Tag Archives: Social Welfare
This week on Facebook: In the 10th edition of their Democracy Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently reported the worst performance in global democracy since 2010-11 in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. A special focus of this year’s report is the state of media freedom around the world and the challenges facing freedom of speech. The report aims to give a snapshot of democracy worldwide and includes 165 independent states and two territories which cover almost the entire world population.
Five categories are used to score each country: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Based on around 60 indicators each country is placed into one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”. The Democracy Index regards freedom of expression as essential for democracy to take root and flourish. The quality of democracy in any country may in large measure be gauged by the degree to which freedom of speech prevails. Societies that do not tolerate dissent, heresy and the questioning of conventional wisdom cannot be “full democracies”. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Some weeks a back an acquaintance in the USA sent me a link to What Happens When an MBA Student Raised in Communist China Reads Hayek. While the article presents a very biased view (particularly towards the USA), it does go some way to explain the explosive rise in China’s economic growth. Perhaps it isn’t known how the Hayek doctrine of economics influences Chinese communist party thought but I’m sure that it does, especially the economic views of Xi Jinping. One thing remains certain: The Peoples Republic of China is founded on a Constitution that is vastly different from the of the United States of America, notwithstanding the economic views of Hayek. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I returned to the subject of democracy, my earliest post on this being in 2009 (No to Democracy), continued in 2011 with (Democracy ‚ Do we really have it) and Democracy in 2016. What follows is new material and while I have written a number of articles on democracy, those of 2009, 2011, 2016 and now this one are — to my mind — the essentials. This post’s title ‘Democracy in Crisis‘ is taken from the 2018 updated link in the image below from Freedom House. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: ‘The Inscrutable Chinese¹’ is a western expression that is rarely used these days and amongst those of my generation (who may have understood its true intent), it was more often used to represent someone whom could not possibly be understood by any occidental. So, “Who are the Chinese?” Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: When I first read about The Great Firewall of China I concluded that it was a model that most States would try to find a way of emulating, the rationale being that it was the first step towards securing the political supremacy of a governing oligarchy under the pretext of a democracy. Now China has launched The New Silk Road¹ (OBOR: One Belt One Road) and notionally democratic governments find themselves not only having to consider a trade war with China, but to seriously consider China’s political model as representative of the future. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: The connection between inequality and economic growth is mostly lost on the indigent and those prospering in a paternalistic and what is often called the Nanny State¹. Nevertheless, it is clear that the majority of people are willing to sacrifice personal and moral freedoms in pursuit of the perceived benefits of living in a paternalistic Nanny State.
This is particularly true in the UK where a majority tyranny is exercised compelling the acceptance of State control, where those on the political left and right mostly argue about the fiscal policy needed to stimulate economic growth, with opposing policies that advocate an end to Government Spending and Austerity versus those of avoiding a Sovereign Default. Both sides finding themselves hoist on the petard of an ever increasing commitment to a Welfare State, which makes their proposed welfare system limited by Sovereign Debt, thwarting any political desire for the effective implementation of all their fiscal policies. Read more of this post
Next week on Facebook I intend to write about the Nanny State and while use of the term ‘Nanny State’ may be new in 1898 Woodrow Wilson was to write in his book The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, No student of history can wisely censure those who protest against state paternalism.
Next Wednesday’s article is an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Three Cheers for the Nanny State”, that dismisses principled concerns about paternalism and presents arguments in favour of it¹. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I used to blog a lot on a now defunct site called My Telegraph, as did a chap who I think called himself Atrium. Eventually Atrium disappeared in a fit of pique, I think it was because he had such little response to his many cri de coeur regarding his opinions. Observing Atrium was a salutary lesson that taught me a lot about blogging and I think I understand why he left My Telegraph in such a huff. It was (at least in a large part) an ‘age’ thing, Atrium was most probably in my peer group, retired and clearly with a lot of time to spend on the social media. He had forgotten that as a younger man, when in a job and less time on his hands, any talk of putting the world to rights was invariably euphemistic and tempered by a blind faith that the democracy of our public administration lay in hands of the electorate.
My piquancy (I would hope) is not only tempered by an ever increasing understanding of the social media but also by the limitations to my curmudgeonliness. However, a recent article in MoneyWeek with the title ‘A Credit Score That Judges Your Politics’ (see Monday’s article) caused me to have an Atrium moment, a cri de coeur if you will. Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay—or not (see Tuesday’s article). Think of the world that you are already living in!
This week on Facebook: While listening to a lecture by John Maynard Keynes the famed economist, Peter Drucker realised that Keynes and all the brilliant economics students in the room were interested in the behaviour of commodities while he was interested in the behaviour of people. An epiphany that would eventually lead to his career as a management consultant. Nevertheless, both sought an approach to economic growth that addressed income inequality without advocating that income be distributed equally. Read more of this post
All Fool’s Day seems an appropriate time to post a short piece about; Morituri te Salutant, Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Winnie the Pooh, an allusion to H. Rider Haggard (well, more Horace Rumpole really): leading to the ‘Money Advice Service’ on UK funeral costs. Read more of this post
2017 @ A.P. Herbert AI Albert Haddock Banks blog book books budget budget deficit C.S. Lewis censorship China Civil Service constitution Crime CRT cryptocurrency CWG debt deficit democracy education ethics EU euro fiat money Film France freedom of expression free trade gdp government history human-rights inequality internet J M Keynes language Law Ludwig Von Mises Margaret Thatcher morality music Musical national debt New Labour NHS opinion parody PFI poetry police Police & Crime Commissioners politics Quantitative Easing research school Screwtape Sir Ethelred Rutt K.C. social-media Social Welfare statistics T.E. Utley taxation terrorism Thatcher The Telegraph UK Unemployment USA Victor Hugo war war on terror
© Peter Barnett and Aasof’s Relections. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Aasof and Aasof’s reflections with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.