Teoretický časopis věnovaný otázkám postavení člověka ve světě, ve společnosti, v současném dění
Do rukou se vám dostává časopis Marathon. Nejdřív některá základní sdělení:
- Časopis šířen finančně nenáročnými formami - několik xerokopií, prostřednictvím disket, zasílán prostřednictvím fax modemu, prostřednictvím sítě INTERNET.
- Časopis vychází jednou za dva měsíce, vždy 15. dne prvního z dvojice měsíců, které jsou po sobě.
- Rozsah časopisu je 40 stran tohoto formátu, což odpovídá přibližně 120 stranám standardního formátu.
- Kontaktní spojení, na kterém si lze vyžádat nulté číslo, získat podrobnější informace o časopisu, vyjádřit připomínky, zaslat příspěvek apod. je možné prostřednictvím kontaktů.
MARATHON is a bi-monthly Internet magazine founded in Prague at the end of 1996. Its aim is to help to clarify, from central and east European perspective, the reasons of present entanglement of the world developments, and participate in the search for prospective solutions.
About 20 authors contribute to the magazine on a regular basis and more write for it occasionally. So far MARATHON has been published in Czech with occasional documentation annexes in English or German. English summaries of articles are envisaged based on specific interests of readers.
Themes most often treated in the magazine include human capital, investments in education and other forms of human capital, nature and consequences of globalization, new approaches in economic theory (an attempt for synthesis of seemingly disparate concepts of K.Marx, J.Schumpeter, M.Friedman, G.Becker and R.Reich with regard to role played by innovations and the search for new space for economic growth), etc. Several specific projects of human capital investments have been developed on the basis of concepts analyzed in MARATHON.
The magazine can be accessed at http://www.valencik.cz/marathon.
E-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concise view of the approach used by the team around Marathon
How and why have the world problems tied into a knot (locked-in):
1. One of the most serious problems is the world economic stagnation, especially the expected global growth stagnation in the long term perspective.
2. It is important to realise what consequences this stagnation has (someone could welcome this fact with the false presumption that it brings us closer to the state which is known as „sustainable development"). It means that the profits we are witnessing on global scale are not equivalent to the creation of new wealth, but emerge as the consequence of redistribution, that is the „zero-sum games" situation (result is the well known phenomenon" rich get richer, the poor get poorer" - that is a grave problem, but not yet the most risky consequence).
3. Global growth stagnation and above all the expectation of this stagnation in the long-run has among others, two following immediate consequences:
- inertial growth (or more precisely non-growth) is up to now based on industrial growth and its „overflow" to the region of agriculture (where it made possible to increase radically the productivity of soil and labour use), as well as to the area of services (which are at this stage of development of course predominantly only consumption area, their production effect is until now not decisive) and - in spite of permanent modernisation through technological change - runs against global ecological limitations.
- „debipolarization" of the world resulted in radical growth of global economic competition for use of local resources ( including labour and the level of infrastructure, financed from public sources) and global financial capital (as the „global employer") under the influence of global competition it exercises pressure on price decrease of local resources, by which it limits the generation of global demand.
(Possibilities of growth are thus undermined both on the supply side by ecological limits, and by the impact of global competition on the demand side.)
4. The global investors are well aware of the double restrain of the global growth as well as the fact, that on global scale the profits could be realised under these conditions only by redistribution (through „zero-sum games"). (for example US pension funds as the largest owner, must pay revenues from the appreciated deposits to the insured persons and at the same time dividends to share-holders, take wherever you can) Therefore investments into „gains in zero-sum games" are becoming an important part of their investment strategy, especially investments into country's geopolitical position, through which they realise their investment strategy.
5. This interconnection of global investors with the policy of countries, through which they realise their investment strategies, takes place through investment into societal position of those who decide on the investment strategy.
6. As the result of the above mentioned process, the development of our civilisation is being tied into a knot (a kind of „lock in"). If we are looking into problems at home, we find out, that at least those problems that are least accessible to solution, are generated by the process described above. If we want to find a positive solution (i.e. different from various catastrophic visions, irrelevant whether they are welcomed or used to scare), we must realise the perspective of a new type of global economic growth.
7. Transfer to a new economic growth means:
- That in the area of household consumption, increasing role is played by the satisfaction of so called „abilitarian needs" (needs whose satisfaction is connected with the acquisition of certain abilities) in comparison with the predominant „product needs" (needs whose satisfaction is connected with the consumption of the product directly or through rendering services).
- That when investing into development of human abilities (human capital) the limitations on the capital market will be overcome, so that large and global investors could invest also into this domain and also that the barriers of households and countries budget limits when investing into human capital, will be diminished. It is exactly this barrier of budget limitations which forms the base for investment into societal position.
- That in economic growth, the sphere of human development plays constantly increasing role, whose outputs are correspondingly appreciated by the market. (Even when someone looks with contempt to the possibility of the market, without appropriate appreciation of the output of these sectors, and through this also the activities inside of them, these sectors would live only a poor existence.
8. As far as the economic growth is concerned in all important aspects of the term „economic".
- It creates wealth (utility) in economic sense (it opens new and practically unlimited space for achieving utility).
- Is measurable as a part of economic growth (it expresses what those on the demand side are willing and able to pay for).
- It acts back (through the development of human abilities) on the productivity growth of the use of natural resources (by which makes possible to overcome ecological limits to growth).
In this area we are obviously in the similar situation, as in the period when idea of physiocrats prevailed, that only agricultural production is productive and that capital, or industrial production respectively, are „sterile", i.e. not adding value, but only make possible its redistribution. From this then, gloomy imaginations on the future of civilisation emerged, conditioned of course by the contemporary knowledge. But it was exactly the industrial production which opened new space for the creation of utility, its production attracted on itself the decisive part of what was appreciated by the market, and radically increased the productivity of soil and labour use in agriculture.
9. Series of processes connected with the enforcement of the new type of economic growth takes place spontaneously. On the other hand, these processes are retarded by investors inertia, who are under the influence of contemporary ideas on the character of economic growth, they assume its long-term stagnation and concentrate themselves on investing into geopolitical position (in personified form into societal position). In the conditions of our country (which is confronted more with the consequences of the situation described above) the solution of many concrete problem is connected with securing the pay-off and effectiveness of social investments, with mastering the pay-back and effectiveness of investments into the human capital, development and application of human abilities, based predominantly on education.