Archive for March, 2012

Crisis in Europe. Spain. (via Corporate Europe Observatory)

Posted in Crisis, current events, Democracy, Economy, Financial crisis, Government, Society with tags , , on 31/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

“During the period from 2000-2007, the Spanish economy was booming. Alongside the “Irish Tiger”, the Spanish economy grew rapidly; it was admired for its liberalisation processes, its new openness to international markets, and for its new emerging global players such as Telefónica, Ferrovial and Banco Santander. US President Barack Obama’s Transport Secretary visited Spain to see the impressive new high speed train lines. In 2007 unemployment was at its lowest since the transition to democracy, even after the country had absorbed more than 4 million economic immigrants in the preceding decade. The housing market was highly dynamic and prices surged. After having surpassed Italy in GDP per capita terms in 2007, the then prime minister J.L Rodriguez Zapatero felt so confident that he announced Spain would soon surpass France as well.

However, the social picture was less favourable. Real wages had increased very little since Spain joined the EU, while the share of wages in GDP had decreased. Expenditure on social services such as education and health was well below many other European countries. The overall distribution of income was more unequal and the risk of poverty higher than in the rest of EU15. The so-called “Spanish economic miracle”, as we will see, was based on very shaky foundations. So, when the global financial and economic crisis erupted in 2008, the Spanish economy’s house of cards collapsed.”

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“More” democratic….?

Posted in Crisis, current events, Democracy, Ethics, Government, politics, Society on 30/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

Shouldn’t it either be Democratic or Non-democratic?

If there is a possible gradient of Democracy, then we, citizens, should be summoned to express our opinion on how to improve Democracy.

And we are talking about the EU, not a lost and small country in the middle of Africa, run by a family of dictators (or is there any real difference?

http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/1652581-european-parliament-democratic-deficit

http://www.economist.com/node/21550269

A very un-Dutch deficit (Vía The Economist)

Posted in Crisis, current events, Democracy, Economy, Financial crisis, Government, News, politics on 29/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

“…

The extra cuts are needed to deal with what forecasters say would otherwise be a 2013 budget deficit of 4.5% of GDP, way over the 3% limit enshrined in the euro zone’s new fiscal pact. Yet Mr Wilders is likely to object. Indeed, he is in an objecting mood: this week he presented a report commissioned from British researchers making the case for Dutch withdrawal from the euro.

…”

Say again?????

http://www.economist.com/node/21549996

Let me fail!

Posted in Behaviour, Crisis, current events, Democracy, Ethics, Government, Logic, Philosophy, politics, Revolution, self-managed, Society with tags , , , , , , on 25/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

Some days ago, I was involved in the usual discussion with some friends that are committed to voting, under the assumption that voting is the natural action of Democracy. By expressing their vote, they still think they are “deciding” how the country policies and government should be carried out.

Me, again, once more, for the infinite time, I kept my position of abstention as the only reasonable, given the current circumstances.

One of my friends then posted something on FB like : “Please let me fail!”.

At first I thought he was in his right to make his choice, even if it meant a failure. But then, after a second thought, I wondered if that was actually so. For if he was already assuming he would fail, shouldn’t he be concerned about the consequences his decision would mean to the rest of us?

Shouldn’t he be allowed to fail, but only in his own private matters?

Posted in Society on 24/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

Permeability

Posted in Behaviour, Culture, Philosophy, politics, Religion, Society on 23/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

“Look at this stone. It has been in the water for a very long time, but the water has not penetrated it. Look… Perfectly dry.  The same thing has happened to men in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity, but Christ has not penetrated. Christ doesn’t live within them.”

http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/g/godfather-part-3-iii-script.html

The crisis, golden opportunity for employers (via PressEurop)

Posted in Crisis, current events, Democracy, Economy, Financial crisis, Government, News, politics, Society, Wages with tags , , , on 23/03/2012 by Living out of Eden

….

“Businesses in Europe have the upper hand. Under pressure from recession and national debt, governments are rolling back workers’ rights across the board and pushing down labour costs. The aim is to make locations for investors cheaper and therefore more attractive. “Europe is on its way to becoming an entrepreneur’s paradise – on the backs of the workers,” complains Apostolos Kapsalis of the Research Institute of the Greek Trade Union Federation, GSEE.”

….

What’s already clear is that the labour market reforms are not short-term measures to tackle the crisis, but are here for the long run. The cost-cutting strategies are pitting the states against each other. Low-wage countries like Croatia and the Czech Republic are being forced to make their labour markets more flexible and push their labour costs downwards to become more competitive, says the IMF.

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