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For some years now, I have been reviewing the rise of China and India as potential lead players in the global economy by 2050. In 2011, I had predicted in a joint study that by 2030, China would overtake the US as the lead global economic super-power. This would result in growing competition between the US and China over which among them would write the rules of the global economy. Today, just five years later, that battle has begun...
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Some time ago, I missed my grandfather's funeral because an airline's manager hid behind rules. No, I wasn't asking him to break any rules, but he didn't let me fly despite there being empty seats, my pleading to please charge me any price he wanted, and my being at the airport almost 1.5 hours before the scheduled departure. In my case, the impact was emotional, but in other cases, silly, inconsistent, or just plain bad rules can mean lives lost.
In Singapore even a minor infraction carries mandatory punishment. Use an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot. Jail. Buy firecrackers. Jail. Download on torrents. Jail. Bungee jump. Jail. Gay. Jail. Graffiti. Jail. Agnostic. Jail. Atheist. Jail. Gather in groups of more than two after ten pm. Jail. Hug someone without their permission. Jail.