Composition of European Commission

I am writing this post due to the fact that Finland´s broadcasting company YLE, which is funded through tax income, today announced that Finland´s upcoming Prime Minister Antti Rinne (Social Democrats) has promised that Finland´s next European Commissioner will be a female.

In its more than 24 years of membership in the European Union, Finland that joined the EU on January 1st 1995, has never before had a female European Commissioner.

Why does this matter?

Well, in the European Commission currently all major decisions are being made by 28 commissioners, one from each current EU member state. EU Commissioners hold the real power, and only 32 % of current EU commissioners are females. 68 % are males.

Antti Rinne, currently running negotiations to create a new government in Finland after the parliamentary elections held in April 2019, said on the YLE news today that it is about time for Finland to elect a female EU Commissioner to break the glass ceiling that has been holding back female candidates from powerful leadership positions for far too long. The EU Commissioner will be assigned by the upcoming government in Finland.

To achieve one of its main goals in addition to being a Union of peace, the European Union should take into consideration how equality, including gender equality, can be reached within the Union. Currently only 9 out of 28 commissioners are females. The vast majority of decisions concerning more than 512 million of inhabitants within the European Union are thus made by males. If we are going to build and to maintain an equal European Union, it is about time for its decision-makers to take into consideration the fact that at least 50 % (or more) of the EU´s members are females. Thus, the representation of females in the EU Commission should represent an equal share (at least 50 % females of Commissioners). How this will be organized is a minor problem to be solved by the European Commission. Rotation could be one possibility, as in the Chairmanship of the European Union.

The European Commission should not only consist of 50 % females and 50 % males, but also be willing to delegate and to share its power to for instance the European Parliament. If 28 people, one from each EU member state, make decisions on behalf of more than 512 million citizens within the European Union, we are far from democracy. If decision-making in the EU were more democratic, perhaps more people would be interested in voting in the EU Parliament elections in the first place. At the time being, it is a miracle that more than 51 % of citizens are interested enough to give their vote in the elections. In Finland, only 42,9 % of citizens with a right to vote gave their vote in the May 2019 EU parliament elections.

Anne-Maria Yritys 28.5.2019

 

 

 

What Are The Consequences of Illiteracy & Lack of Education?

Precisely one year ago I wrote an article about education, a topic close to my heart, that I would like to share with my global network on social media.
 
This is dedicated especially to those who know how to read, who enjoy reading or who would like to improve their reading skills. Reading is actually a skill that too many people in the world lack either completely due to illiteracy, or through various forms of dyslexia.
 
According to Unesco, at least 750 million people (more than half of them are women) worldwide are illiterate. Furthermore, it is estimated that an average of 20% of world population have some form of dyslexia. It is not tied to family origin: the King of Sweden Carl Gustaf and his eldest daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, are both dyslexic.
 
Dyslexia is of course no reason to stop reading or writing. It may just make reading and writing a bit more challenging or time-consuming.
 
Thus, this article is also dedicated to those who enjoy learning, in general, including learning foreign languages (I have been learning nine different languages beside my mother tongue Finnish, some of which I speak fluently, others less), learning about different cultures, learning about history, learning through traveling, and of course learning through life experiences. Dyslexics included.
 
It is an article about the possible consequences of when education is not being valued in a country, and about how dangerous it is when the wrong people get to run a country. In this case these were communists, but in the contemporary world a democracy can be torn down by any elitistic group of people who fail to understand the importance and the true meaning of DEMOCRACY.
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA & Vocational Teacher. 27.8.2018.
Link to article:
 
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Tasan vuosi sitten kirjoitin artikkelin koulutuksesta, aihe joka on lähellä sydäntäni. Haluaisin jakaa tämän kirjoituksen globaalille verkostolleni sosiaalisessa mediassa.
 
Artikkeli on omistettu etenkin ihmisille jotka osaavat lukea, jotka pitävät lukemisesta tai jotka haluavat parantaa lukutaitoaan. Lukeminen on valitettavasti taito joka puuttuu liian monelta ihmiseltä maailmassa: joko he ovat täysin lukutaidottomia, tai sitten heillä on jonkinasteinen lukihäiriö.
 
