Wednesday, February 22, 2006

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF EUROPE?

Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek has some interesting observations on the comparative economies of the EU and the US.The performance of Europe with its rhectoric of becoming "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010".The performance and beaurecratic inertia in all aspects of the economy and research and development and the latest OECD analysis suggest otherwise and the projections for growth and increased prosperity will not be possible.

It's often noted that the European Union has a combined gross domestic product that is approximately the same as that of the United States. But the EU has 170 million more people. Its per capita GDP is 25 percent lower than that of the U.S. and, most important, that gap has been widening for 15 years. If present trends continue, the chief economist at the OECD argues, in 20 years the average U.S. citizen will be twice as rich as the average Frenchman or German. (Britain is an exception on most of these measures, lying somewhere between Continental Europe and the U.S.)

People have argued that Europeans simply value leisure more and, as a result, are poorer but have a better quality of life. That's fine if you're taking a 10 percent pay cut and choosing to have longer lunches and vacations. But if you're only half as well off as the U.S., that will translate into poorer health care and education, diminished access to all kinds of goods and services, and a lower quality of life. Two Swedish researchers, Frederik Bergstrom and Robert Gidehag, note in a monograph published last year that "40 percent of Swedish households would rank as low-income households in the U.S." In many European countries, the percentage would be even greater.


The stagnation of policies and innovative ideas as they try to micromanage the NZ economy and the sovereign individual suggest we are not getting the best ideas and innovative reasoning from the "best fit"models.The lack of intellectual innovation from the politicians suggest that the standards we expect to rise in our quality of life will not meet our expectations.

Hence the emphasis on non existant crisis to enable degressive regulation of the individual

In such a case they talk in tropes,
And by their fears express their hopes:
Some great misfortune to portend,
No enemy can match a friend.
With all the kindness they profess,
The merit of a lucky guess(When daily how-d'ye's come of course,
And servants answer, Worse and worse!)
Would please 'em better than to tell
That "God be praised, all is well.
"Then he who prophecied the best
Approves his foresight to the rest:
"You know I always feared the worst,
And often told you so at first."

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