meng Wanzhou, the detained Huawei executive . Indeed, it’s always the case that Mr. Trump can change his mind in a flash.

The Huawei crisis brings to mind Ottawa’s standoff with Saudi Arabia last summer over its arrest of Samar Badawi, a human-rights activist whose family lived in Canada. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed alarm and urged that she be released. The Saudis reacted with rage. They recalled their Canadian ambassador, and froze trade and investment with Canada.

But Washington officials didn’t issue a word of protest against the Saudis. They dodged. The Saudis’ killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi vindicated Ms. Freeland’s view of their regime. Washington’s acquiescence on the Badawi case may have played a role in emboldening the Saudis to move against Mr. Khashoggi.
Canada  China  collateral_damage  crossborder  David_MacNaughton  Donald_Trump  Huawei  Lawrence_Martin  nationalism  new_normal  extradition  Meng_Wanzhou 
january 2019 by jerryking
Donald Trump has ushered in a new global order. Here’s how Canada can protect itself -
JANUARY 21, 2019 |The Globe and Mail | COLIN ROBERTSON.
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 21 HOURS AGO
UPDATED
Colin Robertson is vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
building_codes  bullying  Canada  climate_change  maritime  multilateralism  new_normal  post-WWII  rogue_actors  rules-based  Thucydides  Donald_Trump  international_system  self-protection 
january 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Why the World Needs America and China to Get Along - The New York Times
By Robert E. Rubin
Mr. Rubin was secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1999 and is co-chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jan. 2, 2019

Leaders in both countries should recognize our imperative self-interest in working together on hugely consequential transnational issues, especially two threats to life on earth as we know it: nuclear weapons and climate change.

No single country can tackle these threats alone, and existing international institutions have proved inadequate. The best chance for successfully dealing with these overarching issues — as well as other transnational issues like pandemics, terrorism and cybersecurity — is for the world’s two largest national economies to catalyze global action.
CFR  China  climate_change  Donald_Trump  nuclear  Robert_Rubin  U.S.  U.S.-China_relations 
january 2019 by jerryking
We must finally see China for what it truly is - The Globe and Mail
DAVID MULRONEY
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

China’s furious response to Ms. Meng’s arrest has unsettled some Canadian observers who have commented that we should simply have looked the other way and allowed Ms. Meng to slip out of Vancouver. Thinking along these lines was encouraged by a typically clumsy intervention by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said he might use Ms. Meng as a bargaining chip if it helped him get a better deal in his trade negotiations with China.

As frustrating as the President’s comments were, we should not succumb to the belief that there is some moral equivalence between the United States and China. Our interests and values are still far more closely aligned with those of the United States than they are with China’s......We need to understand that China behaves the way it does because it works. ....Our attention all too quickly shifts from stories about China’s assertiveness and repression to stories about its gleaming cities and globe-trotting ultra-rich. We seem incapable of seeing it whole.....all the subplots about China (concerns about China as a violator of Iran sanctions, about the possibility that it uses corporations such as Huawei to vacuum foreign technology and about the stunning disregard it displays for the rights of citizens – foreign and Chinese), connect to a larger narrative that is finally taking hold, one that concedes that China is an increasingly irresponsible power and partner, one that feigns compliance with international norms only when it is convenient to do so......The current crisis offers an opportunity for new thinking. We can’t ignore China, nor should we disrespect it. But we need to consider whether our engagement of China should be as circumscribed and conditional as is China’s participation in our rules-based international order.....We should be discussing with allies how we can do a better job protecting sensitive technologies in our private and academic sectors, how we can more effectively ward off Chinese interference in our democratic political systems and how we can more effectively hold China accountable for respecting human rights at home and abroad.......It’s time for a new normal.
bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  Huawei  hostages  Meng_Wanzhou  Donald_Trump  new_normal  reprisals 
december 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | Donald Trump Is Bad for Israel - The New York Times
drspock
New York27m ago
There is a difference between Israeli security and Israeli policy. Unfortunately Stephen's very intentionally conflates the two.

America has committed itself to Israeli security for the last 50 years. We have unprecedented exchanges between our militaries, even when Israel was spying on us.

