Category: Politics

Bert Rürup (10)

By , July 6, 2009 05:08

Today was again devoted to social security systems, this time, it’s been health insurance and its german specific versions… ;-)

Next week will be a recap as preparation for the final tests.


P.S.: Last Thursday was meant to be Bert Rürup’s official last lecture (let’s call it a farewell lecture), but it did not happen, as some union people did block it by making noise… Sad, sad… ;-(

Bert Rürup (9)

By , June 29, 2009 01:40

Today was the continuation of last week’s topic: Social Security Systems, mainly retirement pay. Especially the german version of it…

Again, a good start into the new week!


Bert Rürup (8)

By , June 22, 2009 01:58

Today’s topics were social politics and social security systems. He started by explaining the Phillips Curve and did provide us with the numbers and curves for Germany from 1955 to 1990. Then he did explain Okun’s Law and from there on dived into social security systems, where there was a couple of discussions around the late changes in law in Germany.

Again, a nice start into the week!


Bert Rürup (7)

By , June 15, 2009 02:44

Today’s topic was the continuation of last week’s session, and did cover multiple aspects of the keynesian economics as well as for example the Harrod-Domar model. Main topics were different aspects of who’s going to “pay” for the credits a government or state is using to invest in its future. So Development economics was the last topic of today’s lecture.


Bert Rürup (6)

By , June 8, 2009 03:54

Today’s topic was: national bankruptcy. It was the first in a row of two lectures, so we’ll see, what he’ll discuss next week additionally. Today he did cover the basis, all the definitions needed in order to understand the implications. A larger section today was devoted to the upcoming change of article 115 of the german consitution (see here) and the implications of the european stability and growth pact on that article.


Bert Rürup (5)

By , May 27, 2009 04:44

Again, I did start this week with a visit to Bert Rürump’s lecture. This week he did talk about further factors for influencing growth in an economy: The “amount of money in circulation” and the “key interest rate” (or for our american friends: “prime rate”), and how these do influence the economy. For more details, it is again a good idea to check Wikipedia, I always found their descriptions very useful: Money Supply. Sadly, the ones on the other factor are a bit terse, still, here’re the links: Interest Rate and Prime Rate


P.S.: An addition to last week’s lecture: We do have to differentiate between taxes and insurances, when looking at all the dues we have to pay. Some are dues with no right on payback (for example: income tax,, some are dues with an entitlement for payback (for example: unimployment insurance). Sadly, many people always do the sum, and never differentiate between these two. When comparing the dues you have to pay in different countries, you have to look at those precisely, because there are countries, where for example the unimployment insurance is NOT done by goverment, but needs to be done privately. Therefore you can NOT compare the dues that are deducted from your income across countries.

Bert Rürup (4)

By , May 18, 2009 05:00

This week’s lecture was on how to grow the GDP (gross domestic product) by two of the seven possible factors. “Human capital” as well as “growth in population”.

He started by discussing the “ideal state” and the need for growth, and with interceptions on the latest OECD studies, and their discussions on the state of Germany, as well as discussions on the influence of longer life expectancy…

Sorry for being a bit brief this week, to much to do… ;-)

I again did enjoy it immensly, again a beautiful start of the week!


P.S.: Last week, he also did discuss the hysteresis, a phenomenon to be seen in economies. The number of “re-employments” after a downturn never does reach the number of “un-employment”… ;-( So un-employment grows and grows…

Bert Rürup (3)

By , May 11, 2009 01:30

This week’s lecture was on “labor market policy” vs. “economic policy” and how to handle “employment politic”. It’s been about Keynes and his economic ideas as well as neoclassical economics. He’s been talking about supply and demand as drivers or basis for thinking on how to influence the market. He’s been talking about the definitions of unemployment rates, and the different types of unemployment and social security systems, and the effect of employment protection legislation on the “unemployment rate.

As usual: great to start the week with his lecture!


Bert Rürup (2)

By , May 4, 2009 02:27

Today was the second lecture, last week Bert was not able to do it, as he had to be at a meeting with the chancellor and China government. He did excuse himself.

Today he did cover the differences between “economic policy” and “trade cycle policy”, did explain the drivers and the need for drivers for change or market demand. He did cover the Lorenz curve, the Kuznets curve, he did talk about why Germans are more afraid of inflation, whereas Americans are more afraid of depression.

He did talk about the differences of managing need or stimulating need (US: Trains were build privately, but need was territory, so union pacific and western pacific did have an interest in building the train, Europe: Trains were build by governments to regulate need and build an “useful” infrastructure). (also see: Allmende)

He did start the day with the question, when ecology started to become important in financial politics. Answer is: 1962, with the book Silent Spring

As always, I can not cover or retell everything he mentioned or covered, but these are the things I remember (besides the talks about all Western being based on the Trains (he did ask about the main topic of the movie Once Upon A Time In The West) and the Exit Game (if you were promised money, based on the requirement to give a part of that money to someone else, and the second requirement that that someone else needs to accept that part, how much would you give away)).

As always, very refreshing, it’s a real good start for each week.


Bert Rürup

By , April 20, 2009 01:13

Today I took the liberty to start the week and the day with visiting the first lecture of one of Bert Rürup‘s two last lectures ever. He did retire from his job at University Darmstadt this term, and during the Summer he will give two last lectures: Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik (economic and financial policy) and Einführung in die VWL (für Hörer anderer FB) (introduction to economics (german word: Volkswirtschaftslehre) for students of other faculties).

As the later is scheduled at a time-slot, that does not go to well with people having real jobs, it’s been easy to decide, which lecture to choose, to see and listen to the renowned Professor for a first and last time. The first lecture is a bachelor lecture, the second is a diploma lecture for non economics students.

Today was the first lesson, the room was bursting (not all could sit, the room can sit 200), and Bert was talking about Augustinus, Machiavelli and Aristoteles as being the three major founders of economic policies. He also did talk about the differences between policy and politics (no corresponding words available in german, as he sadly stated), and about the differences in US government and german government (no real economic consultants in Germany working for the government, only the Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (Wirtschaftsweisen) are working in Germany, but that’s a criticism council, no advisory board).

He also stated, that the lecture will primarily talk about policies, but mentioned, that due to his engagement in german politics of the last 40 years, he will also induce some “politics” into his lecture, to give the students the “reality check”. He already today mentioned some of his meetings with Helmut Schmidt, and explained changes in wording of politicians to highlight the difference between “status quo” and “wishful thinking”.

Although it’s supposed to be a 2 x 45 minute letcure, today he did finish after 45 minutes.

I did enjoy it, and will try to also visit the next lectures on the following Mondays!


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