FLASH Februarie 2015 - 1 | publicatii - Politica La Est
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FLASH Februarie 2015 - 1

1. ARE DREPTATE PIKKETY ? O CRITICA DIN CHINA . Cred ca foarte multi au auzit de succesul cartii lui Thomas Picketty , odata cu aparitia ei acum mai bine de un an . Teza  ei  principala este ca , datorita faptului ca  rata de profit a capitalului este mai mare decat cresterea economica globala, inegalitatea  este sortita sa se adanceasca, polarizand umanitatea intre o mana de ultrabogati si restul ( “noi suntem 9 la suta “) saraci,  iar tensiunile sociale se vor adanci provocand explozii uriase. Asadar, la orizont o instabilitate generalizata, concretizata in razboaie, revolutii, miscari politice extremiste, etc. Pe un blog am gasit acest inceput al unui fascinant articol: “At an event in Beijing last November, I had the good fortune to meet the French economist Thomas Piketty, who has sold 1.5 million copies of his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, since it was first published in 2013. Pacing up and down in front of a packed auditorium, Piketty explained that because the rate of return on capital is now higher than the growth rate of the global economy, the proportion of the world's wealth that is owned by a small elite will likely keep increasing; in other words, we should expect to see a divergence of wealth as the rich get much richer. As his book says, ‘capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.’ ". Audienta din China a aplaudat frenetic, iar apoi a inceput o dezbatere ampla. Este ceea ce autorul numeste “lunch question” : “When a group of us withdrew for lunch, though, our Chinese hosts pushed back against Piketty's thesis: Hadn't Deng Xiaoping taught us that getting rich is no sin? Isn't rising inequality just the price China must pay to escape from poverty? Though Piketty would agree that there is nothing inherently wrong in accumulating a lot of wealth, he would also insist that it is very bad indeed if that accumulation results in too much inequality. The big issue in our discussion — what I have come to think of as ‘the lunch question’ — is whether the world is now crossing into an era of too much inequality.“.  Autorul a fost intrigat de aceasta intrebare, mai ales ca ea a aparut in dezbatere in China, unde se poate presupune ca se  vadeste, in ultimele trei decenii de crestere economica exponentiala, cel mai bine adevarul celor spuse de Piketty: “China could almost be the poster child for the process Piketty described. When Mao Zedong died in 1976, post-tax and -transfer income inequality stood at 0.31 on the Gini index. (The Gini coefficient runs from 0, meaning everyone in a country has the same income, to 1, meaning one person earns all the country's income and everyone else earns nothing.) By 2009, China's income inequality score had soared to 0.47, where it stubbornly remains after peaking at 0.51 in 2003. Though Chinese tax returns are too opaque to make reliable calculations regarding wealth inequality, or the uneven distribution of assets as opposed to income, he is almost certainly correct that this figure has risen even faster than the country's income inequality.” Utilizand acest “Gini index” si aplicand fiecareia dintre perioadele strabatute de umanitate de la stadiul de culegatori/vanatori la cel de azi, asadar parcuragand  revolutiile agrara , industriala si digitala, autorul intrevede o alta interpretare a procesului descris de Piketty. Daca in secolul XX, diferenta enorma intre cei doi poli a fost solutionata prin cele doua razboaie mondiale cu uriasele lor distrugeri materiale si pierderi de vieti omenesti, azi putem fi mai optimisti.  Patru factori majori, intre care , mai ales, parasirea erei industriale si intrarea in cea digitala   , poate sa schimbe decisive paradigma procesului Piketty: “ New energy sources, technologies that erode the boundaries between mind and machine, and shifts toward living in virtual rather than physical spaces may all threaten — or promise — to make the 21st century the biggest rupture in human history, dwarfing the agricultural and industrial revolutions. A century from now, trying to find the right level of inequality for a fossil fuel society might seem as irrelevant as determining the right level of inequality for Neanderthals does today”, scrie autorul. In  final, el  remarca: “All things considered, long-term history suggests that answering ‘the lunch question’  will not be as easy as I initially thought. Each economic system of energy capture has an ideal level of inequality, and perhaps we can even specify that in the fossil fuel world it is a Gini coefficient of 0.25-0.35 for income and 0.70-0.80 for wealth. However, running the numbers and looking for ways to stay in the right range is only the beginning. The real problem, as history shows, is that everything is connected to everything else. Tensions between those who are making it and those being left behind could easily exacerbate the ‘arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities’  that Piketty identifies. Then again, a shift from regional economies to a global market coupled with the ongoing expansion of effective demand could soothe them. Or perhaps in a post-fossil fuel and partly post-human world, inequalities far beyond those Piketty imagined might start to seem entirely reasonable.” ( vezi, Ian Morris, The Lunch Question, “Global Affairs “, February 11, 2015 -
https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/lunch-question )
 
