jueves, junio 10, 2010

5 economic crisis measures governments should do

First, governments should work within a medium-term budget framework of five years, and within a decade-long strategy on economic transformation. Deficit cutting should start now, not later, to achieve manageable debt-to-GDP ratios before 2015.

Second, governments should explain, and the public should learn, that there is little that economic policy can do to create high-quality jobs in the short term. Good jobs result from good education, cutting-edge technology, reliable infrastructure and adequate outlays of private capital, and thus are the outcome of years of sustained public and private investments. Governments need actively to promote post-secondary education.

Third, governments must of course also ensure social safety nets: income support for the poor, universal access to basic healthcare and education, a scaling up of job training programmes and promotion of higher education.

Fourth, governments should steer their economies towards needed long-term structural transformation. External-deficit countries such as the US and UK will need to promote exports over the next few years, while all countries must promote clean energy and new transport infrastructure.

Fifth, governments and the public should insist that the rich pay more in income and wealth taxes – indeed, a lot more. The upward re-distribution of the past 25 years has made our economies into extravagant playgrounds for the super-wealthy. Politicians of both the mainstream left and right in the US and UK have fawned over those who pay their campaign bills in return for low taxation. Even playgrounds should collect tolls – when it is billionaires in the sandpit.

We need, in sum, to reset our macroeconomic timetables. There are no short-term miracles, only the threat of more bubbles if we pursue economic illusions. To rebuild our economies, the watchword must be investment rather than stimulus.

The above is extracted from an article from Jeffrey Sachs published on Financial Times in June 7th 2010.

I think, with the actual model in hand, that the main point here is education.
Education, in many developed countries, is the main problem in my opinion. Debt can be paid, but if people are not prepared to know, to think, to invent and to be creative pursuing the solutions, small problems can become big, and big can become unsolvable.

Education is a long-term issue. The results of the work started today, will be harvested more than 10 years later. But they will.

There is also another problem, which is the social concern about education. Education is something that makes it easier to have money to the people that are educated - but this happens in a long-term basis. Actual society encourages short-term, i-want-it-now lifestyles and points of view - where education has little to offer. Hence, educators are also viewed with disrespect, blamed in excess of children's problems, and seen as some parents as "a necessary bad". Socially undesired figures, after all. Under these circumstances, ¿who wants to become a teacher?

We're seeing this in many schools and institutes already. Talented people fly to other more profitable areas, and leave education to others. Seeing it that way, there are two profiles in education:
1. Those with a natural talent for education, with a vocational drive.
2. Those who can bear being a teacher, and that have nothing better.

Actual model discourages people to take path 1, which makes those places to be filled by people with profile 2.

Education is something more than a rutinary job. It is a job that is only profitable if it is done well. It is not a job that could be methodised, for it requires energy, presence, mental clarity and psychological strength, as well as, obviously, a certain intellectual level. And it requires it every day.

When the world is changing so fast as today's, it also requires from the teacher an ability to learn. Usually, it was common for a teacher to teach the same old stuff every year. That could change in the future. The classical teaching was merely comprised of intellectual knowledge. The more we advance, the more we see that there is a complete lack of emotional education in schools - and that emotional miseducation is a cause for the individual's unhappiness which makes him/her unable to study, and then unable to produce even at a small percentage of their true potential. We see every day that emotional, social intelligence is as important as intellectual intelligence for most jobs nowadays. As well, the earth is becoming smaller to us, so we need a global, environmental awareness.
In order to be able to teach this, the teacher must have been educated first under this new paradigm.

First, it is necessary to rethink the educational system as of today. Second, we need to think how could we better make the transition.
How do we do these two things, it's a good question to start solving.

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