Posts Tagged ‘Poland’
“You think you’re having a hard time in academia, but have you ever thought of the chairs? Will no-one think of the chairs?”
Choose a seat at Sad Chairs of Academia.
* George Steiner
As we encourage endowment, we might recall that it was on this date in 1773 that the first recorded (Western) Ministry of Education, the Commission of National Education, was formed in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. An important facet of the Polish Enlightenment, it broadened access to education, incorporated Enlightenment thought into tuition (laying the foundation for the prominent Polish scientists and authors of the 19th century), and helped preserve Polish language and culture during the Partitions of Poland – heavy Russification and Germanisation notwithstanding.
Over the past several years, the job market has (obviously) been pretty grim. The recession ended four and a half years ago, in June 2009. But there are still 1.3 million fewer U.S. jobs than there were in December 2007, when the recession began.
Still, when you look more closely, the picture is more nuanced. Since the recession started in December 2007:
- Health care has added 1.5 million jobs.
- Restaurants and bars have added roughly 700,000 jobs.
- The number of construction jobs has fallen by 1.6 million.
- The number of manufacturing jobs has fallen by 1.7 million.
- The number of government jobs has fallen by about 500,000.
For more on jobs lost and gained since the recession — and on average wages in different sectors — see Where The Jobs Are (And Aren’t).
Read the full story– and find a larger version of the chart– at Planet Money.
As we remind ourselves that “career” is both a noun and a verb, we might recall that it was on this date in 1981 that millions of Polish workers boycott their jobs in support of a demand by Solidarity for a 5-day work week. Formed the prior year, Solidariyy was the first non–communist party-controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country; by 1981, it’s membership was roughly 10 million– about one third of the total working age population of Poland. It became a broader-based anti-bureaucratic social movement as the decade progressed, surviving authoritarian attempts to quash it, and by 1989 forced negotiations with the government, resulting in semi-free elections. A Solidarity-led coalition government was formed; and in December 1990, Solidarity’s leader, Lech Wałęsa, was elected President of Poland. Solidarity remains an active labor union.
The Taiwanese Parliament, upholding the tradition that won it the igNobel Peace Prize in 1995, when their citation read:
The Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations.
As we prepare for the weigh-ins before the November elections, we might recall that it was on this date in in 1938 that Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact– and sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany. Back in Britain, Chamberlain declared that the meeting had achieved “peace in our time.”
Rather, by formally ceding the Sudentenland, the Pact granted Hitler and the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia’s coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power, and thus, in short order, control of all of Czechoslovakia– which, by the time Poland was invaded, a year later, had disappeared as an independent nation.
Chamberlain, who had thought Hitler’s territorial demands were “not unreasonable,” and Hitler, a “gentleman,” was ruined as a political leader. He was hounded from office, to be replaced by Winston Churchill who later observed, relevantly to both subjects of this missive:
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
– speech in the House of Commons (November 11, 1947)