In about half a year, I will have graduated and hopefully have found my first job. When I tell people this, they often respond with something like “So fun time is almost over!” or “Are you ready to take on the corporate jungle?” Despite their good intentions, I don’t think the picture of a working life is like that at all. In fact, the idea of having a life made up of just work is outdated and misses the point.
Last weekend I was approached by a young woman who was campaigning for a ‘No’ in the upcoming Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement. Although her flyer contained mostly flawed arguments, she did tell me something sensible: “Whether you’re for or against, you should go out and vote.” At first, it was difficult to disagree with her. However, after I’ve seen all the cards on the table, it has become clear to me that I should not vote at all tomorrow.
After yesterday’s horrible terrorist bombings in Brussels, the solidarity-inspired profile pictures are popping up on Facebook once again. This reminds me of the controversy around using the French tricolore filter after the Paris attacks back in November 2015. Many people showed their sympathy for the victims in Paris, but did so less visually for those in Beirut just the day before. Are European lives more valuable than Middle Eastern ones? Likewise, do we care so much more about innocent civilians who happen to die in Belgium, rather than their Turkish counterparts in Ankara – or anywhere else for that matter?
When I was about twelve years old, I was suddenly determined to become an economist one day. Well, at least I wanted to busy myself with money and all that. The occasion of this vision was, ironically, the birthday of a saint (‘Sinterklaas’) who rewards children with gifts in case they behave properly. That evening, I received a novel called Felix en het grote geld (‘Felix and the big bucks’) by Nikolaus Piper. As I couldn’t imagine a more fitting title, I started reading straight away.
The intriguing ‘Brexit’ debate has been on my mind for a while. Now that Cameron has finally struck a deal with his European partners, I can make up the balance: the UK has not only distanced itself from the EU, it has also reintroduced a destructive political tool.
We’ve all heard what the Brits want in terms of European policy reform. Some of the demands are quite sensible, like the limitation of child benefits for workers coming from within the EU (mostly from Eastern Europe). Others, such as the removal of the notion “ever closer union”, is merely symbolic. Most of all, Cameron’s primary concern is pleasing the eurosceptics in his Conservative party, thereby strengthening his own position during his second term in office.
In my previous post, where I introduced the raison d’être of this blog, I already mentioned briefly the issue of moral misconduct in the financial sector. Now since this is one of my “favourite” topics, I’d like to dedicate my first real post to one particular aspect of it: the principle of caveat emptor.
Taken literally, it means ‘buyer beware’. It is a common and widely accepted legal principle, practiced throughout the financial sector to indicate that clients and consumers are ultimately responsible for what they buy. So if either a senior trader at Citigroup or a certain John Layman from Uppsala municipality would decide to acquire a set of stocks or a mortgage, both should know whether it’s a good deal.
Welcome to my newly created personal blog VirtualVolition. I’ve been thinking for quite a while about launching a blog where I could share my many (sometimes too many) thoughts on issues that interest me. Most of these issues are related to economics, philosophy, politics and entrepreneurship, but include more down-to-earth topics as well. Normally I do not think highly of new year’s resolutions, but I had to actually pick a moment to make this idea happen. I already go to the gym and I don’t smoke, so what else is left to start the new year fresh? Right, a blog. Thus, for the occasion I chose 2016.