||Re: Subsidising parties (mind)
|| 27 sor
|| 10 sor
|| 115 sor
||Re: concentration (mind)
|| 25 sor
||Re: Subsidising parties (mind)
|| 10 sor
||Re: Debrecen (mind)
|| 21 sor
||Hungarian to English translation (mind)
|| 8 sor
||Re: *** HUNGARY *** #210 (mind)
|| 58 sor
||Government subsidies (mind)
|| 10 sor
||Relative backwardness (mind)
|| 19 sor
||Horn, hotels, Bekesi et al (mind)
|| 93 sor
||Re: Horn, hotels, Bekesi et al (mind)
|| 15 sor
|+ - ||Re: Subsidising parties (mind)
In HUNGARY #210 Greg writes :
>Are there then only two kinds of Hungarians with discretionary money
>to spend, bureaucrats and businessmen?
I can't recall the exact data but about 40% of the population
lives around (and bellow) the minimum life level. It means that
their biggest problem is how to pay increased energy bills and
food prices and they don't really care about parties. You can
call it antidemocratic behaviour if you wish. So I would say
there are no other society classes with spare money only
the bureaucrats and business sector. Or at least they are hiding
very well ...
>How much can it cost to run a campaign every four years?
I don't know, I have never run any :-) All I know
that the former coalition leader party, the MDF has amassed
about 600 million forints (about 6 M$) debt after the elections
they lost. There were rumours about selling their central office
at Bem square.
>I suppose these parties could get funds from the same place they
They can't do it because of the same reason I mentioned
at the beginning. The middle class of the late communist era
is struggling with elementary life-support problems.
|+ - ||Debrecen (mind)
>Based on what evidence? The crocodile tears of the two arrested
I`m sure this was a completely unbiased statement. We have no evidence
to go either way, eventhough anti-semitism is the more obvious reason for the
|+ - ||concentration (mind)
Quiet day - so see a bit of the justness of the justest of
societies for all to follow as I promised these figures
- this is just the US, but the fact is the
same everywhere - MORE is produced and the SAME is distributed
to most workers...
> figures below have been gleaned from the "Survey of Current Business" and
> publications of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As is shown, output per
> worker has been growing in real terms since 1950. Yet, it seems that the
> general standard of living for people who are employed (as opposed to
> people who are employers) has gone down.
> GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT NUMBER OF WORKERS AVERAGE VALUE
> IN BILLIONS OF CONSTANT PRODUCING GNP OF OUTPUT
> 1982 DOLLAR$ PER WORKER
> IN CONSTANT 1982
> Averaged over the same time span in constant 1982 $, wages were running
> between $7,000 and $10,000. Remember that's an average, nationwide and in
> 1982 dollars. Is it any wonder that the top 1% of the households in this
> nation control more wealth than the bottom 90%? "The wealth of a
> household, or net worth, is what it owns (including stocks and bonds,
> housing and other real estate, checking and savings accounts, and so forth)
> minus what it owes in debt (including mortgage loans, credit card balances
> and business loans.)
> "By 1989, the top 1 percent (834,000 households with about $5.7 trillion of
> net worth) was worth more than the bottom 90 percent of Americans (84
> million households, with about $4.8 trillion in net worth)."
> "New York Times" page 1, April 21, 1992 issue. Information based on the
> "Federal Reserve's triennial Survey of Consumer Finances". The top 1% are
> not the wage slaves producing the wealth. They are the owners of the stock,
> bonds, real estate, the owners of the wealth and the means of producing the
> wealth. They employ the rest of us to produce the commodities which are
> measured by dollars and called the GNP. BTW, I realize the new measurement
> is of the GDP. Latest figures are usually found mid-month in the "Wall
> Street Journal". It stands to reason that if we can produce this much
> wealth now, most of it not even coming back to us because of the robbery
> inherit in the wage system, we could produce the same amount, for
> ourselves, in half the time. Onward to the four hour day, probably even
OOps I think these are average industrial wages
> Production per worker was substantially more
> over the years than these figures for wages per worker. In 1950, it was
> over $18,000 and by 1989, it was close to $35,000 in constant dollars. The
> percentage of wealth that the rich put into the tax bucket has
> substantially decreased since the '50s too. It used to be that the top tax
> bracket was 91%, now it
> is 30 something percent, depending on which of the major parties control
> the State.