Israel has receives more direct foreign aid than any other nation including military equipment and favored trade status. Very real tangible support for Israel is greater than any other nation enjoys. And we provide Israel with complete diplomatic cover, even when they engage in policies that are not in our interests. And therein lies the problem.

While bemoaning Trump's failures, Stephens reminds readers that although all of the above was provided by the Obama administration, even that wasn't enough.

Why? Because Obama tepidly asked Israel to engage in good faith efforts to end the occupation of the West Bank and allow a small non-threatening Palestinian state to emerge. This would improve our standing in the region and remove the excuse that some nations have offered for not cooperating with us.

But despite our guarantee of Israeli security, Obama's request was denied. Now Stephen's argues that we return to a policy of confrontation in the name of liberal values. In reality he argues that US policy be an extension of Israeli policy. And that we shouldn't do.

Allies and friends yes. Security guarantees, yes. But a subordinate to the policy of annexation, no thank you.
Donald_Trump  Israel  letters_to_the_editor  militaries 
december 2018 by jerryking
Year in a Word: Thucydides’s trap
December 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Gideon Rachman |

Thucydides’s trap

Coined by Harvard professor Graham Allison to capture the idea that the rivalry between an established power and a rising one often ends in war....The ancient Greek historian Thucydides had observed that the Peloponnesian war (431BC-404BC) was caused by “the growth of Athenian power and the fear that this caused in Sparta”....
Graham_Allison  op-ed  rivalries  Thucydides_trap  China  China_rising  conflicts  endgame  Huawei  security_&_intelligence  superpowers  rising_powers  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S.-China_relations  post-Cold_War  Donald_Trump  confrontations 
december 2018 by jerryking
America, China and the art of confrontation
December 17, 2018 | Financial Times | Gideon Rachman.

Tell me how this ends? was the despairing question attributed to American generals as they contemplated the quagmires in Vietnam and Iraq. The same question needs to be asked by US policymakers now, as they consider the escalating tensions between America and China.

The world’s two most powerful countries are locked into confrontations on a range of issues, including trade, technology, espionage and control of the South China Sea. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of interpreting these clashes. The first is that Donald Trump’s administration is determined to reset the US-China relationship. The second is that the US has now embarked on an effort to block China’s rise.

The first approach focuses on objectionable Chinese behaviour; the second objects to the very idea of China as a rival superpower.

These two ways of thinking point to very different potential endings. The first approach — the reset — ultimately ends with a deal. The second approach — blocking the rise of China — points to a prolonged and deepening antagonism......but, over the long term, both Washington and Beijing must think more profoundly about “how this ends”.

The Chinese need to recognise that there has been a profound and bipartisan shift in American thinking. So trying to hoodwink Mr Trump or wait him out will ultimately not work. Instead, China has to consider much more significant changes in its policies on everything from forced technology transfer, to the South China Sea. It could be its last chance to head off a long-term confrontation with the Americans.

The US also has some thinking to do. The hawks in Washington are relishing the more overt use of US power in their confrontation with China. But they too need to think about “how this ends”.

It is not realistic to think that the US can ultimately stop China’s rise.
China  China_rising  conflicts  endgame  Huawei  rivalries  security_&_intelligence  superpowers  Thucydides_Trap  rising_powers  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  post-Cold_War  Donald_Trump  confrontations  U.S.-China_relations 
december 2018 by jerryking
The harsh reality: Canada’s in a near-impossible situation on NAFTA, experts say - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
PUBLISHED AUGUST 31, 2018
UPDATED 9 HOURS AG

