Public Sector Economies in Transition

Comments (20)


ic Sector Economies in Transition

By: Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

In the previous article, we described the various methods developed in the West to cope with the ever-burgeoning public sector.

Yet, economies in transition everywhere in the world have learned a lesson the hard way: not everything that is Western - necessarily fits their needs. Many Western techniques, methods, systems and ways of thinking cannot be applied in Macedonia, for instance.

The public sector is a great burden on economies everywhere.

It is mostly financed by collecting taxes from individuals and businesses.

Taxes are re-allocation of economic resources. Taxes are nothing but money transfers from one group of citizens (the taxpayers) to other groups: to those who cannot pay taxes (such as children and the elderly) and to those who would not pay taxes, the tax evaders. Taxes are a penalty paid by the more productive and honest segments of society. Small wonder that taxes have a bad reputation in the West. They are considered to be both unjust and inefficient.

But taxes are both necessary and inevitable. There is no better way to finance the operations of the government and of the public sector.

The more taxes collected - the heavier the involvement of the state in the economy. This involvement is measured as a percentage of the GDP - the Gross Domestic Product. As we mentioned in our previous article, the figures are frightening: governments consume from 19% (Singapore, Hong-Kong) to 59% (France) of the products and services produced in the economy!

Research shows that public spending of tax money is 6 times less efficient than the same money invested by the private sector. The two sectors: the Private and the Public compete on the same, limited, amount of resources. Every Denar paid to the tax collector is one Denar less invested in the formation of new businesses and one Denar less invested in private consumption.

We can safely state that taxes inhibit economic growth and increase unemployment.

So the current mood in the West is anti big government and anti taxation.

People evade taxes. About 13 - 25% of the total capital in the world is "black" capital, upon which taxes were not paid. It is estimated that Macedonian firms and individuals hold more than 1 billion USD in undeclared cash - against an official figure of 200 million USD in circulation in the whole Macedonian economy.

People openly refuse to pay taxes and they take their governments to court on these issues.

Governments are doing their best to simplify procedures and tax returns (=the forms on which income is reported).

In fiscal theory, we differentiate between progressive and regressive taxes.

A progressive tax is one which is larger - the larger the income is. A millionaire in a progressive tax system will pay much more (as a percentage of his income) than his driver.

A regressive tax is one that totally unrelated to the level of income. Both the millionaire and his driver will pay the same percentage of tax if they buy a car, for instance.

Governments have become desperate. They introduce one rate income tax systems: all incomes are taxed at the same rate, regardless of their size. They are switching from taxes on income (which are socially progressive in nature) to taxes on consumption (such as VAT - Value Added Taxes) which are socially regressive in nature.

The overall goal is commendable: to lower the burden of taxation to less than 20% of the GDP.

But obtaining this goal means that Governments will have to reduce their involvement in the economy and cut back on services and on the public sector.

This is not a very clever idea for economies in transition.

The public sector in economies in transition could and should be privatized only after three conditions have been met:

First, the establishment of a strong private sector. Individuals and firms in the private sectors are the consumers of electricity, water and phone services. Without a strong customer base, it would be very difficult to sell the PTT, the electricity company or the water companies to any private investor in reasonable prices. The public sector must become profitable to be sold to the private sector (=to be privatized). A losing company is not worth anything to an investor, unless he thinks that he can turn it around and make it profitable. The best way to do this is to increase its sales to a loyal and sizeable group of clients.

The second condition: the de-regulation of prices and the abolition of subsidies.

The state must exit forgo all levels of intervention in the finances of the public sector. It must not fix the prices of its products and services and it must not subsidize it. Subsidies and tax incentives thwart and distort the true economic and financial picture. They hinder the proper and correct valuation of the public sector firm by prospective investors.

An investor must feel certain that he will be allowed to fix any price for the goods and services sold by the public sector firm that he is buying. This is the way to profitability and financial health. The government does not need to worry:

If the investor will charge too high a price - his clients will go to his competition.

But what if there is no competition? What if electricity is supplied by only one electricity firm (a monopoly)? Who will the client revert to if the prices that he is charged are much too high?

This, precisely, is the third condition:

The opening of the marketplace to competition, both domestic and foreign.

