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After the great repatriation: Where will the money go and what will it do?

– By Robert U. Ayres

               For several weeks, the guys and gals at CNBC and Bloomberg News, and their guests, have been talking about the coming tax reform (cut) legislation that the Republicans finally seem to have in their grasp. Well, maybe not exactly reform, maybe not revenue-neutral, but at least tax cuts for the corporations that give them campaign money. All the cheerleaders, both in Congress and the White House, assert confidently that faster growth will pay for the cost of the tax cut, even though virtually all economists (including me) say that it won’t.

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China’s Lose-Lose Love Affair with the Modern Motor Car

Report from China: Robert Ayres

In December I travelled to the city of Kunming, in Yunnan province, China. The occasion of the trip was to attend a conference on planning and give a talk on economics at that conference. The host was the newly appointed provincial Governor, who is also the Communist Party Chairman for Yunnan. The organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the attendees were academics and civil servants in the urban planning departments from all of the major cities of  organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the Yunnan province. I was invited on short notice (only two weeks) and I was asked to provide a copy of my talk in advance, without much detailed information about the actual situation. What I did know about China was more applicable to Beijing and Shanghai than to Kunming. So, I had to “punt”, as they say.

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Urban agriculture: Another Win-Win for China?

china-ghos-town-half-built-structures-ayres

 

Report from China: Robert Ayres

In my last post I explained why (private) investment the automobile industry was a huge win-win for the US in the early years of the 20th century, for reasons that do not apply to 21st century China. In fact, there are strong arguments that the overall impact of still more cars (and highways) in China will be more nearly a lose-lose proposition, the only winners being the foreign auto manufacturers.

However, I think there is another investment opportunity, still in its infancy, that – if pursued intelligently – can be a true “win-win”.

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China’s Lose-Lose Love Affair with the Modern Motor Car

Report from China: Robert Ayres

In December I travelled to the city of Kunming, in Yunnan province, China. The occasion of the trip was to attend a conference on planning and give a talk on economics at that conference. The host was the newly appointed provincial Governor, who is also the Communist Party Chairman for Yunnan. The organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the attendees were academics and civil servants in the urban planning departments from all of the major cities of  organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the Yunnan province. I was invited on short notice (only two weeks) and I was asked to provide a copy of my talk in advance, without much detailed information about the actual situation. What I did know about China was more applicable to Beijing and Shanghai than to Kunming. So, I had to “punt”, as they say.

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Energizing Growth: Why have the economists got it so wrong for so long?

light bulb against black

Energy security is back in the news. The US 5th fleet based in Bahrein protects the flow of half of the world’s oil exports through the Straits of Hormuz, yet nine-tenths of that output goes to Europe and Asia. Russia, already the world’s largest producer, wants to drill in the Arctic with no interference from Greenpeace. China wants to enforce exclusive rights to drill in the South China Sea. The Obama administration is under heavy pressure to allow a controversial pipeline to move oil from Canadian tar sands to refineries on the US Gulf Coast. Underlying all this activity is a simple fact: every barrel of oil that once cost $1 to find and produce in Texas or Saudi Arabia has to be replaced by another one that will cost more than $100 to find and produce. And the economy of every industrial country now depends on oil.

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