Canadian negotiators faced a grim ultimatum this week – cave to a series of hardline U.S. demands or get hit with steep tariffs on autos that could plunge much of the country into recession....“They don’t believe you can do an agreement where both sides win,” says John Manley, a former trade and finance minister who now heads the Business Council of Canada, which speaks for 150 of the country’s largest companies. “Everything is ‘what I get, you lose.’ That’s a pretty tough starting place.” ...In the end, Mr. Trump’s erratic nature, not Canadian missteps, may be the x-factor that has made a deal so hard to reach......even in the toughest days of negotiating... the original Canada-U.S. FTA ...and.. NAFTA t....Mr. Mulroney knew he could trust presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. “You’re not dealing with a rational character at the other end,” Mr. Burney says of Mr. Trump. “The difference you had in my day is that at least the relationship at the top between the leaders was positive.” ......The U.S. President insisted in leaked off-the-record comments Thursday that he’ll only do a deal with Canada that is “totally on our terms.”..That hard line makes reaching a deal all the more difficult.​
crossborder  negotiations  Donald_Trump  NAFTA  free_trade  international_trade  protectionism  concessions 
september 2018 by jerryking
The AI arms race: the tech fear behind Donald Trump’s trade war with China | Financial Times
Shawn Donnan in Washington YESTERDAY

While the headlines about the Trump administration’s trade war with Beijing often focus on raw materials such as steel, aluminium and soyabeans, the underlying motivation of the new protectionist mood is American anxiety about China’s rapidly growing technological prowess.......
At a time when the US is engaged in a battle for technological pre-eminence with China, the ZGC project is exactly the sort of state-backed Chinese investment that American politicians across the political spectrum view with scepticism.

“China has targeted America’s industries of the future, and President Donald Trump understands better than anyone that if China successfully captures these emerging industries, America will have no economic future,” .....US tariffs on $34bn in imports from China that are due to take effect on Friday as part of a squeeze intended to end what the US says has been years of state-endorsed Chinese intellectual property theft. But it is also part of a broader battle against what the White House has labelled China’s “economic aggression”......Viewed from America, President Xi Jinping’s Made in China 2025 industrial strategy is a state-led effort to establish Chinese leadership in the technologies of the next generation of commerce and military equipment — notably AI, robotics and gene editing.

Many US officials are now questioning one of the basic assumptions about how the American economy operates: its openness to foreign investment....While some technology executives extol the potential for co-operation in areas such as AI, the Washington establishment increasingly sees them as central to a growing geopolitical competition....Many Chinese investors are looking for US companies that they can help move into China. .....Even though Mr Trump’s focus on Chinese technology has strong bipartisan support in Washington, its tactics have been heavily criticised. The biggest blunder, many critics argue, has been the Trump administration’s willingness to wage concurrent trade wars. The IP-driven tariffs push against China has been accompanied by one that has hit allies such as Canada and the EU that might have joined a fight against Beijing.

........“We’re treating the Chinese better than we are treating our friends,” says Derek Scissors, a China expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who sees the tariffs Mr Trump is threatening against European car imports as a similar bit of malpractice.
arms_race  artificial_intelligence  China  CFIUS  Donald_Trump  economic_warfare  economic_aggression  FDI  geopolitics  international_trade  investors  investing  intellectual_property  industrial_policies  protectionism  politicians  robotics  One_Belt_One_Road  security_&_intelligence  Silicon_Valley  SOEs  start_ups  theft  U.S.  venture_capital  Washington_D.C. 
july 2018 by jerryking
Canada in the crosshairs as Trump weaponizes uncertainty as part of bullying approach to trade - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
OTTAWA

Tariffs are not the end game. Economist Meredith Crowley, she and Mr. Ciuriak make the case that the United States is knowingly and strategically “weaponizing uncertainty” by seeking out confrontation with other countries on trade.

“The Trump administration is deploying at scale a new weapon in trade protection – uncertainty,” they argue.

The objective is not just to reduce the massive U.S. trade deficit with the world − as Mr. Trump and his top officials repeatedly insist. Fomenting trade uncertainty is also being used to bully companies into moving jobs, production and investment back to the United States and to discourage U.S. companies from investing outside the country.

Threatened tariffs may be as effective as actual tariffs. That may explain why the Trump administration has been so insistent on putting a five-year sunset clause in the North American free-trade agreement. Canada considers that a deal breaker because it discourages companies from making long-term investments.

Uncertainty is being deliberately used as a non-tariff barrier and, unlike tariffs, it can’t be reined in by the rules of the World Trade Organization, NAFTA or other trade deals. “Unlike tariffs, uncertainty cannot easily be withdrawn – like a good reputation ruined, its pernicious effects on confidence can take years to unwind,” .