To cancel all laws, regulations, rules, precedents which inhibit or prohibit competition. To eliminate tariffs, quotas, permits, licences and controls (barring those which relate to public health and to the protection of the environment).

Why should Macedonia have only one PTT? Why not six providers?

Why not allow anyone to produce electricity and sell it to the electricity company? Why to have only one electricity company?

Subject to the right regulations concerning safety and financial wherewithal - everyone should be allowed to do anything. Economic history shows that competition provides better goods and services at much lower costs.

It also shows that the public sector is a potential hub of inefficiency and sometimes blatant corruption.

"Lean and Mean" is the name of the game in today's economic environment.

The Public sector is fat and sluggish. It has no right to continue to exist.

Even private sector enterprises are "downsizing" (cutting their labour force considerably).

But certain functions can scarcely be transferred to the private sector. These functions are inherently non-profitable and non-profit motivated. They are usually performed by municipal, local and regional authorities.

The municipal (local) and regional part of the public sector has five sources of income at its disposal:

  • It is empowered to collect taxes from individuals and from businesses - the size of which is normally linked to the (residential or office) space that they occupy.
  • It is allowed to collect fees and charges which are fixed and relate to the provision of services such as: water supply, sewage, sanitation, posting commercial signs, parking and toll roads).
  • It is authorized to levy fines on transgressors against municipal rules and regulations. The best known form of this kind of financing is the parking ticket.
  • Mainly in the USA, local authorities are permitted to sell municipal bonds ("Munis") to the public - through the Stock Exchange - and directly to institutional investors, such as pension funds.

The local authority which issued the bonds pays the bondholders from current income generated by tax revenues and from specific incomes generated to it by specific projects.

An example: a local authority wants to establish a water treatment facility.

It costs 100,000,000 USD. The Authority receives 60,000,000 from the government and sells 40,000,000 USD worth of bonds to the public via the stock exchanges.

Once the facility is built, it begins to supply water to the residents and to businesses. They pay for the water that they consume - and the income from the sale of the water goes to the bondholders. This income covers both the interest payable on the bond (=its coupon) and the money that the bondholders invested in the bonds themselves and which they have to recover.

* Lately, a new fashion is developing in public administration, called devolution.

It is the transfer of parts of the national budget directly to the local authorities or granting them the right to regulate their own fiscal (=tax) systems.

Devolution is a prime example of a mega-trend in human societies: that of the dismantling of Big Government. But this is subject for yet another article.

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

Comments

CT 08.11.2010. 19:15

What can be done to get the ball rolling? What can be done to begin the transition from dependence on fossil fuels towards a civilization running on clean, alternative energy?

Are you optimistic that the transition will be made?

Is there anything that can be done now to start this now? Or are we now at a point where things are stuck they way they are as a result of fear-mongering, information mismanagement etc, that has lead, for instance, to the Republicans taking the house?

What do you suggest be done?
How is the free market going to begin to invest in alternative energy, thus reducing it's costs to everyday consumers, without any Government subsidies?

If the money was invested into alternative development and implementation, the cost of development for the free market would be reduced, the cost to the consumer would be reduced, and in a relatively short period of time, there would be a net return on those investments as a result of energy independence + moving away from the ever increasing costs of fossil fuels.

CT

Admin 08.11.2010. 19:15

Unfortunately, as the biggest source of the problem (both historically and currently), the USA is the key to solving the problem. We need an international agreement on GHG emissions reductions, and we won't get an effective international agreement unless USA is on board.

And unfortunately, USA just elected a bunch of global warming denier Republicans to Congress. So we're not going to get meaningful emissions reductions for at least another 3 years, which means we won't get a serious international agreement over that period either.

The only thing we can do is keep fighting. Keep exposing the deniers for their ignorance, lies, and corruption. Hopefully Americans will wake up eventually and kick these scumbag deniers out of office. Fortunately most were elected to the House with just 2 year terms, so if the public wakes up, they will be easy to replace relatively quickly.

