Thursday, March 11, 2010

Capital ideas

Financial Times:

Since Mr Bajnai’s technocratic government took power last April, Hungary has abolished the so-called 13-month pension and from 2012 the retirement age will start rising from 62 to 65. Pensions have been indexed to inflation with increases conditional on strong economic growth. The state has also cut child support benefits for stay-at-home parents, abolished an interest-rate subsidy for home buyers and tightened criteria for other benefits.
[T]hese efforts have been geared towards incentivising Hungarians to rejoin the workforce.

Anytime there's money to be made from employing people at a lesser cost than the value of what they produce, how quickly do independent notions like "parenting" and "retirement" become interwoven with "the need to work."


Ethan said...

Relatedly, I always get a bit frustrated when I see people talk about how "people need jobs." No one needs "a job." They need what the job gets them.

I know what people mean when they say it, but it always strikes me as reinforcing the interweaving you're talking about.

JRB said...


Of course, personal independence means being dependent on your employer, not the nanny state -- at least, according to employers.

d.mantis said...

What struck me was use of the term 'incentivising'. The definition of the term relates to inciting a particular action by positive motivation ie a reward for greater productivity. Yet we are told that all of these unsympathetic and horrible measures are mearly the governments harmless attempt to put people back into the workforce.

WTF! How does cutting child support and making it more difficult to buy a home positive reinforcement.

This is what I don't understand about people. When faced with explanations like these, why don't people ask the question of who this benefits. If I can't stay home with my kids, much less put a roof over their head because now I have to work 50 hours a week, HOW THE HOLY HELL IS THIS A BETTER SITUATION?