> It is true that many commodities now sell for lower real prices than they
> did earlier. This is most apparent in the electronics area e.g.
> televisions, radios, computers and so forth. As the amount of labor time it
> takes to produce a commodity goes down, so should its price in a free
> market. (Over time, the effects of supply and demand on price tend to
> balance out, barring global monopolies.) The cheapening of commodities by
> the reduction of labor time necessary for their production is a general
> tendency of the economy. Some commodities which have not undergone
> extensive automation may appear to be way out of line with the prices of
> yesteryear. Measuring prices in constant dollars is a way of bringing these
> things into perspective. Houses for example, if they are of the same
> quality (materials etc.) as those constructed in earlier times, may appear
> to be vastly more expensive than those of earlier times, if one does not
> deflate the price.
> The point of my comparison is that in terms of a steady measurement, like
> constant dollars, one can see that the real productivity of labor has grown
> tremendously since the 1950's. The problem is that the real wages haven't
> grown with this productivity. If one takes the figures for total people in
> the workforce given by the government and divides that figure into the
> total amount of money paid in wages in any given year since the 1950's and
> then measures that money in constant 1982 dollars, you find the price of
> labor as a whole, runs between a wage of $7,000 and $10,000 per year. So,
> while real wages have remained relatively constant, the real dollar total
> of goods and services has exploded. If these wages can only buy $7,000 to
> $10,000 worth of the commodities that are being produced and if the
> recession/depression is real (and the advice is to ask anyone who is
> unemployed for the answer),then it would stand to reason that the best way
> to get the economy going again would be to see that more money goes into
> the pockets of those who produce the wealth. This is more of a trickle up
> theory, if you will.
|+ - ||Re: concentration (mind)
On Tue, 31 Jan 1995 12:34:02 +0000 Eva Durant said:
>> The point of my comparison is that in terms of a steady measurement, like
>> constant dollars, one can see that the real productivity of labor has grown
>> tremendously since the 1950's. The problem is that the real wages haven't
>> grown with this productivity.
--No argument on this point from me.
then it would stand to reason that the best way
>> to get the economy going again would be to see that more money goes into
>> the pockets of those who produce the wealth. This is more of a trickle up
>> theory, if you will.
--While I agree that extreme inequality is bad for a smooth running
market system, American has a booming economy with a very low
unemployment rate. We don't need any further stimulation, because
it is inflationary. We could use more fairness in who benefits from
the economy, but this is a matter of simple justice, and I don't think
that we should or need to tax the rich out of existence. After all,
they buy a lot of things that the rest of us make, and they are also
a source of constant amusement. Where would we be without Di and Charles
to read about?
|+ - ||Re: Subsidising parties (mind)
Gabor Paller wrote:
: I can't recall the exact data but about 40% of the
: lives around (and below) the minimum life level.
Exactly why I say the government should have higher spending
|+ - ||Re: Debrecen (mind)
: >Based on what evidence? The crocodile tears of the two arrested
: I`m sure this was a completely unbiased statement. We have
: to go either way, eventhough anti-semitism is the more obvious
reason for the
Some circumstancial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout
in the milk. (Thoreau)
"More obvious" is putting it lightly. We have no evidence pointing
anything except that it was an anti-Semitic act; if there is any,
someone please post it.
|+ - ||Hungarian to English translation (mind)
Hello, is there anywhere on the net where I can get an ascii printing of
even a partial hungarian/english translation list?
If anybody knows of this, please send details.
|+ - ||Re: *** HUNGARY *** #210 (mind)
Regarding Hungarian pessimism...
I lived in Hungary from 1990-1992 and I believe that I benefitted a great
deal from speaking with my friends in Sopron (pop. 60,000) about life in
Hungary. I then moved to Budapest, where connections occurred on a
similarly intimate level, but were tinged by the pressures of big city
life. Nonetheless, the subject of pessimism in the smaller city and the
bigger one was always a topic for discussion. Usually Hungarians were
interested in my observations as an outsider, but then were more than
well-versed on other foreigners' opinions that they had heard.
While I lived in Sopron, two of my closest friends, both women in
their mid-20s, attempted suicide. The suicide attempts came after
stressful incidents, and both women told me that they had attempted to
commit suicide "before they had even realized it." Is it possible that
pessimism and suicide has been thus ingrained so deeply?
