Τι θα ήταν η Γερμανία χωρίς τις μειώσεις του χρέους της σήμερα;

Η χώρα που βάσισε κατά κύριο μέρος την ανάπτυξή της στη διαγραφή χρεών που της έγινε από τα προπολεμικά και μεταπολεμικά χρέη της (αιματοκύλισε την Ευρώπη 2 φορές μη το ξεχνάμε) είναι η ίδια χώρα που προασπίζεται τη λιτότητα επί 3 χρόνια στην Ευρωζώνη.

Είναι η ίδια χώρα-δια μέσου του Υπουργού Οικονομικών της-που διαλαλεί ότι δεν δέχεται περαιτέρω απομείωση του ελληνικού χρέους καθώς θεωρεί επαρκή την απομείωση που “τίναξε” στον αέρα ασφαλιστικά ταμεία και Έλληνες μικροομολογιούχους, ενώ εξασφάλισε ξένους πιστωτές (δια του Αγγλικού Δικαίου και ελληνικές Τράπεζες (δια της ανακεφαλαιοποιήσεως)…

Εκείνη λοιπόν η χώρα που βάσισε το οικονομικό της θαύμα, ακριβώς πάνω σε ότι αρνείται σήμερα για τον Ευρωπαϊκό Νότο είναι τουλάχιστον άξια απομόνωσης και εξοβελισμού από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση

Ας πάνε λοιπόν οι ηγέτες του Νότου αν έχουν κότσια και ας πούνε στη Γερμανία ότι η μόνη λύση είναι αυτό που έκανε και η ίδια τόσα χρόνια… Δεν είναι ούτε δύσκολο,ούτε αδύνατο να συμβεί…

Μείωση των χρεών των χωρών του Νότου και ρήτρα πραγματικής ανάπτυξης… Να ανθίσουν Βιομηχανίες παντού.Εκεί ναι θα θέλαμε τη τεχνογνωσία τους. Να μας πούνε πως να το κάνουμε.. Αλλά εμείς ως αφεντικά και εμείς ως εργάτες. Όχι τα καραγκιοζιλίκια περί δήθεν ξένων επενδύσεων και ξεπουλήματος της χώρας που επιχειρείται με τη συνενοχή των εγχώριων συγκυβερνούντων.

Για την ιστορία αν η Γερμανία δεν απομείωνε το προπολεμικό(χρέος από Α Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο) και μεταπολεμικό (χρέος από Β Παγκόσμιο Πολεμο) στο -μόλις-4% των εξαγωγών της περίπου 200 εκ. Μάρκα (ποσό μηδαμινό για το χρέος που είχε συσσωρευτεί κυρίως λόγω των αποζημιώσεων) θα ήταν μια κατ’εξακολούθηση χρεοκοπημένη χώρα

Δε μπορεί λοιπόν να αρνείται αυτό που της δόθηκε απλόχερα τόσο καιρό…

Πηγή: Τι θα ήταν η Γερμανία χωρίς τις μειώσεις του χρέους της σήμερα….; – RAMNOUSIA

Greece is not a dog: the arrogance of the austerians

by Ingeborg Beugel

Post image for Greece is not a dog: the arrogance of the austeriansDutch and German politicians like to blame Greece for refusing to stick to the agreements — but, in truth, the Greeks are doing more than they should.

 

Everyone who talks about Greece these days — even well-intentioned liberals — seems to assume a priori that Greece is somehow “opposing the reforms” and “refusing to stick to the agreements”. With Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the forefront, of course. Greece does not deserve respite, not a second of extra time and not a single penny more, simply because “the country keeps breaking its promises.”

First of all, the problem is that it’s impossible for a country as a whole to stick to any agreement whatsoever as if it’s some kind of ‘person’. In Greece there are countless people — the majority of the population — who have been struck by austerity measures that have been forced down their throats as if they were some kind of natural disaster; measures that are the result of those aforementioned “agreements”: a 40 to 50 percent reduction of salaries and pensions, an unbearable series of extra taxes, layoffs on a gigantic scale, a massive increase in unemployment and poverty, the destruction of labor rights, the implosion of healthcare. All these things are utterly unthinkable in a country like Germany or the Netherlands, yet nobody seems to give the Greeks who bravely carry this burden any credit whatsoever.

