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post #1 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 14:56 Thread Starter
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Global economy - reversing the trend

http://www.weforum.org/pdf/Global_Co...cutive_Summary

On the 28th of September the annual Global Competitiveness report was released. It evaluated countries ability to compete on the world market through a variety of parameters, ranging from innovation, health of capital markets, infrastructure and state institutions, primary education etc.

At a time where the prevalent economic doctrine is decidedly liberalistic, arguing tax cuts, open markets, cuts on state spending etc. it is very interesting to see the rankings: http://www.weforum.org/pdf/Global_Co...cutive_Summary

Here just shoving the top 10:

Finland 1 5.94
United States 2 5.81
Sweden 3 5.65
Denmark 4 5.65
Taiwan 5 5.58
Singapore 6 5.48
Iceland 7 5.48
Switzerland 8 5.46
Norway 9 5.4
Australia 10 5.21

The five nordic countries are all there, despite the highest tax rates in the world and the most expansive state apparatus.
Add to this Taiwan and Singapore, two intensely state oriented small states, where the markets are heavily regulated.

What is your immediate response?

APATHY: A word now fallen into disuse due to a lack of concern for it.

The debute said it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guo5p...eature=related
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post #2 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 15:13
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Wait for goldman sachs report on global competetiveness. This report is not based on growth of economy. Liberalisation is basically concerned about growth than competetiveness.for me a report in which India is ranked 50th and china 49th doesn't make any sense..


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Last edited by Blitzkreig; September 29th, 2005 at 15:24.
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post #3 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 15:17 Thread Starter
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Exactly, but this only adds to the point I want to make .

APATHY: A word now fallen into disuse due to a lack of concern for it.

The debute said it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guo5p...eature=related
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post #4 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 16:24
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The Nordic countries are inherently productive, due to small and stable populations, natural resources galore (per capita), superior social cohesion, few overseas obligations, peaceful history, stable governments, and the Protestant work ethic. It's better to look at the performance of countries over the long term, and see their movement when government policy changes.

Look again at the rankings. With the (debatable) exception of the last, the USA has none of those advantages, and yet comes second, moving up gradually since the 2001 tax cut. Meanwhile, the UK has been slipping downwards (13th, down from 4th in 1997), whilst taxes have increased. Ditto Germany, France, and Italy, who have all fallen with increased taxation, since these rankings began. Ergo, adopting practices more interventionist than ones competitors dulls the competitive edge, and harms macroeconomic health. That's the sort of message that an economist reads from these rankings. How anyone could find the opposite message is lost on me.

Whilst there's a topic on these rankings, I'd like to raise some UK-centric issues. The UK's ranking is entirely skewed by its retention of its #1 spot in the financial markets section. In the two rankings of public services, we're 73rd and 27th. What does that tell you about Gordon Brown's "economic miracle"?

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Last edited by Bastin; September 29th, 2005 at 16:32.
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post #5 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 16:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
The Nordic countries are inherently productive, due to small and stable populations, natural resources galore (per capita), superior social cohesion, few overseas obligations, peaceful history, stable governments, and the Protestant work ethic. It's better to look at the performance of countries over the long term, and see their movement when government policy changes.

Look again at the rankings. With the (debatable) exception of the last, the USA has none of those advantages, and yet comes second, moving up gradually since the 2001 tax cut. Meanwhile, the UK has been slipping downwards (13th, down from 4th in 1997), whilst taxes have increased. Ditto Germany, France, and Italy, who have all fallen with increased taxation, since these rankings began. Ergo, adopting practices more interventionist than ones competitors dulls the competitive edge, and harms macroeconomic health. That's the sort of message that an economist reads from these rankings. How anyone could find the opposite message is lost on me.

Whilst there's a topic on these rankings, I'd like to raise some UK-centric issues. The UK's ranking is entirely skewed by its retention of its #1 spot in the financial markets section. In the two rankings of public services, we're 73rd and 27th. What does that tell you about Gordon Brown's "economic miracle"?
Just had to comment that your post is spot on ... I would add, but then again, I don't have to. Well said Bastin.

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post #6 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 16:39
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We can not genereralize and make a single report for all type of countries. I mean for developing countries, developed and under developed there should be seperated reports. I heard like 30 % of South korean GDP comes from export. So obviously they will be more concerned about exports. While in india it is a mere 2 %. In india services, agriculture and manufacturing sector contributes the most to the GDP. Similar is the case with china (but there manufacturing has more importance). So a generalized report for all the countries doesnt make any sense.