Canada is already suffering as companies delay investments, or divert them to the United States to escape the uncertainty of being on the wrong side of any protectionist barriers.
bullying  crossborder  Donald_Trump  economies_of_scale  NAFTA  non-tariff_barriers  tariffs  tools  uncertainty 
june 2018 by jerryking
Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish - The Globe and Mail
CHRISTIAN LEUPRECHT AND ROGER BRADBURY
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

The U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Mr. Trump’s perspective (i.e. his worldview).

The extent of the punitive tariffs Mr. Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – Bretton Woods' meticulously calibrated, multilateral system of rules has 164 member-states and comprises tens of thousands of products--by design.

World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals – which are about to grind to a halt because the United States has not named a judge to the seven-member Appellate Body – were meant to ensure that everyone sticks to the rules....
The President is now intent on destroying co-operation within the WTO by driving wedges between the world’s trading blocs and countries. The United States would be in a much stronger position if it could negotiate with each trade bloc directly. ....Mr. Trump’s recent musings about replacing NAFTA with two separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico are further evidence to that effect. Canada risks selling out the WTO by making concessions to the United States.

China, too, is negotiating bilaterally with the United States and is already caving to American demands. In the end, the large trading blocs are likely to divide up the world among themselves; countries with little leverage, such as Canada, could become collateral damage......Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

So, that same rules-based system is now causing competitors.... Under these conditions, it is no longer in the interest of the United States to co-operate; as the global political and economic hegemon, the United States can win a strategic competition for wealth and power. Everyone ends up poorer, but the United States remains top dog because everyone else grows poorer faster than the United States. Beggar thy neighbour. Literally.

But being frank will not sit well with Canadians; painting Mr. Trump as a crazy buffoon is more politically expedient. So, along with the EU and China, Canada falls right into Mr. Trump’s bilateral trade-negotiation trap. R.I.P. WTO. Score: Trump 1; Canada 0.
beggar-thy-neighbour  bilateral  Canada  Canadian  China  collateral_damage  crossborder  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  international_trade  Justin_Trudeau  middle-powers  multilateralism  negotiations  punitive  rules-based  tariffs  WTO  worldviews  mercantilism  zero-sum  NAFTA  Bretton_Woods 
june 2018 by jerryking
Globe editorial: Answering the bully in the White House - The Globe and Mail
Since reasoning with the President is off the table, the only options for Canada are to stand firm as long as possible in terms of retaliation, to continue to negotiate with state governors and Congress members whose economic interests align with ours, and to make hay of the fact that the U.S. is a less stable and safe place to invest when it is led by a President who changes the rules every week.
bullying  Canada  Canadian  crossborder  Donald_Trump  editorials  tariffs  White_House  aligned_interests 
june 2018 by jerryking
NAFTA is dead and Canada should move on
June 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by PETER DONOLO.

So what is our Plan B?

It obviously means seriously and aggressively pursuing markets and investment beyond the U.S. For example, new markets for Canadian resources are now more important than ever. That’s why the government’s decision this week to effectively nationalize the Trans Mountain Pipeline in order to finally get it built and deliver oil to Asia-bound tankers was such an important step. This decision in itself was a significant response to an unreliable American partner, and a signal that we must look farther abroad for greater economic opportunity.

The same goes for the myriad of trade agreements on which our country has embarked – most prominently the Canada-EU trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The GATT and WTO breakthroughs of the 1990s also work in Canada’s favour, providing us with tariffs much lower than existed before NAFTA and the original Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement. If NAFTA were to cease tomorrow, our trade with the U.S. would still operate under the WTO’s rules.

Finally, we need to redouble efforts to attract direct foreign investment into Canada. The government recently launched a new agency, Invest in Canada, to do just that. But there are obstacles. The Business Council of Canada cites the regulatory burden as the biggest challenge. In a globalized economy, tax competitiveness is always an issue. And governments need to walk the walk when it comes to opening up to investors from countries such as China, even when there is domestic political blowback.