And then there is obviously the minority, a substantial part of Greece’s rich and corrupt political and industrial elite, which does dodge taxes on a grand scale by funneling money away to foreign countries, but which still gets away unscathed. The majority of Greeks who are bending over backwards to serve the Brussels diktat cannot help that. The middle class, the incredibly hard-working and impossible-tax-paying Greek, cannot be held responsible for that. Try to convince those people that, simply because a tiny minority keeps behaving scandalously, their country is somehow “refusing to stick to the agreements”.

Mind you, it’s exactly that “virtueless” minority of Greeks that Berlin and The Hague were happily doing business with and that could comfortably continue its corrupt ways under the watching gaze of Brussels. For decades, journalists wrote blisters onto their fingers about all the things that were going wrong in Greece, how the people suffered as a result of this, and how sooner or later things were bound to go wrong — but EU politicians didn’t even budge. I would like to see Dutch Prime Minister Rutte explain to my elderly Greek neighbor, who now has to find a way to survive on a miniscule pension of 300 euros, that she is somehow “refusing to stick to the agreements” and “opposing the reforms” when she recounts, crying, that she can’t (and hence won’t) pay her electricity bills.

Secondly, this is not about “agreements” at all. Somehow, that word presupposes that we are talking about two equal parties agreeing on a mutual course of action. Nothing could be further from the truth. Greece has been humbled, mangled and castigated, forced to accept the various IMF demands and Merkel’s austerity measures in a profoundly unequal “like it or lump it” type of situation. The word “agreements” itself is just as deceptive as the words “support” or “reform”. In the case of Greece, “agreements” refer to demands made at knifepoint. Support does not consist of gifts, subsidies or investments, but of big fat loans at disastrous, sky-high interest rates that squeezed Greece will never be able to repay. And the reforms are really just absurd budget cuts that would be utterly impracticable in Northern Europe, including the prospect of a total annihilation of minimum labor rights — something for which Europeans, including the Greeks,  have fought for centuries.

Thirdly, contrary to what Merkel and Rutte unjustifiably keep claiming, ad nauseam, the Greek government is making unbelievable, superhuman efforts to fulfill those impossible demands from Brussels. It does so in spite of the inevitable social unrest and understandable resistance of the Greek people, who are naturally rebelling against all this injustice. Whoever still claims that the Greek government is “once again” falling behind on its commitments and, as a result of slacking and bad governance, fails to pursue the right measures and reforms in the timeframe imposed by Brussels, is simply lying. Merkel is lying. Rutte is lying. Nobel Prize-winning economists and commentators like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have already been predicting for two years, also ad nauseam, that Merkel’s current austerity policies are not only failing to work, but are actually driving the Greek economy ever deeper into the abyss.

And behold, they were right. The fact that Merkel and Rutte seem to believe that the targets of their much-revered but ultimately disastrous austerity policies are not being met has nothing to do with the fact that the Greeks are “failing once again”, but is simply the result of a stupid and unworkable set of policies. Back in the Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte keeps complaining that Greece isn’t privatizing fast enough. This is completely unjustified. Something else is going on: the time Greece has been granted to privatize is simply surreal. Not a single government could comply with that. It’s simply demagoguery to go on and claim that the “Greeks are falling behind again”.

Moreover, the pressure of this “Mission Impossible” pushes the Greek government into an unworkable situation. Partly because of Brussels, it finds itself with its back against the wall, in an in extremely weak position to privatize. It is being forced to sell off large state assets at firesale prices. Foreign buyers and vulture investors smell weakness — and blood. No surprise, then, that government revenues are disappointing; something which can subsequently be used by Rutte and Merkel to claim that “Greece is not honoring its promises”. The same goes for the disappointing revenue from all those extra new taxes: the austerity measures have pushed the Greek economy into a diabolical recession, as a result of which all those EU and IMF calculations about expected revenues turn out to be wrong. That’s not the fault of the Greeks.

