Johnny Munkhammar skrev på denna blogg från 2004 till sin död 2012. Bloggen är upprätthållen som ett minne och som referens till Johnnys arbete av Johnny Munkhammars minnesfond.

This blog was operated by Johnny Munkhammar from 2004 until 2012 when he passed away. This blog is now in a memorialized state and operated by the Johnny Munkhammar fund.
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Friday 2022-05-27, 07:23:09

2006-03-08 13:55:43
Swearing in Church - and the Congregation Agreeing! First of all, let me apologise for the misspellings (and lack of a few letters) in a recent blog post. It was written too hastily at Brussels Zaventem Airport - now that is fixed.

Yesterday, I spoke at the annual event of Small Business Europe. Some 100 people attended; businessmen, politicians, journalists. I spoke about globalisation and the European Social Model. My message was that radical reform is needed, not least for entrepreneurs to have freedom to create new products, jobs and prosperity.

In the city of Brussels, the defence of the so-called social model is strong. Saying thet it should be scrapped is thus to swear in church. My opponent, Andrew Watt, of the European Trade Union Institute, was critical from that perspective. But apart from strong words like "simplistic", "extreme" and "sloppy" there were no audible factual arguments against my message.

Using words like "extreme" is a method to frighten people to moderate their views. But consider this example: If you are in the water and only the nose is above the surface, proposing that you should be lifted so that everything above the knees is over the surface surely may seem to be an extreme proposal. The reason is that the starting-point is what is extreme, not the proposal. The same goes for my message; it is the Model, today?s situation, that is extreme.

Anyway, Andrew Watt gave the usual message about most things going great in Europe and not so great for anyone else. In particular, the US is a bad country. Largely, that was based on a measure of "relative poverty". But that is a ridiculous measure. Is shows the number of people in a country with an income lower than 50 per cent of the average income. But in the US, the average is the highest in the world , which means that 50 per cent of that is not too bad. With this measure, North Corea, where everything is equally bad for everyone, has no poverty.

Despite a serious cold, I gave my message, kind of swearing in the Brussels church, but was surprised. Nobody disagreed, most participants who made comments agreed. (One person even asked how he could help me get elected and sort out Europe?s problems...)

EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson spoke later, on the same topic. He said that it is possible to combine globalisation with the European Social Model as long as it is about investing in reserach and development, education and making people competitive. As he received my book, I pointed out that the current Model is to some 90 per cent not about that. His reply was that indeed it has to be altered...

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