The only negotiating stance that works against Donald Trump is the ability and willingness to walk away. Mr. Trump sniffs out weakness or desperation – in a friend or a foe – and he pounces without mercy. A defensive crouch is the wrong position. “Sauve qui peut” is the wrong rallying cry. Negotiating with strength, from strength, is the only approach.
beyondtheU.S.  automotive_industry  crossborder  Donald_Trump  FDI  Nafta  negotiations  Plan_B  oil_industry  protectionism  tariffs  TPP  Trans_Mountain_Pipeline  pipelines  global_economy 
june 2018 by jerryking
Mid-sized powers must unite to preserve the world order
Gideon Rachman

New times call for new thinking.....the world’s middle powers, Germany, France, Japan and Britain, have a dilemma: America and China are increasingly tempted to break free of the constraints of international agreements and to use their power to achieve their goals, unilaterally. Russia lacks the economic might of a great power. But it has the territorial expanse and the nuclear arsenal, and has made a mighty contribution to an atmosphere of growing international lawlessness.

The middle powers cannot flex their muscles like great powers. But they are international players, with global economic and security interests. They need a world with rules. ...What could the middle powers actually do, other than give each other consoling hugs? They should start by noting the similarity of their positions and concerns. For decades, the six middle powers have organised their international positions around two pillars: a strong relationship with the US and membership of a powerful regional grouping, such as the EU, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Donald Trump era has upended their assumptions. Whatever the Europeans, Australians, Japanese and Canadians say publicly, they are all dismayed by the current direction of the US. The protectionism of the Trump administration is a direct threat to their economic interests. (The US is likely to press ahead with steel tariffs on the EU on June 1.) The US’s current unpredictability and incipient isolationism also poses questions about the robustness of its security guarantees to its allies.

With US leadership increasingly erratic, the middle powers should do more to co-ordinate their positions and lobby on the big global issues: trade, climate change, arms control and peace efforts in the Middle East and Asia.
APEC  co-ordinated_approaches  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  lawlessness  middle-powers  NAFTA  rules_of_the_game  rules-based 
may 2018 by jerryking
Behind Trump’s Termination of Iran Deal Is a Risky Bet - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICKMAY 8, 2018

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David_Singer  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Iran  nuclear  Donald_Trump 
may 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | Michael Hayden: The End of Intelligence - The New York Times
By Michael V. Hayden

Mr. Hayden is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

April 28, 2018
Donald_Trump  Michael_Hayden  security_&_intelligence 
april 2018 by jerryking
The Future of Elite Schools in the Trump Era (and the Future of Blogging) - The Atlantic
James Fallows
3:05 PM / April 14, 2018

a message that came in from a reader in an elite-university college town. (OK: It’s New Haven.) He says that an under-appreciated aspect of Donald Trump’s war on expertise deserves further attention. .....From where I sit, the schools are woefully under-prepared for the Trump onslaught and I predict that they will get slammed and have to change their policies. To imagine what future Harvard classes will look like if the schools lose the court cases, look to what happened to Berkeley when they were constrained by Proposition 209 from considering using affirmative action policies-- the percentage of Asian American and White students increased, while Black and Latino representation decreased.

When I think about the rise of Trump, I believe that part of the blame should rest at the feet of Harvard, Yale and their peers.

Clinton, Bush, and Obama stacked their administration with graduates from these schools and the global economic system that they created (and profited from) had important flaws that hurt certain sectors of the US and provided fertile ground for Trump's dark vision of a sort of economic conspiracy holding back real Americans. As a group, they often were arrogant and felt that they knew best. Yet they also weren't smart enough to understand how the economic world that they created actually had some fundamental flaws that would come to threaten the elite global world view that they thought was inevitable.
James_Fallows  elitism  Ivy_League  Colleges_&_Universities  Red_states  Donald_Trump  expertise  Department_of_Justice  admissions 
april 2018 by jerryking
US companies on edge over China tariff threat to supply chains
April 5, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York 6 HOURS AGO.

