Back in June 2008 I wrote a piece for VOXEU predicting a mild recession in 2009. Over the last few weeks the situation has become far worse, and I believe even these pessimistic predictions were too optimistic. I now believe Europe and the US will sink into a severe recession next year, with GDP contracting by 3% in 2009 and unemployment rising by about 3 million in both Europe and the US. This would be the worst recession since 1974/75. In fact the current situations has so many parallels with the Great Depression of 1929-1932, when GDP fell by about 50% in the US and by about 25% in Europe, that even my updated predictions could again be over optimistic.
The point is as follows: what Matt (and others) are suggesting is that there is an important cohort effect – because young people are in a cohort that is disproportionately attracted to Obama, they are likely to start to identify as Democrats, and perhaps to continue to do so over their lifetimes, to the continued disadvantage of the Republican party. This is a plausible argument, and one that is quite compatible with Bayesian models of party ID formation, which seem to me at least to be intuitively attractive. But it isn’t one that we know to be correct and there is no very good way to disentangle these various effects from each other.
Det er imidlertid klart, at den model, som man nu foreslår gennemført i to tempi, vil fjerne tilskyndelsen til, at universiteterne laver forskningsbaserede uddannelser. I stedet vil man gøre det fordelagtigt at indføre uddannelsesfabrikker, der masseproducerer bachelorer og kandidater på store hold og ved hjælp af lærere uden forskningsforpligtelse. Dette skyldes, at man stort set kapper forbindelsen mellem uddannelsessiden og forskningssiden, således at man i realiteten nedsætter den effektive STÅ-takst (dvs. den betaling universiteterne får for at undervise en student i et år) betragteligt.
Historie-online reminded me that today was a very important day in Danish political history – 8 October 1660, that is.
So, what happened? Well, 8 October was an important stepping-stone in the process which led from a government dominated by the traditional nobility to an absolute monarchy as representatives for the bourgeoisie and clergy in Copenhagen nominated Frederik 3 as a hereditary absolute monarch. The final confirmation of the hereditary, absolute monarchy was made ten days later with a big procession in Copenhagen.
King Frederik’s career was a remarkable roller-coster – Frederik was the third son of King Christian 4 and only became heir to the Danish and Norwegian thrones after the oldest son (also named Frederik) had died as an infant and the heir presumptive Prince Christian died in 1647 after a life of heavy drinking.
When Frederik 3 ascended the throne, the Danish monarchy was at an absolute nadir following the disastrous later years of Christian 4 (which also ruined the state’s economy and led to the popular reinterpretation of Christian 4’s motto “Regna Firmat Pietas” – “Piety strengthens the realms” – to “Riget Fattes Penge” – “The state is short of cash”) and the nobility forced a charter on Frederik which severly limited royal powers.
It was only after two further rounds of disastrous wars against Sweden that Frederik – generally described as one of the most intelligent Danish rulers – was able to seize the initiative and relegate the traditional nobility to political significance. In fact, the introduction of absolute rule by the sovereign in Denmark predated Louis XIV’s taking over of the reigns of office in France by a couple of months.
Just as Louis XIV’s rule, the last period of Frederik 3’s rule saw the introduction of a number of administrative reforms which in Denmark’s case led to the development a modern public bureaucracy. One strange aspect of Frederik 3’s rule was that even though he was an absolute monarch, he and his successors until 1848 were in fact also constitutional monarchs as he had his assistant Peder Schumacher Griffenfeld write the Lex Regia which codified the role of the monarch.
In lieu of a substantive comment, here’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s speech at the opening of the Danish parliament visualised:
Note the prominence of “safety” (in different forms) and “immigrant background” (linked with youths and crime)