Unescon mukaan ainakin 750 miljoonaa ihmistä (yli puolet heistä on naisia) maailmassa on lukutaidottomia. Lisäksi noin 20% maailman väestöstä kärsii jonkinasteisesta lukihäiriöstä. Lukihäiriöllä ei ole mitään tekemistä sosiaalisen statuksen kanssa, eikä sitä tarvitse hävetä. Esimerkiksi Ruotsin kuningas Carl Gustaf ja hänen vanhin tyttärensä, kruununprinsessa Victoria, kärsivät molemmat lukihäiriöstä.
 
Lukihäiriö ei tietenkään ole syy lopettaa lukemista tai kirjoittamista. Se saattaa vain hankaloittaa tai hidastaa lukemista ja kirjoittamista.
 
Siten tämä artikkeli on myös omistettu niille, jotka ylipäätään pitävät oppimisesta, ml. vieraiden kielten oppimisesta (olen itse opiskellut yhdeksää vierasta kieltä äidinkieleni suomen lisäksi, joista osaa puhun melko sujuvasti, toisia vähemmän sujuvasti), vieraiden kulttuurien oppimista, historian oppimista, oppimista matkustamisen kautta ja tietenkin oppimista elämänkokemusten kautta. Mukaan lukien lukihäiriöiset.
 
Artikkeli kertoo mahdollisista seurauksista kun maassa ei arvosteta koulutusta, ja kuinka vaarallista voi olla kun väärät ihmiset päästetään valtaan ja johtamaan maata. Tässä historiallisessa esimerkissä kyseessä olivat kommunistit, mutta nykymaailmassa demokratian vaaraksi ovat kaikenlaiset elitistiset ryhmittymät jotka eivät ymmärrä DEMOKRATIAN tärkeyttä tai DEMOKRATIAN todellista merkitystä.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA & AmO. 27.8.2018.
Linkki artikkeliin:
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För exakt ett år sedan skrev jag en artikel om utbildning, en fråga som jag ställer stor vikt på. Jag skulle vilja dela denna artikel med mitt globala nätverk via sociala medier.
 
Artikeln är tillägnad speciellt för människor som kan läsa, som tycker om att läsa eller som vill förbättra sin läsförmåga. Läsning är tyvärr en kunskap som alltför många människor i världen saknar: antingen är de analfabeta eller så lider de av någon sorts dyslexi.
Enligt Unesco är minst 750 miljoner människor (över hälften av dem är kvinnor) i världen analfabeter. Dessutom lider cirka 20% av världens befolkning av någon slags dyslexi. Dyslexi har ingenting med social status att göra och det är ingenting att skämmas för. Till exempel Sveriges kung Carl Gustaf och hans äldsta dotter, kronprincessan Victoria, har bägge två dyslexi.
Dyslexi är naturligtvis ingen orsak att sluta läsa eller skriva. Det kan bara komplicera eller sakta ner läsning och skrivning.  
Denna artikel är också tillägnad åt dem som överhuvudtaget tycker om att lära sig nya saker, bl.a. främdspråk, (Personligen har jag lärt mig nio olika språk vid sidan om mitt modersmål finska. En del av dessa språk behärskar jag flytande, andra mindre flytande), lära sig om andra kulturer, historia, lära sig genom resor och förstås lära sig genom livserfarenheter. Inklusive dyslektiker. 
 
Artikeln handlar om möjliga konsekvenser i ett land där utbildning inte uppskattas, och hur farligt det kan vara när fel människor får makt och leder ett land. I detta historiska exempel handlade det om kommunister, men i nuvarande världen blir demokratin hotad av flera slags elitistiska grupperingar som inte förstår vikten eller den verkliga betydelsen av DEMOKRATI.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA & Yrkeslärare. 27.8.2018.
Länken till artikeln:

Thoughts About Democracy, Education & Innovation

WEF video: The World Innovation Index 2017

Since the current government in Finland cut 600 M€ from education (175 M€ in 2019), can we expect that Finland will soon fall out from the top 10 category as well?
 
Pisa studies about school performance already indicate that many students have problems with basic learning skills, such as reading.
 
Teacher unemployment is skyrocketing and due to huge cuts within research and development, Finland is losing many of its bright minds who move to other countries.
 