Climate scientists have taken a significant step in the fight by agreeing to speak out against denier misinformation.
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/scientists-join-forces-in-a-hostile-climate/

This is great news. For the rest of us, if you know enough about climate science to contribute to the fight against denier misinformation, you can join and contribute to a site like Skeptical Science, or start your own blog, or keep answering questions on this site. Just do what you can to bring the scientific reality to the public's attention.
http://www.skepticalscience.com/

*edit* the "free market" doesn't exist when it comes to the energy sector. Even technologies like nuclear, coal, and oil which have been around for decades to centuries are still massively subsidized. And fossil fuels don't pay the cost of their impacts on the climate, nor does the price of nuclear power reflect decommissioning costs, etc.

If we're going to subsidize a technology, it should be a new one with public benefits, so that the new beneficial technology can compete with the long-established technologies until it can gain a strong foothold in the market and start reflecting the economies of scale.

*edit 2* "calling deniers scumbags is a little over the top now isn't it...."

No. If anything it's an understatement. People who are actively attacking climate science and scientists for their own political and/or ideological gain at the expense of future generations - it's hard to be too critical of these people.

*edit 3* andy says "China is now the greatest green house emitter by volume."

By volume? What's the volume of China? What andy means is that China as a whole has higher emissions than the USA as a whole. Of course, China also has 4 times the population of the USA. And in terms of total historical CO2 emissions, the USA has China beat by almost a factor of 3. Inconvenient facts, eh andy?
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/reports4/america-s-share-of-the-climate

Admin

tess_d2 18.02.2008. 05:40

Why is inflation and unemployment a problem for economies in transition from planned economy? My economics homework.. fun stuff... can someone just give me a bit of an insight on this?

tess_d2

Admin 18.02.2008. 05:40

A planned economy is generally a command economy as well. Most of the the time planned economies' problem are hidden: official figures for inflation and unemployment (or any other economic statistics are not compiled or contains large errors or are simply doctotred and cooked up. As the economy makes a transition to a competitive market economy, official statistics become subject to greater srutiny by experts and scholars outside the control of Govt.s. The real figures come out. The govt. can no more release doctored sttistics and show a lower rate of inflation and unemployment. It is not true that transition to a planned economy leads to higher inflation and higher unemployment. In fact, both higher inflation and higher unemployment together is a theoretically rare possibility. It is true, unemployment suddenly can increae as in an economy making a transition from planning regime to competitive market econmy, inefficient, public sector units meet with bankrptcy.The private sector embarks on modernization and increases efficiency by downsizing workforce. But much greater positive effect comes from new investment in capacity and production. New industries develop. Lot of infrastructure investments takes place. Infact, through sudden step up in investments transition economies find employment in sun rise industries rising faster than the drop in emplyment in sun set industries. With lot of capacities coming up and with the progressive removal of trade barriers imports become easier to access. The increased supply from abroad, the expansion of capacity to produce and emerging competition among old and new producers lead to a fall in the prices.
Yet, the impression persists that transition economies have greater inflation and unemployment. The reasons are:
(a) doctored statistics get replaced by more transparent statistical data compilation and estimation systems,
(b) initial shortage of foreign exchange reserves to allow imports,
(c) the delays in allowing private and foreign capital investment by the Govt.,
(d) the closing down of unviable public and private industrial companies,
(e) the longer the period of transition, the greater the pains of inflation and unemployment as the fruits of competitive economy are not reaped fully due to political opposition to market economy and Govt. delays in implementing structural reforms.
If I were to write a homework on this topic, I would first attack the misleading idea that trsition leads to higher unemployment and higher inflation. I would have writem that the problems of inflation and unemployment come because of halting reforms and inadequate reforms: the culprit is slower, halting pace of reforms.

Admin

TerrorTessa 23.11.2010. 00:01

What would you say are the main problems with Romanias economy? I'm pretty sure it crashed in 2009 after a high rate of growth, however i'm having trouble figuring out why/how to stop it from happening again.

TerrorTessa

Admin 23.11.2010. 00:01

"The Romanian economy has continued its transition to greater economic freedom, achieving an average economic growth rate of over 6 percent over the past five years. The overall entrepreneurial framework has become more streamlined and efficient, and the tax regime is competitive with a flat rate of 16 percent for both individual and corporate taxes. Other recent structural reforms include privatization in the banking sector, a reduction in the public-sector wage bill, and tax administration reform.

