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October 14, 2005


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I was just wondering what the changing lines meant. I've read the two hexagrams over for practice and I don't understand them either.

I have a feeling “they” are speaking to you more directly. It might be helpful to ask questions where you have influence over the outcome. Example: How can I improve the US economy?

John (Vanya),
Your last point first: yes, the oracle could be speaking more directly to me. I often find that the answer I get does not wholly align with the question I asked; and this causes me to reflect again on the question. In this case, however, while the advice may well work for me in some way, I am going to stick with the original question because I think it does speak to the more general query about the US economy. As to the moving lines, in the general sense I am reading them, they seem to be reinforcing the message of caution. The six in the first position suggests that, at the beginning of a conflict (are we just beginning to experience more difficult times?) a person (investors?) should not pursue their interests in a manner that might deepen conflict: "drop the issue," the commentary from the Wilhelm translations suggests. The nine in the fourth place also urges caution: "submit to fate;" that is, do not act against the emerging economic downturn. Just go with the flow for now and wait for more prosperous times ahead to undertake risky business ventures.
Of coure, the I Ching is open to various interpretations. Mine is only one of several possibilities. Maybe another is better.

Dr. Sam,

I'm interested if you have comment on the outcome of the China's Communist Parties recent economic council. What I got was that they are uncomformatble w/ the accelerating disparity of have's and have nots. What I'm not so clear on is what they intend to do about it; how it would impact future investment prospects in China and how it contrasts w/ how the West faces 'bull' times?

You have got it just right: the Communist Party is increasingly concerned with the growing economic inequality in China. Indeed, in the past year or so, there have been more and more protests and demonstrations by the "have nots". It is becoming a significant political problem. What they can and will do about it, however, is uncertain. From the start of this new administration (Hu Jintao, President, and Wen Jaibao, Prime Minister), the top two leaders have portrayed themselves as "men of the people," and they have promised to do right by the poor. But they really haven't yet. And, just like here, entrenched interests will likely keep things from changing too much.
As to what this might mean for investing in China: if I knew, I'd be rich already. But I'm not. I suspect that the sources of growth, especially relatively inexpensive labor, will keep things going there for a while. But if politics really blows up, that could slow things down for a short time. However messy it looks, I am hesitant to bet against the Chinese economy.

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