Speedometer: Special Global Economy Edition

Going fast. Going slow. Going nowhere.

Lost In The Translation

The title of the film There's Something About Mary proved so inscrutable when translated that new titles had to be invented. In Poland, where blond jokes are huge, the film was called "For the Love of a Blonde." In France, "Mary at All Costs." Thailand opted for "My True Love Will Stand All Outrageous Events."

Source: The New York Times

That Giant Sucking Sound You Hear ...

is beer! The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement has sent lots of Mexican beer north of the border. Exports to the United States jumped from less than 2 million barrels in 1993 to 8.8 million in 2001. But exports from America to Mexico have essentially been flat since NAFTA was signed. Beer makers face a number of regulatory hurdles, presumably in an effort by Mexican officials to protect the nation's Corona-Modela duopoly. As one Miller official put it, "Selling beer is fun. Mexico is a fun country. But selling beer in Mexico is definitely not fun."

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Spamming For Democracy

The U.S. military has initiated an email attack against Iraq, sending thousands of messages to government officials. The emails offer instructions on how to defect from Iraq and issue warnings that America will soon be at war.

Source: CNN

Feel Like Japanese?

A study claims that if Americans ate and lived more like the residents of Okinawa, Japan — lots of rice, veggies, exercise, and less stress — "80% of America's coronary- care units, one-third of its cancer wards, and a lot of nursing homes would close for lack of use."

Source: Newsweek

Why The Rich Get Richer

81% of U.S. foreign direct investment goes to high-income countries (Canada, Japan, Europe), 18% goes to middle-income countries (Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand), and only 1% goes to the poorest countries.

Source: The Economist

Countries with the highest quality of life*

1. Norway
2. Sweden
3. Canada
4. Belgium
5. Australia

Countries with the lowest quality of life*

1. Sierra Leone
2. Niger
3. Burundi
4. Mozambique
5. Burkina Faso

*From the United Nations' Human Development Index, 2002 (criteria include life expectancy, educational attainment, and adjusted real income)

What Asian Century?

$10,082,000,000,000
Gross domestic product of the United States, 2001

280,562,489
Population of the United States

$8,060,000,000,000
Combined GDP of China and India, 2001

2,330,149,000
Combined population of China and India

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