 
            2. DEMOCRATIA DE LA ARISTOTEL PANA AZI. SAU DESPRE VIITORUL UE. Exista un excelent blog american , pluridisciplinar si de inalta calitate academica, cu adevarat concentrat pe problematica economica actuala, dar nelasand deoparte istoria, filozofia sau muzica. Apartine lui Bradford DeLong, intelectual cu preocupari multilaterale , intemeietor de trenduri ( nu de „mode”) in gandirea contemporana , mai ales un economist de top mondial . O recenta postare a sa ( la 26 ianuarie ) m-a surprins prin adecvarea sa la actuala dezbatere europeana vizand fenomenul numit „Grexit”, adica probabila iesire a Greciei din zona euro ca urmare a instalarii unui nou guvern . Adversar decis al austeritatii economice si aflat in aceste zile chiar in apriga dezbatere cu oficialii UE in ceea ce priveste datoriile suverane ale acestei tari, noul guvern al formatiunii de stanga Syriza ( acronim pentru grecescul  ‚Coalitia Stangii Radicale ) din Grecia „impinge” Europa catre o posibila catastrofa ( nimeni nu stie daca ‚Grexit’ nu va declansa o reactie in lant care poate distruge UE )  . Surprinderea a fost si mai mare- de altfel impartasita si de alti cititori- constatand ca postarea este o reluare a unei comunicari prezentate de B. DeLong la Universitatea Berkeley in aprilie 2013. Primul comentariu la aceasta postare este urmatorul  :” A fine piece I mised at the time. It may be significant that the Chancellor of reunited Germany nwas born and educated in the DDR, not the Bundesrepublik. She may not have the reference points of educated western Europeans: Monnet’s two creations, the Beatles, May 1968, the oil shock of the 1970s , the Baader-Meinhof gang, and so on. It’s not just Realpoliti pushing her away from the historic (West) German willingness to sacrifice economic interests for the political project of European unity”  Este ceea ce m- indemnat o data mai mult sa parcurg acest text exceptional. Pentru a discuta si expune propria opinie referitoare la viitorul proiectului european legat indisolubil de trainicia zonei euro ( care in cazul unui eventual „Grexit „ ar fi iremediabil vatamata asezand un precedent periculos, DeLong are cinci puncte de pornire.  Mai intai este o referinta istorica pentru a face inteles ce inseamna o „uniune politica”, iar exemplul ales este cel al celor sapte provincii olandeze unite astfel la inceput de secol XVII si devenite un mare jucator pe scena internationala. Autorul remarca:
 
