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Social Security

(700 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] Social security has a long history in Germany. The golden age of social legislation was the end of the Bismarck era. The year 1883 saw the introduction of statutory health insurance, followed by accident insurance in 1884 and disability and old age insurance in 1889 (Security, Social). Social changes associated with the breakdown of the traditional security community of peasants and artisans led to the emergence of a workforce dependent on wages (Pay and reward: II), which ceased when workers su…

Environment/Ecology

(1,325 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] I. The natural environmen…

Productivity and Profitability

(267 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] Productivity is determined by relating the quantitative …

Social Safety Net

(605 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] In Germany, anyone who is unemployed, disabled, sick, or care-dependent is supported …

Gross National Product

(473 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] The gross national product (GNP) represents the most important statistical measure of a country's production of goods. The official statistics of the EU use the concept of national income. The gross national product includes goods produced by nationals both domestically and abroad. Another frequently used index of production is the gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the goods produced domestically by both nationals and nonnationals. The gross national product can be dete…

Profit

(524 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] as income from enterprise activity results from sales after subtracting all costs (including personal use). Profit raises the capacity; losses reduce it. Profits – together with income from non-independent activity (wages [Pay] and salaries), rents, and leases, as well as interest – are part of the national income. In economic theory, the term profit is more narrowly conceived. A distinction is made between management …

National Accounts

(269 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] (Macroeconomic Accounting). Macroeconomic accounting includes several part-calculations that represent the economy of an entire country or individual states of a federal republic for a certain period. At the center stand the calculation of the production, distribution and exploitation of the Gross National Product (GNP) and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and an account of the redistribution ¶ and wealth-creation processes of a past period. The GDP is regarded as an important measure of production, and the GNP of income. National accou…

Security, Social (Germany)

(510 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] The main pillars of Germany’s social security system are the benefits guaranteeing basic subsistence for the unemployed who are not eligible for unemployment insurance, family support, and statutory social security. As basic security, needy individuals unable to work receive social assistance (formerly called social welfare); needy individuals who are able to work receive unemployment benefit II ¶ (formerly unemployment assistance). These new regulations came into effect on Jan 1, 2005. Because the goal is to ensure a minimum subsistence level for a decent human life in society, basic security is understood as a sociocultural minimum, not a physical minimum. It is raised in the course of general economic growth. The basic benefits are essentially paid as a single lump sum for social assistance and unemployment benefit (standard benefits). Additional benefits are provided in individual ca…

Wastage

(324 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] The resources available for providing human beings with goods are scarce. It is impossible to fulfill all desires. It is therefore important to employ raw materials, land, labor, and capital in a way that enables them to provide the maximum prosperity for a country’s population. Goods should be supplied whose nature and quantity match human interests. They should be produced at the minimum cost made possible by the present state of technology. Allocation …

Insurance

(428 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] One can protect oneself against the risks of life through personal provision or by acquiring private insurance. Given freedom of choice the individual will decide for the insurance if the costs of covering a certain risk are less than bearing the costs directly. In private insurance, premiums are determined on the basis of risks assessment on the principle of actuarial equivalence. Indemnification payments are based on premium payments, which, in turn, are assessed in terms of the…

Economic Cycle

(542 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] refers to short-term variations in the capacity of the productive potential of the overall economy. Economic develop…

Environmental Protection

(599 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] is now almost universally recognized as a global necessity demanding the participation of individual states. It has been anchored in German law as a state responsibility since 1994: “The state, in responsibility for future generations, protects the natural foundations for life in the context of the constitutional order.…” (Basic Law, art. 20a). It is a task for politics to establish environmental goals for individual environmental media and pollutants appropriate to the demand that the natural foundations for life be protected and it must take appropriate measures to attain these objectives. Because environmental protection is costly, there is always conflict between economy and ecology (Environment/Ecology, Ecological movement). The state must balance these considerations. The appropriate juristic criterion for the solution of the scarcity conflict is the unassailability of the essential content of a fundamental right and the proportionality of the state's means. The fundamental right to the protection of the natural foundations for life is not open to question in its essential content. From this proposition derives the duty of the constitutional state to protect individual citizens from essential damages to the environment. The classic instrument for realizing this protective objective is defense against environmental threats. It aims to ensure an “ecological minimum for existence” and relates primarily to the protection of health. The right to life and physical inviolability has prominent status in the Basic Law's order of values so that any violation of this right is classified as fundamental. Defense against threats is afforded categorical priority over economic interests. The goal of protection is matched by corresponding absolute upper limits for damage to the environment. There is consensus in this regar…