Romania lags behind many other countries in the region, however, in terms of deeper structural reforms, facing ongoing institutional challenges to overall economic freedom as a result of widespread corruption and a rigid labor market that undermines dynamic job growth. Although Romania has made some progress in the fight against corruption, the judiciary remains vulnerable to political interference and inefficiency.
"

Admin

Bee 31.12.2010. 15:30

I'm going to Ireland in March 2011 and i was wondering about the economy? I know that Ireland is in a hard spot right now, economically, and i'm kind of concerned that their economy might cause some difficulties on my trip? II was wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to how bad it is there right now? Or if there might be some things i need to be aware of before i embark?

Thanks!
I am going to the south of Ireland. Shannon, Waterford, Cork, Dingle, those areas.

Bee

Admin 31.12.2010. 15:30

Hello, I just came back from Ireland from a buisness trip and have a few interesting news about the economy to share. I spent nearly a month there, my assignment was to explain the economy and how it effects the United States for the GIP association. They said they will publish my paper but it only goes to some colleges. So i will explain below some of the key points of my paper.

Ireland has alot of land used for vegetation, although agriculture does not contribute much to the exports. It remained a major source of employment as well as GDP, agriculture has been overtaken by the industry and service sectors. The latest trend seems to be towards a knowledge-based economy that focuses on services, trade and the high tech industry.

The country has managed to rise beyond its agricultural dependencies and become a modern trade dependant economy. In fact, the shift has been so positive that the country could grow at a consistent rate of 6% during 1995-2007. However, the recession has had a negative effect on the growth rate, leading to a constriction in the economy.

From agriculture to being a service-dominated economy, Ireland?s economy has made the transition very effectively. It has been helped by FDIs and the real estate market. In terms of contribution to the national GDP, services contributed the maximum at 49%, industries came in second with 46%, while agriculture contributed 5%.

Employment was generated the maximum by the service sector, which employed 67% of the labour force. The industries accounted for 27% and agriculture for 6% of the employment. The unemployment rate, however, remained at 12%, according to the 2009 data.

There was an outbreak epidemic in Northern Ireland with the epidemic water crisis. There have been many problems due to this fact.Doctors warned that Northern Ireland was on the verge of a public health crisis today as some residents endured an eighth day without running water. More than 40,000 homes and businesses in Belfast and 80 surrounding towns and villages are without supplies after pipes burst during the freezing weather and subsequent thaw last week.
Hopefully this problem will clear up before March.

Good luck and enjoy your trip. Ireland is a beautiful majestic country. With suprentifilled people. Enjoy I know i did.

Admin

W. 07.09.2009. 15:19

Why devolve back to socialism when the USA was superior to that backward ideal from the beginning? Our founding fathers skipped the whole backward socialist step and advance straight to the final evolution of free government, the free market democratic republic. Why devolve as a society and go back to the inferior, primitive socialist slave state ideal? It's insane.

W.

Admin 07.09.2009. 15:19

The term socialism has a specific meaning.
The right-wing oligarchs have been so successful that they even have some liberals convinced that social services ARE socialism.

Ownership of plant, property, and equipment is in the hands of businesses and individuals, and production decisions; product, quantity; employment levels, are also in the hands of business. Even the US government buys what it uses on the open market.

The US is not Socialist in any part. Even France is not socialist, according to the C.I.A. World Factbook:
""France is in the midst of transition from a well-to-do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, and has ceded stakes in such leading firms as Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. It maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare.""

How do you maintain your misinterpretation of Socialism in the face of opposing authoritative information?

socialism
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Jw... - those are loans - the government has no intention of keeping a presence in the auto industry...or of managing those businesses, other than keeping watch over the security of the loans.

Admin

Steve M. 18.08.2009. 08:38

Is a carbon tax on electricity and fossil fuels more socially just than the system of cap-and-trade? I understand that cap-and-trade is proposed to spur technological innovation faster, but would the continuation of this system result in more favourable conditions for those that already have wealth to accumulate more (thus increasing the rich-poor divide)?

Steve M.

