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Articles in English

14.9.2016
WHAT“S WRONG WITH EUROPE – AND WHY DON“T YOU FIX IT?

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9.9.2016
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NORDIC MODEL?

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31.3.2016
HOW TO SAVE CAPITALISM FROM THE CAPITALISTS - AND DEMOCRACY FROM THE PLUTOCRATS?

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15.2.2016
The Transition from totalitarianism to democracy: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE BALTIC ROAD TO FREEDOM AND POST-INDEPENDENCE EXPERIENCE?

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10.2.2016
„SOLIDARITY OF SMALL NATIONS: UTOPIAN DREAM OR PRACTICAL POLITICS?

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All articles in English

3.5.2011

In Search of Freedom: IT“S ALL ABOUT EQUALITY, STUPID!

“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Battle-cry of the French revolution)

“Freedom can not consist of a privilege of the few – to the exclusion of the many” (Olof Palme, Swedish PM)

“ Meš lögum skal land byggja, en ólögum eyša” (“Under the law we build the land – without the law, we destroy it” - Ari fróši, an Icelandic 11th Chistorian)

1.

I hail from a people whose founding fathers claimed that they left their homelands (the heartland of Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland), rather than succumb to the authority of the Norwegian king. This was in the 9th Century, during the Viking Age, when Norway was being unified by force into a single state.

The lesser chieftains and small landholders were faced with a choice: To swear allegiance to the superior authority of the emerging monarchy (and accept the royal prerogative of taxation) or to run for their lives. They opted for the latter choice.

Since those days, more than 30 generations of my countrymen have been brought up with the historical myth (or truth) that our ancestors would rather risk their lives than lose their liberty. Searching for Ultima Thule – the faraway island, out there in the North Atlantic – was at best a hazardous undertaking. The dream of those asylum seekers was to find a mythological utopia, in the middle of nowhere, where they could settle in a land of liberty. They called it Island, the original meaning of which was the island of God. Due to linguistic deficiences of British cartographers later on, they misnamed it Iceland on the maps. Since then the inhabitants have thought of it as the land of fire and ice.

Being settlers in a virgin country, land was free for the taking. Sparsly populated, in a fairly large territory, the settlers“ conditions were not conducive to a system of slavery, which was therefore abolished early on. What emerged was a community of independent landowners, who were determined not to accept any superior authority of the kind they had escaped from in their homelands.

In this sense those adventurers were fiercely individualistic. On the other hand they can also be described as egalitarian in outlook, since they considered themselves to be equals, rather than being subservient to a higher authority. This certainly was a “Wild West” – a libertarian dream come true. One of the first written references to this phenomenon in European scholarship is to be found in the 11th C Annals by Adam Bede, the bishop of Bremen, who observed that the inhabitants of this remote island were unique in one respect, namely “that they accepted no king over themselves”. This must have been some news to the bishop“s European contemporaries, increasingly being subjected to feudal overlordship under heriditary aristocracy.

2.

In the context of medieval European history, this was indeed a unique social experiment. It was an attempt to create a society of free men and women, under common law, but without any executive power whatsoever. There was no government, no bureaucracy, no army, no police and no coercive central power to maintain Law and Order among an unruly populace. If this is not an anarchist dream come true, I don“t know what is.

And, by the way: women“s rights were advanced way beyond anything deemed proper in Europe at the time. Among the early settlers there were well known and highly respected matriarchs. Not only could women assert their rights to landownership; their right to divorce their men was recognized and they could legally claim half of the couple“s common property in the case of divorce. That must also have been some news to the Bishop of Bremen, had he only known!

The centerpiece of this social structure was ALŽINGI (parliament – meaning all the people). Alžingi was both, a legislative assembly and a court of law, at the same time. It was held annually at ŽINGVELLIR for three weeks in the month of August (an idea which has sometimes been recommended as a good example for modern parliaments to imitate). But Alžingi was also a sort of national forum, not only for the affairs of state, but also for commerce, culture, sport and fashion – not to forget marriage counselling and match-making.

Although Alžingi was not an elected assembly, in line with our modern practice, it was nonetheless a surprisingly democratic institution. The members were local chieftains from the regions, surrounded by their closest councellors. They were selected locally, presumably either for their influence or alleged wisdom. Although loyalty to the chief was considered a virtue, chieftains could be deposed (and were actually recalled on occasion), so the influence of common farmers was considerable.

Althingi elected a Speaker for a fixed term in office, from among knowledgable legal scholars, who also presided over the court proceedings. Before the Law was written down (the oldest law book dates from the year 1117), the Speaker recited the bulk of the law during Althingi“s session, for the edification of the younger generations. In this sense, Althingi was also an academy, surely one of the oldest law departments in the world.

Do we find anything of relevance for our times in this old story? Perhaps it depends on your basic Weltanschauung, on your priorities and fundamental values: Where do you think the demarcation line lies between individual freedom and social responsibility; what is the role of the so-called free markets versus the democratic state; or how do we deal with the ultimate conflict between unrestrained economic growth and our finite environmet. As a matter of fact all of those elements of our contemporary debate are to be found in this old story, if only we look hard enough. Even phenoma like overgrazing and soil erosion were already well known problems in those days.

3.

Some of the most ardent neo-conservative advocates of today, of free markets and the minimum state, are known to be fascinated by the legend of the old, Icelandic settlers“ republic. One of them, Mr. David Freedman (son of Milton, the Nobel-prize winning prophet of the Chicago School) has even written a book about it. For his own good he chooses to emphasize the virtues of a society of free individuals under the law with limited government – or better still, as in this case – no government at all!

Others, of a more egalitarian disposition, have chosen to emphasize different aspects of this story, i.e. the egalitarian nature of this society in its early stages, while it seems to have been a balanced and relatively successful society. In the ancient law we find well defined clauses obliging the land-owning class to pay a tithe of their income to provide for widows, orphans and the disabled, as a means of social insurance. There are also to be found stringent restrictions on individual ownership rights when it comes to the utilisation of common pastures, fishing rights, etc. And in its hayday there is ample evidence to show that ordinary citizens considered themselves to be equal under the law, even against vested interests of powerful families.

But primarily, latter-day social-democrats like to point out, that in the end growing INEQUALITY of wealth – and with it political power – spelled the doom of this free and rather egalitarian social experiment. Gradually, land-ownership (the main asset of an agrarian society) became concentrated in the hands of a few leading families or clans (often in alliance with the church, after the adoption by law of Christianity in the year 1000 A.D.) Those dominant clans in the end grew so powerful, that they could with impunity place themselves above the law. In the early half of the 13th C their internal power struggle broke out in a bloody civil war. Ultimately the Norwegian king intervened in order to restore “Law and Order”. But the exhausted combatants had to pay a heavy prize for the imposed restoration of peace and stability: Althingi had to swear allegiance to the Norwegian crown and to submit to its power of taxation.

History had come full circle. Liberty was crushed – after it had been disconnected from social responsibility. Individual freedom could not be maintained in the long run without the restraining power of a (democratic) state. Liberty for all could not be secured without the stakeholders being empowered by equal rights under the law, to restrain the inherent tendencies for dominance and subjugation of the many – by the few. Ultimately inequality destroyed the dream of liberty and solidarity. That is the lesson of this story.

Incidentally, it took my countrymen approximately seven hundred years to make up for their fatal mistakes, regaining independence only in the early 20ieth C.

