Monday, August 31, 2009
Does the "man in the street" care whether Doha Round - WTO talks will be completed, who the new EU Commissioners will be, etc?
How much of news is real news, ie contributing to a person's awareness of the "world"? why?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Do they really think that the Doha round of WTO talks will be completed in 2010?
Eg. Does the new US Pres. have a "fast track" powers?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Do/should people or legal entities have to adhere to "social laws" or pressures in addition to the (real) laws of a land (ie laws proposed and voted by institutional bodies and in line with the Constitution not ad hoc "social dynamics")?
Friday, August 28, 2009
- Plato, Republic
That was then.
Now, in 2009:
the economy will have no respite from trouble until either real philosophers become CEOs or CEOs become by some miracle true philosophers
- Panayotopoulos, nickpthinks
Business/entrepreneurship is the most suppressed form of personal expression in the world today.
A society where a child, irrespective of his/her or his/her parents background can realistically dream of starting and surviving a business (even very small) is not only economically, but also socially "libertarian"-liberal-free one!
In view of recent world rankings of economies and countries, could one speak these days of an "American Dream" but also of a "Danish, Swedish and Finnish Reality" (since those countries rank in top spots in competitiveness and other rankings, way above the USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, China, India, etc)?
This constitutes the biggest rise in sales of new houses since September 2008.
Other data showed a 7.2% rise in the sales of existing home sales in July.
2) A simpler but more satisfactory way of life, still consistent with the basics of Western civilisation.
Consider the pros and cons of 200 years of industrialism - what to keep and what to revise
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Which ones can the US or the UK or other OECD countries be "good"/globally "comparatively" competitive at?
And can they be "produced" in volumes and prices that can replace the exports of industrial goods? Or will they need to radically reduce their imports to achieve viable trade balances?
What kind of re-engineering do they need to be able to do that?
Eg Financial Services: Were/are London and NYC over relying on financial services for economic activity and for jobs? What are the employment and other economic effects these days?
Part of the reason is the USD 787bn stimulus package as well as lower tax revenues due to the recession.
Further, the White House predicts that a (cumulative) debt of USD 9 trillion will be recorded from 2010-2019!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Who cares about the winter, when summer is so glorious
Who cares about losing, when winning is so grand
Who cares about anything, when life is being lived
Who cares about anything, when life is being lived
In bars and in bistros, commitments were kept
promises betrayed, anticipations realised
Kings and queens, knights and ladies, we are all here, because here is the place (x2)
Who cares about anything, when life is being lived
EU: They fell by 0.4% compared with May
The biggest rise compared with May was recorded in Ireland,14.8%.
The real "caviar" in life IMO:
a) Philosophy (social, popular) - thinking and
Yes, ecomomic post-materialism!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"life management": in other words, philosophy is to individuals/people what strategy is to companies
Friday, August 21, 2009
public, it is not ideological it is "structural" IMO
In countries where many citizens fear the #public sector and #bureaucracy it is the politicians, past and present, fault
Many politicians have a natural propensity to over-regulate, over-legislate, think they can determine everything
Many politicians think that "the market" and "supply and demand" will solve everything, they are equally wrong IMO
Some people have a public sector - bureaucracy "phobia"
Some people have a private sector - greed "phobia".
Countries that implemented such schemes (boosting car sales): USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain
The pro-EU camp has to call a spade a spade if the European Union is to move forward, no more "fuzz".
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Because most of those who actually take the time and energy to read those "1000" pages will be its "enemies" and then good luck proving to the people that what is in those "1000" is "good" for them.
In other words:
Learn to draft policy and legislation in brevity and every day language. Easy? No. But no one said it was going to be easy!
To balance individualism and collectivism in the midst of loud voices that max on the former or the latter
One effect of the systemic irrationality: can one expect the jobless in the USA, the EU, the world, to embrace free trade or other fancy ideas most governments do not even seem to practice?
What is an "average citizen" (especially worker, jobless or small business owner) to believe nowadays?
Whose rhetoric? Which part of it?
Do as I say but not as I do?
The G20: How serious are they re anti-protectionism? Do as I say but not as I do?
Policy Philosophy Economics Globalization
And the thought:
Re-thinking "comparative advantage"?
example: June 2009: According to the German Finance Minister, Germany must begin to reduce its dependence on foreign trade
Food for thought?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation rate, which includes mortgage interest payments, also rose unexpectedly to -1.4% from -1.6%.
Ancient Sparta or Ancient Athens? Which Societal-Civic "model"?
IMO, Ancient Athens!
