Letters to the Editor: Oct. 2010

The Vienna Review welcomes letters from its readers

To the Editor,

I’ve just picked up a free copy of your newspaper in the city airport train and read the story on Kreisky. Ok, so many countries are on the brink of not being able to pay back their debt (think Greece, Italy,…) mostly because of reckless spending and political Freunderlwirtschaft and you think your readers are interested in some praise of a hardcore socialist!? Epic Fail!

M. S.
Vienna, Austria

 

The Editor replies:

This year, 2010, is the 40th anniversary of Kreisky’s investiture as chancellor, for what would be the country’s longest serving political leader in the modern era. That alone is reason to reconsider his legacy.

In addition, given the US stimulus package, and the far softer landings in the social market economies of, say, France and Germany (and Austria) there has been a wave of recent renewed interest in the liberal economics of John Maynard Keynes that so influenced post war Europe, thus making Kreisky’s brand of market socialism actually quite timely.

I’m puzzled, however, by the writer’s bundling of the instabilities in Greece and Italy with the version of democratic market socialism practiced in Austria, where the social partnership model and state shares in industry – that help maintain a corporate sense of public purpose – have gone a long way to maintaining a high level of general prosperity while controlling runaway greed, where labor policies retrain people quite quickly and the unemployment level is close to the lowest in Europe. I suspect the tradition of general diligence and respect for government (both as an authority and as a career) have also contributed to the rather different outcome.

Dardis McNamee
Editor-in-Chief

 

To the Editor,

I just finished reading the IPI Press Freedom Post reports, and all I can say is “Wow!” You all did a fantastic job!

Gregory Weeks
Vienna

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