Vermeer's situation demonstrates how complex international supply chains mean that new tariffs can have damaging unintended consequences. Vermeer, where Mr Andringa is chief executive, imports cabs assembled in its plant in Tianjin, China, that it uses for its drilling vehicle made in Iowa. Using the lower-cost imported cabs helps Vermeer stay competitive against German and Chinese rivals, in the US market and around the world. But the components were on the commerce department’s list of imports from China threatened with a new 25 per cent tariff. If the administration follows through on that threat, Vermeer’s competitive position will be eroded.
Donald_Trump  trade_wars  supply_chains  manufacturers  unintended_consequences  tariffs 
april 2018 by jerryking
China Started the Trade War, Not Trump
March 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Greg Ip.

Even free traders and internationalists agree China’s predatory trade practices—which include forcing U.S. business to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets—are undermining both its partners and the trading system....starting in the 1980s, economists recognized that comparative advantage couldn’t explain success in many industries such as commercial jetliners, microprocessors and software. These industries are difficult for competitors to enter because of steep costs for research and development, previously established technical standards, increasing returns to scale (costs drop the more you sell), and network effects (the more customers use the product, the more valuable it becomes).......In such industries, a handful of firms may reap the lion’s share of the wages and profits (what economists call rents), at the expense of others. China’s efforts are aimed at achieving such dominance in many of these industries by 2025.
China  China_rising  comparative_advantage  Donald_Trump  Greg_Ip  increasing_returns_to_scale  myths  network_effects  predatory_practices  protectionism  tariffs  technical_standards  trade_wars  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all  WTO 
march 2018 by jerryking
America v China: How trade wars become real wars
March 11, 2017 | FT | by Gideon Rachman 2 HOURS AGO

Successive American presidents also believed that capitalism would act as a Trojan Horse — undermining one-party rule within China. As former US president George W Bush once said: “Trade freely with China, and time is on our side.” The American establishment believed that a more liberal China would be less likely to challenge the US on the international stage. One of the central tenets of liberal internationalism is that democracies do not wage war with each other.

But political developments in Xi’s China have refuted the expectations of the liberal internationalist worldview that shaped successive American presidencies. China has not become more democratic. Nor is it any longer willing to live quietly within a US-designed and dominated world order.
protectionism  U.S.  Donald_Trump  Xi_Jinping  U.S.-China_relations  trade_wars  free-trade  geopolitics  warfare  international_trade  China_rising 
march 2018 by jerryking
Trump, Kushner and the businessman fallacy
Simon Kuper MARCH 8, 2018
The “businessman fallacy” — the notion that a rich businessman (never a woman) can run government better than a mere politician — is Donald Trump’s basic promise. That’s why the combustion of his son-in-law, fellow real-estate heir and senior adviser Jared Kushner — whose business dealings in the White House scream conflict of interest — is so telling. Kushner incarnates the businessman fallacy.......The businessman-turned-politician is often blinded by hubris. This usually stems from the “money delusion”: the idea that life is a race to make money, and that rich people (“winners”) therefore possess special wisdom.

Many businessmen imagine they pulled themselves up by the bootstraps in a free market, something that more people could do if only there was “less government in business”. This self-image usually omits context: the fact, say, that the businessman’s father built the company (before being jailed on a ridiculous technicality) or that government enforced his contracts and schooled his employees.....Rich Americans tend to feel contempt for politicians because they have learnt to treat them as lowly service providers who will sit up and beg for donations.
self-imagery  Simon_Kuper  Donald_Trump  Jared_Kushner  nepotism  White_House  conflicts_of_interest  oversimplification  privately_held_companies  family-owned_businesses  hubris  generalists  businessman_fallacy  heirs 
march 2018 by jerryking
Time to Say It: Trump Is a Racist - The New York Times
David Leonhardt JAN. 12, 2018

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op-ed  Donald_Trump  racism 
january 2018 by jerryking
The temptation of Oprah Winfrey
January 10, 2018 | FT | by Edward Luce.

[Oprah Winfrey & Donald Trump] share a disqualifying trait: they are celebrities with no experience in politics. If Ms Winfrey is the answer to Mr Trump, what was the question?

