World View: Egyptian Protesters Demand End to Ties with Iran, 'Shia Islam'
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Egyptian protesters demand end to ties with Iran and 'Shia Islam'
- Cuba's Fidel Castro warns North Korea not to start a war
- Labor participation rate continues to fall
Egyptian protesters demand end to ties with Iran and 'Shia Islam'
Egyptian protesters raise their shoes outside the Iranian ambassador's residence in Cairo (AFP)
Sunni Muslim Egyptian protesters from the Salafist al-Nour party and
other Salafist parties are launching campaigns against the steps taken
by Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi to reach a rapprochement
with Shia Muslim Iran. The most frequent chants from the protesters
were "Egypt will not become Shia, oh ambassador of Iran," and "Listen,
Muslim Brotherhood, we do not want relations with Iran." The
protesters are demanding that bilateral agreements between the two
countries be revoked, and that Iranian tourism to Egypt be rejected.
The Salafists are also planning to hold seminars to educate citizens
about the "danger of Shias."
Sunni versus Shia enmity is increasing throughout the Mideast,
especially propelled by the conflict in Syria. The new protests
represent a new split between Egypt's two major Islamist groups, the
"moderate" Muslim Brotherhood versus the Salafists. Tensions between
these two groups have been growing anyway as Egypt's economy has
tanked, but the anti-Shia protests are an important development.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the Mideast is headed
for a major regional war pitting Sunni Muslims against Shia Muslims
and Jews against Arabs.
This story is interesting because it illustrates one of the techniques
of Generational Dynamics forecasting. Most media would ignore this
story as unimportant. But once you know from Generational Dynamics
that the long-term trend is an increase in Sunni-Shia belligerence,
eventually leading to all out war, then you know that a story about
Sunni protesters against Shia rapprochement has the potential to be
highly significant. Al-Bawaba (Jordan) and Egypt Independent
Cuba's Fidel Castro warns North Korea not to start a war
Cuba's former dictator Fidel Castro, now 86, is no longer the
young revolutionary he once was, and appears to have mellowed,
if we're to judge by his advice to another young dictator,
Kim Jong-un of North Korea:
"Do not confuse the existence of intelligent life with
the existence of life, from their elementary forms in our solar
system emerged millions of years ago. ...
This introduction would be too long if it was not to explain the
severity of an event so incredible and absurd as is the situation
created in the Korean peninsula, in an area where there are nearly
5 billion of 7 billion people that currently inhabit the
I was honored to meet Kim Il Sung, a historical figure, remarkably
brave and revolutionary.
If war breaks out there, people on both sides of the Peninsula
will be terribly slaughtered, with no benefit to any of them. The
Republic of Korea was always friendly with Cuba, and Cuba has
always been and will remain with it.
Now that has demonstrated its technical and scientific progress,
we remind her duties with the countries that have been his great
friends, and it would be unfair to forget that such special way
war would affect more than 70% of the planet's population.
If there is a conflict erupted such, the Government of Barack
Obama in his second term would be buried by a deluge of images
that would present the most sinister character in American
history. The duty to avoid this is also his and the American
Apparently Castro's remarks have made no impression on North Korea's
child dictator, as he continues to threaten war and paint himself into
a corner. Granma (Havana) (Trans)
Labor participation rate continues to fall
Labor Participation Rate, 1948-present (St. Louis Fed)
Friday's disastrous jobs report showed that only 88,000 jobs
were created in March, well below the several hundred thousand
that are needed just to keep up with population growth. At the
same time, the unemployment rate fell slightly. The explanation
for these seemingly conflicting stats is that some 500,000 people
left the workforce -- and not just retiring Boomers either. Over
3/4 of those leaving the work force were under age 55, indicating
that a lot of people are simply giving up the search for work.
The interesting issue is how to interpret that above graph,
which shows the Labor Participation Rate since the end of
World War II. Here is my explanation:
Today there are many new impediments to hiring -- ObamaCare and the
sequester, in particular. Reuters and St. Louis Fed
- The labor force participation rate began to take
off in the 1960-70s. This was the time when all the
new businesses that had been born during the Great Depression
years reached their peak of inventiveness and growth, resulting
in sharp wage inflation and huge demand for workers at all
skill levels. This pulled more and more people into the
- The rate leveled off starting in the late 1980s. At this
time, the increased power of labor unions was making
companies less efficient and less willing to hire, while
increases in welfare payments and other transfers made it
more lucrative for many people to stay at home, rather than
- The rate began to fall in the early 2000s. This was the time when
thousands of manufacturing firms were shutting down because goods
could be purchased more cheaply from China. Businesses that had been
innovative in the 1970s were now bogged down in bureaucracy and labor
union contracts, making it even more difficult to hire.
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