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The Stockholm Network

by Colman Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 07:45:46 AM EST

The Stockholm Network is the leading pan-European think tank and market oriented network.

It is a one-stop shop for organisations seeking to work with Europe's brightest policymakers and thinkers. Today, the Stockholm Network brings together more than 110 market-oriented think tanks from across Europe, giving us the capacity to deliver local messages and locally-tailored global messages across the EU and beyond.

Combined, think tanks in our network publish thousands of op-eds in the high quality European press, produce many hundreds of publications, and hold a wide range of conferences, seminars and meetings. As such, the Stockholm Network and its members influence many millions of Europeans every year. (Stockholm Network)

We're slacking. Wonder who pays for all this stuff.


The Network is a forum for sharing, exchanging and developing pan-European research and best practice. Interested in ideas which stimulate economic growth and help people to help themselves, we promote and raise awareness of policies which create the social and economic conditions for a free society. These include:
  • Reforming European welfare states and creating a more flexible labour market.
  • Updating European pension systems to empower individuals.
  • Ensuring more consumer-driven healthcare, through reform of European health systems and markets.
  • Encouraging an informed debate on intellectual property rights as an incentive to innovate and develop new knowledge in the future, whilst ensuring wide public access to such products in the present.
  • Reforming European energy markets to ensure the most beneficial balance between economic growth and environmental quality.
  • Emphasising the benefits of globalisation, trade and competition and creating an understanding of free market ideas and institutions.
  • Display:
    What do we do against this lot? Hundreds of little think tanks all spouting the same crap.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 07:48:36 AM EST
    Crashing the Gate details how the republicans built their think-tank network over 30 years as a fully financed and lucrative career structure for their best and brightest. Dedicated republicans can be rich working for the republican party.

    Meanwhile the Democrats still have no career structure and it's always the workforce and volunteers who are supposed to be doing it for love who are the last ones to get paid. So the democrats are ALWAYS losing their most valuable resources to private industry cos there comes a point where any sane person really does want a roof over their head that doesn't leak. especially when they have college debts to pay.

    And that's how you do it. You need to develop a career structure that retains your best peeople. To do that you need long term finance and a willingness to spend on human beings. As for where that comes from, ha !! Over to you....

    keep to the Fen Causeway

    by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 07:56:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    We'll just have to go on chugging up the slope : The Little Think Tank That Could.

    "I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can - I think I can - I think I can I think I can--"


    This is Thomas the Tank Engine.

    (For DoDo)

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 08:27:47 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    To me the real question is why do they call themselves the "Stockholm Network" when they are located in Islington, London.

    The "Islington Network" was not hip enough?

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 08:00:04 AM EST
    I suspect it painted too true a picture. Stockholm sounds more progressive somehow and they want to pretend to be progressive.

    Personally it makes me think of Stockholm Syndrome.

    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 08:03:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Maybe it has to do with the Stockholm Syndrome? Taking the side of their captors?

    In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
    by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 08:05:11 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I looked up their Upcoming Events and the same faces line up again:

    -Edward Lucas, The Economist
    -Mart Laar, Former Prime Minister Estonia
    -Jose Maria Aznar
    -Bronwen Maddox, from The Times and formerly the FT

    I don't know where Alan Madelin (a former Finance Minister of France) stands, but she's on the invitation list, too. Anyone knows her?

    Where's our LocustWatch initiator? We need to start listing these people, a la SourceWatch.

    by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 08:51:33 AM EST
    Alain Madelin is generally considered a he, though I've no proof. He wears a wig and doesn't seem very bright. He is the signature neo-liberal of the French political sphere.
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 09:39:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    ...how deep my ignorance runs. Typical. Thanks afew. Somehow I connected Mr. Madelin's surname to be his first name, I have no excuse.
    by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 09:44:43 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Not at all. In the light of his career, Madelin has no excuse... ;)
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 09:55:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    we promote and raise awareness of policies which create the social and economic conditions for a free society

    Since they need to "promote" these policies, it follows that they do not consider society, currently, to be free.

