Gongol.com Archives: January 2009
Brian Gongol

January 22, 2009

Business and Finance China becomes world economy #3
China overtakes Germany in straight GDP terms, though it's already #2 on the basis of purchasing-power parity. But it's quite possible that the go-go days of Chinese economic growth have stopped, which would be a harbinger of seriously troublesome days to come. China's government has been pacifying its people with economic growth in lieu of political freedom. But if the economic-growth spigot is shut off, then the internal pressures are likely to build quickly. The political crackdowns around the Olympics were a major warning sign of the Communist Party's fears of losing control. But given just how large China is, how ethnically and culturally diverse it is, and how it really didn't come together in an organic way but was instead patched together around and during World War II, then no one should be surprised when parts of the country break loose -- or at least attempt to do so -- over the next five to ten years. The China of 2020 will almost certainly not share the same borders as the China of today.

Socialism Doesn't Work Chinese courts hand out death sentences for tainted milk

The United States of America The President gets to keep his BlackBerry
The Atlantic is reporting that the government has figured out some of the technological glitches and will let the President have his BlackBerry. There are lots of good reasons why the President should use technology -- not the least of which is the importance of ensuring the President hears from outside his inner circle.

Socialism Doesn't Work London Olympic construction costs jump by about another half-billion dollars
And taxpayers are going to be left on the hook for much of the bill. Naturally, politicians are trumpeting the old canard about how valuable the new facilities will be after the games are over. But let's consult Sarajevo about that, shall we? Obviously, nobody expects a war to destroy London's Olympic infrastructure like it did Sarajevo's, but does anyone really take tourist trips to see Seoul's leftover Olympic facilities? We can only hope that the London situation serves as a warning and that Chicago doesn't get the 2016 Olympics. The land of Blagojevich and Stroger really doesn't need yet another drain on its budget. Senator Bill Bradley was right to call for a permanent site for the Olympic Games to keep the event from becoming a perpetual political football. The transaction costs alone for those sites bidding on the Games are huge, not to mention the bribery and corruption the bidding process encourages.

Broadcasting Think Digital TV has been a rough transition? Just wait for 3D-TV.

Computers and the Internet Google shuts down newspaper-advertising service

Water News Knowledge of local conditions matters

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