The Chinese Worker – Person of the Year 2009 – TIME,28804,1946375_1947252_1947256,00.html

The Chinese Worker

In China they have a word for it. baoba means “protect eight,” the 8% annual economic growth rate that officials believe is critical to ensuring social stability. A year ago, many thought hitting such a figure in 2009 was a pipe dream. But China has done it, and this year it remains the world’s fastest-growing major economy — and an economic stimulus for everyone else. Who deserves the credit? Above all, the tens of millions of workers who have left their homes, and often their families, to find work in the factories of China’s booming coastal cities — in plants like the Shenzhen Guangke Technology Co.’s, just outside Hong Kong, which sits amid a jumble of snack stands, cheap clothing stalls and old men dragging carts filled with candy to sell to workers on their day off. Near the factory we found some of the people who are leading the world to economic recovery: Chinese men and women, their struggles in the past, their thoughts on the present and their eyes on the future.

Imagine! These hard working people make possible the trillions which Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve Bank has borrowed.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt – Person of the Year 2009 – TIME,28804,1946375_1947252_1947644,00.html

The world’s fastest man sprinted past the coconut tree, down the winding hill and into the village of Cascade. On this late-November afternoon, Usain Bolt is home in Jamaica, filming a commercial for the national tourism agency, which is banking on his global stardom to lift the country’s recession-racked economy. Cascade itself doesn’t have much to advertise as a vacation hot spot. It’s an impoverished village in the interior of a struggling country, where a handful of bars, fruit stands and vendors peddling straw baskets count as the downtown business district. But Cascade does have Bolt, and he’s what’s being advertised: You love this guy, you’ll love his country.

General Stanley McChrystal,28804,1946375_1947252_1947255,00.html

In 1982 a freshly minted army captain named Stanley McChrystal arrived at Fort Stewart, Ga., and was invited for a run by a more experienced captain named David Petraeus. There are two versions of what happened next. The Petraeus version is better known. “I took a lot of pride in my running,” the general told me recently. In fact, Petraeus famously was, and remains, a fitness fanatic. “But by the end of the run, I knew I was no longer the fastest at Fort Stewart. More important, we had talked about a lot of things, and I realized that I had met a kindred spirit.”

Nancy Pelosi,28804,1946375_1947252_1947257,00.html

Nancy Pelosi and her army of whips had counted the votes and counted them again. But as they conferred in Pelosi’s warren of offices just off the Capitol Rotunda in June, it seemed there was no way to get them to add up to 218. That’s a majority in the House, the number it would take to pass the climate-change legislation the Speaker calls “my flagship issue.” But in the middle of a recession, the measure that Republicans were calling a job killer seemed too much to ask of her stressed-out caucus, especially after Democrats had already put their necks on the line to bail out Wall Street and the auto industry and to pass a $787 billion economic-stimulus package, and when they were looking ahead to a massive overhaul of the health care system. Further, it would probably be futile. The Senate might not follow, and even the White House was sending mixed signals as to whether it wanted to do this on top of everything else it had going on in Barack Obama’s first year in office.

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