By Fareed Zakaria
Germany is both too strong and too weak to assume its rightful international position, writes Brendan Simms in the New Statesman.
“It sits uneasily at the heart of an EU that was conceived largely to constrain German power but which has served instead to increase it, and whose design flaws have unintentionally deprived many other Europeans of sovereignty without giving them a democratic stake in the new order. The question we face now is this: how can the Federal Republic, which is prosperous and secure as never before, be persuaded to take the political initiative and make the necessary economic sacrifices to complete the work of European unity?”
Rocked by the global financial crisis, the Indian government and Reserve bank of India “jointly started a stimulus program that involved duty cuts, easy liquidity, rock-bottom interest rates, higher outlays for social entitlement programs, salary increases for government employees and increased grain prices for farmers,” writes Rajrishi Singhal on Bloomberg.
“Unfortunately, the government hasn’t been as swift in ending its stimulus program. The government’s boost to consumption, especially at a time when demand has exceeded the system’s capacity to supply, fueled inflationary fires. One reason the ruling party has persisted with more funding for numerous welfare plans and burgeoning subsidies could be its misplaced perception that higher outlays for entitlement programs helped it win additional votes in 2009.”
Detention of immigrants, “an arduous, sometimes lengthy and even dangerous experience,” is not always necessary, writes Edwidge Danticat in the Washington Post.
“Detention is also not a fiscally responsible method of law enforcement: It costs taxpayers as much as $164 a day to detain immigrants, the National Immigration Forum noted in August. Alternatives to detention include home visits, curfew restrictions and electronic monitoring, some of which cost as little as $14 per day, the group says.”