ზურა ჯაფარიძე

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How We Should Not Assist Media

It has been several weeks now that the so-called “must-carry” principle has been a focus of wide public discourse. Must-carry rules in force in other countries impose an obligation on cable and satellite television networks to retransmit to their customers the signals of terrestrial TV broadcasters. Several Georgian non-governmental organizations have drawn on that experience of foreign countries and submitted a package of relevant legislative amendments to the Parliament. For his part, U.S....

Undelivered Promise

Is there a direct correlation between the amount of state expenditures and the rate of economic growth? The answer is a definite “yes,” according to the conclusion drawn by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) of Great Britain after sixty years of observing how those two indicators fluctuate in twenty-four countries. Every one-percentage increase in state expenditure against the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slows down economic growth by 0.1 percent on average. In other words, the more a...

Untaxed Minimum

About a month or so ago, candidates of the political coalition Georgian Dream declared that – if elected to the Parliament – they would amend the Tax Code of Georgia to introduce the so-called “untaxed wage minimum.” According to them, the untaxed minimum amount would equal the subsistence minimum. The idea itself is not new – such an arrangement exists in a number of countries more economically advanced than Georgia. Even Georgia practiced the untaxed minimum approach several years ago and it...

'Philanthropy' – State vs. Private

The proper scope of state activity is a matter of constant controversy. A number of people (including me) believe in small government – that means, to the greatest extent possible, reducing the size of the state apparatus, curtailing the reach of the bureaucracy, and restricting the powers of this or that public agency. Individual liberty is threatened whenever a state forces citizens to take steps they would not be willing to take on their own. Such a vision of limited government lacks...

Corruption – Reality and Perspective

There is much talk – both inside the country and abroad – about the eradication of corruption in Georgia. That issue is widely discussed at conferences and seminars, opined on by international organizations, written about in books. Everyone acknowledges that Georgia, in recent years, has realized an extraordinary achievement in its fight against corruption. If we take into account the setting against which reforms have been implemented (a state apparatus infected with institutionalized...

Standing Somewhere Else

Several years ago, I watched a documentary film which recounted the story of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Japan by U.S. air forces in the summer of 1945. The film described in great detail the emotions of American soldiers who participated in that operation as well as the feelings of Japanese residents of Hiroshima who miraculously escaped death. I remember being surprised that so many participants were then still alive to recount one of the most tragic events in modern world history....

What Awaits Europe?

In 2009, the newly elected Prime Minister of Greece discovered that his predecessor had tampered with state financial data and that his country’s budget deficit actually exceeded the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 15% instead of the reported 6%. That is how the economic crisis in Europe began. Soon thereafter, it came to light that debt problems were not unique to Greece; similar challenges were faced as well by the four other so-called PIIGS countries – Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain....

About Those Others…

Why should Indians and Arabs earn money here at our expense? Why do they come here from China to become rich at our expense? Why have we sold everything we possess to foreigners? Should a Georgian be only a servant working for foreigners for a pittance? These questions are familiar to anyone in Georgia. For years, we have heard them with more or less frequency from almost every media outlet. One also hears worse: If Russia is the enemy, then why have we sold whatever we had to Russian...

How to Build the Village

Results of a U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) survey published in early October reveal that thirty-five percent of the population views agriculture as the most urgent reform that needs to be implemented in Georgia. Yet only nine percent of respondents believe this reform will actually happen, according to the same survey. A couple of weeks after the NDI...

Zebra, or Letters from My Windmill

By the time this edition of Tabula appears, many articles will likely have analyzed all aspects of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s engagement in Georgian politics – starting from his successful business activity to his long-time charitable work, from his political statements in recent days, down to the legal nuances of revoking his Georgian citizenship. The main question...

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