4.

There is a striking resemblance between the old Icelandic republic and the settlers“ society in North America, which emerged several centuries later, after massive migrations, mainly from Europe, to what was called the promised land.

In both cases people were fleeing class-ridden and authoritarian societies, dominated by heriditary aristocracy and smitten by religious intolerance. They were seeking new opportunities for material and social advancement. In both cases people were ready to take risks and accept physical hardship in their search for freedom, hoping to build a more equal and just society.

In both cases there was plenty of land to be had for the taking. But there were major differences as well. America was not a virgin country. The indigenious population had to be exterminated or pushed to the margins, to make space for the incoming settlers. And slavery became entrenched in the South as the basis of an exploitative plantation economy. It took a bloody civil war to start the emancipation of the slaves, which was not fully realized until in the latter half of the last century by the civil rights movement.

America became a very violent society, presumably a heritage from the unruly days of the Wild West. The right to bear arms is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Americans tend to be, to this very day, suspicious – even hostile to any government interference with their lives, even of a benign kind, such as securing health insurance for every citizen. Despite huge fiscal and trade deficits and trillions of dollars in public debt, many refuse to pay more taxes, witness the Tea Party-movement of today. And the biggest small arms arsenal in the world is not to be found in the hands of 3rd world dictators – but under the bed in American homes!

In both cases the societies that emerged were fiercely individualistic in outlook, but at the same time more equal than the hereditary aristocracies of Europe. America was to be the land of opportunity for the poor and excluced. This is the defining characteristic of the American dream. Work hard and play by the rules and you can become rich.

The Icelandic experiment with a society, based on the libertarian dream of freedom from the coercive powers of the state, lasted for 330 years.Towards the end it was steadily undermined by the disruptive force of growing inequality, which led to social disintegration, civil war and ultimate ruin.

5.

The American experiment has by now lasted 235 years. Although still a magnet for hoards of poor immigrants, mainly from the failed states of Central America, American society has by now become the most unequal society among the highly developed countries. In the last 30 years, inequality has reached such an extreme dimension, that it begs the question: Has freedom become a privilege of the few – to the exclusion of the many?

Let us have a look at some facts:

In a special report on the rich and the rest of us (Jan. 2011), the Economist presented some alarming statistics about the steadily growing inequality, within societies and between the rich countries and the rest of the world. In America e.g., in the year 2010, the top 1% of taxpayers received 23.5% of all pre-tax income, twice as much as 20 years before. The bottom half“s share fell from 15.6% to 12.2%.

The magazine quoted a study by the Economic Policy Institute, a think-tank in Washington D.C., which looked at the ratio of the average incomes of the rich and the “bottom” 90% of the population, between 1980 and 2006. At the start of the period the top 1% earned 10 times more than the rest – but 20 times as much in 2006. But for the super rich – the top 0.1%, the gain rose from 20 times the earnings of the lower 90% to almost 80 times more than the rest. At the same time, wages of the middle – and lower – classes have been stagnating, due to the combined effect of technological change, globalization and decline of trade union power.

Then the magazine gives a more graphic picture of what inequality looks like in the land of the American dream, and I quote:

“Jan Pen, a Dutch economist who died last year, came up with a striking way to picture inequality. Imagine people“s hight being proportional to their income, so that someone with an average income is of average hight. Now imagine that the entire adult population of America is walking past you in a single hour, in ascending order of income.

The first passers by, the owners of loss-making businesses are invisible; their heads are below ground. Then come the jobless and the working poor, who are midgets. After half an hour the strollers are still only waist-high... It takes nearly 45 minutes before normal sized people appear. But then, in the final minutes giants thunder by. With 6 minutes to go they are 12 feet tall. When the 400 highest earners walk by (the Fortune 500 billionnaires), right at the end, each is more than 2 miles tall”.

This is not exactly a family photo of the land of equal opportunity or level playing fields, is it?

It is remarkable that the father of Bill Gates, the second richest man in the world, and Warren Buffet, the sage of Omaha and the third richest man in the world, have joined hands in a fight to have inheritance tax restored in the U.S. (It was abolished in the Bush years). They say they don“t want to have America deformed into “an entrenched plutocracy, where the super-rich simply own the place”. Even the old and class-ridden hereditary aristocracies of Europe have by now become more equal societies than the promised land of the American dream.

And what about the rest of the world? According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report for 2010 – and the Suisse should know – the outstanding figures are the following.
  • The richest 1% of adults control 43% of the world“s assets.
  • The richest 10% of adults control 83% of the world“s assets.
  • 90% of the adult population owns a mere 17% of the world“s wealth.
  • The bottom 50% own next to nothing.
At the apex of the pyramid there are the truly super-rich – 80.000 adults, or so in all – who can be said to own or control the vast majority of the earth“s wealth. They are an exclusive club. Although most of them are Americans (40%), they are truly an international jet-set. Among them are a few innovative pioneers who have contributed a lot to human progress. Many are barons of the world of high finance. Many are the bankers, who are now being bailed out by trillions of tax-payers“ money, to pay the debts they have left behind.

Some of them are shadowy figures from the underworld of international crime. Then there are quite a few tin-pot dictators from the third world, who have taken liberties with the treasuries of their destitute nations. Then there are quite a few who are the inheritors of great fortunes, handed down to them by their ancestors.

This spectacular inequality has been growing at a dizzying pace for the past 30 years. “The past decade has been specially conducive to the establishment and preservation of large fortunes”, as Credit Suisse puts it.

6.

Why has inequality reached such extreme proportions in the last few decades? Well, after a few hundred years experience of laissez-faire capitalism – the free market system – we can hardly pretend to be surprised. The internal logic of a competitive market system is to reward the successful. This means an inherent tendency towards the concentration of wealth into the hands of the few. In the previous century the popular reaction against the polarization of society between the rich and privileged few on one side, and the toiling masses on the other, sometimes led to a revolution. Within the democracies, however, the political power of the state was harnessed to counteract those tendencies, through various redistributive policies. Witness Roosevelt“s New Deal in Amerķca, after the failure of the free market system had led to an economic break-down and massive unemployment, worldwide.

And the Nordic model – the social-democratic third way between laissez-faire capitalism and etatism (the nationalization of the means of production) – can be traced to the same roots. Nordic social-democrats didn“t abolish the market, but put it under social control. Tage Erlander, the long serving Swedish PM, used to say that the market was a useful servant but an abominable master. And the Swedes used the power of the state, through democratic action, to achieve a more egalitarian outcome than the markets would allow.

The tools for the job were mainly progressive taxation, free education and obligatory participation in health insurance and pension funds. The state ( municipalities) provided professional child care to enable women to participate fully in the work force. And the state guaranteed direct transfers to the disabled, who couldn“t fend for themselves in the labour market. By those means Nordic social-democrats built the most egalitarian societies on earth. Not by abolishing capitalism nor by sacrificing freedom. On the contrary, as Olof Palme used to say: By empowering the many through free access to quality education, we are in fact maximizing freedom.

In the year 2004 I was asked to give a keynote-speech in Copenhagen at the bi-annual policy-review seminar of the management and research staff of the major institutions of the 5 Nordic welfare states. The title of my speech was: “The Welfare State and its Enemies” – paraphrasing Popper“s : The Open Society and its Enemeis”.