One of the most extreme pronunciations came from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in a recent pre-election debate with Labour leader Diederik Samsom. Samsom openly asked Rutte whether, in order to save Greece and the euro, he would be willing to cough up the money for another bailout. (Obviously, it’s not about “giving” this money, it’s about expensive loans. But let’s leave that aside). No, Rutte yelled. Why not? Because it would be extremely unwise to say that now, for the Greeks would immediately slow down, sit back and stop privatizing and reforming. After all, they would count their blessings in advance, knowing full well that “someone would pay for them” again and therefore refuse to do anything whatsoever. And so Samsom had to be careful with his words, because the Greeks were listening along — and they would “now receive a completely perverse incentive” from the Labour leader.

Rutte: “we have to keep them on a tight leash.”

Excuse me?

As if Greece were a dog. As if the Greeks were shitty little kids grabbing every opportunity to skirt their responsibilities. What an idiotic way of doing international politics. What an arrogant attitude toward people who are bending over backwards to stay inside of “Europe”. Rutte apparently has such a deep distrust and such a profound contempt for our fellow EU member state that we — from the point of view of Ruttian pedagogy — have to actively deceive them and, above all, should not let them know that they can count on any further bailouts if needed. As Prime Minister, Rutte has already made it known that he has “nothing to do with the Greeks”. Such a person, who just like the right-wing extremist Geert Wilders likes to play with the gut feelings of ill-informed citizens to win their votes, should never be allowed to become PM in the first place.

Last but not least: in my own environment and extensive circle of acquaintances in Greece, I do not know a single Greek who does not want to see reform — in the pure sense of the word — from the government; not a single Greek who does not want to put an end to the old and corrupt Greek political establishment, and who does not believe that the debt, for which they themselves are not responsible, should ultimately be paid back (should it?). These people deserve our support and encouragement; not to be treated arrogantly, mercilessly and unjustly, like second-class citizens — or even worse, like a dog.

Ingeborg Beugel is a Dutch journalist and was formerly based in Athens as a foreign correspondent for various Dutch media. She regularly appears on Dutch television to comment on the Greek debt crisis.

Source

The humanitarian crisis in Greece is deepening, Medecins Du Monde is warning

GRReporter

Anastsia Balezdrova

A call for help has made today the non-profit organization Medecines Du Monde, which is ringing the bell of the danger of an emerging and deepening humanitarian crisis in Greece in the coming winter months.

According to the President of the organization Nikitas Kanakis, after the increase in the number of Greeks, who are visiting the health services of Medecines Du Monde in Athens, Thessaloniki Hania and Perama because of loosing their jobs and therefore, the access to health services, as GRReporter wrote some time ago, now the great majority of them are threatened by food shortages.

“In our conversations with these people, we were shocked by the fact that many of them are looking for food. They are making it in a very dignified manner, but the fact is that they are doing it. That is why we have decided to call on all who responded to our request last March to supply us their excess drugs. Now we would like to help us with foodstuffs.”

These are basic foodstuffs like rice, pulses, pasta and oil. “We also need milk, baby food, diapers and other things for children. In a nutshell, we need things that will help these people keep their dignity. We do not want to see the number of people eating in free dining rooms to increase. Our goal is simple, yet very difficult: to make family packages for the poorest of our patients and to give these packages to them when they come. We will try to do it in the most delicate way, because many of these people have worked for more than 30 and 40 years and the fact that they are poor now does not mean that they differ from the patients who visit our hospital or private rooms.”

Nikitas Kanakis particularly emphasized the problem of poor nutrition in children. “Children who have feeding problems are visiting us. I am not saying that they are malnourished because this term may seem somewhat excessive from a medical standpoint. In no case we see pictures like those of Africa. But it comes to children who eat when, if and whatever they find. When we are talking with these children we see the phrase “Mom, I’m hungry” that we thought it would be heard in Greece never again has come back. Many children are deprived of the most basic things. Their families are not able to help them and at the same time, there is no state institution to which they can turn for help. It is these children, among which there are Greek children, we should help.” Another problem concerning children is immunization. “We need money to buy children’s vaccines. What should be obvious and in other countries that the child has taken the basic vaccines, is not valid in Greece. Parents of many children have no health insurance and they have to buy the vaccines, but they cannot afford them, especially those that cost 70-80 euros. We do not want old and forgotten diseases to return today. Moreover, we consider vaccination as a fundamental right of these children.”

