Geopolitics-Introduction & GDP

PLANETARY GEOPOLITICS AND  ECONOMICS TODAY

 

I-INTRODUCTION -II-GDP 

 

Society for the Promotion of a European Human Rights Model

Association pour la Promotion d'un Modèle Européen des Droits de l'Homme

 

By  Didier BERTIN

July 20, 2012

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

I-INTRODUCTION-page 7

 II - GDP - page 11

1-THE TWO WORLD LEADERS: UNITED STATES AND CHINA AND THE OTHER THIRTEEN  COUNTRIES HAVING A GDP HIGHER THAN ONE TRILLION USD -page 11

2-THE FIRST FOURTEEN COUNTRIES - INDIA EXCLUDED page 13

3-COUNTRIES HAVING A GDP INCLUDED BETWEEN ONE HUNDRED BILLION USD AND ONE TRILLION USD - page 13

4-THE OTHER HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD INCLUDING INDIA-page 14

5-CASE OF THE FIRST THREE ECONOMIC LEADERS COMPARED TO THE FOURTH ONE- page 14

6-REAL WORLD AND MEDIA WORLD - PAGE 16

7-EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REAL WORLD AND MEDIA WORLD-Page 18

8-THE LIMITS OF GDP AND THE DANGERS OF ITS GROWTH - Page 44

 

III-MILITARY DETERRENCE - page 49

1-THE TWO REAL GREAT POWERS-Page 49

2-THE THREE SECONDARY POWERS page 51

3-OTHER COUNTRIES WITH ANNUAL DEFENCE BUDGET  IN EXCESS OF FORTY BILLION - page 52

4 - ISRAEL -page 55

 

IV-OIL: RISK FOR THE DEMOCRACIES - page 57

1 - MAIN NET-OIL IMPORTERS -page 57

2-ORGANIZATION OF OIL PRODUCERS AND EXPORTERS - page 58

3-ECONOMIC SITUATION OF OIL PRODUCERS AND  EXPORTERS -    page 59

4-POLITY OF OIL PRODUCERS AND EXPORTERS  - page 62

5- THE CHOICES IN THE FIELD OF ENERGY - page 65

 

V-PUBLIC DEBT-page 66

1 - KEY DATA ON PUBLIC DEBT-page 66

2- THE RISK OF OVER-INDEBTEDNESS CONCERNS ESSENTIALLY THE RICHEST COUNTRIES -page 67

3-THE PUBLIC "OVER-INDEBTED" COUNTRIES ARE MAINLY IN THE RICHEST ONES, ACCOUNTING FOR ONLY  13.9% OF WORLD POPULATION -  page 68

4- EUROPEAN UNION, EURO AREA AND PUBLIC DEBT - page 71

5- JAPAN -page  73

6 - POLICY REGARDING  PUBLIC INDEBTEDNESS-page 74

 

VI -OTHER ECONOMIC OPTIONS - page 75

1 - THE RISK OF PROTECTIONISM - page 75

2 - ECONOMIC CHALLENGES- page 76 

 

VII - PLANETARY SOCIAL DISPARTIES - page 80

1-DEFINITION-page 80

2-CALCULATION- page-80

3-GINI INDEX APPLIED TO THE PLANET-page 81

4-ANALYSIS-page 86

 

VIII-THE REASONS WHY THE EUROPEAN UNION IS NOT A GREAT POWER - Page 93

1-EU AND NATO-page 93

2-CREATION AND TREATIES - EXPANSION AND INTEGRATION, Page 96

3-THE PROBLEM OF THE APPLICATION OF THE CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS-page 98

4-THE CONSTRAINTS OF DECISION MAKING-page 100

5 - INSTITUTIONS page 101

6-THE POLITICAL ORIENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION-page 108

7-INTERNATIONAL POLITICS - page 112

8-THE CASE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS - page 113

9- THE DISPARITIES OF THE MEDIAN INCOME OF HOUSEHOLDS IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION - page 114

10-THE NEW MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION -page 115

11-THE LIMITS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION page 116

12-A PARTICULAR EXAMPLE OF THE RIGHTIST ROOTING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION-page 119

A-The Prague Declaration of June 3, 2008 - page 120

B-The dangerous consequences of the Declaration  of Prague and of the related Declaration of the European Parliament-page 121

k-DECLARATION - page 135

 

IX - GENERAL CONCLUSION -page 138

 

APPENDICES

1-DATA OF THE FIRST 60 COUNTRIES WITH GDP HIGHER THAN 100 BILLIONS USD AND THE REST OF THE WORLD - Pages 145 and 146 

2-DATA ON THE INDEBTED COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION page 147 

3-DATA OF THE  EURO AREA COUNTRIES -page 148 

4-GENERAL DATA OF THE EUROPEAN UNION -page 149

 

  

I-INTRODUCTION

 

The scale of media priorities often seems far removed from global geopolitical and economic realities in order to be in harmony with the expectations of the audience. Each has its own reality that is no longer appropriate to a globalized world.

 

By taking into consideration in a first step, simple data as GDP, defense expenditures, public debt, energy constraints, the world social situation and some examples of the difference between the vision of  media and the real world, we hope to bring a new vision in order to leave the traditional stage on which a few rich countries, which are now in crisis, monopolize the spotlight on the basis of their own  problems.

 

In order to get out of pretense, we have discarded the terms of "developed countries", suggesting that this is an acquired privilege forever  and "emerging countries", suggesting that all of them could become as developed as the rich countries and we have preferred the more authentic terms of "rich or wealthy" countries and "poor countries." 

 

We have also reconsidered the reality of the European Union in the global geopolitical balance and have tried to answer the following issues:

 

1. The world domination by the two major leaders: United States and China

2. Remaining space  of the other countries in the international arena

3. The monopolization of the attention of the media, by few rich countries, which also concentrate the bulk of world production as compared to the interest for the  other countries on a random basis or according to international developments  or to  media time availability

4. The reality of the military deterrent of countries apart of that of the United States and China

5. GDP over-utilization despite its  restricted meaning

 6. The capacity of the planet to resist to the growth model, which is believed to be the norm in Western countries

7.The ethical value of such model, which apparently cannot  be equally applied everywhere without endangering the planet 

8. The risk of harm caused by an exaggerated  growth of GDP instead of generating welfare

9. The risk induced by oil from the pollution standpoint and by oil dependence on seventeen mostly unstable countries

10.The utilization of nuclear energy resource as long as compensating ecological solutions be found 

11. The expected reaction of Democratic countries when the democratic system is misused to permit through populist currents, the access of non-democratic parties in governments  with political programs of intolerance, discrimination, restriction of freedom and limitation of the  rights of women  

