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Was kommt nach dem BIP?

Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2019

Diane Coyle is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE – Wird die Welt zunehmend wohlhabender? Dies zu bejahen wäre derzeit schwierig, zumindest was die führenden einkommensstarken Volkswirtschaften angeht. Doch das langjährige Barometer für wirtschaftlichen Fortschritt – das inflationsbereinigte BIP – ist in den meisten OECD-Ländern seit 2010 gestiegen, was suggeriert, dass alles in Ordnung ist.

Rund 80 Jahre nach Einführung des BIP sind fast alle (außer den für diese Kennzahl Verantwortlichen) zu dem Schluss gekommen, dass das BIP für den wirtschaftlichen Fortschritt mehr ist. Doch besteht bisher keine Einigkeit über einen möglichen Ersatz. Eine Übereinkunft über eine Alternative zu erreichen wird ein neues Konzept des Wohlstands und eine neue Methode zur Messung des Lebensstandards erfordern.

Es gibt mehrere potenzielle Alternativen. Ein einflussreicher, zuerst von Erik Brynjolfsson vom Massachusetts Institute of Technology und seinen Mitverfassern verfolgter Ansatz besteht darin, die Menschen zu fragen, wie viel ihnen kostenlose digitale Waren wie die Online-Suche und soziale Medien wert sind, und das Ergebnis anschließend zur herkömmlichen Messung des BIP hinzuzuzählen. Ihre Ergebnisse zeigen, dass eine durchschnittliche Person in den USA 17.530 Dollar pro Jahr benötigen würde, um den mangelnden Zugang zur Online-Suche auszugleichen, 8.414 Dollar für E-Mail usw. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit could put Britain’s lambing industry to the slaughter

Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2019

Date: 14-02-2019
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

Farmers face being fleeced in the event of no deal

Shropshire is as close to the beating heart of England as you can get. The county towns boast some of England’s finest Norman castles and black-and-white houses. Wenlock Edge and the Long Mynd are studies in pastoral beauty—“blue remembered hills”, in A.E. Housman’s immortal phrase in “A Shropshire Lad”.

It is hardly surprising that Housman’s “land of lost content” should be a Brexit stronghold. Some 57% of Salopians voted to leave. Four of the county’s five mps are pro-Brexit; one of them, North Shropshire’s Owen Paterson, is about as hard-core as you can get. Yet Brexit represents the biggest threat in decades to Shropshire’s content—and not just to the handful of factories that supply parts for the car industry in the neighbouring Black Country, but also to the county’s traditional rural economy.

Sheep have always been at the centre of Shropshire’s farming. In the Middle Ages they paid for the black-and-white mansions and over-sized churches that add to the area’s charm. Today a third of Britain’s sheep graze within 100 miles of the centre of the county. Once or twice a week market towns such as Ludlow and Knighton resound to the age-old sounds of a sheep auction. A significant proportion of all these sheep end up in an abattoir in Craven Arms owned by a company called Euro Quality Lambs. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bill and Melinda Gates publish their annual letter

Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2019

Date: 15-02-2019
Source: The Economist

“Miraculous” progress in global health, frustration over education

Getting killed in a video game, receiving unfair treatment from a teacher, seeing a relative go to jail: the teenagers taking part in Chicago’s Becoming a Man (bam) initiative admit to a variety of frustrations, some trivial, some tragic, that can stir their anger. The initiative, which teaches young men how to regulate their emotions, aims to lower crime rates and improve graduation rates. Recently one bam group invited an unusual guest into their counselling circle: Bill Gates, the second-richest man in the world. So what pushes his buttons?

Mr Gates answers that question in his latest annual letter, written with his wife Melinda, describing the work of the $50bn charitable foundation they oversee. He admits to being “pretty harsh” with his parents as a child and “tough” on people at Microsoft. (“Over the decades I’ve mellowed out on that,” he says.) He also remembers “getting mad” at a meeting when he learned that polio cases were increasing.

In his first letter ten years ago, Mr Gates argued that a “maniacal focus on drawing in the best talent and measuring results” would make a difference in the foundation’s fields of interest: global health, development and American education. In health, he feels vindicated. The progress in research, vaccine delivery and statistical monitoring to which they have contributed is “more miraculous than the digital revolution,” Mr Gates says.

