Sunday, 25 January 2009

Bugger That...

Excellent Matthew Parris piece in Sunday Times here.

I agree with all of it except the last paragraph. There absolutely no reason at all why the UK should slip quietly into the second league of nations. The 'managed decline' so beloved of post war civil servants.

All countries can avoid this. All of them. But we are better placed than most with our outward looking history and a proclivity for trading.

All it needs is the energy, and the absence of politicians and crucially the removal, or at the very least the severe reduction, of the welfare state. If people have some fear they will try. Pay people to do nothing and they will do nothing, it's rational and I for one would join them if the pay was high enough. So would you. I'd get bored though and go and do something. Now, when I do that something, I am coerced into paying tax at confiscatory levels to support (I calculate) about 12m people either doing bugger all or not more than 25% of what they are capable of. Remove that dead weight overhead and our costs would reduce and we will be able to compete with anybody. Our workers (anyone at any level who turns up and does something productive, whether managing director, dustman or even a merchant banker) are as good as anybody's and work just as hard, but those in the private wealth creating sector are burdened with a huge overhead to support.

Managed decline. Pah!

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