Spoiler: President Biden is right. Putin is a killer. He is a killer in more ways than we think of. Putin has, by the use of proxies, killed more than 14 000 Ukrainians, tens of thousands of Syrians, Russian journalists and critics. He has also killed thousands of Russians by lying and neglecting the needs of Russians.
Putin and the Kremlin lie to Russians to hide the poor state the country is in. They lie about countries in the “West” aiming to portray them as equally bad. The lies and the “vertical power” design of the Russian state apparatus is costing Russian lives. The health care system is in decay and Russians are afraid to get vaccinated because they do not trust their government which has spewed out lies daily since Putin became president.
Spoiler: The Brexit-deal is finally done. A hard Brexit was fortunately avoided. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement is perhaps the freest trade agreement concluded so far. Yet it raises barriers to trade compared to when the UK was part of the EU. The agreed zero tariffs and quotas are a fantastic achievement. But that only applies for trade in goods. Trade in services restricted. And services constitute 70% of UK GDP.
Spoiler: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia granted to take the place of the Soviet Union as a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council. That was a mistake. The position has mostly been used to block investigations into human rights violations, Russian occupations of other countries’ territories, protect pariah regimes and block UN aid to refugees.
After Putin came to power, Russia has used its veto to prevent the UN to act against regimes who violate human rights and even persecute their own populations. The first vetoes blocked UN actions against the regimes in Myanmar and Zimbabwe. These vetoes were not based on any considerations of what was going on in the two countries. They were supporting China’s vetoes. The Chinese regime was not interested in having UN missions in countries where China had invested.
Spoiler: Analysing inequality in Sweden by looking at developments of capital and labour shares 1960-2019 show that inequality is not a big issue. Labour’s share in GDP is closely related to the real wage. Growth of hourly real wages has not lagged labour productivity growth.
In the previous post, I showed that the wage share had increased in Sweden since 1993. That conclusion may be based on the initial point in the sample. In fact, it wasn’t. The wage share has been, as Kaldor suggested a long time ago, relatively constant over a long period of time. In this post, I will take a longer view on capital and wage shares in Sweden.