Instead, the current right-wing, capitalistic and miserable government aims at building a labor market in this country where people are forced to work for free. Highly-educated Finns are unemployed simply because the current system allows it. Businesses and organizations want free labor. Our current government is probably the lousiest throughout history.
 
Since Finns are not willing to work for free, the government is investing in attracting uneducated people from abroad to do the same jobs for a lousy salary.
 
Government and media (propaganda) suggests that unemployment is below 7%. Makes one wonder where and how they have managed to scratch together these kinds of statistics. Crafting all kinds of statistics is an easy thing to do, but one has to be able to read and to interpret them critically.
 
It is not enough that markets and people are being analyzed just based on data and statistics, especially if data and statistics give people biased or even false information.
 
On the other hand, people must have enough knowledge and understanding to interpret data and statistics. That is of course impossible if the population of a country is illiterate. Illiteracy is thus a big threat to democracy.
 
Does the current government of Finland want to continue tearing down democracy? At the very moment, our so called democracy is already debatable, since a mere 200 representatives and a right-wing government make downright stupid decisions without asking the whole population what the citizens want or need.
 
Finland´s ostensible democracy needs an update. At least Finnish citizens should be reminded of what western democracy signifies and what kinds of rights western democracy has to guarantee for its citizens. Look at Switzerland, a country where not a single important decision is being made without referendum.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys, MBA and Vocational Teacher. 25.8.2018
 
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Och samma på svenska:
 
Kommer Finland att kunna behålla sin plats inom top 10 efter de massiva nedskärningar inom utbildningen (600 M €/175 M € år 2019) som vår nuvarande regering är ansvarig för?
 
De senaste Pisa-studierna visar redan tecken på att många elever och utbildande har problem med grundkunskaper, inklusive läsning.
 
Allt för många lärare i Finland måste gå och stämpla för att regeringen har skurit ned på forskning och utveckling så dessa människor flyttar utomlands där deras kunskaper är uppskattade inom arbets- och näringslivet.
 
Istället för att satsa på den arbetskraft som redan finns i landet verkar den nuvarande, urusla regeringen satsa på att ändra på den nuvarande arbetsmarknaden så att folk är tvungna att jobba gratis. Högt utbildade finnar går arbetslösa bara för att det nuvarande systemet tillåter det. Det har blivit en vana att firmor och organisationer förväntar sig att få gratis arbetskraft. Vår nuvarande regering i Finland är nog den sämsta vi har haft i hela landets historia.
 
Eftersom finnar inte vill arbeta gratis vill regeringen attrahera billig arbetskraft från utomlands för att jobba med dåliga löner.
 
Regeringens och mediernas (propaganda) information påstår att arbetslösheten ligger under 7%. Man måste ju verkligen undra var och hur i helvete de har lyckats få ihop sådana statistiker.
 
Det är ju så enkelt att få ihop en massa statistiker, men man måste också kunna läsa och tolka dessa kritiskt.
 
Det räcker inte att marknader och människor blir analyserade endast på en massa data och statistiker, speciellt om data och statistiker ger människor förskönad eller t.o.m. förvrängd information.
 
Å andra sidan bör människor ha tillräckligt med kunskaper och förståelse för att kunna tolka data och statistiker. Det lyckas tyvärr inte om invånarna består av analfabeter. Analfabetism är därför en stor risk för demokratin.
 
Vill Finlands nuvarande regering smula ner Finlands demokrati ännu mer? Demokratin är ju redan nu osäker när endast 200 riksdagsledamöter och en högerregering fattar dumma beslut utan att fråga hela befolkningen vad de vill eller behöver.
 
Finlands så kallade demokrati behöver en uppdatering. Åtminstone vore det bra att påminna finländare om vad demokrati betyder och vad för slags rättigheter demokratin bör garantera medborgarna. Se på Schweiz, där inte ett enda viktiga beslut fattas utan en direkt folkomröstning.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys, MBA och Yrkeslärare. 25.8.2018
 
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Sama suomeksi:
 
Saa nähdä, pystyykö Suomi pitämään paikkansa maailman top 10 innovatiivisimpina maina sen jälkeen kun nykyhallitus päätti leikata koulutussektorilta massiiviset 600 M€, joista 175 m€ vuonna 2019.
 
