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May 07, 2009

Decisions, decisions (genghis)

Ooh! A shiny new thread, ripe with possibilities (for failure and disappointment that is)
The highly respected business journal MSNBC has tasked a number of their senior fellows (nearly all previous winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics) to compare and contrast the remaining economic models we have to choose from. Here are the four they’ve pared it down to:

• The Mediterranean model (Italy, Spain, Greece): Social spending concentrated on old-age pensions and a focus on employment protection and early retirement schemes — inefficient both in creating employment and in combating poverty.

• The Continental model (France, Germany, Luxembourg): insurance-based, non-employment benefits and old-age pensions and a high degree of employment protection — good at combating poverty but bad at creating jobs.

• The Anglo-Saxon model (Ireland, the UK and Portugal): Many low-paid jobs, payments linked to regular employment, activating measures and a low degree of job security — relatively efficient at creating employment but bad at preventing poverty.

• The Nordic model (Denmark, Finland and Sweden, plus the Netherlands and Austria): High spending on social security and high taxes, little job protection but high employment security — successful at both creating jobs and preventing poverty.

I likes me some choice…and maybe we can just do this in an ala carte fashion, picking out only the parts we like. I still think they may have left out a couple of good alternatives though. Such as the Mongol model. (A more refined version of the nascent “Hun” model which was tried several centuries earlier but never really allowed to play itself out.) Vikings tried using that economic model on a more localized scale as well, but results are mixed. For more information, please see Adam Smith’s lesser known companion to his masterpiece ”The Wealth of Nations” entitled ”Sacking and Pillaging the Wealth of Other Nations” for more info.

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posted by xgenghisx at 04:42 PM

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