Saturday, December 27, 2014

Economy of Georgia, end of 2014

The Republic of Georgia is a country I personally have a very close connection to, and have visited since I have friends there through scientific research. As a young political economist, I am extremely interested in their development and how to see their economy grow to a point where they can join the European Union and have a better life for all Georgians. While looking at their economy to see where they are standing relative to other European States, I noticed that their GDP growth in 2013 was only around 2%, while the annual average over the last 10 years has been between 5% and 6% with the exception of 2008 due to the war with Russia.

2013 in Georgia saw a rapid decrease in foreign investment as Georgian Dream came to power after 8 years of being an almost single-party state in its parliamentary make-up, although there were opposition parties which competed in elections and received some seats. This saw a rapid decrease in foreign investment which hurt the economy of Georgia and caused the rapid decline in their GDP growth (although the economy was still growing). 2014 has however seen Georgia return to its historic long-run average and this will hopefully continue as time goes on.  This is from a monumental shift in the Georgian economy from Foreign Direct Investment to more domestic sources, which can be seen how their GDP growth in 2014 returned to it's long run average but FDI stayed constant.

Georgia has an unusually good legal foundation for economic growth. They have an extremely good Ease of Doing Business Index rating, on par with the most developed economies of the world. These reforms which Saakashvili pushed for attracts foreign capital and is what has allowed them to grow so rapidly. Another good thing is their prices have been extremely stable over the last few years, which is highly unusual. Another good thing is Average Monthly Earnings have risen every year since 1999, which stimulates short-run consumption and economic growth in the most effective way possible.  Investment as well has also increased every year for which there is information, which is essential for long-run growth so Georgia will have the capital it needs over the next few decades.

Georgia is in an unusual status-quo which is good for long-run growth. As time goes on they will continue to get to where they need to be, and will hopefully get to join the European Union in 10-20 years from now at the longest extent. The future looks bright for Georgia.

Additional References:

Friday, December 5, 2014

My reading list

I am currently undergoing a time of education on top of my senior year in college right now (my major is economics and political science) where I am listening to and reading some great books of philosophy. The following is the list of what I am going to read. Suggestions for books I should read which are not here are appreciated!

To be clear, this list is trying to be inclusive of most points of view, but there are a handful of schools I am not interested in reading, one is existentialism (which I read some of in high school and hated) and anything having to do with or influenced by Ayn Rand. There is no Subjectivism on this list either. It also is focused on post-Renaissance European/American philosophy. I hopefully will do another survey of Chinese philosophy in the future, and hopefully Indian as well. It is also focused on political philosophy. I've tried to include at least one book from every major philosopher. Some such as Mill, Kant, and Rawls are too important and influential to pick one so I've tried to pick their most influential books. As time goes on I will 
  1. The Prince By Niccolo Machiavelli (1513)
  2. Essays by Francis Bacon (1597-1625)
  3. Leviathan By Thomas Hobbs (1651)
  4. Principles of Philosophy by Rene Descartes (1644)
  5. Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (1689)
  6. A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume (1739)
  7. Candide by Voltaire (1759)
  8. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762)
  9. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (1781)
  10. The Federalist Papers by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton (1787/1788)
  11. Critique of Practical Reason by Immanuel Kant (1788)
  12. Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant (1790)
  13. Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841, 1844)
  14. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)
  15. A General View of Positivism by Auguste Comte (1856)
  16. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (1859)
  17. Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill (1861)
  18. Das Kapital by Karl Marx (1867)
  19. The Division of Labor in Society by Comte (1893)
  20. The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper (1945)
  21. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1953)
  22. My Philosophical Development by Bertrand Russell (1959)
  23. The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon (1961)
  24. Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (1974)
  25. Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault (1975)
  26. A Theory of Justice by John Rawls (1971)
  27. Political Liberalism by John Rawls (1993)
I have already read On Liberty and Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill, and they have greatly effected the way I see politics and the world. I have also read The Wretched of the Earth and Discipline and Punish so I will just skip over them. I include them for people who are interested, and I recommend them all.

I also thank the people who wrote these two very different lists giving me some ideas on which political philosophers to include: and