Category Archives: Economics in Brief

National Fiscal Flexibility: EU Parliament Plans A Big Step Backwards

By John Weeks. He is an economist and Professor Emeritus at SOAS, University of London. John received his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1969. He is author of a new book entitled ‘Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy’ (Anthem).

I and many others have argued that the basic EU treaties have flexibility to accommodate most social democratic policies such as those in the 2017 Manifesto of the UK Labour Party. Our argument may soon suffer a decisive blow from the EU parliament.

In March 2012 twenty-five EU national governments signed the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG), the “fiscal pact”. By signing national governments “contracted” (the treaty term) to obey its detailed fiscal rules. The TSCG did not achieve unanimous approval, thus could not become part of the de facto EU constitution; i.e., contrary to the intention of the fiscally reactionary governments, it was not incorporated into the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

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Assetization of Human Capital

By Martin Ejenobor. Partner at Revele. He  is a Business Adviser, Innovation Strategist, Speaker, Trainer, Thinker and Entrepreneur with over 15- years multifaceted experience proffering solutions “to” various industries including FMCG, Luxury Goods, Human Resource Development and Sports.

“This article addresses the concept of people as capital that companies can buy and sell. Is this just a dream or it’s a trend?
How soon will it happen if at all”

Here are some excerpts from this article posted in LinkedIn recently. Click on the link at the end of this sharing.

“Let’s start by defining the word ‘asset’ then we will describe it in context for clarity”.

“The definition of the word asset usually comes close to the ability of a (tangible or intangible) things to be monetized. If it cannot be sold, it is has no value for the which it may be traded then it is not an asset”.

“Human Capital is a Knowledge Based Asset (KBA) and therefore yields as such. So back to our talk of assetization, it is clear that an asset is anything an entity can trade for money (Knowledge, property -tangible or intangible, stocks, bonds, etc) but has any organization traded its humans (staff) as assets? Your guess is as good as mine- none!”

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Robot revolution: rise of ‘thinking’ machines could exacerbate inequality

Heather Stewart, Joint Political Editor of the Guardian (British Newspaper)

Global economy will be transformed over next 20 years at risk of growing inequality, say analysts

A line of human-shaped robots on display at an industry fair.
Robots made by Shaanxi Jiuli Robot Manufacturing Co on display at an industry fair in Shanghai in November. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

A “robot revolution” will transform the global economy over the next 20 years, cutting the costs of doing business but exacerbating social inequality, as machines take over everything from caring for the elderly to flipping burgers, according to a new study.

As well as robots performing manual jobs, such as hovering the living room or assembling machine parts, the development of artificial intelligence means computers are increasingly able to “think”, performing analytical tasks once seen as requiring human judgment.

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