12. The Arab spring and the Islamist winter

13. The current importance given to  public debt problems, which concerns only rich and badly managed countries: 18 countries (including major member states of the EU) out of 193, which total  75.7% of the world public debt and represent only 13.9% of the world population

14. The temptation of rich countries to utilize protectionism in order  to deprive poor countries of revenues and to reduce the purchasing power of workers of these countries as well as that of those of their own countries

15.The fallacious will to support the improvement of the working conditions in poor countries by protectionism instead of requesting social audit of exporters

16.The indecent argument regarding poverty as commercially  unfair

17. The interest of rich countries to develop new industries with high added value at the level of the education they claim to have

18. The necessary bigger involvement of the States in economy including the management control of large corporation and Banks to protect their citizens from deep public disorders they may cause

19. The inadequacy of  Capitalism as it is, to face a changing global and complex world

20. The military deterrent of European Union, which could be limited to those of  two member states and the reality of synergistic effect of European Union

 

21. The Ethics of the  European Union according to  the following examples:

  • The  European Union  has allowed two member states to deny their citizens, the benefit of its Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • The European Union have tolerated that a quasi-dictatorship has chaired its Council in 2011
  • The football teams of all the Member States of the European Union went to Ukraine  in the frame of the EURO 2012, after the prior vain protest of the EU regarding the disrespect of human rights and the imprisonment of the main political opponent

 

22. The rightist rooting of the European Union and the limit it may be for  the hopes of its peoples

 

23.The  support by the European Parliament to a doctrinaire rightist declaration  reshaping the History accordingly and which could indirectly foster racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.  

 

 

II-GDP

 

1-THE TWO WORLD LEADERS: UNITED STATES AND CHINA AND THE THIRTEEN OTHER COUNTRY HAVING  A GDP HIGHER THAN ONE TRILLION USD

 

Comparisons of GDP in purchasing power parity would be ideal if they were reliable, yet we met anomalies in the real world  that led us to consider more prudent to stick to the official value of GDP converted into dollars with the sole exception of China whose the exchange rate of currency is very artificial. China keeps the Yuan at a particularly low exchange rate  to support the high level of its exports out of which derives a lasting strategic benefit.

The GDP of China has thus much more sense in purchasing power parity (PPP) than in official value. The Purchasing power parity GDP of China is 60% greater than at its official value (+4,300 billion).

With a GDP of 15,060 and 11,290 billion USD respectively the United States and China are by far the first two world powers. The GDP of China is close to that of the USA (75%) far ahead of other countries. Japan and Germany rank respectively third and fourth with a GDP equivalent to only 39% and 24.2% of the value of that of the USA.

The averaged GDP of China and USA  is 13,175 billion and the average of that of 13 other countries whose GDP is higher than one trillion dollars, amounts to only 2,339 billion USD.

 

Only 15 out of the 193 countries of the world, have a GDP above one trillion dollars. The U.S. and China generate 35.4% of sum of GDPs of all countries of the world.

These fifteen countries, together represent 56,767 billion or 76.2% of world GDP and 178 other countries the rest (23.8%, i.e. 17,893 billion) .

These fifteen leading countries by order of GDP are USA, China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, UK, Italy, Russia, India, Canada, Spain, Australia, Mexico and South Korea.

Only five of these countries have deterrent budgets: The U.S., China, France, the UK and Russia. The other 188 countries of the world can only play a local role or participate in association in international operations.

The GDP of these 15 countries cover  very different types of Know-How, as this is shown by their per GDP capita, which  ranges from 1,529 dollars for India to 68,500 dollars for Australia.

Only six countries in the world, have a GDP per capita higher than 40,000 USD: Australia (68,500), Canada (51,735), the United States (47,962), Japan (46,102), Germany (44,802) and France (42,545).

China is focusing on an industrial production, which had represented  in the past, a significant share of the industrial activity of Western countries and produces a GDP per capita of 8,406 dollars due to low  labor cost. 

 

2-THE FIRST FOURTEEN COUNTRIES - INDIA EXCLUDED

In order to better show the world disparities , we have excluded India out of the first 15 countries with a GDP above one trillion dollars because India has a GDP per capita  of only 1,529 dollars much too far from the average from the group of fifteen and is one of the poorest country of the world (its high total GDP is only due to its huge population).

As a matter of factthe remaining fourteen  countries have an averaged GDP per capita of  20,968 dollars, while the averaged GDP per capita for the rest of the world population (62%) amounts to 4,256 dollars.

These fourteen countries (USA, China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, UK, Italy, Russia, Canada, Spain, Australia, Mexico and South Korea) together generate a GDP of 55,924 billion or 75.1% of world GDP with 2,667 million inhabitants or 38% of the world population.

 

3-THE COUNTRIES HAVING A GDP COMPRISED BETWEEN  ONE HUNDRED

BILLION  AND ONE TRILLION USD 

Forty-five countries have a GDP comprised between 100 billion and one trillion USD. The sum of GDP of these countries amounts to  USD 14,896 billion or 20% of the world GDP while they represent 27.4% of the world population; their averaged GDP per capita is only 7,730 dollars. 

 

4-THE OTHER HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

INCLUDING INDIA

In order to better show the global economic disparities,  India was taken into account with the 133 other countries whose GDP is less than USD 100 billion, despite the GDP per capita of India is still below the averaged GDP of this group.

These 134 countries represent together a GDP of 4,640 billion USD, which is only 6.2% of the global GDP of the planet with a population of 2,429 million or 34.6% of the world population. The averaged GDP per capita of these 134 countries on 193 is only 1,910 USD.

 

5-CASE OF THE FIRST THREE ECONOMIC POWERS COMPARED TO THE

 FOURTH ONE

2011

GDP   -USD

Per capita

GINI

%

Levy

%   GDP

Pop.

below   poverty

 %

Un-

employed

%

Detention/

100   000 inh

Budget  

Deficit/gdp  

EXPORTS

$   Billion

Polity

USA

47 962       

45

15

15.1

9.1

750

-8.9%

1 511

Democracy

JAPAN

46 102

38

33.9

16

4.8

60

-8.5%

   801

Democracy

CHINA

 8 406

48

23.6

13.4

6.5

120

-1.2%

 1 898

Dictatorship

Germany

44 802

27

43.6

15.5

5.7

100

-1.7%

1 408

Democracy

 

62% of the world's population of 179 countries generate only 25% of global GDP, while the first three countries that produce 43% of global GDP, represent only 25% of the world population.

These first three countries USA, CHINA and JAPAN combine a very high income disparity to a particularly low levy rate.

Income distribution in these three countries is particularly uneven and their governments do not take the necessary steps to improve this situation.

The population below poverty line in these three countries is therefore very high: U.S.: 15.1%, China: 13.4%, Japan: 16%.