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post #7 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 18:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen
Here just shoving the top 10:

Finland 1 5.94
United States 2 5.81
Sweden 3 5.65
Denmark 4 5.65
Taiwan 5 5.58
Singapore 6 5.48
Iceland 7 5.48
Switzerland 8 5.46
Norway 9 5.4
Australia 10 5.21

The five nordic countries are all there, despite the highest tax rates in the world and the most expansive state apparatus.
You failed to include the fact that 25 percent of the adult population of Norway is mentally ill.

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/lo...cle1118479.ece

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post #8 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 19:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
You failed to include the fact that 25 percent of the adult population of Norway is mentally ill.
Maybe because it has nothing to do with economy?

Besides, with mental illness being such a wide open to interpratation topic, it all has to do with diagnosis, basically. Most likely Norwegians are no more or less mentally ill on average than other nations. It's a culture/social issue rather than actual mental problems. But these are all very thin lines.

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post #9 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:06
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Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
Maybe because it has nothing to do with economy?
Yes, it does, Amo. How can such a small country do so well in economic development matters, and yet the population have such personal problems?

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post #10 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:10
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On one level, it's understandable. When it's night-time for six months straight, who isn't going to reach for the Prozac?

Glen: "That last post of Bastin's is just too authoritative to argue against."

gOD: "It scares the f*ck out of me but I'm with Bastin here."

Cacìni: "Ah, there you go using that absurd über-memory of your's...not fair."

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Attila_the_Nun: "A most respected scion of Misty Albion, the illustious Bastin - the redoubtable defender of all our noble traditions."

Humbird: "Bastin is very attractive when talking nautical! "
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post #11 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
On one level, it's understandable. When it's night-time for six months straight, who isn't going to reach for the Prozac?
Well, what I'm saying is what is the point of being an economic success as a country when 1/4 of the people seem to be in such a bad personal state. Where is the benefit? Why is this happening?

But tomorrow is new day and new chance. -- Alija

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post #12 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:24
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Meh. I think that mental health (as serious as it is) is hardly the best indicator of a poorly functioning society. America has the most medicated population in the world, especially for purposes of controlling depression, anxiety, or anger. Does that mean that the US economy's strength is worth nought (as quaint as that is)?

If one really wants to attack the Norwegian economy, one could do it on numerous other counts. It's a country of 4.5m people, exporting 3m barrels of oil a day. In the first half of this year, they earned NOK180bn ($6,000 for each man, woman, and child) exporting crude oil and natural gas. That's quite a subsidy for all their fancy social programmes, and it also distorts the government revenue figures (since the government owns a controlling share of both StatOil and Norsk Hydro).

Glen: "That last post of Bastin's is just too authoritative to argue against."

gOD: "It scares the f*ck out of me but I'm with Bastin here."

Cacìni: "Ah, there you go using that absurd über-memory of your's...not fair."

Boyo: "Even when it comes to rap, Bastin is an authority."

Attila_the_Nun: "A most respected scion of Misty Albion, the illustious Bastin - the redoubtable defender of all our noble traditions."

Humbird: "Bastin is very attractive when talking nautical! "
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post #13 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
Yes, it does, Amo. How can such a small country do so well in economic development matters, and yet the population have such personal problems?
That's a very interesting question... but it still has nothing to do with the topic. Glen was talking about financial prosperity, not quality of life or life satisfaction. Unless of course you absolutely equate the two, which is way off.

Nevertheless, Norwegian people are not the most unhappy nation on earth. What we diagnose and label as mental illness in the West may go completely unnoticed in other parts of the earth.

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post #14 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:29
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Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
That's a very interesting question... but it still has nothing to do with the topic. Glen was talking about financial prosperity, not quality of life or life satisfaction. Unless of course you absolutely equate the two, which is way off.
What is the point then of financial prosperity if not to raise quality of life? Really, what is it? Just to collect money?

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post #15 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:48
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What is the point then of financial prosperity if not to raise quality of life? Really, what is it? Just to collect money?
I even italicised "absolutely" to make extra sure you couldn't miss it, yet you did. Of course financial prosperity is raising the quality of life. But it remains only one factor - an important one, but not the only one.

