Monthly Archives: May 2013

Padec slovenske konkurenčnosti z 32. na 52. mesto v štirih letih

Le kdo nosi odgovornost za to? Podatki kažejo, da gre predvsem za nosposobnost upravljanja z državo. Ne samo da kradejo in lažejo, državo uničujejo tudi s svojo nesposobnostjo. Saj drugače ne more biti, glede na nepotizem in strankarsko kadrovsko strahovlado. 1. ZDA (ne izvajajo nemške ekonomske politike), 4. Švedska (socialna država jim očitno ne škodi). Nemčija na 9. mestu (tudi sami plačujejo za zgrešeno komanidranje EU.)

Uravnoteženo poročilo NYT o bruseljski lekciji z dne 29. maja

Se meni samo zdi, ali ali pa so naši mediji in eksperti popolnoma  nekritični do Bruslja in se mazohistično  ukvarja zgolj s tem, kako je Slovenija opravila izpit in ali so bili učitelju zadovoljni. Kot da širšega konteksta ni, in kot da bruseljska politika stiskanja ni pogorela? Ali je kdo poročal o reakciji Hollanda? Kako bo Francija reformirala svoj pokojninski sistem “je naš in samo naš problem”. 
BRUSSELS — Retreating slowly from tough austerity policies that have been widely blamed for leaving 27 million Europeans out of work, the European Union’s executive arm said Wednesday it would allow France, Spain and five other nations more time to meet mandatory budget deficit targets.
But the Brussels-based European Commission also cautioned against the temptations of debt-fueled economic stimulus, stressing in its annual review of economic policy recommendations that Europe instead needs to dismantle rigid labor regulations and remove other “structural” obstacles to growth.

The mixed message marked Europe’s latest response to an economic crisis that has led to six consecutive quarters of negative growth, left even previously robust northern economies battling recession and pushed overall unemployment to around 11 percent and to more than twice that in Spain and Greece.

“The fact that more than 120 million people are at risk of poverty or social exclusion is a real worry,” said José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, at a news conference. “There is no room for complacency,” he said, describing the situation in some countries as a “social emergency.”

Addressing concerns that Europe has pushed too hard for spending cuts, Mr. Barroso — using an economists’ euphemism for austerity — said “we now have the space to slow down the pace of consolidation.” But he also warned that “growth fueled by public and private debt is not sustainable.” This, he added, is “artificial growth.”

He complained that a bitter policy debate that has often cast austerity as the enemy of growth “has been to a large extent futile and even counterproductive.”

Five year after the global financial crisis swept in from the United States, most European countries, with the notable exception of Germany, are still stuck in economic doldrums and show scant sign of even the modest recovery achieved by the United States and Japan, which have both opted for more government-funded stimulus than Europe.

This dismal record has put champions of fiscal rigor at the European Commission under intense pressure to back off unpopular budget cuts and instead follow the prescriptions of John Maynard Keynes, the late British economist who urged that government spending be ramped up in times of crisis.

The policy recommendations announced Wednesday in Brussels don’t suggest any U-turn in policy but they do confirm a slow but steady shift away from swiftly limiting deficit spending. Olli Rehn, the commission’s senior economic policy maker, announced that seven countries would be given more time to reach a deficit target of 3 percent of gross domestic product.

France, Poland, Slovenia and Spain, he said, will be given an extra two years, while Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal will each get an extra year.

Mr. Rehn said that Europe still needs “fiscal consolidation” in the long-run but added that its pace this year would be “half what it was last year and to some extent it will be slowed further.” The decision to give France more time, he said, was based on expectations that its socialist president, François Hollande, would push through long-stalled reforms to cut the cost of hiring workers and boost the country’s flagging competitiveness. A key part of this, Mr. Rehn said, is pension reform.

Mr. Hollande responded angrily to the commission’s proposals, particularly those concerning the pension system. “The European Commission cannot dictate to us what we have to do,” French media quoted the president as saying. Mr. Hollande insisted that the shape of any pension reform, a highly contentious issue in France, “is up to us, and to us alone.”

France’s legislature earlier this month enacted a modest trim of labor regulations but Mr. Hollande, under fire from within his own party and deeply unpopular with the public at large, faces an uphill struggle to implement reforms that, when attempted by his predecessors, led to large street protests and labor unrest.