It must be also noted that the U.S. has by far the highest population of the world, in prison, which is probably the consequence of a very uneven society in economic and educational fields and of the weak presence of the State outside the repressive domain; only Russia, which is not a true democracy, has  an index of imprisonment comparable to that of the U.S..

Insufficient resources create substantial budget deficits in the U.S. and Japan and then substantial public debt.

Only China, that has chosen a strategy of domination highly based on economic development putting aside at least temporarily the Communist ideal, which is assumed to provide everyone with an equal improvement, has made  a negligible use of public debt; the success of its policy is probably due to an unquestionable Know-How and an inacceptable authoritarian regime.

This situation contrasts with that of Germany, the fourth largest economy and the largest economy of Europe. Germany brings together many of the characteristics of European countries far in general from those of most other countries of the world i.e.:  

  • an income distribution fair enough
  •  consistent budgetary resources but still insufficient to permit a public debt reduction.

 

Germany has a poverty level higher than that of France :13.5%, which is not due to a particularly high median income since it was surprisingly lower than that of France in 2010. According to "Eurostat" the median income amounted to   20,292 Euros in  France and to  17,797 Euros in Germany in 2010; Germany would not be any longer an ideal model of social development.

The percentage of population living below the averaged poverty line in the European Union of the 15 former members  or of the current 27 members is the same i.e. 16% of the population. But the poverty is not an index that can be used for easy comparisons between countries, since it is calculated as a portion of the median income (60% in Europe) and the median income of many countries is itself far below a poverty line, which should be a minimum level of income to "survive". For example the poverty line in China amounts to $ 260 per year i.e. 71 cents of dollar per day.

 

6-REAL WORLD AND MEDIA WORLD

Often the audience criteria that determine the income of media, provide a picture of economic and political world far removed from reality and sometimes by effect of contagion, the reality may even end up adapting to its vision by the media.

This contagion effect is evident in the case of the rating agencies that appropriate, propagate and amplify, the stealth and agreed perception of the moment .

A reduced debt and an austere budget policy are in favor of a good rating even if they are due to a total lack of ambition of a Government indifferent to the plight of its citizens.

The ratings have the appearance of forward-looking statements but are often tailored to the current circumstances and to the market consensus.

The ratings consecrate opinions that will  change the real financial context and will thus  bring the reality to become consistent with the opinion that a few  have of this reality.

 

We indicate below of the ratings summary of those given by S & P to sovereign risks in order to show their opacity:

Summarized meaning of Long term ratings

 

"AAA"  -Extremely strong capacity to meet its financial obligations'

"AA"    - Very strong capacity

''A"       -Strong Capacity-

"BBB" - adequate but vulnerable to adverse circumstances

"BB "   -speculative investments- uncertainty depending on circumstances

"B"       -More vulnerable than the previous category, the debtor might cope with its commitments.

"CCC"  -doubtful capacity  unless circumstances improve

"CC" and "C"   -very doubtful capacity  unless circumstances improve

"D"- default of payment

The rating definitions are vague and adaptable to circumstances , in addition, the  supplement of (+) and (-) worsens their opacity.

 

7-EXAMPLES WORLD OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEDIA AND THE REAL

WORLD

 

We would like to present some illustrations of this phenomenon and attempt to make an interpretation.

 

A-BRAZIL

 

GDP

$bn

 

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

BRAZIL

2 518

6

206

5

12 223

35

S & P: BBB

Brazil ranks sixth in the world by the size of its GDP and has successfully developed many industries and mineral and energy resources. Despite these successes and the goodwill of  Lula and today of  Dilma Rousseff, this country is very far from having eradicated extreme poverty.

Brazil's GDP is roughly similar to that of the UK but per capita represents only 31% of it and is similar to that of Venezuela and lower than that of Chile.

The population living below the poverty line is 26%, however this percentage only partially reflects the reality as it is itself calculated as a portion  of an insufficient median income.

The vision of Brazil by media is certainly linked to the "absolute" value of its GDP, which ranks among those of the major countries, to a successful  industrialization in order to produce among others many goods that other countries simply import and to the charisma of its former president.

 

B-RUSSIA

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

RUSSIA

1 885

9

138

9

13 659

34

S & P: BBB

The vastest country of the world with 17 million km2 and with 138 million people, produces only a GDP of USD 1,885 billion which is lower than that of Brazil and India and only slightly higher than that of Canada, despite its large exports of oil and gas. The GDP per capita is only 13,659 dollars barely higher than that of Brazil.

Russia is the 2nd largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia with 12.7% of world exports as compared to 19.4% for Saudi Arabia; the third exporter, Iran, provides only half the value of oil Russian exports.

This position of exporter of gas and oil, gives this relatively poor country, means of pressure on the international stage. Its influence on oil prices can be very substantial and have dramatic consequences on the economies of Western countries.

Like many poor countries, Russia suffers from a substantial inequality in the distribution of its low income , as shown by a GINI index of 42%. Social injustice is compounded by a limited levy rate of only 20% of GDP, against 42% on average in the European union.

Russia has a high military budget regarding its GDP, which is only equivalent to that of France.

The vision of Russia by media underestimates the essential role of Russia in order to defeat Nazi Germany virtually alone and values the conflict with the United States in the context of the Cold War with limited economic means.  

The main power of Russia are now the size of oil and gas exports and the veto due to its permanent membership of the Security Council of UN as well as the strength of its main leaders.

 

C-INDIA

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RK

GDP/POPUL.

RANK

INDIA

1 843

10

1 205

2

1 529

56

S & P: BBB-

Demographic expansion of India - 000 000 inhabitants

1961

1971

1981

1991

2001

2011

439

548

683

846

1027

1   205

 

With a GDP per capita of only USD 1,529 and a Gini index of 37%, India is a very poor nation despite its impressive technological development centers and a few very large companies. The low levy rate of 12% of GDP is likely due to the extreme poverty of this country.

The vision of India by media is partially due to the  Hinduism that inspired Mahatma Gandhi who tried to promote non-violence in a country torn by violence induced by the UK,  castes and religions; India became independent in 1947 following the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi but rejecting his will of coexistence with the  Muslims and of emancipation of the untouchables.

The vision of  India by media is also due to its military capacity flaunted during the three wars with Pakistan regarding their dispute over Cashmere, to its possession of nuclear weapons and to its important centers of development in high technology sectors that are only a few islands in a sea of poverty.

 

D-PAKISTAN

 

GDP

bn$

RANK

POPUL

mn.

RK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

PAKISTAN

204

47

190

6

1 073

59

S & P: B-

The creation of this country in 1947 has consecrated the impossible coexistence between Muslims and Hindus.

