February 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET

What we're reading

By Fareed Zakaria

China’s working age population has already begun to shrink, the country says. According to the IMF it will soon go into “precipitous decline.”

“Japan hit this inflexion point 14 years ago, but by then it was already rich, with $3 trillion of net savings overseas,” notes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph. “China has hit the wall a quarter century earlier in its development path.”

“There is little Beijing can do to head off the shock. The effects of low fertility rates – and the one child policy – are already baked into the pie. It would take half a century to turn around the demographic supertanker.”

Egypt’s internal unrest may also thwart any chances of have developing an effective regional policy, suggests Hussein Ibish in NOW Lebanon.

“The link between domestic power and foreign policy in Egypt has been demonstrated on numerous recent occasions. But this cuts in both directions, with domestic politics both building on foreign policy and also crippling it,” Ibish writes. “As long as Egypt remains rocked with such instability, it's not possible for the country to play a major regional role. Morsy’s efforts to build a regional/Muslim working group to stabilize the situation in Syria – always a longshot at best – now seems the last thing on anyone's mind.”

And, are Nordic nations the next role models for big nations – including the United States?

“If you had to be reborn anywhere in the world as a person with average talents and income, you would want to be a Viking,” The Economist argues. “The Nordics cluster at the top of league tables of everything from economic competitiveness to social health to happiness. They have avoided both southern Europe’s economic sclerosis and America’s extreme inequality. Development theorists have taken to calling successful modernization ‘getting to Denmark.’ Meanwhile a region that was once synonymous with do-it-yourself furniture and Abba has even become a cultural haven, home to ‘The Killing,’ Noma and ‘Angry Birds.’”

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. ahmed

    Looking For a Job?

    February 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  2. Muin

    Yeah but scandanivian have serious issues when it comes to race but it's very very subtle. Usually scandinivians are comfortable around their own. Just look at U.S. Minorities in large number flourish in east coast, west coast and even in south but not in midwest.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:10 am | Reply
  3. Timmy Suckle

    Don't worry about saving money. I'm going to take it all anyway!! I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $600,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easy to be fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $113,700 level. Now I only pay 1.2% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    February 8, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply

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