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I have never and will never advocate getting rid of the welfare system (which in the US was abolished by Bill Clinton).

Ronald Reagan and Bush the Greater, actually. Clinton just presided over the funeral. But hey, who's counting.

I would like to have a google, yahoo, microsoft, ebay, facebook or so.

Actually, I could do without a Microsoft in the Union. Microsoft should never, ever, in any properly managed universe have become as big as they did. In fact, they should have been killed off in their fight against IBM which had a clearly superior system but unfortunately also had clearly inferior lawyers.

That being said, however:

  • I see your eBay and raise you a Skype.

  • I see your Google and raise you a Nokia.

  • I see your Yahoo and raise you a Zentropa.

  • I see your FaceBook and raise you a Kazaa.

It is not at all obvious that Europe offers less fertile grounds for creative start-up companies - whether in the IT sector or anywhere else.

And I would point out that in quite a lot of areas, Europe is doing a lot better than the US:

  • US cars, for example are notorious for their inability to handle even moderately unfriendly weather conditions.

  • European power plants are better across the board than their American counterparts.

  • When was the last time an American railroad ran on time?

  • Hollywood.

And our openness is exactly what makes the pressure on wages in our countries. In 20 years this is over. Let China, India and Brasil become half as rich as the developed world and you will see that gloablisation starts to become a better game for workers.

A rather deterministic view of history for a non-Marxist. If their labour organises, if labour unions don't undercut each other across country borders and if something serious is done about flag-of-convenience countries, then yes. But all three will require political will and political action.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 06:19:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have this about the welfare from Paul Krugman.
Of course I think that Reagan and Bush were more against social spending. It was an even Clinton is not "liberal" (in the US sense of the word) enough on economics and not a defending of Reagan or Bush.

I dislike Microsoft as well and I'm rarely using it. However, it is a big company which has managed to make most schools using their system. Being good at engineering isn't enough. Zuse invented the first computer, the Fraunhofer institute invented MP3, both technologies became big in the US.

With regard to companies you may be right, it may be a cultural bias of the media I use, which gives me a false impression.

If you any economic theory which would make it useful for a country to have huge current account surpluses forever, I could agree, that it is arbitrary to assume, that things change from alone, but I have never heard of that. It would make sense for an Chinese emperor to let is slaves work all day for foreigners.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you any economic theory which would make it useful for a country to have huge current account surpluses forever, I could agree, that it is arbitrary to assume, that things change from alone, but I have never heard of that.

Mercantilism.

For that matter, there is no real reason to assume that the Chinese government considers economy to be overridingly more important than other strategic interests. That kind of thinking is a Western(TM) peculiarity. It's entirely possible that the Chinese leadership is perfectly content with having lower than possible economic efficiency if that means that it will have a more solid grasp around the balls of several other major powers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 10:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still doubt that it makes sense and I think a creditor is not always in the better situation compared with a debtor.

And if e.g. China would use Mercantilism even after having an overall decent standard of living, we could still start protectionist measures to defend ourselves against them. But up to now this is not the case and western protectionism would really hurt a lot of poor people (and has done it in the last years on agricultural protectionism).

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 at 09:53:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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