Pakistan's military budget is only 13% of that of India. GDP per capita of Pakistan is only 2/3 of the Indian GDP and is therefore a particularly poor country.

Pakistan has chosen to establish good relationship with the United States and is  officially a major non-NATO ally of U.S. on the stage but may also play an opposite  role in the backstage.

Pakistan claims that it is unable to control the tribal areas like North Waziristan and allows groups such as Haqqani, Taliban and Al Qaeda to have rear bases.

From these bases the Taliban and Haqqani attack NATO's troops in Afghanistan.

The ISI (Pakistan's intelligence service) supports the Taliban or represses them over time according to circumstances and Osama bin Laden was living "in fact" in a city that is a strategic center of the Pakistani army. According to Leon Panetta, CIA Director and now Secretary of Defense, the U.S. did not warn the Pakistani authorities of their intention to capture Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in order to avoid that they help him to escape.

Pakistan' support for terrorists is a fact that is  either voluntary or due to a total disruption that allows any internal bodies to enforce any  competing interests. In both cases it can be alarming that such country holds nuclear weapons.

 

E-IRAN

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

IRAN

480

25

79

17

6 076

45

S & P: NA

Iran is the third largest exporter of oil in the world after Saudi Arabia and Russia, and represents 6.4% of oil world exports.

Despite its oil resources and exports, Iran has a GDP of 480 billion only i.e. only 6 076 USD per capita.

Its military expenditures  of 2.5% of GDP are in absolute value, the lowest budget of the first 60 countries having  a GDP above 100 billion dollars. The expenditures amount to USD 12 billion i.e. a figure slightly higher than the budget of the defense of Norway (5 million inhabitants).

Iran resources do not allow this country  to fulfill its warmongers ambitions on the basis of  modern conventional weapons and that is probably why this country like some other poor countries (India and Pakistan) has decided to manufacture nuclear weapons with the precise target to destroy Israel.

The desire to destroy Israel goes beyond considerations of the Middle East conflict and is motivated by anti-Semitic reasons as this can be seen in the report of AFP (Agence France Presse) below, dated of  28 June 2012, which quotes the Vice President of Iran, Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

Despite reports of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) published since 2011 and which established the willingness of Iran to have nuclear weapons, nothing has been done to stop this Iranian offensive program .

The "Stutnex" cyber attack that targeted the Natanz site and its 7,000 centrifuges appears effective in slowing Iran's nuclear program without military intervention but might not be sufficient.

In order to compensate its limited conventional Army capacity, Iran supports various extremist organization as Hezbollah and even Hamas  as well as the government of Bashar Al-Assad.

For the moment the damage caused by the actions of Iran have been the formation of a unity government with broad spectrum but totally dominated by the right wing in Israel.

The vision of Iran by the media could be due to one or all of the following reasons:
• its reputation in the field of  fanaticism,
• the worldwide spreading of extremist ideas and current
• nuclear threats.

It seems that the fact  that this country produces oil gives it a much greater importance as compared to its very limited economic reality.

Iran wields
• threats of embargo on oil but provides only 6% of global exports and its threats may  go beyond its own exports, since Iran
• threatens freedom of ships traffic  in the Strait of Hormuz where passes near one  third of the world oil exports.

AFP -28 June 2012"

Free translation from French

The traffic of narcotics in the world is the consequence of the teachings of the Talmud * (...) whose objective is the destruction of the world," Rahimi said Tuesday during the International  Day of UNO "against the narcotic abuse ", which took place in Tehran on Tuesday, June 26 "The Talmud teaches that it is lawful to get rich by legal and illegal means, which gives (the Jews) the right to destroy humanity," said Mr. Rahimi, quoted Wednesday by the website of the Iranian Presidency. "The main cause of global traffic (narcotic) is the Zionist regime," he further said.

Iranian officials regularly refer to Israel's disappearance, qualified among others of "cancerous tumor" in the Middle East, but they rarely attack  publicly the Judaism.

However, Tehran has already accused the Israeli services to promote narcotic use in Iran to undermine the Islamic State.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly criticized the declaration of the Iranian Vice President. Ban Ki-moon "called on numerous occasions Iranian officials to refrain from launching such anti-Semitic remarks.

The chief diplomacy of the European Union, Catherine Ashton condemned on Thursday "without reservation" the "unacceptable" anti-Semitic declaration of  the Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.

 

NB: The Talmud is the oral interpretation of the Bible and the basis of Jewish law; It is written in Hebrew and Aramaic and reports  the  interpretations  of the academies of Jerusalem and Babylon. The Talmud aims to safeguard the identity of Judaism. The fact that it is important for the Jewish religion and that it is linguistically difficult to access, may explains that it was often utilized in the course of History,  as a target of the Church and of all type of ignorant anti-Semites.

 

F-TURKEY

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

PIB/POPUL.

$

RANK

TURKEY

763

18

80

16

9 538

40

S & P: BB

Turkey ranks 18th worldwide by the size of its GDP but ranks 40th in GDP per capita, which amounts to only  9,538 USD  i.e. only 26.7% of the average of that of the E.U.

Despite its limited economic level, Turkey has a military budget traditionally high of 5.3% of GDP.

Turkey seems despite some turmoil in 1998 phasing out the secular legacy   of Ataturk on secularism and tolerance (inspired from France) to return to the values of Islam and far away from those of Europe.

Despite the ban of the Islamist party named Virtue Party "Fazilet Partisi" in 1998 as being against the country's secular constitution, their MPs have reappeared on the political scene through new parties created purposely and yet not banned: The AKP Party meaning Ruling Justice and Development Party and the SP-Party of Felicity (which  has no representatives in parliament).

The AKP party (heir of  Fazilet Partisi) has obtained a majority in Parliament and rules Turkey since 2002; This majority was confirmed by the elections of  June 18, 2011, with 326 seats out of 550 in Parliament.

The AKP party has been convicted for violation of secularism and for having passed laws favorable to religious uses. These laws were cancelled by the Constitutional Council.

Turkey has no oil but control a substantial part of the water in the middle East. Tigris and Euphrates and some of their tributaries have their sources in Turkey. Turkey has begun construction of 22 dams that can store 110 billion cubic meters of water.

In Syria, the flow of the Euphrates could be reduced by 11 billion cubic meters and in Iraq the flow Tigris flow could be reduced by 6 billion cubic meters and that of the Euphrates by 80%.

The vision of Turkey by the media, could be due  to one or several of the following reasons:

• the capture of Constantinople in 1453,

• the establishment of an empire of nearly 20 million km2,

• the Armenian genocide in 1915,

• the tensions with Greece and with

• the Kurdish people who were not given a State by the colonial powers.