„As I understand it, the Dutch political union then consisted of:
1.     A talk-shop in the Hague, with rather less power than currently held by the organs of the European Union in Brussels and Strasbourg.
2.     The holding of the seven offices of stadthouder of each of the provinces by the then-current Prince of Orange, whoever that happened to be.
3.        The fact that the single province of Holland had 60% of the GDP of the whole; and thus could credibly threaten to go it alone, do what was necessary, make a little list of those who had not enthusiastically contributed their share of the resources needed for the common good, and remember” Asadar,prima opinie a autorului: "’political union’ is a vague thing, and often you only know that you had it after the fact when you look back, and see that things worked, and that in fact it did not all fall apart.”
Al doilea comartiment al demostratie refera la teoretizarea problemei din antichitate si pana azi, asadar impletind  anticul Aristotel cu  modernul George Madison: „Aristotle of Stagira believed that there were and could be no stable democracies, and certainly no good democracies. They were, he thought to the innermost core of his bones, inevitably ruled by faction--so much so that the end-state of democratic politics was a downward spiral of street-fights and purges ending in tyranny. And while this process worked itself out, he thought, at those times when you could get enough people assembled in the Assembly to make a decision, the policies that resulted would be irrational and random. /.../Moreover, a democracy would be a bad neighbor. It would be always prepared for aggressive war, for war would bring the demos paid employment in the fleet and their share of plunder as well. Since those who were prosperous and had something to lose did not have a big voice in the government, the government would not pay proper attention to the destructive side of war.Faction-ridden, irrational, aggressive, militaristic--the classical Athenian democracy, Aristotle said, and for good reason, was very bad news for its neighbors and for itself.” Ca alternative mai bune  la democratie , Aristotel „vede”monarhia, despotismul sau republica, aceasta din urma fiind considerata de DeLong ca fiind „cea mai buna”, dar doar in cazul unei comunitati pe un  teritoriu restrans ( un oras, de pilda). Concluzia: Thus the classical tradition says that something like today's "Europe"--a highly-democratic republic on a continent-wide scale--cannot be a possible good regime.” In acest punct , autorul aduce corectia  facuta de  James Madison care arata ca , in conditiile unui teritoriu intins, o ordine constitutionala, un sistem politic intemeiat pe diviziunea puterii-presedinte, senat si camera reprezentantilor ( corespunzatoare diviziunii existente in Anglia medievala  intre rege, lorzi si comune ) poate fi valida. Astfel, DeLong desprinde o alta concluzie, anume ca UE poate functiona: „So Madison, trying to correct Aristotle and found the United States, raises at least the possibility that ‚Europe’ could work--with the right constitutional order.”
            Al treilea punct de pornire al lui DeLong al demonstratiei se cheama „necesitatea uniunii politice” in Europa. Utilizand istoria recenta , dar si efectuand trimiteri in antichitate, DeLong afirma chiar ca este o „absoluta necesitate ca Europa sa fie unita: „is the absolute necessity of political union in Europe today. It is just too costly and too terrible not to have one: the history of the first half of the twentieth century and then the edge-of-nuclear-terror decades of the Cold War teach that very strongly.” Cea de a patra „trambulina” a demonstratiei se cheama „The Kindlebergian Hegemony ? „ , concluzia desprinsa din modelul utilizat fiind ca: Absence of a hegemon is, in brief, Kindleberger's theory of why the history of the North Atlantic economy between 1919 and 1939 was such a tragedy: Britain no longer but the United States not yet willing and perhaps not yet able to be the hegemon. That leads one to fear that perhaps, at the deepest level, the central problem with Europe today is that the United States is no longer the Cold-War North Atlantic benevolent hegemon it once was, but that Germany has not or has not yet stepped into that benevolent-hegemon role--or because of German history and German attitudes would not be tolerated by the rest of Europe in that role.” In sfarsit, al cincilea compartiment al demonstratiei este intitulat „External Pressure„ ceea ce inseamna ca , pentru ca o uniune politica sa fie viabila este necesar un pericol extern masiv ( trimiterile sunt de la aliante/ ligi in Grecia antica la  unitatea europeana in timpul Razboiului Rece, cand amenintarea sovietica a jucat un astfel de rol ). Concluzia finala trebuie citata , chiar daca este lunga si intemeiata pe faptul ca  artizanii eurozone nu au invatat lectiile istoriei perioadei interbelice si au procedat grabit la Maastricht-1992 , cand au decis moneda unica: „ If it turned out that someone had to pay somehow some when for the sin of not clearly foreseeing the consequences of the single currency and the Eurozone, this political support by the rest of continental Europe in the face of some skepticism as to the wisdon of immediate German unification from the United States and Russia meant that the rest of Europe had a very deep well of credit with Germany on which could draw. Germany would remember. And Germany would be eagerv to pay. It may wel work out. Fifty years from now historians may well be writing that Maastricht was a gamble- and was, like Waterloo,  a near-run thing- but a gamble that in the end paid off after all. ‚After all’, historians may say in 20163 ‚it has now been years since an army crossed the Rhine with fire and sword, and the unforeseen costs of Maastricht are a very small payment for an insurance policy against that eventuality’. There may be still be large differences in prosperity between Europe’s core and its periphery. But come 2063 Europe as a whole may well be so rich that these are and are seen as second –order concerns at most. In 2063 Northern Europeans may still grumble that Southern Europeans lack a proper work-ethic, but when they do so they may do so as they pay through the nose for the amenities of all their Mediterranean vacations. After all, being taxed a bit to support the common the common European project has large benefits. The Kimbri and the Teutones never got to enjoy the feta band the olives and the sunshine. We have very brerason to think that the Northern Europeans of 2063 will. Perhaps. Perhaps not. But right now, it loks to me as though history did indeed teach the lesson,  but that while history was teaching the lesson the Princes and Princesses of Eurovia today were very busy texting on their cell phones to pay any attention”.

