Friday, May 1, 2015

Processes and People

It is easily forgotten that a firm is far more than just the sum of its employees. Indeed, the success of a company is the result of the contributions of all of its assets. These assets, tangible and intangible, consist of e.g. its existing stored information and experience, the efficiency of its organisation, its connections with government and the local community, its established processes, its IT systems, its intellectual property (including the brand), its material resources (including inventory), its land and real estate, and, of course, its human capital. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Futility of Liberty

The question of liberty in the modern world is a sensitive one because the answer is taken for granted. If one asks people in the West whether they are “free”, an overwhelming majority would instinctively answer in the affirmative.

But being convinced that one is free, however this term is defined, is of little importance if not accompanied by a clear consciousness of, and a constant appreciation for that freedom.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Taking Advantage of the Welfare State

Many people living in the generous modern Welfare State do everything they can to take advantage of the system; they try to reduce their tax bill and claim as many subsidies and benefits as possible.[1] The question is whether they should be blamed for doing so? In other words, is such behaviour morally acceptable?

In fact, such behaviour is generally considered immoral, which is somewhat paradoxical since it is so pervasive.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Real Success of the Nordic Welfare State - Part II

It may not have been true in the past, but today there is a real reason to admire the Nordic welfare states. Since the late 90s, after the banking crisis of 1991 in Sweden and Finland and the recession of the early 90s, these welfare states have been radically transformed. It is even possible to speak of a “reinvention” of the welfare state.[1] 

The Nordic countries, and in particular Sweden, have shown a remarkable amount of political will to carry out reforms whose aim has been to ultimately preserve - not destroy - the welfare state.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Real Success of the Nordic Welfare State - Part I

The Nordic welfare states were for decades considered role models; they were supposedly the proof that a highly developed welfare state could coexist successfully with an economically free society. Indeed, the Nordic countries, especially Sweden and to some extent Denmark, were recognized for pushing the welfare state further than other countries, for having developed social-democratic “universal” welfare states, and at the same time managing competitive economies with high rates of growth.[1] Though there is some truth to these perceptions, they require some important amendments that might somewhat tarnish this rosy view.