• the secular values and modern constitution, which were given by Ataturk in 1922 and were inspired from the French Revolution,

• its serious economic and financial past crises and defaults

• the size of its military budget

• its control of Tigris and Euphrates

the phasing of Ataturk's legacy with the return of Islamists to power since 2002 and that might separate this country from Europe and from Ataturk's legacy to dock it in the Middle East.

 

G-GREECE

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL

mn

RK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

GREECE

312

33

11

44

28 364

25

 S & P: CCC

After having tried to unite Cyprus and Greece in the frame of the rightist project of "ENOSIS", the Greek colonels have not been able to exercise over the Turks the same authority and violence as they did on their own citizens. The Greek colonels have preferred to leave the power  under Turkish pressure that allowed Greece to recover freedom and democracy and later in 1981 to join the European Economic Community.

The lax management of  European grants and more generally of the economy led to an accumulation of  budget deficits and correlative substantial public debt that gives Greece the second world rank after Japan and ahead of Italy by the size of its public debt in proportion of GDP.

In addition it must be reminded that Greece was accepted in the Euro area on the basis of forged figures.

The levy rate represents 39.9% of GDP (average in the EU: 42%), but beyond the famous case of ship-owners, a  portion of the assets of the wealthy Greek people  is housed abroad and escapes taxation. Among the many traditional reasons for this capital flight often organized by overbilling of imports compensated by commissions paid abroad, one can note the financing of Universities studies abroad, and the coverage  of medical expenses abroad because of the distrust of the wealthy class against Greek medical and educational systems.

The vision of Greece by the media could be  the fundamental contribution of the ancient Greeks to the European civilization, its many tourist resources and its merchant fleet registered outside Greece, but this should not overshadow the laxity in the economic and tax fields.

 

H-EGYPT

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

EGYPT

232

43

84

14

2 761

54

 

S & P: B

Egypt played a key role in the emancipation of the Arab world since the advent of the Republic in 1952; leaders' efforts to develop this country were ruined by an impressive population growth; the population of  Egypt amounted to 21millions inhabitants in 1952 and has reached nearly 84 million inhabitants in 2011.

The 1952 revolution led by Gamal Abdel Nasser gave emancipation values which were used as references for the entire Arab world despite the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.

The dictatorship in Egypt could not continue anymore, but the ruling of the State by  the Muslim Brotherhood  (parliament and presidency) is an abandonment  of the legacy of the 1952 revolution values in favor of obscurantism.

The discontent caused by dictatorships and monarchies of the Arab countries have provoked reactions that brought Islamists to power from Morocco to Gaza and includes now Egypt with the recent election as President of the Country of a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in the person of Mohamed Morsi.

 

This is disappointing for the progressive forces, which have expected a replacement of dictators by  enlightening democracies bringing the values of freedom, tolerance, and secularism.

One single model of society is imposed to all citizens whose freedom is no more guaranteed than it was before. The diktat of one man has been replaced by the diktat of others in the name of religion. The women will be the first victims of this change as this has been unfortunately already experimented by two foreign women working as journalists to report the events of the Tahrir Square.

 

The vision of  Egypt by the media could be due to one or several of the following reasons:

  • its brilliant ancient civilization,
  • its leadership of the past in the struggle for the emancipation of the Arab countries into States independent from the colonialists powers
  • its past leadership to achieve Israel destruction and to 
  • the courageous and bold initiative of Peace with Israel made in 1978 by Anwar Sadat (Peace Agreements of 1979) and who was also an actor with Nasser of the 1952 revolution.
  • the degradation of the  Women condition

 

Despite its past political leadership, Egypt is primarily a very poor country with no resources except that of tourism, which could be jeopardized by  the Islamists as this is already the case in the whole Sinai and could empty all tourist resorts.

  

I- ARAB SPRING AND ISLAMIST WINTER

 a-EGYPT -see above

 

b-TUNISIA

The Arab Spring has permitted to get rid of the dictator Ben Ali but was followed by an Islamist winter. On 22 November 2011, the Islamist party ENNADHA (Mouvement de la Renaissance) became the largest political party of Tunisia with 89 seats in Parliament meanwhile the democratic parties obtained only few seats: 29 for the CPR (Congrés Pour la République), which is the party of the  new president of the country Moncef Marzouki and 19 for EKKATOL (Forum Démocratique pour le Travail et les Libertés).

The Islamist party ENNADHA formed a coalition with the CPR and EKKATOL but took most Ministries and is heading the Government:

  • ENNADHA has appointed the head of government, Hamdji Debali and inherited the following ministries:
  • Ministry of Interior,
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
  • Ministry of Justice,
  • Ministry of Human Rights,
  • Ministry of Religious Affairs,
  • Ministry of Industry,
  • Ministry of Public Health,
  • Ministry of Investment and Cooperation,
  • Ministry of Transport,
  • Department of Information Technology and Communication,
  • Ministry of Infrastructure,
  • Ministry of Regional Development,
  • Ministry of Education,
  • Ministry of Agriculture,
  • Ministry for the economic file.

 

 

CPR has obtained the Ministry of Training and Employment, the Ministry of Women, the Department of Land Affairs and the Ministry for Administrative Reform. EKKATOL and CPR as the State President himself do not seem to detain any real power.

A recent event has shown the  Islamist intolerance and the support by governments of the Salafists (fundamentalists and followers of a narrow application of the Qur'an and Sunnah), whose influence seems to grow:

In the night of June 12, 2012, an exhibition of Tunisian artists in the palate Abdellia, was destroyed by Islamists. These artists were targeted by Islamists for almost one year.

The artists have of course not been supported by the government but in addition  the Ministry of Culture, assumed to be independent, has filed a complaint against the organizers of the artists exhibition for blasphemy against the sacred, who are according to him responsible of the disorders they suffered. The palate Abdellia was closed. The freedom is clearly restricted by the rule of the religion. 

 

c-MOROCCO

After the parliamentary elections of 25 November 2011, the Islamist Party PJD (Parti de la Justice et du Développement) won 107 seats, became the first party of Morocco and heads now of the Government.

The PJD has developed a policy of control and censorship of information. Television must present most of its programs in Arab language and thus reduce the programs in French (widely spoken), broadcast the calls to prayer five times a day, and make more room for religious programs. A documentary about the exodus of Moroccan Jews on public television has been severely criticized by the PJD. In order to mark its offensive position in the conflict in Middle East, the PJD has invited Hamas to participate in its last congress (July 2012).

 

d-LYBIA

The death of the dictator Gaddafi seems not to have been followed by the expected democracy. Moustapha Abdeljalil, President of NTC (National Transitional Council) said: "The Libyan people are attached to Islam as religion and as law. Therefore, the NTC recommends the Sharia as the main source of laws.  "On July 17, 2012, 80 MPs were elected  as representatives of political parties and 120 as independents. Out of the 80 MPs, 39 are from AFN (moderate Islam) and 17 belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. The situation will be clear  when the position of each of the 120 independent MPs is known.

