Trump Inauguration; WEF17 & Inequality in India

What tone did President Donald J. Trump set in his inauguration speech on Jan 20, 2017? Can Trump simultaneously take on the US establishment, friends and foes all at the same time? How will he browbeat US businesses to stop offshoring of manufacturing and jobs? How will he "eradicate radical Islamic terrorism" without the help of allies whose armies he says will not be "subsidized" by the United States? How's Trump's rise seen in Pakistan? Will he start trade wars with China and other countries running trade surpluses with the United States? Will he change Washington or will Washington change him?

Why is the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos so concerned about growing economic inequality? Is globalization alone responsible for it? Why is India so unequal with 58.4% of the wealth owned by the top 1% of Indians? Why have the Brexit vote and Trump victory sent shockwaves through the ranks of the owners/investors of global businesses and industries? How will they respond to the powerful backlash against globalization? How is automation affecting the jobs situation? Is it equally responsible for loss of jobs?

Why was the new Laskar e Jhangvi chief Asif Chhotu, like his predecessor Malik Ishaq, killed in a police encounter in Punjab? Was this just another fake encounter? Will it help reduce sectarian carnage in Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with leading Pakistani journalist Zahid Husain and regular panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/PDANReBBSBo





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Trump Phenomenon

America and the Rise of ISIS

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's Election

Trump Policies

Economic Inequality in India, Pakistan

Economy and Security Situation in Pakistan

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
The (World Bank) report ( The State of Social Safety Nets 2015) – which identifies India as a “lower middle income group” country – finds that all other BRICS countries, except China, spend a higher proportion of funds on social safety net. Thus, Brazil spends 2.42 per cent, Russia 3.30 per cent, China 0.70 per cent, South Africa 3.51 per cent, and South Africa 3.51 per cent of GDP.
Interestingly, even the two of India’s neighbours – Pakistan and Bangladesh – spend a higher proportion on social safety net, 1.89 per cent and 1.09 per cent.
The report says, “Despite having fewer resources for social safety nets, some lower-income countries allocate considerably more funds than the 1.6 percent average for developing countries”.

http://www.counterview.net/2016/02/india-poor-spender-of-social-safety-net.html

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/415491467994645020/pdf/97882-PUB-REVISED-Box393232B-PUBLIC-DOCDATE-6-29-2015-DOI-10-1596978-1-4648-0543-1-EPI-1464805431.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
#India has been a post-truth society for years. #Modi #Trump #alternativefacts http://theconversation.com/india-has-been-a-post-truth-society-for-years-and-maybe-the-west-has-too-71169 … via @_TCGlobal

India: home of post-truth politics

That was the global context of post-truth politics and its advent in the West. But as the US and UK wake up to this new era, it’s worth noting that the world’s largest democracy has been living in a post-truth world for years.

From education to health care and the economy, particularly its slavish obsession with GDP, India can be considered a world leader in post-truth politics.

India’s post-truth era cannot be traced to a single year – its complexities go back generations. But the election of Narendra Modi in 2014 can be marked as a significant inflection point. Ever since, the country has existed under majoritarian rule with widely reported discrimination against minorities.

India’s version of post-truth is different to its Western counterparts due to the country’s socioeconomic status; its per capita nominal income is less than 3% of that of the US (or 4% of that of the UK). Still, post-truth is everywhere in India.

It can be seen in our booming Wall Street but failing main streets, our teacher-less schools and our infrastructure-less villages. We have the ability to influence the world without enjoying good governance or a basic living conditions for so many at home.

Modi’s government has shown how key decisions can be completely divorced from the everyday lives of Indian citizens, but spun to seem like they have been made for their benefit. Nowhere is this more evident than with India’s latest demonetisation drive, which plunged the country into crisis, against the advice of its central bank, and hit poorest people the hardest.


Despite the levels of extreme poverty in India, when it comes to social development, the cult of growth dominates over the development agenda, a trend that Modi has exacerbated, but that started with past governments.

The dichotomy of India’s current post-truth experience was nicely summed up by Arun Shourie, an influential former minister from Modi’s own party. He disagrees with the prime minister, just as many Republicans share sharp differences of opinion with President Trump.

Shourie said the policies of the current administration were equal to his predecessors’ policies, plus a cow.

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...there is an argument to be made that the US and the UK have been living in denial of facts and evidence for years. In 2003, after all, both the countries went to war in Iraq over the false notion that Saddam Hussein was harbouring weapons of mass destruction.
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Major social change does not happen within the space of a year. Yet, to a large number of observers around the world, the “post-truth” phenomenon seemed to emerge from nowhere in 2016.