In the paper I spelled out in some detail, how the welfare state was being besieged: On the one hand by the international plutocratic elite, who insisted on gaining more freedom from state supervision and intervention, which was deemed to hamper maximisation of profits – and hence economic growth.On the other hand it was being forsaken by those who benefited most from the social security provided by the state. Many had allowed themselves to grow complacent, taking for granted what previous generations had actively fought for.

The thrust of the neo-conservative message, brought to the fore of political debate in the 80s of the last century was, that in the long run everybody stood to gain from unfettered freedom of action of the individual, whose creative powers would be liberated from “the dead hand” of the self-perpetuating bureaucracy of the “leviathan-state”.They warned against the unforeseen consequences of well-meant, but ill-considered, generosity of politicians, buying votes with other people“s money, creating “poverty traps” along the way and draining people“s natural self-reliance in the over indulgent embrace of the paternalistic state. The battle-cry was “power to the people” and “down with the regulatory state” – They were eminently successful, although the end of the story turned out to be somewhat different from what true believers had bargained for, i.e. higher taxes for the people to bail out the super-rich.

The neo-cons are the advocates of the minimum state. They condemn state intervention into the workings of free markets. They believe in the self-corrective capacity of free markets. They preach privatization of common utilities and public services, the deregulation of markets and abolition, or at least down-grading of supervision by the state. In the name of attracting FDI, nation states were set on a “race to the bottom” with one another in reducing taxes on the rich. All of this was advocated in the name of economic growth and technological innovation. When questioned about the social boon of economic growth, if the benefits accrued mostly to the already rich – they countered that the investments of the rich would create jobs and with time the generated income would “triccle down” to the poor. A rising tide would surely lift all boats.

7.

For the past 30 years this has been the dominant ideology and the conventional wisdom of most of those, who rule the world: Governments, the boardrooms of the World Bank and the IMF and multinational corporations, as well as the classrooms of academia, where mainstream economics joined political correctness in spreading the gospel around the world. After the fall of communism in 1991, this mantra was meant to be at the heart of a “new world order”. To some this was the “end of history”.

During this period, the growth of finance-capital, as opposed to the income generated by the “real economy” has been nothing short of phenomenal. In American parlance it is said that Wall Street took over from Main street. The balance of power has shifted decisively in favour of international capital which respects no borders, against weakened nation states – and labour. The immense “reserve army of the unemployed” (in marxist terminology) of the populous, emerging countries (the BRICs), is asserting strong downward pressure on salaries in the developed countries and weakening workers“rights at the same time.

Trying to understand the pervasive influence of this “new world order” – inspired by the ideology of neo-conservatism and based on a fundamentalist belief in the virtues of free markets – the case of Iceland, my home country, can serve as a good example.

For all intents and purposes Iceland was, until the turn of the century, one of the 5 Nordic welfare states, admittedly less advanced than the other four, but genetically the same. Before the turn of the century a new generation of neo-conservative leaders, many of them with their MBAs from esteemed American universities, overtook the Conservative Party and assumed a leading role in the government of the country. They remained in power for three consecutive terms, until they were ultimately thrown out in a popular uprising, affectionately dubbed the “pots- and – pans” revolution in early 2009.

Having reached power, those young idealists immediately proceeded with implementing their programme according to the book. They privatized the fish quotas and handed them out for free to favoured companies. This was akin to the acquisition of Russia“s rich natural resources by a few favoured oligarchs who, through their immense wealth, gained irresistable political power as well. Next on the agenda was the privatization of the banks and all financial institutions. It became a declared government policy to turn Iceland into an international financial center. Due to easy access to cheap credit abroad, based on the solid credit ratings of the country up to then, the banks expanded abroad, until they had reached a size more than ten times Iceland“s GDP.

This was way beyond anything that could be sustained by the Icelandic economy, its Central Bank or tax payers“base. When the crunch came, in the years 2006-07, this financial house of cards was obviously not sustainable. Asked for advice, the well known Dutch-British financial expert, Willem Buiter stated “that it was not a question of if – but only when the system would collapse”. The moment of truth came soon after the fall of Lehmans Brothers. That was the spark that ignited the fire.

The Icelandic people suffered a triple crisis. A systemic crash of the entire financial system; an almost 100% devaluation of the currency, doubling the stock of debt almost overnight; and an inflation spurt of more than 20% with concomitant interest rate hikes.The Central Bank was bankrupt. Most companies became technically bankrupt. Unemployment soared. Those with foreign currency-denominated mortgages – mostly young people – have been disposessed. Emigration of the young is in full swing. And where do most of them go? Back to Norway, the land we left more than a millennium ago!

This economic crisis also caused a deep political crisis. The scope of the international financial fraud, disclosed by professional investigators after the fall, is way beyond the capacity of domestic institutions to deal with. Believe it or not, the bankruptcy of the Icelandic banks is on such a scale, that it makes the list over the ten greatest bankruptcies in financial history. The good news is, that – unlike Ireland – it was way beyond the capacity of the Icelandic government to bail out the banks. Foreign creditors – mainly German banks – have therefore lost a lot of money. Nonetheless, the ensuing debt burden, carried by Icelandic taxpayers will mean many years of austerity and deep cuts in the basic welfare services of the Icelandic state.

What is the lesson of all of this? It“s this: Letting loose the disruptive power of unfettered capitalism,without the restraining power of the democratic state, led to a national disaster. In other words: The unrestrained freedom of the few, led to severe restrictions of freedom for the many. A man over his head in debt is not free – is he? This is our story. This is also the experience of many other nations. It will take us, Icelanders, many years to make up for this fatal neo-conservative experiment with our society. Hopefully we will find our way back to our former brotherhood of Nordic welfare states, where we belong.

8.

When we contemplate the misery of the multitude of the world’ s poor – from Haiti to the Himalayas, or from Africa to the Arab world – most commentators lament the pervasive influence of corruption among the world’ s political and business elites. Observing this contagious corruption in high places, many have more or less lost hope in our capacity to eradicate global poverty in this century.

Despite our immense wealth – admittedly mostly in the hands of the few – and technological prowess, the eradication of poverty proceeds, at the best, at a snail’s pace. If we exclude the gigantic socio-economic experiment ongoing in China, which has raised at least 400 million people from utter poverty to decent living standards in an amazingly short timespan, we have hardly made any progress at all. And only one of the emerging countries, Brazil, under the shrewd leadership of that old trade unionist, Lula, has actually managed to reduce its notorious inequality through his “Bolsa” scheme, paying poor parents for enrolling their children into schools at an early age. A splendid example of effective state action against poverty and exclusion.

Why is it that crony capitalism, in conjunction with traditional nepotism and authoritarian or quasi feudal paternalism, is the entrenched system of governance, in many parts of the world?

Money talks. Enormous fortunes in the hands of the few enables the financial elite to vield enormous political power often on a global scale. Money buyes power, or access to power; money buyes airtime or media coverage; money buyes influence over legislation. International conglomerates – many times more wealthy and more powerful than impoverished nation states – seek control over the planet’ s natural resources: Oil, gas, other energy resources, precious metals, fertile lands – and in the future – pure and drinkable water. Multinationals with a global reach – more often than not in control of wholesale or retail markets – usually can make autocratic leaders of poor nations do their bidding – at the right price.

