Category Archives: China

The Giant in the East – I

By Adnan Syed

This three part series examines the rise of India as an economic giant, the threats that India faces in this remarkable rise, and implications for Pakistan.

(AZW)

Before the Twenty First Century

As the twentieth century dawned, the world had continued to consolidate the technological boom during prior two centuries. This technological progress started with the invention of the printing press in fifteenth century. This invention quickly enabled mass availability of knowledge. Man began exploring the world around him more intently, by compounding the knowledge already gained by the earlier pioneers. As the scientific renaissance kicked in, man began accumulating more wealth by producing, discovering and innovating further. With the arrival of the scientific renaissance, the human output growth rate that had remained close to zero for thousands of years before, started rising  at a good multiple of its population growth rate.

The arrival of scientific renaissance coincided with incremental social awareness that began permeating the human consciousness. The United States came into being right in the midst of the great human renaissance that was exploding across the western world. The renaissance had begun moving forward in fits and starts towards institutionalizing the ideals of human liberty and freedom. The United States, with its rich natural resources and eager migrant entrepreneurs, began taking a lead in the social and scientific revolution that had begun sweeping the western civilization.

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Filed under China, Democracy, Economy, Europe, India, Islamabad, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, poverty, south asia, state, USA

THE GREAT RECESSION, THE EUROPEAN FISCAL CRISIS AND LESSONS FOR PAKISTAN. Part 2: The US Sub-Prime Crisis and the Great Recession

By Kashan Wali, exclusive to the PTH

As the United States economy took off for most of the 1990s, the new found wealth across the world was staring at the best of both worlds; high economic output due to technological advances, cheaper labour entrance into the global economy from India and China, entrance of Eastern Europe and Latin America in the democratic capitalist system, all combined with a lower inflation. What could go wrong?

In some ways, the situation was similar to the roaring 1920s of the United States. 90 years ago, the US economy was expanding rapidly. New technological advances in automobile and telephone technology were erasing geographical distances within and outside of the United States. Rising productivity was increasing wealth and the signs of prosperity were evident in the stock market and the housing market.

The stock markets in the United States took off for most of the 1990s. Most of the rise was understandable; internet was revolutionising the distribution of knowledge. And modern economy is a knowledge based economy, not the traditional manufacturing based economy of the 20th century. Technology is a self perpetuating phenomenon. It builds on a wider base and increases exponentially. The equity market future expectations of higher revenue in the future due to higher revenues and profits down the road were probably justified.

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The Real Capital

This article by Thomas Friedman caught my eye. This article is not about Pakistan. Pakistan is not mentioned even once in the article. This is not about South Asia, or militant Islam, or the war on terror. It is about none of the ideological war between the religious right wing ideologies and the secular ideals that we espouse at PTH.

 A cursory glance and we realize why United States is the biggest economic and scientific power in the world. Let me say that I have selective admiration of the United States. I am critical of United States’ opportunistic foreign policies. I however realize that world has seen an enormous scientific and economic development under the vastly expanding global democratic capitalistic society that is led by the United States. We are living in the most fruitful scientific evolutionary times in all of the human history where the scope of technology is increasing at an exponential rate in a matter of decades. We are also living in one of the wealthiest times of human history, where the world GDP per capita almost tripled between 1900 and the year 2000. To give you some comparison, the yearly growth rate of GDP per single person was close to zero up to the year 1700 from the earliest human times.

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Filed under China, Democracy, India, Science, USA