The extension granted to France and others immediately raised eyebrows among some analysts, who said these countries might use them as an excuse to relax their reform efforts. “Countries are going to interpret these recommendations in self-serving ways,” said Mujtaba Rahman, the director for Europe for the Eurasia Group, a research group. “The commission argues its rules are being applied intelligently, but countries such as France will use this to argue they have prevailed on Europe to end austerity.”

Wrangling over how to best address Europe’s crisis has created deep splits, dividing richer countries from poorer ones and triggering a widespread public backlash against the European Union and established political elites in individual countries. It has also divided policymakers in Brussels.

In a remarks published Wednesday by German media, the energy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, scoffed at assurances that France is working to get its economic house in order and said “too many in Europe still believe that everything will be fine.” France, he said, “is completely unprepared to do what’s necessary,” while Italy, Bulgaria and Romania “are essentially ungovernable.” The European Union, he added, “is ripe for an overhaul.”

Mr. Barroso, the commission president, declined to comment on Mr. Oettinger’s remarks.


Krugman: Ključna zgodba našega časa


Those of us who have spent years arguing against premature fiscal austerity have just had a good two weeks. Academic studies that supposedly justified austerity have lost credibility; hard-liners in the European Commission and elsewhere have softened their rhetoric. The tone of the conversation has definitely changed.

My sense, however, is that many people still don’t understand what this is all about. So this seems like a good time to offer a sort of refresher on the nature of our economic woes, and why this remains a very bad time for spending cuts.

Let’s start with what may be the most crucial thing to understand: the economy is not like an individual family.

Families earn what they can, and spend as much as they think prudent; spending and earning opportunities are two different things. In the economy as a whole, however, income and spending are interdependent: my spending is your income, and your spending is my income. If both of us slash spending at the same time, both of our incomes will fall too.

And that’s what happened after the financial crisis of 2008. Many people suddenly cut spending, either because they chose to or because their creditors forced them to; meanwhile, not many people were able or willing to spend more. The result was a plunge in incomes that also caused a plunge in employment, creating the depression that persists to this day.

Why did spending plunge? Mainly because of a burst housing bubble and an overhang of private-sector debt — but if you ask me, people talk too much about what went wrong during the boom years and not enough about what we should be doing now. For no matter how lurid the excesses of the past, there’s no good reason that we should pay for them with year after year of mass unemployment.

So what could we do to reduce unemployment? The answer is, this is a time for above-normal government spending, to sustain the economy until the private sector is willing to spend again. The crucial point is that under current conditions, the government is not, repeat not, in competition with the private sector. Government spending doesn’t divert resources away from private uses; it puts unemployed resources to work. Government borrowing doesn’t crowd out private investment; it mobilizes funds that would otherwise go unused.

Now, just to be clear, this is not a case for more government spending and larger budget deficits under all circumstances — and the claim that people like me always want bigger deficits is just false. For the economy isn’t always like this — in fact, situations like the one we’re in are fairly rare. By all means let’s try to reduce deficits and bring down government indebtedness once normal conditions return and the economy is no longer depressed. But right now we’re still dealing with the aftermath of a once-in-three-generations financial crisis. This is no time for austerity.

O.K., I’ve just given you a story, but why should you believe it? There are, after all, people who insist that the real problem is on the economy’s supply side: that workers lack the skills they need, or that unemployment insurance has destroyed the incentive to work, or that the looming menace of universal health care is preventing hiring, or whatever. How do we know that they’re wrong?

Well, I could go on at length on this topic, but just look at the predictions the two sides in this debate have made. People like me predicted right from the start that large budget deficits would have little effect on interest rates, that large-scale “money printing” by the Fed (not a good description of actual Fed policy, but never mind) wouldn’t be inflationary, that austerity policies would lead to terrible economic downturns. The other side jeered, insisting that interest rates would skyrocket and that austerity would actually lead to economic expansion. Ask bond traders, or the suffering populations of Spain, Portugal and so on, how it actually turned out.

Is the story really that simple, and would it really be that easy to end the scourge of unemployment? Yes — but powerful people don’t want to believe it. Some of them have a visceral sense that suffering is good, that we must pay a price for past sins (even if the sinners then and the sufferers now are very different groups of people). Some of them see the crisis as an opportunity to dismantle the social safety net. And just about everyone in the policy elite takes cues from a wealthy minority that isn’t actually feeling much pain.

