Lessons in Transition

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ons in Transition

By: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Q: What have been the most successful approaches to attracting direct foreign investments: offering prospective investors tax breaks and similar benefits, or improving the overall investment climate of the country?

Empirical research has demonstrated that investors are not lured by tax breaks and monetary or fiscal investment incentives. They will take advantage of existing schemes (and ask for more, pitting one country against another). But these will never be the determining factors in their decision making. They are much more likely to be swayed by the level of protection of property rights, degree of corruption, transparency, state of the physical infrastructure, education and knowledge of foreign languages and "mission critical skills", geographical position and proximity to markets and culture and mentality.

Q: What have been successful techniques for countries to improve their previously negative investment image?

The politicians of the country need to be seen to be transparently, non-corruptly encouraging business, liberalizing and protecting the property rights of investors. One real, transparent (for instance through international tender) privatization; one case where the government supported a foreigner against a local; one politician severely punished for corruption and nepotism; one fearless news medium - change a country's image.

Q: Should there be restrictions on repatriation of foreign investment capital (such restrictions could prevent an investment panic, but at the same time they negatively affect investor's confidence)?

Short term and long term capital flows are two disparate phenomena with very little in common. The former is speculative and technical in nature and has very little to do with fundamental realities. The latter is investment oriented and committed to the increasing of the welfare and wealth of its new domicile. It is, therefore, wrong to talk about "global capital flows". There are investments (including even long term portfolio investments and venture capital) - and there is speculative, "hot" money. While "hot money" is very useful as a lubricant on the wheels of liquid capital markets in rich countries - it can be destructive in less liquid, immature economies or in economies in transition.

The two phenomena should be accorded a different treatment. While long term capital flows should be completely liberalized, encouraged and welcomed - the short term, "hot money" type should be controlled and even discouraged. The introduction of fiscally-oriented capital controls (as Chile has implemented) is one possibility. The less attractive Malaysian model springs to mind. It is less attractive because it penalizes both the short term and the long term financial players. But it is clear that an important and integral part of the new International Financial Architecture MUST be the control of speculative money in pursuit of ever higher yields. There is nothing inherently wrong with high yields - but the capital markets provide yields connected to economic depression and to price collapses through the mechanism of short selling and through the usage of certain derivatives. This aspect of things must be neutered or at least countered.

Q: What approach has been most useful in best serving the needs of small businesses: through private business support firms, business associations, or by government agencies?

It depends where. In Israel (until the beginning of the 90s), South Korea and Japan (until 1997) - the state provided the necessary direction and support. In the USA - the private sector invented its own enormously successful support structures (such as venture capital funds). The right approach depends on the characteristics of the country in question: how entrepreneurial are its citizens, how accessible are credits and microcredits to SMEs, how benign are the bankruptcy laws (which always reflect a social ethos), how good is its physical infrastructure, how educated are its citizens and so on.

Q: How might collective action problems among numerous and dispersed small and medium entrepreneurs best be dealt with?

It is a strange question to ask in the age of cross-Atlantic transportation, telecommunication and computer networks (such as the Internet). Geographical dispersion is absolutely irrelevant. The problem is in the diverging self-interests of the various players. The more numerous they are, the more niche-orientated, the smaller - the lesser the common denominator. A proof of this fragmentation is the declining power of cartels - trade unions, on the one hand and business trusts, monopolies and cartels, on the other hand. The question is not whether this can be overcome but whether it SHOULD be overcome. Such diversity of interests is the lifeblood of the modern market economy which is based on conflicts and disagreements as much as it is based on the ability to ultimately compromise and reach a consensus.

What needs to be done centrally is public relations and education. People, politicians, big corporations need to be taught the value and advantages of small business, of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. And new ways to support this sector need to be constantly devised.

Q: How might access of small business to start-up capital and other resources best be facilitated?

The traditional banks all over the world failed at maintaining the balancing act between risk and reward. The result was a mega shift to the capital markets. Stock exchanges for trading the shares of small and technology companies sprang all over the world (NASDAQ in the USA, the former USM in London, the Neuemarkt in Germany and so on). Investment and venture capital funds became the second most important source quantitatively. They not only funded budding entrepreneurs but also coached them and saw them through the excruciating and dangerous research and development phases.

But these are rich world solutions.

An important development is the invention of "third world solutions" such as microcredits granted to the agrarian or textile sectors, mainly to women and which involve the whole community.