Admin 18.08.2009. 08:38

What about a Carbon Tax?

A well-designed cap-and-trade program has an important advantage over a carbon tax. The former would require the specific emissions reductions necessary to avoid dangerous climate change, while a carbon tax by itself cannot guarantee any particular level of emissions reductions. Moreover, a cap-and-trade program would more easily dovetail with similar existing and proposed regimes in other countries and regions.In addition, allowing developing countries to sell carbon credits from avoided tropical deforestation emissions reductions would provide a powerful incentive to address the source of some 20 percent of global warming pollution emissions.

Nevertheless, a carbon tax, like a cap-and-trade program, would use the power of the market to achieve cost-effective emissions reductions, and both would generate revenues that could be used for the public benefit. It may be possible for the two policies to co-exist and complement one another.

Any effective U.S. climate strategy must cut global warming pollution deeply enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change, which means at least 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. Emissions trading and carbon taxes are both tools we can used to achieve these reductions, as are technology standards, incentives, and public investment in clean technology and infrastructure. What?s most important is that we move aggressively to address the climate crisis, and that we begin the transition to a low-carbon economy without delay.

-----

Using auction revenues for the public good. The government should invest auction revenues in clean, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. Revenues also could compensate low-income families, provide transition assistance to workers or economic sectors that are disproportionately disrupted by the program, and help communities adapt to the unavoidable effects of global warming.

Admin

Answer Man 21.10.2008. 20:05

What are the main resources of France? How does this affect the location and sizes of the cities? Easy 10 points! Please help ASAP!

Answer Man

Admin 21.10.2008. 20:05

Although diverse, the natural resources of France are relatively limited in quantity. France has some coal, iron ores, bauxite, and uranium; but the coal veins are deep and difficult to work and are unsuitable for use in the manufacture of steel. Iron ores are of a low grade, and the uranium ore is found only in small quantities. Deposits of petroleum are almost nonexistent, and natural gas reserves discovered (1951) at Lacq in the Pyrenées are now nearly exhausted. Hydroelectric production, although well developed, does not meet France's needs. On the other hand, high-quality soils cover almost half the country's surface, giving France an agricultural surplus that makes it an exporter of food.

Natural resources include: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorospar, gypsum and timber
Agriculture - products include: wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
Industries include: machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, nuclear energy, aircraft, aerospace, aeronautics, avionics, electronics; textiles and fashion, food processing; tourism

France is in the midst of transition from a well-to-do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, and has ceded stakes in such leading firms as Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. It maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare. Widespread opposition to labor reform has in recent years hampered the government's ability to revitalize the economy. In 2007, the government launched divisive labor reform efforts that will continue into 2008. France's tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe (nearly 50% of GDP in 2005). France brought the budget deficit within the eurozone's 3%-of-GDP limit for the first time in 2007 and has reduced unemployment to roughly 8%. With at least 75 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism.


In respect of the resources of France influencing the location and sizes of French cities, standard rules around trade and commerce related to the resources of those regions apply, except of course for Paris (a royal city).

The location of the European Airbus project in Toulouse has turned the city into the European aviation center, while the presence of the European parliament - although under threat - has made Strasbourg, after Brussels, Europe's second capital. Bordeaux grew from its sponsorship and trade in wine; Marseilles from its role as a Mediterranean trading port. Many other smaller centers developed as a result of their role as a market for local or regional produce.

http://www.france-pub.com/ecity.html
http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/france_cities.htm

Admin

6th Finger 16.09.2008. 18:03

What evidence is there that Mccain or Obama knows anything about economics? Array

6th Finger

Admin 16.09.2008. 18:03

McCain's stance is to quote President Herbert Hoover (The Great Depression Republican President).

Obama's Plan is as follows:

Obama believes that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy and create more American jobs. He will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security.

