Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
1As the maps to our official past, monuments and memorials literally set our history in stone. 2Civil War Re-enactments and the Bradley Fighting Vehicles that Love Them. 3One whatever's perspective on
American/Iranian relations 4Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming - Or -
Delaware is the geographical center of Ohio 5This is not about Terri Schiavo.
We promise. 6Stick it to the Gideons. 7California increases its prison population six-fold and strikes a blow for the union man. 8It's not you; it's me... 9What's the Christian Coalition going to do with this one? 10Corporate nonprofit? Isn't that an oxymoron? Jed Emerson doesn't think so. And neither should you. 11You heard it here first:
Michael Jackson, not guilty! 12What's good for GM is good for GM. 13The Quaterly Review continues...
...with 2 Essays from the archives. 14What's that smell?
Saying no to the post-expiration date Nation-State. 15An antidote to the All-Star Break: Life before
the homerun call was on steroids. 16An antidote to the All Star Break: Life before
the homerun call was on steroids (cont.). 17Riding the city at night with a radio. 18Why shampoo really is the key to global economic development. 19Goat meat and digital watches: how to lay down the law without writing down the rules 20The control button is right down there. Next to the Z button. 21Clear Channels and
Herfindahl-Hirschman Indices 22Le Corbusier, meet Dr. Livingstone: using blank spots on the map to plan urban development. 23Sunk before it started raining: how the Army Corps of Engineers dammed Louisiana. 24The Carceral Continuum: I got my diploma from a school called Rikers, knowhatimsayin? 25Hey Betty and Veronica, let's find out
who wrote the Book of Love. 26The quarterly reviews go marching two by two, hurrah! hurrah! 27It's a mosque; it's a church; it's ... a museum! 28We're back for seconds, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. 29The only thing standing between you and free Internet is the Titanic. 30Capitalism: the worst economic system,
except all the others. 31All the cool kids are doing it... 32In America you get food to eat; won't have to run through the jungle and scuff up your feet. 33Q-Tip never wanted Tommy Hilfiger
to be his friend. 34I am what I am not, even if it's only because
that's what people think I am. 35From Good ... to Great! 36Daylight makes these cities shrink. 37¡AGUANTALA! 38A chicken in every pot and
a deed to every garage. 39Celebrate the seasons with the Quarterly Review! 40The jig is up, Mr. Nobel. 41Will the circle be unbroken?
By and by, Lord, by and by. 42There's nothing to figure out, General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic. 43It's the Buddhists and the Communists
in a fight to the death. 44Yes, this Essay is about
Punky Brewster. 45This article isn't just about being a bad friend. 46Something has gone wrong with the bathmat. 47It's more of a suspended state of poverty. 48Politics has always been complicated, I guess. 49The Cuyahoga Daily Mirror, this ain't. 50If Air America couldn't do it
maybe Al Jazeera can. 51Bzz, Bzz. Who's there? A culture of transparency. 52RVs (but no propane) in the R.V. 53Adding ads ad nauseum. 54Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains: Peru's election goes to a runoff. 55The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid;
the second is pleasant and highly paid. 56Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere... 57If versimilitude can be lost, then it must exist. But how can it exist in a world of irreconcilable inconsistencies? 58Certain young, beautiful, economically powerful women please take note. 59Bugs. On drugs. 60Progress. Genuine progress. 61Electricity and music. 62Garcia in; Chavez out. 63I thought globalization was
something we did to them. 64Twenty-three days, 189 bicyles.
Could there be anything better? 65The First Quarterly Review:
Taste it again for the first time. 66An undersized, ill-dribbling twenty-something
feeling jealous. 67Wal*Mart goes organic. Right. 68Stop us before we pollute again. 69Yes, they actually measure that. 70Even the Amish guys are cheating?
Not so fast... 71What Jeffrey Sachs would proclaim if he spent all day sitting on his tuchus. 72Blueberry or coconut infusion? That'll be extra. 73Point being: ride your bike. 74If it's still broke, don't fix it. 75If Judd and Sam can do it,
so can I. 76Grandma Kenya's new cell phone
package totally rules! 77Two bracelets and two necklaces?
That'll be $20 and your manhood. 78What Jeffrey Sachs would proclaim if he spent all day sitting on his tuchus. 79The elusive fall season... 80Kenneth Pollack gets no respect. 81900 is the new 300. 82That's affirmative. Or, at least, it ought to be. 83Where's the outrage? 84Saddam Husseing - not a good person. 85Headaches call for leeches on the temples. 86Less than nine months behind schedule
and OK by me. 87We may not know all the words,
but we know when it's done wrong. 88Nephrons. And Frank Ghery.
