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Archive for 7. Februar 2019

China’s Digital Dividend

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

By Longmei Zhang and Sally Chen

Digitalization has created millions of new jobs in China, accounting for between one-third and one-half of employment growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Our Chart of the Week shows employment in two sectors: information and communications technology (ICT) and retailing. ICT added 14 million new jobs for high-skilled workers in the five years through 2016, and the average wage doubled.

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Don’t Fear the Deep State. It’s the Shallow State That Will Destroy Us.

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

Date: 06-02-2019
Source: Foreign Policy

Populists like to blame elites, but from Israel to Britain to the United States their crusade against hardworking civil servants is undermining the foundations of democracy.

Then-British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump

“Indeed it has been said,” Winston Churchill told the House of Commons in November 1947, “that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Churchill might not have paid democracy such high praise in today’s climate.

A wave of populism has swept over many quarters of the world. Disenfranchised publics, on both the right and left, who believe that they’ve been handed a rotten deal are asserting influence. Those who’ve missed out on the benefits of globalization seek to improve their economic prospects. Others are motivated to replace prevailing social norms with ones that better reflect their personal value systems. Their common enemy—to be blamed when high expectations are disappointed—is the reviled “deep state,” that amorphous cadre of public servants and gatekeepers who execute the nation’s business.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the United Kingdom, where Prime Minister Theresa May is contending with the fallout from Parliament’s rejection of her Brexit proposal. Taking to the airwaves just before the fateful Jan. 15 vote, which Her Majesty’s Government lost by a 432 to 202 majority, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson predicted a public backlash if Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union were to be impeded. “I think that people will feel betrayed,” Johnson warned ominously, “and I think they will feel there’s been a great conspiracy by the deep state of the U.K., the people who really run the country, to overturn the vote in the referendum.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Mission Impossible: World Bank

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

Date: 06-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

David Malpass is an excellent choice for a miserable job.

David Malpass, Under Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, gestures during the 2018 G20, in Buenos Aires.

Condolences to our longtime contributor David Malpass, the Treasury Under Secretary who is President Trump’s choice to be the next president of the World Bank. He can expect bitter resistance from the bank’s bureaucracy and its clients to even mild reforms.

Mr. Malpass is well-qualified to run the institution that is supposed to help developing nations with grants and loans. He has spent much of his career working on development economics, starting as the Treasury official responsible for the World Bank in the Reagan Administration. He worked with Latin American countries at the State Department and most recently on Argentine currency and Chinese trade matters in the Trump Administration.

He is an evangelist for pro-growth policies including low taxes, spending control, stable money for the poor as much as for the rich, and the rule of law. This is controversial in some corners of the World Bank, where they measure success not by growth but by how much money gets shoveled out the door. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Mirage of a Global Euro

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

Daniel Gros is Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, and served as an economic adviser to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the French prime minister and finance minister. He is the editor of Economie Internationale and International Finance.

When the euro was introduced a generation ago, European leaders envisaged a common currency that would come to rival the US dollar as a second global reserve currency. That hope has failed to materialize – an outcome that European leaders would be wise to welcome.

BRUSSELS – One of the great claims made for the euro was that it would rival the US dollar as a second global reserve currency. These hopes have failed to materialize. The euro’s importance in global reserves and financial markets today is about the same as it was two decades ago, when the euro replaced the Deutsche Mark and ten other national currencies.

But hope dies last, and in this spirit the European Commission recently published a Communication entitled “Towards a stronger international role of the euro” (sic). The European Commission, like most European policymakers, takes it as given that the eurozone would benefit if the euro played a more global role. But that is not necessarily true. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The UK’s Suicidal Tendencies

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

Ian Buruma is the author of numerous books, including Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of ToleranceYear Zero: A History of 1945, and, most recently,  A Tokyo Romance.

Most politicians on the left and the right – including Prime Minister Theresa May, who before the Brexit referendum was in favor of Britain remaining in the EU – know that leaving the European Union without an exit agreement would be a national calamity. So why have almost all refused to do anything to halt the slide toward a catastrophic no-deal Brexit?

NEW YORK – Watching a sophisticated democratic society knowingly walk into a predictable and avoidable national disaster is a rare and alarming experience. Most British politicians are well aware that leaving the European Union with no agreement on the post-Brexit relationship will cause enormous damage to their country. They are not sleepwalking into the abyss; their eyes are wide open.

A minority of deluded ideologues doesn’t mind the prospect of Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal. A few chauvinist dreamers on the right, egged on by sections of the press, believe that the bulldog spirit of Dunkirk will overcome early setbacks and Great Britain will soon rule the waves again as a great quasi-imperial power, albeit without an empire. Neo-Trotskyists on the left, including Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, seem to think that catastrophe will spur the British people to demand true socialism at last. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

FURCHE-Kolumne 259, Wilfried Stadler 

Wenn von Venezuela die Rede war, fiel uns dazu viele Jahre hindurch vor allem „El Sistema“ ein, jenes Netzwerk von Chören und Jugendorchestern, mit dessen Hilfe viele tausend Kinder aus der (Bildungs-)Armut herausgeführt werden konnten. Die besten von ihnen fanden begeisterte Zuhörer in allen wichtigen Konzertsälen der Welt. Unter ihrem Stardirigenten Gustavo Dudamel waren sie auch in Österreich oft zu Gast.

Einst zählte das Land mit den größten Ölreserven der Welt zu den Vorzeigestaaten Mittelamerikas. Seit jedoch Hugo Chavez vor zwei Jahrzehnten an die Macht kam und mit Unterstützung Kubas seinen „Sozialismus für das 21. Jahrhundert“ vorantrieb, ging es nach anfänglichen sozialen Erfolgen wirtschaftlich und demokratiepolitisch steil bergab. Chavez´ Nachfolger Nicolas Maduro etablierte ab 2013 ein immer unverhohlener autoritäres Regime und stürzte sein Land in bittere Armut. Drastische Geldentwertung, ökonomischer Zusammenbruch und politische Unfreiheit lösten eine dramatische Fluchtbewegung aus. Schon über drei Millionen venezolanische Bürger haben ihre Heimat verlassen. Der früher so positiv besetzte Begriff „El Sistema“ steht mit einem mal für ein System von Angst und Misswirtschaft. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Adieu Jean-Claude

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2019

Date: 06-02-2019

Juncker’s Reign Atop the EU Stumbles to a Close

He has drawn fire for stroking a female colleagues‘ hair; he stumbled badly during a NATO dinner; right-wing populists have taken aim as European elections approach. How well is European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker really faring?

United Airlines Flight 951 is ready for departure and Jean-Claude Juncker is one of the last to board the plane, greeting the journalists accompanying him on his trip to Washington. „Everything’s OK. It’s just my damned knee,“ he says, before disappearing into the front of the Boeing 777. The European Commission president is wearing a blue shirt and jeans with a braided belt, and limping slightly. During the flight, three blue file folders lie on the armrest of his seat. When Juncker returns from the lavatory during the flight, he blows kisses to the reporters.

A few days earlier, Juncker had stumbled across the blue carpet at the NATO summit, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and others having to grab him under the arms and drag him to the gala dinner. Right-wing politicians mocked the allegedly drunk commission head while in Germany, parliamentarians from the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) immediately posted the video on social media. His spokesman said that Juncker had suffered a „painful attack of sciatica.“ He rejected any aspersions that alcohol might have been involved. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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