I am not a psychologist, but a graduate student studying
psychology, and I've given a lot of thought to Hungarian pessimism,
especially as it relates to "before" and "after" socialism/communism, and
what kind of factors may influence this sterotypical but nonethess
prevalent social construct in Hungary in particular.
Given that we may never know, however, why Hungarians have been
labelled with this sterotype, a more useful meta-analysis may be: why are
we ourselves so fascinated with that sterotype? And, to what end?
The "end" for me is how to help the people that I love in Hungary
live more mentally healthy and physically healthy lives. Pessimism and
similarly unhappy thoughts stimulate systems in the body that promote
When it comes to alleviating stress and stress-related diseases, we
know from psychological, immunological and neurological studies that when a
person lives within crowded conditions, with polluted air and water, little
income, and a strong fear of the future...that person will attempt in any
way possible to achieve homeostasis. That drug and alcohol abuse, and even
food abuse occurs within that paradigm of achieving "relief" has been well
proven and is the basis for therapy and treatment.
Some geneticists suggest that people have predispositions to
achieving homeostasis: that is, you or I may choose jogging, whereas
another person may choose alcohol. We also have to look at socioeconomic
factors here as influencing our choices. The point is-- we are trying to
achieve some kind of state in which we are comfortable.
Pessimism seems to me to be a defense against the loss of hope, and
at its worst, takes the form of suicide. We know that Hungarians smoke a
great deal, drink a great deal, eat unhealthy foods, and commit suicide a
great deal. These symptoms seem to me to be indicators of a fractured
society that fears hope. The obverse, however, is also a society that has
a great deal of hope.
I suggest that pessimism in Hungary will not disappear with direct
treatment. Rather, treating the air and water, giving people alternatives
to smoking and drinking to relieve stress, and providing the appropriate
career counseling and employment opportunities will help the individuals in
the society to have more healthy and optimistic lives.
In the meantime, given that some Hungarians may be predisposed with
a pessimistic filter on any kind of life situation they have, I would
suggest the following approach: help people to identify times when they
aren't pessimistic (I hesitate to use the word depressed because that has
clinical/medical implications and should be used very cautiously), and help
them to then increase those times. In this way, we could work to break
down the idea that Hungarians are always pessimistic, and are actually very
hopeful at times. We just have to find the right mirrors, so to speak.
|+ - ||Government subsidies (mind)
> Could someone explain why the state is in the business of subsidising
> political parties? Surely in tight economic times there are higher
Because the Hungarian government subsidizes every blessed thing there is!
>From nonexistent money!
|+ - ||Relative backwardness (mind)
Tony writes, first quoting me:
>is talking about. Just a brief background. Because Eastern Europe was
>>economically less advanced, early tradesmen were invited by the Crown
>Eva, thanks for the elucidating background info, however I do not agree with
>your premise that the early tradesmen were invited by the Crown because
>Eastern (East Central actually ) Europe was economically less advanced.
>Are we not forgetting the after-effects of Tartar devastation of 1241 upon
>the economy of East Central Europe and the consequent loss of revenue for
>the Crown due to the wholesale devastation and depopulation by the Tartars?
Tony, German tradesmen, townspeople came to Hungary, way before 1241. As
early as Ge1za's (Saint Stephen's father). Both the Saxons of the Felvidek
and the Saxons of Transylvania came before the 13th century.
|+ - ||Horn, hotels, Bekesi et al (mind)
I have been unable to read the postings of the list in the last three days
and therefore I may be commenting on matters which which have been superseded
by events of the last few days. A posting by George Antony, which I received
on Saturday, is one of these but I feel so strongly about the matter that I
must answer it.
George Antony wrote in connection with the HungarHotels affair:
>Thus, I am glad to hear that some precautions have been (are being) taken
>in the Hungarian privatization process to lock out the opportunists and
>try to sell to those who would carry on with the businesses.
Usually I agree with George on almost all matters but I violently disagree
with him on this point. I think that he completely misunderstands the issues
surrounding this whole affair. Horn and people around him are not really
concerned about necessary "precautions," they are not trying to make sure
that Hungary will get a fair deal but, instead, they are highly ambivalent
about privatization in general. (As the matter of fact, I think that using
the word "ambivalent" is too charitable in this case.) They are who they are:
old communist apparatchiks who deep down (or rather not so deep down) don't
really want to introduce capitalism. They don't want to have real democracy.
