Great wealth and influence, but without enduring art or free speech.
The Moral and Strategic Blindspot in Obama’s Pivot to Asia
November 20, 2012
The Obama administration deserves credit for the successes produced so far by its “pivot to Asia”, from the encouragement of political reform in Myanmar, to the creation of a permanent Marines base in Australia, to the initiation of joint military exercises with the Philippines.
The Naked and the TED
August 02, 2012
TED Talks are more popular than ever. They're also more vapid, bland, and fraudulent.
The Mobility Myth
February 08, 2012
When Americans express indifference about the problem of unequal incomes, it’s usually because they see the United States as a land of boundless opportunity. Sure, you’ll hear it said, our country has pretty big income disparities compared with Western Europe. And sure, those disparities have been widening in recent decades. But stark economic inequality is the price we pay for living in a dynamic economy with avenues to advancement that the class-bound Old World can only dream about.
The Long Game on Jobs is Competitiveness
September 08, 2011
Yesterday, the World Economic Forum released its annual Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, which compares the ability of 142 economies to produce quality growth. A far-reaching endeavor, the report compares national economies based on a Global Competitiveness Index, a combination of 12 factors (expressed as 110 indicators) from institutions, infrastructure, and macroeconomic environment to market size, innovation and labor market efficiency.
The Great Democracy Meltdown
May 19, 2011
As the revolt that started this past winter in Tunisia spread to Egypt, Libya, and beyond, dissidents the world over were looking to the Middle East for inspiration. In China, online activists inspired by the Arab Spring called for a “jasmine revolution.” In Singapore, one of the quietest countries in the world, opposition members called for an “orchid evolution” in the run-up to this month’s national elections. Perhaps as a result, those watching from the West have been positively triumphalist in their predictions.
Will Academic Freedom Be Protected at Yale's New College in Singapore?
December 30, 2010
The current issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine includes an unusual column by its editor bemoaning the lack of debate—or even interest—regarding Yale’s September announcement that it was in serious discussion with the National University of Singapore about creating a liberal arts college, based on the American model, to be called Yale-NUS. The media, the blogosphere, the alumni, even the faculty: All are quiet, the editor writes.
Does China Have Any Friends Left in the Obama Administration?
August 26, 2010
Over the last few months, China has had several fairly nasty public rows with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Robert M.
China's Push to Master the Seas
July 27, 2010
This past week saw a marked escalation in the ongoing struggle for geopolitical preponderance in East Asia between the United States and China. Twenty years ago, at the close of the Cold War, U.S. forces in the region had enormous advantages over their Chinese counterparts. Using ships, aircraft and troops forward-deployed at facilities in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore, supported by others dispatched from Hawaii and the West Coast, the United States could defend its friends, deter its enemies and move its forces freely throughout the western Pacific.
The Ugly Models
July 01, 2010
American leaders, impressed by the economic success of Singapore and China, frequently sound envious when talking about those countries’ educational systems. President Obama, for example, invoked Singapore in a March 2009 speech, saying that educators there “are spending less time teaching things that don’t matter, and more time teaching things that do. They are preparing their students not only for high school or college, but for a career.