China To United States: Don’t Default, For Our Sake

The study examines literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments in 23 industrialized nations, and the results were just about what you would expect. Japan and Finland are powerhouse nations , coming in first and second respectively in all three areas. The U.S., however, scores below average on each of the three assessments and is near the bottom for math skills. I guess I was overly optimistic in hoping that middle of the road was what I would read as I went through the study. United States literacy rankings In literacy, the U.S. ranked 16th out of the 23 countries. A level-1 reader can get a single piece of information out of a simple text. A level-4 or 5 reader can pick multiple pieces of information out of lengthy or competing texts, and evaluate subtle arguments. Over 20 percent of people scored at level 4 or 5 in Finland and Japan. The United States managed only half that number. When it comes to math, it gets even scarier. The United States ranked higher than only Italy and Spain, and had the participants in the study not interrupted the test for a siesta it could have been worse. Only 9 percent of Americans who participated in the study were in the top two levels, and the U.S. had one of the largest proportions of those failing to make it to level one, coping with very basic, familiar equations and situations.

and gets dollars in return. China then plows those dollars into the worlds safest investment, the U.S. Treasury bond. That suited everyone just fine until the Treasury began ringing the alarm bell about a possible default on October 17th. A default could wreak havoc on the value of Chinas dollar-backed assets. A huge portion of Chinas wealth depends on the U.S.s ability to pay down its loans. (MORE: Debt-ceiling Standoff Threatens Americas Global Leadership ) Once this concept is subverted, opined a columnist for China Business News, It will undoubtedly cause a disaster and hit the global economy hard. And as far as that columnist was concerned, the fallout would land squarely in his own backyard. Who would be most impacted? The U.S. governments largest overseas creditor, China. Ma Guangyuan, an economist in Beijing, echoed the sentiment that the battle in Washington really wasnt about Washington. The fight between the two parties in America wont necessarily hurt them, he said, holding out hope for a political breakthrough, with or without Congress. I believe this time, America will increase the debt ceiling again, he said. If they dont, they will have to figure out a way to break the contract. For example, they may print more currency. The larger concern for China, he pointed out, extended well beyond the current impasse to the U.S.s long-term debt burden. I never understand how they are going to pay it back, he said.

The United Sports of America

Then again, I don’t play golf. Please feel free to play through. South Dakota Our choice: rodeo Also considered: none South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming have all chosen rodeo as an official sport. Which state deserves to lasso the rodeo crown? I have no idea. What I do know is that there are absolutely no other options for South Dakota. So congratulations, people of Sioux Falls and Pierre you are the winners by default. Yee-haw! Tennessee Our choice: women’s college basketball Also considered: none On the court, Connecticut leads its all-time series with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers 13-9. In the stands, though, the Vols are a dominant force. In 2013, Tennessee averaged 11,390 fans per game, beating out Iowa State, Louisville, Baylor, and Notre Dame for the NCAA women’s basketball crowd-size championship. UConn, which won yet another NCAA title in 2013, came in sixth.