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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 3-Apr-2013
3-Apr-13 World View -- China's military on high alert near North Korean border

Web Log - April, 2013

3-Apr-13 World View -- China's military on high alert near North Korean border

Eurozone unemployment rises to record high 12%

This morning's key headlines from

North Korea restarting nuclear power plant

The N. Koreans spectacularly blew up the Nyongbyon cooling tower on June 27, 2008 (AP)
The N. Koreans spectacularly blew up the Nyongbyon cooling tower on June 27, 2008 (AP)

North Korea announced on Tuesday that it would be restarting its nuclear facilities at Nyongbyon, including the plutonium reactor and a uranium enrichment plant which produce fuel for nuclear weapons. In 2007, the North Koreans agreed to shut the plant down, in return for economic aid. In 2008, the North Koreans demolished the cooling tower in a spectacular explosion. The new announcement signals the failure of pretty much the only success in negotiating with North Korea in the last decade. AP

China mobilizing troops, jets, navy near N. Korea

The process of ping-pong belligerence continued to grow as threats of war on the Korean Peninsula have caused China to place its military forces on heightened alert. China's People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is mobilizing troops near the border with North Korea, including troop movements and warplane activity. China’s navy warships have also been conducting live-firing naval drills in the Yellow Sea.

This comes a week after North Korea announced that since March 26 its missile and artillery forces have been placed on the highest alert status.

It's not completely clear whether China's mobilization is for the defense of China from attacks by North Korea, for the defense of North Korea from attacks by the U.S. and South Korea, for the defense of China from attacks by the U.S., or for all of the above.

The United States has moved a destroyer capable of shooting down missiles to the waters off the coast of Korea. Over the weekend, the U.S. flew two B-2 stealth bombers round trip from Missouri to Korea, where dummy bombs were dropped. Many people consider these actions to be warnings to both North Korea and China that the U.S. is capable of delivering nuclear weapons quickly, even without use of aircraft carriers.

This kind of ping-pong belligerence in a generational Crisis era is exactly the kind of thing that triggers generational crisis wars. Pundits are expressing the hope the N. Korea's child dictator Kim Jong-un will back down, allowing the U.S. and China to back down, and certainly China and his own advisors are pressuring him to do just that. But he may have gone so far out on a limb that backing down now will put his entire dictatorship into danger. Russia Today and Free Beacon

Eurozone unemployment rises to record high 12%

Eurozone unemployment rate, 2000-2013.  Unemployment fell sharply during the giant credit bubble of 2000-2007, and has been rising steadily since the bubble burst. (eurostat)
Eurozone unemployment rate, 2000-2013. Unemployment fell sharply during the giant credit bubble of 2000-2007, and has been rising steadily since the bubble burst. (eurostat)

The unemployment rate rose to a eurozone all-time high of 12% in February, up from 10.9% in February of last year. The huge divergences within the eurozone were illustrated by youth unemployment, which ranged from 55.7% in Greece to 7.7% in Germany. Compared to a year ago, the highest increases occurred in Greece, Portugal and Spain, while the largest decreases occurred in Latvia, Estonia, and Ireland.

As bad as the figures are, the worse news is that this is a long-term trend that's continuing. For several years, we've been hearing that Europe's economy would start growing again -- in 2008, in 2009, in 2010, in 2011, in 2012. All of the "kicking the can down the road" European crises, especially in Greece, were based on the assumption that if you can stall long enough, then the economy will start growing again, and everyone can start spending money and going into even higher debt -- a truly ridiculous assumption, since it assumes that the credit bubble will resume. Even now I hear some analysts talk about growth in the second half of 2013, or in 2014. But the Boomers and Gen-Xers who caused the huge credit bubble of the early 2000s have been badly burned by their personal and business debt. This is what happened in the 1930s, after the crash of 1929, and why the stock market didn't return to pre-crash levels for 25 years. In fact, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, we haven't even seen the worst yet, because we will see, with absolutely certainty, a historic crash that will be remembered forever, just as the crash of 1929 is indelibly burned into generational memory. Bloomberg and eurostat (PDF)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 3-Apr-13 World View -- China's military on high alert near North Korean border thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (3-Apr-2013) Permanent Link
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