Two key events of 2016 shaped our understanding of the post-truth world: one was in June, when Britain voted in favour of leaving the European Union. The other was in November, when political maverick Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Trump’s administration spent the third day of his presidency speaking of “alternative facts”, and making false claims about the size of the crowds that had attended his inauguration.

For the rest of the world, the importance of both Trump and Brexit can best be gauged by understanding that they happened in the USA and in the UK. The UK was the key driving force of the world from the 19th century until the second world war, the US has been ever since. The US and the UK often have shared a similar point of view on many global geopolitical developments, as strategic allies or by virtue of their “special relationship”.
Riaz Haq said…
US State Dept: "#US exports to Pakistan sustain 9,200 well-paying #American jobs" Example: 55 GE locomotives in 2016 http://www.dawn.com/news/1297289

The data shows that the United States exported $1.8 billion in goods to Pakistan in 2015, creating or supporting over 9,200 US jobs. As one example, General Electric won a contract this year to provide 55 locomotives to Pakistan Railways, all of which will be manufactured at Erie in Pennsylvania.

The data reveals that foreign direct investment from Pakistan to the United States in 2015 supported up to 1,000 additional US jobs.


http://www.dawn.com/news/1297289
Riaz Haq said…
"Let me save the government some money and offer up the data right now," he (Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS) said, quoting a study by Alex Nowrasteh of the CATO Institute, a conservative think tank that has tallied the number of Americans killed on US soil from 1975 to 2015 by citizens of the seven countries.
"Iraq - zero, Iran -zero, Syria - zero, Yemen - zero, Libya - zero, Somalia - zero, Sudan -- zero," Zakaria said.
As to how these particular countries were chosen, Zakaria said it was "truly mysterious," before observing that "none of the Muslim majority countries that have a Trump hotel, building or office are on the list."
"There is really no rational basis for this ban," he said, before adding that it could only be explained by looking at what he considered to be the hallmark of Trump's political career: "the exploitation of fear."
"From the birther campaign to the talk of Mexican rapists, Trump has always trafficked in fear mongering," Zakaria said.
To "present himself as the country's protector," Trump had chosen to "punish ordinary men, women and children who are fleeing terrorism and violence," Zakaria said.
"These people are the roadkill of Trump's posturing," he added.
"The image, reputation and goodwill of the United States of America as the beacon of the world" was destroyed by the executive order, Zakaria said.
"Donald Trump seems to want to turn off that lamp on the Statue of Liberty."

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/us/zakaria-take-executive-order-cnntv/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Defiant as US Ponders New Strategy. Demands Renegotiation of #America's Access Rights to #Afghanistan

https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-defiant-us-ponders-south-asia-strategy/3962805.html

Days after the Pentagon announced it is withholding $50 million intended for Pakistan as part of its Coalition Support Fund, the South Asian country's ambassador hinted at potential retaliation, possibly coaxing Washington to negotiate access to the country's air corridors, which Islamabad suggests have been taken for granted.

Pakistan is ready to cooperate with the United States, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said, though Washington may now end up having to negotiate with Islamabad on the corridors and other tangible assets, he added.

"All that Pakistan has done in the fight against terrorism has not been sufficiently factored" into the U.S. decision to reduce its support funds, Chaudhry lamented during a discussion this week at the Washington office of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Air rights up for negotiation?

Pakistan has facilitated air and ground logistical support for U.S. troops in Afghanistan "like no one else," Chaudhry said, adding that "since 2001, all air corridors from Pakistan have been available to the United States free of cost."

The reason Pakistan did so "was because we believed this was a common war," the ambassador said, but there have been occasions when U.S. actions have left his country's leaders thinking "that perhaps we are not partners."

Questions concerning Pakistan's commitment to bilateral partnership have also been raised by the U.S. A prime example was the discovery in 2011 that al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden had been living undisturbed near a key Pakistani military facility.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he withheld $50 million in Coalition Support Funds because he couldn't certify to Congress that Pakistan had taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network, a Taliban-associated organization which the U.S. has deemed a Foreign Terrorist Organization, since September 2012. The group has been blamed for attacks in Afghanistan, which have contributed to the country's destabilization, an issue of concern to the U.S.

For its part, Islamabad's message is don't drop "every security lapse in Afghanistan on Pakistan's doorsteps," as the country's ambassador to the U.S. put it.

The Pakistani envoy's remarks came at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has been reviewing its overall strategy toward South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. And his defiant tone may reflect Pakistan's decreasing dependence on the United States amid an influx of Chinese capital investments and a strengthening political relationship between Islamabad and Beijing.

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