vrijdag 16 juli 2010

Ongelijkheid wordt erger

Veertien procent van de bevolking stelt geregeld gezondheidszorg uit omdat die te duur is.
Dat is veel. Bovendien is dat de helft meer dan tien jaar geleden. Er is dus niet alleen een probleem, het wordt ook nog erger. Lees het volledige commentaarstuk van Guy Tegenbosch in De Standaard hier.

Europe’s stress test is no short-cut to stability

Last year’s stress test in the US applied to institutions that were the main cause of the financial instabilities, and the government had budgetary room to support the sector. Europe’s situation is different. The concern about banks is a derived concern, reflecting worries about sovereign debt in some countries and the overall economic situation; and there are greater limits today on budgetary resources. Read the opinion article in The Financial Times here.

Economics behaving badly

"It’s becoming clear that behavioral economics is being asked to solve problems it wasn’t meant to address. Indeed, it seems in some cases that behavioral economics is being used as a political expedient, allowing policymakers to avoid painful but more effective solutions rooted in traditional economics." Read the complete opinion article byLoewenstein and Ubel in The NYTimes here.

Reforming the NHS: Once more into the ring

A proposed overhaul aims to improve patient choice, promote competition and empower medical professionals. Agai. Read the complete article in The Economist here.

Calling time on progress

"Could it be that behind Europe’s petty, possessive talk about rights and entitlements there is something more fundamental going on? The reason that Europeans struggle to accept the need to work more, and get less from the state is that it seems to signal an abrupt reversal of the decades-long advance towards an ever-more civilised society: in short, the end of progress." Read the complete column in The Economist here.

Integration Through Penury? Denmark Debates a Lower Minimum Wage for Immigrants

A Danish politician has suggested paying immigrants half the current minimum wage. The idea has gone down well with center-right parties, but it's opposed by the left -- and the far right. Right-wing populists fear low wages for immigrants could take jobs away from "regular Danes." Read the complete article in Der Spiegel International here.

The Uses and Abuses of Economic Ideology

John Maynard Keynes famously wrote that “the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than commonly understood. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” But I suspect that a greater danger lies elsewhere, with the practical men and women employed in the policymaking functions of central banks, regulatory agencies, governments, and financial institutions’ risk-management departments tending to gravitate to simplified versions of the dominant beliefs of economists who are, in fact, very much alive. Read Adair Turner's article on Project Syndicate here.