The popularity of the Polish Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is encouraging a return to the arguments of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman. He claimed that state support for underprivileged people is unnecessary, since private donors would give such help of their own accord.
It will be 25 years on 23 December since the Act on Economic Activity, popularly called Wilczek’s bill, was passed. It introduced into the stubborn reality the rule that what is not prohibited is permitted. State regulation was reduced. This act is commonly considered to be the “Sevres standard” for free-market economic reforms. Is this a deserved opinion?
In 2012, the EU decreased its total carbon dioxide emissions by 2.3 per cent. Even though Poland has been given bad press in this matter, it managed to decrease them by 3 per cent. In the U.S., emissions were reduced by 4 per cent, while in China they continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace. The EU has launched a crusade against global warming, but other countries have a more pragmatic approach to the issue, which is why the climate summit in Warsaw may end in failure.
Adequate input for R&D is indispensable: without investment there is no innovation – says Peter Dröll, Head of Innovation Unit in the European Commission. It is equally important to have a maximum output. It is hard to define what output of innovation policy there should be.
The power industry, threatened with restructuring, is lobbying for a further injection of cash at the expense of customers; they justify it with the threat of a potential blackout. Only those investment projects that are crucial for ensuring an uninterrupted supply of energy for several years to come should benefit from support. Otherwise, the liberalization of the market will make a 20-year step back.
The main result of the privatization of the Polish chemical sector, founded on the principle of "have your cake and eat it", is the growing debt of companies from this sector. A real privatization seems to be an increasingly unrealistic prospect. The government focuses its efforts on opposing Russian investment plans.
In the latest World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 ranking, Poland came 55 among 185 countries ranked. A way behind, but we moved up the fastest among all countries – 7 spots, which was thanks to the work of the Ministry of Justice. In many other areas, we are still a way behind, among the 200ths.
Making a very loud fuss when things don't go your way may be ineffective for small children with stern parents – but it is often a fairly effective strategy when it comes to international trade policy, something that Poland is finding out to its cost.
The Italian Fiat decided to close one of its manufacturing plants in Tychy, Poland. In 2013, Fiat's output in Poland will drop from 650 thousand two years ago to as little as 300 thousand cars. The problems of the Polish Fiat reflect like in a magnifying glass some of the important challenges faced by the Polish economy. Firstly, the high level of industrial productivity does not guarantee a fast development any more. Secondly, we live in an environment where capital has a nationality, and Poland's national capital remains limited. Let's hope that Fiat's problems do not presage an unfavourable period for the Polish economy.