Q: Women start one-third of new businesses in the region: now can this contribution to economic growth be further stimulated?

By providing them with the conditions to work and exercise their entrepreneurial skills. By establishing day care centres for their children. By providing microcredits (women have proven to be inordinately reliable borrowers). By giving them tax credits. By allowing or encouraging flexitime or part time work or work from home. By recognizing the home as the domicile of business (especially through the appropriate tax laws). By equalizing their legal rights and their pay. By protecting them from sexual or gender harassment.

About The Author

Sam Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" and "After the Rain - How the West Lost the East". He is a columnist in "Central Europe Review", United Press International (UPI) and ebookweb.org and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com. Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com


alyssa_687 15.02.2009. 21:48

What are some good transition activities for kids? I need to do a lesson tomorrow with a good transition activity for kids. Preferably kindergarten but 1st grade will work too. Does anybody know of a really good transition activity that helps kids move from one activity to the next? For example: moving from center time to recess. Also, if you know of a book that has good transition activities in it I would love to know! Thanks a bunch!


Admin 15.02.2009. 21:48

Music is always good - get their attention and tell them that they need to be on the mat before the song starts, or sing a song they know and have them dance to the music, and by the time they are done they need to be at the coat closet, or whatever.
The key to any transition is that it is short, sharp and effective. The most important thing is probably that you have a good attention signal so they hear what the transition is!


sheori 07.05.2013. 03:49

What were some of your favorite childhood riding lessons? I have been teaching some beginner riding lessons to children at the stable I ride at and having such an amazing time with it. I teach English riding lessons to kids ages 8-13 who are mostly around the intermediate-beginner level. All of my students are now able to post a trot and steer the horse fairly efficiently, and a few of my riders are beginning to canter.

I love using games and fun exercises to keep riding interesting and teach some basic concepts. I have used up most of my ideas though, so I was wondering if other fellow riders can remember some fun or interesting riding exercises they remember from their own childhood lessons? I'm looking for anything that can be fun/interesting and used as a learning experience. As an example I remember my favorite childhood riding lesson to be ground pole courses, where ground poles were laid out to resemble a jump course. Obviously I have already used that idea with all my lessons.

Also if anyone knows any exercise or visual that may help one of my riders learn to sit the canter that would be awesome too> I have one rider who desperately wants to be able to canter, but has been struggling to really stay balanced in the saddle with a sitting canter or two-point canter.

Thanks in advance for any fun lesson ideas! They'll be greatly appreciated by me and several young riders!


Admin 07.05.2013. 03:49

I teach too. My kids call my lessons 'torture' but they giggle the whole time, so it can't be that bad. Haha!

I do a lot of strengthening exercises- sitting trot, two point, no stirrup work etc. For warm-up I usually get the group to trot a circle around me, and I'll call out one of the positions, and they have to switch between them as I call.
For example (in the trot) Sitting trot for half a circle (or more if I'm feeling cruel!) then rising trot. Then two point. Back to posting. Sitting trot some more. etc. etc. Really helps their balance and leg position.

I do the same (On the circle) with transitions. I'll get the kids to count their strides- and I'll tell them how many strides of each gait they are allowed to do before switching. Eg. 10 strides walk, 20 strides trot, back to walk- 10 strides canter for the more advanced kids. Gets the kids AND horses thinking! It's a good skill to have for the higher levels of riding too- especially in show jumping and dressage.

I try and teach a new skill every month. For instance, last month we worked on jumping from an angle, the month before we worked on mounted games (which they love) this month we worked on competition etiquette (led and ridden classes, dressage tests, sporting)

Most of all, I try to incorporate games as often as possible to break up the serious side of it. If you can keep them smiling AND learning, then you've done a good job. Apple bobbing, trotting races, slow canter races etc. etc. Lots of fun!

As for the cantering.... if your student can't sit to the canter, then she needs to stay in trot for a bit longer. Lots of two point and sitting trot to strengthen the core and leg. Once the core strength is there, you need to ask her to think about 'scooping' or 'cleaning' the saddle with their bum. That visual helps most people.
Don't be afraid to let her grip the saddle/mane for the first few times. It takes a bit of practice!


Eddie K 13.03.2013. 01:15

Is it better to take classical voice lessons vs modern? As a foundation. Couldn't you transition to anything after learning classical?

Eddie K

Admin 13.03.2013. 01:15

As I clicked on your question, I already knew what I was going to say, then I read the rest and was glad to see you said "foundation."

