Thursday, December 16, 2004

Yes, but...

Jacques Chirac on Turkish entry to the EU. Pierre Moscovici, on France Inter, said that Turkey must resolve, among other things, the role of the army. What was not mentioned was that historically, yes, the army has intervened to prevent, as they saw it, civilian governments plunging the country into chaos. But above all it has seen itself as guardian of the secular nature of the republic.

By the way, if the British public are not opposed to Turkish entry, it's probably because they haven't thought about it much (yet). BBC Radio 4 mentioned it towards the end of their news bulletin and spent about 15 seconds on it.
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(Via Greg) Emmanuel at Ceteris Paribus, a blogger in French, though the English quotations are often worth the time in themselves, has some interesting remarks on the 35-hour week.
Car le PIB [Gross Domestic Product] est, en tout cas à partir d'un certain niveau de richesse, un indicateur assez imparfait du bien-être national.
Another post links to Kevin Drum's remarks on an article from the Los Angeles Times. I never quite believed  'American workers earn no more than they did 30 years ago.' Emmanuel's 'Les salaires horaires des travailleurs américains peu qualifiés sont aujourd'hui inférieurs en termes réels à leur niveau du milieu des années 1970' [His emphasis] or  'Les salaires horaires des travailleurs américains peu qualifiés sont aujourd'hui inférieurs en termes réels à leur niveau du milieu des années 1970' [My emphasis] and Drum's 'the poor may be a bit better off in average terms than they were 30 years ago' are more convincing . But a commenter put it with precision:
From http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/histinc/h03ar.html

Household income for lowest fifth (in 2001 dollars):
2003 $9,996
1973 $9,210

Wow! A whoping 8.5% in 30 years.
I put in the italics, since another commenter said, 'it's even worse if you take inflation into account...'.

1 Comments:

Blogger Emmanuel said...

I think I was referring to the secular decline in the real value of the federal minimum wage. Hence the "hourly wage" and the "low-skilled" workers. That can indeed be misleading, since the minimum wage is higher in some American states.

The Census figures deal with "annual household income". The paltry 8,5% raise in real income could be explained by, among others : increasing labor-force participation (from one to two wage-earners in one household), longer working time to compensate for falling wages and higher transfer payments (e.g. social security checks, which are indexed to average wages).

4:31 pm, December 16, 2004  

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