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Lots of good responses so far, but I see a different disease at work here.

I'd be happy to bet that the pathology behind this is that "it is all about exports" and "paying our way as a country."

This is one of the great neoliberal tricks. "Money" must be "earned." How can a country "earn money." It "earns" through exports. Thus, every piece of internal spending must be earned by exporting something...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Aug 12th, 2013 at 10:25:40 AM EST
About two years ago, I had a maddening discussion with a yuppie in a startup company who insisted that hairdressers and pizza restaurants aren't productive parts of the economy. He laboured under the everything for exports delusion, too. (And he was a Fidesz voter, but started to regret it by then.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Aug 12th, 2013 at 10:33:58 AM EST
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