    Here's what these freedom fighters propose:

    # Reforming European welfare states and creating a more flexible labour market = bring labour costs down
    # Updating European pension systems to empower individuals = privatise pensions
    # Ensuring more consumer-driven healthcare, through reform of European health systems and markets = privatise healthcare
    # Encouraging an informed debate on intellectual property rights as an incentive to innovate and develop new knowledge in the future, whilst ensuring wide public access to such products in the present = you will pay through the nose for software/CDs/DVDs/seeds/drugs or go to jail
    # Reforming European energy markets to ensure the most beneficial balance between economic growth and environmental quality = privatise energy to burn coal and gas
    # Emphasising the benefits of globalisation, trade and competition and creating an understanding of free market ideas and institutions = Pangloss was right

    Free at last, free at last...

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 09:54:07 AM EST
    Freedom and the right to private property as the only basic principles.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 09:55:57 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The right to private property is one of the most mind boggling subjects i've been entertaining in my mind. Especially when it comes to land and natural resources.

    I can understand the rational for owning the fruits of your labor, but besides the original brute force argument of "i'm stronger then you, so this land is mine", which we should have outgrown as a civilization, i can't see a philosophycal argument to having rights over something that was here millions years before you , and will be here long after you die...

    I must find some literature on the subject...

    by Torres on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:04:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I think it's instinctive to some extent and it's economically useful. But it, together with the right to enjoy and do whatever you like with your property is not a sufficient basis for a society.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:07:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, i see. I guess the key concept might be responsability. That's what is commonly left behind when you listen to the "freedom" speech..
    by Torres on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:13:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Fairness. I have a long rant in me about that.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:17:28 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Let it out onto the net... bottling it up can't be good for you.
    by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:19:52 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Time. Need time.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:24:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Ownership of land encourages responsible utilization of it.  The owner is interested in maintaining his capital.  The tragedy of the commons is avoided.

    Fairness is about everybody playing by the same rules.  Not about scoring the same amount of goals.  Anything else is pity, extended voluntarily by those fairing better (e.g. charity); or greed, forcing from the better off their assets (e.g. taxes).

    (I'm not saying pity or greed are implicitly bad. Using those words is only about peeling off the moral layers.)

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 06:27:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Most commons does not suffer tragedy. Why assume that one indivdual is able to use responsible and a collective is unable? An indivdual as well as a collective can chose to reap the rewards now and the future be damned. In fact this can be very economical  for both an individual and a collective. The effects does not have to show for a generation or two and who cares about others?

    In the end it is more about a culture of responsibility then about ownership. At least that is what I think.

    Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

    by A swedish kind of death on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 07:08:30 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Ownership of land encourages responsible utilization of it.

    Since you don't explain why, I could ask you for what reason collective ownership of land would not encourage responsible use of it. But I'd rather point this out : all round me I see land that is privately-owned by farmers who are intensely interested in maintaining its capital value as set by the market. Yet their utilization of the land is irresponsible : by destruction of hedges, banks, and ditches, by excessive irrigation, by over-deep ploughing, by non-restitution of organic matter, by chemical pollution, by mono-cropping, these private owners are wasting the real, intrinsic value of the land, the soil fertility it took tens of thousands of years to create. And there are externalities : pollution of water, emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

    Fertile land, clean water and air, are common goods, part of the only real wealth we possess : the planet we inherited in common.

    You could fairly retort that collective ownership could be irresponsible too, and I'd agree, it could. What is certain is that, at the moment, a multiplicity of private owners, each narrowly pursuing his/her interests as defined by the market, are using the land irresponsibly. Market economics has a deeply-flawed notion of value.

    Fairness is about everybody playing by the same rules.  Not about scoring the same amount of goals.

    OK. I'm ten feet tall and a super-athlete, you're six years old. We play football by the same rules. I score twenty goals, you don't score any. That's fair.

    Are you serious, in saying that if we "peel the moral layers" off taxes, we find "greed" ?

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 04:14:03 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    OK. I'm ten feet tall and a super-athlete, you're six years old. We play football by the same rules. I score twenty goals, you don't score any. That's fair.

    Yes that's fair.


    Are you serious, in saying that if we "peel the moral layers" off taxes, we find "greed" ?

    Yes.  Other things too, when the objective is that everyone should contribute equally and benefit equally.  But whenever you hear someone argue for taxes that someone else should keep or start paying, it's about forcing someone else to pay for what the arguer chooses to value.  That's greed.

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 10:31:41 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    But whenever you hear someone argue for taxes that someone else should keep or start paying, it's about forcing someone else to pay for what the arguer chooses to value.  That's greed.

    Justify your statement, not just restate it. If I argue that all members of the community should pool their resources to achieve an aim and the community agrees, how is that greed?

    greed: excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 10:38:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I did restate it - check the sentence before your quote of my post.