* Fight for Fair Trade: Obama will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. He will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world and stand firm against agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement that fail to live up to those important benchmarks. Obama will also pressure the World Trade Organization to enforce trade agreements and stop countries from continuing unfair government subsidies to foreign exporters and nontariff barriers on U.S. exports.
* Amend the North American Free Trade Agreement: Obama believes that NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the American people. Obama will work with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to fix NAFTA so that it works for American workers.
* Improve Transition Assistance: To help all workers adapt to a rapidly changing economy, Obama would update the existing system of Trade Adjustment Assistance by extending it to service industries, creating flexible education accounts to help workers retrain, and providing retraining assistance for workers in sectors of the economy vulnerable to dislocation before they lose their jobs.
* End Tax Breaks for Companies that Send Jobs Overseas: Barack Obama believes that companies should not get billions of dollars in tax deductions for moving their operations overseas. Obama will also fight to ensure that public contracts are awarded to companies that are committed to American workers.
* Reward Companies that Support American Workers: Barack Obama introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 with Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to reward companies that create good jobs with good benefits for American workers. The legislation would provide a tax credit to companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to those outside the US; maintain their corporate headquarters in America if it has ever been in America; pay decent wages; prepare workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees who serve in the military.

Invest in the Manufacturing Sector and Create 5 Million New Green Jobs

* Invest in our Next Generation Innovators and Job Creators: Obama will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over $125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals to create new products and new jobs in the state.
* Double Funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership: The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone, helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success, funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack Obama will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
* Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs: Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America's highly-skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.
* Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies: The Obama plan will increase funding for federal workforce training programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies training, such as advanced manufacturing and weatherization training, into their efforts to help Americans find and retain stable, high-paying jobs. Obama will also create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth.
* Boost the Renewable Energy Sector and Create New Jobs: The Obama plan will create new federal policies, and expand existing ones, that have been proven to create new American jobs. Obama will create a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that will

Admin

Ang 03.11.2012. 18:30

Who are you voting for in the 2012 USA Election? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama?
Thanks, Rolman-Jamees. You won't regret it.

Ang

Admin 03.11.2012. 18:30

Mitt Romney is the best choice. we are rapidly losing the self-reliant individual spirit which has made us great and are trending towards becoming a nation of takers, making government dependency the new normal. In fact, with 23 million people out of work, 47 million on food stamps, a shrinking middle class combined with struggling social programs, $16-plus trillion in national debt, and pervasive national security threats, it is more treacherous then it has ever been.

Informed voters are tasked with determining the race by looking at the ability of the candidates to perform over time. The key here is "over time." They watch what a candidate does, not simply what he says -- his personality, mannerisms, traits, and most importantly, whether or not he achieves desired results.

Let us look at how each of the candidates has performed in a professional capacity.

In 2008, running on a platform of "hope and change," he was elected president of the United States. He has had four years in office, so we need only look at the current environment to assess his performance in that role. Statistically speaking, he has performed much worse than any president on record. His signature achievement, ObamaCare, was passed in a stealth and partisan fashion, and it carries the disapproval of more than 70% of the public.

How does Romney compare?

Graduating from Harvard in 1975 with a joint JD/MBA degree, he went into management consulting and, in 1977, secured a position with Bain & Company. There he helped lead the company out of financial crisis. In 1984, he cofounded and led as its CEO a spinoff of Bain & Company called Bain Capital, a private-equity firm. Having achieved average returns of 88% per year by investing in young or distressed companies, Bain Capital became one of the largest and most profitable firms of its kind.

In 1999, Romney was hired as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. When he came on board, the event was besieged with corruption allegations and was far short of the funds needed to break even. Under Romney's leadership, the event concluded with a profit of $120 million. This experience was a nice transition from the private to the public sector, as it contained elements of both.

In 2002, Romney officially went into public service when he was elected governor of Massachusetts. At that time, the state was in financial disarray, with high unemployment and a huge spending problem (sound familiar?). Romney worked across the aisle, with a mostly Democratic legislature, to reverse these problems. By the time he left office in 2007, he had eliminated a $3-billion deficit without borrowing or increasing taxes, primarily through gains in jobs (and thereby increasing the tax base) and government efficiency.

Soon thereafter, Romney decided to run for the presidency, which brings us to the current 2012 presidential race.

While the needs of the country are certainly up for debate, at a minimum, most can agree on the basics: a strong economy, decent-paying jobs for its capable citizens, and a more productive society. Nothing else works without those things.

