February 13th, 2014
11:19 AM ET

What I'm reading

By Fareed Zakaria

"Argentina and Venezuela have run out of heterodox policy tricks," writes Dani Rodrik for Project Syndicate. "Brazil and India need new growth models. Turkey and Thailand are mired in political crises that reflect long-simmering domestic conflicts. In Africa, concern is mounting about the lack of structural change and industrialization. And the main question concerning China is whether its economic slowdown will take the form of a soft or hard landing."

"This is not the first time that developing countries have been hit hard by abrupt mood swings in global financial markets. The surprise is that we are surprised. Economists, in particular, should have learned a few fundamental lessons long ago."

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"Arab democrats can legitimately lament their inability to outmanoeuver their countries' military. The cravenness of western states aside, Arab societies have too often been pushed by their regimes into either-or choices – where it is stable autocracy versus unstable liberty; or imposed, but stable, unity versus unstable fragmentation, whether sectarian or tribal," writes Michael Young in The National.

"How to escape from such desolate binaries will be the task of future generations of Arabs. For now, most of the Arab uprisings after 2011 have utterly failed to create democratic alternatives to what existed before, and the world will accept the consequences without protest."

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"Trends in achievement within the U.S. reveal just how bad our high schools are relative to our schools for younger students," writes Laurence Steinberg in Slate. "The National Assessment of Educational Progress, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, routinely tests three age groups: 9-year-olds, 13-year-olds, and 17-year-olds. Over the past 40 years, reading scores rose by 6 percent among 9-year-olds and 3 percent among 13-year-olds. Math scores rose by 11 percent among 9-year-olds and 7 percent among 13-year-olds."

"By contrast, high school students haven't made any progress at all."


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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Allan Kinsman

    The truth is hard to see. It seems to me at times we focus in the wrong direction with intention. The discussion can only take place through open doors with a great deal of self reflection. Being clear and concise takes courage. The future is not determined from a trend or a belief but with a clear action of the present which is inclusive of all parties with no intent on taking the advantage. Challenging open discussions with an honest handshake is a good beginning. This is a rarity in today's world and long missing coming from any point of view I see.

    February 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  2. chrissy

    Spot on @ Allan Kinsman! And Democracy is not a spectator sport!

    February 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • Allan Kinsman

      I write to my representatives frequently. I usually get a nice polite thank you for your thoughts. Like this site usually prints my polite opinion. In the big picture it seems to me the conversation is shaped to fit official points of view while evolving and or constructive critical thinking is obstructed. Power will always obstruct clarity.

      February 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  3. JKHHKHKHHUHJGGJGJHJuJKHKHKHLKHytuyttutuHJK453255

    MUERETE OBAMA NO LES ACEPTAMOS LOS PECADOS

    February 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  4. JKHHKHKHHUHJGGJGJHJuJKHKHKHLKHytuyttutuHJK453255

    VATICANO HACIENDO ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA EN VENEZUELA.

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPpgiorg.blog.comUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    VATICANO HACIENDO ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA EN VENEZUELA.

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPpgiorg.blog.comUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    VATICANO HACIENDO ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA EN VENEZUELA.

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPpgiorg.blog.comUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    VATICANO HACIENDO ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA EN VENEZUELA.

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPpgiorg.blog.comUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    VATICANO HACIENDO ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA EN VENEZUELA.

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    February 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  5. chrissy

    Lol @ Allan Kinsman the poster above needs some of that "obstruction" because he has no clarity!

    February 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  6. Allan Kinsman

    In human history there are many examples of the failures of civilizations. These happen because the rules and dogmas kept change from affecting their growth. It seems to me the further a social structure removes itself from processes associated with the natural laws of the universe the more likely it reveals it's potential failure. This is devoid of human opinion. In a modern era money represents energy. When energy represents value these adhere to nature. When it represents paper not so much. So goes the dollar goes the country. So goes any nation which removes itself from natural forces.

    February 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  7. chrissy

    Wow @ Allan, that post was absolutely awesome!

    February 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Reply

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