Why is it, when people are finally driven into desperate revolt against their oppressors, that the first news of the deposed dictators are about freezing their Swiss bank accounts? The wife of one of the North African tyrants had even stolen the Central Bank’ s gold reserves and flown them out of the country with her luggage. Isn’t it revealing, that when the Arab masses at long last rose up in anger and despair against their oppressors – demanding freedom – the leaders of our Western democracies were caught off guard, not knowing on whose side they were? Who had given the tyrants the arms they used against their people? Or profited from selling arms to them? What was more important, that the tyrants kept the oil flowing or that the people would get their fair share of the wealth generated by the utilization of their natural resources? Had not “our secret services” been in close collaboration with theirs – although we knew full well about the torture chambers? The power of special interest or the freedom of the people? On whose side are we? Do we stand with the people or their oppressors?

9.

George Soros, the Hungarian born financial vizard, who brought the once mighty British pound sterling to its knees in a speculative raid in 1992 – recently said, that the imminent danger threatening democracy was no longer the totalitarian creeds of communism or fascism; rather it was the danger that our representative democracy would be perverted into an entrenched plutocracy, thus in fact disenfranchising the people and turning our democracy into a sort of virtual reality – without real power.

A well known economics professor, Dr. Vivek H. Dehejia, also a research fellow at CESifo in Münich, puts it this way:

“Excessive corruption and inequality, by corroding the political process, threaten to delegitimize capitalism and the market system. This creates pressure for reform and the redistribution of wealth. This tempers the incentive-driven impetus to capitalistic growth, which caused the inequality in the first place. The necessity for redistribution and social policy thus becomes a mechanism for the system to correct itself. In the United States, it took the better part of the half century preceeding World War II for this to occur. The worst excesses of capitalism were reined in only when a middle-class backlash led to legislative change, regulatory reform and anti-corruption rules”.

The current international financial crisis, with its massive bail-outs of financial institutions by tax-payers, has raised serious questions about the legitimacy of casino-type capitalism of this sort. In this context, the concept of the unspoken “social contract”, lying at the heart of the capitalist system, may be helpful.

Noone has ever insisted upon absolute equality. Most people during their lifetime experience and appreciate the diversity of human life. Most people have no problem with the proposition that individual initiative, outstanding talent, pioneering innovation or hard work deserve their just reward. Most people are ready to accept considerable inequality of income or wealth, as long as it is truly justified by willingness to take risk or accept responsibility, beyond the normal chores. As long as those seeking to maximize their profits risk their own money, and do not flinch from accepting the losses as well. As long as the owners of capital play by the rules, pay their taxes for the common good and do not seek preferential treatment by political favours, the unspoken social contract can be said to hold.

But if the general public is faced with a fait accompli, namely that the profits are privatized, but the debts are nationalized – then this social contract can hold no longer. In one of his grand epic novels, Iceland’s Bell, the Nobel price winning author, Halldór Laxness, has one of his characters, a vile and tough roughneck, Jón Hreggvišsson, say about the justice meted out by the Danish colonial magistrates: “Evil is their injustice, but worse still is their justice”.

In traditional communities, around the mighty North Atlantic, where men risk their lives at sea every day in a struggle with overwhelming natural forces, it has long been deemed proper, that the captain receive three times the share of the deckhand. That has through the centuries turned out to be enough of an incentive for an enterprising seaman to aspire to becoming a captain. Is there any responsibility you can take upon yourself greater than the responsibility for the lives of your fellow men? How much is a life worth?

10.

The most potent charges brought against the Nordic (and by implication) the European welfare state are the following: (1) The incessant expansion of the omnipotent state would in the end crowd out any space for the freedom of action and initiative of the private individual, whose creative powers would in the end be paralysed, just as in the totalitarian nightmare of communism or fascism (Hayek). (2) The second charge is of a more pragmatic nature. It says that with their high taxes, necessary to finance the state’s largesse, and the paralysing nature of bureaucratic regulation, the welfare states would simply lose out int the fierce competition in the global market place. This would lead to capital flight, technological obsolesence, massive unemployment and stagnation (Freedman).

How does this doom-saying rhyme with the facts?

Let us first look at the second accusation – the inevitable loss of competitiveness. Since the turn of the 21st century the Nordic countries, sometimes along with Switzerland and some of the Asian countries (primarily S. Korea and Taiwan, where the state is a strong player in economic activism) have consistently been at the top of the class, when it comes to measuring competitiveness. The same goes for technological innovation, research and developement, women“s participation in the labour force, low unemployment, foreign direct investment, economic growth etc., etc..

Why? I know how Olof Palme would have answered that one: “Because of our consistent, long-term high investment in our human capital and social infrastructure. Because of our emphasis on equality of opportunity through free access to high quality education, that leaves noone behind”.

I think that this is a conclusive answer. Apart from that the facts speak for themselves: The quality of life is nowhere better than in those countries, where equality is considered to be a virtue, according the UN Human Developement Index. And according to recent research (Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket: The Spirit Level) the more equal a country is, the healthier are the people, on almost any scale you want to measure it. Child survival at birth, longevity, absence of diseases, low crime, job security and general feeling of security and well-being.

As for Hayek“s nightmare it has turned out to be just that: A nightmare. Reality is totally different. Democracy has deep roots in the Nordic countries. And it is very much alive and kicking. Unfettered intellectual debate is as robust as anywhere else. And what about freedom? It is pretty much as Olof Palme used to say:

“By empowering the many through free access to high quality education, we are in fact maximizing freedom”.

Mr. Hannibalsson was born and raised in Ķsafjöršur, a small fishing village in NW-Iceland. During his carriére he has been a farmhand, a construction worker, a deep-sea trawler fisherman, a teacher and rector of a college, a journalist and editor of a daily, a Fulbright scholar, an M.P., a Minister of State (finance, foreign affairs and external trade) and an Ambassador. His political memoirs (Honeymoon) became a best-seller in Iceland in 2002. He is an honorary citizen of Vilnius, Lithuania.

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31.5.2011 14:51:28
Styrmir Gunnarsson
Žetta er mjög fķn ręša en ķ henni eru žó veikleikar. Söguskżring höfundar į bls. 8 gengur ekki upp. Sjįlfstęšisflokkur og Framsóknarflokkur settu kvótakerfiš į ķ įrslok 1983. Žį var ašeins einn mašur į Alžingi sem benti į žęr hęttur, sem ķ žvķ voru fólgnar, Gušmundur Einarsson. Žegar žiš voruš komin ķ stjórn 1987 var sett inn ķ lögin įkvęši um sameign žjóšarinnar. Žaš er žaš eina, sem žiš jafnašarmenn getiš hrósaš ykkur af ķ žessu mįli en skiptir vissulega sköpum. Į bls. 8 horfir JBH algerlega fram hjį žvķ, aš žaš var vinstri stjórn Steingrķms Hermannssonar, sem setti lög um frjįlst framsal veišiheimilda. Žaš var ekki Sjįlfstęšisflokkurinn, sem gerši žaš. Žaš voru ekki neo-conservativir ķ Sjįlfstęšisflokknum, sem geršu žaš. Žaš voru Framsóknarflokkur, Alžżšuflokkur, Alžżšubandalag og Borgaraflokkur,sem sįu um aš koma žeirri žróun af staš, sem bjó til fyrstu milljaršamęringana į Ķslandi og lagši grundvöll aš valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi. Žetta höfum viš JBH talaš um įšur og hann veršur aš horfast ķ augu viš žennan veruleika og leggja śt frį honum eins og hann sannanlega er.

