Is China subsidizing America's poorest consumers by undervaluing it's currency?
By keeping the renminbi's value low relative to the dollar isn't China just subsidizing American consumers especially poor people buying low-cost manufactured items such as those sold in Wal-Mart?
Everyone knows we are getting a wide variety and large volume of products from China. What are the Chinese getting in return? The answer is paper IOUs in the form of U.S. dollars. And what do the Chinese do with these dollars? Do they use them to buy tanks and attack helicopters? No, the answer is that they reinvest those dollars back into the U.S. economy and elsewhere through their sovereign wealth funds. They put the money into U.S. businesses which can then expand to generate more jobs for Americans.
Why then are the Chinese subsidizing American consumers and helping the U.S. by investing in U.S. businesses? Because of structural problems in making the transition from inefficient government businesses to private free-enterprise businesses, the unemployment rate in China is already more than nine percent. Because of the trauma and turmoil of their past Cultural Revolution, the Chinese people and government are afraid of social and political unrest. Since their labor market fluidity is not yet adequate to overcome their structural problems, they cannot maximize employment through fiscal and monetary instruments alone. Consequently, they are willing to subsidize American consumers in order to maintain maximum employment in their country. In addition, the structural problems they face have generated inflationary pressure, which is already too strong. They send the dollars back to the U.S. to avoid adding to this inflationary pressure.
We should not criticize the Chinese government for intervening in renminbi-dollar exchange markets to buy up U.S. dollars. They have bolstered the U.S. dollar at the expense of their own currency. However, this has become increasingly difficult. Continual internal budget deficits in the U.S. have contributed to the U.S. dollar falling in value in world currency markets. As their incomes rise, China’s own consumers gain greater market power. They are beginning to provide sufficient internal demand to help sustain employment and higher real wages in China. This virtuous circle should continue to strengthen China’s economy internally and reduce the need for China to artificially undervalue their renminbi.
China’s development has contrasted sharply with India’s. India’s democracy has moved more cautiously than China in pushing through improvements in roads, railroads, bridges, tunnels, ports and airports. China has outlined even bolder infrastructure enhancements for the future including nineteen new regional airports. This is particularly important for China since its trade is based more on physical commodities. India has the advantage of having chosen English as their main commercial language rather than one of their thirteen primary regional or tribal languages. Since many educated Indians speak English, they have had an advantage in the off-shoring of services such as telephone answering services from the U.S.
From their own history as well as world history, the Chinese communist party has learned the danger of a one-man-rule personality cult. After the horrors of their Cultural Revolution they changed their system to provide for the regular replacement of their leadership. As incomes, education and communications grow in China, we can hope for a peaceful, more democratic China in years ahead. China has suffered some growing pains in establishing health and safety standards for its products. The Chinese leadership is clearly very concerned about these problems and determined to enforce higher standards for both internal consumption and exports.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
The 'People Map of the United States' zooms in on America's obsession with celebrity
- Replace city names with those of their most famous residents
- And you get a peculiar map of America's obsession with celebrity
- If you seek fame, become an actor, musician or athlete rather than a politician, entrepreneur or scientist
Chicagoland is Obamaland
Image: The Pudding
Chicagoland's celebrity constellation: dominated by Barack, but with plenty of room for the Belushis, Brandos and Capones of this world.
Seen from among the satellites, this map of the United States is populated by a remarkably diverse bunch of athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs and other persons of repute (and disrepute).
The multitalented Dwayne Johnson, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dominate the West Coast. Right down the middle, we find actors Chris Pratt and Jason Momoa, singer Elvis Presley and basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. The East Coast crew include wrestler John Cena, whistle-blower Edward Snowden, mass murderer Ted Bundy… and Dwayne Johnson, again.
The Rock pops up in both Hayward, CA and Southwest Ranches, FL, but he's not the only one to appear twice on the map. Wild West legend Wyatt Earp makes an appearance in both Deadwood, SD and Dodge City, KS.