Medecins Du Monde believe that when the number of people who every day eat in free dining-rooms in Athens has reached almost 14,000, the definition of “humanitarian crisis” should not be considered exaggerated. “These people are not the homeless and foreigners we remember from the past. These are all Greeks like us. More and more of them are seeking medical care and medicines by non-governmental organizations and more and more of them are digging in the waste to seek food. We want them to know that they can turn to us to help them even a little by listening to them, examining them and giving the first medication. I would like to say that if recently we all have been glad that we will help people in other countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Turkey, to which a group will go soon, here in Greece we feel shame.”

Yannis Mouzalas, one of the 600 physicians who provide their services voluntarily, told about the change in the orientation of the Greek branch of the organization. “Last year, we sent 5 or 6 containers of food to Uganda; the year before the last we sent containers to Iraq and Haiti, and four years ago – to Somalia. This year and it looks like in the coming years too, we need these containers here. For us, Greece now is like an expedition abroad. Foreign organizations come and want to cooperate in this cause, as we do when we go into another country. There is a humanitarian crisis already in Greece and I think now we are just at the tip of the iceberg.”

According to Nikitas Kanakis, the affiliate network of Medecins Du Monde in Europe has already expressed their intentions to help and the members of the German branch have even sent medical equipment.

The organization called on the Greek doctors to help and devote some of their spare time to the needy. “We need pediatricians, surgeons, gynecologists, and psychiatrists. Very often, women, who are bearing the greater burden of the crisis and need psychological support, turn to us for assistance.” The organization has already formed groups for mutual support involving poor and unemployed citizens.

Medecins Du Monde have stressed on the fact that the inability of many Greeks to pay the electricity bill, which will include the extra property tax, would put them in a more difficult situation. “It is not my job to define the measure, but I think society would have to use all options to help these people. In most cases, we are talking about families of several generations living in one dwelling to reduce costs. Elderly parents support the families of their unemployed children with their low pensions. It would be really hard and pitiless these people to be left without electricity,” said in conclusion the President of Medecins Du Monde.

Source

Σαν παραμύθι…

Μια φορά κι έναν καιρό υπήρχε ένα νησί στο οποίο ζούσαν τα  συναισθήματα:

                

 

η Ευτυχία, η Λύπη, η Γνώση, η Αγάπη αλλά και άλλα συναισθήματα…

Μια μέρα ακούστηκε ότι το νησί θα βούλιαζε και όλοι επισκεύασαν τις βάρκες τους και άρχισαν να φεύγουν άρον-άρον.

Η Αγάπη ήταν η μόνη που έμεινε πίσω. Ήθελε να αντέξει μέχρι την τελευταία στιγμή. Όταν το νησί άρχισε να βυθίζεται, η Αγάπη αποφάσισε να ζητήσει βοήθεια.
Βλέπει τον Πλούτο που περνούσε μέσα σε μια λαμπερή θαλαμηγό και τον ρωτάει: «Πλούτε, μπορείς να με πάρεις μαζί  σου;»,
«Όχι, δεν μπορώ», απάντησε ο Πλούτος, «έχω μπόλικο ασήμι και χρυσάφι στο σκάφος μου και δεν υπάρχει χώρος για σένα».
Η Αγάπη τότε αποφάσισε να ζητήσει βοήθεια από την Αλαζονεία η οποία επίσης περνούσε από μπροστά της μέσα σε ένα πανέμορφο σκάφος.