Svo er hinn veikleikinn, sem ekki er fjallaš um. Um hvaš snśast įtökin ķ heiminum ķ dag? Žaš er oršiš mjög skżrt.

Žau snśast um įtök fjįrmįlamarkaša eša fjįrmįlaafla og almennings. JBH segir réttilega aš gróšinn hafi veriš einkavęddur en skuldirnar žjóšnżttar. En hvernig hefur žaš veriš framkvęmanlegt ķ lżšręšisžjóšfélögum? Žaš hefur veriš gert vegna žess, aš til hefur oršiš óheilagt bandalag fjįrmįlaafla og lżšręšislega kjörinna fulltrśa almennings meš Angelu Merkel ķ fararbroddi, sem nżtir sķna kjörnu stöšu og stjórnkerfiš ķ Žżzkalandi og Frakklandi til žess aš kśga almenna borgara ķ öšrum löndum til aš borga tap žżzku bankanna, sem er til oršiš vegna óvarkįrni žeirra sjįlfra og žeir eiga aš sitja uppi meš. Helzta tęki fjįrmįlaaflanna og Angelu Merkel til žess aš koma žessu ķ kring er Evrópusambandiš.

Og inn ķ žaš viljiš žiš ganga og žar meš ganga ķ žjónustu žessara sömu fjįrmįlaafla!!

Žetta er mķn söguskżring.

Meš beztu kvešju.SG
31.5.2011 14:54:56
Svar: JBH
Ólikt höfumst viš aš. Žś flytur göbbelskar įróšursręšur yfir Heimdellingum og óšinshönum, žar sem žś lofsyngur Sjįlfstęšisflokkinn sem helsta barįttutęki kśgašs fólks gegn heimsaušvaldinu. Og fęrš “standing ovation” fyrir vikiš. Žetta er svo ósvķfiš og veruleikafirrt, aš manni blöskrar. Sendi ég žér ekki grein mķna, sem Jakob ķ Žjóšmįlum neitaši aš birta um arfleifš Sjįlfstęšisflokksins į lżšveldistķmanum? Lestu hana aftur.

Ég ręddi ķ alvöru viš alžjóšlegan hóp stśdenta ķ Žżskalandi um žaš, hvernig “casķnó” – kapķtalisminn bandarķski hefši į skömmum tķma aukiš ójöfnuš og misrétti ķ heiminum, og uppskar ķ framhaldinu mįlefnalega umręšu um, hvort unnt vęri aš beita lżšręšislegum ašferšum, ķ krafti rķkisvalds žjóšrķkja, til žess aš beisla skepnuna (kapķtalismann) og stušla aš meiri jöfnuši aš dęmi Noršurlandabśa. Žar kom engum til hugar aš halda žvķ fram, aš Evrópusambandiš vęri höfušvķgi heimskapķtalismans. Er žaš ekki bara uppfinning žķn og skošanabręšra žinna ķ žjóšernissinnaarmi Vintri-gręnna?

Ķ athugasemdum žķnum viš ręšuna segir žś okkur jafnašarmenn hafa “lagt grundvöll aš valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi”. Žetta eigum viš aš hafa gert, vegna žess aš viš samžykktum framsal veišiheimilda innan kvótakerfisins – meš skilyršum – įriš 1990.

Žetta brįšum 30 įra strķš um kvótann hefur alla tķš snśist um eignarhald į aušlindinni. Stašreyndirnar um afstöšu okkar jafnašarmanna til žess mįls eru žessar: Žaš vorum viš, sem knśšum žaš fram, aš aušlindin var lżst žjóšareign aš lögum. Žegar žįverandi sjįvarśtvegsrįšherra, Halldór Įsgrķmsson, aš undirlagi LĶŚ, beitti sér fyrir žvķ, aš lögfesta framsal veišiheimilda (ķ nafni hagkvęmni og aršsemi), settum viš skilyrši fyrir stušningi okkar viš žaš. Skilyršiš var, aš tķmabundinn nżtingarréttur myndaši hvorki lögvarinn eignarrétt né bótaskyldu į rķkiš – ef śthlutun veišiheimilda yrši breytt sķšar. Af hverju geršum viš žetta? Viš vissum sem var, aš viš vorum žį ķ vonlausum minnihluta į Alžingi meš žį stefnu okkar aš heimta aušlindagjald fyrir nżtingarréttinn, hvort heldur vęri meš uppboši veišiheimilda (myndun markašsveršs), sem viš töldum ęskilegast, né heldur meš stjórnvaldsįkvöršun um aušlindagjald.

Ef viš, jafnašarmenn, hefšum ekki gert žetta hvort tveggja, lögfest žjóšareign į aušlindinni og lögfest žaš varśšarįkvęši, aš sķšar mętti innkalla veišiheimildir įn bótaskyldu, vęri žetta mįl tapaš fyrir löngu. Krafa okkar um aušlindagjald var sett ķ nefnd (“tvķhöfšanenfdin”). Śt śr žvķ kom, seint og um sķšir, svokallaš “žróunargjald”. Upphęšin var til mįlamynda, en stašfesti žó prinsipiš. Žessi leikur var svo endurtekinn sķšar ķ svokallašri aušlindanefnd ykkar Nordals. Žś sast sjįlfur ķ žeirri nefnd og hverju fékkstu įorkaš ķ strķši viš žinn eigin flokk? Aušlindagjald aš nafninu til, sem er eins og krękiber ķ helvķti mišaš viš aušlindarentu upp į 45 milljarša, aš mati Jóns Steinssonar, hagfręšings.

Žetta eru stašreyndir mįlsins. Viš nįšum aš lögfesta žjóšareignina. Okkur hefur hins vegar ekki tekist aš knżja fram gjaldtöku fyrir nżtingarréttinn, enn sem komiš er (og spurning, hvort nśverandi stjórnarflokkar ętli aš standa viš gefin fyrirheit ķ žvķ efni eša ekki). Hverjir hafa stašiš į móti gjaldtöku fyrir nżtingaréttinn? Sjįlfstęšis- og Framsóknarflokkurinn. Auk žess sem Vinstri-gręn, (eins og Ažżšubandalagiš į undan žeim) löptu upp žann įróšur śtgeršarmanna, aš aušlindagjald vęri “skattur į landsbyggšina”. Framsal veišiheimilda ķ einhverjum męli og samkvęmt settum reglum er naušsynlegt innan aflamarkskerfis, ef žaš į aš skila lęgri tilkostnaši og meiri aršsemi viš veišarnar. Kjarni mįlsins er sį, aš žeir sem fį nżtingarréttinn, verši aš borga fyrir hann sanngjarnt verš til eigandans – žjóšarinnar. Hagkvęmast og réttlįtast vęri aš lįta markašinn mynda žaš verš, fremur en stjórnmįlamenn, sem hafa margsżnt, aš žeim er ekki treystandi til žess, vegna žess hve hallir žeir eru undir sérhagsmuni, flestir hverjir.