How is that? This 'People's Map of the United States' replaces the names of cities with those of "their most Wikipedia'ed resident: people born in, lived in, or connected to a place."
‘Cincinnati, Birthplace of Charles Manson'
Image: The Pudding
Keys to the city, or lock 'em up and throw away the key? A city's most famous sons and daughters of a city aren't always the most favoured ones.
That definition allows people to appear in more than one locality. Dwayne Johnson was born in Hayward, has one of his houses in Southwest Ranches, and is famous enough to be the 'most Wikipedia'ed resident' for both localities.
Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth, IL, but his reputation is closely associated with both Deadwood and Dodge City – although he's most famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which took place in Tombstone, AZ. And yes, if you zoom in on that town in southern Arizona, there's Mr Earp again.
The data for this map was collected via the Wikipedia API (application programming interface) from the English-language Wikipedia for the period from July 2015 to May 2019.
The thousands of 'Notable People' sections in Wikipedia entries for cities and other places in the U.S. were scrubbed for the person with the most pageviews. No distinction was made between places of birth, residence or death. As the developers note, "people can 'be from' multiple places".
Pageviews are an impartial indicator of interest – it doesn't matter whether your claim to fame is horrific or honorific. As a result, this map provides a non-judgmental overview of America's obsession with celebrity.
Royals and (other) mortals
Image: The Pudding
There's also a UK version of the People Map – filled with last names like Neeson, Sheeran, Darwin and Churchill – and a few first names of monarchs.
Celebrity, it is often argued, is our age's version of the Greek pantheon, populated by dozens of major gods and thousands of minor ones, each an example of behaviours to emulate or avoid. This constellation of stars, famous and infamous, is more than a map of names. It's a window into America's soul.
But don't let that put you off. Zooming in on the map is entertaining enough: celebrities floating around in the ether are suddenly tied down to a pedestrian level, and to real geography. And it's fun to see the famous and the infamous rub shoulders, as it were.
Barack Obama owns Chicago, but the suburbs to the west of the city are dotted with a panoply of personalities, ranging from the criminal (Al Capone, Cicero) and the musical (John Prine, Maywood) to figures literary (Jonathan Franzen, Western Springs) and painterly (Ivan Albright, Warrenville), actorial (Harrison Ford, Park Ridge) and political (Eugene V. Debs, Elmhurst).
Freaks and angels
The People Map of the U.S. was inspired by the U.S.A. Song Map, substituting song titles for place names.
It would be interesting to compare 'the most Wikipedia'ed' sons and daughters of America's cities with the ones advertised at the city limits. When you're entering Aberdeen, WA, a sign invites you to 'come as you are', in homage to its most famous son, Kurt Cobain. It's a safe bet that Indian Hill, OH will make sure you know Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, was one of theirs. But it's highly unlikely that Cincinnati, a bit further south, will make any noise about Charles Manson, local boy done bad.
Inevitably, the map also reveals some bitterly ironic neighbours, such as Ishi, the last of the Yahi tribe, captured near Oroville, CA. He died in 1916 as "the last wild Indian in North America". The most 'pageviewed' resident of nearby Colusa, CA is Byron de la Beckwith, Jr., the white supremacist convicted for the murder of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers.
As a sampling of America's interests, this map teaches that those aiming for fame would do better to become actors, musicians or athletes rather than politicians, entrepreneurs or scientists. But also that celebrity is not limited to the big city lights of LA or New York. Even in deepest Dakota or flattest Kansas, the footlights of fame will find you. Whether that's good or bad? The pageviews don't judge...
Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.
- A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
- However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
- In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
Technology may soon grant us immortality, in a sense. Here's how.
- Through the Connectome Project we may soon be able to map the pathways of the entire human brain, including memories, and create computer programs that evoke the person the digitization is stemmed from.
- We age because errors build up in our cells — mitochondria to be exact.
- With CRISPR technology we may soon be able to edit out errors that build up as we age, and extend the human lifespan.
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