 (Vezi: The Future of the European Project, and the Future of the Eurozone: A Talk from 2013: The Honest Broker for the Week of January 25, 2015- http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/01/the-future-of-the-european-project-and-the-future-of-the-eurozone-a-talk-from-2013-the-honest-broker-for-the-week-of-janua.html#more)

 
3. Indeobste, atunci cand referim la ‚ cuvantari’ avem strangere de inima, asteptandu-ne la platitudini, la nevoia de a citi printre randuri, la obligatii de circumstanta,etc. ( sunt desigur si ‚ cuvantari’ care au facut epoca si sunt citate si azi pentru sensul lor adanc si viziunea incorporata in cuvinte putine dar maiestrit alese, cum sunt cateva dintre cele rostite de Winston Churchill, pentru a-l cita doar pe el ). Iar atunci cand autorul este si  bancher, asteptarile noastre sunt si mai pesimiste.   Nu este defel cazul speech-ului rostit de Andrew G Haldane, intitulat Growing, fast and slow, la University of East Anglia, Norwich la 17 februarie. Aparatul stiintific impresionant, profunzimea analizai, concluziile desprinse transfera acest text in categoria produselor academice de cea mai inalta tinuta . Ceea ce isi propune autorul este sa desprinda resursele cresterii economice sustinue si sa dezlege- pe urmele unor autori deja celebri in aceasta privinta, cum ar fi   D. Acemoglu si J.  Robinson,  autori ai unei carti celebre aparute in 2013 , intitulata  ‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty’,  sau Thomas Piketty- diferentele inregistrate azi in tabloul economic global . El recurge pentru dmonstratia sa la o unitate de masura , poate imperfecta, dar singura la dispozitie si capabila sa fie utila unei asemenea analize: „In the media, economists spend much of their time discussing growth and its statistical counterpart, Gross Domestic Product or GDP. At least for some, this focus is misplaced. For example, it is increasingly well-recognised that GDP is a partial, and often imperfect, measure of societal well-being.1 As Einstein said, not all that can be countedcounts.But even if it is not all that counts, sustained economic growth remains the single most important determinantof rising societal living standards. To bring that point to life, consider two economies – China and Italy. As recently as 1990, the aggregate annual income of these two economies was roughly equal.2 Now let’s run these economies forward, with China growing at more than 10% per year, Italy by less than 1% per year. By 2014, what do we find? Due to the magic of compound interest, China is now almost eight times the size of Italy. Indeed, China creates a new economy the size of Italy every 18 months; an economy the size of Portugal every quarter; an economy the size of Greece every month; and an economy the size of Cyprus every week. Those things that can be counted sometimes really do count.”  Recurgand la recompunerea unei scurte istorii a cresterii economice globale , autorul constata ca „While steady, growth has not been constant. Wars, depressions and financial crises have pock-marked history, causing growth to stall or fall. And phases of innovation have lifted economic fortunes, caused living standards to leap. But whereas the growth lapses have been temporary, the leaps have been permanent.”  Iar, pentru exemplificare, el recurge la ceea ce s-a intamplat in ultimele doua secole si jumatate, graficele prezentate in finalul analizai intregind imaginea opiniei :” Over the past two and a half centuries, secular innovation has dwarfed secular stagnation.In explaining rising living standards since 1750, economists have typically identified three distinct innovation phases. Each was associated with a great leap forward in society’s production possibility frontier. The first is the Industrial Revolution commencing in the middle of the 18th century; the second, the era of mass industrialisation, starting in the second half of the 19th century; and the third is the IT revolution, which began life in the second half of the 20th century.What distinguished these three innovation phases is that they gave birth to a sequence of so-called General Purchase Technologies (GPTs).10 These technologies had applicability well beyond the sector for which they were originally designed, thereby transforming the efficiency of business practices generally. During the first industrial revolution, these GPTs included the steam engine, cotton spinning and railways; during the second, electricity, the internal combustion engine and internal water supply and sanitation; and in the third, the personal computer and the internet.”  Pe acest temei istoric si uzand de cercetarile recente referitoare la actuala revolutie digitala, autorul listeaza a serie de factori care pot incetini azi cresterea economica – un cocktail de factori sociologici, individuali sau in combinatie- si desprinde o concluzie generala. O citam :„ Growth is a gift. Yet contrary to popular perceptions, it has not always kept on giving. Despite centuries of experience, the raw ingredients of growth remain something of a mystery. As best we can tell historically, they have been a complex mix of the sociological and the technological, typically acting in harmony. All three of the industrial revolutions since 1750 bear these hallmarks.
Today, the growth picture is foggier. We have fear about secular stagnation at the same time as cheer about secular innovation. The technological tailwinds to growth are strong, but so too are the sociological headwinds. Buffeted by these cross-winds, future growth risks becoming suspended between the mundane
and the miraculous.” ( vezi: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2015/speech797.pdf )
 