Žrįtt fyrir žessar stašreyndir, leyfir žś žér aš saka okkur jafnašarmenn um aš hafa lagt “grundvöll aš valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi”. Hvķlķk ósvķfni. Žś fullyršir m.ö.o., aš minnihlutinn, sem baršist fyrir aušlindagjaldi, beri įbyrgš į žeirri įkvöršun meirihlutans, aš koma ķ veg fyrir žaš. Viš, jafnašarmenn eigum m.ö.o. aš bera įbyrgš į stefnu Sjįlfstęšis- og Framsóknarflokksins ķ tólf įra rķkisstjórnarsamstarfi aš koma ķ veg fyrir gjaldtöku af aušlindinni. Žar meš erum viš vęntanlega lķka geršir įbyrgir fyrir žeirri framkvęmd kerfisins, undir stjórn Sjįlfstęšis- og Framsóknarflokks aš heimila de facto vešsetningu veišiheimildanna og ašra mešhöndlun žeirra, eins og um hreina einkaeign vęri aš ręša.

Ég frįbiš mér aš hlusta į svona įróšursbull. Sķst af öllu er žér sęmandi aš fara meš svona fleipur. Žiš Matthķas eigiš heišur skilinn sem ritstjórar Mbl. fyrir aš hafa barist gegn gjafakvótakerfinu og fyrir gjaldtöku fyrir nżtingarréttinn. Ķ žvķ mįli įttum viš samleiš, jafnašarmenn į žingi og ritstjórar Morgunblašsins. Hver var okkar sameiginlegi andstęšingur? Fyrst og fremst Sjįlfstęšisflokkurinn – og samstarfsflokkur hans, Framsóknarflokkurinn. Er žaš ykkar sök, aš žiš höfšuš lķtil sem engin įhrif į forystu ykkar eigin flokks? Į aš gera ykkur įbyrga fyrir žeirri stefnu Sjįlfstęšisflokksins, sem žiš sem ritstjórar, voruš andvķgir? Žaš vęri ekki einasta órökrétt, heldur ķ hęsta mįta ósanngjarnt.

Žaš vita allir sem vilja vita, aš LĶŚ, samtök śtgeršarmanna, hafa rįšiš žvķ, sem žau hafa viljaš rįša um stefnu Sjįlfstęšis- og Framsóknarflokksins ķ sjįvarśtvegsmįlum, og framkvęmd hennar. Žeir stórśtgeršarmenn, sem nįš hafa aš sölsa undir sig de facto eignarrétti į aušlindinni (ķ trįssi viš lög, aš mķnu mati) hafa gert žaš ķ skjóli žessara flokka. Žessir sömu śtgeršarmenn hafa mokaš peningum ķ žessa flokka fyrir kosningar. Žeir hafa beitt atvinnurekendavaldi sķnu purkunarlaust ķ helstu byggšarlögum į landsbyggšinni – eins og t.d. ķ Vestmannaeyjum og į Akureyri – ķ žįgu žessara flokka, og til aš hręša starfsfólk sitt į sjó og landi frį žvķ aš styšja jafnašarmenn. Žaš segir allt sem segja žarf um afstöšu žeirra. Žeir vita, hverja er helst aš óttast, nefnilega žį, sem vilja fylgja fram žjóšareign į aušlindinni meš gjaldtöku fyrir nżtingarréttinn.

Hverjum ķ hag? – spuršu Rómverjar foršum, žegar žeir vildu rekja slóš mįla og komast til botns ķ žvķ, hverjir hefšu hagsmuna aš gęta af einhverju mįli. Milljaršamęringarnir, sem hafa veriš aš braska meš gjafakvótana sķna į undanförnum įrum, vita žaš sjįlfir manna best, hverjum žeir eiga aš žakka sinn skjótfengna auš. Žeir vita žaš manna best, hvaša stjórnmįlamenn į aš kaupa og hvaša stjórnmįlaflokka į aš styrkja til žess aš tryggja, aš forréttindin verši ekki af žeim tekin. Žaš segir allt, sem segja žarf um žetta mįl. Er til of mikils męlst, ķ ljósi žessara stašreynda allra saman, aš žś hęttir žessum óhróšri um okkur jafnašarmenn. Hann er žér ekki sambošinn.
Meš bestu kvešjum,
Jón Baldvin
7.6.2011 17:18:08
Styrmir Gunnarsson
Į bls 7-8 ķ ręšu žinni segir žś:

“Before the turn of the century a new generation of neo-conservative leaders, many of them with their MBAs from esteemed American Universities (hverjir eru žaš? innskot SG)overtook the Conservative Party and assumed a leading role in the government og the country. They remained in power for three consecutive terms, until they were ultimately thrown our in a popular uprising, affectionately dubbed the “pots- and pans” revolution in early 2009.

Having reached power those young idealists immediately proceeded with implementing their programme according to the book. They privatized the fisk quotas and handed them out for free to favoured companies.”

Ķ bréfi mķnu til ykkar hinn 15. maķ sl. sagši ég um žessa ręšu:

“Žetta er mjög fķn ręša en ķ henni eru žó veikleikar. Söguskżring höfundar į bls. 8 gengur ekki upp.”

Ķ bréfi žķnu frį 24. maķ sl. segir žś:

“Ķ athugasemdum žķnum viš ręšuna segir žś okkur jafnašarmenn hafa “lagt grundvöll aš valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi”. Žetta eigum viš aš hafa gert vegna žess aš viš samžykktum framsal veišiheimilda innan kvótakerfisins-meš skilyršum – įriš 1990. Žetta brįšum 30 įra strķš um kvótann hefur alla tķš snśizt um eignarhald į aušlindinni. Stašreyndirnar um afstöšu okkar jafnašarmanna eru žessar: Žaš vorum viš sem knśšum žaš fram aš aušlindin var lżst žjóšareign aš lögum.”

Įgreiningur minn viš žig snżst um lżsingu žķna ķ žeirri ręšu žinni, sem hér er til umręšu į žvķ sem geršist meš kvótann. Hvaš geršist?

Hin upphaflegu kvótalög voru samžykkt į Alžingi fyrir lok įrs 1983. Žś ęttir aš lesa žessar umręšur yfir aftur nś brįšum žremur įratugum seinna. Žaš er mjög fróšlegt. Žęr snśast minnst um žaš sem mįli skiptir, ef frį er talinn Gušmundur Einarsson, sem sagši m.a.:

“Ég tel aš žaš sé óhugsandi aš Alžingi geti eša megi framselja umrįšarétt žjóšarinnar yfir žessum aušlindum skilyršislaust. Ég tel aš žaš hafi raunar ekki til žess neitt umboš...Um seinna atrišiš, žar į ég viš reglur um mešhöndlun og framsal kvóta, vil ég segja žaš, aš žaš eina, sem fram hefur komiš ķ vištölum sjįvarśtvegsnefndar viš hęstvirtan sjįvarśtvegsrįšherra ķ žessu efni er, aš hann mun ekki leyfa beina sölu kvóta. Žaš er žaš eina, sem hefur komiš fram. Žarna tel ég aš Alžingi eigi aftur aš marka grundvallarreglur. Žarna erum viš aš tala um mešferš og śthlutun į svo stórkostlegum aušęfum aš žaš hlżtur aš žurfa aš setja žar stefnumarkandi reglur um.”

Gušmundur Einarsson talar žarna af ótrślegri framsżni um žaš sem gęti gerzt og ętti aš gera hann aš heišursborgara hins ķslenzka samfélags fyrir žessa ręšu. En honum hefur enginn sómi veriš sżndur eins og viš mįtti bśast.

