Category Archives: Economics in Brief

THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING (4th article in a series on US Manufacturing articles)

We have been losing our manufacturing base at an ever increasing rate to overseas competitor nations. Large portions of American manufacturing have experienced a sharp drop in their domestic and world markets. Let me illustrate by looking at three pivotal industries: motor vehicles; electronic computing equipment; and machine tools. In the past couple decades the share of the domestic market held by domestic manufacturers producing in domestic plants has declined from approximately 80% to about 50% for motor vehicles, from 90% to below 60% for computing equipment, and from 80% to below 60% for machine tools. Exports have also fallen more dramatically in each of these industries.

It is hoped that we can find a way to put our talents together to deal with the very real problems facing manufacturing in the USA. My purpose here is to suggest ways to do so.
Continue reading

The Making of The Greek Fiscal Crisis

Dr. Periklis Gogas is an invited contributor to The Business Thinker magazine. He is a faculty member at Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, teaching Macroeconomics, Banking and Finance

The public debate over Greek debt is in the headlines for months now ever since the first issues with regard to Greece’s fiscal problems were raised. Political and ideological confrontations on the subject are inevitable. Accusations over culpability are an everyday occurrence between members of the two major political parties PASOK and ND that ruled Greece by turns since democracy was restored in 1974. Academic economists in Greece follow these developments closely and they are often at the epicenter of heated discussions in the media with journalists and tax payers indirectly or directly accusing them for the current situation. People are wondering why all the economists that now stress the shortcomings of Greece’s fiscal policy remained silent or at least they did not criticize that strong the same policies in the past. The truth of course is that no politician ever asked them and no one ever listened to their warnings. Politicians were busy accusing each other for creating the debt. Thankfully, numbers can tell the truth impartially without subjective political judgments and deception: a simple graph like the one in Figure 1 depicts the truth. Continue reading

Desperate investors

Alexis Papachelas is a guest editorial writer to The Business Thinker. He is currently the Executive Editor of the long standing and highly respected daily Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”.

Many entrepreneurs who for years have waited patiently for their proposals to be examined in order to get to work on their investment projects are wondering when the government will finally decide to get around to looking at them. This has come to the fore after two major projects were pushed through under specially streamlined procedures, so it is only natural for the others to be awaiting answers about whether and when they will receive similar preferential treatment. Their hope is that they will not have to go through the pack of ambitious intermediaries full of promises of being able to push through investments.

The government and the Maximou Mansion have a clear role in the promotion of large investments. Nothing important can happen unless the prime minister or someone close to him with great influence puts his or her weight behind it. But this also means that the door should be open to every serious investor who is stuck in a rut and not just those with connections.

Continue reading