I mean no disrespect to famous people. America invented the celebrity and nobody does it as well. But America also came up with modern democracy. The problem is that celebrity culture is taking over politics, which is a dead loss for governing.....But there is nothing in Ms Winfrey’s background that would equip her to tackle the future of work, or the rise of China. All a Winfrey administration would bring is personal brand destruction. What is at stake is America’s ability to govern itself sensibly. The US constitution was designed to exclude mob rule. The people should have their say — but with safeguards. It was set up precisely to stop someone like Mr Trump from taking over. The fact that many Americans do not know this underlines the point. The popular view is that the US was founded as a democracy. In fact, it was born as a constitutional republic. There is a big difference. America’s founding fathers feared the demagogue. Their system worked until 2016. Now it is in jeopardy.
speeches  Edward_Luce  Oprah_Winfrey  African-Americans  demagoguery  founding_fathers  women  celebrities  Donald_Trump  politics 
january 2018 by jerryking
China Could Sell Trump the Brooklyn Bridge - The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman NOV. 14, 2017

The saying — “When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” — and it perfectly sums up the contrast between China’s President Xi Jinping and President Trump.....All along, Xi keeps his eye on the long-term prize of making China great again. Trump, meanwhile, touts every minor victory as historic and proceeds down any road that will give him a quick sugar high.

Trump literally has no idea what he’s doing and has no integrated strategy — because, unlike Xi, Trump’s given no thought to the big questions every effective leader starts his day with: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I align my country so more of my citizens get the most out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

What world are we in? One in which we’re going through three “climate changes” at once.
(1) Destructive weather events and the degradation of ecosystems are steadily accelerating.
(2) globalization: from an interconnected world to an interdependent one; from a world of walls, where you build your wealth by hoarding resources, to a world of webs, where you thrive by connecting your citizens to the most flows of ideas, trade, innovation and education.
(3) technology and work: Machines are acquiring all five senses, and with big data and artificial intelligence, every company can now analyze, optimize, prophesize, customize, digitize and automatize more and more jobs, products and services. And those companies that don’t will wither.
artificial_intelligence  Tom_Friedman  China  U.S.  Donald_Trump  globalization  technology  climate_change  TPP  international_trade  questions  think_threes  wealth_creation  grand_strategy  foundational  existential  extreme_weather_events  Xi_Jinping 
november 2017 by jerryking
Trump, Niger and Connecting the Dots
OCT. 31, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

It is easy to ignore the recent story of four U.S. servicemen killed in Niger, the giant state in central Africa, because the place is so remote and the circumstances still so murky. That would be a mistake. Niger highlights a much larger problem — just how foolish, how flat-out dumb President Trump is behaving.

Trump is a person who doesn’t connect dots — even when they’re big, fat polka dots that are hard to miss. ..... To understand why groups affiliated with ISIS and Al Qaeda are popping up in that region of central Africa, you have to connect a lot of dots, and recognize the linkages between a number of different problems....As defense systems expert Lin Wells once put it: To ameliorate problems in places like Niger, you must never think in the box. You must never think out of the box. “You must always think without a box.”

Why? Because what is destabilizing all of these countries in the Sahel region of Africa and spawning terrorist groups is a cocktail of climate change, desertification — as the Sahara steadily creeps south — population explosions and misgovernance.....Desertification is the trigger, and climate change and population explosions are the amplifiers. The result is a widening collapse of small-scale farming, the foundation of societies all over Africa. And that collapse is leading to a rising tide of “economic migrants, interethnic conflicts and extremism,”......Trump’s response to this reality? It’s to focus solely on using the U.S. military to kill terrorists in Africa while offering a budget that eliminates U.S. support for global contraception programs; appointing climate-change deniers to all key environmental posts; pushing coal over clean energy; and curbing U.S. government climate research.