Is the plan is "dead", I am alas not surprised. It seems that the same special interests that opposed Hilary's plans in the first Clinton Admin. (1994) and almost "cost" him his re-election, have won again, some 15 years later. Would a Hilary Administration have a better chance to pass a plan this year? One will never know. Her plan was more ambitious though. Who knows, maybe in 2016 (years).
Or maybe Americans who wants solidarity based health insurance may need to start heading towards the North or the East (again, this time the opposite way from the 15th century).
Sparta or Athens? It seems that the Spartan system has won. It seems.
Monday, August 17, 2009
IMO, thinking is the "competitive advantage" of our times
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Note the high savings in last decades factor!!!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Now, philosophically speaking: Are we indeed dust in the wind? And in what sense?
What is your POV? If we accept that we are, then what could that mean, philosophically, re our personal lives and values/mindsets?
About our values and priorities as "Humankind"? Eg does that make us abstain from petty arguments and feuds and wars and focus on the things that really matter, love for our fellow humans, less greed, etc.?
A more "intellectually" rather than materialist based living?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Imports: $152.8bn (up 2.3% from May, the largest increase in more than 6 months)
Exports: $125.8bn (up 2%).
Eg: Are apprenticeships an effective way of helping young people enter the job market in a viable way?
IMO the name of the globalization game is: (real) Market Access. Without it, it's a myth
Monday, August 10, 2009
A reason for national or regional economic fortresses (aka self-sufficiency in production)?
The recent events:
The world price of raw sugar has reached to its highest level since March 1981!
This price increase seems to be driven by supply side fears related to the growing demand in Brazil for sugar to be turned into ethanol and a sharp 45% 2008-2009 year-on-year decline in production in India and concerns that since India had less rain in the monsoon season etc, the pending sugar crop, which will be ready around November, will be lacking.
Why is thinking things thru so hard in our epoch?
Act first, think later? Is this the effect of the dynamics of our epoch?
A free market presupposes strong but clear competition rules
It's not the role of governments to protect jobs in specific companies but to protect the employability of the people ("flexicurity")
Sunday, August 9, 2009
How about work (local, global, regional)?
City or countryside?
Commute to work or pay high rent downtown?
The system or the people?
The Society or the individual?
Financial or Human capital?
The place or the people (or both)?
Dilemmas or win-win?
Thinking or over-analysis?
Essence or form?
The era is full of alleged dilemmas, posed by media, experts, policy makers, activists, preachers, sellers, etc etc.
But do these dilemmas really exist? Why does there have to be "or" and not "and"? How about balance? How about mix?
"The thing you own wind up owning you" ("The Fight Club")
Fast times, fast food, fast (and dilemma based) thinking?
The big city or the quaint village? Why not BOTH?
How "intellectual" is your economy? In other words, is it goods or services or intellectual products based?
Friday, August 7, 2009
In June, exports rose by 7%, which is the fastest pace of growth in almost three years.
Exports were 67.4bn euros, imports 56.4bn euros, leading to a trade surplus of 11bn euros.
Exports fell to 27.44bn euros in June from 27.908bn euros in May, imports rose to 31.449bn euros in June from 31.045bn in May, thus the trade deficit grew to 4bn euros in June from 3.137bn euros in May.
This is the first time since April 2008 that the US unemployment rate decreases. But does that mean anything re recession - recovery? Most economists as well as US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expect unemployment not to reach its to peak until the second half of 2010, ie a year from now!
Since December 2007 when the recession is supposed to have begun, approx. 6.7 million jobs have been lost in the US.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Personal income in June fell 1.3% from May (May was the month of the stimulus payments)
Wages and salaries fell by 0.4% in June from May for the eighth straight month.
What will be the consumption impact of the "cash for clunkers" scheme in July and August that allow people to trade in old cars to buy newer vehicles at a discount?
Monday, August 3, 2009
IMO the theories of Marx and Ayn Rand are irrelevant in analysing or solving problems in the 21st century.
Why? Because the fundamentals, social, economic, political, cultural, technological, etc, in other words, the systemics and dynamics of our era, are very different than the epochs these theories were conceived and developed in.
The same applies IMO to most thinkers of past centuries.
IMO the problems of our era require fresh new thinking and new, modern, thinkers who will take into account the systemics and dynamics of our era in order to analyse the situations and problems and propose solutions or even causal analyses.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Americans used to view uncertainty as an opportunity - do they still do that?
Simple Economics and what appears to be happening in Europe, especially the Eurozone, which is recording record low prices.
In June, the number of jobless in the Eurozone grew by 158,000, bringing the total number of to 14.9 million or 9.4%, which is the highest rate in 10 years. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Netherlands, 3.3% and the highest in Spain: 18.1%
As per the Eurozone's inflation, in July, it declined more than expected to a record low 0.6% compared to a year earlier.