A little bit of this and that

It is a rainy Sunday, so it is a great day to drink coffee and read. Since I am struggling for a longer post subject, here is a little bit of this and that for your reflection and thoughts. In no particular order:

There are many people who will tell you what is wrong with the Middle East, but I don’t believe it is a solvable problem. There are too many passionate religious and tribal differences that cross borders. Unless like minded people had control over their situation, did not need to rely on others and could respect the rights of others, peace is simply not achievable. In my simple view, the best anyone can achieve is to place lids on simmering pots on a stove.

The global economy is expected to grow by 3.9% each of the next two years, up from slightly lower results in 2016 and 2017. Yet, Christine LaGarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, cautioned at Davos last week over concerns of socio-economic inequity and the rising debt in the US. Not everyone is benefitting from the growth which will cause greater uncertainty and unrest.

In a very interesting and not unexpected development, Canada and other nations completed the TPP, which is the Asia-Pacific trade agreement the US exited, When the US tried to negotiate a bilateral agreement with Japan, the Japanese trade leaders suggested the US reconsider the TPP instead. The US finds itself on the outside looking in. I find it interesting that the US President said in an interview which will air tonight that he would reconsider the pullout from Paris. It is hard to have a relationship when you are not in the room with others.

On a related subject, if Brexit follows through with the commitment to leave the EU, other cities will continue to benefit from EU headquarters migration from London. Paris, Dublin and Frankfurt are each benefitting from conpanies moving EU headquarters. A softer Brexit will help reduce the migration, but it will continue.

I guess if there is a theme to all of these subjects it is working together across country borders and regions within is more productive than going it alone. Yet, one thing remains true – collaboration is hard work. It requires give and take. If one party gets everything it wants, then the others will not, so detente is harder. So, when I hear someone who likes to win say an agreement is a disaster, I don’t put as much credence in those comments. Lifting all boats makes more money for everyone. A man won a Nobel prize for this concept. So, let’s work hard together for peace and prosperity for all. It beats the hell out of the alternatives.


13 thoughts on “A little bit of this and that

    • Janis, I agree. I just rewatched “An American Predident,” and it spoke in volumes about what a real leader should look like. I pray our global reputation does not decline too much that it cannot be repaired and we can stay away from a war. Keith

  1. Note to Readers: Placing tariffs does more to impact good laugh brought in. In Clarkesville, TN, the folks are worried about the tariffs impacting a soon to be completed plant by LG, a South Korean company. The reason is a Chinese solar company decided to not build a solar panel plant there after earlier trade restrictions. It should be noted the solar tariff announced last week is expected to cost 26,000 US installation jobs.

  2. Your take on the Middle East interests me. I tend to agree with your keep lids on the pots theory…although, covering a boil pot does usually lead to a boil over, so keep those lids vented a bit for some fresh air?

    • Agreed. I have heard some very smart people not know what to do. They know what is not working, but it is hard to appease everyone. I feel sorry for the Kurds. They fight their hind end off to get rid of ISIS, but no one wants them in their country unless they do it their way.

  3. Your very first item: BINGO!!! Having spent several years studying the Middle East, this is the conclusion that most scholars of the Middle East have drawn, as did I, many years ago. Trump & Co, however, seem to believe that, not only is there a panacea, but that it can be achieved with relatively little knowledge of the area, its history and its people.

    As re your comment about it being hard to have a relationship when not in the room with others, I would add that it is also hard to have a relationship when one person cannot make up his mind and has an ego the size of the Pacific Ocean.

    Great post … I do love your snippets!

    • Jill, in fairness to Trump, every President thinks they can make a difference in the Middle East. What he fails to realize is the moving parts require due diligence and study and, even then, that is not enough. Afghanistan is the a powder keg again, in part, because it always will be given the tribal leadership. Thanks for your comment. Keith

  4. Dear Keith,

    The great deal maker is a bust. Like I mentioned before, I would not want to negotiate with him as he can’t be trusted to keep his word. The president will have to face the reality that he can’t bully anyone who has alternate options and don’t want to work with a bully.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, well said. He is now beating on the EU being unfair. Multilateral deals are by their nature fair and unfair. It is a give and take. He cannot think beyond bilateral as he wants to win and the other lose. But, when that happens, the agreement won’t last. This is one reason he ends up in court so often in his businesses. He screws someone, either legally or illegally, and it is up to the courts to decide, Keith

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