6. Weekend Reads

Here's a few longer reads on political, economic and social issues from around the world for your weekend.

Donald Trump went right off the reservation for American leaders post World War Two this week. Many of America's allies are waking up to the fact they will need to find other ways to join together to trade and defend each other from the threats of China and Russia. They can't depend on America any more. Here's the New York Times' look at what options Europe and Japan are looking at.

Why Is Australia Deporting So Many Maori and Pacific Islanders? That's an excellent question examined in this piece on Longreads by Aaron Gilbreath, which builds on the New York Times report from Sylvia Varnham O’Regan on July 5, which examined Australia’s new aggressive deportation policy

I've been a long-time reader of Christopher Balding's blog on China's economy. He delivers a healthy grain of salt to the usual narrative on China. But now he's leaving after nine years because of his criticisms of China's growth model. His final post from China is filled with insight on the meaning of democracy and the rule of law, and in particular the meaning of truth. It's particularly sobering at a time when the leader of the world's most powerful democracy doesn't connect to the truth as often as many would like...

China is always worth watching closely. Over at Project Syndicate, former Australian Prime Minister (and mandarin speaker Kevin Rudd has written this piece: Xi Jinping’s Vision for Global Governance . Rudd is wary of China's increasing confidence on the world stage. "The world should buckle up and get ready for a new wave of Chinese international policy activism," he argues.

This piece by Matthew Stewart in The Atlantic on how The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy and how the class divide is becoming unbridgeable is compelling and unsettling. This week seemed to be a turning point for US politics, whereby the end result of plutocratic politics was open treason by the leader of the world's largest 'democracy'.

As is this piece from Martin Wolf in the FT called 'How we lost America to greed and envy' is a must read I reckon and worth subscribing for. This section sums up the problem:

"The poor state of so many Americans is in part the product of plutocratic politics: a relentless and systematic devotion to the interests of the very rich. As I have argued before, a politics of low taxes, low social spending and high inequality is sustainable in a universal suffrage democracy only with a mixture of propaganda in favour of “trickle down” economics, splitting the less well off on cultural and racial lines, ruthless gerrymandering and outright voter suppression," Wolf writes.