Learning classical music is a great and often preferred way to learn how to sing. Ive heard this many times, and agree with it, and as I researched some random singers that I like I remember seeing that many of them did start in classical for a foundation.

From there, yes, you can build off of it and transition into many other genres. Good Luck!


Aaron 05.12.2009. 01:36

Do I need lessons in order to play an instrument and write music? Hey, I've been playing bass for about 3 years now.
In terms of knowing scales or other things that are learned from taking lessons I don't anything about them.
But are they necessary to be in a band or write music?
How much does a person need to know?
Do I have to know how to read music?
Are there any famous musicians who never learned how to "play" their instrument?


Admin 05.12.2009. 01:36

Not necessarily. But, being able to read music will come in handy, believe me. Even though I had piano lessons for three months and bailed out because my teacher forbid me of spending my time on writing my own music, I had learned before her. Having a chorus class helped me understand music theory, therefore helping me be able to read music on my own. You can create anything with an instrument without being able to read music, but in the future you might need that skill. If you want to play a song that you haven't played in awhile and have forgotten, you can go by the music. If you are in a band, (not saying this can't be done without the sheet music) but if the parts were written out, it would be easier to keep track of your own part and your transitions. It can be done without it, it's just more concrete and accurate with it.


Maddison 05.12.2012. 18:42

How do carbon atoms transition between photosynthesis and respiration? Doing an online lesson about this and I'm not quite sure I get it. I just need a short detailed answer of what happens. Anything helps, been working all day in Biology my mind's about to implode! Thanks much.


Admin 05.12.2012. 18:42

CO2 is a product of respiration and is used in photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates which are respired to produce CO2...........


Thomas 15.07.2013. 22:38

How do I cope with the transition from Diesel to Petrol car? I have had 7 driving lessons and have carried out all my sessions to a high enough standard that my ADI has said I am ready for my Driving Test and I have booked it for late August I drive in a 2010 Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.6 Diesel and find that the car is really easy to use, brakes are very efficient, clutch seems the right weight and bite is simple enough to find, accelerator is easy to use as well. Then recently I decided to practice some reversing manoeuvres with my Step-Dad to put me in good shape for when I have my test, so he stops me in the car park in his 2.0l Ford Fiesta ST Petrol and I get the clutch to bite as I would in my ADI's car but it splutters and starts juddering along the road before stalling. When in my ADI's car the car would pull off and then I could apply accelerate, my Step-Dad explains to me I need to keep the revs a little higher than usual to get off but I find it a lot more difficult in the car and pull out way too fast and then slow down dramatically before stalling again. I did get the confidence to drive home but I did stall many times, and only when going forwards funnily enough, I have no problems when reversing at all. I am hoping to find out how best to conquer this issue as I feel it may play on my mind for a while and make me more nervous about driving and revert my progress in my ADI's car. Anyone had any similar experiences and can help me to get the hang of setting off in a Petrol car?


Admin 15.07.2013. 22:38

It's a sad fact that many lazy driving instructors are teaching the wrong method of throttle & clutch control because THEIR car happens to be a Diesel.

You need to use a little revs to move off in any car, a Diesel WILL do it from idle speed without stalling, but you'll pay for it when the 800 dual mass flywheel packs in.

You should be getting taught to 'set the gas', IE give it maybe about 12-1500rpm and gently feed the clutch in, and as it bites, slightly increase the gas and the car will move off no bother. Use a bit more gas for a hill start.
Manoeuvres are the same, there seems to be a trend amongst Diesel driving instructors to teach you to use idle speed, clutch control and the footbrake, which is ridiculous. Try that in any petrol car and you'll be stalling it all the time.

Short answer, give it some gas, even in a Diesel, it's the correct way to do it. Otherwise when you pass and buy one of the usual teenager's first cars like a 1200cc Clio, you'll not be able to drive it.


Dooren Notaan 13.10.2011. 22:24

For a saxophonist, what is the best way to learn and make the transition to learning flute? I am a very experienced and talented saxophonist who is learning flute. The embouchure is different and fingerings are not as similar as I thought they would be. What websites/guides do you know of that could help with this. More important, what tips do YOU have for making this transition?

Dooren Notaan

Admin 13.10.2011. 22:24

Depending on whether you have a cupid's bow may make a difference in your embouchure. The fingers are very similary with a few exceptions and obviously having to hold the Eb key down for practically everything. As far websites, I cant refer any regarding the switch.

