Wednesday, 10 February 2016

China's revival of totalitarian scare tactics and other political news and views

China’s Rule of Fear - China is once again gripped by fear in a way it has not been since the era of Mao Zedong. From the inner sanctum of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to university lecture halls and executive suites, the specter of harsh accusations and harsher punishment is stalking China’s political, intellectual, and business elites. ... Beyond the bureaucracy, academics, human-rights lawyers, bloggers, and business leaders are also suffering. In universities, the government has recruited informers to denounce professors espousing liberal values in their lectures; several outspoken liberal academics have lost their jobs. Hundreds of human-rights lawyers have been harassed and arrested. Many business leaders have gone missing temporarily, presumably detained by anti-corruption investigators. ... With China’s international influence growing by the day, the revival of totalitarian scare tactics there has far-reaching – and deeply unsettling – implications for Asia and the world.

Do Political TV Ads Still Work? - One more twist in an already unusual campaign season - the candidate on the Republican side who spent the most money on TV ads by far is lagging far behind in the polls. The two candidates who did best in Iowa hardly spent anything compared to years past.

The Great Populists - The rise of a new kind of political leader – as seen in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and Poland – constitutes a new threat to the global order. If this type, in the form of US presidential candidate Donald Trump and French National Front leader Marine Le Pen, wins in the heart of the West, the risks to stability will rise sharply.

Greece’s frightening inability to deal with the refugee influx
Digitally disrupted GDP - Digital technologies are having dramatic impacts on consumers, businesses, and markets. These developments have reignited the debate over the definition and measurement of common economic statistics such as GDP. This column examines the measurement challenges posed by digital innovation on the economic landscape. It shows how existing approaches are unable to capture certain elements of the consumer surplus created by digital innovation. It further demonstrates how they can misrepresent market-level shifts, leading to false assessments of production and growth.

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