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November 30, 2004

European Union and Competetiveness.

One of the points of this whole European Union thing, from the view inside the tent pissing out, is that we’ll be ruled by a technocratic elite making the correct and tough decisions that we mere mortals simply couldn’t get right or understand. So what are they talking about here:

China's lightning advance into the production of cars, computers and high-tech industry poses a serious threat to Europe's economic base, according to a report by the European Commission.
Guenther Verheugen, the new enterprise and industry commissioner, said the EU must improve to avoid quick relegation down the world's economic league as Asia storms ahead on every front.

Beg pardon? What is this mercantilist crap? This self-claimed elite seems to be some three centuries behind on the economic thought front.
There’s a new low cost producer of cars and electronics.....OK, yes, got that.....this is a bad thing?  Why? Just what have these idiots been smoking? So cars and electronics become cheaper, the consumer benefits from being able to have, either more cars and electronics for his money or, if that consumer prefers, the same amount for less money and is able to satisfy others of his desires within his income. In short, the consumer has become wealthier and these bozos are all wandering around with long faces crying out that the sky is falling. Sheesh.
It gets worse of course, for they have also failed to notice, presumably being pig-ignorant, what this actually means for the longer term. If we now have low wage countries like China making these sorts of products this means that these jobs are, by definition, low wage jobs. We do not want to work out how to protect car workers jobs in the EU. We want people to stop making cars in the EU as they are low wage jobs, we want them to go and do other things which are high wage jobs. Double sheesh.
I’ve always had my doubts about the wisdom of allowing ourselves to be ruled by experts, the value of a technocracy in and of itself, but when that very same college of technocrats shows itself to be incompetent  on one of the most basic points of economics well, there’s no choice left, is there? It’s got to go.

Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam

November 30, 2004 in Economics | Permalink


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Innocent question here, but a serious one. Everyone can't be a C programmer. What are folks of average and even above-average intelligence supposed to do?

Am I missing a concept?

Posted by: IB Bill | Nov 30, 2004 8:41:10 PM

Entrepreneurialise thyself.

Or 'I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.'

Posted by: Andrew | Nov 30, 2004 9:32:47 PM

Oh, and seriously - C programming is also now a 'low wage job'. It's done by lean, mean, hungry Indian college graduates at a fraction of the price demanded by our home-grown, pizza-guzzling geeks. So they need to upskill as well.

Posted by: Andrew | Nov 30, 2004 9:34:05 PM

Shit. C is a low-wage job!

I did entrepreneuralize myself. That's why I'm not a C programmer.

Posted by: IB Bill | Dec 1, 2004 9:26:51 PM

The first question still stands. It is easy to say, 'upskill', but if you can't provide an answer then latching onto as yet unseen trends and 'upskilling' ahead of the game is only a realistic possibility for a tiny fraction of the population of western developed countries. Can these 'high-wage' industries produce as many jobs as car manufacture?

Posted by: Andrew Bartlett | Jun 28, 2005 10:54:09 PM