Viimeisimpien Pisa-tutkimusten mukaan monilla koululaisilla ja opiskelijoilla Suomessa on jo ongelmia perustietojen hallinnassa, kuten lukemisessa.
 
Aivan liian moni suomalainen opettaja, lehtori ja professori joutuu hakemaan työttömyyskorvauksia hallituksen leikattua tutkimuksesta ja kehityksestä elleivät he sitten ole jo muuttaneet töiden perässä maihin, joissa oppilaitokset ja yliopistot ottavat heidät avosylin vastaan (suomalainen koulutus on ainakin tähän asti ollut ulkomailla erittäin arvostettua, toisin kuin kotimaassamme!).
 
Sen sijaan että surkea, kapitalistinen ja lyhytnäköinen nykyhallituksemme ymmärtää sijoittaa maassa jo olevaan työvoimaan, pyritään Suomesta luomaan halpatyövoiman maa pakottaen ihmiset työskentelemään ilmaiseksi. Korkeasti koulutetut suomalaiset ovat työttömiä vain koska nykyjärjestelmä sen sallii erilaisten tukien ja avustusten muodossa, joista näyttää tulleen jo normaalitila Suomessa. Suomen nykyinen hallitus taitaa olla maan kautta historian SURKEIN.
 
Koska suomalaiset eivät ymmärrettävistä syistä halua työskennellä palkatta, yrittää hallitus seuraavaksi investoida halpatyövoiman houkuttelemiseksi ulkomailta. Korvataan suomalaiset osaajat vaikkapa luku- ja kirjoitustaidottomilla. Mitä tyhmempi väestö, sen parempi nykyhallituksen mielestä, kunhan saadaan edullista työvoimaa.
 
Hallituksen ja Suomen medioiden informaatio-(propaganda) koneisto väittää työttömyyden laskeneen alle 7%:in. Kiinnostaisi tietää, miten ihmeessä he ovat onnistuneet luomaan kyseisen tilaston. Kaikenlaisia tilastoja kun on helppo luoda, mutta niitä täytyy myös osata lukea ja tulkita kriittisesti.
 
Ei riitä, että markkinoita ja ihmisiä analysoidaan pelkän datan ja tilastojen pohjalta, varsinkaan jos data ja tilastot antavat ihmisille kaunisteltua tai jopa vääristeltyä tietoa.
 
Toisekseen, ihmisillä täytyy olla riittävästi osaamista ja ymmärrystä tulkita dataa ja tilastoja. Sehän ei tietenkään onnistu mikäli väestö on luku- ja kirjoitustaidotonta. Väestön luku- ja kirjoitustaidottomuus on näin ollen suuri riski demokratialle.
 
Haluaako Suomen nykyhallitus murentaa Suomen demokratiaa entisestään? Eihän täällä toteudu demokratia tälläkään hetkellä, kun 200 kansanedustajaa ja oikeistohallitus tekevät typeriä päätöksiään kysymättä koko kansalta mitä kansa haluaa tai tarvitsee.
 
Suomen näennäinen demokratia kaipaa päivitystä. Ainakin suomen kansalaisia olisi hyvä muistuttaa siitä, mitä länsimainen demokratia tarkoittaa ja millaisia oikeuksia demokratian pitää kansalaisilleen taata. Mallia voi ottaa Sveitsistä, missä yhtään tärkeää päätöstä ei tehdä ilman suoraa kansanäänestystä.
 
Anne-Maria Yritys. MBA ja AmO. 25.8.2018.

Integrity, The No. 1 Leadership Quality

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”(Abraham Lincoln)

Leadership as one of the most widely discussed and debated topics is also one of the most demanding sports activities for any individual, regarding leadership as a sports activity. A leader has to be fit both mentally and physically, having the capability of combining both spurts and long-distance activities into leadership practices.

Expectations upon leaders are manifold. In today´s corporate world, leaders are often evaluated through corporate surveys and employee feedback questionnaires/ discussions, also called 360 degree feedback reviews. Politicians receive feedback through media and from voters. At least in democratic states where freedom of speech exists, where all citizens have equal possibilities, and equal human rights.

