China Wants More Guns, Less Butter
China has at once decreased it economic forecast and bolstered its military budget. The change signals its search for higher-quality manufacturing and a modest military ambition.
What's the Latest Development?
China has released its new military budget and announced decreased expectations for economic growth in the years ahead, causing concern over political stability in East Asia and the strength of global markets. For 2012, China will increase military expenditures by 11.2 percent, breaking the $100 billion mark. From 2005 to 2011, the Chinese government forecast annual economic growth at eight percent, a goal it easily overcame every year. From 2011 to 2015, it has lowered its expectations to seven percent growth annually.
What's the Big Idea?
China's increased military spending does not threaten the US and will do little to change the region's power scheme as the US shifts many of its forces to Southeast Asia and maintains an annual military budget of over $600 billion. Economically, China is set to focus less on its production of exports, preferring to develop a consumption-based domestic economy. That will mean introducing, "structural tax cuts and helping small and midsize businesses with preferential tax policies," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said before the country's legislature.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.