But in education, results are less striking: test scores have been harder to budge. Even in health, the eradication of polio has proven maddeningly elusive. In 2003 he thought the disease would be gone in a couple of years. But it lingers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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IWF-Chefin warnt vor wirtschaftlicher Nord-Süd-Kluft in der EU

Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2019

15. Februar 2019, 08:29 derstandard.at

Laut Christine Lagarde wurde die Situation seit der Finanzkrise schlechter

München – IWF-Chefin Christine Lagarde hat vor einer wachsenden wirtschaftlichen Kluft zwischen den Nord- und Südstaaten in der EU gewarnt: Während die osteuropäischen Länder in den vergangenen Jahren den Abstand zu den alten EU-Mitgliedsstaaten verringert hätten, sei die Anpassung zwischen Nord und Süd in den vergangenen 20 Jahren nicht vorangekommen. „Seit der (Finanz-)Krise ist die Situation sogar noch schlechter geworden“, sagte Lagarde am Donnerstagabend auf der Münchner Europakonferenz. Deshalb müsse nun eine Aufholjagd beginnen, wenn man die EU auch politisch stabil halten wolle. Nötig seien Strukturreformen vor allem auf drei Gebieten: Zum einen müssten die Arbeitsmärkte in Ländern wie Griechenland oder Italien flexibler werden. Lagarde verwies auf Portugal als positives Beispiel. Dort seien sehr viel mehr feste statt befristete Jobs entstanden, weil die Arbeitsgesetze flexibler geworden seien.

Gesetzliche Rahmenbedingungen verbessern

Zweitens sei es nötig, die gesetzlichen Rahmenbedingungen für Firmen zu verbessern. In Griechenland dauere es etwa neunmal so lang, eine Firma abzuwickeln, wie in Irland. „Einen gemeinsamen Versicherungsmarkt in der EU kann es aber erst geben, wenn auch die Insolvenzregeln harmonisiert sind“, sagte sie. Drittens sei es für die südlichen EU-Staaten nötig, mehr in Forschung und Entwicklung zu investieren. Italien, Portugal und Spanien hätten zwischen 2000 und 2014 durchschnittlich nur ein Prozent ihrer Wirtschaftsleistung für Innovationen ausgegeben. Zum Vergleich: In Deutschland erreichten die Forschungsausgaben 2018 erstmals die Marke von drei Prozent des BIP. (APA, Reuters, 15.2.2019) – derstandard.at/2000098046638/IWF-Chefin-warnt-vor-wirtschaftlicher-Nord-Sued-Kluft-in-der

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A threat to the independence of Italy’s central bank

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2019

Date: 14-02-2019
Source: The Economist

The country’s populist leaders alarm European bankers

The bank of italy has long been seen as one of a handful of efficient and incorruptible institutions that curb Italy’s anarchic tendencies. But on February 9th this august establishment came under fire from the two deputy prime ministers who call the shots in the populist government that is nominally led by Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister. Matteo Salvini, who leads the hard-right Northern League, said he wanted to “reboot” the senior management at both the central bank and the stockmarket regulator, Consob. Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement (m5s) demanded “discontinuity”. Both alleged the Bank had failed to protect investors and deposit-holders. Two days earlier, the cabinet had refused to approve a further six-year term for Luigi Federico Signorini, the deputy director-general primarily responsible for banking supervision.

The attack sent ripples of apprehension through the euro zone amid media stories that the populist coalition wanted to get its hands on the Bank’s gold reserves, the third-largest of any country, to fund its expansionary fiscal policies. The president of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Mario Centeno, and the eu commissioner for economic affairs, Pierre Moscovici, both pointedly stressed the need to preserve the independence of central banks in the single currency area.

On an optimistic interpretation, the threats were perhaps not meant to be taken too seriously. The coalition leaders’ remarks were addressed to a very specific audience: an assembly of stakeholders who lost money when two banks in the Veneto region were liquidated in 2017. The government has promised partially to reimburse them. But eu rules on state aid could yet prevent that. Inveighing against the central bank enabled the party leaders to win plaudits from an unhappy audience. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Millennial socialism

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2019

Date: 14-02-2019
Source: The Economist

A new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 20th century’s ideological contest seemed over. Capitalism had won and socialism became a byword for economic failure and political oppression. It limped on in fringe meetings, failing states and the turgid liturgy of the Chinese Communist Party. Today, 30 years on, socialism is back in fashion. In America Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected congresswoman who calls herself a democratic socialist, has become a sensation even as the growing field of Democratic presidential candidates for 2020 veers left. In Britain Jeremy Corbyn, the hardline leader of the Labour Party, could yet win the keys to 10 Downing Street.