The best thing to do is find a professional and take lessons. Since most saxophonist switch for jazz, be prepared to here a lot of classical jargon in your lessons.


Jules4 10.04.2009. 03:48

How do you practice for voice lessons? After your first singing lessons (and subsequent ones) what do you learn?

How do they teach you to warm up your voice and do exercises? Is there something I can do to go to a first lesson with some knowledge or preparation?


Admin 10.04.2009. 03:48

try and hold a long loud steady pitch that doesn't hurt. Then shift an 'interval' to another note. use a piano to confirm you're in tune. try making the transition from one note to the other as seamless as possible. etc.


Elisha 22.10.2012. 03:23

What happens during daily voice lessons? For people who take voice singing lessons. What do you usually do at your sessions. What some of the exercises that you do. What is some advice that your teacher gives you. Just what do you and your teacher do?


Admin 22.10.2012. 03:23

It really depends on your vocal level and what you want to do. I think everyone's lessons are different.

If you are a beginner, the emphasis will be on developing technique. The teacher will work on developing the voice so that it has the tone quality necessary to sing songs convincingly. Beginners don't typically have the vocal quality or enough good technique to spend a lot of time working on actual music-the voice tends to be weak with poor tone quality and vocal ranges tend to be narrow. So, most of the lesson will be to teach the student through vocal exercises that gets them to develop the tone quality that will be needed to sing music. Singing music badly only encourages the development of bad vocal habits that can be difficult to undo later and can frustrate beginners, so most teachers will not spend a lot of time working on music at first, most of the lesson at first will be lots of exercises. And, if the student is very limited vocally, it can be hard to find music that they can sing right away. Ear training is also part of the process if the student has problems singing back what he or she hears accurately. Breath exercises are also taught in order to develop support and proper breathing. Once there has been some progress, the teacher will start you on some music, but it's not the first thing they typically do with raw beginners.

If you are advanced (that is, you have some basic technique, and your tone quality is at a level where you do sound credible when you sing music and you have a decent range) the teacher will work to further clean up your technique and to enhance your tone production/projecting ability by using vocal exercises, but more time is spent in preparing music for performances/auditions and building a repertoire based on your unique vocal gifts or weaknesses. Not as much time is spent on exercises as with a beginner, more time is spent on learning music as you grow vocally. The music is chosen to both allow you to perform, and also to give you practice in developing technique and range.

Vocal exercises include the following:
1) breathing exercises so that the proper muscles are engaged for inhaling and exhaling.

2) Ascending and descending runs, leaps, scales and intervals to train the ear, to facilitate the ability to switch registers, smooth out transitions in the voice (called "breaks) so that the voice sounds even throughout the singer's entire range, promote vocal agility, expand the vocal range, and to develop good tone production as well as projection. The vocal exercises are basically tailored to what needs attention.

You can also get instruction in basic keyboard training, basic foreign language instruction (for opera students/chorus members who sing classical repertoire), music interpretation/phrasing, coaching in stage presence/comportment, and training in reading music. Again, this all depends on where the student is. Teachers will also work to prepare you for performances, auditions, recitals, whatever it is you have coming up.

I personally spend time in my lessons with a few warmups that take me near the top of my range, since my teacher is working on the quality and ease of the tones up there. She will also take me though scales as well as well as breathing exercises. This lasts maybe 15 minutes out of an hour lesson, not long. Then I will work on a song for whatever audition is coming up, or an aria I'm learning if I have nothing I have to get ready for on the horizon, or sometimes, we'll look for new music and test drive it. We'll also discuss auditions I've gone on, auditions coming up, what kinds of shows I should try to get into. Right now, the emphasis is on technique and building a repertoire.

But, as I've said, everyone's lessons are different. I have certain issues, another student has something else they need to fix, etc.

The more advanced you are, the better your technique, but trust me, one never gets to the point where all is perfect. There is always something to work on, something to get better at.


youraverageno1 26.04.2009. 15:36

How can i make the transition from volleyball to tennis? i've been playing volleyball for 3-4 years and i'm pretty good. my best point is passing/bumping. the thing is, i'm REALLY short which probably isn't going to fly very well with the highschool coaches next year and the only real chance is for me to be a libero. so, i was thinking of tennis lessons because your height doesn't matter in tennis. are the two sports alike? can i use my volleyball serve to help a tennis serve?


Admin 26.04.2009. 15:36

if ure good playing volly , then ur good playign tennis

i assure you.


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