You make the call. 89All these activist legislatures are enough to make you miss Samuel Alito. 90See it again, for the 90th time. 91A Seventh Quarter Two-fer. 92The man they called Body Love. 93Five years old is far too old for a federal law. 94Being Very Professional 95Not a single loaf has left the building
for over a decade. 96An Absentee article. 97You're less than nothing.
You're dirt. 98Get down to the basics.
The basic basics. 99You can almost understand
why Britney shaved her head. 100April's coming.
Here's what's in store. 101The coolest thing ever. I think. 102Not only are we going to grow mangoes, but we'll sell them, too. 103Famous for being famous. Just like Paris Hilton, but less trashy. 104Fourth Quarterly Reviews bring spring
showers and 90ways anniversaries. 105There's a new bunny in town. Just in time for Easter.
106Dream small. 107If Hillside won, then I was Truckzilla. 108Disco boys on bicycles.
Hu is the Successor to Greenspan.
A couple of years ago, oil cost $19 a barrel. Today it costs $70. We all know that everything starts with oil and that its relative abundance is the key to making our economy hum. Simply put, oil keeps the shelves stocked. So then why, in the face of a 350% increase in the price of oil, does that blender you just bought at Wal-Mart still only cost $12.95?
For a long time now, the Chinese government has been buying up US Treasury bonds and other American securities at an incredible rate. At this point, they own more than a trillion dollars worth of them. The upshot of all that buying is twofold. First, as Niall Ferguson pointed out in the New York Times this weekend, the average Chinese person, who earns about 1/7th what the average American does, is actually loaning us money in substantial amounts. And second, the value of Chinese currency remains extremely low compared to the value of US currency -- you can buy a lot of yuan for your dollar.
As it turns out, it's the flow of all these securities that is keeping your blender cheap. By ensuring that it maintains a devalued currency, the Chinese government is able to foster a favorable climate for the export of goods. Combine this with an almost unlimited supply of people willing to work for very little money, and you've got a cure for inflation. As such, the financial policies of the Chinese government help Americans do what Americans do best: consume.
It's about time 90ways tackled China. Or at the very least, started to consider it. After all, 20% of the world lives there. And though the term "the Rise of China" seems somewhat presumptuous on the part of the journalists and economist who use it on an almost constant basis (what inferior depths are the Chinese rising from, exactly?), the term is accurate in many ways: less than thirty years ago China was economically, diplomatically and culturally cut-off from the rest of the world by design. Today, it is the world's third largest exporter and its fourth largest economy. Its economic policies keep our blenders cheap and allow us in the United States, the world's most powerful economy, to maintain our way of life. Within the next few years, it will be the world's largest producer of CO2.
China has developed tremendous economic clout in the last thirty years, and it's only going to get cloutier. Right now, the per capita income in China is about $6,800. In the United States, it's about $42,000. China has about 4 times as many people as the United States, which means that once China's per capita GDP reaches 1/4 the size of America's, the total size of the two economies will be about the same.
The Chinese economy has grown at about 10% per year for a good long time now, while typical growth for the US is about 3.5%. Given the current growth rates, the Chinese economy will eclipse the US economy some time around 2015. Assuming, China slows down a little bit (a likely scenario), that moment will occur somewhere between 2020 and 2025.
The bottom line: in about 20 years, America won't be the biggest kid on the block any more.
One article is simply not enough to learn much of anything about China, though some of the statistics above should give a rough sense of just how large a role the country will play in world affairs over the coming decades. As we here at 90ways start to look more deeply into China's appearance on the world stage, we will try to consider both what America is doing to China and what China is doing to America.
The United States and Europe are not the world's only globalizing powers. Obviously, America wields tremendous global influence. We export our economics, our culture and our values across the globe. But, try as we might, we can't make globalization a one-way street. We've experienced virtually no inflation even as oil prices here in America have climbed steeply over the last several years. We continue to purchase $12.95 Wal-Mart blenders at a record pace. But it's not because Alan Greenspan was a genius. It's because the Chinese government owns a trillion dollars in US bonds and controls an almost limitless supply of people who will work for a dollar an hour. Or, to put it the way Robert Barbera did a few months ago, "The answer to the question 'Who will succeed Greenspan?' is "Hu will succeed Greenspan."