Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Which way to the future, please?

The article "At bursting point?" from The Economist is definitely worth reading! Nevermind that it explains the reaons for today's misery of the Southern Periphery in terms which the Southern Periphery may not like, it also shows that there are still ways to "restore the lustre of the European Economic Model" (this in reference to a World Bank report which can be found here). One of the best paragraphs of the article is below: (quotes from the World Bank report in italics)

"All is not lost. Northern European states, especially Nordic countries, show it is possible to innovate, raise productivity and maintain generous social welfare at the same time. This is the World Bank's explanation for their success:
What has the north done to encourage enterprise and innovation? Much of its success has come from creating a good climate for doing business. All the northern economies are in the top 15 countries of 183 in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings; at 14th, Sweden is the lowest ranked among them. They have given their enterprises considerable economic freedom. Their governments are doing a lot more. They have speeded up innovation by downloading the “killer applications” that have made the United States the global leader in technology: better incentives for enterprise-sponsored research and development (R&D), public funding mechanisms and intellectual property regimes to foster profitable relations between universities and firms, and a steady supply of workers with tertiary education. Tellingly, Europe’s innovation leaders perform especially well in areas where Europe as a whole lags the United States the most. These features make them global leaders; combining them with generous government spending on R&D and public education systems makes their innovation systems distinctively European".
Who would have thought that the message is as simple as suggested here in this blog a few months ago, namely that all Greece needs to do to have a good future is to become "a good place to do business in"?

In the World Bank's "Doing Business 2012 Report", Greece ranks #100 out of 183, by far the lowest rank of an EU-country.

In the "Corruption Perception Index 2010" of Transparency International, Greece ranks #30 out of 30 EU and other Western European countries.

Any long-term economic plan that Greece might come up with must have as two of its objectives that Greece moves dramatically up the scale in those two reports!

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