In English – Tag

Tagging posts in English

As a service to non-Swedish speaking visitors I have a project: I will start giving new, and slowly also old, posts in the English language a special tag: English.

In that way you should be able to find posts that you can read. All for now. Cheers /Åke

Thomas Piketty undresses Norwegian Airlines CEO: Inequality, and taxes on wealth and inheritance

As a service to foreign friends. Here are two clips you must see – Piketty 1, Piketty 2 – from the Swedish-Norwegian talk show, Skavlan, with an excellent and revealing dialogue. Economist Thomas Piketty verbally undresses capitalist and CEO of Norwegian airlines, Bjoern Skos.
Piketty among other things reveals CEO Skos’ tax sham (saying he pays 1000 % taxes) – but in reality a very small percentage of his wealth of several billion dollars.

Piketty also criticized Sweden’s 0 % inheritance tax (equal only to that in Berlusconi’s Italy) and compared to about 40 % tax on big fortunes inherited in most countries. The Swedish model is changing.

Added May 9, 2015
More on inequality by Piketty: Back to 19th century conditions


Today Sunday January 11 we are all Charlie. Manifestations all over the world, in Stockholm at 1.30 pm at Sergels torg.
I am Charlie, for freedom of expression, against terror. Condemning the Paris slaughters. They cannot be justified in any way.

However the drawings in Charlie Hebdo can be discussed. They are and should be legal, but were they reasonable?
Charlie – je suis, ou pas?
To be or nor not to be – Charlie
Time for reflection – here is food for thought that I found on the internet and via facebook friends.

Tid för eftertanke, efter upprördheten och sorgen.
Här är några bidrag som ger underlag för nyanser, som jag funnit på nätet och genom vänner, bl a Rianne M  och Jenny A.

The Guardian
Joe Sacco: On Satire – a response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks
The acclaimed graphic artist and journalist Joe Sacco on the limits of satire – and what it means if Muslims don’t find it funny

David Brooks, NYT:  I Am Not Charlie Hebdo
The massacre at Charlie Hebdo should be an occasion to end speech codes. And it should remind us to be legally tolerant toward offensive voices, even as we are socially discriminating.

Jordan Weissmann, Slate: Charlie Hebdo Is Heroic and Racist
We should embrace and condemn it.

Arthur Goldhammer, Aljazeera America: Let’s not sacralize Charlie Hebdo
The magazine’s raison d’être was to show nothing is sacred

Teju Cole: Unmournable Bodies

Julian Vigo, HuffPost Canada: #JeNeSuisPasCharlie
Why I Can’t Support the Original Hashtag

Jeremy Harding, LRB (2006): Short Cuts

Johannes Klenell, Aftonbladet: Att följa sin publicistiska linje är att hedra Charlie Hebdo
Inga extremister får påverka min utgivning
”Under de senaste dagarna har jag fått påtryckningar av många, men kanske framför allt från den anonyma extremhögern, att i yttrandefrihetens namn publicera den franska satirtidskriften Charlie Hebdos satirteckningar om islam. När jag först hörde om terrordådet kände jag en stark vilja att också publicera – visa upp, ge igen – men sedan började jag tänka. Jag kan bara inte göra det av ett antal skäl.”

Contested Nordic Models of Work and Employment:Volvo Uddevalla and Welfare Capitalism

Contested models - cover - 20130722

From the introduction to the report: Contested Nordic Models

On the macro level the labour market model with its solidaristic wages policy, active labour market policy and job creation is at the heart of the Swedish model. It interacts with welfare and social security policy. On the micro level we find models of qualified, decent and even ‘good work’ and participative forms of management. These are mutually dependent elements in a social contract. There are however recent tendencies that threaten this contract of ‘productive welfare’: degradation of work, and precarious employment conditions, unemployment as well as hikes in social security and in the welfare sector (lower taxes, less resources and crisis in schools and healthcare) may result in lower trust in the future of the model. Privatizations in the welfare sector with a growing role for tax-evading venture capitalists may additionally strengthen such distrust. The willingness to accept technological change and rationalizations in the economy, so central to the Scandinavian model of economic development and job creation may thus be jeopardized.

On the micro level, is Volvo’s human-centered model of work organization and production at the end of the road? In Volvo’s car assembly plant in Kalmar the work content was 20-40 minutes as compared to a couple of minutes in standard line production. Workers followed the car on a wagon along the line between various stations or they worked in a dock, with the car in a kind of side track. The Uddevalla plant had stationary parallel production groups of nine workers assembling whole cars and working for two hours or more before repeating the tasks. Material was brought to the autonomous groups.

Production according to the innovative concepts in the plants in Kalmar and Uddevalla was closed down some twenty years ago, but the ideas are alive not least in academia but also in practice. In a panel we will discuss what we can learn from the Uddevalla experience. Will we again se forms of production like in the Uddevalla plant where qualified workers in autonomous groups assemble whole cars? And more generally what can we learn for a future development of work organization where workers to a high extent control their own work, supported by advanced forms of automation, organization and learning strategies? And what types of vertical integration of planning and execution and of reorganization, even on the societal level, may be needed to make such an autonomous work possible.

The report argues that we must look at the model as a whole, you cannot pick for example only the productivity and innovation side while making hikes in the welfare systems and damaging the functioning of the labour market by cuts in the enemployment insurance. Productivity and welfare are, in Scandinavia, two sides of the same coin.

Read the whole report here:  Contested Nordic Models

Read an interview about the report (in Swedish): ”När den svenska modellen tappade sitt självförtroende