Stateblind.eu
Carl-Johan Westholm’s personal blog
Time saving text: uncommon comments with common sense
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If you are state blind, you do not see that state power is about right and wrong. State blindness is a special case of moral blindness. A moral blind person cannot see that any choice has a moral dimension. It is difficult to discuss paintings with a colour blind person - and to discuss politics with a state blind person.
Wednesday 28, January 2009. Posted at 17:32
Euron och Lissabon
I Sverige höjs nu röster för att ordna en ny folkomröstning om Sverige ska övergå till euron som valuta.

Samtidigt voterade riksdagen i höstas med bred majoritet igenom en svensk anslutning till Lissabonfördraget. Utan folkomröstning.

I Tyskland har författningsdomstolen i Karlsruhe i dagarna fått ytterligare en anmälan mot Lissabonfördraget - med huvudpunkten att domstolens prognos från 1993, som banade väg för euron, visade sig vara falsk.

Se Free Europe knappen till höger för mer info.
Sunday 18, January 2009. Posted at 15:39
Anders Isaksson 1943-2009
Anders Isaksson dog oväntat igår, den 17 januari. Jag hade tänkt ringa honom under veckan och föreslå att vi sågs till lunch; senaste gången var i oktober.

Han var en av de skarpaste iakttagarna och analytikerna av de senaste hundra årens svenska historia, inte minst hans stora arbete om Per Albin Hansson (som borde ha gett honom ett hedersdoktorat; jag mailade idén till en Uppsalaprofessor för några år sedan, men det blev inget av med det. Shame on you).

Första gången vi sågs var någon gång i februari-mars 1969 i DN:s lunchmatsal i Marieberg. Jag hade just börjat vikariera som ledarskribent, och mitt emot mig satt en dag en nyfiken, sympatisk och öppen reporter.

Jag hade svårt att tro att Anders var SSU:are. Jag hade några månader tidigare rest med bland andra dåvarande SSU-ordföranden Bosse Ringholm i övre Norrland - och denne såg alltid en klassfiende i varenda en som inte liknade honom själv.

Anders var rakt annorlunda. Intresserad av att höra andras uppfattningar, och gav tillbaka intressanta reflektioner.

Senare, under 80-talet, var han en självklar deltagare i bokförlaget Ratios årliga seminarier på ett höstlikt Yxtaholm, under Torgny Segerstedts ledning.

Anders senaste, som blev hans sista, bok, är den som snart utkommer om statskuppen i Sverige 1809.

Ett exempel på hans originalitet är hans sista artikel i DN, för en månad sedan, om finanskrisen. Medan de flesta sömngångaraktigt upprepar vad de alltid sagt som en lösning - vare sig det gäller att sänka eller öka skatterna - har Anders även denna gång tänkt till en extra gång.

I år kommer som en sista hälsning hans bok om Gustav IV Adolf och 1809 års män.

Vi är många som känner saknad.

Carl-Johan Westholm



Monday 12, January 2009. Posted at 17:07
Maktlystnad är ingen dödssynd
I månadens predikotext för dala-tidningarna "Viktigare är girighet" (Se Articles January 2009) lanserar jag en livsdygd - som motvikt mot den katolska kyrkans sju dödssynder, som inte, trots att de äro sju, icke inbegripa maktlystnaden.
Tuesday 06, January 2009. Posted at 16:15
Total compensation and labour productivity
Interesting correction via:

NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS
DAILY POLICY DIGEST
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
http://www.ncpa.org

The relation between wages and worker productivity is a key determinant of the standard of living of the employed population. According to research by economist Martin Feldstein, the share of national income going to employees is at about the same level as it was in 1970. But the use of an incorrect inflation adjustment has resulted in skewed findings showing a large and increasing gap between productivity and wages.

Feldstein notes that the level of productivity (measured as output per hour) doubled in the U.S. non-farm business sector between 1970 and 2006. Wages, or more accurately total compensation per hour,
increased at about the same annual rate during that period, when
adjusted for inflation. According to Feldstein:

o The doubling of productivity since 1970 represented a 1.9
percent annual rate of increase, while real compensation per
hour rose at 1.7 percent per year.

o Between 2000 and 2007, productivity rose at a more rapid 2.9
percent per year and compensation rose nearly as fast, at 2.5
percent per year.

o Total labor compensation has been remarkably stable since the
1970s, at 66 percent of national income in 1970 to 65 percent
in 2007.

Feldstein concludes that two principal measurement mistakes have led some analysts to conclude that labor income growth has not kept up with productivity growth:

o The first is a focus on wages rather than total compensation;
because of the rise in non-cash benefits, wages have not risen
as rapidly as total compensation.

o The second measurement problem is the way in which nominal
output and nominal compensation are converted to real values
before making the comparison using two different deflators; he
concludes one deflator should be used for measuring both
productivity and compensation.

Source: Lester Picker, "Total Compensation Reflects Growth in
Productivity," NBER Digest, October 2008 and Martin Feldstein,
"Did Wages Reflect Growth in Productivity?" National Bureau
of Economic Research, Working Paper 13953, April 2008.

For text:

http://www.nber.org/digest/oct08/w13953.html