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Monday, October 25, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Michael Warren in his article “Why Germany’s Unemployment Rate is Lower” concludes that
Kurzarbeit has been a part of German labor legislation since the days of
We can contrast
The Germans are learning that Kurzarbeit is not a panacea. Like
I would venture that Kurzarbeit is only one of several factors that explain the falling German unemployment rate. Other factors that could be equally as important are the growing use of Leiharbeiter (rent-a-workers) and the pretence that employees are independent contractors. Leiarbeiter are “rented” from intermediaries and can be hired and fired at will. Sham independent contractors (a prime example is truck drivers who “lease” their truck from their employer) fall outside of
Why is it that
In addition to other responsibilities, the author is a Research Professor at the German Institute for Economic Research,
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Some observers have written that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was responsible for the September 28 firing of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov. They interpret it as a bold move on Medvedev’s part to assert himself and lay the foundations for his presidential campaign in 2012.
I still stick to my original interpretation: Luzhkov was fired to remove the most viable alternative to Putin’s return to presidential power. Luzhkov was fired by Medvedev for the simple reason that only the Russian President has the authority to remove regional leaders. Putin assumed this ant-democratic authority during his presidency, and it is now being exercised by his proxy, Medvedev.
There is one simple reason why Medvedev will not be the President of Russia in 2012. He is not a member of the KGB club that runs
The only interesting question is the timing of the Luzhkov firing. He was able to remain in this position so long because he was popular among Muscovites. He might be corrupt but he got things done. The summer forest fires around
Although Luzhkov vowed to fight on, his actions after his firing are telling. He resigned from United Russia, a party he helped found, and he is complaining loudly about the sorry state of Russian politics, without really doing anything. These actions underscore the complete monopoly of power of the Kremlin.