«Σε παρακαλώ βοήθησε με» είπε η Αγάπη.
«Δεν μπορώ να σε βοηθήσω Αγάπη. Είσαι μούσκεμα και θα μου
χαλάσεις τις ταπετσαρίες του όμορφου σκάφους μου» της απάντησε η Αλαζονεία.
Η Λύπη ήταν πιο πέρα και έτσι η Αγάπη αποφάσισε να ζητήσει

από αυτή βοήθεια: «Λύπη άφησε με να έρθω μαζί σου».
«Ω Αγάπη, είμαι τόσο λυπημένη που θέλω να μείνω μόνη μου» είπε η Λύπη.

Η Ευτυχία πέρασε μπροστά από την Αγάπη αλλά και αυτή δεν της έδωσε σημασία. Ήταν τόσο ευτυχισμένη, που ούτε καν άκουσε την Αγάπη να ζητά βοήθεια.

Ξαφνικά ακούστηκε μια φωνή:

«Αγάπη, έλα προς τα εδώ! Θα σε πάρω εγώ μαζί μου!».


Ήταν ένας πολύ ηλικιωμένος κύριος που η Αγάπη δεν γνώριζε, αλλά γεμάτη από ευγνωμοσύνη ξέχασε να ρωτήσει το όνομά του.

Όταν έφτασαν στην στεριά ο γηραιός κύριος έφυγε διακριτικά παίρνοντας το δρόμο του.

Η Αγάπη γνωρίζοντας πόσα χρωστούσε στον κύριο που τη βοήθησε, ρώτησε την Γνώση:
«Γνώση, ποιος είναι αυτός που με βοήθησε»; «Ο Χρόνος» της απάντησε η Γνώση.
«Ο Χρόνος;» ρώτησε η Αγάπη,«γιατί με βοήθησε ο Χρόνος;»

Τότε η Γνώση χαμογέλασε και με βαθιά σοφία της είπε:

«Μόνο ο Χρόνος μπορεί να καταλάβει πόσο μεγάλη σημασία έχει η Αγάπη».

 
Όταν επικοινωνείς, αισθάνεσαι καλύτερα.
Όταν εκφράζεις τη σκέψη σου …υπάρχεις.
Όταν μιλάς για το πρόβλημά σου, λύση θα βρεις…
Όταν ξέρεις, δεν φοβάσαι.
Όταν δεν φοβάσαι
, μπορείς να είσαι αληθινός…

 

Ευχαριστώ τη φίλη μου Ρίτα γι’αυτό το μήνυμα.

 

 

Υπάρχει και αυτή η Ελλάδα κυρία Λαγκάρντ

Πίσω και πέρα από τα Μνημόνια και την αναλγησία του κράτους, υπάρχει και μια άλλη Ελλάδα…που όσο και να χτυπάνε κάποιοι ….ξεχωρίζει  και αποτελεί παράδειγμα προς μίμηση ανά τον κόσμο. Το κακό είναι ότι μένει κρυμμένη εκεί “φοβούμενη” πως αν βγει στο φως θα “καεί” από το τέρας της γραφειοκρατίας και του φθόνου που έχει μπει για καλά στο DNA μας.Μένει εκεί και με ευθύνη δική μας -των δημοσιογράφων – λόγω του …

δόγματος που μας κατατρέχει ότι “ειδήσεις είναι μόνο οι κακές ειδήσεις”.Λάθος.

Πριν λίγο καιρό το onalert, παρουσίασε τρεις Έλληνες Αεροπόρους οι οποίοι “έβαλαν τα γυαλιά” στη τρόϊκα μ΄ένα πρόγραμμα κωδικοποίησης φαρμάκων που έφτιαξαν.Σήμερα θα σας γράψουμε για το “θαύμα” του 401 παρά το γεγονός ότι προσπάθησαν να μας πείσουν να μην κάνουμε καμία αναφορά.