Socialism is storming back because it has formed an incisive critique of what has gone wrong in Western societies. Whereas politicians on the right have all too often given up the battle of ideas and retreated towards chauvinism and nostalgia, the left has focused on inequality, the environment, and how to vest power in citizens rather than elites. Yet, although the reborn left gets some things right, its pessimism about the modern world goes too far. Its policies suffer from naivety about budgets, bureaucracies and businesses. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Saving Europe by Destroying It From Within

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2019

Date: 15-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Euroskeptics may bolster the bloc by shifting focus away from institutions and onto the needs of people.

Brussels anticipates European Parliament elections in May with a growing sense of dread. Anti-European Union parties could capture one-third of the seats in the pan-Continental legislature, positioning them to block most important EU projects.

A much-discussed new report from the pro-EU European Council on Foreign Relations sums up the problem from this perspective right in its title: “How Anti-Europeans Plan to Wreck Europe and What Can Be Done to Stop It.”

Here’s how to keep these political movements from wrecking Europe: Don’t try to stop them at all.

There’s no denying the shake-up awaiting Brussels if unconventional parties fare as well as expected in the May vote. Until now the chief characteristic of both the European Parliament and the elections that select its members has been profound boringness. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Can We Tax Footloose Multinationals?

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2019

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is University Professor at Columbia University and Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute. His most recent book is Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump.

Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax. Instead, globalization has enabled multinationals to encourage a race to the bottom, threatening the revenues that governments need to function properly.

NEW YORK – In the last few years, globalization has come under renewed attack. Some of the criticisms may be misplaced, but one is spot on: globalization has enabled large multinationals, like Apple, Google, and Starbucks, to avoid paying tax.

Apple has become the poster child for corporate tax avoidance, with its legal claim that a few hundred people working in Ireland were the real source of its profits, and then striking a deal with that country’s government that resulted in its paying a tax amounting to .005% of its profit. Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax. If everyone avoided and evaded taxes like these companies, society could not function, much less make the public investments that led to the Internet, on which Apple and Google depend. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Playing Chicken with Europe

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2019

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell believed the Cold War nuclear standoff resembled a high-risk game played by „youthful degenerates.“ British Prime Minister Therea May is playing a similar game, and if her Brexit brinkmanship goes wrong, the victim would be Britain.

LONDON – The game of chicken is simple to describe but dangerous to play. Based on evolutionary game theory, it was sometimes used to describe nuclear brinkmanship during the Cold War.

Bertrand Russell, the great British philosopher and campaigner against nuclear weapons, reminded us that the game is usually played between what he called “youthful degenerates.” The players drive cars towar d each other at high speed from opposite directions; the first driver to swerve away from a head-on collision – or, in some variants, to jump from the driver’s seat before it reaches a cliff edge – is the “chicken.”Russell believed this to be a description of the putative statesmanship of the nuclear powers in the Cold War. One miscalculation, one failure to swerve, and the result could be Armageddon: hundreds of millions of deaths, flattened cities, the end of civilization.

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If devalue-and-inflate is Britain’s best post-EU plan, Brexit is doomed.

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2019

Date: 14-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board
Subject: Brexiteers for Argentina

Leaving the European Union will leave the United Kingdom better off only if the country makes itself more competitive by reducing taxes, trade barriers and regulatory burdens. But recent comments from leading Brexiteers show London’s anti-EU faction is thinking a lot smaller.

“Analysts predict that in the event of no deal, sterling could fall by over 20 per cent,” former Minister for Leaving the EU David Davis wrote Monday in the Times of London. “Is this such a bad thing? Our goods will become 20 per cent more competitive on the global market and our EU competitors’ goods would be less competitive.”

Not even close. This is an easy proposition to test, since the pound already has declined nearly 20% since the end of 2015 amid Brexit uncertainty. Britain is still waiting for the promised export boost. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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