What has happened now, however, is that the drive for austerity has lost its intellectual fig leaf, and stands exposed as the expression of prejudice, opportunism and class interest it always was. And maybe, just maybe, that sudden exposure will give us a chance to start doing something about the depression we’re in.


Ostanki Marčne revolucije se branijo pred Windishgraetzom in Jelačićem.

“Naslednji dan je dvor zbežal, (kot predvideno), v moravsko mesto Olomuc in nemočna vlada mu je kmalu sledila. Windishgraetz kot imperialni generalissmo in Jelačić kot najbližji poveljnik na bojnem polju, sta se začela premikati proti Dunaju. Dunajski revolucionarji, kakršni so pač bili, so pripravili obrambo. Ta čas so vse, razen najbolj odločnih skupin – še vedno znaten del študentov in delavcev organiziralnih po francoskem vzoru v Mobilno gardo – zapustili stvar,  ki so jo zasenčili notranji boji, neozdravljiva anarhična zmeda in nejasni cilji.”

Ilsa Barea: Vienna, Legend and reality

Vili Kovačič o ustavnih pravnikih

Spoštovani gospodje ustavni pravniki !
Čeprav vem, da smo za vas smeti, vam sporočam, da boste prišli v zgodovino kot zlati dečki slovenske  nove demokracije – partito kracije, ki upam ni ponovljiva in ni nespremenljiva. Eminentno uslužni slovenski ustavnopravni stroki navkljub. Zato ste in boste vredni spomina.
Kajti spomin na ta čas ne sme zamreti. To je čas inovativne demokracije, ko smo hodili v parlament z nagobčniki in se je demokracija šopirila na ustih, izgubila pa je domovinsko pravico v medijih in parlamentu in v velecenjeni ustavnopravni stroki. Verjamem, da je predsednik države zadovoljen, kajti rezultat 86:1 je fascinanten.
Take enotnosti še pri osamosvojitvi ni bilo.
Hvala vam na pogumu za ta veliki korak – za veliki pok slovenskega parlamentarizma. Skupaj z zlatim pravilom in utišanim ljudstvom ste nas popeljali v zlato dobo zlate oligarhije, ki nas  pelje v zlato prihodnost. Vendar zadnje čase tudi zlato na borzah izgublja na vrednosti.
KAPO DOL, delo ste opravili temeljito in za naslednjih 20 let.
S spoštovanjem,                  Vili Kovačič

Če bi…

Če bi vsi tisti, ki govorijo, da so naši ljudje pohlevne ovce, da so pasivni in neodgovorni,  da se ne bodo nikoli zares uprli, prišli v petek 24. maja pred parlament, bi nas bilo več sto tisoč in bi se stvari drugače odvijale.

State of things in the Slovene uprising

Thursday and Friday, 24 and 25 May,  the so called center-left government of Alenka Bratušek in all haste pushed through the parliament  two votes on changes of the constitution: so called “golden rule” limit of the public debt and severe limitation of  the citizens right to organise referendums.  All this in spite of serious doubts expressed by many critical constitutional lawyers and economists, not to speak of the civil society and trade unions. The position and opposition is full of self congratulatory compliments  for their, for the first open left – right collaboration.  This collaboration that was in a concealed manner going on all the short history of independent Slovenia, has now been made public.  Masks have fallen. Slovenia is thus following by now clearly dysfunctional EU austerity measures, and pushing itself ever deeper into recession. At a time, when even the top EU bureaucrats and IMF people are admitting a failure of their policy. This seems  like Angela Merkel’s dictate  to traditionally submissive Slovenians. The best pupil in the class syndrome.

Meanwhile the protest movement have for the time being been pacified. Even if, due to the usual dynamics of such phenomena, this has been expected, there is a disappointment, because this happened before the symbolic humiliation of the citizens and rebells with the changes in the constitution. The protesters claimed that the sitting parliament has no confidence of the people and the same goes for the present government, that the movement declared provisional. This is proven by opinion pools. Nevertheless it was only  a couple of ten  protesters that gathered on three different occasions in front of the parliament and the government buildings.  The movement has disintegrated from within, proving not to be able even to coordinate the a simple time schedule for the protests. This has  no doubt been  helped by the infiltrated provocateurs.  A movement that needed no coordination  for gathering 20.000 to 30.000 a few month ago was all of a sudden not able to come to any agreement on anything at all. Ironically this happened as a result of several declared efforts to unify the movement. A lesson for the next round, that will without any doubt take place  this fall! Now there is some time  to prepare detailed political programs. On the basis of the last coordinated demands- goals, that were:

1. Immediate stop for (systemic) corruption

2. Immediate revision of the political system that enabled corruption

3. Stop of neoliberal policy

Wittgenstein o kakovosti

Kaj je kakovostno v Beethovnovi sonati? Niz not? Ne, končno je zgolj eden nizov med mnogimi. V resnici bi šel tako daleč, da tudi čustva, ki jih je imel Beetehoven,  ko je komponiral to sonato niso bila bolj kakovostna kot katerakoli čustva.  In dejstvo, da so bila izbrana pomeni prav tako malo za trditev, da je stvar kakovostna sama v sebi.

Ali je kakovost posebno stanje zavesti? Ali je oblika, ki se nanaša na takšne ali drugačne podatke v zavesti? Trdil bi, da bi vse, kar bi mi bilo povedano, zavrnil, in to ne zato ker bi razlaga bila lažna, ampak zato, ker bi bila razlaga. 

Če bi mi povedali karkoli, kar bi bila teorija, bi rekel Ne, ne! To me ne zanima. Tudi če bi bila ta teorija resnična, me ne bi zanimala – ne bi bila natančno tista stvar, katero sem iskal.

Kaj je etično se ne da učiti. Če bi lahko razložil bistvo etike samo teoretičnimi sredstvi, potem bi bilo tisto, kar je etično, brez vsakršne vrednosti.

Na koncu predavanja o etiki sem govoril v prvi osebi.  Mislim, da je to nekaj, kar je zelo bistveno.  Tu ni kaj dodati; vse kar lahko storim je da stopim naprej kot posameznik in spregovorim v prvi osebi.

Zame je teorija brez vrednosti. Teorija mi ne da ničesar.


Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, converstaions recorded by Friedrich Waismann

Aber – niemand kam.

Tretji dan Marčne revolucije na Dunaju, po razglasitvi zahtevane ustave, 15. marca 1848: “Bila je to najbolj vesela revolucija, kar si jih je mogoče predstavljati. V prid ji je bilo kar najlepše spomladansko vreme, vsi prebivalci so polnili ulice ves dan.”

In poslednji dan, 31 oktobra 1848: Skupina divjih, obupanih mož skuša dvigniti ljudi k orožju – prazen trg Svetega Štefana – topovi bobnijo v daljavi – mladi bobnar v kratkih rokavih prihaja izza vogala in tolče po svojem bobnu brez prestanka. “Ampak – nihče ni prišel”.

Ilsa Barea: Vienna, Legend and reality

Tako imenovana klasična vzgoja

-In zdaj, ob pogledu nazaj na prhojeno pot življenja, moramo prav tako odkriti, da se nečesa ne da popraviti: zapravljanje naše mladosti, ko naši vzgojitelji teh vedoželjnih, vročih in žejnih let niso uporabili za to, da bi nas popeljali do spoznanja stvari, temveč so nas polejali do tako imenovane “klasične izobrazbe””! Zapravljanje naše mladosti, ko so nam borno znanje o Grkih in Rimljanih in njihovih jezikih posredovali prav tako nevešče kot mučno in v nasprotju z najvišjim načelom izobraževanja, da se namreč hrano daje le tistemo, ki jo je lačen! Ko so nam na nasilen način vsiljevali matematiko in fiziko, namesto da bi nas najprej popeljali v obup nevednosti in naše vsakdanje življenje, naša dejanja in vse, kar se je med jutrom in večerom dogaja na domu, v delavnici, na nebu, v naravi, razstavili na tisoče problemov, mučnih, sramotnih, izzivalnih problemov, da bi s tem našemu poželenju pokazali, da najprej potrebujemo vedenje o matematiki in mehaniki in nas šele potem učili znanstvenega očaranja nad obsolutno doslednostjo tega vedenja! Ko bi nas učili spoštovanja teh znanosti, ko bi z učenjem o bojevanju in podleganju in ponovnem bojevanju velikih mož, o trpljenju, ki predstavlja zgodovino stroge znanosti, dosegli da bi naša duša vsaj enkrat zadrhtela!

Friderich Nietzsche: Jutranja zarja