 

e-SYRIA

The dreadful dictatorship of Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad could only lead to a bloodbath. The Assad family has only retained the authoritarianism from  the

 

Ba'ath Party . The ties with Iran, Hezbollah and even Hamas, put the religious and clan conflicts on the stage.

Only a truly secular state that does not seem to be the path chosen by the Arab Spring could reconcile the various components of Syrian society. 

 

J-ISRAEL

 

GDP

bn$

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

ISRAEL

245

40

8

51

30 625

24

S & P: A + 

The necessary rebirth of Israel is the result of the deeply rooted  anti-Semitism in Europe.

After various slaughters and  even contemporary proposals from their hosts of mass deportation of Jews to Africa, this European antisemitic continuum has naturally generated the Final Solution. 

The Jewish survivors to the various attempts of annihilation have  naturally preferred to find a shelter in their initial home country from where they were expelled by other Europeans: the Romans.

The link of the Jewish people with their original homeland  forms an essential part of the Jewish identity and culture  and was substantially strengthened by two thousand years of hostility  in the Diaspora. 

This choice was ratified by the conference of the League of Nations in San Remo in 1920 after the declaration of Lord Balfour in 1917 on the partition of Palestine. By this declaration the Europeans finally understood the weight of the burden of the Jews in Europe and acknowledged by the same token  their own inability to improve their lot by modifying their attitude.

As a matter of fact, It should be noted that Lord Balfour was not only the author of the Declaration of 1917 on the partition of Palestine but was also as Prime Minister of the UK in 1905, the instigator of the "Alien Act" aimed to prevent the Jews from Russia, victims of horrendous Pogroms during that year, to come to seek refuge in the UK.

The European responsibility in the current turmoil in the Middle East is thus very heavy.

Israel is a country whose population amounts to nearly 8 million people by including various minorities and mostly Arab. The GDP per capita is not too far from the average of that of the EU because of development poles in high-technology sectors while the banking sector has been unaffected by the financial crisis.

A good GDP per capita does not benefit  to everyone as shown by the GINI index of 39% . Social inequality has led to a major event from new participants in the political life "the indignants movement" (similar to that of Spain) claiming together access to housing that became very difficult and a reduction in the price of basic foodstuffs.

These claims have absolutely not been accepted by the current rightist government, which considers  as a "loophole" that the Iranian nuclear threat is the only priority of Israel preventing any real social improvement.

The population is under pressure from media that often relay the official discourse of insecurity, which is the basis of the argument of the main parties forming the government. The "indignant" are even considered as irresponsible traitors since they have social claims  under Iranian threat. This attitude is unfair and a government is assumed to be able to face several issues together. The truth is that the government is favorable to the jungle rule of the free market.

Unfortunately the rise of Islamism in Arab countries with the Arab spring, the recent victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the possible emergence of an Islamist State or States in Syria, the terrorist attacks abroad assumed to be organized by Iran against Israeli tourists, the current lack of control on Sinai and then on Gaza, while the former ally "Turkey" is ruled by an Islamist Party  give grist to the mill of the hard right. The conflict risk has "objectively" increased in the Middle-East. Iran has claimed not to organize attacks against Israeli civilians (after the attacks against tourists) but  one wonders how Iran may target  to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons without civilian casualties.

The lack of intervention in the social and economic field is restricted by the low levy rate of only 28.5% of GDP against 42% in the EU while military spending represents 7.3% of GDP. This shows a radical change of conception of the society organization as compared to the past. The privatization of the Kibbutzim (collective farms) is a strong symbol of this change.

We should note that the high level of military expenditures  as a percentage of GDP that is  used as argument to  limit of social policy, are in terms of financial flows partially offset by the unrequited transfers of 9,480 billion USD and representing 3.9% GDP. According to the last known distribution (2006), these transfers came from the U.S.: 37.3% Germany: 8.6% - other states: 15.3% - and other entities or individuals: 38.8%. 

Progressive parties were almost excluded from the political scene.

Ehud Barak, whose convictions seem to be very opportunistic, has finally and fortunately resigned from the Labor Party and create a new party "ATZMAUT" (Independence); it seems that this political operation has aimed to enable him to keep his post as minister (defense minister) in a right-wing government.

More recently the centrist KADIMA party rallied to the same government under the pretext of unity against the Iranian threat but in reality to avoid collapse to possible early elections.

Tzipi LIVNI was no longer president of the KADIMA party since March 2012 and has remained in line with her convictions not to join the rightist government  of Benjamin Netanyahu and resigned from Parliament in May 2012.

The vision of Israel by the media  could be due to one or several of the following reasons:

  • the deep-rooted anti-Semitism in Europe, which has now found an additional reason with the discontent of Arab countries in the Middle East and whose Europe is responsible as a result of its intolerant long lasting attitude ,
  • the wars which this Israel has faced,
  • an expansionism viewed as a  safety policy, which fragilizes the peace expectations in a radicalize area  and
  • the predominance of relatively recent right-wing governments combining populist extremists, religious parties and since May 2012 centrists in troubles.
  • The power of Islamist parties in Turkey since 2002 and more recently in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Gaza, Egypt and the uncertainty of the fate of Syria that may involve high military tension aggravated by the aggressive position of Iran, which will strengthen the position of right-wing parties in Israel and may  destroy the left parties  and end the hopes of social reforms.

 

K-POLAND

 

GDP

$bn

RANK

POPUL.

mn

RANK

GDP/POPUL.

$

RANK

POLAND

532

22

38

28

14 000

33

S & P: A-

a-Summary on the contemporary History

Since its independence in 1918 until the German invasion in 1939, the power in Poland was hold by a succession of military dictatorships and especially that of General Jozef Pilsudski, a nationalist authoritarian and author of a coup in May 1926. General Pilsudski had been considered a champion of anti-Bolshevism by the British because of  his military ability during the Russo-Polish war of 1919-1921, which allowed Poland to keep some Ukrainian and Belarusian territories taken to Russia and given to Poland by the Versailles Treaty of 1919. In 1936, after the death of General Pilsudski, the former colonels of his legion, the  General Felicjan Slawo-Sladowski and the Marshal Edward Rydz-Simigly, benefiting from a nationalist and populist thrust became respectively president and head of government.

Polish anti-Semitism had almost reached the level of that of Germany before the war. The two main parties in Poland, the Pilsudskiste Party Sanacja (Sanitation), which held the majority  and the Endecja party had both  envisaged the mass deportation of Jews, by the law for Sanacja or by violence for Endecja. The Polish government also probably thought to get a break from Germany on territorial issues (particularly the Danzig corridor) by mimicking the German anti-Semitic policy (see - book of Daniel Tollet -2010).

