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Sunday, 27 November 2011

quick thoughts on wednesday's strike

it's said that pensions are so much better in the public sector than in the private sector and so they should be made worse.
how about let's have better pensions in the private sector? that should be answer.

all of those on the right saying that the deficit came about by spending today and pay on the never never tend to be those arguing against good public sector pensions. But insuffuicient private sector pensions is just saving up problems for the future. If people don't save for their pensions then the state will have to bail them out later and it'll be MY generation's problem. We need to get this sorted now rather than the current lot thinking it'll be someone else's problem when it hits the fan.

on the strikes - i think that changes to make pensions more affordable and more in line with people's life expectancy is right in and of itself. I'm not convinced this strike is needed, and will have to make an uninformed judgement about the conduct and negotiating of the government and the unions. won't hold my breath then

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The democratic deficit: The removal of democratically elected leaders and their replacement by technocrats

in Greece and Italy, this week has seen the removal of democratically elected leaders who have been replaced by unelected technocrats. To me there are issues around this, in no particular order:
Firstly – these governments are representative governments. There are the result of indirect democracy, not direct i.e. they are elected to represent those who elected them. Therefore, they should have the power to take even the most significant decisions without having to refer back to their electors.
Secondly: something as huge as what's been going on with regards to the austerity measures should have democratic backing. It might even get the people on side
Third: if they hadn't screwed up their economy in the first place they wouldn't be in this situation at all.
Fourthly: elections take time, decisions are needed now.
Fifthly: the needs of the financial markets and ratings agencies are being put above the democratic desires of the populations of these countries. But, at the end of the day the reason for this is that their economy is up the creek and they need to borrow money on someone else's terms.