Friday, 14 March 2014

Reforms to test Chinese leaders' tolerance for pain and other news and views for Friday 14 March

  • Reforms to test Chinese leaders’ tolerance for pain – “China’s leaders are treading a narrow path in trying to free up the world’s second-largest economy without stoking social unrest.”
  • Media squeeze tightens as Russia harks back to WW2 – “… President Vladimir Putin is tightening his grip over news. As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, that news has taken on shades of Soviet-era propaganda, with anchors and reporters peppering their reports with references to what they say was the cooperation of some Ukrainians with the Nazis in World War Two.”
  • Russia holds war games near Ukraine; Merkel warns of catastrophe
  • A Relentless Widening of Disparity in Wealth – “What if inequality were to continue growing years or decades into the future? Say the richest 1 percent of the population amassed a quarter of the nation’s income, up from about a fifth today. What about half? To believe Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, this future is not just possible. It is likely. In his bracing “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” which hit bookstores on Monday, Professor Piketty provides a fresh and sweeping analysis of the world’s economic history that puts into question many of our core beliefs about the organization of market economies. His most startling news is that the belief that inequality will eventually stabilize and subside on its own, a long-held tenet of free market capitalism, is wrong. Rather, the economic forces concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of the fortunate few are almost sure to prevail for a very long time.”
  • The Proportion of Young Americans Who Drive Has Plummeted—And No One Knows Why
  • It’s an ad, ad, ad, ad world – “The battle royale for media supremacy will soon be engaged. But rather than pit old media against new, or even BuzzFeed vs. Gawker, it will pit the sharpies of the advertising industry — who know more about attention and profit than us all — against everybody else.
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