Freedom, private property, competition, and the rule of law proved to be more successful than an all-controlling bureaucracy. In a way, the division of Germany constituted a large-scale real-world test for the long-term effects of free markets vs. a centrally planned economy.
People will stick with cigarettes, which, although more harmful than the alternative, will bring more taxes into the state coffers. After three years, tobacco tax increases are back on the table. In English, it is known as the “sin tax”. Similar to the tax on alcohol or beer. The public perceives these taxes as a way for consumers of addictive substances to ‘pay’ for their sins. The truth is that smokers pay a lot.
The cost of emissions reductions over the last two decades in the EU has been significant. In Slovakia alone, people pay hundreds of millions of euros a year to support renewable energy sources, with millions more going on insulation and boiler subsidies, or the development of electromobility. A significant part of the cost is hidden in higher prices for goods, as manufacturers have to buy emission allowances.
If we want to start talking about next year’s minimum wage increase, we first need to look to the past. As we all know, 2020 was the year of the pandemic, and that brought with it, among other things, a significant downturn in the economy, and with it a fall in labor productivity. The private sector responded logically by reducing the growth in average wages. But not all businesses had this option.
The football season in Bulgaria has begun, and with it, a new contract for television rights has entered into force. The contract is for five seasons (until 2026), and the clubs, as announced by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) last year, will BGN earn 6.5 million each season. UEFA reports show that about 7% of the income of the First League teams in Bulgaria comes from television rights.
There is nothing better than a press conference of a minister announcing a new investor who has chosen Bulgaria for their new investment venture. This is also the dream of every mayor, although mayors do not have much to offer to potential investors. Ministers have the arsenal of the State budget at their disposal. Thus, they can use taxpayer money to offer incentives for companies and offer resultant advantages to a selected sector or region.
Just a few weeks ago IME presented the main challenges to social protection faced by Bulgaria in the post-pandemic period. One of the key takeaways was that Bulgarian social policy is unfocused, ineffective and that it flat out fails to address poverty and inequality. While such issues are mainly solved through economic recovery, new jobs and wage growth, the role of social policy should be focused as much as possible on those most in need.
Imagine the owner of a candy store, whose window is broken by boys playing football. People run around the scene of the accident, pitty the owner and blame and rebuke the naughty. Nevertheless, there are some people among the crowd who say that a broken window also has its bright economic side. A broken window means work for the window maker. For the money he earns he can now buy bread, for example. That’s how the baker has a job.
You have probably noticed that the world “globalization” evokes passions and even protests. “The rich become richer and the poor are poorer!” shout some of protesters. “Globalization causes the loss of national culture and identity,” is shouted by others. But is globalization really dangerous? Does it need to be slowed down or regulated?
June 2021 will go down in the history of improving the business environment in Slovakia. It has joined the countries that have introduced a system to reduce the costs of doing business, which stem from bureaucracy and other regulations. This will help Slovakia to recover from the crisis, increase business productivity, increase competitiveness and, ultimately, improve people’s standard of living in general.