Eight years ago we won the referendum on the accession to the European Union. I say ‘we won’, because it was indeed a success and a great step forward for the Polish nation, yet there were people which doubted it and there where politicians who were acting against such a move. Immediately after the referendum […]
It’s amazing that the nation that has bestowed to the civilization such giants as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, Tolstoy and Bulgakov has not been able to provide great economists and policy makers. If only the Russian economy were as splendid and robust as its culture, this country would be doing just great! Unfortunately, this is not the […]
Though The Economist correctly emphasizes that Poland’s ability to avoid recession in 2009 “stems partly from history and geography”, it is quite wrong when it claims there was “a classic Keynesian response to the downturn” (Few woes in Warsaw, April 28th). It’s a fact that there are big budget deficits (7.3% in 2009 and 7.9% last year), […]
The Economist (May 18th 2011) continues the presentation of subsequent acts of lasting Greek financial drama… Accordingly, there are supposed to be five options, although only the last one – “serious haircut on the value of the Greek debt” – seems to be a way out of the deep fiscal crisis. This is what I’ve […]
Through its forthcoming European Union presidency Poland should inspire an offer for technical assistance to other regions of the world that seek their own development path. By no means do current upheavals and crisis disturbances shatter the need for European integration. Just the opposite; they make it stronger. European integration works and will get through […]
I’m afraid that while considering the Greek public finance crisis “The Economist” (A question of maturity, April 20th) is right while suggesting that “the economics point to a harsher solution: a steep write-down as part of a broader package of reforms.” I’m afraid that such an obvious argument will hardly be understood nor supported for some time. And the elapsing time makes the whole unavoidable adjustment only more costly for both, the Greek taxpayers and the domestic and international creditors.
Those who do not die remain alive in various ways. Those various ways range from misery and poverty through a middle-class existence and relative affluence, all the way to wealth and great riches. At one extreme, existence on the boundary of life; at the other, a life of total satiation.
The source of the current global economic crisis lies deeply in U.S.-style neoliberal capitalism, or contemporary laissez faire. It could not have been triggered in countries with a social market economy, but only in the conditions of the neoliberal Anglo-American model. The intense shock the world experienced could take place only as a result of the coincidence of numerous political, social and economic circumstances (as well as technological ones, since it would not have been possible without the Internet). The overlapping of these conditions in a specific way, which accumulated the crisis-related phenomena and processes, was possible only under a special combination of values, institutions and policies—typical of U.S.-style neoliberalism.
During my recent cross country lecture tour in the USA, I heard opinions that the themes of the films “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” directed by Oliver Stone and “Inside Job” perfectly coincided with my new book “Truth, Errors, and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World.” Several people said the films are a quasi-postscript to the book, in particular my comments on the cynical stage of contemporary laissez faire. I have been also told that some people—everyone knows who—are afraid of the book and the films. Well, it is a universal truth that nothing hurts like the truth and it is not enough to present the truth in an academic, theoretical way. Artistic fiction has value too and fighting for the truth is never too much.
The scale of the Japanese cataclysm is so immense that if such an earthquake and the following tsunami and fires had struck the archipelago of Philippines or Indonesia the countries would have collapsed. But Japan—which has experienced similar, bitter disasters previously, although on a considerably smaller scale—a wealthy country and its brave people, will cope with the situation.