The importance of leadership is emphasized through the amount of discussion around, and research upon the topic, well-known journals and other media regularly publishing articles upon, and lists about, desired and important leadership qualities. Try to find a list of the most highly valued leadership qualities excluding INTEGRITY. Let me know if you can find one. I have not until this day.

A quick Google search with the keywords “integrity synonyms” gives the following top result:

integrity

ɪnˈtɛɡrɪti/

noun

noun: integrity

1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

“a gentleman of complete integrity”

synonyms: honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstandingness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

“I never doubted his integrity”

antonyms: dishonesty
       

2. the state of being whole and undivided.

“upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”

synonyms: unity, unification, wholeness, coherence, cohesion, undividedness, togetherness, solidarity, coalition

“internal racial unrest threatened the integrity of the federation”

antonyms: division
       
  • the condition of being unified or sound in construction.

“the structural integrity of the novel”

synonyms: soundness, robustness, strength, sturdiness, solidity, solidness, durability, stability, stoutness, toughness

“the structural integrity of the aircraft”

   
       
  • internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.

“integrity checking”

WHY is integrity such an important leadership quality?

Top reasons for this:

  • Integrity is morally and ethically correct behavior
  • Integrity is human
  • Integrity is democratic
  • Integrity is highly valued by all human and democratic individuals
  • Integrity is authentic, truthful and honest
  • Integrity is not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk
  • Integrity is a part of any individual´s moral compass, and a tool for making not only things right, but also making the right things
  • Integrity is an essential part of conscious, ethical leadership, preventing immoral actions such as corruption, and enhancing transparency
  • Leaders with integrity are more concerned with the common goal than their personal ambition

Suggested further reading:

EY – Growing Beyond: a place for integrity. 12th Global Fraud Survey.

George, B. 2007. True North. Discover your Authentic Leadership.

Transparency International. The Global Coalition Against Corruption. Publications.

“Just as a compass points toward a magnetic field, your True North pulls you toward the purpose of your leadership. When you follow your internal compass, your leadership will be authentic, and people will naturally want to associate with you. Although others may guide or influence you, your truth is derived from your life story and only you can determine what it should be.”

(True North, From the Introduction). 

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

 “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

 “In countries where innocent people are dying, leaders are following blood rather than brains.” (Nelson Mandela)

 “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” (Nelson Mandela)
 
An individual who practices what he/she preaches is predictable, removing emotions of threat, developing trust. showing others consistency (unknown).

 http://bit.ly/BalanceOscarWinningCartoon

 “A rotten apple spoils the barrel. Plant your seeds well.” 

What is Your Purpose & Responsibility in Society?

We Are All Actors. Being a Citizen is Not Living in a Society. It is changing it. (Augusto Boal)

What kind of country do you live in? Are you living in a developing economy, or in a welfare state? Or, in a transitory state? Or, in a failed state? If in a failed state, you are most probably not even capable of reading this post, since a failed state is a) either in some sort of crisis (e.g. war) or b) not allowing its citizens to surf the Internet, or even participate in social networking, and social networking/professional business sites, such as LinkedIn.

Market fundamentalism is out, as is belief in comprehensive state interventionism. (Gylfason & al. Nordics in Global Crisis. Vulnerability and resilience. 2010. 20.)

Whichever kind of state you are living in, it is worthwhile noticing that your state, including its governance and legal aspects, have a major influence upon the economic development, and possibilities, for the country’s citizens. Many citizens in countries, feeling unempowered, believe they have no influence upon their surroundings. This, however non-empowering it may sound, is a false belief. Every citizen has a voice, and the possibility of influencing the economic, and thus societal, developments in their country.

In Welfare States, including Finland (situated in Northern Europe) the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, often compared to the Great Slump of 1930 ́s (or even worse), and the economic events of the past years, together with the current economic situation both on micro and macro levels, intertwined with estimates and forecasts for the future have certainly given many, not only economists, but in general citizens of the world food for thought.

Milton Friedman about Welfare State Dynamics

Many countries have been hit hard by the crisis, and have not yet recovered – including several small, open economies, vulnerable to, and severely affected by, global developments. However, some of the shocks were internally created, leaving some of the responsibility of “cleaning up the mess” to domestic institutions, and policies. (Gylfason & al. Nordics in Global Crisis. Vulnerability and resilience. 2010. 21).