Σύμφωνα με ρεπορτάζ του onalert.gr,  στο 401 εδώ και αρκετά χρόνια -από το 2008- γίνεται μια πρωτοποριακή για την Ελλάδα,χειρουργική επέμβαση σε περιπτώσεις ανευρύσματος στον εγκέφαλο. Ένας στρατιωτικός γιατρός μας εκπαιδεύτηκε με δική του πρωτοβουλία και με τη βοήθεια της υπηρεσίας στην Αγγλία.Επιστρέφοντας δυσκολεύτηκε πολύ να πείσει το σύστημα να του επιτρέψει να χειρουργεί ανευρύσματα στον εγκέφαλο,χωρίς να αγγίζει καν το κεφάλι του ασθενούς.Η μέθοδος,πολύ απλοϊκά θα σας το πούμε,προβλέπει την εισαγωγή κάποιων “ελατηρίων” μέσα στο ανεύρυσμα ,τα οποία εξασφαλίζουν ότι αυτό δεν πρόκειται να σπάσει.Φθάνουν εκεί μέσω μιας μικρής τομής που γίνεται όχι στο κεφάλι,αλλά ψηλά στο μηρό του ασθενούς!

Με συμπαραστάτη έναν παλαιότερο νευροχειρουργό, ο νέος γιατρός ξεκίνησε τη νέα μέθοδο στο 401. Κάθε χρόνο το νοσοκομείο κάνει περίπου 100 τέτοια χειρουργεία,με τους ασθενείς να αποχωρούν υγιέστατοι από το νοσοκομείο 24 ώρες μετά την επέμβαση! Όλα τα δημόσια νοσοκομεία στέλνουν τέτοια περιστατικά στο 401 το οποίο “χρεώνει” τα ταμεία με κόστος από 3000 έως 5000 ευρώ! Είναι το κόστος των υλικών ανάλογα με το μέγεθος τος ανευρύσματος.Το νοσοκομείο χρεώνει αλλά εννοείται ότι …δεν πληρώνεται.Παρόλα αυτά συνεχίζει να παρέχει ουσιαστικό κοινωνικό έργο,γιατί αν ένας ασθενής κάνει αυτή την επέμβαση σε κάποιο ιδιωτικό θεραπευτήριο θα πρέπει να πληρώσει 50.000 ευρώ!

Αυτό είναι το μικρό αλλά πολύ ουσιαστικό “θαύμα” του 401.Το μάθαμε τυχαία και εκπλαγήκαμε όταν διαπιστώσαμε ότι κανείς από τους εμπλεκόμενους δεν επιθυμούσε τη δημοσιότητα! Οι άνθρωποι του νοσκομείου επειδή “θέλουν να κρατήσουν χαμηλούς τόνους” και από το ΓΕΣ για να “μην θεωρηθεί ότι …διαφημιζόμαστε”!

Γι’ αυτό και δεν αναφέρουμε ονόματα γιατρών αλλά και του προσωπικού του νοσοκομείου το οποίο αγόγγυστα και χωρίς κανένα όφελος υποστηρίζει το χειρουργείο κάθε μέρα,ακόμη και στις αργίες!

Υπάρχει λοιπόν πολύ …”άλλη Ελλάδα” .Ακόμη και μέσα σ΄ αυτόν τον διαρκώς κατηγορούμενο δημόσιο τομέα .Ας την ανακαλύψουμε και ας την αναδείξουμε.Κυρίως βέβαια ας της επιτρέψουμε να συνεχίσει να δουλεύει.

Πηγή:

http://www.lay-out.gr/epemvasi-egkefalos-chirourgio/

 

Building the entrepreneurial state

There is no point in talking about innovation, if economic policies  focused on austerity prevent key investments which can increase  productivity and human capital. There are five strategies that could drive a visionary industrial growth policy.

1. Do something different

As Keynes wrote in 1926 in The End of Laissez Faire, “The  important thing for government is not to do things which individuals are  doing already, and to do them a little better or a little worse; but to  do those things which at present are not done at all.”
His key insight was that private business investment is volatile and  pro-cyclical: too much during booms and too little during busts. To  avoid recessions turning into depressions, government needs to focus on  counter-cyclical policies — the opposite of what is happening today.  But the focus on “doing something different” is not just about  counter-cyclical measures. It is also about the need for government to  focus on policies that cause types of economic activity that would not  have happened otherwise. Industrial policy is about making this happen  in the areas of productivity enhancing investments that lead to growth  and innovation.