And yes, answering Andras Kornai's note at the same time, they don't want to
have lustration and a free media. (I am talking about TV and radio right
Let me quote to you, first in Hungarian and then in English translation what
HVG (a very respectable economic weekly) had to say about all this more than
a week ago (January 21, pp. 95-96). The title of the article is "Utaza1s
skizofre1nia1ban" [Travel in schizophrenia]. The article analyzes in detail
the events leading up to the dismissal of Ferenc Bartha, head of AVU. I may
add that Bartha's dismissal took place while La1szlo1 Be1kesi, the finance
minister and Bartha's close friend and political ally, was out of the
country. Instead of going into all the detail, let me just quote the last
sentence: "A korma1nydo2nte1s e1rvrendszere1nek zavarossa1ga, a
miniszterelno2k inger ltse1ge1nek foka i1gy sokak sza1ma1ra azt jelzi,
hogy--korma1nystrate1gia ide, to2rve1nytervezet oda--Horn Gyula e1s a
legbefolya1sosabb `e1rdekve1dettjei' kora1ntsem ko2telezte1k el magukat a
demokra1cia e1s a piacgazdasa1g talpko2ve1t jelento3 maga1ngazdasa1g gyors,
hata1rozott kisze1lesi1te1se mellett." [The confusion of the reasons given
and the level of the prime minister's annoyance for many signal that Gyula
Horn and the most influential members of certain interest groups close to him
by no means have committed themselves to democracy and to the rapid and
determined widening of a significant private sector which is, after all, the
foundation stone of the market economy.]
Yes, George Antony, that is the problem. Gyula Horn is an old-time
apparatchik who has been a devoted servant of a Soviet-type society and
economy. How can we accept anything else from him? And here is now La1szlo1
Be1kesi's resignation! Today's news is full of negative remarks from English,
French, German, and Austrian papers. As long as Be1kesi was there at least I
could hope for steady striving toward a market economy. Now, I am not sure.
Everybody said that there was no way of turning back the clock back. I no
longer share that belief. And obviously the Hungarian business community is
not so sure of the future either. The Hungarian stock market fell 9 percent
yesterday as a result of the resignation. That is as if Wall Street dropped
300 points in a day! Then this morning I read that Evelyn Forro1, the
government's spokeswoman, was fired. What did she do? Was something wrong
with the way she presented Horn's ideas to the journalists and thus to the
public? Who knows! Then there is the news that the hotel chain may not even
be sold! I have terrible forebodings about the future of Hungary.
I am not even sure what SZDSZ should do under the circumstances. Old-time
readers of this list may recall that I thought at the time of the election
that the SZDSZ should not form a coalition and if they decided to join the
government they were fools. It was such an ill-suited marriage. After all,
leaders of SZDSZ were THE dissidents (and the only dissidents) of the former
regime. How can they, I said to myself, turn around and form a coalition
goverment with those who had been their arch-enemies. Also it was hard to
imagine that the SZDSZ could be effective within the government when the MSZP
has an absolute majority in parliament. If the SZDSZ leaves now and joins the
opposition, even then the opposition will not have enough votes in parliament
to defeat the government. But how can the leaders of SZDSZ stay when their
most cherished principles (the rapid introduction of democracy and market
economy) are being violated right and left?
And let me add Horn's latest brainchild: an entirely new ministry under an
MSZP minister responsible for privatization! To keep the current balance,
another ministry would be established which could be headed by an SZDSZ man:
a ministry to prepare the grounds for joining the European Union! Isn't it
charming. Horn obviously wants to destroy the independence of AVU and have
the MSZP alone responsible for privatization. I wonder what kind of
privatization that will be!
The MSZP is also moving in on leaders of cultural institutions. The latest is
Katalin Keseru, the head of the Hungarian Gallery. She was fired. A huge mess
All in all I am very pessimistic. The MSZP has 54 percent of the votes and a
comfortable majority even without SZDSZ in parliament. Horn and company can
set the country back for years.
|+ - ||Re: Horn, hotels, Bekesi et al (mind)
: All in all I am very pessimistic. The MSZP has 54 percent of the
: votes and a
: comfortable majority even without SZDSZ in parliament. Horn and
: company can
: set the country back for years.
How bad would (will?) the economy have to get before there is a
chance of early elections?
Are there any fracture lines showing in the MSzP, which could
ultimately lead to a loss in Parliamentary majority?