A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘Economics’

Is China Attacking Us?

German author,Political Scientist, and China expert,Wolfgang Hirn isn’t sure that China deserves the miserable reputation that it has in the west.

His two books “The Chinese Challenge” (Herausforderung China) and “Asian Attack” (Angriff aus Asien),published by Fischer, make interesting reading.

China is gigantic,China is suspiciously, “foreign”,and then there are all these 1.3 Billion people.

China will become,next to the USA the second superpower in the world and that makes us all somewhat frightened.

But didn’t we encourage it all for our gain?

Environmental pollution in China is immense,and the Chinese are eating more and more meat.But can we condemn them for that? Shouldn’t we be pleased that for the people there things are beginning to look better?

China has at least managed to free 400 million people from deepest poverty. What they are doing is legitimate. The West challenged China to at last participate in world trade. Now they are certainly doing this ,following the rules of globalisation and we must live with the consequences.

We had hoped that human rights and democracy might follow, after the theory that an affluent society brings the wish of complete freedom for all. In South Korea and Taiwan it worked.

It hasn’t worked in China yet, because the middle class is not big enough, and interestingly this section of the people, which one might have thought were all for political freedom is not in the least interested in it,because then, they would be completely in the minority and 700 to 800 million peasants would have their say.

Up until now their  authoritative system has worked for developing China,and many a western manager enthuses over it.

In China Peking decides, and at least at this stage it is probably the only way to get anything done. Other countries with a democratic system take years deciding on anything because every ones interests must be taken into consideration.

By 2012, ninety seven new airports will be built in China-and they will be built.Whether the environmentalists agree or not.

That is why China has managed better to get more people out of poverty as the democratic India has.

Maybe come time, come change, and we should admire them for what they have achieved.


Home Made Energy

We have an unconventional figure in Switzerland.

An 81year old foreigner,respected, I might even say loved by all. Nicolas G. Hayek. A self made man who hates to wear a tie. If he does have to wear one it is never tied properly and extremely loud.

Born in Beirut,Lebanon to a Lebanese mother and American father. In 1944 the family emigrated to Switzerland. Nicolas studied mathematics and physics in Zürich. This combined with the business talent of the Lebanese proved a force not to be stopped.

Nicolas Hayek is now in the 250 richest people in the world list,but he is not sitting still. Hayek the Engineer, Problem Solver,and Troubleshooter.

After revolutionising,and saving the Swiss Watch Industry,turning Biel into the world center.He also wanted everybody in the world to be able to afford a watch. The Swatch was born. Afterwards came the Smart, and now he has a new idea.

Hayek is planning the Energy Revolution.

Apparently in his office stands a model of the future.

The turning on of an artificial sun allows it to send its’ rays onto a solar panel, two test tubes simulate an electrolysis system and a few seconds later a small propeller is turned. It seems almost like a toy. But fifty movements later you know what Hayek is talking about. It produces energy

Altogether you need a solar panel 50 square meters large. An electrolysis plant the size of a normal household fridge.and a fuel cell to cover 60% of the energy requirements of the average household. Including a car.

The cost at the moment 35,000 to 40’000 Swiss Francs or US Dollar. The annual energy saved would normaly cost about 3000 SF. (Without car costs)

Until then,the interested engineering firms have to work on a few problems.

The solar panel has to be 30% more efficient, The electrolysis apparatus has to be mass productable and the energy cells should last at least three years.

Not forgetting we need completely new motor engines. According to Hayek, three car manufacturers are participating in the project.

In twenty years he says we can cover 75% of the present oil demand with clean energy.But what does we can mean, we must he states. It is five to twelve.

“We need do-ers not talkers, and we must disconnect trade production from the rise and falls of the stock exchange. Social law must protect a firm from being just a bundle of shares.”

I Would Like a Choice

Over the years I have been asked more times than I can count by elderly persons unable to care for themselves if I could give them something so they could die. They didn’t want to live anymore with the everyday suffering of being bedridden and in pain. They didn’t want food pushed into their mouthes before they had finished swallowing any more.Or the pain that comes from large open bedsores that could take fifteen minutes or more to dress.

They didn’t want to lie for hours in wet,stinking nappies. They just wanted to leave this world with dignity.

I couldn’t help them.

It seems that in Switzerland where I live,the cost of caring for the elderly whether in their living accommodation or in a

nursing home will double between now and the year 2030. In that year an estimated 2 million people over the age of 65 will be living here. In 2005 there were only 1,2 million.

The growth of the over 80 year olds has risen enormously. This has had a massive influence on the cost of health care.

A study by the Swiss Health Observatory says the price for care will rise from 7,3 billion francs in 2005 to around 18 billion in 2030.

The rise is of course affected by the prescription of multiple medication for the aged, on average fifteen tablets a day,and performance of complicated operations, excluding emergency orthopaedic procedures on over seventy five year olds. Higher nursing and so called hotel costs add to it.

Ethics play a great part in how we approach the situation at the moment.

Mankind has the right to live ,but when are we going to have the right to die?

Food or Fuel?

Last year approximately 100,000 tons of grain was used to make biological fueI.
I love the colour green, but I love a fresh loaf of bread more.

1 Swiss Frank per day, per person.

Worldwide at least a billion people must live on this amount. That hardly pays for basic food.

The price for grain is exploding because it is being used for bio fuel.

The price of rice rose by 75% in the last two monthes. The price of corn rose over the last twelve monthes by 120%. One of the causes being merchant speculation.

It takes 200 kilo of corn to manufacture enough Ethanol to fill a 95 Liter tank. With this amount of corn a person could feed themselves for a year.

2102 Million tones of grain was harvested in the world in 2007. Half of it was used for animal food and biological fuel.

Work the rest of it out for yourselves.

Can we let this go on?

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