We need to collectively ask ourselves some serious questions and answer them honestly -- questions such as:

1) Who do we think would best perform in the current partisan environment?

2) Who is most capable of turning around an entity running massively high deficits and already
saddled with significant debt?

3) Who understands investing and what it takes to help create jobs?

4) Who has shown the ability to bring together highly partisan people with diverse goals?

5) Who do we think could turn around an ailing country and return it to profitability and growth?

And if these questions are too large-scale, they can be brought down to the individual level. Ask yourself questions such as:

1) Whom of the two candidates would you hire to be your financial adviser?

2) Who would you trust is looking out for your interests and not his own?

3) Who do you think really cares about your situation and does not worry about political appearances?

4) Who is capable of giving you the best advice for finding a job?

With the stakes this high, and the need to perform this great, who better to vote for than the man with a proven track record and a whole host of accomplishments to his name

Vote for Romney. o_O

Admin

Daniel S 19.05.2009. 15:03

Does anyone know how the grecian(greek)system of governement and economics works? Please I need this for a project at school.

Daniel S

Admin 19.05.2009. 15:03

GOVERNMENT
The government of Greece is a parliamentary democracy. The people elect 300 parliamentary deputies who form the parliament which conducts the legislative duties of the government. The political party which can collect 151 seats or more in the parliament assumesthe duties of the administration. The party president automaticaly becomes Prime Minister and he then appoints people to become cabinet ministers.
There is a President but he is not elected by the people. Instead, he is elected by the parliamentary deputies for 5 year terms at a time.
As is today, when any single party achieves an absolute majorityof the parliament then that government functions as a democraticaly elected "dictatorship". Deputies are not allowed to vote against anything their own party supports therefore all measures proposedby the residing government are passed automaticaly by way of their absolute majority in parliament. This fact relegates the Greek parliament to a mere "rubber stamp" function.
http://www.greecetravel.com/mazarakis/wisdom/government.html

More in depth link
http://www.photius.com/countries/greece/government/

ECONOMICS
Greece is a small country with not many more than 10 million people. Its territory, which is dominated by large mountain ranges and an extensive coastline, offers the natural resources on which the traditional economic activities of agriculture, herding, and fishing were based. In the era after World War II, the Greek economy underwent significant transformation. Manufacturing and services emerged as major areas of economic activity that in the mid-1990s combine to account for 85 percent of the gross national product (GNP--see Glossary). The transformation is also reflected in the composition of the Greek population. Whereas in 1940 over 50 percent of the population lived and worked in agricultural areas, only about 25 percent of the population remains rural in the mid-1990s.
Per capita income in Greece has grown substantially in the postwar decades. From about US$500 in 1960, it had increased to about US$6,500 in 1992. etc.
Domestic economic growth in Greece was impressive in the early postwar period, but growth had virtually stopped by the early 1990s. Although the present economy shows many areas of dynamism and profitable investment opportunities, the overall condition is one of stagnation. In recent years, the public sector of the Greek economy has posed particularly difficult and chronic threats to economic stability by generating high deficits and accumulating public debt. These conditions have created macroeconomic imbalances and have forced the implementation of stabilization policies by successive governments. By necessity, stabilization policies have involved restrictive monetary practices, income restraints, and increased tax burdens--all measures that tend to stifle economic growth. These actions have helped to reduce price inflation significantly, supplying at least one condition for future economic evolution, although the rate of inflation in 1994 remained above levels usually regarded as acceptable by developed countries.
Certain areas of Greece's industry and service sectors are making impressive progress that bodes well for the long-term future. Especially encouraging is growth in food products, textiles, light telecommunications equipment, banking, and business services. Some Greek exports have shown significant growth in the early to mid-1990s. Greek financial markets have gained strength, and private economic initiatives in neighboring Balkan countries undergoing transition to the market economy have flourished. In the mid-1990s, Greek investments enjoy a high rank among all foreign investments in Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania.
Its small size and its geographic location have always made Greece an economically extroverted country heavily dependent on international economic relations. etc.
http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=142

Economic survey of Greece 2007 (fairly recent)
http://www.oecd.org/document/8/0,3343,en_33873108_33873421_38489288_1_1_1_1,00.html

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