«The West should not forget that its success is very recent – truly, on a widespread basis, only since 1945 – and that it has been based on a harmonious balance between openness, which brings new ideas and scientific progress, and equality, which maintains social cohesion by making all adult citizens know they are full participants in progress and have a voice in decision-making and accountability».
"More than 200 million migrant workers economically support about 800 million family members worldwide, while in the current year, one-in-seven people in the world will be involved in either sending or receiving more than US$450 billion in remittances."
In which direction is Iran's economy heading after Hassan Rouhani secured his second term as the president of the Islamic Republic? One of Rouhani's main goals is reducing Iran's dependence on oil revenues, diversifying the economy and solve the unemployment problem. However, the president's plan embraces a risk: it is based on neoliberal policies that foster the private sector in order to boost the domestic growth. But this too rapid growth may impact negatively on social inequalities.
It was the beginning of August 2012 in Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president. The national Tv stations were urged not to broadcast any images of people eating chicken. The government was distressed because of food prices – chicken in particular – which had tripled since 2011.
Over the past two decades, China's economy has largely relied on the key competitive advantage of coal. Coal is abundant within the Chinese national borders, mining and refining processes do not require advanced technologies (high tech) and it has been for a long period less costly than oil and natural gas, the energy resources fuelling most of the modern industrial economies. Today, however, at the beginning of a massive socio-economic transition in China, a country aiming to escape the middle income trap, the Chinese coal paradigm is starting to show signs of weakness.
On February 12th, the Iranian television announced car production performances in the Islamic Republic, jumped by 40% in less than a year. Those were the days of the Fourth Automotive Industry International Conference, held in Tehran. Citroën, Peugeot, Scania and Renault participated, among other big brands from Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan. Moazzami Mansour, head of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization, pledged even better numbers and mentioned more than a million cars produced by the end of March.
The modern concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was developed by economist Simon Kuznets in 1934. Since then, and especially after the Bretton Woods Accords, GDP has been the accepted standard for measuring and managing the size of an economy. It is based simple accounting and can be calculated using output, expenditure, or income figures. Therefore, it provides governments with an efficient tool to pull the main levers of the economy, but also a measure of success that, because of its widespread use, allows governments to benchmark policies as well.
The idea is as simple as it is controversial: an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), enough money to cover a person’s basic needs, would be paid out each month by the State regardless of whether or not a citizen engages in wage labour. Various conceptions and models have been more or less widely circulated and discussed since the 1960s. But wherever large-scale implementation has been proposed, UBI has always been dismissed as a starry-eyed social utopia.