Environment Conventions

(295 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] There are many international environmental agreements, indicating the efforts of the international community of nations to preserve nature (Environment/Ecology) in its substance as part of human heritage. In addition to many conventions concerning cross-border damage to the environment, the agreements about widespread and global environmental phenomena that deser…

Full Employment

(231 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] prevails, from the perspective of economics, whenever everyone fit for work who seeks a job for which he or she is qualified at the customary market wage finds a position. Full employment, in this sense, means the absence of involuntary unemploy-¶ ment. Because economic conditions change continuously and work forces exchange jobs and come anew to the labor market, and because matches take time, there is always a certain degree of (frictional) unemployment. This unemployment can be reconciled with full employment. In practical economic policy, there is no legal…

Sozialpolitik

(578 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[English Version] . Grundfunktion des liberalen Staates ist es, den Menschen ein Maximum an Freiheit zur bestmöglichen Wahrnehmung seiner Chancen für ein selbstbestimmtes Leben zu ermöglichen. Die Forderung nach freier Entscheidung impliziert auch die Freiheit von Zwang durch andere im wirtschaftlichen Bereich und führt zum Wirtschaftssystem des Marktes (Wirtschaft). Dabei muß dem Markt ein Rahmen gezogen werden, der faire und sozial gerechte Ergebnisse ermöglicht. Die Freiheit, Verträge abzuschli…

Soziales Netz

(550 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[English Version] . Wer arbeitslos, erwerbsunfähig, krank oder pflegebedürftig ist, wird durch ein System vielfältiger Transferzahlungen aufgefangen. Bis zum Jahr 2004 bot die Sozialhilfe sowohl den hilfsbedürftigen Erwerbsunfähigen als auch den hilfsbedürftigen Erwerbsfähigen eine Grundsicherung. Längerfristig Arbeitslose kamen in den Genuß der Arbeitslosenhilfe. Sozialhilfe und Arbeitslosenhilfe wurden durch die Sozialgesetze von 2004 zusammengefaßt. Es wird nun zw. erwerbsunfähigen und erwerbsf…

Tarifautonomie

(219 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[English Version] . T. bedeutet, daß die Arbeitsbedingungen von den Tarifparteien ohne staatl. Eingriffe geregelt werden (Tarifvertrags-Freiheit). Sie ist in Deutschland durch das Recht auf Koalitionsfreiheit nach Art.9 Abs.3 GG verfassungsrechtlich geschützt und findet ihre wesentliche rechtliche Ausgestaltung im Tarifvertragsgesetz. Tarifverträge können zw. einem Arbeitgeberverband und einer Gewerkschaft (Verbands- bzw. Flächentarife) oder zw. einem Arbeitgeber (Arbeitnehmer/Arbeitgeber) und ein…

Verschwendung

(328 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[English Version] . Die Ressourcen, die für die Versorgung der Menschen mit Gütern zur Verfügung stehen, sind knapp. Es lassen sich nicht alle Wünsche erfüllen. Deshalb ist es wichtig, daß Rohstoffe, Boden, Arbeit und Kapital so eingesetzt werden, daß sie ein Höchstmaß an Wohlstand für die Bevölkerung eines Landes liefern. Es sollten nur Güter der Art und der Menge nach bereitgestellt werden, an denen die Menschen ein Interesse haben. Die Produktion der Güter sollte mit den geringsten Kosten erfol…

Volkswirtschaftliche Gesamtrechnung

(219 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[English Version] (VGR). Die VGR umfaßt mehrere Teilrechnungen, die quantitativ das Wirtschaftsgeschehen des Gesamtstaates oder einzelner Bundesländer für eine abgelaufene Periode abbilden. Im Mittelpunkt stehen die Entstehungs-, Verteilungs- und Verwendungsrechnung des Bruttoinlandproduktes (BIP) und des Bruttosozialproduktes (BSP; Sozialprodukt) sowie die Darstellung der Umverteilungs- und Vermögensbildungsvorgänge einer vergangenen Periode. Das BIP wird als wichtiges Produktions- und das BSP al…

Produktivität und Rentabilität

(244 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[English Version] . Die P. wird ermittelt, indem man das mengenmäßige Ergebnis der Produktion auf die eingesetzten Produktionsfaktoren bezieht. Bei den partiellen P. wird die Leistungsmenge auf einen Produktionsfaktor bezogen (Arbeits-, Kapital-, Ressourcen- oder Energieproduktivität). Bei der totalen P. wird der Output in Relation zur Summe der eingesetzten Faktoren – jeweils gewichtet mit den Faktorpreisen – gesetzt. Als marginale P. wird die Zunahme der Produktionsmenge bei Erhöhung eines Fakto…
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