Weekly Reading Summary: Aug. 31-Sep. 06, 2020

  • The Economist August 29, 2020
    • Regimes that rule by fear, live in fear.
    • To get a release in China, movies must avoid the “three Ts” of Tiananmen, Taiwan and Tibet.
    • It is strictly enforcing rules that require co-productions to have at least one-third of their investment from Chinese partners, at least one scene shot in China and a cast that is at least one-third Chinese.
    • Foreign studios also discovered co-production. Movies made in partnership with a Chinese company qualify as domestic and are thus exempt from the quota system.
    • In 2005 China had 4,000 theatre screens, slightly more than Britain at the time. Last year it had nearly 70,000, according to Omdia, a market-research company, almost equal to America and Europe combined.
    • Until China reforms the way that hospitals are financed, even doctors with “good hearts” will face pressure to earn revenues for their department (and performance-related pay for themselves and their colleagues) by over-prescribing drugs, tests and surgical operations.
    • For years China’s priority has been shiny high-speed trains, Olympic stadiums and aircraft-carriers to awe the world. A true superpower would build a health system to match.
    • China has more people with dementia than any other country—an estimated 9.5m people (it includes Taiwan in its total).
    • Japan has the world’s oldest people, with 28% of the population aged 65 and over and 2.4m people over 90, including more than 70,000 centenarians. (In America, with a population two and a half times as big, 16% of the population are 65 or over, and there are 97,000 centenarians.)
    • Care work is undervalued, underpaid, emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Yet it is, in my view, highly skilled. It requires enormous maturity and resilience; deep wells of kindness, too.
    • The rooftop solar industry stands to benefit from a new Californian mandate that requires new homes to install panels on their roofs from this year.
    • Greater Seoul is home to half of South Korea’s population and to the vast majority of attractive jobs, schools and entertainment options.
    • Under a jeonse contract, the tenant pays the landlord a deposit of between 60% and 80% of the purchase price to live rent-free for two years.
    • No one wants to see a sudden house-price crash at a time when the economy is already suffering a pandemic-induced slowdown. The economic fallout from the virus could curtail household incomes. That might delay the economic recovery as people cut back on their spending in order to service their loans, although interest-rate cuts should provide some relief.




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