 

In 1938, the USSR had offered to send the Red Army in the Sudetenland  to deter Germany's invasion, but the Polish Colonel Jozef Beck, Foreign Minister of Poland and former collaborator of General Pilsudski had blocked the feasibility of the operation and objectively favored the projects of  Germany.

Finally the arrival of the Red Army in 1939 on a part of Poland "including" territories partly lost in 1919 and 1921 (Treaty of Riga) and inhabited by over 60% of Belarusians, Ukrainians and Jewish minorities, has been for local people a brief respite before the Nazi invasion and allowed few Jews of Poland to escape the Holocaust.

 

b-Wages

In Poland the gross minimum wage is 1500 PLN in 2012 or approximately 350 Euros.  Eurostat has recently published the median income in Poland in 2010, which is 367 Euros i.e. 4,405 PLN per annum, while during the same year the minimum wage was 314 Euros (1,320 PLN). We can see that the median income is very close to the minimum wage.

Social charges and taxes are about 46% out of which approximately 57% paid by the employee and the rest by the employer. The net median income was therefore about 271 Euros in 2010. These wages correspond to 40 hours of work per week.

17.6% of the population live below the poverty line which should be 163 Euros per month, against e.g. 929 Euros in Germany. The German poverty line is equivalent to 2.65 times the Polish minimum wage and 5.7 times the Polish poverty line.

 

Wages do not permit to live and employees are seeking overtime. However, overtime is often paid in cash at a level below the legal one, in particular by failing to pay social charges.

The levy rate in Poland is only 18% of GDP and is one of the lowest in the world (42% in the EU) and reflects a lack of involvement of right-wing governments to improve the lot of their citizens.

 

c-Labor Law

Most employment contracts are now temporary and can be maintained for several years. The legal working time of 40 hours is exceeded in the best case to allow employees to reach by working overtime, the minimum subsistence level. An employee may legally work up to 13 hours a day if he agrees.

Many employers seek to minimize the labor cost despite the very limited value of wages and avoid to pay the social and tax charges to the State. This can be made easily because wages are often paid in cash. The employers tell  the employees that they prefer to give them the amount of contributions rather than,  the State.

The result is that workers have a retirement unrelated to the amount of their wage.

The retirement age has been increased to 67 years in a country where life expectancy is 76 years (77th country far behind most European countries), which will substantially limit spending on pensions. 

 

d-elections and political consciousness and union

The Poles seem disillusioned with their leaders given the record abstention rate in elections to the Sejm (House of representatives) and Senate of 51% on  9 October 2011.

The Poles who bother to vote (49%) give 82% of their votes  to the right-wing parties, which obtain 393 seats out of 460 seats in the Sejm and thus worsen themselves their own living conditions.

Poles do not seem to have any illusions about their leaders and many of them prefer to leave the country whenever possible rather than to vote.

Elections of 2011 - total votes and seats in the Sejm (460 seats):

PO - Donald Tusk- Europhile-Rightists: 5.6 million votes - 207 seats

PSL-Polish Peasants Party, rightist Center allied to PO: 1.2 million votes,

28 seats

Pis, Jaroslaw Kaczynski - Europhobic-Conservatives: 4.3 million votes

157 seats

PJN Conservatives -0.3 million votes-0-seat

German minority: 0.3 million votes, 1 seat (minimum by law)

The right wing has obtained nearly 82% of the votes and 85% of the seats in 2011.

The parties for progress, obtained only 18% of the votes and 14.6% of the seats are:

RP-Party Palikot - Janusz Palikot anticlerical Left-Center-1.4 million votes and 40 seats

This party has participated to elections for the first time in 2011 and its  result indicates a strong dissatisfaction in a 90% Catholic country.

SLD-Democratic Left Alliance: 1.2 million votes, 27 seats

The Poles do not seem to have therefore the political consciousness that would allow them to elect party which could improve their life.

The omnipresence of the Catholic Church does not facilitate the political consciousness of citizens; 75% of the population  go regularly to church, which is probably  a world record among the Christian countries, e.g. 4% in France.

In the sole labor unionism field, Poland seems to have lost its militancy after having been deprived of its Jewish minority by the Holocaust; during the  elections of 1922, the BUND (labor union  and  Socialist Movement of secular Jewish Workers of Poland, Lithuania and Russia) called for the improvement of living standards by requesting the limit of the workday to eight hours, the generalization of social security and the fight against unemployment. In 1923 the Polish Communist Party (PPK) took from the BUND the idea of the night classes for workers.

Labor unions in Poland today are not particularly combative far from the alleged  action of Solidarnosc during the communist era.

For example  the cashiers of the supermarkets Biedronka were requested and have accepted in 2009-2010, to wear diapers so they have no excuse to leave their workstations, renouncing to fight for their own dignity. The case had to take large proportions in order to stop the abuse of Biedronka.

(Biedronka-Kasjerka-Pampers-Autor: Gość: IP: .152.129.152. Dsl.dynamic.eranet.pl 07.12.10 - Ja pracowałem biedronce 3 lata w kasie, dostawaliśmy Pieluchy Pamper Czep Czep).

 

d-The Polish anti-Semitism

Despite the undoubted contributions of the Jewish minority in the economic and cultural the rebirth of Poland, the country had returned  to a violent anti-Semitism from its independence in 1918 and  particularly from 1929 to 1939.

In 1936 the BUND had denounced the fascist regime which had established an anti-Semitic policy quite similar to that of Germany before the war: Pogroms, violence, limited access to the University and to various professions.

The climax of this anti-Semitism was the "Madagascar Project" proposed by the Polish Government in 1937 with the agreement of the French government, which had targeted the mass deportation of Polish Jews to Madagascar.

This project was considered as unfeasible but was again taken into consideration by the Nazis in 1939 that preferred the final solution. (Reference: To be a Jew in Poland, Publication: 2010-Daniel Tollet).

In the sixties anti-Semitic campaigns were orchestrated and forced the few survivors of the Holocaust to flee Poland.

Anti-Semitism is still alive despite the disappearance of the Jewish community and the fact that Poland was the main place of achievement of the Holocaust. For example, caricatured figurines representing religious Jews, a bag of gold in one hand and a gold coin in the other are on sale everywhere in  Poland because their possession is supposed to attract money into homes and businesses.  We have criticized TVP Polonia for airing on March 29, 2012, a television series for families in which we could see in a house, the piggy bank of the family  in the hand a caricatured figure  of a religious Jew; our request was transferred to their ethics committee.

