BERLIN -- Not long ago, German politicians and journalists confidently declared that the euro crisis was over; Germany and the European Union, they believed, had weathered the storm. Today, we know that this was just another mistake in an ongoing crisis that has been full of them. The latest error, as with most of the earlier ones, stemmed from wishful thinking -- and, once again, it is Greece that has broken the reverie.
As with the United States, the massive size of the Chinese economy means that lower GDP growth rates create a headwind for the global economy as a whole. It is therefore no surprise that the International Monetary Fund has just revised its forecast of global economic growth downward by the most substantial margin in three years.
Today's technological revolutions calls for a comprehensive reinvention. The potential benefits of discoveries and new applications in robotics, biotechnology, digital technologies and other areas are all around us and easy to see. Indeed, many believe that the world economy may be on the cusp of another explosion in new technologies.
In essence, the reforms have been crafted to democratize the IMF governance. Now, those sitting at the head of the IMF's table are either American allies, or its Western partners, whereas the developing countries are underrepresented as a whole. They do not have a say in the IMF decision-making process, or in protection of their fundamental interests.
The same forces that are dramatically increasing the world economy's productive potential are largely responsible for the adverse trends in income distribution. Digital technology and capital have eliminated middle-income jobs or moved them offshore, generating an excess supply of labor that has contributed to income stagnation precisely in that range. A more muscular response will require an awareness of the nature of the challenge and a willingness to meet it by investing heavily in key areas -- particularly education, health care and infrastructure.