Ķ žessum sömu umręšum kom fram tillaga ķ fyrsta sinn um aš lögfesta sameign žjóšarinnar į fiskimišunum. Hśn kom fram ķ nešri deild og žaš voru žeir Steingrķmur J. Sigfśsson, Geir Gunnarsson og Hjörleifur Guttormsson, sem hana fluttu. Žeir voru žį žingmenn Alžżšubandalagsins.

Ķ kjölfariš var sama tillaga flutt ķ Efri deild. Hana fluttu Skśli Alexandersson, Alžżšubandalagi, Karl Steinar Gušnason, Alžżšuflokki, Sigrķšur Dśna Kristmundsdóttir frį Kvennalista og Kolbrśn Jónsdóttir frį Bandalagi jafnašarmanna.

Tillagan var ekki mikiš rędd ķ umręšunum en Svavar Gestsson lagši žó til aš efni hennar yrši tekiš upp ķ stjórnarskrį.

Žaš voru svo žiš Alžżšuflokksmenn sem höfšuš frumkvęšiš aš žvķ aš nį žessu įkvęši inn ķ lög ķ desember 1987 og hefur svo ég viti til enginn reynt aš hafa žann heišur af ykkur.

Svo kemur aš žvķ lykilatriši, sem ég geri įgreining viš žig um hvernig žś fjallašir um ķ ręšu žinni. Žaš var rķkisstjórn Steingrķms Hermannssonar, sem beitti sér fyrir žvķ aš gefa hiš svonefnda framsal frjįlst įriš 1990. Ķ žeirri rķkisstjórn įttu fulltrśa fjórir flokkar, Framsóknarflokkur, Alžżšuflokkur, Alžżšubandalag og Borgaraflokkur. Ķ žeirri rķkisstjórn įttir žś sjįlfur sęti.

Nęstu įrin į eftir fóru fram mikil višskipti meš kvótann, veišiheimildir gengu manna į milli og žjöppušust saman į stöšugt fęrri hendur en hópur einstaklinga fór śt śr sjįvarśtveginum meš gķfurlegan hagnaš į ķslenzkan męlikvarša, alveg eins og Gušmundur Einarsson hafši sagt aš mundi gerast.

Žaš sem ég hef hingaš til rakiš eru stašreyndir, sem ekki er hęgt aš deila um. Žęr eru skjalfestar ķ umręšum og löggjafarsmķš Alžingis. Upplżsingum um kvótavišskiptin hefur veriš haldiš til haga ķ višeigandi stofnunum.

Svo kemur aš žvķ aš draga įlyktanir. Žęr įlyktanir sem ég hef dregiš ķ tengslum viš žaš sem geršist į nęstu tveimur įratugum fram aš hruni er aš valdataka peninganna į Ķslandi hafi hafizt meš hinu frjįlsa framsali kvótans. Žį uršu til fyrstu milljaršamęringarnir į Ķslandi. Žeim var gert lķfiš aušveldara meš žvķ aš breyta skattalögum į žann veg, aš žeir gętu fengiš frestun į skattlagningu söluhagnašar vegna kvótavišskiptanna ef žeir endurfjįrfestu. Žaš var gert meš žvķ aš stofna eignarhaldsfélög ķ Lśxemborg og kvótagróšanum var “endurfjįrfest” ķ žeim. Žaš veršur aldrei borgašur skattur af žeim peningum.

Ég tek žaš fram, aš ég hef ekki kannaš hvernig žś greiddir atkvęši į Alžingi, žegar žessar skattabreytingar voru til mešferšar!
Nęsti kapķtuli ķ valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi var svo einkavęšing bankanna og žar meš varš hśn alger.

Žetta eru rök mķn fyrir žvķ aš žaš hafi veriš svonefndir vinstri flokkar į Ķslandi sem hefšu “lagt grundvöll aš valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi.”

Žegar žś segir aš “those young idealists immediately proceeded with implementing their programme according to the book. They privatized the fish quotas and handed them out for free to favoured companies” tel ég aš žetta sé einfaldlega ekki rétt.

Žeir geršu žaš ekki. Žiš, sem sįtuš ķ rķkisstjórn Steingrķms Hermannssonar geršuš žaš. Žaš er hęgt aš halda žvķ fram, aš žessir “young idealists” hafi įtt sęti ķ rķkisstjórn žegar mestu kvótavišskiptin fóru fram ķ kjölfar löggjafar vinstri stjórnar um hiš frjįlsa framsal en žaš voru fleiri sem įttu sęti ķ žeirri rķkisstjórn. Alžżšuflokkurinn undir žinni forystu sat ķ žeirri rķkisstjórn meš žessum “ungu hugsjónamönnum”

Mér žętti vissulega fróšlegt aš sjį hvort žś getur sżnt fram į meš einhverjum rökum aš žessi söguskżring mķn sé ekki rétt. Ég kalla žaš ekki rök žegar žś segist “frįbišja žér aš hlusta į svona įróšursbull” og aš žś męlist til žess aš ég hętti žessum “óhróšri” um ykkur jafnašarmenn!

Rök, dear boy, rök, svo vitnaš sé til Harolds MacMillans (events, dear boy, events, ašspuršur um hvaš gęti breytt stöšu stjórnmįlanna).

Žaš mį segja aš skošanaskipti af žessu tagi um žaš sem lišiš er skipti engu mįli. Ég held hins vegar aš žau skipti öllu mįli. Mér sżnist ekkert vera aš breytast į Ķslandi žrįtt fyrir hruniš og žaš er hörmulegt.

Meš beztu kvešju til ykkar Bryndķsar. Votta žér samśš mķna meš ósigur ykkar spęnskra jafnašarmanna į dögunum.

SG

PS: ég tók eftir žvķ aš žś upplżstir ekki ķ ręšu žinni hver leiddi “neo-conservatives” til valda į Ķslandi!SG
7.6.2011 17:19:39
Svar: JBH
Takk fyrir tilskrifiš, 05.06.11.

Öll žķn višleitni til aš gera okkur jafnašarmenn samseka Sjįlfstęšis-Framsóknarflokknum um aš hafa ķ reynd einkavętt sjįvaraušlindina, ķ blóra viš lagaįkvęšiš, sem viš knśšum fram um žjóšareign, stendur eša fellur meš einu orši: Framsali og framkvęmd žess.

Nś er žaš svo, aš framsalsréttur į veišiheimildum milli śtgerša – ž.e.a.s. į nżtingarréttinum en ekki eignarréttinum, skv. ströngum reglum – er naušsynlegur ķ aflamarkskerfi, ef fiskveišistjórnunin į aš skila tilętlušum įrangri sem er:

aš minnka flotann (sóknargetu, offjįrfestingu)
aš lękka tilkostnaš viš veišarnar (sękja heimilašan afla meš fęrri skipum)
aš auka hagnaš śtgerša og aršsemi veiša (ž.m.t.aš bęta kjör sjómanna)
aš auka sjįlfbęra nżtingu aušlindarinnar (meš žvķ aš takmarka sókn og draga śr frįkasti vegna mešafla)

Framsalsréttur žżšir ekki, aš handhafar veišiheimildar (sem er lögum samkvęmt tķmabundinn nżtingarréttur) geti selt žaš, sem žeir ekki eiga, eins og um einkaeign vęri aš ręša – nema stjórnvaldiš leyfi žaš ķ framkvęmd eša lįti žaš afskiptalaust. Žaš fer allt eftir framkvęmdinni.