 

e-Emigration of Poles abroad today

The vote the most used by the Poles who want to mark their opposition, is to leave the country, so the figure of 38 million inhabitant  in Poland is above the reality. The Ministry of Interior reported a mass exodus of over one million Poles abroad and now indicates that the population of Poland is 37 million inhabitants. Rumors point to a smaller population due to emigration.

 

d-The Poles are deprived of the rights granted to other Europeans at the request of their

own Government and with the agreement of the EU

In 2009, the EU has accepted the request of the Conservative government Pis- of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, to deprive the Poles of the benefit of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

 

e-Conclusion

The vision of Poland by the media may be due to one or several of following reasons :

  • its "official" population makes it the most populous country of Eastern Europe that has joined the European Union.
  • it is seen as a country closer to Western Europe by its history and its religion. Jan III Sobieski is considered the Polish king who stopped the advance of the Turks in Europe 1683 (Vienna).
  • Poland has played a leading role in opposition to the USSR.
  • Solidarnosc gave it an inaccurate appearance of a country with a combative labor unionism,
  • it has returned to high-level anti-social practice since the breakup of the Soviet Union,
  • Anti-Semitism remains deeply rooted despite the disappearance of Jewish people due to Holocaust, which mostly took place in Poland,
  • Lech Walesa, Solidarnosc and John Paul II made a promotion of the country according their personal convictions
  • Given a very low median income, we may assume that most of the Polish population live below a poverty line according to averaged European criteria. This situation is changing unfavorably because of the crisis and the lack of social ambitions on the part of rightist Polish governments.
  • Poland also shows the futility of ratings: With A-, S & P is satisfied  to note that the country is moderately indebted without seeing that in this is rooted to a weak development and to poverty.

 

L-JAPAN

S & P: AA-

 

See details in the chapter on public debt.

 

8-THE LIMITS OF THE GDP AND THE DANGERS OF ITS GROWTH

 

A-POWER

The size of a GDP is an indication of the production and thus of potential power or power of a State as compared to another as GDP is the basis of the resources that the State can draw. On this basis a government may develop means of military deterrence or general  infrastructure or research and education or any other means that will guarantee a predominance. Power can also come from other sources such as detention of strategic resources.

 

B-WELFARE

GDP is the quantity of the  production of goods and services produced during one year. The real value of these goods and services is partly subjective and induced.

GDP does not guarantee neither a production of welfare nor the accumulation of long lasting  goods and thus its meaning is restricted.

Welfare could grow according to the life of goods that may be long lasting  and is thus not related to GDP as such , which only relates to one single year.

The current policy, which consists in increasing each year the GDP have generated among others the planned obsolescence i.e. the shortening of the life of the goods and services and eases partly the repetition of the GDP every year; this type of incentive creates a taste of consumption for itself without adding a real welfare.  Marketing includes tools,  which permit to convince people of the reality of artificial needs.

Welfare is based on meeting the real needs without creating new artificial needs, which only aim to guarantee an increasing production, activity and profits ; durability of goods may  increase welfare without link to GDP growth.

We may even imagine a growth of welfare combined to a decrease of GDP.

Other correlated factors to GDP decrease, may also increase welfare as the reduction of the pollution which threatens the viability of the planet, and also the reduction of the necessary volume of work to be shared in order to offer more available time to individuals for their personal development.

This point of view is also justified by the following paragraph.

 

 

C-FEASIBILITY OF AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM BASED ON GDP GROWTH 

The GDP growth is a headlong rush and therefore a choice among others. This headlong rush will be however stopped by the physical limits of our planet.

An ideal and fair world that would provide the entire world population a GDP per capita of the rich countries would be out of reach of planetary resources and will generate on its way a pollution that would jeopardize the viability of the planet.

If we assume that the ideal GDP per capita is the average of those of U.S., Japan, Germany and France i.e. 45,194 dollars, the planet sum of the PIB of the whole planet would be today 317 trillion USD i.e. 4.25 times that of today which seems to be not far from the limit beyond which the viability of the planet could be questioned and probably impossible.

Under these considerations,  the continued growth of GDP could cause more harm than welfare.

The current growth model is thus based  on a deep inequality of wealth distribution on the planet since  fourteen  countries (USA, China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, UK, Italy, Russia, Canada, Spain, Australia, Mexico and South Korea) together generate a GDP of 55,924 billion USD  or 75% of global GDP and comprise only 2,667 million i.e. 38% of the world population.

The other 179 countries  out of the 193 countries of the planet, produce a GDP of only   18,536 billion USD while representing 4,355 million of inhabitants, or 62% of the world population. The averaged GDP per capita of these 179 countries is therefore of only 4,256 USD as compared to  20,969 USD  for the population of the first 14 countries.

These 179 countries should thus abandon all hope of welfare to allow fourteen to continue developing their GDP without jeopardizing the viability of the planet. This is a new version of colonialism or of the master-slaves relation.

It is therefore necessary to choose a new economic model worldwide, far from the current model (automatically regulated economy based on profit and on free markets, i.e. capitalism) with a greater involvement of the governments of each country. The calculation of a need of  a GDP 4.25 times greater than that of  2011, is also based on the 2011 population. In the current economic model the need of GDP will increase with the world population.

 Evolution of the world population from 1960 to 2011

Evolution of the world population from 1960 to 2011-  

billion inhabitants

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2011

3.0

3.7

4.4

5.3

6.0

6.8

7.0

Distribution   in  2011

Africa

America

Asia

Europe  

Oceania

15.1%

13.6%

62.2%

8.6%

0.5%

 

On the basis of the growth rate of the last ten years (+1.4% p.a.) the world's population would increase to 8 billion people in 2020, i.e. the fair GDP necessary for the whole world population would reach thus  362 trillion USD or 4.9 times that of 2011.

Growth of welfare should be the main objective unrelated to that of GDP by improving the durability of goods and sharing the work.

The adoption of 35 hours in France is an example of work sharing and was finally a success despite the critics. Maintaining retirement in France at the age of  sixty is also an example of such work sharing.

NB:-Retirement in France

The retirement in France at the age 60 has unfortunately made only a timid return to France in June 2012 by being limited to exceptional cases and this to probably satisfy the rating agencies and the European Commission. Arithmetically, the retirement age is imposed  by the number of years of required contributions. The retirement at 60 years is now possible for the sole persons who may prove to have had a  physically straining work and 41 years of contributions, may retire at 60. Assuming that people who have a higher education had a less physically demanding work than the others, they should retire at 18+ 5+ 41 = 64 , where 5 is the usual period of study at University and 41 the number of years of contribution requested today. Increasing the retirement age is the result of the facts but  maintaining of a possible retirement at  60 years would have been an act of solidarity with the senior persons excluded out of the business  word  and who are willing to accept a reduction their retirement to not stay unemployed. The waves of suicide at Renault and France Telecom have shown that the strain at work is not only physical.