Gia Jandieri

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Articles

Forward (or Backward) to Etatism

"We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State."Margaret ThatcherEtatism (French, from état, meaning state; or in English, statism) means the concentration of economic control and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government, often extending to government ownership of industry.The...

Risks and Challenges

My friends who work on political analysis often chide me for attaching more importance to the economy than to politics. I, however, believe that economic results are behind any pure politics – aside from the ideas of fanatics or counteractions to such ideas. Furthermore, in contrast to some of my American colleagues, I think that ideological and moral arguments start later than pragmatic ones.I continue to adhere to my opinion that at the end of the day economic issues will always remain. For...

What the Government Should Do to Recover Economic Growth

Having an economic policy firmly focused on rapid economic growth is vital for Georgia. This is a fact that has been repeatedly declared. In order to achieve such growth, we must counterbalance all existing economic and political risks with the greatest possible economic freedoms. At the same time, it is necessary to create a sense that this policy is a long term arrangement and that it will not be changed by anyone, regardless of which government or political ideology they align themselves...

The Affordability of Education

"Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."Ronald ReaganAccording to popular opinion, the more a country spends on education, the better. For example, many believe that if public spending on education exceeds three percent (or five percent, seven percent, et cetera, depending on one's imagination) a country will do well. At best, this opinion implies that without education it will be difficult for a country to be globally competitive.It seems that people with...

Economic Illusions and Realities

Certain statements and events over the past few months raised hopes that pragmatic reasoning would someday return. Two events are sufficient as an example: firstly, the education minister unexpectedly stating that the labor code does not only concern the employer-employee relationship, but also affects the desire of investors to invest in Georgia, a small country where possibilities are scarce and risks are high; secondly, the issue of normalizing relations with Russia coming under fire...

Collectivization – Mark II

There is no such thing as society.Margaret ThatcherThe meaning of the word "collectivization" may be unknown for the younger generation. For the older one, the term means either a successful part of Stalinist reforms or a punitive operation resulting in the torture and death of a mass of people who owned any property. It is suffice to recall the Holodomor famine in the Ukraine, a punitive operation conducted against relatively affluent private farmers, the so-called kulaks, which resulted in...

Wishful Thinking

“Pennies don't fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth.” Margaret Thatcher   W hat we have been hearing from politicians and government-affiliated experts of late exactly matches the notion of "wishful thinking", a term first introduced by American economist Randall Holcombe. As President Ronald Reagan once famously quipped, “[p]olitics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” The attempts of politicians to offer...

The Russian Market or the World Trade

That politicians often commit the sin of selling dreams as reality is nothing new. While this occurs over many issues in Georgia, in this article I want to focus on our export potential in agriculture. The aim is to confirm that, in spite of arguments made by the new government, the Russian market is not a panacea and that our entrepreneurs may successfully sell...

Unemployment in Georgia

In an earlier column, I compared a gainfully employed worker and an apple street-vendor to explain market risk. Both seem to enjoy similar everyday lives revolving around spouses, children, grandchildren, health, etcetera. The difference between the two is measured in terms of risk: the street-vendor puts at risk personal resources to stock an ample supply of fresh apples; in contrast, the employee faces only one risk – the loss of a job if the employer goes bankrupt or otherwise terminates...

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