And it still has nothing to do with the topic, and both you and me are discussing something completely different, though interesting, than the kind of discussion Glen's topic was trying to generate.

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post #16 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 21:54
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Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
I even italicised "absolutely" to make extra sure you couldn't miss it, yet you did. Of course financial prosperity is raising the quality of life. But it remains only one factor - an important one, but not the only one.
What would be the other factors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
And it still has nothing to do with the topic, and both you and me are discussing something completely different, though interesting, than the kind of discussion Glen's topic was trying to generate.
Why do you have to be such a tit all the time? Glen won't care if his thread went slightly off-topic.

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post #17 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 22:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
Well, what I'm saying is what is the point of being an economic success as a country when 1/4 of the people seem to be in such a bad personal state. Where is the benefit? Why is this happening?
I wouldnt necessarily connect a country's economy to their psychological problems, but I believe they are indirectly connected.

Im going out on a philosophical limb here, but I believe a major cause of this phenomenon is rooted in the culture (way of thought and values shared in general by the society as a whole, extending into government and as a result, economic management). And yes, its true.

And loneliness is a major factor in causing depression and anxiety, both of which often accompany each other.




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post #18 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 22:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
The Nordic countries are inherently productive, due to small and stable populations, natural resources galore (per capita), superior social cohesion, few overseas obligations, peaceful history, stable governments, and the Protestant work ethic. It's better to look at the performance of countries over the long term, and see their movement when government policy changes.

Look again at the rankings. With the (debatable) exception of the last, the USA has none of those advantages, and yet comes second, moving up gradually since the 2001 tax cut. Meanwhile, the UK has been slipping downwards (13th, down from 4th in 1997), whilst taxes have increased. Ditto Germany, France, and Italy, who have all fallen with increased taxation, since these rankings began. Ergo, adopting practices more interventionist than ones competitors dulls the competitive edge, and harms macroeconomic health. That's the sort of message that an economist reads from these rankings. How anyone could find the opposite message is lost on me.

Whilst there's a topic on these rankings, I'd like to raise some UK-centric issues. The UK's ranking is entirely skewed by its retention of its #1 spot in the financial markets section. In the two rankings of public services, we're 73rd and 27th. What does that tell you about Gordon Brown's "economic miracle"?
Im no economist, but I doubt taxation levels have enough of a direct influence on the economy to suggest that they are the deciding factor on the productivity/competitiveness of a country's economy.

And while I agree that interventionist practices dull the competitive edge, when properly utilised they can actually promote economic growth. A completely laissez faire set of policies almost never result in optimum economic growth and competition. Perhaps the countries on Glen's list just knew how to implement government control better than the ones on your list?




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post #19 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 22:28
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Bastin picked up on the point that both Humbird and Amo over looked, Norway has high levels of depression due to the fact that it dark for 6 months. I once read that the further north you go in Norway, the higher the rates for depression and suicide.

But Amo also made a good point, mental illness global levels are a fallacy as some countries have an open policy to mental illness whilst others pretend that it doesn't exist so there isn't any mental illness. Then you have definitions that straddle all shades of gray. I recently read a fascinating article on mental illness, depression and suicide in China which is an increasing pheomena but one the government refuses to recognise, so the mental health services are ill funded and equipped because the government buries it's head in the sand.

Also Humbird, Bastin raised an interesting point about the USA having the highest levels of medication for anxiety, stress and depression, in your view of quality of life vs. a good economy what are your feelings on this?

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post #20 of 127 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2005, 22:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bean
I wouldnt necessarily connect a country's economy to their psychological problems, but I believe they are indirectly connected.

Im going out on a philosophical limb here, but I believe a major cause of this phenomenon is rooted in the culture (way of thought and values shared in general by the society as a whole, extending into government and as a result, economic management). And yes, its true.

And loneliness is a major factor in causing depression and anxiety, both of which often accompany each other.
I don't think your limb is that far out there.

First of all, emotional well being has a direct affect on production. To assume that a country's ecconomic growth is not directly tied to it's production ability is missing a large part of the equation.

Secondly, there is a lot of stress and pressure in the populations of all industrialized nations, it's just comes with the territory. I don't think that thier situation is that much different than most other western nations. Hell, over half the people I work with are bonkers ....

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