Anna, The questions you raised are fair ones. So also is the import of confirming many of us here cannot claim to be in the group of "have nots." Aside from cutting the budget to reduce debts, why are European governments so bent on austerity measures? Prehaps it's because they still believe that deficits and debts matter.
There has to be some repercussions for spending more than what comes in whether at the government, corporate or individual levels. I know economies sometime need a booster shot but also it needs orderly growth and not the adrenaline rush to be had from a sudden injection of financial stimulus. I am not an economist although I do know when it's time to pay debts rather than accumulate more.
Ashish, Sorry to disappoint you but that war between the "haves" and the "have nots" won't be happening on these shores or any other shores in the capitalist world. It won't happen in China either. Why? Simply because the rich have become smatter and are more focused on self-survival. They've distributed the wealth well enough and created a middle class, a group of people who's survival has become entwined with the rich class and who continually hope they too will one day join the "rich" class.
The "have nots" aren't that many anymore and can't muster the crowd to go against the "haves" because the "haves" are more than the "have nots." Do you count yourself amongst the "have nots"? Are you really one of the "have nots?" Is anyone reading this classifiable as a "have not"?
Ariella, I think you guys are exploring uncharted territories here. No company will split jobs just to make things easier for the employee. The reason companies engage in any kinds of juggling related to employees is only when it is in the company's interest.
And back to the topic discussed by Anna Young, I think Europe's budget cuts are as much driven by fear as it is by necessity. The cuts will happen because they are what any rational person would recommend for businesses and households. A business, country or any other institution and individual should not continue to pile up debts just so "the economy can grow." That's idiotic and it's what politicians in the United States recommend for their economy. The rest of the world isn't swimming in the same direction.
Susan, I could not possibly say all European countries are at the same level of "terrorism" alert. They are not and cannot be. It's not necessary because they don't all face the same level of fear either in terms of military security or terrorism. Does that mean military budgets should be cut? Absolutely. I agree with you also on this. But will they be cut? I don't think so. This is the point I was trying to make.
With all the noise about terrorism, politicians may not have the backbone to push through budget cuts. In the United States, it is quite obvious the military is the largest budget that needs to be pared back. However, no politician who advocates this would survive the next election. What I would like to know from your perspective is if this is the same understanding in Europe.
Would you say every single state in Europe in on high alert about terrorism? Maybe cutting the US military budget is different. I still believe there are some countries in Europe where a high military budget is not necessary and that same money could be spent in some other departments.
Ashish, I know exactly what you mean because my husband is an IT consultant. The bank he works for is putting out a new software program with problems galore on thousands of computers. It seems the fixes have to be done one computer at a time, and he is the only one assigned to that duty. The mangers there could have benefited with some of the classes on planning projects and roll outs at IE University! I recall Tom's warning to thoroughly plan and set realistic expectations and adequate time before jumping into cloud projects, and that advice applies to any IT project.
Frankly speaking I am less worried about a Trade war and more worried about a Civil war between the Haves and Havenots in America today.
According to the Latest BLS numbers( I can't find that Graph and Chart right now,searching for it);For The Poorest 20% of all Americans Food and Energy expenditures represent more than Half(58%) of their total After Tax Income.
For the next poorest 20% ,Food and Energy expenditures accounts for 33% of their Total After Tax income.
Combined together the Poorest 40% of all Americans(who number over 200 million today) spend close to half their monthly Take Home Pay on Food and Energy.And thanks to Ben Bernanke's QE2(which increases the cost of all Basic commodities priced in US Dollars),the amount spent on these two vital neccesities (which no American can do without) are just going to keep going up and up ,until they lose their Patience and at which point-All Hell Breaks Lose.We will very soon see Gasoline at $4/gallon everywhere in America (latest by June 2011) and very soon we will Gas at $10/Gallon everywhere as the Maniacs at the US Federal Reserve answer only to Wall Street and no one else.
For a real idea of what the real world cost of Living for ordinary working Americans is(not for those clowns at the Federal Reserve or for those who write for the NYT) please see
2)A Debt Default in the Eurozone(where either one of Ireland,Greece,Portugal or Spain) gets tired of the Austerity Diktats imposed by Germany and opts to default on their debt and opts out of the Eurozone.Once that happens,The Euro(The Currency) will get crushed and the US Dollar will win by default.
Its a sad state of Affairs for America that the only way America can maintain its current standard of Living is if a country far away from us Defaults on its Debts...
As an IT consultant who has to report to multiple Bosses/employers every week(for different-different employers); I know how much of a pain the feeling of being over-loaded and being under severe pressure feels like.And this inspite of being disciplined and committed to all my various projects.
Hint:Its not a fun place to be in.
Anyways,I digress.At those times I have often wondered,would'nt it be nice if I could personally (or the company for whom I do the project) could outsource a small portion of my work that needed to be completed at that point of time(and they could keep the money too). Something like On-Demand Consulting for Consultants.....[Is it a fairytale dream??? I dunno]
And your idea here fits in perfectly.
I am not able to do it myself right now,instead what I tend to do is go to my Boss(the one whose deadline is most urgent) and ask them to extend for a few days here and there.More often than not it works.On Days it does'nt work? I lose Sleep and fight to complete the project.
Ashish, Over the next few days, EBN columnists will be devoting a lot of prime spots to the issue of the weak US dollar and the potential impact on the tech sector. Watch out for an article on Monday from Scott Raynovich on the potential for a trade war as the dollar weakens versus other major currencies. I will also be touching on this in a follow up article on how the weaker dollar would directly impact reported earnings at the major US companies. It will, of course, have the opposite effect on many companies based outside the US but which sell largely to North America.
What this means is that currency fluctuations and the impact on trade among nations will become increasingly contentious. What the US is doing to boost economic growth and employment could hurt trading partners and vice versa. This is where the seeds of nationalism gets strengthened.
Yes you are extremely correct that Spain is cutting Subsidies for Solar Power projects(and cutting quite aggresively).The reason they face such serious budgetary constraints is because wages are sticky/inflexible especially in the Public Sector,while in the private sector employers cannot hire and fire at will(with the typical 30 days notice period you have in America).
The problem they face in Spain(in the Private sector)is if they fire somebody today,they have to pay a significant portion of their wages for more than six months at a stretch.This discourages Hiring permanent employees and puts everyone on contracts.
As an entrepreneur I can tell you This is not the best way to get businesses running at full throttle(thereby increasing employment).
Businesses should have the flexibility to fire(after a 30 day notice period) in cases where demand falls precipitously and it becomes impossible to sustain overheads like employee wages.
As for the Govt sector,like everywhere else,its heavily bloated in Spain and could do with some severe wage cuts.Most probably we will see heavy strikes and some violence like in the cases of France and Greece but its unavoidable as long as Spain chooses to stay within the Eurozone(and thereby follow the austerity diktats of Germany).
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.