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Monday, September 18, 2006

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jon livesey

Although this sounds like good news, the last paragraph is worrying. Just how do you measure services GDP output when 47% of new employment is in the public service? Do the statistics agencies attribute an amount of output to a civil servant, and if so, how do they do that? What output does one attribute to a nurse in a hospital - a lot, I hope - and what output does one attribute to a five-a-day fruit and vegetable officer, or to a local government official installing weight measuring devices in wheely bins and prosecuting people afterwards for over-loading them? Come to think of it, what's the contribution to the GNP of the press officers whose job consists of announcing the same "initiative" multiple times?

A. PERLA

"The debate over Britain’s economic future is not over. It has hardly even begun."

Oooppps, bad news, that. Makes one think that there's time for an amicable academic debate of the question. This is not the case.

When the Chinese start opening engineering offices in Germany to understand/assimilate the engineering prowess of Germany's mainstay exporter (engineered machine tools), this means what?

This means that the Chinese will begin to compete in the higher-tech sectors. It remains to be seen how effective they can be. But, neither is there time to discuss it.

It's time to be proactive. With policies that introduce higher level of productivity in the services sector across the board. (A sector that demonstrates already high technology content.) More so, Europe needs to start creating original technological advances (and keeping it) - not implementing technology that comes from elsewhere. In this manner, others will play "catch-up" whilst Europe milks the cash-cow.

jon livesey

A. Perla makes a good point. If the chinese break out of the low-cost manufacturing niche, they can become the next Japan, only larger. In the fifties, Japan was seen as low-cost and imitative, but today they can be very innovative. In a services and design driven world, which is the only one in which Western Europe can hope to prosper, the key factor is going to be education. For a party that ran on the slogan "education, education,..." New Labour hasn't done so well. They seem to have raised a generation of students with mediocre skills in very soft subjects whose career ambition is limited to a nice soft government job.

A. PERLA

I will add to the argument that "jawboning" China about its flagrantly low exchange rate is no longer working.

Let's look at exchange rates from the Chinese point of view. Anecdote: When a French minister was visiting China officially, he approached the matter of exchange rates with his Chinese counterpart - who (supposedly) responded with a smile and this remark, "Do you know how many millions of shirts China must produce to earn the money to purchase one Airbus A-380?".

Point well taken, even if a bit exaggerated. But, this sort of attitude in classical economics is called "beggar thy neighbor", and if it was acceptable for a period of time during which China was evolving from the Communist darkness, that time is now coming to a close. Unemployment has become an acute problem in Europe and the US is getting more concerned about it by day.

We all know that China appreciating the yuan will not very much change its competitiveness, given the drastically lower labor costs. But let's remember also, it would make imports less dear and that could help its global "neighbors" to better support the unbalanced trade accounts.

Then again, we know also that China MUST create hundreds of thousands of jobs a year in order to absorb the rush of the young into city centers (where production is located) from the provinces. This is an internal problem for China. But the disarray in provincial services (particularly health care) is no reason for the rest of the world to accept blithely Chinese inadequacy to address it.

The solution, as always, is not a simple remedy.

Lisa P

After the long day months of the campaign about the presidential election of the long run candidacy of the Obama Presidential election let see and watch what will happened next.
The election is over and America has appointed a new leader. The people have chosen “change” by electing Barack Obama for the next President of the United States. Whether the United States changes for the better or for the worse, there is no doubt that change is in store for our country. It’s clear that Americans believe Obama will bring a positive change to our country. We’ve heard many of the promises he has made to the U.S. from lowering taxes for the middle class to putting a timeline on the war in Iraq and trimming the federal budget “line by line.” However, Obama also supports the elimination of the payday loan industry. He believes that eradicating the payday loan industry will protect low-income and families in general from falling victims to predatory lenders. On higher ground, it will be a violation to our financial freedom if the option to utilize affordable payday loans is wiped out. Threatening our rights to financial freedom is not a great start to creating positive change.
Click to read more on Payday Loans

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