By conceding that growing inequality is the main challenge facing the US, President Barack Obama finally admitted last week that the much lauded “recovery” is a myth.
In recent months, not a single day has gone by without reports of America’s impressive bounce-back and strong GDP growth. Financial experts and TV hosts have been very eager to emphasize surging stock market indexes and what good this brings to the world’s largest economy. Talk show guests have been underlining the strength of US economic crisis management, while pointing their fingers at Europeans who are just muddling through. More often than not, leading European voices appeared to agree.
Who would blame them? The US annualized GDP growth has reached 2.8% in this year’s third quarter – quite impressive when compared with the comatose 0.1% registered by the Eurozone. On the market front, Twitter’s IPO in November was a success even to the casual observer: at the end of the first trading day the company’s valuation peaked at $30 billion. Buyers of its stocks could cash as much as 70% in profit if they sold just 24 hours later. So, if the economy is growing and the stock market is booming, surely the recovery must be unquestionably here!
Or is it? What does recovery stand for? Should we cheer GDP growth and stock market performance, or should we rather look at household earnings, job quality and levels of poverty? What does really count, abstract statistics or people’s incomes, jobs?…
Read the rest of the piece on openDemocracy.
S prisego ta konec tedna bo ponovno izvoljeni ameriški demokratski predsednik Barack Obama tudi uradno začel svoj drugi mandat. Za seboj ima štiri naporna leta. V svoji prvi predsedniški kampanji se je dokazal kot navdihujoč govornik, ki je Američanom vlil upanje v boljšo prihodnost ter jim povrnil zaupanje v politiko. Takoj ob vstopu v Belo hišo pa se je moral soočiti s kruto realnostjo vladanja. ZDA so bile v objemu hude gospodarske krize, finančni sistem je bil na robu
kolapsa, avtomobilski industriji je grozil bankrot, število brezposelnih je vztrajno naraščalo. Ugled ZDA v svetu je v času njegovega predhodni-ka Georgea Busha mlajšega zdrsnil na domnevno najnižjo točko v zadnjih desetletjih, ameriški vojaki pa so umirali v Iraku in Afganistanu. Prva štiri leta Obame so zato po sili razmer minila predvsem v znamenju kriznega upravljanja ter rehabilitacije ameriškega ugleda v svetu. Kljub temu je administraciji pod njegovim vodstvom uspelo doseči marsikaj…
(iz Večera, 18. januarja 2013, v celoti na voljo tukaj)
Once back into more trivial material. The last January weekend was lazy, but pleasant. Let’s first take a look at the weekend before.
Saray (who got a special page – click here) got back from Nairobi and then left on Friday for a day meeting to Berlin with SPD. I had an interesting conference on gender equality to manage for one of the clients on Thursday, where we hosted Vladimir Špidla, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and Pat Cox, the former President of the European Parliament and now president of the European Movement. All fine, many people turned up and we had a nice response from the hosting and partner institutions – European Economic and Social Commitee and the European Commission. If you feel like, read the Press Release here. Perhaps would be good to write something about the topic once…will note down.
campaign partners in the Slovenian House – a nice Slovenian resto, just off Place Jourdan. Run by a friend, the place is always a nice refuge for a group of people, they serve good food and an even better wine. Boštjan, thanks for being an excellent host again. Continue reading
We finished Thursday with a nice dinner together with other