In short, he’s sending soldiers to fight a problem that is clearly being exacerbated by climate and population trends, while eliminating all our tools to mitigate these trends.
That’s just stupid, reckless and irresponsible — and it evinces no ability to connect the dots or think without a box......Nothing Trump ever says has a second paragraph. His whole shtick is just a first paragraph: Build a wall, tear up the Iran deal, tear up TPP, defeat ISIS, send troops to Niger and Afghanistan to kill terrorists, kill climate policy, kill family planning, cut taxes, raise military spending. Every box just marks an applause line he needed somewhere to get elected. Nothing connects — and we will pay for that.
Donald_Trump  Niger  ISIS  climate_change  Tom_Friedman  destabilization  Africa  connecting_the_dots  the_Sahara  terrorism  the_Sahel  misgovernance  desertification  sub-Saharan_Africa  weak_states  failed_states  farming  population_growth  U.S._military  mismanagement 
november 2017 by jerryking
The Happy Hooker Conservatives
OCT. 26, 2017 | The New York Times | Bret Stephens.

So where are Benda’s conservative disciples today, the ones I remember from panel discussions on the importance of moral character, the dangers of relativism, or the post-modern assault on the concept of truth?.It’s instructive to read the high-minded defenses of Trump offered by writers in Breitbart, The Washington Times, The Federalist, and the rest of the pro-Trump press..Their chief argument for Trump is that he won and is therefore a winner. Their argument against Never Trumpers is that we failed and are therefore losers. What about Trump’s character? It doesn’t matter so long as the Supreme Court remains conservative. Legislative failures are always and only the fault of “establishment Republicans.” Boorish habits are merely a matter of taste and something of a virtue in the era of snowflakes. As for the criticisms from Flake, Bush, Corker and McCain, who needs moral instruction from those sore losers and political has-beens?...Most telling is the Trumpians’ inability ever to utter a whisper of criticism of their man. Even Never Trumpers will occasionally find themselves agreeing with the administration over one issue or another. Not so the Trumpians. With instincts that recall the Stalinist intelligentsia of the 1940s, they mix the logical elasticity of the sophist with the unflinching loyalty of the toady. They are never anything except always all in.

All this suggests that what the media now trumpets as a looming G.O.P. civil war isn’t going to happen. Corker and Flake aren’t stepping up; they’re bowing out. Political retirees are good for leading charities, not movements.
Bret_Stephens  Donald_Trump  GOP  conservatism  character_traits  values  debased 
october 2017 by jerryking
Folks, We’re Home Alone
SEPT. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

we’re going through three climate changes at once:

We’re going through a change in the actual climate — disruptive, destructive weather events are steadily on the rise.

We’re going through a change in the “climate” of globalization — going from an interconnected world to an interdependent one, from a world of walls where you build your wealth by hoarding the most resources to a world of webs where you build your wealth by having the most connections to the flow of ideas, networks, innovators and entrepreneurs. In this interdependent world, connectivity leads to prosperity and isolation leads to poverty. We got rich by being “America Connected” not “America First.”

Finally, we’re going through a change in the “climate” of technology and work. We’re moving into a world where computers and algorithms can analyze (reveal previously hidden patterns); optimize (tell a plane which altitude to fly each mile to get the best fuel efficiency); prophesize (tell you when your elevator will break or what your customer is likely to buy); customize (tailor any product or service for you alone); and digitize and automatize more and more products and services. Any company that doesn’t deploy all six elements will struggle, and this is changing every job and industry.

What do you need when the climate changes? Adaptation — so your citizens can get the most out of these climate changes and cushion the worst. Adaptation has to happen at the individual, community and national levels.

At the individual level, the single most important adaptation is to become a lifelong learner, so you can constantly add value beyond what machines and algorithms can do.

“When work was predictable and the change rate was relatively constant, preparation for work merely required the codification and transfer of existing knowledge and predetermined skills to create a stable and deployable work force,” explains education consultant Heather McGowan. “Now that the velocity of change has accelerated, due to a combination of exponential growth in technology and globalization, learning can no longer be a set dose of education consumed in the first third of one’s life.” In this age of accelerations, “the new killer skill set is an agile mind-set that values learning over knowing.”
GOP  Democrats  Donald_Trump  Tom_Friedman  climate_change  adaptability  extreme_weather_events  Dean_Acheson  weather  interconnections  interdependence  data_driven  wealth_creation  life_long_learning  the_single_most_important 
september 2017 by jerryking
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