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Europe Most Generous, Asia Stingiest For Paid Days Off October 14, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Lifestyle, philosophy & politics.
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  • Workers in UK and Poland have most generous statutory employee holiday entitlements
  • Employees in the USA, Canada, Philippines, China and Thailand have the least generous
  • Colombia has greatest number of public holidays; Mexico the least
  • UK employees have access to a highest amount of potential holiday (36 days per year) but in reality fare worse than other European employees

According to Mercer Consulting, holiday entitlement is often more complex since actual holiday provisions often depends on company contracts and the number and treatment of public holidays. In the UK, for example, employees are entitled to 28 days holiday. With the UK also holding 8 public holidays each year, this suggests that employees in the UK could be on holiday for 36 days, or 10%, of each year. This would be one of the highest entitlements of all 62 countries. The reality is that companies are allowed to include the 8 public holidays as part of the 28 day entitlement so UK employees actually have fewer days’ holidays than their peers in the rest of Europe where, in general, the practice is for European employees to take public holidays in addition to their statutory entitlement. Employees in the Asia-Pac region have comparatively low levels of statutory entitlement but public holidays are taken in addition to this rather than as part of it. However, the levels of holiday entitlement in Asia-Pac are still below those of Western Europe.     Employee holiday entitlements around the world.

Rise of the Asian Welfare State September 22, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics, health, Lifestyle.
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Although poorer countries still limit themselves to ad hoc welfare offerings, fitting the spending level to revenues one budget at a time, there is an increasing trend towards entitlements served by statutory institutions that will outlive the budgetary cycle. As these systems mature, welfare provision will be demand-led, not supply-driven; welfare will become integral to the state. Asia’s tigerish economies are turning marsupial, carrying their dependants along with them as they prowl.

Some of the national leaders who unleashed those tiger economies would be shocked and disturbed by the development. To them the welfare state was a Western aberration that would serve only to undermine thrift, industry and filial duty.

It seems that every country that can afford to build a welfare state will come under mounting pressure to do so. And much of Asia has hit the relevant level of prosperity (see chart 1). Indonesia is now almost as developed as America was in 1935 when it passed the landmark Social Security Act, according to figures compiled by the late Angus Maddison, an economic historian. China is already richer than Britain was in 1948, when it inaugurated the National Health Service (NHS) which, to judge by political ructions—and Olympic opening ceremonies—has become crucial to its sense of national identity.

via Asian welfare states: New cradles to graves | The Economist.

China Cost Advantages Erode as U.S., Mexico Gain January 5, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
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China, which is experiencing negative pressure as an exporter because of wage inflation, exchange-rate pressures and higher freight rates, could lose its cost advantage vis-à-vis U.S. production in four years if freight rates rise at 5 percent annually, according to the 2011 U.S. Manufacturing-Outsourcing Cost Index.

Since 2007, Mexico, some locations in Europe and locations in Asia other than China have gained a competitive advantage for offshore manufacturing. In addition to Mexico, emerging LCCs, including India, Vietnam, Russia and Romania, had lower landed cost for their exports to the U.S.

via China Cost Advantages Erode as U.S., Mexico Gain, Report Says | Journal of Commerce.

Identity Wars -Coming to the Developing World? November 8, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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The identity wars started in early modern Europe around the time of the Protestant Reformation. After a century of genocidal violence that left most of Germany ruined and depopulated, those wars subsided until the French Revolution set off an even greater and more devastating wave. Closely connected to the industrial revolution and the rise of democracy, nationalism emerged as a dominant political force in 19th century Europe, spreading from northwestern Europe toward the south and east. Over the next 100 years, more than a hundred million people died in wars as multinational empires in Europe and the Middle East ripped themselves apart in paroxysms of war, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

One of the biggest questions in world politics today is whether identity wars (conflicts between groups with different cultural, religious and/or ethnic backgrounds who inhabit the same stretch of land) were a special feature of modern European and Middle Eastern history or whether these conflicts will appear in more of Africa and Asia in the 21st century as development spreads.

Nigeria and Kyrgyzstan are just two of several examples of recent and ongoing ethnic conflict; others include the Sri Lankan civil war that ended brutally in 2009 — as many as 100,000 people may have died. Pakistan, China, India, and various African and Pacific island nations are all struggling with ethnic violence, demands for independence, and conflicts between different groups

via The Scariest Thing In the World | Via Meadia.

Not So Inevitable: Asia’s Rise July 16, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Don’t believe the hype about the decline of America and the dawn of a new Asian age. It will be many decades before China, India, and the rest of the region take over the world, if they ever do.

via Think Again: Asia’s Rise – By Minxin Pei | Foreign Policy.

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