Talking Points 30 January


Strikes in Europe

Despite yesterday’s largest demonstrations in France for over a decade, the French government are continuing with their plans for economic recovery.

More than a million people took to the streets in a dozen French cities yesterday, protesting against detoriating economic conditions. Today 700 workers at a Scottish oil refinery walked out on an unofficial strike. The workers have been unimpressed at the arrival of hundreds of foreign contracters from Portugal and Italy.

Do you believe that your country should concentrate on protecting jobs for its own citizens? And if it’s each country for themselves, would you for example, only buy products manufactured by your own country?

Are increasingly low salaries and rising unemployment about to unleash a wave of global civil unrest? Have you noticed signs of organised revolt in your own community?

Banker Bonuses

Wall Street bankers took $20 million of bonuses in 2008 and President Obama is not happy. “There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses,” the President said. “Now’s not that time. And that’s a message that I intend to send directly to them.” Senior management at the BBC will not receive a pay rise or bonuses until 2010 whilst car maker Honda is about to close its UK base for four months affecting over 3000 employees. Staff there will be on full pay for the first two months then a part time salary for the second two.

Should we accept that we are lucky to be employed in the current climate and not expect bonuses? Did you receive a bonus last year and if so did you feel it was right to accept it? And do you believe we will ever see a return to a booming bonus culture?

A Republican black leader?

The US Republican party may be about to choose their first ever black leader today. The two main black candidates are former Maryland lieutenant-governor Michael Steele, and former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell. Is black leadership a new political fashion? Are parties reinventing themselves for the new political era?


15 Responses to “Talking Points 30 January”

  1. 1 Jim Newman
    January 30, 2009 at 11:43

    Hello again
    I’m not quite sure what NO COMMENTS means in this context. So please forgive me if I’m saying the wrong thing in the wrong place.
    In my mind there are three things that must be tackled sucessfully if the human race is to survive.

    1/ The human population must diminish instead of increasing.

    2/ The use of natural resources must diminish.

    3/ Pollution must be diminished.

    The last two are closely dependent on the first one.

  2. January 30, 2009 at 11:44

    The dismal U.S. unemployment numbers have gotten more airtime recently than Jerry Springer. And why not? The numbers are mind-numbing.

    * A total of 2.6 million jobs lost in 2008 – the most since World War II.
    * A jobless rate that’s at 7.2% – and climbing.
    * About 11 million people out of work.

    As usual, however, further economic analysis shows that the “official” numbers don’t tell the entire story.”


  3. 3 Adam Foya, Tanzania
    January 30, 2009 at 14:51

    The issus of foreign employment is so complicated in the so called globalization era, where border are sopposed to be free.

    Its quite frustrating in place like Dar Es Salaam where you find some Chinese selling toys in City center and wonder are there no Tanzaniana to that job? The same job goes to consultancies, the so called experties who are doing works which could have done by local people, but as they come with conditions from donors.

    On black leader of Republic, it can been seen like fashion, but can be also trend of inevitable change.

  4. 4 Livia Varju
    January 30, 2009 at 15:02

    Yes, local jobs should go to locals. Employers get staff from abroad because they can pay them less, and then locals become unemployed and benefits are paid from our taxes. Here in Geneva, 60,000 French come from across the border to work here, while we have the highest unemployment rate in the country, over 6%. On 8 Feb. the Swiss will vote on free circulation of Romanians and Bulgarians,i.e., whether they can come here to work. Livia

  5. 5 john in Germany
    January 30, 2009 at 15:19

    The last respect that i had for the greedy bankers has gone, that was my only joke..
    50 million dollars for a new exec jet, and a request for tax payers monies to save the day, bonuses for what?cocking up the whole system with uncontrolled greed and a disrespect for other members of mankind. The tax payers will cover the losses, and we can go on living in luxury while those poor devils try and find enough money for the next medical bill, wow sorry forgot the next mortgage payment as well. It makes me sick, the affront, and attitude towards the cheated and taxpayers, all over the World.

    Remember Ravens don’t pick each others eyes out, there will always be someone to save them. What they have done is not criminal, Politicians have made sure of that with the laws they have made, and the lack of correct control of the finance system. What a load of rubbish it will regulate its-self, we know what happened there.

    Lets hope President Obahma has the strength to carry on as he started, god bless him, fresh wind in the Branches, not liked by some of the old trunks.
    Question What has Global dont care what brought us?????.

    Sad and tired old World.

