Sunday, July 1, 2012

An Austrian from the diaspora

Here is the view ("When does Austria go broke?") of one of the most renowned members of the Austrian diaspora. Chances are that renowned members of the Greek diaspora might feel similarly. Instead of commenting on it, I refer to Google Translate.

Frank Stronach (born 1932) had been trained in Austria as a tool and die maker. He was poor. At age 23, and with a few dollars in his pocket, he emigrated to Canada and engaged in various entrepreneurial activities. The company he founded developed into the Magna-Group, one of the top-3 suppliers to the automobile industry in the world. Mr. Stronach is a billionaire today but still thoroughly involved in business and social activities despite his 80 years of age.

Let me just cite one phrase from Mr. Stronach's article:

"Europe has been economically successful as a result of competitive and competition-oriented economies. Natural laws are stronger than laws created by people. One natural law is that fair competition leads to better performance, better products and better living standards. Whenever competition is reduced and when one interferes artificially in market forces, it become only a question of time until economic growth ends and living standards decline".


  1. Stronach is an ambiguous figure. He says right and wrong things. he wants more tax fairness

    but his personal wealth is in tax-heaven zug in switzerland. is he living there? he has a name plate in the backyard of an shopping center. ha ha...

    I think in general he is a better businessman than politician.

    1. Maybe our problem is that we have such "good politicians"... I have met Stronach personally and I can vouch for this: that man knows how the real economy works!

    2. yes, his achievements as a businessman are quite impressive.
      but a good businessman is not necessarily a good politician.
      similar to the "pirates" he has the potential to play a politically significant role in the future. or sink like the titanic. let's see...

    3. I kind of doubt that his thinking has mass appeal in Austria. Far too little "politically correct".

    4. his zib2 interview transcript.

      a quite unusual interview...

    5. I watched the interview live. I am afraid he didn't do his noble cause a big favor by acting in a totally uncontrolled and emotional manner. The first time I have seen him that way. Perhaps he is getting frustrated that his efforts to save Austria from the evils of the rest of the EZ are not catching on among the public.

  2. Everything is relative.

    Yes, competition and free-trade - generally speaking - are beneficial and should be pursued.

    If however, for whatever reasons, they lead to imbalances, then protectionism and similar "artificial" measures should be considered.

    1. I agree with your comment. One of my arguments has been that the Greek economy can't make it without a temporary adaptation of two of the four EU freedoms. Otherwise, it's like sending a young Greek soccer player to Real Madrid and, once he has gotten used to the way of life there, telling him that he has to improve his game or else get kicked out of the team.

      I guess the term is "infant industry protection". The Greek economy blew the first chance at the Euro (like most everyone else did...). Now that everyone knows what the mistakes were, give it a second chance and avoid the mistakes. For the second chance to work, however, the building of the new Greek economy must proceed floor-by-floor, starting with a good basement. And for that, the Greek economy needs to be given time, some protection and --- a lot a real help in the form of know-how transfer.

      Perhaps my following posts interest you.