Quality of Life – Getting Rid of GDP

Everybody wants to be wealthy, usually without giving much thought about what wealth actually means. Traditionally, it’s measured using the GDP (GDP: the sum of all domestically produced goods and services). However, the value of existing goods and of nature is not included, even though this is important for the well being of people. Now…

Older – And More Productive

[geo_mashup_mapUnemployed that are older than 50 years, generally have a hard time finding new jobs. Reasons include higher wages and social security payments and reduced mental and physical performance. While the first point is a fact in many countries, the second is probably invalid. In a study, scientists have observed the productivity of employees of…

Minimal Wages – No Negative Effects on Employment After All

Minimal wages have a rather bad reputation among economists. Increasing salaries for little qualified jobs are supposed to make such work unprofitable for employers. Employees instead of enjoying higher wages would find themselves with no wages at all, which as a consequence would also be detrimental for state finances. Well, in science, a theory is…

Food – Rising Prices as Opportunity for Farmers

Rising food prices caused by increasing world population eating more meat, booming ethanol production, erosion, droughts, lacking investments, water scarcity, salinization, speculation, etc. is a real problem for many countries and has already pushed some 125 million people back to hunger and poverty. As far as bad. What most reports on rising food prices don’t…

Wealth – The Poor are Getting Better

Inequitably distributed wealth is an increasing problem but at least poverty levels seem to decline. In the last five years the amount of people living in extreme poverty (less than 1.25 US$ per day) has decreased from 1.3 billions to 900 millions – and this in spite of still significant population growth. Admitted a major…

Forest – Tasmanias Forest Will be Saved

Over half of Tasmania is forest and a substantial part thereof is virgin, untouched forest. Until now, these valuable forests were gradually converted into Japanese newspapers but now things have changed. Environmental activists have persuaded Japanese and other buyers to insist on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood, making timber originating from virgin forest virtually…

Economic Growth – Good or Bad

The Australian millionaire Dick Smith wants to know it once and for all. He promised one million Australian Dollars for whoever demonstrates in a scientific study that eternal economic growth is no answer for the problems of our planet. Brightnews! Already children have internalized: More, bigger, stronger, smarter, richer is supposed to be better. However,…

Cuba – Let Them Work

The outlook seems to be dark: Confronted with empty coffers, Cuba plans to lay off half a million of state employees – considering the absence of private employers and the factual prohibition of private business, this is truly frightening. However, such situations sometimes trigger positive developments. The government, acknowledging the inability of its citizens to…

Health – Affordable Thanks to Asian Equipment

Expenses for health care are inexorably increasing and linked to that are our expectations. People in need only expect the best of the best. The question however is: What is the best? And: Is the more expensive the better? Asian manufacturers of medical equipment would strongly disagree and beat prices of their western competitors. Actually…

Water – Drinking Water for Everyone

Despite the fact that access to treated water is constantly improving – 2008 about 87% of world population had access to it – and the respective Millennium Goals will be achieved, the supply in rural areas of developing countries remains unsatisfying. Now, there’s technology available that could help. Instead of filtering water with much energy…