By Fareed Zakaria
“President Putin is currently riding a surge of popularity at home, propelled in no small measure by his assertive moves in Ukraine. When tallied in mid-March by state polling group VTsIOM, Mr. Putin's approval stood at nearly 72 percent, a gain of almost 10 percentage points from earlier in the year,” writes Ilan Berman in the Wall Street Journal.
“But the longer the crisis over Ukraine lasts, the higher the economic costs to Russia are likely to be. Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, for example, has projected that Moscow's maneuvers in Ukraine could result in up to $160 billion in capital flight this year, and he concluded that the Russian economy will stagnate as a result.”
“Hardly a day goes by without an article predicting, lamenting, or celebrating America's decline. The turmoil in Crimea and Syria, the polarized and frequently gridlocked U.S. political system, the deepening income and wealth inequalities in the United States, and the growing clout of rivals like China and Russia are all offered as proof of waning American power,” writes Moises Naim in The Atlantic.
“These weaknesses surely exist, and some – like mounting economic inequality – are truly alarming. But the doomsayers often fail to see the ways in which America is gaining rather than losing global influence. And nowhere is this truer than the manufacturing sector. The combination of lower energy prices, innovative information technologies, and advances in robotics and materials science are powering a manufacturing revolution that will reinvigorate the U.S. economy and make many of its industrial sectors the most competitive in the world.”
“Registering and defending true innovations is important. IP creates incentives for technological exploration, experimentation, and commercialization. It helps us pass knowledge through the generations and deliver new products and services to consumers. But abuse of IP can do just the opposite – moving the state of play from the lab to the courtroom, elevating lawyers above entrepreneurs and consumers,” argues Bret Swanson in Forbes.
“A PriceWaterhouseCoopers study shows patent suits in the U.S. grew to over 5,000 in 2012 from around 1,200 in 1991. Some of these suits are legitimate, involving real disputes over true IP. Many, however, are just a result of the new IP game, where IP is a legal strategy disconnected from the real world of products and services.”