SHANGHAI -- "Markets with Chinese characteristics" are as volatile and hard to control as markets with American characteristics. Markets invariably take on a life of their own; they cannot be easily ordered around. To the extent that markets can be controlled, it is through setting the rules of the game in a transparent way. The policy approach China adopts will strongly influence economic performance and prospects worldwide.
The only cure for the world's malaise is an increase in aggregate demand. Far-reaching redistribution of income would help, as would deep reform of our financial system -- not just to prevent it from imposing harm on the rest of us, but also to get banks and other financial institutions to do what they are supposed to do: match long-term savings to long-term investment needs.
For those turned off by my considering anything other than the issues, I can't help you. And for those who were hoping I'd bash either of these Democrats, well, I can't help you either. As of now, one of these two will be the Democratic nominee (could Joe Biden shake up the race? I doubt it, but one never knows). I would be happy and proud to work for and vote for either Hillary or Bernie in the general election.
If the voices and concerns of ordinary Americans aren't at the center of this debate, we can expect the ticking time bomb of urban unrest to explode in more and more communities. Without major reforms, the recent upheavals in Ferguson and Baltimore may simply be a precursor to a wave of 21st century riots.
Why have ideas of contemporary thinkers like Thomas Friedman proved to be incomplete only ten years after they defined the brave new world we live in. Today's world changes at the speed of light and, unless these thinkers can ride on those light particles their insights will only paint a partial picture that lasts for no more than a minute.