Coe, N., Kelly, P., and Yeung H.W.C. Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction. 2007, have discussed the role of different kinds of states and firms in the economy, with a purpose to pinpoint how these, together with supra-national institutions, shape economic processes. The discussion about the changing role of the state in an era of globalization, together with the demonstration of why geographical scales matter when re-configuring a state, is also out of most relevance.

A state has several functions:

– A state is the guarantor and institution of economic activities dealing with financial crisis, guaranteeing national economic instruments, securing international economic treaties, property rights and the rule of the law.

– A state is the regulator of economic activities such as market regulation, and the regulation of economic flows.

– A state is the architect of the national economy, including trade policies, strategic industrial policies, attractor of FDI (foreign direct investment), and regional development policies.

– A state is an owner of public enterprises.

– A state is the provider of public goods and services, such as infrastructure, healthcare, transport, and education.

– A state has also political-economic influence upon mergers and acquisitions, through regulatory control.

– On a geographical scale, a state plays a role in international, macro-regional, intra-national, and local levels.

The vast amount of different types of states existing today is divided into:

– Neoliberal states (North America, Western Europe, and Australasia).

– Developmental states (Asia and South America).

– Transitional states (Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia).

– Welfare states (Nordic countries and some European countries).

– Weak and Dependent states and

– Failed states

In a reconfiguration of the state, following can be taken into consideration:

– A State is a dynamic set of institutions.

– The nation-state is a dynamic entity capable of self-transformation

– Rise of corporate power and global finance

– A nation-state is powerless in controlling inward and outward investments, or is it?

– The political-economic geographies, together with the mutually dependent relationship between state/firm

– The different power-relationships between states within the global economy

– The interaction between states/firms/markets.

– Nation-states shape profoundly the economic activity within and across their borders.

– The state itself is always implicated or involved in directing processes through conscious decisions.

– Nation-states remain critical institutions through which international, regional, and local economic issues are evaluated and acted upon.

– Economic governance on international and sub-national scales, upscaling: international organizations such as UN, IMF, World Bank, and WTO, together with macro-regional groupings such as the EU, APEC, NAFTA, ASEAN, NEPAD, SAARC, CARICOM, and MERCOSUR.

– Hollowing out the state = state functions taken over by public-private partnerships and private forms of regulation QUANGO = Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organizations

– Leading business media Beyond the State?

– State control is uneven in its operation and effectiveness

Traditional welfare states, such as Finland and Sweden, have not avoided the global crisis, the reasons for which include the level of openness, and the dependence on exports of investment goods. Both Finland and Sweden experienced an equally severe slump in the early 1990 ́s with the difference that it was at large homemade. Lessons learned from the 1990 ́s crisis include that early signs of financial fragility need to be taken seriously, and policy planning needs to base upon worst-case scenarios. The current crisis, still ongoing, includes problematic consequences: public finances have deteriorated, unemployment is high, and significant structural changes in the economy are taking place. (Gylfason & al. 2010. 21; 118).

Restoring public finances can be taken care of in many ways, as suggested by Gylfason & al. (2010. 28):

– Public consumption and transfer payments can be cut

– Composition of expenditure directed in a growth-friendly way

– Smooth flow and functioning of infrastructures, including communication

– Well-functioning education system and funding of research

– Broadening the tax base by raising the employment rate

– Changing the structure of taxation in a way that encourages economic growth, i.e. reduction of taxes on productive economic activity, corporate and labor taxes, and an increase in taxes on consumption, natural resources and real estate.

Due to globalization, the mutual interdependence between countries is stronger than ever, suggesting that there is a need for stronger international, and global, cooperation in areas including trade policy, financial regulation and supervision, macroeconomic policy and actions to prevent climate change. (Gylfason & al. 2010. 31).

However complex policies are, the maintenance of a welfare state, and economics, includes the following:

A democratic system with equal rights and possibilities for all citizens

– A solid infrastructure in terms of access to services such as education, and healthcare

– A balanced economy, with little deficits

– A lucrative, innovative environment attracting FDI and sustainable economic growth

– A taxation policy attracting firms, which in turn create jobs and employ citizens

– A taxation policy that is attractive for all kinds of firms, including small enterprises 

These are measures that, in a welfare economy, are expected to be taken care of by the state, and therefore, through public policies. Firms, on the other hand, choose to operate and invest in markets capable of offering them attractive conditions, and an optimization of factors included in a PESTLE analysis.

