My daily newspaper, Die Presse, recently ran a special Sunday edition about morality and ethics. Throughout the paper they asked a wide range of people – from politicians to philosophers, from captains of industry to curators of art – the same three questions: What should humans no longer be allowed to do?What should humans never … Continue reading Is that allowed?
Given that we don’t own a television, I usually immediately junk the glossy television program insert that is part of the Thursday edition of Die Presse. Today, however, the title page caught my eye and I thumbed through it. I was surprised to see that there were over 40 channels listed. I still remember when … Continue reading Turn off, tone up, and get out!
Last post I noted that many Austrians assume that public healthcare is a guaranteed public good. Today I will examine how this mentality endangers the continued functioning of the system. While I will only examine Austrian healthcare, Austria can serve a proxy for similar scenarios in other countries. Healthcare is financed in Austria primarily through … Continue reading Chronic illness and healthcare availability
In 2010, the OECD issued a comprehensive report titled Fit Not Fat in which they noted that ‘before 1980, obesity rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the OECD, 50% or more of the population is overweight.’ The report outlined various approaches … Continue reading The societal and economic cost of obesity
A few days ago Arnold Schwarzenegger, posted “a message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world” on LinkedIn. I won’t wade into the quagmire of comments (and rants masquerading as comments) that his video has triggered. Suffice it to say, the United States is deeply divided and Joe Biden faces a challenge. I … Continue reading A message to my fellow Austrians and friends around the world
After the Vienna terrorist attack, my siblings across the Atlantic texted to check on family members who live in Austria. I reported that all were safe, but that one of my sons had been working in the immediate area and had heard the gunfire. My sister wrote back: “Active shooter situations are terrifying.” This short … Continue reading Active Shooter Situation
We are all so proud in Austria that Donald Trump has praised us for our excellent forestry management skills. If you missed the interview with Fox News, Mr. Trump explained that as a “forest nation” we live in “forest cities.” Also, although we have “more explosive trees” than in California we don’t have forest fires … Continue reading Austrian Tree Culture
Recently an article by Gudula Walterskirchen in the Austrian daily Die Presse about evidence based policy making (EBPM) caught my eye. EBPM has been kicking around since the 1980s. Essentially it is the idea that policy decisions should be based on comprehensive, meticulously established, objective evidence as opposed to intuition, ideology, or common sense. It … Continue reading Can EBPM work?
I am Austrian by choice and people often ask me: “What makes one Austrian?” To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Being Austrian is the ability to express two opposing emotions at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Allow me to illustrate with an anecdote. This morning at the post box I saw one of my neighbors … Continue reading How to be Austrian
Astrid’s next book will be out in January, and her next manuscript is at the publisher – a Styrian noir. The protagonist: grumpy Inspector Semper in the violent crime unit of the state police. Astrid’s literary shift gave me reason to reflect on Austria’s crime novel boom. If you were to analyze Austria based on … Continue reading Murder & Mayhem