A Year of Moving Forward.
Global problems like violent extremism, economic recession, climate change, and poverty demand collective solutions. They require effective international cooperation even when that becomes harder to achieve. They cannot be solved unless all nations in the world are willing to work together to mobilize action and accept responsibility.
A nuclear deal was reached last November in Geneva with hope to ease tension between Iran and the U.S.-led coalition, but the political and strategic risks are still too great. With no reason to be optimistic, Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the Geneva deal as an “historic mistake” to which Israel is not bound. Saudi Arabia, without waiting for U.S. backing, is likely to take defensive measures by deepening its nuclear partnership with Pakistan, defying international nuclear non-proliferation stance.
The world in 2014 will usher in important changes. America’s household balance sheet will be back in order after a gap. Debt, which peaked at 135 percent of disposable income in 2007, has gone down to 109 percent. House prices have slowly but steadily risen. Following paltry performance for most of last year, GDP growth accelerated to 4.1 percent in the third quarter. The eurozone emerged from its sovereign debt crisis, and American export is expecting a boost in volume helped by a cheaper dollar.
But if things run normal in 2014, the winds will bring more growth in the U.S.—expected to be up to 2.5 if not 3 percent. Africa will be the world’s fastest growing economy this year. Since 2011 its GDP has expanded more quickly each year than the global average. All fronts indicate that the world economy is warming up.
We believe in free enterprise with a conscience. Any goods or services can be managed by the government, but they will only grow to their true potential when they are given to the private sector. This is true from space exploration to GPS technologies to healthcare. Rather than selecting a few experts, all people can better facilitate the services and products when they are put in the free market of manufacturers, traders, and consumers.
This magazine is a proponent and supporter of free-market policy when it is consistent with democratic values and the will of all freedom-loving, secular-minded people in our heterogeneous world. The enjoyment of free speech and human rights is every individual’s birthright, and it should not be thwarted in any form.
We renew this resolve once more as we usher in this, the third year of our publication. We are sincerely thankful to our readers and patrons, and we solicit once again your dedication to ongoing discourse of world affairs.
Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.
— Probir Kumar Sarkar (Editor’s Comment, Winter 2014)
To read more articles from the Winter 2014 issue, subscribe to our eReader edition.