Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wisdom vs Consumerism: In search of a new equilibrium

Asian and other wisdom has been penetrating the US and the rest of the West for some time now. Can it help adopt a healthier way of life?

US and other Western consumer and other elements have been penetrating the rest of the world in recent times. Effects already visible.

Thus which of the two influences will be more effective? What will the new equilibrium be? For a) West b) Asia et al c) World?

Is the "party" over for the developed economies?

Can world GDP grow enough to accommodate deserved growth in the rest of the world while maintaining even current GDP levels in the G7? One could be tempted to predict that the "party" is over for the developed economies and now it's others' turn to prosper! Eg what effect will a 50% rise in GDP/capita of 2.5 bn ppl (China & India) in the near future have on the GDP/capita in US and EU?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Re-engineering the industrial era

Does the industrial era need re-engineering in terms of separating the pros and the cons and removing the cons?

The world as his/her home

In order to solve the big problems of humankind, is it necessary for each human to consider the whole planet his/her "home"? IMO, Yes, it is

If the Germans spend more, who will benefit, the rest of the Eurozone or China and other WTO economies?

So the savers must become spenders, the spenders savers, the exporters importers and the importers exporters?

If the German consumers spend more while the EU is in the WTO, most of the benefit will go to:

1) The Chinese and other non-EU (in WTO) "super cheap" exports
2) The exports of other Eurozone economies?

I suspect the former (1).

Does that mean that the EU should leave the WTO for the benefit of more balance in the Eurozone?

Brainstorming on world systemics: The US+EU scenario

US-EU Single Market or merger scenario (Medium Term, at best):

In a world of 7 bn with China 1.3 & India 1.2, the US has not enough size (eg internal
market) to compete or have autarky. Even with Canada.

The EU has less of a size problem (0.5 bn) but its Internal Market not working well (one of the barriers: 20+ languages) and still it is not large enough!

But an US+EU of 0.8 bn (possibly plus Canada) have enough size-population,
resources & compatibility (in prices, costs, various standards, in spite their differences) to be 1 of the 3-4 major entities in world stage later in this century.

A Global Polity for the Global Economy and the de-globalisation option

A "global" (or WTO-wide) Economy does not work properly & cannot be
sustained w/o a global (or WTO-wide) Polity.

That is source of current problems.

Other options include de-gobalisation (eg regionalisation, eg EU, ASEAN, Trans-Pacific Partnetship, Mercosur/USAN-UNASUR, African Union, ...) of global finance and even goods trade!

The right time for the EU to move forward is .....

To argue that the climate is not good for major forward looking amendments to the EU Treaty is IMO a fallacy!

In the early 90s, the Maastricht Treaty was turned down in Denmark and passed very narrowly in, of all places, France!

Thus what the EU needs in 2010 is Leadership!

Leadership to explain to the people why even ..."more Europe" is a must and a win-win option for the EU now, more than ever!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Economic immigrants will save the European Social Model

The way to address the aging population of EU effect on state finances in UK, Greece, France, etc, is not by dismantling their Social Models (eg see changes in the NHS) but by adopting a more open (realistic & humanist at the same time) policy (by EU & member states) on economic migration to the EU. Thus enrich the revenue base of the healthcare and other welfare systems instead of dismantling them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Highway or the RN?

Slow down, smell the roses, move on the right lane (left in UK) of the highway or even better, take non-toll - RN ("route nationale" in France) roads.

Do less for more!

Can one have a successful worklife "outside" the "highways" of the job market and the economy? IMO, it is worth trying.

Unless one can play "their game" his/her own way. For more read my poem: The Highway to Success.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yes, a deeper yet less/better regulated and legislated EU is feasible!

In the UK and other member states of the EU, "Brussels" are accused of producing complex, too much or simply bad laws and that is used as a premise for arguing against a deeper union or even return of (reclaim of) EU legislative competences or existing EU laws "back to" the national level!

Yet, over-regulation and over-legislation are not an endemic element of a deeper EU. There can be a deeper EU with fewer and better regulations and laws, but that means at fewer and better regulations and laws both the EU and the national (and state eg laender) level! And to a large extent of course the full replacement of national and sub-federal laws in some members states with federal structure (eg Germany) with EU laws. And a model of full shared EU sovereignty.

In other words over-regulation & over-legislation is a perennial (national) problem in most Member States that, "simply", has been "transposed" to the EU level over the last decades via the transfer of policy and law making mentalities of the member states to the EU level. And most politicians who accuse "Brussels" of over-regulation & over-legislation choose to ignore that same problem in their own countries!

Hence, there can be a better regulated and legislated deeper EU but some politicians in most member states must be willing to cut the BS.

Competitiveness. growth and employment in 2010

How many countries nowadays have a competitiveness model that is "working" and takes into account the global systemics? Are global systemics too complex and/or volatile for any country to develop a competitiveness, growth and employment model that works?

Is the present and future type of new jobs in the USA United States mostly low skill - low pay ones? In the EU? Can any model avert that? IMO, yes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Goals or exports?

What is more important? The performance of a country's national soccer (football) team or of its economy?

EU lessons from Classical Greece

What lessons are there for the EU in the city-states of Classical Greece and the Hellenic, Delian and Peloponnesian Leagues?

Some thoughts re Independence and Sovereigny in 2010+ (on the occasion of July 4)

What factors define independence or sovereignty in 2010+?

Legislative independence from others? (eg "Brussels", a popular topic in England)? But then how about international law (eg trade agreements being a topic of debate in the US these days)?

Energy autarky?

Capital autarky? Do foreign investments and/or trade deficit undermine sovereignty? Should countries make a distinction between investment by private vs state foreign investors?

Yet, unlike people & goods, pollution (CO2 or nuclear), birds, the wind, volcanic ash, earthquakes, etc do not need permissions to cross borders.

Once upon a time a city was the optimal size of a state - country. What Is the optimal size today? Continental? Global (planetary)?

PS. What about the independence of a country and the global economy from speculative global finance?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

US and EU: Politics from the centre

Seems that many in the US media like bringing up intra #EU squabbles in order to forget or feel better re the ongoing US political mess (see eg the "situation" in the US Senate).

It is IMO apparent that the US poitical scene desperately needs a centrist political party (like eg the UK's LibDems) if not for Presidential elections, at least for federal and state House and Senate races and state Governor races.


Because there are IMO simply too many middle of the road minded American voters who cannot feel represented by either most GOP or Democrat candidates.

Of course something analogous is the case in some European countries where centrist parties do not exist and centrist - middle of the road voters have to choose between 2: Allegedly "centre-right" and "centre-left" parties!

When did we elect "The Markets"?

When did what the "markets" think become a surrogate for people's own opinion on what is going on in the world?

I do not recall going to a voting booth and electing "The Markets" as my representative in the political, public opinion or economic life!

Sovereignty in 2010+ terms

Decisions re self/household, company, country require effective awareness of both internal and external systemics and dynamics. Are you aware how economic, financial, political, policy and other systemics in the world affect your household, your company, your country?

How many households, companies, countries have the ability to adapt or capitalise on global and regional new systemics, dynamics, trends? IMO this ability of a country to adapt or capitalise on global & regional new systemics, dynamics, trends constitutes "Sovereignty" in 2010+

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