However important the role of the state, or a nation, a state is always being constructed by its citizens. Citizens who have the possibility of influencing their direct and indirect surroundings, including their personal lives, their neighborhoods, the politics of their country and so forth. In fact, every single action, and every single effort made by an individual in a country, has direct and indirect impacts upon the developments in the nation in question.

Thus, your personal efforts, however small they may seem, always do have an impact upon the society you are living in. Never underestimate your capability of influencing, changing, and developing society and people around you, because often, small actions and improvements lead to giant leaps and changes in (economic) development.

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I am an international business management professional with an MBA from Haaga-Helia UAS, Finland, communicating fluently in several languages. I am also a certified investment adviser/specialist (Aalto University/Federation of Finnish Financial Services) with years of experience from investments and business advisory services through education and professional activities.  

Currently I study adult pedagogy at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. My vast international experiences and passion for humanity and ethical leadership make me a Global Citizen. I believe that advanced communication, empowerment, continuous learning and development lead to sustainable economic development and a sustainable future for individuals, organizations and nations across our Globe. 

For business inquiries/job offers/projects, please contact me through: 

fi.linkedin.com/in/annemariayritys

Twitter: @annemariayritys

Website: https://www.annemariayritys.com

My previous posts on LinkedIn can be accessed at: 

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What is “The Land of The Lucky Children”?

My journey a couple of years ago to Cambodia, the Land of Peace and Prosperity, was a didactic experience and an eye-opener in many ways. Not only did I learn about the history of the homeland of some of South East Asia ́s most amazing archaeological sites, including the re-known Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm + hundreds of other temples, but also about the contemporary way of life in this amazingly beautiful country, neighborhood by Thailand in the West, Laos in the North, and Vietnam in the East.

Yet, not so many decades ago, the Land of Peace and Prosperity was the centre for a bloody civil war, the Cambodian Genocide. In 1975, orchestrated by Pol Pot, the local communist party the Khmer Rouge, invaded the capital Phnom Penh, driving Cambodian citizens out of their homes. Innocent people were forced to prison camps, where they had to work like slaves with little or almost no food allowed. Every non-communist was under life-threat, especially doctors, teachers, non-communist politicians, and other intellectuals. Many were killed. According to estimations, more than 2 million innocent people lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge regime. Women were commonly raped, and many children, including girls, were forced to become child soldiers. One of these children managed to flee to the United States with her brother, and is today a national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free World. Loung Ung has also shared her experiences and her story in two of her books: “First They Killed My Father – A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”, and “Lucky Child – A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites With The Sister She Left Behind”.

What do wars/civil wars teach us?

Personally I learned at least the following facts:

– Democracy protects human rights

– Bad governance (including a high amount of corruption) can be disastrous in protecting equality and for economic development in a state

– Wars are disastrous for the well-being and general development of a country.

– The aftermath of wars, and genocides, together with a high level of corruption, will influence the economic development of a region for years, even decades.

Cambodia is still today, although developing, one of the poorest countries in the world. Cripples are a common view on the streets – legs or arms or both missing, these people are crawling on the streets trying to find a way to make a living – mainly by begging from tourists. War makes people suffer not only physically, but also mentally. Many parents, unable to work, prefer sending their children to the streets, earning money to the family e.g. through selling souvenirs or books to tourists.

Garment workers are transported on the back ́s of open vans like animals to factories, where they work for long hours with a monthly pay of no more than a maximum of 100-150 USD. Due to the amount of medical workers killed during the civil war, good doctors and hospitals are still missing. Local people who can afford it commonly travel to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam in order to get professional medical treatment.

I must admit that I feel uncomfortable buying clothes with a label stating “made in Cambodia,” especially after personally seeing the local conditions.

As a tourist in Cambodia I was considering whether my journey really was of benefit for the people, and if it actually is morally and ethically right to buy clothes produced in Cambodia. What do you think?