2. Transform animal spirits into investment

Since investment is driven by “animal spirits” (the gut expectations  that investors have on the future state of the economy), a key role of  government is to get that investment moving. Large reductions in  corporate tax rates did not increase investment in the 80s nor will they  today (they simply change income distribution). Government-led  investments that open up new technological and market opportunities  will. This includes not only properly funding education and research  infrastructures but also providing early financing for innovative firms,  and new key technologies, which private venture capital has proven too  risk averse to fund. Without the state there would have been no internet  revolution, biotech revolution or nanotech revolution. Without the  state, the green-tech revolution is still-born.
One of the failures of current UK policy is the assumption that firms  want to grow, and all they need is a “nudge” in the right direction.  While the Green Investment Bank is surely a positive development, it  assumes that the willingness to invest is there and all that is needed  is some co-financing. But “green” investment is currently confined to  incremental areas, and the government is not stepping in to fill the  gap. The UK’s investment of £12.6 billion in this area in 2009/10 is,  according to PIRC, “under 1 per cent of UK Gross Domestic Product; half  of what South Korea currently invests in green technologies annually;  and less than what the UK presently spend on furniture in a year”.

3. Market making not market fixing

What I have called the “entrepreneurial state”  is not about fixing markets but creating them. The state has acted in  the past as catalyst, lead investor and creator (not just facilitator)  of the knowledge economy. This requires far-sighted investments in  technologies that are too risky for the private sector, such as offshore  wind and carbon capture and storage. It also involves the creation of  clear policy signals that increase business confidence in areas that are  otherwise seen to be too high risk, such as feed-in tariffs for solar  energy (recently cancelled in the UK causing even more uncertainty and  less investment).
A more entrepreneurial role for government extends beyond procuring  innovative products to making them directly in public labs when the  private sector is reluctant to step in. Indeed, 75 per cent of the New  Molecular Entities with priority rating in the pharmaceutical industry  have originated in public sector labs, because private pharma is more  interested in the low risk “me too” drugs. It is the large amounts of US  public funds for life-sciences research (via the National Institutes of  Health) that has enticed Pfizer and GSK to leave the UK for the US.  From 1978 through 2004, NIH spending on life sciences research totaled  $365 billion.

4. Rebalancing indicators of performance

Creating markets is also about shaping the indicators that are used  to measure economic performance so they reward rather than penalise the  most innovative companies. In this sense, “rebalancing” is not  necessarily about sectors. It is more about redirecting “indicators of  performance” away from short run financial towards long run “real  economy” measures. Firms investing in expensive R&D and human  capital will have a higher risk profile, since innovation is so costly  and uncertain. The most innovative companies have suffered the largest  increases in the cost of credit.
Furthermore, the focus on boosting  stock prices through share buybacks (Fortune 500 companies have spent $3  trillion on buybacks over the last decade) has been shown to be  directly related to lower investments of these companies in human  capital and R&D. These are tradeoffs which industrial policy must  combat.
Battling against these problems includes devising policies that  nurture “patient capital” that can protect the flow of credit to the  most innovative companies. In Germany this occurs through the  state-backed investment bank – KfW, which works alongside the regional Landesbanken  as well as the large network of savings banks. Innovation in Brazil,  which has surpassed the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy, has  been directly funded by the Brazilian Development Bank. In the UK, a  National Investment Bank could today be formed relatively quickly out of  the nationalised RBS (an idea included in Cable’s leaked letter).  Selling it off would be a wasted opportunity.

5. Being first matters

China recently announced that it is spending $1.5 trillion over the  next five years in seven new key industries (including environmentally  friendly technologies and new generation IT). Its industrial policy is  its growth policy — its economic strategy. Similarly, after the crisis  hit in 2008, Germany increased its government funded RandD spending by  10 per cent, while the UK has since cut it by the same amount,  signalling very different visions of what will drive post-crisis  recovery.
Note EU-Digest: Mariana Mazzucato is Professor of Economics and RM Phillips Chair in  Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex. She is the  author of The Entrepreneurial State.

 

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