4. Stephen M. Walt, un remarcabil teoretician al relatiilor internationale, isi pune o intrebare care azi este decisiva pentru arhitectura de securitate a Europei si viitorul ordinei globale : „the United States seems to be moving toward raising the stakes in Ukraine. This decision is somewhat surprising, however, because few experts think this bankrupt and divided country is a vital strategic interest and no one is talking about sending U.S. troops to fight on Kiev’s behalf. So the question is: does sending Ukraine a bunch of advanced weaponry make sense?
The answer is no.”
            Evident aceasta intrebare este acum omniprezenta in cabinetele decidentilor celor implicati direct sau indirect in raspunsul la intrebarea de mai sus. O decizie a Washingtonului de a livra armament letal Ucrainei poate avea urmari profunde asupa Europei si ordinei globale . Dupa cum, actiune inversa ar putea netezi calea catre o solutie pasnica a crizei ucrainene, care a provocat pana acum, in cele dousprezece luni de infruntare, intre  5000 ( cifra oficiala ) si 50 000 ( cifra neoficiala ) de morti. Consecvent reputatiei sale , Walt teoretizeaza intreaga problematica priun prisma a doua modele: „deterrent model” si  „spiral model”. Iata , de pilda, viziunea sa asupra celui dintai model: ” Those who now favor arming Ukraine clearly believe the  ‚deterrence model’  is the right way to think about this problem. In this view, Vladimir Putin is a relentless aggressor who is trying to recreate something akin to the old Soviet empire, and thus not confronting him over Ukraine will lead him to take aggressive actions elsewhere. The only thing to do, therefore, is increase the costs until Russia backs down and leaves Ukraine free to pursue its own foreign policy. This is precisely the course of action the report from the three think tanks recommends: in addition to ‚ ‚bolstering deterrence’, its authors believe arming Ukraine will help  ‚produce conditions in which Moscow decides to negotiate a genuine settlement that allows Ukraine to reestablish full sovereignty.’  In addition to bolstering deterrence, in short, giving arms to Kiev is intended to coerce Moscow into doing what we want.” Si celalalt model este detaliat deopotriva teoretic si practic in fraze scurte si memorabile. ( vezi:Stephen M. Walt, Why Arming Kiev Is a Really, Really Bad Idea http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/09/how-not-to-save-ukraine-arming-kiev-is-a-bad-idea/)
 
 
5. Premierul Japoniei,  Shinzo  Abe, este foarte cunoscut pentru inovatiile in domeniul economic- de aici denumirea actualelor reforme structurale economice din Japonia-Abenomics-, dar si pentru viziunea sa asupra rolului pe care a-l juca Japonia in Nord-Estul Asiei in conditiile in care China a intrecut ca PIB , in 2015 , SUA , ocupand primul loc in topul sistemic , iar situatia de securitate a regiunii a dobandit in ultimii ani indici inalti de insecuritate. Din aceasta perspectiva, Abe tinteste si reformarea politicii de securitate a Japoniei, practic neschimbata de la sfarsitul celui de al Doilea Razboi Mondial, rezistenta deopotriva si la sfarsitul Razboiului Rece. Potrivit unei analize recente, „ Caught flat footed by Chinese assertiveness in the East China Sea and Russian military flights near its borders, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has implemented a raft of security improvements, from secrecy laws to the creation of a national security council modeled off the one that serves the U.S. President.”  Aceeasi analiza, care deplange scaderea alocatiilor pentru achizitiile destinate  aparare in intervalul 1990-2013 ( 38 la suta ), listeaza cinci urgente achizitii in armament  pe care Japonia trebuie sa le faca in scopul de a fi pregatita pentru amenintarile profilate la orizont. Intre aceste sisteme se numara Aegis Ashore, necesar combaterii amenintarii nucleare a Koreei de Nord , dar care va oferi si posibilitatea „ to watch over the nearby Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands to the Chinese.) This would give Japan the ability to close the airspace over the islands whenever it wished, and make it very dangerous for China to use military aircraft to push its territorial claims.”  In afara acestui sistem, propunerea analizei refera la crearea  unitatilor de infanterie marina socotite o arma ofensiva pana recent, dar instruite pentru aparare si recuperarea teritoriilor ocupate de inamic, astfel dobandind  caracteristicile defensive adecvate necesare constitutional . „ Japan has announced the creation of a marine brigade, built around the battalion-sized Western Army Infantry Regiment. The brigade is to be stationed in Sasebo, Nagasaki, where it will be co-located with sealift provided by the Maritime Self Defense Force.”, arata analiza din care citam. Deopotriva, sunt citate capabilitati necesare transportului infanteriei marine si avioanelor de transport capabile de lansare de trupe in adancimea coastelor.-vezi: Kyle Mizokami, 5 Weapons of War Japan Needs Immediately  , in  „ The National Interest”, February 17, 2015- http://nationalinterest.org/feature/5-weapons-war-japan-needs-immediately-12259?page=show )
 
 
23 februarie 2015

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