Hverjir hafa rįšiš framkvęmdinni nįnast alla tķš frį žvķ aš framsalsrétturinn var virkur ķ reynd (1991)? Svar: Sjįlfstęšisflokkurinn.

Hverjir hafa stżrt sjįvarśtvegsrįšuneytinu allan žennan tķma? Svar: Sjįlfstęšisflokkurinn.

Hvaša rįšherrar Sjįflstęšisflokksins bera stjórnskipulega įbyrgš į žvķ, hvernig framsalsrétturinn hefur veriš leyfšur ķ framkvęmd, ķ trįssi viš lagaįkvęši um žjóšareign? Svar: žeir heita Žorsteinn Pįlsson, Įrni Mathiesen og Einar K. Gušfinnsson (1991-2009). Mér ekki kunnugt um, aš žessir menn hafi veriš ķ Alžżšuflokknum.

Hvernig hefur framkvęmdin veriš ķ höndum rįšherra Sjįlfstęšisflokksins? Svar: Hśn hefur veriš žannig, aš handhafar veišiheimilda (hins tķmabundna nżtingarréttar lögum samkvęmt) hafa óįreittir mįtt selja, vešsetja, arfleiša o.s.frv. žaš, sem žeir ekki įttu lögum samkvęmt, eins og um einkaeign vęri aš ręša. Aš mķnu mati var žaš ekki einungis lagalegur réttur, heldur beinlķnis skylda žessara rįšherra Sjįlfstęšisflokksins aš stöšva žessa löglausu framkvęmd. Žeir brugšust žessari skyldu sinni.

Sjįvarśtvegsrįšherrar Sjįlfstęšisflokksins hafa m.ö.o. lįtiš lķšast, eša öllu heldur haldiš verndarhendi yfir žvķ, aš meginįkvęši fiskveišistjórnunarlaganna um žjóšareign į aušlindinni hafa veriš brotin į degi hverjum ķ nęstum 20 įr – og grundvallarreglur stjórnaskrįr lżšveldisins um jafnrétti fyrir lögum og atvinnufrelsi ķ žokkabót.

Ég stend žess vegna viš žaš, sem ég sagši ķ ręšu minni ķ Thüringen, nefnilega aš they privatized the fishquotas and handed them out for free to favoured companies”. Žetta er žaš sem žinn flokkur – Sjįlfstęšisflokkurinn – ber įbyrgš į.

Žaš žżšir ekkert, Styrmir minn, aš reyna meš oršhengilshętti aš kenna öšrum um. Žaš žarf meira en męlskubrögš til žess aš telja almenningi trś um žetta. Žeir sem til žekkja, vita betur. Žaš vita allir, sem vilja vita, aš LĶŚ hefur rįšiš žvķ, sem žeir vilja rįša um stefnu Sjįlfstęšis-Framsóknarflokksins ķ sjįvarśtvegsmįlum. LĶŚ styšur žessa flokka meš rįšum og dįš. LĶŚ fjįrmagnar žį. LĶŚ kostar įróšursherferšir ķ žeirra žįgu. LĶŚ beitir atvinnurekendavaldi sķnu ķ sjįvarbyggšum į landsbyggšinni til žess aš hręša fólk til aš kjósa žessa flokka meš žeirri hótun, aš ef jafnašarmenn nįi völdum, muni žeir koma į aušlindagjaldi. LĶŚ endurtekur ķ sķbylju, aš aušlindagjald sé skattur į landsbyggšina, sem muni setja śtgeršina į hausinn og svipta fólkiš ķ sjįvarplįssunum atvinnunni. LĶŚ veit, hverjir eru vinir žeirra og hverja ber aš óttast. Žaš segir allt sem segja žarf.

Žessi framkvęmd sjįvarśtvegsrįšherra Sjįlfstęšisflokksins į framsalsréttinum s.l. 18 įr er žaš sem žś kallar upphafiš į “valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi”. Svo bętir žś viš: “nęsti kafli ķ valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi var svo einkavęšing bankanna, og žar meš var hśn alger”, segir žś. – Žį fer nś mįliš smįm saman aš skżrast, er žaš ekki? Žaš sem žś kallar “valdatöku peninganna į Ķslandi”, en ég kallaši ķ ręšu minni aušstjórn (e. plutocracy), er afleišing af stefnu Sjįlfstęšis-Framsóknarflokksins og framkvęmd hennar į löngum valdatķma.

Žessir flokkar hafa allan tķmann veriš stašfastlega andvķgir gjaldtöku fyrir einkarétt nokkurra stórśtgerša į nżtingu aušlindarinnar žrįtt fyrir skżr įkvęši um žjóšareign. Žessir flokkar hafa rįšiš framkvęmdinni. Enda stušst viš mikinn meirihluta į Alžingi lengst af. Žeir hafa ķ framkvęmd einkavętt aušlindina. Viš, jafnašarmenn, höfum veriš ķ minnihluta meš žį grundvallarstefnu okkar, aš žjóšin eigi heimtingu į aušlindagjaldi fyrir nżtingarréttinn. Viš höfum unniš varnarsigra ķ žessari barįttu. Įn žessara varnarsigra vęri mįliš fyrir löngu tapaš. Žś hefur sem ritstjóri Morgunblašsins lżst žig sammįla okkur. Žś reyndist žvķ mišur vera meš öllu įhrifalaus ķ žķnum flokki, enda er nś svo komiš, aš LĶŚ gerir nś śt žitt gamla blaš, Morgunblašiš, og borgar tapiš į degi hverjum meš gróšanum af einkavęšingu aušlindarinnar, sem flokkur ykkar kom į ķ reynd.

Žaš er oft veriš aš vitna ķ umręšunni ķ įhrifamann ķ Sjįlfstęšisflokknum, sem sagši efnislega eftirfarandi (ég bišst velviršingar į, ef ég fer ekki meš žetta oršrétt, en ég hef ekki heimildir viš höndina hér ķ Andalśsķu): “Žetta er ógešslegt žjóšfélag. Žaš eru engar hugsjónir, bara gręšgi, eigingirni og sérhagsmunapot”. Varst žaš ekki žś sem sagšir žetta? Žś ęttir aš vita žaš manna best eftir aš hafa žjónaš Sjįlfstęšisflokknum ķ 60 įr. Fer žaš ekki brįšum aš verša nóg?

Meš vinarkvešju,
Jón Baldvin

P.s. (1) Ég tek samśšarkvešjum žķnum vegna kosningaósigurs okkar jafnašarmanna į Spįni meš ęšruleysi; viš unnum hreinan meirihluta hér ķ sveitarfélaginu okkar Bryndķsar, Salobrenu, og enn er ekki öll von śti um, aš viš höldum Andalśsķu. Žį mį Madrid sigla sinn sjó fyrir mér.

(2) Mešan ég man: Žś spyrš, hver hafi leitt “neo-conservatives” til valda į Ķslandi. Svariš er, aš žaš geršu kjósendur – og hafa nś heldur betur fengiš aš sśpa seyšiš af žvķ. - Sami

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