    John in Germany

  6. 6 nan
    January 30, 2009 at 15:20

    nan here from the philippines.
    filipinos are perhaps have one of the most numbers of migrant workers, not only in the u.k. but in many parts of the world.
    filipinos find work abroad because it’s either there’s nothing for them here or what’s available won’t be enough to support the family.
    anyway, i think the reason why other countries also look for foreign workers is because the available local resources aren’t enough or they are not just willing to take the job.

  7. 7 Ray, Ohio
    January 30, 2009 at 19:20

    There is no true debate over the benefits of globalization. The benefits of free trade have been universally expounded in the 200+ years of economic scholarship. The caller on the show urging fellow citizens to “buy American” makes me ashamed for my whole country. Anti-globalization must me derided as an anti-intellectual movement on the level of creationism and Holocaust denial.

    Free trade also means open borders. The xenophobia in the US and the UK is really sickening because as well-off and educated nations, we should know better. I sympathize with immigrants, legal and illegal, who come to this country to seek a better life. US employers, if they truly support freedom and prosperity, should not hesitate to hire illegals if they can get away with it.

  8. 8 mark c
    January 30, 2009 at 21:29

    being a brit in australia they have a term for us here “whinging poms”

    as usual western countries in particular the UK + US want it all their way. no one in the UK complains when foreigners do menial low paid tasks they don`t want to do.

    i find it extremely hypocritical that now a few well paid jobs are legally going to EU members they have the nerve to complain.

    historically the UK government its companies and citizens have gone around the planet taking jobs from locals, stealing oil + mineral wealth, ruling countries by force and enslaving the populations .

    now they also do it by proxy in sweatshops

    the UK and its citizens have taken selected and optimum advantage of EU membership and globalization, but as usual its only when it suits them

    mark a pom in brisbane

  9. January 31, 2009 at 08:49

    I thought the very principle of Bonus was that it’s linked to the performance of the company. Otherwise why call it bonus, why not just include it in the salary.

    It should be linked with the prosperity of the co. If the company does well then u take a bonus, if it doesnt then obviously u dont earn it.

  10. 10 John in Germany
    January 31, 2009 at 12:52

    Hi Nan.
    Sorry to disappoint you, but it has a lot to do with the pay. Your men make excellent sailors, but they are found mostly under free flags on ships that have, maybe European Captains. They work under different regulations, as on other registered ships, and the money, and conditions are in many cases lower. Your girls, and ladies work mainly as domestic assistants, many European, and Western persons do not like to be the servants too the rich, so that there are many vacancies in this area.

    What is very nice is that some make good wife’s, and live happily in many parts of the World.

    Sad and good old World.
    John in Germany.

  11. 11 Emile Barre
    January 31, 2009 at 14:51

    Sarko must listen to Main Street not Wall Street.

  12. 12 steve
    February 2, 2009 at 00:42

    You really might want to consider another show on the octuplets story and the ethics involved, as more news came out after the show, that she already had 6 kids, from fertility treatments, and apparently isn’t financially well off AND her mother says she is “obsessed” with having kids, so basically should they be giving fertility treatments to those who cannot afford it, and basically are mentally unbalanced?

  13. February 2, 2009 at 01:35

    Do you believe that your country should concentrate on protecting jobs for its own citizens?
    -I wish that the United States was protecting jobs for the citizens of the U.S.

    And if it’s each country for themselves, would you for example, only buy products manufactured by your own country? Yes, until the economy returns to the high-days of the old days….

    Are increasingly low salaries and rising unemployment about to unleash a wave of global civil unrest? I think so, but, I wish it would not unleash a global civil unrest….

    Have you noticed signs of organised revolt in your own community?Not yet, and; I hope that it doesn’t come thru.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  14. 14 Virgil H. Soule
    February 2, 2009 at 02:20

    People don’t seem to understand that when banks fail, very large sums of money simply disappear. Bigger banks might come in and buy up the failing bank’s loan accounts for paltry sums but, unless depositors are covered by some sort of deposit insurance, they might get back ten cents on the dollar and the rest is simply and irrevocably gone. That’s why the banks must be protected from themselves.

    Capitalism operates on an investment cycle: Investors provide money that companies use to develop and manufacture products. If the products sell successfully, profits accrue and investors are repaid with interest. Banks are an integral part of that process so, like it or not, we need them.

  15. April 2, 2009 at 22:35

    Jim Newman
    So what is the “process” to achieve those 3 points?
    Do you really believe that?

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