Tag Archives: productivity

JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and  Founder and former CEO, JPIndusries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

If the 20th Century was the American Century, why does the 21st Century seem so daunting for America?  If we are still the globe’s leading manufacturer (and we are), why does globalization terrify us?  If the entire world sends its best and brightest to American graduate schools, why does our education system need reform?  Why is the most affluent nation mired in a stagnant economy?  Why do politicians of every stripe find maximum traction with empty chants of: “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!”?

In this small but I hope meaningful book that I recently wrote I insist we must define our problems before seeking solutions.  I demonstrate, in as clear and enjoyable prose my editor and I can write, that a single problem (and opportunity) underlies all the above questions.

Just as our 19th Century farmer nation endured social upheaval but prospered in a massive shift to an urban and manufacturing 20th Century, we face a new upheaval today.  Both enormous transitions stem from the same all-powerful, irreversible force—technological progress.

This time around, I show, the great danger is that populist political rhetoric will strangle the free-market generator of wealth for all Americans, leaving us with a failed economy and a failed nation.  The American capitalist economic engine needs repair, now.  It must find new ways of sharing the wealth it creates—as it did via job creation in the 20th Century—or the politicians will ensure that the prevailing gloom will be warranted.

That challenge is THE TECHNOLOGY IMPERATIVE.

For the book: “The Technology Imperative: What Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Really Means in the 21st Century”, published by Gavdos Press, September 2012, please go to gavdospress.com

Release the potential of Greek workers

Mr. 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”.

This editorial is also appearing in Kathimerini.

Are high labor costs the main reason behind Greece’s anemic competitiveness? Most entrepreneurs will promptly respond that this is not the case. (I am not referring here to those operating in sectors flooded with clandestine labor who are not bothered by things like the 13th and 14th salaries or the minimum wage.) Meanwhile, the efforts of several labor representatives to appear on the side of the worker sound extremely hypocritical when everyone knows what really goes on within the unions.

Serious businesspeople deem that the root of the problem lies elsewhere. The policy of automatic pay rises for having worked a certain number of years, for example, is a very big problem which has injected a public servant mentality into private sector employees. Reactionary attitudes among union representatives who refuse to grasp the seriousness of the situation also impacts negatively on jobs. The standoff between unions and employers at the Halyvourgia steel plant is reminiscent of past disasters that accelerated the country’s deindustrialization.

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THE EURO: A GOLDEN TRAP FOR GREECE

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

The adoption of the euro as the common currency for the participating EU countries was hailed by politicians, academics and business people as a very important step-forward towards the ideal of European economic integration through the implementation of Robert A. Mundell’s Optimum Currency Area theory. The new currency was a greater success than many economists expected. Outside the EU it has become the second -after the dollar- reserve currency for many central banks and close to thirty nations worldwide chose to peg their currencies to the euro. The new currency helped to eliminate exchange rate risk and minimize transaction costs within the Eurozone, boosting intra-EU trade and efficient capital allocation.

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