    In your example, if 51% of the community members vote for such a scheme where 100% have to pay, they are greedy in that they "desire to acquire more than they deserve", to paraphrase your dictionary quote.

    Yes, we're unused to using "greed" in this context.  But consider what forcing taxes upon others really is... if they don't agree with what you want to use the money for.

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 11:45:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    So do you believe that no tax is justifiable unless everyone agrees to it?
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 11:48:49 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No not at all.

    But I believe it's a very great deal harder to justify, morally, than what is done by leftist agitators.

    There is something very arrogant about advocating tax hikes without thorough consideration of its amorality.  (Not to mention potential ill effects on the economy.  But that's just plain ignorance on the part of professional politicians.)

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 01:48:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    You have a very strange view of morality.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 01:49:36 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Consider:

    You chair a small neighborhood community organization.  You do upkeep of the common premises, remove leaves in the autumn and so on.  You have a modest expense budget, for which you collect contributions from everyone.

    Membership is strictly speaking voluntary, but basically everybody are members - it would feel strange for people to stay out of the "common good" club all other neighbors are taking part in.

    Some upkeep could be better - removal of leaves isn't as efficient as it could be.  Alot of people want very much to improve this - but a sizable minority doesn't really care about the leaves.  Improvement would require more income though, by raising the membership fee.

    As chair, do you view the raising of the fee with joy, indifference, or a bad concience?

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 05:46:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The relevance of that would be?
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 05:58:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The relevance to your comment on my morality, given the discussion, is obvious.  Unless you are more specific in what you find unclear, I can't clarify it further for you.

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 03:09:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Since you won't clarify your leaf-collection comment for poor old Colman, I'll have a try:

    Welfare queens?

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 08:39:57 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Does wellfare queens refer to those people in the US who have wellfare as their life income strategy?

    If so, my example has nothing to do with it.  Just about the morality, as it is reflected by concience, of tax hikes that not everybody benefit from.

    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 09:40:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't see your point at all.

    You claim that tax is immoral. I'm not sure on what basis. Is your argument that everyone has  a right to their property that overrides all rights of everyone else?

    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 10:26:08 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Of course everybody has a right to their property.  To claim otherwise is absurd - it would be equivalent to removing the crime of theft from criminal law.

    I assume you're familiar with this discourse.  If you want to continue it, let's do so in a dedicated thread...  morality of taxes and ownership!


    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 06:36:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, we're unused to using "greed" in this context.

    Not at all. It's the kind of irrational overstatement Margaret Thatcher brought into style.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 11:56:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Haha, nicely put!

    But I wouldn't know, I'm not British, nor am I well read up on Thatcher's oratory.

    It's not irrational though.  It's another moral perspective.


    ------
    Ideals are the ultimate motivators. But also the greatest causes of destruction.

    A tip: Don't get too high on your ideals.

    by cge on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 01:52:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Methinks you abuse the sense of words like "moral" and "fair".

    But I'm serious about Thatcher : she'd probably have gone along with you. She had (still has, no doubt) such a strong sense of the wrong done to her and her class by redistributive policies that, though I can't point to a public use of the word in this context, she must surely have mulled the word "greed" over more than once.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 12th, 2006 at 05:01:12 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I think that version is possibly a little too nuanced.

    The executive summary:

    We own everything. We own everyone. We own you. Once we in a while we'll clean out your cage and throw in some fresh straw. But only if we like you.

    Otherwise we don't care if you starve or die. Because what happens to you is not our problem.

    Anyone who thinks this is extreme should watch what happens to the middle class in the US over the next few years.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 11:13:33 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Of course, the difficulty is, left-wing millionaires are thin on the ground...
    by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 10:18:20 AM EST
    Here's another one:

    New book: Beyond the European Social Model

    London-based think tank Open Europe have published a new book: Beyond the European Social Model. The book . . .  takes a critical view of the European Social Model - it argues that "the high-tax and highly regulated 'social model' is not working, and that the time has come for the EU and its member states to take a different approach."

    Take a look at the board and the supporters.

    Also, check out the comments to the blog post, where the book gets ripped to shreds.

    by TGeraghty on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 11:28:10 AM EST
    We got that one last week.
    by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 11:34:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Oops, missed that one. Sorry.
    by TGeraghty on Tue Apr 11th, 2006 at 11:39:40 AM EST
    [ Parent ]


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