The current economic era has brought about questions that have not been seriously entertained in the Western world since the days of Paganism, when Christianity was the new kid in town. America is at the forefront of this seismic shift and each day we are being asked difficult questions. The following Niall Ferguson power point puts the most pertinent of those in a comical flip book format. I assure you guys, however, there is nothing funny about these ideas. Though we ignore many of them, they will not simply go away.
With the Western world slowly becoming the global minority we are going to have to come to grips with some painful changes. Your generation will not be privileged to escape with the ostrich approach of past generations. Punting is no longer an option, though we still try it every four downs. There are a lot of good points up for debate in these slides. I will point to a few that stick out to me and would like to hear your thoughts on them, as well as, any others which grab your attention:
Slide#12: US/China per capita GDP (PPP basis)
Purchasing power parity is the pet figure of many economists. Many real world practitioners claim it to be inadequate and misleading. Whatever the story, it is kind of tough to look at these numbers and not be concerned...isn't it?
Slide#19: Stimulus Effects
Though it is a long since lost battle, I still have to repeat the truth from time to time. The start of the stimulus will be looked back at as the beginning of the end. There is still time to fix the mistake, but is now less and less by the day. We traded one major league FUBAR beating for a lifetime of bi-monthly bitch slaps. Let's take that beating and move on.
Slide#29: Getting Our House in Order
Some interesting suggestions. Plain, simple to the point. Seemingly both sides of the boo-hoo, bow-wow circus show give up a little of their dear dogmas. What do you think of them? Real solutions or more theoretical fantasy?
Slides#52-54: Does Testing Tell the Whole Story?
Standardized tests are a big part of WSO lore and these statistics are nothing new to any of you. Have we really stopped to debate, however, what these trends will mean 20, 30 or 50 years down the road? It's one thing to argue policy, but a whole different story when humans are involved. How does a better educated populous not come to rule?
As the sun sets and rises on the earth every day, so does time expire on every product's shelf life. The West has expanded, grown and ruled the world for almost a thousand years. Are we seeing the beginning of the end or is it already here?