You were ‘nice’? Here is a reward. You were ‘naughty’ – here is a punishment. There is a kind of a social contract between an individual and Santa Claus. This simple and intuitive logic is not uncommon in many cultures. But I cannot help at wonder: what would Santa Claus be like if he was a government figure?
Let’s be honest. Governments remember deregulation in their talks with businesses or during election campaigns. But they do not pay nearly as much attention to deregulation as they do to expanding regulatory obligations, increasing taxes, or telling people how to behave.
There are those who view markets as functional (albeit imperfect) tools for economic decisions and those who think markets always fail at this task. Add to that the intricacies of the energy sector, and the discussion about markets in the energy sector becomes an argument between economists and engineers written down by lawyers.
Human reason is probably the only resource worth caring for – it should not fall into the hands of bureaucracy and robbers. The first scenario would make it ineffective due to unreasonable rules and restrictions, while the latter would not allow the deserving to reap the fruits of their labour.
“An experiment of austerity” and “blackmailing” are just a few of the many fanciful epithets employed by the members of SYRIZA and socialists to create a “syrizophrenic” picture of what is going on. However, the true reasons of and solutions for the crisis have already been known for a long time.
Although Greece’s drama has left no people indifferent, neither those who stick to a tough position on Greece (Lithuanian government, for starters), nor newly declared Greece’s friends (European nationalists and socialists) would want the same scenario for their countries. However, becoming Greece is not so difficult. Here are a few guidelines.
From 2012 to 2014 Lithuania increased its minimum monthly wage by almost one third (from 800 Litas in 2012 to 1,035 Litas in 2014). There are suggestions to increase the minimum wage in 2015 even more the supporters of the idea claim that companies would adapt. But is it all that simple? According to the survey conducted by LFMI, minimum wage increases come at a cost and they eventually bring several negative consequences.
People are either cannibals or creators. The fundamental difference between the two is how in their opinion the world works. What to do when you’re hungry – eat a neighbour or come up with a solution to growing vegetables in the middle of winter? Is the world a “zero-sum game” in which one can prosper only if others suffer? Yes would be the answer of a cannibal.
The shale gas (and oil) revolution is a perfect example how human ingenuity and freedom to act can solve any problem.
Ukrainians today are more serious about liberal democracy than many Europeans have been for a long time. The traditional values of Europe – self-reliance, self-determination – today are much stronger in the Maidan square than in parts of, say, Greece.